Posts Tagged ‘Olive oil’

My mother gave me an old set of wooden dishes from when she and my dad were first married, and they had been looking pretty shabby and in need of polishing. For a while now, I’ve been meandering around on the internet looking for a good wood polish to keep these wooden dishes looking nice, and I stumbled across a recipe that does the trick without a whole lot of hassle. Just rub it on, leave it sit for 10-30 minutes, and wipe it off. I tweaked it a little to my own liking (I’m a tinker-er, what can I say??), but as I was using it, I found that it is great for so much more than just polishing my wooden bowls.

It also makes a great conditioner for leather shoes and gloves, a really nice balm for dry skin, and honestly, my hair has never looked better since I’ve started using this exclusively as my only hair gel/protection from split ends. As someone who does henna, it’s an absolutely wonderful post-henna balm, too. Add some thieves oil, and you’ve got a great homemade Vicks-style chest rub, or any kind of healing lotion that you can put wherever the infection is. (Thieves oil is absolutely amazing, too, but that’s another post for another time…) This stuff is an awesome everything balm.

I just don’t know what to call it, since I use it for everything. And “Everything Balm” sounds weird. What to do, what to do…..

The good news is that it’s super easy to make, especially if you’ve made my lip balm recipe before, as it’s very similar.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 Tbsp finely grated beeswax
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 capsule vitamin E oil
  • Popsicle stick to stir
  • 4-oz glass Ball jar

As far as grating the beeswax goes, it’s not a good idea to use a grater that you ever plan on using for food again–beeswax is hard to get cleaned off. Trust me on that one. I have a grater I use specifically for grating soap, beeswax, and other things I don’t want on the grater I use for food. Also, make sure your wax 100% beeswax, without paraffin or anything else in it. Beeswax is a bit on the pricey side, but it is definitely worth it.

Place the grated beeswax into your small glass jar (a 4 oz Ball jar will be just the perfect size for one batch) and place it in a pan of water on the stove. Use your jar as the double boiler, but there’s no need to really boil the water below. You just need to heat everything until the beeswax all melts. It needs to be fully melted: no clumps, no bumps, just smooth liquid. When it’s completely melted, add the coconut oil and melt that fully, too. Add olive oil and vitamin E oil. Mix well. Remove from heat, and that’s it! You’ll just need to let it cool a bit before putting the lid on.


Almost all melted…


Finished and cooled, well-loved (and almost gone) mixture

What I like about this is that the beeswax is melted in the container you’re already going to store it in. Melted beeswax is a pain to clean out of a pan, but this is completely no-mess. Not even a single dish needs washed afterward!

Now, the only question I have is what to call it…..

What do you think? What would YOU call it?


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Popcorn is one of those things. I really like it, but it comes with a lot of waste and lots of unhealthy additives, preservatives, and who-knows-what else. And so I don’t buy it. But I still miss having popcorn once in a while.

I never wanted another appliance (like a popcorn popper) to store that I’ll hardly ever use, and popping popcorn on the stove sounds annoying. But I recently found that it’s super easy to make popcorn in the microwave, without the necessity of it being processed, pre-packaged, and sold in individual envelopes with that weird plastic foil thing inside. (What is that thing anyway?) It comes out just like microwave popcorn, but a whole lot cheaper, with less waste, and (presumably?) a bit more healthy. But watch out, it’s just as addictive!

You’ll need:

  • A regular paper bag. Not a huge one, but maybe the next size up from the small lunch-sized one.
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt

Place the oil, salt, and kernels in the paper bag, fold it over a few times and microwave for about 3-5 min or so, until it sounds done, just as you would with regular microwave popcorn.

That’s really it.

And, instead of just settling for whatever comes in the package from the store, you can experiment and tinker with it when you make your own (which I find fun). I made a batch last night with rosemary and parmesan cheese in the bag too, and it came out really great. I also drizzle a bit of melted butter overtop.


As far as waste, you’ll still have the plastic bag the corn kernels came in, unless you can buy them in bulk somewhere. And the paper bag too, which after being coated with oil won’t be recyclable. But it’s still compostable. And you can reuse it a couple of times, as long as you can store in somewhere it won’t pick up dirt/dust, or get moldy, but I wouldn’t want to keep it more than a day or two.

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Recently, I tried out a recipe for homemade lip balm that came out great. I started with a recipe I found here and tweaked it just a little to my own liking. It was really easy to make, no mess, and not time-consuming at all. The hardest part (as is the case with many of my recpies) was using up my old one so I had a container to refill.

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons packed grated beeswax
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey (See edits at the bottom)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, I used my homemade vanilla extract, and it worked great
  • 1/4 teaspoon vitamin E oil (Open up a vitamin supplement capsule of vitamin E and empty the liquid, or you can buy a jar of just the liquid vitamin E)

Grate the beeswax using the smallest holes on a cheese grater. You won’t need to grate any more than a 1-inch by 1-inch block. That would be more than plenty.

Just as a side note, it was a little difficult to clean our cheese grater afterward. I would recommend just having on hand another grater designated for non-food items. I’ve posted several recipes which require grated bars of soap and other things, so this might be a good investment.

Get a tin can from your recycling bin and pinch one side of it to make a pour spout. Put the grated beeswax in and place the can in a small saucepan of simmering water on the stove. When all the wax is melted, add in the coconut oil and olive oil and stir. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Pour the melted mixture into prepared containers, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

I only had 3 containers to refill, but I’d estimate this recipe might make about 10 wind-up containers. I bet you can order new lip balm containers online somewhere instead of saving up old ones, but I like the idea of not adding any more plastic to our landfills. If you do get new containers (or clean the old ones really well), these would make fantastic gifts. It smells wonderful and works great!

EDIT: I made another batch of this and poured it into clear containers, and it seemed the last container had an ingredient that didn’t solidify with the rest. It had sunk to the bottom and stayed a gooey liquid. It seemed like it was the honey that sunk to the bottom and didn’t mix in. I eliminated the honey in my next batch, but didn’t use clear containers, so it will be a while (until I get down to the bottom of my current chapstick container) before I can confirm whether eliminating the honey did the trick.

EDIT #2: I made this again in clear containers, and eliminating the honey did the trick. I don’t use honey anymore, just scratch it from the list of ingredients. It still smells nice because of the coconut oil, vanilla, and beeswax, and it doesn’t seem like it’s missing anything.

EDIT #3: Sister just called me with a little tip on making a tin can double boiler. If you use an emptied-out small can of olives, the can (with all the ingredients inside, she says) will float in the pan of water without needing to hold it and risk burning your fingers.

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This one is super easy. It has only two ingredients, is easy to mix up, and works really well, especially on leather gloves after they get all crusty and dried when it rains.

In an old olive oil bottle, mix ½ cup extra virgin olive oil and ¼ cup lemon juice. Shake well and tip onto a rag to polish surfaces. Make sure not to use too much, or it will leave smudges and residue on wood.

The only thing I don’t like about this recipe is that it might go bad before you get a chance to use it all up. You’ll know simply by looking at it when it’s turned bad: it thickens and starts to turn brown. It will keep for quite a while though, so maybe making half a batch will work a little better. I think I’ll try this the next time I need to make it.

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