Monday, July 29, 2013

Making Jam - Plum and Mango

I occasionally participate in a co-op food program through Bountiful Baskets. If you have this in your area you should check it out. On top of the basic fruit/veggie baskets they also offer various buys of cases of certain items. This week plums and mangos were available...and try as we might, Baby Girl and I just could not eat 11lbs of plums fast enough, so I figured it was jam time...

First I pitted the plums and put them in my vitamix, skins and all and blended until I had the 6 cups of fruit needed.

I followed the Sure-Jell recipe and filled my warm jars...(can you believe I had only one splatter?? I am usually quite messy.)...then I put the lidded jars into the water bath canner and processed for 10 minutes.

We weren't making a very big dent into the mangos we figured they would also make a tasty jam.
I peeled and pitted 6 mangos and blended in the vitamix.
 I followed the Certo recipe. This is made by the same company as the Sure-Jell, but it is liquid where the Sure-Jell is powder. 
Then I filled my prepared jars, and processed for 10 minutes in the water bath canner.

Two batches of yummy jam made...cant wait to see what fruits the co-op is offering next...what is your favorite jam?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Patchouli Essential Oil Soap

Today we made Patchouli essential oil soap. We were out and it sells it is another no color soap to use my new mold again as I get comfortable with it. I keep forgetting to take a picture before I put in the time hopefully I remember...

Here is the soap the following day...
...out of the mold...
18 gorgeous bars all stamped and ready to sit on their shelf to cure.

Up next...some color!!! :)

Monday, July 22, 2013

New Slab Mold

I have never had a slab mold before but I have been eyeing these birchwood molds that have the dividers...and when they made silicone liners for them...well I was sold!!! No more lining?? No more cutting?? I am in!!
I had read that the soaps unmold easier from this type of mold with the addition of sodium lactate, so this was my first time using this ingredient. Sodium Lactate is a natural humectant that also produces a harder bar of soap, which helps it last longer in the shower.
So when my mold arrived I couldn't wait to make a batch of soap so I got everything all ready...The black electrical tape you see on the mold was all I could think to use as a marker guide so I didn't overfill and have big fat bars that wouldn't fit into my soap bags.
I stayed simple using only fragrance and no colors...I wasn't sure how this was going to was extremely smooth and easy!! I filled the slab up to my tape maker...forgot a picture of it filled...then I inserted the dividers into the wet soap mixture. I like to CPOP (cold process oven process) so I laid the cover over the mold and into the oven it went.  
This soap is scented with Dragons Blood. It looks creamy in color when making...then darkens to a deep brown for this end result.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Cheers! (Part 2)

Here is the second part of our Cheers! series.

Hot Cocoa...a yummy chocolatey scent...

 and last in our series is Island Margarita...which comes complete with limes. :)

I had fun with this lil series...which is your favorite?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Cheers! (Part 1)

Trying something fun and new here...a Cheers! series of soaps. First up is one of my top fave scents...Honey Ale.
The "body" of the ale is glycerin soap, and the "foam head" is goats milk.

Next up is Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a wonderful grape like scent.
My mold of choice for these soaps are these cute little plastic cups that are the perfect size and look to make these five and a half ounce soaps.

Stay tuned for the rest in the Cheers! series.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Great Cakes Soapworks Soap Challenge - Mantra Swirl

Great Cakes Soapworks hosts soaping challenges that I thought would be fun to join. Last month was the peacock swirl...which I really wanted to learn but couldn't join that challenge as it ran when our son was coming home from Afghanistan and I didn't want to commit and get caught up in his homecoming and not follow through.

Now this months challenge is the Mantra Swirl. I tried this technique years ago, but thought eh, it came out alright but no where near the beauty of the artist I saw do it in the Saponifier magazine...well come to find out you must cut these loafs a different way in order to achieve the final this is a perfect chance to give this another go.

First step is to pick a slow moving scent. My original thought was our very popular Arizona Sunshine, but I wanted a more dramatic color choice so I was going to change scents to use charcoal for black colorant and white with a complimentary  color....then I read Oil & Butters attempt...whose soap came out gorgeous, but she mentioned the charcoal will thicken the soap batter and I figured I best go back to my first thought as I need all the help I can up...line my mold and make a cardboard divider...

I am ready to soap, I have my cooled lye... the "sun" (yellow)... an empty container for the "clouds" (uncolored soap)...and the blue "sky" will go into the original soap pot... 

All 3 batters are traced and ready to pour in...

I poured on each side of the divider and then removed the divider...

I poured the white down the center...OK... I tried to pour down the center, obviously I don't pour very straight lol...

Then I took the handle of the spoon and made an S swirling motion down the center of the soap...I wish I had used a skinny skewer over the larger spoon handle...but maybe it will still end well....into the oven it goes to gel...

The next day this is what we have after unmolding...

Now here comes the technical cut it correctly. Instead of cutting bars I am cutting them wider to have these large chunky bars...

So I have my bars all to cut them in half through the middle....wait for it...I have faith this is going to work....

TADA!!!! Do you hear the angelic harp music?? I do...I love that after all these years soap making I still get a giggle when something cool happens.

What do you think? I Love it!! Of course there are things I would remembering to "burp" the stick blender after putting back in the soap batter to not have the air bubbles I got...but that is a small esthetic change. Maybe I would do a stronger contrast color down the center to make it pop? But all in all I love it and I loved the challenge!!

Now who wants to win a mini version of these beauties? The last cut came out smaller than intended so I have 4 small bars to give away.

Enter below (US only) and I will send one mini bar of soap to 4 lucky people.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Iced Tea with Lemon

How fun and summery is this guy?!
I first made the "lemons" and "ice cubes". After they cooled I cut the ice cube shapes and embedded them in brown colored glycerin soap, as I got closer to the top I added the lemons. This soap is even scented with an iced tea fragrance for cool summer fun.
This weeks batch of soaps is below, I had a lot of fun making all of what can I create next?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Who doesn't love strawberry for summer? These strawberry scented soaps have poppy seeds embedded in for esthetics and mild exfoliation. Goat milk soap is added on the top.

You can find these bars in our shop for $5 ea.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Berries & Cream

I had another go at a red white & blue soap. This one I scented each layer different....we have blueberry....vanilla...strawberry.

I couldn't decide if I wanted straight layers or I went a little in the middle.

I just love these Patriotic themed soaps!