Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The best exfoliator in my arsenal- make your own Biore-type pore strips

When I was young, and idealistic, I decided I was going to grow old gracefully. I wasn't going to fight it, no hair dye, no anti-wrinkle cream, no poodle-perm, just accept myself, for who I am....ya right.
As I became "of a certain age" I found nothing graceful about it!
I noticed my skin becoming dull, and fine lines appearing... you know, the usual aging routine. I found out, quite by accident, that a lot of that is due to a thin layer of dry, skin. Not the flaky dry skin, but stuff that is really attached. I'd used all kinds of exfoliators, trying to remove it, loofa, pumice, expensive creams. Nothing really made a lot of difference. Then one day I found a recipe for homemade Biore-type gel. It works just as well as Biore, to remove stuff from your pores, by the way. But it had an added side effect, that really made my day, It peeled away, that dull layer of skin, I was left with bright, new, healthy, pink skin. A lot less lines, too. I use it about once a month.
Take that -Mother Nature! Now, if only I could do something, about those wiry grey hairs..

1spoon unflavored gelatin
2 spoons water
Stir together, and microwave 10 seconds.Allow to cool 2-minutes, and spread onto skin.
Avoid getting any on your eyebrows or hairline. It will remove any hair it comes in contact with.
As a precaution, I wipe along my hairline and brows, with a wet cloth, just in case.
Let it dry, until your face feels really tight.
Peel away the dried gel. Splash water on you face to dissolve, any leftover particles. Pat dry, and follow with a light moisturizer, to protect the newly exposed skin.

In a microwave safe container, add 1spoon of unflavored gelatin.

Stir in, two spoons of water.
Microwave 10-seconds, and allow to cool 2-minutes, before applying it to your skin. make sure you put it on thick enough, that it will be easier to peel.

How to dry citrus peel

After having spent nearly $8.00 for a bottle of grated lemon peel, I wondered if it was safe, to grate your own, and air dry them. Turns out, you can.

Grate the skin, being careful, not to remove any of the pith.

Spread them thinly, on a plate, and let them air dry. I was concerned, they might stick to the plate, so I tossed them, a few times, during the first 24-hours.

It took 4 days, for them to dry.
Pulse them a few times, in a spice grinder or food processor. 4 oranges yielded about 1/4-cup.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Self Rising Flour

1cup flour
1/4tsp. salt
1-1/2tsp. baking powder


2cups flour
1/2tsp. salt
1Tbl. baking powder

Whisk to combine.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Coconut Oil - Hand Cream

Coconut Oil - Hand Cream. You can find coconut oil, in the cooking oil section, of your grocer.

Spoon coconut oil into a jar. Heat it in the microwave, a few seconds, to melt.
Stir in a few drops of fragrance oil, if you like.
Allow to cool, until it becomes solid again.
To use it, just run your fingers across the oil, it melts at body temperature.
Rub onto your skin, it doesn't take much. A small container lasts a long time.

Dark Soy Sauce

Dark Soy Sauce is hard to find. Luckily it's easy to make.
Makes 3/4-cup.
1/4cup kikkoman soy sauce
2Tbl. water
2Tbl. molasses
1/2cup brown sugar
Add all ingredients to a bowl, and mix well.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Make Your Own Vanilla Bean Parfum

Vanilla parfum and Madagascar Vanilla Parfum. You can get small spray bottles for about $1.00, or recycle an old one.

I make several different parfums, different scents for different moods, but vanilla is hands down, my favorite, to wear. I don't mean that fake-vanilla scent in many colognes, but the scent of real vanilla, like Pierre Montale-$130.00 a bottle, or Serge Lutens-$240.00 a bottle. I'm going to show you, how I make my favorite parfum, from vanilla beans, but first here's a little F.Y.I.
Did you know, Vanilla is considered one of the top aphrodisiacs? Musk and Jasmine are at the top of the list too.
Using high quality fragrance oils(synthetic), or essential oils, you can create high quality parfum, for less than a really cheap bottle of cologne.
In the parfum industry, there are universal measurement classifications, that are used. The fragrance is mixed with high quality, alcohol, a light neutral oil, (like jojoba, grape-seed, or fractionated-coconut oils.) and distilled water

Parfum is 20-30% scent, such as extracts, essential oils, or fragrance oils
Eau de Pafum is 15 % scent
Cologne is 5% scent
Splash is 1-2% scent

First extract the scent from vanilla beans by:
Put 3-5 vanilla beans in a jar, with a lid, and cover with vodka. Place the lid, and set it in a dark cool place. Shake once a week. Steep for 6 months. You can speed up the process, considerably, if you split the beans, cut them into small pieces, then cover with vodka. Steep for 2-3months, or until it has a strong vanilla aroma. Strain before using. I use a coffee filter, in a funnel.

Ingredients for the parfum:
2Tbl. oil - used to make the scent, cling to your skin
6Tbl. vodka (it's almost as pure as the alcohol used in parfumery)
2Tbl. distilled water
1/4cup of the vanilla, you extracted
Add all ingredients to a spray bottle. shake well. I let it blend for a couple of weeks, before I start using the fragrance, shaking once a day. Once you begin using the parfum, shake before each use.

Optional-( For a Madagascar Vanilla type parfum, I add a drop or two, each  of, Jasmine fragrance oil , Musk fagrance OilLemon Sugar fragrance OilAmber Romace fragrance oil , I get from Natures Gardens.

Let the beans steep for 6 months.

As a perfume doth remain,
In the folds where it hath lain,
So the thought of you, remaining,
Deeply folded in my brain,
Will not leave me, all things leave me,
You remain.
From_'You Remain'- Aurthur Symons

Monday, October 15, 2012

Make your own- Brown Sugar and Dark Brown Sugar

Dark Brown Sugar

Brown sugar:
1 cup sugar
1Tbl. molasses
Add the sugar and molasses, to a bowl. Beat, on low, with an electric mixer, until well combined.

Dark brown sugar:
1 cup sugar
2Tbl. molasses
Add the sugar and molasses, to a bowl. Beat, on low, with an electric mixer, until well combined.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Graham Cracker Crumbs - From Scratch

                            Graham Cracker Crumbs - From Scratch
I'm gearing up for the Holiday season. I go through a lot of graham cracker crumbs, at that time. It can get pretty expensive, cooking for around 30 people, so I try to cut costs, where I can. Plus I get the added satisfaction, of making ingredients from scratch. This makes about 4-3/4cups, if you can keep everyone from nibbling on them, as they are cooling. If you want to make graham crackers instead, chill the dough overnight, and roll on a heavily floured surface, to about, 1/8-inch thick, cut and bake, like a cookie. (which is what graham crackers actually are.) There are no preservatives in these, so you need to refrigerate until needed.

1/4cup honey
1/4cup milk or cream
1Tbl. molasses
1Tbl. vanilla
2-3/4cups flour
1cup brown sugar
1/2tsp. salt
1/2tsp. cinnamon
1tsp. baking soda
1stick of butter-cold

Preheat the oven to 350*F.
Spray one large, or two regular cookie sheets with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, milk, molasses, and vanilla. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda, until well combined.
With a pastry cutter, cut in the butter, until it resembles sand. (No large particles.)
Stir in the honey mixture until well combined.
Gather the dough into a ball. Press the dough onto prepared cookie sheet(s), to 1/8-inch thickness.
You can bake as is, or cut for easier handling. I use a pizza cutter
Bake for 20-minutes, or until browned, and somewhat firm, to the touch.
Cool, and grind into crumbs, in a food processor.

Combine the flour mixture, and the honey mixture. Form into a ball.
Press the dough, onto a greased cookie sheet. I cut them, to make them easier to break apart.
Bake until they are just beginning to brown, and starting to firm up, a bit. (About 20 minutes)
Let them cool, a few minutes, then while still warm, break them into small pieces, and cool completely.
Grind them into fine crumbs, with a food processor, sift out large particles, with a large mesh, strainer, and re-grind them.