Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Aromatic Brined Turkey



Thanksgiving is one of our most cherished holidays. It’s a time to gather with family and friends, and celebrate the gracious bounty and blessings that have been bestowed upon us over the past year. It is also the time of year when many folks struggle to prepare a juicy turkey ;)

Brining a turkey is one of the best ways to give you a moist, tasty, tender, satisfying holiday bird. The turkey absorbs moisture and flavor in this overnight preparation process. It also cuts down on the amount of work while cooking as it does not require basting and the constant attention that an un-brined bird does.

It is important to pick a turkey that has not been injected with a “solution” or a Kosher Turkey (which already has been soaked and salted). A fresh local or organic turkey over a grocery store frozen turkey is generally preferred for flavor and is less likely to be “adulterated” in any way (pre-packaging injected solutions).

NOTE: You may also use this brining method for a goose

Ingredients

1 14 to 16 pound whole Turkey

Brine Mixture
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 drop orange essential oil
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 drop lemon essential oil
2 cups chopped yellow onions
1 &1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups Kosher salt or coarse Celtic Sea salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
8 chopped garlic cloves
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
½ tablespoon allspice berries
1 drop cumin essential oil
1 drop oregano essential oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Aromatics Mixture
1 apple, sliced
1 small onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup water
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
6 fresh sage leaves
1 bay leaf

Yield:10 to 12 servings

Directions for Turkey
1. Rinse the turkey under cold running water.
Pat dry with paper towels and set aside.

2. To make the brining liquid, combine the brine mixture ingredients above
with 2 gallons of cold water in a large glass or stainless steel pot. Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt.

3. Place the turkey in the pot with the brining liquid. Refrigerate at least 12 hours, and up to 24 hours. Turn the turkey periodically to ensure that the turkey is evenly marinated.

4. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Remove the turkey from the brine and put it in a large, heavy roasting pan, on a rack, breast side up. Lightly rinse the turkey (to prevent it from being too salty). Pat dry with paper towels. Discard brine.

5. Rub the turkey with vegetable oil (preferably a good quality olive oil).

6. Gently tuck the wings in under themselves to prevent burning
(this is preferable to trussing the bird, which will only prolong cooking time).

7. Microwave the apples, onion, cinnamon, bay leaf and water from the aromatic stuffing mixture on high for 4-5 minutes, or simmer on stove for 5 minutes. Lightly stuff bird with steeped aromatics mixture along with the rosemary and sage.* Add aromatic water to bottom of the roasting pan.

*This is not a traditional edible stuffing, it will be discarded after cooking (see stuffing note below).

8. Roast the turkey uncovered at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350 degrees F, cover the breast area with foil and roast until meat reaches an internal temperature of 165-170 degrees F. on an instant-read meat thermometer (about 2-2&1/2 hours).

9. Remove from the oven and let stand in the roasting pan or on a serving platter for 20 minutes before carving.

*Stuffing Note:
If you are going to make a traditional accompaniment stuffing side dish, it is strongly recommended you cook it separately from the bird and not stuff it in the bird itself, especially if the bird is over 15 lbs. This is because a large bird like a turkey requires several hours to heat through to the center. A bread (or rice) stuffing provides an ideal environment for bacterial growth.

One way to solve this problem in birds under 15 lbs is by preheating the stuffing (a microwave is the easiest, quickest method) to 120 to 130 degrees. This gives the stuffing a head start on the cooking process so that the turkey does not overcook as it waits for the stuffing to reach the proper internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Happy, safe, holiday blessings to all!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Scented Jack O'Lanterns and Spicy Squash


As we count down the days and nights to All Hallows Eve I am happy to share one of my favorite annual "scentual" seasonal crafts!

Scented Jack O'Lanterns & Spicy Squash:

My Jack O'Lanterns not only look seasonal, but smell seasonal too! Having a pleasant, warm and luscious scented jack-o-lantern is easier than making pumpkin pie! This is also applicable for any kind of squash or melon you may be using as a Jack O'Lantern, not just pumpkins.

First I have to say that I have learned not to cut the TOP out of the
pumpkin to carve a Jack O'Lantern ... cut the pumpkin open from the
BOTTOM of what will be your face area and then you will never have the
top cave in from decay and they last longer .... I personally love the Jack
O'Lanterns with the stem as the nose :)

that being said ......

Simply score the inside top or cap of your pumpkin with a knife and then
rub the inside top portion of the pumpkin with a mixture of vegetable oil (any kind), pumpkin pie spice blend and a blend of essential oils - I like to use allspice, cinnamon, clove, ginger and nutmeg.

As the candle warms the inside of your pumpkin it'll release the aroma.
I am thinking of making a clove and may chang (litsea) scented pumpkin to repel the tricking not treating mosquitoes here in my part of TX.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Organic Olive Oil Liquid Castile Soap


Traditional Castile Soap is compromised of 100% olive oil.

Since there is no regulation of the term "Castile Soap" an item using that name can contain just about anything. I've seen some many modern versions of "Castile Soap" that either contain a simple majority of olive oil in their formula, only just a smidgen of olive in their recipe or in some cases even, they use no olive oil at all in the soap!

Our 100% Olive Oil Liquid Castile Soap is ONLY 100% KOH saponified Olive Oil and distilled water to liquefy it - nothing else! Pure and mild!
Click here to order

 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

NEW ~ Baby Luxe Olive Oil Liquid Castile Soap!


Baby Luxe - Mild bubbles for all ages!

Contains ONLY Organic Saponified Calendula Petal Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic White Rose Water and a Hint of Organic Roman Chamomile Essential Oil!

8 fl oz in a stylish pump bottle - only $7.95 each
16 oz in a stylish pump bottle - only $10.95 each

Click here to order

 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Green Zesty Moon Soap

Diana declared it party night

Under the bright lit moon

Around the pond

Danced Nymphs and Muse

The Faeries sang

A zesty groove


Zing and zest need not always be sunny to be bright, they can cast a luminescent green glow! Green Zesty Moon Soap was created to capture the bubbly enjoyment of inspiration, even during the night!

Pure oils of Lemongrass and Kaffir Lime Leaf are blended into a handmade silky & creamy Castile soap base which includes oils of Olive, Virgin Coconut, Fair Trade Non Plantation Palm, Virgin Hemp Seed, Virgin Fair Trade Shea Butter, with a bit of real Tussah Wild Peace Silk (as always, no silk moths were harmed!!! :)

Click here to order

 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Cherry Rose Agave Ice Cream


It is STILL 100 degrees outside and this time cherries are on sale. The freezer is once again in dire need of homemade ice cream.. so I'm on it!

I decided to use the same basic eggless recipe as I did with the Blueberry Lavender Ice Cream. It involves a lot less time near a hot stove on a scorching day and is overall easier than the custard method.

Deep red bing cherries create a lovely rose color ice cream, which inspired me this time to add rose as a flavoring. Another change is the use of agave nectar as the sweetener. Honey is lovely but has a very distinct flavor of its own and I wasn't wanting its strong presence. Agave is a far more inert sweetener and my goal was to bring out the full bang of the Bing Cherries and June Rose (sounds like a couple of 1940's Hollywood starlets ;)

1 & 1/2 Cup Bing Cherries, pitted and rinsed
1/2 Cup Organic Genuine Agave Nectar
1/4 Cup Rose Hydrosol a.k.a Rosewater
6-8 Drops of cane alcohol based Vanilla Absolute
3 Cups Half-and-Half

In a medium size heavy bottom saucepan, bring cherries, agave, and half of the Rosewater to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 2-3 minutes while stirring until the cherries soften slightly and begin to bleed their color into the syrup. Remove from heat. Blend with a stick blender until pureed. Using a sieve, strain into a bowl, pressing the cherry skins to release all the liquid. Refrigerate for several minutes until lightly chilled. Add the drops of Vanilla Absolute, then stir in the half-and-half and the remaining Rosewater . Pour mixture into an ice cream maker (1 1/2-qt. or larger capacity). Freeze according to manufacturer's directions until firm enough to scoop. Enjoy!

Note - The mashed cherry skins can either be added back to the ice cream mixture before freezing for additional flavor and texture or can be left aside, placed on waxed paper, flattened and dried to make fruit leather :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Inventory Time


**ALOF IS CLOSED FOR SUMMER INVENTORY & WEB MAINTENANCE JUNE 21 - JULY 4, 2011 . **
All pending and back orders will be shipped during that time, and all new orders will be shipped beginning July 5th. Also at that time new specials and freebie offers will be announced! Thank you! Summer Blessings to all!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Blueberry Lavender Honey Ice Cream


It is 100 degrees outside and blueberries are on sale. To me that sounds like an invitation to make homemade ice cream.

Blueberries make a lovely lavender color ice cream, which inspired me to add lavender as a flavoring. Then I chose to use honey in this recipe because flavor wise lavender and honey compliment each other very well; to the point where the hint of lavender in this recipe is more a slight amplification of the wildflower flavor of the honey itself rather than a particularly distinct or powerful flavor of its own. I certainly didn't want anything to overshadow the flavor of fresh blueberries present at the party!

1 & 1/2 Cup Blueberries, rinsed
3/4 Cup local raw Honey
1/4 Cup Water
1 Pinch of pesticide free Lavender Blossoms
1/4 Teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1/8 Teaspoon ground dried Ginger
3-4 Drops of Lavender Essential Oil
3-4 Drops of cane alcohol based Vanilla Absolute
3 Cups half-and-half

In a medium size heavy bottom saucepan, bring blueberries, honey, and water to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes while stirring until the berries begin to pop. Remove from heat. Add dried lavender, cinnamon & ginger. Blend with a stick blender until pureed. Using a sieve, strain into a bowl, pressing the berry skins to release all the liquid. Refrigerate for several minutes until lightly chilled. Add the drops of Lavender Essential Oil and Vanilla Absolute, then stir in the half-and-half. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker (1 1/2-qt. or larger capacity). Freeze according to manufacturer's directions until firm enough to scoop. Enjoy!

Note - The mashed berry skins can be placed flat on waxed paper, flattened and dried to make fruit leather :)

Optional - Like a lot of flavor with an exotic flair? Add 1-2 drops of Cardamom Essential Oil to this recipe!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Uncorked!


I grew up in NYC. While many of my youthful memories involve smells that were not always natural or pleasant, there was an abundance of Gaia's aromatic influences around me to put this child on the right track at a young age.

Mrs. Huie grew cascading pale purple wisteria on her balcony. Mr. Schneider had mounds of sweet golden honeysuckles. Old overgrown lilac & mulberry bushes were prolific all throughout the back alley. These are the natural fragrances and fragrant flavors of my childhood; seasonal scents & sweet sensations, annually anticipated and experienced with jubilation. I was hooked way back then.

As I grew into a teenager I became heavily involved in studying a variety of "aromatic arts", including cooking, aromatherapy, handmade incense, ancient perfumes, etc. These ingredients included herbs, spices, resins, oils, and a variety of fragrances both natural and synthetic. Rather quickly I gravitated away from the synthetics. They simply didn't suit my personal needs for a variety of reasons and I tended to make most of my creations without them, eventually phasing them out completely. Employment opportunities in my late teens and early 20's introduced me to a far wider range of aromatic materials than I had ever used before. This increased interaction and greater experience with essential oils, absolutes, concretes and other nature made heavenly scents only piqued my interests more.

Then came the internet .. In the mid/late 90's I found myself meeting other aromatic artisans and aromatherapists online. One of the folks I met was a botanical maven & Natural Perfumer named Anya McCoy. Since the early 90's she had been making and selling all natural, modern style perfumes, with commercially available natural aromatic ingredients and even some self created concoctions made from flowers and fruits growing in her own tropical garden. Once we got talking, I knew the sky was the limit for this art form and for me!

The rest is HerStory! Happy 5th Birthday Natural Perfumers Guild!

This is part of Uncorked, an anniversary celebration of five years of the Natural Perfumers Guild, with the following other bloggers/companies blogging today:

Adam Gottschalk, Lord's Jester
Alec Lawless,Being Led by the Nose
Anu Prestonia, Anu Essentials
Anya McCoy, Anya’s Garden Perfumes
Charna Ethier, Providence Perfume
Dawn Spencer Hurwitz, DSH Notebook
Denise Smith, gtt by gtt
Elise Pearlstine, Bellyflowers
Emily Pienaar, The Western Cape Perfumery
Ida Meister, Ca Fleure Bon
Isabelle Gelle, Les Parfums d’Isabelle
JoAnne Bassett, Natural Perfumes
Karen Williams, Aromatics International
Laura Natusch, Olive and Oud
Lisa Abdul-Quddus, Blossoming Tree Bodycare
Noelle Smith, Ellenoire
Robert Tisserand, I’m Just Saying
Ross Urrere, Olfactory Rescue Service
Susan Stype, Aromatherapy Contessa
Trygve Harris, Absolutely Trygve

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Rose Petal Jam ~ Gül Reçel


More than once when I've first introduced folks to Rose Petal Jam they were quite skeptical about trying it. Then, many of them (including my ex-husband) decided they can't live without a jar of it in the house at all times.

This is a favorite item on the typical Mediterranean breakfast table, as well as ours! My young sons insist we always have a jar available. It has become a staple in our household, and we are sure that once you try it, you'll probably feel the same way.

This delicious jam tastes and smells like Rose Otto (Rose Essential Oil), as it is made from petals hand gathered in the same fields of damascena roses that give us that lovely and precious Essential Oil of Rose and the perfumery oil called Rose Absolute.

It's normally eaten with Feta Cheese, Olives and fresh baked bread. We also love it on pancakes, waffles, french toast, in cookie recipes, in cake recipes, candies, etc ... It can also be used in making savory marinades and sauces. You are limited only by your own epicurean imagination!

Click here to order this delectable treat.


Monday, May 23, 2011

A Symphony of Community Spirit


This past weekend the ALOF family spent an afternoon at The Symphony. "Night at the Movies" was the theme. We had an absolutely fantastic time!

Never a disappointment, we were happy, like many others, to be part of The Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra's wonderful silent auction by donating items with the goal of raising funds to help keep this wonderful 20 year local institution going strong.

Quickly and generously both gift sets were snatched up. One contained Certified Organic 100% Olive Oil Kazanlik Rose Castile Soap & Certified Organic Bulgarian Rosa Damascena Hydrosol and the other was the Orange Luxe Gift Set Trio from our CZ Luxe division.

These days when adults and children alike can be captivated for 90 minutes or more with pure acoustic entertainment, you know you're doing something right! :) Thank you FBSO! And in recognition of that, as well as the many other wonderful benefits of our local Orchestra, we also provided some additional "hat drawing" items as a way to thank the cast of musicians and behind the scenes volunteers that make all of this possible. We hope you all enjoyed the goodies.

ALOF and CZ Luxe believe it is just as important for small business to come out and support its community and their local cultural events; as much as it is important for the community to come out and support its local businesses and their local presence!

We are our communities. We are the people in your neighborhood! :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Red Raspberry For Summer Sun Protection

Raves for Red Raspberry!

In March we received an ultra fresh pressed batch of Red Raspberry Seed Oil and not surprisingly it quickly sold out. I'm happy to say that we once again we have in stock now an ultra fresh batch of cold pressed Red Raspberry Seed Oil!

This bright golden oil is one amazing item. Not only is it rich in omega fatty acids and tocopherols, making it a fabulous anti-oxidant, it also is low in saturated fats and has been shown to have an a broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF factor of somewhere between 25 and 50!

Mix that with your Zinc Oxide before you go forth and swim; and then use it in vinaigrette for anti-inflammatory properties in a delicious nourishing dinner salad too!

My personal odoriferous observation, in the bottle it does not appear to have any particularly discernible fragrance, but when rubbed on the skin a delightfully light, nutty, fruity quality appears.

All around Red Raspberry Seed Oil is good stuff indeed! And since we have it custom made for us in the USA directly from our Red Raspberry Seed grower, we blow the competition out of the water in quality, price and freshness!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Aphrodite's Rosy Inspiration


Born in a bubble bath. Aphrodite's name is derived from the Greek word “aphros” meaning foam from the sea.

It is no secret that rose is her blossom! The story of her naming the rose. The tale of how her love, blood and tears created the first red rose bloom itself. This is the stuff that legends are made of.

Being a Greek gal in the Pantheon with Athena, she's gotta know well that Olive Oil is great food for all divine bodies, inside and out.

Aphrodite is a Goddess known for her hot, passionate style. I love to muse about her beauty routines, and on Friday, in honor of this saucy, sea spawned seductress, my muse and I created Pure Rose & Olive Castile Soap. Gorgeous enough for the Goddess of Beauty in all of us!

Click Here To Order!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Certified Organic Frankincense Hydrosol


ULTRA FRESH! Frankincense Carterii Hydrosol - Certified Organic and Artisan Distilled in the USA.

Makes a beautiful linen spray and room perfume. Helps promote a calming and spiritual energy in any space.

For personal use, author, Suzanne Catty sites Frankincense Hydrosol as quite beneficial for those ailing from infections of the mouth and/or gums; gargle or rinse after brushing.

It also functions as a gentle skin toner, particularly suited to those in humid climates and with mature skin; has anti-aging properties.

Limited Quantities Available!
Click Here To Order

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Making Herbal Labna Cheese

One from the Archives; many moons ago with my elder son :) Happy Mother's Day to all the mamas and everyone's mama!

Labna is a traditional soft cheese from the Middle East that is made with yogurt. We've made our Labna with kefir we cultured ourselves from local raw goat's milk. Kefir is a cultured milk product that is similar to yogurt, but has a wider variety of micro-organisms.

This cheese is very easy to make, in fact, my 5 year old has prepared the cheese for this article.

For this you'll need the following clean (sterile) materials:

Kefir (or Yogurt)
Work Bowls
Strainer
Linen cloth (do not use grocery store "cheesecloth" - a birdseye weave cloth diaper works well as does a white cloth napkin)
Fresh herbs of choice (chopped)

1gettingready.jpg 1. Getting Ready

Assemble your materials. Make sure your hands and all of your materials are as clean as possible.


strainer.jpg 2. Prepare For Straining

Place a strainer into one of the work bowls. Line strainer with the linen cloth.




straining1.jpg 3. Straining

Slowly pour the kefir (or yogurt) into the linen lined strainer.


hanging1.jpg 4. Making a Hanging Bag

Gather all edges of the cloth to make a bag and tie up the cloth at the top.


hanging2.jpg 5. Tying the Bag

Now your bag of cheese to be is ready for hanging to let the whey drain.


hanging3.jpg 6. Draining The Whey

Let the bag hang overnight. Be sure to place your bag over a bowl to catch the draining whey.

Tip: Whey can be saved in a jar and refrigerated for a variety of uses,
including lacto-fermenting vegetables (pickling), making bread, cooking pastas in, etc ... Don't throw it a-whey :-D


scooping1.jpg 7. The Next Day

Open the linen cloth and using a rubber or silicone spatula scrape the drained curds from the inside of the cloth.


scooping2.jpg 8. Gathering The Cheese

It doens't look like a lot when you open the cloth, but as you can see, it starts to pile up.


mixing1.jpg 9. Making It Smooth

Now its time to mix the cheese to get a smooth cream cheese like consitency.


herbs1.jpg 10. Adding Herbs

At this point chopped herbs can be added. We used green onions for this batch.
(Note: Adding herbal and fruit jellies are also a delicious option.)


herbs2.jpg 11. Mixing The Herbs

Mix the herbs in well.

The cheese can be kept cream cheese style and smeared onto bagels, flat bread (pita), toast rounds, crackers, etc ...

It can also be rolled it into small balls and covered with olive oil and stored in a sealed container.
Another variation is to shape the cheese into a log and roll it in chopped nuts.
(Note: The cheese is easier to shape if refrigerated a bit first.)


eating.jpg 12. Enjoying

Enjoy ...this cheese is being munched on a whole grain cracker. Yummy!

The cheese will last refrigerated for about a week (if it doesn't get all eaten up in the first day ;)


by Christine Ziegler - © 2004 - Author's Bio: Chris has studied the art of cooking as an apprentice to a Pastry Chef and a Sous Chef in 2 Manhattan restaurants. She is the owner of A Little Ol'Factory ~ http://www.alittleolfactory.com ~ where she sells exceptional quality essential oils for Aromatherapy, makes olive oil based soap, all natural toiletries and teaches classes about Soap Making and Essential Oils.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Essential Mother’s Day Feast


Essential Mother’s Day Feast

This month we celebrate Mom and all that she has given us. If nothing else, she gave us life, what we chose to do with it from there is our own business. In return for that wonderful opportunity, making a scrumptious feast is a very nice gesture that everyone gets to enjoy.

Let us get right down to the recipes as this is a feast for 4 that will take some advanced preparation time:

Baby Greens Salad With Warm Basil Vinaigrette

Baby Greens Salad

4 cups loosely packed baby greens salad mix

1 cup croutons

1-2 oz crumbled Feta Cheese

Toss all ingredients well. Drizzle lightly with Warm Basil Vinaigrette

Warm Basil Vinaigrette

2 Tbsp finely diced shallots

1 cup Basil Flavored Olive Oil* (recipe follows)

¼ cup Red or White Wine Vinegar

Salt and Pepper to taste

Warm olive oil slightly over low heat. In a shaker bottle or in a bowl with a whisk blend all dressing ingredients well. Drizzle over salad as desired

* Basil Flavored Olive Oil - To every 50 ml of Extra Virgin Olive Oil add 2-3 drops (your taste preference) of Basil Essential Oil

Herb Marinated Roast Leg Of Lamb

1 - 5 Lb Spring Leg of Lamb

1 Head Garlic, peeled, cloves sliced thin lengthwise

1/8 Cup Mint Leaves

Several Tbsp. Salt to taste

1 Tbsp Sugar

1 Tbsp Rosemary Leaves - crushed

1/8 tsp Crushed Red Pepper

1/2 cup Rosemary Flavored Olive Oil (recipe follows)

Sweet Red Wine

Make numerous slits in the meat, stuffing each with a slice of garlic. Combine mint leaves, salt, sugar, rosemary leaves and crushed red pepper. Rub into meat well. Drizzle the flavored oil over the herb crusted lamb rubbing gently. Place in roasting pan. Pouring the wine over the top of the meat, add enough wine to cover the bottom on the pan. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

Heat oven to 500 F. Sear meat in pan with wine about 6-7 minutes on each side. Add water to pan to fill about half way. Lower the oven temperature to 375 F. Roast meat about 30 minutes per lb (or until internal cooking temperature reaches 180F) for medium doneness. Baste occasionally. Let roast sit for about 20 minutes before carving.

To make gravy skim fat off of pan juices, add ¼ cup red wine used to marinate meat. Bring to a boil and add ¼ of water with 1 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved into it. Stir until thick. Remove from heat immediately.

Serve over a bed of cooked rice, smothering it in gravy.

* Rosemary Flavored Olive Oil - To every 50 ml of Extra Virgin Olive Oil add 2-3 drops (your taste preference) of Rosemary Essential Oil

Orange Fudge Truffles

12 oz Dark Chocolate broken into pieces

¼ cup heavy cream

2 tbsp Grand Marnier

Orange Cocoa Powder* (Recipe follows)

Place broken chocolate and Grand Marnier in a work bowl. Carefully heat the heavy cream, bringing just to a boil. As soon as it begins to boil remove from heat (be careful as boiling milk expands and can overflow.) Pour hot cream over chocolate/liqueur blend and cover, allowing hot cream to melt chocolate.

After several minutes of sitting the chocolate should be fully melted. Whisk mixture until very smooth. Mixture will thicken quickly. Chill mixture for 2 hours. This is called a Ganache.

Use a melon ball to scoop out small balls of the Ganache. Using hands well dusted with cocoa powder roll balls in orange cocoa powder to coat. Do not handle truffles for too long as the Ganache will get soft quickly from the heat of your hands. That is undesirable as the truffle will not hold its round shape well. Place truffles on a clean orange cocoa powder coated cookie sheet. Chill until firm.

*Orange Cocoa Powder

To every 1 cup of coca powder add 1-2 drops (your taste preference) Orange Essential Oil and blend well.

When used wisely and sparingly, certain Essential Oils and Hydrosols make wonderful food flavorings. When using Essential Oils and Hydrosols for cooking always be sure you have genuine, unadulterated products. Also avoid solvent extracted products. When using citrus oils always be sure the fruit source used to make the oil was grown without pesticides.

by Christine Ziegler - © 2002

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Oregano Oil & Lung Cancer In Rats



Archived from my Oils Herbs Etc Yahoo List and posted with the permission of original author - Butch Owen, making him ALOF's guest blogger of the day.




Origanum onites and Lung Cancer in Rats

Hi y'all,

A number of folks have asked me about the portion of the lecture I gave
in September 1999, at the Canadian Aromatherapy Conference in Toronto ..
pertaining to the use of Essential Oil of Oregano (Origanum onites) to
cure lung cancer in rats.

What I presented was the results of research conducted at the Aromatic
and Medicinal Plant and Drug Research Center, Anadolu University,
Eskisehir, Turkey. This research was a scientifically controlled
experiment. Professor Dr. K. Husnu Can Baser and 4 other prominent
professors (one a medical doctor) conducted all phases.

A series of lab tests were conducted, after a period of time, it was
determined that there was justification to do animal testing, so twelve
adult Wistar albino rats of both sexes were acquired.

The test was to determine the inhibitory effects of carvacrol on DMBA
induced pulmonary tumorigenesis in rats.

Cancer was induced in the lungs of each of the rats. The lungs of all
of the rats developed tumor like dark red and brown spots.

The first group received no treatment, The second group was treated
with the standard antitumor agent, Colchicine and NaCl. The third group
was treated with Carvacrol from the Essential Oil of Origanum onites L.,
in a base of neutral sterile olive oil.

By six days, all the first group of rats had died and one of the rats
in the second group had died. The remaining rats were put to sleep and
the lung tissue was examined with a microscope and photographed.

The second group has considerable evidence of slowing tumor development.
In the third group (the group treated with carvacrol) there was evidence
of complete loss of tumor development. In fact, tumorial activity had
ceased and the lung tissue was repairing itself.

The study concluded that carvacrol possessed antitumor activities on
lungs induced by DMBA, and determined that FURTHER STUDY is required.

As I said during the lecture, this is not a recommendation .. just a
brief of details on this study ... it is known to many in the scientific
community and has been published both in Turkey and in Europe.

I have the colored micro-slides .. they are quite clear. I had planned
to present it again at the NAHA conference in June 2002, but as many of
you know .. I later declined to participate in that conference or any
other NAHA conference until that organization cleans itself up, becomes
to be concerned about their members instead of their own pockets, fun,
travel and games and begins to operate in accordance with applicable IRS
laws and their own constitution and bylaws.

In any case .. studies like this reminds me that the FDA will accept
that something is a carcinogen based on studies with rats, but curing a
rats gets a comment that rats aren't humans. I agree with them but it
sets the stage for assuming lack of credibility of in vivo testing.

Its my opinion that many of the cures of man's ills will be found and
used in third world or emerging countries because the researchers there
are generally less likely to have been compromised by the mega-buck
pharmaceutical companies. If a university is offered $5 million to do
research to prove what a pharmaceutical company wants proven on a new
patent or prescription drug, odds are research such as that conducted by
these professors will not be made .. and we know that such research is
NOT in the best interests of the pharmaceutical companies because they
cannot get a patent on a natural product..

The leader of that group, Professor Doctor K. Husnu Can Baser, then
Director of the Center and the Dean of the Pharmacy Faculty at the
university, has done some other work that is just as exciting - and
continues to do even more now! Lucky it is that at the time of this
study, Anadolu University had not been compromised .. yet.

So - even though I said it doesn't mean a thing for humans - I still use
my Origanum when I need it.

Oh yea .. I asked Professor Baser why he chose Origanum onites instead
of a different type. He chuckled and said it was because that was the
one he had handy at the time. ;-)

Y'all keep smiling, Butch

Monday, March 7, 2011

Lime Light Grilling

As the day wanes and twilight approaches, I'm about to grill up some chicken and corn seasoned with my new "Lime Light" flavored salt - a blend of unrefined sea salts, white and pink peppercorns, paprkia, chili powder & parsley, accompanied by the essential oils of lime zest and thai lime leaves .. add a salad and we have supper time numminess!

All of my local "taste testers" have been giving rave reviews for the seasoned salts, which means they will be available on the web-site soon!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Celebrating Progress!


I am feeling good! I have created a woman owned & operated company that has been self financed, in biz for over a decade & all of our items are manufactured in The United States of America down to the 100% post consumer recycled bottles that are thrown away by Americans, made into new bottles by Americans and then refilled by Americans!

I've been creating jobs in America, and around the globe for 12+ years now! :)


A Little Ol'Factory
CZ Luxe

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Rave for the Castile!


ALOF's Tea Tree Scented 100% Olive Oil Castile Liquid Soap is the subject of our Unsolicited Customer Testimonial of the Day!

Here it is, as posted on Facebook by Mary Garcia (author of 'Boo Boo's New Leg', click here to check it out!)

"This is the best soap I've ever used to remove chemicals, stain and paint from my hands, EVER!! No scrubbing necessary. As a matter of fact, even if you have very dry hands, the soap gently penetrates the fine lines and cracks in your hands and fingers, removing all traces as it softens the skin as a bonus. NO ARTIST, CARPENTER OR CRAFTER SHOULD BE WITHOUT IT!"

Click Here To Order

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pink!


Pink is the color,
Pink is the feel,
Pink is today,
Pink it is real,
Pink is the rose,
Organic at that,
Pink is the lady,
Who dares wear that hat!

Get your pink on today!
Certified Organic Bulgarian
Pink Damascena Rose Hydrosol
Available in limited quantities!
Click here to order now

Friday, February 18, 2011

Catnip Repels Mosquitoes More Effectively Than DEET


News release from the American Chemical Society: Catnip Essential Oil Proven Better
Than Deet At Repelling Mosquitoes

"Catnip Repels Mosquitoes More Effectively Than DEET"

CHICAGO, August 27, 2001 — Researchers report that nepetalactone, the essential oil in catnip that gives the plant its characteristic odor, is about ten times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET — the compound used in most commercial insect repellents.

The finding was reported today at the 222nd national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society, by the same Iowa State University research group that two years ago discovered that catnip also repels cockroaches.

Entomologist Chris Peterson, Ph.D., with Joel Coats, Ph.D., chair of the university’s entomology department, led the effort to test catnip’s ability to repel mosquitoes. Peterson, a former post-doctoral research associate at the school, is now with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Wood Products Insects Research Unit, in Starkville, Miss.

While they used so-called yellow fever mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti) — one of several species of mosquitoes found in the United States — Peterson says catnip should work against all types of mosquitoes.

Aedes aegypti, which can carry the yellow fever virus from one host to another, is found in most parts of the United States. Yellow fever itself, however, only occurs in Africa and South America, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Vaccines and mosquito control programs have essentially wiped out the disease in the United States, although there have been isolated reports of unvaccinated travelers returning with the disease. The last reported outbreak in this country was in 1905.

Peterson put groups of 20 mosquitoes in a two-foot glass tube, half of which was treated with nepetalactone. After 10 minutes, only an average of 20 percent — about four mosquitoes — remained on the side of the tube treated with a high dose (1.0 percent) of the oil. In the low-dose test (0.1 percent) with nepetalactone, an average of 25 percent — five mosquitoes — stayed on the treated side. The same tests with DEET (diethyl-m-toluamide) resulted in approximately 40 percent to 45 percent — eight-nine mosquitoes — remaining on the treated side.

In the laboratory, repellency is measured on a scale ranging from +100 percent, considered highly repellent, to –100 percent, considered a strong attractant. A compound with a +100 percent repellency rating would repel all mosquitoes, while –100 percent would attract them all.
A rating of zero means half of the insects would stay on the treated side and half on the untreated side. In Peterson’s tests, catnip ranged from +49 percent to +59 percent at high doses, and +39 percent to +53 percent at low doses. By comparison, at the same doses, DEET’s repellency was only about +10 percent in this bioassay, he notes.

Peterson says nepetalactone is about 10 times more effective than DEET because it takes about one-tenth as much nepetalactone as DEET to have the same effect.

Most commercial insect repellents contain about 5 percent to 25 percent DEET. Presumably, much less catnip oil would be needed in a formulation to have the same level of repellency as a DEET-based repellent.

Why catnip repels mosquitoes is still a mystery, says Peterson. “It might simply be acting as an irritant or they don’t like the smell. But nobody really knows why insect repellents work.”

No animal or human tests are yet scheduled for nepetalactone, although Peterson is hopeful that will take place in the future.

If subsequent testing shows nepetalactone is safe for people, Peterson thinks it would not be too difficult to commercialize it as an insect repellent. Extracting nepetalactone oil from catnip is fairly easily, he says. “Any high school science lab would have the equipment to distill this, and on the industrial scale it’s quite easy.”

Catnip is a perennial herb belonging to the mint family and grows wild in most parts of the United States, although it also is cultivated for commercial use. Catnip is native to Europe and was introduced to this country in the late 18th century. It is primarily known for the stimulating effect it has on cats, although some people use the leaves in tea, as a meat tenderizer and even as a folk treatment for fevers, colds, cramps and migraines.

A patent application for the use of catnip compounds as insect repellents was submitted last year by the Iowa State University Research Foundation. Funding for the research was from the Iowa Agriculture Experiment Station.

Chris Peterson, Ph.D., is a former post-doctoral research associate at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, and is now a Research Entomologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Wood Products Insect Research Service, in Starkville, Miss.

Joel R. Coats, Ph.D., is professor of entomology and toxicology and Chair of the Department of Entomology at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa."

Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by The American Chemical Society for journalists and other members of the public. If you wish to quote from any part of this story, please credit The American Chemical Society as the original source.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Candles with Essential Oils Kill Bacteria


New study from the University of South Hampton: Candles with Essential Oils Kill Bacteria

Researchers Dr Lindsey Gaunt and Sabrina Higgins from the University of Southampton have found that adding essential oils, such as eucalyptus, orange, litsea and thyme to candles can destroy bacteria, such as Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Staphylococcus aureus (staph) on surfaces. The findings that adding essential oils to candles could be as effective as scrubbing with disinfectants were unveiled at the sixth joint symposium of the International Electrostatics Society of Japan and the Electrostatics Society of America conference in Tokyo (Nov 7-10, 2004).

The scientists used essential oils of orange, palmarosa, may chang, thyme, and an element of tea tree oil called beta-pinene, which when dispersed into the air and combined with the ions produced in the candle flame, all have a powerful bactericidal effect.

This unique combination of essential oils and electrical ions has demonstrated a remarkably powerful bactericidal action, with up to nearly 100 per cent bacteria kill.

For comparison, the researchers also tested plain wax candles without essential oils and evaporated essential oils in water on a hot plate. In contrast with the essential oil containing candles, the plain wax candle had no effect on bacteria, and vapor created by the essential oil alone also had little to no impact on the surface bacteria.

The candle flame and essential oil components appear to work together for a sterilizing effect, say the researchers. The researchers believe that the oils react with ions in the wick and with oxygen to take on anti-bacterial properties.

They said adding these essential oils to candles could help people to easily and conveniently kill bacteria lurking in their homes.

The researchers are planning further studies to see if essential oil laden candles are effective against the super bug MRSA among other strains of bacteria.

Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by the University of South Hampton for journalists and other members of the public. If you wish to see the news releases see The University of South Hampton as the original source.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Essential Oils could help stop the spread of the deadly MRSA bacteria


Many moons ago I had this valuable information on my web site, but it has since been streamlined, and now I am archiving it here on the blog ..



Research findings from The University of Manchester:Essential Oils could help stop the spread of the deadly MRSA bacteria

21 Dec, 2004 - According to research carried out at The University of Manchester, essential oils have been found to kill the deadly MRSA bacteria.

Researchers tested 40 essential oils against ten of the most deadly bacteria and fungi. Three essential oils (which have not been disclosed) used in the tests killed MRSA and E. coli as well as many other bacteria and fungi within just two minutes of contact. Two of these oils killed MRSA and E. coli almost instantly, while a third was shown to act over a longer period of time, meaning that any soaps or shampoos made with a blend of these three oils would be effective over a period of time.

As aromatherapists and natural toiletry makers well know, the oils can easily be blended and made into items such as soaps, shampoos, lotions, etc ... which could be used by hospital staff, doctors and patients alike in an effort to eradicate the spread of these deadly `super bugs', which are becoming increasingly resistant to conventional means.

Jacqui Stringer who is Clinical Lead of Complementary Therapies at the Christie Hospital instigated the research. Jacqui works with leukemia patients at the Christie Hospital using essential oils to help in their treatment. Patients receiving treatment for cancer and leukemia are often left with weakened immune systems which makes them vulnerable to infection from MRSA. 'The reason essential oils are so effective is because they are made up of a complex mixture of chemical compounds which the MRSA and other super bug bacteria finds difficult to resist. The problem with current treatments is that they are made of single compounds which MRSA relatively quickly becomes resistant to, so treatment is only successful in around 50% of cases.'

'While a wide range of products currently exist to help prevent the spread of MRSA these are often unpleasant for patients as their application can cause skin irritation. MRSA is often carried inside the nose which means that patients often have to insert treatments up their nostrils, whereas these essential oils can simply be inhaled to prevent the patient being at risk,' added Jacqui.

Researchers are now desperately looking for funding to develop their work and carry out a clinical trial. Peter Warn from the University's Faculty of Medicine who worked on the research said: 'We believe that our discovery could revolutionise the fight to combat MRSA and other `super bugs', but we need to carry out a trial and to do that we need a small amount of funding ' around £30,000.

'We are having problems finding this funding because essential oils cannot be patented as they are naturally occurring, so few drug companies are interested in our work as they do not see it as commercially viable. Obviously, we find this very frustrating as we believe our findings could help to stamp out MRSA and save lives,' added Peter, who is based at Hope Hospital.

Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by The University of Manchester for journalists and other members of the public. If you wish to see the news releases see The University of Manchester as the original source.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cooking with Romantic Roses, A Valentine Treat


I found this archived article written by me quite some time ago for Aromatic Sage Magazine. Happy Valentine's Day!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In the Kitchen with Chris Ziegler
Cooking with Romantic Roses, A Valentine Treat

Welcome to AFS and the monthly column dedicated to the enjoyment of oils and aromatherapy in the kitchen.

Being that Valentine's Day is right around the corner it seems only appropriate to start of the first issue with the Romantic Rose.

The Rose has always been a flower associated with love. The intoxicating scent of roses (and rose oil) has worked its magic on men and women for thousands of years and still continues to do so today.

Roses were so popular during Roman times, that Horace wrote he was concerned that the farmers would dedicate too much time to their rose cultivation and neglect their olive groves.

The Romans used the petals in cooking, especially desserts such as puddings and sherbets. They even used roses to flavor wines.

The cultures influenced by the Romans also took up art of cooking with roses. To this day, tasty rose flavored treats abound in countries such as Turkey, and the ingredient "rosewater" is an essential part of some Middle Eastern dishes.

According to lore, a small number of wandering tribes of mystics in India were said to sustain themselves solely on roses, refusing all other foods except the "Queen of Flowers".

Roses from the garden can be used to create lovely dishes such as rose petal jam and jelly, rose petal omelets, candied rose petals, and more.

If you grow the old fashioned varieties you get an additional treat of rose hips at the end of the season to make goodies such as rose hip jelly and rose hip syrup.

When cooking with rose petals, NEVER use commercial roses that have been sprayed with pesticides.

When using rosewater for cooking be sure you are getting genuine, un- adulterated rose hydrosol from the stills, not rose-flavored distilled water.

Lastly, when cooking with rose oil be sure to use only unadulterated Rose Otto oil, which is hydro-steam distilled, do NOT use Rose Absolute, which is solvent extracted.

Recipes:
~~~~~~
Turkish Princess Rose Cake
Pre-heat oven to 375°F.

Into a mixing bowl, combine:
1½ cups cake flour,
2 tsp. baking powder,
2 Tbsp. finely ground almonds
½ cup Rose Otto Sugar (recipe follows)
2 Tbs. Rose Syrup (recipe follows)
¾ cup + 1 Tbsp. milk,
5 Tbs. Unsalted butter,
1 egg,
1½ tsp. vanilla extract,
Pinch of salt.
Another 2 Tbsp. Rose Syrup

Blend all ingredients, except additional 2 Tbsp rose syrup. Mix about 4 minutes at medium speed with electric mixer. Turn into 2 - 8" lightly buttered and floured round cake pans. Bake in oven (375°F) until a toothpick, when inserted into the center of the cake, comes out clean - about 25 - 30 minutes. Let cool ten minutes before removing from the pan.

Remove from pans, place cakes on a rack, and let completely cool. Spread 2 Tbsp. Rose Syrup on top of the bottom cake layer. Then frost with Rose-Almond Frosting (recipe follows).
Place top cake layer atop frosted lower layer.
Complete frosting top and sides of the cake.
Garnish with fresh and candied rose petals (optional).

~~~~~~
Rose-Almond Frosting

8 Tbs. Unsalted Butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. Rose Syrup
1 Tbsp. finely ground almonds
4½ cups (1 box) powdered sugar
Rose hydrosol (have a few tablespoons handy)

In a mixing bowl, beat butter and vanilla extract, until the butter is softened. Add 2 Tbsp. Rose Syrup and continue to beat until mixture is fluffy. Slowly add powdered sugar, blending on a slow speed at first to combine ingredients. Add Rose hydrosol, a tablespoon at a time, until frosting reaches proper consistency.
~~~~~~

Rose Otto Sugar

1-2 cups sugar
2 drops of Rose Otto
Blend well in a food processor.
~~~~~~
Rose Syrup (Easy)

4 heaping Tbsp. Rose Petal Jam
2 Tbsp. Water
Combine jam and water in a small pan. Warm slightly over low heat while stirring.
~~~~~~
Asure (Turkish Wheat Pudding)
This is one of the oldest and most traditional deserts in Turkish cuisine. Legend says "When the Flood finally subsided and Noah's Arc
settled on Mount Ararat in Agri, those on the vessel wanted to hold a celebration as an expression of the gratitude they felt towards God, but alas, the food storages of the ship were practically empty.

So they made a soup with all the remaining ingredients they could find and thus ended up with 'Asure'.

Following that legend, today Asure is prepared by cooking together at least fifteen ingredients which vary slightly by region.

For example, in the Çorum region, known as "Pekmezli Hedik" molasses is used and replaces sugar. In Gaziantep anise is added to that version.

Servings: 10 Ingredients:

Dövme (dehusked wheat for Asure) 1 cup (180 grams ) Chickpeas 1/3 cup (60 grams)
Dry white beans 1/3 cup (60 grams)
Rice 2 tablespoons (15 grams)
Water 12 ½ cups (2.5 kg)
Dried apricots 10 (60 grams)
Dried figs 5 (125 grams)
Raisins (seedless) ½ cup (50 grams)
Orange 1 small size 1(20 grams)
Sugar 1 2/3 cups (300 grams)
Rose water 2-4Tbsp (20-40 grams)
Walnuts (not crushed) 2/3 cup (65 grams)
Pomegranate ½ small size (50 grams)

Preparation :
Rinse the wheat, chickpeas and dried beans.
Soak beans and chickpeas, separately, each in 1 cup of water, overnight.

Soak the Dövme and rice together in 2 cups of water, overnight.

Add 3 cups of water to the Dövme and 2 cups of water each to chick peas and beans and place them individually on the burner.

Cook the Dövme until the grains are dissolved and the starch comes out. If necessary boil the
chickpeas in a pressure cooker. Rinse dried fruit and soak them for 2 hours in 1 ½ cups of water.

Mix the cooked ingredients and the dry fruit in a pan and cook for 15 minutes. Peel the orange and cut the rind, including the white inner part into 3-4 cm long and 1 cm wide strips. Divide the orange slices into 4-5 pieces. Add them to the mixture altogether and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the sugar and cook for 1-2 minutes and turn off the heat.

Add the rosewater and stir. Pour into dessert cups. Garnish with walnuts and pomegranate seeds.
~~~~~~
For more information of the history and production of rose oil and rose hydrosol, visit
"Rosa Damascena - Anatolian Rose Production" by Butch Owen
http://www.av-at.com/distillation/ rosadamascena1.html

Step by step instructions on how to make rose petal jam
http://www.av-at.com/stuff/rosejam.html


Chris has been both cooking and working with Essential Oils now for over 14 yrs. She has completed Certificate Training courses in Herbology and Clinical Aromatherapy. She is the owner of A Little Ol'Factory http://www.alittleolfactory.com , a small company based in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where she makes soap and other all natural toiletries.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Oregano Oil may protect against drug resistant bacteria

The below press release is certainly not new news, but it is also not widely known information, so I'm spreading the word about that wonderful big bad bug fighter .. carvacrol type oregano essential oil. One of my personal EO staples!



Georgetown University Medical Center: Oregano Oil may protect against drug resistant bacteria

October 6, 2001 Press Release: Washington, D.C. — Oil from the common herb oregano may be an effective treatment against dangerous, and sometimes drug resistant bacteria, a Georgetown researcher has found. Two studies have shown that oregano oil — and, in particular, carvacrol, one of oregano's chemical components — appear to reduce infection as effectively as traditional antibiotics. These findings will be presented at the American College of Nutrition's annual meeting October 6 and 7 in Orlando, Fla.

Harry G. Preuss, MD, MACN, CNS, professor of physiology and biophysics, and his research team, tested oregano oil on staphylococcus bacteria— which is responsible for a variety of severe infections and is becoming increasingly resistant to many antibiotics. They combined oregano oil with the bacteria in a test tube, and compared oregano oil's effects to those of standard antibiotics streptomycin, penicillin and vacnomycin. The oregano oil at relatively low doses was found to inhibit the growth of staphylococcus bacteria in the test tubes as effectively as the standard antibiotics did.

Another aspect of the study examined the efficacy of oregano oil and carvacrol, which is believed to be the major antibacterial component of oregano, in 18 mice infected with the staph bacteria.

Six of the mice received oregano oil for 30 days, and 50% of this group survived the 30-day treatment. Six received the carvacrol in olive oil, not oregano oil, and none survived longer than 21 days. Six mice received olive oil alone with no active agents (the control group) and all died within three days. A repeat study corroborated these findings, which demonstrates that there are components of oregano oil other than carvacrol that have antibiotic properties.

"While this investigation was performed only in test tubes and on a small number of mice, the preliminary results are promising and warrant further study," Preuss said. "The ability of oils from various spices to kill infectious organisms has been recognized since antiquity. Natural oils may turn out to be valuable adjuvants or even replacements for many anti-germicidals under a variety of conditions."

Georgetown University Medical Center includes the nationally ranked School of Medicine, School of Nursing and Health Studies, and a biomedical research enterprise. For more information, please visit http://www.georgetown.edu/gumc.

4000 Reservoir Road NW Building D Suite 120 Washington DC 20007 202 687-5100 telephone 202 687-5213 facsimile http://www.georgetown.edu/gumc

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sultana's Champagne Bath

Designed for the romantic, with one of Cleopatra's favorite things, genuine precious Turkish Rose Otto. Lush kisses of the precious pink blossoms perfume our Sultana's Champagne Bath. Add an actual glass of champagne to the experience; how decadent.

Each 2 oz packet is only $5.00
Cupid's Valentine Special:
Buy 4 and receive one FREE!

Click Here To Order

Friday, February 4, 2011

Incense is in Order


I've been going through the "pantry" and incense is totally on today's agenda!

Lets see what we've got here .. lovage root, patchouli leaves, ambrette seeds, sandalwood shreds, cinnamon chips, various resins, a buncha aromatic berries, star anise, tabu, and so much more .. fun fun!!! :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Lavandula



Ah dear alkanet root, the plant kingdom's version of litmus paper; how I so enjoy creating colors with you .. :)

Unveiling today - Lavandula Soap - Fair Trade Shea Butter rich, Lavender & Lavandin scented, & made colorful with Alkanet Root and Calendula Petals.

Click Here to Order!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Moroccan Harira


Here's to a warm full belly on a cold night and being grateful for it!

I found in the pantry some beef and lamb stock that I canned, along with some canned tomatoes and dried beans (lentils and chickpeas mostly) that have been around quite long enough .. and I also have a bit of leftover roast beast from a previous recent evening - SO I've decided that I'm going to make Moroccan Harira.

I chop a couple small onions, several stalks of celery, saute them in some oil and butter, add about 1 lb of beans that have been soaked overnight, add a can of crushed tomatoes, add 2 quarts stock, meat, salt, pepper, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, cardamom, simmer gently while covered for about 2 - 3 hours. Chill, eat tomorrow reheated as soup is ALWAYS better 1 or 2 days later! Be sure to add chopped fresh cilantro (or parsley if you're not into cilantro) and serve it with cous cous added :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Raves for Red Raspberry!

We now have in stock now an ultra fresh batch of cold pressed Red Raspberry Seed Oil! This bright golden oil is one amazing item. Not only is it rich in omega fatty acids and tocopherols, making it a fabulous anti-oxidant, it also is low in saturated fats and has been shown to have a broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF factor of somewhere between 25 and 50!

Mix that with your Zinc Oxide before you go forth and snowboard and then use it in vinaigrette for your nourishing dinner salad too!

My personal odoriferous observation, in the bottle it does not appear to have any particularly discernible fragrance, but when rubbed on the skin a delightfully light, nutty, fruity quality appears.

All around Red Raspberry Seed Oil is good stuff indeed! And since we have it custom made for us in the USA directly from our Red Raspberry Seed grower, we blow the competition out of the water in quality, price and freshness!

Click here to order!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

American Chen Style Taijiquan


ALOF and CZ Luxe Artisan Pampering Products are now available at The American Chen Style Taijiquan Martial Arts Association & Wellness Center, conveniently located at 9000 Southwest Freeway Suite 430, Houston, TX 77074 - off HWY 59 and Gessner.

Wanna get your butt into shape while actually enjoying it and learn martial arts (including a most practical skill known as self defense) from the REAL deal?!? If so then Master Blue Siytangco is the man you want to meet.

A 20th Generation Chen Style Taijiquan Successor; he has proudly been teaching authentic Chen Style Tai Chi in Houston, TX for over 10 years. He hosts seminars and workshops with some of the most renowned Masters in Taijiquan.

"Be still as a mountain, move like a great river" and get on over to Blue Dragon's to learn some Tai Chi (and get my goodies too)!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Body Mind Spirit Massage

ALOF and CZ Luxe Artisan Pampering Products are now available directly from Body Mind Spirit Massage in Houston TX.

Call 281-300-4576, ask for Bel, and make an appointment to receive the best therapeutic massages in town! She does everything from Sports, Deep Tissue and Aromatherapy Massages to Maternity and Infant Massage! Styles are global - Thai, Balinese, Hawaiian, Swedish, etc ..

Take me away to exotic places while I just relax and don't have to go anywhere! :)

Ms. Bel also provides Massage Therapy Instruction and a variety of Continuing Education Classes.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Winter in Woods


Cold outside? A perfect time to pamper yourself. Crisp, clean, Winter in Woods Artisan Soap is a natural.

Moisture rich Shea Butter and Virgin oils including Olive, Hemp, Cranberry & Red Raspberry with an aroma of mingled essential oils featuring Spruce, Juniper, Agarwood and Cedar.


Click here to order!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Before or After Eight?


Cocoa Mint - This is one of our more decadent soaps as it has REAL CHOCOLATE in it! In addition (if that weren't yummy enough), Creamy Virgin Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter and Candy Cane sweet Yakima, Washington Peppermint make this a no calorie treat!

Click here to order!

Thai Spice Soap

Today's soapy feature is Thai Spice - A creamy combination of Virgin and Extra Virgin Oils, Fresh Coconut Milk, French Green Clay and a zesty essential oil combination of Thai Lime Leaf and Fresh Ginger Root .. It is as good as it sounds!

Click here to order!

 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Stirring the Pot!


I love to make soap! Bars and liquid! Blending together a myriad of oils, with vegetable and fruits, flowers and grains, herbs and oils, micas and oxides .. it just gives me a thrill! :)

All this week I will be featuring the fresh batches of soap in the house!

Today's soap is: Sangre de Cristo ~ An aromatic homage to the mountains - virgin oils, red clay, conifers and patchouli .. blend that with a shower and its a warm springtime day in the hills!

Click here to order!