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Delish’s Best Banana Pudding Cheesecake


Unless you had some kind of traumatic experience with cheese as a child, it will be hard to truly dislike the amazing and comforting taste of cheesecake. Even if you’re lactose intolerant or have other allergies, you can swap out for your favorite alternative and still enjoy a tasty treat.

Now when it comes to bananas, it’s definitely one of those fruits that people tend to forget tastes amazing in any form and for any occasion. What’s perfect is that you can take those ripening ones off your microwave and they’ll be perfect for this cheesecake instead of the organics bin.

It’s a warm, sunny day where I am today – finally a sign of Spring. So I think it’s time to introduce one of my favorite recipes from Delish. Enjoy!




1 (8-oz.) block cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 (3.4-oz.) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 c. whole milk
1 prepared graham cracker crust
3 bananas, sliced, plus more slices for garnish
30 Nilla Wafers
Whipped topping, for garnish 
Crushed Nilla Wafers, for garnish


  1. Make cheesecake filling: In a large bowl using a hand mixer or in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat cream cheese until fluffy and no clumps remain.
  2. Add sugar and beat until combined. Add heavy cream and vanilla and beat until medium-stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together pudding mix and milk. Let pudding stand for 3 minutes in the fridge until thickened. Fold into cheesecake mixture until combined.
  4. Pour half the filling into graham cracker crust. Add a single layer of sliced bananas and Nilla Wafers (20 total), then pour over remaining cheesecake mixture and smooth top. 
  5. Refrigerate until cheesecake is firm, at least 6 hours and up to overnight. (If the cheesecake stills feels too soft to slice, transfer to the freezer for up to 1 hour.)
  6. Before serving, top with dollops of whipped topping around the border of the cheesecake. Top each dollop with a banana slice and Nilla wafer, then garnish the whole cheesecake with crushed Nilla Wafers.

The Secret to Creating a Perfect Latte


The latte, more formally known as the cafe latte, the caffe e latte, or just fancy “coffee and milk,” is a widespread popular coffee beverage that uses espresso and steam milk to give drinkers that extra kick they need with great flavor. And, of course, most baristas practice for months to perfect those designs that often appear on top. 

If you’ve attempted to create your own latte – discovered the best espresso recipe, purchased a state of the art coffee frother, and are ready to get artistic – and completely fail at creating any design worth posting on Instagram, you’re not alone. 

It’s definitely something that takes dedication and practice, however, there are some secrets that baristas will never let on – why give them away when they can make you believe they have an uncomparable artistic talent?

Here are a few secrets I have compiled to help you make that tasty and beautiful Instaworthy latte.

  1. Use whole milk or half-and-half cream instead of 2% and skim. It’s almost impossible to create designs that will hold if you’re using fat-free milk. Calories should not be brought into the equation when perfecting your lattes.

  2. Be sure to clamp your espresso grind before brewing! Often, many people forget to clamp down the grinds to make a completely level puck, which in turn will provide a weak, watered-down taste.

  3. Don’t over-steam your milk. You’re making a latte, not a cappuccino! You don’t need a huge amount of frith, just enough to bring it to room temperature and is stretched to your liking. Then insert the want and continue steaming until too hot to touch with your bare hand.

  4. Swirl the espresso to cover the walls of your mug. This will ensure the steamed milk will mix properly with the espresso and result in an even distribution. You don’t want to skip this step even if you think it doesn’t matter.

  5. Tap your milk frother on the table a few times to get rid of bubbles.  This is also essential to ensure the frothed milk pours nicely into the mug to create your desired art.

Creating Perfect Latte Art:

  • Tilt your cup at a 45-degree angle.
  • Always hold the milk high enough above the mug so that it hits the bottom.

A Heart: 

  • When your mug is about ¾ full, bring the milk closer while shaking it (the milk not your mug) a tiny bit.
  • When the cup is almost full, pour a line of milk from one side of the mug’s rim to the other (right through the center top to bottom).  To create the shape of the heart.

A leaf:

  • After following the above steps and you’ve begun shaking the milk to create a design, make the length of which you shake each time to be slightly smaller in order to create the design of the leaf.

You can begin to learn other shapes, all of which require varying amounts of shaking, toothpicks, syrup. and other minor tricks. 

Use a Latte Stencil.

Image taken from Wonderland Board Game Cafe in Kingston, Ontario

Many of the more intricate art designs you may receive from baristas are actually created with stencils. In these situations, use the milk foam you would typically use and then place a plastic stencil over the drink. Take powdered cinnamon, sprinkles, or cocoa powder, or colored sugar and shake evenly over top. Then carefully bring the stencil off without tipping the leftover powder into the latte. 

Let us know how your creations turn out! We can’t wait to see.

Why Can’t I Make An Excellent Pot of Coffee?


Your Guide to The Perfect Water/Grinds Ratio and Everything Else You Need to Know to Achieve Your Perfect Cup. 

We admit it. It’s a challenge to get that perfect pot of coffee. A lot of dedication and science needs to go into finding the right coffee to water ratio – and there are so many other factors that come into play when trying to brew that liquid sunshine. 

If you’re anything like me, I am sometimes considered a “coffee snob.” When someone offers me a cup of coffee I often have a heightened sense for watered down, weak coffee- often simply sipping at it until the host leaves the room and I can pour it down the drain. 

So how is it done? Not all of us are can handle the rushed taste of a Keurig machine and need that steeped goodness that only comes from a properly brewed pot of coffee. 

Here are a few easy tips to getting that excellent pot of coffee:

  1. Buy a coffee grinder at home and stop buying instant coffee. If you’re expecting the freshest pot of coffee you can, the canned coffee you buy from the grocery store has quite the shelf life. This means that you could be purchasing it months after its been ground. Did you know that instant coffee can last up to 20 years on your shelf? Imagine! Some of us have children older than that.

    You can find inexpensive grinders online, such as the Bodum BISTRO Blade  Electric Grinder for 20$ on Amazon. You may even find that it’s cheaper to buy coffee in bean form than pre-grinded. If you do prefer to have your coffees ground for you, find a specialty shop that will do it right at purchase so you know you’re getting the freshest batch.

  2. The filter in your coffee machine is also important and often goes uncleaned. If the pieces come apart, then stick them into your dishwasher once a week. If not, you can purchase coffee machine cleaners that will flush out anything that’s been lurking somewhere in your machine and compromising the integrity of the sustainable beans you seek out to buy.

  3. Don’t go stingy on the amount of coffee you add to your percolator – but don’t go crazy either. As a rule of thumb, a heaping tablespoon per cup of coffee is enough (I always put one more in for “robust”). If you put any less than that, but more water, you’ll end up getting a pot of coffee that tastes like watered down dishwater instead. 

  4. Your water is important as well. Tap water is fine, but if you notice a lot of calcium build up both in your machine and in your pot, you may want to switch to filtered water. Some tap water, especially in old homes, can go through lead pipes or be processed at plants that may not be the cleanest. You can only imagine the things they pull out of their main water filtrations.

  5. Drink it while it’s still hot and try not to tempt yourself into microwaving your coffee (it will burn it). If you’ve made a pot of coffee and it’s been sitting in the break room for the last 5 hours, honestly, just start a new batch. A pot of coffee only lasts about 15 or 20 minutes before beginning to lose its posterity and richness. If you only truly care about the caffeine and not the freshness of the coffee, then skip this step. 

What’s your go-to coffee grind to water ratio? Do you prefer filtered water or tap? Can you tell the difference? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check out the health benefits of coffee on our blog here.

The Best Coffee Cake Muffins You’ll Ever Taste – Trust Us


For many of us, we’re still waiting for the first sign of Spring to finally grace or front yards. The groundhog was definitely incorrect in his predictions and we are sitting here, staring out at our snow-covered vehicles, sipping a hot mug of coffee, and wishing we had something sweet to mask our depression over our lack of sunlight outside.

If you’re somewhere warm right now, I envy you! However, I will still let you take a peek at the recipe I have found (and tried!) for the week.

The streusel, as well as the sour cream that has been incorporated into this recipe, provides a sweet, delicate softness that will melt in your mouth and have you finishing off the entire batch before the end of the day (just believe me on this one).

So, courtesy of Just a Taste, here is the best coffee cake muffins you’ll ever taste.




  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white or packed light brown sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, slightly softened and cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup softened butter
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (8 oz.) sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease muffin tin with cooking spray.

Prepare the streusel topping by combining all ingredients in a small bowl, using a fork to cut the butter evenly into the dry ingredients until well incorporated. (It should be the consistency of wet sand.) Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, oil and 1 cup sugar on medium speed until well mixed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Reduce mixer speed to low, and then gradually beat in the flour mixture, sour cream and vanilla just until combined. (Do not overmix!)

Layer the batter and streusel in the prepared muffin tin by spooning a portion of the batter, then a sprinkle of streusel, topped by another portion of batter and a final sprinkle of streusel on top.

Bake muffins for about 15-25 minutes, depending on the size of your muffins or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Remove muffins from oven and let cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Six Uses For Coffee You Might be Surprised To Hear


I’m sure all of you out there enjoy having a cup of your favorite brew but did you know there is so much more to coffee than just a delicious way to wake up in the morning? Not only does it make a tasty drink and have health benefits but it can also be used for everything from household cleaning to beauty aids. So let’s take a look at some of the many other ways coffee can benefit you in your daily life.

  • Using coffee in the garden.

Since coffee is a great source of nitrogen, it works wonders for your plants when adding used coffee grounds to your compost. Plus it keeps them out of landfills. You can also add them directly into the soil around your plants which will help with water drainage and retention and attract earthworms to keep your plants healthy and looking great.

  • Use for pest control.

You can use coffee grounds to repel mosquitos and other insects away from your outdoor seating areas by putting out some bowls of coffee grounds or sprinkling around the area. You can also put some around your garden to keep beetles, fruit flies, and slugs away from your plants. Not only is it effective but it’s a great alternative to using any harsh chemicals.

  • Use for household cleaning.

If you like to use chemical-free cleaning products, coffee grounds are great to use as a scrub. Since they are abrasive they can remove build-up from your sink, stove and pots and pans or any other hard to clean areas. As long as you don’t use them on porous materials since it can leave stains.

  • Use to exfoliate your skin.

Not only do coffee grounds work wonders as a cleaning scrub but they also work great as a body scrub. Just add some to water or coconut oil and rub on the face and body to get rid of dry and dead skin, leaving you soft and smooth. It also increases blood circulation and can even protect the skin from sun damage due to the antioxidants in caffeine.

  • Use as a hair treatment.

Applying coffee to your hair can have many benefits. It can prevent hair loss and promote growth, help with frizziness and help your hair to retain moisture, leaving it soft and shiny. It can even be used to darken your hair and temporarily cover any grays without the use of harmful chemicals.

  • Use to get rid of puffy eyes.

Applying some cooled, used coffee grounds under your eyes and leaving on for about 20 minutes is an effective way to get rid of those dreaded eye bags. Caffeine is high in antioxidants and works as an anti-inflammatory to shrink blood vessels and remove water to help bring down the puffiness. It will also lessen dark circles and redness and even firm the skin.

These are just a few of the many other ways you can use coffee to benefit your everyday life even if you are not a big coffee drinker. Hopefully, you give some of these a try and take advantage of all the amazing qualities of coffee.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Delight


There’s something about a soft, delicious square that gets everyone at a party – or anyone with a sweet tooth – itching for more than one piece. If you woke up this morning looking for a recipe to serve to the family tonight in the last full weekend of February, then don’t skip over these Chocolate Cookie Delight squares courtesy of Taste of Home.

These squares have a soft-baked chocolate cookie base that is finished first in the oven. Then, ingredients for the top layers, such as cream cheese and pudding mix are added on after the cookie has cooled. For an extra taste of sweetness, add your favorite nuts and some Smucker’s (or another brand’s) caramel sauce on top right before serving. Try warming up the sauce and nuts in a saucepan for a few minutes before dribbling over the squares. This juxtaposition between warmth and coolness will definitely have yours and your guest’s taste buds melting.

Be advised, however, that if you’re hoping to serve them tonight, then you need to take a few minutes to prepare them (brew your favorite coffee to keep you company) and let settle in the fridge for up to 8 hours. Although it may still taste delicious, this will ensure the density is firm enough to serve to family and friends without creating a mess.

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. + chilling YIELD: 15 servings.


  • 1 tube (16-1/2 ounces) refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 carton (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
  • 3 cups cold 2% milk
  • 1 package (3.9 ounces) instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • Optional: Chopped nuts, chocolate curls and miniature semisweet chocolate chips


  • 1. Let cookie dough stand at room temperature for 5-10 minutes to soften. Press into an ungreased 13×9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° until golden brown, 14-16 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  • 2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Fold in 1-3/4 cups whipped topping. Spread over crust.
  • 3. In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mixes for 2 minutes. Spread over cream cheese layer. Top with remaining whipped topping. Sprinkle with nuts and chocolate curls if desired.
  • 4. Cover and refrigerate until firm, 8 hours or overnight.

10 Reasons Why You Should Put Coffee Grounds on Your Face and Skin

coffee grounds

Beauty experts across the world are still trying to create that miracle formula that will erase years from our skin and keep us younger – and beautiful – longer. Some perfect creams and tonics can go for $1000 a jar, yet no one really sees any permanent and true results. The internet also offers unlimited natural or at-home alternatives to those expensive department store brands. 

We already know that the caffeine in coffee energizes our bodies into motion but can it also, if put directly on our skin, provide our skin and with that secret pro-beauty energy?

Here are 10 reasons why coffee grounds can actually be beneficial for my face and skin:

  1. Exfoliation. Those gritty grounds (not the instant ones) don’t dissolve well in oil/water, so it makes a perfect way to exfoliate dead skin cells from your face and body.

  2. Anti-Aging. The antioxidants in coffee will boost collagen levels and can actually help reverse signs of aging. Plus, it makes your skin appear younger and brighter thanks to the caffeine levels.

  3. Anti-Microbial. The acid in coffee might also have anti-microbial properties, so while also brushing away dead skin cells, it’s also probably killing harmful germs on your face and hands.

  4. Smoother Skin and Cellulite Reduction. A few small studies have been done on whether coffee could be used to reduce cellulite in those stubborn areas – and it looks promising. If anything, caffeine stimulates blood flow, which in turn can promote fatty areas to push toxins through the blood more easily, which can smooth out the skin.

  5. Anti-inflammation and Puffiness. The chlorogenic acids in coffee prevent inflammation across your body if applied topically. Also, a little under the eyes in the morning can erase the puffiness from a poor night’s sleep and tighten tired skin.

  6. Acne Treatments. All of the properties of coffee discussed in the last 4 points, such as anti-inflammation and anti-microbial acids, are also then linked to improving the complexion and aiding in treating acne. Don’t over-exfoliate, however, as it can actually be harmful to the skin and won’t directly influence acne – keep using your over-the-counter products for best results.

  7. Sun Protection. Those same antioxidants in coffee can also prevent sun damage from UV rays. We don’t recommend throwing out your sunscreen, however, forming a coffee paste and mixing it in can add to that sun protection.

  8. Hair and Scalp Treatments. Our hair and scalp are naturally acidic and so is coffee. By applying coffee grounds to your hair and scalp, you can balance the pH levels while also clearing away dead skin/dandruff – leaving a beautiful head of hair that fortunately also smells amazing.

  9. Keeps your skin hydrated. Coffee is a diuretic, which means it makes our bodies expel water at a faster rate. When rubbed on our skin, however, it acts as a method of retaining moisture and slowing down the evaporation of water from our bodies. If added to a body lotion, it will keep your skin feeling softer, longer.

  10. Eases Tired Feet. Soaking your feet in a coffee bath and scrubbing with coffee grounds can exfoliate dead skin and ease inflamed and tired feet. It will also leave your feet smelling great and feeling soft and hydrated.

Although we love our coffee for drinking, it’s great knowing that our favorite beverage is there for us in so many other ways. How do you use coffee in other methods than consumption? Let us know in the comments. 

The Ultimate Cheesecake


It’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t like the rich and scrumptious taste of cheesecake. For a Saturday night dessert, it’s perfect to give your stomach that “I can’t believe how delicious that was” feeling.

Now, this cheesecake is one of the most popular cheesecakes on The Food Network. Why? It could be because Tyler Florence is a master at desserts or it could be that the combination of the lemon blueberry tart is just fantastic. You decide.


2 cups finely ground graham crackers (about 30 squares)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

1 pound cream cheese, two 8-ounce blocks, softened
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 pint sour cream
1 lemon, zested
1 dash vanilla extract

Warm Lemon Blueberries:
1 pint blueberries
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons sugar


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

For the Crust:
1. In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients with a fork until evenly moistened. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Pour the crumbs into the pan and, using the bottom of a measuring cup or the smooth bottom of a glass, press the crumbs down into the base and 1-inch up the sides. Refrigerate for 5 minutes.

For the Filling:
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute until smooth and free of any lumps. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to beat slowly until combined. Gradually add sugar and beat until creamy, for 1 to 2 minutes.

4. Add sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. The batter should be well-mixed but not over-beaten. Pour the filling into the crust-lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

5. Set the cheesecake pan on a large piece of aluminum foil and fold up the sides around it. Place the cake pan in a large roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until the water is about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan; the foil will keep the water from seeping into the cheesecake. Bake for 45 minutes. The cheesecake should still jiggle (it will firm up after chilling), so be careful not to overcook. Let cool in pan for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for at least 4 hours.

6. Loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the inside rim. Unmold and transfer to a cake plate. Using a spatula spread a layer of Warm Lemon Blueberry topping over the surface.

7. Slice the cheesecake with a thin, non-serrated knife that has been dipped in hot water. Wipe dry after each cut.

Warm Lemon Blueberries:
Yield: 6 servings

8. In a small saucepan add all the ingredients and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes or so until the fruit begins to break down slightly. Leave to cool before spreading on cheesecake.

Is Coffee a Mood-Killer or an Aphrodisiac?


Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day or not, have a special someone to cuddle up with – or plan on spending the evening alone watching Love Actually, we’d all love to spend the day feeling a little bit better. With today being a Friday, it makes it even greater to head home and curl up with that special someone – even if that someone is Hugh Grant. And, of course, you’ll have your favorite cup of coffee with you.

Have you wondered if coffee is considered a mood-killer or an aphrodisiac? Don’t pour that golden goodness down the drain – it actually is amazing for stimulating levels of dopamine in the body that create that feeling of pleasure and adrenaline!

  • Coffee also promotes blood flow and metabolism which is perfect for this special day and the physical exertion we often expose ourselves to (we meant your morning jog, of course).
  • According to a book called Temptations, people who drink coffee often have a more frequent sex life than those who don’t. There are no stats, so you’ll have to test this one yourself.
  • Coffee can also lower the chances of depression in adults. According to an article on Coffee and Health, “A study of 50,739 women (average age 63 years), part of the Nurses’ Health Study, suggested that women who consumed 2-3 or at least 4 cups of caffeinated coffee per day were, respectively, 15% or 20% less likely to develop depression, compared to those who drank at most one cup of caffeinated coffee per week. The consumption of decaffeinated coffee had no impact on depression risk. This observational study suggests the possibility of a protective effect of caffeine on depression risk.”
  • The caffeine itself in coffee can also do wonders for your libido and has actually been studied by the University of Texas to make a direct impact on a man’s chances to… erm.. get things going. If you want to make sure you’re getting the full benefit, stick to a shot of espresso or blond roast instead of green tea or dark roast coffee which have lower amounts of caffeine.
  • Caffeine is also well known for its calming effects. It can ease tension, promote tranquility, and provide that energetic arousal that more couples crave in their lives. It can definitely provide that perfect mood to feel confident in your body and promote that cuddly feeling inside.
  • Too much coffee can possibly have the opposite effect on your libido, so be sure to stick to one mug in the morning and save that extra happy mug for after your romantic dinner and before you and your significant other get curled up on the couch.

With your special mug of coffee tonight, try our red wine latte recipe here and add some chocolate covered strawberries and whipped cream to your dessert plate. Both of these foods are also considered aphrodisiacs and they’re just plain romantic as well.

Build Your Own Coffee Bar at Home With the Help of Lovers.Coffee.

courtesy of

Let’s face it, what coffee fan wouldn’t love a coffee bar in the comfort of their own home? A full station dedicated just to make your favorite brew is any coffee lover’s dream and will make you the envy of your friends and family.

So now that your interest is piqued, the question is where do you start? There are so many different ideas to choose from depending on your taste and your budget. Looking online will definitely help to give you some inspiration and ideas for what you are looking for and even some building instructions if you have some talent for that.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself when beginning your quest to create the perfect coffee bar.

What is your budget?

The first thing you should figure out is how much you are willing and able to spend on the project. That way you will know more what to look for and won’t end up running yourself short needlessly. There are many options out there that are budget-friendly such as looking for second-hand items or looking in your local dollar or discount store.

Where should you put your coffee bar?

You can put your coffee bar anywhere you have space and would like it because, of course, it’s your coffee bar! One can be set up in your kitchen, living room or even your bedroom for those of you who don’t want to travel far in the morning for their first cup.

Do I want to use an existing counter, buy a cart or build my own?

Maybe you already have extra counter space in your kitchen that would be perfect for a coffee bar but if not there are many other options out there. You can purchase a new cart or counter or repurpose a piece that you already own. An armoire that you are no longer using would make a great coffee bar or if you have the talent to build your own. Get in touch with your creative side and who knows what you could come up with. 

What type of coffee machines am I looking to have?

One of the most important decisions is what you will be using to make your coffee. Do you want to have the ability to make specialty coffee drinks like lattes and cappuccinos? If so, an all-in-one machine like the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker would be a good choice for you.

What will I want for accessories?

There are so many different ideas when it comes to picking out accessories for your home coffee bar. Everything from the style and color of the cups to adding extras like cute signs and artwork. Maybe you will want to have a cute bistro table to sit at and enjoy your coffee or a cozy nook to curl up with a good book. 

That is the great thing about creating your own coffee bar. You can make it to completely suit your style and taste and a place you can enjoy any time you want.