24 March, 2011

Chamomile-Peppermint Soap

Here's my lates batch of soap: chamomile-peppermint soap.

500 gr chamomile oil
400 gr sunflower margarine
350 gr coconut oil
300 gr palm oil
300 gr sunflower oil
100 gr ricinus oil
  80 gr beeswax
650 gr chamomile tea
270 gr NaOH
Peppermint leaves, chamomile flowers, peppermint oil

Prepare the chamomile oil some weeks in advance. Add 550 gr olive oil to a glass jar and fill it with 100 gr chamomile flowers. Let it sit for 4 to 6 weeks in a warm place. Then filter it and put 500 gr aside for your soap. You can use the rest as massage oil.

Add some ground chamomile flowers to two tablespoons of your chamomile oil and let sit for at least two hours. Prepare chamomile tea, filter and let cool down.

Make the lye: Add the NaOH to your chamomile tea (NOTE: Do this outside! Always wear gloves and glasses. ALWAYS add NaOH to the liquid and NEVER EVER do it vice versa!) Your tea will change colour and smell strange, but that's ok. Let the lye cool down.

Melt all the hard fat components in a pot and then add the liquid oils. Let cool down to 45 degress Celsius. Add the lye slowly and mix constantly. Now you want your raw soap to thicken slightly. This works best with a hand blender. When you have a consistence like hot vanilla pudding, add the oil-chamomile mixture. 
Pour about 2/3 of your mixture in your soap mold and mix the rest with ground peppermint leaves and peppermint oil. Pour it in the soap mold, too. Cover soap mold and isolate it well. Let cool down 24 hours, cut and let age for 4-6 weeks.

Here you can see the gel phase very well: note the change of colour on the surface

22 March, 2011

Making Apfelrösti

Apfelrösti is a Swiss dish made of bread and apples. I think it's a traditional dish to use up stale bread and apples that don't look nice anymore. As the case may be, it's yummy, simple and you can make it from odds and ends you already have at home.

You'll need:
250 gr. bread, cut in thin slices and bits
1 tablespoon butter
3 apples, cut in slices
1 dl applejuice
salt, pepper, cinnamon

Melt butter in a skillet and roast bread until golden brown. Put it aside. Melt some more butter and roast the apple slices for 5 minutes. Add the bread and roast together for some more minutes. Add apple juice and let cook until all liquid is gone. Add salt, peeper and cinnamon after your taste. You can keep this warm in the oven for at least half an hour.

This recipe makes a side dish for two persons. We usually have it with some kind of cheese steak, called Landsgmend-Steak.

20 March, 2011

Fiber Club: Part 3

 This is my third and last club package from zebisis designs. I'm happy with everything I got and I would recomend this to all my fellow spinners if Maysha hosts an other round. Great products and fair prices!
This time I got a 1.31 oz. green sea sediment top whorl with rosewood shaft and gold hook. I especially like the carving of the shaft above the whorl. The grey fiber is a bonus gift, 46 gramms carbonized bamboo.
This month's fiber is very special: 3 oz. hand painted milk protein fiber. I didn't even know that this exists.. There's still no time to spin, but I'm very curious about working with this one!

15 March, 2011

Sinfully nutty muffins - gluten free

These muffins don't contain any flour, they are fluffy and yummy and so easy to make. They don't contain a lot of sugar either.

You'll need:

150 gr. butter (melted, cooled down)
  40 gr. sugar
    3 egg yolks
 1/2 vanilla bean
250 gr. sweet chestnut puree (unsweetened)
150 gr. ground haselnuts
    5 egg whites
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon (optional, I'm a cinnamon lover)

Mix butter and sugar. Mix all the other ingredients with the butter-sugar mixture (except the egg whites!!).
Beat the egg whites. Mix them CAREFULLY with the other mass. The beaten egg whites will make your muffins light and fluffy, so be sure you don't destroy it's airy texture!
Give the mass in prepared muffin tin and bake for 20-30 minutes on 190 degrees Celsius

13 March, 2011

The most breathtaking sweet little babies...

Seriously: aren't they sweet? I want to have sheep. And lambs, lots of them. :-P

And mommy's pretty, too

Fiber Club: Part 2

Here's my second fiber club package from zebisis designs. I got a 1.07 oz. poppy jasper top whorl with carved hardwood shaft and gold filled hook. Such a beatuy! Usually, I don't like gold to much. But I think the golden hook matches the stone perfectly. The fiber is merino, bamboo, silk, soy silk and rambouillet carded roving in different shades of green with reddish-brown highlights. Unforetunately, I don't have time to spin because I have other things to do. But I can't wait to get started with this one!

09 March, 2011

Not much to see yet.....

I prepared my seed boxes this week. There's not much to see yet, but I'm positive to find some tiny germ buds soon. I sowed calendula, borage, verbena, morning glory, woodland strawberries, seven different chili breeds, hollyhock, bee balm, and cobaea scandens. I have some more seeds that need to wait til april.
I'm so excited about all those beauties to be! I really hope that the hollyhocks do well, they're one of my favourite plants.
And I found out that some of my herbs, which I was sure they didn't make it through winter, are pullulating! Yay! :D

05 March, 2011

Japanese sewing books rock!

You may think I'm completely nuts... And you may be right!
I bought some japanese sewing books on ebay recently. And I don't speak a single word of japanese! Not to mention that I can't read it. But.. I had to have those books. The desings are so lovely! And, a big plus, japanese sewing books usually have great pictured tutorials. I think I should be able to work with them, even though I have moderate sewing skills. And, I 'll have to adapt the patters. I'm the oposite of a small japanese woman.. But it's ok, I can make that! I think..

Some of my favourite clothes:

Aren't they pretty? And they look so comfy, too!

You see? Pictured tutorials..

And no clue what could be written there..

Spring's almost here!

I'm pretty sure that spring's almost here... :-)

03 March, 2011

Recycled Vintagey Crochet Coverded Candle Holders

May I present my latest recycling attempt: These three crochet glass candle holders.
I had some nice glass containers from a storebought dessert. They were far too nice to go in the regular glass recycling. I knew I had to give them a new life! I was very inspired by several crochet covered things I saw on the net recently and wanted to give it a try. I didn't really use a pattern, I just grabbed my hook and winged as I went along. I'm pretty pleased with the results and will certainly make more. I used cotton yarn and I can't remeber the hook size.

Detail pics: