Archive for August, 2010

Is there anything better than a nice cup of tea and a piece of shortbread? Yes there is! Shortbread scented and flavored with essential oils. I’ve been experimenting with flavors over the past 6-8 months. I’ve made some bizarre flavors such as black pepper-tangerine, lemongrass and grapefruit-sage, but my favorite shortbread flavor at the moment is lavender-lemon.  Many essential oils are safe for internal consumption and Young Living products will always have the nutritional information label for those that are.

My recipe for shortbread is as follows:

1/2 cup old fashioned oats (ground to a fine powder is a spice/coffee grinder or blender, yeilding 1/4 – 1/3 cup oat flour)

1 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 sticks unsalted butter (cold, cut into 1/8″ slices

Pre-heat the oven to 450F. Mix dry ingredients together. Add your essential oil(s) of choice, usually between 5-10 drops of each flavor. Add butter slice by slice and mix on low until the ball of dough forms.

Grease the non-grooved side of the collar of a springform pan and place (closed) on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Press the dough into the collar evenly. Cut out the center with a 2″ round cookie cutter (mine is a flower shape and it works just fine!) Leave the cut out center dough next to the springform collar on the parchment and replace the cookie cutter to the center of the dough making an open hole in the center of your dough. Open the springform collar, but leave it in place around the dough.

Bake for 5 minutes at 450F then reduce oven temperature to 250F and bake an additional 10-15 minutes.  Remove shortbread from the oven and turn the oven off.  Remove the springform collar and score the shortbread with a knife into wedges, only cutting halfway into the dough. Poke 6-10 holes in each wedge and return to the oven propping the door open slightly with a wooden spoon. Let the shortbread dry in the warm oven for about an hour. When cooled, break or cut the shortbread into wedges along the score lines.

Now pour yourself a cup of tea and enjoy! That’s what I’m going to do right now….


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I love to travel. Part of the travel experience for me is always scent. Scent is more likely to trigger strong memories than any of the other senses. I remember landing in Belgium when I was 18 years old and thinking that the entire country must smell of cheese! Surprising since Belgium is known for beer, chocolate and waffles above cheese. But the smell that I encountered was definitely one of dairy. I’ve been back to Belgium several times since my year abroad and that familiar smell, almost as the plane lands, is like a welcome home hug from my “other” home country.
One of the down sides of travel is the musty smell of hotel rooms and rental cars, especially if they are not designated “smoke free”. Or the flip side when rooms and cars are so overloaded with chemical fragrance that you can’t breathe fresh air through the cloud of “spring fresh” or “summer breeze”.  For situations like these I always travel with a blend called Purification. Just like it sounds, Purification helps to neutralize odors and purify the air when diffused.  In a rental car I simply sprinkle a few drops on the floor mats. In the hotel, it’s easy to freshen up the room quickly by sprinkling a few drops onto the output of the air conditioning unit and turn it on. Within a few minutes the air will smell better.

Most recently we were in Washington DC for the weekend and the hotel we were staying at didn’t have an “under the window” AC unit. The intake and output were both on the ceiling. After a quick deliberation with myself about gravity and the possibility of applying oil directly to the filter, I decided to simply put the Purification on a tissue and hang it from the grill allowing the passing air to diffuse the oil for me.

Purification blend contains lemongrass essential oil and is beneficial in both repelling  insects and treating bites and stings.  In the home, I fill a wide mist spray bottle with 20-30 drops Purification with distilled water for quick sprays in the rooms or on linens that need a little freshening.  I also put a few drops on the outflow of my vacuum cleaner filter so that I get a scent boost every time I vacuum. The clean fresh scent of Purification is pleasant to most noses.

You can find Purification in either of the Young Living kits Everyday Oils or  Essential 7 or it can be purchase à la carte. You can go to my Oils tab above for info on ordering.

I’ll be traveling again soon, back to my home state of Washington (which smells fresh and green and salty). In addition to the Purification, I’ll bring along Lavender, Peace & Calming blend, PanAway blend, peppermint and probably Frankincense. I may also bring Joy blend to use as perfume or my own perfume blend that contains jasmine, cedarwood and lemon.

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