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DIY Neapolitan Bubble Bath Bars (um. . . Scoops).

I’m always on the lookout for new DIY bath/body type products to add to the Etsy shop. And one of those things that I’ve had my eye on for a while were bubble bath bars. 

Now, you might have seen bubble bath bars sold at stores that sell Luscious bath products. See what I did there? Totally not going to say the name of the store, but you get it 😉 

But if you haven’t seen them before, here’s a little rundown on what they are. . . . 

DIY Bubble Bath Scoops

Imagine if you took a bath bomb, but instead of fizzing, it created lots of thick, creamy bubbles. And I really do mean lots of them. 

Now, what creates the bubbles? 

Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate.

Or better known as SLSa. Not to be confused with SLS (a.k.a. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate), which is something totally different and unrelated. Now, for a little explanation about their differences. . . . Because honestly, I had to google it when I first started researching bubble bath bars. 

SLS is a chemical detergent found in most commercial shampoos, toothpastes, soaps (not mine, of course!), and cleansing products that need to foam or lather up. It’s used throughout the commercial bath/beauty industry because it is extremely cheap and it does it’s job. But here’s the troubling part, and why you won’t see it listed on any ingredients list of a product that I make. 

Because of it’s small molecular structure, SLS is easily absorbed into the skin. Which wouldn’t be so bad, if it wasn’t connected with skin irritations, headaches and migraines, nausea, possible carcinogenic ingredients, etc. 

SLSa, on the other hand, is derived from coconut and palm oils. It’s known to be skin safe, and because it has a larger molecular structure, it isn’t as easily absorbed. But it is a little more expensive, which is probably why most bath/body companies choose a cheaper ingredient for their products. 

So, there you have it, the difference between the two ingredients. Which means, it’s time to tell you how to make bubble bath bars. Um, I mean, scoops. Because it’s so much easy to scoop them than to do all that rolling, patting, and slicing . . . . no thanks!

 

The ingredients: 

1/2 cup baking soda 

1/2 cup Lathanol LAL Powder – aka SLSa 

2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons Cornstarch 

2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons Bubble Bar Hardener (a.k.a. Cream of Tartar)

3 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons Vegetable Glycerin*

3 teaspoons Castor Oil

1.5 mL Strawberry Kiwi Fragrance Oil

1 mL Chocolate Espresso Fragrance Oil

1 mL Vanilla Buttercream Fragrance Oil

1/4 teaspoon pink colorant

1/2 teaspoon Vegetable Glycerin

1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder

1 teaspoon Vegetable Glycerin

Small ice cream scoop

*There’s a chance you might use more than what is listed. 

Begin by measuring the dry ingredients (Baking Soda, SLSa, Cornstarch, and Bubble Bar Hardener) and placing them in a large bowl.  

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Be sure to wear a face mask while measuring the SLSa as it is very fine and will irritate your throat/lungs.

Using a whisk or fork, stir together the dry ingredients until they’re completely combined together. 

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Measure out the Castor Oil and Vegetable Glycerin and add them to the mixture. Using your gloved hands, mix together the ingredients until the liquid is completely dispersed throughout. 

Divide the mixture into three different bowls. 

In a small cup, combine about a 1/4 teaspoon of pink colorant (this is the one I use) with just enough vegetable glycerin to wet the powder. Mix together and set aside. In another cup, combine about a 1/2 teaspoon of cocoa powder with just enough vegetable glycerin to wet the powder. Mix together and set aside. 

In one bowl, test to see if the mixture is the right consistency by squeezing a small amount in your palm. If the mixture holds its shape when you open your hand, then it’s ready. If it’s not the right consistency, add a small amount of vegetable glycerin. Mix it in by hand, and test again. Once it is the right consistency, set this bowl aside for now. . . . Since it is supposed to be the vanilla part of our bubble bath scoops, it will remain uncolored and unscented. 

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In the second bowl, add Strawberry Kiwi body safe fragrance oil and a few drops of the pink color mixture. Using your gloved hands, mix together until completely combined. Test to see if the mixture is the right consistency in the same manner that you did above. Set aside once it is.

In the third bowl, add the cocoa powder mixture and the Chocolate Espresso and Vanilla Buttercream fragrances. Because vanilla scented fragrances can cause products to turn brown, I added to this mixture instead of the white mixture. Mix together using your gloved hands (use a new pair of gloves to keep from contaminating the brown bubble bath mixture with the pink). Test to see if the mixture is the right consistency. 

Pour all three colors of bubble bath mixture into one large bowl. Very lightly mix them together using your gloved hands; you don’t want them to be completely mixed together. 

Pack an ice cream scoop or small cookie scoop with the mixture, pressing down hard. Place each scoop on a lined tray.

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***I know, I know. The above photo is completely the wrong color to be Neapolitan scoops. Simple explanation for that: I was actually making three different batches at once (Wild Blackberry, Neapolitan, and Frosted Cranberry), and I completely to take the requisite photo until the last batch. Which obviously wasn’t Neapolitan. 

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Allow them to air dry for at least 24 – 48 hours before using. 

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DIY Neapolitan Bubble Bath Scoops

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup Lathanol LAL Powder - aka SLSa
  • 2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons Cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons Bubble Bar Hardener (a.k.a. Cream of Tartar)
  • 3 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons Vegetable Glycerin*
  • 3 teaspoons Castor Oil
  • 1.5 mL Strawberry Kiwi Fragrance Oil
  • 1 mL Chocolate Espresso Fragrance Oil
  • 1 mL Vanilla Buttercream Fragrance Oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink colorant
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vegetable Glycerin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon Vegetable Glycerin
  • Small ice cream scoop
  • *There's a chance you might use more than what is listed.

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (baking soda, SLSa, cornstarch, and bubble bar hardener. Stir together with a whisk or fork.
  2. Add the vegetable glycerin and castor oil. Mix together using your gloved hands.
  3. Separate into three different bowls.
  4. In a small cup, mix together pink colorant and vegetable glycerin. Set aside.
  5. In a different small cup, mix together cocoa powder and vegetable glycerin. Set aside.
  6. Add pink colorant and strawberry kiwi body safe fragrance to one bowl. Mix using your gloved hands. Test it for the right consistency.
  7. In another bowl, add the cocoa powder colorant and chocolate espresso and vanilla buttercream fragrances. Mix using your hands (with clean gloves). Test for the right consistency.
  8. Pour the three different colors of bubble bar mixture together into a bowl. Lightly mix together.
  9. Use a small ice cream scoop or a cookie scoop to scoop the mixture up. Pack tightly into the scoop. Place on a lined tray/pan.
  10. Allow to harden for at least 24 - 48 hours before using.
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My Kitchen Essentials.

I don’t know about your house, but the flu has been making its rounds here. Major coughing/sneezing city. Which is why I’ve been a little absent around here lately. And completely putting a wrinkle in my resolution to make 2016 a healthier year. 

But I’m here now, and joining up with BlueStar to bring you My Kitchen Essentials.  BlueStar has an amazing line of ovens, ranges, salamanders, etc that make up my fantasy dream kitchen. Check them out at BlueStar (and try the Build Your Own BlueStar page to see all of the amazing color options) and also check out Big Chill

So, what are my kitchen essentials? The things that I absolutely could not do without. Basically, this is a kitchen version of the deserted island game. . . . 

My number one most essential item: My Kitchenaid.

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Look through recipe photos on here, and you’ll probably see my trusty Kitchenaid mixer. I had always fantasized about how much quicker and easier baking would be with one, but let’s face it – fancy stand mixers are not exactly cheap. Which is why it was a completely unexpected surprise Christmas present from my mother a few years ago. You have no idea how shocked I was to unwrap sparkling, brand new mixer.

I’ll let you in on a little secret: My mother is not good at surprise presents. Bless her heart, she tries. . . . But I always find out. Usually because I’m the one who has to wrap it or like this past Christmas, I happen to see the email saying, “Your DSLR camera bag has shipped!”. 

But she got me good with the mixer! And it’s been the best present ever, and something that has been well used (kinda obvious, right?). And guess what? All those daydreams about how much easier it would be to bake with a stand mixer were true. It really is.  Need fresh whipped cream? A little heavy cream and sugar, turn on the mixer, and let it do its job while you do yours. 

2. The new Phillippe Richard cookware. 

I’ll just put it nicely, but the old cookware had seen its last day several times over. Handles were missing or if present and accounted for, only hanging on by a thread. Or scarier, melted. You don’t even want to know how that happened.

The pots were dinted and dinged up and way past their prime. So, of course, my big goal on Black Friday was new cookware. I would say that I waited in line for hours in the freezing cold to score a good deal, but it was 70 something degrees, I was sweating in my boots, and the line was only 15 minutes long. Easy. And I got new cookware out of it, that I love. 

Cooking nostalgic, comfort food, like my Mother’s famous (well, famous to me) pizza burgers, is so much easier with an actual handle to grab on to now. And let’s face it, safer, too. 

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3. Measuring cups, spoons, and a digital scale. 

Because I like to bake, and as we all know, it helps to be as precise as possible. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it in style. Like with my new measuring spoons. . . . . 

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Aren’t they cute? Even the dogs like them. Plus, digital scales make it so much easier to get even cake layers. Just weigh out how much batter you put in each pan before baking. 

4. Mini Ice Cream Scoop Thingies. 

I’m not really sure what to call these, other than, well. . . . mini ice cream scoop thingies. Cause that’s what they are. Basically. And you can use them for so many different things, which is probably why I have more than one set. 

Cookies.

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Meatballs. Truffle candy. Dog treats. Ice cream, of course. And diy bath and body products. Such as, bubble bath scoops: 

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And the finished product. Sort of. The one above is Wild Blackberry scented (which are still drying, and I haven’t gotten around to photographing it, yet, because. . .  .well, it’s been like 40 degrees) and the ones below are Frosted Cranberry (which I obviously have photographed).

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5. A chopper/blender/food processor.

I have this love/hate relationship with blenders, food processors, choppers, etc. Love? Because it’s so much easier dumping nuts or cookies in them to grind up than doing it by hand.

Hate? Because I always seem to lose at least one part for each one I’ve bought. And it’s always the most important part. The blade, the lid that has to be on and in the locked position for the darned thing to work, the actual container you put the ingredients in, etc. Basically, if I wanted to, I could create a Frankenstein chopper/blender/food processor thing from all the mismatched parts in the cabinets. 

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The latest blender/chopper pureeing fresh pumpkin. And surprisingly, none of the parts are currently missing. 

 

So, if I’m headed to a deserted island kitchen, apparently, I’ve got a lot of stuff to drag along with me. Now, what are your kitchen essentials? 

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Peppermint Oreo Truffles.

Is there anything better than chocolate and mint?

Well, maybe chocolate and strawberries. And chocolate and peanut butter. Or even chocolate and chocolate.

But chocolate and mint is right up there close to the top on my list!

Which is why I love these. Then again, I just plain love truffle recipes in general.

They’re delicious. They’re easy. There’s no baking. People always want to know how you did that. You can use almost any kind of cookie, which means endless combinations and flavors. And did I mention, they’re delicious.

Peppermint

Now, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. . . .

My grandmother snuck a few of the Oreos pre-truffle making. So, I halved the recipe below.

Which is why in the pictures, there’s not that many truffles. And why they’re joined by some obviously vanilla looking ones.

Lesson learned: Don’t leave your Oreos on the kitchen counter.

Start off, as you do with any cookie-based truffle, by blending together the cookies until they turn into crumbs.

Mix with softened cream cheese.IMG_6211

Roll into 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls.

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Place in the freezer for fifteen or twenty minutes.

Melt the two chocolates together. I used equal amounts of two different bags of chocolate (dark chocolate morsels and dark chocolate and mint morsels) so that the mint flavor wasn’t overwhelming.

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Dip the truffles ball in the melted chocolate and sprinkle each one with crushed peppermint or chopped peppermint crunch baking chips. Since I already had it, I used Andes Peppermint Crunch baking chips, which are white chocolate chocolate chips with little bits of peppermint candy mixed in. 

Let the chocolate coating harden and enjoy!

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Peppermint Oreo Truffles.

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg Oreo cookies
  • 1/2 pkg of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 bag of dark chocolate morsels
  • 1/2 bag of dark chocolate and mint morsels (I used Toll House Winter morsels)
  • Optional Topping:
  • Crushed peppermint candy or chopped peppermint crunch morsels (I used Andes Peppermint Crunch baking chips)

Instructions

  1. Blend the Oreo cookies until they're finely ground.
  2. Mix in the cream cheese until completely combined.
  3. Roll into 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls. Place on a parchment or wax paper lined cookie sheet, and then in the freezer for fifteen to twenty minutes.
  4. Melt the chocolate morsels together according to the directions on the package. Once thoroughly melted, stir together until there is not green showing.
  5. Dip the truffle balls in the melted chocolate until completely coated.
  6. Optional:
  7. Top each truffle with crushed peppermint candy or chopped peppermint crunch morsels.
  8. Let the chocolate harden and enjoy!
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DIY Grain Free Sweet Potato Carrot Dog Treats ~ 4 ingredients!

Poor farm poodle, Bryony. November was such a rough month for her.

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Let me set the stage for you. 

In November:

  1. I sold the the couch and the poodle perch (i.e. the chair that the poodles claimed as their own). 
  2. I ordered a new sectional, but it wasn’t delivered until over a month later. Which meant a month with only one chair to sit in for two people. And the dogs.
  3. Bryony developed a pretty nasty ear infection that wouldn’t clear up.
  4. Which led to three vet visits.
  5. She had a laser pointed at her ears. And they were drained with a needle. 
  6. She was diagnosed with severe food allergies. 
  7. Her food, treats, chewies, etc were taken away.
  8. And a special food (i.e. expensive) from the vet replaced all of that for a little while. 
  9. She hated the new temporary food. 
  10. And last but not least, I raided the toy basket and threw away all of their old, chewed up, no-longer squeaking toys. Believe me, they have plenty of new toys waiting under the Christmas tree. 

But things are starting to look up. Bryony likes the new permanent grain free food. She hasn’t had anymore ear problems. Plus, she’s starting to enjoy car rides again, instead of thinking each one is going to end in a visit to that most dreaded place: The Vet. 

The one difficult thing: She doesn’t like the treats. I’ve bought bag after bag of grain free treats, and none of them have piqued her interest so far. 

So, I decided to make my own. Good news, she loves them! In fact, she was sitting patiently waiting in the kitchen when I took the second batch out. 

Even Sophie got in on the patiently waiting action. 

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Even the weims like them. And they are, shockingly, not treat fans. In fact, they’ve been known to spit treats out. But not these.

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How to make them:
Mix together all of the ingredients.

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You may need more or less eggs depending on the dryness of your ingredients. My puree was left over from juicing carrots for a new soap (see here), and it was very dry. I used 4 eggs in all.

Roll or pat out the dough until it’s a 1/2 inch or less in thickness. This makes quite a lot of dough, so I patted mine flat in about four batches. 

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Cut into shapes and bake in a preheated oven for about 40 to 55 minutes. 

They’ll still be quite soft and chewy (so perfect for older dogs), but if you’d like them to be harder and more brittle, try leaving them in a little longer or even turning the oven off after they’re through baking and leaving them in overnight to dry. 

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Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

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This recipe makes about 30 candy cane shaped treats. 

Grain Free Sweet Potato Carrot Dog Treats

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Coconut Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups Sweet Potato, baked, peeled, and mashed
  • 1/4 cup carrot puree
  • 2 - 4 eggs*
  • *Please note the amount of eggs depends on how dry your other ingredients are (especially the carrot puree). Mine was quiet dry, so I used 4 eggs in all. Use only as many eggs as you need to bind your ingredients together and allow you to be able to roll or pat out the dough.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combing together the ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  3. Place a couple of pieces of parchment paper on a table or counter to keep the dough from making a mess. Roll or pat out the dough until it's about 1/2 inch or less in thickness.
  4. Using a cookie cutter, cut out the cookies. Place on the cookie sheet and bake for about 40 to 55 minutes.
  5. The treats will still be a little soft. If you'd like a harder treat, try baking it a little longer or even turning the oven off after baking and leaving the treats in overnight to dry out.
  6. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
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