Tips for Tuesday
Rose Mint Infused Honey


Herb-Infused Honey

Spring has sprung, my friends, and nowhere is this more evident than the beautiful Texas Hill Country in its collective chorus of......


It's spring allergy season.  But I probably didn't have to tell you that did I?  Seems downright wrong that the most beautiful days of the year are notorious for sniffles and sneezes and red-rimmed eyes.

Natural health care enthusiasts as well as formally-trained allergists seem to agree that local honey may be a helpful antidote in your efforts to battle that sneeze into submission. Certainly the beekeepers think so.

Below, find my recent collaboration with Round Rock Honey Company and Texas Farmers Market.  It was one sweet deal.

Herb-Infused Honey

Guest Chef Maggie C. Perkins

There are two methods for infusing honey-- one takes a little time and patience, the other takes a little heat.

Traditional Infused Honey
In a sterilized glass jar or bottle, place herbs of your choice (washed, and dried completely).  Add honey (we used our favorite local honey from Round Rock Honey Company),  cap the bottle, and place in a sunny, warm window.  Depending upon the amount of herb you use, this process should yield a full-flavored infused honey in about three weeks.  Strain herbs, and bottle strained honey in a sterilized bottle or jar.

Quick Infused Honey
In a saucepan over low heat, combine your choice of herbs and honey.  Allow to infuse slowly, at a heat low enough to avoid bubbling, stirring occasionally.  When flavors have permeated the honey, remove from heat, strain herbs from honey and store in a sterilized bottle or jar.

We served this infused honey over our favorite cheese, on a slice of toasted baguette, at the market, however you'll find many uses beyond this simple preparation.  Try glazing poultry, use to sweeten dressings, dressing up carrots or favorite fresh vegetables, or even as a simple perk-up for afternoon tea.

Some of the herbs and additions we used at the market, in different combinations, include the zest of Meyer Lemon, culinary rosebuds (untreated), culinary lavender (untreated), fresh mint and rosemary, (courtesy of Organicare Farms), and vanilla bean. Let your imagination, and your taste buds, be  your guide!

Be sure to use untreated culinary herbs and flowers, to avoid in pesticide or fertilizer residue in your infusion. 

In addition to drizzling over your favorite cheese, you may like to try infusing a delicious Fromage Blanc (ours courtesy of Mill-King) chevre, or even cream cheese, by stirring the cooled honey directly into the cheese and garnishing with a few of the herbs or flavorings with which you infused the oil. 

Alternatively, we covered a creamy crowd-pleasing brie from Brazos Valley Cheese in the honey, garnishing with edible flowers, and served aside Champagne Glazed Pecans from Yegua Creek Farms, and freshly-baked bread from the market booth of  Texas French Bread, for a serve-yourself platter perfect for entertaining.

4-Chef Demo Herb-Infused Honey

Meatless Monday Visits the Farmers Market
Balsamic Rosemary Sauteed Oyster Mushroooms

Balsamic Rosemary Sauteed Oyster Mushrooms

One of my favorite hats to wear, or aprons as this case may be, is as marketing coordinator for Texas Farmers Markets.  And when the opportunity avails itself monthly, I have the honor of sharing my experience in the kitchen, both commercial and personal, as a Guest Chef.  

Recently I arrived to find these beauties on the chopping block, literally, not figuratively, and decided I'd prepare them just as I would, and market-goers might, when short on time, but rich on fresh, local produce.  The original post, below, was featured on the Texas Farmers Markets website.  Stop in for a visit, and see what the buzz is all bout at two local markets, the Cedar Park Farmers Market, and the Mueller Farmers Market, located in Austin, Texas and outskirts.

Balsamic Rosemary Sauteed Oyster Mushrooms

Guest Chef Maggie C. Perkins
Notes From Maggie's Farm

When you are short on time, simple, and simply perfect ingredients are your saving grace.

Such was the challenge for our Guest Chef this Sunday at the Mueller Farmers Market.  Upon Chef Maggie's arrival, she was presented with a pristine paper boat of exquisite oyster mushrooms from market vendors Cedar Creek Mushroom.

She was not stranger to these beauties, having taken her own market share home, weeks earlier. Chef Maggie is a big fan of Cedar Creek Mushroom.

She got straight down to business.  In a small cast iron pan, she heated a tablespoon of Texas Hill Country Olive Co.'s garlic-infused olive oil, stripped a sprig of Organicare Farms' fresh rosemary into the slightly sizzling pan, tossed in the mushrooms, sliced, and sprinkled the top with coarse kosher salt and freshly-ground pepper.  

When mushrooms were browned, she added a tablespoon, or so, of Texas Hill Country Olive Co.'s  Traditional Balsamic Vinegar, tossed well, and served.

You can purchase all of the ingredients straight from the market vendors.  Why not pick up a fresh pasta, and perhaps a favorite cheese while you're there, and make an entire meal of it?

It took all of five minutes from beginning to end.  Simple, and simply perfect.

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday
Night Shift

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” ― Calvin Coolidge
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