Deborah DeLong:

A wonderful blog and recipe!!

Originally posted on life, in recipes:

First, let me just say that we’re not big on terms of endearment in our house.  We don’t call each other Sweetheart or Babycakes or Darlin’.  Or, god forbid, Lover (I think I just threw up in my mouth a little). Sometimes I’ll call my husband stinky, but that’s mostly a descriptor and not so much a term of endearment.

But today’s his birthday, so I’m throwing caution to the wind.

Honey, this cake’s for you.

Happy Birthday, Loverboy.

I married a man whose ideal dessert is yellow cake with white icing, so sometimes I like to change things up a bit in the flavor department.  This year’s cake is a variation on a basic buttermilk cake, but it uses honey granules in place of granulated sugar, and raw honey and honey granules in the cream cheese frosting.  It’s a honey cake.  For my honey.

I think what I…

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Haricots Verts Salad With Honey Balsamic Reduction

For the dressing:

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 sprig thyme
1 sprig rosemary
1 sprig flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:

2 tablespoons honey
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/4 pounds haricots verts, stem end trimmed
3 ounces prosciutto, julienned
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
6 ounces aged goat cheese or feta, crumbled

Preparation

Combine oil, shallot, garlic and herbs in a small nonreactive pan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and cool. Strain and discard the solids. Set aside.

In a food processor, combine the vinegar and mustard. With the motor running, very slowly pour in the oil. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Place the balsamic vinegar and honey in a small stainless-steel pan. Simmer slowly until very syrupy and reduced to 1/3 cup. Set aside.
Parboil the haricots verts in a large pot of salted water until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain, refresh in ice water and dry.

Toss beans with the prosciutto and pine nuts and then add enough dressing to coat the ingredients. Transfer to a platter, top with the cheese and drizzle the reduced vinegar over all.

YIELD
6 servings

Honey Brownies

These are perfect to bring to Labor Day picnics. As I always say, honey makes everything taste better!

INGREDIENTS
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Dash salt
1 cup chopped walnuts

PREPARATION:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 8-inch square baking pan. Melt chocolate chips and butter in medium heavy saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Stir in eggs, honey and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and walnuts in small bowl. Stir into chocolate mixture. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or just until center feels springy. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into 2-inch squares.

Covering Old Ground

Not that anyone has asked me, but I thought I would weigh in on my personal choices of ground cover/underplanting.

I am a traditionalist.  I like four plants for covering those awkward spaces under roses, hydrangea and other flowering shrubs.

My number one choice is Nepeta, specifically Walkers’ Low.  I love this plant. It is hearty, beautiful, fragrant and voluminous.  Its only downside is that if you have cats, they like to nap right in the middle of them. It’s also known as catmint.

Nepeta Walkers Low and Pink Roses

My second choice is hosta.  There are so many smaller cultivars these days, and they are  mostly all fabulous.

Hosta Underplanting

My third choice is stachys, or lambs ears.  They add texture and a beautiful grey color that blends with everything.

Lambs Ears Underplanting

My fourth choice is lavender.  It’s a bit hard to get started, but once it gets going, it is just about perfect.

Lavender and Boxwood

And they are all great bee plants!

Beautiful Things

There are so many beautiful things!  Bees, flowers, food, music, poetry…

Here is another one of my most favorite beautiful things.  Edward Elgar’s Nimrod, from the Enigma Variations.  Enjoy!

Jerusalem – William Blake

I’m having trouble leaving my favorite poets and poems behind…

This is not only one of my favorite poems, but also one of my favorite hymns.

It’s the unofficial anthem of England, and my personal anthem forever.

 

Jerusalem

William Blake

ND did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?
 
And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic Mills?
 
Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!
 
I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England’s green and pleasant land.                     

Stuffed Mushrooms With Honey

I love stuffed mushrooms!  These are good hot or cold.

Ingredients:

Large mushrooms for stuffing 5-6
1 anchovy fillet in oil (optional)
1 cup plain breadcrumbs
2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
1 handful fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt and pepper
parmesan reggiano

Directions:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees
Gently wipe the mushrooms with a damp paper towel to clean them. Remove the stems and reserve.
Chop the mushroom stems, anchovy and garlic. Place in a bowl with the bread mixture, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the mushroom stems and bread mixture and saute for 5 minutes.
Lay the mushroom caps on an oiled tray, hollowed side up. Lightly salt and fill with the bread mixture. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and drizzle each with honey and olive oil.
You can sprinkle with a little parmesan reggiano if you like. Bake about 15 minutes until soft and they are ready to serve.