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Blackberry Scones

 

My recipe, life story free!

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup almond flour

2 tablespoons sugar, plus some for topping

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled in the freezer.

1 egg

3/4 cup buttermilk plus more for brushing

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1- 1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries

(fancy option) 1 SMALL pinch of dried lavender

 

Instruction

Place butter in freezer. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepair baking tray.

Add dry ingredients to a bowl and mix. Use a cheese grater to grate the very cold butter into the flour mixture and mix occasionally to cover the butter with flour. When loosely mixed add the egg, buttermilk and vanilla and mix until just combined.

Fold in blackberries and scoop 1/3 cup amounts onto a baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. You can shape them if you want, I prefer just globing them onto the baking sheet. If you do add lavender be careful a little tiny pinch goes a long way!

Using a BBQ brush, apply a generous amount of buttermilk to the tops and sides of all of the scones and then sprinkle the tops with sugar. Bake 15-18 minutes or until done.

Lotus Flower & Nettle Hair Conditioner

 

Ingredients:

55 oz Distilled Water

4.30 oz BTMS-50

.84 oz Panthenol-DL

.84 oz Hemp Seed Oil

1 oz Nettle Extract

1 oz Lotus Flower Extract

Preservative. (I am using Optiphen ND at 1%)

Instruction:

In a double Boiler melt the BTMS-50 and hemp seed oil. In a mixing bowl as your distilled water and heat in the microwave until it’s about 120-140 degrees. Remove an oz of water and dissolve the Panthenol-DL.

Once everything is hot and the BTMS-50 is melted and completely clear, mix them together slowly while whisking constantly. Once fully incorporated continue to mix for 30 seconds then add the Panthenol-DL/water and whisk. Once incorporated add the Nettle Extract and mix until incorporated, Add the Lotus Flower Extract and whisk for one minute. Let the bowl rest for about 5 minutes and whisk again, add fragrance and preservative and whisk for one minute. I used a tart apple fragrance. After all ingredients are mixed use a pH test strip (you want to be between 5-6.) You will need to adjust if you are outside of that range. Citric Acid is used to increase acidity.

Also important to note that I am using Optiphen ND which causes my conditioner to thin  when I add it so before adding it you should have a fairly thick conditioner, if you are using a different preservative you may need to adjust your water or BTMS-50 ratio quickly. With any new recipe (most of the time for me) I have the new recipe back-up ingredients ready on the side: some extra hot water and some extra BTMS-50  that is ready to quick melt, just in case my conditioner is too thick or too thin.

Continue whisking for a few minutes. After the preservative is added no new ingredients should be introduced. Test your conditioner with a pH test strip. It should be in the 5-6 range. Let your mixture rest for 5 minutes then whisk again on and off for at least 5 cycles or until the conditioner is just slightly warm. Bottle the conditioner when it is still warm, it’s thinner and easier to work with the warmer it is. You also need to ensure you have a good emulsion so it doesn’t separate so do not skip the whisk and wait steps, I like using a glass bowl so I can see if there is separation.

I find a turkey baster works well for bottling conditioner and bottling at a hotter temperature is best for thicker conditioners. Leave the containers with the lids off, until they reach room temperature, this prevents condensation.

 

 

Candied Mixed Nuts

This is the time of the year you can find large cans of mixed nuts on discount. This is also a good way to warm up the home when it’s cold out and make everything smell like cinnamon and sugar. It’s a perfect thing to bring for co-workers or to package up and give as gifts for the holidays.

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Ingredients:

1 tablespoon water

1 egg white

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Instruction:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a bowl add the water and egg white, whisk until frothy, about 2 minutes. Add the mixed nuts and stir to coat. Add the Sugar and cinnamon and mix until evenly coated.

Spread onto a baking sheet evenly and bake for 1 hour or until dry, mixing at 15 minute intervals.

Exfoliating Coffee Soap

I did a distilled water pour over with some finely ground beans in the place of  plain distilled water for this one. Coffee does not smell pleasant when mixed with sodium hydroxide!

The espresso grounds were from the pour over, I then soaked and dried them out for a few hours before I started soaping. If you use fresh grounds it is going to discolor your soap much more.

With all of the coffee I added a bit of titanium dioxide so it wouldn’t come out too dark.

I’ve done another pencil line here for the divide and further tried to whiten the top with so pearly white mica. It is also the first time I am adding something to the top, I find that sort of thing to be annoying more often than not but I thought I’d give it a try.

This was made by request and since none of that coffee is going to give scent to this soap I used Leather and Sandalwood scents.