Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Minnesota State Fair - Chocolate Whipped Honey Kickoff!

The Great Minnesota Get-Together is almost here! From August 25 through Labor Day, September 5, the Minnesota State Fair will be serving up the classics of mini-donuts, cheese curds, and Pronto Pups, along with new foods such as candied bacon donut sliders, paneer on a spear, and deep fried nachos supreme.

When you take a break from hunting for your favorite fair foods, wander into the Agriculture Horticulture Building to browse the Bee & Honey area for treats you can take home with you. Look for our ad in the Honey Bee Lines newsletter available in the Ag/Hort building. We are featuring our new chocolate whipped honeys: Chocolate, Chocolate Cinnamon, Chocolate Vanilla Bean, and Chocolate Ghost Pepper (hot!). These whipped honeys will be available at the Fair and in our store.

Labor Day Weekend is the last hurrah of summer.  Need dishes or treats for gatherings with family and friends? Check out these great recipes you may have missed over the summer: Honey Teriyaki Marinade, Honey-Soy Marinade, Kale Salad with Honey Lemon Dressing, Energy Bars, Honey-Yogurt Popsicles and Baklava.

Labor Day also signals the beginning of school. Add a little sweetness to school lunches with honey! We have many yummy flavors of honey sticks. Or try spreading honey comb on tortillas for a different kind of wrap. Refill our little honey bears so your little honey bears can drizzle honey over fruit, yogurt or granola.

Speaking of granola…Here’s a recipe:

Yum! Wow! Granola!
Ingredients by Step (see below):

Step 2:

2½ cups rolled thick oats
½ cup chopped or slivered almonds
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup chopped pecans
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
½ cup unsalted sunflower seeds

Step 3:
¼ cup canola oil

½ cup honey
¼ cup maple syrup

Step 6:

½ cup raisins
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup chopped figs
½ cup chopped dates


1. Preheat oven to 325° F.

2. In a large bowl, stir together oats, almonds, walnuts, pecans, coconut, and sunflower seeds.
3. In a small pan over medium heat, stir together oil, honey, and maple syrup. Cook and stir until blended well. You could also do this in a large measuring cup in the microwave, heating till warmed.
4. Pour oil/honey/syrup over the oat mixture and stir to coat evenly. Spread out in an even layer on a cookie sheet.
5. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven.
6. Remove from oven and put back into bowl. Stir in raisins, cranberries, figs, and dates.
7. Spread out in an even layer on the cookie sheet.
8. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until mixture starts to stick/harden on cookie sheet.
9. Remove from oven, let stand until cooled and stir again to break up any large clusters. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.

Enjoy the State Fair, have a wonderful Labor Day, and good luck to all the kids and teachers returning to school!

By Amber D. Stoner

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Quick Summer Snacks

August is here, and it’s bound to be a hot one. Try these quick, easy snack ideas, and you can relax in the heat.

Turn Up The Fruit! This handy, dandy booklet features more than 50 ways to eat fresh fruit. Kids can help make most of the recipes and they’ll be delighted by all the fruity concoctions such as Banana Caterpillars, Olive Aliens, Strawberry Sliders and Watermelon Mountain. The easy prep and fun arrangements help families include more fresh fruit in their diet. Apple Cartwheels and Bananas and Cream include honey for a touch of added sweetness. For the sweltering days, try Pineapple Shake It!, Cherry Banana Freezie or Blackberry Sorbet. Available now in the retail store.

New Whipped Honey Flavors. Honey is delicious, and chocolate is delicious. If we combine them, it’s double delish! Come sample the array of new whipped honeys we have: Chocolate, Chocolate Cinnamon, Chocolate Vanilla Bean, and Chocolate Ghost Pepper. These whipped honeys can be smeared on breads, melted and drizzled over ice cream, drizzled over pancakes, or snacked on by the spoonful (how my kids like it best).

Whipped Honey Appetizers. Need to bring an appetizer to share for an upcoming gathering? Smear a dab of our Peach or Lemon Whipped Honey on flatbread crackers and top with goat or blue cheese. Yum! (Try local cheeses for a local theme.)

Honey Vanilla Ice Cream. It uses our local Meadow Wildflower honey and is found only at our store. All you need is a spoon (our ice cream never made it into bowls). Comes in pints and 4-ounce mini-cups.

Look for the blue grab sheet in our store for other quick summer snack tips along with a valuable coupon!

One more thing: National Honey Bee Day is Saturday, August 20. This year’s theme is Beekeeping: A Hobby with a Sweet Taste. National Honey Bee Day was started by grassroots-minded beekeepers (from Pennsylvania Apiculture, Inc. aka PennApic) to build community awareness of the bee industry, through education and promotion. Most days, I walk or drive by a farm with dozens of beehives. I wonder what it’s like to be a beekeeper…

By Amber D. Stoner