Saturday, December 1, 2018

Happy Holidays


Happy Holidays to everyone! December is a busy month full of celebrations. Hannukah and Christmas are among the top most celebrated holidays. As American Honey Queen, I think of how to incorporate honey and other products of the hive into my celebrations!

Beeswax candles are used for Hannukah.
This year, Hannukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, runs from December 2-10, where candles are lit every day in celebration of the re-dedication of the second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. The candles used can be beeswax. Beeswax candles burn longer, give off a slight honey smell, and are environmentally friendly.

Like most holidays, there is always cooking and special foods involved. A traditional food for Hanukkah is fried latkes. Check out this recipe for honey inspired applesauce and latkes.

Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, takes place on December 25. This popular holiday is often filled with gift giving. If you need a last minute gift, consider giving a book on beekeeping or unique flavor of honey to a friend or family member. If you know a beekeeper that you still need to give a gift to, consider a new set of gloves or hive tool.

Another food filled holiday, most families sit down for a meal as part of their Christmas celebration. Your Christmas meal would be great if it included honey! Check out this recipe for Pineapple Honey Glazed Ham.

No matter what holiday you celebrate, I hope you have a sweet time!

Have a happy holiday!


Thursday, November 1, 2018

Honey Turkey Thanksgiving

You can't have Thanksgiving without the turkey! But, have you ever thought about using honey on your turkey?

Here are some of my personal favorite Thanksgiving honey recipes:

HERBED TURKEY BREAST

YIELD: Makes 6 servings
INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup - honey
1/4 cup - orange juice
2 T - butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 tsp. - dried sage
1 tsp. - dried thyme
1 clove - garlic, minced
3/4 tsp. - salt
1/4 tsp. - pepper
1 - boneless, skinless turkey breast, about 2 lbs.
DIRECTIONS
Preheat broiler. Position oven rack 6 inches from heat source.
Combine honey, orange juice, butter, sage, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper.
Place turkey breast on rack set in broiler pan. Brush with some of honey mixture. Broil, brushing frequently with remaining mixture, turning turkey once, until no longer pink inside, about 40 minutes.
Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.

CHUNKY APPLE CRANBERRY SAUCE

YIELD: Makes 4 cups
INGREDIENTS
2 cups - fresh cranberries
2 - tart apples, peeled, if desired, cut in 1/4-inch slices
1 cup - chopped onion
1/3 cup - olive oil
1/3 cup - honey
4 tsp. - red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. - ground ginger
1/4 tsp. - ground cinnamon
Freshly ground black pepper
DIRECTIONS
In a medium saucepan stir all ingredients. Heat to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes; stirring occasionally.
Cool and refrigerate.

HONEY CORNBREAD STUFFING

YIELD: Makes 4 servings
INGREDIENTS
4 cups - day-old Honey Cornbread, crumbled
1 (4 oz.) - Italian sausage
1 cup - chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup - minced onion
1/2 cup - chopped celery
1 T - minced parsley
1 tsp. - dried thyme leaves, crushed
1 tsp. - salt
1/4 tsp. - ground black pepper
1/3 cup - chicken broth
2 T - honey
DIRECTIONS
In large bowl, place crumbled cornbread.
Remove sausage from casing. In medium skillet, crumble and sauté sausage until brown. Using slotted spoon, remove sausage from skillet and add to cornbread. Drain all but 1 T of fat.
Return skillet to medium-high heat; stir in bell pepper, onion and celery. Sauté until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley, thyme, salt and pepper. Cool slightly, then add to cornbread.
In small bowl, combine broth and honey. Pour over stuffing.
Place stuffing in a greased 9x9-inch baking dish. Cover dish with foil and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes until stuffing is lightly browned. 
TIP
As an alternative, pack you may pack stuffing into poultry cavity before roasting.
I hope you have a wonderful honey-and-family-filled Thanksgiving! For more honey recipes, click here!


Monday, October 1, 2018

Honey Halloween


Happy Halloween! October is a great month for bonfires, playing in the leaves, and of course getting dressed up for a night of candy collecting. For most beekeepers, October is spent preparing the hives for winter. With the bees becoming less active, we can still be creative and pull inspiration from those fuzzy friends of ours.


This family wears bee, skep,
and beekeeper costumes.

If you don’t want to dress up as the usual witch, Frankenstein monster, or vampire, how about a bee inspired costume! Throw on a black and yellow striped shirt, a set of antenna, and a stinger and you are ready to be a honey bee.

Try putting a costume on your honey bottle for Halloween!
Who says only people can dress up for Halloween? Grab a bottle of honey, some craft supplies and your imagination for a decorating contest. A little bit of construction paper, tissue, paper, glue and markers will go a long way to make your ordinary bottle or jar of honey into a dressed up masterpiece! If you are having a Halloween party, a honey bottle decorating contest would be a great addition.

Honey sticks are a great
treat to give out at
Halloween!
If you love honey like I do, then you would be excited to get a honey stick or a piece of honey candy on Halloween. If you friends or family want to give something different out to "trick or treaters," suggest honey sticks or honey candy. Honey is a great treat for everyone, and I bet many of your classmates would enjoy some honey in their candy containers!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Happy National Honey Month

National Honey Month is a celebratory month in the United States held annually during the month of September. The awareness month was initiated by The National Honey Board in 1989.
Its purpose is to promote beekeepers, the beekeeping industry, and, of course, honey, as a natural and beneficial sweetener.
September is significant for honey producers, as it typically marks the end of the honey collection season for beekeepers in the United States.
Make sure to eat lots of honey, go to a beekeeping event, and talk to a beekeeper this month! 

honey jar

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Products of the Hive


The wonderful world of a beehive has long been known as the location where our honey bees make honey. What many don’t know is that honey bees make and collect other products for the hive. Those products can be extracted and utilized by us in our daily lives.


Honey
Honey is the most common product of the hive.
Honey is the most commonly thought of product that comes from the hive. Honey bees collect nectar from the hundreds of flowers they visit in a day. That nectar gets returned to the hive where it is deposited into a honey comb cell. The nectar is then fanned by a worker bee’s wings to get a lot of the moisture out for it to be turned into the honey we enjoy. Honey can be used for cooking instead of granulated sugar, for treating minor cuts and scrapes, and is a great remedy for treating a sore throat.




                                                              Beeswax
Beeswax is made from honey bees' bodies.
Honey bees produce tiny scales of beeswax from their body that they use to build up the honey comb and cover the nectar that has been turned into honey. Beeswax that is extracted can be used to make beeswax candles, lip balms, and other skin care products.




Pollen
Pollen is collected by honey bees to be used as food.
When a honey bee visits flowers to collect nectar, it is also collecting pollen. The pollen collected is stored on the back two legs of the bee on their pollen baskets. The pollen collected is returned to the hive where it is stored in a honey comb cell to be used for food. Some people use pollen as a protein supplement. They add it to their cereal, yogurt, or even in smoothies.


Pictured is royal jelly in queen cells
Royal Jelly
A worker honey bee has glands on their head that produce a special liquid we call royal jelly. This jelly is crucial for growing queen bees, but humans also use it. Royal jelly contains botox, which prevents wrinkles, it is shown to help with wound care and can be found in skin and hair care products like the shampoo I use!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

4th of July Honey BBQ

Gather your family and friends! It's time to celebrate July 4th! One of the best ways to celebrate this American Holiday is to host a Barbecue.

Here are some great red, white, and blue recipes to try out at yours this year:

HONEY BBQ SAUCE

YIELD: Makes approx. 2 quarts
INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup - canola oil
3 cups - sweet onions, chopped
1 cup - roasted red bell peppers, chopped
1/2 cup - Italian parsley, chopped
2 cups - tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups - honey
1 cup - orange juice
1 cup - dry white wine
3 T - apple cider vinegar
2 T - lemon juice
1 T - garlic, chopped
1/4 cup - Worcestershire sauce
salt
cracked black pepper
cayenne pepper
DIRECTIONS
In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, peppers and parsley; cook, stirring occasionally until onions are translucent. Add tomato sauce, honey, orange juice, wine, vinegar, lemon juice and garlic; cover and simmer on low heat for 1 hour.
Add Worcestershire sauce and season with salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Simmer, covered, for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Purée with a hand-held blender or transfer sauce to a blender and blend on medium speed for 1 minute.

ALMOND STRAWBERRY CREAM CHEESE PIE

YIELD: Makes 6 servings
INGREDIENTS
1 - 9-inch baked pie shell
1/2 cup - semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
For Filling:
1 package (8 oz.) - cream cheese
1/3 cup - whipping cream
3 T - honey
2 T - almond extract
1/2 tsp. - vanilla
1/8 tsp. - salt
For Topping:
1 1/2 baskets - fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
2 T - honey
1/2 cup - red currant jelly, melted
DIRECTIONS
Spread melted chocolate over bottom of baked pie shell. Chill.
Beat cream cheese with whipping cream, 3 T honey, almond liqueur, vanilla and salt. Spoon over chocolate. Chill 30 minutes.
Combine strawberries with 2 T honey and melted jelly. Toss gently to coat berries completely. Arrange over cream cheese filling. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 
TIP
Best served within 2 to 3 hours.

HONEY BLUEBERRY CITRUS SLUSH

YIELD: Six 6 oz. servings
INGREDIENTS
1-1/2 cups - fresh orange juice
1/2 cup - Orange Blossom honey
2 Tablespoons - lemon juice
2 Tablespoons - lime juice
1-1/2 cups - frozen blueberries
1 cup - crushed ice
DIRECTIONS
In a blender, combine orange juice, honey, lemon and lime juices until honey is dissolved. Add blueberries and ice. Puree. Serve in beverage glasses garnished with a lemon or lime wheel.
Hope you enjoy these delicious recipes, and have a happy 4th of July!
For more honey recipes click here.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Honey Varieties

The Clover Honey pictured is made from the nectar of
the purple clover flowers also pictured.

Honey is a sweet treat that our honey bee friends make! The honey they make, and we enjoy, is made from the nectar of flowers. Each flower has a unique nectar that produces a unique honey. There are more than 300 different honeys in the United States, and more than 3,000 in the world. 


Those hundred and thousands of honey varieties have different tastes, textures, colors, and characteristics. Some honeys crystallize quicker than others, while others have an overall thicker consistency. You can have honey that is almost clear in color like Fireweed, but also honey that is so dark you can’t see through it like Buckwheat. With those different colored honeys comes different flavors and uses.

Honey’s beautiful spectrum of colors provide endless opportunity. Darker colored honeys have a stronger taste and can be great for cooking with meat. The lighter colored honey varieties are sweeter and perfect for using in baked goods.


A small sample of the varieties of honey
made by honey bees.
Some honeys even have very unique flavors based on the flowers the nectar came from. Orange Blossom Honey is a lighter colored honey, almost orange in color! It is sweeter and you can taste the citrus in it. Another unique honey is Sage Honey. It is a lighter colored honey that granulates (gets hard) slower than other types of honey.

The next time you are at a farmer’s market or see a honey booth at a fair or festival, look at the different honey for sale. You might see a wide variety of colors, and if you get the chance, you’ll be able to taste the different flavors and textures.