DIY Natural Lip Exfoliant in Minutes

I have been racking my brains trying to come up with something clever to use my little miniature jars for. I have had suggestions about using them to store herbs and spices but honestly can’t quite be bothered transferring all my spices from the jars they came in into my jars, without the little shaker lids. So I thought of something a bit more interesting.

I was once conned into buying a tiny little pot of lip exfoliant at a shop for about $12. This wouldn’t be so bad if not for the blatant fact that the only ingredients seemed to be sugar and oil and a little bit of pink colouring. The sales girl convinced me (and my friend) by giving us a tester and raving about how “you can even lick it off your lips when your done because it’s candy flavoured!”. Duh. It’s made of sugar you idiot, of course it’s “candy flavoured”. My friend and I (gullible as we are) bought a pot each and happily applied the magical lip exfoliant to our lips (and subsequently licked off the “candy flavoured”sugar) for the rest of our shopping trip. It was only later that night, when I excitedly showed it to my mum, that I realised we’d been ripped off. “You paid for that? It’s just sugar, you could make it!”

I’ve learnt my lesson. That expensive little pink pot has long since disappeared and so today I made some Lip Scuff of my own!

lip scuff

Homemade Lip Scuff

Homemade Lip Scuff

Ingredients:

  • 3 parts brown sugar
  • 2 parts honey
  • 1 part olive oil

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients into jar/pot/container
  2. Mix together
  3. Use a pea sized amount to rub on lips until smooth

I hope you like it!

Eleanor x

Chocolate Ice Cream with Homemade Honeycomb

Being a keen baker and consumer of all things sweet, I managed to nab my parents’ ice cream machine a couple of years ago. When I first got it I went sufficiently nuts creating far too much ice cream in a short space of time for any sane individual to consume. I may have been slightly ice-creamed out as I haven’t made any since then..about a year ago! Maybe it has something to do with it finally being summer, so I am slightly more inclined to snack on something cold.

I’ve also been meaning to make honeycomb from scratch for a while now too so I figured I may as well kill two birds with one stone!*

I found the honeycomb recipe here.

Chocolate and Honeycomb Ice Cream

Homemade Honeycomb

Ingredients:

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 4 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons bicarb soda

Method:

  1. Line a baking tray with greaseproof baking paper
  2. Melt the caster sugar and golden syrup together in a saucepan over medium heat
  3. Swirl the pan occasionally until the sugar dissolves (don’t stir with a spoon otherwise it will go grainy)
  4. Let the mixture come to a boil and develop a deep golden brown colour (not too dark though, or it will taste burnt)
  5. Take mixture off the heat and immediately add the bicarb soda
  6. Mix thoroughly with silicone or metal spoon until combined – it will bubble and froth and expand in size and resemble foam
  7. Pour straight into lined tray
  8. Let it sit on the bench until set (mine took 20 minutes but it may take longer if your kitchen is humid – or you could pop it in the fridge for a while to firm up)
  9. Once set, break up into desired size pieces (I crumbled mine into fairly small pieces for the ice cream)
  10. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place – any moisture will cause the honeycomb to become soft

have your bicarb soda measured and ready to throw into the pot as soon as your mixture is ready

i let my mixture get slightly darker than this before removing from heat

the mixture should foam up like this once the bicarb soda is added

it's hard to get the mixture to sit nicely, but don't worry - it will set and then you can break it up into bite size pieces

honeycomb crumbled and ready to be added to the ice cream!

 

Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (dutch process preferred)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups full cream milk
  • 3 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of honeycomb (optional)
Method:
  1. Place the cocoa and sugars in a medium bowl
  2. Stir to combine
  3. Add the milk
  4. Mix on low speed or whisk to combine until the cocoas and sugars are dissolved (1-2 minutes)
  5. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla
  6. Pour into ice cream machine and follow directions from manufacturer
  7. Add in 1 cup of honeycomb about 5 minutes before the mixture is done
  8. Transfer mixture into airtight container and store in freezer
  9. You may have to let ice cream soften for 15 minutes before serving
  10. Sprinkle excess honeycomb over ice-cream before serving

adding the honeycomb to the ice cream mixture

Please be advised that success with the honeycomb requires a cool temperature and good quality ingredients. A lot can go wrong with it otherwise. Make sure there is no humidity, that you are using good quality bicarb soda (McKenzies brand is recommended) that is not too old and that you let the golden syrup and caster sugar boil for long enough to achieve the deep golden colour, but not too long so as to burn the mixture. If you have any troubles, remember what you did and feel free to ask where you went wrong.

Good luck!

Eleanor x

*no birds were harmed in the making of this ice cream ­čÖé

DIY: Homemade Votive Candle Holders

I have a few dinner dates coming up and wanted to create a nice centrepiece for our dining table. I really wanted to experiment with making a decorated votive candle holder of some sort to place around a vase of pink gerberas. I took myself to Kmart and a $2 shop and found everything I needed…

Homemade Votive Candle Holders

the finished product!

Supplies:

  • Mason Jars
  • Tea light Candles
  • Pearl Beads
  • Skeleton Leaves (found with scrapbooking supplies)
  • Doilies (paper or fabric)
  • Glue (I used Clag)
  • Newspaper

$2 mason jars from kmart

20120114-142451.jpg

$3 pack of 30 tea light candles from kmart

craft pearl beads

skeleton leaves, $5/pack from kmart

$2 store paper doilies

 

Method:

  1. Start by cleaning the the jars and discard the lids
  2. Lay down newspaper on your workspace
  3. Cover leaves in glue and place on the outside of the jars, smoothing down and adding a layer of glue on top – it is up to you how many leaves to put on the jars
  4. Place tea light candle in the bottom of the jar and drop in pearl beads to surround the candle
  5. Let leaves dry
  6. Place finished jar on a doily
  7. *If you like, grab some ribbon or twine to wrap around the top*

completely cover leaf with glue (excuse the random picture on the newspaper underneath!)

use as many pearls beads as you like to surround the candle

my finished centrepiece

You may notice that I completely covered one jar with the skeleton leaves and only used four on the other two jars. I decided I liked them better with fewer leaves, but feel free to create your own design. You might also like to try three leaves in a fan shape on one side of the jar  (I think I will try this design next time!).

I chose to buy pink coloured tea light candles to match my pink gerberas, feel free to use any colours you like. Also, there are plenty of options for decorating the jars. You could use pieces of fabric (like Fellow Fellow) or any other paper cutouts or pre made scrapbooking materials you may come across. The same goes with the pearl beads – I chose pearls as I though it would go nicely with the general theme – but you can use anything; moon stones, sand, rice..anything! Get creative!

Tip: some tongs may help when arranging the beads around the candle.

Good luck! If you decide to make these, let me know how you go – and send photos!

Eleanor x

P.S. If you are looking for more DIY ideas, check out the DIY tab at the top of the page. You might also like my post about homemade beauty products!

Secret Wonder Ingredient

For those of you planning on making my muesli (recipe here) I thought I would share with you my secret wonder ingredient that is sure to make your muesli irresistible. Unless of course you don’t like coconut (what am I saying, who doesn’t like coconut, I mean┬áreally).

And the wonder ingredient is….(drum roll please)…..

Fruit for Life’s Roasted Coconut Chips

Image

Available with the dried fruit in the baking section at Woolworths, Coles and Franklin’s (NSW) and with your coconut milk at your local Harris Farm (NSW).

Use this information wisely. And enjoy your muesli!

Eleanor x

Homemade Toasted Muesli

I make a mean muesli. I originally started making and toasting my own muesli as a result of a) being a poor student and not wanting to pay for expensive cereal ($8 a box! Are you kidding me!?), b) finding it impossible to find muesli in the shops with no almonds (I’m allergic) and c) wanting a healthy breakfast alternative to toast and sugary cereals. I’ve recently made 5 batches of my muesli for Christmas presents (packaged in lovely jars with pretty labels) for family and friends and it has received rave reviews.

Now, below is a basic how to. It’s not the kind of recipe where food science is particularly important so it’s pretty hard to screw it up. Basically, just make sure you have more rolled oats than any other ingredient and you should be fine. I’ve made it countless times and it’s never exactly the same as I just go with what I feel like at the time, try out new things and use what I have in my cupboard. Feel free to add or deduct fruit, seeds, nuts etc to your taste.

Ingredients:

  • 1kg rolled oats
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups sultanas
  • 1 cup chopped dried fruit (apples, pears, apricot etc)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts (or any nuts of your choice)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3/4 – 1 cup fruit juice

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 160┬░ C
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl (oats, nuts, seeds, coconut)
  3. In a mug, combine juice and honey and heat in microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until honey has melted
  4. Pour juice and honey mixture over dry ingredients and mix until coated
  5. Spread out mixture onto a baking tray and bake for 20-30min or until golden brown, ensuring you stir regularly to prevent burning
  6. Meanwhile, chop up fruit
  7. Once browned to your liking, remove from oven and mix in fruit
  8. Store in an airtight container and enjoy!

Homemade Toasted Muesli for Gifts