Sabeel: A Woman of Many Talents – Interviewed by Zatasha Kiran

25 year old Sabeel Butt studied BTEC Business and A-Level financial studies at college and then went on to university to study politics and law before deciding university just wasn’t for her. After completing her first year she decided not to return, she felt that she is more of a practical person and would like to spend her time and effort on something she really enjoyed. Whilst Sabeel now works in retail at a large retail outlet, she is also involved in other businesses. In her spare time she loved to bake so, decided to take a short course on cake decorating at her local college where she also completed a food hygiene course. A few years ago she decided to turn her hobby into a business and started work as a part time cake decorator. She has also recently launched her own makeup line which is quickly becoming quite a hit with local and international beauty bloggers. We talk to Sabeel about how she got started.


Zatasha: What was the deciding factor for you to leave university and pursue entrepreneurship?

Sabeel: After completing one year at university I decided it just wasn’t for me, I had no idea what I was going to do but all I knew was that I didn’t want to go to university.


Z: Was your family supportive of your decision?

S: They weren’t happy with my decision to begin with, but they all eventually came to the realisation that I was serious about not continuing with university.


Z: What would you say are the three biggest obstacles in starting a new company?

S: I’d say the biggest obstacles would be balancing growth and quality, and money management.


Z: How did you overcome these challenges?

S: The best way to overcome any challenge is by trial and error.


Z: Who inspires you? 

S: My biggest inspiration is my parents who are both very hard working people and that have patience to overcome any difficult situation.


Z: How long did it take you to get your companies up and running?

S: My cake business started as a hobby and then gradually grew by word of mouth. With my cosmetics line, anyone who knows me knows I absolutely love makeup, I first made a few products for myself and posted them on my Instagram account. I received so many compliments and decided to start a business. It took me almost a year to gather and create my products and I’m still growing as a company. I appreciate all the support I have received from all around the world.


Z: Where do you see yourself and your businesses in the next five years?

S:  I hope to have a successful, stable cosmetics line which is internationally recognised.


Z: What are your interests beyond your businesses?  

S: I have many interests such as cooking, playing with animals and admiring nature.


Z: What personal strengths helped you in following your path of success?

S: My biggest personal strength has got to be patience, which I think I got from my parents. You have good days and bad days, but you have to learn to keep it together.


Z: How do you market your products (cakes and makeup line)?

S: I use Instagram and Facebook as a platform to advertise my business and it’s quite successful.

Z: What tips would you give to people looking to become independent entrepreneurs in today’s market? 

S: Build something you are passionate about and never give up!


Chiacchiere: The Most Popular Carnival Sweet in Italy – By Valentina Coppola

Chiacchiere, a word which literally translates as ‘chatter or gossip’, are the most popular Carnival sweets in Italy. Their name changes slightly from region to region; for example in Tuscany and in Liguria they are known as ‘bugie’. They are usually served with “sanguinaccio”, which is a sweet cream made with dark chocolate, and they are recognized as traditional food of Basilicata in central Italy.

The history of these sweets is interesting. During the Renaissance, the week preceding Ash Wednesday was called “grasso”, meaning “fat”, because the festive banquets organized during this period were abundant and full of rich dishes such as fried sweets.

The recipe for chiacchiere contains a little alcohol and the amount and type of alcohol used also changes depending on region. In the South, they use Marsala, while in northern Italy they use Grappa.

Sanguinaccio’s name originated from the ancient use of fresh pigs’ blood in the making of it which provided its characteristic taste. But in some Italian regions, the public sale of pigs’ blood was banned in 1992. Now, Italians prepare sanguinaccio with chocolate.

Here are the recipes of these tasty and delicious sweets: Continue reading “Chiacchiere: The Most Popular Carnival Sweet in Italy – By Valentina Coppola”

The History and Recipe of Baba au Rhum, the Most Famous and Delicious Dessert of the Neapolitan Tradition – By Valentina Coppola

As you probably know, Italian cuisine is noted for its variety of food and it’s probably the most popular country in the world in this field. Many dishes that were regional, have proliferated with variations in different countries and with influences abroad.

An example is the delicious “Baba au Rhum” which was invented in Poland, by polish chefs.

Continue reading “The History and Recipe of Baba au Rhum, the Most Famous and Delicious Dessert of the Neapolitan Tradition – By Valentina Coppola”

Struffoli, A typical Italian Christmas Dessert – By Valentina Coppola

Every country in the world has different Christmas traditions and different typical dishes. I want to show you how to prepare one of the most delicious desserts, from the South of Italy: “Struffoli,”a Neapolitan creation.

They are small balls of fried dough that are sweetened by honey. They are coloured, nice to see and very delicious. Their name derives from the ancient Greek word “strongoulos”.

Here is the recipe:

Continue reading “Struffoli, A typical Italian Christmas Dessert – By Valentina Coppola”

Sweetaholic Cancer – By Dalia Al Saad

If you thought that getting a cold once or twice – if not more – every year is a norm, you couldn’t have been more wrong. To simplify things, being healthy is when all of your biochemistry is running smoothly. If the chemical and physico-chemical processes and substances in your body are malfunctioning, you consequently get sick.

Now the next question should be: “What is the key to getting sick?”

Answer: SUGAR

Continue reading “Sweetaholic Cancer – By Dalia Al Saad”

Sweet & Solid – Interviewed by Zatasha Kiran

Arwa Abdulrahman Al-Moghrabi, the talented 27 year old Saudi Lebanese hybrid, already has a BA in language and literature and is currently working on an MA in Education (TESOL).

She started teaching English as a second language when she was 13 and also runs Cookietier, a home based bakery that specialises in sweets. As if all that wasn’t enough she is a fitness instructor and personal trainer and loves to stay motivated with diversity at work.

Continue reading “Sweet & Solid – Interviewed by Zatasha Kiran”

Classic and Easy Pecan Pie! – Dalia Al Saad

Serving:  8 slices
Total calories: 4,466;
Calories per piece: 558


Photographed by Msphotographic



INGREDIENTS: Continue reading “Classic and Easy Pecan Pie! – Dalia Al Saad”