5. kesäkuuta 2014

New soapmaking stuff

Finally I did it. Ordered soap stuff from abroad, that is. A few different fats, e-vitamin and rosemary for preserving stuff and mineral colours. I also bought a surprise package of 10 different soap moulds and I got everything from Christmas moulds to basic square moulds. Have to try them next time!

I've been having soap making evenings for my friends at my home, and you wouldn't believe the urge I get when I look at other people doing soap... Cause naturally, I cannot do anything myself when I'm controlling and checking that the first-timers do everything right. The next day I have usually been very productive. :)

Whipped coconut lotion

I wanted to try to make a bit of a lighter lotion for summertime and wanted to use some aloe vera in it as well. I found a recipe for whipped coconut oil lotion with aloe vera which I decided to try. In recipe there was a liquid oil as well, I chose hempseed oil because it is supposed to be so darned good for skin, antiaging etc.

My recipe:
1,25 dl coconut oil, solid, not melted
2 tblsp aloe vera -gel
1 tblsp hempseed oil
5 drops of lavender essential oil
3 drops of tea tree essential oil
2 drops of liquid E-vitamine
a good dollop of lime-perfume oil

Mix the solid coconut oil with an electric whisk. Add aloe vera and liquid oil and continue mixing. Add the essential oils and perfume if you want to. Put in jars (glass, I heard that plastic jars should not be used with essential oils as they can do something to the plastic, but have not tested it :) ) and use to get lovely skin!

I thought I could modify this for summer by adding a tablespoon or two of zinc oxide to get a natural sun screen. Coconut in itself has already a SPF of 2-8 and hempseed SPF 6, but the natural SPF only protects against UVB-rays and zinc would help protect from the UVA-rays as well. Will try that as summer proceeds!

16. maaliskuuta 2014

Tar soap

I love the smell of tar. It reminds me of Finnish summer, sauna, relaxing by the lake in the light summer evening with a can of Lonkero... Tar soaps seem to be disappearing (some EU-legislation that's come in the way) so I decided to try to make my own. I got a big bottle of tar as a Christmas present, 100% tar from pine tree. Googled a bit for a recipe but could not really find one, so I made up my own. Just cut the soap log, it was sticky as h**l but smells so lovely. Tar is a sticky thing in itself and a messy one, it messes everything that it touches, so next time I will just pour the tar from the jar (oh, that rhymes!) and not measure it with a measuring spoon or two...

190 g water
68 g lye

290 g canola oil
150 g coconut fat
30 g castor oil
30 g peanut oil

1 tbsp tar
11 drops of Savuyrtti-fragrance

Soap looks more like chocolate pudding

Interesting surprise when I cut the soap, whole soap had marmorized itself

15. maaliskuuta 2014

Facial cream and lip balm

I made my first batch of facial cream and lipbalm a couple of weeks ago. I don't even know why because I really do not need facial cream, and if I feel a bit dry I dab on a bit of oil. Anyway, wanted to try and it was way easy and fun. I used olive oil in which I had infused some plantago major to add some healing power (antibacterial and it is used to heal wounds). I also dropped in some tea-tree oil to treat my acne-prone skin.

Facial cream
1 dl oliveoil (infusion of plantago major)
0,25 dl grapeseedoil
0,25 peanutoil
40 g coconut oil (extra virgin)
20 g beeswax
1,5 dl water
a few drops of tea-tree essential oil and rose perfume oil

Cook the water. Melt all the fats in water bath. Pour melted fats into a clean bowl. When fats and boiled water have about same temperature, pour the water into the fats, mixing with an electric mixer as you pour. When consistency is right, pour the mixture into cleaned (preferably sterilized) jars. You can at this stage drop in essential oils. When the cream has cooled down, close the lid and store in fridge. In a cold place will hold a month or two.

Lip balm
10 g beeswax
5 g coconut oil (extra virgin)
2 tbsp (18g) almond oil
(a few drops of peppermint extract, this was a food grade aroma and does not smell in the finished product, but I tried it anyway since I did not have any essential oils of the kind at home :( )

Melt the fats in water bath. Drop in essential or perfume oils of your liking, if you want to. Pour into sterilized jars. Put the lid on when cooled down.

9. lokakuuta 2013

A week without meat

We are already in the 9th day of the meatless month. So far so good! Yes, I have had my cravings but I have come over them. On the Monday evening I was visiting a friend and got a task to help fixing the food by laying out all the meat products in a lovely way. Oh, the smell of airdried ham and salami.... But, I kept myself in leash, just smelled the thing but did not taste. And I ate salad only while the others were feasting on the lovely meat products.

I have learned during the first week that cooking vegetarian is more timeconsuming than cooking "normally". First you have to really think about what to make and then you have to rinse and chop like everything you want to use, while normally you just throw the meat into a pan and fry it (quite a simplistic view, but still). Or maybe it just feels like that because I have not gotten used to it yet. The good thing is that this way I have to find new ways of eating and trying new foods. Soy beans for example, for the first time in my whole life I have tried those. And chick peas, I have bought those previously but never used them (right now they are actually boiling...).

Another (down?)side in this vegetarian food is the calories. I even normally eat quite little, and now without meat at all I get even less energy. I have counted for a couple weeks everything I have been eating, and it has been a crushing news. Everyday I get minuscalories, everything from 1300 to 1900 (and this is not just on the lowcaloriedays of the 5:2-diet). Yeah I know, that is almost a whole day's consumption for a woman who is doing no physical work. Someone here might think that well that's good, I could do with some weightloss, but it does not seem to go there. A body needs energy to keep it going and it turns to "safetymode" if for too long not getting energy, instead it starts to spare everything it gets and the best way to store it is in form of fat. So, this is not getting me thinner. I have GOT to start adding cream, cheese and fats into my diet. And i really do not know if this vegetarian thing goes to combine with the 5:2.... gotta find a balance!

Many people in the facebookgroup said that they are feeling a difference, they are much more perky and energetic and can do with less sleep. I am feeling the opposite. My colleagues have been saying that I look very tired, and I feel that way too. It must be the fact that I am not getting enough energy and still I am trying to exercise as usual. So, fats are now on the top of my menu!

Finally, some pictures of what I have been eating.

Soup with soybeans, mushroom and cauliflower (31kcal/dl)

A saturday night treat, tried to get all the calories during the week in this.. this was so good!!! The crust could have been a bit thinner, but I had too much dough which I noticed when I had rolled it into a size of the pan and didn't want to start from the beginning.
Pizza vegetale quattro formaggi (look, I know Italian!)
red pepper
feta cheese
mozzarella cheese
two different grated cheeses
tomato pure

I met some friends in Liseberg amusement park on Sunday, and we went to have a hamburger. I was positively surprised, this was not bad at all.
Burger King's Veggie Burger

I was exercising yesterday and even though (or because) I had beansoup for dinner I was hungry in the evening. So I made this, a frittata with cottage cheese and cucumber.
Frittata with mushroom, leek and red pepper

6. lokakuuta 2013


I have been in a certain noninspirational period. Probably due to summer and having other things (=motorcycling) to do. So I have been knitting the simplest of all but always so needed garments, socks. The funniest thing was that I was not in any way trying to match the pattern in the two first socks, but it just happened by itself!

Basic socks, size 32
Yarn: Novita Nalle Kukkaketo orvokki, Novita Nalle Solid grey, did not weigh the final product so do not know the yardage
Needles: 3,0mm

Basic socks, size 30
Yarn: Novita 7 Veljestä Polkka candy, 75 g
Needles: 3,5 mm

Basic socks, size 36
Yarn: Old leftover yarns
Needles: 3,5 mm

3. lokakuuta 2013

Third day without meat

The meatless month started quite nicely. Even though I got awful cravings when on the first day I saw McDonald's advertisement about BigMac's birthday party and sooooo wanted to have one... But didn't! I have also been counting my calories even though I was supposed to do it only for my 5:2-days, and it seems that I am staying way under my daily need with this food...

On the first day I made lentilballs. It is a bit of a trial and error now trying to cope with vegetarian dishes. I could not get the dough to stay together, finally I put an egg into the dough to help it a bit. Even though they do not look like balls, more like patties or some clogs from outer space. I was so hungry when they were ready that I attacked the food and did not even think of taking a picture of it. The portion looked pretty ok, when the "balls" here (after being frozen) look a bit weird. Some of them are a bit well done, but it just made them taste better! :D I served these with rice, cucumber and coleslaw (it was ready in the fridge from last weekend's BBQ).

Lentil balls
red lentils
red onion
tomato pure
roasted sunflowerseeds
olive oil

Cooked lentils are stirred together with sautéed vegetables. Mix with a handblender into a pure. Crush the roasted seeds into a bit smaller pieces and add into the mixture together with seasoning and some olive oil to try to get the dough stay together. After frying a few balls I decided to add one egg to the mixture. Helped a bit the dough to stay together. Fry in a mixture of oil and butter.

Here is what I ate yesterday. A combo of things I could find in the fridge served with rice from yesterday and cucumber. This was so good, I couldn't believe it, I used only some soya to season it!
Janna's veggie wok
bamboo shoots
pineapple (canned, a bit of juice and a bit of fruit)

Chop all the ingredients into convenient pieces. Fry in a bit of oil. Finally add soya and a bit of pineapple juice to taste. Serve with rice and sweet chili sauce.