Belgian Brownies

No matter what, baking usually occurs in the month of December. I have a love/hate relationship with it. Love the outcome, hate the process. This recipe originally from Smitten Kitchen is the perfect treat to bring to a holiday party. A one bowl masterpiece if you will.
Belgian brownies
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70 or 72%), roughly chopped
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour

Place chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl. Either over a saucepan of simmering water or in the microwave in 15- to 30-second bursts, stirring frequently, melt the two together. Off the heat, whisk in sugar, which should cool the mixture down significantly. Whisk in salt, then eggs, one at a time. Stir in flour.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. The batter will thicken a bit as it stands.

Heat oven to 325°F (165°C).

Either coat a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray or line it with cupcake papers. Spoon batter halfway into each cup and bake for 25 to 30 minutes 20 minutes in a 24 mini-muffin pan) , or until a toothpick inserted into the center of cakelets comes out batter-free. (Fudgy crumbs are to be expected.)

Let cool on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes before unmolding. Puffed tops will fall a little as they cool.

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Ouai Smooth!

Fact: everything hairstylist Jen Atkin touches turns to gold—not in the actual sense, but the many styles she creates for stars like Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Kim Kardashian have the sort of shine that can be equated to that of a precious metal. The pro’s range of hair products have achieved somewhat of a cult status in the beauty world, reason being that they’re so good, it’s almost as if she’s made a house call.

Atkin added the Ouai Smooth Spray to the ever-expanding range of products, which promises to simultaneously serve as a heat protectant, detangler, frizz-fighter, shine booster, and leave-in conditioner.

Simply apply to damp hair before picking up the round brush and blow dryer, and experience the smoothest, friction-free blowout ever. The hydrolyzed proteins used in the formula provide add a protective shield against the heat, while a mixture of vitamin E, amino acids, and panthenol to condition your strands while preventing breakage.

Because of the lightweight texture, the fine mist won’t weight down equally-fine strands, though it proves to be hydrating enough to give curls of any structure the moisture they need.

I road tested the product on my dry, color-treated VERY curly hair and I was able to not only run my brush through it with ease but was able to blow dry it straight in a matter of minutes!

You can purchase it at Sephora or at Ouai.com

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Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair

For me, when I find a go-to skincare product I will cherish it forever (see Biologique Recherche) One such product is Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II. You can call it ANR for short. ANR has been an Estée Lauder bestseller for years: with 25+ patents (and more pending), they’ve spent a great deal of time fine-tuning and researching the formula to make sure it does what it says. And trust me, it does.

While boosting cell turnover, ANR also evens out skin tone. Dark patches and sun spots are toned down and skin appears even all over. Plus, when you smooth the serum on (after cleansing, before moisturizer), you’ll feel hydrated and notice an instant glow.

A few drops are really all you need with each application, which means one bottle can last you months and months. If you’re not ready to take the leap, head to an Estée Lauder counter and ask for a sample. I can guarantee you’ll see results pretty quickly.

After a mere week of use, I felt that my skin was more supple and had a brightness that was lacking beforehand. The best way of explaining the results, because I have nothing very quantitative to measure, is to say that I look as though I’ve had a full 8+ hours of sleep and had just come back from a months long vacation. Now who doesn’t like that?

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Jenny Packham Fall 2017 RTW

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