When Suds Lye…

Wasted days and wasted nights!

Those words from Freddy Fenders song rang over and over in my head as I finally got off the soapbox and scooted it out of my way for some soaping therapy play.

Perusing the web I stumbled upon the teardrop video of Sergio Masala a few months ago and talk about eye candy, jumpin’ jehosaphat the soap he created was one masterful artistic cake.

Quel Surpris when Amy Warden announced the May  2016 Monthly Soap challenge would be the teardrop swirl.  Signing up for the challenge I read all the information I could find on this technique and was again surprised to learn the technique had actually been introduced by a soap craft artist known as Sweetly Sweetly Sweetly. Between Amy’s teardrop swirl demo, Sergio’s and Sweetly3 I spent some good time checking out this method. I also found Kevin Devine’s teardrop swirl video on youtube to be helpful.

Following Amy’s advice on the challenge page I wanted to design a recipe that utilized a lesser percentage of hard oils and leave out butters and clays that could possibly excellerate trace.

For my slow moving recipe I designed a 25/75 oils ratio. 25% hard oils to 75% soft oils.  I went with Avocado, Grapeseed, Coconut, Olive and Sunflower oils. My temps for oils and lye water were under 100 degrees.  I used a 33.333% lye concentration with 2 to 1 water to lye ratio.



Let’s get this party started! Oils, Lye water, micas and scent blend ready to rock, roll and soap!

For this session I used  all Mad Oils micas. Wicked, Silverfinblue, 3 Olive martini, Twilight,Phyllis Diller and Tangering. For my scent blend I used 80/15 Lavender 40/42 to Lemongrass essential oil with 5% a mere whiff of the awesomely scented Black Raspberry Vanilla from Brambleberry.



Oils temperature

33.333% lye concentration. 2 to 1 water to Lye/Sodium Hydroxide ratio. 

I cut up a half a cotton ball size of tussah silk in the lye water and added 1 tsp ppo, to lye water as well.

The hardest part of this method is keeping a steady hand. My first few runs were wobbly. It takes a moment to figure out which direction to start the cups pour. A slow steady hand helps.



After filling the mold I finished by scraping cups onto of soap in horizontal lines then running a chopstick side to side vertically.


After 24 hour saponanap!









Phyllis Diller’s Delight!

How I made this soap


My Crockpot Soup

I’d had a hankerin’ for soup going on for a while.

Boy howdy was I a giggly bowl of glee (on the inside) when time permitted some kitchen fun. I was asked for the recipe so here ya go. This recipe was started the previous night in the crockpot. By next day afternoon it was ready to eat.

Ingredients: Beef steak 4 ounces cut into 1 inch cubes, an assortment of vegetables (cooks choice, I used fresh carrots,celery, zucchini, red peppers, yellow peppers, sweet onion, garlic), 2 quarts broth(vegetable or chicken), chick peas l,entils, farro, bay leaves, herbs(dill & tarrogon, salt & pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar.

Turn on Crockpot to high. Add 2 quarts broth. Cover  the crockpot with lid. Prep skillet by heating on high.  Cut beef into chunks no larger than one inch. Sprinkle beef chunks with balsamic vinegar. This step can be done a day in advance although it was an after thought for me so the beef marinated in the balsamic for roughly 30 minutes. Slice and dice celery and onion into smallish pieces. In a very hot skillet add a tablespoon of olive oil to skillet before adding beef. Allow beef to sear turning the cubes for browning on all sides. Add celery, onion and garlic to the skillet and cover to sweat vegetables.

While Vegetables and beef cook, measure out 1 cup farro and one cup dry bean & assorted lentils mix.

Deglaze skillet by adding a half cup of broth to skillet. Scraped beef, vegetables and deglazing from skillet into crockpot. Add 1 cup of farro and 1 cup of dry bean & assorted lentils mix. Turn Crockpot dial from high to low.  Allow crockpot to cook on low setting approximately 8 hours or overnight.  Once the dry beans and lentils are tender the fresh vegetables can be added. Allow to cook till everything in the crockpot is tender. This dish makes a hearty meal feeding a bunch of hungry tummies.   Makes a great meal by itself or pair it with a salad or cornbread or homemade buttermilk biscuits!

This dish can be made vegetarian, just leave out the meat.

Bon Appetite!