Online Grocery Shopping with Spinneys

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Ever since I started driving, almost 4 years ago, I have been in charge of the grocery shopping. I love going to the super market and taking my time to choose the items I want to add to the cart and discover new brands; however some days you feel lazy, sick, or simply overwhelmed with work and you have no time to go to the supermarket and get stuck in traffic.

With Spinneys’ latest service, their online delivery, your groceries come to you. Simply open the Spinneys website, choose the items you need from the different sections available such as but not limited to, the bakery, veggies & fruits, dairy, snacks, health & beauty, meat, chicken, & fish and Shop!

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The website, in general, is fairly easy to use. Start off by creating an account on the website or simply log in with your Facebook account, if you do not want to create an account from scratch.

A good variety of options are available and if you are unable to find the product you are looking for, you can search for it by typing the product name in the search box.

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As you navigate around the website and add items to you cart, you will see your cart and bill adding up to the right of the page; this feature helps you keep track of the items, price, and quantities you are choosing.

When your shopping cart is complete, click proceed and move to the checkout.

In the checkout, you will find another feature that I found useful, the notes section. Write down the items that you did not find and if they are available, Spinneys would send them to you with the rest of your order.

Concerning the customer service, I was impressed! When I placed my order, around a week ago, I did not find cherries on the website, so I wrote it down in the notes. The next day, my personal shopper contacted me to inform me that there was a small quantity of cherries left that were not very good. So she immediately suggested alternatives.

The best part is that you can choose a specific date and time period and schedule the delivery in advance.

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Your first online shopping experience may take you some time, but once you’re familiar with the website you’ll be able to use your time efficiently and spend that time wasted in traffic doing more enjoyable things.

Don’t forget to check out the little video I created on my Instagram and Facebook page!

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6 Tips for Staying Healthy While Traveling

Many people, including myself, are concerned about gaining weight while traveling. I spent most of my winter break in the US and the first couple of days we kept eating out almost every day! Since it was not my first time visiting Virginia, I had already chosen the favorite fast food chain restaurants that I wanted to enjoy such as Chipotle and Five Guys and surprisingly I felt satisfied after only eating at these restaurants once.

Here are some tips that I thought I would share with you to help you on your next trip:

  1. Never skip breakfast

I was not staying at a hotel so my breakfasts were either scrambled eggs with cucumber, Greek yogurt and fruits, or Greek yogurt on multi-cereal bread with different toppings such as fruits and veggies.

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  1. Commit to at least one healthy meal a day

When on vacation, we tend to eat out almost every day and personally, I got exhausted. I do enjoy eating out however, repetitively eating out especially more than once a day was annoying. Most of the food was too salty or included heavy sauces so I always ordered the sauce on the side or simply asked for lemon oil dressing for the salads and asked for less salt.

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Make your own Salad bowls at SweetGreen
  1. As much as possible, make your own meals

The days that we were going to have dinner with some friends, we would try to eat lunch at home. We would make quick and easy meals such as grilled salmon or chicken breasts in the oven with a huge salad bowl: healthy, simple, fulfilling, and delicious (such meals could also be ordered at restaurants).

  1. Carry snacks with you

Snacks on the go are one of the best things to have with you on long tour/shopping days. You are unaware of when lunch or dinner is going to take place therefore having a good breakfast before you go as well as healthy snacks such as raw nuts, protein bars, and/or fruits will give you the energy you need to keep enjoying your day.

  1. Drink lots of water

When it’s cold, I sometimes tend to forget to drink water. Stay hydrated by keeping a bottle of water with you at all times.

  1. Walk

Even if you are not working out as much as before because you are on vacation you can stay active by walking as much as possible, taking the stairs, not using much public transportation… Many beautiful places are discovered when you just walk around a city that you are not familiar with.

 

I hope you will find these tips useful! I believe that it’s all about the balance; indulge in the foods you love from time to time but also stay active and healthy.

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Guacamole Recipe

Whether as an appetizer with some crackers, or as a side dish with your main course, this super quick, easy, and delicious Guacamole recipe is a MUST-HAVE on your Christmas dining table this Christmas eve.

Ingredients Needed:

4 ripe Avocados

½  large tomato

¼  white onion

1 tbsp of chopped Cilantro

1 Lemon

Salt

1 Jalapeno pepper

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Procedure:

[The quantity used is for about 6-8 people]

Choose 4 ripe avocadoes, peel them and cut them into small cubes

Dice ½ a tomato, ¼ of an onion and the Jalapeno pepper into small cubes and mix all together in a bowl

Add 1 tbsp of chopped cilantro to the bowl

Squeeze one lemon and add the juice to the mix

Finally, add some salt to taste and mix all together

The amount of jalapeno used varies depending on your choice; I usually cut a small piece from the edge and chop it into tiny pieces. Start with a small amount and then keep adding until you reach your desired level of hotness.

Remember that this recipe is very flexible; it all depends on your taste. If you like a lot of onions, lemon, or more spices like black or cayenne pepper. I suggest starting with this recipe as a base and then adjusting it to meet your taste.

Personally, I love this recipe, it’s simple and savory and you can literally just add it as a side dish with anything!

Sahtein Xx

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Strawberry Blossom Smoothie Bowl Recipe

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Here it is, my second smoothie bowl recipe. It will only take up to 10 min of preparations!

According to Best Health Magazine, strawberries help boost your immunity, promote eye health, is rich in antioxidant properties, reduce inflammation and more.
Ingredients needed:
8-10 small strawberries
1/2 cup of almonds or walnuts or any other nut of your choice
1/2 mango
1 small banana
1/2 cup of almond milk
1 tea spoon of raw cacao powder or chocolate protein powder (optional)

Procedure: [The quantity used creates two small smoothie bowls]

Add ½ a cup of nuts of your choice into the blender;  almonds are my personal favorite. Peel and cut 1 mango into pieces and add 1/2 of it. Add a small banana. Add the strawberries. Pour in ½ a cup of almond milk or any type of milk. Finally add a pinch of spices of your choice such as cinnamon, raw cocoa powder, or even some protein powder. Blend all together for a few minutes until smooth.
Once smooth, pour into a cup or bowl and add toppings. I usually like the toppings to be the ingredients used within the smoothie. So in this case, I topped my smoothie bowl with mango slices, banana, raw cocoa powder, and I added some oatmeal.
If you like your smoothie on the go and not in a bowl, then add a little more milk to make it smoother and blend for a little longer.
Sahtein!!
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“Fit Hummus”: the Winner of #TheHummusGames 2016

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Exactly a year ago, at the Hummus Games Season 1, I met Yasmina and her kids after being in touch on social media for a while. Little did I know that this was going to be the start of a wonderful friendship!

The Hummus Games Season 2 took place last night at Semsom, Citymall. Ever since I was a child, I have been obsessed with hummus. Whether it was a Lebanese lunch or just any type of lunch, hummus would always be available. My mom would even call me “Imm Hummus” (mother of hummus) … and she still does. In the recent years, with all the new twists and fusions that restaurants have come up with to change the traditional Lebanese cuisine, I still enjoy my hummus the traditional way; plain and delicious.

Well, here comes the challenge, at least to me; Semsom wanted each team to create a new Hummus while using Semsom’s signature hummus as a base and adding any ingredients and spices to it.

So, Yasmina and I teamed up and created our “Fit Hummus”.

We were given only 10 minutes to get the ingredients we needed from “the Market”. Everyone was running around getting the necessary ingredients to create the perfect hummus (it felt like we were on the Master Chef Television show). The market then closed, and the timer was set to 15 minutes.

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Chaos at the Market Place

Each team was trying to make the best hummus in this short period of time. When the time was up, we all presented our hummus creations to the jury and awaited the response.

Minutes later, Anthony Rhayel (Founder of No Garlic No Onions) and Christine Sfeir (CEO of Semsom) had finished judging and they chose 3 finalists.

To our surprise, our “Fit Hummus” won the competition! We were awarded the Hummus Ambassador trophy as well as a trip to Oman Hummus Games, and free daily hummus in all Semsom stores Worldwide all year long. I seriously can’t wait to discover Oman with the Semsom team and attend the Oman Hummus Games 😀 Good luck to all the participants in Oman! See you very soon 🙂

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Now I know you are all waiting for our secret recipe, so here it is. Our Hummus recipe is very simple; all you need are three ingredients to add onto the traditional hummus:

  • A handful of crushed walnuts
  • A handful of crushed pistachios
  • ½ pomegranate

These ingredients were then mixed into the hummus. The individual pomegranate pieces were squeezed a bit during the mixing process in order for the sourness of the pomegranate to penetrate the mixture.

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Thank you Beiruting for all the lovely photos!

Woodbees Restaurant Review

A couple of days ago, my sister Sylvie and I tried out Woodbees restaurant located on the Zalka highway.

We ordered the quinoa salad as a starter. It included white quinoa, cucumber, dried cranberries, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, grilled halloumi cheese coated in oregano and was served with a Dijon lemon dressing. The salad was a nutritious bowl of quinoa; simple but tasty.

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Known for being “the house of sandwiches” we ordered the chicken shawarma sandwich and the Proscuitto and Brie to share.

All their meats are grilled using a special grilling technology through an automatic grill designed especially to cook a variety of meats and vegetables simultaneously. With this automatic grill, Woodbees claims to always guarantee fresh, quick, and consistent meals. The chicken shawarma was ok, as I felt like some of the chicken was overcooked and hence dry. The homemade garlic sauce though had an original taste.

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As for the prosciutto brie sandwich, I am usually not a fan of mixing sweet with my salty food, but the combination of the blueberry compote went well with the cheese.The sandwiches were filling and the whole grain Woodbees bread was crunchy and tasty.

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We also had the Parmesan Truffle Fries, golden fries seasoned with truffle oil and Parmesan cheese, on the side to accompany the sandwiches. Although Tasty, the combination was dry and the Parmesan cheese kept falling off and was difficult to eat.

Concerning the deserts, I was very disappointed. We ordered the Mango delice and the Chocolate Layer Verrine that looked mouthwatering on the menu. Regardless to say that all the previous platters had no sign of presentation, the deserts looked like they were prepared in advance and came in plastic containers as if they were ordered to go.

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All in all, it was a simple wholesome meal, which could benefit from some creative presentation and some additional ingredients to make it more satisfying and memorable.

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Bent el Sultan Restaurant

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F&B state owners of Set El Hosn, Beit Ward, and Breadberry celebrated the opening of their latest cuisine, an Authentic Lebanese fusion restaurant located in Verdun on May 17, 2018.

A concept inspired by the sultanates era, the restaurant exhibited a beautiful architectural interior as well as many oriental details. Bent El Sultan is not your typical Lebanese restaurant so don’t go with the intention of ordering the same traditional dishes we always have. Although I prefer staying in my comfort zone and ordering the usual; I attempted to try a bit of everything.

Dinner first began with pumpkin soup, beautifully placed inside the pumpkin and served by the waiter. The pumpkin soup was simple and savory.

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Pumpkin Soup

The hummus and baba ghannouj came afterwards, each having a very beautiful and unique design. Their hummus was excellent, just delicious.  I’m known for having a hummus obsession; my family sometimes calls me “Imm Hummus” which means mother of Hummus!

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Hummus

Salads came next, you might be thinking about Tabbouleh and Fattouch. Well no, we had everything but that. We had kale & pomegranate salad, quinoa salad, and Sultan salad. The Kale salad was my favorite, it is served with parsley and rocket leaves.

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Quinoa Salad and fresh pineapple juice

Every dish that was placed on the table came with a detailed explanation by the waiter, informing us about the name of the dish and what it included. This detail made the dining experience more comfortable and enjoyable.

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Kale Salad

More cold mezze kept coming our way such as fried cauliflower with yogurt, yes the combination sounds weird, but it was pretty good. The cauliflower was spicy and dipped in Greek yogurt with homemade butter and spices.

When it comes to the hot appetizers my favorites were the Fatirat Al Kaisar and the Hassan Basha.

The Caesar Pie (Fatirat Al Kaisar) is a pie stuffed with meat and pine similar to Lahim b 3ajeen. The meat was very juicy and the 3ajeen was super soft.

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Fatirat Al Kaisar

The Hassan Basha is a mouthwatering oven-roasted kafta balls with potato, tomato sauce, and cheese.

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Hassan Basha

After tasting all these, the main course arrived. We tried the Shish Taouk and the Shish Fish. Surprisingly, the shish taouk was not the usual chicken breast pieces; on the contrary it was chicken thigh pieces which make it juicier, softer, fattier, and yummier.

It was a lovely meal with intricate tastes and delicate twists on Lebanese favorites. The ambiance was set for a sultan as its name implies and the fabulous company made for a memorable evening.