Tuesday, July 29, 2014

the beeswax cleaning process

We have mentioned this before but earlier this summer, we got bees. It's really exciting! We only have one hive so the bees really aren't really much work to take care of. We got our first bit of honey when the bees first got here, and it's delicious. We won't be getting much honey for a while now though. We had a tiny bit of beeswax and I decided that I wanted to learn how to clean it. When we start getting a steady flow of honey, I would like to know what I'm doing. This small amount was really good for experimentation and I apologize for the un-glamorous photos. Beeswax isn't all that pretty. So, the first thing I did was put the wax chunks in a pot of water.
Bring the pot to a simmer just so the wax is all melted.
Turn off the heat and let the pot cool completely. The wax will begin to harden on top of the water. The honey will sink to the bottom. The bee debris will separate from the wax for the most part.
Pull the wax out of the water and rinse off any loose debris.
At this point I remelted the wax and poured it through a fine mesh strainer to get rid of the rest of the debris.
When it hardens back up again, you can remove it from it's container and use it for whatever you would like!
Beeswax is good for a lot of things, stay tuned to see what I used it for recently!

xo, Savannah
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Monday, July 28, 2014

recipe: chicken tortilla soup

There is a restaurant here in Nashville that is one of our favorite places to go, because it's delicious and it never fails. Taco Mamacita. Awesome-ness. Anyway, they have this tortilla soup that is to-die-for. I mean.... it is soooo good. The way they serve the soup is also pretty interesting. They give you a soup bowl that contains avocado, chicken, cheese, tomato, cilantro, and maybe something else and then they serve the broth on the side. So when you are ready to eat, you pour the broth over all the ingredients. We decided that we needed to find a way to have this at home, anytime we wanted it, and that is exactly what we did. I don't think this recipe will ever get old. Now the secret is in the whole experience. I promise you will get done with the broth part of the soup and think... this broth isn't that impressive. Trust me. Keep going, it'll be worth it.
Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe
Ingredients:
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 Tbs. butter
- 2 medium onions
- 1 green bell pepper
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- The juice of one lime

Toppings
- 1 lb. cooked pulled (or cubed) chicken
- avocado, diced
- fresh tomatoes, diced
- goat cheese crumbles or greek yogurt or sour cream
- lime wedges
- cilantro
- tortilla chips or strips

Directions:
1. Dice onions and bell peppers.
2. Cook onions and peppers over medium heat in olive oil and butter.
3. Add garlic, cumin, onion powder, salt and pepper and coat the onions and peppers in the seasoning.
4. Add the chicken broth and water and bring to a boil.
5. Reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes.
6. Blend the whole cooked mixture together with an immersion blender or carefully pour into a blender and blend in parts. Either way, blend it until it's all one liquidy texture.
7. Add the lime juice to the broth and season to taste.
8. To serve, add a little of each topping to your bowl and pour the broth over top.

The last time we ate this (maybe 2 days ago) we used greek yogurt and it was pretty delicious. Just the right amount of tang. Goat cheese crumbles are good too because they melt so well in the soup, it's almost like a cheesy sour cream-y ness in your soup. You could also could use some queso fresco crumbles. All are great options! Now, I think I've talked this soup up too much... Lower your expectations and then go make this soup. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

xo, Savannah

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

the way everlasting

"Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!" -Psalm 139:23-24

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