Great Balls of Sausage. Part 1 of a Family Food Saga

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sausage balls 3

My family loves food. Especially the food at family gatherings. Over the next few months I will share with you the must have foods at these gatherings. Some will be ones I tweaked using recipes from Pinterest. The rest will be the exact recipes my family uses because some recipes are perfect and need no tweaking

Here is the list of my family favorites:
Sausage balls. A must have yet there is never enough. These things go fast.

Watergate salad. Not a salad at all just plain awesome dessert. This is the one I usually make unless I’m experimenting with a new recipe.

Shirley’s pineapple cake. My mom has been making this cake forever. People fight over this cake, I’m talking family feuds. She usually makes 2 of these. If she would start making 3 maybe I could bring some home for once. (That is a hint mom). I’m not sure if it has an official name. we just call it Shirley’s cake, well I call it Mom’s cake.

Anita’s cheese ball. We have this at family holidays. Weddings. Baby showers. Parties. Basically anytime we can think of an excuse to have Anita make one.

Sandra’s Spinach dip. A great dip even the spinach haters love. If Sandra neglects to make it for a gathering people get mad. MAD.

Cathy’s broccoli cheese casserole. This is always the last thing to arrive at our gatherings. Usually after everyone’s plate is made but we all make a dash for it when it does arrive. Why is it always last you ask? Because Cathy is always late for gatherings. I tell everyone if the party is at 3 tell Cathy it is at 2 and she might make it on time. No one listens to me.

Okay let’s start this series off with sausage balls. It’s a simple recipe but one that can go downhill quick if something is slightly off. When cousin Crystal makes them they are always perfect. The rest of us don’t succeed in perfect a lot with these. Usually the balls end up too dry. I decided to hit Pinterest to find a fool proof sausage ball recipe. You know what? I succeeded.

I did not get pictures of the process. My hands were covered in sausage gunk. I did not want to risk getting anything gunky on my camera. The husband would kill me, it was a gift from him. I think it was more of a bribe. His way of saying, here go pursue your photography hobby and leave me alone to watch football, racing, wrestling or the movie Gladiator for the millionth time. FYI: no matter what he watches it ends up the same way. Him asleep on the couch. Funny how he always knows when I get ready to change the channel. He sits up like a launched rocket while loudly declaring, “Stop! I’m watching that!”

Now that I got off topic let’s get back to the sausage balls. One simple ingredient added to the recipe is all it takes to prevent the dreaded dry sausage ball. Cream cheese. Thank you Pinterest pinners!

SAUSAGE BALLS

Ingredients:
1 lb. mild or hot sausage
1 8 oz. package of cream cheese. Softened.
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

Mix with a stand up mixer with the bread hook. Or if you’re like me and can’t afford a stand up mixer just dive in with your hands. Washed hands hopefully. Mix, squeeze, roll, fold. Get everything mixed well. Roll into 1 inch balls. Place on a baking sheet.
Bake in a 400 degree preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until brown.
These were tasty and not dry. I did not make these for a family gathering I just wanted to test out this recipe. What I ended up doing with all these sausage balls was dividing them up in several baggies and over the next few mornings the husband and I would just grab a bag as we headed out the door to work.

Thank you for joining me on part 1 of the family food saga. I will add other parts as I am able to get family members to part with their recipes. Hopefully they won’t hold out on me too long.

Great tasting moist sausage balls.

Great tasting moist sausage balls.

 

Something Wicked This Way Bakes

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cut cake close up

It is only April but I couldn’t wait to try a Halloween version of this cake. As you recall I made this cake a few posts back with spring colors. When I say I couldn’t wait to make this cake what I meant was: I made this cake and took it to the family Easter dinner. At this point my family just took me bringing a Halloween cake to Easter in stride. It took many years but I think they have finally accepted Halloween is my lifestyle not a holiday. If they did not like the cake theme my family kept that to themselves. They were impressed with the swirled color effect. They said the cake was tasty also.

So here is the instructions to make this cake. Once you learn the process you can customize the colors for any holiday or party theme.

Ingredients:

1 white cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 ¼ cup water
1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
Pam to spray the pan
Food coloring or icing coloring gel
Any items you want to decorate with (I used gummy mummy)
1 can white frosting

Use a Bundt pan.

Preheat your oven to the temperature on the box directions. Spray/grease your Bundt pan.
If you read the box directions for a white cake mix it calls for 3 egg whites. That’s because you don’t want to yolk to mess up your white cake. Since we are going to color the batter it is okay to use 3 whole eggs.

Add the items listed on the cake box along with vanilla extract to a large bowl. Mix your cake according to box directions. After it is mixed thoroughly, divide the batter between three bowls. I find it works out better if you don’t get the amounts totally even.
So now you have 3 bowls of white cake mix, now get your food coloring. I use the gel colors, I find they work better. One color to each bowl. Orange, green and purple. Halloween colors. Mix, mix and mix some more. Get rid of all that white.

color gel

color gel

Divide batter into 3 bowls. Mix in colors. Layer in pan

Divide batter into 3 bowls. Mix in colors. Layer in pan

Take the bowl with the most batter and pour in pan first. Follow with the bowl with next most amount. Finish with the bowl that has the least. You don’t want to cover each color completely. I have a picture so you can see what I’m talking about.

Stick that pan in the oven and let the cake voodoo happen.
Now the cake is baked. Let it cool before you turn it out of the pan.

The spring color cake I made the other week, I divided the icing into three bowls and colored the icing with the same colors I used in the batter. This time I decided to go with red to look like dripping blood.

Put the icing in a bowl. Heat in microwave 25 seconds. You want the icing running so you can drizzle over cake. You may have to heat it a few more seconds if the icing is still thick after 25 seconds. BUT before you decide it needs to heat more give it a good stir, that maybe all it needs. Once you have it runny enough to drizzle add your color and mix away. Once mixed good drizzle that bloody concoction like you want that cake to resemble a crime scene.

without gunny mummy

without gunmy mummy

Let the icing cool then add your decorations.

Done! Now sit back and enjoy your evil creation.

bloody cake 2

uhhh 5

Here is the link to where I learned this technique. Actually it’s the pin that will gateway you to the site.
Here is the post where I made this cake with spring colors.

Working That Pinterest Voodoo

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It was dark as I made my way to the hidden cave, hidden to all but me. Every so often a strike of lightning would light up the night helping me find my way. Once in the cave I lit blood red candles and gathered up supplies for the magic I was about to work.

I could hear the storm raging outside as I threw the white powder into my magical bowl. The powder covered the precious silver pieces that lay at the bottom. I poured the magical brew from my cauldron into the bowl. The sizzling sound let me know that something was happening. I pulled out one of the precious metals and looked at it closely in the candlelight.

I had done it. I had worked magic! I held the silver high into the air and shouted out to the empty night, “I am Gotha the great and powerful!”

That’s what happened in my mind. In reality I was in my kitchen on a warm sunny day with the doors and windows open letting in a nice cooling breeze. I was getting ready to attempt to clean my tarnished silver jewelry.

I am not a fan of gold, as a matter of fact I own no gold jewelry at all. Mt husband says he is the luckiest man alive since I am not a fan of gold or diamonds. I do love me some silver. What I don’t love is how the pieces I do not wear everyday tarnish while chilling in my jewelry box. I did not want to go buy expensive jewelry cleaning products. So I did what I normally do. I searched Pinterest. Pinterest is my first stop on searching information. To me Pinterest is the new Google.

Search ‘cleaning tarnished silver’ on Pinterest and hundreds of pins appear. Most, by most I mean almost all describe the same process. So many similar pins. Must work right?

Well I was going to find out if it worked. Boy did it work. I will share how this ‘magic’ is worked.

Gather what you need to work your magic:

Tarnished silver jewelry

A bowl

Aluminum foil

Baking soda

Salt

A towel or soft cloth

water

Here is the ‘spell’:

Line your the bowl with aluminum foil.

Put small pot of water on the stove to boil. You want it heated to just ready to boil.

Take all your tarnished silver and put in the bowl.

Then cover the silver with baking soda and salt.

Pour the hot water into bowl.

Watch the magic happen.

Let the magic continue for a few moments.

Fish out your silver with something (I used a fork) so you don’t burn yourself.

Dry your silver with a towel, giving it a good rub as you do.

Stand back.

Admire your magical prowess.

Welcome to the world of magic or as my husband calls it, science. He tries to suck the fun out of all my adventures. He is worse than grumpy cat sometimes. Yet I love him anyway. J

How tarnished!

How tarnished!

 

 

 

 

 

Oh the shame.

Oh the shame.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Line bowl with foil

Line bowl with foil

 

Add silver. Cover with baking soda and salt.

Add silver. Cover with baking soda and salt.

Pour in hot water. Bubble, bubble...

Pour in hot water. Bubble, bubble…

 

shiny

shiny

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, pretty!

Oh, pretty!

 

 

shiny

 

 

Birthday Cake and Evil Ideas

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5

Landyn, a good friend and co-worker had a birthday coming up. Last year I made her a layered multi-colored cake for her twenty-first birthday. I just couldn’t make her a plain old cake after last year. This year I had to top the multi-colored cake.

So I took to Pinterest. Oh the pins I scrolled through. So many pins yet no cake screamed ‘Landyn’. I know I spent over an hour looking for the perfect cake. I left Pinterest, I hoped maybe a break would help. I would make dinner for the husband and myself, maybe read a little, catch up with some family on FB. Then I would venture back to the land of cake pins.

The birthday cake gods must have taken pity on my plight. I signed onto FB and there it was THE CAKE. My cousin found a cake on Pinterest, shared it on FB and tagged me in it. It was another multi-colored cake but so damn amazing looking. I immediately went and pinned that cake.

I love this cake, you can do so many different themes with it. My mind was going crazy with ideas, one idea stuck with me. A dark evil idea. Finally I had to reign in the brain so I could focus on the task at hand.

I went with the colors used in the Pin. They were pink/purple/yellow. Easter and spring colors. Landyn’s birthday was so close to Easter I figured those would be good colors to go with.
I read the instructions. I knew this was going to be easy as pie or as we now say at the crypt, easy as heart shaped pancakes.

One thing that was used for the cake I did not have was a Bundt pan. I went and borrowed one from one of my Aunties. This was an old sad well used pan. The inside coating was flaking off. My aunt mentioned she used the old one all the time, she was looking for a new one, but hadn’t been able to find one that was budget friendly yet.

Well I took that pan home. I looked at it and decided I was not going to let my aunt keep using a pan that the coating was coming off of. She is all the time doing nice things for others I decided it was time to do something nice for her. I went to the store, again the cake gods did me right. I found her and myself really good quality pans at a fantastic price.

So now I had the pan. I gathered all the ingredients and began my newest cake quest.

Spring Color Birthday Cake
Ingredients:
1 white cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 ¼ cup water
Pam to spray the pan
Food coloring or icing coloring gel

Preheat your oven to the temperature on the box directions. Spray/grease your pan.
If you read the box directions for a white cake mix it calls for 3 egg whites. That’s because you don’t want to yolk to mess up your white cake. Since we are going to color the batter it is okay to use 3 whole eggs.

Mix you cake according to box directions. After it is mixed thoroughly, divide the batter between three bowls. I find it works out better if you don’t get the amounts totally even.
So now you have 3 bowls of white cake mix, now get your food coloring. I use the gel colors I find they work better. One color to each bowl. Mix, mix and mix some more. Get rid of all that white.

Take the bowl with the most batter and pour in pan first. Follow with the bowl with next most amount. Finish with the bowl that has the least. You don’t want to cover each color completely. I have a picture so you can see what I’m talking about.

layers of color

Stick that pan in the oven and let the magic happen. Oh how I stressed from this moment on. I worried that my cake would not turn out anything like the pin. I envisioned Landyn cutting into her cake and finding a disaster inside. I would not know the outcome until first break (10 a.m.) the next day.
Now the cake is baked. Let it cool before you turn it out of the pan.

baked

Here is what I like about the pin I followed. You don’t have to mix up any frosting. You just use a canned frosting. White of course. Divide it up between 3 bowls. Take you first bowl of frosting and heat in up in the microwave for 20 to 25 seconds. You want it runny so you can drizzle over cake. Once it’s runny time to color it. Just like you colored the cake batter. Mix and mix it good. Now spoon it over your cake. Do the other 2 bowls of frosting the same way.

Done!

6

I did not heat my frosting for 20 seconds. I heated it 12. Mistake. The icing was too thick to drizzle like I wanted it. I have done another cake since and heating the frosting 20 to 25 seconds works better.

So journey through time to the next day. It’s break time. Landyn has knife in hand. She cuts the cake. SUCCESS! I was so happy that if I was the hugging type I would have hugged everyone in that break room. The cake looked great and tasted pretty darn good too. (yes I’m tooting my own horn)

Oh sweet success

Oh sweet success

This is an easy way to bake a cake that will make you look like a rock star! It may have taken 15 minutes to mix the batter, divide it, color it and get it in the oven. So little effort with such a big pay off.

I have so many ideas for Halloween cakes using this recipe. Gloriously evil dark ideas. Oh the fun I shall have. Don’t be surprised if you see another post with this recipe in a few weeks or even days. It will be Halloween themed of course!

Here is the pin. The multi-colored Bundt cake is beautiful. Go check it out.

cut 2cut 3

DIY Taco Seasoning

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diy taco

I have several new dishes I will be trying out in the next few weeks. Each one requires Taco seasoning. I didn’t want to have to go buy several packets so I rummaged around in my spice bowl. Yes a bowl, I just toss my spice jars into one huge bowl. I would love a fancy spice rack but space is limited in my kitchen, so spices go into a bowl that goes into the cabinet. Honestly it’s not even a bowl just a huge plastic container Sweet Stripe mints came in. Nothing but class around here.

I made a list of all my spices. Did a quick search on Pinterest for Taco season recipes. Amazingly I had all the spices I need to make the taco seasoning.

This recipe took me about five minutes from start to finish. It took that long because I had trouble finding my measuring spoons. They were right in front of me the whole time. How did I miss seeing them? I have no clue, they’re bright red in a white cabinet.

I looked at several Taco seasoning Pins, the recipe was basically the same on all of them. The only thing I have changed was the red pepper flakes. In the other recipes the red pepper flakes were ground up. I used my red pepper flakes as is. I will probably end up changing the amount of some spices or omitting the red pepper flakes next time I make this. My hubby can’t handle too much heat. There is always a chance he might surprise me and will be able to handle the heat from this first batch. Doubt it but a girl can dream, right?

So without further ado, here is the recipe to make your own Taco seasoning.

DIY Taco Seasoning

½ c. chili powder
¼ c. ground cumin
2 ½ tbsp. sea salt
2 ½ tbsp. black pepper
1 ½ tbsp. paprika
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tsp. dried oregano

Measure all spices out into a large bowl. Mix with a spoon or fork until well blended. This makes 1 ½ cups of Taco seasoning. I poured the mix into four small canning jars. I would have liked to just put it in one jar but all my bigger jars are occupied at this time.

all spices

Like most spices toss out any you have left after six months or a year. Some people keep their spices for a year. Some even longer. Just go with what your are most comfortable with.

That was easy, wasn’t it? So easy it should be illegal.

DIY Taco recipe

What the Peep? Cake

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bunny3
It is apparently cake baking week here at the crypt. I’ve been baking cupcakes or cakes everyday this week. Family gatherings, birthdays and tomorrow, Easter dinner.

A year ago I hosted a baby shower for my daughter who was expecting her first child. We had peep smores at the shower. So for Ms. Kaylei’s first birthday I suggested we peep out the cupcakes. My daughter agreed, which was a good thing since I had just bought a ton of peeps to try out the peep cake I saw on Pinterest. I had a lot of peeps. It was a peep invasion here at the crypt. So today I’m going to kill two peeps with one post.

The peep cake pin caught my attention for the simple fact. I LOVE PEEPS! I have never met a peep I didn’t love. This cake actually had peeps mixed in with the batter. Holy Peeps in a cake, Batman! I was excited to try to make this cake. I followed the pin to the website that had the full instructions.
The instructions used a spring form pan. I don’t have one so I used two round cake pans. FYI: if you have the spring form pan, use it. Before we go any further I must tell you. This cake was delicious. Mine did not turn out as pretty as the picture on the pin but I was able to live with that. I’m sure using the spring form pan would have changed the outcome of my cake. Guess maybe I need to invest in one.

To see the instructions I followed please visit the original site for Peepza Rustica. Here is my journey I took along with my peeps.

Peeps Inside the Cake Instructions:
Ingredients
Your favorite white cake box mix or white cake recipe
About 2 dozen peeps. A variety of colors.

Heat oven to your cake recipe/box instructions. Prepare your pan.
Mix your batter. Again follow the recipe/box instructions.

Now get your peeps chop those little guys up, show no mercy. The original recipe has you chopping the peeps into tiny pieces. Mine were bigger, mainly because those things are sticky. The more you chop the more marshmallow insides are exposed and the more stickier things get. I was not a happy peep slayer when things got sticky.

Butchered peeps

Butchered peeps

If using a spring form pan: Once the peeps are chopped. Pour enough batter into your prepared pan to just cover bottom. Cover batter with your half your peep parts. Layer in more batter. Layer in rest of peeps, cover with rest of batter.

If using two round pans: Once peeps are butchered. Cover bottom of each prepared pan with a thin layer of batter. Split your peep parts into half. Layer one half in one pan the rest in the other. Cover each peep layer with rest of batter.

Bake according to recipe/box instructions or until an inserted a toothpick or fork comes out clean.

pre bake and bake

I cooled my two little cakes. Once cooled I turned them out. Before I could layer them atop one another the top layer fell apart. What the peep? The cake is just so fragile when you divide it in between two pans. I then understood why the spring form pan was used. So forgive my pictures of the little slices I was able to save.

slice 1
So you see it wasn’t a pretty sight. Oh my, it tasted so good. So incredibly good. The cake did not even need frosting. I don’t think I will make this cake again. Mainly for the fact chopping those peeps up is pretty sticky business. I just can’t convey how sticky of a mess it was.

Peep Topped Cupcakes Instructions:

Bake your cupcakes. I made chocolate.
Frost the cupcakes.
Add your colored sugar or sprinkles. (optional)
Now pop a peep on top of each cupcake.
The chick peeps you just have to place on top of cupcake and push down slightly.
The bunny peeps, you need to make an indention in the icing in center of cupcake and hope the bunny stays upright when you place it on the cupcake.

Ain't no party like a Peep party!

Ain’t no party like a Peep party!

Party time with my peeps!

Party time with my peeps!

Kaylei grabbed a cupcake with a bunny on top. Crammed the cupcake into her face. When she pulled the cupcake away there was the bunny peep sticking out of her mouth. She is such a cute peep slayer. The other kids loved the peep cupcakes also. What’s not to love? An awesome cupcake with a marshmallow peep on top. Life just doesn’t get any better.

The poor peep. He didn't stand a chance.

The poor peep. He didn’t stand a chance.

I hope you try adding peeps to your next cake. Either inside your cake or placed on top as a decoration. I’m sure you and others will enjoy the amazing peep/cake combo!

Thanks for joining me on a Pinteresting peep adventure!

Do You Know the Pumpkin Muffin Man?

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cupcake 2

I’ve been doing a lot of baking. A LOT. Last week I baked the star shape in a cake. Monday I baked Pumpkin muffins. The two posts to follow this one are going to be about baking also.

This past Monday I was looking for something simple and quick to bake that would satisfy my sweet tooth. I had pinned the pin for this the other week, I remembered it was simple. Two ingredients! Also there seem to be a few claims that each muffin is only 1 Weight Watchers point. Is it true? I have no clue, but it sounds good to me. Simple, quick and waist friendly. Sold!

The two ingredients are one box cake mix, any type and one 15 ounce can of Pumpkin puree. The pin used a yellow cake mix I used a white. I added a third ingredient. Just a tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice. That was a suggestion in the comments on the blog that the pin led to. Mix well. I used a hand mixer. Bake at 350 degrees 20 to 25 minutes.

Cake mix and canned pumpkin. Mix well. Fill muffin tin and bake 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Cake mix and canned pumpkin. Mix well. Fill muffin tin and bake 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Simple as that. How did it taste? Okay. I was not a fan, everyone else loved them. I might have liked them if I had some sort of frosting to put on them. I read where the chocolate cake mix with the pumpkin was better than the other cake flavors. I may try it one day. I also think it might be a decent breakfast muffin if you add some granola before making.

The Pumpkin Muffin post from Pinterest.

cupcake 1

 

 

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star Cake

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stars1
If you have been on Pinterest I’m sure you have seen the pin showing how to bake a cake with a heart shape running through the middle. The pin is just a series of photos merged into one long photo showing the process. I was unable to find, and believe me I searched all over, but could not find written/detailed instructions on how to do this.

Here is the Heart Inside Cake Pin

So even though there was a pin I was still on my own on this one. The pictures were self explanatory so how hard could it be? Right?

Well it wasn’t difficult. It sure would have been nice to have some pointers with experience behind them. Well I’m going to share what I learned from the mistakes I made and the things I did right.

You will need:
2 cakes. Each different color. (I used box mixes. One chocolate the other strawberry)
A 9×13 pan to bake the first cake in.
A cookie cutter.
A loaf type pan to bake the final cake in.

I did not have a heart shape cookie cutter like used in the pin but I did have a pack of star shaped cookie cutters in various sizes. I choose the smallest one. That was my first and second mistake. I should have used a more simple shape, one without pointy small parts. I also should have used a bigger cutter.

star cutter

I lined my 9×13 pan with a product that is parchment paper on one side aluminum foil on the other. You could grease and flour the pan if you prefer.
Bake the cake according to directions on box. Looking back maybe I should have added an extra egg to the mix to make the cake denser.
Let cake cool, use cookie cutter to cut out the stars. I just cut out as many as possible. My dad just happen to come by as I finished cutting out the pieces and he offered to ‘dispose’ of the scrap pieces of cake I had left over. He is too kind.

the first cake
I only had a loaf pan. I knew it wasn’t going to be large enough for this project. Yet the crazy woman in me said, just do it. Here’s where I made the third mistake, well fourth if you count using to small of a loaf pan. I put a bit of batter down in bottom of pan before lining the pan with the shape pieces. Don’t do this.
My next but not last mistake was I did not cram the pan full of the star pieces. I lined them up like the pin showed but I should have packed them in tight. There were gaps. Did it occur to me that those gaps would get filled with chocolate batter causing things to go wrong? No.

in the pan
So I poured the batter in over the star pieces. Of course the batter oozed between the stars and a few stars moved around because I poured the batter in to fast. You should spoon your batter in, you will have more control.
The pan was too small so the cake overflowed some. I was prepared for this, I had placed a pan under the cake to catch any overflow. When she see the photos you will notice I did not place the catch pan in the best spot. Clean up was still easy though.

Oops, too much cake for one pan

Oops, too much cake for one pan

I turned the baked cake out of the pan to let it cool. As you look at the pictures I promise there is a star shape in there…somewhere.

So what I learned:
Simple shape cookie cutter. Skip the star shape. Don’t use the smallest cookie cutter.
Use the deepest loaf type pan you have.
Don’t pour any batter on bottom of loaf pan before placing in your cut shape pieces.
Cram the cake shapes in line so there isn’t any gaps for the batter to ooze between.
Spoon batter slowly over cake shapes so not to displace them.

There's a star in there. I promise.

There’s a star in there. I promise.

Really there is.

Really there is.

I will try again and I will perfect this. I actually have an idea of my next shape in cake, cake. It is Halloween themed. I will share it with you when I make it.
Thanks for joining my on this very Pinteresting cake adventure.

Scrub a Dub Dub – DIY Body and Hand Scrub

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trio scene

Today I will be sharing recipes for two types of scrubs. One is a strawberry scented body scrub, for a gift, the other is a pumpkin spice hand scrub (it can also be used as a body scrub but your shower/tub will get slick). The hand scrub is for me.

My sister, we will call her D had her 30-something birthday a few weeks ago, I would tell you the exact age but she would never forgive me. Let me tell you something about my sister. She is spring/summer where I am fall/winter. When the first blooms fight their way out of the earth after winter my sister comes to life. She smiles more, there is excitement in her voice when she talks about her garden plans, and she will happily spend her days sitting out in the sun reading a good book. Me, my life is fall. When the days get shorter and there is that cool bite in the air, that is my time. Oh I still love to garden in the summer but I’m not happy out in the hot sun. I worry about bursting into flames.

For Ds birthday I decided to make her a summer scented body scrub. The recipe I used is similar to whipped coconut lotion. You just add an extra ingredient.

D has always loved strawberries. The scent and the taste. A few years ago she suddenly developed an allergy to strawberries. I don’t mean she breaks out in hives, no it’s an allergic reaction that requires a trip to the ER. She misses strawberries dearly. I went on Amazon to find some strawberry fragrance to use in her body scrub. If she can’t eat them I can at least give her strawberries in a safe way. I ended up getting a multi-pack with several summer scents.

 


 

Strawberry Body Scrub

Ingredients:

1 cup to 1 ½ cups coconut oil.

Vitamin E oil (1 tbsp) optional

Tea Tree Oil (just a few drops) optional

1 to 2 cups Brown sugar

Strawberry fragrance (12 drops or more depending on how strong you want the scent)

Bowl

Hand mixer

Fork

Container for the scrub. For a gift I use a pretty glass jar with lid, for me I just use a plastic container with a lid.

I must tell you this will be a thick body scrub. Not a runny oily one. I like the thick ones with coconut oil for the shower. Coconut oil seems to just run down the drain if the water is hot enough whereas the runny oils tend to stick to the tub making a slick mess which could result in slips and falls. This I have learned the hard way.

Instructions:

Scoop out several big spoonful’s of coconut oil.(it is a solid oil, like lard). If you don’t have a measuring cup, six or seven heaping spoonful’s should be plenty.

Add your vitamin E and tea Tree oil if you are using them.

Now with your hand mixer, whip up the coconut oil until is the consistency of a thick hand lotion. This will take several minutes.

Add your fragrance.

Mix it in by hand or mixer.

Now add you brown sugar. Use enough to make the concoction feel more like a paste instead of a lotion. Usually one to two cups. Mix it in by hand, with a fork. Fork just seems to work better than a spoon.

making scrub

Smell your wonderful scrub. If the scent isn’t strong enough now is the time to add more.

Now your are ready to put the scrub in pretty jars to give as gifts. This filled three 4 oz. jam jars and one slightly larger decorative canning jar. D got strawberry whipped coconut lotion, body and hand scrub.

sisters


 

Here is the recipe for hand scrub I use when I come in from the garden. I have dirt on my hands and a ton under my nails. This scrub does a good job of getting that stubborn dirt off my hands. I keep a small jar by the kitchen and bathroom sink. I got this recipe from Pinterest. Pumpkin Spice Scrub. On Pinterest it is called a body scrub but I like it as a hand scrub.

p s hand scrub

Pumpkin Spice Hand Scrub *

Ingredients:

2 cups brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice

1 cup of vegetable oil. Since this is just to get dirt off my hands I don’t use the more expensive oils.

Bowl for mixing.

Jars for storage.

Instructions:

Mix the dry ingredients: the two sugars and pumpkin spice together. Mix well. Try to get all the lumps out. Add oil and stir. If it is too thick add more oil until you get it to the consistency you want.

*This will make a heck of a lot of hand scrub. I halved the recipe, it was still too much. I could tell it was going to be too much before adding the oil. So I poured the dry mix in the two jars I was using then added the oil to the jars. I had quite a bit of dry mix left. I just poured the remaining dry mix into a labeled baggie to use at a later date. It was a warm breezy day when I made these scrubs. I had windows and doors open enjoying the nice weather. Sadly as I was pouring the dry mix into a baggie the wind slammed the front door shut making me jump out of my skin which resulted in half of the mix missing the bag and spilling into the floor. And on my pants leg. And down my shoe. Do you know how sticky brown sugar is? Pretty darn sticky I discovered.

Now if you are using this for gifts go with the full recipe. I don’t know how many jars it will fill up but I’m sure it will be more than plenty.

How easy was that? Once you learn the process there are so many scents you can use to customize your own scrubs.

open scrub

 

Lemon, Limes and Cookie Cakes

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lemon cookies 1

I have been in search of a good lemon cookie recipe. I still haven’t found The Lemon Cookie Recipe. The one were the cookie is not hard but not so soft it falls apart in your hand. Until I find that recipe I will share all the others I try in my search.

This one I decided to try because I just happened to have a box of lemon cake mix. The recipe was similar to a crinkle cookie. I made the two batches following the directions. Oh how I love the taste of lemon. Oh how the lemon taste in this cookie was too much. To try to tone it down the last batch I baked crinkle cookie style. They were good but still the lemon was too strong. These cookies are very soft and will fall to pieces easily.

The original recipe called for a lemon icing. I decided to go with a lime icing to try to balance the flavors. In my opinion it worked.

The husband tried the cookies, he said they were okay. He is not a lemon fan. Which was good for me. I had lemon cookies all week long. For first break at work, last break and for dessert after dinner. I was a very happy Gotha.


 

Lemon Cookies

Ingredients:

1 box lemon cake mix

2 eggs

1/3 cup oil

Mix ingredients by hand.

Set in freezer to harden.

Roll into 1 inch balls.

Place on greased cookie sheet

Bake at 375* for 7-8 minutes.

Cool and frost with lemon or lime frosting.

 

Lime Frosting (or lemon)

Ingredients:

4 cups of confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons of water or milk (I prefer milk)

Mix until smooth. Spoon over cookies.

Some I covered heavily with frosting others much less.

IMG_5646IMG_5649

Thank you for joining me on another Pinteresting adventure. Hopefully one day I will find that perfect lemon cookie.

lemon cookies