Homemade vegan lip balm

Have I mentioned that I get a little ridiculously picky about some things? I probably haven’t. But last year I discovered my favorite lip balm had changed their formulation and it was suddenly disgusting and unusable. I found the lot numbers of the old lip balm recipe and I bought a year’s worth, stashing it in my fridge. Everything was wonderful until I only had about 2 left and I started panicking. I bought one of every lip balm and Whole Foods and they were all terrible. I was beside myself and fell into a deeper depression than the time my chicken was eating all of her eggs (that’s still happening, by the way, I just try not to care about it too much)

Anyway, I decided I needed to make my own lip balm and after extensive research, I have two recipes for you. One of the lip balm recipes sucks and the other is amazing and I love it.

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I know what you’re thinking, why bother sharing the shitty lip balm recipe? I don’t really have a great answer for that. I mostly just want credit for all the work I did. And if anyone is wondering if this was an attempt to make Mary Ellen feel bad about herself for not doing things like making lasagna and DIYing lip balm, it is. I’m amazing. I definitely didn’t almost fail out of grad school to bring you this lip balm recipe. And that was definitely the kind of high caliber sentence a graduate student should be writing.

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That’s a bunched up Christmas towel in the background. Everyone uses Christmas towels year-round, right?

Recipe 1: Shitty Lip Balm

Makes about 8 tubes of lip balm

1 tbsp candelilla wax

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp shea butter

¼ tsp vitamin E oil

Optional: 3-5 drops essential oil (I used lavender)

 

Recipe 2: Amazing Lip Balm

Makes about 12 tubes of lip balm

2 tbsp candelilla wax

2 tbsp shea butter

2 tbsp coconut oil

10 drops vitamin E oil

Optional: 3-5 drops essential oil (I used lavender)

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Jars are the best makeshift double broilers because you can just throw them in the dishwasher and then your pot doesn’t smell like candelilla and lavender when you want to make pasta

The instructions are the same for both recipes

Melt candelilla wax, shea butter, and coconut oil in a double broiler (I just put a jar in a pot of simmering water)

Once melted, add vitamin E and essential oils and stir

Pour mixture into empty lip balm tubes or whatever canister you want to use. I used a pipette to transfer the mixture into the tubes. Let set for at least a few hours until room temperature, they will be fully hardened after sitting overnight. They turn off-white once hardened.

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You’d think with a pipette I wouldn’t get drips everywhere, but my hands were super shaky because I had too much caffeine that morning

May your lips be moisturized but not sticky and gross

Serafina

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Buttercup Burritos

Today I want to emotionally open up to all of our millions of readers.  Sometimes it’s hard to bear your soul to those closest to you, which is why I only share my private thoughts on Twitter, as well as subtweet all of my dirty laundry with every relationship in my life, real and fictional.   

 

Lately I’ve been having an existential crisis.  It’s basically consumed me, to the point I hardly even drink anymore (don’t worry, I’m drinking now, like I do when I write all my posts).  At least half of it is Serafina’s fault, because she puts together extremely elaborate lasagnas AND EVEN BOILS THE NOODLES??!! and she even has a boyfriend.  She has basically kept this blog alive single-handedly and pays both of our bills, as well as this guy we met online three years ago named Ayden. Also, I know for a fact she has six pack abs and reads to blind parrots in her spare time. Her personal Instagram has been featured in 70 different lifestyle magazines, 37 made the cover.  Like, how does one even fucking keep up with that shit? What do I have to show for myself? I still listen to CDs on a Sony Walkman.

 

Have I already peaked?  Have all my culinary masterpieces already been made?  Is this all there is? I don’t even get a gold watch?

 

Oh wait.  *record screeches to a halt*

 

Now… before I share this recipe with you, I just want you all to know how much you mean to me.  I mean, I’m sharing LITERAL SECRET RECIPES. I was planning on only passing these down to my daughter, but then I had a son, because it’s what my husband wanted.  We stay in our gender lanes in this family.

 

Sorry, I didn’t mean to get all political and shit.  That’s not what this is about. This is about:

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I feel like the chocolate chips are a little pushy but whatever.

What to eat for lunch when you forgot to eat lunch but now you’re hangry and you have like 3 minutes to make something you can eat while following your child around and throw play doh balls all over the place.

 

I call it: Buttercup burritos.

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Don’t worry, I know this recipe is complicated but that’s why I took 500 pictures.

You take a whole wheat tortilla, because remember, we want to nourish our bodies in addition to our minds, and you lightly warm it.  Spread your nut butter of choice on it. Mine is almond. Sprinkle with a modest amount of chocolate chips. I used an allergy friendly one, not because I have allergies, but because I’m better than most people.

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Shit.  This looks more like a crepe.  But I already committed to the burrito theme and I really don’t want to have to go back and edit this…

Roll your burrito.

Roll your play doh.

 

Eat and try not to choke on it while running around.

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If I were to make this again, I would add melted butter and omit the almond butter and the chocolate chips.

 

“Buttercups are actually quite filling.” – The Foundations

 

Mary Ellen

 

Hiding Vegetables in your Boyfriend’s Food (Vegetable Lasagna)

As you all know, my boyfriend and I don’t eat any of the same foods. It’d be a source of contention, but usually I just ignore his desires because he has the palate of a young child. During my recent break from school, I had an extremely ambitious day in which I decided to make lasagna. This was a few days after I tried to make pad thai and failed miserably because I didn’t use a recipe. I also burned a batch of granola in the same week. Things are going just great in my kitchen.

Anyway, before reverting to ordering take out for a week straight, I made this lasagna and it was lovely. I was originally planning on making the whole thing with various hidden vegetables, but then my boyfriend came home early and asked me what the fuck I was putting in his food. So I had to go back to the store to get more ingredients to make half of the lasagna with only spinach and cheese. God, he’s spoiled.

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A few notes about the recipe: I do my tomato sauce on the side when I make lasagna because I can’t seem to wrap my head around how much sauce to use if I put it in the lasagna with everything else. And you’ll see that my pictures have shredded carrots in them. Don’t put carrots in your lasagna, it’s a stupid idea and you’ll be disappointed. It may even be one of the factors that leads to you getting pressured into admitting that your boyfriend’s half of the lasagna turned out better than yours (I also put too much nutmeg in my half, which is why you should measure your spices).

Vegetarian lasagna

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Ingredients

16 oz lasagna noodles

15 oz container cottage cheese (or ricotta)

2 cups shredded mozzarella

1 egg

½ cup shredded parmesan

2 cups spinach

1-2 cups other veggies, shredded if you don’t want your boyfriend to know what vegetables you ended up using. I recommend zucchini, mushrooms, and broccoli

About ½-1 tsp herbs de Provence

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

Salt and pepper to taste

For the tomato sauce:

1 can pureed tomato sauce

Olive oil, some herbs de Provence, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper

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Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425°

Boil noodles per package. Keep them al dente otherwise they’ll be too soggy.

Mix the cottage cheese with an egg, all the spices, and all of the veggies.

Put down a layer of noodles, then spread a layer of cottage cheese/veggie mixture, then sprinkle a thin layer of mozzarella. Repeat until all ingredients are gone, and then top with noodles. You’ll want to reserve a little shredded mozzarella for the top.

Bake for about 45 minutes until the insides are looking bubbly and done. Cover with foil about 30 minutes in once the cheese on top is looking perfectly browned and delicious.

While the lasagna is baking, make the tomato sauce. Saute the spices in olive oil briefly and then add in the pureed tomatoes. Keep at a low simmer until the lasagna is ready.

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This was my second helping of lasagna, but the picture turned out better than my first attempt because I’m a better photographer when I’m not as hungry.

-Serafina