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Brownies with Dark Chocolate Chunks and Walnuts

Brownies with Dark Chocolate Walnuts

We have a fudgy, chunky and easy cocoa brownies for your family. I guarantee that the chocolate lover in your family will ask for more!

This brownie recipe will easily become a family favorite!


  • I prefer to use Dutch processed cocoa powder when available. Otherwise, a natural cocoa powder will do great as well.
  • 70% dark chocolate chunks is a MUST. You can double the amount of chocolate if you don’t fancy nuts.
  • CHECK brownies after 20 minutes of baking, if the middle is still runny and wet, bake for 5 minutes more. Continue baking until you see the middle part is set but still give a bit of movement when pan is moved.
  • I baked our brownies in our electric oven for exactly 27 minutes.

Important! Bake two batches and hide one tray for yourself.

Easy Brownies with Walnuts and Dark Chocolate Chunks

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Rating: ★★★★★
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  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup 70% dark chocolate chunks


  1. Pre-heat oven to 180C.
  2. In a bowl, sift and mix dry ingredients.
  3. In another bowl, beat eggs and sugar. Add vanilla and melted butter, give it a good mix.
  4. Fold dry ingredients to wet mixture, until incorporated.
  5. Add in 1/2 cup each of chopped walnuts and dark chocolate.
  6. Pour batter in a greased pan. Sprinkle more walnuts and chocolate on top.
  7. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Check at the 20 minute mark.
  8. Let brownies cool for 2 hours or overnight. Cut in squares.

recipe for brownies with dark chocolate and walnuts

Grow | One Little Word

As with the beginning of each year, I have chosen a word to inspire and guide me. One word that I would intentionally live with for the whole year.

There are so many ways I want to grow this year:

  • I want to grow ‘ME’
    • make meaningful connections that will make me a better person. I will make an effort to get in touch with friends, meet-up and enjoy a conversation.
    • To exercise and eat better. I have been sickly and have ignored signs my mind & body is telling me.
    • Spend more time to read and write.
  • Grow my digital skills
    • learn a skill every month if possible – photo & video editing that will help me make more content for our social media channels.
  • Grow my team and business
    • my Young Living ‘Happy Essentials’ team had a slow growth since I began using essential oils. I intend to meet with them often, share my knowledge and empower each individual on the use and benefits of the products.
  • Grow my relationship to…
    • God
    • my husband
    • my children

How are you growing this year? What is your word for 2020?

Largest Research Science Lab in Dubai

A dedicated science laboratory for kids ages 7 yrs – 11 yrs old opened at Children’s City, Creek Park.

Forscherwelt (Researchers World) is a project between Dubai Municipality’s Children’s City and Henkel. The new, purpose-build science centre is the first of its kind in the Middle East and is the largest Forcherwelt Science Lab for children anywhere in the world.

I attended the inauguration last November 18 and was treated to a VIP tour of the facility. Reviewing base alone on what I saw and heard is not enough. The best way to showcase the center is through the eyes of my kids and their friends.

I gathered 17 kids from our Phases Basketball family for an afternoon of science fun at Forscherwelt. The kids are in for a treat because they were among the first batch to experience working on the lab.

For many children, it is a rare opportunity to do hands-on laboratory work. Science taught in schools are often more about memorizing formulas, looking at pictures, and listening to their teachers telling them how and what will happen instead of doing actual experiments.

The Forscherwelt team will be offering ten, 45 minutes modules, for up to 25 children per session. On our visit kids got to work on the 2 modules offered about starch and skin, we won’t share details it is better for the kids to experience it for themselves.

Each group was assigned an experienced instructor that guided them with the research and experiment they have to do. Emphasize on the word “guide” because when the kids seem lost on the research, they were asked to go back and was asked “why do you think did happened?” and “do you think we should try and go back to the first procedure?”

Finally, they answered the question that was first presented to them before they began their experiment.

All 17 kids ENJOYED, LEARNED and requested to go back to do more experiments at Forscherwelt. This was definitely one fun afternoon rediscovering their love for science.

Forscherwelt Science Lab for children in Dubai is located at Children’s City, Dubai Creek Park and is for children aged between 7 and 11 years of age. Ten hand-picked employees from Children’s City have been trained in the past month by Ute Krupp, Head of Henkel Forscherwelt. They will be coaching the children on their scientific journey. Sessions at Forscherwelt are free for children to attend. For further information and bookings please visit

In behalf of the kids, I would like to thank the team behind Forscherwelt, Children’s City, Henkel and Twister Communications for a fun afternoon.

Spanish Bread Recipe

The smell of freshly baked bread greeting me as I step out of our room and on the dining table a brown paper bag filled with soft bread filled with sweet buttery filling and my aunt Mama Alma pouring ice cold coke on a glass with a smile “Meryenda na ‘nak! Nagpapalit si Daddy ug tinapay.”

Right there at that moment I was a small kid again forgetting for a minute that a newborn baby was peacefully sleeping in the bedroom.

Spanish Bread is a childhood favorite which was always available at the neighborhood bakery. It tops my list next to ‘double body’ and ‘pande coco’.

I’m so happy that the first batch I baked hit the spot! As soon as I took a bite, memories of me as kid enjoying afternoon snack with my Lola Mommy, Mama, friends and siblings embraced me.

Spanish Bread

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Source:
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Bread Dough

  • 2 1/4 teaspoon yeast mixed with 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm whole fresh milk
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 tsp oil to grease bowl
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour for dusting

Butter Filling

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoon milk / all-purpose cream


  • 3 tbsps milk to brush bread
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar optional


For Bread Dough

  1. In a medium-size bowl, combine 1 teaspoon of sugar and dry yeast, give a mix. Pour lukewarm milk. Let it stand for 5 to 10 mins until yeast begins to foam.
  2. Meanwhile, in the bowl of your stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Add yeast mixture, egg yolks, and butter to the dry ingredients. Stir with wooden spoon until just combined. Add warm milk, then give it a mix.
  4. Attach the dough hook and turn the mixer on to the lowest speed and mix until all ingredients are incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  5. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. Add additional flour as necessary, start with 2 tablespoons. Continue beating for 5 to 6 minutes until the dough is slightly sticky and soft and pulling away from the edge of the bowl. Be careful not to add too much flour.

First Rise

  1. Wipe or spray oil on the sides of the bowl then form dough into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm spot for 1 hour or until it doubles in size. Prepare filling while dough rise.

Spanish Bread Filling

  1. Heat butter in a small saucepan until bubbly. Add the flour and the breadcrumbs and stir the mixture vigorously with a wire whisk for a few seconds. This is a grainy mixture at this point. Immediately add the cream or milk and keep stirring until the mixture loosens up a bit. Stir for 30 seconds more and turn off heat. Cool mixture until just warm to touch. Stir in the sugar until it is incorporated. Set aside to cool. This mixture is a chunky paste
  2. Taste mixture and adjust sweetness according to your preference.

Second Rise – Shape the rolls

  1. Remove the plastic wrap and punch dough down. Transfer onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough until smooth.
  2. Divide the dough into portions, around 50g each (use a kitchen scale). Adjust based on your preference.
  3. Using a rolling pin, flatten each portion into an oval shape. Spread 1 tablespoon of the filling, then roll it into a log.
  4. Brush with milk. Lay it in the bread crumbs. Shake off excess then place inside the baking tray greased or lined with a parchment paper.
  5. Repeat with all the other portions. Make sure that the dough is arranged about an inch apart. Cover with a towel or cloth and let it rise for 40mins to 1 hour.


  1. Preheat oven at 200C, 15 minutes before the dough rolls finish rising.
  2. Bake the Spanish bread for 18 to 20 minutes until the top turns light brown. If you’re using two racks, switch the trays after 10 minutes so all the rolls will brown evenly.
  3. If you find dough still pale. Turn on broiler and “toast” bread for 2 minutes. Keep close watch till bread is brown to your liking.

Grilled Chicken Wrap

Sandwich wraps is a fun alternative to our good old sandwich for school lunch. I find it much more filling and my kids find it easier to eat.

Filling for a sandwich wrap can vary from the protein, vegetables and dressing desired. What I have here is a marinade recipe for chicken that would work for a lot of dishes.

Box: Citron | Bag: PackIt | Banana Box

Grilled Chicken Wrap

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Source:
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  • 500 g Chicken thighs, skinless & boneless
  • 1/2 cup Yoghurt
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp All Spice
  • 3 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper


  1. Mix marinade in a bowl – yoghurt, turmeric, paprika, all spice, garlic, salt and pepper.
  2. Add chicken thighs, marinate overnight.
  3. Grill chicken on high heat, cook for 2 minutes in one side. Flip and cook for another 10 minutes. Let chicken thighs rest for 5 minutes, slice and keep aside.

Easy Mango Float Recipe

Mango Float is one of the easiest, delicious Filipino dessert you can make. I grew up enjoying this delicious dessert that my Mama whips up every chance she gets hold of a sweet ripe and juiciest mangoes.

What is a mango float? Close your eyes and imagine biting into a spoonful of soft cloud of sweetened cream with generous mangoes between layers of graham crackers.

Thank you for sharing your recipe, Mama. The mango float you make still remains to be the best version I’ve had all my life.

Easy Mango Float Recipe

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Source:
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  • 3 packs Nestle All Purpose Cream
  • 1 can Condensed Milk, 380 grams (1 1/4 cups)
  • 20 pcs Graham Crackers
  • 4 pcs ripe Mangoes


  1. Prepare a square or rectangle container that is deep enough for you to create 3 layers.
  2. Combine cream and condensed milk in a mixing bowl. With a hand mixer, whip mixture until it doubles in size or reached soft peaks.
  3. Arrange a layer of graham cracker on the container. Spoon and spread about 1/3 cup of cream mixture. Then, top with generous amount of mango slices.
  4. Repeat process up to 3 layers ending with cream mixture then topped with mango cubes on top. If you have leftover crackers you can crushed them and sprinkle on top.
  5. Chill for at least 4 hours to set completely before serving.

  • Heavy cream or Whipping cream can be substituted for All Purpose Cream.
  • Make sure cream and condensed milk are chilled (very cold) prior to whipping.
  • Freeze overnight if you want an ice box cake
  • Line container with a parchment paper, leaving about an inch of paper overhang to easily lift cake out of pan.
  • Mangoes too sweet? Begin by adding half cup of condensed milk.

Weekly School Lunch Planner v2

I’m all about getting things organized before school begins this September. Having a school lunch menu will help us parents pack healthier options for the whole family, especially if we are press for time in the morning, planning ahead is key to a smooth week ahead.

Our “weekly school lunch planner” published last 2016 has helped me for the past three years. Now, it is time to update the look! To use, simply click on the image and print.

For this first free printable, I have left the column empty for you to either (1) write child’s name or (2) label it with food groups you want to pack or (3) label according to how many packed food you sending.

Download #LetsMakeLunchFun school lunch weekly planner here

This second planner is labeled with lunch, fruits & vegetables, treats and notes.

Download school lunch menu plan – labeled

Lastly, a blank template of the above planner.

Download school lunch menu plan

I hope this planner will help you get organized in your lunch packing this school year. Love reading your messages and seeing your photos on how you are using the planner, please do continue to tag me @cuddlesandcrumbs if you post on social media.

Here’s to a more organized school year!

Check out some posts to help you with school lunch packing.

Lunchbox Review: Citron Box

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my link.

Many of you know that I pack school lunches in a variety of lunchboxes for my kids.

Citron is a Dubai-based company founded by Mommy who had a fussy eater. I was fortunate enough to meet and share a conversation with on how the brand came about, which earned a special place in our family. The brand’s mantra is “We will never bring something we wouldn’t give our kids.” Resonates to every parent!

We currently own two boxes from Citron and here are our thoughts on them.

Citron 4-compartment box

I find myself choosing this to pack my eldest son’s school lunch because it holds more food compared to our Yumbox Panino.

Purchase Citron 4 Compartment box via Mumzworld, here and use my code “cuddle10” for an additional 10% off.


  • Latch is easy to open even for toddlers.
  • lightweight and compact
  • Leak-proof – I have packed watery sauces and had not encountered issues of it transferring to other compartments.
  • Alphabet stickers that came with the box for a more personalized look and labeling.
  • Insert tray has beautiful designs.
  • Easy to clean – inner tray is removable and fits snuggly back theouter tray.
  • A microwavable inner tray, as per described on the website. We don’t heat food in plastic containers so have not used it for this purpose.


  • Finding a bag to fit the box can be challenging because it is bigger in size at 5 x 17.5 x 22.5 cm
  • Grease and food stain will be an issue if box is not washed after each use. I use a straw brush to clean corners and silicon lid.
  • As with other bento boxes, leaving it out to air dry overnight is a must, else you must pat it dry to be able to immediately reuse it. Thus, owning several bento box is a must.

Chloe says: I like the color. It is big and I have to move plenty stuff in my table to eat.

Kuya V says: I like it.

Citron Vert

A stainless steel box with 3 compartments which can store around 1400ml of food. My husband mostly use this box for his office meals.

Purchase Citron Vert via Mumzworld, here and use my code “cuddle10” for an additional 10% off.


  • Lid has a silicon seal and lock clips which makes the whole box leak-proof.
  • Tons of space for food – biggest compartment can hold two cups of food.
  • Easy to clean. As with all stainless steal boxes, food smell and stain is not an issue.
  • Sturdy, durable and lightweight.
  • Affordable compared to most stainless box available in the market.


  • Lock clips can be a challenge to open for younger kids.
  • Compartment wall has a small gap in the corner which might cause a little leak if you pack watery sauce. A saucer with lid is included which you can use.
    • Tested by packing a yoghurt and it mostly stayed in place even after shaking the box BUT a little of the water component did leak out the other side.
    • I spoke to Citron about the gaps on the corner and they replied that they intentionally designed the box that way for ease in cleaning corners and thus it really is for hygienic purpose, which I totally understand because the inner corners are difficult to clean.
  • Not microwavable.
  • Water stains will appear if you don’t pat dry with cloth after washing.