Tag Archives: Recipe

DoTerra Orange Party Cakes

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Orange Oil Infused Chocolate laced atop a Do-Terra Orange Oil Cake

Author: Cassie Stevens

I have been doing cakes and other treats for Do-Terra Orange parties for almost a year now. I love using these oils better than pure extracts for breads, cakes, desserts, and just about anything else. In the past year I think I have added Do-Terra Orange Oil to my sweet tea (which is really good by the way), whipped cream, Chocolate Shakes, Fruit Smoothies, and anything else I find interesting to add it to. It only takes a drop or two, that’s all you will need. Unfortunately, I have only worked with their Orange and Lemon oils.  Here are a few pictures and recipes of some party favorites. Enjoy!

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Orange Chocolate laced Cupcakes

Start with your basic cupcake recipe:

1 1/2 cups flour (whatever flour you like best)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup milk

Then add: 1/2  teaspoon Do-Terra Orange Oil

For Icing, Start with your basic frosting recipe:

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 cup butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 to 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Then add: 1/2 teaspoon Do-Terra Orange Oil (add more if you think it needs it)

For Chocolate:

1 cup Chocolate chips (your flavor choice Dark, Milk, Semi-Sweet, etc.)

1/2 teaspoon Do-Terra Orange Oil

Mix and spoon into molds to cool or drizzle over cakes and cupcakes.


Do-Terra Orange Cranberry Cupcakes with Mandarin Oranges

Start with your basic cupcake recipe (above)

Once the batter is spooned into your cupcake papers add a dollop of cranberry sauce to center of cupcakes (about 1/2 – 1 teaspoon) bake as normal.  Frost with your basic frosting recipe (above) and top with a slice of mandarin orange. Viola! Delish!


Do-Terra Orange Cake with Mandarin Oranges

Start with your basic white cake recipe:

1 1/2 cups flour (whatever flour you like best)

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup milk (whatever milk you like best) I have used almond milk in this and it is very good the texture of the cake is denser than using whole milk

2 eggs

1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons Do-Terra Orange Oil

 mix well, Bake 325 until toothpick inserted comes out clean cool and frost using basic frosting recipe (above) color icing with food coloring if desired garnish with mandarin orange slices


So, Uh… What Do You Do With Crab Apples?

Canning Crab Apple Butter :: Pen Pals and Cookin' Gals

My husband and my daughters left for a little while the other day and came back with a bucket of crab apples.

Me: “Uh… what do I do with em, honey?”
Him: “I dunno. I figured you’d have some cool idea.” 🙂

Internets to my rescue! Time for my favorite thing… research!

Canning Crab Apple Butter :: Pen Pals and Cookin' Gals

These smell delicious. I knew I wanted a recipe that would evoke how I feel right now. I want Fall. I’m really tired of the heat. Summer, I’m done with you. It’s time for Fall. Apple butters always make me feel like the air is crisp, the leaves are crunching beneath my feet, and the most delicious smell of spiced everything fills my house. So, I decided that crab apple butter was going to be my first venture into canning! My first! I gotta say, it was a MAJOR success.

I am hooked.

Canning Crab Apple Butter :: Pen Pals and Cookin' Gals

After doing some foodie research, I started by following the advice on this video to take the extra time to put some love into my butter. I cut off the blossom ends, took off the stems, and cut them in half to better access the natural pectin in the seeds. I put them in a bit of citrus water to keep them from browning as I cut them. It didn’t take too long, especially the second time around when my hubby helped. I strained off the water, weighed them to assess how much sugar I would need, and added them to a big pot with 1/2 a cup of water per pound of crab apples. I cooked them until they were soft. I decided to use my hand blender to make everything like applesauce, help things along. Then I put it through my strainer, but if you had one of those applesauce grater-things, that would probably be good too.

Canning Crab Apple Butter :: Pen Pals and Cookin' Gals
Before straining out the seeds

I added the sugar, 1 cup for every 3 pounds of crab apples, then the spices. In all the recipes I researched, they didn’t seem to have enough spices. So I doubled or even tripled what I had seen called for. It was a good choice too. In the recipe I’ll give you at the end, I’m going to give you the very least of the spices, but more is better, take it from me. Also, I didn’t have ground cloves so I put in whole cloves, which I later had to fish out (annoying!). But the second time around I left out the cloves entirely, and I liked it better without cloves. What you use is up to you.

Canning Crab Apple Butter :: Pen Pals and Cookin' Gals
Adding sugar and spice after straining

This goes on the stove to simmer uncovered for two hours. I know, it seems like a long time. But it gives the crab apple butter a chance to thicken, lose some water, meld flavors, and whatever else it does. So we went outside to take pictures of the sunflowers, and the bumblebees who had decided that the sunflowers are delicious. Little beauties!

Sunflowers :: Pen Pals and Cookin' GalsAfter the two hours were up, things were looking pretty much like I thought apple butter should look like. I then canned the crab apple butter in half-pint jars. I found the recommendation for boiling apple butters according to safe home canning procedures. I don’t want to be responsible for killing anyone.

Little Helper :: Pen Pals and Cookin' Gals
Lucky me! I had this cute little helper who came in to help model rings as bracelets as I was working.

This is a beautiful, versatile, and delicious recipe that will help you herald Fall each year. I know it will become a yearly tradition for our family. My house smelled delicious. The whole family got involved. It was a wonderful way to start my canning journey.

Canning Crab Apple Butter :: Pen Pals and Cookin' Gals

I’m going to give you relatively small amounts of ingredients for this recipe because I always find it easier to multiply a recipe than to divide it. Here’s the recipe….

Spiced Crab Apple Butter (for canning)


3 pounds of crab apples, free from holes or bad bruises, stems and blossoms removed

1 1/2 cups water for boiling (more for canning later)

1 cup white sugar *

at least 1/2 tblsp ground cinnamon

at least 1/2 tsp ground allspice

at least 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

(optional) 1/2 tsp ground cloves

*I don’t know of a sugar substitute to use in place of white sugar when canning. I have found that you can use a light honey, just cut down the amount of water you use. For those who are diabetic and want a sugar substitute, I’m sorry! I haven’t seen anything that compares to what sugar does in jams, jellies, and fruit butters. Using Splenda is apparently not recommended if you want to store jams and jellies, since odd things can happen, separation and taste changes, etc. Everything I see says to just leave out the sugar. This recipe needs sugar since the crab apples are so very tart. If you know of an alternative, please let us know all about it in the comments!) 

Cooking Method:

1.) Cut off blossom end, cut in half, the pick off stems of ripe, reddish crab apples. Leave seeds and cores. Seeds are where much of the the natural pectin is. Weigh the crab apples, add water, then boil until soft stirring now and then.

2.) Strain out seeds. Add the crab applesauce back to the pot. Add the sugar and spices. Taste. Add more sugar/spices if desired. Your crab apple butter should taste sweetly tart like cranberry sauce. Cook on medium-low for two hours, stirring now and then.

3A.) Spoon crab apple butter into clean, sanitized jars leaving a bit of head space.  Seal with a new, clean lid. Add rings, lightly tightened. Leave these on the counter for 24 hours then store in the refrigerator to eat within the next couple of months.


3B.) Process jars according to safe home canning procedures. Here is the info for apple butters:

Table 1. Recommended process time for Apple Butter in a boiling-water canner.
Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size 0 – 1,000 ft 1,001 – 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Hot Half-pints or Pints 5 min 10 15
Quarts 10 15 20

This page has a wonderfully comprehensive rundown on canning apple butters if you think you need a little more information than I have given you.

Disclaimer: If canned incorrectly, Clostridium botulinum is a real and dangerous risk. Pen Pals and Cookin’ Gals is not responsible for how this recipe is used, use of poor canning practices, or canning errors.



Homemade Granola and Almond Milk

Author: Veronica Hilliard

  Homemade Granola :: Pen Pals and Cookin' Gals Blog 

There are SO many reasons why we have cut out cereal from our diets. It’s ultra-processed, full of refined sugar, potentially full of GMO’s, and to quote Seinfeld’s Elaine, “Fake, fake, fake… fake!”  But my husband is not so keen on never having cereal again. So I have been meaning to make granola for a while now and yesterday, I finally tackled it.

I put the baby down for her nap thinking that would buy me about an hour to get this all put together and into the oven. I am really bad at following recipes. I just use them as a base for whatever I’m planning. In this case I decided I liked the looks of this granola recipe, so I loosely followed that one.

Homemade Granola :: Pen Pals and Cookin' Gals Blog

I compiled all the dry ingredients. Oats, whatever nuts and seed I had on hand which happened to be chia seeds, sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, flax meal, and flax seeds, and some dried cranberries. Another reason why I rarely follow recipes correctly is because I rarely have all the ingredients they call for so I just make it up as I go.

Homemade Granola :: Pen Pals and Cookin' Gals Blog

I used about half of everything called for since I didn’t want tons of granola in case nobody liked it. Then I added some brown sugar.

Homemade Granola :: Pen Pals and Cookin' Gals Blog

And DON’T forget the salt! It really brings it to the next level. I use Real Sea Salt.

Homemade Granola :: Pen Pals and Cookin' Gals Blog

Next I got all my “wet” ingredients together. Maple syrup, cinnamon (not wet, just forgotten until now), vanilla, coconut oil, and honey. I don’t like most vegetable oils so I substituted Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil and I’m glad I did. It gives this granola a slight coconut flavor and it doesn’t taste greasy. Keep in mind while using coconut oil for cooking that it is higher in saturated fat than butter.

Because I didn’t pay much attention to the directions, this is where I did things VERY differently. The recipe says to put them all together with the sugar in a pan and then drizzle it over the dry stuff. I didn’t do that and it came out fine. But I might try that next time.

I finally got everything ready to go, turned on the oven, and then the baby woke up. She was cranky and still pretty tired so I went to get her and ended up nursing her for the next 20 minutes. I remembered the granola, and the hot oven, when I smelled smoke and went back into kitchen to smoke pouring out of oven from forgotten spilled cheese from hubby’s pizza the day before. Oops! And I hadn’t even put the granola in yet! 

Then my 3.5 year old realized that I was making something and she wanted to help. So she stirred it for a bit while I dealt with the screaming toddler clinging to my leg. I was actually able to snap this picture in between the two of them screaming at each other and wanting to be on the same chair. See said toddler’s curly head in the background.

Homemade Granola :: Pen Pals and Cookin' Gals Blog

Finally, with the baby on my back in my Ergo, I was able to spread the granola out onto two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. I probably didn’t need the paper but it made me feel better and cleaning up was a breeze. I was glad that I had cut the recipe in half now because I wouldn’t have enough cookie sheets to go around and would have had to have done this in two batches. It goes into a 325 degree oven for about 30 minutes (again, the recipe I followed is different. It said 20 but mine needed longer.) turning once or twice.

Homemade Granola :: Pen Pals and Cookin' Gals Blog

Ta Daaaa! This granola is delicious and lightly crunchy. It’s the perfect blend between sweet and salty and nutty.

Homemade Granola Recipe:

4 Cups Rolled Oats                                     1/4 Cup Brown Sugar

1/2 Cup Flax Meal                                     1/4 Cup Maple Syrup

1/2 Cup Chia Seeds                                   1/4 Cup Honey

1/2 Cup Sunflower Seeds                        1/2 Cup Coconut Oil – warmed

1/2 Cup Flax Seed                                     1/2 TBL Ground Cinnamon

1 Cup Sliced Almonds                              1/2 TBL Vanilla

1 Cup Dried Cranberries                         1/2 TBL Sea Salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine dry ingredients, mix. Add wet ingredients, drizzling warmed to liquid coconut oil last, mix well. Spread on two large baking sheets and bake 20-30 minutes, turning once or twice until browned and toasted. Let cool completely on the baking sheets before storing.

**EDIT 3/29/13 

I recommend putting the dried fruit in after you bake your granola. Our craisins got very hard and chewy. Still yummy, but harder to eat. **

Add some homemade almond milk and you’ve got the best breakfast on the block! And to top it off, you know every ingredient that went into it.

Homemade Granola and Almond Milk :: Pen Pals and Cookin' Gals Blog

Almond milk is easy and in my opinion, tastes so much better than the store-bought kind. It tasted closer to skim milk and has no preservatives!

Homemade Almond Milk:

Soak 1 Cup almonds overnight or for at least 6 hours. Drain soaking water off. Blend almonds with 4 Cups of water for a couple of minutes. I strained off the liquid in a sieve and then strained it through cheesecloth. Then to make sure I got all the liquid out I put the almond “meal” into the cheesecloth and squeezed the last bit out by hand.

**EDIT 3/29/13 

I have found that adding 1-2 tsp of honey makes this “milk” that much better. And squeezing the last of the liquid from the almond meal is important. It thickens and flavors the “milk” a little more and helps if you choose to dry out your meal to use later. **

Oh, and after you make your homemade almond milk, take the leftover almond meal, bake it on a pan for about 20 minutes  to dry it out, and add it to your next batch of granola. Or use it to bread your fish for some nutty, crunchy breading. No waste!

Do you have a granola recipe you love? Have you made milk out of any other nuts, coconut, or rice?