We round up the items, services and places A&L is loving this month.
What we're loving: quinoa and The Entertainer Body books
Who said that carbs were bad for you? Well, not all carbs anyway. My new favourite food that should definitely be stocked in everyone’s pantry is quinoa. This miracle grain, which is also considered a superfood, has been replacing rice as a side dish by many a “health freak” lately and is now becoming more popular, what with people finally paying attention to the fact that what they eat can impact their health and lifestyle either negatively or positively, depending. The grain is cooked in a similar fashion to rice, but it takes much less time. It can be eaten cold in a salad or served hot like a risotto. I usually like to mix it with a simple salad consisting of a variety of fresh or grilled vegetables, a little seasoning, fresh lemon juice and olive oil. I also like to add some fresh pomegranate seeds and dried raisins to sweeten it up a notch and to balance out the acidity. This has become a recent favourite in our household and anyone who is into trying out new foods and wants to replace those “bad carbs” with “good carbs” should have a go; it’s about time you do.
* Yasmine Al-Kuttab
Eleni’s New York in Abu Dhabi
They’re tiny, they’re delicate, they’re edible works of art and they’re oh-so-sweet. Eleni’s New York cookies, nicknamed “conversation cookies” when first launched by a bakery in Manhattan’s Chelsea Market, have recently become available at Abu Dhabi’s Maison Sucre and I couldn’t be happier about yet another calorie-laden temptation I am unable to resist. I’ve never had such light sugar cookies, practically melting on my tongue. The nut-free cookies are cut and decorated by hand, painted with intricate details using icing and made to resemble anything from a Tiffany’s box to a Louboutin heel. You can custom order any design you can think of through Maison Sucre for a one-of-a-kind gift that both looks and tastes wonderful.
A little bit of Googling later and I learnt that fans of the baby desserts are Lady Gaga, Katie Holmes, Christina Applegate and Khloe Kardashian – these cookies are as big of a deal as I thought – and for good reason. Check them out at Maison Sucre’s main store in Khalidiyah, open from 9am to 11pm, Saturday to Thursday and on Friday from 10am to 11pm. Call 02 639 6622.
* Hala Khalaf
The Entertainer Body books
If you live in the UAE and you have not heard of the Entertainer voucher books, then you’re in dire need of both an ear and eye exam. The two-for-one vouchers, for everything from restaurants and cafes to nightspots and leisure activities, allow you to make the most of the country’s dining spots and activities and always at a discount. I’ve been buying the books for years; they’ve allowed me to try out restaurants I didn’t even know existed and take friends and family out to some really affordable dinners. This month, the Entertainer has launched its 2013-2014 Body books for Abu Dhabi and for Dubai and I cannot believe how great the deals are. There are literally hundreds of vouchers: spa deals, facials, massages, manicures and pedicures, hair treatments, fitness classes, gym memberships; there are even deals for men – a separate section in the Abu Dhabi book, and a whole other book that comes with the Dubai voucher book, filled with sport massages, professional shaves, hair cuts and so on. The Abu Dhabi book costs Dh250; you’d break even by using just one voucher. Take a voucher with you to a treatment, get it stamped when you pay and your next one is absolutely free. The Entertainer Body vouchers are valid from April 1 to March 31 next year and the books are now available in stores across the UAE.
* Hala Khalaf
Every so often we stumble across an item that was so worth it, we want to tell everyone about it.
Yon-Ka for Men Under Eye Gel
A good eye gel is essential rather than optional. The skin around the eyes, after all, is the thinnest on the face, and thus the first to dry out.
Call me a convert; but I’d never considered it a staple of the grooming arsenal until recently, when I discovered the one from the French skincare brand Yon-Ka. Made to combat those wicked dark circles, it seemed to ease the abuse encountered by my skin after late nights and long hours in front of the -computer.
Not all eye products are created equal: I’ve tried oily creams which have caused more puffiness and irritation. But this gel is lighter and cooler. It penetrates the skin quicker and doesn’t clog the pores. I chill the tube beforehand inside the fridge so it feels even better when applied.
Use it when you wake up and before you sleep – and know that there’s nothing un-masculine about caring for your skin. You’ll thank yourself later.
A 15ml tube costs Dh155 and is available at Man/Age spa outlets in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
* James Gabrillo
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