Sweet and Sour Honey Sauce

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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

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Honey Butters

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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

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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 Chia Yogurt

Honey Yogurt

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!

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 Coleslaw

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Do you like it when honey speaks for itself in a recipe or compliments the recipe? This is what I love most about honey; a recipe can change with the type of honey that is used. Honey coleslaw is one of those recipes where the flavor can be changed just by the honey. I have found; when a lighter honey is used the vinegar and mayonnaise speak out more. When I used a darker wildflower honey the flavor of honey came through more and the coleslaw was sweeter. I also tried buckwheat, but found that the honey overpowered everything. So I would recommend either local wildflower honey or a nice alfalfa clover honey for this recipe.

Honey Coleslaw:

1 pound- Green Cabbage

½ pound- Purple Cabbage

1- Carrot

Dressing:

½ cup- Mayonnaise

1/3 cup- Honey

2 Tbsp. – Vinegar

1 Tbsp. – Celery Salt

Salt and pepper to taste

Shred the green cabbage, the purple cabbage, and the carrot into a bowl. If you are in a hurry grab a bag of 1 pound coleslaw mix from your grocery store and a small head of purple cabbage. In a separate bowl mix together the mayonnaise, vinegar, and the celery salt. Then drizzle in the honey and mix well. Pour the dressing over the cabbage and mix together.

Tip: I recommend letting the coleslaw sit in the fridge for about two hours and then salt and pepper to taste. If you are not used to salt the celery salt will be just perfect! I also really liked using the Alpine Wildflower honey; it is all up to what speaks to your taste buds!

From our bee hive to yours,

Queen Bee

 

Honey Sticks

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At The Honey Cottage we firmly believe experiences help other people. Weather it is our experiences that we share or what customers share with us and others. This month has been no exception. We have had many customers come in and talk about the advantages of honey sticks. One of those advantages was using them during pregnancy and labor. I was so excited to hear this because one of our big surprises this year was that we were having a baby!! So I took the advice of so many people and had honey sticks stashed everywhere; I also had them in my labor bag and anywhere else I could think to hide them. I can honestly say the honey sticks are super handy and are fantastic to have on hand. Plus, others said they used them after labor too!

Some of the big advantages that I and others noticed during pregnancy: they are convenient, they are perfect for the purse and overnight bag, they come in different types of honey or flavors, and they are a big energy boost. I liked that I did not have to carry around a bottle of honey everywhere. It was nice to be able to pop one open and have the energy boost I needed; each stick is a teaspoon of honey. When I was in labor no food was allowed, but I could have HONEY which gave me the energy I needed! Lastly, these have been great for when my sugar gets too low.

Other helpful ways to use honey sticks:

-Many diabetics use them to boost their blood sugar levels

-Teachers use them for their students as incentives

-We have had a lot of military come in and stock up for when they are in the field

-Several parents use them for helping their little ones potty train

-Perfect for nursing moms

-Back packing

-Hiking or biking

-Walking or running

-Perfect for kids birthday parties

-Baby showers or weddings

These are some of the ways our customers use honey sticks!! They make a great gift and are perfect to have around the house! We are super thankful for those who come in and share what they learn from using the different products at The Honey Cottage. Feel free to “like”, follow, and share what you learn on our facebook page or on twitter!!

From our bee hive to yours,

Queen Bee

P.S. Here is a peak at our new bumblebee!!!

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National Honey Month!!

IMG_6710.JPGIt is our FAVORITE month of the year at The Honey Cottage; SEPTEMBER!!! That means it is….National Honey Month!  We LOVE having an entire month dedicated to bees and honey. Follow us on; facebook, twitter, LinkedIn for fun facts and neat pictures!! HAPPY SEPTEMBER!

1- Beeswax can get a frosty white appearance on it when it sits for a while. This is called bloom; it comes off easy by lightly wiping it off with a cloth.

2- Did you know that if you are baking with honey that you can lower the oven temperature to prevent burning of baked goods? About 25 degrees F seems to be best, but sometimes the recipe needs to be played with in order to get it just right!

3- Did you know there are bees that are called dwarf bees? They are about a quarter of an inch in size!

4- Drone bees and queen bees do not make beeswax; it is instead made solely by the worker bees. They have wax glands on their abdomen that discharges the wax. The drone bees have no wax glands, but the worker bees have four pairs!

5- A butterfly and a bee have something really cool in common!! Their mouth is called a proboscis; this is how they both suck up nectar!

6- Creamed and whipped honey means the same thing. It is whipped with whips to give it a smooth, creamy, spreadable texture.

7- The beeswax that the bees secrete is actually white! It is changed to yellow by the pollen that is brought into the hive!!

8- Honey dew honey is not from the melon!!! It is the only honey that is not made from a nectar source! Honey dew honey is from aphids; they eat the sap off of trees and leave a secretion behind. The secretion is then picked up by the bees and made into honey. How cool is that?

9- Want all the honey off of the measuring spoons and cups? Try warming up the measuring spoon so it goes right into the recipe! Or lightly grease them so that the honey comes right out of the cup!

Feel free to share with friends and family. The more everyone knows the better care we can take care of these amazing ladies.

From our hive to yours,

Queen Bee

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Buzzing by with Crystal’s Miss Bee-Haven Updates

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We have incredible news; one of our hives survived the winter!!! We were so excited to see bees buzzing around when we took off the protection we had around the hive during the winter. Talk about a happy surprise. Crystal’s miss bee haven is slowly taking off; we have about a quarter acre filled with flowers this year. As we are finding out, sometimes things take smaller steps to be successful. With the help of the flowers we have been able to actually get a small amount of honey from our hive this year. We are always hoping for more, but a good bee keeper knows that smaller amounts are better than no honey at all. Plus, we are of the belief that the more honey we leave behind for winter, the better off our bees are. We would rather find something else to eat then make our bees suffer by feeding them in the spring.

Earlier this month I was interviewed by the incredible Chef Stevie, of A Fresh Take!! She is a Registered Nutritionist, Healthy Chef, and Holistic Health Coach. She is all about healthy cooking, as well as education. On her show we talked about the bees, bee products, and what can be done with honey. As I tell everyone; I am still learning about bees and love sharing what I am learning with everyone. My favorite part was how to cook with honey and my favorite honey recipes! Here is the podcast: http://www.chefstevie.com/podcast.html. Just click on the link and then scroll down to The Buzz about Honey.

We are also very happy to say that we got a new extractor to get honey out of the frames!! This is very exciting for us because it gives us practice extracting honey and it now takes less time! We are hopeful that we will be able to get honey next year for The Honey Cottage. We are very pleased to say that it works well and has given us the opportunity to extract honey from the frames without destroying the beeswax completely. This saves our bees energy and helps them to put away honey faster instead of having to make more beeswax! We are hoping that the color changes here within the next couple of weeks so that we can show the differences between honey harvested at the beginning of summer and later in the summer.

We are in the process of revamping our website; to make it easier for customers to navigate! There have been a lot of struggles with it, so please bee patient as we repair our hive. Make sure to follow us on Facebook, twitter, and LinkedIn to get the best updates and information as to what is happening in our hive. Lots of surprises are still on the way!!!

Here are a couple of bee-autiful pictures of the honey we have so far!!

From our bee hive to yours,

Queen Bee

The Honey Cottage – Beekeeping Adventures continued

Welcome back to The Honey Cottage!

This month was super exciting; we got some amazing pictures of the hive, and our bee suits are almost complete. Lily has been bugging us for weeks asking where her bee suit is and when will she be able to look in the hive.

I used to be afraid that something would happen with my little one if she got near the hive. However, the more education and experience I get with the bees makes me realize how safe she really is. So my gold nugget that I would like to share is; when we give ourselves and children more knowledge, the less fear there will be. Knowledge = power.

As you can see from the picture Lily only has a hood on and is looking into the hive. She was not afraid of the bees at all and I relaxed a lot! I just remembered to keep talking to her and that kept us both calm.

One of the best ways to save our bees is to stop fearing them. They won’t bother you if you don’t bother them. Bees are looking for food and have no intention on attacking unless they feel threatened. It has been an pleasure learning about these ladies and how they work. So proud of Lily for wanting to be the next generation of beekeepers. Stay tuned and learn what we are up to!

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