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Archive for the ‘recipes’ Category

Honeycomb on frame VSCO app

Hello friends. Here we are in September already – so sorry that August got away from me before I could get a post going. We have had so much going on and pretty much all of it awesome. Harvest has been going very well and despite the long spells of wet spring weather, the girls finally shifted into high gear and we are at about 8500 pounds of some of the lightest, sweetest honey varieties we have ever harvested.

So awesome when every honey you taste is slightly (or completely) different from bee yard to bee yard. Wonderful for us and even more wonderful when we can do a honey tasting for our customers who visit the Bee Ranch. Being at home and having the Honey Store open to the public two days a week has been working very well for us and we continue to see increases on both days in terms of visitors and sales. We especially appreciate our loyal customers and friends from the San Antonio markets we previously attended – thanks y’all! Making the trek to Seguin isn’t as bad as many of them thought it would be and being on the edge of town gives our sweet little Bee Ranch a quiet country feel but only 30 minutes from downtown San Antonio. Cool!

Here’s a recap of our recent happenings:

Classes in July and August were SO FUN! What a blessing and a blast to FINALLY get to work a class together again. For the three years we were at farmers market, on class days, I’d head off to market while Mark handled class with a friend or with our son. I loved getting to help a bit and having time to take some pictures in between helping customers who stop by Saturday mornings. We’ve even had several neighbors stop in the Honey Store to say hello and to check us out. Here’s one of our favorite photos from a recent class. We love getting students into the hives so they can really see and learn about the bees. This also allows us to explain what they see on the frames as well as around the hive area. Many of our students are interested in keeping their own hives at some point and we are always happy to help them as best we can. (Seats are still available for September 26 and October 17 if you are interested in joining us!)

Intro to Beekeeping August 22, 2015

Here’s another class shot because I had so much fun looking at them. haha

Bees on frame

There are still so many things to do and opportunities to explore! Ugh. There just aren’t enough hours in a day for us to do everything but what a great feeling that is for us. To know we have all these fun ideas we want to pursue when we can. As we get older and the hot days seems to get longer (and the honey boxes seem to get heavier), we have to think about how our company and activities might need to shift in order to accommodate us. One of those things is to do another update to the website so we can list some new items such as the Pecan Creamed Honey and the sweet little Gift Jar we now offer. Another update will include at least three new recipes added to our Recipe Page. So excited about this one! I research a lot of recipes and then start experimenting and then let tasters try out what I made and provide feedback. Here’s one of the things I’ve wanted to learn, get the way we like it, and then share – Honey Roasted Pecans. I think I finally got it the way I like it. I’m also working on Honey Oats Granola and a friend I met via Pearl and Instagram (Slice of Rei) has a very yummy Honey Caramel Popcorn recipe I want to see if she’ll let us post to our site. Lots of fun stuff going on here at the Bee Ranch.

Honey Roasted Pecans Foods August 2015

Our Beeventures have also taken us down the road of selling beekeeping equipment and supplies. If you haven’t visited us lately in Seguin, you don’t know we carry everything you need to get started with bees and to keep going. Bee-gear (veil, suits), honey extraction equipment and tools, boxes, frames – ask us. We might have it now. So excited for Mark to do something he’s been thinking about for years. Our students kept coming back to us with requests for supplies and Mark has been working hard to find the best quality items for a good price. We sell only what we use so if we’ve got it, you can ask us what we think about it. Check us out sometime! We’d love to see you at the Bee Ranch.

Beekeeping supplies

That’s it for now as I need to run to an appointment. More Beeventures and more posting over on our other social media outlets (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr).

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Pearl Market treats

While we love road tripping, we sure love coming home! Getting the bees from Florida is always fun but also a lot of stress since we worry about their well-being the entire trip and you never know what can happen on the road. I have a lot of pictures I need to upload and then I will devote a separate posting just for that since it is deserving of special focus.

What’s with the picture up top? Those are things we got at the Pearl last time we worked it. And you know what? We sure missed good eating while on the road! Can’t wait to get back to market and get some fresh, local foods! Top of the list – Brussels sprouts. And more spinach for this (I call it the Green Thienie Surprise since I sprung it on the men a few weeks ago):

Green Smoothie

And speaking of market and the last time we worked it, our friend Beatriz gave us this very cool waxed sheet of fabric that we can use as a food storage option – it’s reusable! This was a sweet gift and timely as I would like to learn how to make these also so maybe I will ask Beatriz to tell me more about it next time we have a chance to visit. I saw these on one of my favorite websites/blogs/shops (Food 52) and they had sandwich storage beeswax sheets such as this. I hadn’t had time to follow up with more research and then here we are…Beatriz beat me to it. Thanks, friend!

Beeswax storage sheet

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Hot tea with Honey Citrus Syrup

So a few weeks ago, after the mad rush of holiday activities, I finally came down with something. It didn’t feel like a flu but it didn’t feel like just allergies. I guess it could have been a combination of really bad allergies and a really bad cold. I was out of it, sleepy all the time, no energy, congested, coughing and freezing all the time (which is really unheard of for me and that’s how Mark knows I must really be ill). My sore throat could only be soothed with hot beverages and the lemon honey tea is always nice for that. I think all the talking during Pearl market really was what pushed me over the sick edge. The soar throat was just killing me from talking for about four hours and inhaling all that cold air and whatever was flying around that day. Anyway, I did have some nice down time and fortunately it happened when things were slow at my other job as well, with so many coworkers on vacation or out ill.

Hot tea with lemon and honey

At market, we often exchange ideas with friends and customers about uses for our products and other vendors’ products. And so I had a chance to talk again about using our honey in a cough syrup and decided I should really do it. So I combed through many blogs and recipe sites to see what was out there for natural honey recipes for coughs. I really liked the sounds of one in particular and I used it as a base model for some syrup to help my and Tang’s coughs. It’s essentially this: fill a jar (any size but I used a pint jar) 3/4 of the way up with lime slices and about 2 teaspoons worth fresh ginger (I just sliced up what looked like the equivalent of that and then added more slices for good measure since ginger is so good for the digestive system anyway). Then I went to work layering things into the jar.

Ingredients for a Honey Lime Syrup

For an extra boost of local allergy relief, I used the wildflower comb honey I had left from Guadalupe County. I liked the bits of wax that came along for the ride. Couldn’t hurt.

Adding raw honey to the syrup concoction

I mashed things up and then poured more honey in so that it was near the top of the jar. Then it went in the fridge over night and the next night we each had a cup of hot tea with one teaspoon of the syrup. Even though Mark doesn’t typically like citrus flavors in this hot tea, he did like this formula and the three of us give this syrup three thumbs up for sure. I am excited to next try a rosemary-lime-honey syrup since we have a potted rosemary by the back door and I love rosemary! You can also try oranges with cloves and honey but I haven’t done that one yet.

Lime Ginger Honey Syrup in the fridge

I sent some of my pictures and information out to family and friends and my brother Tuan sent me his picture of his own version. I like learning from others and in his version, he used five very juicy limes and upped the amount of ginger (as in he used “a ton” of fresh ginger they had in the freezer, he said). He did the 3/4 lime-ginger and 1/4 honey combination and stirred it all up, adjusting sweetness and sourness to his liking. Then he popped it into the refrigerator for a few hours and then proceeded to down five tablespoons straight up. He cracked me up! It does taste very good and I can see myself doing the same if I would allow it, which I won’t. haha Anyway, thank you brother dear for sharing your concoction and picture with us and for letting me use it here. I love how you committed immediately with the quart size jar! By the way, I am so happy to see you guys are burning the candles! We will send more.

Another version of the Honey Lime Syrup

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Honey Pecan Pie 2013

Happy, happy Thanksgiving, friends! May your day be filled with love and laughter no matter what you’re doing. We give thanks for countless blessings we receive daily – so many I am overwhelmed at times thinking of them all! Thank you for helping us do what we love and thank you for taking this journey with us to learn about bees, building, retail, people, and so much more. Your support and caring are what help us know we are doing a good thing here. We are also very thankful for each other and for the people who worked so hard this short week to help build our dream. The slab is poured and drying while we enjoy a day of family and rest (a little). I will dedicate a post specifically to update the construction but it is going well after some minor bumps. Friday the actual building will be delivered. 🙂

PS – That’s our Honey Pecan Pie. This year we shelled pecans from our very own yard and went with Frio County Mesquite Honey. Off to the parents’ house we go. Here’s the recipe should you wish to indulge: GBR Honey Pecan Pie.

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Ebert Queen introduction

One of my favorite times of any weekday is when Mark and I regroup in the kitchen and we’re winding down while we prepare dinner. During the week, I don’t often get to go on beeventures with Mark and I always feel like I am missing out on stuff. I try not to think about it most of the time and he’s really great about texting status updates and pictures to me and other family members. We are blessed that our families enjoy learning about what we are doing and they are constantly asking for updates. I use those updates for everyone on our social media outlets and I especially love it when Mark shares pictures, and sometimes videos, with us (lately my favorite it still the two fighting bulls out in a field). So here’s the story on our sweet little Ebert queen in the above shot. Mark casually told me this story while I was peeling shrimp or something like that and I couldn’t wait to tell y’all. Hopefully it’s as interesting to you as it was to us.

The twenty Ebert queens are tucked away in their queen bank and as Mark needs them, he can quickly and easily retrieve them from the back yard. There are currently about thirty newly divided hives back there along with the queen bank and the hives are grouped together based on when they were divided and when they need their queen introduced. The other day, Mark was introducing queens to two hives that he had not gotten to the day before. He opened up the plastic cage so that the queen could crawl out and onto the tops of the frames in that box. Well…this one decided for whatever reason, she needed to fly about for a bit. So Mark watched as she took flight and circled the hive in the area up above his head a few times. Now this part I don’t know that I would ever catch with my own eyes, but Mark caught sight of her a couple of times as she rounded so he stepped back about six feet and into the tree line in front of the hives. He watched as she landed at the entrance of the very hive he had opened. Then she calmly walked into her new home and new family. WOW! I guess she just didn’t want to be dumped there. That queenie was determined to make an entrance. She did it her own way. What a queen. He checked her two days later and the above picture is what he saw when he picked up one of the frames.

Here’s a shot of new divides in the back yard. I like seeing them lined up back there and I’ll miss them once they are ready for a permanent home.

Backyard divides 2013

Now I want to finish off with dinner, which on a market night is either leftovers or pizza or the buffet, whatever our energy levels happen to be. Tonight was actually leftovers we knew would be great because the jambalaya gets better with a few days on it. The okra was from Engel Farm at the Quarry market and I got it last Sunday. The chicken was an entire chicken that I got from Parker Creek Ranch who are at both Southtown and Quarry markets with us. I just love Travis and Mandy – really great young couple doing a great thing out there in D’Hanis (y’all look them up and try their beef, eggs and chickens – we have and it’s all been GREAT). The funny thing about the chicken is that Mandy called it “deformed” because though it was a very good chicken, it was missing one leg. I didn’t have time to ask for the back story on Deformed Chicken but I needed a small chicken since I wanted dark meat in my jambalaya so when she held it up to me, I thought I just had to have it – a small chicken with a story. That’s bound to make my jambalaya good. And it did. Thanks for the deformed chicken, Mandy. You are my favorite poultry vendor ever. See you tomorrow!

Jambalaya part 2

PS – The garlic toast was made with Cheddar Dill bread from Biga on the Banks, a wonderful restaurant on the SA River downtown. Their awesome pastry chef, Lila, is a vendor at the Pearl market. This was delish!

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Winner Winner Chicken Dinner Sandwich

It is seriously hot out on the asphalt, in case you don’t know that. 🙂 While we love going to market, it sure can get like an oven during Texas summers. I was pretty wilty out there today but I remembered to bring a water bottle mister that my friend Laurie gave me and it really does the trick for cooling down roasting vendors (I even shared with some other ladies). You can put ice in the bottle and that’ll keep the water cold so that when you pull the trigger of the mister, it’s the same concept as a regular spray bottle but its value pretty much sky rockets when it’s in the upper 90s and we’re all a hot mess. Anyway, something to think about if you’re thinking you might want to get into markets in Texas. It’s hot and it’s hard work but for us it’s also a lot of fun because we get to meet such awesome people and it’s a steady income for our growing business. By the way, I’m eating a delicious concoction from our friends at the Original Winner Winner Chicken Dinner food truck. It. Is. So. Good. The crew rocks so if you ever have a chance to try them, do and tell them we sent you! We love Adrian, Kenny and Mae!

Yumminess from Chef Luis of Humble House

The above picture is one I shot yesterday at the Pearl market after our neighbor Chef Luis of Humble House Foods (graduated from the Culinary Institute of America of SA and located at the Pearl complex) brought it over to our tent – talk about getting spoiled! This sauteed vegetables dish was so great with his tomato sauce. So put them on your list to visit as well. We’ve had their Pesto and love it but had not tried this tomato sauce just yet. And guess what – it’s got our honey in there! We are thrilled to have him use our honey in his product and even happier we got to sample the goodness. Now I have another dish I can recreate here at home for us. By the way, that’s red potatoes and bell peppers sauteed with a bit of the sauce.

Roasted Tomato with Asiago & Almond

Here is the Humble House tent on a busy day yesterday. Happy every time we see fellow vendors busy and selling out.

Humble House Foods

Finally, before I go check on Mark in the Candle Shop, I wanted to share this thought with you. After the truck gets unloaded, groceries and bees are put away, and while Mark balances the books, I got us a snack and thought of how lucky we are to have access to such delicious, healthy and clean foods. So blessed! And as I cut up the fruit for our snacking, I think, “Thanks, bees. Because if you don’t get out there and pollinate these fruit plants, I wouldn’t be enjoying this goodness right about now.” Yep. Feeling pretty awesome about the bee work Mark and his friends help him do. Thanks, everyone.

Why we need bees...

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Showing Contractor Ed the property soon to be ours

Took a little stroll out to the back part of the property this evening with Contractor Ed. We really like him and the ideas he had. Let’s hope things progress a little bit now. The update on the new Honey House is there’s no update on the HH. Amazingly, we are still waiting on paperwork from the seller. No one seems in a hurry whatsoever on this so I guess it’s a GREAT thing we have some options in terms of extraction locations come harvest time. We would, however, really like to have a HH in time for our annual fall open house – it would be really great to be able to give people a real tour of our little central honey hub! Keep your fingers crossed on that for us.

Besides that stuff, Mark’s been out in the bee yards even when he’s not feeling 100%, unlike me feeling 100% under the weather and crashing for a whole day and a half! Crazy. Anyway, luckily we are both feeling better this evening and the bees seem to be feeling just fine right now. Lately Mark’s been checking on the bees at Big Oaks, Elm Creek and Deadman Creek. They are all doing well and there is even a bit of a honey flow going on at Elm Creek. Here’s a picture of one of our very first bee yards we established here in Guadalupe County. Still one of my favorites.

Honey flow at Elm Creek Spring 2013

Here’s a not-so-welcoming site Mark received out at Deadman Creek bee yard today. Great, another potentially dangerous critter to add to this year’s growing list. We’ve not had problems with them in the past and this is actually the first we’ve seen on or near our hives so now we know to be watching our for them as well. Let’s see, that’s rattlesnakes, black widows, brown recluses, and scorpions. Let’s see what else we encounter as we continue working the bees. By the way, bees are looking good at Deadman Creek. The recent rain helps but we are hoping for more this Thursday when the forecast is predicting about a 60% chance of rain. Keep your fingers crossed.

Found him on a bee box. Took care of him with the hive tool.

Tonight I decided I had all the right ingredients to try a scrub recipe I’ve been wanting to make for quite some time. I love the lemony smell so I went with that one; plus it has honey in it so you can’t go wrong, right? It was very easy to make and took no time whatsoever. 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1 lemon and 1 tablespoon of honey. That’s it. I’ll let you know how I like it after I try it.

Honey & Lemon scrub making

I really love the yellow, spring look to it. If nothing else, it will certainly add color and a fresh scent to the bathroom. 🙂

Ready to use homemade Honey & Lemon Scrub

Tomorrow’s agenda: Visit the Marriott Bee Yard and see how they’re doing. The four sponsored hives are there as well and so we’ll update our sponsors about their progress.

*Verdict on the scrub: I like it but next time I will reduce the amount of olive oil to 1/4 cup rather than 1/2. Love the texture, however.

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