Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is upon us, and tradition dictates eating apples dipped in honey to represent a sweet new year. But why limit yourself to apples? And really, why limit yourself to this one holiday to enjoy the sweet stuff?
Honey has been collected and devoured for tens of thousands of years by humans, but bees have been producing honey for millions of years. (Learn a little bit about the bees who make honey.) Honey has many functions: it has been used as a sweetener, medicine and even as an ingredient in early embalming fluid. It is a natural preservative, so it will stay good indefinitely; pots of edible honey have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs!
Bee sure to buy 100 percent pure honey, with pollen listed on the bottle — some products that are sold as honey are really watered-down, high-fructose-corn-syrup-filled Frankenstein versions of the good stuff. Crystallization in your honey indicated that you’ve stumbled across some of the aforementioned, minimally-processed good stuff; if you prefer to drizzle your honey, simply place the container in a pot of water over medium heat on the stove until it all melts down.
Whether you’re celebrating the holiday or the start of the school year, everyone could use a touch of something (or 25 somethings) sweet.
- Kelsey Nixon cooks her chicken wings under the broiler to achieve the classic crispy skin in her Honey Hoisin Glazed Wings recipe.
- Sesame Honey Candy are super easy and great for a sweet snack. Be sure to use a candy thermometer to keep track of the syrup’s temperature!
- Spicy Honey Glazed Peking Style Duck is the perfect meal, if you’re up to the challenge and have room to spare in your fridge. The meat drys out overnight in the fridge coated in a honey glaze. From there everything gets easier. Roast the duck and then serve with caramelized blood oranges and braised turnips.
- Abraco’s Honey Saffron Cake is simple luxury, with saffron flavoring both the cake itself and the syrup that it soaks in.
- The Southern classic Honey Butter is a delicious staple; keep some on hand in case of emergency brunch situations. Start with scones and, from there, I personally suggest trying it on everything else. Beware: It’s addictive.
- Honey Infused Mediterranean Yoghurt Parfait with Stewed Plums and Peaches sounds fancy, right? It looks impressive, too, but this parfait is totally doable. Mix some honey and yogurt, and then heat the fruit with some spices (think star anise and vanilla). There you have it — brunch simplified.
- Bruschetta with Gorgonzola Cheese and Honey, Three Cheese Crostini with Honey and Honey Walnut Goat Cheese Crostini are three fantastic ways to pacify hungry guests in a flash.
- Ellie Krieger sneaks a little bit of healthy (whole wheat flour and olive oil instead of butter) into dessert with Honey Pistachio Biscotti.
- Honey dressing three ways: Papaya Slaw with Spicy Honey Vinaigrette, Couscous Salad with Honey Vinaigrette and Simple Side Salad with Lemon-Honey Dressing.
- Farmer’s Cheese is similar to (and can almost always be substituted with) cream cheese. It’s really a variation of cottage cheese, just pressed and strained further. Try it out in the slightly sweet Farmer’s Cheese with Honey, Raisins, Cinnamon and Toasted Walnuts.
- Honey Cake (Lekach) is a rye flour cake/loaf dating back to medieval Germany but still relevant in kitchens today.
- Slightly better than caramel corn, Honey Corn is the salty-sweet snack that’s about to take over movie night.
- Sweet and spicy in all of the right places, Emeril’s Honey’s Spicy Honey Wings hit the spot.
- Aida Mollenkamp’s Honey Almond Lace Cookies are delicate and delicious. Wrapped properly, these cookies make for a great hostess gift.
- Set up an assembly line and get the kids involved with no-bake Honey Almond Date Balls.
- For a full holiday meal, try Honey Brined Chicken with Lemon and Sage with Honey Glazed Carrots.
- Processing and filtering honey may remove some of the many nutrients it contains. Get your fill of raw honey with Fresh Dates Baked in Clay with Labne and Raw Honey.
- Slow-Baked Honey Wine Pears is made of wine, honey and pears, baked. Dessert can be that simple people.
- Giada spikes a dessert of Sauteed Pineapple with Honey and Pine Nuts with rum; you’re allowed to have a heavy hand with the rum. We’re celebrating a new year, remember?
- Think outside the box. Ricotta (or small-curd cottage cheese) can be used in sweet applications, like Grilled Fruit with Honey and Ricotta.
- Honey Glazed Fried Manchego Cheese. Fry cheese. Drizzle honey. Then try to hide the fact that you just gobbled up all of these before even setting them out for the guests.
- Strawberries served with Honey Zabaglione is a classic Italian dessert made with wine and is similar in texture to an unbaked custard.
- Red Wine Pot Roast with Honey and Thyme is a slight variation on the classic pot roast that makes an appearance at almost every holiday meal with my family.
- Michael Symon pairs a sweet salad dressing of honey, balsamic vinegar and orange juice with sugary beets, and then ties it all together with some tangy blue cheese in his Slow Roasted Beets with Blue Cheese, Watercress and Toasted Walnuts. Avoid dyeing your hands bright pink by wearing plastic gloves while you peel off the skin from the beets.
- Japanese-Style Crispy Halibut with Lemon Sauce is a recipe of grown-up fish sticks that the kids will enjoy as well, thanks to a slightly sweet ginger-soy-lemon dipping sauce.
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