Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Bath salts and scrubs

So for mother's day I decided to make some bath salts and scrubs.  My mom happens to be allergic to most scents, so I went looking for ideas and recipes that used natural, organic ingredients thinking that she would be able to enjoy those.  I ended up making a large batch and giving them to a couple of friends with May Birthdays, my mother, and mother in law, and to teachers as teacher's gifts.  I also of course got to keep the left overs.  Fun!  These are the scrubs and salts I made.

Lemon Rosemary Bath Salts


  • 2 cups epsom salt
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 2-3 Tablespoons fresh rosemary; finely chopped (I tossed mine in my coffee grinder)
  • 6-8 drops lemon essential oil
  • 2-3 Tablespoons lemon zest
  1. Combine all ingredients.  Store in an airtight container.
Coconut & Lime scrub
(I think I did like 4 times this amount)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • zest from one lime
  • lime and/or coconut flavoring oils (I couldn't find these, so I added a drop or 2 of lemon essential oil or citrus bliss I can't remember which.)
  1. Combine all ingredients, adding more sugar or coconut oil until desired consistency is reached.
Chocolate Lover's scrub
(I also did 4 times this amount, but I was making gifts.  It took a lot of cocoa butter - just a warning.  At the store I bought a 7 fluid ounce container, but it was only about 1 cup of cocoa butter - also just a warning.  This stuff smells like chocolate chip cookies or something - it is yummy.  The cocoa butter is also a great lotion.  I love using this on dry skin.

  • 1/4 cup (1 oz) cocoa butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 2 Tablespoons sweet almond oil
  • optional extra - 1/2 -1 teaspoon vanilla -I did not use this.
  1. Combine all ingredients.  Store in an airtight container.
Soapy scrub

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Dr. Bronner's Peppermint castile soap
  • 4 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons glycerin
  • 1 teaspoon ground rosemary - I ground some fresh rosemary in the coffee grinder - the original recipe called for 5 drops of rosemary essential oil but I didn't have it.  I like the flecks of green in the mix though.
  • 3 drops peppermint essential oil
  1. Combine all ingredients.  Mix well.  Store in an airtight container.
Invigorating Foot Scrub

  • 1 cup epsom salt
  • 1/4 cup sweet almond oil
  • 10 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 1 Tablespoons dried peppermint leaves (I didn't have these, but they were in the original recipe and would add a nice touch.
  1. Combine all ingredients.  Mix well, store in an airtight container.

foaming hand soap (or body soap)

Here is another recipe I'm looking for again on pinterest.  Blogging it to make finding it easier on myself.  I found this on kitchenstewardship.  I have a couple of her e-books, but this is from her website and I love it.  Super simple, uses ingredients I had already bought to make some scrubs and body washes (recipes to follow) and simple to make.  This amount also makes just enough to refill my pump bottles.


  • 1/4 cup liquid castile soap (I used Dr. Bronners - I found it cheapest at HEB - like $10 instead of $16 a bottle.)  Use the baby one if you want to add essential oil.  I've also made this using the peppermint soap and not added the oil at all because it already smell great.
  • 3/4 cup distilled water
  • 8-10 drops essential oil
  1. Mix everything together and pour into foaming soap dispenser.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

brownie mix

I obviously found a bunch of mixes on pinterest and have been trying them out.  This one is for brownies and came from heart, hands, home website.  There are tons of mixes on this site.  I want to try more of them, but so far I've only tried the brownies.  Again, I used coconut oil when baking them (it isn't in the mix.)  It made my mix kind of thick and I worried about getting a good brownie texture, but they baked up nicely and were plenty tasty.
I can't say these are healthy, and I didn't use a healthier sugar this time, but next time I may try it with sucanant, and/or coconut sugar.


  • 8 cups sugar
  • 6 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoon salt


  1. Mix everything together in a large container or zip top bag.  Label.
To make Brownies, mix together
  • 2 1/4 cup brownie mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup oil (I used coconut, melted - can use butter, or olive as well - original called for canola but I don't use that.  It was tasty with coconut)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts or chocolate chips (optional) - dried cherries would be tasty too.
Bake in a greased 8 inch square pan at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

You can also apparently make Texas sheet cake with this recipe by mixing 
  • 4 cups brownie mix
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
The directions say to boil the water, oil and sour cream, then mix it with the brownie mix and add the remaining ingredients.  Bake on a greased jelly roll pan at 375 for 20-25 minutes.  Frost with the following:
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
It says to frost while still hot.  
I have not made this, but living in Texas, this is actually brought to many an event, so I may actually try it sometime.  It isn't however my favorite cake to eat.  I prefer brownies.  :)

Monday, July 1, 2013

pancake mix, shake and pour

Obviously, I've let my food blog go lately.  Life got a little bit insane for a while.  While it hasn't really calmed down per se (I just had a baby a week and a half ago) at least I have a couple of seconds to add a post or 2 to the food blog.  I sure do miss being able to find the yummy food I have made quickly and easily on the blog.  Sadly I won't have pictures for the next few since I'm really out of that habit right now, but hopefully I'll get back to that soon too.

This recipe I found on One Good thing by Jillee.  I pinned it and actually made it pretty soon after pinning.  I did change the oil used from shortening to coconut oil.  It makes the most delicious pancakes - small hint of coconut flavor.  Yummy!  I don't add the sugar she calls for -I don't see a need.  I've also made them at least part wheat both times I've made them.  I don't think even my wheat haters noticed because the flavor from the coconut oil is so good.

I loved that these were also made in a mason jar to be a shake and pour mix.  I actually made them for my younger boys to enjoy while I was in the hospital having the baby.  They do have fun helping shake the batter up.

Here is my version of the mix.


  • 9 cups of flour (I've used a mix of wheat and white each time.  The first time - lots less wheat, the second time I used 4 cups wheat and 5 cups unbleached flour)
  • 1/3 cup baking powder (I use and aluminum free)
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 3/4 cups coconut oil (this is just about one 14 oz container making these a bit on the pricey side unless you find a good deal on coconut oil but they are delicious this way.  Be sure to use extra virgin, unrefined coconut oil to get the subtle coconut flavor.)
  • 1 3/4 cups non-fat dry milk


  1. I toss all the ingredients in my bosch, put the paddles on and let it do the work of mixing in the oil.  Or, you can hand mix it until it is well mixed - it will look a bit crumbly with the oil mixed in.
  2. To make shake and pour jars, add 2 cups mix to a 1 quart mason jar.
  3. Label with these directions (add 1 egg and 1 cup water.  Shake until combined.) 
  • Just an FYI, I always find I need a bit more than 1 cup water.  I start with 1 cup and end up adding a bit more because the batter looks too thick.  Maybe it is because I've used wheat and it absorbs more, that has just been my experience.  
  • Also, I find that some of the batter usually likes to stick to the jar and I end up stirring it up in the jar.
  • Because I end up stirring, and also to make them easier to clean, I prefer to use wide mouth quart jars.  


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