Monday, February 28, 2011

Homemade lip balm

I decided to make my own lip balm after reading this blog post on Design Sponge. The recipe seemed simple enough, and called for just a few ingredients: beeswax, coconut oil, and essential oil.

I already had some coconut oil on hand and purchased the beeswax from Heavenly Harvest on Etsy. I also purchased some essential oil on Amazon. The best price I found for lip balm containers was at Sunburst Bottle Co., where I purchased several plastic containers for just 30 cents each.

To make approximately 2 containers (20 ml) of lip balm, you will need:

2 tablespoons beeswax, grated
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2-3 drops essential oil
A glass container with a spout and handle (I used a Pyrex measuring cup), a medium sized pot, a metal spoon and water

1) Fill the pot with a few inches of water and bring to a boil
2) Grate the beeswax. I used a cheese grater.
3) Add the beeswax and coconut oil to your glass container and place in the pot of boiling water.
4) As the beeswax and coconut oil begin to melt, stir to incorporate. Allow the beeswax to melt completely.
5) Remove from heat and add essential oil. Stir.
6) Pour into container and cover with lid. Let cool. Lip balm will be solid at room temperature.

You can experiment with the amount of beeswax and coconut oil to get the consistency you want. A good rule of thumb is 2 parts beeswax to 1 part coconut oil. Likewise, you can add more or less essential oil, depending on how strongly scented you want your lip balm.

I also created labels for the lip balm containers. You can download a free pdf of the labels here.

This funny little tool is a Fiskars circle cutter. It can cut circles from 1" to 8", so it's perfect for jam jar labels or, in this case, lip balm labels. I also opted to buy the circle cutter guide, which makes it a lot easier to line up the cutter around your object.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Homemade Wheat Crackers

I started baking my own bread last month and was contemplating an attempt at homemade crackers when I came across this recipe for wheat thins. I took it as a good sign, especially after seeing how basic the ingredient list was:

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus extra for topping
1/4 teaspoon paprika
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

I added all the dry ingredients to my stand mixer and whisked until incorporated. Next I stirred in the butter, water, and vanilla. You will probably need more than the 1/4 cup of water called for in the recipe; I added water slowly until the dough stuck together and clung to the whisk.

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, about 1/16" thick. (They key here is for all the crackers to be a consistent thickness, so they bake evenly.) Cut the dough into squares using a pizza cutter.

Transfer the crackers to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 400 degrees for approximately 10 minutes. You'll want to keep a close eye on them so they don't burn.

This recipe was incredibly easy, and the dough rolled out perfectly. I will definitely be making these again!

Friday, February 11, 2011


Our first try at growing carrots...

We planted these back in August and I pulled them up last week, when the temperature dipped down in the teens. They may be small but they've got great flavor, very sweet and crisp.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Snow Day

It snowed last night. Zach's school and my office were both closed for the day...

and we built the creepiest snowman woman ever.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Basil ice cubes

Before the first freeze of the winter, we brought in all the basil from our garden. We made a few containers of pesto and froze the rest of it, with a little olive oil, in an ice cube tray. These basil ice cubes are great for tossing into a pot of pasta or any other dish that requires a little oil.