Since I am not posting recipes at present, I thought I would share with you the big news here at the farm. We have bees!!
A couple of years ago we came home from a weekend trip to find hundreds of dead honeybees in the living room floor. Not being familiar with bees or their activity at all we freaked! Well, maybe I freaked! I was sure that we had a colony in the walls of the house or possibly in the attic. I wasn’t sure where they were, but I was sure they were going to attack us in our sleep.
Turns out they were swarming and looking for a new place to live. I’m not sure how they died and as much as I want honeybees around here I do not want to live with them!
A few weeks later, while mowing grass, I saw them. They were flying in and out of an old pop-up camper that’s behind the barn. You may notice it in some of the pictures because one of the hive boxes is set up near it. They lived in the camper until this past spring. Even after a local beekeeper, Michael, came over to set up a few boxes and caught a couple of swarms.
A few months ago we noticed they were there one day then all of the sudden there was no activity. They had moved out. While another box was set up to catch a swarm, not only did a swarm move into that box, but to our surprise, another swarm moved into the camper! We have not opened the camper in years and have no idea what is inside of it now, but one day we are going to open it up to take a look. I’ll take pictures!
We now have two active colonies on the farm. Greg and I did our first hive inspections over the weekend. With only three stings between us, I think we fared pretty good. Notice the white part on the frames. That is capped honey. Once 80% of the frame has capped honey, we can harvest. We ordered a small extractor over the weekend along with a few other tools, and when the time is right, we will be ready to harvest.
I’m looking forward to this new adventure. We have so much to learn that it’s almost overwhelming but having honey in our backyard is so worth it! I will continue to share pictures with you throughout our learning process.
In searching for easy recipes, I have decided I am a hoarder, a cookbook hoarder that is! I wish I would have counted the cookbooks I have in this house, but I have already taken a load to Goodwill.
I have always been a sucker for a cookbook. I tend to pick them up on trips, at flea markets, at Goodwill, and from anyone selling them for a cause. I should never be at a loss for what to cook!
Honey Butter Pork Tenderloin is a treasure that I found while cleaning out! This recipe has an excellent flavor and requires very few ingredients, very little preparation, and very little clean-up. With just five ingredients and one pan, you will have dinner on the table in no time flat!
A package of pork tenderloin typically comes with two small tenderloin strips, not to be confused with a pork loin. I always pick up a few packages for the freezer when I find them on sale. They are versatile and you can find several pork tenderloin recipes on NJSD. I cook tenderloins to around 145°F to 150°F and they come out fork-tender every time.
Honey Butter Pork Tenderloin
- 4 tbsp. butter
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 1.5-lb. pour tenderloin, trimmed
- 1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375° F. In an ovenproof skillet, heat the butter and honey over medium heat until melted. Dry the tenderloin with paper towels and sprinkle all sides with Cajun seasoning and black pepper. Brown each side of the tenderloin in the honey butter. Remove from the eye and lower the heat before returning the pan to the heat if the honey begins to burn.
- Place the pan in the oven, uncovered, and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meat reaches between 145°F and 150°F with a meat thermometer.
- Remove from the oven and cover with foil for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Slice tenderloin on a diagonal and serve.
I know that we all go through times in our lives when we simply get bogged down by the demands of life. Honestly, I have been going through one of those times for a few months now. I think there are several contributing factors which include an empty nest and Greg’s changing work schedule. I have come to realize that one thing that keeps me sane and grounded is writing to you!
I enjoy “talking” to you about the good things happening in my life, as well as the bad. I like running across old recipes to share and finding new favorite recipes to try for you. I feel a change coming to NJSD, and I’m not exactly sure what that change is going to be yet. With my changing life, my recipes also are in need of a rehaul. I believe I am moving in the direction of fresh, easy, few ingredient recipes. I don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen at this point in my life.
I hope you also look forward to the new and exciting recipes that I will be bringing you in the future. As promised, I also plan to bring at least one healthy recipe a month your way, starting today!
These Healthy Nutty Bars are fresh and delicious. With the Paleo Bars from my blog as a guide, I set out to make a substitute to a store-bought nutty bar. I am thrilled with this final recipe! The nuts are crunchy, and with the addition of honey and dried fruit, they are a sweet treat too. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Healthy Nutty Bars
- 2 c. whole almonds, coarsely chopped
- 1 c. walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 tbsp. chia seeds
- ½ c. flax meal
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 c. rolled oats
- ½ c. apricots, chopped
- ½ c. dried cherries, chopped
- 12 Medjool dates, pitted, coarsely chopped
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ c. almond butter
- ½ c. coconut butter or coconut oil
- ½ c. local honey
- Toast almonds and walnuts in a 200°F oven. Remove and cool.
- In a large bowl combine the cooled nuts, chia seeds, flax meal, salt, rolled oats, apricots, and cherries.
- In a medium saucepan combine the almond butter, coconut butter (or oil), honey, and chopped dates. Stirring occasionally keep over heat until ingredients are combined and warm. Remove from heat and add to the bowl of a food processor. Add vanilla extract and process until dates are finely chopped Pour over the nuts and fruit and using a large spoon or spatula combine.
- Press the mixture into a 9 x 9-inch pan lined with wax paper. Use the bottom of a glass to press it down tight so that they bars will be solid.
- Cover and refrigerate until firm, a couple of hours.
- Remove from pan using the wax paper, cut into small bars. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Greg seems to be the world’s best at sticking to a low-carb diet. He has more willpower than anyone else I know. I can usually stick to a low-carb plan better than any other but I just can’t shake craving something sweet occasionally.
These are a sure-fire way to satisfy that sweet tooth. These Paleo Bars are full good things, with just a little chocolate on the top. You can leave the chocolate off if you prefer, or use dark chocolate instead of semi-sweet chocolate.
It’s best to use virgin coconut oil, which can be found in many grocery stores. Also, eat local raw honey, if possible. Because local raw honey has not been processed it still contains pollen, enzymes, antioxidants, and many other beneficial compounds that make it nutritious. Research has shown that local honey, obtained as close as possible to where you live, may help build immunity to some seasonal allergies. Honey, raw or processed, should never be given to a child under the age of 12 months old.
I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with these Paleo Bars, they are healthy and delicious, even if you are not following a low-carb diet.
- 2 c. almonds
- ½ c. flax meal
- ½ c. shredded coconut, unsweetened
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ c. coconut oil
- ½ c. almond butter
- 9 - 10 large Medjool dates, pitted
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 1 tbsp. honey
- ½ to ¾ c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Place nuts, flax meal, coconut, and salt in food processor. Pulse until you have sizes ranging from the size of sand to the size of a pea.
- In a small saucepan melt the coconut oil over low heat. Add the dates, almond butter, vanilla and almond extracts, and honey. Stirring occasionally keep over heat until ingredients are combined and warm.
- Add the coconut oil mixture to the food processor and pulse until it all comes together.
- Press the mixture into an 8 x 8-inch pan (I lined mine with wax paper). Use the bottom on a glass is you need to in order to press in down tight so that they bars will be solid.
- Melt chocolate chips and spread over the bars. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until the bars cool and chocolate sets.
- Remove from refrigerator and cut into small squares.
I have a great granola recipe already posted on NJSD! It is posted as Granola and has been a favorite of mine for years. However, you know me…I am always searching for another good recipe. I have tried more granola recipes than I care to mention and until now nothing has been up to par for me. It even crossed my mind a time or two to just stop trying different ways to make granola, or different granola recipes.
I finally have another granola recipe to share with you! It is so delicious that I couldn’t stop snacking on it while it was cooling. My families favorite way to eat granola is on yogurt with fresh fruit. I used local honey in this recipe. We have been eating local honey for a few years now. I didn’t really know if anyone is the family noticed a difference until a few weeks ago. Savannah came home from a friends house and told me that I had to buy her some honey before she moves off to college. She had tried honey at her friends house and said she didn’t like it.
This granola sticks together slightly while stored in an airtight container. Just break it up as get it out to eat.
Nutty Olive Oil Granola
- 4 c. old fashioned rolled oats
- 3 c. pecan pieces
- 1½ almond slices, slivers, or whole chopped
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ c. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 c. good olive oil
- 1 c. honey
- Preheat oven to 325°. Line one of two baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.
- Mix the oats, pecans, almonds, salt, cinnamon, and brown sugar in a large bowl.
- In another bowl mix vanilla, oil, and honey.
- Pour the wet mixture over the oat mixture and mix well.
- Spread the mixture evenly onto prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes to prevent granola from burning. Remove from oven when mixture begins to brown. Place on a rack to cool completely.