Elegant French Yogurt Cake

Looking for an easy but elegant way to honor your mom this Mother’s Day? This diminutive “barely there” frosting cake is the perfect dessert to show her you love her. The light lemon frosting paired with the delicious French yogurt cake makes a treat she will surely love.

The yogurt cake is a fun treat for kids and adults alike to make. The main measuring device is actually the yogurt container itself. (But we’ve also included conversions for American and metric measurements.) The accents that we used for finishing touches were flowers and lemons from the grocery store, making an inexpensive and simple way to top off this cake with a touch of class.

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French Yogurt Cake

  • Servings: Yield=1 small cake
  • Difficulty: Easy
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INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 oz. container (1/2 cup or 113 g) natural or plain yogurt
  • 2 yogurt containers (1 cup or 200 g) sugar
  • 3 yogurt containers (1 1/2 cups or 180 g) flour
  • 3/4 yogurt container (6 Tbsp. or 90 ml) oil
  • 2 tsp. (9 g) baking powder
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 egg whites, whipped

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. (180° C.).
  2. Pour the yogurt into a mixing bowl.
  3. Rinse and dry the yogurt container. (If you’re using measuring cups or a food scale, skip this step.)
  4. Add the sugar, flour, and oil to the bowl, using either the dry yogurt container or other measuring tools.
  5. Add the baking powder and egg yolks together.
  6. Fold in the whipped egg whites.
  7. Divide into 2 greased 5″ (12.7 cm) round cake pans (or other food-safe dish; we used ceramic oven-safe bowls), and bake for 40 minutes.
  8. Let cool. 
  9. Frost the bottom layer, then stack and frost the entire cake.

The consistency of the batter will be very thick—not thin like a traditional American cake batter.

When frosting the cake, put large dollops of frosting on the cake, and smooth it over all the sides. Then, using the edge of a frosting spatula, scrape off the excess frosting for a rustic, elegant, bare look. Add flowers and lemon rinds as accents, if desired.

NOTE: To add flavor to your cake, add 7–10 drops of your desired flavor of essential oil. Orange or lemon would be a nice addition. If you prefer not to use frosting, you could sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar or eat it plain.

Light & Fluffy Lemon Frosting

  • Servings: Yield=4 cups
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 226 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups (340 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch sea salt (up to 1/4 tsp. or 0.5 g, to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 12 drops lemon essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Beat together the butter and powdered sugar on low speed until well blended. Then increase the speed to medium for an additional 2 minutes.
  2. Add the vanilla extract and salt, and whip for an additional 30 seconds.
  3. Add the whipping cream, and beat for about 1 minute.
  4. Add the lemon essential oil. (It is important to add the essential oil as the last step; otherwise it might curdle the cream.)

NOTE: This frosting can also be used on cookies, cupcakes, or any of your favorite recipes calling for frosting!

 

Nail Care Kit with Essential Oils

This Mother’s Day, give the special women in your life a nail care kit made with essential oils!

AT_NailCareKit

Your nail care kit could include any of the following items:

  • Nail clippers
  • Nail files and/or nail buffers
  • Wooden cuticle sticks
  • Homemade Foot Scrub
  • Nail polish
  • Cotton balls
  • Q-tips
  • Homemade Nail Polish Remover (see recipe below)
  • Homemade Nail Strengthening Serum (see recipe below)
  • Cute sandals
  • Soft microfiber washcloth or towel

Nail Polish Remover with Essential Oils

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Add essential oil(s) to the glass bottle. Fill the remainder of the bottle with white vinegar or rubbing alcohol. Screw the lid on, and shake to combine.
  2. To use, simply dab some polish remover on a cotton ball. Rub over nail polish to remove.

Nail Strengthening Serum with Essential Oils

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 25–30 drops of essential oil (The following oils help strengthen nails: lemon, frankincense, myrrh, Invigorating Blend, eucalyptus, lavender, grapefruit, and rosemary essential oil)
  • Fractionated coconut oil
  • 2 oz. Glass Bottle with Black Lid

Instructions:

  1. Add essential oil(s) to the glass bottle. Fill the remainder of the bottle with fractionated coconut oil. Screw the lid on, and shake to combine.
  2. To use, simply dab some of the serum on a cotton ball or washcloth, and rub over nails to soften cuticles and strengthen nails.

Source: Modern Essentials, Sixth Edition, p. 277

Mother’s Day Relaxation Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day is just around the corner! Since a mother’s work is often so constantly demanding, what better way is there to show gratitude for all the mother in your life does for you than to give her the gift of relaxation? Here are some relaxation ideas and gift basket suggestions as well as some recipes that you can make and give to the special women in your life!
Daydreaming Woman

Relaxation Ideas:

A little while ago, we took a survey asking women what were some of their favorite ways to relax. The following are some suggestions that were made:

  • Aromatic River Rock Foot Bath: In a large basin, place a few smooth stones, warm water, and a drop or two of a relaxing essential oil. Get comfortable in a chair, place your feet in the basin, and enjoy feeling the smooth stones as you rub your feet over them.
  • Massages: Get together with a friend or family member and give each other massages. You can even include essential oils to enhance relaxation!
  • Engage Your Senses and Move with the Music: Get some finger paint, markers, or crayons and paper; clay or Play Doh; or anything that can engage your sense of touch. Put your favorite music on, and open an oil bottle or turn a diffuser on with a relaxing blend. Close your eyes, and let the music flow through you as you create a work of art! This activity will be more relaxing as you engage more of your senses.
  • Take a Relaxing Bath: After dry-brushing your body, take a very warm bath with an aromatic Bath Bomb (recipe below). Think thoughts of gratitude and fond memories or of the things you have accomplished recently.
  • Lay on the Grass and Look at the Clouds:  Find a quiet area, whether it is a beach, a park, or your own backyard. Lie down on a blanket and look at the clouds above. Don’t forget to allow your mind to relax!
  • Chase Bubbles: Buy or make a simple bubble-making formula. You can try this recipe:  3/4 cup water, 1/4 cup dish soap, and 1 Tbs. glycerin all mixed together. Blow the bubbles around your yard and allow yourself to be as childish as you desire. If it helps, get some children involved and let your inner child loose!
  • Breathe: The simplest form of relaxation is to just find a comfortable place to sit, close your eyes, and breathe deeply. Take deep, slow breaths through your diaphragm.  Breathe in for 5 seconds; breathe out for 5 seconds. Focus on just breathing rather than everything else you may have to do.  After a few minutes, you should feel much more relaxed.

Relaxation Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day Gift Basket Suggestions:

  • All-Natural Moisturizing Lotion with Essential Oils (Click here for the recipe)
  • Exfoliating Foot or Body Scrub (See recipe below)
  • Luxurious Bath Bombs (See recipe below)
  • Essential Oils:
    • Modern Essentials suggests lavender, ylang ylang, lemon, Roman chamomile, geranium, frankincense, sandalwood, clary sage, orange, vetiver, melissa, bergamot, and rose as oils that soothe and relax (Modern Essentials, 5th Edition, pp. 42, 264).
    • Give some samples of single oils or make your own blend. A simple blend could be 1 part ylang ylang, 2 parts lavender, and 7 parts orange. Since people react differently to essential oils, it may be a good idea to give a little variety in sample bottles so they can use the ones that appeal to them.
    • Include a note letting them know how they can use them (e.g. rub on with a carrier oil, diffuse, or put in a bath along with some liquid bath gel or Epsom salts).
  • A Small Treat: ChocOILates or Honey Stix are great treats that also give the benefits of essential oils. You can also make something on your own like Carrot Cake Cupcakes.
  • Perfume Locket (Click here for the recipe)

Recipes:

Exfoliating Foot or Body Scrub

Exfoliating Foot or Body Scrub

  • Servings: Yield = 4 oz of scrub
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients and Materials Needed:

  • 1/4 cup Epsom Salt or another exfoliating agent
    (You can also use coarse sea salt, fine sea salt, raw sugar, brown sugar, table salt, or white sugar. The coarser the salt is, the more exfoliating it will be. Note: while salt works very well as an exfoliating agent, it can sting if it gets into open cuts or sores, so be sure to either warn recipients to only use on unbroken skin, or use sugar as your exfoliator instead.)
  • 1/4 cup Sweet Almond Oil
  • 2 capsules or 6–8 drops of vitamin E (optional).
    (This can be found as either capsules or liquid in most health, grocery, and drug stores. Besides being an antioxidant, vitamin E is also a natural preservative.)
  • 10–20 drops of essential oil(s)
  • Container to store your scrub
    (This recipe makes about 4 oz. of scrub. You can use a 4 oz. salve container or another jar.)

Instructions:

  • Pour all ingredients into a bowl, and mix together.
  • Pour the mixture into a 4 oz. Salve Container or small wide-mouth jar.
  • To use the scrub, place a small amount in the palm and scrub over moistened skin. Rinse off in a shower or tub (Note: the oils in this scrub can make the floor of the bathtub or shower rather slippery, so use extreme caution while rinsing off so you don’t fall).

Extra Ideas:

  • Use ultramarine powders or other natural powders and oil-soluble colorants to color your scrubs.
  • Try using different coarsenesses of salt or sugar to create progressively smoother scrubs (i.e. a coarse “buffing” scrub, followed by a fine “polishing” scrub) with different essential oils to help relax in each scrub.
  • Try combining two or more exfoliating agents to get a different feel for your scrub.

Luxurious Bath Bombs

Luxurious Bath Bombs

  • Servings: Yield = 6–9 bath bombs
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients and Materials Needed:

Instructions:

  • Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl and the wet ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix well with a whisk. The mixture will bubble just a bit and begin to clump together. After mixing a little with the whisk, put the whisk aside and work it with your fingers. Mix and blend the mixture until it is well combined and has the texture of mildly wet sand. It should clump together when you squeeze it with your fingers. If it is too dry, moisten it with the water in the spray bottle, one spritz at a time. You do not want the mixture too wet or it will not set up properly.
  • Press the mixture firmly into silicone soap molds or muffin tins lined with paper cups or plastic wrap (for easy removal). Let sit for 1–2 hours.
  • After the bath bombs are dry enough that they stick together, remove from the molds or muffin tins (and paper cups) and let sit on a fluffy towel overnight before using. If you live in a humid area, you may need to dry the bath bombs for 2 nights before they’ll be set enough to gift or use.

Extra Ideas:

  • Try using food coloring and dry herbs to decorate the bath bombs a little more.
  • Try dividing the batch after mixing the dry ingredients to make bath bombs with different scents or colors. Work with one scent at a time. Mix in the appropriate amount of the wet ingredients, moisten with the spray bottle if necessary, and press firmly into the molds before starting the process over again with another scent.
  • Try different essential oils for different purposes. For example, try making some relaxing bath bombs with soothing essential oils (e.g. lavender, ylang ylang, or Roman chamomile) or energizing bath bombs with invigorating essential oils (e.g. citrus oils, peppermint, eucalyptus, or rosemary).