Back from vacation…
After a much-needed break from the day-to-day grind of life, we are back and were ready to see our two munchkins again… they were ready to see us too, which was SO much fun!
Oh, my heart…
Pitter-patter… LOVE these girls!
We were not TOTALLY kid-free though on our trip…
Yes, there is our 20-week baby boy… Benjamin David (now 22 weeks)… along for the trip with mama and daddy. Not necessarily an ideal way to travel but not too cumbersome at this point 🙂
We walked a LOT on this trip… it felt good… but as you can see, I was exhausted and had to take a rest whenever I could find a good spot… 🙂
We are happy to be home and I’ve been doing a lot of cooking and baking with our latest Apples to Ziti ingredient… “Honey”!
This delicious golden liquid is a natural sweetener produced by bees. It brings great flavor to both sweet and savory dishes. The flavor and the color of the honey depends on the type of flowers the bees collect the nectar from. In general, lighter-colored honey will have a milder flavor than darker-colored honey.
You can get honey anytime of the year, but local honey is harvested in the summer and fall… if you can get your hands on some local honey that has just been harvested it is EXTRA special! This may be a splurge but well worth it for a special treat!
When you cook honey under high heat on chicken it caramelizes and creates a crusty, flavorful exterior. Click here to try out a recipe that does just this… Balsamic Chicken Drumettes… YUMMMMM!!!!
Emergency substitute for honey? For every 1 cup honey use 1 1/4 cups sugar plus 1/4 cup water or apple juice. Ideally, use the REAL thing though!
Substituting Honey for Sugar? Replace 1 cup of sugar with 3/4 cup of honey and reduce the liquid in the recipe by ¼ cup. Also, add a pinch of baking soda (1/4 tsp or so) to recipes that do not call for sour cream or sour milk, so as to reduce the acidity of the honey. You want to cook jellies and jams at higher temperatures when you replace sugar with honey.
Baking with Honey? Honey makes things brown faster and darker than sugar. It attracts and holds moisture so cakes and quick breads stay fresher longer, and it makes cookies chewy, not crunchy. When baking with honey you want to lower the oven temperature by 25 to 30 degrees F to prevent over-browning. A trick for measuring honey is to first coat the measuring utensil with a small amount of flavorless oil (such as vegetable oil) so the honey will not stick. It works!!
A warning? Honey can contain spores of clostridium botulinum, which can cause infection in infants. That is why, if you have ever wondered, that is why your pediatrician tells you NOT to feed your baby honey until they are 1 year of age or older. They are not just making this up! Basically a child younger than 1 year of age is not necessarily mature enough to digest honey. It can cause infant botulism which is a rare but serious disease. So, LISTEN TO YOUR DOCTOR! 🙂
How to store honey? Store your honey in the pantry at room temperature. If you store it in the fridge it will crystallize more quickly and easily.
What do you do when your honey becomes crystallized? Do NOT throw it out! You can heat a saucepan of water to boiling, remove from the heat and place the container of honey in the hot water until the crystals disappear OR use your microwave to do this more quickly. Just microwave your honey container UNcovered for 20 seconds at a time, stirring in-between, until the crystals dissolve.
Honey Nutrition? Unlike sugar, honey is rich in minerals and nutrients and also has some antibiotic properties that may aid in the healing process. Per tablespoon of honey you are looking at 64 calories, 0g fat and Cholesterol, and 17g Carbs (16g sugar).
Cost? You’re looking at $.30 to $.36 per ounce (or cheaper if you buy on sale or in bulk). There are approximately 2 TBSP of honey in an ounce.
Happy Economical Eating! ~Jenna