Why is honey so special?

saying

At The Honey Cottage we are frequently asked aren’t all honeys the same? Or why is this so expensive?

Honey is like a fine wine; the more rare and special a honey it is the higher the price will be. Many people use honey for its medicinal qualities. They also use it because it is a sweetener that works with the body. Let us be clear that not all honey is the same. The quality of the honey you purchase is dependent on who the beekeeper is and the rarity of the honey.

Tupelo honey is no exception to this rule. There are several types of tupelo trees, but only three locations for the tupelo tree known as Nyssa Ogeche also known as the white tupelo tree. These trees thrive in the wet swampy lands of the Ogeechee, Altamaha, and Suwannee Rivers. These trees only bloom 2-3 weeks out of the year and the bloom depends on weather. If there is not a sufficient winter so that they have a good rest they won’t bloom very well. If there is not enough sunlight they also struggle to have a good honey season.

What makes white tupelo honey even more special is the way the beekeepers have to get honey. There are not a lot of flat lands in the areas where the trees grow and the possibility of flooding is high in these areas. So the beekeepers have to keep their hives on flat barges; they have to use boats to access these hives to extract honey. Beekeepers also have to switch out frames, this is what holds the honey in the beehive, and so what they extract has as much tupelo nectar as possible. Tupelo is also unique because it has a higher amount of fructose then sucrose; this honey resists crystallization!!

When you come into The Honey Cottage remember that you are able to sample any of the bottled honeys. This will give you a better idea of what different honeys will taste like and you will leave happy knowing you have a honey that you will enjoy!

From our beehive to yours,

Bee Queen

Advertisements

Honey Cookies

20170923_133152

Have you noticed; when you make a switch to something your taste buds just won’t let you go back?

I used to love store bought cookies and when other people made cookies. Until, I tried this recipe. Now no matter what I try to eat, it just tastes way too sweet for me. I really love this recipe because you can add little things to make it taste different. I also like that I can freeze them so if I am not in the mood to make them, I have some ready! However, they never last long enough in our house. I really have a bad habit of eating them for breakfast too!

Ingredients

1 cup of honey

1 cup peanut butter

½ cup softened butter

1 egg

¾ cup chocolate chips

1 ¼ cup of white wheat flour

1 tsp. baking powder

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Next, put the honey, peanut butter, butter, and egg in a bowl. Mix together with a hand mixer until it is completely mixed together.  Then, add the chocolate chips, sift the flour and the baking powder into the bowl and mix again until smooth. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.  Using a small, #40 scoop; scoop the dough onto the cookie sheet. Using a fork; spread the dough out a little. Place in the oven on the middle rake and cook for 12-13 minutes for soft or if you like cookies with a little more crunch cook for 14-15 minutes. The sides will be slightly brown when they are done.

Tips

  • Add ¼-½ cup of crushed nuts
  • Make faces with the chocolate chips instead of stirring them in
  • I have not tried it yet, but try using almond butter instead of peanut butter
  • Instead of chocolate chips add ¾ cup crushed walnuts

From our hive to yours,

Bee Queen

 

Honey Drink

honey drink

Do you ever wake up in the morning and find you are not hungry?

Here is one of my top favorite recipes because it is simple, easy, and boosts my immune system! Each ingredient is designed to help your body in some way. I find that it also jump starts my stomach when I don’t wake up hungry. Water is to wake up your body and gets you hydrated. The honey is great for supplying your brain with the glucose it needs to keep you focused and the fructose gets you the energy you need to get going. Apple cider vinegar and lemon are to get your digestion going. Cinnamon and garlic aid in cleansing the body. ALL of these ingredients are energy and immune system boosters! What I love about adding the garlic is that I don’t taste it; I just swallow it and it boosts my immunity.

Ingredients:

20 ounces of water

2 Tbsp. of honey

1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

½ tsp. of cinnamon

½ Fresh squeezed lemon

½ tsp. fresh chopped garlic (optional)

Use warm water and add the honey, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, lemon, and garlic. Shake vigorously until thoroughly mixed. Add ice if you want it chilled and drink up within about 30 minutes.

Tips:

  • Add fresh cucumber
  • Reduce the water to about 10 ounces; add 8-10 ounces of green tea
  • Add 1-2 Tbsp. of chia seeds

From our hive to yours,

Bee Queen

Sweet and Sour Honey Sauce

20170715_185706

Have you ever been told you can no longer have something because you are allergic to it?

This has happened to me! I have had bad issues with MSG and soy for over 15 years now. It has been hard to revamp my diet, but I have found ways to make my diet work for me! Chinese is one of those types of foods that have been super hard to find a substitute, but I DID IT! This is one of my all time favorite recipes; honey style of course. No soy and no MSG and just the way I like it. I have found that a dark wild flower honey offers a better flavor and makes it a little sweeter. I also really like that I can use this with meat or I can do a vegetarian style dish.

Sweet and Sour Honey Sauce

1 cup white vinegar

1 cup of honey

½ cup of ketchup

2 cup water

¼ cup cornstarch

Combine the vinegar, honey, and ketchup in a medium size sauce pan; turn the stove on medium heat. Take the water and cornstarch and mix together thoroughly and add this to the sauce. Stir the sauce for a minute and bring it to a boil. Once it starts to boil, mix for one to two minutes; turn off the heat and put aside to top on your favorite stir fry or put in the fridge and enjoy for up to a week.

Tips:

  • Adjust the cornstarch to the thickness that is desired; we like it a little thicker so we add more cornstarch, if you desire a little thinner add less cornstarch
  • This recipe is amazing for using as a dip for chicken fingers or eggplant dippers
  • The sauce will thicken when it is in the fridge; the sauce reheats better when mixed into the food instead of placed on top
  • Chicken, beef, pork, tofu, and shrimp all work well for the sweet and sour honey sauce

From our hive to yours,

Bee Queen

Crystal’s Miss Bee-Haven News

miss

Have you ever made a plan, laid it all out, did what needed to be done, and it still did not go right?

Sometimes you can do all the planning and things still don’t go as planned. That is what happened with us this year with Crystal’s Miss-bee-haven. We have had a rough start the past two years and were dedicated to making sure this year would be good; third time’s a charm right? Unfortunately, for our bees it was not; we had so much rain this past July our plants got watered out. We are happy that our hives in the south have made enough honey to winter over! It has been a very slow summer for them, but now we know to start planning now for spring. There is A LOT of housing developments going up in the south and NOT enough flowers to help bees survive. It is almost heartbreaking driving by and seeing more land being used for more houses.

Good news is our hives up north are doing very well and will have enough honey for winter and for us! We have been checking on them and have seen winter stores are going successfully!! We have taken some frames of honey and may get a couple more. At The Honey Cottage we highly bee-lieve in making sure the bees have enough honey for the winter to feed themselves and have a good start to the spring. We noticed that there are a LOT more flowers in this area and are hopeful for an even better year next year!!

The Honey Cottage wants to remind you; Nature has her own plan and one must bee ready for her changes. Saving the bees is important to us! We are here to help and we will be starting some classes on beekeeping. We need to get more people involved if the bees are going to have a good strong come back. We have found different beekeepers have had a better year than others and we want to cultivate that! Lastly, we are going to have bee seeds coming out of our ears next year and will also be pushing to make a class for this! Saving the bees means we need flowers; lots of them and everywhere. Until next time…

From our hive to yours,

Bee Queen

 

Honey Butters

20170821_143751

Do you love toast, bagels, English muffins, and muffins? I do too, but I think they are so much better when they are dressed up fancy with honey butter. I have found that honey is super versatile and comes in so many yummy flavors. This allows me to make something super bee-licious every time! Honey butters are no exception. The sweet and salty combination really makes baked goods even more satisfying. I have even used the honey butter on our chicken and ham.

Cinnamon Honey Butter-

8 ounces- butter room temperature

4 Tbsp. – Rabbit brush honey

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Place the butter, at room temperature, into a mixer and whip until it is nice and light. Take a spatula and scrape down the sides, mix again for a couple more minutes. Then, add the honey and the cinnamon and mix until thoroughly blended. Place in an air tight container and put it into the fridge. Use up within 2 weeks.

Honey caramel pecan-

8 ounces- butter room temperature

4 Tbsp. – Honeyville caramel honey sauce

1/3 cup- crushed pecans

A pinch- Sea salt

Place the butter, at room temperature, into a mixer and whip until it is nice and light. Take a spatula and scrape down the sides, mix again for a couple more minutes. Then, add the caramel honey sauce and crushed pecans and mix until thoroughly blended. Place in an air tight container, sprinkle with sea salt, and put it into the fridge. The caramel has milk in it so make sure to refrigerate. Use up within 2 weeks.

Tips-

  • I like to whip the butter all at once and then measure out what I need for each recipe, and then continue mixing
  • Walnuts make a great substitute for the pecans
  • Take the cinnamon out if you want just a plain honey butter
  • Try adding 2 tsp. pumpkin spice and 1/3 cup crushed pumpkin seeds

From our bee hive to yours,

Queen Bee

Raw Honey Food Bars

20170720_141049

These are a big family favorite in our house! These bars are great for when you want a small snack and want something healthy. They are high in fiber, a great source of protein, and energy. They almost taste like a candy bar without all of the added junk. They are also fun to use different honeys with because you get more of the honey flavor when you keep it in raw form. Everyone’s taste buds are different; so if you are not used to the rabbit brush, use one that is to your taste buds.

Ingredients:

2 cups of dry oatmeal

1 cup of shredded coconut

½ cup hemp seeds

¼ cup cocoa nibs

½ cup of walnuts, bite sized pieces

½ cup of chocolate chips

1 cup peanut butter

½ cup rabbit brush honey

½ cup coconut oil (unrefined is best, it has not been processed)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Put oatmeal, shredded coconut, hemp seeds, cocoa nibs, walnuts, and chocolate chips in a bowl. In a small sauce pan; put the peanut butter and coconut oil in and warm it on the lowest setting possible (#1, low, or melt). Once it is warm enough, it will thoroughly mix together. Turn off the heat and add the honey, cinnamon, and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Pour the honey mixture over the dry ingredients and mix together; the chocolate chips will melt a little. Depending on how thick you want the bars; spray an 8″ x8″x2 1/2″ pan or 9×13 pan with your favorite spray and pour the mixture into the pan. Pat it down and cover with wrap. Place in the fridge for about 4 hours, cut them into bars or bite size pieces and ENJOY!

*They will start to melt when they start getting to room temperature; make sure to keep them refrigerated. Keep them in a cooler to prevent them from getting to hot.

Tips:

  • Add a ½ cup of goji berries
  • Use pecans, cashews, or almonds in place of walnuts
  • Add ¼ cup of flax seed
  • Instead of peanut butter use almond butter
  • Lemon, orange, or almond extract can be used in place of the vanilla extract to give it a different flavor

Honey Macaroni Salad

IMG_9861

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 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!!

#1.jpg

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)

2

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

#3.jpg

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

4

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.

#5.jpg

6

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

 

Ambrosia the gift of LOVE!

canstock8656224

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