Bee Queen’s Honey Tomato Sauce

Queen Bees Sauce

Mmmmm…there is nothing more amazing then the smell of good food. Going through school one of my favorite classes was soups, sauces, and consumes. I could really put my personality, passion, and love into anything I made. It was like signing my signature through food and showing people what I was really made of. This special honey spaghetti sauce has been one that I have been trying to make versatile for many years. I think I have accomplished that because I like to use it as spaghetti sauce, on meatball subs, for chili, on pizza, and for frito pies. I hope you enjoy this sauce as much as we do at The Honey Cottage.

Ingredients:

28 ounce can of tomato puree

14.5 ounces of diced tomatoes

2 Tbsp. of tomato paste

½ cup of diced green pepper

1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning

½ cup of sliced or chopped white button mushrooms

½ cup of wildflower honey

2 cups of spinach

Directions:

Put the tomato puree, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, green pepper, and Italian seasoning in a medium sized pot with a lid. Put on medium heat and simmer for 15 minutes; stirring every five minutes. Add the mushrooms and honey; put the heat in between the low and medium setting. Cook for another 30 minutes so all the flavors can combine. Last, add the spinach and turn off the heat. It is ready to serve with your meatball subs or spaghetti!

Tips:

  • Add ½ cup of chopped onion
  • Add 1 tsp. of minced garlic
  • Add shiitake mushrooms for a sweeter flavor in the sauce
  • Add a 1/3 cup of shredded carrot

From our hive to yours,

Bee Queen

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Why is honey so special?

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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

Raw Honey Cookies

 

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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!

Ingredients:

16 dates

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

 

Directions:

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!

Tips:

–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

From our beehive to yours,

Bee Queen

Honey Drink

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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

National Honey Month 2017

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Ah, this is one of our favorite times of year; not just because of fall, but because it is…..National Honey Month! That is right September is a whole month of nothing but honey, bees, and everything bee hive related! So here is one of our favorite ways to celebrate; 9 super interesting facts about everything related to the bee hives!

1- Bumblebee queens will lay their eggs on top of pollen, cover it with wax, and some may lay on them to keep the babies warm.

2- There are bees that do NOT sting; they are called stingless bees! They do have other ways to protect themselves; some will bite and some have poisons.

3- Drone bees don’t work; they are strictly there for procreating with the queen bee!

4- After the enriched nectar is deposited into the honey comb; the bees bring the water content to 14%- 18%. Now you have honey!!

5- Bees have 3 sets of ears; one set is on their legs, the next is at the end of the antennae, and the last set is in the middle of their antennae.

6-Bees can’t read and Bees will never read the same books you do no matter how well written the book is. The bees are just not interested; they go by their own rules and can surprise you at anytime.

7-One of the main enzymes that bees have it called invertase. This is an enzyme that the bees use to break down sucrose, in nectar, into the sugars fructose and glucose.

8- Some people love the fruit and berry honeys. The flavor of fruit comes through; for example, a hint of orange flavor that naturally comes from the orange blossom. Some of my favorite honeys are blackberry, blueberry, and raspberry blossom honey; each is berry tasty with a hint of the berries.

9- The oldest honey ever found was over 5,000 years old!! Would you dare to eat it?

From our Hive to Yours,

Bee Queen

Crystal’s Miss Bee-Haven News

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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

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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 Yogurt Popsicle’s

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Yogurt is such a versatile product; you can use it in so many recipes and in so many ways. Another favorite recipe at The Honey Cottage is honey yogurt pops. They are great for the summer time; and are perfect for any time of day! These also work really well for on the go people and families. Whether it is for breakfast, snack, or just because; these tasty treats hit the spot. This is also an amazing way to try different raw honeys and flavor combinations with fruit. We really like using blueberry blossom, cranberry blossom, and Honey Dew honey. The whipped honeys from Honeyville are also a fun way to mix this recipe up!

Ingredients-

1 ½ cups whole milk yogurt

1 ½ Tbsp. honey

½ cup of fresh fruit

Directions-

Place the 1 ½ cups of yogurt in a bowl and drizzle the 1 ½ Tbsp. of honey on top. Next, mix it together until thoroughly mixed (a blender can also be used to make it easier). Then add the ½ cup of fruit into the yogurt and mix together. Using a popsicle mold; fill carefully to the top making sure to leave enough room for the tops to fit without the yogurt spilling out. Put in the freezer for about 6-8 hours; depending on the size of the molds. Any leftover yogurt can be saved for the next batch or eaten with granola. ENJOY!

Tips-

-Use Honeyville whipped honeys to add an extra flavor; our favorite is the lemon whipped honey with diced peaches (Pictured at the top)

-Puree the fruit you are going to use to add some fun color

-Add 2 tsp. of wheat grass powder to the mix for added vitamins

-Use ice trays and popsicle sticks for smaller servings

 

Orange Blossom Honey Granola

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One of my all time favorite things to do in the kitchen is make honey granola. I love being able to play with the recipe and make something new every time. I just recently began experimenting with using cocoa powder and chocolate chips. I was super surprised on how well it came out and had to share. This has now become my favorite recipe because it gives me just enough of a chocolate fix! What I love about this granola is that I can use it any time of day and it goes great in yogurt. It is nice to have something that will give you energy that you can carry with you and not worry about spoilage! At The Honey Cottage we are very excited to work with amazing beekeepers and have their honeys in the shop. This specific recipe is really good with a lighter honey; alpine wildflower, cactus blossom, orange blossom, or alfalfa clover are the best! It gives it enough sweetness without over powering the other flavors.  Hope you enjoy this recipe 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

½ cup of raisins

¾ cup walnuts; mashed into bite size pieces

½ cup chocolate chips, ¾ cup if they are mini chocolate chips

½ cup of peanut butter

5 Tablespoons unrefined coconut oil

½ cup orange blossom honey

½ teaspoon orange extract

Directions:

Heat the stove to 300 degrees F. Place the oats, flax seed, coconut, raisins, walnuts, and chocolate chips in a bowl. Place the 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 orange 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; if using an 11X17 pan bake for 25 min., for 9X13 bake for 35 minutes. Once it is done, let cool for an hour before putting in a container.

Tips:

The granola will be a little softer in a 9X13; if you want it crispier, stick with the 11X17 pan.

You can use these ingredients instead to mix it up:

  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Almond Butter
  • Cashew butter
  • Raw cashews
  • Raw peanuts
  • Use Alpine wildflower, cactus, or alfalfa clover honey

I find that the granola keeps better in glass or plastic containers. Zip locks can be used if you use the granola up quickly.