Pumpkin Spice Aloe & Shea Soap Recipe

IMG_20170804_094113625

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..

IMG_20170809_173206176

 

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.

IMG_20170702_172814580

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.

My favorite Thanksgiving ‘Leftover’ Recipes

Between these three recipes most of my leftovers are taken care of. They are also conveniently a breakfast, lunch and dinner.


Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes

2 cups left over mashed potatoes

1 shallot, finely diced

3/4 cup flour

1 large egg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup oil for frying

 

Instruction:

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Add spoonfulls to heated oil and fry until golden/medium brown on both sides.

Set on paper towels to drain extra oil and let cool slightly.

 


The Bobbie

1 sandwich roll cut in half(not all the way through). Add mayonnaise to both sides.

On one side of the bread add a thin layer of cranberry sauce to the mayonnaise. Add a layer of shredded turkey meat on top of the cranberry then add heaping spoonfuls of stuffing on top of the turkey and spread out(moist sage stuffing works best) fold together and enjoy.

 


Turkey & Dumplings with Winter Root Vegetables

Ingredients:

6 pieces pepper bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 tablespoon butter

1 shallot, diced

3 pieces of celery, sliced

1 celeriac root, diced

1 rutabaga, diced

1 parsnip, sliced

2 carrots, sliced

3 potatoes, chopped into bite sized pieces

2 quarts low sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup frozen peas (can be substituted with green beans)

3 sprigs of fresh thyme

1/8 tsp dried thyme

1 bay leaf

1/4 teaspoon dried sage

1 cup leftover turkey meat, shredded into small chunks

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1/2 cup milk

1 package biscuit dough

Instructions:

In a 4 qt soup pan add bacon and cook until crisp, set bacon aside and remove all but 1 tbs oil from the pan.

Add butter and shallots to pan and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add celery, celeriac, rutabaga, parsnip, carrots and potatoes and cook over medium-high heat until things begin to brown slightly, 5-8 minutes, stir often.

Add chicken broth, peas, thyme, bay leaf, sage, bacon and turkey meat, reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered,  for about 10 minutes.

Mix the milk and flour together unti well combined and add to soup pot, mix well and remove bay leaf. Taste test for seasoning adjustments.

Open biscuit package and flatten out the biscuits with your fingers by stretching them, cover all areas on the surface with dough. place lid on pan and simmer for 20 minutes.


 

Vanilla Espresso Coconut Milk Soap

I am using the other half of my frozen coconut milk cubes for this recipe. so half coconut milk half distilled water. Because of the sugars it should reach a higher temperature, hence the freezing of the coconut milk. The soap wont be insulated at the end because I don’t want a mess, I find that my soap mold fits perfectly into the door part of my freezer so I will place it there until it cools off.

This soap will have two layers that are both going to discolor so I am not particularly worried about scorching. I expect it to darken considerably from the fragrance oils. I will be using pearly white mica to bring it down to a lighter brown vanilla layer and tan espresso layer with flecks of finely ground coffee. Because the fragrances will discolor differently I will have twice as much Mica in the Vanilla portion. I am also hoping to get a nice jagged look between the layers. For my extra leftover soap I made individual Vanilla and Espresso soaps without mixing them(much).


Ingredients:

10.25 oz Coconut Oil

10.75 oz Palm Oil

10.25 oz Olive Oil

2 oz Castor Oil

1.75 oz Cocoa Butter

4.99 oz Sodium Hydroxide

5.77 oz Distilled Water

5.77 oz Coconut Milk

2-3 tablespoons Bentonite Clay

Pearly White Mica

1.2 oz Espresso Fragrance

1.2 oz Vanilla Fragrance

one pinch of Espresso, fine ground


Notes:

I added the clay to the oils before the lye and I added the frozen coconut milk cubes to slushy, near frozen distilled water just before incorporating the lye into  the water.

At light trace I separated the batter and added the mica then added the fragrance oil to the bottom layer, and brought it to a fairly thick trace in an attempt to make jagged edges that wont squash as soon as I layer on top of it. Once the bottom layer is poured and ready to go I added the fragrance to the second batch then layered it gently on top. In reality my technique evolved into using a spatula to create channels to pour soap into. I’ll have to regroup and try that technique again some time.


Cut  Bars & Discolor Progression

 

 

 

 

Chicken With Bacon White Wine Sauce

Ingredients:

4 pieces thick cut pepper bacon

4 chicken breasts bone in with skin(or substitute for chicken breast for every 2 thighs)

1/2 cup flour

2 tablespoons of your favorite Italian seasoning (or make your own with dried basil, oregano, rosemary, marjoram, cilantro, thyme and savory mixed in equal parts.)

salt & pepper to taste

a shallot, sliced

1 1/2 cups petite yellow potatoes or a three color mix of fingerling potatoes, cut into halves

1/2 cup white wine

1 cup low sodium chicken stock


Instruction:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

In a large oven safe pan cook the bacon, and set aside. (You will want to keep the grease left in the pan)

In a bowl add flour, Italian seasoning and mix.

Salt and pepper the chicken breasts to your liking and then dredge the chicken in the flour and coat well. Place chicken in pan with bacon grease(breast or skin side down first) and braise 5 minutes per side. Remove chicken and set aside with the bacon.

Add onion slices and halved potatoes to the pan and cook until onions are translucent and browning before adding 1/2 cup of wine, deglaze the pan and then add chicken stock. Crumble the bacon and distribute evenly over the top. Bring to a low boil and allow the liquid to reduce a bit, maybe 5-10 minutes.

Add the chicken back into the pan, making room between the potatoes.

Place in the oven to bake for 40 minutes.

 

 

Winter Hair Conditioner

I have several recipes I want to try so I worked out a change of recipe each season depending which ingredients fit the season best.

My summer conditioner was argan and nettle, I’m trading those for carrot, oat and avocado.

 


Ingredients:

411 grams Distilled Water

28 grams BTMS-50

6 grams Panthenol

30 grams Oat Extract

28 grams Carrot Extract

28 grams Liquid Silk

6 grams Hydrolyzed Oats

6 grams Avocado Oil

1% Optiphen ND


Instruction:

In a double boiler heat the BTMS-50 and avocado oil until it is clear and mixed well.

In a microwave heat the distilled water past the melting point of your BTMS-50 but not to boiling point.

With a whisk add the Pantenol into the water until disolved, then add the BTMS-50 into the water and whisk constantly for about 5 minutes. While mixing add the remaining ingredients.

While still heated pour into bottles and set aside to cool for at least 8 hours before putting the cap on.

20161110_111146.jpg

Teriyaki Chicken

There are a lot of variations out there for Teriyaki so I did a little searching. In the end I found the most authentic or original teriyaki recipe I could find. I tragically discovered I only had low sodium soy sauce but I went ahead hoping it wouldn’t matter a lot.

Ingredients


1 tablespoon cooking oil

1/2 cup shoyu (Japanese soy sauce)

1/4 cup mirin

1/4 cup sake

3 tablespoons cane sugar

1/2 inch ginger sliced thick

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

4 boneless chicken thighs

green onion, green part only, cut at an angle into 1/4 inch segments (for garnishment)

 

Variations:

add red pepper flakes

substitute sugar with honey

add sesame seeds


Instruction

Add oil to frying pan and heat to medium high heat, Add chicken breast side down and braise before removing and setting aside.

Reduce heat and add crushed garlic to the pan, cook until aromatic and slightly browned, add soy sauce, mirin, sake, sugar and sliced ginger to man and mix to until sugar dissolves and it comes to a light boil. Reduce heat and simmering boil until about half of the liquid has reduced, 15-20 minutes.

Increase heat to Medium and add reserved chicken back into the sauce pan and cook chicken for 5 minutes on each side until nearly all of the sauce has reduced and begins to darken, turn chicken more frequently  and slightly decrease the heat as it further reduces and remove at the end of the reduction, all of the sauce should pretty much be on the chicken and it should be thick and dark. Remove chicken before it begins to burn.

Serve with rice.

 

 

Carne Asada Recipe

 

I know.. I’m not much of a red meat eater… but there we are… Comfort food. You will need about 3 lbs of flank steak pounded flat.

Marinade

Ingredients:

3/4 cups orange juice

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/3 cup lime juice

1 tablespoon cumin, ground

1 tablespoon black pepper, ground

1 tablespoon chili powder, ground

1 tablespoon smoked paprika, ground

1 -2 tablespoon chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, diced

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

4 cloves minced garlic

1 bunch of cilantro, chopped

1/2 cup olive oil

Instructions:

Mix all ingredients well, reserve 1 cup of the marinade, cover and place in fridge for use after cooking and then add the meat to the rest of the marinade. Let it marinate for 24 hours.

Grill or use grill pan for meat about 5 minutes per side for flattened flank steak. Discard marinade meat was in.  After removing meat from pan, cut across the grain then pour the reserve marinade over the meat.

Serve with Mexican rice and refried black beans topped with melted cheese using the broiler. On the side you could add any or all of the following sour cream, guacamole, grilled green onions and peppers, a slice of lime, and tortillas.

 


The Rice

Add a few tablespoons of oil to a skillet and heat to med high. When the pan is hot add rice and coat with oil, then add a pinch of salt, a minced garlic clove, 1/2 a teaspoon of cumin and a minced shallot, when rice becomes crispy and onion is beginning to cook, add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, and 2 table spoon of adobo sauce and mix well. Add in 2 cups of chicken broth and bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until rice is cooked. Fluff with fork.