Thursday, December 29, 2011

Moroccan Oil- Secret to Gorgeous hair

I have been using Moroccan oil for a year now and I can safely say that this fantastic product is filed under my 'Must Have' list. Let me tell you, this is one of the best kept secret of expensive salons. So what is it.....uggg? Its a rich golden oil that makes my hair healthy, silky smooth and shiny. Now don't you cringe when I say oil, keep on reading and you'll know why I love it......

Here is the product website :

Moroccan oil contains a proprietary blended Argan oil that is extracted from the kernels of argan fruit found in Morocco. Argan fruits look like olive fruits and yield a dense oil. This rich golden liquid is loaded with anti-oxdiants which repaires and revitalizes limp, dried and stressed hair. Especially, if you color or apply heat treatment to your hair, this product works like magic in restoring hair structure. A single pump is sufficient for medium lenght hair.  Oil is quickly absorbed so no more yucky mess on my pillows...woohooo. It does have a mild fragrance. After the oil is absorbed, my hair has a very faint exotic smell.  !!

There are many products that have argan oil, but I continue to love Moroccan Oil products. This luxury brand  makes a whole range of hair care products from shampoos, conditioners, mousses, hair sprays, hair masks and products to address dry or oily scalp. You can buy them from salons listed on the website. I have also seen these products listed on Amazon and eBay. However, be cautious about diverted or counterfeited products when buying from online sources.

How to use it: Oil can be applied to wet or dry hair. Small amount applied to wet hair can reduce drying time by 40%.  Apply dime size oil to wet hair. Let it sit. Dry and style as usual.

Product comes in 3.4Oz bottle ( with a pump) which lasts for about 6-7 months since very little is needed. I purchased it from my salon for $30+tax.

Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Butylphenyl, MethylPropional, Argania Spinoza Kernal Oil (Aragan Oil), Linseed (Linum Usitatissimum) Extract, Fragrance Supplement, D&C Yellow-11, D&C Red-17, Coumarin, Benzyl Benzoate, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Marbled Fudge Bars- brownie & cheescake in a single bite

First, I need to apologize for being MIA. Yes, personal & work 'to-dos' were multiplying like bunnies which is why I could not devote time to my beloved blog. But no worries, here I am and I have a gem to share with you.

Close your eyes, think of Christmas (heck, think of any holiday) and what do you itch to eat....ummm something sweet..ofcourse !

For this Christmas, I am sharing an amazing marbled fudge bar recipe from a guest cook. These bars are moist, chocolaty ( made up word), creamy and perfect with a cup of coffee on a cold afternoon.  Mind you, I have not tried this recipe in my kitchen. But a superb cook made a huge batch of these bars, wrapped them lovingly and gave it to a few lucky ones, like moi. Terri T. thank you for letting me share your recipe.

To make eggless version of these bars, you can use egg substitues. However, to get the richness and texture of a fudge, you may want to check out these eggless baking tips.

Marbled Fudge Bars

Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus cooling
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Makes 15-20

8 oz unsalted butter, cut into chunks
7 oz dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped
1 lb caster sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 oz plain flour, sifted
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the topping
 8oz cream cheese (full-fat)
4 oz caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract

You will need
13 X 9 pan/tin, bottom and sides lined with baking parchment

1) Heat the oven to 350F
2) Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl set over hot but not simmering water.
3) In a separate bowl, whisk sugar and eggs until well blended. Stir in flour, salt, chocolate mixture and vanilla extract and then spread this mixture on to the bottom of the tin.
4) For the topping, beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract together and spoon this on top of the chocolate mixture.
5) To create a marbled effect, swirl the tip of a cutlery knife through the mixture, making sure you drag the dark brown chocolate and white cream cheese mixtures through each other to leave a swirling pattern.
6) Bake for 40-45 minutes until the top feels firm to touch. Leave to cool in the tin and then transfer to the fridge to cool completely before using hot knife to cut it into bars. Keep these stored in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Cook's tip: These are really sticky, so you must use baking parchment to prevent sticking, and use a hot knife to cut them into bars.