The Honey Cottage for Kids & Honey Boats from Lily Bee’s Kitchen

Celery and honey

What do you do with honey?

At The Honey Cottage we have heard a lot of questions, but by far our favorite it; what do you do with honey? If you have been in at The Honey Cottage and asked me, you see me get all giddy and excited as I explode with all the ways you can use honey.

Several times Lily has been with me at the shop and was shocked when one kid said they did not like eating honey by itself. As you can imagine, her jaw dropped and she looked at me in shock. I explained to her that some kids don’t know how to use honey.

Lily had an idea idea to start making recipes that are simple, fun, and allow kids to use their imagination with honey! So we are now starting The Honey Cottage for Kids specifically for kid friendly recipes. We hope you are as buzzed as we are!!

This month’s pick is:

Honey Boats

Ingredients:

3 Stalks of celery

2 TBSP-Peanut Butter

1 TBSP-Raw Honey

Toppings:

-Flaked coconut

-Raisins

-Dried Blueberries

-Chocolate chips

-Walnuts

-Honey

Directions:

Cut the celery stalks into 2-3 inch sticks. Stir the peanut butter and the raw honey together. Spread the peanut butter and honey on top of the celery sticks. Stick the flaked coconut on top so it looks like sails. Add raisins, chocolate chips, and walnuts to a couple of sticks. Add blueberries, chocolate chips, and walnuts to another couple of sticks. Finish the remaining sticks with chocolate chips and walnuts (my mom loves this one because it kind of tastes like a candy bar). I like adding a drizzle of honey on top too!

Thanks for buzzing by Lily Bee’s Kitchen!!

 

The Honey Cottage Shares Pollination

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I want you to take a moment to think about soybeans, wheat, rice, and oats. These foods are wind pollinated food items that are pollinated by the help of the wind. Now take a moment to think about the other food you drink and eat. Teas, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables are a daily part of our life and are pollinated by bees. This means more than 70% of the food we eat is pollinated by bees. Animals also get the benefits of eating many of these plants and flowers. Bees are very important to how our world works and functions on a daily basis.

Some of the questions we hear a lot at The Honey Cottage are: Why are bees important? Are there only honeybees? How can we help Save the Bees?

Why are bees important?
Bees are vital to our ecosystem; bees pollinate almost all our food supply. Bees go from one flower to the next and collect nectar to make honey. The male part of the flower is the stamen and it produces the pollen. The pollen sticks onto the bee’s body hairs and are then transported to the next flower. Flowers need 10 granules of pollen to make pollination happen and produce seed or food. The granules of bee pollen stick to the stigma of the female flowers, which goes down the pistil, and into the ovule. This allows the seeds and fruits to be produced and consumed by humans and animals.

Are there only honeybees?
Honeybees are NOT the only bees we should be worried about. At The Honey Cottage we are constantly showing our customers that the honey bee is not the only bee on this planet. There are 20,000 different species of bees and they are ALL important. There are some bees that are better at pollinating our food supplies than honeybees. For example, bumble bees are able to do buzz pollination to shake the pollen out of tomato plants. Orchid bees generally only pollinate orchid plants. Leaf cutting bees are best for pollinating alfalfa. Many of these bees are designed to pollinate only certain types of plants. They are different sizes, shapes, or their proboscis only extends a short distance. Honeybees are wonderful, but we also need to work hard to stop pushing out the native bees that live with us too! Many of these bees are solitary; they only make a little honey to feed themselves and that is it.

How can we help Save the Bees?
The biggest and best role we can take to help bees is to plant more flowering plants and stop using pesticides. The biggest food source for bees should not be sugar water or corn syrup pellets. Bees are not livestock and they matter just as much as humans do. We understand there are emergencies in which bees need to have food, but sugar water or corn syrup should not be what bees solely live on. Do you want good honey? Bees want it too! Planting flowers allows the bees to be as healthy as we are when we eat their honey.

I am the Bee Queen and I am the bee’s voice, for they do not have one. Please take the time to help bees by planting flowers. Help beekeepers by allowing them to not need to use emergency feed. Please put in more plant gardens. Please help the bees win the battle against rock gardens taking over entire landscaping projects.

From our hive to yours,

Bee Queen

Honey Frito Pie

Honey fritos pie

Are you looking for something to keep you full?

It is cold outside and it is time for some hearty warm food! This is one of our most versatile recipes because you can use ground beef, pork, chicken, or turkey and it does not overly change the flavor. Also, this recipe does not take a lot of time to make and works great in a crock pot. This recipe also works well if you just want a hearty bowl of chili or if you want to make chili cheese dogs. What I find most wonderful is that it is filling and really hits the spot on cold days. I hope you get as buzzed with this recipe as I do!

Ingredients: 

1 pound ground turkey

2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning

1 Tablespoon of chili powder

1 teaspoon of cumin

1 28-ounce can of tomato puree

1 6-ounce can of tomato paste

1 large fresh tomato

2 cans of triple beans; pinto, black, and kidney beans

1/2-3/4 cup of honey

1 bag of Frito’s

2 cups of cheddar cheese

Dollop of sour cream (optional)

Directions:

Put the ground turkey, Italian seasoning, chili powder, and cumin into a medium sized cooking pot (make sure to have a lid for it). Cook the turkey for about 4 minutes just to get the flavor of the seasoning into the meat. Add the tomato puree and the tomato paste to the turkey; dice the tomato into medium chunks and add to the pot. Drain any water off of the beans and add to the chili. Place a lid on top of the pot and let simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes stirring every 5 minutes to make sure it is all mixing together. Take off the heat and stir in the 1/2 cup of honey; depending on how sweet you like your chili you can add up to 3/4 cup.

Take 1/2 cup of Frito’s and place in a bowl, add about 3/4 cup of chili, a sprinkle of cheese, and a dollop of sour cream if you want to.

Tips:

  • Add some diced onions for extra crunch and flavor
  • Add some green chili or some jalapeno’s for some spice
  • Try a dollop of Greek yogurt if you are not into sour cream

 

Buzzing by from,

Bee Queen’s Kitchen

Cherry Rhubarb, Chocolate, and Honey Cupcakes

Cherry cupcakes

Have you ever had a duh moment?

I have been making cupcakes for what seems like forever! I love that you can mix flavors together or that you can make them simply one flavor. Cupcakes are the one dessert that I have the most fun making and enjoy the most. I really like being able to add filling to my cupcakes, but always felt that squeezing the filling in the center did not give enough filling. I was watching a cooking show and, low and behold, the lady cut a hole in the center and filled it up with filling. I slapped myself and wondered why have I not known about and been doing this? So without further problems I now have the perfect amount of filling in my cupcakes!!! I really hope you enjoy these as much as I do!!

Ingredients: 

1 cup- Applesauce (room temperature)

¼ cup- Honey

½ cup- Coconut oil (liquefied)

1½ cups- Whole wheat flour

1 tsp.- Cinnamon

1 tsp.- Baking soda

Filling-

¾ cup- Honeyville’s Cherry rhubarb jam

Topping-

10 ounces- Chocolate chips

3/4 cup- heavy whipping cream

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix together the apple sauce, honey, and coconut oil. Then add the flour, cinnamon, and baking soda; mix until everything is thoroughly mixed. Line cupcake pans with cupcake liners and spray with your favorite cooking spray. You can also use FSC certified baking cups, these do not need to be sprayed. Fill the baking cups with batter a little more than half way full; makes about 13-15 cupcakes. Place in the oven and cook for 18-19 minutes or until a toothpick 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.

Make a double boiler by; filling a medium sized pot halfway up with water, find a metal or glass bowl that will fit on top. Bring the water to a low boil and place the bowl on top with the chocolate chips. While the chocolate is melting; warm up the heavy cream in a separate small sauce pan. Do not bring to a boil or it will be too hot. Once they are both warmed up; with oven mitts take the bowl of chocolate and put it on the counter. Pour the heavy cream in and mix together. Once thoroughly mixed; set aside.

Take the cooled cupcakes and cut a hole in the center of the cupcake at an angle. Pull out the center and set aside. Take a spoon and fill up the cupcakes with cherry rhubarb jam.

Take some of the warm ganache and spread it on top of the cupcakes in a nice even layer. These can be served right away or you can put them in the fridge and just pull out an hour before serving. ENJOY!

Tips:

-Add whipped cream on top of the ganache for another layer of flavor

-For a little crunch you can sprinkle with nuts

-Try whipping cream cheese and mix it with the cherry rhubarb jam to make it a cheesecake cupcake

 

Buzzing by from,

Bee Queen’s Kitchen

Honey Mustard Appetizers

Honey Mustard Appetizer

Do you find yourself running out of time to make meals or snacks?

There are days when you just run out of time to get tasks done.  Whether you are preparing for a party or just looking for something quick and simple to prepare as an appetizer; this really is a great recipe. I LOVE this recipe; it is fast, simple, and can be prepped two days in advance! I stumbled upon using this as a lunch one day while I was actually making it for a holiday event and was prepping food and cleaning!  I realized I had missed lunch and simply started snacking while I was getting things done! I really hope you enjoy this recipe and use it all the time!

Ingredients:

12- crackers

12- spinach leaves

3- slices of tomato

4- slices of ham

12- slices of cheese

Steamworks Backside Stout Honey mustard

Directions:

Line out the crackers in a single layer on a plate or serving tray.

Place a Spinach leaf on top of each cracker.

Clean the tomato and slice up three slices; take the slices and cut them into quarters. Place a quarter of the tomato on top of the spinach.

Take the ham and slice it in half length wise and then cut vertically two times as evenly as possible. Put 2 slices of ham on top of the tomatoes.

Slice up 12 pieces of cheese into 1 X 2 inches and place on top of the ham.

Drizzle the tops of the cheese with the Steamworks Backside Stout Honey mustard 

Serve and ENJOY!!

Tips:

– Try turkey with Swiss cheese

– Try these crackers with sliced green olives

– Add some jalapenos to add some spice

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2020!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Can you bee-live it is 2020?

I am so happy for a new year and for a new outlook. In October 2019 we found out that a dear friend has terminal cancer. She is one of the bravest strongest people we know and she has helped us so much. I was very shocked to learn that she is doing an exit plan, but I have realized how intelligent this plan is for herself and her family. She is getting rid of stuff, cleaning things out, and is aligning everything so that her family does not have to worry about anything except grieving when it is time. Over the last couple of years; I have really been enjoying her blogs because her outlook on life, business, and family is incredible. The things, stuff, and objects that we hold so near and dear now don’t matter. She is non-stop making memories, videos, and things that will matter to her family and children. I am blessed that she is passing on this powerful message and am now sharing this message with you. It is time to realize that family is not going to remember the things you bought or the objects you gave, they are going to look at photos and remember the memories that you made with them. She has also shown us that just because you get a terminal diagnosis does not mean you give up and give in. You start getting things done and work even harder to make sure you leave behind great things!  So it is time to get back in the kitchen, eat at the dinner table, take the time to talk, and really learn to listen to each other. It is a new decade and new year. Let’s make a difference in each other’s lives this year!

I am excited to announce she has inspired me (told me) to start making videos of what we do in the kitchen. To also show why we are soooo excited about honey and why the honey is so amazing! I will also do my best to start recording my blogs of videos as well. We use a great program to write our blogs, but cannot seem to use apps to read them to our great followers. So, my new plan is to get in front of the camera and start showing people what I do in the shop!

We are making new recipes as well so that you can see how easy switching sugar for honey really can be. I will also be making some family friendly ones so that you can get your kids involved. We seem to eat so much better when we all take time as a family to make things together. We have also noticed our kids are more willing to try new things when we talk about how it is grown, made, and the importance of the vitamins and minerals that the food provides. We want to also show how easy it is just to use honey and add it to different recipes.

We want to make 2020 great and hope that you will join us too! We love what we do and are excited to show you how amazing honey really is for your diet. HAPPY 2020!!!

From our hive to yours,

Bee Queen

Why Shop Small Business Saturday at The Honey Cottage?

Thanksgiving

Why should I shop at a Small Business? Why should I spend more money when I can get it cheaper elsewhere? What difference does it make if I shop at a mom and pop shop? 

These are some of the common questions we hear here at The Honey Cottage. At first, I used to get sad that people did not understand what Shop Small Saturday really means. Yes, you can go shopping at big stores too, but this is the one day that really shows your appreciation for the mom and pop shops that are trying to make a go at having their own business. When we shop small, we are shopping with other small businesses because we know who they are!! We also support other small businesses and beekeepers.  

What I really want you to think about this holiday season; as a small business we get to know our customers. We try to remember what honeys you like, how your kids are doing, how your job is going, and we get excited when your family and friends visit with you!! We are excited when you get to share your favorite things with them. We have had many customers and say you need to give them samples of this, this, and this. At The Honey Cottage we get the pleasure of watching our customers blossom. We get to see the good and the bad days. We get to show you the new things we have and the things we think will wow the people in your life. We get to watch the excitement of new customers opening up honey sticks for the first time or the families who are bringing in their 1-year old to try honey for the first time. The weddings, the births, and the friendships that happen over honey mean something to us! We go home thankful that we were able to get new customers, that the quality of honey speaks for itself. 

I cannot stress this enough; cheaper does not mean better or good quality. When you come to The Honey Cottage you will notice that I am all about samples. You don’t know what you like until you try it!!! As consumers ourselves; we know the frustration of buying something and not enjoying it. Then it either sits as a constant reminder of what a bad decision it was and then gets thrown away. That is why we try very hard to have a sample of all the jarred honeys so that you can taste it yourself. We bee-live in try before you buy. What we have learned is that if you have a honey that you LOVE you will not only come back in for more, but you will use it. We don’t like hearing that honey has gone to waste because they bought it from someone and did not like it. What I love most is watching people light up when they find a honey they like. It makes a big difference when we can say we have helped people find something they actually enjoy. 

Mom and Pop shops are the ones that take the time to talk with you. They take the time to know you, your friends, and family. We are the ones that get to hi five your kids when they have brought up their GPA, when they finally got the hang of potty training, or they took their first steps. We get excited with you when you find out you are pregnant, you finally got that promotion you have been waiting for, or the house you have been saving up for the last three years. We notice when you don’t come back in and you have been a monthly customer. We may not always have your name down to say “Norm”, but we know you by face and we get excited to see you.  

At The Honey Cottage we are a family business and you the customer are apart of our family!!  We hope you will buzz by November 30 and shop with us for Small Business Saturday!!! 

From our hive to yours,

Bee Queen

Joliday Honey Jalapenos

Joliday Honey Jalapenos

I really love being able to cook in the kitchen. I love how my creativity can take over and make something really amazing. I want to make food that is fun and unexpected and came up with Joliday Honey Jalapenos. I wanted to do something that was sweet and spicy and is not common for the holidays. I am excited to share this because they are FREAKING AMAZING!!  This is a great appetizer and each large jalapeno will serve one person. If you use them as a meal, serve one to two of them with a side salad and some potato wedges.  I hope that you love them as much as our family and friends do!!!

Ingredients: 

8- Big jalapenos

1 lbs- Chicken breast

4 ounces- Cream cheese

¾ c- Winter spice whipped honey

¾ cup- Juice sweetened dried cranberries

1 cup- Cheddar cheese

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F, and spray an 8 X 13 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

Slice the chicken into chunks and cook the meat for about 10 minutes until the inside of the chicken is white. Set aside to cool for about 5 minutes.

Using gloves, wash the jalapenos. Slice one side down the center and take the seeds out. Place them into the baking dish.

Next, put the chicken, cream cheese, winter spice honey, and dried cranberries into a food processor. Mix for about 3 minutes. Take out the blade and fold the cheddar cheese into the mixture.

Stuff the jalapenos with the chicken mixture until they are plump, but not over flowing. Bake the jalapenos for 30 minutes.

Take the jalapenos out of the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Put on a serving platter and drizzle the jalapenos with the winter spice honey. Serve and ENJOY!

Tips:

  • Try adding pecans into the mixture for some extra crunch
  • If you cannot find big jalapenos; get approximately 15-18 of the smaller size and bake for about 15 minutes or until the jalapenos are soft
  • Try adding bacon; about 8-9 stripes will add just enough flavor

 

Have a Bee-licious Day from the Bee Queen’s Kitchen!

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

COB2019.jpg

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