Get Adobe Flash player

The taste of Peppermint is so delightful when combined with chocolate of all kinds, I love working it into any number of recipes.  From the richest desserts to flavorful snacks, this simple mixture can enliven and enrich even you most tired recipes.  And be prepared:  I once had a few very nasty moments around a dessert buffet when all the other people at the party who’d brought dessert realized nobody was eating anything but my chocolates!  Then again, when they succumbed and tasted the confections, smiles resumed…ah, so long as I promised to forward the recipes the next day!

So, as promised…here’s my basic Peppermint White Chocolate recipe – it’s a really terrific thing on it’s own, but it’s even better potential for helping make all your holiday recipes special.  Whether you use a microwave (go slowly and at low temp, chocolate melts fast and in a microwave it’ll harden up on you quick) or you’ve got the whole double-boiler and candy making set-up, preparing Peppermint Mint Chocolate is really easy and fun.

One big thing to remember is that since chocolate will set up pretty quickly, you want to have all your ingredients and supplies ready.  It’s not super quick, but if you attempt to melt chocolate and then get out all your supplies, you’ll find yourself having to reheat the mixture and run the risk of overheating.

INGREDIENTS


White, Milk or Dark Chocolate – Bar, Square or Chips, 24 oz.
Peppermint Essential Oil to taste, approx 10 to 16 drops
Colored Sugar Sprinkles
Hard Candy – such as candy canes, finely ground
Food Coloring
Vegetable oil – ½ teaspoon
Wax Paper
Plastic
Large Baking Sheet
Candy Molds – seasonal or traditional styles including lollipops
Cookie Cutters – metal


General Instructions:


Melt chocolate slowly either in microwave or in double boiler. Depending on final application, chocolate can be heated to either just melted or all the way to fully liquid form. (See applications below and suggested heating level.) Be sure to have a heat maintenance strategy in place prior to melting chocolate to help maintain desired viscosity as long as you need. A pot with warm water can be a helpful aid provided the chocolate is in a heat-proof container and the water maintained at a very low temperature.


Once chocolate is melted, add ½ teaspoon vegetable oil to help chocolate maintain shine upon cooling. Then incorporate drops of peppermint essential oil slowly just a few at a time, tasting after each addition and continuing to desired intensity. Peppermint essential oil is a very thin oil so drops will fall out of the bottle very quickly. To increase control of adding oils, test rate of fall prior to adding to chocolate.


When chocolate achieves desired level of peppermint flavor, add additionally desired candies. Remember to have ground the candies fairly well to maintain the melt-in-the-mouth consistency.



PEPPERMINT CHOCOLATE BARK

Peppermint Chocolate Bark

Heating rate: Chocolate mixture can be melted just enough to spread out thinly


Once chocolate has achieve desired peppermint flavor and any hard candy is incorporated as desired, spread chocolate mixture over a sheet of wax paper on a baking sheet. Place in refrigerator until set; then use wax paper to cover breaking bark into bit-sized, irregular pieces. For quick preparation, place sheet in freezer and check about 15 minutes into cooling. (Note that in the freezer, the mixture will become especially hard and can be difficult to break if too thick which can then make a mess as while waiting the outside chocolate melts but the inside is yet unable to be broken.)


For holiday bark use White Chocolate and drop in a few drops of your favorite food coloring, food coloring or chopped candy pieces as desired and then spread. Or sprinkle a colored sugar over spread out bark prior to cooling.


For a more festive look, use chilled metal cookie cutters to cut bark into decorative shapes.


Once broken up, place bark pieces in airtight container and keep cool.


SWIRLED PEPPERMINT CHOCOLATE BARK


Prepare two different mixtures, one white and one either milk or dark chocolate. Add candy if desired. Dollop half of each chocolate mix onto wax paper on baking pan. Using knife or fork, swirl chocolates back and forth in circular motions until desired texture is achieved keeping chocolates somewhat separate, being careful not to completely mix chocolates. Chill and break into bit-sized bark pieces. Store in airtight container and keep cool.


PEPPERMINT CHOCOLATE MOLDED CANDIES

Homemade Molded Peppermint Chocolates


Heating Rate: Chocolate Mixture should be heated to a thin liquid state


To work with candy molds, chocolate will need to be melted and kept heated to a very liquid state. Depending on mold, chocolate may need to be brushed, spooned or dripped into molds. Read accompanying instructions with mold kit or forms. Remember to be especially careful not to overfill molds or drip chocolate outside form or chocolates will not form with a smooth bottom.

Prior to filling molds, sprinkle a small bit of colored sugar into desired aspects of molds to allow chocolate to cool and incorporate sugar coating on top of candy. Fill molds according to directions and then allow to cool until solid. Pop chocolates out of mold and keep cool in airtight containers.

Fill molds with chocolate mixture and decorations, shake mold, chill and enjoy!

PEPPERMINT BROWNIES


Heating Rate: Chocolate Mixture should be heated to a medium thin liquid state


Prepare your favorite home-made or packaged brownie mix. When cooled, pour a mixture of the Peppermint Chocolate over top to create a layered peppermint brownie and candy creation. Or, spread half the brownie mix, a layer of Peppermint Chocolate, the remainder of the brownie mix and then streusel Peppermint Chocolate over the top to decorate. Mixture can also be drizzled over cakes, cupcakes and other baked treats to decorate and add flavor.

Shave hardened chocolate and save in chilled container to make even the simplest holiday drink special with creamy mint

PEPPERMINT CHOCOLATE COFFEE or HOT BEVERAGE  FLAVOR SHAVINGS


Heating Rate: Chocolate Mixture should be heated to a thin liquid state


Prepare Peppermint Chocolate without additional candies or sugar. Spread mixture out on wax paper on baking sheet. Place in freezer to harden completely. When fully hardened, use pairing knife or vegetable peeler to shave mixture into fine shavings. Mixture will need to be kept in an airtight container with shaker top in the refrigerator. Shake out desired amount into coffee or hot chocolate servings, or use as topping for drinks or deserts.



Other applications:


  • Peppermint Chocolate Filled Cookies – slather mixture between two plain cookies
  • Peppermint Chocolate Covered Pretzels – dip pretzels in mixture, either half or fully
  • Peppermint Chocolate Covered Cookies – dip cookies in mixture, either half or fully
  • Peppermint Chocolate Covered Crème Cookies – dip crème-filled cookies in mixture
  • Peppermint Chocolate Ice Cream Shell – streusel mixture over favorite ice cream
  • Peppermint Chocolate Peppermint Sticks – dip sticks in chocolate, cover with sprinkles
  • Peppermint Chocolate Gingerbread Men – use mixture to decorate gingerbread men cookies
  • Peppermint Chocolate Ice Cream – add chunks of bark to partially defrosted favorite ice cream, freeze and serve with desired toppings
  • Peppermint Chocolate Fudge – add drops to taste and/or chunks of mixture to favorite fudge recipe
  • Peppermint Chocolate Popcorn – drizzle mixture over popped, lightly salted and buttered pop corn (omit salt and butter if desired)
  • Peppermint Chocolate Spoons – dip and fill plastic or decorative spoon, chill and use for flavoring coffee or other hot drinks
  • Peppermint Chocolate Ice Cream Sauce – drizzle warmed chocolate mixture over ice cream, serve with garnish of fresh mint

Peppermint chocolate sauce for delicious holdiay ice cream


More uses for Peppermint Essential Oils in Holiday Recipes:

Simply add Peppermint Essential Oil to favorite recipes for:

  • Basic Liquor (such as Schnapps) – add drops to taste to basic neutral-flavored liquor, add green or red food coloring if desired
  • Simple Peppermint Sugar – to basic simple syrup recipe, add drops to taste and use sugar in favorite tea, coffee, soda or other drink
  • Peppermint Marshmallows – add drops to taste, then form into desired shapes
  • Peppermint Tea – add drops to sugar or honey, stir into favorite hot or cold tea
  • Peppermint Bath – add drops to Epsom salts, add salts to bath
  • Peppermint Soap – add drops to soap recipe, form as desired

Please note:  Be ABSOLUTELY sure the peppermint essential oil you use in your recipes and for aromatherapy use are safe for consumption and topical application.  Young Living Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils are the only oils that I use – you can order yours through My Young Living Site (www.youngliving.org/cathleencampbel)

Share

The holidays give us a chance to indulge in things I love without a care since,well, ya know…they’re a part of the season.  And if they’re scrumptious and healthy, then I say…all the better!

Peppermint Delights

One of the best parts of the season are the fragrances and flavors. Warm and spicy, or sweet and flowery, the essences of the season not only enhance our current experiences but remind us of all the warm times we may have enjoyed. And if our holidays haven’t always been pleasant, often we can connect to some sense of what the season is about just by tasting or smelling something comforting and delicious.


Aromatherapy isn’t just for getting or staying well.  Though there are hundreds of years of data and endless clinical tests proving that nature’s little wonders are pretty astounding healing tools, fragrance can add a dimension to our everyday experience that we just can’t get visualizing. In fact, when we visualize one of the reasons we often can’t manifest our creations is that we can’t include the fullness of the experience just a one- dimensional picture on a screen in our minds. The Universe can’t really deliver the fullness of our desire because it can’t read our signals. But add more dimensions like taste, smell and a fullness of emotions and whoosh, our visualizations often quickly become our real-life reality.


Dr. Oz says he believes the reason why smells enhance our feeling of safety and comfort, including an increased romantic sense, is because good smells remind us of home, safety. Good smells, he says, we don’t find in dangerous places or places of battles. Good smells instead are associated with happy memories and good times.


Some of my earliest happy memories include the fragrance and taste of Peppermint. Between candy cans and candles, this clean, happy fragrance has been a staple of our family holidays for generations.


Peppermint essential oil* is an amazing little “medicine chest” all in one little drop! It can quickly dissipate headache and muscle pains, and it’s better than any over the counter digestive aid I’ve found.  The list of this oils’ benefits are so long and wonderful – and varied. One of my clients had a terrible mouse problem that the exterminator just couldn’t fix. After many expensive appointments and even more painful nights spent cowering in her bed hoping she’d not hear or see them, guess what fun fact she found out? I did some research and it turns out the number one fragrance mice don’t like? Yep, good old fashioned plain peppermint. She bought a few bottles, put some cotton balls around her home soaked in it and diffused a bit more for a few days. She’s been mouse-free for years now! She gets to sleep at night and her bank account says thank you too!


When I was a child suffering from asthma, I didn’t know the reason I loved candy canes and starlights was because they helped open my bronchial passages just a bit. Now for congestion I use just a drop or two in tea or a cold-air diffuser and voila, instant clear breathing.

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”  Thomas Edison, Inventor

My not-so-secret love though (okay, so we’ll say at this time of year, but frankly I’ve found ways of extending it thru the Spring! ;) is…Peppermint White Chocolate!   Oh the creamy deliciousness! It’s amazing and wonderful and so very satisfying and ohhh, so healthy!

“Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates (460-377 B.C.)

It wasn’t until after I began working with the oils in my energy work that I found out an amazing benefit of peppermint: it works to help clear away – not suppress! – the appetite! That’s right: this little gem helps us actually release and let go of overwhelming cravings for foods of all kinds. When the urges are released, we don’t have to fight our willpower to stop overeating. Nope. We simple don’t have the desire to eat more than what our body needs. Isn’t that wonderful!?

Therapeutic-Grade Essential Oil

One of my little tricks and favorite things to do during the holidays to keep my fitness in check is to eat a few pieces of homemade Peppermint White Chocolate either when I get hungry between meals and definitely after dinner to help me avoid overeating too much dessert. Often I find I’m not even hungry for the things most people regret stuffing themselves with later!


My client with the mouse issue? She’s a big fan still, and even makes sure to leave out Peppermint Chocolate Chip cookies for Santa. She told me it puts her mind to rest so she can sleep knowing that Santa’s treats are just for him and not attracting any unwanted guests to her home by accident!


So, here’s a little Christmas Present from me to you: my Peppermint Chocolate Recipes. I’ll post them tomorrow so you can have the entire post with recipes, tips and some photos too (just bear with me, I think Santa’s bringing me a real SLR camera for Christmas so my food photography can be publishing quality! For now, you’ll get the idea…let’s just call my photography, um, homey…okay?)


For more information about essential oils and energy work, please visit my web site to read more.


You’ve got plenty of time to get your own bottle – okay, I suggest a few bottles as you’ll probably go through them quickly making up your little treats and using the rest to create wellbeing and happy times.

In Living Harmony,

*Be sure to use ONLY therapeutic-grade essential oils. I work exclusively with Young Living oils because I trust their quality (both production and their energy) and because I love their great customer service.  My YL Web Site features a list of my favorite products including Peppermint.  If you opt for another brand, please do not use anything less than therapeutic-grade – organic and natural are not alternate terms for this quality, and in fact, they can feature extenders and other ingredients that can cause issue. My recipes and comments only apply to the Young Living line of product. Also, please be sure to check with your doctor before using any products as Living Harmony posts are not meant to take the place of your doctor’s advice.

Share
Even an advanced energy practitioner's life is far from unrealistically peaceful and perfect. But with a little practice, conscious attention and the intention to release we can all learn how to manage our daily experiences with contentment navigating around and through the disappointing or negative to create more of the love, wellbeing and abundance we all desire. Read the rest of this entry »

No matter what holidays my friends celebrate, for that matter no matter what the occasion, chances are if you’re one of my loved ones you’ll get essential oils from me.  For I not only want to give a gift from my heart, but one that will help theirs uplift and create wellbeing in all areas as well.

The only essential oils I use are Young Living – and this season, they have put together some really wonderful kits and seasonal gift packages.  Here are just a few of my favorites:

Holiday Beauty Collection

Treat yourself from Head to Toe with Young Living’s face and body creams that are now formulated with shea butter to promote skin restoration, and pure essential oils for added skin-conditioning.

Collection includes Boswellia Wrinkle Cream and Wolfberry Eye Cream in a customized plaid make-up bag. Complementry lavender-filled eye pillow included.

Item No: 4823
Preferred Customer Price: $129.68
Customer Price: $147.37


Essence of the Season Essential Oil Collection

Contains myrrh, frankincense, and Christmas Spirit™ essential oils plus frankincense and myrrh resins.

Item No: 3118
Preferred Customer Price: $80.76
Customer Price: $91.78

View more of the wonderful seasonal gifts as well as all the terrific essential oils and products I use and feature in some of my writings at My Young Living Site (www.youngliving.org/cathleencampbel).  Ordering from Young Living is really easy:  just create a profile, choose your level of membership (most of my clients choose Distributor because there’s an approximate 24% discount and there’s never any obligation to buy, but they always find themselves just as excited as I do and the discount makes it easy!)

Essential oils are so much a part of my everyday experience – whether I’m using them to help me stay calm, increase vitality and especially in my energy work.  I hope you take the time to do a little research and try nature’s miracles yourself to create more and more of the abundance in all areas of your life, especially your holiday season…

In Living Harmony,


It happens every year, you can count on it.  And I count on it.  The wonderful truth is that I always return to the new year, after all my holiday festivities, after all the fun and all the many wonderful meals…well, don’t shoot me, but I come back always a pound or two less than I had when I entered the season. For the last ten years I’ve managed to graze my way through countless pumpkin cheesecakes and chocolate bourbon balls, lap up gallons of egg nog and stuff myself like a Thanksgiving turkey.  And still, I end up comfortably wearing my own clothes and feeling terrific.


How, you want to know, do I count on enjoying all those holiday treats and still end up loosing a few pounds?


Well, it’s not from killing myself at the gym I can tell you that!  In fact, anyone who knows me knows the only reason why I have a gym membership is because when you lift weights you get to sit and sometimes lie down while exercising.  Really, I’m not a crazy athlete.  And years ago with the injury I sustained, I had to find other ways to manage my weight.


So what’s left?  Well, starving myself isn’t high on my list either.  My life rule is eat well, live healthy…die anyway.  The thought of starving myself to maintain a slim figure is well, unacceptable.


My secret weapon – for weight management and everything else! – is energy work.  Period. Using simple tools like Emotional Freedom Techniques and a little Feng Shui, and of course my very favorite oils and voila…my life naturally, organically, successfully and pleasantly follows along the path of my desires.  Really.


So how does it work?


Well, a long time ago when I first encountered EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) I was really hurt and actually did have a ton of weight added due to the medicines I was taking like steroids to reduce inflammation (though how reducing inflammation caused me to put on a bit over 50 pounds confuses me…)  I began to use EFT to clear away the things that kept me bound to the reality of being overweight.  From the moment I released the fear and anger over being bigger than I’d ever been in my life I began working on releasing the idea that I’d never fix this situation and return to a healthy weight.  From there I got a little inspired and started using EFT to release addictions or intense desires for everything from chocolate to coffee.  Now to be clear, I released the additions to those things not the enjoyment of them.  So to this day if I want a cup of coffee I enjoy it, but I’m not driven to having to have it every morning or throughout the day.  I’m pretty free, and it feels great.


Then one day I was facing the holidays and feeling that same lamenting gnaw at the pit of my stomach we all feel about how it was going to be downhill and then a big battle.  I felt guilty over things I’d not even touched yet!  This was crazy I told myself.  I had had it.  I got to work clearing every negative thought and feeling associated with holiday eating.

Sound like too much work?  Imagine how “heavy” all those negative thoughts and feelings are!  I promise, make your list, tap it twice…you’ll thank me for how fast and easy your body becomes nice!

And then I got a bit fancy:  I actually installed ideas like that because I would be more active and in unusual ways from my normal schedule I’d actually loose weight.  And it works!


With this new shifted energy and the underlying beliefs that go with it, I’m naturally drawn to the things that make holiday weight management an organic process I don’t even have to think about! Without lamenting I simply do things like add a little Grapefruit essential oil to my water or just pop a capsule of it every day to help my body process additional fats.


And my absolute favorite trick is to be generous with my Peppermint essential oil. Why?  Because therapeutic-grade essential oil actually zaps your appetite better than any crazy over-the-counter-stop-my-heart, so-called “herbal.”   It’s been clinically proven, by real-life scientists.  But I don’t need any clinical data anymore, I’ve got my own experiences.  True story:  one time a friend had a birthday party and I brought this special treat, simply because it’s that good.  But a few hours after dinner, imagine our surprise when about 30 woman all in our 30′s and 40′s found ourselves not really partaking of the many cakes and sweet treats sitting right in front of us!  We were enjoying ourselves and nobody was compelled to stuff chocolate.  Now that’s a “clinical trial” I can trust!


Each year I make up a batch of my famous White Chocolate Peppermint Bark (look for the White Chocolate Peppermint Bark Recipe in one of my upcoming posts!) – and I pop a piece a few times a day – maybe for an afternoon snack, or as a treat after a delicious dinner.  Peppermint is terrific for digestion, helps speed things along, takes care of excess gas and discomfort that sometimes comes with rich foods and it is uplifting.  But best of all, after just a piece or two, I find I’m enjoying myself but not really hungry anymore and rather than take a huge piece of some rich dessert I can enjoy a forkful or two and then be done, painlessly.


So each holiday season I now comfortably enjoy ALL the treats I want.  I enjoy being active, or not.  And I so enjoy the comfortable feeling of being able to wear my clothes comfortably.  But best of all, I enjoy the experience of not having to make painfully restrictive resolutions for the year to come.


As I tell all my clients, remember that absolutes are the domain of the monkey mind.  Things like “…everyone gains weight during the holidays…” or “…it’s inevitable that I’ll gain weight this holiday too…” are just unproductive programs you’ve been passively running.  And programs, especially those in our subconscious, are meant to be updated and debugged!


This holiday, don’t fall victim to the same old programming that you and many others accept merely because our friends and family and tv commercials repeat the same dull routines.  This year, learn how to manage your subconscious programs so you too can begin feeling fit and fabulous and enjoying your own Holiday Harmony.

In Living Harmony,

Share
Just as with our internal energy, one simple adjustment in our surroundings - especially during the holidays - can be all that’s needed to direct vibrating ripples of energy throughout the seen and unseen world, changing momentum, propelling us on to success or into more abundant directions. Read the rest of this entry »


The other day I realized it’s just a little bit more than a week before Thanksgiving and here I am, being “human” again.  I tell my clients all the time that it’s okay not to be perfect, in fact, since we can’t be the very effort of attempting to be perfect stands in the way of our manifesting what we truly desire.  For the moment we fail, whoosh, in comes our monkey minds and voila, we fail miserably.  While it’s okay to be human, it’s not okay to stay stuck and wallow especially since now we have the tools and techniques to clear and release whatever doesn’t process organically.


So why am I being human?  Well, over the last two years I’ve experienced a lot of loss in my life between family, friends and a beloved pet passing away.  I thank God every day for the skills I have as an energy practitioner and the support I’ve created over the years too, because I’m certain I wouldn’t be at peace right now otherwise.  It didn’t take me long to process the grief of each passing.  That alone is a miracle because prior to having these tools, frankly I mourned over the passing of just one of my dogs for more than ten years.  It’s not that I loved him more than I loved my cat or the people who have just passed, just that without clearing tools my grief was stuck and my system couldn’t release it on its own.  With the energy tools I was able to let go gently, fully and completely (you know, that annoying thing every self-help book ever said to do but never revealed how!).

Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn’t people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them?  ~Rose F. Kennedy

As we began entering into this holiday, I’m missing these people and thinking of holidays past and musing melancholy as “…all I want for Christmas…”…well, I can’t have some of the things I want now, can I?  My thoughts and feelings at first glance seem to convey a hopelessly ungrateful attitude for the rest of my life is pretty wonderful.  But the truth is that we are all entitled to having our feelings, and so knowing these things I’m able to first feel my feelings and then make the decision to clear and release so I can move through my life in a joyful experience of my current reality.


And so begins the process.  The moment I noticed I wasn’t living in the present moment, adding to the value of my day and creating what I want to experience I set to work using the Living Harmony tools to release and clear away the melancholy, the lamenting and all that went with it. In short order I could feel my heart begin to settle into a peaceful and happy anticipation of what actually will be this year.  It’s true, I miss those who have already gone before us, but I’m ever so grateful and happy for who remains and eager to embrace those I’ve not even met yet.  I’m at peace.


That’s when the fun begins!

From this state, I’m able to apply consciously all the laws of universal creation and before I know it I’m more excited than I was first thing Christmas morning the year I got my first pair of grown-up boots (they were white, and I was so enamored I couldn’t stop staring at them!).   The whiney “yeah but I really want…” has been replaced with an impish, “Hmmm…what magical things will I create now!?”

Thus begins for me, the magic of the season.  A season filled with love and joy, abundance and happy anticipation.  If I do have a new wave of grief arise, I’ll simply clear and release it coming back into the present.  Oh yes, there will be pumpkin (of course) and don’t forget my favorite Peppermint White Chocolate.  But what else?


Last year the Holiday Harmony group spent a little homework time engaged in some living visions – a manifesting technique using visualization that engages all the senses – and we created some pretty cool things.  There were new jobs, new loves, relationships healed and some lovely abundances of the material nature.  One woman created a happy situation in which a fairly large debt was forgiven by the credit card company due to a technical nature.


Personally I do have my material wants – I’m pretty sure Santa’s gonna bring me that new pumpkin decorated bundt loaf pan (can you imagine!), and of course I really love increased abundances like an unexpected new client.  But mostly I like to manifest moments.  This year I am working on creating one perfectly romantic moment, an instance of deep belly laughing and a special moment spent with a family member that I’ll cherish forever.  My job is to ask…how it all comes about is up to all the powers that be, so they better get to it!  (Pretty please and thank you!)


This or something more…and so it is!


In Living Harmony,

PS:  If you are experiencing grief from the loss of a loved one, a relationship, unemployment or the passing of a beloved pet please visit my web site, Living Harmony, to learn more about some of the powerful, proven and yet gentle tools we can use to release grief.  Remember, energy tools do not take the place of appropriate care, so be sure to speak with your doctor too.

By learning how to focus all of my energetic resources on creating what I want rather than what I have to endure, I’ve exchanged the lamentations of not getting everything done for the joy of experiencing the kind of holidays I want – all the trimmings without all the pressure. Read the rest of this entry »
The key is not to wait for another person or entity to give you the holiday experience you want to have, but to learn how to harness your energies to magnetize more of the experiences you want to have. Read the rest of this entry »
Holiday Harmony is a terrific program teaching proven, gentle and effective ways to clear out the effects of past and present holiday pains so you could finally experience joy in your world. Read the rest of this entry »