The Romancing The Bee Diet – Day 9 – Salmon Salad With Honey, Capers And Dill

salmon salad

This is another of my favorite recipes.  The honey glaze on the salmon blends beautifully with the raspberry vinegar!

Yield:  2 to 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 pound , Honey Raspberry Glazed Salmon, chilled

1/2 cup small-diced celery (1 1/2 stalks)

1/4 cup small-diced red onion (1/2 small onion)

1 tablespoon minced fresh dill

1 tablespoon capers, drained

1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar

1 tablespoon good olive oil

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Break the salmon into very large flakes, removing any skin and bones, and place the salmon in a bowl. Add the celery, red onion, dill, capers, raspberry vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Season, to taste. Mix well and serve cold or at room temperature.

Cranberry Week – Honey Cranberry Almond Bark

It was probably inevitable that cranberries would be associated with Christmas. Their bright, shiny red color and their winter availability primed them for use on the table and the tree. Slow to spoil, they hold up for the entire twelve days of Christmas and longer.

The earliest American Christmas trees in the 1840s were decorated with homemade ornaments of fruits, nuts, candies, and other “sweetmeats,” and it could not have taken long for the woman of the house to thread a large needle and string cranberries with popped corn to make a red and white holiday garland.

  • 5oz of white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup of sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup of sliced almonds
  • Honey
  1. Re-hydrate cranberries in water over high heat in a small pot until they plump up, remove from heat and liquid, set aside let cool.
  2. Toast the almonds over medium low in a small pan, tossing frequently until they are a golden brown, remove from heat, give it a rough chop, set asid
  3. Melt chocolate over a double boiler with the water simmering. Stir with a rubber spatula until it becomes a smooth texture, immediately remove from heat and pour into a 9×9 sheet pan with parchment paper on the bottom, spread evenly.
  4. Working quickly sprinkle the almonds evenly over the chocolate, then the cranberries and lastly, working from the top corner to the bottom drizzle the honey quickly and horizontally, not too thick or it will be too sticky. A very thin layer will almost not be seen but will be tasted. Let chocolate set before breaking apart and placing in an air tight container.

Amendments To The (Soil) Constitution

Did you know that fall is the most important season of the year for improving your soil?

You should be adding three things:  finished compost, raw organic matter, and organic nutrients.

Whether you are using your own homemade compost, or are purchasing compost in bags or by the truckload, stock up early with as much as you can afford. I use up a couple of yards of compost each fall (besides what I make in my own bins).

As you remove dead organic matter from your garden, apply at least a 3″ to 4″ layer of compost. While soil temperatures are still warm, the nutrients and organic matter in the compost will stimulate microbes and other beneficial organisms. Tired, end-of-season soil will be refreshed and renewed when spring comes around

Planting new shrubs, trees or other landscape plants?  Mix a few shovels of compost with the soil that goes back into the planting hole.

Raw Organic Matter

The soil in your vegetable garden will probably be laying fallow over the winter months (unless you’re lucky enough to garden year-round). To boost the amount of organic matter in your soil— beyond what you can get from finished compost— consider incorporating raw organic matter directly into the soil.

There’s just one thing to keep in mind when you’re adding raw organic matter to your soil. The beneficial soil organisms that will help decompose this material, require nitrogen to do their work. This means that if you don’t add some additional nitrogen along with the organic matter, the microbes will start using up the nitrogen in your soil. To avoid this, you can either add some nitrogen-rich manure along with the raw organic matter, or sprinkle on some granular organic fertilizer.

Shredded leaves are my top choice for raw organic matter. Use a leaf shredder if you have one. If not, just mow over the leaves several times with your lawnmower.

Animal manures (but not from dogs or cats) are great for the soil. You can gather it in buckets, plastic trash bags, feed bags, or in the back of a pickup truck. A good thing about adding animal manures in the fall, is that it doesn’t really matter if the manure is fresh or aged. Over the winter months, the caustic ammonia will dissipate, leaving behind valuable nutrients and organic matter.

Organic Soil Amendments

Most organic fertilizers release their nutrients slowly over many months, so applying them in the fall helps ensure they’ll be available to your plants next spring. If you can get your hands on some kelp meal,rock phosphate, or bone meal, do so. Because it’s the end of the season, your local garden center may even have some broken bags they’ll be willing to sell you at a discount. You can mix these organic materials right into your garden (or side dress around plants), along with the shredded leaves, manure and compost. Breaking down organic material requires some nitrogen.

If you suspect that your soil pH may need adjusting, autumn is the time to correct it. It’s best to raise or lower soil pH slowly, over a three- to six-month period. Add lime in the fall to raise the pH level of your soil. Add acidifiers like pine needles, peat moss and elemental sulfur if your soil is too alkaline. Remember that unless you already know that your soil is too acidic or too alkaline, you should always do a soil test to determine the pH level before taking corrective measures.

Better Soil — Better Garden

Improving the soil in your garden makes a huge difference in its ability to retain water, support healthy plant growth, and help your plants fend off diseases, pests and other stresses. Whether you’re new to gardening, or a seasoned pro, building better soil is the single most important thing you can do to improve your gardening success. And fall is the best time to do it!

The Cupcake With Its Own Fan Club

It’s the Honey Cupcake with Honey Buttercream Frosting.  It’s my most popular post.  On any topic.

I’m pretty sure it has its own Fan Club.

I don’t understand it. I’ve posted a number of other equally yummy recipes, cupcake and otherwise, but none can hold a candle to the RECIPE.

I don’t think it’s because of the picture. On the basis of pictures alone, I would go for the Black Velvet Honey Cupcake or the Pink Champagne Honey Cupcake.

It’s a mystery.  Like the Higgs Boson particle.

Anyway, I’m posting the recipe again for all of you devotees out there.

But I have an Agenda.

Will somebody out there please tell me why this recipe is so popular?  Thanks!!

Honey Cupcakes

  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake papers.In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in honey, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix into the batter until just blended. Scoop the batter into the cups evenly.

Cupcakes are ready when the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 20 minutes.

Honey Buttercream Frosting

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup honey plus 2 TBSP
4-5 cups powdered sugar
milk as  needed for thinning out frosting

In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and the honey for 2 minutes.  Add 2 cups of the powdered sugar .
Start on low speed on the mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes.
Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency.
Use milk to thin out frosting to reach desired consistency.

Awesome Turkey Burgers

The secret ingredient is honey!

  • 1 1/4 pound ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 hamburger buns, split
  • 2 cups thinly sliced cabbage
  • 1 carrot, coarsely grated
  • 1 small red onion, cut into rings
  • 1 tomato, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard

Mix together turkey, onion, bell pepper, garlic, cilantro, oregano,honey, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, a scant 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Form into 4 (4 1/2-inch-wide) patties.

Heat a large griddle or 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until hot, then lightly toast buns.

Oil griddle, then cook patties, turning once, about 10 minutes total or until done through. Transfer to buns.

Mix together cabbage, carrot, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, then cook, turning occasionally, until slightly wilted, about 2 minutes. Divide among burgers.

Oil griddle again, then sear onion and tomato, turning once, until slightly charred, about 2 minutes total. Divide among burgers.

Stir together ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard, then top burgers with sauce.

Southern Squash Casserole With Honey

Summer is the perfect time to make this casserole.  The squash is fresh (maybe from your garden?) and its flavor is at its peak. This makes a lovely vegetarian supper when paired with a green salad with vinaigrette!

3 pounds yellow squash, sliced

5 tablespoons butter or margarine, divided

1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon salt

20 round buttery crackers, crushed (about 3/4 cup)

Cook squash in boiling water to cover in a large skillet 8 to 10 minutes or just until tender. Drain well; gently press between paper towels.

Melt 4 tablespoons butter in skillet over medium-high heat; add onion, and sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Remove skillet from heat; stir in squash, cheese, and next 4 ingredients. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Stir together melted butter and crushed crackers; sprinkle evenly over top of casserole.
Bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes or until set.

The Worm Factory

My new Worm Factory arrived yesterday, along with my order of red wiggler worms  (Eisenia foetida).  One thousand of them!

I used to use a plastic bin with holes drilled in the bottom for my vermicomposting. It was a bit hard to manage and I couldn’t keep it inside because of the leakage.

The worst part was harvesting the compost. I like worms and all, but I don’t want to spend a whole afternoon on my deck trying to separate them from their poop!

The Worm Factory has changed my vermicomposting life!  Not only is it easy to manage, but it does the separating for me.  The picture and videos below explain how.


Whatever method you choose, I heartily recommend that all you gardeners out there give vermicomposting a try.  It is the best fertilizer ever!

A Writer’s Dilemma – How To Recycle Hard Copy Manuscripts, Part 1

I have lots of 8 1/2″  by 11″ waste paper, mostly early drafts of various novels.

I can’t just throw that much paper away, and even pitching it in the recycling bin makes me anxious.

I’ve found two nifty ways to recycle my fledgling masterworks, totally guilt-free.

The first one is making cool little plant pots which are MUCH better than the ones you can buy. (I’ll tell you about the second way later. Hint: It involves worms!)

Anyway, to make the pots, all you need are some sheets of waste paper, an 8-9 ounce can (I use spray Febreze), moistened potting mix and a waterproof tray or cookie sheet.

Create the Planting Pot

1. Fold the sheet of paper lengthwise and cut or tear it along the folded edge.  You will have two 4 1/2″ by 11″ strips.

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2. Set the can on its side at one end of the strip, with the base about 2 inches up from the cut edge. Roll the paper around the can to create a cylinder.

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3. Starting at the outer seam, fold the free end of the cylinder inward. Make three more folds inward to create the base of the pot, pressing firmly to make the folds as flat as possible.

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4. Slip the pot off of the can or bottle. Starting at the outer seam, fold the top 1/2 to 1 inch of the pot inward to create a stable rim.

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5. Hold the pot with one hand, with some of your fingers on the bottom to keep it closed. Fill the finished pot to the top with moistened seed-starting medium and set it in a waterproof tray.

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6. Repeat steps 1 through 5 to make as many “pots” as desired.+

Sow Seeds

Plant a seed or two in each pot, then gather all the pots onto a tray and water.

When you’re ready to plant the seedlings, dig a hole deep enough to bury the pot so the rim is below the soil surface; exposed newspaper could help wick water away from the plant. (If needed, tear off a bit of the rim so it doesn’t stick up into the air.) In moist soil, the roots will quickly grow through the paper sides of the pot.

Spared the shock of being shaken out of a plastic pot at planting time, your seedlings will get off to a strong start, and you’ll soon be enjoying an abundant harvest.