I realized this past weekend that strawberries have been way too absent around here.
Well, they have been a little absent from the blog, but not my life. I love strawberries and I probably eat too many… nah that’s not possible. Although this summer I do have to say that I have probably been consuming more cherries. I think that is only because they are a new to me fruit (which is crazy), and I feel like I have to make up for the nineteen years of my life that did not involve cherries.
But let’s just talk about strawberries, ricotta and seeded nuts today.
Or actually, since I really cannot focus at all at the moment, let’s talk about the barn.
As you have probably guessed, it’s moving along as slow as molasses. Or at least not as fast as I would like, but I am thinking that is just the way it goes with home renovations. SLOW. Somehow the builder is still saying the barn will be finished by November, but as more and more time passes I am having my doubts.
The fun news is that I have already picked out a lot of my appliances and a few other items. Counters and cabinets are next on the list. And by next, I really mean like tomorrow. I am so behind on that one. The problem is, I hate making these decisions. One, there are so many and I am definitely overwhelmed. Two, I like too many things, and I sort of want them all. Three, what if I choose countertops and end up hating them, then I just have to live with them? Really, that would sort of stink.
So…what’s your favorite countertops?
Really, I would love to hear about what works great for you – marble, concrete, soapstone? These are just some of the options I am considering.
Ok, back to Ricotta cream? Have you guys ever had it?
If not then you do not know just how good it is. Forget about yogurt, ricotta cream is my new go to. It’s light and whipped and when sweetened with a little maple syrup it makes the perfect sweet snack or breakfast. Pair it with these balsamic strawberries and quick maple nuts and you’ve got the perfect healthy four o’clock snack or easy weekday breakfast. This dish literally takes only a few minutes to make, and there is no baking involved! Yeah!
Oh, and if you happen to be out of strawberries you can totally sub another fruit in. Blackberries, blueberries, cherries, peaches – I think they’d all work great.
Sweet Balsamic Strawberries w/Whipped Ricotta Cream and Maple Glazed Seeded Nuts.
Whipped Ricotta Cream
- 2 cups part skim or whole milk ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (or honey but I really like the maple flavor)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the ricotta cream: Place the ricotta cheese, pure maple syrup (make sure there is no added sugar in your syrup) and vanilla in a food processor or blender. Puree until completely smooth and whipped, about 1 minute. Scoop the ricotta cream into a bowl and refrigerate until cold, at least 15 minutes or until ready to eat.
Meanwhile make the balsamic strawberries: Place the strawberries, balsamic vinegar and maple syrup in a small pot. Bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes or until the strawberries are just beginning to soften. Using a slotted spoon remove only the strawberries and place them in a bowl. Bring the remaining sauce to a boil, boil for another 3-5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened into a thin syrup. You do not want it to thicken too much so watch it closely. Pour the sauce over the strawberries. Allow the berries to cool a little before serving.
To make the maple glazed seeded nuts, add the nuts and seeds to a skillet set over medium heat. Toast the nuts until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Once the nuts are toasted remove from the heat and stir in the maple syrup, vanilla and a pinch of sea salt. Spoon the mixture out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. Allow to cool and then store in an airtight container.
To assemble, spoon the strawberries into the bottom of four small bowls or jars. Next add the ricotta cream and then add the nuts on top. Lastly, drizzle with more balsamic syrup. Grab a spoon!
Have a berry delicious Tuesday! Oh, and don’t forget to let me know your opinions on countertop options!