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Honey is perfect sweetener for fall treats

Is September National Honey Month because bees seem to be everywhere this month, or is it just a happy coincidence?

No matter what the answer, this is the perfect time to explore that wonderful liquid nectar that has been prized for decades as a perfect food.

The logistics of honey is astounding. Of the typical 50,000 or so bees in a hive, they can log visits to more than a million flowers to gather enough nectar to make a pound of honey. The honey of every hive is special and dependant on the types of flora they visit. I’ve been told that there are more than 300 types of honey and the lighter honeys are milder and darker honeys tend to have a stronger flavor.

The recipes below are guaranteed to bring a smile to everyone’s sweet tooth.

Bee My Honey Mixed Nut Pie

1 cup honey

1 pinch cinnamon

3 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 eggs, beaten

1 cup pecans, chopped

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/2 cup cashews, chopped

1/2 cup pecan and cashew halves for topping

1 ready-made deep dish pie crust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour the honey into a sauce pan and bring it to a boil. (Honey boils quickly so watch it closely.) Remove from the heat and add the cinnamon, butter, vanilla and mix until the butter is melted. Whisk in the eggs, then fold in the nuts. Pour the nut mixture into pie shell and sprinkle pecan and cashew halves on top. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until the center is set. Best served warm or at room temperature. Serves 8.

Pumpkin Honey Loaf

1/2 cup butter or margarine

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup honey

1 cup cooked pumpkin (fresh or canned)

2 eggs

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-5-inch bread pan and set it aside. In a bowl combine all the ingredients and mix to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 75 to 90 minutes or until a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 to 15 minutes; remove from the pan and cool on a rack until totally cool. Makes 1 loaf.

Honey Lime Fruit Salad Dressing

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

1 cup honey

2 teaspoons grated lime peel

In the bowl of a food processor or blender combine all the ingredients and process to combine. Great drizzled over a fruit salad or sliced melons. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Honey Maple Pecan Chicken

2 cups chopped pecans

1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons flour

2 teaspoons salt

8 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

1/4 cup maple syrup (use the real stuff, not the fake stuff)

1/4 cup butter or margarine

2 tablespoons oil

In a bowl combine the pecans, flour and salt. Brush the chicken breasts on both sides with maple syrup and then roll (coat) the chicken breasts with the flour/nut mixture.

In a large skillet melt the butter and oil. Cook the chicken until it is browned on both sides, about 7 to 8 minutes each side. Serves 8.

– Submitted by Carin Ogilvie of Baltimore Slice of Life is a food column that offers recipes, cooking advice and information on new food products. It appears Sundays. If you have a question about cooking or a food item, contact Eileen Goltz at eztlog@gmail.com or write The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802.

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