Did you know that one part vanilla to one part rose equals the scent of baby powder? I did not either until I studied the art of fragrance blending. Just about any cottage industry such as making soap and candles revolves around fragrance. Beyond figuring out how to blend to achieve certain and distinct scents, I searched long and hard for the best fragrance oils and spent countless time and money trying to figure out why some companies sell stronger scents than others. I found out, for starters, that there is a "craft" grade which has to be the cheapest grade there is. This would be fragrance so seriously cut down with carrier oils, such as canola, that no serious craft person would consider it. Worse, they charge almost $5 for a quarter of an ounce in craft stores for this highly diluted product.
Hanging out with web based craft supply companies, I find their secrets are highly guarded and zero to none will share where they buy their oils by the drum. I did discover that many craft houses also mix oils to make a larger variety of scents. Many only order about 30 scents and mix to make over 200.
Fragrance Oil Blending
The idea had so much merit to me, I conducted much research on the web. At one point I was getting very frustrated and started searching for a two week school that may teach the fine art. I was willing to go wherever a school was. There is no such school! Back to the web, I noticed that no one really writes about how to make the blends. After grueling research and real life experimentation, I came up with about 30 base fragrance oils that make over 200 scents, using the best oils possible. Based upon this data I made a fragrance oil blending chart. To mix your own full line of oils, you need larger quantities of some fragrance oils than others. For example, vanilla is in so many formulas, that to carry a full mixing palette you need more of vanilla than any one oil. I came up with 84 ounces total in the amounts needed to mix any of the 200 scents. This is just short of six pounds of fragrance oils. I came up with a fragrance oil blending starter kit, that will be offered soon, good for soaps as well as candles that includes 84 ounces of the fragrance oils, a now top secret Mabel Fragrance Oil Blending Chart, 100 plastic pipettes, and other various items to assist in the blending process. The Mabel White Fragrance Oil Blending Kit sells for $184.00 and is worth every penny. Future replacement oils can just be purchased at Mabel at wholesale rates if you call to inquire. I am adding 8 and 16 ounce bulk prices soon. The chart will continually be updated to add new blends that either readers offer or I come up with in the future. My subscribers can get the Custom Blending e-Book at no charge. It is already located in the Year 2003 section.
Custom Fragrance Oil Blending is so handy, you could almost offer a good shampoo, bath gel, or lotion base and custom mix them with fragrance oils as needed. This means you would not have to mix any base item unless you know it is sold. Even I change my personal tastes, so I would mix a new batch every few weeks with perhaps a new fragrance. Customer's and/or family members love to know that an product has been custom made for them. I think this is how Bath and Body Works got their start until they began selling ready made tubes of the best sellers. Personally, I am happy to know how to blend just for my own home use. The knowledge of fragrance oil blending is truly the most empowering area of making your own candles and soaps. I add fragrance oils to just about everything but shampoo these days. I am finding I have to draw the line on my seriously processed hair leaving that to the experts. Click here for the Custom Fragrance Oil Blending Kit.
As we get older, allergies to a favorite food can appear out of nowhere and the body can become intolerant of specific foods. Dairy products are one. Dairy products also interfere with the effectiveness of many antibiotics. Since the cost of some antibiotics can be extremely expensive, it is a good idea to avoid eating anything that prevents them from doing their job. I think my next book will be "Things My Doctor Never Told Me."
I really like to drink milk every day, and it was a hard blow when I discovered that I could not have it for ten days. So, what am I supposed to eat with my morning Bran, Chai and all of the other milk related products I have going on?
I went to the health food store and they told me about "almond milk" and so I bought some. It was about $3 for 32 ounces and ultimately I found tastes better than milk! It is creamy, a little nutty, very pleasant and something to look forward to. I immediately used in to replace milk in my Chai and it was awesome. Then I put it on my bran cereal, wonderful. If you have ever heard of Edgar Cayce front the 1800's, he always said an almond a day, not an apple, would keep the doctor away. He was an extremely gifted healer and anyone looking to learn a new facet of life worth knowing, would do well to read all of his books.
As usual, I sat around trying to figure out how to make almond milk myself. I liked it enough to drink a quart a day, which also contributes to the drink lots of water theory. That would cost me $3 a day for the habit. I learned to make almond milk you simply need two parts water to one part almonds. You puree the two together in a blender and strain. I add a little honey for sweetness and cheat with a little non-dairy vanilla or hazelnut creamer, the kind you would use for coffee. I also prefer almonds that have not been skinned and water that is pure. I noticed the cost of almonds to make a quart were about the $3 I was paying for the ready made milk. The only difference was mine was MUCH better and more frothy. It tasted better than milk altogether. I then tried walnut milk, because walnuts are a little more inexpensive than almonds. It was almost as good as the almond, so I did mix the two together in a container. When I make Chai, only 1/3 of it is almond milk, so in this respect it will go a long way. Also, I just need to find the most economical source for bulk almonds. After making the milk you are left with puree. I use my almond/walnut puree to make Banana Nut Bread. I may try it on my face as a mask and see how that goes over! Actually, that is exactly what the Rachel Perry Sea Mask and Jafra Facial scrub are made of. Both products have been old favorites and I never knew why until I read that ground almonds were the primary element.
Although high in fat,
Almond Milk is a good source of Protein, Fiber, Vitamin e, Riboflavin, Magnesium,
Zinc and Iron. Consider
it a way to cut down on dairy, increase the amount of fluids you drink each day and
still feel you have had sweets.
Getting beyond the fun and sense of accomplishment when making your own skin care products, attention should be turned the probative value of a product being created. Lip balm makers, for example, have recently been accused of harming our children. At first I wondered how something so innocuous as lip balm could be a target of public distention. After reading quite a bit on the subject, I finally came across the true heart of the concern. Simply put, most commercial manufacturers put so many questionable things in their formulas, we would most not likely want our children to ingest them. Compounding the distention is the fact these companies market to children and increase the sweet factor to induce cravings.
If a product such as lip balm can be ingested posing a health risk, I would assume that issue of ingestion could also be made a positive thing. Many Americans do not get enough vitamins, myself included. I can see where a formula for lip balm could constitute a healthy proposition. Since up to 3/4 of a good lip balm recipe is oil, I am experimenting with the use of oils such as pure vitamin e oil, primrose oil, and emu oil in making lip balm for my family. I have always liked Emu for its natural healing properties along with natural honey and vanilla scents and flavorings. I feel I can create a natural lip balm with Vitamins A, D & E safflower and sesame oils that can even be used to treat 'crows feet' around the eyes. I will be discussing those results in later articles, but at the present time I have a formula that I call "Vita-Balm" patent pending.
The Vita-Balm formula supposes that
each ¼ ounce lip balm pot provides approximately 20 applications, more or less
depending on the end user. Each
application is assumed to contain 500 IU’s of Vitamin-e, which is about 1555% of
the daily value, along with a significant amount of Vitamins A, D, and K. As an added enhancer I have included evening primrose oil. This
base may also be gently melted down as not to harm the vitamins and incorporated
into lotions or body balms. It will be offered by Mabel White in Vita-Balm plain, Strawberry-e, and Honey-Vanilla PMS. Yes, I said PMS. That is what the Primrose
Oil is for. Guys who like it never have to know what's actually in it. The price
will be $5 for each pot and $40 for a 4
ounce plain version for crafters who customize for their clientele. Subscriber's
will get this formula free. I discuss in a section below
that "Ice Angel" a white frost lipstick by Revlon goes a very long way in
giving sheen to any body preparation. Only a trace amount is needed. I
place a little on a thin bamboo stick and swirl it in warm formula oils.
I discuss in a section below that "Ice Angel" a white frost lipstick by Revlon goes a very long way in giving sheen to any body preparation. Only a trace amount is needed. I place a little on a thin bamboo stick and swirl it in warm formula oils.
Evening Primrose Oil is easy to get at any vitamin center and contains one of the highest concentrations of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) of any food substance. Among other things this fatty acid has been recommended for being beneficial for premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms, breast pain, and difficult menstruation. It hastens the release of sex hormones (estrogen and testosterone); enhances pain relief, inflammation reduction, increased blood flow and decreased blood clotting. Primrose Oil also soothes inflammation, and is good for eczema and dermatitis.
Vitamins A and D for Healthy Skin, Eyes and Growth. Vitamin A is required
for vision, reproduction, development and growth, the immune system, healthy cell
membranes and the normal functioning of all body cells. Vitamin D is required for
the absorption and use of calcium and formation of bones.
Vitamin K heals bruises faster and helps repair skin.
Rosehip Oil is high in vitamin
C & very rejuvenating & healing.
Wheat Germ Oil is
made from pressing the golden germ of the wheat grain. High in vitamins A, D, &
E and is a natural antioxidant. Keep refrigerated.
Carrot Oil In addition to carotenoids, Carrot Oil contains other powerful antioxidants such as tocopheryl, or vitamin E. Studies have shown that topical application of vitamin E may directly reduce many harmful effects of UVR, enhance skin immunity and help heal a sunburn. Respected aromatherapy references suggest that it is useful for the treatment of dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, wrinkles, and that it aids dry skin and revitalizes the basal layer. There is also evidence that it assists circulation and aids muscular tension. It has been suggested that it might be useful for the treatment of hypertension and neurasthenia.
I like chili but I never gave it much thought until I learned it is one of the tastiest and highest in fiber foods available. I was never great at making chili either, simply because I never paid attention to the connoisseurs. After giving it a few hours of focus, I made the best chili on the planet. I now make it with or without meat--but kidney beans themselves will make a weekly appearance at my home in one form or another. I have also found chili is like a fine wine, getting better with age. One of the main secrets to great chili is a very small shot of vinegar, like one teaspoon. Using crushed tomatoes is also better than using pastes. Click here for my basic recipe in PDF Format.
If you can master the basic recipe, that appears much like Wendy's style, you can then create versions around that. This recipe is so good, I would hate to change what is already perfect. Basically I sauté chopped onions in butter. How many onions? Whatever you have on hand and are comfortable with. I use about one cup. Then I add a pound or two of ground sirloin and let it brown, breaking it up as it cooks with a potatoes masher. Within fifteen minutes you have your base for great chili. I skip the meat step if I have no meat, but then I would add more butter and beef base for depth.
While the meat is browning, I open and drain whatever I have for Kidney beans and crushed tomatoes. I add the cans to what is already cooking and I am then free to add whatever spices I like. Trust yourself on measuring. I just throw in what looks about right. Chili Powder, some cumin, garlic, salt and pepper. Salt and pepper are about the only spices you should measure. Too much can ruin your meal. At this point I am adding a few cups of water to the pot--using the old Kidney cans. Chili will boil down, so you need not get caught up on how much water either. I added green peppers the last time around and it came out so wonderful, like cream of bell pepper soup. Once you master basic chili, you can play with substitutions, like black beans to replace kidney and so on. At this point you can also add a little chocolate, beer to replace water. or any of the other little secrets you hear about chili. Cumin is important because it does add depth. Any good chili recipe has Cumin included. You may want to serve it in a hallowed out bread bowl. Enjoy!
Notes from Room 336: The Making of Beer Bread
I recently spent 5 days in the hospital for a series of exams. Since my diet consisted of water and some kind of Polaroid film tasting stuff, food was naturally the topic of each moment. Food, glorious food. My main nurse, Ashley was so wonderful, she let me know she had seen my web site. I was not so lucky with second in command, Norma. She watched every morsel of food that went to my roommates, making sure I did not benefit in any manner. Very much a mind reader. She was so much on patrol, the first hour she took shift--she did not know what I looked like when a well respected art teacher I roomed with went out to ask her if she would get her morning meal. Norma screeched "You are not getting NOTHING! GO BACK TO YOUR ROOM!" And my roommate returned kind of shocked and perplexed. "I am only here for a migraine" she shook her head. I laughed and said "She thinks you are Dolen." So I walked up to Nurse Ratchet and introduced myself. Norma looked like she just ate something very sour. I am glad she was not in charge of transplants that morning. But it was a great week over all and I think I wrote some of my best material in the midst of total boredom. I found so much useful information, such as Douwe and Egbert Coffee, owned by Sarah Lee truly is the best coffee on the planet. They serve it at the Nurses station, so I did not have to sneak my roommates food, I was sneaking Norma's the whole time! Now I know I stopped drinking coffee a few months ago, but I could not pass up the opportunity.
My roommate brought up the subject of Beer Bread. She said it was a great gift to give and that beer bread is more of a dense, good sopping bread for soups. She said she also used to make it with left over beer after parties. So, then we decided there are many things you can do with left over beer. You can make beer bread, beer chili, beer ice cream, beer soap, beer batter, beer BBQ sauce and more. She said Beer Bread is very simple to make and requires no yeast. Aficionados report the beer imparts natural yeast like flavor. In this instance you would use a fresh can or bottle of beer. The recipe is easy, remember 3 and 3. That is 3 cups of self-rising flour to 3 tablespoons of sugar. You may pour the dry ingredients in a mason jar with the recipe affixed to the neck. She shrank wrap a bottle of beer side by side with the mason jar. The recipe for this along with Boston Baked Bean's and gift cards with instructions is posted in the 2003 section for subscribers.
Who doesn't love Orange or Strawberry Julius? I swear the secret is just putting any juice in a blender. I was super bored one night and thirsty. I put the plain old "fruit juice" that comes in a milk like container into the blender and whipped it. It looked kind of fun without adding anything. Then I added a tablespoon of 100% Fruit by Smuckers, strawberry preserves. Mostly fruit, low on sugar. I whipped it some more and I would swear it was as vibrant as the Strawberry Julius. Since I like strawberry juice, but cannot afford it--I just found my answer. I did look at the Julius recipes on the web and was surprised to see one part milk to one part juice. I will pass on the milk, but apparently that is how it is done. In the future I may stick some yogurt, a banana, wheat germ or bee pollen in mine. Subscribers have a smoothie recipe book I wrote in their collections. Don't forget to dip a few beer mugs in water and set them in the freezer for unexpected guests.
Pigments made from ground stones (stones only) can be found at ceramic supply stores.
Tallow based soaps really do allow for more whiteness, that is why Emu soap comes out pretty white.
It appears carrot and lettuce soap are made from just puree of those in water.
Apricot and Almond Milk are made much the same way.
A good rose shaped soap mold is very very pretty, more so with rosemary soap.
A Honey Bee and Farmhouse soap mold pretty mandatory in a true soap kicthen.
Those sardine cans for cold process soap making are just way cool.
When you are packaging product, put
the labels on first!!!!
Soap stamps are pretty cool.
A trace amount of "Ice Angel," a white frosty lipstick by Revlon lasts forever when adding it to skin care preparations.
Guinness and Bin #555 Wine Soap
I can thank Emril for this one. I heard he made Guinness ice cream on one of his shows. I do not drink beer, but it sure sounded neat. I wondered if Guinness could be used in cold process soap making. I tried it and it came great! Instead of adding lye to water, I added it to flat Guinness beer. The cream colored soap produced a wonderful beer aroma. After such a great success, I wanted to try soap with wine. I selected Bin #555, a favorite of a friend of mine. The lye reacted truly volcanic when it hit the wine, I am glad I prepared a very small amount in a very big plastic cup. Even so, it still managed to ooze over some. The wine soap also came out wonderful, but so brown I added a few drops of red oil based color and that did the trick. Coolness level? 10.
Talk about decadent. Someone introduced me to Pretzel Jell-O during the Super bowl, but warned it should be served the same day it is prepared. I took a shot of my serving, but I will let you find the recipe on the web. Meantime, here is a great opportunity to give an update on Chai. I now just mix all of my ground spices and then pour them into a clear pepper mill grinder. It is pretty. When I go to make chai I simply grind a bit over the black tea and milk. This allows the spices to stay fresh, uses none during initial black tea making stages which just seems to absorb the spice effort and offers guest to control their own level of spice. This way I am also using 1/10 the spices I used to use when trying to make them with the tea. Based on this I created an entire e-Book to Chai and the different ways to make it, starting with my shaker recipe. This can be found in the 2003 collection. In the next issue I hope to get into making lollipops and chocolates as Easter draws near.
One of the best secrets I have is my Krups Ice Cream Maker. It is basically a motor with a cylinder. The cylinder keeps in the freezer until you wake up one day and want to make ice cream. I liked it so much I bought two several years ago. I still keep them in my freezer wrapped in a white plastic garbage bag to prevent freezer burn. When I feel like making a great treat, such as ice cream, I make sure I have lots of half and half on hand (usually on sale after any holiday) and eggs. The rest is up to ingenuity.
My personal favorite is coconut ice cream like they serve in the Thai restraints. I use coconut milk with the half and half, maybe a little extract and pour honey and sesame seeds over it upon serving. It is such a wonderful treat only taking a few minutes to prepare and an hour or so for the Krups machine to do its thing. Around Thanksgiving I tend to make lots of Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Pie ice cream. I do this by simply throwing pieces of an already made pie in the base ice cream mixture as it paddles. Kids think that is just amazing and they tend to throw Oreo cookies in.