Pumpkin Spice Aloe & Shea Soap Recipe

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I used fresh aloe vera gel in place of the water and a large amount of shea butter went into this recipe. Since it will be done curing in October I added orange and black colorant and a pumpkin spice scent. On the side I poured several unscented and plain aloe & shea bars as well. The white in this soap will darken a bit as it cures so you will need to use titanium Dioxide to keep white soap white.

 

 

Recipe

7.5 oz Coconut Oil

6 oz Palm Oil

4.5 oz Shea Butter

4.5 oz Olive Oil

3 oz Castor Oil

3 oz Sunflower Oil

1.5 oz Hemp Seed Oil

4.17 oz Sodium Hydroxide

9.90 oz Aloe Vera Gel

(46.53 oz by weight total)

 

 

This recipe has a 5% Superfat,  is 33% Aloe Vera Gel. Scented with 1.5 oz Pumpkin Spice Fragrance oil.

Colorants used: Activated Charcoal powder, Racing Stripe Orange Mica, Titanium Dioxide to maintain white color.

I did not add TD and this is the same soap 3 days later after darkening, it would be better with TD in my opinion..

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Making Aloe Vera Gel For Cold Process Soap

You will want to use several Aloe Vera leaves. You will hopefully be able to find them in the specialty produce section of a well stocked grocery store.
Avoid any damaged leaves or bruises where the gel has turned dark. I bought three of them and one was completely bruised with dark colored gel which I did not detect when I bought it. I recommend either picking up an extra leaf or if you do not have enough you can substitute with distilled water.
Wash and then trim the spiked edges off of the sides of the leaves.

Then lay the leaves flat and remove the skin on the top of the leaf, with a spoon you will remove the gel inside and place it into a blender. This part is pretty slimy.

Once all of the gel is in the blender, pulse a few times and then blend for about fifteen seconds until completely liquefied.  From there place in a strainer and allow the liquid to strain through, stir the bit in the strainer to help the last of the liquid to pass through the screen.

I usually place this in the fridge afterwards for it to chill and also for any bubbles to escape to the surface of the liquid.

And here you have fresh aloe vera gel! It’s meant to be used right away because it will oxidize and there is no preservative to protect it from mold and bacteria. If you want to save any portion of this for another day I suggest freezing it into ice cubes. This batch is going right into my soap as soon as it is cold enough.

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Shampoo Bars

I made Shampoo Bars with Coconut Milk, Coconut Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, Olive Oil, Castor Oil, Palm Oil, Jojoba Oil and Sweet Almond Oil. I added Henna Powder, Citric Acid and Panthenol, Rosemary EO, Tea Tree EO and Peppermint EO.

I made the mistake of trying to cut them way, way to early so they are going to rest for a few days. I consistently make harder soaps that can be cut the next morning so I wasn’t even thinking about how soft this was going to be until the knife was already in the soap. The rest got almost a week of sitting before I cut them. I used a brand new mold with better insulation and got a bit of overheating in some of these bars, luckily these are just for family.

For shampoo bars most people forgo the use of fragrance oils and colorants. I decided to do the same. The addition of Rosemary, Tea Tree and Peppermint essential oils are more beneficial to hair than a fragrance oil could ever be.

Exfoliating Coffee Soap

I did a distilled water pour over with some finely ground beans in the place of  plain distilled water for this one. Coffee does not smell pleasant when mixed with sodium hydroxide!

The espresso grounds were from the pour over, I then soaked and dried them out for a few hours before I started soaping. If you use fresh grounds it is going to discolor your soap much more.

With all of the coffee I added a bit of titanium dioxide so it wouldn’t come out too dark.

I’ve done another pencil line here for the divide and further tried to whiten the top with so pearly white mica. It is also the first time I am adding something to the top, I find that sort of thing to be annoying more often than not but I thought I’d give it a try.

This was made by request and since none of that coffee is going to give scent to this soap I used Leather and Sandalwood scents.

 

Bergamot, Black Tea & Lavender Soap

I went back and forth on how I was going to design this soap. My original request was for lemon. The problem here is that lemon essential oil wont hold its scent in soap. I went looking for a fragrance oil and after reading reviews of its performance I decided I would likely loose my lemon scent with fragrance oil or it would be so mild the lavender would simply overpower it. I know that I could use lemongrass, but it just isn’t as perfect of a match with lavender as an actual citrus scent, after reading many reviews on fragrance performance the closest match turns out to be a bergamot black tea fragrance. Bitter orange is not far off from lemon so it should work to fill the request and will blend with lavender perfectly. After that there were questions like would the yellow and purple be too silly looking? If I left it at white and yellow and ground up lavender flowers… should I mix the scent or split it between the colors. In the end I went with both colors even if it’s silly and to split the scents between the colors. So the extra made an additional two lavender bars on the side.

Soap Contents: Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Distilled Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Castor Oil, Rice Bran Oil

Colorants: Queens Purple Mica, Yellow Mica, Racing Stripe Orange Mica, Gold Shimmer Mica, Activated Charcoal

Fragrance: Lavender Fragrance Oil, Bergamot Black Tea Fragrance Oil

Method: Tilted Base, Pencil line, Hangar

 

 

Herbs Provence Chicken One Pan Meal

I make this at least once a month, it’s easy to throw together in 20 minutes after work and then do some relaxing while it’s in the oven. I haven’t run out of things to do with Lavender yet…

You can generally find Herbs de Provence in the spice section of a large grocery store. What’s in Herbs de Provence? Generally Savory, Fennel, Thyme, Rosemary, Marjoram, Basil, Oregano and Lavender flowers… give or take a few of those, depending on the recipe. If you are more adventurous there are many variations of an Herbs de Provence recipe online to explore.

 

Ingredients

2 pieces Bacon

4-5 Chicken Thighs

1/2 cup Flour

2 tablespoons Herbs de Provence

1 Shallot, diced

1 cup Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced

6-8 Marble, Fingerling or any small variety Potatoes, cut in half

1 tablespoon fresh Parsley, chopped

1/2 cup Sherry

1 cup Water, hot

 

Instruction

preheat oved to 350F

In a small bowl add 1/2 cup flour, herbs de provence and mix.

In a medium sized frying pan cook two pieces of bacon until crispy, remove bacon and set aside.

Dredge chicken thighs in the flour and place in the pan with the bacon grease, cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until nicely braised.Remove chicken from pan and set aside with bacon.

Add Shallot, potatoes and mushrooms to the pan and cook until the onion starts to brown and the mushrooms shrink and release their liquid.

Add sherry to the pan and deglaze, once deglazed add water and simmer 1-2 minutes.

While that is happening crumble the bacon into tiny pieces and add it back into the pan. Sometimes I add the parsley at this stage and sometimes I add it after I take it out of the oven later. Add braised chicken thighs back into pan.

Cover and place in the oven, cook for 40 minutes.

Serve with bacon herb sauce in the pan spooned over the top.

Cocoa Butter & Sweet Almond Oil Lip Balm Recipe

For this recipe I made four plain ones and then for the rest I added Rosemary and Lavender to match some other stuff I’ve made recently.

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Ingredients

.75 oz coconut oil

.5 oz candelilla wax

.25 oz cocoa butter

.25 oz sweet almond oil

.10 avocado oil

5 drops vitamin E

 

Instruction

In a double boiler heat all ingredients except for the vitamin E. Once completely melted remove from heat, add vitamin E and mix, pour immediately because it will harden as it cools in the same manner as wax. You can place the mix back on the double boiler if necessary but try not to do this beyond topping off tubes.

I use an extremely small pan and a pyrex measuring cup, the pour spout is quite essential in doing this quick and accurately. If you are pouring into tubes fill them about 90-95% full  on the first pour, let them cool slightly until nearly opaque, then pour the last 5%. If you so not do this you will have a mark in the middle from the stem in the middle causing the balm to cool at a different rate. If you over pour then just use a paper towel to carefully wipe away the extra after it’s completely cooled.

If you would like to add a flavor or essential oil be sure that is lip safe, food grade, does not contain any water and known to be used in lip balms regularly with lots of examples and some research. You can use some essential oils and others are not safe, some are safe if used carefully, things like peppermint and citrus have to be used with extreme care due to irritation. I used only 4 drops of each essential oil. for this entire recipe minus four tubes. Honey doesn’t really mix with oil and will clump into a ball.

If you want to add colorant, again you must find food grade lip safe colorants without other unnecessary ingedients. I have seen people use cool-aid and crayon, I don’t recommend using things like. You can however use a portion of a lip stick, melt that in when you start off. There is a wide range of lip safe colorants and flavors online to order.

You can substitute candelilla wax with bees wax… but I encourage trying out some plant based waxes if you have the means to.

Rosemary & Lavender Soap

Coconut oil, palm oil, olive oil, distilled water, sodium hydroxide, castor oil, rice bran oil, cocoa butter, rosemary essential oil, lavender essential oil, activated charcoal, mica, titanium dioxide, tin dioxide, iron oxide, chromium oxide hydrate, boron oxide

I used a divider, dropped color in and then did a hangar swirl with 5 colors.

This is another split batch since I am using my half loaf mold, my secondary soap used up a sampler of Brambleberry’s Juicy Couture scent, no special design effort there.

For more Rosemary & Lavender ideas I have posts about Rosemary & Lavender Lip Balm and Rosemary & Lavender Hair Conditioner

 

 

Now to see how the colors change with curing.