Category Archives: Yummy Tummy

Enjoy the delicacies of life!

Brownies of Love…

Brownies of Love… and Cookies of Fun…

Packed to go, for my friend

Brownies for kids

Before going to the oven

Some time ago I cooked these brownies… They tasted American, yummy, super chocolaty and a bit heavy…


  • 1 1/2 cup of flour
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of cocoa
  • 170g of butter
  • 340g of chocolate. Choose a chocolate you enjoy eating
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 4 teaspoon of vanilla or 1teaspoon of vanilla powder


  • Preheat the oven at 170C
  • Put butter and flour on the pan to avoid sticking, or parchment paper
  • In a bowl set over a pan of simmering water (bain marie) melt the chocolate + butter + cocoa
  • Mix together in a separate bowl flour + salt + baking soda
  • Beat in another bowl sugar + eggs + vanilla (5 minutes of a medium speed)
  • Add the chocolate mix (it has to be a bit cooler) and mix
  • Add the flour mix and mix
  • Pour the batter in the pan
  • and the pan in the oven for 40 minutes or until the toothpick comes out a bit wet
  • Cut in cubes
  • I could be presented with toothpicks previously designed… It’s pretty and easy to eat!

And always remember, it’s yummier when shared with loved ones,


Little Cousin, I Hope You’ll Love these Chewy Cookies…

Today as I was having lunch with my younger cousin, he mentioned his little sister loves to cook but did not succeed in finding the perfect texture for her cookies

Little cousin, here is how to make every man come back for more finger-licking-good cookies:


  • 2 1/4 cups of flour. I used a great flour that was offered to me by the youngest CEO I know (It’s a professional one from Bakalian Flour Mills)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda (or bicarbonate)
  • 230 g of butter (melted)
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla powder or 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of chocolate chips (you can also use chunks of milk chocolate cut in small cubes. They melt better, but beware of the sugary taste)
  • but mostly lots and lots of love and tenderness


  • Preheat the oven at 180 C
  • Mix flour + salt + baking soda + vanilla and set aside
  • Whisk butter+ white sugar + brown sugar (for two minutes)
  • Add the eggs and mix well
  • Add the flour mix to the mix
  • Add the chocolate chips and mix with a spoon or spatula in order not to break the chips
  • With two small spoons set the cookies (they should have the size of a ping pong ball) on the baking sheet. Make sure to keep enough space between cookies.

It is better to have a parchment paper on top of your baking sheet but if you ran out of them you can always rub it with butter and put flour on top in order for the cookies not to stick

  • Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven
  • The cookies will get out of the oven a bit soft. Don’t worry, let them cool down for 30min
  • Enjoy with family and friends

Note, two of them are baked with milk chocolate chunks and for the rest I used chocolate chips

cookies of fun and brownies of love

Easy way to pack the cookies and small deserts


Finally My Sfouf Bi Debs Tasted Yummy

Sfouf Bi Debs before entering the oven

Last week something stupid came through my mind: I wanted to bake Sfouf Bi Debs (or Lebanese Molasses Cake). Typicaly it should take 5 minutes for the preparation and 25 minutes in the oven, or so I thought. To tell you the truth it took me one week and 4 trials to come up with my perfect recipe… I share it here with you to spare you some time =).

Small story: This cake is very often eaten by Christians in Lebanon during the lent (before Easter day) period.


4 cups of flour

2 cups of debs “kharroub” ( molasses)

1 cup of vegetable oil

3 tsp of baking powder

1 tsp of aniseed (anise powder) in a bit of water

Tahini to grease the baking pan like a true lebanese

a handful of raw sesame seeds


Preheat the oven at 180 C

Mix the flour baking powder + debs + oil + milk + aniseed together.

Grease the pan with the tahini. Pour the batter and spread it evenly. You can even use a bit of water to help you spread it.

Bake it for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let is cool for a while then cut the in squares and enjoy with an Arabic coffee or a white coffee for a typical Lebanese break.

Happily yours,


Hearty Pumpkin (or Squash)Soup

Last October as I was in New York I had the chance to take a Halloween Cooking class given by Leti, who is the founder of Leti’s Catering. The thing is she is so detailed oriented that she gives to each student a small booklet with all the recipes, the appropriate pictures and procedure that students tend to get lazy when it comes to using our memory… So last night, as I was trying to make my own Pumpkin Soup I could not remember what was in it, except for Pumpkin of course ;), one potato and one carrot (because she repeated over and over that most soups with a cream consistency should include these 2 ingredients).

But the cool thing about not remembering the exact ingredients is that I ended up cooking one my way (inspired by what I remembered to be Leti’s Pumpkin Soup and by my mother’s). It turned out to be yummy and Leti I promise you, you’ll still be proud of your alumna ;).

Presenting the Soup in the Squash or Pumpkin will help in keeping it warm for a longer period of time


  • One Squash or Pumpkin, Peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks.
  • One medium sized Potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • One Carrot, peeled and cut
  • One TSP of Chestnut spread (or chestnut puree)
  • 200ml of light creme fraiche
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Nutmeg
  • Bread (ideally Ciabatta)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Olive Oil


  • Put the Pumpkin cubes, the Carrots and Potatoes in Boiling water (with Salt) and keep them there until the they become very soft. Cover the pan and cook for about 40minutes over medium heat.
  • Meanwhile you can cut the bread, add to them olive oil, and cheese (Parmesan or Gruyere depending on your preferences) and keep them in the oven for about 10min or until they are grilled
  • Remove them from the fire and from the water. Try to have the least possible amount of water.
  • In a blender (or anything you can use to mix liquids) mix and soften the pumpkin cubes, carrots and potatoes.
  • Put them again on a medium fire, mix and add the 200ml of creme fraiche.
  • Add the Salt, Pepper and Nutmeg
  • Share with your loved ones in Winter or Fall…

Squash peeled, without seeds and cut in cubesSquash getting ready to be turned into a liquidy mixMy Squash Soup is almost ready Mom said Dad likes it with “creme fraiche” – Leti cooks hers without

Soraya with a prayer to all her IE friends and a smile to everyone reading this…

NYC Take 3: I learned how to cook a Tortilla Patata (Spanish Omelet)

In NYC, some friends came over for lunch… And during that day I also learned how to cook a tortilla patata (Spanish omelet)… Thank you Leti!

The lunch was a lot of fun, I am looking forward for next time =)

Lunch in NYC – Missing the Meat… When I took the picture it was still in the oven, and then we were too hungry to wait for the pic…

Still, some weeks later I decided to cook a tortilla patata to practice and to remember good moments spent some weeks earlier….

Ingredients for a Mid-Size Tortilla Patata: (for 4 persons as an appetizer)

  • 1 big onion
  • 550g of potatoes
  • 6 Eggs
  • Frying oil (enough to cover the potatoes in the frying pan)


  • First Make sure the frying pan is small and light enough to be able to comfortably turn it and the end… (see steps below)
  • Make sure you have a plate big enough to cover the diameter of the pan… You will need it when turning the pan
  • Cut and peal the potatoes in cubes.
  • Heat 2 spoons of frying oil. Then add the potatoes. Add the oil until all the potatoes are covered with oil but not more. Turn the heat down and add salt and pepper. Let them cook for about 20 minutes by steering every now and then until potatoes are tender. Note that the potatoes are not supposed to be brown, for that reason they should get cooked on a low fire.
  • Break the eggs into a large bowl and using a fork whisk them (not too much). Add the onions + potatoes (without the oil). Mix all together. Do not over mix.
  • The oil should be removed from the frying pan. You can keep it aside for the next tortilla (it is very hard to only be satisfied with one ;).
  • Put the frying pan back on the heat, add the rest of the oil and turn the heat back up (to a medium fire).
  • Pour the whole mix (eggs+onions+potatoes) into the frying pan and turn the heat down. Wait for the omelet to be cooked on one side. It could take up to 10 minutes.
  • Every now and then draw the edge with a knife and a bit of oil if needed for it not to stick and for the rounded edge to stay pretty.
  • When there no liquid egg left on one side, turn it over to cook the other side.
  • Now here is the interesting part: truning the tortilla!!! A skill only managed by some. Don’t worry if you don’t some native Spaniards don’t ;).
  • The Spanish tradition says that to do this, you should place a flat plate over the pan, carefully invert both so that the omelet in on the plate. Place the pan back on the heat and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • However by fear of loosing my tortilla patata, this is how I turned it: I move the tortilla from the pan to a plate. I placed a plate on top of the plate (facing downwards) and then I flipped it. You have to bare with me, it was my first time cooking it.
  • Turn the heat off and leave it there for 5 minutes.
  • It can be served hot or cold, cut in cubes for appetizer with a glass of wine or cut in slices with a salad.

Cut and peal the potatoes

Fry the potatoes

During that time I decided to prepare the toothpicks… Cut the colored papers in the shape that you want…. I have a butterfly cutter

Potatoes with onions (onions could be more cooked)

With the eggs

The tortilla is almost ready

Getting the toothpicks ready

Ready to Indulge and Share

IF any one of you is living in NYC, you can always contact LETI’s Catering for tips, ideas and recipes.

Bueno Provecho,


Figs Season is Almost Over… Hurry Up

Two weeks ago I cooked a fig tart (see picture here below) unfortunately only now did I realize that we’re probably eating the very last figs of the year so I hurried up to post the recipe.


  • For the base I used a “pate sablee” the same I use for simple biscuits… See it here: or click here
  • For the cream – For 500g of “creme patissiere”: (I use the recipe given by the famous Pierre Herme)
    • 350g of Milk
    • 30g of Corn flour – Maizena
    • 2 vanilla sticks
    • 4 Egg yolk
    • 80g of sugar
    • 35g of Butter
  • Almonds and icing sugar to garnish

Procedures For the Cream (Creme Patissiere):

It’s not the fastest but my favorite!

  • Pour the milk + corn flour + half the sugar (40g) in a  pot and mix on a low fire. Split the vanilla in two and scrap them on top of the milk mixture (so as to enjoy the black dots of the vanilla in your cream), and then place the vanilla stick in the mix.  Bring the Milk to boil.
  • In a bowl mix the egg yolk + the rest of the sugar (40g) for about 3 minutes… It should get a whiter color.
  • Add to the egg mixture a bit of the milk mixture. Mix. And then add the whole mixture to the milk mixture on medium fire and mix.
  • Keep on mixing until it starts to boil. Remove the vanilla stick.
  • The cream will start taking a thicker texture. Don’t stop mixing until you get the desired consistency. Personally I like it slight more liquid than the “normal” texture. I guess it’s just a matter of taste.
  • NB: The texture of the cream may get thicker relatively fast. In that case, do not hesitate to get the pot of the fire.
  • Even of the fire, the cream will still thicken a bit. Keep this mind when taking the cream off the fire.
  • Pour the cream in a big bowl and add the butter. Mix.
  • Now you have your cream ready to be used.


  • Butter + flour the tart base. This way it wont stick on the tart base.
  • Once the base is ready. Roll it out (with flour if needed) and place the dough in a tart base. With a fork, prick the base.  (Preferably but not mandatory: Refrigerate for 2 hours.)
  • Preheat the oven at 200C and bake it for 20-25 minutes or until it takes a gold color
  • Once it has cooled a bit, add the cream, then the figs
  • Garnish with almonds and icing sugar.

Enjoy with food connoisseur. they will be amazed!

Looking forward for the coming week,


Step By Step My Appel Crumble, Specially Prepared for Family and Friends

Today I feel a bit Venezuelan after yesterday’s election, a bit Spanish after yesterday’s soccer game, fully Lebanese after this past week-end during which I swam, ate a yummy Lebanese mezza,  tasty local fish, drank a thousand white coffees, went to Vinifest and just this morning visited an old Lebanese house (I can’t wait to see it transformed into an adorable restaurant)…

Anyway, during this past week I didn’t get the chance to post pictures of the crumble I prepared for my mom… so here they are…

I used this exact recipe: but with more apples (+300g so that makes a total of 800g) and much love…

Apples cut in pieces with sugar and cinnamonApples need time to be cookedWhile adding the creamThe pastry that will be sprinkled on top of the apples and will become the crumble…After the apples have been put in the dish and while sprinkling the crumblesReady to go in the ovenThe individual portion I cooked on the side… For my brother

I encourage you all to try it…


Here’s to Good News… And Good Milk Chocolate Cookies

This past week I won a ticket to Rome with my only tombola ticket; and my marathon friend made me smile super hard 2 days ago. We also laughed a lot last night at an old story we believed in that was completely absurd to start with… Still some friends of mine had less interesting stories and more tiring moments… And since many of my closies are some hundreds of Kilometers away I decided to do a virtual toast to amazing friends, caring families,  first dates, strong health, slow kisses, 5K runs, Iron Women, girls stupid invented stories, women’s dreams, Men’s muscles and everything good and sweet…

And for that occasion I decided to give an adorable woman the recipe of the chocolate cookies she overdosed on last Friday…Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1/2 of cacao powder
  • 1 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 125 g of milk chocolate (cut in chunks)
  • 125 g of dark chocolate (to be melted)
  • 115 g of butter at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 pinch of salt


  • Preheat the oven at 200 C.
  • Melt the dark chocolate with the butter: Fill a large pan with water and place a pot right on top (Bain-Marie), once the water is boiling, add the dark chocolate in the pot, then the butter. Once melted, let is cool a bit.
  • Whisk together flour + cacao powder + baking soda + salt.
  • In another bowl, mix together the sugar +eggs + Vanilla at a medium speed. Then add the melted chocolate + butter mix and mix.
  • Reduce speed to low and add the flour mix.
  • Add the milk chocolate chunks and mix with a spoon…. Do not over-mix or over-cut the chocolate chunks.
  • Place the batter on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then place small portions of the batter, using a small spoon, apart from each other (the cookies will flatten, and you do not want them to get stuck to each other).
  • Bake for 15minutes or until the surface begins to crack.
  • Enjoy with moderation… They are really yummy!!

NB: Cookies should be still a bit soft when you take them out of the oven…. Their texture will change when they cool and will become a bit harder… So don’t over-bake!



I found this picture on the net, and thought it shows well how the milk chocolate chunks should look like

Moments I Cherish…

This past week, I have drained my body and yesterday my energy level hit rock bottom… Still, I enjoyed many intimate moments and woke up today with a happy face and looking forward for my day, and hopefully it will be full of many new surprises…

ATCL by night...

During this past week I went twice to ATCL at night. ATCL is a country club in Lebanon… I love it, it’s a great spot in my opinion, but at night it takes a different identity, the air is slightly less warm, much more romantic, and all the little souvenirs just come out to refresh your memory…

I also went with my good friend Juan to this new place in Beirut called Junk Yard. It’s a pop up restaurant in a big yard decorated with “junk stuff” and recycled materials. Still, I loved it! It reminded me of Wynwood in Miami.

On the bar of the Junk Yard...And again view from the ATCL...

Still, the highlight of my week is definitely the girls dinner in my little friend’s house….

We were 8 girls, some closer to each other but all super homogeneous,  enjoying yummy food, laughing at stupid jokes, and debating sleeping habits… Conversations may seem a bit unusual to you, but interestingly enough it all went on very smoothly and I had a very good time…

Jouji’s aunt cooked for us healthy tasty salads and yummy deserts to help us enjoy our sweet moments together….

Some girls chitchatting...Beautiful view with fun people and good wine: the good life =)My adorable cousin probably dreaming....Lebanese specialties: Rakakat with cheese, 
little kebbe (after I ate the missing part), bigger kebbe =)That night we ate sushi, salads and Lebanese specialties...Lentille Salad with tomatoes, onions, eggplant and some magic sauceGreat Quinoa salad with halloumi cheese, cranberries, cucumbers, herbsI loved it how on the strawberry tart some crushed pistachios were sprinkled... This chocolate cake had "feuillantines" biscuits... I loved the idea!

And like always it was great night at the Bakas… Even though the little sister was missed

Hope you will enjoy these pictures as much as I enjoyed my night,

From Beirut with Love,


My Lebanese Gazpacho – Healthy, Fast and Easy

I am super sick and in bed today…

It’s probably this past week’s lifestyle: Skybar, faraya, work, Gemayzeh, work, diners, etc… Still I am happy it’s summer and all our friends are coming back… The bigger part of me is excited about the last weeks of summer, however the smaller part of me misses my healthy routine, my calm diners and can’t wait to go back to a lesser active pace….

And today, unfortunately I woke up with fever, throat pain and “Everywhere pain”… I thus decided to prepare myself a Lebanese Gazpacho…. Actually it’s more like a Lebanized cold tomato soup then a gazpacho… and here is how I prepared it:

Usually the local tomatoes are less red, they taste better (in my opinion), 
are big, and look a little bit different... 
This is why my gazpacho is a bit pink =), with a yummy taste....

Ingredients (for four servings):

  • 1KG of tomatoes (chopped). I used the big yummy local ones
  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers (peeled and cut in cubes) (they are much smaller than those I have seen elsewhere)
  • 50 g of Lebanese bread (the original recipe is with 1 cup of small pieces of white bread)
  • 2 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 1 onion (minced)
  • 1 green pepper
  • 3 TSP of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 TSP of vinegar
  • 1TSP of red wine
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • Optional: 2tbsp of sugar (I didn’t add it)
  • For the topping – optional: grilled bread cut in cubes, tomatoes, cucumbers and/or onions


  • Cut the bread and keep in a bowl with cold water
  • Add the tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, garlic, pepper and mix with a hand blender to get a smooth texture
  • Add the vinegar, the wine, and 1TSP of olive oil
  • Add the salt and pepper
  • Eat cold and add to it whatever topping you wish

And always remember everything that is cooked with love and eaten with a smile tastes twice as good.

Enjoying my Spanish Lebanised gazpacho,