Monday, September 30, 2013

Goats milk soap


Nestled in the charming town of Sharon Springs, 200 miles north of New York City, is Beekman Estate. This slice of rich farmland is the home away from home for our vice president of healthy living, Dr. Brent Ridge.
Brent has about 75 Saanen Sable and Nubian goats on his farm, and he uses milk from these goats to make natural soaps. His soap, called Beekman 1802, is handmade, unscented, and chemical-free. The soap uses the maximum possible percentage of pure goat milk, and the milk's unique high butterfat content ensures that Beekman 1802 soap is one of the most moisturizing bars available, while its chemical free recipe makes it ideal for sensitive skin.
The farm at Beekman Mansion is a recently restored Georgian/Federal estate. The Beekman goats graze the land freely and drink the mineral water that once made Sharon Springs the most famous spa destination in the world.
Resources: Lye can be purchased at All other soap ingredients may found at Whole Foods. If you'd like to learn more about what Dr. Brent Ridge is doing on the farm or would like to purchase Beekman 1802 soap, visit Special thanks to Dr. Brent Ridge for giving some of his natural goat milk soap to our studio audience.


  • Protective mask and gloves
  • Stirring spoons or sticks
  • Candy thermometer
  • Electric hand blender
  • Spatula
  • Large bowl
  • Pitcher
  • Soap molds
  • Cookie racks
  • 12 ounces partially frozen goats' milk
  • 3 ounces lye
  • 4 1/4 ounces extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 ounces coconut oil
  • 12 ounces soy or vegetable shortening


  1. Step 1

    Wearing a protective mask and gloves, place milk into large bowl and slowly add lye. Stir until the mixture is smooth and without lumps. The lye will interact with the fat molecules in the milk and should bring the mixture to between 95 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Step 2

    Melt the olive oil, coconut oil, and shortening together in one pot and bring to 115 degrees.
  3. Step 3

    Add the oil mixture to the milk and lye and use a hand blender to combine until the mixture demonstrates "tracing" (drips from the blender leave a noticeable path in the mixture). This will take 2 to 5 minutes.
  4. Step 4

    Using a spatula, fold the mixture to remove bubbles. Transfer to a pitcher and pour the mixture into soap molds.
  5. Step 5

    After 24 hours, turn the soaps out of the molds onto cookie racks. Allow to cure for 2 weeks.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cycle of the Seasons

 I have learned not only do the seasons have a cycle, but how we approach our gardens also has a cycle. Around Feb. we start planning our garden. We can't wait until we can start planting. We buy all these seeds of every different kind we can find. We lay them on the counter or put them in our seed box. We still have a couple of months 'till planting. But they call to us, "Come look at me you know you want to plant me." But we are strong. We hold out. Then the dreams come. Sunshine,hot weather, and the birds singing. We're joyously standing there watching our plants grow. Only to be woken by the loud, and persistent alarm clock. March comes and they are still calling us. Too early, but we can get the ground ready! So what if there is still snow? We have shovels! April we're finally able to free our shovel from the frozen ground. They are still calling us. "Come plant me". Mid-April we can't take it anymore. We start them in the house. So what if we no long have table or counter space? And it won't kill our husbands to share the counter space and behind the toilet. For our plants that need the moisture! May they are too big for they pots. Now they are yelling "Plant me out side!" Too early. "Plant me out side!" So we plant them out side. Then there's the cold frames. To keep them warm that our husbands just loved giving up their weekends to make. June  they are doing great. We can relax. All that's left to do is: water, feed, watch for bugs, keep the deer out, catch ground hogs, chase away squirrels, patrol to stop stray cats from using your garden as a cat box...Is the list getting longer or is it just me? July, we find our garden taken over by the zucchini. They are multiplying as if possessed . We freeze them. We make zucc pickles,bread & butter pickles, and relish. But still they come. "Work YES!" We will take them to work and give them to friends. Everyone loves zucchini.  But soon our  friends won't answer their door. Co-works run the other way when they see us. Sept. yes, canning time. So what if our family can't walk thou the kitchen due to the boxes of jars everywhere. The stove is crowded with presser cookers and hot water bath pots. Counters are  covered with our bounty, plus every tool ever made for canning. "DINNER!" Isn't that why they made fast food. Oct.time for our winter garden. Beets, spinach, chard, ect. Feb. time to start planning our garden. We can't wait to plant................. 
I posted this a year  ago. I thought my new follower might enjoy it.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Homemade Apple Chips

These are a wonder snack.

this makes about 25 chips
1 large Granny Smith apple
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using a mandolin, slice the apples as thinly as you can.  Mix the sugar and the cinnamon in a shallow bowl and dip the apple slices lightly in the mixture, just lightly coating them.  Lay the slices on the baking sheets, about 12 slices per sheet.  Bake for 1 hour.  Remove one pan at a time and flip the apple slices over with tongs.  When you return pans to oven, also rotate them - put the one that was on the top rack on the bottom.  Bake for one more hour.  Remove pans from oven. Apple slices will start to harden up pretty quickly.  Remove with tongs.  

I don't remember where I got this recipe from. I have had it save for a while. If it came from one of my blogger  friends please let me know so I can give you credit. It's to good of a recipe not to take credit for it.



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Is it over yet?

Today has been one busy day.
To do List:
1 Cook breakfast. (done)
2 Dishes ( done)
3 Use up apples by make 2 1/2 dozen Apple Raisin Muffins to freeze. ( done)
4 Blanch and freeze green beans. ( done)
5 Wash. ( almost done)
6 Ironing ( not happening in this life time)
7 Make lunch for hubby ( done)
8 Dishes ( done again )
9 Making homemade bread. ( rising)
10 Can and freeze tomatoes. ( done)
11 Cut and freeze bell peppers and onions. ( done. )
12 Dishes ( done. Why did I even bother leaving the sink today. )
13 clean chicken coop. ( Added to tomorrow list )
14 Deep clean and dust. ( Ya, like that's happening today )
15 straighten up my canning and craft stuff in garage. ( not done)
16 Dinner ( to early to start )
17 Dishes ( daughter is in for a BIG SURPRISE. )
!8 Glass of wine. ( On it's way. Just think of it as my Kit-Kat break.)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Garden Update

 Sorry my monthly update is late I honesty just forgot. Old age does that to you.  This was my garden last month. We were having a problem with the effects of the heat on my plants.

 This is what it looks like this month. The heat played a toll on it. But It still grow it's little heart out for me. Yes that's weeds you see. Between trips and every day life I haven't been able to get out there and weed. You can probably guess what I will be doing this weekend.
 My tomatoes are getting bigger now that the weather has cooled off.  We did get down to 58 degrees the other night. You can see the damage of the heat then cold on my leaves.
 The green pepper are loving the cooler weather we are starting to get. I got 4 lovely peppers off them yesterday.
 This is the last of my carrots. The rest are canned  and ready for  those winter meals.
                  My cabbage is ready to be picked and made into German red cabbage.
 Still getting lots of zucchini. I think my neighbors are  hiding from me . Time to go to parking lot and hide zucchini in unlocked cars. LOL
                           Onions are almost ready . The tops still need to turn a little browner.

These were harvested out of my garden today. I will be giving most of  the spaghetti squash away since I don't know a way of preserving it. If anyone knows of a way, please let me know.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Pumpkin Cake with Apple Cider Glaze

For the Cake:
1 Yellow Cake Mix
1 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree

For the Glaze:
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons apple cider
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Empty the contents of the boxed cake mix and pumpkin puree into a large bowl. Using a hand-mixer or stand mixer beat until well incorporated. The batter will be very thick, but will come together nicely.

Pour batter into a greased 7 x 11 X 2 pan. Or two round cake pan for freezing ( add glaze after you have thawed and warmed them).

Bake at 350 degrees for 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not over bake.

Let cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan, then flip onto a platter.

Make the glaze while you're waiting.

Combine powdered sugar, apple cider and pumpkin pie spice. Glaze should be thick but pourable. Add more sugar or cider if needed. Pour over the cake while still warm. Reserve some to pour over each slice when served.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Things Your Mother Should Of Told You

  • 1. Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice cream drips.

    2. Use a meat baster to “squeeze” your pancake batter onto the hot griddle and you’ll get perfectly shaped pancakes every time....

    3. To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.

    4. To prevent eggshells from cracking, add a pinch of salt to the water before hard-boiling.

    5. Run your hands under cold water before pressing Rice Krispies treats in the pan and the marshmallow won’t stick to your fingers.

    6. To get the most juice out of fresh lemons, bring them to room temperature and roll them under your palm against the kitchen counter before squeezing.

    7. To easily remove burnt on food from your skillet, simply add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover bottom of pan, and bring to a boil on the stovetop.

    8. Spray your Tupperware with nonstick cooking spray before pouring in tomato-based sauces and there won’t be any stains.

    9. When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead and there won’t be any white mess on outside of the cake.

    10. If you accidentally over-salt a dish while it’s still cooking, drop in a peeled potato and it will absorb the excess salt for an instant “fix me up.”

    11. Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks.

    13. Place a slice of apple in hardened brown sugar to soften it.

    14. When boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the corn’s natural sweetness.

    15. To determine whether an egg is fresh, immerse it in a pan of cool, salted water. If it sinks, it is fresh, but if it rises to the surface, throw it away.

    16. Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.

    17. Don’t throw out all that leftover wine: Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.

    18. If you have a problem opening jars: Try using latex dishwashing gloves. They give a non-slip grip that makes opening jars easy.

    19. Potatoes will take food stains off your fingers. Just slice and rub raw potato on the stains and rinse with water.

    20. To get rid of itch from mosquito bites, try applying soap on the area and you will experience instant relief.

    21. Ants, ants, ants everywhere … Well, they are said to never cross a chalk line. So get your chalk out and draw a line on the floor or wherever ants tend to march. See for yourself.

    22. Now look what you can do with Alka Seltzer. Clean a toilet. Drop in two Alka-Seltzer tablets, wait twenty minutes, brush and flush. The citric acid and effervescent action clean vitreous china. Clean a vase. To remove a stain from the bottom of a glass vase or cruet, fill with water and drop in two Alka-Seltzer tablets. Polish jewelry. Drop two Alka-Seltzer tablets into a glass of water and immerse the jewelry for two minutes. Clean a thermos bottle. Fill the bottle with water, drop in four Alka-Seltzer tablets, and let soak for an hour (or longer, if necessary). Unclog a drain. Clear the sink drain by dropping three Alka-Seltzer tablets down the drain followed by a cup of Heinz White Vinegar. Wait a few minutes, then run the hot water