PUMPKIN SPICE MUFFINS WITH WALNUTS

Makes about 12 muffins:

  • 1 3/4 all-purpose flour
  • 250 g pumpkin (you can use pumpkin puree or simply make it yourself!)
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil (any oil that has no specific flavor)
  • 50 g walnuts
  • 2 tbspns milk
  • 1 1/2 tspn baking powder
  •  3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tsp gingerbread or pumpkin pie spice mix (you can use whichever you have or prefer!)
  • a pinch of salt

If you have a piece of raw pumpkin (not canned puree), you have to cut it into small cubes and bake them in the oven preheated up to 170ºC (338ºF) for about 25 minutes. After that, you have blend it until solid and you use it just as well as already prepared puree!

In a large ball, mix 2 eggs with sugar until foamy. Pour in flavorless oil, then add in pumpkin puree and mix everything well again. In a separate bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder and all the spices. Sift it into the egg-mixture. Pour in some milk and combine everything well.

In a dry pan, roast some walnuts (be careful- don’t burn them!). Try to remove as many bitter peels as you can. Chop the nuts into smaller pieces. Add them into the batter and mix them in.

Preheat the oven up to 180ºC (356ºF). Bake for about 20 minutes (keep an eye on them!) Enjoy!

2015-10-29 22.41.46

What is better than having an afternoon tea with your friends on a chilly autumn’s day?

2015-10-29 22.44.12

You can serve these muffins with some whipped cream, frosting, jam, yogurt or vanilla ice cream… Improvise bravely! These muffins are simply delicious!

Advertisements

PREPARING FOR HALLOWEEN PART 1: FINALLY CARVED A PUMPKIN!

Hello guys! So today I thought I would write a slightly different post from the other ones and share my experience on something that I don’t usually do (I mean, not even once a year, but more rarely). It’s pumpkin carving!

So Halloween is just around the corner and many people who live in countries that are CRAZY about celebrating Halloween (of which I’m actually really jealous) probably have already carved their pumpkins. And I’m pretty sure that they look stunningly scary!

But if you are just like me (a person whose friends and family don’t necessarily celebrate Halloween every year) and you don’t have an idea about how to carve a pumpkin, you can follow these basic tips I’ve prepared just for you!

Find a stencil online of the scariest pumpkin you’ve ever seen and print it out (this step is optional, but it makes drawing a lot easier). After that, choose the side of the pumpkin which looks the nicest to you. Grab a marker and draw the pumpkin’s face.

If you're not sure whether the marker lines will stay or not, you can also use a pencil (it is also easier to correct your drawing while using it).

As for the top of the pumpkin, you can simply cut it in whatever shape you would like. I tried to do something that looks like a flower.

DSC_0130

Remove the top of the pumpkin and start scraping off the pumpkin seeds and all the unnecessary flesh (make sure that the pumpkin skin is not too thin). You can remove pumpkin seeds with a spoon or a spatula.              DSC_0131

DSC_0135 2

When the inside of the pumpkin seems to be empty, you can fill it with some water just to make sure that there are no seeds left.

DSC_0136

Start cutting the pumpkin’s face using a special knife for carving or any smaller knife that you have.

It might not look perfect at first, but when you cut all the holes out, you will see that it looks even better!

It might not look perfect at first, but when you cut all the holes out, you will see that it looks even better!

When your pumpkin is done, take a paper towel just to clean the pumpkin once again. You can also put some paper towel inside of the pumpkin so that they would absorb unnecessary water. Take a tea light candle, light it up and carefully place it inside of the pumpkin.

DSC_0140

If you have any tips on carving a pumpkin or if you want to share your experience, please leave it in the comments bellow! Have an amazing day!

A PLACE TO VISIT: ZATAR FALAFEL & HUMMUS

Hello lovely people! So today I thought I would share my feedback or something like that (I am not by any means a professional critic) because it might be useful for some of you that might pass by this place! Or it would be at least interesting to read (I really hope so, haha!)

So this place called Zatar falafel & hummus is a vegan bistro in Vilnius (the capital of Lithuania). It is in Vokieciu street which is in the Vilnius’ old town, near Vilnius Town Hall. So the location is really convenient for both the tourist and the resident. Zatar is actually the first falafel and hummus bistro in Vilnius!

IMG_2741

The first impression of the interior was really good. Even though it was a bistro (which often tend to have a kitschy decor), it was surprisingly minimalist and modern. On the walls of the bistro there were many pots with various plants, which add a really nice touch of nature. Wood surfaces (table tops, stairs) made this place even cosier.

image2

Now about the menu. When I first saw it, I thought that the variety of dishes is not that wide, but later on I understood that it is a sign of freshly made, good quality food. I chose a falafel plate. There were also some snacks, such as hummus with carrots, salad, vegan desserts, drinks… I will definitely have to visit this place sometime soon!

I took about 20 minutes for the chefs to make the dish, which is quite a long time since it is a bistro. It was lunchtime when I went there, so there were a lot of people seeking for a free table and ordering food at the bar. And as a result they ran out of hummus and tzatziki sauce, which was quite disappointing.

However, when my dish was finally made I was a little bit surprised by how amazing the plate looked. It wasn’t anything like those servings in many fancy restaurants, but it was simple, yet playful and colorful.

As you can probably tell from the picture, all the food seemed to be well-arranged in the plate. No mess or mixed products (who likes that watery salad?)

As you can probably tell from the picture, all the food seemed to be well-arranged in the plate. No mess or mixed products like sauces and pita bread or salad (who likes it all watery?)

Now about the taste. It was my first time trying falafels, but they definitely proved to be not an everyday-dish. I loved the spices, pita bread, fresh salad and the crust of the falafels. The sauces were not so good, I really expected them to be rich in flavor, but actually, they were weak and a little bit tasteless. However, the falafels themselves put the dish right! If you haven’t tried them, you definitely should at least once! I would absolutely recommend doing that, haha!

And I suppose that is about it! Did you enjoy reading some ind of different post just like this? If you did, please let me know! I would be extremely happy to read your comments!

Have a good day!

SWEET VANILLA RISOTTO WITH ZUCCHINI AND APPLES

For 2 people:

  • 1 1/4 cup risotto rice
  • 2 1/2 cup water
  • 1 small apple
  • 1/2 zucchini or summer squash
  • 50 g dried fruit (raisins, cranberries or apricots)
  • 50 ml milk (you can add more or less, it depends on how you prefer)
  • 1/2 tspn vanilla sugar (you can replace it with some vanilla extract)
  • 1/2 tspn cinnamon
  • a pinch of salt

First of all, you will need to pour all the water and rice into a pot and put it on a medium heat, add a pinch of salt. Rinse your favorite dried fruit (I used dried cranberries and raisins) and add them into the pot as well.

You should read the instructions on the package, but you will probably have to wait about 12 minutes (until the rice absorbs all the water). While waiting, you can prepare your veggies: take a half of zucchini and grate it. You can do the same with your apple, but you can also cut it into small cubes.

When there is no water left in a pot, pour in some milk and wait until it starts to boil. Add all the grated zucchini, apple cubes, some cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla sugar. Reduce the heat to low and put a lid on. Wait a couple of minutes and then serve this delicious risotto with honey, fresh fruit, some kind of jam or however you like! Enjoy!

This risotto is SO DELICIOUS, trust me! You will probably want to eat it alone and not to share with anyone else, haha!

This risotto is SO DELICIOUS, trust me! You will probably want to eat it alone and not to share with anyone else, haha!