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Archive for Honey-Sugar-Syrup

TIP OF THE DAY: Hey, Honey! 30 Tasty Uses For Honey

Honey Jars
[1] Depending on the flower pollen, honey is available in many colors, from palest yellow (fireweed honey) to almost black (buckwheat honey) (photo courtesy National Honey Board).

Honey Swirler
[2] The simple solution to messy, drippy honey: a honey swirler (photo Hannah Kaminsky | Bittersweet Blog).

Honey Yogurt & Smoothie
[3] Yogurt and smoothie with honey (photo courtesy National Honey Board).

Salmon With Honey Glaze
[3] Pan-seared salmon with honey glaze (photo courtesy National Honey Board).

Roast Duck With Honey Glaze

[4] Roast duck with honey glaze (photo courtesy National Honey Board).

 

September is National Honey Month. Whether used straight as a sweetener in a cup of tea, or as an ingredient in endless recipes, honey is a hero: an all natural energy booster.

Look for raw or unrefined honey, in varietals: acacia, blueberry, clover, lavender, orange blossom, sage, wildflower—there are hundreds of different varieties around the world.

We avoid generic honey, the type simply labeled “honey” at the supermarket. It is a blend of cheap honeys, often from countries like Argentina and China that specialize in providing cheap honey.

These honeys provide sweetness, but that’s it: none of the nuances of flavor from the different flowers (a varietal honey is one particular variety of flower).

Another reason to buy varietal honey: Honey is one of the most adulterated foods on Earth—many companies mix it with cheaper sweeteners like sugar and corn syrup to cut costs. Look for “pure honey” on the ingredient label—and skip anything that lists “honey blend” as an ingredient.

Use different types to change the taste in recipes. In general, the darker the honey, the stronger the taste and the higher the antioxidant content. If you can find a honey sampler with one- or two-ounce jars, grab it. Then spend some time with a spoon, tasting the honey from the jars and noting the differences.

There are many recipes that use honey, from Honey Glazed Chicken and Honey Glazed Carrots to breakfast breads. You can substitute honey for table sugar and brown sugar in any recipe.

But there’s no cooking required for these tasty uses for honey:
 
BEVERAGES WITH HONEY

Use instead of sugar or simple syrup in:

  • Cocktails.
  • Honey milk. Add a spoon of honey to a glass of milk as an alternative to chocolate milk.
  • Tea: hot and iced.
  • Smoothies.
  •  
     
    BREAKFAST FOODS WITH HONEY

  • Broiled grapefruit. This oldie is a goodie: Drizzle honey on grapefruit halves. Brown it under the broiler (or eat it without broiling).
  • Cereal. Use instead of sugar to sweeten cereal and porridge.
  • Cut fruit. Drizzle on fruit that lacks natural sweetness.
  • Jam substitute. Honey is a nutritious alternative to jam and preserves.
  • Honey Butter. Delicious on breakfast breads and pancakes, simply blend one stick (4 ounces) of room-temperature butter with 3 to 4 tablespoons of honey.
  • Honey yogurt. Mix into plain yogurt. Add chopped basil, mint or rosemary for more dimension of flavor. You can do the same with cottage cheese and ricotta.
  • Maple syrup substitute. For pancakes, waffles and French toast.
  • Muffins. Brush honey freshly baked muffins for a quick glaze, or brush room temperature muffins and give them 5 seconds in the microwave.
  • Peanut butter or other nut butter on toast or rice crackers, drizzled with honey.
  •  
     
    DESSERTS WITH HONEY

  • Cake filling. Whipping 2 cups of low-fat ricotta or whipped cream cheese in a food processor with 4 tablespoons of honey and a pinch of ground cinnamon. Stir in ¼ cup of chopped crystallized ginger, mini chocolate chips or 1 tablespoon lemon or orange zest.
  • Custard. Substitute honey for sugar in custard, flan, panna cotta.
  • Light frosting. Blending 12 ounces of room-temperature whipped cream cheese with ? cup of honey, the grated zest of an orange and a pinch of salt.
  • Topping for ice cream.
  • Topping for un-iced cakes.
  •  
     
    SPREADS, SAUCES & DIPS WITH HONEY

    Start with the lower amount of honey, and add more to taste.

  • Barbecue Sauce. Blend= ¼ to ? cup of honey into 1 small can (6 ounces) of tomato paste. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of prepared mustard and season with Worcestershire or soy sauce to taste. Thin with water, if necessary.
  • Honey mustard. Combine Dijon and honey in a 2:1 proportion. Taste and add more honey as desired.
  • Honey mustard mayo spread. Make a sandwich spread with 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup), 1 tablespoon honey and 1 tablespoon mayonnaise.
  • Peanut sauce or dip. Thinning peanut butter with a little hot water or broth, sweeten with honey taste, flavor with soy sauce and red chile flakes to taste.
  • Vinaigrette. Combine 2 tablespoons wine vinegar, 6 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon honey and 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard. Option: Add 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic.
  •  

    OTHER FAVORITE USES FOR HONEY

  • Baked beans. Use honey instead of sugar in the recipe; or half honey, half brown sugar. (Tip: Most recipes have too much sweetener. Use half or two-thirds of what is called for.
  • Cheese condiment. With all cheeses, from the mildest ricotta and goat to aged parmesan and Gouda.
  • Energy boost. Have a teaspoon from the jar. Unlike sugar, honey is a nutritious carbohydrate that provides immediate energy. If you don’t want to eat it directly, add it to a cup of warm water mixed with lemon, or a cup of tea (no milk), or on a slice of apple or banana.
  • Peanut butter and honey sandwich. More sophisticated than PB&J.
  •  
     
    HONEY NUTRITION

    Honey is a nutritional powerhouse.

  • Minerals: calcium, iron, copper, phosphate, sodium chlorine, magnesium, manganese and potassium.
  • Vitamins: B6, niacin (B3), riboflavin (B2), thiamin (B1), pantothenic acid (B5).
  • Plus: amino acids and antioxdants.
  •  
     
    MORE HONEY INFORMATION

  • Certified Organic Honey & Raw Honey
  • Honey Varietals: The Different Types Of Honey
  • Forms Of Honey
  • The History Of Honey
  • Honey Facts
  • Pairing Honey With Foods & Beverages
  • Storing & Using Honey
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    GIFTS OF THE DAY: Artisan Honey, Spicy Honey

    SAVANNAH BEE COMPANY ARTISAN HONEYS

    Anything from this wonderful company makes a great gift, including the honey beauty products. Since 2002, we’ve been avid customers.

    The company gathers varietal honeys:

  • Acacia Honey
  • Lavender Honey
  • Orange Blossom
  • Rosemary Honey
  • Sourwood Honey
  • Tupelo Honey
  •  
    They’re sold in different sizes, with prices varying slightly by varietal. These prices are for the tupelo honey:

  • 3 ounce jars, $15.00 for a two-jar package
  • 12-ounce jar, $22.00, 12-ounce pump top jar, $27.00
  • 20-ounce flute, $38.00
  • 80 ounces (for foodservice, unless you eat a heck of a lot of honey), $150
  •  
    You can’t go wrong with anything, but if you need a recommendation:
     
    FOR ANYBODY: WHIPPED HONEY

  • In Original, Chocolate, Cinnamon or Lemon. The cinnamon version is nicely seasonal; the chocolate flavor is a must for chocolate lovers. There are also samplers.
  • This creamy honey spreads like butter. We especially like it for breakfast with toast or spooned into oatmeal or tea.
  • Anyone who has a jar may or may not admit to eating it by the spoonful as a snack.
  • A 12-ounce jar is $16.55, two 3-ounce jars are $12.00 (put one jar each into each of two stockings).
  •  
    FOR THE CONNOISSEUR: TUPELO HONEY

       

    Savannah Bee Whipped Honey

    Savannah Bee Tupelo Honey

    [1] Whipped honey: spreadable in four luscious flavors. [2] Tupelo honey: 12-ounce jar, 20-ounce flute, 3-ounce jar (photos courtesy Savannah Bee).

     
    Tupelo honey is “the gold standard by which all other honey varieties are measured,” says company founder Ted Dennard. “It’s like a thick, slow-moving river of liquid sunshine.”

    For two weeks each spring, white tupelo trees in the Southeastern swamps bloom with flowers that glisten with nectar. The bees flock to the blossoms. The result: tupelo honey with its buttery undertones and mellow, clean sweetness.

    Tupelo honey complements numerous foods, and it’s definitely another one of those “eat from the spoon” delights.

    The entire line is certified kosher by KSA. Just try some on those latkes!

    NOTE: The honeys recommended here have nothing to do with “supermarket honey,” which is gathered overseas from many sources and blended to create a profile that will appeal to the lowest common denominator (with all due respect).
     
    THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF HONEY

    THE HISTORY OF HONEY

     

    Bee's Knees Honey

    Bee's Knees Spicy Honey

    Oh honey: The spicy honey is one of our favorite new [to us] products of the year (photos courtesy Bushwick Kitchen).

      SOME LIKE IT HOT: CHILE PEPPER-INFUSED HONEY & OTHER SPECIAL FLAVORS

    Sugar with spice is certainly nice. We love the palate buzz that comes with the chile-infused honey from Bushwick Kitchen.

    Wildflower honey from New York State’s Hudson Valley is infused with fresh chiles in Brooklyn, delivering a New York state of mind that we love.

    The artisans also produce Meyer Lemon Honey and Salted Honey, flavored maple syrups and other products that we hope to try soon. Take a look at Bushwick Kitchen.

    The honey we’ve had several times (and loved so much we didn’t sufficiently pay attention to the other flavors) is the Bee’s Knees Spicy Honey. The honey is first infused, and for a finishing touch a single red chile is suspended in the bottle.

    This charmer of a hot honey condiment goes well with…

  • Berries and other fresh fruits
  • Beverages, including hot and iced tea, club soda and cocktails
  • Cakes and other baked goods
  • Cheese and charcuterie plates
  • Chicken and other poultry
  • Croissants, muffins and toast
  • Ice cream and sorbet
  • Ribs
  • Sandwiches and crostini
  •  
    A 13½-ounce squeeze bottle is $15.95 at King Arthur Flour.

    But we bet your bottle won’t last the week. So…

    A gift set of all three bottles is $44.99 at Bushwick Kitchen.

    Honey Trivia: Honey is the oldest edible food, found in the tomb of a pharaoh. It doesn’t decay because it has virtually no moisture. That’s also why it was used to dress wounds in ancient times: No bacteria could survive to infect the injury.

    MORE HONEY TRIVIA

     

      

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    BOOK: The Gefilte Manifesto, New Cooking For The New Year

    The Gefilte Manifesto

    Gefilte Fish Terrine

    [1] Modernize Jewish cooking with The Gefilte Manifesto. Cover photo: parchment-wrapped trout roasted with sliced onions. [2] The new gefilte fish: a two-fish terrine (photos courtesy Flatiron Books).

     

    Those who don’t celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, can still participate in one of the sweetest treats: sliced apples with honey for dipping. It symbolizes a sweet start to the new wear.

    This year, Rosh Hashanah spans Sunday, October 2 through Tuesday, October 4*.

    If you’re guesting for Rosh Hashanah and need a host/hostess gift, we like the new cookbook from Liz Alpern and Jeffrey Yoskowitz, owners of The Gefilteria, a culinary venture that reimagines Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine.

    THE GEFILTE MANIFESTO: ADAPTING CENTURIES-OLD RECIPES FOR THE PRESENT

    THE GEFILTE MANIFESTO: New Recipes for Old World Jewish Foods, combines respect for culinary tradition with modern culinary preferences.

    The authors—Brooklynites Liz Alpern and Jeffrey Yoskowitz—took more than 100 recipes “pulled deep from the kitchens of Eastern Europe and the diaspora of North America.”

    They re-thought the recipes, taking into consideration modern palates, seasonality and consumers’ desire for easy-to-follow recipes.

    The authors’ variations on time-honored favorites add modern spins to both everyday and holiday dishes. Consider:

  • Fried Sour Pickles With Garlic Aïoli
  • Kasha Varnishkes With Brussels Sprouts
  • Kimchi Stuffed Cabbage
  • Savory Blintzes
  • Smoked Whitefish Gefilte Terrine
  • Sour Dill Martinis
  • Spinach & Leek Kreplach
  •  
    You’ll see how easy it is to make home-cured corned beef and pastrami, farmer cheese and honey-sesame chews—just like Great-Great-Great Grandmother did, but with modern conveniences like electricity, food processors and refrigerators.

     
    Get your copy here.

    Plan B: Bring a really fine honey like Savannah Bee, and a bowl of apples.
    ________________
    *In the U.S., Europe and elsewhere, the dates of Jewish holidays vary yearly. They are based on the Hebrew calendar, which is not in sync with the Gregorian-Wester-Christian calendar.

     
      

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    RECIPE: Bacon Bourbon Cider

    Bacon Cocktail Garnish

    Cinnamon Sticks

    [1] Another way to enjoy fall’s apple cider: with bourbon and bacon (photo courtesy Davio’s | Manhattan). [2] Make your own cinnamon simple syrup with cinnamon, sugar and water (photo by Ben Fink, Indian Home Cooking by Suvir Saran).

     

    As restaurants and lounges switch to their autumn menus, we’re getting lots of fall cocktail recipes. We test cocktail recipes each weekend, typically inviting friends to stop by between their errands.

    This week’s cocktail recipe: Bacon Bourbon Cider from Davio’s Manhattan, one of New York’s fine steakhouses with a Northern Italian-accented menu.

    Two fall favorites—apple cider and maple-candied bacon—will make this a favorite fall cocktail. It’s so easy that it may well end up on your favorite home cocktail list.

    Davio’s uses Bulleit Bourbon for the cocktail. We used another top brand/
     
    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 2 ounces Bulleit Bourbon
  • 1 ounce cinnamon infused* simple syrup
  • 3 ounces apple cider
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the ingredients in a cocktail shaker; shake and pour into a Collins glass.

    2. GARNISH with a slice of candied bacon.
     
    ________________
    *You can add ground cinnamon to plain simple syrup or use the recipe below.
     
    RECIPE: CANDIED BACON

    This recipe is for 8 pieces, but trust us: You’ll want to candy the entire pound package.
     
    Ingredients

  • 8 pieces thinly sliced bacon
  • 1/4 cup plus two tablespoons maple syru
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 300°F. Place the bacon strips flat on a cooling rack screen placed over a baking sheet. Bake the bacon for approximately 10 to 12 minutes, or until thoroughly brown and crisp.

    2. COOL the bacon; then brush both sides of the strips with maple syrup, using a pastry brush. (We long ago replaced our bristle pastry and basting brush with a silicon pastry brush—so much easier to use and clean).

    3. PLACE the bacon back on the rack in the oven and bake for an additional 3-4 minutes.

    4. RESTRAIN yourself from eating all the candied bacon.

     
    RECIPE: CINNAMON SIMPLE SYRUP

    You can make simple syrup up to a month in advance and keep it in the fridge, tightly capped. It can keep even longer, but why take up spice with an item you don’t use?

    Instead, use the cinnamon syrup to sweeten tea or coffee, or to drizzle over desserts: baked goods, fruits, puddings, etc. You can also give it as gifts in a Mason jar tied with a ribbon.

    Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  •  
    Preparation

    1. BREAK the cinnamon sticks into pieces (1 inch or longer), using a rolling pin or other implement (or break them by hand). Place them in a small sauce pan with the sugar and water.

    2. BRING to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until all the sugar is dissolved. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it cool.

    3. STRAIN out and discard the cinnamon stick pieces, and refrigerate, tightly covered.
     
    SUBSTITUTING GROUND CINNAMON FOR CINNAMON STICKS

  • For each 2-inch cinnamon stick piece a recipe requires, substitute 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
  • Taste to see if you want more cinnamon flavor, and proceed 1/4 teaspoon at a time. Ground cinnamon has a stronger flavor than cinnamon sticks.
  • However, the flavor of ground cinnamon dissipates after 6 months or so (the minute a spice is ground and has much more exposure to air, the flavor begins to fade). If you don’t use cinnamon often, buy cinnamon sticks instead: They keep their flavor for up to 2 years. Grind them in a spice grinder or coffee grinder as needed.
  •  
    THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CINNAMON AND CASSIA

    Who knew that most of our ground “cinnamon” is actually cassia—not true cinnamon?

    Check out the different types of cinnamon.
     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Honey Dessert Sauce

    chocolate-tart-honey-230

    A chocolate tart, drizzled with orange blossom honey. To the right of the tart: chocolate biscotti pieces. Photo courtesy Bestia | LA.

     

    Caramel to crème anglaise, hard sauce to sabayon: For many centuries, good cooks have known how to garnish a dessert with a sauce.

    Even if the dessert tastes delicious as is, a bit of sauce dresses up a brownie, ice cream, pudding, or slice of plain cake or pie.

    While you can buy them off the shelf, all dessert sauces except one require that someone create it. The one that is ready-made: honey.

    You can use generic honey—whatever you have on hand. Or, match the honey to the dessert:

  • Black sage honey with pear desserts.
  • Basswood or lavender honey with apple.
  • Orange blossom honey with lemon.
  • Raspberry honey with chocolate or fruit desserts.
  • Sourwood honey with peaches.
  •  
    Here are more honey pairings.
     

    HOW TO GARNISH WITH HONEY

    Drizzle the honey straight from the cap of the Honey Bear* or other squeeze bottle, or from a teaspoon.

  • You can start by creating a drizzle pattern—circles, dots, zigzags—on the plate.
  • Then place the dessert on the plate.
  • As you like, drizzle some honey on top of the dessert.
  •  
    See the different types of dessert sauces Dessert Sauce Glossary.

     
    *Never throw away an empty Honey Bear bottle. Fill it with a varietal honey and use it to drizzle. The Honey Bear bottle design is a registered trademark of the National Honey Board, which licenses the design to honey bottlers.

     
      

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