Honey Bees in Spring!

We at The Honey Cottage are excited for spring. It’s coming; we have seen the signs and heard from our bee whisperer. The bees are in the peacock feed and enjoying the warmth after a cold winter. Just look at the photos and you will see.

First is what we call bottoms up!!

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This is the time to give the girls a nutrient boost, POLLEN, to make sure they have all the energy they need to start the spring ritual, no sugar for my girls, no man made super food either. We prefer nature made super goodness for our girls. (POLLEN AND HONEY)

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Of course the pollen needs to bee powered. We use a mortar and pestle and as you can see we get plenty of help!

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Back at the hive; it’s party time and the girls love their pollen. Yes, we also give them honey when needed…ONLY honey!

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These girls are from a hive that I saved from the eve of a home in the Springs last September and they are doing just fine and no sugar was used.

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Yes spring is coming, the bees are buzzing, the sun is shining, my girls are growing, and my wife is glowing. Here’s to a sweet year!!

From my hive to your hive,

The Beekeeper

 

Honey yogurt and dip

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If I told you some people did not grow up eating honey, would that surprise you? It sure shocked me, but not everyone grows up eating the same things. So it has been lots of fun talking with customers on how to use honey. It has been even more fun showing people how they can add honey to their diet so that they can fight allergies at the same time. I am excited to say that adding honey to the diet is super easy and super yummy. One of my favorite ways to use honey is in my yogurt; I can’t stand the yogurt loaded in sugar, it is way too much and ruins the flavor. With plain yogurt I am able to add different honeys to make a totally new yogurt every time. Then you have the many fruit combinations that can take yogurt to a whole new level. The best part is this is a recipe that adults and kids love!!

Homemade honey yogurt:

6- 8 ounces of plain yogurt

1 Tablespoon of your favorite honey

1/3 cup of your favorite fruit

*If you use frozen fruit, set out a couple of hours before use. Place 8 ounces of plain yogurt in a bowl and add the 1 Tablespoon of honey; mix well and add the ¼ cup of fruit. The fruit can be mixed in or just used as a topping. Enjoy!

Homemade honey yogurt dip:

6 ounces of plain yogurt

1 Tablespoon of honey

¼ – ½ cup of 5 different fruits; banana’s, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc.

Place the 6 ounces of yogurt and the 1 Tablespoon of honey and mix together thoroughly. Place bowl in the center of a plate and place cut and/ or washed fruit around the bowl. Dip the fruit into the yogurt dip and Enjoy!!

Tips: Use the yogurt or dip within 2-3 days for maximum freshness. Sliced bananas and apples should lightly be squirted with lemon or orange juice to keep them from browning; they should be used right away when possible.

From our bee hive to yours,

Queen Bee

 

Lily’s love cupcake’s!!

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One of our favorite holidays is Valentine’s Day, the day to show everyone LOVE! I have always loved being in the kitchen and now love it even more because Lily wants to learn how to cook. One of our favorite mother and daughter recipes is honey cupcakes. This month Lily wanted to put her own spin on it, so here is the recipe for Lily’s love cupcakes!

Ingredients:

½ cup coconut oil (liquefied)

¾ cup of honey

1 cup of applesauce (room temperature works best)

½- ¾ cup of pureed strawberry

1½ cups whole wheat flour

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. cinnamon

Topping:

12 ounces of cream cheese (room temperature)

¼- ½ cup of honey (depending on sweet tooth)

1 Tbsp. of cocoa powder

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix together the coconut oil, honey, applesauce, and the strawberry puree until smooth. Then add the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon; mix until everything is mixed, about 2 minutes. Line cupcake pans with cupcake liners and spray with your favorite cooking spray; we LOVE using FSC certified baking cups because then you don’t have to spray them. Fill the baking cups with batter a little over half way full; makes about 16 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.

While the cupcakes are cooling; take the cream cheese, honey, and cocoa powder and mix with a mixer until nice and smooth and creamy. When the cupcakes are cooled down; either spread or use a piping bag to top the cupcakes. Then decorate the cupcakes with bits of strawberry and/or chocolate chips. Enjoy!

From our bee hive to yours,

Queen Bee and Lily Bee

 

Ambrosia the gift of LOVE!

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February is here and love is in the air. The Honey Cottage believes that one should not give the gift of flowers, but you should…

Give the gift of the flowers, Honey.

Give the gift of the sun, honey.

Give the magical gift of nature, Honey.

All honeys (not ambrosia) are a gift of three from nature; the mighty warmth of the sun, the beauty of the flowers, and the passion of the bees. Take just one out of the mix and we have nothing left. No love, no passion, no life. So give the gift of love, passion, and life. Give the gift of HONEY to your special flower and let’s let the bees have the flowers.

What about ambrosia? What is ambrosia? What if your love (like mine) is more than a flower, but is in fact a goddess that brings you warmth, love, and yes life to your world. Only the food of the gods will do. Only the magical gift that rains down from the stars at night to settle on the foliage as dew drops. No not morning dew, but as the ancient Greeks described it honey dew; for its sweetness. The Greeks followed the bees as they collected the magical gift of the heavens, the honey dew, and in their hive turned this gift into ambrosia the food of the gods (honey dew honey). Ambrosia is the elixir of choice used on the arrows of cupid; the god of love. When one was struck by a single arrow launched from cupids bow, true love would bee found. Ambrosia is the only gift suitable for the goddess in your life.

It’s remarkable with all of the powers of the gods; the little bee is the key to the elixir of love, the creator of passion, the very meaning of life.

Could the bee…bee a god? The Mayans believed so, what about you?

At The Honey Cottage we have a passion for honeys, for bees, for love. We have true ambrosia; Honey dew honey.

Stop by and try a taste, and get the gift of love for your love.

From my hive to your hive,

The Beekeeper

Lessons from the Queen Bee!

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Holy Cow! It is another year and time seems to bee flying by faster and quicker! Do you believe in New Year’s Resolutions or just day by day goals? As Queen Bee I am learning that sometimes it is hard to keep a New Year’s Resolution because for me it was always unmanageable. Do you experience the same problem? How do you handle it? I am learning to set goals instead because things change and situations crop up. This makes me feel much more accomplished because I can set different size goals and manage the time limit better. I often find myself thinking about how a true queen bee must feel; she has an entire hive that she has to take care of and is responsible for how it runs. The queen bee is able to delegate job duties and does not think about outside influences. I finally started taking the example of the queen bee and applied it to my life. Instead of trying to do a million things because I felt like I had to be super woman; I sit down and set goals and do not let other things influence my goals. What I have also been learning, over time, is that some things can wait until the next day; so I have learned to prioritize what is absolute for the day. Like the queen bee I am learning to focus on my hive.

We have been finding at The Honey Cottage that goal setting also works much better. Mother Nature does not work on our time table or the exact way we want her to. The weather, bees, and flowers have to all work together to produce an amazing honey. No flowers. No Honey. No rain. No honey. It is all interrelated and we have to work with what we are blessed with year to year. So we have learned that one of our best goals to set is to educate our customers on as much as we can about bees, flowers, and educating others. We love Facebook, BUT it is not as educational as it should be. We have been finding that the information that is passed around is all about getting attention and not based on facts. We believe at The Honey Cottage that working with beekeepers is the best way to get good honey as well as knowing that the bees are well taken care of properly. So another goal for us means that beekeepers have the same goals we have; saving the bees and taking proper care of them. Lastly, it is important that we all work together because taking care of them is a community effort. This is why one of our big goals is to bring in things that help the community help the bees. We are working on bringing in bee friendly seeds and doing more education on staying away from pesticides. Stay up with us and find out what we are doing.

From our bee hive to yours,

Queen Bee

 

Honey BBQ Sauce

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At The Honey Cottage we are as obsessed with honey as much as we are with food! One of my favorite recipes is bbq sauce; it can be used in the summer time on the grill or in the winter time in a crock pot. I love the sweet and tangy flavor that bbq sauce adds to meat to make it pop!

Honey BBQ Sauce

Put all of the following ingredients in a sauce pan:

1 packet of French onion soup mix

1 ½ cups of water

½ cup of vinegar

¼ of honey

½ cup of butter

2 Tablespoons of mustard

2 teaspoons of salt

1 teaspoon of pepper

Cook on medium heat, bring to a light boil, and let cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat, add 1 cup of ketchup, and stir until thoroughly mixed. This makes a quart of bbq sauce that is ready to use.

Some of our favorite ways to use this recipe; BBQ chicken legs, BBQ shredded pork sandwiches, and BBQ Brisket! This is a versatile sauce that can be used in the crockpot or the sauce can be put on the meat as it is cooking on the grill.

From our bee hive to yours,

Queen Bee

Caramel and Chocolate Honey popcorn

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At The Honey Cottage we are all about experimenting with honey to make things taste bee-licious! I FINALLY figured out how to make one of my favorite foods; caramel and chocolate popcorn. I don’t know why I did not think of it sooner, but I used one of our favorite products from the shop. Honeyville makes whipped honey and adds the most amazing flavors to make your food pop! I have been very frustrated for a while looking at the different products in the grocery store and finding nothing but junk. I am so happy to say the simplicity of the ingredients in Honeyville is what makes me so happy to share this product. I make my popcorn from scratch on the stove; it is not hard and it turns out yummy every time.

Caramel and chocolate popcorn

For the popcorn;

2 Tablespoons of coconut oil

¾ cup popcorn kernals

Salt to taste

Place a 6 quart sauce pan on the stove and turn on the heat to high; have a lid ready on the side. Place the 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil in the pan and let melt, place the ¾ cup of popcorn kernels in the oil, and put the lid on. Give a good shake to make sure all the kernels are coated with oil. Wait until you see the first kernels of popcorn pop, and then shake the pan. Continue shaking the pan (to prevent burning), turn off the heat when the popping speed of the popcorn slows down and let sit for 30 seconds. Take off the lid and place in a bowl; salt to taste.

Warm up the Honeyville whipped caramel sauce and the chocolate buzz honey fudge sauce in a pan of water. Do not let it come to a boil!! Just warm enough to get it to drizzle on the popcorn. I used about 1 ½ Tablespoons of both, but you can add more or less depending on your taste buds. Bee prepared it gets sticky, but the flavor is amazing and is so worth it!!

From our bee hive to yours,

Queen Bee

New Bee-ginnings

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At The Honey Cottage we would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year’s Eve!!! We want to say thank you to everyone for your amazing support! We are working hard to bring more honey into the shop and more unique honey products. We hope to have some amazing surprises in 2017! To make 2017 even more successful; WE NEED YOUR HELP!!! PLEASE share us with everyone on social media; facebook, twitter, and LinkedIn. We want everyone to know that we are here!! We have been told we are the best kept secret in town and we need your help to spread the word that we are here buzzing around! We also need you to please share the things you do with honey or other beehive products on facebook/ twitter or send us e-mails and let us know it is okay to share it! We want to help other customers use honey, beeswax, and other bee hive products to their full potential. With your help we can make a better community of honey users! We are working hard to change the way people think about honey and beekeeping. It is important to us and the bees to really start making a change in how people think. The bees need your help and this year we all need to make a bigger impact on how the bees are taken care of! Mother Nature is giving us a big message and if we listen we can make a better change for the bees! HELP make 2017 a really great year for the bees!!!

From our bee hive to yours,

Queen Bee

Honey Hot Chocolate!!

 

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Baby it is COLD outside and what better way to celebrate the cold then with a cup of hot chocolate. Here at The Honey Cottage we are not big fans of sugary hot chocolate! So here is my favorite recipe for honey hot chocolate!

-Four ounces of baker’s chocolate unsweetened

-about a 1/4 cup of honey

-5-6 cups of milk.

Take the baker’s chocolate and heat on low until it is melted; then add honey and mix until smooth. Slowly stir in a cup of milk at a time; this will keep the chocolate mixture from becoming chunky. I don’t let the mixture get to hot, just warm to keep the honey from cooking too much. I like 5 cups to this ratio, but you can add a cup more or less; depends on how chocolatey you want the hot chocolate to be. The best part is adding honey marshmallows or homemade honey whip cream on top. We like to pop some popcorn and watch movies. ENJOY AND STAY WARM!!!

From our bee hive to yours,

Queen Bee

Honey Smoothies

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At The Honey Cottage we are firm believers in using honey instead of sugar; that includes our smoothies! We find it very hard to stay healthy during the holidays; from the parties to the family dinners, we want to eat it all. We have learned to bulk up on our fruits and vegies in the morning through smoothies! We used to use a blender to make fruit smoothies and a juicer to make vegetable drinks. However, we have fallen totally in LOVE with the Ninja! It pulverizes the fruits and vegetables without leaving large chunks and leaves all of the pulp that a juicer would take out. Here are a couple of our favorite juices that we like to make:

Queen Bee favorite:

1 banana

1 cup of cherries

1 cup of rice milk

2 Tbsp. of honey

1 scoop of wheat grass powder

Lily Bee request:

1 cup of blueberries

1/2 banana

1 scoop of wheat grass powder

2 Tbsp. of honey

1 cup of milk

Frank’s guilty pleasure:

2 carrots

2 stalks of celery

1 apple

1 Tbsp. of honey

From our bee hive to yours,

Queen Bee