Thursday, May 30, 2013

Our First Homemade Cocoa Butter Soap

**NOTE - this is my own recipe.. Please do not steal this or sell it.**

copyright 2013

May 19, 2013
Bobby and I made our very first batch of homemade soap.  After researching different recipes and techniques, I came up with a great recipe that will be great for both of us.
Our soap bars turned out to be 1-inch thick and 3-inches wide - and they smell wonderful, like cocoa butter with a hint of coconut and tea tree 
You will need:
  • rubber gloves
  • goggles
  • apron or long shirt/sweater
  • (these are to protect you against the Lye)
  • Pringles Can (empty chips out and wipe with paper towel)
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • bowls - glass/pyrex measuring bowls work the best
  • digital scale
  • stainless steel pot (med or large - I got mine at a thrift store - DO NOT USE ALUMINUM, THE LYE WILL EAT THROUGH IT LIKE ACID)
  • wire whisk
  • emersion blender
  • large spatula or wooden stick/spoon
  • vinegar (to keep aside just in case you spill the lye)
  • knife to cut the soap bars
  • parchment or wax paper (to line the cardboard box)
  • cardboard or wooden box (to put the soap bars in)
  • 3.2 oz - Lye
  • 8 oz - Distilled Water
  • 3.5 oz - Shea Butter
  • 3.5 oz - Cocoa Butter
  • 7 oz - Coconut Oil
  • 7 oz - Olive Oil
  • 3.2 oz - Sweet Almond Oil
  • 10 drops - Vitamin E Oil (great for all types of skin)
  • 8-10 drops - Tea Tree Essential Oil (this is an antiseptic and healing properties for problem skin like ours - great for psoriasis and eczema)
  • 1-tbsp - Lemon Juice (this helps the PH balance and makes the soap extra soft) 
Have everything measured out before you start mixing
--melt each oil/butter in microwave, then measure on digital scale
--pour distilled water into stainless steel pot
--slowly add the lye, mixing constantly with wire whisk or spatula
--add the oils, one at a time, stirring constantly (don't inhale the lye - turn your head to breathe)
(the lye and water melts the oils)
--add the vitamin E oil, then the tea tree oil, then the lemon juice
--stir till well blended
--blend with emersion blender till thick like a pudding - this is called trace (takes about 5-10 minutes max)
(if you don't want to use the blender, then use the wire whisk - but it will take approx 45 mins that way)
--pour into Pringles can and put lid on it (i had a little more and used a 2nd Pringles can, which made an extra bar - it doesn't always turn out that way - usually fits into one Pringles can)
--set in a cabinet, closet, or even garage
--check after 2-3 days, will be hard enough to cut into bars
--peel or cut the Pringles can away from soap (kind of like opening a biscuit can)
--use a ruler or measuring tape and score at 1-inch down the soap, then cut the soap into bars
(if you want thinner bars, cut at 1/2 inch across)
--in a recycled box, line with parchment or wax paper
--set the bars in the box
--put in a closet, pantry or shelf (do not cover with lid - needs to breathe)
--put date on a calendar or write on the box the date you made the soap
--let set for at least 6-8 weeks for the lye to process (I marked my calendar for 8 weeks - this will make sure the soap is ready)
--now you can wrap them in parchment, wax paper or other soap containers
the Mad Soap Scientist - wear protective gear - i am wearing goggles, gloves and an old sweater
(my apologies for my appearance)

all the ingredients

stir well with wire whisk or spatula - constantly stirring

when soap starts to trace, thick like pudding, it's ready to pour into the Pringles Can

carefully pour into Pringles Can

Put lid on container/can

after 2-3 days, peel or cut the Pringles Can off the soap

soap is 7-inches long by 3-inches wide

score the soap as wide as you want - we scored at 1-inch intervals

you should have 7 bars

we lined our box with parchment paper
(you can use recycled trash bags or wax paper also)

bars are ready for storage

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Homemade Green Beans - Prepared and Frozen for Storage

We recently bought 9 lbs of fresh green beans at the market - Bobby snapped the ends off and we put them in our largest cooking pot along with onions, garlic, dried basil, dried parsley, pepper and salt - and we also added a ham steak (chopped into pieces) - cooked for several hours till tender, let cool, then filled up half-way in gallon freezer bags - labeled the date with a marker and put them in the freezer. 

Ready to thaw, heat and serve.

Our New Dehydrator - We Dehydrated Garlic First...

We are so excited - we got our first dehydrator - I read the book/pamphlet and decided to try garlic first - First, I peeled and separated 3 garlic bulbs, which equalled to 2 CUPS of garlic cloves - then I sliced them very thin and spread out on the dehydrator trays (took 2 trays for 2 cups of garlic cloves) - then turned it on according to the directions...and it took about 9.5 hrs for them to be crisp - then, I used my food processor to grind it down - makes about 1/4 cup of the strongest purest garlic powder I have ever seen.  The garlic powder is very very strong - much stronger than anything you will get in the stores (at least 2-3 times stronger) because it is pure and fresh - that 1/4 cup will last a long time - I put it in a ceramic jar with a tight lid.

I definitely plan to make some more and make garlic salt.

our kitty seems to have taken over the box LOL

Monday, April 15, 2013

Update on Growing Green Onions Inside Home

My green onions project has turned out great, so far.  One of them grew to nearly 12 inches - and i ATE it!  Well, I ate the GREEN part - and left the bulb with roots, put back in water, and it is growing again - it's so cool!

The rest of the onions are coming along nicely - some faster than others.

Here are the pics - as of April 14, 2013:

this is the one I ate

the others are coming along nicely - you can see the one that I ate the green off in the back - re-growing another one

(the sweet taters in the background look yummy too - i am researching "inside" project for that also)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Coconut Oil - Where Have You Been All My Life?

I can't believe it took me so long to try Coconut Oil - since I have been making my own body butter, etc. and researching natural products and how to make them, I have been in LOVE with Coconut Oil - I put it in my homemade body butter/oil/shmootz - I am going to put it in my first batch of homemade soap this summer - and I also use it straight.

Every morning and night, I put straight Coconut Oil on my face, neck, arms/hands and legs/feet. 

It is also great for makeup remover - as well as Sweet Almond Oil.  Most makeup removers you get in stores irritates my eyes.  Sometimes I will use Baby Oil or Vaseline, but prefer to use the Coconut Oil or Sweet Almond Oil - it's better for the skin.

Throughout the day, I use my homemade body butter/shmootz, which also has Shea Butter, Sweet Almond Oil and Olive Oil in it - but at night, before I go to bed, I use straight Coconut Oil. 

I recommend this to anyone with sensitive skin and problems like psoriasis, eczema - check wth your dermatologist first, because some people are allergic to coconut and oils made from "nuts" like Sweet Almond Oil.

I can testify that I have not had any skin problems since I switched to making my own body butter and started using Coconut Oil every day.

ALSO - I found out that "eating" a teaspoon or tablespoon of Coconut Oil every day helps with stomach problems - and it also helps with pets with their digestion, which I also have. 

You wouldn't believe this - but once or twice per week, I give my pets (2 dogs and a cat) a "finger full" of Coconut Oil and I can attest that my 6 year old cat has fewer hairballs and my Boxer dog has less tummy upset.  My husky gets it too - she's a tough girl, so it's just a treat for her.  Plus they love the taste.  It's a healthy treat for them.

I urge anyone to try Coconut Oil - and thank You Tube and Blogger for having a plethora of information and resources for people to use.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Homemade Body Butter, also known as, Janet's Body Shmootz

copyright 2013.  Please do not steal or sell this recipe or soap made from this recipe.

This is my simple recipe for easy body butter/balm.  It has NO PRESERVATIVES, so it will not last for long.  I make a small container full at a time - about 4 oz.

You can use this for an eye makeup remover, moisturizer - body and face, and hand cream - it's an all purpose cream.

Sometimes I will alternate and use more of one item - or add items, like olive oil

Janet's Body Shmootz (2 types)

you will need:
--glass bowl
--immersion blender, or wire whisk
--container or jar with lid (if recycled, please clean out first)

--3 TBSP coconut oil
--3 TBSP shea butter
--3 TBSP sweet almond oil


--3 TBSP coconut oil
--3 TBSP shea butter
--1 TBSP sweet almond oil
--1 TBSP olive oil

Mix ingredients together in bowl till well blended.  Put in freezer for 10 minutes - this will harden the mixture.  Then, blend for a few minutes or until whipped the way you want it -  OR, use the wire whisk until whipped up nicely.

Put in jar or container.

Keep in refrigerator when not in use - it will last longer that way.  It will be a hard butter and will melt on its own, but if you want to use it right away, put it in microwave for about 10-15 seconds OR, set container in sink of hot water for a few minutes - then, shake it up and it's ready to use.  I carry it in my purse all day, then put it back in frig at night.

Homemade Minced Garlic

Have you ever wondered how to make minced/chopped garlic?  It is so easy, it's STUPID easy.

And, it's cheap.

--one whole head of garlic (or more if you want to make a big jar)
--olive oil
--jar with lid

--peel garlic, chop into small pieces, or just put them in a small chopper or food processor
--pulse till finely chopped
--slowly add Olive Oil till saturated
--pulse till well blended
--put in jar - tighten lid

put in refrigerator - will keep for several weeks

yes, it's THAT easy.