National Honey Month 2018

SB18.jpg

There is nothing more amazing then learning something new every day. That is why we LOVE what we do at The Honey Cottage! Our customers learn something new about bees, or honey, or beekeeping every time they come in to see us. We find bees extremely fascinating and they teach us something every time we open up the hive. Every year to celebrate National Honey Month we get to talk even more about our favorite friends and what they make. So here are 9 facts about honey, bees, and beekeeping. Follow us on facebook, twitter, and LinkedIn to learn more about The Honey Cottage everyday!

1- Most of our clothes come from the cotton plant. Without bees pollinating the cotton plant we would not have cotton honey or clothes.

2- There are plants that can be planted in drought stricken areas that would help give the bees forage. Lavender, thyme, and sage are a few that survive wonderfully without lots of moisture.

3- There are some plants that will not bloom in their first year of being planted. Strawberries and clover are two examples of plants that take a year to put down full roots.

4- Plants and trees need rest just like we do; that is why a cold dormant winter is very important for them. They need a full rest to produce good healthy blooms for bees.

5- The nectar that the flowers produce has the natural sugars that bees make into honey. There is no sugar added to the process; these are natural sugars usable by the human body and bees.

6- If you are handed a candy bar; will you get up to get to the kitchen for some chicken and broccoli? That is the same thinking for bees; if you give them sugar water they will not go out for flowers. Honey is loaded with vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, and natural usable sugar. Why give bees something that has no nutritional value and weakens, just like humans, their immune system? Think about this; if you won’t eat it don’t give it to the bees.

7- Gardening takes time, energy, and effort. The rewards of seeing your flowers and plants bloom and make food is a big reward. Bees are needed for the flowers to bloom and make the fruits, vegetables, and herbs that we eat to sustain life.

8- Neonicotinoids sprayed on plants are known to attach to the bee paralyzing them and then attacks their central nervous system thus killing them. STOP USING PESTICIDES AND SAVE THE BEES!!

9- Bees will only cap honey when the water content has reached 15%-20%; each honey varies on amount.

Share with everyone you know and spread the word about how special bees are!! Help save the bees with us!!

From our hive to yours,

Bee Queen

Advertisements

Upcycled Garden

APF3-2

At The Honey Cottage we wanted to show that even the smallest garden helps the bees! We have many people that live in apartments or small housing. We wanted to show that even in the smallest house you can have a mini garden. We firmly bee-lieve everyone can help the bees. Every flower planted helps the bees. We are also excited to show how upcycling what you have around the house also helps the Earth! Many people are starting to find that instead of things sitting at the dump; things can be refurbished and repurposed for something even more amazing! We know gardening is not for everyone, but at least wanted to show the possibilities for those who are! We at The Honey Cottage know it is important to inspire our customers! We hope this really sparks some creativity for you!

Here we have tomato plants, pepper plants, and cucumbers growing in an old bee hive box. This was falling apart and no longer safe for bees to live in. So we fixed it up and are now using it for plants that will help feed them.

JYPF1

This mini pool was starting to become dented and was no longer being used. I almost threw it out when I realized if we drill some holes in the bottom we can use it for bee friendly plants! The holes are to make sure that water does not stay in the bottom and become moldy. It also prevents over watering of the plants as well. I am so excited to see what pops up soon!!

20180619_140918

This is my favorite idea because it is small, easy to take care of, and offers many flowers for the bees to feast on. It is a simple container you can buy at the store and grow different things in it! We are growing carrots in it this year to see how they do. We also drilled holes in the bottom so that we are able to control the water a little better.

carrots

 

My favorite refurbished item is this old utility sink; not only do I have a piece of history, but I also have a planter! We have more tomatoes on the left side (I LOVE tomatoes!!) and on the right we have squash and zucchini growing.

20180619_140903

We have part of our back yard that is just for deer. We feel that we should be able to share our lives with wild life that lives around us. We have clover for bees and deer friendly grass growing back here so that both have a little bit of their own haven.

20180619_141159

We might not have acres and may not save the bees all by ourselves, but want to prove that a little bit goes a long way. Helping the eco system takes more than one person it takes a community. Please join us and plant more flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Stop using pesticides that kill our bees. Save the bees by sharing the word. Our bees, food supply, and eco system depend on it! 

From our hive to yours,

Bee Queen

 

 

Honey Coconut Granola

Granola

It is that time of year to get out and about; hiking, biking, and picnics galore! I really love being able to take something with me that is sweet and gives me energy. This is a treat that can be made in advance and can be used for any time! It is also great for sharing with friends and family; I hope you enjoy this 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

¾ cup cashews

2 Tbsp. of cocoa powder

½ cup of peanut butter

5 Tablespoons unrefined coconut oil

½ cup Honeyville cinnamon whipped honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Heat the stove to 300 degrees F. Place the oats, flax seed, coconut, and cashews. Place the cocoa powder, 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 vanilla 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 bake for 25 min. Once it is done, let cool for an hour before putting in a container.

Tips:

  • Try using Honeyville’s Salted Bourbon Vanilla for a more savory granola
  • Use crunchy peanut butter for more protein
  • Use pecans instead of cashews for more fiber

Honey Foil Packets

 

Honey Chicken Packets

Do you ever struggle to make a dinner where each person likes something different?

We have the solution; try honey chicken packets! Each person can choose their own sauce and vegetables. What makes this even more awesome is it is all done at the same time; there is no need to cook several different meals! This is an excellent recipe to use for Honeyville whipped honeys and sauces too!

Our favorite Ingredients:

Chicken breasts

Carrots

Green, orange, red, or yellow bell peppers

Celery

Onions

Potato

Enough to drizzle on the breast-Coconut oil or favorite sauce

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut up carrots, peppers, celery, onions, and potatoes into slices; try not to cut them to thick or they won’t cook thoroughly. Using heavy duty foil; you will need approximately 24 inches of foil, fold the foil in half, and spray the foil with cooking spray or brush oil. Place the chicken and a ½ cup of sliced vegies onto the foil. Drizzle honey, oil, or BBQ sauce on top and salt and pepper to taste. Then fold the sides of the foil up to where they are touching, fold the edges together and fold several times. Then take the sides and fold together to make into a sealed pocket. Bake on a baking sheet for 15 minutes for small breasts, 20 for medium, and 25 minutes for large breasts on each side. Pull one out of the oven and make sure the breasts have reached the internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Take them out of the oven and cut open the end of the packet and pour onto the plate or place the whole packet on the plate and open them at the table. ENJOY!

Tips:

  • If do not want to have sauce; add an ice cube inside the packet.
  • Can be cooked on the BBQ grill
  • Can use Patty’s Jalapeno jams in the packet
  • Can use Eggplant to substitute for the chicken

Surprise Honey Cake

Surprise honey cake

Here is a fun cake that we really love; it turned out amazing, moist, and tender!!!  I made some notes on what I did differently right next to the ingredients.  Also, for the pudding, for honey selection make sure it is something that is not to strong unless you love the honey as much as we do!!  So pleased with how this turned out!! This cake is perfect for parties!!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour Blend
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder or 1/2 cup carob powder
  • 1-11/4 cup of honey, this depends on how sweet you would like the cake
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very soft.  I used salted butter with mine.
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 large eggs

Directions:

1) Place a strainer over a large mixing bowl. Measure in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa, and sugar. Sift/shake the dry ingredients through the strainer into a mixing bowl, to eliminate any lumps.

2) Add the butter and mix at low speed for 1 minute. With the mixer running, add the oil and continue mixing until the mixture looks like sand.

3) Combine the vanilla with the milk and coffee or water, and add all at once. Mix for 1 minute at low speed, stop and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, then mix for 30 seconds.

4) Add the eggs one at a time, beating well at medium-high speed between additions. The batter will be thin.

5) Pour the batter into the prepared pan of your choice (one 9″ x 13″ pan, two 9″ round pans, or three 8″ round pans). Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 34 minutes for a 9″ x 13″ pan; 28 to 30 minutes for 9″ layers; or 24 to 26 minutes for 8″ layers. Make sure to gently move the pan to get any air bubbles out of the mix before putting in the oven. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack before frosting.

Optional: Pudding Filling: Makes 2 cups of pudding

2 cups milk

5 Tbsp cornstarch

1/2 cup of honey

1 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.  Whisk until smooth.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until pudding is very thick.  Chill, either in one container or in individual cups.

Optional: Whipped Topping:

Ingredients:

8 ounces of Heavy whipping cream

Honey- to taste on average I use about 1/4 to 1/2 a cup

Directions:

Put the whip cream in a bowl and use a mixer to whip up the heavy cream until soft peaks, add the honey to taste and whip again to stiff peaks.

Now take a piece of cake and slice it in half when it is fully cooled, add a tablespoon of pudding, put the top of the cake back on top, and place whipped cream on top!  ENJOY!!!

Tips:

  • Instead of pudding use fresh cut fruit in the center
  • Use jam to make it sweeter
  • Put chocolate chips or chopped nuts in the batter

Honey Pork Salad

ASALAD.jpg

Do you ever look at your salad and wish it was more?

I have always been a fan of making fancy salads! This is one of my favorite recipes because you can use a different fruit or meat and change it up! This is a salad that is perfect for lunch or dinner and is easy enough to make in advance. The best part of this salad; is the sweet and savory satisfaction you get from eating it. I truly believe a salad should not just be a salad; it should be fun and leave you feeling great. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! Remember the eyes it first; making the salad look good will mean that you will feel more satisfied.

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups of spring leaf mix

½ of a tomato

½ of a pear

¼ cup-black olives

¼ cup-raisins

½ cup-sliced pre-cooked pork

¼ cup-pecans

1 Tbsp.-apple cider vinegar

1 tsp.-lemon juice

1 Tbsp.-honey

*I pre-cook pork so I can use it when I need it

Take the spring leaf mix and place it spread out onto a plate. Slice up the tomato and the pears into medium sized wedges and place them into different sections of the salad; tomatoes in two opposite sections, and pears in a third. Slice up the black olives and put them into the last corner. Place the pork into the center; then sprinkle the top with raisins and pecans. Mix together the apple cider vinegar, honey, and the lemon juice and drizzle over the salad. ENJOY!

Tips-

  • Use chicken instead of pork
  • Use balsamic vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar
  • Try craisins instead of raisins
  • Use ½ cup of garbanzo beans instead of meat

Confessions of a Beekeeper

blog

Have you ever been affected by someone else’s mistake? Have you ever made a mistake that affected others?

Let’s be real here for a minute…we are ALL human! Things happen. Mistakes happen. Life happens. In December I was in a car accident; another person hit me. It was in that moment where I realized I could not fix someone else’s mistakes. I have done my best to fix my own and work on not making mistakes, but I could not fix what someone else had done. Now this could have been much worse, but I have been working through a concussion and whip lash. This has limited me on what I can do and how long I can do it for. This is where I finally realized that there are many parts of my day that relate to what the bees do.

At The Honey Cottage we strive to help our customers, community, and others around us understand bees. What we do affects them every day. Mistakes that we have made, in the past and are continuing to make, affect them every day. People want more houses; so we build them. People want stores closer to them; so we build them. People want more things to do; so we build movie theaters, batting cages, and other forms of entertainment. There are less people demanding to see flower gardens. There are less people asking for pesticides not to be used. There are less people taking a stand for the bees. Without the bees our food supplies suffer. Without bees flowers are no longer pollinated. Without bees you no longer have straight from the hive honey, propolis, beeswax, or royal jelly. MAN CANNOT DUPLICATE WHAT WE GET FROM BEES!!! Bees are unique to their field. No bees. No flowers. No honey.

Here is what I have learned from the accident; I cannot fix everything and I cannot do everything alone. I have learned that I need help. I have learned that bees cannot talk for themselves and say okay this is what we need. We may not be able to fix the past, but WE have to take the stand for them for the future. WE have to speak for them and bee their voices. WE have to bee the change in order to save them. THEY NEED FLOWER NECTAR TO STAY HEALTHY AND ALIVE!!!

PLEASE HELP BEE THEIR VOICE; plant flowers and ask neighbors to plant flowers. STOP the use of pesticides that kill the bees! Use other methods of taking care of bees; co-planting and adding lots of lady bugs!

In support of the bees we have bee attracting flower seeds available at The Honey Cottage! Here is a link as to what is in the packet: https://thehoneycottage.com/p/bee-seeds

From our hive to yours,

Bee Queen

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

Honey s’mores party mix!

smores blog

Don’t you just love it when an accident actually becomes a success?

So I was helping my little girl with a project and really wanted to help her make something fantastic and simple. Years ago I would make the mixes that they had on-line, but could not find anything that came close to this. I have also become a little too cautious when it comes to chemicals in our diet; the less chemicals the better. I had found a cereal, at a health food store, called wheat waffles and was hoping that there would not be too much of a taste difference. Being a chef I am used to thinking on my toes, but I had never done this type of thinking! When we first began I thought I totally messed it up, but I was surprised when we finished that it had actually turned out great. I am proud to say this recipe is perfect for parties!

Ingredients                      

7 cups of wheat waffles

1 cup of chocolate chips

1 ½ cup of mini marshmallows

1 cup of cashews

1 cup of mini pretzels

5 Graham crackers broken up into bite sized pieces

3 Tbsp. of honey

1/3 cup of Honeyville caramel whipped honey sauce

1/3 cup butter

Directions

Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Take the wheat waffles, and graham crackers and place them in a microwave safe bowl. Warm the butter and the caramel honey sauce, in a separate bowl, for 30 seconds in the microwave, mix well and pour over the wheat waffles cashews, pretzels, and graham crackers. Mix together until nicely coated. Place the mixture in the microwave for a minute. Add the chocolate chips, marshmallows and the honey on top. Microwave for one minute, then mix together thoroughly, last pour the mixture onto the baking pan. Let this set for an hour and now you have honey s’mores party mix!

From our hive to yours,

Bee Queen

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