A recipe to elevate your date cake to the next level

date walnut cakeLiving in the gulf, offers abundance in dates. You find it everywhere, specially now it’s ramadan. I’ve been looking for the perfect recipe for a cake, which meets my expectations, not being too sweet.

date walnut cakeI’ve been told eating dates leads to a shorter labor. There is no study that proves or negates, but what’s the harm?! I was thinking why i don’t incorporate dates in my daily regime. I would do anything if it leads to easier labor.

date walnut cakeThis perfect recipe of date walnut cake, enliven your classic recipe and takes it to the next level. It will be your favorite breakfast with a hot cup of coffee or juice, or at anytime of the day, you will love it.

  • 250g dates, pitted and chopped
  • 4 tbs softened butter (almost 60g)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup hot coffee
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 200°C. Combine dates, butter, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar in a mixing bowl. Pour the hot coffee into the bowl and combine. Allow the mixture to cool for 15 minutes before adding the egg, vanilla, baking powder, and flour, mixing gently until smooth. Stir in the walnuts. Pour the batter into the greased pan and bake for 35-45mns or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

date walnut cakeThe reason we put hot coffee is that its acidity reacts with the baking soda to produce rise. Plus it gives a subtle dimension to the flavors without being identified in the final outcome. You can substitute with just water but it won’t be that moist and a bit more dense.

After it is completely cool, you can slice it and serve it with coffee, juice or topped with cream cheese. Wrap it airtight to store at room temperature for several days or in the fridge for longer storage.

date walnut cakedate walnut cakeIt’s a really wholesome cake i recommend, i am sure if you are dates lover you will be making it more often. You will be addicted to it!

This might be my last post now from qatar, as i am traveling to Beirut to deliver my precious “Joud”. I’ll try my best to post at least once a week. I will miss you :)

date walnut cakeIf you like this post give it some likes and shares to spread the joy. Don’t forget to like marmite et ponpon facebook page and follow on twitter. More interesting posts are yet to come.

Baked salmon with avocado salsa

baked salmon with avocado sauceThere is no better reward than this juicy flaky salmon baked to perfection and presented with the co-star avocado sauce.

I am fond of salmon to begin with. This fantastic dish doesn’t require efforts or skills, very easy to do and can be on your quick meals list. Whether you feel lazy or coming back tired after a long day at work, you can serve this dish at your table in less than 30 minutes.

baked salmon with avocado saucePreheat your oven to 200°C. Season two salmon fillets with salt (i was preparing a meal for two, you can adjust the ingredients depending on how many persons you are serving). Line your baking dish with a large piece of foil and place them. Squeeze half a lemon to drizzle juice over the fillets and cut the other half in rondelles to place on top as well. Wrap the edges of the foil to keep the salmon moist! Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until flaky and tender.

Meanwile to prepare the sauce you need:

  • one big avocado
  • one small onion finely chopped
  • juice of half a lime
  • salt to taste
  • a handful corriander

In a processor pulse the avocado with lime and salt. Once done, fold in the onion and coriander.

Drizzle on top of your pink salmon and enjoy!

baked salmon with avocado saucebaked salmon with avocado sauceFor a perfect meal you can serve with mashed potatoes, rice or pasta. I prefer mashed potatoes!

baked salmon with avocado sauceThere are so many reasons to get excited about food, salmon and avocado sauce is one of them! It’s a winner for certain :)

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Recommended time for storing food in freezer

time to freeze food

In general, frozen food has a safety record. Freezing preserves the food by stopping bacteria from multiplying. However, the quality degenerates with time, that’s why there is a time limit to be respected for each type of food.

I prepared printable sheets for every type of food that can be frozen:


fish&seafoodfruits&veggiesdairiesbaked dessertsbread&miscelleneousWhat you should never freeze: (they don’t freeze well)

  • Eggs in shell
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Coffee
  • Mayonnaise
  • Sour cream
  • Buttermilk
  • Cream cheese
  • Salads
  • Apple
  • Melons
  • lettuce
  • potato (other than mashed)

Additional important tips:

  • Your freezer temperature should be set at -18°C (0°F)
  • keep food packed tightly, no air should get in
  • Label your frozen packages properly
  • Note that liquid expands after freezing, so don’t use glass bottles

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Fathers day shirt folding card- DIY – kids activity

father's day card shirt foldSimple ideas come out the best when made with love. Father’s day is so soon! Like every year, I make sure to let Nady add his personal touch to make it special and memorable. A personal DIY souvenir along with the gift, means so much. This easy yet beautiful card folded as shirt with a message of love, picture or drawing will definitely warm papa’s heart.

All you need is a rectangular double side cardboard and 3 buttons. The one we prepared is one side stripes and plain blue the other. If you want to make the same design, click here to download this card design. It’s within A3 paper and you can resize it.

how to fold the card as shirtFold the two sides to meet in the middle, keeping the stripes on the outside. Bend the top corners to look like a collar, then stick the buttons. Of course with the help of your kids.

father's day card. shirt foldNow the card is ready, leave the inside to your kid’s imagination and choice. And this is i guess the most important and meaningful to papa.

shirt fold father's day cardI love the look on Nady’s face when he is so proud of what he did!

Nady celebrated early father’s day at the nursery, he came home and was so in the mood so to keep the celebrations we made this card at home. I got the chance to share it, kind of warm up before Sunday ;)

Happy early Fathers day !

shirt folding father's day cardIf you like this post give it some likes and shares to spread the joy. Don’t forget to like marmite et ponpon facebook page and follow on twitter. More interesting posts are yet to come.

Perfect pot roast beef with vegetables and gravy

rôti de boeuf (roast beef) with vegetables and gravy

My favorite dish; roast beef with vegetables and gravy. It makes the ultimate Sunday lunch, but since we live in Doha, Friday is the new Sunday.

It’s not as difficult as you think, but it requires time to get everything ready plus the meat has to be rested after cooking for at least half an hour and sliced really thinly for you to enjoy the tenderness. I am not doing it in the oven, as i adapt my mom’s recipe, for a perfect pot roast beef that makes its own succulent gravy.

I chose a topside beef (1.2kg), this cut comes from the inner muscle of the thigh, it’s reasonably tender and very lean so it makes a good roasting joint. Check the meat cuts guide for useful info about the meat to choose.

You will need: (serving 4-6 persons)

  • 1.2kg topside beef
  • 5 garlic cloves roughly crushed
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 100g butter
  • 1 1/2 cup red wine good quality
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp flour

Take your beef out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking. Make 6-7 small cuts in the meat and stuff them with the crushed garlic. Season all sides with salt and pepper.

In a large pot heat the butter and sear the meat, turning as needed, for about 4-5 minutes on each side (the top and bottom as well), or until the beef is brown. Add the water then wine and bring to boil. When bubbles start to form, cover the pot and lower the heat. Now cook for 75-90 minutes or so depending how well done you want it.

Remove the beef from the pot and let it rest at least half an hour. I recommend 3 hours for better slicing.

rôti de boeuf (roast beef) with vegetables and gravyMeantime prepare the vegetables you like to serve with the meat, i did carrots and broccoli (steamed then sautéed with butter, salt and pepper), mushroom and corn (out of tins) and sautéed with butter, salt and pepper. and finally potato cubes (fried then sautéed with butter, salt and pepper) you can replace with mashed potato if you like. Some people like to serve it also with peas, green beans and shallots. Choose your veggies to your liking.

To prepare the gravy, take the juices from the pot and add 1 1/2 tbsp of flour to thicken it a bit. (roux style)

rôti de boeuf (roast beef) with vegetables and gravyTransfer your meat to a cutting board and try to slice it as thin as possible. Serve it with the veggies, potatoes and gravy. I love to have it also with a side salade (green salad with vinaigrette).

I can never get enough of it, i like to have leftovers in a baguette sandwich with dijon mustard, or if i have a remaining gravy i serve it the next day with pasta.

rôti de boeuf (roast beef) with vegetables and gravyThis recipe should go on your cooking list, trust me you will receive lots of compliments and applause for each flavorful bite .

Enjoy xx

pot roast beef with vegetables and gravyIf you like this post give it some likes and shares to spread the joy. Don’t forget to like marmite et ponpon facebook page and follow on twitter. More interesting posts are yet to come.