I keep thinking I wont have room for anymore plant’s but I keep finding room. Here they are at the beginning of spring after a winter with almost no natural light.
This particular soap is one of my most requested. It is a coconut milk bastille soap with cocoa butter and rice bran oil. It is colored with activated charcoal and brick red oxide. It makes a nice hard and light soap that lasts a long time and manages to smell like burning incense.
I made up a batch of Curry Powder the other day.
- 2 tablespoons ground corriander
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon dried mustard
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
Then from that I made Coconut Curry Sauce
- 1 tablespoon avocado or other cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- lemon zest from one small lemon
- 1 can coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- fresh chopped basil or 6 frozen basil cubes
Add oil to pan, saute red pepper flakes and garlic until fragrant. about 20-30 seconds. Add curry powder and stir and cook for a minute or so. Add two tablespoons of coconut milk to a teaspoon of corn starch and mix well and set aside. Add the rest of the coconut milk to the pan along with the lemon zest, soy sauce and sugar. Bring to a simmer and let cook for several minutes. Not all coconut milk is the same and a good coconut milk will turn into a nice thick sauce while some remain more liquid, they both taste the same in the end. Remove from heat and add basil, I used some frozen basil cubes for mine.
Curried Fried Potato Salad = comfort food
- 2 tablespoons Avocado oil or other high heat oil
- 1 large russet potato, diced into small bite sized cubes
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1/4 cup cashews, toasted
- 1/2 cup coconut curry sauce, heated
Heat oil in pan, add potato and onion and cook until crispy and browned, about 10 minutes.
One the side toast the cashews in a pan and set aside (Essentially you are making breakfast potatoes.) Once cooked remove from pan to a bowl, add the toasted cashews on top and pour 1/4 – 1/2 cup coconut curry over the top depending on serving size.
Then the next day I also made Curried Chicken Rice from the same batch of coconut curry
- 1 cup of dry rice
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup cashews, toasted
- 1 left over chicken breast, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup peas
- 1/2 cup coconut curry
- 1 avocado, diced
Make the rice. While it is cooking chop the chicken breast, toast the cashews in a dry pan, prepare the peas depending on if they are canned or frozen. When the rice is done cooking, mix the rice, cashews, chicken and fully combine, then fold in the peas(gently if they are soft). Mix in diced avocado directly to the serving bowl just before being served.
I have always used fresh aloe vera gel in the place of water for my aloe soap but this time I am testing out an aloe x 10 extract to see how it differs. Because I think aloe is a more soothing soap I designed it to be very conditioning and I upped the super fat to 8%. I usually stay in the 5-6% range unless I am using a lot of coconut oil.
I planned on trying out powdered coconut milk but I decided not to incase it medled with the white color I wanted to achieve.
I figured the combination of Aloe and White Lilac is a good spring soap selection. It should finish curing just before Easter.
I used an emerald green mica sampler. I have experience in the past that green colorants that I have used tend to react strangely with lye. My Hydrated Green turns grey and then back to green again the next day. This one ’emerald green’ turned more blue than green when mixed into the lye and never quite came back to the green it originally was.
This is my first attempt at an Italian style bread. I think I didn’t quit hit the mark on my first try. It’s looks and tastes good, but the crust was just a bit harder than I wanted. I’ll come back around to this type of bread again later and try a different recipe until I get it right.
For this soap: Palm, coconuts and salt for hardness. Hemp seed, shea and olive for conditioning. Bamboo, algae and charcoal for colorant, and mild exfoliation. Castor and sugar for lots of lather.
I have decided to expand my bread baking, I am going to stay with a bread I make well and try out stuffing bread. I like the slight bit of sweetness of honey challah and only added the cinnamon and sugar to the apples. I used Granny Smith, I prefer a juicy tart apple.
I am using a very old hand written recipe, so I am not sure of it’s origin.
I am using a very old hand written recipe with minimal instruction, I am not sure of it’s origin.
1 package yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water
3 eggs at room temperature
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 cups bread flour
2 large apples, minced into fine chunks
3 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon water
Proof yeast in the warm water with 1/2 teaspoon sugar.
whisk in eggs, honey, oil, salt, add flour 1 cup at a time and kneed for 10 minutes until smooth and a bit sticky.
Coat the dough in oil and place into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, allowing room to double and place it in a warm spot to rise for 90 minutes or until doubled.
Peel and chop the apples, mix with sugar and cinnamon.
Divide the dough into 4 parts. Place them back into the bowl and keep covered with the plastic wrap while working.
Roll out one portion at a time, long and thin and then flatten to allow for filling. Roll tightly and pinch the dough sealed. Set filled dough ropes in a cross hatched or tic-tac-toe pattern across the center of your baking sheet and weave them around together, and tucking the ends under.
Cover with a damp cloth and let rise for another hour.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and brush bread with egg wash, sprinkle with raw sugar and bake for 35 minutes. Rotate at about 1/2 way through cooking. Place tin foil over bread if it is becoming too dark.
I added 1 tablespoon of bentonite clay per pound and some hydrated chrome green colorant. I used olive, coconut, palm, avocado, shea and castor oil as well as adding a teaspoon of salt for hardness and sugar to increase lather.
I added the colorant just after I added the lye water, before I started stick blending. Not that it really matters with hot process soap, you always sort of get a splotchy sort of finish due to the texture of the cooked soap, I rather like how it looks.
I find if I don’t water discount my hot process soaps they distort out of shape as they cure. I also find it takes even longer for my hot process soaps to cure. Most people are under the assumption that hot process soap is faster but if you want to cure it fully all of my hot process soaps actually take longer when I track their cure by weight.
This is ‘Marble Queen’ Pothos and ‘Mona Lavender’ Plectranthus. I have propagated and given away several Mona Lavender’s. After flowering the plant grows crazily for a while so I cut off the run away branches.
I sort of waited till the last minute to finally put these in dirt, the leaves were starting to yellow it had been in water with plenty of roots for several weeks too long. overall these were in water for several months though they had developed their first roots in a matter of days.
My next propagation attempts involve even more Mona Lavender and some leaves that got knocked off the plant so they may be too damaged to start, who knows.