Category Archives: Recipes

Velvety Vanilla Oil – Relaxing Massage Oil & Full-body Moisturizing Perfume

Organic Body Care - Book Cover

Organic Body Care – Book Cover

This oil has a relaxing vanilla aroma and easily melts into the skin, leaving no oily residue. It’s ideal to use during a partner massage or as a full-body moisturizing perfume. I use this oil as a scented base oil when making vanilla creams and lotions.

3 long (6- or 7-inch) vanilla beans (or substitute 100 drops vanilla essential oil)

1 ½ cups jojoba base oil

Recommended for: all skin types, even oily

Use: as desired

Follow with: moisturize body after bath or shower if necessary

Prep time: approximately 10 minutes, plus 2 months to complete infusion

Blending tools: glass jar; strainer, coffee filter, or nylon stocking; shake bottle prior to use

Store in: glass bottle or plastic squeeze bottle

Yield: approximately 1½ cups

Slice the vanilla beans lengthwise, scrape out paste from each pod, and add it to a pint-size or smaller glass jar. Chop the empty bean pods into 1-inch pieces and add to the jar. Pour in the base oil. (Add the essential oil now if vanilla beans are unavailable.) Cap the jar and shake the mixture for 1 minute.

Store the jar in a dark place for 2 months to allow the vanilla essence to infuse the oil. During this time, shake the jar every day for 10 to 15 seconds.

After 2 months, strain the oil through a tight-mesh strainer, coffee filter, or nylon stocking, then pour the oil into an elegant glass storage bottle (though a plastic squeeze bottle is more convenient for use). The finished oil will have a deep, round vanilla fragrance.

Note: Jojoba base oil will harden in a cold area. To soften it, simply leave it at room temperature for an hour or set the bottle in a shallow pan of hot water for 10 minutes.

No refrigeration is required, but for maximum fragrance, please use within 2 years.

Application tips: For bath oil, add 2 teaspoons to running water. Use as needed for a body or massage oil.

Excerpted from Organic Body Care Recipes (c) Stephanie Tourles. Used with permission of Storey Publishing.

Repair and Restore Elixir – Regenerative and Anti-Inflammatory

Organic Body Care - Book Cover

Organic Body Care – Book Cover

This is a regenerative and anti-inflammatory elixir containing skin-supportive fatty acids that helps repair and pamper environmentally stressed and mature skin, leaving behind a healthy feel, more even tone, and suppleness. This blend can also be used to help prevent stretch marks, to speed post-operative skin healing and regeneration, and to aid in healing mild, first-degree burns.

7    drops carrot seed essential oil

7    drops helichrysum essential oil

6    drops calendula essential oil (CO2 extract)

1    teaspoon rose hip seed base oil

1    teaspoon calophyllum base oil

1    teaspoon macadamia nut base oil

1    tablespoon apricot kernel base oil

Recommended for: normal, dry, mature, sensitive, sunburned, windburned, or environmentally damaged skin; also for scarred skin tissue

Use: 2 times per day (3 times per day for treatment of minor kitchen burns or sunburn)

Prep time: approximately 15 minutes, plus
24 hours to synergize

Blending tools: shake storage bottle before each use

Store in: dark glass bottle with glass dropper top

Yield: 2 tablespoons or 1 ounce

Add the essential oils, drop by drop, directly into storage bottle, then add the base oils. Screw on the dropper bottle top, wrap your hand around the bottle, and shake the formula vigorously for 2 minutes to completely blend all ingredients and gently warm them to body temperature.

Set the bottle in a dark location that’s between 60 and 80°F for 24 hours so that the oils can synergize.

No refrigeration is required, but for maximum freshness and potency, please use within 6 months.

Application tips: Morning and evening after cleansing, apply the appropriate toner, astringent, or hydrosol. While skin is still very damp, place 3 to 5 drops of elixir into your palm, rub both palms together, and lightly massage the elixir into skin, beginning with the décolleté, throat, then face, using upward, outward, and circular strokes. Wait five minutes before applying sunscreen, additional moisturizer if desired, or makeup.

To help prevent stretch marks and the resulting scars: Apply a combination of 1 teaspoon of rose hip seed base oil and 1 drop of calendula essential oil (CO2 extract) directly to the expanding abdomen. Massage the entire area twice daily. These are very safe oils, but check with your physician first if you are concerned.

To help prevent scar tissue and speed healing: Please consult with your physician prior to usage. To help fade scar tissue that already exists, this elixir can be applied by the drop twice daily directly to scars anywhere on the body. Scars that are less than two years old will tend to respond more favorably than older scar tissue.

To aid the healing process of burns: Use on burns that are not too severe and don’t require a physician’s care, including sunburns, grease burns, and general “kitchen accident” burns. Immediately pour chilled aloe vera juice onto the area to stop inflammation and cool the tissue. Follow this with an application of several drops of this elixir. Repeat this procedure up to 3 times per day. You should see dramatic improvement and recovery.

“There is a case for keeping wrinkles. They are the long-service stripes earned in the hard campaign of life.”

— Editorial in the London Daily Mail

Excerpted from Organic Body Care Recipes (c) Stephanie Tourles. Used with permission of Storey Publishing.

Herbal Crack Salve – “Skin Butter” for Lips, Cuticles, Brittle Nails, Shins, Rough Knees, Elbows and More!


Stephanie Tourles Hands-On-Healing Book Cover

Stephanie Tourles Hands-On-Healing Book Cover

This cracked-skin remedy is my go-to, velvety “skin butter” that I use for nearly everything — lips, cuticles, brittle nails, shins, rough knees and elbows, dry nose when suffering from a cold, and even the ends of my curly, dry, color-treated hair! The herbs in this formula are strong skin conditioners and vulneraries with a gentle astringency; they work like magic to help heal and prevent uncomfortable fissured skin on hands and feet. Every medicine chest should have a jar.

Note: I prefer to use the stovetop method of extraction for this formula, as I feel that these particular herbs release their best medicinal properties when processed in this manner.

½   cup dried or 1 cup freshly wilted comfrey leaves (see page 38 for information on wilting)

½   cup dried or 1 cup freshly wilted plantain leaves

½   cup dried Solomon’s seal root

3   cups extra-virgin olive base oil

2,000  IU vitamin E oil

3   tablespoons beeswax

1   tablespoon cocoa butter

Equipment: 2-quart saucepan or double boiler, candy or yogurt thermometer, stirring utensil, strainer, fine filter, funnel, glass or plastic storage container (for the infused oil), glass or plastic jars or tins (for the salve)

Prep time: 5 hours to make the infused oil; 20 minutes to make the salve, plus 1 hour for it to thicken

Yield: Approximately 2½ cups of infused oil and 1¼ cups of salve

Storage: Store at room temperature, away from heat and light; use within 1 year

Application: 2 times per day or as desired

Preparing the Herbal Infused Oil: If you’re using freshly wilted herbs, gently cut or tear the leaves into small pieces to expose more surface area to the oil. Combine the comfrey, plantain, and Solomon’s seal with the olive base oil in a 2-quart saucepan or double boiler and stir thoroughly. The mixture should look like a thick, chunky, green herbal soup. Bring the mixture to just shy of a simmer, between 125° and 135°F. Do not let the oil actually simmer — it will degrade the quality of your infused oil. Do not put the lid on the pot.

Allow the herbs to macerate in the oil over low heat for 5 hours. Check the temperature every 30 minutes or so with a thermometer and adjust the heat accordingly. If you’re using a double boiler, add more water to the bottom pot as necessary, so it doesn’t dry out. Stir the infusing mixture at least every 30 minutes or so, as the herb bits tend to settle to the bottom.

After 5 hours, remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes. While the oil is still warm, carefully strain it through a fine-mesh strainer lined with a fine filter such as muslin or, preferably, a paper coffee filter, then strain again if necessary to remove all debris. Squeeze the herbs to extract as much of the precious oil as possible. Discard the marc.

Add the vitamin E oil and stir to blend. The resulting infused oil blend will be a lovely golden-green color. Pour the finished oil into a plastic or glass storage container, then cap, label, and store in a dark cabinet.

Preparing the Salve: Combine 1 cup of the herbal infused oil with the beeswax and cocoa butter in a small saucepan or double boiler over low heat, and warm until the solids are just melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes, stirring a few times. Pour into storage containers, cap, label, and set aside for 1 hour to harden.

Application Instructions: Massage a dab of salve into feet or hands at least twice daily to seal in moisture.

Excerpted from Hands-On Healing Remedies (c) Stephanie Tourles. Used with permission of Storey Publishing.

Candle 79 Recipe: Butternut Squash–Chestnut Soup with Caramelized Pears

Butternut Squash-Chestnut Soup - Candle 79Butternut Squash–Chestnut Soup with Caramelized Pears

1 cinnamon stick

1 whole nutmeg, halved

1 stalk lemongrass, chopped

2 cardamom pods

1 (1-inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

2 dried chipotle chiles

1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 large leek, white and pale green parts, rinsed and finely chopped

3 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice

1 cup drained canned or jarred chestnuts, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

8 cups water

Balsamic-Caramelized Pears

1 tablespoon grapeseed or safflower oil

2 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and diced

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

2 to 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Sea salt

Serves 6 to 8

Put the cinnamon stick, nutmeg, lemongrass, cardamom pods, ginger, and chipotle peppers in cheesecloth. Knot securely or tie with string and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the leek and sauté until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the squash, chestnuts, sage, cheesecloth pouch, and water. The water should cover the squash by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil, decrease the heat, cover, and simmer until the squash is tender and falls apart, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Candle 79To make the caramelized pears, heat the oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the pears and sauté for 5 minutes. Decrease the heat to medium and stir in the maple syrup, cinnamon, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until the pears are soft and the liquid becomes syrupy and coats the pears. Set aside to cool.

To finish the soup, remove the cheesecloth pouch and discard. Add the maple syrup and salt to taste. Transfer the soup to a blender and process until smooth, or process the soup in the pot with an immersion blender. If the soup seems too thick, add a bit more water.

To serve, gently reheat the soup, taste, and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Ladle into soup bowls, garnish with the caramelized pears, and serve warm. and

Candle 79 Recipe: Beet, Fennel, and Fig Salad with Cranberry-Sage Dressing

Beet Fennel and Fig Salad - Candle 79Cranberry-Sage Dressing

1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1⁄2 cup finely chopped shallots

1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed if frozen

1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves

1 fresh sage leaf, chopped

1⁄3 cup water

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt

1 pound fresh beets

1 fennel bulb, trimmed and halved

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1⁄2 cup pecans

1⁄2 pound baby arugula

1 pear, cored and thinly sliced (optional)

6 fresh figs, cut into wedges

Serves 6

To make the dressing, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the cranberries and cook, stirring, until they are softened and begin to pop, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool, then transfer to a blender. Add the vinegar, rosemary, sage, water, maple syrup, salt, and the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and process until smooth.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Candle 79Wrap the beets in aluminum foil and put them on a baking sheet. Put the fennel on a separate baking sheet, cut side up, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Put the beets and fennel in the oven and roast until fork-tender, about 30 minutes for the fennel, and 50 to 60 minutes for the beets. When cool enough to handle, peel the beets and cut into thin slices, and cut the fennel into very thin slices.

Meanwhile, spread the pecans on a baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Put the arugula in a large bowl, add the beets, fennel, pecans, and optional pear, and gently toss together. Drizzle with the dressing and scatter the figs over the salad. Alternatively, divide the arugula evenly among salad plates, placing it to one side of the plate. Drizzle with the dressing and scatter the pecans on top. Arrange the beets, fennel, figs, and optional pear alongside the arugula and serve at once. and