Yummy chocolate – peanut butter cupcakes!

You might have figured it out by now that I am a big fan of cupcakes. I think they are the perfect desert, due to their size, amazing taste and accessibility. Today, I tried my first cupcakes and I was really surprised how good the result was. Anyway, enough taking, here are the ingredients and the instructions for about 15 cupcakes.

What you need:

  • 165 gr flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 65 gr cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt salt
  • 45 g butter, softened
  • 300 gr sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 235 ml milk
  • 3 spoons of peanut butter

How to do it:

1. Preheat oven to 175C for about 10 minutes.

2. In a bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt

3. In a larger bowl (you’re going to mix everything there later), add the butter and sugar and mix them together until they’re creamy.

Your 2 bowls

4. In the same bowl add the eggs one at a time and keep on stirring.

5. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk.

Done mixing them up all

6. Fill the cupcake cups 3/4 full.

7. In the middle of each cupcake, add 1/2 teaspoon or as much as you like of peanut butter.

Add them peanut butter in the middle

8. Bake for about 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Nice and fluffy

Obviously, you can put any frosting you like. It’s my first, so I didn’t venture yet 🙂

Romanian salty goodness: sărățele

If you don’t try this at home, it’s your biggest salty lose 🙂 In Romania, we call them sărățele, which basically means little salty things, pretty straightforward. So, how do you make these little ones?

Step 1

In a big bowl, make sure it’s big though, you’ll regret it later, mix together all the following ingredients. Don’t worry about the order, just throw them in there:

  • 1 egg
  • 180gr butter or magarine (whatever you have in your fridge)
  • 250gr of feta cheese (for Romanians – telemea 🙂
  • teaspoon of salt (later you can taste the dough and see if you want more)

    Knead your dough on a smooth surface

  • 500gr of flour
  • optional: caraway (chimen)

Step 2

Add 100gr milk or sour cream

Step 3

Knead (framanta) them all together, till you get to a solid consistency.  Just like in this picture

Step 4

Ideally use a rolling pin to make a thin layer.

Step 5

Cut them in nice pieces or roll them to make this nice shapes. Of course, you can create whatever shape you want. But here’s what we did, I used my mom as my assistant 🙂

We rolled them, had some fun

Step 6

If you have baking paper to put on your tray, do so. If not, just put butter on all its surface. This will prevent them from sticking.

 Step 7

Just arrange them on the tray. Beat one egg and just spread it over them in the tray. On top, grade some cheddar cheese (cascaval)

Step 8

Put them in the oven at 170C for about 35-40 minutes.

They should be golden and pretty like this. They are yummy, perfect for snack or aperitif for your guests! So, just do it! If you have questions, just shoot!

So good

It’s not about the Wedding, it’s about the Marriage!

You know what I remember about my wedding? A moment while I was sitting at my table thinking: “I wish I could have a speech as well.” Why couldn’t I have done one? Because the year of the wedding has been so stressful and tiring (due to many reasons) that I ended up living on muscle relaxers and pain killers. So, the medicine combined with the champagne have settled me for the entire night. We didn’t have a big or flashy wedding, but it was still a piece of work to organize, especially living in Belgium and planning it for Romania.

Wedding day

After two years of marriage I can honestly say that the best wedding in the world won’t guarantee you the best marriage in the world. People spend so much on their wedding and they plan for years (in some cases) just so that they have that perfect day, a perfect moment.  But in case you can’t do that, don’t worry, in life your wedding won’t keep you in love or close to your beloved. But the way you work on your marriage will. The way you try to learn about your partner, the way you choose to compromise and understand what makes a healthy relationship. You’re in the sport light for a day and you think that the rest of your life will be like that, like a fairy tale, that you’ll keep that feeling forever. Mind you, after all the people are gone, dress is in the closet, it’s just you and your partner and you make your happiness!

My advice, if you can afford it and have the time, have a dream wedding! But if it doesn’t work for you, then you can just focus on the marriage, it’s longer lasting and brings more happiness than just a day.

I have beautiful pictures from our wedding and I remember trying to smile for hours, but I much more prefer this other smile in this picture we took recently. That smile is happiness!

Day trip with my baby

My weakness, got it figured out

Probably not considered a weakness by many or maybe judged by others, my weakness is watching TV series. But not just 1 or 2 episodes, a few. I realised that every time I’m home and I have some time to spear I immediately browse my favorite TV series and start watching until I get enough. Sometimes, I feel like I’m procrastinating from reading my huge stacks of books awaiting for me in different parts of the house, from chatting with family or friends, doing stuff around the house, learning to do a new thing or spending more quality time with Fernando.

I got a bit frustrated because I don’t stop after watching 2 episodes, I want more. And then, I figured that I do this because it’s the fastest way I can relax, the fastest way to get anything that’s bothering me out of my mind and it brings back a feeling of nostalgia. I started watching TV series when I was in Uni. and I associated it with the breaks I would allow myself to take when studying for exams or when I would come back to my room from a tiresome day. So, I’m thinking that my brain still associates it with that feeling. “I’m only taking a break and have carefree state if I’m watching TV series”. Obviously, anyone who knows a way to relax and can access it so fast would try to prologue it as much as possible.

On the other hand, I’m thinking I should start replacing it with more useful, meaningful and practical activities. Of course, easy to access, easy to do and no effort, otherwise I go back to watching my series 🙂 I have a few in mind and I just have to decide to change my habit. I heard that it takes 21 days to change or to adopt a habit. So, I got 3 weeks to change this! Challenge accepted!! 🙂

What’s your weakness and what are you doing about it?

Conquering the fear of baking – check!!!

Oh my goodness, I have finally baked something. Yes, I have lived 26 years without trying to bake and I’m still alive and happy. But, we have to put an end to this madness and move towards a tastier life 🙂 So, a week ago we bought an electric oven, which does wonders. We started small, chicken drums and casseroles. But then, I got ambitious and baked a chocolate cake. After that little success, I baked muffins and getting the right confidence from that, I also did some cheddar cheese scones!!

Oh my! Such happiness!! Not as much because I eliminated this fear of baking, thinking it was only for the chosen ones, but because I discovered that I can make my own salty snacks. Growing up in Romania, I had plenty of lovely and delicious cakes and sweets snacks, but I don’t have as much of a sweet tooth as I have a “salty tooth” 🙂 Then, when I moved to Belgium, the salty snacks I had in Romania were just a twice/year delicacy. But NOW, I can make them myself!! Thank God for the miracles an oven does combined with new found baking confidence.

I know this is not a big deal, but it is for me! Everyone in my family is a great cook and an amazing baker, I was the only one eating junk food when I moved to Belgium at 21 🙂

So, behold, my first try-out! Mind you, they taste much better than they look. For being my first batch, I’m pretty proud of myself and my admiration for all those bakers out there is not as big anymore, cause I know you’re not magicians, you’re just people with an oven 🙂

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