After all, when you wake up each morning, do you really have any idea what the day might encompass? Yes, you have plans to do the dishes, eat lunch, and take out the trash; but what about all the unexpected moments you have to look forward to?
Moments like hearing your daughter's name announced as first place winner in the children's category for your local library's Chocolate Lovers Bake Off. Of course, it was my hope that she would win, but I had no idea whether or not she would. I also managed to snag a second place in desserts for my Samoa Cookie Pie.
Another great big moment of my week turned out to be the arrival of a special package. It was from second grade teacher Jene Daub and the second grade classes from North Tama Elementary. The package contained thirty brightly colored letters, a teacher letter, and a book the children had made based on my Quack and Daisy characters. The book they created was for a classmate battling cancer, and the proceeds will go to him. They added a character of their own, a donkey called Jon Jon, and even illustrated it themselves.
To me opening the mail is always an adventure, but opening this special mail was a big adventure involving love. After all, how can you not fall in love with children who send you rainbow colored letters eschewing your awesome writing talents (their words not mine, lol).
So go forth and gloriously anticipate your next big adventure whatever it may be. And while your at it, read about Hetbie's Big Adventure like I did. Herbie the hedgehog goes foraging on his own for the first time and has an adventure, an unexpected adventure, a big adventure!
Oh, and here is Emily's winning recipe as promised last week. You might as well start your next big adventure with a treat involving chocolate!
Mini Oreo Mousse Cheesecakes
For the Oreo Crust:
16 whole Oreos crushed
1/4 cup butter- melted
For the cheesecake filling:
16 oz. cream cheese- softened to room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup sour crème
1 TBS flour
3 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the chocolate mousse:
3 egg yolks
6 TBS powdered sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
4 oz. semisweet baking chocolate-finely chopped
4-5 Oreos crushed
16 mini Oreo cookies for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees, line cupcake pans with 16 liners, set aside. Stir together melted butter and finely crushed Oreo. Press 1 heaping Tablespoon of mixture into the bottom of each liner. Bake for 5 minutes and allow to slightly cool.
In a large bowl beat the cream cheese on medium speed until completely smooth. Add the sugar and sour cream and beat on medium speed until combined. Add the egg whites, one at a time, beating on low speed after each. Beat in the vanilla and flour. Spoon the batter onto the crusts until almost full. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill completely.
In a medium sauce pan stir together egg yolks, powdered sugar, and 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream. Cook over low heat until it thickens and almost doubles in size WHISK CONSTANTLY. Remove from heat, add chocolate, and stir until melted. Let cool, stirring occasionally. Separately beat remaining 1 2/3 cups heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Whisk one fourth of whipped cream into chocolate custard to lighten. Fold in remaining cream gently but thoroughly. Stir in crushed Oreos Pipe onto cheesecakes. Refrigerate. Remove paper liners and garnish with mini Oreos before serving.
Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week for another exciting episode, same crazy time, same crazy channel. Also be sure to drop by Literacy Musings Mondays for more great blogs as well as my personal website Fun With Aileen where you will find more on reading, writing, and my very own chapter and picture books. And finally, you can find me on twitter @AileenWStewart if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.