Thursday, January 31, 2013

DIY Homemade Foot Lotion

I call it the "Pinterest effect" – the sudden obsession, no that's not it, let's say, "fascination" to DIY, do-it-yourself. Not so ago, I'd have laughed out loud if someone suggested homemade foot lotion. Isn't that the stuff of companies with chemists and manufacturing facilities? And then it occurred to me. Everything that's made now in factories was first made in kitchens and garages and tinkers' workshops – until it became commercialized.

For me, DIY that is an extension of my kitchen, my food sensibility, my frugal nature, it just makes sense. And besides, you should feel my soft feet.

DIY Homemade Foot Lotion

People newly diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes have so much to learn, at first it’s confounding. There’s the food, the glucose testing, the medication, the weight loss, the carbs, the sugars, the insulin.

One big lesson? The importance of taking extra-good care of your feet. That’s because diabetes restricts blood flow to the feet and this means, ouch! that any blister, any scrape, any cut, can fail to heal and all-too-quickly veer out of control.

But good foot lotion is pricey. I’m not talking the $$$ lotions from cosmetic counters. Even the utilitarian lotions recommended by dermatologist like the very good Cetaphil are pricey.

So do the math.

You can spend about $10 to make 48 ounces of DIY Homemade Foot Lotion, that’s $.22 per ounce.

Or you can buy foot lotion. The best price I can find for Cetaphil is at Walmart.com for $.75 an ounce.

That’s more than THREE TIMES MORE!

But from there, the prices only go up. Cetaphil sells elsewhere online for up to $1.30 an ounce.

That’s almost SIX TIMES MORE!

So take care of your feet without breaking the bank. We’ve been using this lotion since April 2012 and you’ve never seen softer, smoother heels and soles.

Here’s to healthy feet!

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

DIY HOMEMADE FOOT LOTION

Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to foot: 20 minutes
Makes 48 ounces
  • 13 ounces petroleum jelly (you might know this by the brand name Vaseline)
  • 27 ounces baby lotion (any scent)
  • 12 ounces Vitamin E cream

In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients until smooth, about two minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl often. Transfer to clean, dry lotion containers. Use lotion daily, rubbing your feet with it before putting on socks and shoes. While applying the lotion, inspect your feet, watching for any changes, any sores, any bruises.

Adapted from Homemade Hand Cream by Patchwork Times.
ALANNA's TIPS I’ve adjusted this “recipe” to most efficiently use the generic-size products found at my local Walmart store. They’re not all in one place though. Find the petroleum jelly and baby lotion in the baby section, the Vitamin E cream in the first aid section. Feel free to adjust up or down to your own texture preferences, especially the Vaseline. Use more Vaseline for a thicker, richer emollient, less for something less so. I wash and re-use the containers, especially the four-ounce Vitamin E tubs. You’ll need twelve to hold the full recipe so until you collect enough, use the petroleum jelly container or sure, the empty Cetaphil tub! Since the photos were taken, I've learned that it's easy to remove the labels from both the Vitamin E and Cetaphil tubs. It’s hard to squirt out the baby lotion, it’s just so thick. To fix this, put it in the microwave for 10 or 15 seconds at a time until it softens enough to squeeze out easily. Of course, this lotion can be used on hands too, in fact, after using it on your feet, rub the excess onto the back of your hands, they’ll be soft and supple all day long! But it’s a little rich for day use so I tend to use it at night, letting the lotion do its work while I get shut-eye!

DIY Homemade Foot Lotion:
Just Three Easy-to-Find Ingredients


DIY Homemade Foot Lotion

I’ve adjusted this “recipe” to most efficiently use the generic-size products found at my local Walmart store. They’re not all in one place though. Find the petroleum jelly and baby lotion in the baby section, the Vitamin E cream in the first aid section.


This Week, Years Past 2002 - 2012

Caraway Cabbage Shhh Banana Bread My Sister's Recipe for Crockpot Chili Fast Roast Chicken How to Cook Popcorn in a Microwave in a Paper Bag Party Nuts with Fresh Rosemary

This Week, Elsewhere

Jamaican Jerk Chicken from De Palm Tree Restaurant
~ more St. Louis Restaurant Recipes ~
My Column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch


Gearing Up for the Big Game? Let's Make Chili!

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Crockpot Chili with Spicy Sausage White Chicken Chili Chocolate Chili





© Copyright 2013 Kitchen Parade



Thursday, January 24, 2013

How to Poach a Perfect Egg –
The Cook's Illustrated Technique

If you're like me and l-i-v-e for a perfectly poached egg, you will also, like me, have tried all those egg-poaching shenanigans because honestly, you'd do almost anything, wouldn't you? just to figure out how to cook poached eggs to perfection, turning out firm whites and runny yolks each and every time.

Tap your Dorothy heels twice while whistling for Toto? It doesn't work. Neither does Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200. All those crazy egg-poaching techniques, they just don't work, never have, never will. But now? Leave it to Cook's Illustrated to crack the code for perfect poached eggs.

How to Perfectly Poach an Egg

My mother’s Greatest-Generation mindset was that a good purse and a good lipstick were solid investments. In her world, that meant one handbag and one lipstick, not closets- or vanities-full. “When you use something every day,” she’d counsel, “spend more, it’s worth it.”

My culinary mindset says that for dishes we make every day, it pays to invest in technique. Since learning how to perfectly poach eggs, I’ve poached a couple of dozen eggs, all but two turned out exactly right. (A possible explanation? They might have been a little old.)

Where my mother and I part? I want a recipe-boxful of good ways to cook eggs, not just one. This makes perfectly poached eggs just one of many ways to cook eggs in my repertoire, albeit a much welcome one.

Here are the tips I learned recently from Cook's Illustrated.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT PAN Perfectly poach eggs in a skillet, not a saucepan. The eggs move around less, are less likely to break apart.
SALT & VINEGAR Perfectly poach eggs in water that includes salt, which flavors the eggs, and vinegar, which holds the whites together.
EASY DOES IT For perfectly poached eggs, gently slip the eggs into the water, don’t directly crack them from the shell.
NIX THE BOILING WATER! Perfectly poach eggs off-heat in hot water, not boiling water. First bring the water to a boil, then turn off the heat. Perhaps it’s our cold Midwestern winter climate but I’ve also found it necessary to hold that heat in with a lid.
CLOCKWORK For perfectly poached eggs, watch the clock. To my taste, that’s five minutes, exactly. To my sister, who’s a Nervous Nelly about soft egg whites, that’s likely closer to seven minutes.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite special recipe for cooking eggs that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

HOW to PERFECTLY POACH an EGG:
The COOK'S ILLUSTRATED TECHNIQUE

Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 10 minutes
Makes 4 poached eggs
  • Water
  • Kosher salt or sea salt
  • White vinegar
  • 4 large eggs
  • Salt & pepper

Fill a shallow skillet with about 1-1/2 inches of water, an 8-inch skillet works for two eggs, a 12-inch works for four eggs. Add salt (about 1/2 tablespoon) and vinegar (a big splash, about a tablespoon). Bring the water to a hard boil, a good ‘n’ bubbly boil.

While the water comes to a boil, crack the eggs into small bowls (I use small ramekins), one per egg or one per person if you don't mind a couple of eggs poaching together. Dig out a slotted spoon, preferably one only slightly larger than an egg. Place a single layer of paper towel over a plate. Keep all these nearby.

Once the water boils, work quickly:

Turn off the heat but leave the skillet on the element.
Two at a time, one in each hand, tip the small bowls into the water, gently slipping the eggs into the skillet. Keep the eggs separate, as far apart as you can.
Cover the skillet with a lid.
Set the timer for 5 minutes for runny yolks or 6 - 7 minutes for firm yolks.

Now walk away, whatever it takes to stop looking under the lid and letting the heat escape! It’s that residual heat that is needed to perfectly poach the eggs.

After five to seven minutes, gently lift each egg out of the water with the slotted spoon and gently rest the egg on the paper towel for a few seconds, this removes that last bit of water which makes for watery poached eggs. Gently lift each egg off the paper towel and onto a plate or into a bowl of soup. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.

Savor and enjoy! For wholesome, homey comfort food, there’s nothing quite like a perfectly poached egg.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Large Egg: 71 Calories; 4g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 211mg Cholesterol; 70mg Sodium; 0g Carb; 0g Fiber; 0g Sugar; 6g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 2, WW PointsPlus 2
For more life-changing culinary techniques, find a copy of The Science of Good Cooking from Cook’s Illustrated. The book is on my Amazon wishlist but I heard Jack Bishop from Cook's Illustrated interview on The Splendid Table awhile back and made my first perfect poached eggs the very next morning!

This Week, Years Past 2002 - 2012

Finnish Whole-Wheat Flatbread Cashew Chicken Curry Chicken Sybil Chicken Nachos Lighter Mashed 'Potatoes' Beef Bourguignon Savory Cornbread Muffins Easy Margarita Chicken

This Week, Elsewhere

Kale, Bean, Sausage & Lentil Soup from Rigazzi's Restaurant
~ more St. Louis Restaurant Recipes ~
My Column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Peasant Cabbage-Tomato Soup
~ more Recent Recipes ~
A Veggie Venture


More Easy, Healthy Egg Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
French Scrambled Eggs Gashouse Eggs Homemade Egg McMuffin Cooked in the Microwave
Shakshuka (Eggs Nested in Summer Vegetables) Ratatouille Omelettes Refried Bean Sauce with Eggs on Top
~ more egg recipes ~





© Copyright 2013 Kitchen Parade