Buzzed with gratitude for 2020!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Are you ready for 2021?

Oh my heavens what a year! We don’t know about you, but 2020 left us feeling bee-yond thankful and grateful for our AMAZING customers. Yes, this year has been hard, but it has also left us humble for our community and customers that shop with us! You took the time to really make an impact on our lives.

So, we wanted to take a moment and just say Thank you. Thank you for shopping with us, thank you for sending honey to your family and friends, and thank you for keeping us going. Our community has been absolutely fantastic in doing everything they can to shop local. Customers who live far away have been shopping local and even on-line. Thank you for calling ahead to place orders. Thank you for the customers that are sharing us with their families! We had a family come up from Texas and came in because their sister needed honey as well!

Thank you for helping your neighbors; we have had a great number of customers shop for their neighbors too! Thank you for fighting for your community. Thank you for the soldiers who are not only fighting for our country, but who also placed orders. Thank you to the military families that are sending honey over sees so they have a piece of home!

Thank you to Kangaroo Coffee for buying gift cards for their customers. Thank you to the customers that bought honey sticks to give as gifts to the hospital workers! Thank you for those who have come in and bought honey to give as gifts to their friends, families, and loved ones. Thank you to the new customers that are now finding the sweet spot in Colorado Springs!!! Thank you to the customers that come and visit us for your honey needs!

As we celebrate the New Year, we are reflecting on what an impact all of you have made not only to us, but in our community. We are seeing more togetherness even while we are apart. We are seeing people connect more even if it is over video chat. We are seeing more people caring, loving, and making an impact.

We are bee-yond grateful, thankful, and truly buzzed by all of you! Thank you for making 2020 a little easier to buzz through! We hope 2021 is fantastic!!!

From our hive to yours,

Bee Queen

Confessions of a Beekeeper 2020

Do you get super excited about what you do?

I feel as beekeepers we should be doing more than collecting honey because we get money from it. Beekeeping should be about the excitement of keeping bees, educating people, and getting excited about what other beekeepers are doing!

At The Honey I have seen people get really antsy about the bees! The pure excitement that I feel when I watch a bee, go from one flower to the next, is indescribable. This summer, I got even more excited when I saw that we got sunflower seeds from our sunflowers. To watch the bee go to each flower on the sunflower and then get seeds three weeks later blew my mind! That is how beekeeping works for me too! They go from flower to flower drinking the sweet nectar, put the nectar into the cells of the beeswax, and then BAM! a couple of weeks later there is honey! It is way more exciting then television! You get to see the whole cycle of our food system as you watch them.

For the longest time I have been stumped on on why beekeepers would feed their bees; high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, sugar water, or powdered sugar. To bee bluntly honest…I still am! I understand that it is another food source, for bees, if there are no plants around. I understand that the consistency of sugar water is the same as flower nectar. BUT here is my problem; as humans WE KNOW we don’t get nutrition from sugar. No vitamins. No minerals. No trace minerals. No energy. No health benefits. Right?!?! So why do so many beekeepers insist on feeding it to the bees? If our immune system takes a hit and makes us more susceptible to catching a cold, flu, or any other illness; why do the same thing to bees? Bees get the same nutrition we get when we eat a salad because they are the ones pollinating the flowers so we get the food. So why are we not pushing for more people to plant flowers and gardens?

OMG watching another beekeeper do honey harvesting is way cooler then watching a movie star go to the store with no make up! To say that I was overwhelmingly excited is an understatement! The smell of honey baths your senses like no other experience. Seeing their process, their machines, and talking about their methods is BEE-YOND anything else in the world! I feel this is how we should be reacting to beekeeping and to other beekeepers. I think we should be excited to try their honey, talk about beekeeping, and sharing ideas. We should be excited about why they bee-lieve in the methods they use. Beekeepers should be passionate about taking care of the bees; it will show in your honey 😉

From our hive to yours,

Bee Queen

The Honey Cottage for Kids – Honey Breakfast Parfaits from Lily Bee’s Kitchen

73F828BD-8586-48F0-BA98-F865BB84161F

I really love that I can put fruit in my yogurt and I get to choose which one I want. My favorite fruits are blueberries, strawberries, and bananas.  Yogurt is great with honey too! I use granola to make it crunchy. I hope you like this recipe as much as I like honey!

Ingredients:

¾-cup – Whole milk plain yogurt

2 Tbsp. – Honey

4 Tbsp. – Honey granola

¼-cup – Blueberries

1 tsp. – Honey

1 tsp. – Honey granola

5 – Blueberries

Directions:

Mix yogurt and 2 Tbsp. honey together thoroughly. In a glass dish add ¼ cup yogurt-honey mixture then sprinkle with 4 Tbsp. granola evenly. Add another ¼ cup yogurt-honey mixture and top with ¼-cup blueberries in an even layer. Add final ¼ cup yogurt-honey mixture. Decorate with five blueberries, sprinkle with 1 tsp. granola, and drizzle 1 tsp. honey on top. Enjoy the parfait!

Thanks for buzzing by Lily Bee’s Kitchen!!

The Honey Cottage Shares Pollination

IMG_3095

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 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

Green Pepper Honey Soup

Green pepper soup.jpg

                                    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 

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

Honey Balsamic Skewers

Honey skewers

How easy is it to add honey to your recipes?

At The Honey Cottage we really try to find ways for people to use honey in their daily life. I really love this recipe because it is super easy and quick to make and can be pre-made to make lunch easier to pack. I have noticed that everyone has a moment where they want things that are easy or light to eat. I really love being able to make these and having them ready for whenever. These skewers can be used as an appetizer, as a snack, or even put with a salad and made into a meal. The other benefit of this recipe is that the honey is used in raw form. This recipe is great with tofu, chicken, or steak too! I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!

Ingredients:

4 Tbsp-Balsamic vinegar

4 Tbsp- Raw Honey

1 cup- ½ inch thick ham cubes

5- Red grape tomatoes

5- Orange cherry tomatoes

5-10- Basil leaves

5-Mozzarella cubes

5-Pitted green olives (optional)

5- Small skewers

Directions:

Mix the balsamic vinegar and the honey in a bowl or container. Cut the ham into 1-inch cubes and place into the balsamic vinegar honey sauce, mix the pieces around to get a nice coat of sauce on each piece, and place into the fridge overnight.

When you are ready to put together;

Wash the tomatoes and basil and place on a plate. Cut up the mozzarella into 1-inch cubes and place next to the tomatoes. Pull the marinated ham out of the fridge.

Take a skewer and push the end through a red tomato, then fold the basil leaf in half and push the skewer through the center of the basil leaf, push the end through a piece of ham, fold another piece of basil and push the skewer through the center of the basil leaf, then place an orange tomato next to the basil, and lastly add a piece of mozzarella to the end.

Continue this pattern with the next four skewers.

Add a green olive to either end of the skewer to add more color and flavor. Serve and ENJOY!

Tips:

-Add sliced up pieces of green or yellow pepper

-Drizzle the tops of the skewers with extra honey

-Try adding a slice of cucumber (this can be marinated in the balsamic honey sauce over night too!)