Sunday, 25 October 2015

Homemade Dog Biscuits - a recipe

This recipe started out as a school project my daughter did as a nine year old (she's now almost 18). It's been refined over time. We make these often as our dog is allergic to a protein in beef, so most "bought" dog biscuits aren't suitable - plus the dog loves them!

Dog Biscuits

To make these you'll need:

  • 2 cups wholemeal flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds or almond meal
  • 1/4 cup liquid honey
  • 1/4 cup stewed apple
  • 1 large egg
  • olive oil
  • chopped mint (optional)

Heat the oven to 180F (350C). Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir. Make a well, then add the honey, the egg and the stewed apple.

Add 1/8 cup of olive oil and mix well. Keep adding more oil a tablespoon at a time until you get a dough that holds together without being sticky. If the dough does become a bit too wet then just add a little more flour.

Once the dough is the right consistency roll take a tablespoon of the dough and roll into a ball. Place the ball of dough on a lined baking tray and flatten slightly.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden. Makes 20-25 dog biscuits.

Our chief taster!

I link up here.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Lemon and Vinegar Foot Soak

The lemon juice in this recipe works to lighten skin discolouration and odours. The mix of apple cider vinegar and salt softens the skin.

Lemon and Vinegar Foot Soak

To make this you will need:

2-3 litres of warm water
1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 cup sea salt
juice of 2 lemons

Pour the water into wide-mouthed bowl (big enough to comfortably fit your feet). Add the vinegar and salt. Stir well. Add the lemon juice and stir again.

Soak your feet for 10-15 minutes. Dry well and follow with a good moisturiser or foot cream.

Discard the soak water. 

Makes enough for one treatment. Use the same day made.

You may also like to try:
Brown Sugar Foot Scrub
Peppermint Rosemary Foot Scrub

I link up here.

photo credit: <a href="">Lemonade</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">(license)</a>

Sunday, 11 October 2015

How to make an infused oil.

Firstly what is an infused oil? Basically an infused oil is a carrier oil that has had herbs or spices added. 

Culinary infused oils can be made using rosemary, garlic, chillies, thyme, peppercorns etc.

The oil/herb blend is left to steep so that the properties of the herb become infused into the oil. I use the "slow" method which means leaving the oil in a warm place for 6-8 weeks to do its thing, but if you wanted to speed up the process you can gently heat the oil/herb blend in a crockpot for a few hours

I prefer to use a light olive oil when making infusions. Sunflower, rice bran and sweet almond oils can also be used.

The steps I'm going to outline are for making calendula oil which has medicinal, rather than culinary uses.

To make calendula infused oil you'll need: 
  • olive oil
  • a large jar with a lid (I use a 1 litre agee preserving jar)
  • calendula flowers
  • a skewer
  • a sunny window sill
Start with a clean, dry jar. Fill the jar about two-thirds full with calendula flowers. You can use dried or fresh flowers. If using fresh it's best to pick them one day and use them the next. It's also important when using fresh flowers that they are completely dry as any moisture can cause the oil to become rancid.

The next step is to slowly fill the jar with olive oil (or the carrier oil of your choice). Make sure the flowers are completely covered by the oil and that there are no air bubbles. Use the skewer to push the flowers under the oil (as they will rise a bit as the oil is added) and to remove any air pockets that form.

Screw the lid onto the jar then place on a sunny windowsill for the next 6 weeks. It's a good idea to put a plate or bowl under the jar. As the oil heats you may get a bit of leakage.

After 6 weeks strain the flowers from the oil using a very fine sieve or cheesecloth.  You may need to strain it twice to make sure there are no "bits" left behind. Pour into a glass bottle, label and store out in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.

The oil can be used in soap-making, to make healing balms or can be rubbed into dry, chapped hands.

If you have dry skin you might like to try making Calendula Cleanser.

I link up here.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Calendula Cleanser recipe

This simple two ingredient cleanser can be used with any skin type, but is best suited to dry skin.

I've used calendula for it's anti-inflammatory and skin healing properties. Cocoa butter is a great moisturiser, particularly for extremely dry skin, plus it's high in antioxidants.

Calendula Cleanser

In a double boiler combine the following: 
  • 175g calendula oil (see below)
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa butter

Gently heat until the cocoa butter has melted. Transfer to a non-metallic bowl. Beat until the mixture has cooled and has begun to thicken a little - you want it to be still be pourable. Transfer to a clean pot or jar with a good lid.

To use massage into skin in a circular motion. Remove with a damp cotton pad. Follow with your usual toner and moisturiser.

The cleanser will keep for about 3 months when stored in the refrigerator.

Note: If the mixture thickens too much to be pourable (this can happen in cold temperatures) it can be spooned into the pot or you could soften it a little over a very gentle heat before pouring.

You may also be interested in:

I link up here.

photo credit: <a href="">The Merchant's Garden, Marlborough</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">(license)<