Friday, November 15, 2019

Gorgeous Gifts...DIY Cherubs Cheek Cookie Dough Face Scrub

Here's my version of one of the Lush chains most popular facial cleansers, the Angels on Bare Skin Facial Scrub.

As the name suggests, the texture is very much like a cookie dough.

You take a pearl sized amount of the 'dough', and mix to a paste in the palm of your hand, before applying to the face and massaging well. This will leave your face as soft as .... a Cherubs Cheek!

Soft-as-a-Cherubs-Cheek Cookie Dough Face Scrub

All of my ingredients are readily available at supermarkets or health food stores.
This amount makes a ball of dough somewhere between the size of a golf ball and a tennis ball.

4 tablespoons French White Clay powder (healing and calming)

4 tablespoons Ground Rice (also known as Rice Flour) (gentle exfoliating)

2 tablespoons Milk Powder (moisturising and soothing)

1 teaspoon Citric Acid (preservative and antioxidant)

2 teaspoons Vitamin E oil (antioxidant)

2 tablespoons strong Green Tea (antioxidant)...make the tea with one teabag and about an eighth of a cup of boiling water

2 teaspoons Salt (preservative and exfoliant)

3 tablespoons Glycerine (moisturising)

Several drops essential oils of choice (I used 6 drops each of Lemon, Peppermint and Lavender)

Botanicals such as unsprayed dried rose petals or lavender buds, crumbled (optional)

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl, using a teaspoon to form into a dough. Knead with scrupulously clean hands until well combined. Seal in foil, in a sealed container.

Use a spoon, tweezers or small tongs to remove tiny pearl sized amounts to mix with a small amount of water to a paste, and massage onto your dampened face for about 30 seconds. Rinse well.

Follow with your favourite moisturiser or my Facial Serum :)

Store sealed in foil and use within one month. Refrigerating it will prolong it's shelf life.

Lush in the true sense of the word!


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Easy Peasy Artisan scary steps!

French milled or Rebatched soap is a method by which you grate the soap up (or in this case, use soap flakes), add water and other ingredients, and remould it into shapes or bars.

It's an easier and less scary way of making your own soaps, and I can vouch for the money saving and skin enhancing properties of this particular one.

Using just Lux Laundry flakes, water, Cconut Oil and Milk Powder, I created these gorgeous rustic soaps, which smell divine, and leave your skin unbelievably soft and delicately scented.

You need:

700gms Lux laundry flakes or equivalent grated soap (NOT soap powder no matter what the guy in the supermarket tells you! Lux flakes here in Australia, are simply flakes of pure Lux soap.)

3 cups of water

4 tablespoons of Milk Powder

1/2 cup Coconut Oil

Few drops of scented or essential oil (Lemongrass or Lavender are particularly lovely)

Here's How:

Bring a large pot of water to a simmer, and sit a large mixing bowl over it.

To the mixing bowl, add the soap flakes, milk powder and water, and stir until it becomes a thick slush.

Add the Coconut Oil and fragrance oil and stir until combined.

This is how mine looked after rebatching, and spooning into silicone moulds....
As you can see, it's not smooth and liquid. It's sort of a gluey gloop.

Let them set overnight, then unmould onto racks to air and harden. I've found that leaving them for about three weeks gives them more longevity upon use.

One of these soaps lasts us a week or more of showers, as opposed to the store bought ones, which are lucky to last three days.
Here's a batch that I scooped into cookie boxes lined with baking paper.

This batch, a half batch actually, still yielded a dozen lovely, neat, well formed bars of soap, at around 40c each.
I call that a Win!

And they look and smell Very Special :)



Saturday, November 9, 2019

Gorgeous Gifts...Panforte...

Are you stuck for a quick and easy gift for a special occasion? Birthday? Mothers Day? Fathers Day? International something-or-other Day?

This Panforte is yum, comes together in 5 minutes flat for baking, and makes a fab gift for just about any occasion.
 I like to do mine in a round tin, so it slices into wedges like a regular cake. I've also found that using a spring form tin, makes it easier to remove in one piece without accidents.
Some recipes for Panforte specify certain quantities for this or that sort of dried fruit or nut, but I just use whatever I have on hand and it always turns out. We like it particularly chunky, and adore whole dried figs, crystallised ginger and walnuts, with some mixed dried fruit sprinkled between. Here's my recipe. It's evolved over a few years, and withstands all sorts of substitutions, so don't be afraid to be adventurous!
The Recipe in four sentences:

Mix 3 1/2 - 4 cups of mixed dried fruit and nuts in any combination, with 2/3 cup plain flour, and a teaspoon each of Nutmeg and Cinnamon. Bring 3/4 cup condensed milk, 1/2 cup raw sugar, a good drizzle of honey and 2 teaspoons vanilla essence to a simmer in a small pan, stirring constantly, and add to the dry ingredients. Fold until well combined and transfer to a lined cake tin, before baking in a low moderate oven (150C) for 25-35 minutes till firm to touch. Allow to cool before slicing into long thin wedges.

You can present this whole as a 'wheel' for gifting, either dusted with icing sugar, drizzled with melted chocolate or garnished with gold or silver leaf. It looks very special wrapped in tulle, cellophane or muslin, with softer fabric tied in a top knot in the middle and decorated with bells or flowers.

You can add flavoured essences such as Rum, Mint, or Almond, as well as cocoa, orange zest or candied orange pieces, crystallised ginger, choc bits or whatever you fancy to personalise this one too.

The gold and silver leaf, edible, is available at Cake Decorating Stores and in the baking aisle of your supermarket. The little silver or multicoloured cachous sprinkles are another cute idea for decorating the top of your Panforte.


Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Getting ahead while you're getting ahead....

This's flown! I bet it has for you as well.
In news here, son number 2 married.
I made a cream puff tower, seen above.
And paraded in a burgundy dress, seen below.
Both a raging success.

Another burgundy dress was sourced. This one $30 at a thrift store. A Christmas dress for The Diva.

I thrifted other things as is my way.
A chinoiserie jewel box, with sweet diorama completely intact...$3 if you please.

I made Neenish Tarts, an Aussie invention that is part jam tart, part cream tart and completely delicious. I took them to work. I was VERY popular.

More thrifted eye candy. Beautiful kimono. $7. I love op shops.

Here's a close up of those cream puffs. A tour de force, I tell you.

Of course, one does not survive on cream puffs alone.
Here's a vege frittata that I rustled up for lunches. Must have ones greens, right?

Meanwhile two granddaughters requested cakes in the form of pets.
Hence a puppy in pink...

..and a bandido kitty in black and white.

Pink gerberas were planted in memory of lost loved ones. It was one of those years.

 One pot dinners are all the rage at Chez Mimi. What's not to like about layering stuff in a dish, whacking it the oven and enjoying? This one was goooood.
A golfers 40th birthday cake. All good until a small child asked why there was a cauliflower on the cake. I never said I was a pro. Cake, golf or otherwise.

 This one is more my style. Raspberry cake. One bowl, one pan. Another time I was popular at work.

I'd love to stay longer, but time is short these days! I miss you all!
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