Scrumptious Homemade Eggnog

Baking, beverage, Christmas, creamy, delicious, eggnog, Holiday, homemade, nutmeg, party

‘Tis the season for a delicious mug of creamy, nutmeg-y goodness.

I’ve been wanting to taste the difference between homemade eggnog and a bottle of Dean’s thick and creamy store bought eggnog.  I have discovered that homemade eggnog is SO. MUCH. BETTER.  The two aren’t even on the same plane of goodness.

I wish I’d have doubled the recipe before making a batch for my family’s Christmas Eve party, because it was gone within minutes.  We loved it so much that we made it again the next day.

Adding a drop of cinnamon or cassia essential oil will give it a much deeper flavor than ground cinnamon from the shore.  Cassia oil gave it an especially unique sweetness. Ahh!!  I love my oils!   Just make sure you only use one drop…they are potent and it may ruin the flavor of the actual nog should you use too much oil.

Below are photos of the process, so that you can see how it should look.  The actual recipe is at the bottom of this blog.

Here’s the recipe I used, and will be using every year from now on.  It is simple and easy to make.  Give it a shot if you have some extra time!

EGGNOG WITH ESSENTIAL OILS

3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 drop cassia or cinnamon essential oil (see note in red below)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish
5 eggs, separated
2/3 cup granulated sugar

In a saucepan, combine milk, cream, cinnamon oil, vanilla and nutmeg.  Bring to the boil over a medium heat. Once boiling, remove from the heat and allow to steep.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat egg yolks and sugar until combined and thick ribbons form when the whisk is lifted.  Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to mix until the mixture is combined and smooth.

Before serving, beat the egg whites in a large bowl or stand mixer until soft peaks form. Gently fold into eggnog until combined.  Store in the fridge for up to 3 days in a tightly sealed pitcher.  Or serve immediately.  If refrigerated, shake it before you serve it.  Garnish with grated nutmeg or cinnamon.  Serves 8.

I hope you love it as much as we did!

Merry Christmas!!

FYI – Not all essential oils are created equal.  Most oils are adulterated, contain fillers and contaminants and come from Lord-knows-where.  The oils I use give full disclosure of their countries of origin, and they are third-party tested for absolute purity.  They are 100% pure, therapeutic-grade, and extremely potent.  If you would like to use this brand, please comment below and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction.

**[PLEASE NOTE:  According to the compliance rules of the FDA, I am unable to disclose my favorite oil company’s name in the body of this blog, but you can comment below with your email address, and I’ll send you the link, along with some great educational materials on essential oils.]

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Norwegian Krumkaker with Cardamom Essential Oil

Baking, Cardamom, Christmas, comfort food, Cookie, Cookies, cooking with essential oils, cream, crunchy, dessert, diy, do-it-yourself, essential oils, food, Holiday, homemade, Norwegian, recipe

Whew!  Say that title 5 times fast!  I’ll bet you can’t!

Today I’m going to share with you a delicious recipe that Norwegians, in both Norway and America, make at Christmas time.  It’s called krumkake (pronounced “croom kaga”) is a delicious delicate and crumbly cookie.  Being 100% Norwegian myself, I am always looking for ways to learn about my ancestry and our traditions.  Speaking of which – I recently did a family tree through Ancestry.com.  Everything was going great…until I got out to about 300 AD, where it claimed that I was related to the Norwegian “gods,” Thor and Odin.  Wuuuuhh??  I decided that was a good stopping point.  I mean…how much further could I have gone in time beyond Norse gods?  The tooth fairy?  Santa Claus??

Ever since I was a child, mom would talk about the krumkake that her mom used to make them make, along with lefse, riskrem (rice pudding), spritz cookies and boller.  Out of all of those tasty treats, my mom only made boller (she’d make rice pudding once in a while for herself, as none of us wanted any of it back then).  I always wished she’d make krumkake, but she didn’t have the iron for it.  Krumkake was something I only got to eat at my aunt Judy’s house, but thanks to Amazon I can make my own. 🙂

The smell of boller (or as we called them, “Norwegian buns” or “mom’s buns” *snicker, snicker* was one of my all time favorite scents.  The scent of cardamom and sweet dough would fill the house and it felt so warm and inviting.  Krumkake is not always made with cardamom, but I added it to my Christmas Krumkake recipe to give it that special nostalgic flavor I love so much.

FYI – I am not a pro – and to be completely honest with you, this was my first time making krumkake.  Better luck next time, right?  Although, they did taste awesome.

To make krumkake, you first need a special iron.  What makes it special is the traditional rosemaling design on the iron plates.  You have 2 options when looking for an iron.  You could get the old fashioned iron, which you place over a hot stove and have to flip halfway through cooking.  Or, you could opt for the electronic Krumkake Express iron like I have below.  I found mine on Amazon for $50.

Once you have the batter mixed, you will place a tablespoon onto the middle of the iron and press the lid down so that it spreads the batter out to form a full cookie.  Follow the lights on the iron – red means wait, green means it’s done – no surprise.

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The below photo shows what it will look like before you gently pull it off the iron with a butter knife or a long, skinny spatula.  I put a little too much batter in this one, so it spread out over the edges.

Immediately after you remove the cookie from the iron, you have to roll it onto the cone to make the cone shape as in the photo below.  Let it sit for 10 seconds until it cools slightly.  During this time you could put some more batter on the iron to get your next cookie started.

Gently remove the cone and allow the cookie to cool completely on a wire rack.  This is important.  If you lie the cookie on parchment paper, the bottom will retain moisture and make it chewy.  You want it completely dry and crumbly.

If you make your krumkake a little darker than the one above, it will have a better chance of being delicate and crumbly.  See below.

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Perfect!

 

CHRISTMAS KRUMKAKE

1/2 cup butter, soft
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 drops 100% pure cardamom essential oil (see note in red below) (or 1/2 tsp ground cardamom)
6 Tbs. water
Krumkake Iron

Heat your Krumkake iron (I used setting 3 on the electronic iron).  Beat butter and sugar until creamy.  Add the eggs and mix well.  Add flour, vanilla, and water and mix until blended.  Let the mixture stand for 30 minutes before using.  Bake the cookies according to iron instructions.  Roll the warm cookies around the stick that comes with the iron.  Let cool on wire rack COMPLETELY.  I cannot stress this enough.  Even the slightest bit of moisture will ruin the crumbliness you are looking for.  Garnish with powdered sugar or fill with whipped cream.  There are some great recipes on Pinterest of flavored cream for krumkake.   (* If you are going to fill them with whipped cream or any other filling, you will want to do it immediately before serving.  Do not fill them ahead of time or they will get soggy, and no one likes a soggy krumkake.)

FYI – Not all essential oils are created equal.  Most oils are adulterated, contain fillers and contaminants and come from Lord-knows-where.  The oils I use give full disclosure of their countries of origin, and they are third-party tested for absolute purity.  They are 100% pure, therapeutic-grade, and extremely potent.  If you would like to use this brand, please comment below and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction.

**[PLEASE NOTE:  According to the compliance rules of the FDA, I am unable to disclose my favorite oil company’s name in the body of this blog, but you can comment below with your email address, and I’ll send you the link, along with some great educational materials on essential oils.]

 

Cassia & Cardamom Spiced, Glazed Pecans

Baking, Cardamom, Christmas, cooking with essential oils, dessert, essential oils, gifts, gluten-free, Holiday, homemade, nutmeg, recipe

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Merry Christmas!

I have been wanting to do this blog for months now, and finally had some spare time. (Spare time?  What is that?!)

Every Christmas, I see recipes for spiced pecans on Pinterest, and have been dying to make my own with ESSENTIAL OILS!  Weee!!!  They make wonderful flavoring agents to baked goods, in lieu of dried spices from the grocery store.  While the heat of the oven will bake off any of the health properties of the oils, the flavor will remain!

I have chosen to spice my pecans with cassia, cardamom and cinnamon.  I chose these 3 because they are perfect for the Fall/Winter holidays because they are so warm and comforting.

Cassia is one of my favorite scents to diffuse in my home when I want to make it home-y and inviting (along with cardamom and wild orange!).  Cassia smells like cinnamon, but softer and sweeter.

Cardamom is another one of my favorites.  It is used in many Scandinavian baked goods.  I grew up eating boller (or “mom’s Norwegian buns,” as we called them) *snicker* which contains this spice.  So, every time I smell cardamom, it reminds me of mom’s buns *snicker snicker*.   We’d eat them as a snack with butter and strawberry jam.  Sooooo gooood.  (I will be doing a boller blog as soon as I find more of that spare time lying around!)

Cinnamon was the final spice chosen for this tasty treat.  I could have left it out, because those other 2 spices are delicious enough on their own.  If you leave any of them out, make sure you double one of the other oils.  You want to make sure you have enough flavor.  And 2 total drops of oil doesn’t quite give the pecans enough spiciness!  (Also, if you don’t have essential oils, you could always substitute the oils with powdered spices.  I would use 1/2 tsp of each spice)

 

The recipe below is very easy.  If you don’t have Ziploc bags, just use 2 large mixing bowls.  If you use any different spices, be sure to comment below and let me know how they turn out –  I’d love to hear of different combos!  I have seen some recipes out there with cayenne, cumin, sriracha sauce or turmeric on their spiced nuts, but I am not a fan of super spicy things.  Cinnamon, cardamom and cassia are spicy enough!

No need to diffuse any essential oils in your home while baking these nuts.  The aroma from the nuts will fill your home and make you grab a glass of eggnog, pop in a DVD of “Elf” or “A Christmas Story” and get cozy!

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Gift box them and give them to a friend!

When the nuts are finally baked and cooled, you can put them in holiday-themed tins or mason jars and make cute and budget-friendly Christmas gifts.   You can go one step further and decorate the jars with ribbon and a fancy nametag.  Add that personal touch!  I love crafty things, but have no time to decorate, so I re-use gift boxes/tins that I’ve collected over the years.  Spiced nuts make great teacher gifts!  Put out a bowl of these nuts at a Christmas party or toss them on top of your salad.  Even kids will gobble them up!


 

Cassia Cardamom Glazed Pecans

2 egg whites
2 Tbs melted butter (can be omitted)
1/2 Tbs vanilla extract
1/2 Tbs water
1 lb pecan halves
1/2 cup sugar (I used brown)
1 drop cassia essential oil
1 drop cardamom essential oil
1 drop cinnamon essential oil
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 250°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a gallon sized freezer bag, mix together the egg whites, melted butter, vanilla extract, essential oils and water.

In a second gallon sized freezer bag, mix together the sugar and salt.

Add pecans to the bag with the egg white mixture. Seal the bag and shake around the pecans until they are evenly coated.

Transfer the coated pecans to the bag with the sugar mixture. Seal the bag and shake around until the pecans are evenly coated with the sugar mixture.

Spread the pecans on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely.

FYI – Not all essential oils are created equal.  Most oils are adulterated, contain fillers and contaminants and come from Lord-knows-where.  The oils I use give full disclosure of their countries of origin, and they are third-party tested for absolute purity.  They are 100% pure, therapeutic-grade, and extremely potent.  If you would like to use this brand, please comment below and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction.

**[PLEASE NOTE:  According to the compliance rules of the FDA, I am unable to disclose my favorite oil company’s name in the body of this blog, but you can comment below with your email address, and I’ll send you the link, along with some great educational materials on essential oils.]


I hope you enjoy this recipe!  Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Blessings

 

Silky Whipped Body Butter

body butter, calming, Christmas, clean, cleanliving, cream, crunchy, diy, diy lotion, do-it-yourself, essential oils, health, Holiday, home project, homemade, homeopath, homeopathic, natural living, non-gmo, pure, recipe, salve, soothing, wellness

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 Winter in Chicago is pretty darn cold!  Between the below-zero windchill days, and the strong winds off of Lake Michigan, it is almost impossible to stay moisturized throughout the winter months.

I have tried numerous body creams and lotions, and while some commercial creams work pretty well, none are as luxurious as this do-it-yourself whipped body butter – or as pure.  Frankincense essential oil provides extra skin-soothing support, and I highly recommend you add it to this recipe.  (See my blog on Frankincense HERE.)

Rather than purchasing creams from the drug store, which contain parabens, mineral oils, formaldehyde, sulfates, preservatives, animal fillers, petrolatum, GMOs, etc., you can make your own all-natural body cream and actually nourish your body, rather than fill it with toxins.

My husband’s job causes him to wash his hands with a very harsh scrubbing soap, which leaves the tops of his hands dried out, red, rough and cracked from the lack of moisture.  I applied this body butter to his hands before bed, and by morning they were much softer and less irritated.

**Quick Tip!  If you have a mason jar or glass container that still has a price sticker on the bottom, any citrus essential oil will remove it, including all sticky residue, within a couple of minutes!  No need to purchase Goo Gone anymore once you have these oils.

I am always amazed at how having essential oils in your home can eliminate almost every store-bought cleaner.  (See my Essential Oils Cabinet project HERE.)

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Voila! No sticky residue left on the glass!

So, let’s get started!

First you will want to gather your ingredients (see recipe below):

In a double broiler or glass bowl, combine all ingredients except sweet almond, shea or jojoba oil and essential oil/oils.

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Bring to a low-medium heat. Stir constantly until all ingredients are melted.  Remove from heat, add your shea/almond/jojoba oil and stir to combine.  Allow to cool for 30 minutes.

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Place your bowl in the freezer for 30 minutes, or in the fridge for a few hours, until the oil is opaque and somewhat solidified.  It should no longer be a clear liquid.  (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture at this point!)

Once your oils have solidified, remove it from the fridge and add your essential oils. Using a hand mixer, whip for 10 minutes.  Body butter will become fluffy and look like whipped cream.

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Scoop into a glass jar, or if it is a gift, use a piping bag to give it more of a design.

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My piping design didn’t look so pretty….  So, I just filled the jar completely, tapping it on the counter each time to make sure it filled every space of the jar.

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If you are giving it as a gift, find some cute labels and ribbon and beautify it!  I think I will be giving one of these to all of my bosses this Christmas. It makes a thoughtful and budget-friendly gift for anyone.

SILKY WHIPPED BODY BUTTER

Ingredients:

1/2 cup raw shea butter
1/2 cup raw mango butter
1/2 cup cold-pressed coconut oil
1/2 cup sweet almond oil, jojoba oil OR shea oil
20-30 drops essential oils of choice
10 drops of frankincense oil (optional – fyi, frankincense in creases the potency of other oils)

(*Essential Oil Variations, depending on your health needs:  Copaiba, cedarwood, heluchrysum, geranium, melaleuca, peppermint, lavender, chamomile, cassia wild orange, rosemary, eucalyptus, grapefruit.  NOTE:  If using any citrus essential oils, DO NOT go in the sun for up to 12 hours.  It could cause severe burns.  They are “photosensitive oils”.)  (See Note in red below)

Directions:

In a double broiler or glass bowl, combine all ingredients except almond/shea/jojoba oil and essential oil/oils.  Bring to a low-medium heat. Stir constantly until all ingredients are melted.  Remove from heat, add your almond oil and stir to combine.  Allow to cool.  

Move bowl to the fridge and allow to cool for 1 hour.  This is important because you do not want to add essential oils to hot oil, or it will decrease it’s wellness benefits.  It should look slightly opaque and soft at this point.  Remove from the fridge and add your essential oils. Using a hand mixer, whip for 10 minutes. Body butter will to become fluffy and form stiff peaks.  Store in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid.

I HIGHLY recommend this body butter to anyone with dry or problem skin.  It has become my favorite body cream!  For extra added skin soothing, add frankincense and/or helichrysum oils to your butter.

Also, the types of base oils or butters that you add to this body butter makes a huge difference if you have eczema or sensitive/irritated skin.  I would recommend: raw shea butter, raw mango butter, almond oil, jojoba oil, apricot kernel oil, hemp seed oil, borage seed oil, evening primrose oil, calendula oil, kukui nut oil, carrot seed oil, safflower oil, peach kernel oil, sea buckthorn oil, rosehip oil, tamanu oil, sesame oil, walnut oil.  They are all very soothing for eczema.

FYI – Not all essential oils are created equal.  Most oils are adulterated, contain fillers and contaminants and come from Lord-knows-where.  The oils I use give full disclosure of their countries of origin, and they are third-party tested for absolute purity.  They are 100% pure, therapeutic-grade, and extremely potent.  If you would like to use this brand, please comment below and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction.

**[PLEASE NOTE:  According to the compliance rules of the FDA, I am unable to disclose my favorite oil company’s name in the body of this blog, but you can comment below with your email address, and I’ll send you the link, along with some great educational materials on essential oils.]

Until next time – stay moisturized!

 

Sleepy-Time Bath Salts

bath, calming, Christmas, clean, cleanliving, crunchy, Dead Sea Salts, diy, do-it-yourself, empowerment, essential oils, gifts, gluten-free, health, Holiday, holistic, home project, homemade, homeopath, homeopathic, natural living, non-gmo, pure, recipe, relaxation, soothing, wellness

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Quick and easy tutorial on homemade bath salts right here!   These are relaxing to your body and mind after a long day at work, and to help you wind down before bedtime.

Bath salts make a great gift for someone on a budget.  Or, you could just use them yourself!  Dim the lights, put on some soft music, light some candles and pour in your bath salts.  Your stress will drain away and you will sleep like a baby – I guarantee it!

First, grab your desired container (mason jars work best) and fill it with epsom salt but leave about an inch from the top.  Pour the sea salt in the remaining inch.

Next, pour the contents of your mason jar into a bowl, and mix thoroughly.   Add about a tablespoon and a half of almond oil, mix well (the consistency should be a little clumpy).

Add in your lavender buds, if using.

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Add in the essential oil; start with 10 drops and see what you think about the smell; add more if necessary.   I used 25 drops of calming oils, such as ylang ylang, roman chamomile, sandalwood, and 10 extra drops of lavender oil.

Pour the mixture back into your desired jars.  Dress up with cute ribbon and a tag if giving as a gift.

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Sleepy-Time Bath Salts

Epsom salt
Sea salt
Organic almond oil, shea oil OR jojoba oil
10-15 drops of lavender essential oil (see note in red below)
Lavender flower buds, optional

Directions:

Grab your desired container (mason jars) and fill it with epsom salt but leave about an inch from the top).  Pour the sea salt in the remaining inch.  Pour the contents of your mason jar into a bowl, and mix thoroughly.

Add about a Tablespoon and a half of shea/jojoba/almond/calendula oil, mix well (the consistency should be a little clumpy).

Add in the essential oil; start with 10 drops and see what you think about the smell; add more if necessary.

Add in your lavender buds, if using. Pour mixture back into your desired jars.  Use 1/4 cup of your bath salt in a bathtub of warm or hot water.  Relax and enjoy!

FYI – Not all essential oils are created equal.  Most oils are adulterated, contain fillers and contaminants and come from Lord-knows-where.  The oils I use give full disclosure of their countries of origin, and they are third-party tested for absolute purity.  They are 100% pure, therapeutic-grade, and extremely potent.  If you would like to use this brand, please comment below and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction.

**[PLEASE NOTE:  According to the compliance rules of the FDA, I am unable to disclose my favorite oil company’s name in the body of this blog, but you can comment below with your email address, and I’ll send you the link, along with some great educational materials on essential oils.]

Until next time – bathe for relaxation and wellness!

Blessings