I have a thing for writing lists. My weapon of choice is the large, yellow, lined Post-it pads and a new mechanical pencil. Nothing beats the feeling of crossing things off a list. But today I have a little “to do list” guilt going on. I started an exercise routine that has only happened 2 out of 5 planned days and usually started with a handful of chocolate covered raisins to get me motivated and a cup of Italian ices to reward myself for working so hard.
I also planned to get some serious paperwork finished this afternoon. That was 6 snacks, 4 episodes of Food Network Star, 1 nap and 5 hours ago. Not a single thing has been crossed off the list and I’m already in pajamas at 5pm. Things arent looking good. To procrastinate more, I have decided that I need to share these really great muffins with you.
These muffins are great to eat while you are making to-do lists. They are also suitable for motivating or rewarding yourself for a workout because they have heart healthy olive oil and low-fat, protein rich ricotta cheese. You can eat them while watching TV or mindlessly surfing the internet. You should not eat them while attempting a nap. You can even eat them when your working. They taste best when crossing things OFF your to-do list. Which is maybe what I will be doing soon…
Tuscan Lemon Muffins – adapted from Maureen Callahan, Cooking Light MAY 2011
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Cooking spray
- 2 tablespoons coarse sugar
- 12 muffin cup liners
1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl and make a well in the center. In a small bowl, whisk together ricotta, water, olive oil, lemon juice, zest, and egg. Add ricotta mixture to flour mixture and stir just long enough to moisten dry ingredinets. Do not overmix.
3. Line muffin tins with muffin liners and spray with cooking spray. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle muffins generously with coarse sugar. Bake at 375° for 14 minutes. Raise heat to 400 for a remaining 2-3 minutes to caramelize the sugar on top slightly. ( I have used my broiler which takes 1 minute but you must stay close by watching it or they will burn) Test with a wooden pick inserted in the center to see if it comes out clean. Let cool in pan on a wire rack.