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