Recipe Substitution Chart

I’ve had this recipe substitution chart so long I can’t remember when or who I got it from. I think it was my Grandma Nelson. It has been taped inside one of my cupboards that holds all my cookbooks. I have utilized this a million times to save some of my recipes when I forgot an ingredient at the store (we all know how that goes).

I thought it might be helpful to any of you who love to cook and bake but are like me and can’t seem to buy everything for my recipes even though I have a list!

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peanut butter

How to store natural peanut butter

Lets face it, you love natural peanut butter, but its a pain in the ass once it separates. Natural peanut butter oils will always separate and float to the top. That’s because it is made without added stabilizers such as hydrogenated oil. Trying to stir it right in the jar is nearly impossible. You try to stir it with a utensil but the oil spills all over the outside of the jar. You can scrap all the peanut butter out of the jar into a bowl and use an electric mixer to mix all the oil back in and then scoop it all back into the jar. But why? When there is such an easy solution.

A little tip, don’t ever refrigerate it. It just makes it harder to mix.

The SECRET. As soon as you get your jar home store it upside-down. The oil will rise to the bottom of the jar making its way back through and the peanut butter will absorb it again. So next time you open it just flip the jar right-side up. This always works if the peanut butter is all natural with no other oils added in. So no more excuses. Buy healthy natural peanut butter!

honey peanut butter

Rescue Day! Saving the bees one at a time.

In October of this year, we were informed of a honeybee swarm that was inside a wall of a house that was going to soon be demolished. The workers were kind enough to wait a few days for us to make time to go over there and get the swarm out. Little did we know that this was a bit bigger hive that what we could have imagined. We were literally going to save the bees one at a time!

When we got inside Jerry began to cut a small section of the wall out. It was packed with bee’s, so he kept going down the wall cutting sections of out as he went along. There were bee’s in that wall from floor to ceiling.

Before I go any further Jerry had seen a video of a “bee vac” someone made. He decided with the amount of bee’s that were in that wall the easiest way to gather them all was to vacuum them up. So we covered up the hole, went home and he built a bee vac. I apologize for not having a picture of the millions bee’s in the wall before we suck them up, but you can not function a phone camera with bee suit gloves on, and I was in no mood that day to deal with bee stings.

But here is a video of the area we exposed and him vacuuming up the last (or so we thought) of them. By the way, I should tell you that the wall had two sections of honeycomb filled with honey one in front of the other with bee’s sandwiched in between. You will be able to see a picture of how that looked further down in this post.

After we vacuumed all of them up in our contraption. Jerry decided to check upstairs. He had a feeling but wouldn’t tell me until we got up there and he started tearing apart the floor under the window.


As you look at this you can see how thick each section of honeycomb is. So inside the wall, it was two of those from outside wall to inside wall. We also tore apart the wall from floor to windowsill and of course there where more.


This section of the comb was filled with brood (baby bee’s). We took this and added it to one of our smaller hives to give them a little more helping hands to build their home. After we vacuumed the bee’s from this section we went back down to get frame’s to put the comb in and the wall downstairs was filled once more. So back down with the bee vac to collect more bee’s. Once we got back upstairs to collect the honeycomb this is what we found. It was like the wall was breeding bees. They kept appearing faster than we could vacuum them up.

All in all it was very exciting and rewarding. We never found the queen. There were just too many bee’s to sift through.

It also was bittersweet. I hated the thought of the house that once held families being torn down. While I was inside you start to imagine the people that once lived their lives there. Whether happy or sad times, the house I’m sure held many stories. My time inside the house was brief but I left it to hold a story of my own.


A peek into my daily life with Jerry

In my reading, researching and watching videos on building my business the one common detail is video, video, video! Everyone says you need to be doing videos. So every so often I record a video of our beehives. Nothing too crazy and certainly very little with me in it. But I decided I would take that leap and start making more videos with a little glimpse of behind the scenes featuring me and sometimes my man Jerry. However, doing anything with him without sarcasm or joking is totally impossible. Like this little clip…




Baseball season, a love hate relationship

For the last 7 weeks, I have been to a baseball game every Thursday through Sunday.


Not to mention Farmers Market on Wednesdays.


So that leaves me with Monday and Tuesday to get into the kitchen and make the peanut butter or fill orders.

I’m not complaining! I’ve loved this years group of families.  It was a great season and the boys played some great baseball. But I find myself realizing in one more month summer is done. It’s back to school. Back to preparing for the Holidays which is hard to accept, because technically I feel my summer is just beginning. However I am excited to get back into things and have more time to put back in to my business.


I have a list of seasonal peanut butter flavors on my agenda, one I will introduce next week and more throughout the fall and winter.  We are also checking our bee hives for mites and making plans for all the little ones during the cold months.


I’m also mentally preparing for my one and only to get his drivers license this September. A blessing that I don’t have to chauffeur him around anymore and complete anxiety that he will be RACING around town on his own with every other crazy driver out there.


honey, peanut butter, Random

Its Farmers Market Season

I’m super excited to say that I am at my local Farmers Market every Wednesday this year through October. I love this! I am totally in my element connecting with my customers and other vendors who I consider wonderful friends.

I get to sample all my peanut butters and honey, share and receive recipe suggestions and meet all kinds of people from near and far. It’s GREAT!!

2018-06-09 15.28.40.jpg

Some days I’m under a downtown canopy and others I am under my own so I’m still figuring out what set up works best with what I have to work with. It gets tricky on those windy days, so packing tape and string come in handy to keep everything secure.


My spicy peanut butter seems to be a big hit.  With the right mix of Korean red pepper, cayenne pepper and ginger powder it has a nice heat that burns on the way down. This peanut butter can be heated to make a creamy peanut sauce consistency that’s delicious in any Asian dish or drizzled over roasted broccoli and asparagus. One of my customers said she mixed it with lime juice and made a chicken marinade. Grilled the chicken then brushed more spicy pb and lime mixture over it before serving. Sounds incredible!


Another cool thing about the market is all the great finds! I found these two cuties a couple booths down from me. The perfect plant, they don’t need regular watering.

So if you ever find yourself in Holland Michigan on a Wednesday come to the Farmers Market. Say hi, sample the wonderful products West Michigan has to offer and explore our wonderful town on the water.


peanut butter, Random

Are blueberries making you sick?

What are blueberries?

They are a perennial flowering shrub which the berries grow in clusters. They especially like the  North America climate.


I’m from Michigan so I’m surrounded by blueberry fields. I live down the road from one that also has a store where they make and sell blueberry goods. Items like blueberry muffins and their famous blueberry donuts…YUM!

I also did what every kid did growing up here, picked blueberries in the summer for money. They were long very hot days which ended in a stomach ache, which made me think they can’t be that good for you if they made you feel sick. My sister and I last one week. If we didn’t quit we were sure to get fired for eating the merchandise.

The older I got the more I realized what a hot commodity we had growing in our back yard. Not to mention the continuing health benefits we were learning blueberries had such as:

  1. Rich in antioxidants
  2. Strengthen bones
  3. Help fight cancer
  4. Lower bad cholesterol
  5. Boost brain health
  6. Protect heart health
  7. Amp up weight loss
  8. Sooth inflammation
  9. Support digestion
  10. Treat urinary tract infections
  11. Prevents signs of aging
  12. Promote hair growth
  13. Alleviate IBS
  14. Reduce muscle damage
  15. Prevent or delay ocular issues
  16. Aids in preventing dementia
  17. Act as a antidepressant
  18. Treat diabetes
  19. Promote detoxification
  20. Boost immunity

Blueberry PB 7

So how many blueberries should you eat? One cup of blueberries has 7.4 grams of fructose, so if you limit your intake of fructose from other sources, you can eat a cup of blueberries a day and still be well within the healthy limits and not get a stomach ache!

So when people ask why I made a blueberry peanut butter. Because I’m from Michigan, and in the summer, blueberries are what it’s all about!

Blueberry PB 2



Apothecary Skin Care

2 Step Skin Care

If your like me your skin care regiment has changed drastically through the years depending on the new trend. Fortunately with all the information we have about certain chemicals and additives to women’s skin care and makeup the trend for a while now has gone to natural and DIY formulas. Which leads me to my daily skin care routine.

DIY Skin Care Products

For the last 10 years or more I have been washing my face with homemade soaps and moisturizing with homemade body butter. I am a makeup wearer but very minimal and none on most summer days. I try to stay out of the sun as much as I can and never use sunscreen. Hats, umbrellas, tents and old fashion shade are my arsenal for the summer sun.

summer sun

I wash my face once in the morning and before bed. The soap is always made up of ingredients like, coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, olive oil or other types of natural oils. My latest favorites are a unscented uncolored oatmeal baby soap, great for any parts that are sensitive. And my buttermilk and honey soap bar. Nothing better for your skin. Honey is naturally antibacterial, so its great for acne and extremely moisturizing. Buttermilk is rich in probiotic lactic acid and used for exfoliating the skin.

handmade soap

The soaps are rich and creamy leaving my skin soft, feeling free and clear. Which leaves me not wanting to cover it up with layers of makeup. I hate having foundation on my face especially in the winters when I’m bundling all up with jackets, hats and scarfs where they rub against my face transferring my fake complexion all over those items. I’m not one to do laundry any more than I have to!

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Are you eating your honeycomb?

Honeycomb and Heart Sunshine

5 Health reasons you should be chewing on honeycomb

The honey stored within the honeycomb is the purest, rawest form of honey, and the wax the honeycomb is made of has nutritional value and health benefits.
Honey straight from the honeycomb has all the main amino acids and necessary B, C, D and E vitamins. Honey also packs a punch of powerful and essential enzymes. By chewing honeycomb that is made out of beeswax, you are allowing an active biological compounds to enter your body.

honey comb 1
1. Good for your teeth:
Chewing honeycomb is actually an effective method in cleaning your teeth and gums, removing plaques, and disinfect oral cavity.
2. Allergy relief:
Chewing honeycomb regularly can help alleviate sneezing, watery eyes and runny nose especially during allergy seasons. Allergy symptoms often disappear after 30 minutes of continuous chewing.

honey comb 5
3. Raises good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol:
Honeycombs have the same source of good fatty acids that is found in fish. Honeycombs have very long chain fats and alcohols. These fats aren’t just any kind of fats because it offers plenty of health benefits for the heart. Research claims that the fatty alcohols can significantly reduce bad cholesterol while at the same time increase good cholesterol.
4. Great for your skin:
Honey contains potassium which means that bacteria won’t be able to survive in it due to this ingredient. This makes it perfect for applying to the skin. Honey is used in treating scarring, facial moisturizer, mask and body scrub.

honey comb 3
5. Perfect energy booster:
The glucose in raw honey is absorbed by the body quickly and gives an immediate energy boost, while the fructose is absorbed more slowly providing sustained energy. It is known that raw honey has also been found to keep levels of blood sugar fairly constant compared to other types of sugar.

So in other words, getting your honey straight from the honeycomb is the purest honey you can find.

Honeycomb and Sunshine       Get your raw honey & honey comb HERE!