Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Hello folks,
I wanted to update you on what's going on...I know it's been a while.  For a few reasons, I decided to close down Taiwo Bath and Body.  It's something I've thought about for a while, and just decided to act on. When something no longer moves you, it's time to let it go.  For those of you who have asked me for soapmaking advise via this blog, I am still available, so feel free to contact me there as well.  Once a soapmaker, always a soapmaker!
I will now be pursuing my long-time passion of home-making information and education in the form of my new blog AfroMartha. The new blog, which I am currently developing will be all inclusive with tips, Q&A, recipes and downloadables.  You will also find a neat little section with recipes/formula to make your own products bath and beauty, as well as cleaning products. I have included some of my more pertinent posts from this blog, as well as some new ones. I also plan to include a forum and other goodies in the future.  As such, this necessitates a change in venue, which will allow me to implement all the things I plan on doing. 

With that said, I introduce to you AfroMartha! Please surf on over there right now and check it out, but keep in mind I am still building it.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Not Good....

In the past few months, I have been noticing a strong sensitivity to fragrance oils.  I have tried denial...turns out it's not just an river in Egypt.  I've been telling myself that it must be something else, that I'm just imagining it, etc, etc,.  But it never fails.  As soon as I open up a bottle, use some lotion, or am around anything even remotely scented, the back of my throat/nose/sinuses starts to burn, and my eyes start to water.  It doesn't even have to be synthetic fragrances.  Essential oils do it to me too!

This is so not good.  I work with scents on a daily basis.  I LOVE scents!  However, I can't take it anymore. Now I understand what my Aunt has been suffering all these years. Turns out she wasn't  just being over-the-top dramatic when she banished anything scented from her environs.

I'm not sure what to do to get around this.  I don't want this little sensitivity to put the kibosh on my body products.  We'll see what happens.

Monday, February 15, 2010

To separate or not to separate, that is the question...

Okay folks. Remember when I said I had creative ADD? I may have it, but I don't want my shop to.  I originally started my Taiwosoaps Etsy as strictly body products.  I also started my JesPlayin Etsy shop even before that one.  That shop was for my vintage, restyled, and jewelry products.  In my infinite wisdom I decided to bring the earrings over to the Taiwosoaps page, because they seemed to go together well.  Beautiful products that make you feel beautiful, right? I also combined the two so that everything can be in one place. Well, I'm starting to think that may not be such a good idea now.

I'm thinking of separating the two product because I feel they have totally different vibes.  I have been exploring some new jewelry methods that I'm really excited about, and I think they deserve their own space once it's all said and done.  Focus is something I struggle with on a daily basis, but I don't want it to show in my shop.  So, I ask all you wise readers out there: To separate or not to separate?  Give me a well thought out argument below, and there just might be something in it for you!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I wish it was mine.

my vase close up, originally uploaded by BeadsInTheBelfry.

This vase belongs to a Jewelry maker named Beads in the Belfry. Saw it on her flickr stream and just had to post it here. I am sooo inspired by this piece. It is literally causing me to really reconsider my quitely tucked away surface design/home decor passion. Thinking~

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tofu & Vegetable Calzones

I know somewhere there's an Italian person cringing at the thought of Tofu and Vegetables in a CALZONE!!! Sorry dude, my family can't get enough of this stuff.

I started making this years ago during the height of my family's vegetarianism. Though we are no longer vegetarians, I still cook like one for the most part. We eat only chicken, but I don't even cook that at home very often. I usually save the Chicken for my Nigerian Stew (which is just not the same any other way) or for when I go out with friends. I only occasionally cook chicken, simply because I don't like working with raw chicken. We do like our vegetables, and I actually LOVE tofu, as do my kids, so I use that often.

This has been a favorite in my household for years now. In my household it's actually known as "Favorite Rolls" not Calzones. I just now got it to where it's not quite so labor intensive and time-consuming as it once was. Thank goodness for Trader Joe's! Really good ingredients at really reasonable prices! I get the pizza dough from there for 99cents, and that shaves off a huge amount of prep. To think that I used to make pizza crust from scratch. Que'lle Horreur!

A little bit about tofu:
Don't be scared! True, it doesn't have a flavor/taste of its own, but that's what makes it so good to work with. It will absorb whatever flavor you want it to. It is a literally a flavor sponge. Use whatever spices you want. In this recipe I use an italian spice blend.

This isn't so much a recipe as a guideline. This isn't like pastry baking, where everything has to be exact. Cooking is more forgiving. Use your own combination of fillings if you'd like. If you use everything in the pictures as I've used, you should end up with about at least 13 small calzones, depending on how filled each one is. If you have issues, leave a comment below, and I'll help you out.

1. The aforementioned TJ Pizza crust. Awesomeness! Freezes really well. Even though this picture has one bag of dough, I use two bags. Make sure you put it in the fridge to thaw a day ahead if you freeze. On calzone day, I usually set it out on the counter with the bag open at least an hour ahead so that it can get to room temperature

2. Get your vegetables together. Everything I put into my filling is below. The only thing not pictured is the spice mix and salt. Everything is to your taste. I use italian spices.

3. Here are the veggies all chopped up. Make sure to crumble up the tofu into a colander. You want to drain out as much water as possible because the vegetables will also ooze water into your filling mix. A 'too wet' filling mix will make your calzone soggy, yuck.

4. I usually saute/pan fry the tofu first (with a little oil) until it gets a light brown crust on it. This is to further reduce the water content. Then I add the onions and garlic, saute a couple more minutes, then add the rest of the veggies and spices/salt. Another couple more minutes, then I add the Ragu spaghetti sauce and let the flavors marry for about 10-15 minutes, stirring the whole time.
This is what it looks like when it's ready to go.

5. After the filling's done, I let it cool down for a little while because if you fill while the filing is piping hot, you could make holes in your dough. For this reason, it's a good idea (when possible to make the filling a little bit ahead of when you want to fill the dough.

I then spread out the dough onto a floured surface and roll w/a rolling pin. I use a pizza wheel (or knife) to cut the dough into eight pieces like below.

6. Lightly stretch out the dough (not too much, you don't want it thin) and scoop some filling into each piece. Roll up and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper (or foil). Bake at 350deg, until lightly browned on top.

7. And Voila! Here it is, all ready to eat.

8. Here's what the inside looks like if you break it apart. Yummy!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

And the winner is:::::

Shonda Swallow! Step forth and claim your prize!

Thanks to everyone that entered. I will have another contest next week, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Romantic Playlist Contest!

So, I think it's time for a contest!

In light of the upcoming Valentine's Day, I think this contest is apropos, don't you think?
Far be it for me to judge your musical tastes, so the winner will be selected with a randomizer.

Contest ends: Friday January 22 at 5pm
Winner Announced: Friday January 22, 2010, 6pm

The Rules are:
1. You must leave a comment either in the comments box or the Taiwo Bath and Body Facebook Fan Page.
2. You must have 10 songs on your playlist.

Good luck, and happy playing!