autumn days

Sunday, February 20, 2011

homemade products (take two)

My friend Holly has excellent recipes and we are trying these new adventures together.  Here are several recipes she has generously shared with me.  She's also going to show me how to make my own castile soap soon.  I'd like my next venture to be creating my own beeswax chap stick.

One quart water
4 Ounces castile soap flakes

Bring the water to a boil.  Turn off the heat and pour over herbs.  Steep at least 20 minutes.  Strain herbs and pour tea over the soap flakes.  Stir until the soap flakes dissolve.  Once the mixture has cooled, store it in a plastic bottle.

***Different herbs can be used for different purposes (e.g. dry vs. oily; blond vs. dark; curly vs. straight).  For normal hair, common herbs are lavender, rosemary, red clover, & horsetail. I have a lot of different combinations depending on the hair you have.  Ask for specifics and I'll look it up.

02/2012 Update: This homemade shampoo dried my hair out a bit and it felt like it had a bit of build up.  I have been using a new simpler recipe for the past six months and my hair still feels great.

1 cup hot tap water
1.5 oz. grated bar soap  
1/4 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 
2 T Borax

Add soap flakes to saucepan with water.  Stir over med-low heat until melted.  Fill a 1 gallon jug half full with hot tap water.  Add melted soap, washing soda, and borax.  Stir well until all powder is dissolved.  Fill bucket to top with more hot water.  Stir, cover, and let sit overnight to thicken.  Shake before each use.  Optionally, add a few drops of essential oil.  Adapted from

(My personal note: I saw Holly's laundry soap and it looks just like the one I buy at the store.  If I load up my detergent container with this instead of purchasing more, my husband couldn't tell the difference!)

10/2011 Update: I found my friend's homemade castile soap had too much lye and was burning holes in clothes.  For now, I use store-bought castile soaps and let the laundry detergent and water mix well before adding clothing.

1 (6ounce) can tomato paste
6 ounces warm water
3 T Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 T honey 
3/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. marjoram
1/4 tsp. basil

If you like it hot, add 1/4 tsp. black pepper & 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper.  Mix everything together in a bowl and spread over crust. 

1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter (chilled & diced)
1/4 cup cold water

Mix flour and salt together.  Using a pastry blender, incorporate butter until mixture is crumbly.  Add water, 1T at a time, until mixture forms a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  Makes two 9-inch pie crusts.  Dough can be frozen.

in a large mixing bowl
6 cups raw oatmeal
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped almonds or walnuts
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup flax seeds

in a saucepan
3 tbsp cinnamon
1 cup honey or molasses
1/2 cup coconut (or other) oil
3 tbsp vanilla
1.5 cups raisins or dried fruit (optional and after baking; my family likes the fruit; I don't.)

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix together honey, oil, and vanilla in a small pan on low heat.  Pour combined honey mixture over dry mixture.  Stir until thoroughly mixed.  Put in oblong cake pans (my double batch needs 4 pans) and bake at 350, stirring every 7 minutes to give even browning.  Add 1 1/2 cup dried fruit or raisins (optional).  Store in tightly covered container.  Makes 12 cups.

02/2012 Update: We continue to create, modify, and devour our granola for daily breakfasts.

(My personal note: I modified my first batch by adding a tablespoon of Italian seasoning, using garbonzo flour, and pepper jack cheese.)  

10/2011 Update: We are passing on the cheese-its.  My final product just doesn't compare to the boxed treats my husband loves.

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