Coconut Milk Chicken Soup


On Saturday my neighbor hosted a Essential Oil Make-n-Take Class for me.  It was so much fun and we made three DIY recipes using essential oils.  But if I am honest this soup here STOLE the show.  Literally.  My host made this soup to serve the guests and along with a Sangria all of us went back for seconds and maybe thirds…. We were still talking about the soup while we were making our homemade Thieves Cleaning Wipes, Room Spray and Foaming Hand Soap!

The soup was essential oil infused using Basil, Lemongrass and Ginger essential oils from Young Living’s Vitality Line.  Young Living’s Vitality line of essential oils are specifically labeled for dietary use! Go here to see the entire line up and details. Below is the soup recipe. Try it for yourself and I dare you to not go for seconds!!

Coconut Milk Chicken Soup

  • 4 Cups Chicken Broth (she made her own using a chicken thigh but I am sure the packaged kind would work too)
  • 1-2 Large Yellow Onions, sliced
  • 3-4 Large Carrot, diced
  • 3-4 Celery Stalks, diced
  • 2 Potatoes, diced
  • 1 Whole Cooked Chicken Breast, diced or shredded
  • 1 Carton (not can. Carton is creamier) 15 oz. Coconut Milk. You may double this amount if you want richer broth
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Asian Fish Sauce
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 Small Zucchini, halved and sliced
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp. Salt (optional)
  • 1-2 drops Young Living Basil Vitality Essential Oil
  • 1-2 drops Young Living Lemongrass Vitality Essential Oil
  • 1 drop Young Living Ginger Vitality Essential Oil

In a large soup pot, simmer chicken broth.  Add onions, carrots, celery and potato; simmer 2 minutes.  Add chicken and simmer an additional 5 minutes. Add coconut milk, fish sauce, lemon juice, zucchini and salt.  Simmer another 5 minutes.  Take off heat and add essential oils.  Makes 6 servings.


You can purchase Young Living Essential Oils here. To get the cheapest pricing become a member and get this awesome Essential Oil starter kit for a reduced price! You get a diffuser plus 11 bottles of oils for $160. Some of these bottles are from the Vitality line so you can get to cooking with them right away!  It is a lifetime membership so no monthly minimums, etc.  Just do it already! I have been a member almost two years now and I love it more everyday.  So many ways to support your health and wellness! The kit comes with the following essential oils:

  • Peppermint Vitality
  • Lemon Vitality
  • Copaiba Vitality
  • Thieves Vitality
  • DiGize Vitality
  • R.C. Blend
  • Frankincense
  • Purification Blend
  • Lavender
  • Panaway Blend
  • Stress Away Blend

PLUS a diffuser of your choice! All these oils can be used for everyday needs. And the diffuser makes it SO easy to incorporate the oils into your life. I use mine daily and I even keep a diffuser at my desk at work.  Needless to say my co-workers love to drop by and say hello! lol. Just get yours already!




Gluten Free Black Forest Cupcakes

Growing up, my Omi (grandmother) made a traditional Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte or what we call a Black Forest Cake.  The cake featured sour cherries soaked in a cherry brandy known as Kirschwasser.  She then topped the cake with whipped cream, cherries, and fresh chocolate shavings. She learned this recipe from a tenant who was a baker back when they used to rent out rooms from their row home in Queens. Over the years her cake became legendary and no celebration was complete without it.  I still remember the last time I was able to eat some of her delicious cake.  If I would have known it was the last time I would have hounded her for the recipe.  She never wrote it down.  She always baked from her “head and heart.”

For Bryce’s birthday my husband wanted to recreate Omi’s cake for Bryce’s birthday. Problem? We needed it to be gluten free and we wanted a cupcake version, not a cake.  We decided to use Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix for the base to make the preparation easier and less time consuming.

The recipe below is the result. Gorgeous to look at and even more delicious when bit into, this recipe allows Gluten Free people the opportunity to experience Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte in the form of a cupcake and utilizes a gluten free cake mix for the sponge base.




  • 1 – 15oz box of Betty Crocker Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix
  • ½ cup of water
  • ½ cup of cherry juice (can use juice from tart cherries)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup of butter) softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp of Kirschwasser


  • 1 can of sour cherries
  • 1/3 cup of cherry juice (you can use the juice from the sour cherries or other cherry juice)
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • ½ cup Kirschwasser


  • 3 cups of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 packet (0.25 oz) plain gelatin
  • 3 Tbsp cold water
  • 3 Tbsp Kirschwasser
  • 1 cup of chocolate shavings
  • fresh cherries



  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Prepare muffin baking pan with liners.
  3. Cream butter until smooth with electric mixer.
  4. Add eggs one at a time and mix.
  5. Add kirschwasser, water, and cherry juice.  Mix to combine.
  6. Add Gluten Free Cake Mix to the wet batter and blend with electric mixer until combined.
  7. Pour batter into liners (about ¾ full)
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean
  9. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack


  1. Drain juice from the cherries.
  2. Add cherry juice and sugar to a pot and bring to a simmer while whisking.
  3. Add cornstarch and whisk until combined.  If you cannot get the cornstarch incorporated, then add to a blender and blend until combined.
  4. Add cherries and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat, stir in Kirschwasser.  Allow filling to come to room temperature before using.


  1. Place water in small pot and sprinkle with gelatin. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.  Whisk the gelatin and water in the pot and heat on low whisking until the gelatin is dissolved.  Remove from heat.
  2. In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the whipping cream on medium high speed until in starts to thicken.
  3. Add powdered sugar and Kirschwasser.  Whisk and taste.  Some people like their frostings sweet and others less sweet.  I provided a rough range for the powdered sugar to allow you to tweak the recipe to your liking.
  4. Continue to whisk at medium high speed until the cream begins to get fluffy.
  5. Slowly add gelatin while whisking until incorporated.



    1. Cut a small hole out of the middle of the cupcake.  Save the top of our cut out.
    2. Spoon about 1 Tbsp of filling into each cupcake and replace top.
    3. Ice with frosting.
    4. Sprinkle on chocolate shavings and top with a cherry.
    5. Refrigerating the cupcakes will allow the frosting to slightly stiffen and allow the frosting to look and behave a little like a buttercream frosting.



  • The gelatin will allow the cupcake frosting to set up and stiffen.  This is a great trick for keeping your whipped cream frostings looking perfect.



Gluten-Free Hamburger Pie

I came across this recipe last year when I went on Betty Crocker’s website looking for uses for their gluten free Bisquick mix (which is amazing by the way). This was listed as one of them. Do you want dinner in 30 minutes? With a yummy cheesy doughy top that is gluten free? Why yes, yes I do!!!

Picture of ingredients used below. Notice that Badia’s spices are listed as certified gluten free on their label – awesome.


We love the recipe that Betty Crocker came up with, but felt it was missing some flavor (i.e. their version is salt and pepper only). This modification just adds some additional seasonings to their recipe.  Try it and let me know what you think. We love it and it is part of our rotation of meals now. You could also use ground turkey or beans I am thinking instead of ground beef if that is more your thing. Experiment!


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp steak seasoning
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • ½ cup Bisquick Gluten Free mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 eggs


  1. Heat oven to 400F. Oil, grease, or spray a 9-inch pie pan.
  2. Cook ground beef with onion until beef is thoroughly cooked. Drain.
  3. Stir in steak seasoning and mustard.
  4. In medium bowl, combine Bisquick mix, milk, eggs, and mustard. Stir until blended.
  5. Arrange beef in the bottom of the pie pan. Top with cheese. Finally, pour Bisquick mixture over the cheese.
  6. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

And then DIG in. We cook it in stoneware (LOVE my stoneware) but I am sure it would come out equally as good in other cooking pans. You just may have to adjust the cook time.


Peppermint Fluff (corn syrup free peppermint marshmallows)

My son, Bryce, inspired this recipe.  He has a corn allergy.  He breaks out in a body rash that grows and worsens the more he eats products that contain corn. He has been this way since he was an infant. Since he can’t talk yet, we have just removed ALL products that contain corn or corn derivatives from his diet till we can figure out what is really going on. It has been a challenge finding foods that do not contain corn syrup, corn solids, or cornstarch.  It is especially difficult to find treats that do not contain corn syrup.  Unfortunately, he is a little young for these treats, but I am sure he will learn to love them as he grows older (um, s’mores anyone? lol).  Unlike traditional marshmallow recipes, this recipe utilizes egg whites to stabilize the sugar in the recipe.  I think that you will find these marshmallow treats tantalizing on your taste buds with the icy burst of peppermint the essential oil adds.

Side note: There is evidence that peppermint oil may help indigestion. What that means is, eat two!


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 envelops of gelatin (21g or ¾ oz)
  • ¾ cup of water
  • 2 egg whites or ¼ cup water + 4 tsp of powdered egg whites
  • ¼ tsp or 6 drops of peppermint oil


  1. Grease 9” X 12” cake pan (I use coconut oil)
  2. Pour ¾ cup of water into a dish and add 3 envelops of gelatin.  Set aside.
  3. Combine sugar and 1 cup of water into saucepan and cook over low/medium heat stirring until sugar dissolves.  Increase heat to medium and cook until sugar mixture reaches 257F or hardball stage.
  4. Whisk egg whites and a pinch of salt in electric mixer until frothy.
  5. Add gelatin solution to sugar mixture and mix until gelatin fully dissolves.
  6. Gradually add sugar mixture to frothed egg white mixture whisking continuously on medium speed until mixture has doubled in size.  Decrease speed and add peppermint oil.  Continue to whisk until mixture is warm (about 100-110F).
  7. Pour into prepared cake pan and allow to set at room temperature for 3 hours.


  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp coco powder
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips
  1. In a Vitamix or blender, add sugar and coco powder and process at medium to high speed until powdery.  Add chocolate chips and blend at low speed until incorporated.
  2. Sprinkle topping on marshmallow.  Using a sharp knife, cut marshmallow into squares.  Coat all sides with topping.

Note: you can substitute powdered sugar with coco powder however the powdered sugar has cornstarch


Gluten Free Hummingbird Bread

My husband and I got married in St. Lucia. We loved it. I was swimming in the pool two hours before our wedding. Stress-Free. It was relaxing and the island itself just beautiful. One day we hope to go back. If you ever get the chance to go – do it. It is nicknamed the Hawaiian of the Caribbean and a big destination for many celebrities. I also believe one of the Superman movies was filmed by the Piton Mountains on the island.

After the wedding they gave us two, yes TWO wedding cakes for out reception. One of them was a hummingbird cake. Their version was a little dry, more like a spice cake. But to this day that flavor reminds us of our wedding and our wonderful week there.

So over the weekend Brian wanted to attempt a Gluten Free Hummingbird Bread. This is the result. We wanted it moist since gluten free tends to be so dry, so we added extra buttermilk and even a little of the pineapple juice. It worked. We also added coconut flakes which I think adds a nice layer of flavor.

Try it and let me know what you think.


  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 8 oz crushed pineapple (drained)
  • ¼ cup of sweetened coconut
  • ¼ tsp of salt
  • 1/3 cup of chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup of packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups of gluten free baking mix (We Used Bisquick Gluten Free)
  • 3 small bananas

Icing (Optional):

  • ¼ cup sweetened coconut toasted (350F for 3-5 min) and cooled
  • 8 oz of cream cheese
  • ¾ – 1 cup of powdered sugar (adjust to your sweetness level)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla


  1. Set Oven to 350F. Lightly oil a 9” X 5” loaf pan.
  2. Place coconut oil, brown sugar, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla in a mixer and beat for 1-2 minutes. Add baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and gluten free flour. Beat on low speed until all ingredients are incorporated. Add bananas, coconut, and pineapple and mix on low until well dispersed.
  3. Bake 45-50 minutes until lightly browned and toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean.
  4. Allow to cool before icing (if desired).
  5. To make icing, beat cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar together until smooth (3-5 minutes). Spread icing on top of loaf and top with toasted coconut. Enjoy.