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National Cheese Lover’s Day is January 20

Ricotta cheese
Ricotta cheese
Flickr

“Pass the cheese, if you please!” Men and women of all ages make cheese the center of their attention on days like January 20, National Cheese Lover’s Day.

Cheese often shows up in a variety of dishes, including sweet-to-eat desserts. Take the American cheesecake, for one, which gets its rich flavor and creaminess from cream cheese. Whet your appetite with the Indian rasgulla, a sweet treat made from cottage cheese. Also consider Ricotta Cappuccino, an Italian dessert worthy of kings and queens (scroll below for an easy recipe!).

Rasgulla may be found in Indian grocery stores, local ethnic markets or in Indian restaurants like the one below:

The Taste of India Restaurant

7243 S. Kingery Hwy. (Rt. 83)

Willowbrook, IL 60527

(630) 323-1333

www.thetasteofIndia.us

Cheesecakes can be found in shops around Chicagoland:

The Cheesecake Factory Restaurant locations:

Chicago
875 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 337-1101

Schaumburg - Woodfield Shopping Center
53 Woodfield Road
Schaumburg, IL 60173

(847) 619-1090

Old Orchard
4999 Old Orchard Center
Skokie, IL 60077
(847) 329-8077

If you don’t have the time to dash out to the store for a quick cheese pickup, you can make a delicious cheese dessert right at home: Ricotta Cappuccino found below in a recipe by Giada de Laurentis, the Food Network’s Everyday Italian host and chef. It’s easy and delicious and a great way to spend National Cheese Lover’s Day—especially if you prefer the sweet cheese dishes to the savory!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 (3-inch) biscotti, crushed
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • Pinch cocoa powder

Directions

Place the sugar in a food processor. Cut the vanilla bean open lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, and place them in the food processor with the sugar. Run the machine to make vanilla sugar.

Place the ricotta and espresso powder in the food processor. Blend for 1 minute. Stop the machine to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Blend for another minute. Spoon the mixture into 4 small coffee mugs. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

To serve, top the ricotta cappuccino with crushed biscotti. Sprinkle with cinnamon and cocoa powder.

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