Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Tea Time Tuesday: Lemon Loaf Cake

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a sweet bread and a tea loaf?  I have.  But then I wonder about all kinds of things that most people could give a darn about.  I'm weird like that. Deal.

A tea bread by Oxford Dictionary is. "A type of cake, baked in the shape of a loaf, containing dried fruit that has been soaked in tea before baking. ... 'Another bread, bara brith, is at least as good as any other fruit loaf or tea bread.  

Then I looked up sweet bread and it was nowhere near what I thought the definition of sweet bread was.  According to Wikipedia it is, "Sweetbread is a culinary name for the thymus or the pancreas, especially of calf and lamb, and, less commonly, of beef and pork."  What???? Seriously.

Then what the heck is a cake type loaf called?  Cake? Yes, loaf cake, now don't I feel foolish.  So if you are anything like me in my naivete, then dont write a post about tea bread and what not.  Its a loaf cake, fool!  Its just that simple.

Anyway, this lovely loaf is awesome with a cup of tea.  Head on over to my friend, Sandy's blog, Quilting For The Rest Of Us and see what she has in store for you for tea.
Lemon Loaf Cake

Makes 1 large loaf and one small loaf

3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup oil
3 eggs
3 cups zucchini
1 teaspoon oil

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Stir together all the dry ingredients except for the sugar. In another bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar, then oil, lemon juice, zest and vanilla. Pour the wet into the dry and beat just until combined.  Stir in the grated zucchini.  Pour into greased loaf pans and bake for 45 to 55 minutes.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Charcoal and Tea Tree Soap with Tamanu Oil

Doesn't that bubble look like a beetle with enormous eyeballs?
I have made soap once, so, I was afraid to make this soap, Activated Charcoal Soap, especially after seeing all the comments about some fails underneath the post on Soap Queens Blog.  You can access that post here.

I bought some activated charcoal a year or so ago.  I have a lot of it.  We have used it a few times for tummy aches and let me tell you, it works like a charm.  It's bizarre though to eat something black, takes some getting used to.  I just mix a teaspoon or two with a little bit of applesauce.

I changed it up just a wee bit and added some peppermint oil.  It smells so good!  I am pretty excited about the outcome, isn't it a beautiful soap?

Charcoal and Tea Tree Soap with Tamanu Oil
This is the recipe I used, please see Soap Queens recipe here.

1.8 oz. Castor Oil (5%)
9 oz. Coconut Oil (25%)
14.4 oz. Olive Oil (40%)
9 oz. Palm Oil (25%)
1.8 oz. Tamanu Oil (5%)
5.1 oz. Sodium Hydroxide Lye
10.1 oz. Distilled Water (15% water discount) 
1.7 oz. Tea Tree Essential Oil and Peppermint Essential Oil combination
2 tablespoons activated charcoal

Slowly and carefully add the lye to the water and gently stir until the lye has fully dissolved and the liquid is clear. Set aside to cool. 

Melt the castor oil, coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil and tamanu oil (remember to fully melt the entire container of palm oil before portioning out). When the lye water and the oils have cooled to 130 degrees or below (and are ideally within 10 degrees of each other), add the lye water to the oils and stick blend until thin trace. 

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of activated charcoal to the soap mixture distributing in a fine all over layer on top to reduce clumps. Without turning it on use your stick blender to stir the charcoal into the soap batter. Slowly pulse the stick blender to incorporate the charcoal. 

Add the tea tree essential oil to the soap, and use the stick blender to blend and stir the essential oil until completely mixed in. 

Continue to stick blend for just a few seconds, to make sure the ingredients are completely combined. When the soap is a medium trace and is still pourable, pour the batter into your soap mold. Tap the mold on the counter to even the soap and get rid of bubbles. 

Spray the top of the soap with 99% isopropyl alcohol to prevent soda ash. Place on a heating pad set to medium heat, and insulate the soap for about 30 minutes. Turn off the heating pad, and leave the soap insulated for 24 hours. 

Allow the soap to stay in the mold for at least 3-4 days. Because this soap has plenty of soft oils, it may need up to a week in the mold. Don't rush it! When the soap is firm enough, unmold and allow them to cure for 4-6 weeks.