Cooking with Essential Oils

With a following of over 5.6K people,

Jo Bogle of Essential Recipes By Jo, Plus More

has been clocking up the foodie miles rubbing shoulders with an impressive list of Celebrity Chefs. Her latest culinary adventure sees her delving into the exciting new kitchen trend of using Essential Oils to boost those flavour profiles!

Today’s creation is a Peanut Butter, Orange and White chocolate cookie. Not sure how long these will last once the family tastes them.

Ingedients
* 1 egg
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 1 cup Peanut Butter
* 1/2 a block of white chocolate roughly chopped
* 10 drops of Young Living Orange Essential Oil
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl then shape into tablespoonful balls, flatten slightly.
Cook in a preheated oven at 170o for approximately 18 minutes or until brown.
Enjoy
order your essential oils from https://www.myyl.com/josyoungliving1

Why Young Living – Jo Bogle

Almost 12 months ago I decided to look into how I could change my home environment into a less toxic one. Let’s face it, most things we use on ourself or in our home contain many things that we probably shouldn’t be subjecting ourselves too. I decided to make a decision not only that would benefit me, but my whole family.

Essential oils have been used for years as natural remedies and cleaning purposes, this is something that I am slowly incorporating back into our everyday living.

So why did I choose Young Living you ask? There were a number of reasons behind this choice. Firstly I love the fact that they have a seed to seal policy. Which basically means they have total control of when the tiny seed is planted, to harvesting the plant to putting the the seal on the bottle. They are committed to establish and maintain the ultimate, industry leading standard in Essential oils.

Learn more here;

http://www.seedtoseal.com/en

A large range of Culinary oils is something that also caught my eye. I, being an avid foodie did a little research into this and found that just one or two drops of these oils, in our food or drinks can make so much change to the flavour of our meals. Not all essential oils can be Ingested so it’s a good idea to check your labeling before you go adding oils to your meal. Some people do not like the idea of ingesting oils, it is really a personal choice.

Since joining Young Living I have started making some DIY products at home and my 8 year old daughter just loves to help out. Bath bombs, lip balms, makeup remover wipes, bench cleaners and even a spray Miss 8 uses each morning in her hair to help keep the crawlies away. We have different roller blends, created in a 10ml Roller bottle, with essential oils added to a carrier oil for all different things.

The electronic diffusers all so play a big part in my house now. I have one in my kitchen which goes on as soon as I get home. Miss 8 has one in her bedroom which gets put on just before she goes to bed. I strongly believe this is helping with the bedtime routine. A few relaxing oils diffused around the room almost has mummy falling asleep also.

Almost 12 months ago I would of said to you, that I probably wouldnt find a need to use oils daily, oh how wrong I was. It’s almost like an addiction but in a fun way. I love finding new recipes to try and DIY products to make. Maybe just one day I’ll write my own book.

Sharing essential oils with family and friends is easy also, this is what I have been doing and have actually built up myself a nice little income from it. It’s all about educating the next person, share with them your results and you will be pleasantly surprised that they too will be interested in your little bottles of wellness.

Young Living have a range of wholesale accounts on offer, from a basic starter kit from $59.00 to our most popular Premium Starter Kit $258.99 which actually comes with a free Diffuser. So there is something for everyone and every budget. Purchasing a wholesale account means you can buy your oils at a huge 24% discount which really adds up if you start buying a few. If you would like to see other kit option head to my website https://www.myyl.com/josyoungliving1

Or you can email me at jobogleyoungliving@gmail.com where I am happy to answer all your questions.

If this is a path you choose to take please remember to tell me where you found this link.

I would love for you to come and visit my No obligation Look and Learn Group where you will find my creations plus tips and uses for our gorgeous products.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/235611320255854/

I hope that I have created some inspiration among those who have read my story. It really is about choosing a better lifestyle. I am so loving my life right now and cannot wait to start creating more amazing recipes to share with you all.

Get Oily with Jo

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Semi-Dried Tomatoes

Fill your kitchen with the intoxicating aroma

of roasting garlic, herbs & sun ripened tomato.

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This absolutely gorgeous addition to my Gifts From The Kitchen series will have the savoury lovers salivating! It’s a wonderfully practical culinary shortcut to enhance pasta & pizza dishes throughout the festive hangover.

Simply start by using an apple corer to cut out all the middle cores of the tomatoes before placing them into a pot of boiling water for 20 seconds only! Remove them immediately to plunge into a bowl of ice & water to cool.

Now I know that doesn’t actually sound like enough time to achieve anything at all, but trust me, it does! This is what allows you to be able to peel the skins off the fruit.

Once you’ve peeled all the skin off, cut the tomatoes in half & place them straight onto a baking tray.

Drizzle them with a wee bit of olive oil, then season with salt & black pepper. Throw on a few garlic cloves that you’ve peeled & ‘squashed’ with either your palm or the flat blade of your knife & sprinkle over some dried mixed herbs, or you might like to just throw on some thyme sprigs if that’s more your thing.

Bake them in a 140c oven for 4 hours before then putting them straight into a clean jar, topping with olive oil & screwing on the lid to seal.

Basic Macaroons

They’re a fancy bakery favourite but you’ll be really surprised how easy you can make these slightly chewy, crispy crusted delicate biscuits at home.

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The first trick to get all of your macaroons at the same size is to grab some sort of round object that’s about 4cm in diameter. I ‘borrow’ one of Mini-Me’s toy’s, a layer of a wooden ice-cream from her timber high tea set but ssshhhhhhh don’t tell her! Then trace circles onto baking paper leaving about a 2cm gap between each one. Spray some oil on a couple of baking trays to help the baking paper stick without moving & set those prepared trays aside for later.

Next, we’re going to beat 3 egg whites in a mixer until soft peaks form before adding in 2 tablespoons of caster sugar along with whatever food colour floats your boat & beat that until the sugar dissolves, that means you can’t feel any grains of sugar between your fingers anymore.

Then, simply fold through 1 & 1/4 cups of sifted icing sugar with 1 cup of almond meal gently in two separate batches, being extra careful not to knock out all that lovely air you’ve worked so hard to beat in there!

Scoop that luscious mix into a piping bag fitted with just a plain nozzle & fill in the circles drawn on your trays. The next trick to an awesome macaroon is to gently tap the trays on the bench to spread them slightly before dusting with some more icing sugar & then leave them sit there for 15 minutes – this is what allows that signature crunchy crust to form in the air drying!

Whack those in a 150c oven for 20 minutes after which allow them to stand for an extra 5 minutes before very carefully peeling them from the paper & bunging them onto a cooling wire.

Meanwhile whip up a standard chocolate ganache by simply popping 100g of dark chocolate callets into a bowl & pouring in 2 tablespoons of thickened cream. Sit that over a pan of simmering water, make sure that the water never touches the bottom of the bowl or your chocolate will seize & be useless, then gently stir while it melts. Sit it aside to cool slightly so it thickens up a wee  bit before spooning small amounts onto the bottom of a macaroon & using another one to sandwich on top.

When you serve up these fabuliciouz wee beauties you can stand back & bask in the glory chef!

Roll ’em!

We are fast discovering that there is so very much more to creating a Web show than just pointing a camera & screaming ACTION!

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Perhaps it’s the OCD perfectionist streak we all seem to share that’s causing us to procrastinate on the filming of our web show, but we do want to look a wee bit better than an average home movie. Don’t get us wrong, we’re certainly not going to be anywhere near professional television standards, yet we desire to produce a quality show that we can be proud of.

Why bother at all, I hear you say?!

Whilst we don’t have any delusions of grandeur to rub shoulders with the celebrity chefs (although how cool would that be?!), it is quite a simple answer to this often asked question –

It’s just a bit of fun!

Maybe no one will watch our wee show at all, we won’t lose a sheep station over it, but maybe somebody will watch us & be entertained or try one of our recipes or even be inspired to escape to the simple life themselves. That’s the fun, exciting bit, we just don’t know.

We love to share what we’re passionate about with the world but we don’t wish to become enslaved to the show needing to pump out an episode every week. To overcome this issue, we’ve paid attention to how those professional shows do it – with pre-determined episode numbers in neat series blocks with a gap in between.

Our web show will be canapé sized at 5 minutes each, give or take, as let’s face it, nobody watches YouTube clips much longer than that! Each one will consist of a recipe & then whatever we happen to be up to around the place, you know, our lifestyle kinda segment. I think that’s the one where it could get quite comical with our amateur antics.

We’ve invested in a tiny camcorder with tripod & are busy planning our episodes to bring you the most joy receiving a glimpse into our life on the mountain. Look out for more details about when we start to shoot!

Mini Garden Starter

Building our Home Farm is going to be a HUGE job lasting the summer,

but we want fresh, home grown food NOW!

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So how to we satisfy our hunger whilst waiting for the main course? With a starter, naturally.

Now I know we’ve rented all this land, 3/4 acre, which is quite a daunting prospect to learn upon for complete novices with lofty aspirations but we’re not entirely clueless.

Whilst renting standard properties, small units & caravan park sites, we’ve been able to grow ourselves small potted gardens of edible bliss. Pots have always been our go everywhere solution to our insatiable appetite for growing our very own produce.

Having lived all over Australia, we have had many different experiences, with mixed results, of what & when we’ve grown things in our food gardens over the years. This beautiful mountain of ours on the outskirts of Melbourne, I think, will prove to be our biggest challenge yet!

It would appear we have moved into a very definite micro-climate! 

How have we made this discovery? Through the best network available no matter where you may happen to be – simply asking the locals. Most gardeners are happy to have a chin wag about their precious soil babies & only too accommodating to pass on their hard earned wealth of knowledge. You’d be an absolute mug not to utilise that absolutely free information which has saved us many mistakes over our travels.

We’re used to being able to grow anything at anytime in the magnificent volcanic soil of Australia’s Caldera region, but here, we’re actually going to have to learn a trick or two about gardening. So we’ve decided to start our education this season with our tried & true method of a Mini Potted Garden.

The trick to using a portable garden bed is layers going up.

Make sure it’s in a nice sunny spot & whack a trellis in the back of it for your climbers to reach for the sky (we’ll be planting tomato & cucumber but I wouldn’t mind adding in some peas to that mix as well). The middle layer is where you bung in the medium sized bushes like Basil, Capsicum & Chilli. Down in front is reserved for the low lines, we’ve got radish & beetroot going in this year.

Apparently, this mountain is a good month behind the rest of Victoria to start the growing season & ends a solid month ahead of the rest too so our time to harvest is short, but we shall have food from our garden to our kitchen! We’re determined!

Lemon Curd

It’s one of the most traditional preserves of the country kitchen

& is absolutely luscious in pastries, cakes, tarts & a whole lot more!

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To make this golden fabuliciouzness simply grab a small saucepan & bung in 2 whole eggs along with 2 egg yolks & 3/4 cup of caster sugar. Whisk that lot until it’s nice & smooth.

Next, place the pan over a very low heat & add in 1/3 cup (80g) worth of chilled butter (use the real stuff) & the juice & zest of 2 large lemons. Now you’re chained to the stove as you need to whisk that continuously until it’s gloriously thickened.

Strain it through a sieve into a jug with spout before pouring into your hot sterilised jar & whacking on the lid immediately.

This will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks to use in your baking for a beautiful citrus zing.

Tanz Tip – don’t rush it, keep it nice & low on the heat & never stop whisking, you’re not making scrambled eggs here!

How to sterilise jars

One of the simple pleasures of the kitchen is making your own preserves,

but how do you keep them fresh from spoiling?

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I know it’s a wee bit scary to contemplate the intricacies of sterilisation & so very many of us have simply given up on it all to opt for store bought convenience instead, but seriously, you will be surprised at just how easy it is to prepare your very own jars to fill with homemade yummies direct from your own kitchen. It’s just 3 easy steps!

1. Pre-heat your oven to 180c.

2. Wash the jars in warm soapy water then rinse thoroughly (nobody wants suds in their goodies).

3. Stand them, upside down, in a baking dish & whack them in the oven to dry completely (usually about 15 minutes).

That’s it!

Now the trick is to make sure you pour your HOT preserve into the HOT jar & pop the lid on whilst it’s all still HOT!

Tanz Tip – put your preserve into a jug with a spout to pour so that you don’t get any spillage on the rim of the jar as that will be a super highway for bacteria later.

Miss Milly’s Niche

Determine who you are and what your brand is,

and what you’re not.

The rest of it is just a lot of noise.

– Geoffrey Zakarian

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Anyone who has the dream, combined with the determination to achieve it, about opening their own food venue will completely understand the eye glaze over that you receive whenever you dare mention your plans.

I’m sure people don’t mean to do it, yet you see the definite change from brightly lit full of interest sparkle as they enquire about what your business will be to dull, lifeless, please let it be over, sorry I asked, not another cafe blankness.

I have noticed a rather odd occurrence though, I see this first excited interest followed by the zone out at the mention of a Teahouse only to regain their curiosity as I say that I am a Chocolatier. Everybody loves Chocolate!

Rejoice Mountain Chocoholics!

Miss Milly shall be a dedicated temple to the luscious elixir of the Aztecs. Everything on offer will be made of Chocolate! From sweets to drinks to savoury, all will be a Chocolate lover’s fantasy.

Now, I will admit, I am just a tad rusty with my skills. My chocolate equipment has been in storage for the past two years as we travelled in Milly & then started the process of settling down & collecting our life from up north. I know it must be in one of these boxes somewhere! I am yearning to get back to my chocolate work, yet I am a wee bit anxious about such a long break too. Hopefully it’ll be like riding a bike but I am aware it is a skill that if you don’t use it, you lose it! Luckily, I have quite some time to practice & get back up to scratch whilst we convert Miss Milly to the gorgeous Bohemian Teahouse she is destined to become.

A balanced diet is a Chocolate in each hand.

Driving Miss Milly

A Dream becomes a Goal when you take Action to Achieve it.

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Yesterday we brought Miss Milly home! She is now resting comfortably beside the holly bush on our Home Farm.

Hitching up in the caravan storage did take a wee bit longer than anticipated. Her jockey wheel latch had completely shattered! This meant we needed to improvise to get her on the road!

Dragging out the jack from the back of our trusty Toyota FJ Cruiser, hubby got his workout with spinning the handle to lift Milly high into the air before I used my eagle eyed judgement to guide him back onto the tow ball. Our hitching up distance calls are rather comical for any onlookers, often producing giggles, but best not written down for posterity 😉

Then it was my turn for some upper body exercise as I spun the handle to gently lower the old girl onto the car as hubby secured her. We were on!

What was Mini Me up to during all this? Well, she had discovered the stash of chocolate bars in mum’s handbag………

Dragging Milly up the steep, narrow mountain road through the National Park rainforest saw us in such high spirits. All of this long awaited, dreamed & multiple planned for lifestyle truly is materialising as reality right before our eyes! As well as the eyes of the extraordinarily long traffic queue stuck behind us, sorry about that.

So what shall become of Miss Milly now that she is finally basking in the lovely sunshine of our mountain Home Farm?

My friends, I have a dream!

It’s been a dream I’ve been boring people with for about 20 years! I have always longingly desired to open my own Teahouse. Whilst I’ve come close to it a few times, for various reasons it never quite got over the line. Clearly, a traditional bricks & mortar establishment is not the right avenue for my glorious Teahouse!

Quite a few years back, we used to enjoy being a part of the market stall community. We loved our time on the market circuit, setting up at a wide array of locations 3 times a week to sell our wares. It was vibrant, exciting & just a whole lot of fun. We remember looking enviously at the stallholders who had converted caravans into their commercial kitchens as they could simply open & close the server hatch each market whilst it took us 2-3 hours of set up & pack down each day.

I can’t believe it took us so very long to see the blatantly obvious solution sitting right in front of us!

Use what you already have!

Miss Milly shall now be transformed into the most stunning Vintage Bohemian Teahouse for the enjoyment of mountain market go-ers serving Gluten Free High Tea for people to be able to relax in eclectic style to truly soak in the alternative vibe of our beautiful Dandenong Ranges.

Meet Milly

Part of our home farm master plan is converting our vintage van into a commercial kitchen.

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Our 1973 Millard Caravan is a 21 foot beauty! We actually lived in her for a whole year whilst we were roaming, seemingly lost, in this big wide land of Australia which we call home.

You can see by the picture, we had a pretty sweet set up going on.

Our travel plans had always been about trying to find home. Where did we want to finally plop ourselves down & plant some roots? We’ve been the length & width of this great nation & to a certain degree, still can’t categorically say we’ve arrived……yet. We’re going to give the Dandenong Ranges a good crack though.

The question had always loomed over us of “What about Milly”? What would we do with our precious home on wheels after our nomad days were done?

We’ve been through many ideas in our heads of what would become of her & even listed her for sale for a time, but no sensible offers were made so we accepted that she is now a part of our family. Yet still the question remained of how to utilise her now to benefit us the most.

Quite a few years back now, I went to a wee culinary school here in Melbourne & became a Chocolatier. More recently, you would of noted the couple of cake classes I’ve attended since arriving into Melbourne to set up home.

In Australia, to be able to sell food for consumption you need to prepare it in a licensed commercial kitchen which has really strict rules. Of course renting our home farm, we won’t go through the lengthy & expensive process to register this kitchen inside. However, we’ve seen a growing trend of savvy entrepreneurs converting caravans into these commercial kitchen spaces that they can then take anywhere with them they go! Absolutely brilliant! We’ve got the van, so why not give it a go?!

The first step will be to haul Milly out of the van storage she’s currently relaxing in & drag her up the mountain. Wish us luck!