November 28, 2011

Happy Birthday to One of My Rachels! And Cocoa Hand Cream

Today just happened to be the birthday of a certain now-fourteen-year-old someone who received a DVD copy of Fiddler on the Roof from her brother and sister-in-law, experienced a lovely birthday massage (not from her brother or sister-in-law), and is currently dining at the exquisite Red Lobster.

That someone is . . . drumroll . . .

The lovely Rachel Jeannine Thurston!

Now, the above ice cream cake looks very tasty, but it is lacking a festive birthday message because decorative icing apparently does not take well to very cold cake. The cluster of fourteen candles is covering up a lovely blue smoodge that would have been the 'H' of "Happy Birthday Rachel!" had things turned out differently.

Little Cousin "helping" blow out the candles . . . one of which turned out to be a trick candle!

This was actually my first ice cream cake, believe it or not. It was a layer of chocolate cake sandwiched between oodles of chocolate and vanilla ice cream. I'm not usually a huuuuuge chocolate ice cream fan, but this was quite tasty. Therefore, in honor of being acclimated into the chocolate ice cream cake club, I have decided to whip up for Rachel some cocoa-scented hand cream.

Now, the Thurston family is all about homemade gifts. Momma Thurston makes toffee, peanut brittle, and to-die-for biscotti every Christmas for all of her friends and family. Rachel loves making homemade spa treatments. Josh . . . well, I mean, Josh and I didn't make the Fiddler on the Roof DVD, but you should have seen the "custom designed" wrapping paper Josh created for the occasion.

And as for me--here is a recipe for my own personal everyday "spa treatment." Hope you had a great day, Rachel! I'll have to give you your belated present for Christmas. Enjoy the musical in the meantime.

Cocoa Hand Cream

1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup unscented baby lotion
1/2 cup petroleum jelly
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the petroleum jelly in a small saucepan and melt it down on a low heat setting. It will begin to look like water as it "sweats" and reduces down.

Add the cocoa powder to the melted petroleum jelly. Blend very well. This will look a bit like thick hot chocolate. Add the vanilla. Turn off the heat and let the temperature of the mixture go down.

Add the lotion. MAKE SURE IT IS UNSCENTED OR THE FINAL PRODUCT WILL REEK. I found this out the hard way. This will not combine very well initially.

Doesn't look very appealing just yet

If you keep stirring, you will eventually end up with a smooth and almost-appetizing-looking substance. Let this cool a little bit, but it can only thicken slightly or it will be too firm to pour into whatever container you would like to use for your hand cream. I used a Relic watch tin.

Pour the mixture into the container you will be using and pop it into the fridge. Allow to sit for about a half an hour.

Apply a cool dab to your hands and rub it in nice and smooth :-). You can see my fingertip "dimple" in the photo of the cream near the top of the recipe. This lotion goes on pretty greasy like any body butter, but if you keep rubbing it in it just becomes nice and nourishing for your skin . . . P.S. it smells super yummy.

As for my other sister, Rachel . . . have no fear. She did not have another birthday and is still eighteen. Yikes!


  1. my husband works with paint and chemicals so his hands are always dry and he loves chocolate... this would be perfect for him!


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