Cooking With Honey – Honey Granola Bars

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Since last summer I’ve been trying to come up with a really good granola bar recipe. I think I’ve found it! 

Yield:  12 to 16 bars

Ingredients

2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal

1 cup sliced almonds

1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed

1/2 cup toasted wheat germ

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

3/4 cup honey

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup chopped raisins

1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional!)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.

Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

Place the butter, honey,vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the raisins, apricots, and cranberries (and chocolate chips if using) and stir well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.

Spicy Honey-Roasted Leg Of Lamb

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Celebrate Spring with this spicy-sweet leg of lamb!

Ingredients

Marinade

6 large cloves garlic, peeled, and coarsely chopped

1/2 ounce fresh ginger, peeled, and coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon garam masala

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon red chile powder

5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons water

Kosher salt

Lamb

1 leg of lamb (about 5 pounds)

Honey rub

3 1/2 ounces blanched almonds

3 1/2 ounces Greek yogurt, plain

1 1/2 tablespoons honey

Directions

For the marinade: Blend together the garlic, ginger, garam masala, cumin, coriander, black pepper, chile powder, lemon juice, vegetable oil, water, and salt, to taste.

For the lamb: Trim the excess fat and membranes from the leg of lamb. Make deep regular cuts all over the flesh with a paring knife. Rub the marinade into the lamb, making sure you get it into the deep cuts. Place the lamb in a plastic food bag with the remaining marinade and leave in the refrigerator, for a minimum of 6 to 8 hours, or ideally for 24 hours.

For the honey rub: Blend together 2 ounces of the almonds, the yogurt, and 1/2 the honey in a blender or food processor. Take the lamb out of the refrigerator and remove from the plastic bag. Rub the honey blend into the lamb, and leave the lamb for at least 30 minutes, or ideally for another 2 hours, covered, in the refrigerator. Remove the lamb from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before cooking.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the lamb on a rack with a roasting pan placed underneath the lamb on the rack below. Cook for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 degrees F, and cook for another 1 hour 40 minutes, or until the meat juices run fairly pink when pierced, basting every 20 to 30 minutes.

Scatter the remaining almonds and drizzle the remaining honey over the lamb and roast for another 10 minutes. Check if the meat is cooked using a meat thermometer. The temperature should be 130 degrees F for rare to 150 degrees F for well done, depending on the desired degree of doneness.

Remove the lamb from the oven. Loosely cover the lamb with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes before slicing. Pour out the juices, spoon off any excess fat, and serve it on the side.

Mary Todd Lincoln’s Honey, Almond And Vanilla Cake

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This is supposedly the cake that Mary Todd used to win Abe Lincoln’s heart. The original recipe didn’t call for honey, but it definitely improves the taste and texture of this rich pound cake.

Ingredients

1 cup almond flour

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)

1 cup honey

1 cup granulated sugar

3 cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

pinch of baking soda

3/4 cup milk

6 eggs, separated (best when eggs are cold)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Confectioners’ sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a Bundt cake pan.

With an electric beater or stand mixer, cream butter ,honey and sugar until light yellow in color and fluffy.

Sift flour, baking powder and baking soda three times. Fold flour mix into creamed butter, honey and sugar, alternating with milk, until well blended. Stir in almond flour and beat well.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until they have stiff, firm peaks. (Use egg yolks for another use  Beaters and bowl must be washed and dried thoroughly before whipping egg whites or they will not stiffen properly. Fold egg whites gently into batter with a rubber spatula. Add vanilla extract.

Pour batter into prepared bundt pan and bake for one hour, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Cool for at least 20 minutes before inverting, then allow to completely cool before serving. Sift confectioners’ sugar on top.

Makes about 12 slices.

Honey Almond Pancakes

pancakes

Snowed in? Make pancakes! There’s even a wheat-free version!!

Yield: 12 pancakes

Ingredients:

1 cup all purpose flour (or flax seeds, ground)

1 cup almond flour (Bob’s Red Mill)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 cups milk (or dairy free version of milk)

3 large eggs

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons oil

Directions:

Mix all together. Pour by 1/4 cup-full onto hot griddle. When bubbly, flip over to cook other side. Pancake will be on the thin side. Top with fresh berries and drizzle with honey. Enjoy!

The Romancing The Bee Diet – Day 16 – Onion and Garlic Soup For A Snowy Day

onion garlic soup

It’s a cold and snowy day in Cincinnati and everything is quiet outside. I didn’t feel like going out, so I made this lovely soup from what I had on hand. I’m pretty sure it’s good for whatever ails you, and will also keep any Vampires away!

Yield:  1- 2 servings

Ingredients

1  thinly sliced large yellow onion

5 cloves garlic, sliced

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/3 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus additional to taste

1/4 teaspoon honey (helps the onions to brown)

1  tablespoon almond flour

3 cups chicken stock

1/4 cup  dry white wine

Freshly ground black pepper

2-4 tablespoons parmesan cheese

Directions

Melt the butter and oil together in the bottom of a 2- to 4-quart saucepan or Dutch oven over moderately low heat. Add the onions and garlic, toss to coat them in oil and cover the pot. Reduce the heat to real low and let them slowly steep for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, uncover the pot, raise the heat slightly and stir in the salt and honey. Cook onions and garlic, stirring frequently, for 30 to 40 minutes until they have turned an even, deep golden brown.

After the onions and garlic are fully caramelized, sprinkle them with flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the wine in full, then stock, a little at a time, stirring between additions. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and simmer partially covered for 30 to 40 more minutes, skimming if needed.

Correct seasonings if needed but go easy on the salt as the cheese will add a bit more saltiness.  Garnish with parmesan cheese and serve.

The Romancing The Bee Diet – Day 7 – Chocolate Lava Cake

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It’s been a week and I’ve lost 2.6 pounds.  I’m right on track, and still feel great.

So I’m going to make a diet treat today. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Ingredients:

4 oz Semi-Sweet or Bittersweet chocolate

½ tsp Vanilla Extract

1/8 tsp Salt

2 Tbsp Honey

1 tsp Coconut Flour

2 tsp Cocoa Powder

2 eggs

4 Tbsp extra virgin or refined coconut oil (plus a little more for greasing the ramekins)

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 375F. Grease four 6oz ramekins with coconut oil. If you wish to serve these cakes on a plate, you will need to flour as well (use coconut flour, blanched almond flour, or cocoa powder).

In a 4 cup measuring cup or medium microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate and coconut oil in the microwave on low power. Stir until smooth and let cool.

In a small bowl, beat eggs, vanilla, salt and honey with a hand or stand mixer until light and frothy, about five minutes.

Pour egg mixture over chocolate. Sift cocoa and coconut flour over the top. Then gently fold all the ingredients together.

Pour batter into prepared ramekins (they should be filled to within ½” of the top). Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and place in the oven (you can chill the ramekins for a few hours if you want to make them ahead of time, just make sure you bring them back to room temperature before baking). Bake for 11-12 minutes.

Remove from oven and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Holidays With Honey – Honey Florentines

Florentines

Contrary to popular belief, Florentines most likely originated in France rather than Italy.  The main ingredients and technique for preparation are typically French, not Tuscan.  The cookies were probably named in honor of Florentine nobility, perhaps France’s Florentine Queen, Catherine de’ Medici, who was an influential gastronome. Queen Catherine was a big fan of spinach, and French dishes containing spinach are also called “Florentine.”

Yield:  5 dozen 3-inch Florentines, or 2 1/2 dozen 6-inch Florentines

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups sliced, blanched almonds (about 5 ounces)

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Finely grated zest of 1 orange (about 2 tablespoons)

1/4 teaspoon fine salt

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons heavy cream

2 tablespoons honey

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Topping:

2 to 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

Directions

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

Pulse the almonds in a food processor until finely chopped, but not pasty. Stir together the nuts, flour, zest and salt in a large bowl.

Put the sugar, cream, honey and butter in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a rolling boil and sugar is completely dissolved. Continue to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, then pour mixture into almond mixture and stir just to combine. Set aside until cool enough to handle, 30 minutes.

Scoop rounded teaspoons (for 3-inch cookies) or rounded tablespoons (for 6-inch cookies) of batter and roll into balls. Place on prepared baking sheet, leaving about 3 to 4 inches between each cookie since they spread.

Bake 1 pan at a time, until the cookies are thin and an even golden brown color throughout, rotating pans halfway through baking time, about 10 to 11 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool. Repeat with remaining batter. Top with chocolate when cookies are cool.

Chocolate topping:

Put the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with 1 inch or so of water to a very low simmer; set the bowl over, but not touching, the water. Stir the chocolate occasionally until melted and smooth. (Alternatively, put the chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Melt at 50 percent power in the microwave until soft, about 1 minute. Stir, and continue heat until completely melted, about 1 to 2 minutes more.)

Drizzle melted chocolate over Florentines as desired. Set aside at room temperature until chocolate is set.