Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thanksgiving Honey Recipes from The National Honey Board

Giving Thanks!
Thanksgiving has snuck up on us once again this year and since it is next week, we thought a honey-inspired holiday menu was appropriate.

You see, one-thirds of our food is made possible by insect pollinated crops and these hard-working ladies are responsible for about 80 percent of that pollination. And if that isn’t enough, honey bees travel more than 55,000 miles just to bring one pound of honey to consumers. Now that hard work is something to be thankful for!

From the ham to the pecan pie, the honey bees and their scrumptious honey have you covered! Enjoy this time with your friends and family, and reflect on the fact that sometimes, it’s the littlest things we are thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving from the National Honey Board!

Fallen Butternut Squash Gratin

  • 3 cups (6 medium) - butternut squash, cooked
  • 1/2 cup - honey
  • 3 Tablespoons - flour
  • 1 teaspoon - salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon - nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon - cinnamon
  • 3 large - eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup - chopped pecans
Combine squash, honey, flour, salt, spices and egg yolks; blend well. Beat egg whites until they reach stiff peaks; sold into squash mixture until no streaks of white remain. Pour into 6 buttered ramekins; sprinkle nuts over top. Place ramekins in hot water bath; bake at 350°F until golden, about 30 minutes.

 Wild Rice & Mushroom Stiffing  

  • 1 cup - wild rice
  • 4 cups - water, salted to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon - oil
  • 1/2 cup - minced onion
  • 1/2 cup - chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon - minced garlic
  • 2 cups - sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup - chopped dried apricots
  • 2 Tablespoons - minced parsley
  • 1/4 cup - honey
In small saucepan, combine wild rice with salted water. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until tender, approximately 45 minutes. While rice is cooking, heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in onions, celery and garlic; sauté until onion is translucent and celery is soft, about 7 minutes. Add mushrooms; sauté until mushrooms are soft, about 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat. When rice is cooked, drain in a colander. In large bowl, combine rice and mushroom-onion mixture. Add apricots, parsley and honey, stirring until mixed well. Serve warm as a side dish or use to stuff poultry.

Cranberry Pecan Pie

  • 2 cups - fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup - orange juice
  • 1/2 cup - honey
  • 2 Tablespoons - cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons - cold water
  • 1/2 teaspoon - orange extract
  • 1 - 9-inch baked pie shell
  • 1/2 cup - honey
  • 3 Tablespoons - butter or margarine
  • 1-3/4 cups - pecan halves
In medium saucepan, combine cranberries, juice and honey. Cook, uncovered, over low heat for 15 minutes if using fresh cranberries or 20 minutes if using frozen berries. Cool. Puree cranberry mixture in blender; return to saucepan. Combine cornstarch and water. Stir into cranberry mixture. Bring to boil and cook until thickened. Stir in orange extract. Cool; then pour into pie shell. Spoon topping evenly over cranberry mixture. Bake at 350°F 20 minutes or until top is bubbly. Cool on wire rack. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Topping: In medium saucepan, combine 1/2 cup honey and 3 Tablespoons butter or margarine; cook and stir 2 minutes or until mixture is smooth. Stir in 1-3/4 cups pecan halves until well coated.

Honey Whiskey Clove-Glazed Ham

  • 3/4 cup - honey
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons - bourbon whiskey*
  • 1/2 teaspoon - ground cloves
  • 1 (5-lb.) - bone-in fully cooked ham, spiral sliced

Combine honey, bourbon and cloves in small bowl until well blended. Place ham, cut-side down, in roasting pan; brush with honey mixture. Cover pan with foil and bake at 275°F about 1 hour or until heated through. Remove foil from ham and increase oven temperature to 425°F Brush with honey mixture. Bake about 10 minutes more or until ham is golden brown. Remove from oven and place on serving platter. Pour juices over ham.
*2 teaspoons vanilla can be substituted for bourbon.

 Honey Pot Cider

  • 1-1/4 cup - apple cider
  • 1 Tablespoon - Orange Blossom honey
  • 1 pinch - cinnamon
  • 1-3/4 oz. - Apple Jack brandy
  • 1 - cinnamon stick
  • 2 - apple slices
Combine the apple cider, honey and cinnamon in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until heated through. Stir in the Apple Jack brandy and pour the cider into a mug.
With the tip of a small knife, pierce small holes in the apples and string them onto a cinnamon stick. Place the garnish across or in the cider.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Apple Strudel made with Honey

Supermarkets sell great Phyllo Dough in the freezer section so it's easy to do this without all the fuss of making your own pastry and the results are fantastic!

Makes 2 strudel rolls
Preheat oven to 375

6 apples peeled and cut into small bits
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. dried cranberries or raisins
1/4 c. chopped nuts, walnut, almond, or pecan
1 box of Phyllo Dough (about 10 sheets)
1/2  c. melted butter
2 Tbsp blended sugar and cinnamon for topping
1 cookie sheet with Silpat Mat or parchment paper on it

Combine the apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, honey, dried fruit, chopped nuts together in a bowl. Then roll out the phyllo dough on the counter. Starting with on sheet brush melted butter on it and layer 5 sheets brushing the melted butter between sheets. Then take 1/2 of the apple mixture and place on the lengthwise end of the dough. Roll each side up over the end of the apples, brush on more butter and loosely roll up the dough to create a log of strudel. Repeat with the rest of the phyllo dough to create a second log. Brush more butter on top and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the top. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. You may want to turn down the oven to 350 after a few minutes. Cool and slice. Serve with honey flavored whipped cream if desired. Enjoy!

As the weather gets towards the lower digits it feels wonderful to be cooking some fall apples. I love making apple pies but if you want an easy variation which is truly delicious and super easy with store bought phyllo dough. It's a great opportunity to use some honey you may have on hand. Quite Delicious!

Happy Fall,
Happy Cooking with Honey!
Melissa Abbott

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Have You Been Naughty or Nice? Christmas Honey bottled and labeled! A wonderful Fall pollen rich Cape Ann Wildflower Honey just for my Christmas List!

I was afraid we had waiting to long to process a few last minute Fall Frames we took off the hives recently. Because of the cold we had to move the whole processing operation from the Honey Shed to the kitchen. We de capped, spun the frames, filtered the honey once, and then bottles and labeled it especially for our friends and family this Christmas. 
The First of the
Honey Draining
 into the Filter
after the frames
 have been spun.
De-Capping the Honey Frames
with a Heated
Sharp Knife on the
Kitchen Table
Moved the DE-Capping Tank
and Honey Spinner into
the Kitchen!
Really Amazing
White Wax Capped
Wildflower Honey
from my backyard
Cape Ann Hives!

Let's get Every
 last bit out of
the Spinner
into the Filter!

Charlie Spinning
the Honey in
the Kitchen!
A First!

I actually liked doing the honey processing in the kitchen rather than the honey shed. There was a lot more room to work and decaying was easier because there was more elbow room. We only had a few frames to process but even so it was practically an all day project. 

So the hives are all buttoned up for the winter. I am feeding the bees a little honey water right now and they seem active on warm days but will be hibernating soon as it gets colder. I will have more honey to sell next summer. Until then, Have You Been Naughty or Nice?

Kind Regards, Melissa Abbott

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Beeswax Block and Candle Project

I rendered some of my beeswax from the backyard hives last week using the boiling the wax in water method and then straining the wax into old soap molds I had in a closet upstairs. I later poured some pure beeswax tea lights too!

Wax blocks "curing". The brown stuff is the bits and pieces you don't want and they settle on the bottom of the mold. You then let them dry for a day or two and you can scrape off the part you don't want.

You can see in the above photo that after you scrape off the icky bits you are left with pure beeswax. I use beeswax on my Pine Needle  Baskets and I look forward to using some of these blocks for exactly that purpose. I also plan on using some propolis I collected in the varnish of my Nantucket Baskets in the future. I had always heard that violin makes used propolis in their varnishes and if it worked for that it is probably great for Nantucket Baskets. Anyway, the soap mold worked pretty well and I got some nice little blocks of wax out of it.

Making the Candles was a bit of an afterthought and I sort of pulled it together from a package of wicks I scrounged up in the same closet I found my soap making supplies and I had a few empty glass taillights kicking around. The glow from these candles was beautiful and they didn't smoke or smell funny. They were truly beautiful.

Homemade Pure Beeswax Tealights

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Thank-You for a Wonderful 2014 Honey Season! Abbott Honey Sold Out till next Year!

It was an amazing summer this year 2014 with doing the Rockport Farmer's Market and then the Cape Ann Farmer's Market, selling Abbott Honey in a retail way for the first time. 

I would like to Thank Everyone who bought honey from me 
and supported my Beekeeping Adventures for yet, another year, especially the folks at Rockport Festivals and Cape Ann Farmer's Market who were willing to take on such an infant and small local endeavor and bring it to the people in a way I could afford. I was really happy to provide a local product for people at a reasonable price which helps me buy equipment for Beekeeping.

Till Next Season, 
Melissa Abbott
October 9, 2014

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fall Game Day Recipes from the National Honey Board

Game Day Celebrations with Honey!
It’s that time of year again where we gather friends and family in front of the television for the game day showdown! And a perfect game day wouldn’t be complete without a delicious spread of food. From our Easy Honey Chicken Wings to our Honey-Curry Vegetable Dip, honey will become your go-to ingredient this season!

Honey can be used in so many ways – as a glaze or dressing, in dips and sauces or added to a scrumptious, sweet dessert to complete any game day party! Honey offers a unique flavor that complements both sweet and savory dishes.

So whether you’re hosting the game day festivities or bringing a dish to a friend’s gathering, this honey-inspired spread will have everyone wanting to know what your secret is. 

Chicken Nachos with Honey, Zucchini and Jalapeno Salsa

  • 3 tbsp - honey
  • 2 - chicken breast, fillets 
  • 2 cups - zucchini , cubed
  • 1 - red onion
  • 1 - garlic clove
  • 4 - jalapeno peppers 
  • 1 handful - cilantro
  • 1/4 cup - olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups - lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 - tortilla chips, regular-sized bag
In a small bowl, mix one tablespoon of honey, the lemon juice, one teaspoon of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Place the mixture into a resalable freezer bag and add the chicken breasts. Seal the bag tightly and gently shake it to cover the chicken breasts. Let marinade for 2 hours.
Boil the chicken breasts in a saucepan. Once cooked, wait for them to cool. Finely chop the garlic, red onion and jalapeno peppers. Cut the zucchini into small cubes. Place all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and mix them with 5 teaspoons of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Preheat oven to 250°F. Spread vegetables onto a baking dish and cook them in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes.
While the vegetables are cooking, cut the chicken breasts into small cubes and place them in a large bowl. Finely chop the cilantro and mix it into the bowl with the chicken. Once the zucchini cubes have lightly browned, remove vegetables from oven and wait for them to cool. When cool, add them into the bowl with the chicken cubes and the cilantro, and mix them with 2 tablespoons of honey, the juice of 4 lemons, 6 teaspoons of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for 2 - 3 hours. Serve over tortilla chips. 

 Easy Honey Chicken Wings

  • 1/2 cup - honey
  • 1/3 cup - soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup - chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon - garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon - ground black pepper
  • 8 drops - red pepper sauce
  • 3 lbs. - chicken wings or drumettes
Combine honey, soy sauce, chili sauce, garlic salt, pepper and red pepper sauce. Arrange chicken in single layer in a 9x13-inch baking pan and pour on sauce. Turn chicken over to coat with sauce. Bake at 350°F for one hour, turning over once. Cool slightly and serve.

Shrimp-Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers with Honey Vinaigrette

  • 2 tbsps - honey
  • 13 - jalapeno peppers
  • ½ lb - shrimp, shelled and without tail
  • 4 tbsps - cream cheese 
  • 1 - red onion
  • 2 - garlic cloves
  • 1 handful - cilantro 
  • 1 - tomato
  • 2 tbsps - olive oil
  • ½ cup - apple vinegar
  • 7 cups - water
  • Salt and pepper
  • Ice
Using a small, sharp knife, cut each pepper horizontally near the stem and then vertically lengthwise to form a T. Open the pepper with care so that it won’t come apart and remove all the seeds and veins using the point of a knife or a very small spoon (even a baby spoon). Rinse each de-veined pepper to get rid of the remaining seeds.
In a large saucepan, boil enough water to cover all the peppers, adding 1 teaspoon of salt for every 4 cups of water. Try a pepper; if you find it tastes too hot, add a teaspoon of honey and ¼ cup of apple vinegar to the water. Place all the peppers in the saucepan, leaving them to boil for one or two minutes. Make sure they are cooked, yet firm and crunchy. You don’t want them to lose their texture. Place them in an ice water bath (approximately 2 cups) to stop the cooking process and drain.
For the shrimp stuffing: Cut the shrimps into small cubes. Place them in a medium-sized bowl and set aside. Chop the garlic cloves, red onion, cilantro and tomato. Add one tablespoon of olive oil into a medium-sized saucepan. Place half the red onion and all the garlic into the pan and cook over a medium-low flame. Once the onion becomes translucent, add the tomato and the shrimp.
As soon as the shrimp become orange in color, add in the cilantro and allow to boil. Add pepper and salt to taste. Cook the shrimp for another five minutes. Remove from fire and allow them to cool. Stir in the cream cheese. Preheat oven to 350°F and stuff the peppers evenly with the shrimp mixture. Bake the peppers for 8 - 10 minutes in order to heat and brown slightly. Remove from oven and let cool. Drizzle the honey vinaigrette over the peppers and serve.
For the honey vinaigrette: Put the remaining red onion into a saucepan and fry lightly with one tablespoon of olive oil until translucent. Add the remaining vinegar and the remaining honey, as well as salt and pepper to taste. Add the ¼ cup of water and let the mixture simmer a few minutes to thicken the vinaigrette.

Honey-Curry Vegetable Dip

  • 1 cup - low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup - honey
  • 1 Tablespoon - curry powder
  • 1 Tablespoon - white wine vinegar
  • Assorted fresh vegetables (celery, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli)
Combine mayonnaise, honey, curry and vinegar; mix well. Refrigerate about 1 hour to allow flavors to blend. Serve with vegetables. 

 Honey Spiced Nuts
  • 1/2 cup - honey
  • 2 Tablespoons - butter, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon - grated orange peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon - ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups - raw nuts, (walnuts, pecans, cashews, almonds, etc.)
Stovetop Method: In heavy pan, combine honey, butter, orange peel, and cinnamon. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium and cook to 235°F. Stir in nuts, and continue to stir 4 to 5 minutes more, until nuts are glazed. Pour onto parchment paper or buttered foil and spread into a single layer to cool.

Oven Method: Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan with foil. Tear another sheet of foil the same size and place on counter; butter both. Pour nuts into pan; set aside. In a microwave-safe, 1-cup measure, combine honey, 2 Tablespoons butter, orange peel, and cinnamon. Microwave 60 to 90 seconds, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted.

Pour honey mixture over nuts and stir until all are coated. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Remove from oven and pour onto reserved buttered foil, spreading nuts into a single layer to cool. Store in airthight container.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Melissa's Home Grown Butternut Squash Honey Pie

Butternut Squash Honey Pie
with Honey Whipped Cream
and my backyard Purple Dahlias
A Few Squash from this Years Garden

Whole Wheat Pate Brisee Dough sweetened with Honey
2 1/2 c. King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
2 sticks of unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. Honey
6-8 Tbsp. Ice Water
Place 1st three ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it looks mealy. Then while running machine add Tbsp.'s of Ice Water until dough forms into a ball. Form 2 balls of dough and wrap each in saran wrap and place in refrigerator to chill for 1/2 hour. You will only need one ball for the bottom crust but you can save the other ball for a Quiche or other Tart on another day. Keeps for about a week in the Frig
and wonderful to have on hand.

Filling Recipe:
After you Line a Pie Place with Crust and brush milk on it.
Place 3 eggs, 1 3/4 c. cooked Butternut Squash, 2/3 c. Honey, 1 Tbsp. Cinnamon, grate some Nutmeg, 1/2 Teasp. Ginger, and 1/4 Teasp. Mace, and 1/2+ c. milk in a mixer and mix well, then pour into pie crust.  Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes then turn down oven and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

I serve with Freshly Whipped Heavy Cream flavored with Pure Honey for a little Sweetness and serve on a pretty plate.

There is nothing like cooking out of a Fall Garden and I particularly love this time of year with all the honey I have and want to use it in everything!

Happy Fall Cooking and I hope You enjoy this Honey of a Pie!
Melissa Abbott

Friday, September 19, 2014

Abbott Honey will be at the Rockport Farmer's Market (across from the Blacksmith Shop and T-Wharf) Last Dates of this Fall - Sept. 20th and Oct 4th Sat. 9am-1pm

Abbott Honey will be at the 
Rockport Farmer's Market 
(across from the Blacksmith Shop and T-Wharf) 

Saturday 9am-1pm 

 Wonderful Fall Local Honey! 

This honey won't last forever and if you want to get some for gifts or for your winter tea, now is the time to stop by and pick some up. I will be at the Rockport Farmer's Market this Sat Sept 20th and Sat. Oct 4th for the last time.

I also have copies of The Legacy of Three Melissas, my historic Cape Ann Cookbook and Memoir available and they make great gifts too!  See you There!

I have so enjoyed meeting new friends and old ones this summer at the Rockport Farmer's Market. Thank You for supporting me and my efforts with my backyard beekeeping on Cape Ann. 

For Those of you who can't make the Market, You may order the Honey Online at this Link:

Kind Regards and Happy Fall, 
Melissa Abbott

Monday, September 8, 2014

Melissa's Wake Up Conditioning Honey Peppermint Body Wash

Have you ever read what is in a body wash bottle? Chemical's you can't even pronounce are what make up most of it. I like the smell of Peppermint. It is enlivening and smells good plus I don't want to strip my skin of oils. You can pay a lot of money for body wash and soaps so I investigated some alternatives, tweaked the recipe and came up with this version which I like. It was a little bit of an investment to buy all the various ingredients but I managed to order everything on and have it sent directly to the house. I am sure I can make several variations of this shampoo but in the end I should have a very economical product I can make at home. I also love the idea of not buying a lot of plastic bottles and using and reusing things I have around the house already.

Jojoba Oil

1/4 cup Distilled or Rain Water
1/4 cup liquid Castile Soap - I use Dr Bronners organic baby mild soap
2 tsp Jojoba Oil
1/8 tsp Peppermint Essential Oil
1/8 tsp Tea Tree Essential Oil
1/4 cup Aloe Vera
1 tsp. Glycerin
1 tsp. honey

Flip Cap Bottles or Foaming Bottles to dispense - You can repurpose an old shampoo bottle or use a Squeeze Ketchup Bottle purchased at the $1 store
$1 Store Squeeze Bottles

Aloe Vera

Mix all ingredients, then
add 1/4 cup distilled water or rain water.
Store in a bottle. Use as you would any body wash. The smell is fantastic and it leaves your skin smooth and glowing!

Your entire body will be left nourished, quenched, smooth, and invigorated. It smells delightful too!
Aloe Vera 
Castile Baby Soap