Sunday drives

My husband and I been going on Sunday drives since we got married and we still love to do that after 35 years together!

We took our grandkids home today after spending fun time together and on the way back I snapped few pictures with my phone!

I love photography and I love taking pictures of the sky and nature in its full glory! Normally I use my professional camera but I forgot to bring it with me…

I forgot how much it takes out of you to deal with two babies close in age! They are a lot of fun to run around with!

My we do Sunday drives for many years to come ❤️

Mickey Mouse Birthday Cake

Mickey Mouse Birthday Cake

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Today we had a small birthday party for our little guy Isaiah, he is turning one on Monday but since everyone works and have school, well you know about Monday blues…. so it made sense for us to have the little celebrations for him today…We are not big on huge celebration when having birthday parties for the little ones, we like them small and intimate, especially for a one year old…We always figured when the kids get older they choose how big or small their birthday party is going to be.


Isaiah is such a sweet loving baby, actually he is a very good baby, not fussy at all. He is always smiling and giggling to show his two baby teeth… And he is almost walking, well he is taking his baby steps one at a time or I should say taking his time, I want to him to walk already so I could run after him…He is one handsome baby boy and we just adore him!! I guess that is the bright side of marrying young, my husband I married very young and now we are enjoying our kids! Our three kids are grown and two of them are married with kids… We both still young and have a ton of energy to run around with them and with the grandkids.

But wait ladies……………. we still have a handsome, outgoing, respectful bachelor with green eyes, he is accepting applications! (he is going to kill me for posting this hahahahaha)….


Isaiah is the love of our lives, he is our first and only grandson. We have two beautiful granddaughters, Nashwa just turned eleven back in February and Bella is turning 3 in May…


Isaiah is madly in love with Mickey mouse, so what better cake to make for his birthday then a cake in the shape of Mickey’s face! He loved it and his reaction was priceless, Bella’s reaction was priceless as well… she is so funny all she could say is WOW, WOW, WOW, and could not wait to stick her finger in the red frosting…

Directions to how assemble the cake is so easy, its in the caption of each picture.

I made this cake with my Chocolate cake recipe, its moist and chocolaty and is so versatile, I baked it in the form of sheet cakes, cupcakes, birthday cakes you name it I made it with this delicious batter.

I am only posting the direction for Mickey’s face the cake recipe is linked below in this post.

Make one recipe of Chocolate cake

6 inch cake pan, sprayed with nonstick baking spray and lined with parchment paper

8 inch cake pan, sprayed with nonstick baking spray and line with parchment paper

Cupcake pan lined with 4 baking papers.

Pour the batter in to the two prepared cake pans and fill each of them 3/4 full , you should have leftover batter for an extra four cupcakes, that’s how you know the measurement is correct, if you did not have four cupcakes use an ice cream scooper and scope out some of the batter from each pan until you have the four cupcakes, I used a two tablespoon ice cream scooper…

Bake all at the same time, cupcakes should be done in 25 minutes, the cake pans bake for 34-36 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Remove the cupcakes from the oven and cool for 10 minutes in the pan, remove and cool completely on a cooling rack.

Cool cakes in the pans for 10-15 minutes, remove from the pans and remove the parchment papers, cool completely.


Wrap the 6 inch cake in plastic wrap and freez for later use.

Place the cake on a turn table or a flat surface covered with parchment paper, cut in half and fill according to the cake recipe in the link, frost the sides of the cake with a very  thin coating by using black colored frosting, I bought my frostings from Walmart to make it easy, they have Wilton brand that has a large variety of colored frostings…With a large offset sputla remove the cake and place it on a large baking sheet lined with parchemnt paper, refrigerate the cake for about 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes remove the cake from the refrigerator, decorate the face according to the style you like, I have seen a lot of different styles of decorations to mickey’s face, you choose your own  and the colors that fit the theme of your party, I made my own style and it is my first attempt to make a cake in a shape of a character! It was very easy and it is acceptable to a one year to recognize his beloved carton character. I piped the frosting by using piping bag fitted with the star tip, its easy and it gives the colors some depth.


With a large offset spatula, carefully place cake on too a half sheet cake cardboard or whatever your serving your cake on, just making sure its flat and a good size to accommodate the entire cake, remove a little bit of the top of the cupcake on one side as showing in the picture,  place one cupcake on the opposite side of each other in each corner of the cake to make Mickey’s ears, making sure they are touching the sides of the cake, I used a toothpick to secure them as shown in the picture.

Frost the cupcakes with the same star tip, I have more than one to make it easy to have filled bags of frosting for different colors…


I added two pieces of round white chocolate for the eyes and piped black dots on top… I piped the smile and by using the red frosting I piped around the cake to finish the look.

Refrigerate for few hours, remove 45 minutes prior to the party for the frosting to come to room temperature.

When everyone is ready place the candle on the cake and have your self a wonderful time, you will for sure make it a special birthday for a special and happy kid in your life!!

***The original idea was to use the six inch cake as the ears after cutting it in half, but the shape was too big for the size of the cake, it would have been better to bake an 11 inch or larger round cake to accommodate the size of the 6 inch cake for the ears…But the cupcakes worked perfect and Bella enjoyed the other two cupcakes 🙂 and I have an extra small cake to use*****


Grilled Steak

Grilled Steak

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: easy
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When its cold and 20 miles an hour winds outside and you cannot use your grill but you want to have a juicy steak for dinner, what to do? I found the simple way to achieve that  prefect, Smokey, delicious, juicy and flavorful steak is to have it prepare in sauté pan on the stovetop…Just a little butter or olive oil, room temperature meat and any of your favorite combination of spices and you have an easy meal on your hands in no time.


I am a steak lover plain and simple and if I could I would eat it every single day so as my 11 years old granddaughter, she inherited the love of beef from all of us, but once or twice a month is good enough for us…


I made this steak for both of us when she was over last night, for her I paired this juicy steak with sautéed green beans in olive oil, toped it with garlic powder, sea salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.


For my plate I kept it simple with fresh cut tomatoes, drizzle of olive oil, seat salt and black pepper, this will be a delicious meal if paired with my Tomato Salad 


Five to six minutes on each side and you have the perfect medium well delicious steak for dinner.


1 1/2 LB top beef chuck steak at room temperature

2 tbsp. olive oil

3 tbsp. grill steak seasoning

1/2 tbsp. sea salt

1/2 tbsp. black pepper


In a small bowl, combine grill steak seasoning, salt and pepper.

On a medium high heat add olive oil to sauté pan, add half the seasoning on too one side and cook seasoned side down for four to six minutes depending on the thickness of your steak.

Add the rest of the seasoning on top, when the time is up and delicious crust built on to the first side, turn the steak and cook on the second side for another three to four minutes, again that depending on the thickness of your steak… The second side always cooks faster and does not require as much time as the first side… that’s if you prefer your steak on the medium well side, that’s my preferred doneness for beef… for a well done steak leave it to cook a little longer but not more than one minute on each side…. But if you prefer a rare steak don’t cook it :):) just kidding, cook it for two minutes on each side.


Remove from the pan on too a plate and let it rest for about five to ten minutes…slice and serve.


***what to do in the next ten minutes while you are waiting on your steak to rest while everything else is ready? clean that stove because it will requires you to clean it after this meal :)….But its soooooooooo worth it!!! OR just use a splatter pan cover, but I was too exited that I forgot I had one…. So I cleaned my stove :):):)***

Rice treats

Rice Treats

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
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My granddaughter texted me few days ago and asked me if I could make her some Rice treats and of course I had to deliver….I am madly in love with her, very smart, intelligent and beautiful inside out…And I do love making treats for my kids and grandkids…


These treats are easy to make and I always go all out when I am making them, I add all kind of delicious ingredients, like nuts, dried fruit and raisins. But this time I just made them simple, all I added is chocolate covered candy and ground cinnamon for added flavor…

The only marshmallows I use for these treats is Halal-Kosher marshmallows, or any other treats that asks for marshmallows for that matter! I melt it and add it to cupcakes and cakes frosting, and of course no doubt to top a delicious cup of hot chocolate at any time…


Halal-kosher marshmallows are made with beef gelatins, gelatin that I discovered that existed few years ago browsing the internet, I am sure they been around for a long time… I was on the hunt to make Jell-O for my husband for years, he loves Jell-O but I never made it because all of the packaged Jell-O you find at the stores are made with pork gelatin! And I been on the hunt for something better I could use for years until I found the beef gelatin and I have been using it to make all kind of delicious recipes at home ever since!Jello-Sugar Free


Also we love to use them when making s’mores with chocolate graham crackers, the marshmallows melts all over the crackers, top it with a piece of chocolate and you are in haven….They are yummy and  delicious. or do what my kids do just hold the bag in your lap and eat them one at a time!!!


Chocolate covered candy is one of my two granddaughter’s favorite candies, they just absolutely loves them and I made sure to use them this time.


I always stock up on marshmallows when I shop at the Middle Eastern store since its a thirty minutes drive from my house…They have them in different shapes and sizes, and different colors as well… And that for sure will make anyone feel like a kid again!

I also discovered that marshmallow cream fluff does not contains any animal fats or at least the one I buy, I love to add them to these treats, it makes them extra creamy and delicious… The marshmallow cream is perfect for making these treats vegetarian style!

Add nuts, chocolates or any other healthy topping, skip the marshmallows and the butter, add extra marshmallow cream and a tablespoon of vegetable oil to make them shine and your all set, this recipe is easily adjusted to everyone liking…


2 jars 7 oz. each marshmallow creams fluff

1 bag 8.80 oz. large size halal marshmallow

1 bag 8.80 oz. mini halal marshmallow

1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter

1/4 tsp cinnamon

7 1/2 cups rice cereal

line 9×13 cake pan with parchment paper and spray the parchment with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.


Spray rubber spatula with cooking spray.


In a large heavy pot on low heat melt the butter, add the entire bag of the large marshmallows, cinnamon and half the bag of the mini marshmallows.

Stir the mixer until smooth and creamy, it should take about 5 minutes.

Add the rice cereal, on low heart mix well and fast until the mixture is combined.

Remove from heat and spread the rice mixture in too the ready pan, with wet hands smooth the mixture in single layer. Work fast before the mixture start cooling.

Sprinkle the rest of the mini marshmallows and the covered candy all over the top, with clean damped fingers push the candy and the marshmallow in to the rice mixture..

I keep my food pictures as I take them, no filters or Photoshop, and as you could see some of the candy colors started to melt on to the top of the mixture but that is the beauty of a homemade food and sweet, it should look rustic and homemade not out of the factory or took hours to prefect the perfect pictures, all I care about is the flavor and the enjoyment of eating them.

Cool the mixture in the pan for few hours or overnight, covered on the kitchen counter.

Remove it from the pan by pulling the side of the parchment paper on too a cutting board, cut in half and in thirds or to any size you prefer.

Wrap each piece with plastic wraps and store in airtight container for about a week.. That’s if they last that long!!


Banana pound cake muffins

Banana pound cake muffins

  • Servings: 20
  • Difficulty: easy
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Sugar free dessert became the only way for me to bake for my husband, what to do for a man that loves sweet? It was easy for me, I started re-creating all of my baking recipes for him as sugar free dessert since we found out he is diabetic and that was many, many years ago…


This recipe is no exception, its based on my Banana Nut Bread Muffins – Sugar free recipe… but I wanted to make them in the form of muffins… you ask why I like this method?

One simple reason, I don’t have to deal with my husband cutting pieces of the loaf and leaving it on the counter for me to clean up the crumbs after him, he swears its not him doing it!!!

When I came up with this recipe I did not have enough nuts to add to the batter and my husband is always asking for more nuts in anything I bake with it, so the next best thing was just top the muffins and no need to add it to the batter…


Baking this banana bread in a muffins form is as easy as it can be, I could bag them and freeze them, all he needs to do is pull one at a time from the bag and heat it in the microwave for 10 second, even though he loves to eat cold food I don’t know why or how, I stopped asking a long time……anyway no mess, no crumbs on my kitchen counter and everything stays clean!!! Smart ha???

I called them pound cake for the aroma, taste and flavor of a pound cake in one simple muffin… very tasty and delicious… grab your coffee or tea to accompany this delicious muffin..


Pre-heat oven to 350

2 sticks room temperature unsalted butter

1 cup monk-fruit sugar

3 tbsp. sugar free brown sugar (I make my own)

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. baking powder

3 ripened bananas

2 cups all-purpose flour

4 large eggs room temperature

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Into a bowl of stand mixer fitted with the flat beater attachment, cream butter, sugar and brown sugar for few minutes until smooth and creamy.

Add eggs one at a time, mix well after each addition.

Add vanilla extract, mix on high speed for one minute.

In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon, add on low speed in thirds.

Add ripened  banana and mix for few seconds until the banana is incorporated in to the batter.

Line two muffin pans with baking paper.

With an ice cream scooper, scoop the batter into lined paper, top each muffin with the chopped walnuts.

Bake for 32-34 minutes, cool in the pan for 10 minutes, remove and cool completely on cooling racks…

That’s if you could resist the aroma…


Winter came late

Winter came late this year… This morning everything was covered with this beautiful white snow……

I guess that’s how everyone lives in the East coast and the Midwest every year, Lucky them!! I wish we have snow every year especially on thanksgiving day, I would have loved it to be this cold, the grass and mountains covered with white beautiful snow, the delicious aroma of the turkey cooking in the oven, the pies ahhhhhhhhhhhh I would have just loved it!!!!

The front view of our house was gorgeous this morning, Palm Springs mountains were covered with Snow….


Beautiful and mysteries dark sky…



It looked amazing and it was so calming… The air was crisp and clean I just loved it!!! what can I say, I am a winter person… I love winter, I love the fashion, I love the cold crisp air, and how clean everything smells…I just love everything about it!!


We woke up to this white x-mas in the end of February this morning…Our street and our next door neighbors cars and trash cans were covered with snow


Our olive tree


The middle part of the patio set cover is a solid piece of thin ice…


Our baby loquat plum tree…


The grass is completely covered in inches of snow…



Gorgeous view of the backyard mountains…




Looks like a beautiful white rug…



And just like that, the sun came out and all the snow started melting awayyyyyyy…


And again just like that…….Back to reality…

I wanted it to last a little longerrrrrrrr!!!