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Cranberry Orange Bread

Cranberry Orange BreadWhat flavor enhancer would I be putting in my precious breads? I promise it is all natural and tastes wonderful when used in baking.  Give up guessing? It is Orange Essential Oil!

Orange oil has many uses around the house including uses for cleaning and aromatherapy. However one of my favorite uses is a flavor enhancer in baked treats. I feel confident baking with small amounts of Young Living Oils because they are high quality therapeutic grade. And while Cranberry Orange Bread often conjures images of holiday gatherings I love to enjoy it year round. This bread is very lightly sweetened and full of flavor and makes a mean French toast!

Recipe for Cranberry Orange Bread (makes 3 loaves)YLOrangeOil

1 cup warm orange juice
1 cup warm water
5 tsp. Active dry yeast (I use this one)
6 Tbs. Organic sugar (this is what I use)
1 stick of butter (the best) OR
1/2 cup coconut oil (my favorite)
2 tsp salt (you can find it here)
1/2 cup dried cranberries (find it here)
15 drops orange essential oil (I only recommend this brand and you can buy it here)
6 1/4 cups organic white flour (this is a good one)

In a large bowl or stand mixer combine liquids, sugar, and yeast. Let stand 5 minutes to proof yeast. Add butter, salt, and orange oil and then flour. Mix to form shaggy dough and add cranberries. Knead on lightly floured surface or in mixer until dough is smooth and elastic. In stand mixer it takes about 5 minutes, by hand almost 10. Let rise in a lightly greased bowl until double in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Divide into 3 loaves and let rise once again about 30-45 minutes. While waiting on second rise, preheat oven to 350 degrees. When bread has risen, bake in the oven for 40 minutes. Turn loaves out onto cooling rack and cool for at least 30-45 minutes before eating.

What is your favorite use for Orange oil? I’d love to know!

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Cranberry Orange Bread 2


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The Importance of Afternoon Tea with My Children

Afternoon Tea with ChildrenAfternoon tea commonly conjures images of Queen Elizabeth and Big Ben, for me at least. It is a very common English tradition that is not usually observed in the United States. However, I chose to introduce it to my children, and I think it has great benefit.

The Benefits of Observing Afternoon Tea

1) The consistency of ritual.

Children thrive on consistency. It helps them to feel safe and secure. Participating in ritual helps them to feel included and builds self confidence.

2) Teaching Etiquette.

I am using afternoon Tea to teach proper etiquette. Placing a napkin in the lap, eating with utensils, stirring without clanking spoons, not slurping hot tea- I believe these can be important skills for adult life.

 3) To Purposefully Take a Break and Be Together.

With ballet and other activities sometimes a family dinner isn’t always possible. However afternoon Tea allows me to sit down with my children and really focus on them and talk with them in a relaxed setting before the evening gets busy.

Tea Time collage

4) Introducing culture.

Tea is enjoyed as a beverage in many different cultures. Not to mention there are many different types of teas to try and enjoy. I love to hear my children comment on the flavors of Irish Tea with Milk and sugar, Jasmine green tea, chamomile with honey-the list can go on. It expands their knowledge of the world around them, much like trying new cuisine.

I love this little ritual with my children. While it’s relatively new for us, I above all enjoy the time it gives me to just sit and enjoy my children. The days are so busy with lessons and chores, and activities but this lets us take a short break and just be.

For some great tea recipes and ideas, check out some of these great articles from my friends:

Homemade Chai Tea Concentrate by Primally Inspired

The Art of Tea by Like a Normal Person

Look to Nettle Tea… by Life by Jeanie


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Afternoon Tea with Children 2


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