Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bath Bombs...

I love bath bombs. They not only make you smell great but are very moisturizing. But for the past 19 years I have had a basically unusable bath tub. It is a short tub--about 4 feet long. So, it is great for giving little kids and dogs baths, but not so great for adults. It is just too small. So, if I want to have a nice long bath I have to do it when we are at a hotel. That doesn't happen too often.

But now, with the completion of our get-away cottage, I have a nice, new full size bath tub. It is what I have longed for for 19 years. Today as I was getting ready to make some lovely bath bombs to keep at the cottage I thought maybe some of you might like to make some for yourself. At one time I sold them, but honestly they are too labor intensive to make for the price I could charge for them, but making them for myself seems no trouble at all. For one thing, I don't have to wrap them so prettily, and for another I can make a bunch all in my favorite scent and don't have to try to figure out what scents will sell.

So, if you like bath bombs, here is my tried and true recipe. You can also just make it up and put the whole mixture in a container and scoop out about 1/2 C when you take a bath. You don't have to go through the trouble to mold them if you don't want to.

The only hard ingredient to get cheaply is citric acid. It is found in the canning section of stores but is usually kind of expensive unless you have a bulk food store you can get it from. I get it for about $2.00 a pound, but I have seen it up closer to $10, so you may want to keep your eyes open for it.  I get mine at The Kountry Kupboard in Harrodsburg KY or at E&S Sales in Shipshewana, IN

12 Fizzing Bath Bombs

Mix together in a mixer 1 1/3 Cups each of:
  • Salt [table or Epsom]
  • baking soda
  • corn starch

I like to put a damp towel over the mixing bowl and mixer to keep the dust down.

Then add and mix well:
  • 1/3 C sweet almond oil [or any light vegetable oil]
  • 1 tsp essential oil or 2 tsp fragrance oil for scent  [You can add ground herbs too, but I find that it makes the tub harder to clean out.]

Then add and mix well:
  • 1 1//2 Cups of citric acid
Press into 1/2 C molds [I use little disposable zip-loc plastic round containers. I re-use them over and over] and un-mold in a day or two. You can wrap in parchment paper or put in a plastic container to be scooped out as needed.

Molding instructions: I take my 1/2 cup containers and scoop the mixture into them. When I use up all the mixture I put each container in a section of a cup-cake pan so they won't scoot around and then I take a hard cup, like a measuring cup or a drinking glass that is smaller in diameter than the bath bomb container. I press the hard cup down on the top, packing the mixture as tight as I can. If some comes up around the sides or I have some left over in the bowl, I put that back on top and press down again. That's all there is to it.

Note: Just about every recipe I have looked at says to spritz with witch hazel to keep the mix together if it seems to dry. But, I messed around with the recipes enough that with the above recipe I have never had to use witch hazel to moisten it. But, if yours won't mold because it is too dry, you may want to try it.



Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer Eating...

It was EXTREMELY HOT today--the heat index over 107 degrees. Ugh! So, the smart thing to do would be to eat out or have ice cream for supper, but we did neither. I figured it was too hot to heat up the house, so I asked Bob to grill out. That was pretty inconsiderate of me, but while he grilled 1/3# burgers from Pure Kentucky Beef and some type of veggie chicken for Kari, I made two great summer recipes.

The first is grilled veggies. I tossed together in a bowl a mixture of cut up raw vegetables:

      Tomatoes [Whole grape tomatoes are perfect]
      Green pepper
 Then I drizzled with olive oil and 1T or so of the following herb mix [below].  We put it in a grilling  basket and stirred every few minutes. It takes about 10 minutes.  [You can do them on a skewer if you want--if you do that grill for about 3 minutes per side.]

Grilling spice mix, keep in jar and just take out what you need:
      2T each: basil, dried crushed rosemary, dried thyme
      1 T each: garlic powder, salt and pepper

The second quick recipe that is great as a side dish or as a vegetarian summer meal is...
PANZANELLA--which is a type of bread salad. If you like dipping pieces of good chewy bread in herbed olive oil, you will love this. Prep time about 25 minutes.

A type of bread salad.

Combine  the following and toss gently:
½ pound or more of day old Italian bread or any chewy rustic loaf, torn or cut into bite sized pieces.
8 oz of cubed mozzarella, provolone or sharp cheddar cheese
3 large tomatoes, chopped, or a basket or more of grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 small cucumber, chopped
1 C chopped purple or sweet onion
½ C basil leaves, chopped & fresh
½ C Kalamata olives, pitted and halved

You can top this with about ¾ C of a nice Italian salad dressing or make the following dressing below. After pouring over the salad, toss well and let stand for 10-15 minutes so the bread can absorb the flavor. Serve at room temperature. Serves about 4 or more if used as a side dish. May want to sprinkle with Asiago or Parmesan cheese.


½ C olive oil
¼ C red wine or balsamic vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
½-1 tsp freshly ground pepper
¾ tsp salt

We had these two side dishes, grilled burgers and some fresh cherries for dessert. Heavenly! I would love to hear any fast and delicious summertime recipes that your family likes. 

Take care and stay cool,