How To Use Your Essential Oils | Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus has the ability to make any home smell like a relaxing spa, but it also has some pretty great health benefits.

DSC_0428

Eucalyptus is great for your respiratory health, it also clears the air of allergens, so it’s perfect to diffuse for people with asthma or allergies (seasonal or dust). It’s also antibacterial which will help battle illnesses like cough and cold.

You can diffuse it and inhale to help with cough and cold symptoms but you can also mix it with a carrier oil and some peppermint for a homemade vapo rub. Another great way to enjoy the benefits of eucalyptus and clear sinuses, add a few drops to your shower and allow the steam to work it’s magic. I like to diffuse eucalyptus with spearmint; because not only do I find that it refreshes the air and makes it easier to breath, it leaves my home smelling fresh, clean and spa like instead of like a house full of dogs.

signature

 

How To Use Your Essential Oils | Lavender

So the most obvious use for lavender oil is your bedtime routine. Lavender is a calming oil which allows you to be lulled into a deep rest. It’s calming affects are also great for anxiety in both people AND animals!

DSC_0422

Not only can lavender oil be diffused. It can also be applied topically when mixed with a carrier oil. You can use it with peppermint to relieve tension and headache. Mix it with eucalyptus to make your home smell like a day spa. You can also mix it in a spray bottle with water for a room/linen spray. It also reduces itching and swelling in bug bites. You can also mix it with epsom salts for a relaxing bed time bath.

If you want to use this oil to relieve anxiety in your pets, you can diffuse throughout the day while you’re away or you can make a room/linen spray and spray it in spots your pet likes to lay; it’s bed, your bed, it’s kennel etc.

 

How To Use Your Essential Oils | Peppermint

Peppermint essential oil is a MUST HAVE for me.

DSC_0411[1]

One of my favourite ways to use peppermint oil is mixing it with a roll on with lavender oil and liquid coconut oil in a roll on and applying it to my neck when I have a headache or to relieve tension in my back.

Another great use for peppermint oil is applying it to your stomach to ease digestion. When I am bloated I loved to drink peppermint tea, and this has the same affect when applied topically.

Peppermint also works well with citrus oils for an awakening, energizing and refreshing blend to either diffuse or apply topically.

Lastly, diffusing peppermint oil alone not only makes my house smell fresh like a candy cane, it also makes it so much easier to breath when I’m feeling stuffy and need some sinus relief.

RECIPE: CINNAMON ROLL CHEESECAKE

Ingredients

Cinnamon Roll Batter
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temp or margarine
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cheesecake Filling
4 250g bricks of cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons flour
6 eggs

Cinnamon Filling
1/3 cup butter, melted
1  cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting
6 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup softened butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt (just a pinch)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 10-inch Springform pan.

 Cinnamon Roll Batter
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the egg, milk, and vanilla. Beat for another minute. Scrape down bowl. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Combine the sifted and creamed ingredients together.

Spread half of the batter onto the bottom of the Springform pan.  It will be sticky and thick so dust your hands with flour.  It doesn’t need to be perfect – it’s very forgiving. You’ll only need a thin layer because it will rise up during baking. Set the remaining batter aside.

dsc_0007

 Cheesecake Filling
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar together. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and flour and beat. Pour all of the cheesecake batter on top of the cinnamon roll batter that is in the prepared pan.

dsc_0009dsc_0011

Cinnamon Filling
In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined. Drop spoonfuls of the cinnamon filling over the entire top of the cheesecake making sure not to get too close to the sides. If you get too close to the sides the filling could bubble out when baking. Use a knife to swirl the cinnamon filling throughout the cheesecake.

dsc_0013

Take the rest of the base batter and drop spoonfuls over the entire top of cheesecake. Swirl gently with a knife.

dsc_0017

Bake for about 45-55 minutes or until the center is set. Cake will be puffy and lightly browned. Let chill for 20 minutes at room temperature then move to fridge for 4 hours. Remove cake and let it settle to room temperature. Drizzle with Cream Cheese Frosting.

dsc_0024

Cream Cheese Frosting
Beat together cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Beat until light and fluffy. Mix in additional milk if desired to reach the consistency you like. Since the top of the cheesecake is pretty delicate, I opted to drizzle the frosting instead of using a spatula. I placed all of the frosting in a large gallon Ziploc bag. I snipped off the corner with scissors (next time I would cut the hole a little smaller) and drizzled the frosting in a crisscross pattern.

dsc_0028

And always remember that if you’re not making a mess, you’re not having fun.

HOW TO GET THE PERFECT BAKED POTATO

In this post I’m going to give you a quick and easy step by step for getting the perfect baked potato.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any photo aids to show you but ain’t nobody got time for that.

I like to use nice big russet potatoes for this but you could also use yams, sweet potatoes or whatever.

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Poke a bunch of holes into your potatoes with a fork to avoid potato bombs.
  3. Place your potatoes on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
  4. After 20 minutes, take your potatoes out of the oven and use a basting brush to brush your potatoes with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and put back in the oven for another 10 minutes.
  5. Take your potatoes back out of the oven, turn over and repeat step 4.

At this point, the potato skin should be crispy.

6. Now, slice the potatoes down the middle (not all the way).
7. While wearing oven mitts, push the ends of the potato inward.
8. Use a fork to fluff inside of the potato, and add toppings of your choice!