Basic Cheesecake (in a Pie Pan)

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Cheesecake can be such a production. Springform pan, two pounds of cream cheese, water bath, accompanying toppings and/or sauces. If you want to make a tall, impressive cheesecake that serves sixteen, that’s great (and please invite me over). But I only ever want to make a simple cheesecake–something my two-person household is capable of finishing in a reasonable amount of time. Cheesecake is my favorite dessert and I won’t go through a rigmarole every time I want to make it. So I reject the idea that cheesecake must be baked in a springform pan.

There are a lot of delicious cheesecake recipes, and this one certainly isn’t remarkable compared to many of those. This isn’t the cheesecake you make when you want to feed a crowd or impress people with presentation. But if you want cheesecake and nothing more, this is an excellent recipe to use. It’s simple and straightforward, and I’ve made it so often that I have the recipe memorized. This is baked in a nine-inch pie tin and serves (“serves”) eight in manageable, pie-sized wedges. It’s smooth and creamy like all cheesecake should be, and the tablespoon of vanilla ensures that there’s plenty of flavor to complement the cream cheese tang.

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Strawberry and (Half) Coconut Milk Pops

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It may be September, but it’s still summer. My birthday falls on the first day of fall (puns), and knowing this I’m always a little sad when people disregard the summer in September. Pumpkin spice lattes may be all around us, but fall doesn’t begin until three weeks into September, and I prefer to give summer the respect it deserves. (Which, honestly, isn’t much, as summer is my least favorite season–all the more reason for me to wait until it really ends before I celebrate its demise.)

Enter this summery ice pop. Fruity and coconutty with a splash of vanilla, this popsicle is perfect for a warm summer day and can be easily adjusted depending on your coconut milk preferences. I like coconut milk, but I don’t like when it takes the place of all dairy in a dairy-based recipe. In times when I’m desperate for ice cream but find myself without cream, I’ve followed ice cream recipes that use coconut milk as the sole source of dairy, and I can never get past the extreme coconut-milky taste that permeates the entire dessert. Coconut milk is a wonderful thing, but I suppose I prefer its presence to be a bit more subtle.

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