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
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 ~ ~ 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