By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Dec 24, 2011 at 9:01 AM

The holidays have almost run their course, so relax with a nice glass of red wine, cut some time off your primping and find more quick fixes in this week's Recommends.

D'Alessandro Nero d'Avola – The 2008 iteration of this Nero d'Avola from Sicily's Agrigento province is a solidly drinkable, almost rustic, medium-bodied red that's heavy on cherries and blackberries with a dash of tobacco and spice on the finish. Pair it with a plate of pasta with tomato sauce or a nice roast beef and potatoes meal. The 100 percent Nero ages in cement tanks for three months and spends another four months in the bottle before its release. With a sticker price around $14, this is a versatile red that will be right at home on the table with typical holiday feasts. – Bobby Tanzilo

Keratin Complex Lock Launder Strengthening Dry Shampoo – Dry shampoo is a beauty secret no blow-drying gal should be without, especially during the busy holiday season when washing and styling your hair every day might not fit into your beauty schedule. Instantly refresh and extend the life of your hairdo by applying a bit of dry shampoo to your greasy tresses and emerge with a freshly styled mane. I've sampled quite a few of these coif helpers, but when I received a sample of Keratin Complex Lock Launder Strengthening Dry Shampoo I was excited about the double-duty punch of a hairstyle reviver combined with Keratin Complex's strengthening protein. A quick spray of Lock Launder to my bangs instantly thickened and groomed my fringe. A full head application stretched my blow out for four days – even with working out! No powdery residue, just "clean" locks with a fresh scent – no water required. Learn more and purchase Lock Launder here. – Lindsay Garric

Toffee bars – Christmas cookies are boring. Shake things up with these sweet and easy quasi-cookie alternatives:


1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1/3 cup chocolate-covered toffee pieces (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar, egg and vanilla. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl. Beat in flour and salt until combined.

2. Spread dough evenly in an ungreased 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Bake for about 15 minutes or until edges begin to brown and surface is dry. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with chocolate pieces. Let stand about 2 minutes or until chocolate is softened; spread evenly. Sprinkle with nuts and/or toffee pieces. Let cool in pan on wire rack 30 minutes. Cut into bars.

Enjoy! This recipe yields 36 bars. – Renee Lorenz