I’m a rebel list-maker. I have this habit of making a list and then not completing the items written on said list. Let’s take a look at the latest unfinished items on my personal to-do list, shall we?
Sat., March 8, 2008
Work reading, 1h AM, 1h PM
Sun., March 16, 2008
Sort/file 4 pieces of mail
Balance budget: checkbook
Exercise: yoga later?
What, you might be asking yourself, is the point of making a list if you’re not actually going to follow it? I ask myself this question. For me, the main point of making a list is to harness all the wild thoughts in my restless mind and loosely pin them down on paper. I struggle with priorities sometimes: how do I know what I should be doing now? What if there is something more important I should be doing? It can be very stressful! But if I have a list, I can see all the things I need/ought/want to do, and it’s ever so calming.
The point of a list is not to impose draconian discipline on myself; the point of a list is to provide gentle direction and motivation. It also keeps my mail from piling up to the ceiling in my in-box.
Spring, apparently, is also a rebel. On Friday, the second official day of spring, we got six inches of snow. Oh, my. I was pelted by hail on my journey home from work that night—lovely! I’m feeling a little like a groundhog who has decided that since spring is apparently a no-show, I’m going to hibernate for another six weeks.
What if, though, I tried to redeem my rebel ways by looking back at a long-ago list from Life, Love, and Food and conjuring up memories of summer? The Summer Cooking Wish List was neglected worse than my personal to-do list, and that means we both missed out on some excellent recipes. Pardon my delay, but could I offer you some Coffee Ricotta Mousse? There’s nothing about this dessert that says it has to be eaten in the summer except that it is sweet, cold, and creamy. It’s also quick-as-a-wink to whip up: just a few ingredients go into the food processor, you buzz them together, and then spoon into serving cups. If your weather has been anything like mine, you can eat your mousse on the couch, a blanket over your legs, while you dream of sunshine, fresh blueberries, and warm summer breezes.
Happy Spring, friends.
Coffee Ricotta Mousse
Adapted from “Coffee Ricotta Mousse” in Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home
Serves 2-3 with somewhat dainty servings
This statement is probably obvious, but I’ll say it anyways: you must like ricotta cheese to enjoy this dessert. Specifically, if you enjoy the slightly granular and creamy texture of ricotta, and you like coffee, then you will love this mousse. I know I do! I also love how fast and simple it is: this recipe is literally a five-minute dessert, making it perfect for weeknights, if you don’t mind the possibly sleep-disrupting effects of caffeine-containing espresso powder.
The original recipe made four servings; I halved it because I live in a household of one. But the math is simple if you want to make a bigger batch.
1 c. ricotta cheese (I use low-fat ricotta, but you could try full-fat or no-fat ricotta depending on your preferences)
¼ c. powdered sugar
1 tbsp. instant espresso powder
¼ tsp. real vanilla extract
1) Place all ingredients in a food processor. Buzz until smooth. Taste for sweetness and flavor. Add more sugar, espresso, or vanilla if needed. Repeat buzzing and tasting as needed.
2) Spoon mousse into dessert cups. This small batch makes for two larger portions or three smaller portions, depending on how hungry your dessert-eaters are.
3) Either eat immediately or cover dessert cups with plastic wrap and chill until serving time.