Monday, October 10, 2016

Autumn and Apples

One of our family’s favorite autumn traditions is a trip to the orchard for apple-picking. For local fresh fruit, Minnesota’s apples are juicy, tasty, crunchy, sweet, tart, and all-around delicious, especially right off the tree. We love Honeycrisp, Zestar, and SweeTango. Also, Haralson, Regent and Honeygold. All of these types of apples are local and ready for harvesting.

Find an orchard near you ( and enjoy an afternoon walking amidst the rows of apples trees, their branches laden with fruit, and pluck the apples like the treasures they are.

What can you do with your peck of apples when you get home?

Slice ‘em up and dip ‘em! Dunk your apple slices in our cinnamon-whipped honey or any one of our chocolate-whipped honeys. The chocolate-whipped honeys can be warmed up prior to dipping, too. This can be a quick snack for kids after school or a treat for sharing at a potluck.

Of course, you can always make apple pie with your abundance of apples. How about a recipe with honey instead of sugar? Try this recipe for the upcoming holidays or any day.

Honey Apple Pie


2 pie crusts
5 cups peeled, sliced apples
2/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg white
1 teaspoon cinnamon/sugar mix


1.      Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2.      Fill a crust-lined 9" pie plate with sliced apples. Pour honey over apples and then sprinkle apples with flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.
3.      Dot apples with small pats of the butter.
4.      Cover with top crust. Seal edges and flute crust. Cut slits in top crust.
5.      Brush top crust with egg white and sprinkle cinnamon/sugar mix over top crust.
6.      Wrap edge of crust with foil to prevent burning.
7.      Bake for 50 minutes or until apples are tender.

Enjoy autumn with some apples!
By Amber D. Stoner

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fun with honey: an after-school snack & an experiment

First, the snack:

Cinnamon Honey Roll-Ups with Fruit

1 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon chopped raisins
1/2 of a banana, diced
1 tortilla, flour or whole grain

1.    Stir together cream cheese, honey and cinnamon in a bowl.
2.    Add raisins and bananas and stir until combined.
3.    Spread over tortilla and roll up.

*Use diced apples instead of banana.
*Use ¼ cup shredded carrot instead of banana. (“Surprisingly good,” reports my 6-year-old nephew.)

Now, the experiment:

Float or Sink Experiment*

Kids love to discover the floaters and sinkers in the colored layers of this fun experiment. Learn about density and liquids by dropping a variety of objects into the liquid layers and seeing where they settle.

Gather these items:
*Water colored with food coloring (any color)
*Vegetable oil
*Large clear plastic container or Mason jar
*Things to drop in: almond or other nut, Legos, grapes, dried pasta, metal nut or other small metal objects, and small tomatoes and anything else you are curious about.

1.      Pour honey into the container or jar to a depth of 1.5-2 inches.
2.      Slowly add the same amount of vegetable oil to the container.
3.      Slowly add the same amount of colored water to the container.
4.      Watch as the liquids settle into layers.
5.      One at a time, gently drop in the different objects.

Questions to ponder:
Which liquid was the top layer? The middle layer? The bottom layer? Where did the metal objects settle? Where did the Lego float? What about the almond or grape?

What’s happening?
Liquids separate by density with the least dense on top. Oil is lightest and floats above water; honey is heaviest and sits below the water. Objects will float or sink depending on how heavy they are. The metal nuts are more dense (heavier) than all the liquids, so they sink to the bottom. The Lego is less dense (lighter) than all the liquids, so it floats near the top. Which other objects ended up floating or sinking?

*Adapted from On the Level in My First Science Book by Angela Wilkes.

By Amber D. Stoner