Butternut Squash Ricotta Cheesecake

Butternut Squash Ricotta Cheesecake | coffeeandquinoa.com

It’s inevitable that some recipe ideas cool their heels on my to-make list for months (or even years), while others make their way from brain to belly in a matter of hours. After waxing eloquent about the butternut and ricotta combo last week, I’ll let you guess which category this cheesecake falls into…

Butternut Squash Ricotta Cheesecake | coffeeandquinoa.com

Cut to me preheating the oven while I make a 10 pm grocery store run for squash, ricotta, and eggs.

With my brain swirling with butternut and ricotta recipes after making those twice-baked squash, I became so enamored with the idea of a squashy dessert that I almost scrapped the savory recipe altogether in favor of this cheesecake. Luckily, I convinced myself that you could handle two butternut ricotta recipes in the span of a week. And you totally can, can’t you?

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Salted Chocolate Almond Mug Cakes (Vegan and GF)

Salted Chocolate Almond Mug Cake - Vegan, GF, microwavable, and ready in 60 seconds!

I owe you guys a recipe like whoa. Luckily, I come bearing chocolate.

Salted Chocolate Almond Mug Cake - Vegan, GF, microwavable, and ready in 60 seconds!

Sometimes I think there are two types of eaters in this world: the plate-lickers and the non-plate-lickers. The plate-lickers get enough pleasure out of each iiiitty bitty morsel of food they can scrape off their plates at the end of a meal to justify the effort; the non-plate-lickers do not. They might even think it’s unsightly to scrape your plate like that.

Hi, my name is Erica and I am a plate-licker.

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Chocolate SunButter Banana Ice Cream

Chocolate SunButter Banana Ice Cream

If you’re vegan, I’m willing to bet you’ve made banana ice cream before. You know, the magical kind made with nothing but frozen bananas that is somehow amazingly similar to dairy ice cream? I used to make it frequently, but after a while it slipped off my radar (once I got an ice cream maker, probably). However, Nate requested it again recently and I couldn’t believe how long it had been since I whipped some up!

Plain banana ice cream is pretty good, but I like mine best with a tablespoon or two of nut butter and cocoa powder. It’s so good, you’d swear you paid $6 for a tiny pint of it, not made it yourself out of bananas that were ripened beyond recognition.

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Mini Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter & Jelly Cups

Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter & Jelly Cups | coffeeandquinoa.com

Sometimes I think back to the bag lunch days, when I totally took my parents making my lunch for granted. Silly kid!

First of all, I hated leftovers. I don’t think we had microwaves in our school cafeteria to heat anything up, so I guess that makes it a bit more understandable. Or maybe we did and it was just uncool to use them? I do remember in high school that it was very uncool to bring lunch in any container that wasn’t disposable. And that was obviously super important. Tupperwares were OUT, brown paper bags were IN.

Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter & Jelly Cups | coffeeandquinoa.com

Second of all, I was really upset by the lack of variety in my school lunches. It was basically either a PB&J or a turkey, cheese and lettuce roll-up. Never mind the fact that my dad woke up early to make those lunches for years and was probably not feeling too creative at 6 am. Or that making only things that can travel in plastic wrap or a Ziploc bag is pretty restrictive. I think he just made whatever we complained about the least. Come to think of it, it’s amazing I had two options!

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Blueberry Banana Forbidden Rice Pudding (Vegan)

Blueberry Banana Forbidden Rice Pudding

Summer berry season is ON.

These glorious juicy little berries are the #1 (food-related) reason I look forward to summer. Have I said that before… perhaps about tomatoes? peaches? basil? Blasphemy. Berries are my all-time favorite summer food.

And just because it’s fun, here are my top non-food-related reasons to look forward to summer: Dresses (my credit card bill has been insane lately, and Anthro and Banana are to blame), Martha’s Vineyard (headed there in a month!), and just generally the warm weather. If you ask me, there’s no better feeling than walking out of the house without taking the time to stop and bundle up first. I think those that live in a warm climate year-round take that feeling for granted, but I most certainly do not! Well, not usually. I’ll be complaining about the heat before you know it… so just remind me that I always prefer warmth to cold!

Blueberry Banana Forbidden Rice Pudding

I also love how easily those summer dresses pack into a suitcase. Today I’m headed back to Boston to do girly wedding planning stuff with my mom, and I threw all my clothes for the long weekend into a carry-on with plenty of room to spare. If you know me, you know that is quite the feat! Girlfriend does not pack light. I mean, I haven’t gotten to the toiletries yet – and I’m pretty sure those don’t get skimpier in the summer – but I think I’m going to get by with my smallest carry-on. Summer dresses FTW!

So since I mentioned it, can I just derail this pudding parade to talk about wedding stuff for a second? OK good. Because this weekend we get to do the following: Cake tasting. Florist meeting. Hair and makeup trials. Eeek!! Maybe we’ll even have to test out a few signature cocktail recipes. Life is tough, you guys. I cannot wait!

P.S. Am I really flying across the country just to get my hair done? Shhhh. Let’s get this pudding parade back on track.

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