It’s Valentine’s Day, and you’re probably expecting me to make self-depricating jokes about how I’m 26 years old, single, relegated to only having my dear curling father to love and bound to live a life of desperate, fruitless man-hunting and eternal loneliness with my 12 inbred cats.
But you’d be wrong.
If I’m destined to live a life of eternal loneliness, it’s definitely NOT going to be with cats. I much prefer double fisting coffee mugs of wine and overpriced kombucha. In fact, it’s what I am doing right now as I type this post with my bulbous nose, because my appendages are too busy alternating between guzzling two of my favorite drinks.
I kid, I kid.
I put the drinks down to type this post.
In all honesty my dear readers, I actually like Valentine’s Day. I think it’s quite lovely we get to spend a whole day showing special people in our lives how much we love them – boyfriends, husbands, dads, moms, sisters, family, friends, co-workers, pets and Jake Gyllenhaal.
No matter if you’re married, engaged, dating or have officially been deemed a stalker by E! News however, I still believe the most important love is the kind we give ourselves: self-love.
Because shit happens.
Relationships end. Marriages fall apart. Friendships break up. Jobs change. People move. Stalkers get thrown in jail. Depressing as it may seem, I’ve come to find it quite a blessing we still have ourselves to depend on, laugh with and show love to at the end of a long, hard day.
Self-acceptance. Loving our quirky imperfections. Believing we deserve the best. Being yourself. Positivity. Letting go. It’s a process to learn to love ourselves and being okay with us. Being okay with how we are today – not five lost pounds from now, a long 26.2 miles from now or that perfect white knight of a boyfriend (or girlfriend) from now.
In this moment.
I’m a work in progress.
Some days I embarrassingly feel light years away from loving myself (ahem, frizzy hair, big nose and overanalyticalness) while other days I’m there. I feel good about who I am.
But you know what makes me happy with me despite both the bad and good days?
Writing a perfectly delicious recipe the very first time I make it.
Like No Bake Avocado Lime Cheesecake.
Coconut Graham Cracker Crust
2 cups honey graham crackers, crushed
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup Earth Balance spread or butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all three ingredients together in a medium bowl. In a springform or pie pan, press the mixture on the bottom and sides of the pan. It should be approximately 1/4-inch thick.
Bake for 10 minutes until lightly golden brown.
Avocado Lime Filling
1 packet unflavored gelatin*
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup lime juice
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 T grated lime zest
1 (5-oz.) can evaporated milk
*I used Knox brand
In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the water + lime juice to a boil. Pour the boiling liquid into a glass or heat-resistant cup with the gelatin packet. Whisk until completely dissolved. Let sit to cool.
Beat the cream cheese, sugar, avocado and zest together until well-mixed.
In a separate bowl, beat the evaporated milk until it’s frothy and forms stiff peaks. Add the cooled gelatin and mix. Gently fold in the cream cheese avocado mixture.
Pour into your pie crust, and refrigerate for at least three hours before serving.
To serve, top with lime zest and coconut shreds.
Makes 1 cheesecake (with enough extra filling for a parfait or two)
This cheesecake is not vegan. It could pass as semi-healthy. It uses full fat cream cheese and vegan Earth Balance butter. It’s an oxymoron. It’s a bit unexpected.
In other words, it’s ME.
Jake Gyllenhaal or no Jake Gyllenhaal.
Of course, it’d preferably be me with Jake Gyllenhaal.