Back To Food… Fruity Tart

Yesterday as I was doing my crunches, abs and squats, my sports buddies and I started talking about food, food and again food, enough food-talk that we almost convinced our trainer he should have a whole chocolate cake for diner.

So, to all my food-sports friends, I share my sweet-tart recipe today…

My mom and I prepared it together a while ago… She usually prepares the dough, I do the “creme patissiere” and we fight over the fruits! I took this picture with my Iphone.

Red fruits Tart, using the same dough and the same cream. Again an Iphone picture.

Ingredients for the Dough – I use a “Pate sablee” for the tart, I love its texture:

  • 450 g of butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 800 g of flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pinch of vanilla
  • 1 pinch of salt

Ingredients for the “Creme Patissiere” (“custard”)- I don’t like to have a lot of cream on my tart. If you do, double these portions:

  • 3egg yolk
  • 50 g of sugar
  • 20 g of flour
  • 25 cl of milk
  • vanilla stick

Procedures for the Dough:

  • Mix the butter with the sugar.
  • Sift the flour then add it to the mix.
  • Then the egg (with a pinch of salt on top of the egg).
  • Then the vanilla.
  • Mix them well with a dough blender or with your hand.
  • Shape into flattened disk, wrap in plastic foil and refrigerate for an hour.
  • Your dough is ready to be used! =)

Procedures for the “Creme Patissiere”:

  • Mix on a medium speed egg yolk + sugar until the mix becomes a bit white (more or less 3 minutes)
  • Sift the slower and Slowly add it to the surface of the mix. Do not mix
  • Boil the milk with the vanilla stick. The vanilla stick has to be open and cut in the length of the stick, so as to permit the vanilla taste (and the little vanilla black dots) to get incorporated into the milk.
  • Once the milk is boiling, remove the stick and add the hot milk to the mix. Mix with a wooden spoon until you get a homogeneous texture.
  • Pour back the mix in the warm pot and mix it slowly from time to time on a low fire. The mix will slowly start getting a thicker texture. Turn the fire of when the cream had reached the texture you like. I personally like it a bit soft, but most people like it when it has a puree-like texture.
  • You can also add to the cream extra vanilla or coffee extract if you wish.
  • It can be refrigerated for 24 hours. But if you wish to do so, you should put a bit of butter on top of the mix while it is still warm to avoid having a thick yellow layer on top of it. You can do this with a piece of butter at the end of s fork and just rub the top of the cream.
For the tart:
  • Preheat the oven at 180 C
  • Butter the tart-pan and add flour to avoid having a sticky pan.
  • Flatten the dough and slowly put it on the pan. Make sure it is flat and all levels are equal. Press the dough firmly firmly into the corner and cut the extra dough going out of the corners.
  • With a fork prick the dough all over.
  • Bake for 25-30minute or until the crust has reach a golden color.
  • Let it cool completely
  • Then add the “creme patissiere”. I put very little cream. If you are of those who like to have more of it you can double the portions.
  • Add whatever fruits you have at home. Mangos, Strawberries, any kind of berries, peaches, etc… You can also add almonds, pistachios or mint to decorate.
  • Enjoy with those you love
NB: You can use the extra dough that you didn’t use as biscuits and add jam to it if you wish. It tastes like magic!
Kisses to all,

Soraya

 

Sandwich Bar…

We are familiar with the idea of Salad Bar, and with the Subway concept, but at home we sometime have Sandwich-Bar-Diners…

Here is an idea of what our Yummy diner contains: chicken, ham, turkey, cucumber, labneh, eggs, cherry tomatoes, different kinds of cheese, broccoli, caramelized onions, bacon (for the ones with American taste buds), different types of breads, different sauces (I think they’re too fattening and sometimes useless but they still have a lot of success), mustard (two different types), mayonnaise,  pickles,  oil. olives, vinegars, salt, pepper and a lot of love!

I hope this gives you some idea…

Kisses,

Hungry Soraya

My Talented Lebanon in the Important Paris Fashion Week

I write to you this with a belly full of exquisitely yummy stuff, listening to the timeless Ray Charles and with a proud smile thinking of my amazing compatriots who manage to make a name for themselves and Lebanon during the enchanting Paris Fashion Week and on the international fashion scene…

Today was a day full of surprises and happy faces… Rabih Kayrouz’s show was fantastic. The pieces he proposed have a refined french cut, a charming feminine texture and something of Beirut, a something I can’t explain not because I don’t want to, but because it is impossible to put words on this little-charming-something-from-beirut. The closest comparison I could find to it is the taste of lebanese milk ice-cream in a 3-star-Michelin star restaurant… (as odd as it may sound).

Everyone was fascinated by this collection… and I loved this bordeaux long coat… One of my favorite pieces!

I then spent a fashionable afternoon at the Tranoi Exhibition where I saw 3 of my favorite designers exposing there… Johnny Farah (for who I have a not-so-secret-anymore-crush),  Rania Farsoun (she is a real artist) and Madame Reve (you have probably seen me a million times wear their necklaces)! I felt proud for Lebelik, happy for myself and excited for Lebanon.

Johnny Farah beautiful leather at Tranoi

Rania Farsoun, Feminine Jewellery in Tranoi and on Lebelik.com

Madame Reve, My type of Necklaces =)

But fashion week isn’t only about stars, trade shows and fashion shows, it’s a lot about up-and-coming treasures and professional showrooms, it’s also about beautiful materials and charming silhouettes, but I think it’s mostly about making people (mostly-women) happier and prettier… And that’s exactly what I felt when visiting Karoline Lang’s racks in her showroom and when asking Maria to try on (for the pleasure of my eyes) different outfits from Rani Zakhem’s Fall-Winter 14-15 collection!

Karoline Lang’s dresses make women dream… It’s like taking the charm of a disney princess and putting it in a sexy woman’s body! It’s cute, it’s feminine, it’s sexy and fresh!

The pieces are magical but my phone ran out of batteries… It’s the only picture I have of Rani’s amazing collection! Here is a glimpse of a navy blue matching pants and blazer! His collection is mega-professional, and amazingly designed for women like me who like to feel light and pretty at friends weddings!

I also had the pleasure to spend time with my talented friend Joanna Dahdah. She is an amazing jewellery designer and a great friend… We shared warm asian food, a hot tea, long walks, intense talks, smelly taxi rides and interesting walks through tons of cloths and jewellery. She wasn’t exposing this year in Paris. But she definitely is part of the up-and-coming elite of the jewellery designers.

Joanna and I after a long day during Paris Fashion Week! click here for her website

And because everywhere I go I take a small part of the people I love with me, I thought of the talented Sarah Melki a million times in Paris, the city where we shared a million stories and laughters! 

This is for you, Sarah! 

And because Lebanese at the french fashion week is not only about Lebelik, I would like to invite you all to also pass by  Christina Debs’ space in Tranoi, that of Nada Samaha, Joanna Laura Constantine, that of Sarah’s Bag, Rosy Abou Rouss’ stand, Nour Hammour and Jojoba’s! 

Let’s not also forget that a lot of people don’t work in fashion! And thank God for that, because usually they are better food partners… I therefor discovered this week-end a gastronimical restaurant, “Kei”. The food there was magical! It’s exactly what I would have wished for, a Michelin-star Japanese chef cooking light french surprises! I enjoyed a carbs-full-brunch at “claus” while waiting for Garance Dore’s guests to arrive, drank great wine, cheered with bubbly champagne chosen with love, and talked with my great friend and partner way after my eyes closed, until my mouth could no longer move!

PS: Don’t forget you can follow Elie Saab’s show live tomorrow on this link. I am sure you will be transported into a royal world!

I am thankful for all those how helped me end this post with an honest smile,

Bonne nuit et a bientôt,

French kisses to all,

Soraya

When You’ve Been Away for a While…

When you’ve been away for a while and have done a million pretty things it’s hard to figure out what to write first and how…

So here I am wondering if I should first give you the recipe of this yummy corn soup,

or tell you about my beautiful Christmas vacation in Beirut and Paris.

Also, on the 13th of December (that’s how long I’ve been off =( )Lebelik was part of an event: The “Beirut Port District” Christmas Event, which turned out to be a great success. I also tasted great food in “Le Quizieme” in Paris, danced to fun music with people I had missed like crazy and saw beautiful things (on all levels)…

So since I’ve been wondering for some minutes now, I decided to share pictures and comment on them instead =).

I hope you’ll like it…

At Bouyouti – Around a charming fire and warm people, I had a great lunch!

Louise happily enjoying her brunch at Liza’s Restaurant in Beirut (opened in November 2013 =)

Preparing for Lebelik’s Space in the “Beirut Port Disctrict” Christmas Event

We sent personalized invitation cards to all our loved guests =)

The event turned out to be a great success thanks to my favorite DJ (Priscilla), our great designers, friends, customers and fans.

The Photobooth also added a lot of interaction and peps to the event…

And the candy bar added a sweet touch to this fashion event.

I was wearing these earrings, done especially for me by “Joanna Dahdah” (definitely one of my favorite Jewelry designers)…

Right after the event, next day in the morning we had to go back to doing our day-to-day work, especially that Christmas time is one of the busiest for everyone… I love, and think I will always do, preparing Lebelik gift boxes…

I also attended the funnest Christmas Party in Beirut. It had a cool theme “Hawaiin Christmas”. I unfortunately have no other picture of this amazing night! I wish I could show you what I was wearing and how beautiful it was… It’s my only regret of that night!

So, after having enjoyed yummy food during the christmas season, and after having happily worked on a lot of Lebelik stuff during this period, I was happy to go meet my charming friend, be young (-er ;) ) and stupid again and share long stupid laughter with Venezuelan Rum… =)

(Small parenthesis ;) :I love flea markets)

So after all this exciting period, it’s time to go back to a healthy routine. I started painting again and having a work routine that I enjoy…

I will be back soon with Paris Fashion Week updates…

I wish you a happy year and good news on all levels,

Love,

Soraya

See How They Eat, Tell What They Are…

I love going out for lunch breaks… I think it’s a perfect way to cut the day in two, talk about the first part, fix the morning problems, share a yummy plate or discuss the afternoon plans; I therefore very often end up skipping diner or missing-out on sitting with those I love for a yummy evening meal… Still, I always love watching people ordering their food, and tasting it. I always thought that by watching people from the moment they sit on their chair to the moment they leave, we could tell a lot about who they are… Sometimes all it takes is a diner with a man to know whether or not  the relationship could work. It also takes a lunch to know that this potential business partner is definitely on the “no-no” list…

Here is what to keep in mind:

1. 

If someone makes you Soup, they definitely love you.

2. If someone orders in a restaurant everything complicated (with this, without that, etc…); Forget about them, they most probably are complicated in life too and are control freaks. They will want to control you and little details you love in your life.

3. If someone always insists on being the last one to order; they probably don’t how to take decisions on many level.

4. If someone is rude to the bartender, the waiter, the chef or the host, and if that someone is your boyfriend, break up as soon as possible, you’ll be happy you did it sooner rather than better.

5.

If someone feels is an expert in wines, he’s probably a good lawyer and can tell the small differences and notice the interesting shades.

6. If someone feeds you when you are hangover, he/she definitely is a good friend.

7. If someone chews with their mouth open; they think that the rules don’t apply to them and are most probably pretentious.

8. 

If someone tries new food, they are fun and up for new experiences. Don’t let them go…

(Most of these info where taken from the Huffington post)

Happily yours,

Soraya

Wake Up to a Yummy Carrot Cake

A little naughty hand could not wait until I took the picture to taste the cake…

I had a certainly intense week…

I spent time with friends I had missed and haven’t seen for a while. Funny enough even though one is now close to being married, two of them are pregnant, one is married and growing in her catering business, the other still speaks like a little excited chiwawa but is now a successful young entrepreneur within their family business, another still walks around with Venezuelan Rum but is now in a different state of mind, (I can’t tell where I stand) things seem like time hasn’t passed, like we were 5 years back (only skinnier – for everyone – ;) ) as carefree and twice as excited… I love i!

I also got a professional proposition that definitely affected the direction in which I saw my life going so far. I had intense talks with my brother; we shared long laughter, a super American burger and of course had small fights. I helped a friend cook for the first baby-shower I go to (here, in Lebanon, we congratulate the mother after the baby is born rather than celebrate it’s future arrival). I also realized I missed dressing up (I was Cleopatra for Halloween).

I guess I’ve had so much junk food this past week that carrot cake for me today sounded like “salad plate”. But I promise you each mouthful of this little piece of heaven is worth every calorie…

Ingredients for cake:

  • 450 g of carrots
  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 small pinches of salt to put on the eggs before beating
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ginger
  • one pinch of grounded nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of cinanamon
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 340g of butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of walnuts (crushed or finely shopped)
  • 1/2 cup of water

Ingredients for the cream cheese frosting:

I use less frosting than most people do! I don’t like it when there is too much cream! So depending on your taste, you might have to double the proportions here.

(NB: measurements cannot always be divided or multiplied. Here they can)

  • 225 g of cream cheese (Philadelphia for example)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 110g of butter
  • 400 g of confectionery sugar (fr.: sucre glace)

Procedures:

  • Preheat the oven at 180C
  • Peel and grate the carrots.
  • In a large bowl: flour + baking powder + baking soda + 1/2tsp of salt + ginger + nutmeg + cinnamon. Whisk together.
  • In another bowl: Butter + sugar + brown sugar. Mix on medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Reduce the speed and add the eggs (one at a time). When one egg is the mix, add a small pinch of salt on the egg before mixing.  And Mix until well combined. Repeat the same process with the two remaining eggs.
  • Beat well.
  • Add the vanilla while still mixing, then the water, and then the carrots. Mix well until well combined.
  • Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture.
  • Then add the walnuts
  • Butter the 2 similar (ideally round and not too big cake pans. between 18 to 25 cm should be ok. You’ll have a more or less pop-up cake). Add flour so that the flour will stick on the butter and the cake will not stick. Dump the remaining flour in the second cake pan.
  • Pour in the batter in the pans and bake for about 35 or until toothpick comes out clean from the center.
  • Turn the oven off and keep the cakes in the oven for a 3 to 4 minutes inside.
  • Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the frosting (if you have prepared the frosting in advanced, keep it in the refrigerator, but remember it should be used at room temperature):

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed: cream cheese and vanilla. Beat well.
  • gradually add the butter (at room temperature) until well combined.
  • Gradually add the sugar and mix on a low speed for at least 3 minutes.

For the layered cake:

  • Remove the cakes from the pans.
  • The lower level cake should be used up-side-down so as to have a flat area on which to spread the frosting.

First layer of the cake (up-side-down)

  • Spread with a spatula as much frosting cream as you feel is right. I would suggest not more than 1cup though.
  • Top with the second cake and again spread frosting cream. I would suggest not more than 1 1/3 cup
  • You can also spread the frosting cream on the sides if you have prepared enough for it. (To be able to spread frosting on the sides, you should have doubled the proportions I suggested.
  • Serve Directly or refrigerate a bit before serving.
  • Indulge with people you love…

I have a father that likes to choose his proportions of everything… That’s why he always gets a special treatment!

Organically yours,

Soraya

Spanish Gazpacho for Lebanese Friends

Last Sunday a very special person and I cooked for very special people…

The thing is, that night I was more like the assistant and unfortunately I was too distracted to take clear pictures and write the measurements, so out of the several yummy things we cooked I can only share with you my Gazpacho recipe!

This picture is the only I have. (From a smart phone)

Ingredients (recipe for 6 yummy tummies):

For the Gazpacho

  • 1 KG of  tomatoes without the seeds. (whatever you have at home is OK. It’s preferable though if they are ripe. I like mixing tomatoes. Last Sunday I used some cherry tomatoes, some of the dark tomatoes and some “normal” one)
  • 4 to 5 crust-less sandwich breads (pain de mie).
  • 2 garlic gloves
  • 2 small cucumbers peeled (or 1 medium size)
  • 1 small green pepper without the seeds (or half a medium sized pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon of sherry vinegar (Vinaigre de Xeres)
  • 2 teaspoons of red-wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup of cold water (+more for soaking the bread)
  • 2 teaspoons of Salt
  • ground pepper

For the Toppings:

  • Olive oil
  • green onions (cut in small pieces)
  • cucumbers (Typically it should be cut in cubes, I like to cut them in thin long circle slices)
  • Tomatoes (Typically it should be cut in small cubes)
  • Rustic bread cut in cubes and grilled
  • Optional and for fun: strawberries, watermelon, shrimps, fresh crab, avocado, and anything your imagination tells you)
  • Salt and Pepper

Procedures:

For the Gazpacho

  • Cut the sandwich bread in cubes and let is soak in cold water for about 15 minutes.
  • Then squeeze to remove the extra water.
  • In a small saucepan, put the garlic gloves and cover with water and bring to boil. (5 minutes)
  • In a blender: Transfer the garlic to the blender, blend.  Add the soaked bread, the salt, the tomatoes, cucumbers and green pepper. Blend.
  • Add the vinegars while the blender is still running. Then the oil slowly. Then the ground pepper.
  • Optional (I do it even though it is rarely recommended): For a smooth texture I like pouring the mixture in a sieve (on top of a big bowl). This way, the liquid gazpacho will the retrieved and the puree texture will remain in the sieve. Then mix both the liquid and puree in the blender for a smooth texture.
  • Refrigerate the gazpacho for at least 3 hours.

For the toppings:

  • Some people like frying the bread crumbs (like croutons). I just grill whatever bread is left at home.

Propose the gazpacho to your friends, with olive oil, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, bread, salt and pepper… They will enjoy making their own!

Besos,

Soraya

Mind-blowing Irrealistic Museum – MIM – This is Eye Candy!

From my Instagram… But for better pictures, click here

It’s because I don’t know how to translate “Sobhan el Khalek” (سبحان الخالق ) and because a “Big Thank You Kiss” is not enough that I write this post today!

On Saturday night I was honored to be invited at the opening the beautiful MIM Museum. I don’t think anyone knows why “MIM” (in Arabic, it’s the letter “M”)! Some say because it stands for Minerals and Museums others try to find logical links between this letter and some names, nouns, minerals and/or places. But the truth is I don’t really care why “MIM” but what I do care about is for you all to stop by this beautiful museum in the new Building of  the  University USJ on Damascus Street. You will be able to admire more than 1400 Minerals (Precious and Semi-precious stones) from 60 countries.

It’s a bit like traveling to the stone age ;) haha (silly joke).

This collection, which is today considered as one of the world’s most admired private collection, is today available to all! Mr.S.E (He’s so discreet that I don’t know if I can name him or not; but then again I wish I could write it in bold. But let’s call him Mr.S.E  for now) has built up his collection with a lot of passion and dedication since the late 90s. He mentioned he always liked chemistry, the earth, these pieces and his country Lebanon.

Earlier this year, I was one of the lucky few to have had the chance to visit the museum with a guided tour by Mr.S.E. himself ;) before it’s official opening.

Last but not least I would like to share with you my favorite moments of this opening ceremony:

. The standing ovation of everyone sitting there to Mr.S.E’s speech

. The short movie that was displayed on the walls of the University (a sound and light type-of-movie). They named some of the stones’ origins and ended with “Destination Beirut”.

. And of course walking around these amazing pieces.

Kisses to all,

Soraya

PS: Now it is proven: diamonds are not only girls’ best friends =)

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 14:00 to 18:00

Copenhagen, 4 Days of Civilisation, Eye Candy, Danish Art Galleries and Molecular and Street Food

Amazing Tivoli in the Heart of the CityKids games are fun

Pretty Tivoli

The Tivoli Gardens Boys: On special occasion, boys from 8 to 16 dress up in uniforms resembling those of the Royal Danish Guard, give concerts and make parades

Copenhagen, This is the Typical Entrance of Tivoli Gardens

But when going to Copenhagen I did not know I would be accessing Tivoli Gardens from this door

Copenhagen amazed me a lot in so many different ways: (1) Their definition of comfort and luxury is very different than that of other cities in my opinion, (2) they have yummy street propositions and very good healthy molecular food restaurants, (3) everyone is good looking there and looks super sporty and healthy, (4) the city is the utmost representation of civilization and human development… only to name a few of the city’s characteristics that made me want to write this post.

It all started when we checked in at the Nimb Hotel. (Probably the best place to stay in Copenhagen). The entrance is simple and a bit minimalistic, it’s kind of small as well… But on the way to the room I realized how big the hotel was… Actually what you see (picture above) is the back door of the hotel and the hotel’s garden is actually the Tivoli Gardens.

On my way to the room

So after we discovered the discreet and amazing charm of the hotel, we went on a ride to Louisiana… Louisiana is maybe 30 minutes away by car from Copenhagen center. We ended up with a driver than knew more about the world’s history and culture then any guide I’ve ever spent time with. He was the type of driver/guide we always wish for and rarely get, his voice had the perfect tone, he didn’t over speak, had all the information we wanted to have plus some cute stories about his country, the Danish royal family and Louisiana and played calm jazz music.

The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art was called after the owner’s three wives. They were all named Louise. (I absolutely love this name). It is today a milestone in Danish architecture and the most visited museum in Denmark. It’s permanent collection of contemporary and modern art is very interesting. Also, exhbitions are regularly held. When we were there Yoko Ono’s art was exhibited (not my style but I was still happy to see it).

On the way back we took the Clumpen Borg road. It’s a high end seaside area. I recommend this ride to everyone.We also toured a bit the city (we were with the cool driver/guide, we had to enjoy it to the max), were disappointed by the little mermaid, smiled to the bicycle riders, admired their culture, cheered at the IronMan athletes and headed back to the hotel! Just in Time for diner =)

I had a list of restaurants I would have liked to try, here it is:

- For diner, trendy fusion/molecular: Radio, Geist

- For diner, trendy, not so molecular:  Kong Hans Kælder

- For diner, interesting food: Relae, Amass

- For diner, a great experience of food and luxury: Geranium

- For drinks: Ved Standen

- Noma restaurant! According to several guides the best restaurant in the World. I wonder how they classify this. We didn’t have the chance to have diner there, it was fully booked 5 month ago.

We only tried some, but I think all these places are definitely worth considering for diner in Copenhagen.

But what is also worth indulging are these little magical all-carbs-all-sugar wonders you find everywhere on the streets…

Danish waffles on a stick

I write on an empty stomach… Thus the long food talk!

But apart from the yummy food, there are a lot of nice places/boutiques/areas that I really enjoyed:

- Georg Jensen Boutique on Amagertorv for jewelry and home furniture

- Illums Bolighus on Amagertorv for home furniture and fun accessories

- Royal Copenhagen Flagskibsbutik (flagship boutique) on Amagertorv as well for porcelain and some home furniture

- Designers Boutique Charlote Eskindler for inernational a bit arty-high taste in fashion

- Day Birger and Mikkelsen, a Danish fashion brand I liked

- Wood Wood for international fashion but with a very danish buyer ;)

- Munthe Plus Simonsen, a danish fashion brand worth looking into

But of course during every shopping and galleries day you need a food stop :) (again the empty stomach speaking). So I propose you stop by either Lagkagehuset for a typical danish pastry or have a healthier lunch at Victor (a danish brasserie. I had a tasty fish that day).

All this food talk made my tummy speak even louder, I therefore have to stop here, but promise to be back very soon…

Lots and Lots of Love,

Soraya

Ps: Some extra pics:

Lego pieces sold separately, only in Copenhagen :)

Small chocolate factory and shop

Copenhagen Lifestyle

Why Peter Pan did not want to grow up

Freeze these Rocks! It’s smarter than ice cubes I think