Raspberry Almond Blondies

Happy Valentine's Day! 

Just a quick post today, but to celebrate this wonderful occasion, I baked up a delicious batch of raspberry almond blondies. I'm one of those people who much prefer blondies to brownies, something about the sickly-sweetness I guess or the simple fact that blondies are essentially just baked brown sugar and butter - my favourite combination. The addition of the raspberries gives a much needed tartness to the bars and the aromatic roasted almonds elevate the texture and provide a nice, toasted flavour. 

The recipe I used (which can be found here, from Tutti-Dolci) is a simple and quick one. Melted butter, rather than room temperature is used so you don't have to wait for it to soften. Making these perfect to prepare right now as a last minute Valentine's Day treat for someone special. Or just for yourself.

Have a lovely Valentine's day! Thank you for reading!


Raspberry Pistachio Brownies

Hi, everyone! Valentine's day is just a few days away so I come bearing a simple, yet tasty recipe for you to whip up for yourself (or I guess for your loved ones, as well). I have previously posted about these brownies over here, but they were made with salted caramel. If you stick with the basic recipe, you can add whatever you have on hand - nuts, any other fresh fruits, pieces of chocolate bars, basically whatever your little heart desires! The base is totally versatile and so thick, dense and wonderful, so I'm sure that anything that you add will go over extremely well. 

Ingredients -
1 cup of butter, melted
1 1/4 cups of white sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2/3 of a cup of cocoa powder
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 of a teaspoon of salt
1/2 of a teaspoon of baking powder
1 shot of espresso, optional
1 cup of shelled salted pistachios
1/2 pint of fresh raspberries

Method -
Preheat your convection oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9x9 pan and set aside. Melt your butter and pour into a large mixing bowl. Continue to add the rest of your ingredients in the order that they are listed. Mix well and pour into your prepared pan.
Top the brownies with your raspberries, gently press them into the batter. Bake for 40-50 minutes and when a toothpick inserted comes out clean, your brownies are ready. 

Enjoy! And stay tuned for another super simple and delicious treat that's perfect for Valentine's Day! Thank you for reading!


Lush Haul

My favourite time to shop at Lush is whenever there is a Holiday coming up (I am already excited for their Easter stuff!). I'm such a fan of their collections and with Valentine's Day just around the corner, it was imperative that I do some shopping.

While browsing the Lush website, the first thing that landed in my shopping cart was the Prince Charming shower cream. I believe Lush first released Prince Charming in last year's Valentine's collection but as a shower gel rather than a shower cream. I guess the main difference between the gels and creams is that the creams are made using moisturising ingredients, in this case, Prince Charming is made with cocoa butter. I really like the scent, it is fresh and fruity with pomegranate and vanilla, without being too sweet. The colour is gorgeous as well, an opaque pink that looks an awful lot like paint. It lathers up really well, left my skin feeling moisturised and the scent lingers (very subtly) throughout the day. I definitely think I will be repurchasing before it goes out of stock after Valentine's Day! 

After using up my Montalbano shampoo bar (you can read about it in one of my previous blog posts here) I decided to try something different. I just found that Montalbano, while perfect for my oily hair, was just too drying to use during the already dry Winter months. So, I did some research and decided to pick up Jason and the Argan Oil shampoo bar. To be quite honest I only purchased this because of its scent - it has the same smell as the Lush Rose Jam shower gel, which is only sold during the Holiday season. I was a little bit concerned that the argan oil would make my hair even more greasy but I'm happy to say that it hasn't. It leaves my hair looking super shiny and I've been able to go four days between washes until my hair starts looking oily. You can also buy Shampoo Bar Tin to store your bar as well as for travel. 

American Cream conditioner is my favourite Lush scent of all time. I know, that's a very bold statement but seriously, it is just so lovely! Lush describes it as a strawberry vanilla cream scent but I don't really smell the strawberries, definitely some sort of creamy vanilla dessert, though. It can be days after I wash my hair but the scent lingers! It is fantastic and whenever I swish my hair around I can smell it. Despite my greasy roots my ends can get quite dry but American Cream has been very good about keeping my hair looking soft, moisturised and shiny. If you're in the market for a new hair conditioner I strongly suggest you to try this out!! I am sure the scent alone will win you over.

The Unicorn Horn bubble bar is a returning favourite from Lush. This too is a part of their Valentines Day collection so it's only available for a limited time. I did not manage to get a hold of one last year since they sold out so quickly but I immediately grabbed one when they first went on sale this year. Aesthetically speaking, this bubble bar is far too cute. It's shimmery and a swirl of bright colours and full of Lavender and Neroli essential oils which make this the perfect treat to use before tucking into bed for the night. It is a decent size so I think it would be good for up to three baths. 

Silky Underwear dusting powder can be used in many ways, I've seen reviews on the Lush website about people using it as a dry shampoo, to prevent chafing, sprinkled on their bedsheets and even in their shoes. The main way that I use it is under my arms. I use one of those crystal deodorants (which I one hundred percent recommend) but since it is unscented I like to sprinkle some Silky Underwear on under my arms. It smells great, and it's made with cocoa butter so it melts right into your skin and leaves me feeling nice and soft. I'm sure once Summer rolls back around and the days are hot and sticky this stuff will be put to good use. 

And that's everything! Do let me know in the comments what your favourite Lush products are. And as usual, thank you for taking the time to read!