Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Arizona Moonlight - Back in Stock

Arizona Moonlight had a short absence, but is now back in stock. To make our moonlight soap the "moons" need to be made a day before so they are ready to go to embed into our night sky.

Now look at this gorgeous blue...wouldn't that make a fabulous night sky?

But sadly the moment the lye hits the pot our beautiful blue turns into a grey...yeah imagine my face the first time this happened...oh well the end result color works for this project.

I bring it to thick trace and fill the molds halfway and then carefully lay the moons into the molds....

...then fill the night sky the rest of the way up.

I just love the finished project!!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Canning Corn Relish

We are on a canning kick and just canned some corn relish. I have never had this before but The Hubs' mom used to make it...and right now I am so in love with canning I am game for anything.

We used the Ball Blue Book recipe:

The Hubs went to the next town over to get our favorite corn from Hausers Farm, he cooked it and then cut it off the cob and measured out 2 quarts.

In another container he prepared:
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped orange bell pepper
1 cup chopped onion

Into the pot it all went along with:
1 cup sugar
2 TBL dry mustard
1 TBL celery seed
1 TBL mustard seed
1 TBL ball salt
1 TBL turmeric
1 quart vinegar
1 cup water
4 cloves minced garlic

We brought it to a boil and then simmered for 20 minutes...then ladeled into hot jars.

Arent these beautiful!!!

All 8 pints went into the canner and processed for 15 minutes.

and a bowlful leftover for The Hubs to enjoy now!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pumpkin Soap

It is that time of year again....Pumpkin Soap time!!! First I gathered all my ingredients, oil mixture, fragrance oil, cocoa powder shaker and of course the pumpkin.

I add the pumpkin into the oils, then add the lye and then I pour off my topper soap batter before I add the fragrance oil because the fragrance oil has vanilla in it so it will brown the soap....and I want some contrast.

Into the mold it went layering soap with a line of cocoa powder and topped with the unfragranced soap batter. This is the only soap I dont insulate because the pumpkin heats it up on its own...this is at 2:30pm... 4:20pm the gel phase has already begun...

...10 minutes more...

....10 more minutes....

...and just 2 and a half hours after pouring into the mold we have full gel with it just sitting uncovered on the counter.

Now some of my cocoa lines didnt quite meet up...

And some came out exactly as planned.

Regardless of which bar you may get, all of them smell fabulous!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

First Time Trying Quinoa

I bought a box of Quinoa (keen-wa) and finally got a chance to make some. I havent known how to use I actually just dove in and made it up as I went.

First I washed the quinoa as I hear it can be pretty dirty, then I cooked 1 cup with 2 cups of water. When it was almost done I added in:
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 ears of corn (cut off the cob of course)
1 can of cannellini beans
1/2 can of diced green chilis
nature season's to taste ( I LOVE this seasoning!)

Mixed it all up, and I love how it came out. I debated about using black beans, but have been wanting to try the white kidney beans...and I like them!

I really enjoyed the quinoa and now I am off in search of what more I can make with it...what do you like to make with it?

Friday, August 17, 2012


Enter our giveaway to win an assortment of our bath and body products.
One lucky person will win a bar of vanilla verbena scented soap...a jar of foot cream...a purse sized bottle of raspberry explosion lotion...and a raspberry mist lip balm.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Canning Bread & Butter Pickles

I have wanted to can for years...and I think my jam making session has bit me with a lil dose of a canning bug.

So where to start?? We thought pickles would be a good start...never knew trying to find dill would be so finally found a store that carries it...but yeah...sold out right now. So how about bread & butter pickles...which are my absolute fave anyway!

Using the Ball Blue Book recipe:
In a large bowl combine:
4 pounds cucumbers cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 pounds onions thinly sliced
1/3 cup ball salt

Cover with ice cubes and let sit 1-1/2 hours
Drain, rinse, drain

In a large pot...because this makes a lot...combine:
2 cups sugar
2 TBL mustard seed
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp celery seed
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp peppercorns
3 cups vinegar

Bring to a boil and then add your drained cucumber and onion mixture...return to a boil.

Pack the hot pickles and liquid into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace and remove air bubbles then process in water canner for 10 minutes. This recipe made 7 pints...and to make again I think I will cut the onions up a little more than just slicing them because they kept wanting to clump together, but other than that it was quite easy peasy!

Mmmm...too bad we have to wait 4-6 weeks to dive into these babies!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Making Sample Soaps

I am making sample soaps which I havent done in a while, so I made calendula as my first batch, I measured my calendula to add in at trace....

Poured into my molds, I did one as the sample bars and one regular loaf...

 The next day when I go to cut the bars...I remember my log splitter had broken wires, no instructions but I am determined to figure this out, it is just guitar wires...

I know the end piece goes into this piece on the bottom as the anchor... 

Then it threads up top and gets wound around the top pieces that spin it tight...but I had issues with this and 2 hands werent enough, but I tried my best...

Then when I tried to snip off the excess wire the pliers got stuck closed on the wire instead of snipping it here is where I gave up and made do to fix later when The Hubs got home..

So with one string still missing I ran it through....turned it around and ran it through to cut the other side to get my four mini logs lol...

...Last step is the mini cutter....and voila I soon have over 60 sample bars.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Lentil Loaf

Again with my "Forks Over Knives" book. :) Plus I wanted to show you what I do with most of my books that I like to have open flat, I take them to Office Max and for around $4 they will cut the spine off and make them spiral bound.

For the second recipe I tried, "Lentil Loaf". While my lentil beans were cooking I prepared all the veggies...carrots, red onion, italian parsely, garlic, oats (I like the gluten free) and walnuts.

I put everything above plus the lentils into my new handy dandy food processor...OMG why have I not bought one of these before. I LOVE it!!!!!

Then I pressed into loaf pans...and here I cheated a bit on the "healthiness" of the recipe and did my usual meatloaf topping of ketchup and brown sugar...I know so bad, yet so yummy!!!!

I then baked at 350 for 50 minutes. I liked this recipe...wont lie as I didnt love it, but I liked it better in the days after, for me this wasnt so great on the day it was baked, but maybe I didnt cook it long enough...or too much? I found it mushy on the first day and much more firm in the days after. I think it would be fabulous made into a sandwich or in a pita pocket, for me the texture just seemed off.

Anyone made a lentil loaf before have any tips for what I can do to improve?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday Stealing 8/12/12

Today Sunday Stealing ripped off a blogger named Nikkiana from the blog Authentic Experience.

1. How long have you been blogging?
Only a couple years, I still have a lot to learn...but keep on trying. :)

2. Did you go to college?
I guess you could say I am in the process...I am on the 30 year plan lol

3. Where have you traveled?
Doesnt feel like a lot but when you see it on a map I have been to more states than I thought...

...for outside the US I have been to London, France, Luxenberg, Iran, Costa Rica

4. If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would buy?
My House!

5. What are your three biggest pet peeves?
Lateness, Chewing with your mouth open, gossiping

6. What is your favorite movie?
Not sure I have just one, but to choose one I will say Gone with the Wind.

7. What is your drink of choice; wine, beer, or liquor. Or Water, Soda, Tea?

8. What is something you enjoy to do when you have me time?
Reading...havent had me time in forever though. :(

9. If you could have a $10,000 shopping spree to one store, which store would it be?
Hobby Lobby! 

10. Share with us an embarrassing moment of your past?
Now why would I embarrass myself further lol

11. What day would you love to relive again? Why?
Not sure there is any one day to relive...the past is the past, make the best of each day now

12. If your life was turned into a movie… what actor would your best friend think should play you?
Well first I would have to have a best friend haha...but who knows, my life is like living a movie, just not sure which genre, comedy drama suspense...who can do all that??

13. What are the jobs you had in high school/college/the early years?
Always secretarial.

14. Show us a picture from high school or college.
Well that was long ago...I dont even have any on the computer. 

15. If you could travel anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go?
Ireland! My dream vacation spot!

16. Show us the most current picture of you or you, or your family, or anything of meaning to you.
I realized I dont take many photos of myself, so the most recent is our trip to the Grand Canyon in May...

17. Where do you see your life 5 years from now?
I hope to be happy, with my family, soaping...gardening...and canning....

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Glycerin Soaps

We get quite a few requests for glycerin soaps. I admit I love to make cold process soaps and tend to stay on that route, but this last weekend I got adventerous and went crazy making glycerin soaps.

I made 20 shaving soaps in 4 different scents, Bay Rum, Irish Tweed, Cucumber Cantaloupe and Rosemary Mint. I was going to make Anise but ran out of time.

I also made 48 soaps in various scents including Island Margarita, Love Spell, Oatmeal Stout, Balsamic Amber, Honey Ale, Coco Cabana and many more...

...What is your favorite fall scent?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

July 2012 Card Class - #3

This is a super sweet thank you card. 

We used the "Paper Doily" Sizzlets Die in the background.
I love this die, and as a helpful tip be sure to have a hat pin nearby to help pop out all the cut outs, but I think it makes it worth it as this doily goes really nice with the "Tea Shoppe" stamp set.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Polenta Pie

My newest favorite book is "Forks Over Knives"...The plant-based way to health. The first recipe I decided to try in the book was "Polenta with Rice and Beans".
I will admit I had no idea what polenta was...I thought it was some kind of potato looking thing, imagine my surprise to find it in a bag...AKA corn grits lol.

I started with the polenta crust...That wasnt as easy as I thought it would be, it is a bit sticky but it wasnt long and I had it neatly in the pan.

For the filling I cooked my rice in my rice cooker using broth for the water, and I added a can of diced tomatoes, a diced onion, and a tsp of chili powder.

When that was done cooking I added a can of drained black beans and mixed it up and then added into the "pie crust".

I poured some mild salsa over the top and baked it for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

I was pretty pleased with how it came out. Very tasty and very filling.

I really enjoyed the polenta itself, but I think to do the recipe again I will add diced green chilis to the polenta.

What is your favorite polenta recipe?