Sometimes things happens that awakens an interest that you never imagined having. This particular thing has happened to me, as of late. I find myself wanting to learn as much about beekeeping as I possibly can.
A couple of years ago Greg and I came home, after being out of town for several days, to find hundreds of dead or almost dead honeybees in our living room floor. At the time I wanted nothing to do with them and contacted several beekeepers to rid myself of them. I thought that they were in the walls of our house and not being very fond of bee stings; I could not imagine coexisting with them in the same house.
Now I know that they were swarming and simply looking for a place to start a new hive. As it turned out, they were not in the walls of the house. They had, however, moved into a vacant camper behind the barn. Last year a local beekeeper, Michael, caught a couple of swarms here on the farm. The bees stayed in the camper for a while, but it was evident several weeks ago that they no longer occupied the camper.
I have bought two books but admittedly have only read parts of them. Greg and I will be going to the beach soon, and they are my intended reading material. In the meantime Michael has another nuc here on the farm and is going to help me set up a hive. I am still not too keen on the stings, but I’m excited about this new hobby of ours. If you are a beekeeper yourself, I would appreciate any information that you are willing to share! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Today’s recipe has all the goodness of peanut butter cookies, oatmeal cookies, and chocolate chip cookies. These Triple-Flavored Big-Batch Cookies are delicious, and this recipe makes 10 to 11 dozen cookies. You can freeze a portion of the cookie dough if you do not care to bake so many at one time.
Triple-Flavored Big-Batch Cookies
- 3 c. all-purpose flour
- 2 c. rolled oats
- 3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 c. butter, softened
- 1 c. chunky peanut butter
- 1½ c. granulated sugar
- 1½ c. packed brown sugar
- 3 egg, room temperature
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 c. semisweet chocolate chips (or 2 c. semisweet chocolate chips plus 1 c. peanut butter chips)
- in a large bowl stir together flour, oats, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
- In a very large bowl beat butter and peanut butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat until combined, scraping sides of the bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour mixture. Stir in chips.
- Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake in a 350°F oven for 12 to 14 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and set. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
Peach season has started here in the south, and I couldn’t be happier! Although my favorite varieties are not quite ready, I can never resist buying any of them once they hit the market. My favorite way to eat a peach is raw, perfectly ripened, slightly soft, sweet, and juicy. I also enjoy fresh peaches grilled, in baked goods, and added to yummy homemade ice cream!
Greg and I found some delicious peaches at the farmers market over the weekend. Some were eaten raw, and I used some for these delicious peach crumb bars! This recipe started with an old date bar recipe, but after a few changes it became Peach Crumb Bars. I’ve always liked the buttery goodness of this crumb mixture and it paired wonderfully with the peaches. Stored in an airtight container these bars will last several days in the refrigerator.
Peach Crumb Bars
- Peach Filling:
- ¼ c. granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp. packed brown sugar
- 2¼ c. peaches, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1½ tbsp. cornstarch
- ⅛ tsp. ground nutmeg, optional
- ⅛ tsp. ground cinnamon, optional
- pinch salt
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- ½ tbsp. butter
- Crumb Mixture:
- 1½ c. quick-cooking oats
- 1½ c. all-purpose flour
- 1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
- ¾ tsp. baking soda
- ¾ tsp. salt
- 1½ stick butter, melted
- ½ c. sliced almonds, toasted
- To prepare the peach filling: Combine sugars and peaches in a bowl and toss gently. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. After 1 hour, drain peaches, reserving juice.
- In a small saucepan, combine the cornstarch, spices, and salt; gradually stir in the reserved juice. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice and butter. Gently fold in peaches, set aside.
- To prepare crumb mixture: Combine oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt; mix well. Stir in butter. Spread 2½ cups of the oat mixture in bottom of a 9-inch square pan. Press gently to make a firm crust. Top with peach filling and spread thin. Combine almonds with the remaining oat mixture and sprinkle over filling, press gently.
- Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Cool completely and cut into squares.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days.
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.
I am thrilled that it is blueberry season in Southeast Georgia! I love fresh blueberries and thanks to my friends, Jimmy and Michelle, I have been eating a lot of them lately. They are fortunate enough to have Michelle’s granddad’s huge blueberry bushes at their house and gracious enough to share. I have had fresh blueberries by the handful, with my yogurt and granola for breakfast, in salads, and I have made jam and a few blueberry desserts already. This blueberry dessert is new to me and possibly my favorite so far.
I recently started searching for a blueberry crunch recipe after someone posted a picture online. Most of the recipes that I found had the cake mix alone as a topping. I have several recipes with cake mix in the ingredient list. I like the convenience of a cake mix but I really do not care for the “cake mix taste”.
This is my version of a Blueberry Crunch. It is simple to make and delicious hot or cold. It does have cake mix in the topping but with the addition of oats and a little flour the “cake mix taste” isn’t prominent. Fresh or frozen blueberries work great in this recipe and it is delicious hot or cold.
- 1 (20-oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained
- 6 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen
- 1 c. sugar
- 1 (16.5-oz.) box yellow cake mix
- 1 c. chopped pecans
- 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- ¾ c. rolled oats
- ¼ c. brown sugar
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 1 tsp. lemon zest, optional
- Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Pour undrained pineapple into prepared pan and distribute evenly. In a bowl, add blueberries and lemon zest, if desired. Toss to coat blueberries with sugar. Sprinkle evenly over pineapple.
- In a large bowl combine cake mix, chopped pecans, flour, rolled oats, and brown sugar. Sprinkle mixture over the blueberries. Drizzle melted butter over the top. Bake at 350° for 1 hour.