Friday, October 30, 2009

These are the days...

Trick or Treat...

We had so much fun last little Mayberry of a town celebrates trick or treating during the week if Halloween falls on a weekend night. The reason for this is football season. Nothing can get in the way of attending a Friday night high school game or College game day on Saturday!

First Sophia wanted to be "tigress" from Kung Fu Panda....but by trick or treat time she was a Jaguar. (I don't know where the heck a jaguar came from, but she looked really cool)

Then Stella was set on being a snake....but I couldn't find a snake costume. ANYWHERE! So she settled for a dragon...that kid is hysterical. You know when there is going to be "that one" in your family that is just a natural at being funny...That is Stella. I live to see what she is going to do or say next.

I love seeing my kids excited about something! Christmas Morning, Easter Morning, Fireworks on the 4th and HALLOWEEN!...these are the days.

Thank you Lord, for another day with my family.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Do you like Almonds....

I watched "The Last Beekeeper" on Planet Earth this morning while my kids were still asleep. I have been walking around with such a heavy heart all day. Does anyone really see what is happening....

This annual bee migration isn't just a curiosity; it's the glue that holds much of modern agriculture together. Without the bees' pollination services, California's almond trees — the state's top export crop — would produce 40 pounds of almonds per acre; with the bees, they can generate 2,400 pounds. Honeybees provide the same service for more than 100 other crops, from lettuce to cranberries to oranges to canola, up and down the West Coast.

This was just a paragraph of the thousands that are being written about the honeybee and the Colony Collapse Disorder. Our Life as we know it would drastically change for the worse. Bees pollinate so much of what we eat in this country and around the world.

In the next few weeks...I will be gathering up information and hopefully have a new website up for my life with bees and what we can all do to partipate in helping this creature that has brought so much fun and joy in my life.

and remember...

The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others Saint John Chrysostom

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Got em'

The thing that is really disturbing about this picture is that my 3 and 5 year old girly girls were so excited to see that "our Charlotte" got some breakfast this morning.

We were getting a little concerned that we were going to have to throw her a couple of moths here soon. We hadn't seen anything in her monstrous web lately. She has been hanging out side our house for close to 7 weeks now. She moves around a little. First it was in front of our bay window, then the side of the house, now she is near our bedroom window....yes, it kinda worries me that she may somehow sneak in and this Golden Orb Weaver will crawl up my leg at night!!!!! I think she is pretty outside but the truth is, if she enters inside my house....well, you know what will happen to her!

Sugar cookies

they actually remind me more of know with the color sprinkles on top...but today I made some! I found them on another blog:

Put something Octoberish on them instead of Christmasee...are those even words??? Anyway...enjoy!

Honey Sugar Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar (for rolling)

Preheat oven to 300. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a mixing bowl combine flour, soda, and salt.
Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the honey and cream well.
Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just encorporated. Finish by hand if needed. Do not over mix the dough.

Chill dough for 10 minutes.

Drop dough by rounded spoonfulls into bowl of sugar and roll to coat. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes until edged are golden and set.
Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transfering to rack to cool completely.

*I chilled the dough a bit before baking so the cookies did not spread too much. If you chill too long though the honey will harden and make the dough hard to scoop out.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

meeting generations

Please don't pay any attention to the "ghetto blinds" in the background....thank you.
They are like that thanks to our VERY VISCOUS Dogs the chihuahua and the dachshund!

Now, To the point of this blog...

My grandpa (Na nu) came down last week, to meet my nephew for the first time. He is the first boy to be born with the Venafro name since 1982! Everyone has girls in the family and this was such a treat for him (and us). My brother is in Afghanistan, so he wasn't able to be here when my Grandfather's eyes lit up when he saw Michael jr. and said "I never thought I'd see the day!" So I wanted to capture something for my brother and my grandfather and my dad. My Grandpa was able to sit down with ALL his great grandchildren and then take us out for Chinese food after!! It was truly a wonderful moment that I will treasure always.

And by the way...Sophia wears that cat outfit, the bank, chick-fil-a, to bed...

I used to stereotype mom's before I had children. I would see thier kids at the store and they would be dressed up like batman or Elmo in the middle of a Tuesday afternoon....and I would say to myself "crazy people let their little crazy kids wear whatever they want don't they!"

And now...I have a tiger living in my house (that is what she says she is when she wears that thing)

HA! Don't ever think that you will not let your kids do things...our God has such a sense of humor... and sometimes I now dress up like snow white when I go to Kroger just to see 2 little girls smile and sing "Hi Ho Hi's over to Kroger we go!" It works...seriously...people think you are nuts...but your kids act better for you at the grocery store if you act nuts.

So, have a nutty day.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Congrats to Leslie who was comment #5 !!

She has won the Queen Bee in the Kitchen 9x13 pan!

Leslie is an awesome watercolor painter, and she lives in the Auburn area.

Sophia was asked to pick a number 1-6 and I am assuming she picked 5 because that is how old she is!

Thanks everyone for leaving some great recipes! I had a lot of emails after giving this pan away, asking if I had a brownie recipe using honey and I do! I am posting it on the bottom. Check back on my blog next week for another giveaway and a post of some pictures of me working my bees for the last time this fall. I hope they are doing okay! This weather is crazy and it is going to be in the 30's tonight! I'll let you know how it goes!

Make sure to tell your loved ones about the giveaways on my blog so they can have a chance to win and have fun ideas cooking with honey :)

And I can't believe it...but I killed my first spider today...It was a black widow. And she was a big girl! She was hanging on my back was a gushy squish. yuck.


Blessings... and stay warm and order a pan from the cake pan lady and make these brownies!

Honey Brownies

1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
I also like to add a 1/2 cup peanut butter morsels in there to cut the sweetness :)

Cream together butter and sugar. Blend in Honey and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a separate bowl, combine flour, Cocoa and salt. Gradually stir dry mixture into creamed mixture. Add nuts, if desired. Pour into greased 8x8" (or 9x13 if you like them thinner) pan. Bake at 350 deg. for 25-30 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool. Frost with chocolate frosting.

Friday, October 16, 2009


So, as all of you know I really like The Pioneer Woman. Well, okay I am obsessed with her! So, I went to her website earlier this week ( and she had this really fun pan that that someone sent her on her Home and Garden section. It was a pan from the "CAKE PAN LADY". So, I went to her website then called her. Her name is Mary and she is as nice as can be. I told her how smart she was for sending the Pioneer Woman one of her pans for marketing her product and she told me that she didn't! She told me that a client of hers, sent the pan to the Pioneer woman as a gift, and Mary had no idea that her pans were going to be such a huge hit! She told me the day Pioneer Woman put her pans up as a gift idea that she had so many emails that she thought she had a Computer Virus!

So here's the deal, Mary, my new cake pan lady friend, GAVE ME A PAN TO GIVEAWAY!!! I just got it in the mail! I told her about my life with the Bees, and how I am trying to inform and encourage people to cook with local honey, and she wanted me to be able to give one of her pans away on my blog!! And, she is soooooo sweet that she sent me one just for me :) It has my name on it! She is awesome! The Pan has A picture of a Bee and it says "QUEEN BEE IN THE KITCHEN" on it! It is a lid and a bottom (9x13)


I am so excited about this giveaway! And Please please please, go to her website and leave her a fun message!

so the question is:

"If you win this pan, what is the first thing you will cook in it?"

Will it be chicken Casserole...brownies.....maybe a cake?? Let me know and if Honey is an ingredient in sure to post your recipe!

Have fun with this one!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Getting Ready for Halloween...

I love it.

Halloween is probably my favorite time of year and favorite holiday. We put up all of our inside decorations this week (if it will stop raining, I will put the out door ones out). I love it at night when the orange, purple and green lights are glowing in the living room, and our "ghost train" is lit and the ceramic faces of the little creatures are smiling at us!

I am not a gore Halloween girl. I guess having small children and the fact that I am over the "scary" stuff in life has a influence on me not to have dead guys with blood and guts spilling out of him hanging from my front door anymore.

Halloween, is about me walking around with my kids for an hour and a half (not long enough for try walking around with my youngest more than twenty minutes and you will think I am MOTHER OF THE YEAR for going this long!!) collecting candy, then back to the house to hand candy out to the other goblins that come a knockin', then putting a Halloween special on, Making**honey hot chocolate with marshmallows**, and let me kids pour their bags on the ground and see what they got! (this is more for me so I can see what I am going to steal when they go to bed)

I am always sad when I turn off the Halloween lights on Halloween night. Its kinda the same when I put the lights on the Christmas Tree for one last time.... I know you know what I mean about the Christmas tree. :)

Well here's to counting down the days of Halloween...and Honey Hot Chocolate!


1/2 cup of honey
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups of hot low fat milk

In small saucepan, combine honey, cocoa powder, and water; mix well. Cook over low heat 5 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Set aside until ready to serve. To serve, stir chocolate mixture into hot milk.

Monday, October 12, 2009


So one of my closest friends found out that she has breast cancer. What is it about hearing that word that makes us women feel like curling up under a blanket forever, or makes our heart sink into our stomach and FEAR enters every inch of our body. Well my friend Irene is different. She is another home school mom of 3 beautiful girls under the age of 6. She and her husband, Tim, live in the coolest "shabby chic" cottage at lake Harding in Alabama. She changes paint colors in her house like I change diets, and everything that decorates her house is homemade or a hand-me-down. She makes everyone laugh. When she found out she had breast cancer, we were all devastated. But she wasn't. Here is a little clip of her email she sent out...

"It is cancer...Our emotions are all over the place and we shoveled down our Cracker Barrel because we both kept crying off and on and the tables beside us were trying hard not to stare. Then we both got tickled and I was afraid I'd spew sweet tea out my nose so we bolted. I am so thankful Tim and I have a quiet house to come home to and can get some rest and he can fish. ;-)
"I told Tim that if I'm bald by Christmas I'd definitely send out an e-Christmas-card with a family picture that says "and to think, I used to be self-conscious about the size of my nose"....heehee!!! He didn't think it was nearly as funny as I did and when I saw the stress, concern and pain on his face, I realized that the hardest part of all of this is knowing something going on with me is deeply hurting and affecting my family. I covet your prayers."

See, it is GRACE...

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

I never really listen to that song because whenever it comes on I just start to cry. ( I know you know what I am talking about.) And "GRACE MY FEARS RELIEVED." Well there it is. We live under Him, grace, love, peace...and the list goes on and on.

Irene is living on Psalm 34 right now and here is a clip....

I will extol the LORD at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.

2 My soul will boast in the LORD;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.

3 Glorify the LORD with me;
let us exalt his name together.

4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.

5 Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.

6 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.

7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.

I am praising the LORD with her. HE IS SO GOOD.

I'll keep you posted on her progress...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Crowd Pleaser...

I grew up with my friend, Chandree's mom (Kelly) making these wings. I can't in words describe how good and addicting they are. These wings have every satisfying taste in them! And it uses Honey and you know how I am about sharing recipes that use Honey in them! Kelly passed away in 2003 and I know that she would have loved to know that her famous wings were a hit with others! I hope you get a chance to make them and enjoy something that brings back fond memories of when I grew up in RI , watching New England Patriots football at Chandree's house!

Kelly's So-Ho Wings:

1 bag of frozen plain wings

Wing Sauce :
150z of soy sauce
15 oz of local honey (dark or light can be used for this)
2 tbsp of minced garlic
1/3 cup of ketchup
salt and pepper to taste

(in separate bowl mix all ingredients together and set aside while wings are cooking)

cook wings as directed on bag in the oven in a 9x13 pan
when approx 10 min before being done, take out of oven and put in wing mixture
place back in over for approx 10-15 min until done and juice looks like it has cooked into the wings good:)

Serve with or without dressing and a good Sunday afternoon NFL game!


You can still submit your favorite Honey recipe in the comment section below and win the Queenies Cookies giveaway!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

One good thing about rain...

My sister in law Tyler gutted her yard this past spring and when she did she found three rose bushes that we overgrown and weren't hardly blooming anything b/c they were covered by other shrubs and trees. She was just going to throw them away knowing that she didn't have the time to move and replant them and take care of them. This is due to the fact that my brother is in Afghanistan, she had just had a baby and not to mention the Two year old Typhoon, Isabella, (my niece) running around keeping her busy!

So, I took them with me to my house....trimmed them down and .....

they died.

I was so upset and mad at myself because I did everything I could...i watered them, gave them that stuff that you need to give them to make them grow, talked to them like I do to the spiders that live in and outside my house...and they still died. So I finally I just came to terms with it and let it rained...and it rained and it rained (if you live in the southeast you know what I am talking about. These past few weeks it has just been raining!) And you'll never believe it...they came back to life! And they are the prettiest tea roses you have ever seen. And they are blooming in the FALL!

They are what I call "Shelby's Blush and Bashful" roses.

I love these pretty girls!

And I just wanted to share a pretty picture with you :)

You still have time to submit your "Honey Recipe" to me and have a chance to win the:
"Queenies Cookies"

You can post it below!

Queen Bee in the Kitchen

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alabama, United States
A believer in Christ, a wife, a mom, !