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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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  • [January 15, 2016] - It's National Soup Month so this month's posts will focus on soups. Yum!
  • [February 1, 2016] - An interesting report on why you should always choose organic tea verses non-organic: Toxic Tea (pdf format)
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Friday, December 08, 2006

Candles, Soaps and a Quick Shrimp Dinner

Not everything cooked in my kitchen is edible so I thought I would share a few pictures of some non-edible things I make that involve cooking. I've included a quick easy shrimp meal for those busy days like today. It was a busy morning followed by "me" time starting off with discovering another draft. Fixing that meant emptying a large bookshelf, pulling the bookshelf out to caulk, then touch-up painting when the caulk was dry. I took the drying to update my personal blog then got back to work. Since the books were stacked on the floor anyway I decided it was as good of time as any to vacuum them good before re-shelving them.

I use a lot of beeswax both solid and sheets bought in bulk from a local beekeeper. I only use unscent, natural beeswax with no artifical colourants. I gives a nice clean burn with a pale amber flame and mild honey scent. While candles in some form comprise a lot of my uses for beeswax, I also use it in soapmaking, toiletries, and decorations. It has a light, pleasant aroma that is just hard to beat. All of these things I make are for our own personal use with some ending up for family and friends.

Hand Dipped Beeswax Candles

I make a lot of beeswax candles with a majority of them rolled sheets either tapers, straights or voltives. Most of my poured beeswax candles are tea lights or voltive but occasionally I use other molds. By far the most rustic of the beeswax candles are hand dipped. I like making them about 6 1/2" long and joined together for hanging. Directly behind the hand dipped candles is a longer pair of rolled beeswax candles. I have multiple pairs of hanging candles in every room of the house and have a store extras on a rod in one closet. Oh I guess before I leave the topic of hanging candles, I usually make them in sessions. I can comfortably make 25 pairs of dipped candles in one session or 50 pairs of rolled candles in a session. Poured candles other than voltives and tealights are generally done in sessions as needed.

Soy Tea Candles

I can't recall when soy wax first came out but it hasn't been that long. Soywax is derived from soybeans I just had to try it and fell in love with the way it handles when making the candles. A very much appreciated characteristic of soy wax is that spills clean up with water. I buy soy wax flakes online. It is a simple melt and pour into the tea light holders or voltive molds. Voltives are done in batches of 10 throughout the day. Tealights are done in batches of 50 because that's easiest..

Molded Soaps

I've been making molded soaps for ages. These are made from scratch using a combination of oils based on they give to the soap, lye and all natural additives like beeswax. These are: combinations opague/transparent, beeswax/honey and transparent. Transparent soap actually starts out as opague but then using a special technique and high content alcohol it becomes transparent. The procedure is not for the faint of heart especially since there is the risk of the alcohol catching fire. I had it happen only once but went onto continue making transparents.

Poured Soaps

Poured soups start with a melt and pour base that can either be made from scratch or purchased. Citrus transparent soap and herbs are nice to use for a rustic look with natural scents. Oatmeal is another nice addition for a soothing soap. Paired with a homemade gift bag, pour soups are lovely for gift giving.

Now as promised here is a quick, easy to made shrimp and pasta dinner. This is especially nice when you want something homemade that tastes like you worked for hours.

Garlic Pasta with Shrimp

The basis of this dish is spaghettini noodles in a butter garlic sauce. I don't measure the ingredients. Use three burners to cook everything at the same time. Cook spaghettini noodles in salted boiling water until el dente. Drain. At the same time, melt about 1/4 c butter and stir in 1 or two garlic clove that have been pressed through a garlic press. Warm garlic until flavour is released into butter but don't let brown. Stir garlic butter mixture into hot noodles. While noodles are cooking, sautee sliced mushrooms in butter then stir in small frozen shrimp and warm through. Top noodles with mushroom and shrimp mixture.


Garden Gnome

1 food lovers commented:

Diana said...

I read about your blog on the Frozen Assets list -- it's great. I have it bookmarked and will be back often. I hope that you will be posting more information about the poured soaps that you made. I have been curious about how to make the base and have wanted to try making soap for my family for gifts. Thanks!