cheer up honey!
Today was a long day at work, and through the tiny bit of window I could see from my desk it didn’t seem like the sun ever came out today, not even for a minute. For me, these kind of days are the most sleepy and difficult to get through,especially in a corporate environment where everything tends to be a little blah anyways. All I want to do on days like this are go home to my husband and my cat and make something to eat that overrides the day and the grey, and today I want something that involves honey.
This article about Honey from Bon Apetit is a good read, especially if you’re kind of obsessed with, or even mildly interested in ingredients in their stand-alone form. Honey is so versatile, you can use it in just about everything. Honestly, everything. I drizzle it over ground beef when I’m cooking it for tacos, I use it (along with soy sauce and brown sugar) when I’m stirfyring meat and vegetables, I mix it with soy sauce again and marinate chicken in it, and obviously its great in any baked sweet dish. Oh, or just over cheese (like a really ripe Stilton). Or in chamomile tea. Or by itself as a snack. See, versatile and simple, my two favorite qualities in a food.
Plus, honey is just pretty to look at. And it comes in all different varieties like Lavender, Clover, Thyme, Tupelo, Buckwheat, Chestnut, and Orange Blossom, which are just pretty to say and just as lovely think about. Honey may be the Botticelli’s Venus of ingredients, in which case this recipe for French Macaron with Burnt Caramel filling (honey is included in the filling) is the Sophia Loren of macaron. I’m not sure why Bon Apetit calls them Macaroons, and not Macaron, but either way the recipe looks wonderful.
Another easy ways to use honey at home is to make honey butter, a Kentucky farm staple, which is awesome on biscuits, waffles, pancakes, or any other breakfasty thing. Its simple, just beat slightly softened butter with a few tablespoons of honey and done! Almost every memory of my dad making weekend breakfasts of biscuits and gravy, eggs, bacon and fried apples has honey butter attached to it, and those are some of my favorite memories of home.
And lastly, maybe my favorite way to use honey at home (which I’m going to do tonight) is to make either hot cocoa or a honey vanilla steamer. The vanilla steamer recipe is one of the first things I learned how to cook for myself in middle school, and I would make it all of the time in the evening after struggling through, and crying over, my math homework. This, a book and a blanket and you’re in heaven in the winter.
Honey Vanilla Steamer:
enough milk to fill the cup you want to use
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 heaping tablespoons of honey + more depending on your preference
Heat the milk over medium heat in a pot on the stove, stirring constantly as to not scald the pot. When the milk is thicker and hot take it off the heat and pour into your cup. Stir the vanilla and the honey into the milk, then sprinkle generously with cinnamon.
Hot Honey Cocoa:
enough milk to fill the cup of your choice
2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa
2 tablespoons of honey
dash of cayenne pepper
Heat the milk and cocoa over medium heat on the stove. Let the milk/chocolate mix get warm without stirring so the cocoa melts enough to stir into the milk. Add the vanilla and the honey and stir constantly until desired temperature is reached. Pour into your mug and add a dash of cayenne pepper for some zing.