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Before the Mellowing Year, Serial #1 and Fresh Strawberry Ricotta Muffins

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So it’s SPRING!!!–three days now, as I write this. What’s your resolution?

It has always struck me as odd that we make resolutions in early January, in the depths of winter and still hungover from too much holiday good cheer (sometimes way too much holiday good cheer, if you know what I mean). Yeah, it’s a new calendar year and that might seem a good occasion for resolutions. But everything else about the timing is awful. What kind of resolutions can you make in the middle of winter and hungover? To eat less, drink less, and maybe hibernate for the next three months? What kind of resolutions are those?

But the first week of spring–now that’s a time for resolutions: warmer weather, longer days, flowers budding or in bloom, green reappearing after nothing but brown for the last six months. Ahh, give me spring and hope and optimism.

And resolutions. At Reading and Recipes our springtime resolutions are to start serializing a new novel and give you still more fun and easy and (maybe sometimes) healthy recipes for desserts or snacks to eat while reading or listening to the serial.

To fulfill the first resolution, we’re starting a novel called Before the Mellowing Year. The title comes from a poem by John Milton. And the story is about Zach and Allison Sandstrom, newlyweds embarking on a new life in the mid-1970s, adventures both outward and inward turned as they explore the vast world around them and the even more perilous worlds within.

To fulfill the second resolution, this week’s recipe is Fresh Strawberry Ricotta Muffins, an easy to make and bake muffin that is both healthy (as desserts go–hey, our nickname is “Sweets and Stories”) and unique in its flavors and texture (dense and rich).

So join us as we dive into spring, resolutions and all; and check back weekly to see how we’re doing with these resolutions!

strawberry ricotta muffins

Fresh Strawberry Ricotta Muffins

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 egg white

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 Tablespoons ricotta cheese*

1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt

3-4 medium strawberries, hulled and finely diced

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with 6 paper liners, and set aside.

Add the butter and sugar to a mixing bowl, and beat with an electric mixer until mixture becomes light and fluffy. Beat in the egg white and vanilla until the egg white is fully incorporated into the batter. Stir in the ricotta. Be sure to scrape the sides of the mixing bowl. Slowly mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt, until just combined; do not over mix the batter! Fold in the diced strawberry pieces.

Divide the batter between the 6 paper liners, filling each about half full. Bake in preheated oven for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the muffins from the oven and allow to cool completely.

Makes 6 muffins.

*If you don’t have this on hand, you can use plain Greek yogurt or sour cream in place of the ricotta.

fresh strawberry ricotta muffins

{Adapted from Life, Love, and Sugar}

Before the Mellowing Year, Serial #1, audio © Jeffrey Anderson

Before the Mellowing Year, Serial #1, text © Jeffrey Anderson


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