Green Pepper Honey Soup

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                                    Don’t you love fall when you can start eating soup? 

At The Honey Cottage we LOVE the fall season, not only do the leaves change, but we can start eating soup all the time!! It is just the right meal with vegetables, meat, and sometimes pasta or rice! There are some soups that we are able to add honey to and they taste AMAZING! This is a fun twist on our homemade tomato soup. I also enjoy the fact that I can put it all in a crock pot and I only have to check on it periodically. We noticed if we did not cook the meat beforehand that it kind of tasted boiled. I really hope you enjoy this bee-licious soup as much as we do! 

Ingredients: 

1 ½ pounds ground beef 

½ green peppers 

32 ounces of beef broth 

1- 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes 

1- 14.5 ounce can of tomato sauce 

1 cup- Cheddar Cheese 

4 ½ cups of beef broth 

2 cups- Brown Jasmine Rice 

¼ cup- Honey 

Directions:  

– In a sauté pan break up the beef and cook for 3-4 minutes; just enough to bring out the flavor of the beef. We do not drain our meat; so if you don’t want the extra fat you can drain it. Add it to the crock pot. 

-Cut up the green pepper into 1 inch chunks and add to the crock pot. 

-Add the beef broth, diced tomatoes, and the tomato sauce. Place lid on the pot and cook on low for about 6 hours. Check on it and stir about every hour.  

-Grate the cheese into a bowl and place in a container for later.  

-About an hour before the soup is done. Cook the rice in a separate pot; add the 4/ ½ cups of beef broth and the 2 cups of brown jasmine rice. Place a lid on top and let it cook on medium heat for about 45 minutes. 

Turn off the crock pot and add the honey, stir the soup, and let sit for five minutes. 

-Set out the bowls; add ½ cup of rice to the bottom, place ¾ cup soup on top, and add ¼ grated cheese to the top.  

-Serve and ENJOY! 

Tips:  

-Instead of rice try this with whole wheat noodles 

Use ground turkey or chicken 

Switch out the green pepper and use yellow pepper if you want more color 

Confessions of a beekeeper 2019

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We have been asked so many times; why are plants so important? Why does it matter so much how bees are taken care of?

This year has been un-bee-livable! I have been learning so much for the last several years, but this year was different. If you follow The Honey Cottage or have read any of my other blogs; you know that we are BIG advocates on planting flowers. We are also advocating for the bees needing at least an acre and a half of constantly blooming flowers in order to stay healthy. This year we saw PROOF on what this can do for a beehive!! Our bees were busy and are super healthy. We know that many beekeepers have to sometimes feed the bees sugar water, which is a necessary evil. However, we are determined to show what happens when bees have a natural diet of flowers and lots of them. When we do feed our bees; we feed them with frames of honey that we have packed away from the year before.

We have a bee hive that is in the mountains where the bees have access to everything! There is a small river nearby and tons and tons of flowers for the bees. There is a huge basswood tree, apple trees, chokecherry trees, wildflowers, and sour cherries. Every time we went to check on the bees there were more flowers blooming. We saw so many new flowers that we have never seen before that we were in shock. There are acres and acres available to the bees. Since we have just established the bees this year, we wanted to leave enough honey for them to make it to spring. We did manage to steal a couple of frames of honey and the honey is INCREDIBLE!!!  I have never had honey so amazing! We are super pleased with how well that they are doing that we are making more planes to plant more flowers next year.

The property where they located at said this was the best year, they had for the fruit that was produced! That is one of the biggest complements a bee can receive. In order for the flowers to produce seeds, fruit, or vegetables; the bees have to pollinate them. Flowers are males and females just like humans; males produce the pollen that the bees are able to take to the female flowers. The pollen needs to get to the stigma of a female plant in order to reproduce. It takes 10 grains of pollen just to pollinate the other plants correctly. Which is why bees are faster and more proficient in pollinating flowers then humans. Once the flower has been pollinated it will produce the seeds and food that we eat. The amount of food that is eaten on the plant means the bees are doing an essential job for humans to keep eating and survive!

Help save the bees and start planning out your flower garden for next year now! There are drought resistant plants, perennials, and annuals that can bee planted. There are plants that will come up in the Spring, Summer, or Fall. Help where you can if you cannot plant your own garden. Please help save the bees one flower at a time!

From our hive to yours,

Bee Queen

Honey Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin muffins

At The Honey Cottage we bee-lieve fall is an amazing time to enjoy pumpkin EVERYTHING! This is one of our favorite recipes because we also bee-lieve honey and chocolate should cover everything too! What we love most about this recipe is that it is not just for the fall time, you can use it anytime you are in the mood for pumpkin. This is a great muffin to have on the go or for picnics.  If using the wheat berries; grind up the wheat berries and then measure out the 1 1/2 cups. I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

Ingredients:

½ cup coconut oil (liquefied)

3/4 cup of honey

1 tsp. of vanilla

1 cup of canned pumpkin

1 Tbsp. of pumpkin pie spice 

1½ cups whole wheat flour

1 cup chocolate chips

1 tsp. baking soda

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix together the coconut oil, honey, vanilla, canned pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice. Then add the flour, chocolate chips, and baking soda; mix until everything is thoroughly mixed. Line cupcake pans with cupcake liners and spray with your favorite cooking spray. Fill the baking cups with batter 3/4 of the way full; makes about 12 cupcakes. Place in the oven and cook for 17-20 minutes or until the tooth pick comes out clean, then pull out of the oven and let cool. Some ovens work differently so make sure to keep an eye on them. Enjoy!

Tips:

  • Try using canned sweet potato for a different flavor
  • Add 3/4 cups crushed pumpkin seeds
  • Add 1/4 cup of ground flax seed