Opinion 0 comments on Cook Like No One is Watching

Cook Like No One is Watching

It is particularly hard to work in an environment that doesn’t resemble you. Even though you still find colleagues with whom you develop affinities and become friends, the environment can still be bad for you. It usually is a bad environment when you feel like you don’t belong or like it doesn’t reflect your personality. Continue Reading “Cook Like No One is Watching”

Opinion 10 comments on On Turning 30

On Turning 30

The idea of turning 30 was devastating to me a year ago. It was all about being “out” of the twenty-something group, being “old” and entering real adulthood. Little did I know this was going to be the most enlightening age to me yet. On the 19th of August, a little over two weeks ago, I gracefully turned 30. What I thought was going to be shocking to me was actually smooth and soothing. Continue Reading “On Turning 30”

Opinion 0 comments on September Bucket List

September Bucket List

I started off the month of august full of motivation and positivism, but I must admit, despite me being a generally positive person, it was the hardest month yet in 2015. Not only was the weather extremely not helpful, but sadly, our country is in the worst state it could ever be. We’ve been fighting for it in any way we can, but I still hope it will all magically disappear (please don’t judge me, I’m not that naive) and we’ll be able to really enjoy the smell of the first rain. August flew by really fast, so I’ll be keeping my previous bucket list and adding the following to it:

  1. Discover new things in London. I’m leaving for London town at the end of the month and I’m planning on uncovering new cool places, so I’ll keep you posted!
  2. Be more organized in terms of time management skills. I’m surely getting better but I’m working to achieve the best ever level of organization.
  3. Online photography classes. I’ve registered to a new course so I’ll keep you posted on its quality and the things I learn.
  4. Hike. I miss the smell of nature and the feeling you get after a long walk in the forest.
  5. Enjoy the great mountain weather in September.
  6. Go camping. We’re going in 2 weeks and I just can’t wait!
  7. Experiment with sweet potatoes. I’ve been spotting a whole lot of sweet potato recipes lately and I’m hoping to try a few.
  8. Remove artificial sugar from my life and vocabulary (except on birthdays and some afternoon teas 😉 )
  9. Start reading again. I haven’t read a page of my book in August so I’d better get back to my favorite activity.
  10. Care less – about being late, about pleasing everyone. It’s simply not possible.
  11. Be patient – exercise patience and meditation.
  12. Stop bookmarking articles and read them on the spot.
  13. Make the most of Food Blogger Connect – so excited!
  14. Go back to healthy.

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Opinion 1 comment on June Bucket List

June Bucket List

This month, I’m 2 days late with my bucket list. Without making excuses, May was really hectic yet interesting and I’m proud to say I can cross off most of last month’s things I wanted to achieve. I collaborated with two of my favorite bloggers: Maya from Playing with Fashion, and Hisham from Cook in 5m2. With Maya, we collaborated on a guide for the perfect picnic. Maya showed you what to wear and I wrote about a picnic checklist. We even talked about it on BBeirut on LBC Sat (you can watch it here). With Hisham, we had fun making hundreds of Croque Monsieur for a hungry crowd at the Beirut Street Food festival. I met great people like Cyrille Najjar. I didn’t make homemade bread but homemade grissinis, close enough! And I discovered Carob Honey, which is a local produce that has loads of health benefits. We also enjoyed a lot of sunsets (Click here for places to have sunset drinks in Beirut).

A new month is here with new goals and objectives. Here goes.

Breadonbutter’s June Bucket List

  1. I’m going to one of Cyrille Najjar’s organized workshops for Beirut Design Week. It’s a Photography workshop with the one and only Thierry Van Biesen! My plan is to make the most of it and improve my photography skills.
  2. Attend a concert – there are so many I still haven’t decided which one yet.
  3. Swim more.
  4. Take up tennis.
  5. Get to my next goal on Nike Run.
  6. Master the ultimate Croque monsieur.
  7. Film more videos.
  8. Be more innovative with my salads this summer.
  9. Meditate by the sea with the Calm app.
  10. Find the most perfect kitchen style for our new house.
  11. Watch as many sunsets as I can all summer (a continuous summer item on the bucket list).
  12. Walk more, drive less – even if it’s burning hot.
  13. Plant herbs to cook with.
  14. Cook more creative dinners.
  15. Discover new designers and ideas during Beirut Design Week.
  16. Find the best coffee shops to work in during summer in Beirut.

 #MakeItHappen. What’s on your bucket list this month?

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Opinion 0 comments on Beirut Design Week Opening With Cyrille Najjar From White Sur White

Beirut Design Week Opening With Cyrille Najjar From White Sur White

A few weeks ago, after watching CNNGo’s report on Beirut, I contacted Cyrille Najjar and asked if I could see him for a chat. He gladly accepted and it was fun to talk about food with such a talented Designer. Cyrille is the CEO of White Sur White, “a multi-disciplinary Architecture and innovation agency sitting at the intersection of architecture, technology, and materials”. Not only does White Sur White work on Architecture and interior design projects, but they also create products that go beyond beautiful aesthetics and target the needs of everyone from musicians, to travelers, to home owners.

couture

We met in Cyrille’s office in Sodeco where the décor inspires designers to work creatively. The office is not too far from the workshop, which is in Ashrafieh as well and makes 600 square meters of space for infinite creativity. There, Cyril organizes workshops, sublets it for events by big magazines and companies and lets creativity unleash itself. Cyrille started by giving me a large idea of the projects and products he worked on and that came into life. He started by telling me about his passion for music (guitar to be more specific), how he worked on the design of music instruments and their customization for singers, dancers and musicians.

beirut design week | breadonbutter

He adapted music instruments to the body moves of dancers, fabricated microphones for opera singers with the help of Corinne Metni, and helped a violinist make the most of his talent by creating a violin around which he would feel at ease.

A solar suitcase was also created by Cyrille to no longer count on the generator at home.He also created products for Mothercare, for Hemiplegics, for Haute Couture, Lighting and Kitchens. I suggest you daydream on this link to know more.

lighting

Cyrille actually started his career by studying law at USJ. After thinking about it, he realized he liked it, but loved the world of Design and Architecture way more, so he made the switch. He continued with a Masters in Interior Architecture at ALBA Beirut and went on with Product Design in the Royal College of Art in London. And because he wanted to teach younger generations what he learnt, he finished with a teaching degree at Central St. Martins in London. After teaching at ALBA, he is now happily passing on his wisdom to LAU students.

How does Cyrille get inspired? It’s a combination of desire and needs. Whether it’s his needs or the needs of his clients, Cyrille beautifully fulfills them. He created his own solar energy system at home because he needed it, he confectioned Avo’s violin because Avo needed it to show the world the best he could do. Most of the time, clients come to him with a need.

Which takes us to what Cyrille has to say on Design in Lebanon. For him, it’s more of a luxury, which has its beauty. But it will eventually get more need-oriented as this is what should be done in a country that has countless needs to fulfill.

About cooking and travel

Cyrille loves cooking and is a BBQ fan at heart. He’s not yet found a need to fulfill in this area and has currently all the kitchen tools he needs in his “vastly furnished” kitchen. For him, kitchenware has really evolved over time. Quoting Cyrille, we’ve been eating for so long that we’re fine! As for the dishes he cooks, he keeps things simple with meat, chicken, fish, pasta, etc.

When it comes to travel, he does that all the time, but there’s one thing he has not yet fulfilled when it comes to this area: the Byron burger in Lebanon 😉 As far as Cyrille is concerned, his favorite burger in the world needs to be recreated in his country. The subject of travel immediately led us to talk about the good food in the big cities and countries of the world: Paris, London, New York, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Belgium for beer only.

His guilty pleasure is British food! As much as it surprises people, Cyrille views British food as going beyond beans and sausages. For him, it’s more about the homemade and the comfort food for a cold British weather and lifestyle.

Cyrille is also a big Philosophy fan. His book pleasures revolve around Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche and Heidegger. When he needs something light, it’s comics he turns to.

Here’s a video of 10 fast questions with Cyrille Najjar for you to get a glimpse of one of Beirut’s most terrific Designers. Enjoy 🙂

Selling points: SMO gallery, Platform39, National Museum, Urbanista.

Facebook page: here

Website: http://www.whitesurwhite.com/

Opinion 0 comments on 10 Ways to Overcome the Sunday Blues : Summer Edit

10 Ways to Overcome the Sunday Blues : Summer Edit

We all spend half of the week planning the weekend, from where to eat to which group of friends to hang out with. On Friday, a feeling of happiness envelops us and we feel on top of the world. Saturday is the best day of our lives, but then, like a bullet in the head, Sunday night hits us. This feeling of having to go back to school on Monday morning never leaves us, even as we grow older. After brainstorming ideas to overcome the Sunday blues with Jean and Fadsfood, we came up with a list of things you can do.

How to overcome the Sunday Blues

1) It all starts on Friday. Do not get blinded by your TGIF  joy and write your Monday to-do list on Friday. That way, you can have fun and disconnect all weekend knowing that everything is written down and tucked away.

2) Do not schedule any meetings for Monday, leave them for Tuesday thus giving yourself a day to collect your thoughts after the weekend.

3) On Sunday night, organize sunset drinks with fun friends. You’ll see that everyone has to work the next day and that you’re not alone in this world.

4) Avoid going to the movies on Sunday afternoon or evening. It will immediately trigger the Sunday blues feeling.

5) Do not leave the beach early. Instead, enjoy the sunset and plan a nice dinner by the sea. That will also allow you to also avoid the traffic jam and all the negative thinking you might end up doing in the car.

6) Prepare your outfit and work kit on Sunday night instead of running around on Monday morning. Knowing you’re all set for the next day will make you feel a lot better.

7) Plan to jog on Monday early morning and focus on it as the first thing you’ll be doing on that new week.

8) Move your Sunday family lunch to Saturday and spend Sunday with friends somewhere far from the city.

9) Plan a gathering at home on Sunday night and cook for some friends while sipping drinks on the terrace (or balcony)

10) De-clutter. It’s the principle of removing unnecessary and unused items from an overcrowded place of work/living/etc. If you remove one or several items that you have not used for a long time but that you were still attached to, trust us, you WILL feel relieved (as small an action as it sounds).

There will be more tips on the subject as time goes by and as we discover new ways to fight this feeling. Meanwhile, please do share with us how you do it!  We’d love to hear!

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Opinion, Travel 0 comments on Resilience Through Food and Art: Beirut Rebuilding Itself

Resilience Through Food and Art: Beirut Rebuilding Itself

A few days ago, Alisha Haridasani, writer at CNN, published this amazing article about our beloved city Beirut. Through tours guided by pure Lebanese food and art activists, a wonderful video was made (you can watch it on this link).

Kamal Mouzawak, founder of Souk el Tayeb and Tawlet Souk el Tayeb, is the first guest shown in the video. Since I’ve already met Kamal and had conversations with him, I enjoyed his tours around Souk el Tayeb (the only Saturday market in Beirut), Bourj Hammoud and Le Professeur for a nice foul breakfast. His message is clear:

Make Food, Not War.

The next guest is Rosalyn Ghubril from Zawarib, who I also met a few years ago as part of my job at the time. Rosalyn takes us at Platform 39 with Cyrille Najjar (learn more about what he does on this link) and at Brut L’Atelier, Mar Mikhael, where contemporary artists work on their creations.

A great part of the video is where we follow Mashrou’ Leila, Lebanon’s favorite indie-pop band, around the AUB campus – one of the fewest green spots left in Beirut. I love the portrait they made of the city: surrounded by water, Beirut is full of micro-communities with different identities and codes, pushing you to be a bit more tolerant and willing to negotiate. They also say that it is the most interesting time for music.

To sum up, Beirut is very small but also very diverse. There is incredible room for improvement in Food and Art, so let’s take advantage of this and put our ideas into life.

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Opinion 2 comments on May Bucket List

May Bucket List

I’ve really come to enjoy those monthly bucket lists as they give me goals I feel I should achieve. Coming up with goals requires you to dig deeper and think about what you’d like to do and accomplish in this life. I know they’re small things but they contribute a lot to the bigger picture, and they keep evolving into different areas as you grow older.

In April, I found myself reaching more goals than in March. I started Haruki Murakami’s Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of pilgrimage but didn’t finish it yet as I rarely sat down to read. I made the last stew of the season (click for the coq au vin recipe), I went out for drinks more, hiked 2 times in Wadi Qannoubine and the Cedars of Tannourine – stay tuned for more details, we had loads of BBQs, I enjoyed taking snapshots of people’s faces and expressions, we cooked healthy meals like this strawberry salad, and tried Liza’s restaurant and the newly opened La Creperie (stay tuned for more details as well) which I had never gone to before.

This month, I also have plans. Here they are.

Breadonbutter’s May Bucket list

  1. Go camping, enjoy the stars and great talks with friends “à la belle étoile
  2. Discover more local produces and research the organic food mania more
  3. Discover “new food”, i.e. not only limit myself to ingredients I have always known but discover new twists and combinations
  4. Plan a getaway in Lebanon, aiming to discover more of that country of ours
  5. Start making Breadonbutter videos that you’ll be able to watch on the Breadonbutter Youtube channel
  6. Make our own ingredients at home (like spicy olive oil , nine spices and caramel)
  7. Watch more sunsets as you get to make wishes and it makes you happy
  8. Discover new Design brands for the home like ferm living
  9. Work out more (I’m currently obsessed with Blogilates and Tabata workouts)
  10. Uncover the different recipes and combinations that can be made with coffee beans
  11. Collaborate more with other fellow bloggers
  12. Finish Haruki Murakami’s Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of pilgrimage!
  13. Try and make ice cream. Oh, and homemade bread!
  14. Meet at least 2 new fascinating persons
  15. Find 1 hidden gem that the crowd hasn’t consumed yet

So cheers to May! 😀

Any goals you’d like to share?

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Opinion, Uncategorized 3 comments on April Bucket List

April Bucket List

It’s been two bucket lists since 2015 and since I’m sharing them with you, I find myself making an effort to follow them. In March, my bucket list was quite short and easy to follow. I made a flour-less cake but it didn’t puff up ;), I planned my trip to Paris and made lists of new places to visit and things to do, I walked around Beirut quite a lot, and I cooked an Ethiopian ethnic meal (recipe here). This month, let’s hope I achieve more of my list.

Breadonbutter’s April Bucket List

  1. Start (and finish!) Haruki Murakami’s Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of pilgrimage
  2. Make a 5-layered cake for my mom’s birthday end of April
  3. Make the last stew before summer and hot weather hit us
  4. Go out more for drinks and happy hour (I’m loving Badaro Street and its new bars)
  5. Do more outdoor activities like hiking and camping
  6. Have more BBQ gatherings like this one, with friends, the sunset and nature
  7. Find new and talented Lebanese designers
  8. We almost bought a house so I plan on making amazing finds to decorate it really well (like these beautiful ceramic tiles)
  9. Take more photos of people, capturing their unique personalities
  10. Cook more of those delicious healthy meals
  11. Find new ingredients to add flavor to our dishes, like these
  12. Watch The Darjeeling Limited , Birdman and Waitress
  13. And of course, try at least 2 new cool restaurants in Beirut

Here’s to making it happen! 🙂

What are your plans this April?

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Opinion 0 comments on The Psychology of Perception: Perception of Value When It Comes To Food

The Psychology of Perception: Perception of Value When It Comes To Food

Most of the people I know enjoy food more when it’s expensive. But see, life is all about perception. We perceive things and come up with our own truth. This infographic was sent to me a while ago and I thought it would be interesting to share.

It explores the psychology behind our perceptions when it comes to food. For example, you’ll see how lobster went from a prison food to one of the most luxurious and expensive dishes we can now order. You’ll also get an insight into marketing tricks such as how including ‘ancient grains’ can increase the price consumers are willing to pay, and how we gain more pleasure from wine we’re told is more expensive.

Value is in the eye of the beholder. But what influences the beholder in their perceptions? This infographic looks at the psychology behind our perceptions, noting trends, marketing practices and differing generational attitudes.

Since price positively influences perceptions of quality, and inversely influences perceptions of value, how do sellers of mundane products use history, story, exclusivity, and implied scarcity to change our appetites?

Link

perception | breadonbutter

Source: http://www.vouchercloud.com/resources/perception-of-value-infographic?m=0

What do you think about this?

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Opinion, Travel, Uncategorized 4 comments on Lebanon Perceived by International Media – How We Can Change That Image

Lebanon Perceived by International Media – How We Can Change That Image

All Winter, we’ve been running home every night to finally get in bed and start new episodes of The Mentalist. I know the show’s been on for 7 years but we decided to view it all in one shot. A few days ago, we reached the final episodes (very very sad I know). To our surprise, 2 episodes take place in Beirut (not sure if Patrick Jane actually came to Beirut but there were shots of our beloved city in the episodes). Not so surprisingly, it wasn’t the Beirut we know that was shown in The Mentalist. We would’ve expected more from Patrick and I must say we were disappointed. I didn’t make much of this and quickly forgot it, maybe because we became used to this bad portrayal of our country in the media. But then Jean sent me this post and it brought on new thoughts. How can we possibly change the perception of our country in the media?

1- Rely on some of the Lebanese bloggers. The internet is powerful and can convey information faster and more efficiently.

2- Expats, we know the nice job you’re doing at educating the ones who don’t know about us so thank you.

3- We have so much talent that we shouldn’t just showcase it in Lebanon. Mahrou’ Leila are on the way with their occasional international concerts, and Hiba Tawaji is making us proud.

4- Photographers and videographers, use your connections and present your work (including photos of the real Lebanon) outside the country.

5- Spread initiatives like LiveLoveBeirut, LiveLove Lebanon and Positive Lebanon.

We must fight this ugly image and show the positive side of Lebanon. Of course, I am not saying it’s flawless but picturing it like a battle field is the other extreme.

What do you think?

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Opinion 1 comment on March Bucket List

March Bucket List

In February, I shared my decision to write a bucket list every month of 2015 and promised to try and follow it. You can read my February bucket list on this link. I tried to achieve everything but succeeded in only doing some of the items on my list, like cooking Ramen, and healthy dishes, I tried Spin the Hen and Prune Bistro so that’s my 2 new restaurants to try out, I went to yoga class as much as I could, discovered new songs (new playlist coming soon), I discovered a new ingredients (soon on the product of the week series), planned a trip (but to a place I’ve already been to – sneak peek), and watched the theory of everything (awesome movie!). So this month, I’m keeping some of the things I didn’t do on my list and adding new ones as well. Here goes.

Breadonbutter’s March Bucket List

  1. I’m going to Paris at the end of the month. I’ve already been there tons of times, but I plan on discovering new things I’ve never even seen in this city.
  2. Try a no-flour cake (and make it puff up)
  3. Go someplace new in Lebanon – Any suggestion would be most welcomed
  4. Develop my photography skills with the help of these cool videos
  5. Discover at least one of Beirut’s hidden gems
  6. Walk around more instead of taking the car everywhere
  7. Drink more smoothies as afternoon snacks
  8. Start Haruki Murakami’s Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of pilgrimage
  9. Cook an ethnic meal (maybe Ethiopian)
  10. Try to make giant meringues (with success)
  11. Make homemade donuts
  12. Watch The Darjeeling Limited , Birdman and Waitress (both recommendations of Beirutista and Nouchaline) – I’ve been so hooked up on series that I don’t make time for actual movies anymore

Any other suggestion? 🙂

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