Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin baked goodies are best to have in the fall. There’s something about the orange, textured flavour of a pumpkin that matches the chilly, autumn season so well. Pumpkin muffins are simple to make and a great treat to share with friends. With the combination of milk chocolate chips, they are a sweet, delicious dessert that is hard to resist. Here is how I made mine.

The recipe is inspired by: Barb’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Makes 12 pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
  2. Using a a large bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together pumpkin, eggs and water.
  4. Stir pumpkin mixture into flour mixture; beat until well blended.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips and mix unit well blended
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Enjoy!

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Lemon-Baked Chicken with Mushrooms & Potatoes

Lemon-Baked Chicken with Mushrooms and Potatoes

It’s almost the end of October, yet the temperature is warm enough for a light jacket. The sun’s rays were blasting into Maastricht today, a sunny calm after the stormy weather last night. The orchids below were blooming beautifully on the windy terrace of a Japanese restaurant by the Maas River. The sunny weather had me thinking of something citrusy I could make for lunch & lemon chicken quickly came to mind.

This is a simple recipe that takes minimal time apart from waiting around while the chicken bakes in the oven. The outcome is delicious!

Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 a lemon (or more, depending on how lemony you like your chicken!)
  • 300 g mushrooms
  • 4 small red potatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Steps:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 205°C. Brush olive oil over chicken and spring with salt and pepper.
  2. Place chicken on a baking dish covered with tin foil.
  3. Squeeze lemon juice over chicken and cut 4 slices to place on each piece.
  4. Chicken should take approximately 30-40 minutes to bake.
  5. In the meantime, slice up mushrooms and potatoes. Leave the skin of the potatoes on, it provides a lot of nutrients!
  6. Let olive oil warm up on a large skillet. Place potatoes first and let cook for about 6 minutes.
  7. Add mushrooms and stir for another 6 minutes until mushrooms darken.
  8. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  9. Place potatoes & mushrooms next to lemony chicken and enjoy!
Orchids in the Fall

Orchids enjoying the warm fall weather

 

Mini Sliders (Кюфтета!) with Tomato Marinara

Mini sliders with Tomato Marinara

Кюфтета, pronounced ‘kyoofteta’, are a typical Bulgarian prepared meat that are best translated as small beef/pork patties with spices. They resemble mini sliders without the bun and are often served with a side of Greek salad and roasted potatoes.

My grandma used to make delicious кюфтета back in the day and last night I tried to make my own rendition of these meaty delights. The side is a sautéed blend of cherry tomatoes & sun-dried tomatoes with basil.

They are so so easy to make and very tasty!

Makes around 7-8 patties.

Mini Beef Patties (Кюфтета)

  • 450 g ground beef/pork
  • 60 g grated mozzarella or parmesan (more or less, depending on your cheesiness tastes)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
  • 2-3 teaspons of finely chopped rosemary and thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. In a large bowl, mix the ground meat, cheese, and herbs. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well!
  2. Warm skillet at medium heat and add olive oil.
  3. In the meantime, use your hands to form patties. You can make them smaller or larger depending on your taste, but they are generally a little smaller than these sliders.
  4. Place half the patties on the skillet and let them cook about 5 minutes on each side.
  5. Patties are ready when meat has browned well.
  6. Serve with a side of your choice and enjoy!

What did you make for dinner today? 🙂

Ciao!

Diana

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Chicken & Jasmine Rice with Peas & Lemon

I’m living in peaceful solitude these days. There are a little more than two weeks left in this city before I fly back to my beloved Toronto. The days here pass by fast as I fill them up with plenty of variety and things that bring me joy. Cooking is one such joy and I’ve been experimenting and slowly learning the art of mixing herbs, rices, and vegetables.

This evening I made jasmine rice with peas and lemon, adapted from epicurious. The result turned out lovely and I attribute it to the zesty, lemony addition. I had this as a side to oven-baked chicken with thyme.

Jasmine Rice with Peas & Lemon

Serves 4

Jasmine Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups jasmine rice
  • 3/4 cups frozen or fresh green peas
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (or more, if you like your rice lemony!)
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  1. Boil 2.5 cups of water & add rice and salt.
  2. Let simmer for about 15 min until rice has absorbed water and feels tender.
  3. While rice is cooking, cook peas in a medium-sized skillet on low heat.
  4. Add rice to skillet & add lemon juice, black pepper & salt to taste.
  5. Stir for 3-5 minutes.

Oven-baked Chicken with Thyme (you can also cook this with turkey)

  • 300 g chicken pieces
  • thyme
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • salt & black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 200C
  2. Cover a baking sheet with foil and add sesame oil so chicken does not stick
  3. Sprinkle chicken with salt & black pepper to taste and add to baking sheet
  4. Take out after about 15 minutes!

Enjoy!

Check out my
Instragram account for more pictures. 🙂