Honey Berry Cake

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At The Honey Cottage we love things that are unique; honey is no exception. Bees have a way of making every honey different. No year or season is the same as the last and bees have a way of making every honey more delicate then the last. It seems if you hand them a flower they make their own unique art from it. The bees “season” the honey differently as they find new nectar to nibble on. As a cook this works the same way for me; no two recipes turn out exactly the same. Either I use a different honey or I tweak something so the recipe is more amazing then the last. Honey Berry Cake is one of my favorite recipes to play with because you can add a different honey or berry and change it every time.

Ingredients:

1 cup of butter, room temperature is best

1 ½ cups of honey

1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 ½ Tbsp. cinnamon

4 eggs, room temperature

1 cup of milk

½ tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. baking powder

3 cups of sifted cake flour

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 cup fresh diced strawberries

Directions:

Let the oven preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit while preparing the cake. Spray a 9X13 inch pan and set aside. Using a mixer; blend the butter, honey, vanilla extract, and cinnamon together at medium speed until nice and fluffy. Add 2 eggs and thoroughly mix, scrape down the side of the mixer, add the other 2 eggs, and scrape the side again. Add the milk, salt, and baking powder and thoroughly mix; make sure to scrape down the sides. Add a cup of flour at a time until the batter is completely combined. Fold in the strawberries and blueberries gently and pour the batter into the sprayed pan. Take the pan and lightly bang the pan on the counter to work out any air bubbles in the batter. This takes a couple of minutes. Put into the oven for approximately 35-40 minutes; insert a tooth pick into the center make sure it is done, it will come out clean. Let set for about 30 minutes or until completely cool. This cake is great with or without topping! ENJOY!

Tips:

-You can use frozen berries for this cake; let them set out over night and leave the juice in if you want to add a natural color to the cake.

-Honey Whip Cream is one of our favorite toppings for summer; add fruit on top for a little more color

-Honey Cream Cheese is a adds a nice flavor to the cake; you can add fresh fruit puree to make it a little lighter too

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Orange Blossom Honey Granola

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One of my all time favorite things to do in the kitchen is make honey granola. I love being able to play with the recipe and make something new every time. I just recently began experimenting with using cocoa powder and chocolate chips. I was super surprised on how well it came out and had to share. This has now become my favorite recipe because it gives me just enough of a chocolate fix! What I love about this granola is that I can use it any time of day and it goes great in yogurt. It is nice to have something that will give you energy that you can carry with you and not worry about spoilage! At The Honey Cottage we are very excited to work with amazing beekeepers and have their honeys in the shop. This specific recipe is really good with a lighter honey; alpine wildflower, cactus blossom, orange blossom, or alfalfa clover are the best! It gives it enough sweetness without over powering the other flavors.  Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

Ingredients:

2 cups quick rolled oats

1/3 cup whole flax seed; grind this fresh with a coffee grinder

½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

½ cup of raisins

¾ cup walnuts; mashed into bite size pieces

½ cup chocolate chips, ¾ cup if they are mini chocolate chips

½ cup of peanut butter

5 Tablespoons unrefined coconut oil

½ cup orange blossom honey

½ teaspoon orange extract

Directions:

Heat the stove to 300 degrees F. Place the oats, flax seed, coconut, raisins, walnuts, and chocolate chips in a bowl. Place the peanut butter and coconut oil in a small sauce pan and put on the stove to warm it up; set the stove at warm. Once this is warm and thoroughly mixed, turn off the stove, and pour in the honey and the orange extract. Thoroughly mix again and pour over the dry ingredients. Use a spoon and mix it together until everything is combined. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour the granola on top. Press the granola down to make a nice even layer; if using an 11X17 pan bake for 25 min., for 9X13 bake for 35 minutes. Once it is done, let cool for an hour before putting in a container.

Tips:

The granola will be a little softer in a 9X13; if you want it crispier, stick with the 11X17 pan.

You can use these ingredients instead to mix it up:

  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Almond Butter
  • Cashew butter
  • Raw cashews
  • Raw peanuts
  • Use Alpine wildflower, cactus, or alfalfa clover honey

I find that the granola keeps better in glass or plastic containers. Zip locks can be used if you use the granola up quickly.

Honey Chia Yogurt

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One of my favorite foods in the world is yogurt! You can do so much with it and you can have it ANY TIME OF THE DAY!!! I dislike buying it pre-done in the store; in my opinion it is loaded with unnecessary sugar and tastes way to sweet. Plus, I want my little ones to learn the value of good old fashioned whole milk yogurt. Yogurt also makes a great dip, frozen popsicle, and is great in smoothies. One of my favorite add ins is chia seeds; they are an amazing superfood and can be a huge benefit to the diet! They are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, vitamins, fiber, and minerals. At The Honey Cottage we add raw honey to our yogurt for a slight sweetness. Here is my favorite recipe for honey chia yogurt; we hope you enjoy!

Honey Chia yogurt

1 cup- Whole milk yogurt

1 Tbsp.-Chia seeds

1 Tbsp. – Raw honey

½ cup- Fruit

¼ cup- Pecans

Directions:

Take the cup of yogurt and put it in a sealable container or in a bowl that can be sealed with plastic wrap. Sprinkle the chia seeds on top of yogurt and mix in; cover and let set for about 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Pull the yogurt out of the refrigerator and place the fruit on top and stir it in the yogurt. Sprinkle the pecans on top and drizzle the honey on top of the pecans. ENJOY!

Tips and Tricks:

You can use frozen fruit; let it thaw before adding to the yogurt. Or put the frozen fruit in the yogurt if you let it set over night. Instead of pecans; use walnuts or almonds. Granola also makes an amazing topper for this yogurt recipe. This is a great way to use local honey so you get those 2 Tbsp. a day!

Honey Comb salad

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Why pay for something when you can make it bee-autifully at home? I LOVE having elegant salads, but I hate paying big bucks for something that I can make at home and way cheaper. This recipe is one of my favorite ways of using honey comb! Honey comb is cut off the frames of honey straight from the hive. Honey comb is the beeswax, honey, and small amounts of pollen. We have many customers that don’t know what to do with it; so I thought I would share one of the many ways you can use honey comb at The Honey Cottage! Enjoy Honey Comb salad this summer!

Ingredients

1 cup of lettuce

¼ cup of purple cabbage

2 Tbsp. shredded carrot

¼ cup of shredded mild cheddar cheese

1-2 radishes sliced up

½ a tomato

½ cup of blueberries

2 Tbsp. of cashews

5- 1 by 1 inch pieces of honey comb

Dressing

½ Tbsp of balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp of raw honey

Directions

Take a cup of lettuce and place it into a bowl or on a plate. Then shred the cabbage, carrots, and cheddar cheese and sprinkle half of each on the lettuce, toss it together. Then add the rest of the cabbage, carrot, and cheese. Slice up the radishes and slice the half of tomato into quarter slices. Decorate the top of the salad with the radishes and tomatoes; top with blueberries and cashews. Lastly, take a clean knife and cut a strip of honey comb, cut them into 1 inch squares, use a fork to carefully pull them out of container, and top onto the salad.

Tips: This salad is amazing topped with chicken, shrimp, or steak pieces! I also love adding strawberries or raspberries. Great with pecans and walnuts too!

This makes a single serving.

The Honey Cottage- Beekeeping Adventures May 2017

Beekeeping adventures

Have you ever had an experience that was a little scary, exhilarating, and left you absolutely speechless?

At The Honey Cottage we are all about education; whether it is on honey or beekeeping we love talking about bees. On Monday we had a swarm call where the bees were living behind a wall with the goats. So Frank went and gathered up the bees and put them in a beehive away from the goats. With thousands of bees in one area it is sometimes hard to catch the queen bee. She is the most important to catch because she has the pheromones to tell the other bees to follow her. We weren’t sure if she was caught so we had to wait it out the last couple of days. Yesterday we got a phone call that there was a ball of bees were in the same location as Monday, which meant we had not caught the queen bee. We got lucky though; we had a second chance to get the queen! I absolutely LOVE bee-ing with the bees and capturing their life on camera. I am still learning a lot about the bees and how they work. I am a novice beekeeper at best. I broke two key rules that almost put me in harm’s way. Last year I did not were a bee suit due to pregnancy; so I focused all my attention on perfecting my photography skills. Now, I have been up close to the bees and the beehive without having problems. Yet, when you are moving the bees to a new location they are now in protection mode.

Rule number one you should allows where a bee suit on a swarm call. It is just for safety measures and protects you from the bee stings. Rule number two listen to the beekeeper, no matter if it means losing a good photographic moment. I broke both of these rules; we had my bee suit handmade and the hood is not connected to the suit yet and I got cocky and thought I was at a good enough distance to take shots. Frank had a box of bees that he was walking over to the hive and told me to get back. Now, you have to remember this was the second attempt to get the queen; so the bees were more agitated then on Monday. I thought I was far enough to where they would not be affected by my presence. NOPE! At least I remembered rules three and four; walk away when you get the warning signal and be calm no matter what. I have learned that when you are too close to a hive a guard bee will come and basically bump into you. This is a clear warning signal to walk away or you will be stung. If you are too close to the hive and get stung more bees will smell the pheromones and will follow suit to protect the hive. Once the bee did that I realized I really over stayed my welcome. This is where rule number four is so important; I started walking away and more bees were following me. Here is where my excitement and worry started to mix; I knew if I got stung by one it would cause the others to do the same. So I had to relax as much as I could and keep walking. The bees started walking on my face and my hands!! That is where the exhilaration came in because I always wondered what it felt like. It is really hard to stay focused on walking away when that happens. I did get far enough away to have them leave and I jumped back in the car after above five minutes. Sometimes bees will linger around, so jumping back in the car with them following was not an option. In short I learned several lessons and will start taking my own advice; LISTEN TO THE BEEKEEPER AND FOLLOW THE RULES!

From our hive to yours,

Bee Queen

 

Orange Blossom and Honey Scrubs

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Mother’s Day is almost here!! It is time to put something together that will bee amazing! Our suggestion is make a gift basket with honey, honey lotions, tea, chocolate, and something handmade.  At The Honey Cottage, we bee-lieve that all Mother’s deserve a day to feel like the Queen Bee! So pamper your mom by making these yummy honey scrubs to show her how much you love her!

Salt Scrub-

1 ½ cup of salt

½ a cup of olive oil or sunflower oil

13 drops of lavender essential oil

2 Tbsp. of orange blossom honey

Sugar Scrub-

1 ½ cup of sugar

½ a cup of olive oil or sunflower oil

13 drops of lavender essential oil

2 Tbsp. of orange blossom honey

Directions:

Take the ½ cup of oil and warm it up; do not let it get hot just warm enough for the honey to mix in. Next, take the honey and essential oil and mix them with the oil until combined. Lastly, add the salt or sugar into the oil mixture and mix until thoroughly mixed. Put the scrubs in a well sealed container or in a zip lock bag; the oil can leak out if not properly sealed.

Tips:There are so many ways to make these scrubs unique; you can use a different honey, essential oil, or oil. You can put flowers into the mix or use natural coloring to make it look pretty. I personally like using the honey sugar scrub on my face and honey salt scrub on my feet, but they can be used either way. These make amazing gifts!!

*Please bee careful to not get water in the scrubs because it is natural and will grow mold. E-mail Crystal@thehoneycottage.com if there are any questions.

Apricot Ambrosia Honey Ham

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Don’t you just love a product that can be used in many different ways? So do we! At The Honey Cottage we are absolutely in LOVE with Honeyville! They make whipped honeys and honey syrups that are so versatile you will want one of each in your cupboard and fridge. You can use the whipped honeys in teas and coffee, on breakfast pastries, and on different meats. The honey syrup is not just syrup it can also be used as a sauce for meats, desserts, or on breakfast favorites. Our favorite basic recipe is apricot ambrosia honey ham; perfect for everyday or holidays!

Apricot ambrosia honey ham;

1- Any size ham

1-cup of water

1- Can pineapple rings in 100% pineapple juice

Orange juice or Pineapple juice (optional)

Tooth picks

1-2 cups Honeyville Apricot ambrosia honey syrup, depending on the size of ham

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Take the ham out of the package and give it a good rinse. Place the ham in a deep baking dish, put several pineapple rings around the ham and place a tooth pick through it to hold it in place, drizzle some pineapple juice on top of it, then add the cup of water, and wrap with foil. The ham will cook about 15 minutes per pound; fully cook the ham to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice up the ham and top with the apricot ambrosia honey so it has a few minutes to soak in and serve.

Tips: The last 30 minutes of cooking take the Apricot ambrosia honey syrup and cover the ham. Place the foil back on and cook it for the last 30 minutes or until the ham has an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. You can lightly warm up the honey syrup to drizzle on the ham. Lastly, cloves and cherries can be added to the ham. It is all up to what you prefer. ENJOY!!!

HELP SAVE THE BEES!!

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At The Honey Cottage we are dedicated in educating and helping teach people about the importance of bees. Beekeeping should not be just about honey or money, but we are seeing a drastic increase in demand for raw honey. There are a lot of pressing issues that need to be looked at if we are going to save the bees. It takes EVERYONE. You don’t have to be a beekeeper to help either. We actually recommend against it; there is only so much forage per area. Too many beekeepers in one area is taxing on the ecosystem and is stressful for the native bees. Each hive needs approximately one and half acres of constantly blooming plants to be successful. There is a misconception that bees only need the flowers in spring and early summer. This is not true; bees need late summer plants and plants that bloom in fall to be successful during the winter. This is why we are making a BIG push for everyone to HELP beekeepers. PLANT more plants than ever and plant a variety of plants, don’t use pesticides, support your local beekeepers, support your local garden clubs and nursery’s, and set out water sources.

-The more plants we plant as a community means there are more food sources for bees and other pollinators. They also need a large variety of plants so that they have a varied diet and will be much healthier. Plus, flowers will bloom not just in the spring, but summer and fall! They need to eat all the time just like humans do! They need to be able to put enough honey away for the long winters.

– Please don’t use pesticides on the plants!!! Bees pollinate our flowers and our food. If the poison is on the plants it is also going to be in the plant and now will go you’re into your system. Bees also make honey from the nectar that is in the flower. If they are getting the poison in their diet, it is also going in YOUR system. Push for co-planting instead; like planting peppermint, this will deter bugs from eating the plants.

-If you have an interest in beekeeping; start by learning and supporting a local beekeeper and garden clubs. This will help them and you at the same time. Education’s the key; to be a good beekeeper you need to know the bees, the flowers, and the habit in your area.

– Store bought plants can have GMO pesticides and growth retardants on them when they arrive at the store. This is to keep the flowers looking nice by the time they make it to the store; however, the pesticides harm bees. Working with the local garden club can help the club and makes sure the plants are well taken care of and don’t have the pesticides on them. You also support the local economy by working with local beekeeper’s and garden clubs!

– Water sources are very important for bees! We recommend a water basin or bird bath with gravel or 1 inch river stones. The bees are terrible swimmers and the stones will give them plenty of places to land to take a drink of water.

From our hive to yours,

Queen Bee

 

 

Honey Macaroni Salad

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Have you come to The Honey Cottage and looked at a product and thought “what in the world do I do with this”? This is my favorite question that customers ask because I end up making the most amazing suggestions that make their mouth water! I am so in love with food it is not even funny. If you have ever seen the movie Ratatouille; I am compared to the mouse. I love combining different ingredients to make new flavors that excite the mouth! One of my favorite recipes is macaroni salad because you can add anything and change the flavor every time. One of my favorite products that we get questions about is O’Hara’s Honey Mustard out of Durango Colorado! It is a wonderful local product that is super versatile and works well in this recipe.

Honey Macaroni:

2 cups of uncooked Macaroni

½ cup diced green pepper

¼ cup of diced red pepper

2 stalks of celery

1 tsp of celery salt

2 Tbsp O’Hara’s Honey mustard; I like using the honey dill

2 Tbsp of relish

¼ cup of mayonnaise

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

Cook the 2 cups of macaroni to the consistency that you like. Rinse well and put aside to cool. Dice up the green pepper, red pepper, and celery. Next, in a separate bowl, place celery salt, O’Hara’s Honey mustard, relish, and mayonnaise and mix together. Put the dressing and vegetables on top of the macaroni and mix together until thoroughly blended. Last, put it in the fridge for about an hour or overnight and then salt and pepper to taste and make any adjustments necessary. Serve with hot dogs, burgers, or sandwiches! This makes 6-8 servings depending on portion size. ENJOY!

TIP:

You can use orange or yellow peppers instead of red; I really love the color the red one adds. You can also add diced hard boiled eggs to this dish too. The relish in this recipe makes a big difference; I prefer my macaroni to be sweet. I made a mistake and used dill relish. I was able to correct this mistake by using 2 tsp. of honey mixed right in. Thankfully it worked and made it sweet! BUT if you are not a fan of your macaroni salad being sweet the dill relish is a great compliment to the recipe! It is all up to your taste buds!

From our bee hive to yours,

Queen Bee

 

Honey Crepes

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Do you have a fond memory of a particular meal? Mine was when I was in school and we had to make a recipe from a country that we were studying. Then we got to try everyone else’s food from their country; the people who had France did crepes! Oh…my…goodness they were amazing and not something you easily forget. My struggle came in when I found out I could not have soy. One of my favorite ways to top crepes is with a hazelnut spread. Finally, I recently found a spread that has sunflower oil instead; so now the house is filled with crepes!!

Here is how honey crepes are made;

½ cup of milk

½ cup of water

2 eggs

¼ teaspoon of salt

2 Tbsp. of melted butter

1 tsp. Vanilla

¼ cup Honey

1 cup of flour

Mix together the milk, water, eggs, salt, butter, and the vanilla. Next, sift in the flour; doing it a small amount at a time will prevent lumps from happening. Finally, mix in the honey, I have found it mixes in better and does not crystallize from the cold ingredients. Using a small circle frying pan; spray the pan with your favorite cooking spray and turn on the heat to about a medium heat. Using a measuring cup; pour a little less than a ¼ cup of the batter into the pan. Move the batter around the pan until it evenly covers the surface; place back on the burner. Once the outer two inches look dry, flip it over by placing a spatula under the edges to loosen the crepe and then slide the spatula directly under. This recipe makes about 12 crepes.

HINT: The batter can also be made using a blender; place all liquid ingredients in the blender first, then add the sifted flour in and blend it up.

Topping the crepes: Oh man there is so many ways you can top these crepes, here are some of our favorites;

-Eggs and cheese; can even add your favorite breakfast meat for a hearty breakfast

-Fresh fruit, honey, and whip cream

-Any of the Honeyville whipped honeys work well with this recipe

-Hazelnut spread with whip cream

– They are even really good to just eat by themselves or drizzle honey on

From our bee hive to yours,

Queen Bee