Decadent chocolate cake


IMG_4369If you think i am exaggerating when i say this is the best basic recipe for a chocolate cake, try it and prove me wrong! I am sure you will be checking this recipe over and over and over….

If you remember my spectacular chocolate cake with red fruits i did a year go, you will find that this is the same recipe of the chocolate cake, but this one with nutella butter frosting.

Trust me with or without frosting, ganache or fruits, it’s a staple chocolate cake for all the occasions and times.

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To bake the cake you need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup, unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 11/2 tsps baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 1/2 tbsps instant coffee powder
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 large eggs

Preheat oven on 180ºC. In a large bowl, sieve the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the sugar and mix well with the dry ingredients.

Make a well in the center and add the milk, oil, vanilla essence and eggs then mix. Finally add the hot coffee melted in the cup of hot water.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 40 mins or until a skewer comes out clean. Start checking from 35 mins onwards.

I should mention that my little baker helped me to prepare this cake!

my ittle baker

For the frosting you need:

  • 200g nutella
  • 200g butter
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar

Beat the butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the icing sugar, then vanilla and pinch of salt and mix until combined.

Add nutella and beat until fluffy. When ready to use stir in the granulated sugar without over mixing, it will give you a light crunchiness effect later when savoring the cake.

I used 1M Wilton tip to create the swirls, and decorated it with some cherries. You can replace the cherry with strawberry or chocolate sprinkles if you want.

IMG_4368I put it couple of hours in the fridge before serving. But guess what?! the next day was even better!

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By the way, this was my birthday cake (last week) but i didn’t find the urge to post it, I was enjoying reading and over reading, everyday and many times for the whole week, the surprise post my husband did.

Again thank you babes for the beautiful unexpected surprise! Love xx

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Surprise post wishing my super wife a happy birthday


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This is an unconventional post on this blog… usually Jaymmy posts about food, crafts, kids activities with a rich vocabulary and smooth flow. I am not that type of person, my writing skills and my style suck, so it is a pre apology for the readers, if you carry on reading, you are not getting the same quality, you are used to on this page.

But I am keen on writing it, to put the light and bang the drums to the effort put behind every post and to wish my wonderful wife and marmite et ponpon a super happy birthday.

I am proud of her, she’s the one who prepares, takes pictures, write and post, and I am in the backstage, trying to entertain our precious son Nady so that she’s able to put it together and frankly I don’t know where and how she finds time to keep on doing what she’s doing with the kid, the work, the house. . . sometimes I feel that her day is 26 and even 30 hours.

I can’t but appreciate her skills, am sure by now you realize that she’s perfectionist. She’s perfectionist in every single thing she does , from washing the dishes, to meticulously choosing Nady’s books and videos, to doing his customized Palm Sunday candle, to decorating the house, to delivering creative and high quality outcome at work, . . . and this is exhausting!

We have our stress and pressure our ups and downs, our achievements and deceptions, but luckily so far we are managing to get out of our hard times solider and stronger!

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On this special occasion,  i want to wish you my Jaymmy a super happy birthday, and i want to tell you that you are more than just the wife, the friend, the travel companion, the cook, the flat mate… you are the love I always dreamed of, and our Nady is one lucky boy to have you as a mom!

Happy birthday to Marmite et ponpon as well, I know I got you extra work on your last birthday but I don’t regret it! I still believe that what you naturally do is worth being shared!!

I am sure that you will criticize my English and my writing skills :)  But I will enjoy it…

Happy birthday… super Jay! I love you, and will always be by your side! We make a great family with Nady! We will make even a greater one with our little Joud coming on the way, yes we are expecting a new member in the team!

Happy birthday… keep it up!!

Romano and pineapple salad


IMG_4264I heart salads! It’s my staple option at any time of the day. Salads are so versatile, catering to all tastes and satisfying the cravings.

I believe there is no single ingredient from the food pyramid you can’t stir in. Personally i like adding fruits and nuts.

IMG_4250For this fool proof salad you need (yield 2-3 portions):

  • mix green leaf (arugula, red oak, green oak and frisé), 200g
  • handful walnut
  • shaved aged romano cheese, about 50 g
  • 3-4 slices fresh pineapple

You can use any type of green leaf of your choice. If you’re not fan of the sharp and piquant flavor of aged romano cheese, you can replace it with parmesan and it can still do the balance with the pineapple.

For the dressing you need:

  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

IMG_4251Isn’t so inviting? Indulge in this healthy and succulent dish and do not hesitate to unleash your creativity to come up with your own signature salad.

Endless reasons i love you…


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It’s so important to tell your children “I love you” everyday. Knowing that they are loved unconditionally, develops their secure attachment to you. Strong closeness to the family will lead no doubt to positive relationships in adulthood and high self esteem.

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We celebrate love everyday at home, I never miss a chance to express my love to my precious son (verbally or by actions)  and for this valentines i decided to put the reasons i love him in written words on cutout hearts to celebrate love.

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I know many of you stopped celebrating valentines for how commercial it became. Don’t lose faith in this beautiful occasion and teach your children about love in deep and expressive ways.

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It won’t take too much of your time. Cut a big circle of styrofoam then a smaller one within to make it look like a hoop. Wrap it with colorful ribbons (or paper, whatever you have available at home). Cut out heart shaped papers. I attached to you an A3 paper with many drawn hearts. Click hearts to download the file.

how to do

Enjoy writing on the hearts the many and endless reasons why you love your children then stick them on the hoop.

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Hang it on their bedroom door as a wreath or simply on the wall as a frame. This is Nady’s wreath of love written by papa Antoun and I. We will be reading it to him for now…

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If your children are old enough to write, you can get them involved in the game and stretch it for a longer time. Ask them to write the reasons they love you too and play this mutual love game starting a week ahead, hanging everyday one heart from each, until valentines day when you have a full wreath.

By the way, it’s not just for kids! Do it to your significant other and let love flourishes in your hearts and homes!

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Don’t forget that love is not only words, it should be followed by actions, and the most important the presence. Be present for your kids, in love, protection and service. Happy valentines xx

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Pear cannelle puff pastry tart


IMG_4234It’s not so hard to live a delicious life. Not all seductive deserts need a lot of efforts, skills, ingredients or money. This impressive tart is served on your table in less than 20 minutes and cost me only 5$

This is my favorite desert, every time we dine at Paul, there is a small place reserved in my stomach for a pear cannelle tart. I am not a sweet lover, but this tart is exactly what i fancy; balanced flavors and not too much sweet. I decided to make it myself at home, the result was too much to resist!

IMG_4221For this quick and easy desert you need:

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry (to fit a pan of 22cm)
  • 3 pears sliced
  • 2 tbsp or almost 30g butter melted
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar

Preheat oven on 180ºC. Lay the puff pastry sheet in the pan and torn the edges.

Combine the butter, brown sugar, vanilla extract and cinnamon, mixing well. Using a pastry brush, generously brush the top of the puff pastry.

Layer the pear slices on top of the puff pastry covering all the surface. Brush the top of the pears with the remaining butter mixture, and sprinkle with the granulated sugar.

Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

IMG_4228Trust me your house will be full of aroma, so tempting to abstain yourself from. I was thinking how to resist having my first piece until i take pictures for the post.

IMG_4244This is my piece

IMG_4240this is 10 seconds later

IMG_4248And this is my second one :) Try it warm or cold at any time of the day!