We've been busy, but that seems like a typical December response. Our oldest began her special little school this past week. It seemed harder for me than her. I'm amazed by her growth. This little girl is showing signs of improvement with every week, which makes me excited with anticipation to see it all unfold.
As I see life twirling around with what seems longer lines and crowded parking lots, I've been reminded to breathe and bring in my family to bunker down. Each night we light our Advent candle, read a small portion of Scripture, say a prayer of thanksgiving and see which girl gets to blow out the candle to conclude one more day. I'm so thankful that I'm able to be in a season of seeing each day as a gift these days. When I look back on the summer, walking in some of the darkest days I've known to see God's grace & faithfulness on the other end. And now here I am in the season of Advent to welcome in the coming of not only Jesus' birth, but the reminder that he will again bring hope.
So remind me of this moment friends...when I begin to worry about whether V will move beyond her current developmental delays, about my health or my families', or anything else under the sun (you can fill in your own blank here), that there lies a hope, which I find in this Advent season. I think King David puts it well:
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
your right hand upholds me.
Here's to some satisfaction with yummy muffins. I have yet to make anything with gluten for a while, so these are from this summer. However, I think they are fitting for any season, especially a Saturday morning cozy with your loved ones. Where are you finding satisfaction or sharing that these days?
A Year Ago: Intensely Chocolate Cake & Cranberry-Orange Crostata
Lemon Ricotta Muffins (printable recipe)
This recipe is adapted very slightly from Giada De Laurentis.
2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 Tb lemon zest
1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 Tb fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/3 cup thinly sliced almonds
raw sugar for sprinkling
Directions: Preheat oven to 350. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with papers. In a medium bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, & salt, whisk together.
In a large bowl, (or bowl of an electric mixer) using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, butter & lemon zest until light & fluffy (2 minutes). Beat in the ricotta. Then, beat in the egg, lemon juice, & almond extract until just combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients and stir till just combined (the batter will be thick).
Scoop the batter evenly among the 12 lined muffin cups. Sprinkle with thinly sliced almonds & some raw sugar on top of muffins. Bake until the muffins just become pale golden on top, about 20 minutes (it will smell amazing). Cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.