Cooking With Honey – Homemade Honey Sriracha

Fresh Sriracha (aka, home made 'Rooster')

Given that I keep stingy insects like honey bees, it’s not surprising that hot and spicy foods are my favorites!

In my humble opinion,  the taste of  a mouth-burningly hot dish, tempered with the uniquely flavorful sweetness of honey, is one of  life’s greatest pleasures!

My bees must feel the same way because my friends swear that my honey tastes a bit spicy.  I think that’s part of its charm!!

Anyway, here’s my recipe for homemade honey Sriracha.  You may never use store-bought again!!

Yield:   1 1/2 cups
Ingredients:
 
1/2 pound red fresno chiles, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves
1teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup distilled white vinegar
2  tablespoons honey
Directions:

Place all the ingredients except the honey in a jar and let sit overnight to mellow the heat of the peppers.

Place the mixture and honey in small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Transfer to a blender and puree for about 5 minutes, until a smooth, orange-red mixture forms. Run through a strainer, extracting as much juice as possible.

Once refrigerated, the sauce should have the same consistency and texture as store-bought Sriracha, but less salty and fresher tasting!

Health Benefits Of Honey!

NHB-bears-wallpaper-1680x1050

One of the many great things about Farmers’ Markets is that you can find unprocessed honey, also known as raw honey, for sale. Most of the honey sold in grocery stores has been pasteurized and sometimes even blended with cane sugar or corn syrup. However, raw honey is naturally antiseptic and does not need pasteurization.

People have been using raw honey for its health benefits for millennia. Raw honey contains pollen, enzymes, antioxidants and many other beneficial compounds that researchers are just beginning to discover. These compounds largely disappear during processing. The general rule is the darker the raw honey, the more nutritious it is.

Allergy Relief

Recent research supports the theory that local honey– obtained as close as possible to where you live–may help build an immunity to seasonal allergies. Honey made by bees in the vicinity of an allergenic plant will contain tiny amounts of pollen from that plant. This honey will act as a sort of vaccine if taken in small amounts–a few teaspoons per day–for several months, and can provide relief from seasonal pollen-related allergies.

Antioxidants

Raw honey contains powerful cancer-fighting antioxidants, while pasteurized honey does not.

Digestive Aid

Raw honey contains many enzymes that can help some people digest food more easily so it may also help treat ulcers and diarrhea.

Vitamins and Minerals

The nutrient content of raw honey varies (darker honey is more nutritious), but a 1-ounce serving contains very small amounts of folate as well as vitamins B2, C, B6, B5 and B3. Minerals including calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc are also found in raw honey.

Wound and Skin Care

Honey has anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties. It is used by the medical profession to treat wounds, burns, and various other skin conditions including acne.

Cough Suppressant

Honey is also useful in treating upper respiratory infections. Studies have shown that a small dose of raw honey was more effective than an over-the-counter cough treatment. Be sure not to give any honey, either raw or treated, to a child under the age of 12 months.

Blood sugar regulation:

Even though honey contains simple sugars, some researchers believe it does not affect the body in the same way as white sugar or artificial sweeteners. Honey’s exact combination of fructose and glucose may actually help the body regulate blood sugar levels.

In addition to its health benefits, it is a scientific fact that cooking with honey makes food taste better. Honey contains gluconic acid, a completely safe and natural flavor enhancer. According to the National Honey Board, honey “balances and enhances the flavor profiles of other ingredients used in a recipe.”

A little honey makes everything better!

Cooking With Honey – “Crack” Dip

crack dip

My next door neighbor introduced me to this recipe. It’s so good it’s addictive!

In this dip honey is used as a flavor enhancer rather than a sweetener. It’s a scientific fact that the gluconic acid in honey makes every recipe taste better!

Yield:  about 3 cups of dip

Ingredients:

1 cup finely diced Vidalia onion

1 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise

1 cup Mexican blend cheese

1 4 ounce can diced chiles, drained but not rinsed

Honey for drizzling on top

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the first four ingredients together and place into a casserole dish. Drizzle honey on top. Bake for 20-30 minutes until cheese is melted and top is golden brown. Serve with chips, vegetables or slices of French bread.

Beautiful Beekeeping – The Beehive Inn

The "Living Sign" outside The Beehive Inn

The “Living Sign” outside The Beehive Inn

You may enjoy unique honey for tea when you visit The Beehive Inn in Castlegate at Grantham in Lincolnshire, UK.  The honey comes from the Inn’s “living sign” – a beehive.

Since 1830, the beehive has hung in a tree outside the Inn.  Its bees produce an average of 30lbs of honey every year!

beehive inn

A sign on the Inn reads :

” Stop traveller this wondrous sign to explore and say when thou hast view’d it o’er and o’er.

Grantham now two rarities are thine, A lofty steeple and a living sign.”

The lofty steeple is that of St Wulfram’s church, 272ft high, at the end of the street.

The Vernal Equinox Cocktail

strawberry smash

Celebrating the arrival of Spring!!

Yield:  1 cocktail

Ingredients

3 ripe strawberries, hulled and sliced

6 leaves of mint

1 ounce white rum

1/2 ounce honey and 1/2 ounce water, mixed until honey dissolves

2 ounces prosecco

Directions

Add the strawberries and mint to a rocks glass. Smash the strawberries and mint gently with a muddler until the berries are a pulp and the mint smells strong. Add the rum and honey mixture to the glass and give it a stir. Fill 3/4 full with ice. Top off with the prosecco. Garnish with a sprig of mint!

The Russian Mafia And Forex Scams

Disclaimer:  I’m obsessed with the Russian Mob.  I’ve written a novel about it.  This post has nothing to do with bees, gardening or cooking with honey.

I’m sure my fellow bloggers have been swamped, as I have been, by a flood of battling spam e-mails concerning the “Forex Bastards” and Dmitri Chavkerov aka Felix Homogratus.

I have no idea whether this dispute actually involves the Russian Mob in any way, shape or form, but allegedly the Mob has been involved in Forex Scams.  In any event, I have a feeling it isn’t going to end well.

I stumbled upon this post by an Italian Blogger who calls himself “bacerbroker.”  I don’t know how accurate it is, but it is certainly thought-provoking.

Scam & Spam Mail sent by Forex Bastards

Now, a few interesting things about this one [referring to one of the scam emails] :

–          The email was sent by ‘Felix Homogratus’, an individual who obviously uses a nickname to run his business.  His real name is Dmitri Chavkerov.  My gut tells me that there is something fishy about running a business under a nickname but maybe that’s just me.

–          ‘Felix’ runs a few sites, one of those iswww.forexbastards.com.  According to Felix “Forex Bastards was founded in January of 2006, after I literally couldn’t handle getting screwed any longer. Learning how to trade Forex I went through several Forex brokers, a few different trading signals providers and used multiple Forex educational training services; some brilliant, some useless and some down right horrible.”.  For some reason I get the feeling that his Yacht Seminar is a typical example of the types of scams his website was meant to expose.

–          The speakers include Felix’s partner, Rob Grespinet.  According to the agenda, “If he feels like it, [Rob] will share with the participants the “inner talk” and “big boys outlook” on the Forex market over the next year.  Otherwise, we’ll just have to enjoy his profanity and witty humor.”.  Have you ever been to a seminar where one of speakers may or may not participate depending on his mood on that day?  Interesting character…

–          Now the piece de resistance is the other two speakers: Skip Atwater and Marty Rosenblatt.  Those guys are supposedly experts in ‘Remote Viewing’.  Now I have to admit that I had to look up ‘Remote Viewing’ because I had no idea what that meant.  I thought that maybe it was the name of a new fancy indicator or strategy but I came to find that remove viewing (RV) is “is a protocol used in consciousness research where a viewer attempts to gather sense impressions and “knowingness”, non-sensorial information, about a target.”  So basically we are talking about telepathy or clairvoyance in trading the Forex?!?!  How desperate are we getting here?  What’s next, opening a ‘channel’ to Jesse Livermore to ask him for tips?

–          The last speaker is ‘anonymous’ and I quote “He wants to keep his identity unknown before the seminar”.  Come on…people using nicknames, others using clairvoyance, and this last one the enigmatic speaker who wants to remain incognito.  Is it a trading seminar or a masquerade?  Is there really a difference?  I am starting to wonder.

–          As another test, let’s go back to the CFTC warnings and let’s see how many apply to this ‘invitation’:

1)       “Stay away from opportunities that seem too good to be true”.  In Felix’s own words: “I can teach you a trading system that in my experience can easily make you into a Forex millionaire in 3 years or less”.  Now here note the word ‘EASILY’, ‘MILLIONAIRE’, and ‘3 YEARS’.  Too good to be true?  I also always like when systems promise to make you plenty of money with extremely little effort.  Two beautiful examples in this invitation.  First from Felix himself ” I’ll be honest with you, because of this way of trading, I am starting to become very lazy, and I am actually sleeping through a lot of the news announcements that I used to trade short term.”  Next from Skip Atwater: “The technique takes 1 hour per day, 5 days per week, and it has made this guy millions”.

2)       “Be Sure You Get the Company’s Performance Track Record”.  In Felix’s own words again “[Rob Grespinet] is a heavy weight financial giant, and most people will never be able to comprehend the level of connections this guy has.  Just being in this guy’s presence is an honor”….Ok, what is HIS performance track record?  Numbers please!  About Skip Atwater: “he will be teaching a simple technique he has been using over the years.  The technique takes 1 hour per day, 5 days per week, and it has made this guy millions.”  So this guy is going to teach me how to use psychic abilities to make money in the market?  Show me a trading journal here, show me a trading account statement!  Quantify this guy’s trading system’s expectancy!  Last but not least: “this is Felix writing, and if you know me, you should know by now that I don’t throw empty words into thin air”.  Actually Felix I don’t know you, at all!  Actually it’s only by googling ‘Felix Homogratus’ that I was able to find your real name.  Maybe you’ve made millions but for all I know none of it was made through trading; maybe you have made all this money scamming retail traders.

Ok, I have already wasted enough time analyzing this email.  My only point is that there are plenty of emails like this one finding their way in my inbox every single day, making incredible promises, telling me that there is a system out there that could make me millions by just working one hour a day, and to be honest I not only don’t believe any of them but I have to come to find them insulting.  As individuals who are entering the retail trading world, this is what we are exposed to.  We have to be vigilant, extremely vigilant.

 

Those Obscure Wellies of Desire

It’s definitely wellie season in Ohio. Today was warm and rainy. It will rain or snow from now until June.

I have a perfectly good pair of black Hunter Wellies. The problem is I’m lusting after a pair that are not to be found on the internet or elsewhere.

They are Fortnum & Mason exclusives. Aren’t they fabu?

fmhunter1

I can just see myself prancing about in these eau de nil beauties!

My flowers will bloom more beautifully, my bees will buzz more happily and my honey cupcakes will turn out perfectly every time. If only I had those wellies!!

If anyone knows where I can locate a pair, size 37, I will be forever in your debt.  🙂  Until then, I will dream about those obscure objects of desire. Thank you, Luis Bunuel.  🙂

Honey Coca Cola Cake

coca cola cake

Coke is one of my guilty pleasures.  Kicking the “Real Coke” habit is one of my greatest victories.

I’m now a Coke Zero fiend, thanks to my skinny, yoga-toned daughter Molly. Thank you, Dear!!

But this cake is a different story. It was introduced to me by my beloved mother L.J.  My Oldest Friend Mary Ann and I actually laughed when she told us about it. That was until we tasted it….

It’s one of the best we’ve ever tasted.  And even better with honey…

Ingredients

1 cup Coca-Cola

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup honey

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

Coca-Cola Frosting (recipe follows)

Garnish: 3/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Directions

Combine Coca-Cola and buttermilk; set aside.

Beat butter at low speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar and honey; beat until blended. Add egg and vanilla; beat at low speed until blended.

Combine flour, cocoa, and soda. Add to butter mixture alternately with cola mixture; begin and end with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended.

Stir in marshmallows. Pour batter into a greased and floured 13- x 9-inch pan. Bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes. Spread Coca-Cola Frosting over warm cake; garnish, if desired.

Coca Cola Frosting

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/3 cup Coca-Cola

3 tablespoons cocoa

1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions

Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring until butter melts. Remove from heat; Beat in sugar and vanilla until consistency of firm frosting.

“Cooking With Honey” Now Available On Barnes and Noble’s NOOK

Image representing nook as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Cooking With Honey: Recipes from Romancing the Bee

Cooking With Honey is now available from Barnes & Noble in NOOK formatBN.com also has hard copies available for immediate shipping!

Proud Of My Honey

Well, my honey extraction is completed!  Now it’s time for me to clean up the stickiness!!

One of my readers asked about my extracting set-up. A picture is worth a thousand words.

The big silver thing is the centrifugal extractor.  The honey then goes through two mesh strainers and comes out into the bottling tub.  From there, I pour it into bottles straight from the dish washer.

Some people extract their honey in a garage or a basement, but that seems too un-hygienic to me.

Even though honey comes from outside and all, I like to keep things squeaky clean after it comes indoors. Hey, I’m a Virgo!

Hygiene aside, what I’m most proud of about my honey is that I don’t treat my bees with anything. The honey is completely organic. I don’t think there are very many beekeepers around who can make that claim.

But enough bragging. Here are my bottles, glowing and finished!

The Noble Bayard Nods His Approval