Thanksgiving 2013 – Sweet Potato Souffle With Honey And Egg Nog

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I’ve been looking for the perfect Thanksgiving sweet potato souffle recipe for years. I think this is it!

This recipe substitutes eggnog for condensed milk and honey for the brown sugar, maple syrup and tiny marshmallows. It’s just as sweet and tasty, but a bit more sophisticated. (Not that I have anything against tiny marshmallows!!)

This souffle is something your guests will actually LIKE to eat!!

Yield:  4 large or 8-10 small servings

Ingredients:

2 Large or 3 Medium Sweet Potatoes

Granulated Sugar for dusting the souffle dish

Powdered Sugar for dusting the top

3/4 cup Eggnog

3 Large Eggs, separated and room temperature

1 cup Honey

2 tablespoons Butter plus more for greasing the souffle dish

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon Allspice

1 ounce Brandy (optional)

1/2 Lemon (juiced)

1/2 teaspoon Salt

Directions:

Place sweet potatoes in a stock pot and cover with water by at least 2 inches. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes or until very tender. Drain and allow to cool before handling. Peel and discard skins.

Place the sweet potatoes in a large bowl and break up and mash using a spoon.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 1 1/2-quart souffle dish; dust with sugar.

In a medium saucepan, heat butter over medium. Add flour, and cook, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in eggnog; simmer, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat; mix in sweet potatoes and egg yolks. Stir in honey, vanilla, brandy  (if using), lemon juice, salt, and spices and set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. Whisk 1/4 of whites into sweet potato mixture; using a rubber spatula, gently fold in remaining whites. Pour mixture into prepared dish; place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until puffed, 35 to 45 minutes. Serve dusted with powdered sugar.

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Cooking With Honey – Honey Berry Clafoutis

clafoutis

With berry season upon us, an easy and delicious dessert to make is clafoutis. All you need to do is mix and bake to have a fresh and scrumptious French custardy treat!

Yield:   One 8-inch custard

Ingredients

¾ cups whole milk

½ cup heavy cream

⅓ cup honey

1 tsp orange zest

3 eggs

1 Tbs vanilla extract

1 tsp salt

½ cup flour

2 cups fresh berries of your choice

2 Tbs granulated sugar, plus additional for pan

Powdered sugar for garnish

Directions

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease an 8-inch pie plate or round cake pan and sprinkle with a little granulated sugar.

Blend together all ingredients except 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and berries. Pour a ¼-inch layer of batter into pie plate, and bake for 5 to 10 minutes, just until a skin forms. Toss berries with sugar while first layer sets.

Once skin forms, remove plate from oven and add berries plus remaining custard batter. Bake until top is golden brown and custard is set (moves as one when jiggled, toothpick comes out clean), about an hour.

Can serve warm, but cool completely before removing whole clafoutis from pan. Store chilled.

The Goddess’s Honey And White Chocolate Lava Cake With Honey Raspberry Sauce

REMEMBER TO LIKE ROMANCING THE BEE ON FACEBOOK TO WIN PRIZES!

lava cake

If you love cooking with honey, you will adore this recipe!

I hope this honey recipe makes your International Women’s Day even better!!

Yield:  5 servings

Ingredients:

6 ounces white baking chocolate

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

2/3 cup honey

2 teaspoons vanilla

4 egg yolks

4 egg whites

3/4 cup flour

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease 5 ramekins with butter, set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter and white chocolate.

In a large bowl, combine 1/3 cup of the honey and vanilla. Pour in the melted butter and chocolate and stir until combined.

Mix one egg yolk at a time into the sugar mixture, ensuring each yolk is fully combined with each addition.

Using your stand mixer and whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium until foamy. Slowly add the remaining 1/3 cup of honey and continue whisking until stiff peaks form.

Fold half of the beaten egg whites along with half of the flour into the chocolate mixture. Gently fold until combined.

Add the remaining half of the egg whites along with the remaining flour and fold gently until combined.

Divide the white chocolate lava cake batter between the ramekins, filling each ramekin 3/4 to the top.

Put in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes – check frequently and do not overcook as this will result in the centers being too solid.

The lava cakes are done baking when the outer edges around the top are firm but the center still jiggles.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Loosen the cake edges with a knife if necessary and turn each ramekin upside down to place the cakes onto serving plates.

Cut each white chocolate lava cake from the center outwards, allowing the inner filling to spill out.

Garnish with Honey Raspberry Sauce (recipe below) and whipped cream. Serve immediately.

Honey Raspberry Sauce

Cover 12 ounces of frozen raspberries with honey and allow to thaw. The raspberry juice and honey will combine to form a delicious sauce.  Serve over cake, ice cream or yogurt.

Honey French Toast

french toast

It occurs to me that I have sadly neglected posting honey recipes for breakfast and brunch dishes. This is a serious oversight, considering honey has some of its best moments early in the day!

 I’ll begin making amends with this lovely recipe for one of my favorite dishes, Honey French Toast.

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

1 cup half-and-half

3 large eggs

2 tablespoons honey, warmed in microwave for 20 seconds

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 (1/2-inch) slices day-old or stale French, Italian, brioche or challah bread

4 tablespoons butter

Directions

In medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, honey, and salt. You may do this the night before. When ready to cook, pour egg mixture into a pie pan and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Dip bread into egg mixture, allow to soak for 30 seconds on each side, and then remove to a cooling rack that is sitting in a sheet pan, and allow to sit for 1 to 2 minutes.

Over medium-low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a 10-inch nonstick saute pan. Place 2 slices of bread at a time into the pan and cook until golden brown, approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and place on rack in oven for 5 minutes. Repeat with all 8 slices. Serve immediately with honey, maple syrup, whipped cream or fruit.

Or if you’re really feeling decadent, serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream drizzled with honey. (preferably Graeter’s ice cream!)

The Romancing The Bee Diet – Day 10 – Honey Cocoa Meringues

cocoa meringue

I was a bad girl last night.  I had refined sugar. 

It gave me an upset stomach which persists today! 

I’ve learned my lesson. If I need a treat, I’ll make these. I love meringues anyway.  🙂

Yield:  approximately 20 cookies, depending upon size

Ingredients

3 egg whites

1 cup honey

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Instructions

Preheat oven to 225º F

Beat all ingredients together until stiff peaks form

Shape as desired

Bake on parchment paper for roughly one hour

Do not remove from oven at once, but turn off the oven, open the door, and leave for at least 5 minutes

Cool gradually, away from draft

New English Garden Bee Plants – “Essence Purple” and “Silver Mist” English Lavender

"Essence Purple" English Lavender

“Essence Purple” English Lavender

"Silver Mist" English Lavender

“Silver Mist” English Lavender

One of my favorite online plant purveyors, Wayside Gardens, has 61 new perennial cultivars this year, many of them bee favorites.

There are few, if any, flowers bees and other pollinators love better than English Lavender.  Wayside Gardens is offering two new English Lavenders this year, “Essence Purple” and “Silver Mist”.

An English Lavender extraordinaire, ‘Essence Purple’ is the variety for those of us who can never have too much Lavender in garden and home. Bushier, better branched, and perhaps even more fragrant than others, it is simply heavenly in color, form, and scent. Find new places to tuck this magnificent plant in your sunny garden and patio this season!

One of the most beautiful of English Lavenders, ‘Silver Mist’ sets nearly white foliage with a soft, fuzzy aura that looks like clouds in the garden. The flowers are pure sky-blue and continue over an especially long season. Compact, well-branched, and marvelously fragrant in bloom and leaf, it’s a must-have for the sunny garden and fine containers.

Both Lavenders are evergreen in mild areas and deer-resistant.

An herb, Lavender is useful for everything from potpourri to Everlastings to air freshener. Cut branches to tuck into your linen closet, use the flowers to perfume tea and sweets, and admire the pollinators that are drawn to these plants all season long. Every garden needs at least one stand of Lavender!

The Romancing The Bee Diet – The Essentials

Fat bee

Okay, here is the diet I made up.  I’m no expert, but I’ve been on just about every diet there is with varying levels of success. I know what works for me and what doesn’t.

All of the foods allowed on the Romancing The Bee Diet (“RTBD”) are low (below 55) on the Glycemic Index (GI).

The GI is a numerical system of measuring how much of a rise in circulating blood sugar a carbohydrate triggers–the higher the number, the greater the blood sugar response. So a low GI food will cause a small rise, while a high GI food will trigger a dramatic spike. A GI of 70 or more is high, a GI of 56 to 69 inclusive is medium, and a GI of 55 or less is low.

For me, a food with a low GI keeps me satisfied longer and naturally suppresses my appetite. The variety of foods allowed enables me to still cook creatively!

Foods allowed on the RTBD are listed below. If it’s not on the list, I’m not going to eat it!!

Lean meats such as beef, skinless chicken, lamb, pork loin and veal – 8 ounces per day, OR

Any type of seafood without breading or batter – 8 ounces per day, OR

Three eggs per day (3 ounces), OR

Any combination of the above, not to exceed a total of 8 ounces of protein per day.

One grapefruit per day

One lemon per day

Apples or pears – two per day, total.

Non-starchy vegetables such as spinach, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, mushrooms, cabbage, salad greens, winter greens, onions, and garlic. (unlimited)

1 avocado per day

2 tablespoons raw honey

2 tablespoons olive oil or butter (not light) or mayonnaise made with olive oil (not light), or a combination of these, not to exceed two tablespoons total.

2 tablespoons bleu cheese or parmesan cheese

Unlimited – Tea, diet soda, water, Vinegar, Tabasco, salt, pepper, fresh and dried spices and Dijon Mustard.

1 five ounce glass of wine per day, preferably red. (May be used in cooking)

EATING BREAKFAST IS ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED!

That’s it.  No counting of calories or carbs or points.  I’m hopeful that the small amounts of “naughty” foods will keep me from feeling deprived, while still allowing me to lose 2-3 pounds per week.

New Year’s Eve – Honey Tiramisu

I made this recipe for Christmas Eve, and it was so good I’m making again tomorrow night! 

Although it contains no cream (other than in the Marscapone), it is delightfully luscious and rich.

Tiramisu was originally made with honey, and I think it makes all the difference. Of course, I would think that…

Grumps aka Vince, a real Italian, says he prefers it a bit less sweet. If you are an Italian traditionalist, reduce the amount of honey to 1/3 cup. Don’t do anything different though! The end result will be heavenly!!

Yield:  8-10 servings

Ingredients

Eggs, 3 large, with yolks and whites separated
Honey, 1/2 cup
Mascarpone, 8 ounces
Ladyfingers, 20
Espresso or Strong Coffee, 1 cup (I used Italian roast coffee)
Cognac or Brandy, 2 tablespoons (I used inexpensive brandy)
Cocoa, 1/8 cup (I used Hershey’s unsweetened dark chocolate)

Directions

Combine 3 egg yolks, 1 tablespoon Espresso, Honey, and Cognac into the large mixing bowl. Beat 2 to 3 minutes.

Add Mascarpone and beat 3 to 5 minutes until consistency is smooth.

In another bowl, combine 3 egg whites and a pinch of sugar. Beat until mixture forms stiff peaks. Gently fold into Mascarpone mixture.

Pour rest of Espresso into flat dish, dip one side of each Lady Finger, and layer on bottom of serving dish. Spread 1/3 of Mascarpone mixture and sprinkle with cocoa.

Continue layering and finish with a Mascarpone layer. Sprinkle and refrigerate 1 hour before serving

Holidays With Honey – Honey Eggnog Cupcakes

eggnog cupcake

Yes, I knew I had an eggnog cupcake recipe!  These are sure to become a holiday favorite with friends and family.  They also make great gifts!

Yield:  16 cupcakes

Ingredients:

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sifted flour (I use cake flour for best results)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

3/4 cup honey

3/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 cup eggnog (try it with honey eggnog recipe from earlier today)

1/4 cup bourbon, whiskey, OR dark rum

1/4 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract

Prepare pans by lining with cupcake liners. Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift or whisk together flour, baking powder, ginger and salt. Set aside.

Cream together the butter, sugar and honey until smooth and well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the eggnog. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. Add the vanilla and whiskey (or your spirits of choice!)

Pour batter into prepared pans, 3/4 full. Bake 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely.

Eggnog Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:

6 ounces cream cheese

1 stick unsalted butter

1/4 cup honey eggnog

4 – 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Fresh ginger

Cream butter and cream cheese in bowl of electric mixer or with handheld beaters. When the mixture is soft and fluffy begin to add sifted powdered sugar a little at a time. Slowly add 1 tablespoon of eggnog alternating with the powdered sugar until you reach the right consistency. Beat until creamy. Pipe onto cupcakes using a pastry bag or spread with a spatula. Sprinkle fresh ginger on top.

Cupcakes may be stored in an airtight container for up to four days.

Holidays With Honey – Honey Eggnog

egg nog

It wouldn’t be the holidays without eggnog. I love it on Christmas Eve while watching old movies with my family.

Come to think of it, I may just have an eggnog cupcake recipe around here somewhere…

Yield:  12-14 servings

Ingredients

1 cup honey

1 cup warm water

1 cup light rum

1 cup brandy

12 egg yolks

1 1/2 cups milk

1 1/2 cups cream

Garnish: grated allspice or ginger

Preparation

In the bowl of an electric mixer, dissolve the honey in the water. Stir in thoroughly the light rum and brandy. Beat the mixture, gradually beating in the egg yolks, the milk, and the cream. Beat the eggnog until it is foamy and serve it in individual stemmed glasses with a dusting of grated allspice or ginger.