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Mint Chocolate Chip Muffins

Mint chocolate chip ice cream. Thin Mints. Grasshoppers. If it has mint and chocolate I’m in. When I started making these muffins (and the strawberry hazelnut muffins from a little while ago), I got to thinking, what makes a muffin different from a cupcake? Should these have really been cupcakes? Are  they just cupcakes disguised as muffins?  I did an informal poll of my mom and sister and then consulted the Google oracle to see what answers I could come up with. So what makes a muffin a muffin and a cupcake a cupcake? Eugenie’s Kitchen has a great post comparing the two. So I consulted the charts she drew up and decided that I’m still calling these muffins. If you decide to put frosting on them and call them cupcakes, I won’t tell anyone. Let’s just pretend they’re healthy together, ok? Print Mint Chocolate Chip Muffins Ingredients2 cups all purpose flour 2 tsp baking soda ¼ cup oil ¼ …

Amanda MouttakiMint Chocolate Chip Muffins

Live Like a Jazz Star at Riad Star: Marrakech

“These streets weren’t made for cars,” my son said as we wound our car through the narrow streets of the medina. “It’s ok, dad has this, remember he grew up here? It might be a maze to us, but it all makes sense to him,” I replied silently hoping I was right on this one. One of the biggest challenge visitors (and locals) face in Marrakech is that the streets are largely unmarked (though they are marking them more and more), and GPS systems are most of the time wrong. I’ll attribute the second problem to the first. No one uses street names, they use locations and landmarks. When you want to go somewhere you’ve never been there’s an unspoken assumption the first person you ask will get you to a certain point, where you’ll need to ask someone else how to get to the next point. In my western mind it sounds convoluted but it makes sense here and …

Amanda MouttakiLive Like a Jazz Star at Riad Star: Marrakech
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#WeekdaySupper Chicken Tajine with Tomato and Onion Jam

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged a tajine recipe. You see it’s not intentional but you may be surprised to know I don’t do a lot of our main meal cooking – especially when it comes to Moroccan food. My sister-in-law who happens to be an amazing cook handles the lunch time meal. So unless we want something that’s not Moroccan, I let her take care of things. But, you see, we had a little “issue” a few weeks ago. Most of my days I spend working. But, I work from home so it’s not always apparent that I’m “working” – because I’m always here and I might do other things when I take breaks. So, the other day my mother in law commented on my not cooking (not in a bad way). Truth be told I feel like my tajines don’t hold a candle to theirs. I know that I can hold my own but it’s just …

Amanda Mouttaki#WeekdaySupper Chicken Tajine with Tomato and Onion Jam
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Our Life in Marrakech: 6 Month Update

It’s been six months now since we moved to Morocco full-time. Some days it feels a lot longer. Some days it seems like no time has passed. So many things are different but as the weeks pass I see less and less of those differences. It takes the eyes of someone whose never been here to bring them up. I think that means that I’ve made the switch from tourist to resident.   Some Observations: The other night we had dinner with some work colleagues and two clients. They were two older ladies who were spending time (their second trip) in Morocco. The conversation was simply wonderful and I laughed more that night than I think I have in the time we’ve been here. Life can be frustrating and tedious when you’re absorbed in the daily grind of work, raising a family, and trying to adjust to a new culture and language. There were so many insightful comments made but …

Amanda MouttakiOur Life in Marrakech: 6 Month Update
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Moroccan Harissa Spiked Chili for #SundaySupper

When the temperatures begin to dip the first thing people reach for are soups and stews. But, by this time of winter the novelty of those hearty, warming foods has worn off. Where is spring, already?!? Here in Morocco, winter is nothing like the upper Midwest. Our day time temperatures rarely go below 60F, and generally are in the 70′s and sunny. But nighttime temperatures drop fast to the 40′s and 50′s. Without indoor heat, it is very cold! I love making stews and welcome any chance to try something new. This week for #SundaySupper we’re having a virtual chili cook-off! I’ve never entered a cooking competition but with the prize of a chance to attend the Food and Wine Conference in Florida this summer it’s worth it! You can see all of the chili entries at the bottom of this post, and then please head over to the Sunday Supper website and cast a vote for your favorite (*fingers …

Amanda MouttakiMoroccan Harissa Spiked Chili for #SundaySupper
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{Guest Post} Dar Zitoun, Azemmour

When I check my email I often am wading through dozens of junk emails. Then sometimes in the midst of a massive deleting spree I find one that catches my attention, and I’m never sure if it’s real, or if it’s an email from someone posing as someone else. That’s the story of this post. I woke up and scrolled through the emails in my phone that came in overnight (I know what a bad habit!) and I saw “Kitty Morse” in the subject line. “No,” I thought, “that’s not really an email from Kitty Morse contacting me,” and I almost hit delete. But curiosity got the best of me and I opened it. Low and behold – I was wrong – it really was Kitty Morse writing to me! I’ve written about my Paula Wolfert cookbooks, and I know I’ve mentioned Kitty a time or two but let’s recap. Kitty was born in Morocco to a French mom and …

Amanda Mouttaki{Guest Post} Dar Zitoun, Azemmour