My flight landed in Minnesota twelve hours ago and since then, I've seen a sunset more beautiful than words can describe, played four rounds of Banana-grams with my family (we're addicted), cuddled with my dog, and slept in my own bed in this new home-away-from-home. I'm now two or three cups deep in coffee, waiting for a couple loaves of banana bread to bake up in the oven, perched ever-so-comfortably as if this new home is becoming more of a home more quickly than I expected. I like it here.
I'm visiting my parents for the next parents two weeks - we've had this family trip planned for months and we're all excited excited e x c i t e d to finally be together. My brother and sister in law live in England, so time together with all of us is cherished like the joy of Christmas morning times ten. I used the three-and-a-half-hour plane ride to do some deep thinking and journaling, reading through my thoughts from the past couple months, sorting through thoughts now, and setting intentions for this trip and weeks to come. Ahhhh. Time spent journaling is time well spent.
OH and I have some news! Big news. Exciting news. News I must share. Remember that job I mentioned? The new one I started just this summer? Well, I'm leaving that job for a couple reasons: one of them being that it's just too hectic and there isn't much I can do to fix that, and another being that I've taken the job as head baker of a local cafè - Sally Loo's (which you can read more about in this post). Head friggin' baker, guys!
The new owner, Jenny, asked me if I knew anyone who might be interested, and without hesitation I raised my hand. Within a week, she and I and the current head baker sat down to discuss logistics. Just a half-hour later I left with the position and happy tears sliding down my cheeks as a drove home. "It feels right" is an understatement.
My banana bread timer is screaming at me to come rescue the loaves from the oven, so I'm going to go do exactly that. Bye for now! Enjoy these mini vegan cheesecakes and I'll be back with another recipe or blog post soon. Sending my love from Minnesota!
For the crust:
1 cup chopped almonds
1 cup Medjool dates
2 tbsp. nut butter
For the filling:
1 cup cashews, soaked for 4-8 hours
1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
1/4 cup agave nectar or maple syrup
Juice from one lemon
Blueberry Chia Jam*
Coconut oil, for greasing the pan
Lightly grease a muffin pan with coconut oil and set aside.
Make the crust first by placing the chopped almonds, Medjool dates, and nut butter in a high-powered blender. Pulse until finely ground and sticky - it should form into a lump and may be slightly crumbly, which is fine. Roll this into golfball-size portions and press each portion into the cups of a muffin pan. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
Begin the filling by draining and rinsing the soaked cashews. Place these, the coconut milk, agave nectar, and juice from a lemon in the high-powered blender and blend until smooth. Pour this mixture over the individual crusts in the muffin pan, about 3/4-full for each cup. Drop about a tablespoon of the Blueberry Chia Jam on top of each and use a toothpick to create a swirl.
Freeze for at least 4 hours before serving. Enjoy!
* Replace the honey in the Blueberry Chia Jam with agave nectar or maple syrup to make it vegan.