Slow Cook Tea Warmer Recipes


Tea warmer + Ramekin + nice smelly ingredients = Long lasting air freshener

A strange post I know but about two years ago I looked up “Slow Cooker Air Freshener”. I love the smell of slow cooker food and I had an idea for an essential oils blend version. This was where I first saw the Ramekin slow cooker recipes for air fresheners but it seems not as many people get adventurous with it. Everyone kind of sticks to the standard, cinnamon stick, cloves and orange slice with peel recipe. It’s nice and all but there’s so many others you can try.

Here are a few of my favourite recipes. Though you can kind of do this in a regular oil burner, a Ramikin is best. I use my teapot warmer and find it can freshen up to a quarter of my house which is quite impressive given the size and design of my home.

A quick note, always use cold water.

Lemony Lavender

1 whole cutting of lavender, leaves, flowers, stems and all. (You could also use half this, depending on the size of your lavender bush. The leaves tend to shrink a bit.)

5 Lemon Myrtle Leaves (if no lemon myrtle, lemon peel is a good substitute or lemon essential oil 3-5 drops)

Water (I prefer to use distilled water)

This blend is refreshingly relaxing. It’s a very positive smell and bound to earn compliments.

Lemony Rosemary

1 Sprig of Rosemary

5 Lemon Myrtle leaves or lemon peel or lemon essential oil. 3-5 drops.

Water

This blend I find makes my family hungry. Everyone loves the Rosemary smell mixed with lemon. It’s a bright and uplifting smell. Some have commented that it gives them a bit of a boost of energy.

Lavender Rosemary and Myrtle

1 Lavender stalk. Use only the lavender leaves. Basically all the green parts plus stems.

1 Sprig of Rosemary

3-5 Lemon Myrtle leaves (Best to use Myrtle)

Water

This is lemony with a stronger rosemary undertone. For whatever reason the green leaves of lavender can smell very similar to rosemary. It’s not quite the same but it sort of is. This recipe appears to be the most popular. It’s warm, citrusy and gentle.

Rose

Fresh, first thing in the morning rose. Dark red gives the best scent.

Water

Try to use the whole rose. If you don’t have access, regular old rose tea will do. This is a slow and gentle freshener. It takes a while to heat up, the smell slowly disperses throughout the room and gently fades after a while. Can be reheated but may not produce the same amount of smell.

Lavender

Lavender flowers, fresh or dried

Water

Much the same as the rose recipe. Goes will in bathrooms. I recommend bruising the flowers for a quicker smell.

Full Lavender

Whole lavender. Leaves, flowers, stem.

Water

Produces a lovely lavender smell with a rosemary like hint. Very nice, very gentle and relaxing. Of course you might nit to chop it up a fair bit. For best results, bruise the flowers.

Not Quite Lemon

Lemon Leaves (as much as you can fit, chopped up)

Water

This is a very delicate and gentle lemon smell. It lasts longer than the lemon peels and travels far throughout the home. I’ve had many compliments for this blend because it’s pleasant but not overpowering. It’s good for those times where you want a hint of smell to make your home seem a little fresher even though it’s already clean.

Not Quite Lime

Lime Leaves (as much as you can fit, chopped up)

Water

Pretty much the same results. Can be reused up to about 3 times.

Plain Rosemary

1-2 Rosemary sprigs

Rosemary flowers (if in bloom)

Water

Slow cooking this is very nice. I do find it tends to make my family hungry and I start getting requests to cook more roast lamb.

Cinnamon

1-3 Sticks of cinnamon

Water

I think this goes under appreciated. It’s spicy, warm and just smells delicious. Very nice and strong smelling and disperses slowly through the air. It takes a long time to extract from the wood but it can be reused multiple times before it wears off.

Cinnamon Star

1-2 Cinnamon sticks

4-6 Star Anise seed pods

4 Cardamon pods (Optional)

Warm and slightly licorice scented. Refreshing and pleasant.

Clary Sage

Leaves and Flowers (enough to fit half way in the ramekin)

Water

I love clary sage. I love the smell. It’s definitely an underappreciated herb. I’d describe it as strong, pleasant and very herbal smelling. Being slow cook style, it progressively gets stronger as you let it do it’s thing. Best used in a large room. I prefer the kitchen or dining room.

Patchouli

Use the leaves, fresh or dried

Water (cold)

Beautiful and musky, it’s a very pleasant scent to slow cook just for the smell of it.

 

So far, these are all my favourites. They’re all quick and easy and most of these I’m either growing or can find in the pantry. I started using these because I’m sick of chemicals and sick from using stuff in cans and bottles from the shop. That and I am a very allergic person.

I love smells and perfumes but I’m horrendously allergic to so many. Using these I get all the benefits of it being safe to use, organic without the harmful chemicals or allergic reactions. With commercial stuff I get either asthma, heyfever or a combination of both.

Even though this isn’t a new or original idea, it does seem to me that a lot of people are unaware of just how much they can do with a simple tealight candle and a few items from their garden or cupboard and get hours of refreshing smells without harming anyone.

Air fresheners don’t have to be complicated and they certainly don’t have to be expensive. I love making them and I absolutely recommend giving it a try. Especially if you love a particular herb. Slow cook it in some cold water in a ramekin and see what happens. You might be surprised!

 

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Lemon Leaf Tea


Will looking up homemade multipurpose cleaner I wondered if I could do the same with lemon tree leaves. I already knew they were non toxic and I assumed they had all the goodness of lemons. Plus my tree has only just started to bare fruit. The fruit is far to young to pick. That’s how I stumbled onto posts about lemon tree leaf tea or lime leaf tea. I looked it up some more and did some research before trying it out

I was very pleasantly surprised. I would like to research it some more though. It tasted like lemon flavouring without any acidity or bitterness. It was very mild and very nice with honey.

I really enjoy trying out new teas like this. Especially natural tea or tea you can make at home. I plan to buy some dwarf fruit trees this year. Mostly orange, pink lady apple and a lime tree. I’m also sick of some of the rediculous prices. Having lived somewhere that use to grow oranges I know that quite often leaving them on the tree is like self storage. It feels as though it fruits all year round and I miss having that luxury of fresh non-chemically treated fruit.

Last year I got a food dehydrator and started making orange chips. I thought about it though and decided I’d rather be doing it with home grown oranges. Fortunately Bunnings still sells miniature fruit trees from time to time. They currently have a lime tree so that’s the first thing I’m going to buy this week.

 

This Snack Is Just Right


Sorry about the lame title and sorry for no photo’s. I might be able to update this post with photo’s later though. So today I accidently made a new type of snack. I screwed up making homemade chocolate with cacao butter and not wanting to waste it, I threw in some Just Right ceral and a new snack was born. I thought I would share it since it really is quite a lovely treat.

What you will need:

  • Glass Pyrex mixing bowl or measureing jug or a ceramic mixing bowl. If you have neither of these then use a tin mixing bowl, you can’t use plastic.
  • Vegetable steaming pots or a deep pot to put your mixing bowl in to steam melt the cacao
  • A spoon to mix
  • Cupcake paper cups or silicone cupcake cups

Ingredients you will need:

  • Cacao butter
  • (Optional) Coconut oil. I added this to help make it a little softer and for the taste
  • A sweet syrup such as corn syrup, maple, agave or honey to sweeten the cacao butter.
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Carob powder or Cocoa powder. Preferably pure.
  • Just Right cereal

How to make:

I did not measure my cacao. I simply cut it 2inches buy 4inch slice. It made approximately less than 1/3 cup of liquid cacao. So make a cut approximately 1/3cup worth and place into mixing bowl. Add approximately 3 tablespoons of coconut oil. If it’s solid just make the best educated guess you can. It’s ok if you have to much. This is so it doesn’t go too hard when cooled.

Fill your base steaming pot half way with water. Place only the first tier steam pot on top. This is just to keep Cacao from over steaming. You can do this in a regular pot. If you do, don’t let the bowl touch the water. Place the mixing bowl in the top tier of the steamer. Turn on the heat and bring to a steam slowly. When it starts to melt, stir constantly and slowly. Be careful not to burn yourself! When the water has been brought to a boil and starts steaming, turn down the heat to about medium. You really want to melt the Cacao butter slowly so you don’t cook out to much of the nutrients or over cook it.

When the Cacao butter has started to melt and the coconut oil has liquified, add syrup to taste. I recommend about 2 tablespoons of honey or agave nectar. When all the ingredients have melted and combined start to add the Carob powder by lightly sprinkling it into the liquid as you stir. After mixing in the carob powder and there are no lumps and it has all combined start to slowly add Just Right cereal. Turn off the heat as we don’t need it any more.

You can remove the bowl now if you like. To do this (the liquid will stay liquid for quite sometime before becoming solid), remove the pots from the stove first and place on an inactive element away from heat. Remove the top tier and let out some of the steam. Place the tier back on the pot. This will help prevent any steam from burning your arms. Grab either oven safe gloves or a tea towel that has been folded multiple times and use to remove the bowl. Make sure to place a tea towel on the bench first! This is the most important part, otherwise your bowl can smash! Carefully lift the mixing bowl away from the steaming pots with something to protect your hands and then place the bowl on the tea towel on the bench you set up. Use a tea towel or oven safe gloves to hold onto the bowl as you mix ingredients.

As you add the cereal make sure to evenly coat it in the mix. It’s just like making chocolate rice bubble crackle. Add enough cereal so it’s mostly dry but well coated. This will make it stick well together. Use a large spoon and start scooping it into the cupcake paper cups. Just remember to restore it each time before filling a new cupcake paper cup. The reason being that the liquid quickly sinks down to the bottom and the more liquid you have on the bottom of your cupcake cup, the more solid the base will be.

Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour before eating or until firm. After the mix has cooled and solidified they are ready to enjoy!!

 

I will try to get some photo’s to go with this post. The carob powder really makes the chocolate coating taste very rich and chocolatey.

My Ronson Rice Cooker


So some of you may know from my twitter but some few weeks have passed now since I bought a Ronson Rice cooker. Before this we had a gifted one. A Kmart Homemaker cheap one. The cheap one was good at first but it had a lot of problems that made it dangerous to use. It would constantly over boil no matter how you did it and often the rice was undercooked. It over boiled over the power cord where it plugged in and I hated it. In fact since it was our first rice cooker we thought well maybe they are all like this so I hit up youtube and saw a Ronson Rice Cooker in action. I had to have one. In the meantime I had to wait. I started washing my rice before I cooked it to remove the starch. This helped a great deal with the over boil in my cheap rice cooker but it would still over boil and spit. I’d have crusty rice water all over my kitchen bench and curtains. It was frustrating.

Then my Fiance gave me $50 for a blender. Of course by that time the blender I wanted was gone and a better one appeared for $70. So I looked up a few stores online for a rice cooker and found a Ronson rice cooker for $40. I think it was either $40 or $45. Either way it was possible to buy it. So I did. I’m extremely happy with it. My old one was hard to clean, this one promised easy clean and it was true. I use a wet sponge. Wipe it out and it’s done. And the feature I adore the most about it is it’s steam water residue catcher. You open the lid, the water trickles down into a detachable compartment. No water on the outside any more. No more danger of water near a power cord. I can have my rice prewashed or unwashed and it never over boils. I love it’s pressure cooker style lid and little steam chimney! The lid is definitely one of my most favourite features. I burned myself many times on the cheap one. Even while using oven gloves and a tea towel, the pot, though in warm mode would still spit because of the liquid on the rim. The Ronson rice cooker has won my heart. It’s safe, it works and it does everything promised. And it keeps my rice warm instead of turning it into a crusty uneatable brick like my old cheap one.

Below are a few photo’s of my Ronson rice cooker. One photo is off the first wash of rice and all the starch that came off it. I read somewhere many people saying wash first but they didn’t know why they were just raised that it was important and then finally I read why from someone and it makes perfect sense. My mother always washed her rice after cooking to remove starch but I personally don’t believe cooking that starch into it and washing off residue last. I’d rather do what I can in the beginning.

This rice cooker is worth buying. I love it and use it nearly every night.

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Homemade Soy Milk Using A Slow Cooker


I’ve always enjoyed slow cooked anything but what lead me to using a slow cooker for soy milk was because my stove is awful. The element only heats on one side on all of them and it’s hard to cook things at an even temperature. My first milk batch was too raw. Second attempt had an under taste of burn. The bottom slightly burned. And since I can’t get a new oven I had to think of some other way to cook my homemade soy milk. I thought, why not the slow cooker? It wouldn’t over boil and foam wouldn’t rise so why not? First I googled if anyone had and I couldn’t find so much as a blog post so I went with what I knew and the results where beautiful. It made the perfect soy milk. It also doesn’t have a raw bean taste like my other milks had. I put in some vanilla bean this time for flavouring and slow cooked it on high for 2hrs. I’m going to be making my soy milk this way from now on.

Below a picture of my slow cooking soy milk. 1 cup of hydrated soy beans, 3 and a half cups of filtered water. 1inch vanilla bean.
Soymilk

Homemade Toasted Rice Rice Milk


I’ve tried every way to make rice milk and I didn’t like any of them but I was determined to get it to work until I had an idea. I like the consistency of raw rice rice milk but I didn’t like how it tasted. It was to raw. I was going crazy trying to think of how to get it with a cooked flavour and then it hit me. Toasted.

I make my own rice flour for a variety of reasons, one of which being, to make short bread. After or before I make my rice flour, I toast it to preserve it and to stop it from going moldy to make sure it has no more moisture left after soaking it. So I did this to my rice milk batch.

I used one cup of brown rice and soaked it for several hours. After draining it thoroughly I toasted it lightly in my frying pan. Enough to make it dry but also until it smelled delicious. After I was done I put it in a heat safe bowl to cool. Then I added 3 cups of way and blended it. Because it’s raw it takes a long time. To speed it up, I blended it, then used my sieve to filter it and gathered the pulp in my strainer, placed that back in the blender with rice milk at half the amount and blended. I repeated this until my rice pulp was as fine as rice flour. This was my end result also I am sorry for the mess in my photo:

Rice milk, home made

Rice milk, home made

 

When I placed my hands in the milk (something I do to check the consistency) I noticed it was exactly like cows milk. Very white, watery like cows milk and it tasted a lot better. However to use it, it functions like any other type of rice milk except my batch is much stronger than store bought. I was very surprised by the resulted and delighted. After all the recipes I tried and read, this method works better. I tried it all and I am glad I had thought to toast my soaked grains.

I hope this post might help others out there making their own home made rice milk.

Feeling Under The Weather? Green Tea and Lemon Juice!


Matcha Tea or green tea powder

Matcha Tea or green tea powder (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m feeling ill this last week but one thing I like better than the old fashion hot lemon juice and honey remedy is green tea, lemon and honey and if I feel like the added taste a dash of cinnamon. I like the added health benefits of green tea and I prefer matcha green tea, the honey soothes and the acid in the lemon breaks down the phlem. I usually make myself a pot since I love hot drinks and get a rather rapid relief from this blend. I also like the effects of cinnamon when lightly added. I find a home made hot drink of lemon is much to strong for me which is why I like it blended in with green tea plus green tea along is good for a cold.

Putting the two cold fighters together along with the sooth of honey, much tastier than having nothing at all. I also think that how often I get sick and had to use cough drops, might have had a big role in my tooth decay. Plus the high sugar, it just wasn’t very good for me at all or my weight. So now if I can’t have this tea blend, sugarless cough drops. The other good thing about this blend is that it’s diabetic friendly. But in saying that you can only have a teaspoon of honey not a huge heaping. I put one teaspoon for my whole pot and my mother can help me drink it and she’s diabetic. I usually make most of my things diabetic friendly so she can have some or help me finish things off. The flavour is evenly distributed and I don’t get a sugar hit as opposed to adding a spoon of honey per cup.

In the past with getting the flu and various other viruses, I have found cough drops to make me more sick because of the sugar hit. Now that I am older I’ve been finding the old remedies to be the best but to I am glad I don’t get as sick as I use to when I was a child. Now out of curiosity, what remedies do you use when you’re sick? Home made chicken soup? Other things not mentioned? Post a comment, I’d love to hear about it. I use to get my mum to make home made veggie soup. Always made me feel better and it was the only thing I could stomach.