We are so excited for BBQ season; it is such a great time to get together with friends and family! One of my favorite dishes at any summer party, picnic, or BBQ is potato salad. I can never get enough and there are so many ways to make it different. From using different potatoes to using a vinegar for the dressing; potato salad can come in so many flavors! I really love adding O’Hara’s sweetwater draw honey dill mustard, but definitely try their other AMAZING honey mustards too!
Dice the potatoes and put them in a pot of water, boil them for about 22 minutes or until soft. Also, boil the 3 eggs for 20 minutes. While they are cooking, dice the celery and shred the carrot into a bowl. Once the potatoes are done, drain the potatoes and put them in the fridge to cool. With the eggs; remove the shell, dice them up, and put them in the fridge to chill for about 5 minutes. Take a bowl and mix together the mayonnaise, honey mustard, honey, and celery salt. Pull out the potatoes and eggs out of the refrigerator. Mix thoroughly together the potatoes, eggs, celery, carrot, and the dressing. This is perfect to serve right away or can sit over night to let all flavors combine.
Try putting 1/2 cup of chopped purple onion
Put 1/2 cup of large diced red bell peppers for added color
If you like a little kick to your potato salad add a splash of cayenne pepper
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.
1 ½ cups of spring leaf mix
½ of a tomato
½ of a pear
¼ cup-black olives
½ cup-sliced pre-cooked pork
1 Tbsp.-apple cider vinegar
1 tsp.-lemon juice
*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!
Use chicken instead of pork
Use balsamic vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar
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!
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!
Are there lessons that you have learned that other people do not understand?
In the past several years I have learned that I cannot eat a lot of sugar without consequences. I know many people say there is no connection between hyperactivity and sugar, but I know how I act and feel when I have it and when I do not. I have noticed more and more that in “organic” and “natural” products there is no junk, BUT there is a never ending amount of sugar in the products. I know that this is because in order to keep people buying the product it has to taste good and keep people wanting more. So I have had to find alternatives for the things I like without having a massive amount of things that I don’t want. I have also learned that I should not spend all day in the kitchen making it too. So here is one of my favorite recipes that is great for snacking and on the go people!
2 Tbsp. of honey
1 cup of walnuts
½ cup cashews
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. hemp seeds
2 Tbsp. goji berries
2 Tbsp. of shredded coconut
Take the dates and honey and puree them together into a paste. Crush up the walnuts and the cashews and add them to the paste, pulse the mixture three to four times just to give a good mix. Pour the mixture into a bowl and add the cinnamon, hemp seeds, and goji berries. Mix together thoroughly and add the coconut, give a light mix. Put parchment paper on a plate or baking sheet and roll the mixture into balls; place each ball on the sheet and mash down. This recipe makes 7 medium size cookies, or 14 small ones. Cover the cookies and let stand over night; place in an air tight container and enjoy for a week!
–Keep the mixture in ball shapes and roll it in coconut
-Add a ¼ cup of chocolate chips or cocoa nibs
-Use pecans instead of walnuts
-Use pumpkin seeds instead of walnuts and add pumpkin spice instead of cinnamon
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
½ cup coconut oil (unrefined is best, it has not been processed)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
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.
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
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
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!
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.