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Bemidji writer reveals honey’s versatility in new cookbook

Doeden book

By SHANNON GEISEN

sgeisen@parkrapidsenterprise.com

Stirred into tea or drizzled onto toast, honey is a pantry staple.

In her newly released cookbook, “Homemade with Honey,” Sue Doeden applies the ambrosial ingredient to a wide variety of dishes.

On Saturday, June 20, she will share her book and sign copies as part of Beagle and Wolf Book’s Author Fest.

A popular cooking instructor and food writer, Doeden is host of “Good Food, Good Life 265” on Lakeland Public Television.

“One of the reasons to use honey, whenever possible, is because it really has beneficial enzymes and minerals,” she explains.

Buzzing with endless possibilities for the kitchen chef, “Homemade with Honey” makes the tastiest use of this precious ingredient.

The cookbook features 75 recipes using “liquid gold” – from enchanting sweets like Glorious Harvest Cupcakes with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting or Ricotta Pancakes with Honey-Baked Bananas to savory dishes like Honey Balsamic Black Bean Mango Salsa or Hot and Sweet Peruvian Steak Salad.

“Honey is a natural sweetener,” Doeden said. “It’s sweeter than sugar so you wind up using less.”

Inspired by a recipe, restaurant entrée or longtime favorite dish, she personally developed each honey-laced recipe, experimenting with them “until I thought they were just right.”

She also shot the photographs that accompany the cookbook.

When Doeden wrote a regular food column, her readers appreciated the tips she included for each recipe.

“I followed the same format for this cookbook,” she noted.

For instance, if a vinaigrette is made with grape seed oil, Doeden explains what grape seed oil is and why she chose to use it.

She strongly recommends purchasing local, raw honey, often available at farmers markets or organic health stores.

Honey from large factories is processed with heat, which kills the healthy enzymes, minerals and pollens, she explained.

“They do that so it looks pretty on the shelf for a long time,” Doeden said.

“One thing people don’t understand is that honey never goes bad. Archeologists found honey that was in tombs for thousands of years. Crystallized honey is totally usable.”

Honey is antibacterial and antifungal. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated, simply stored in a tightly sealed jar in the cupboard.

As a novice beekeeper, Doeden also shares tips to help increase and support local bee populations.

This summer marks her fourth season as a beekeeper, a duty she shares with a close friend in Bemidji. They currently oversee four beehives in her friend’s expansive backyard, which includes a large garden and fruit trees.

“I wouldn’t say it’s complicated,” Doeden said of beekeeping. “It’s a learn-as-you-go hobby.”

She attended University of Minnesota Extension classes to learn the craft.

“Every year it seems we experience something new.”

One of their hives recently swarmed, meaning half of the hive left with a queen bee to form a new hive.

“We were lucky enough to capture the large bundle of thousands of bees together, hanging from a branch,” she said.

A lot of areas have local beekeeping groups that meet regularly, she added. Purchasing catalogs from beekeeping suppliers is also a must, providing insight into the amount of investment needed for tools of the trade.

“One thing I do recommend is finding an experienced beekeeper who can be your mentor,” she said. “I wish I had followed a beekeeper for a full season.”

Beekeepers can range from 12-year-olds to 90-year-olds.

“There’s just no limit to who can be a beekeeper,” she said. “You don’t have to be a beekeeper to help bees either. There’s a lot you can do in your own backyard.”

Doeden doesn’t sell the honey produced by her bees.

“We just harvest, enjoy it and give it as gifts,” she said, adding that her cookbook, along with a jar of local honey, makes a perfect gift.

Published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press, “Homemade with Honey” is available in paperback.

By SHANNON GEISEN

sgeisen@parkrapidsenterprise.com

Stirred into tea or drizzled onto toast, honey is a pantry staple.

In her newly released cookbook, “Homemade with Honey,” Sue Doeden applies the ambrosial ingredient to a wide variety of dishes.

On Saturday, June 20, she will share her book and sign copies as part of Beagle and Wolf Book’s Author Fest.

A popular cooking instructor and food writer, Doeden is host of “Good Food, Good Life 265” on Lakeland Public Television.

“One of the reasons to use honey, whenever possible, is because it really has beneficial enzymes and minerals,” she explains.

Buzzing with endless possibilities for the kitchen chef, “Homemade with Honey” makes the tastiest use of this precious ingredient.

The cookbook features 75 recipes using “liquid gold” – from enchanting sweets like Glorious Harvest Cupcakes with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting or Ricotta Pancakes with Honey-Baked Bananas to savory dishes like Honey Balsamic Black Bean Mango Salsa or Hot and Sweet Peruvian Steak Salad.

“Honey is a natural sweetener,” Doeden said. “It’s sweeter than sugar so you wind up using less.”

Inspired by a recipe, restaurant entrée or longtime favorite dish, she personally developed each honey-laced recipe, experimenting with them “until I thought they were just right.”

She also shot the photographs that accompany the cookbook.

When Doeden wrote a regular food column, her readers appreciated the tips she included for each recipe.

“I followed the same format for this cookbook,” she noted.

For instance, if a vinaigrette is made with grape seed oil, Doeden explains what grape seed oil is and why she chose to use it.

She strongly recommends purchasing local, raw honey, often available at farmers markets or organic health stores.

Honey from large factories is processed with heat, which kills the healthy enzymes, minerals and pollens, she explained.

“They do that so it looks pretty on the shelf for a long time,” Doeden said.

“One thing people don’t understand is that honey never goes bad. Archeologists found honey that was in tombs for thousands of years. Crystallized honey is totally usable.”

Honey is antibacterial and antifungal. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated, simply stored in a tightly sealed jar in the cupboard.

As a novice beekeeper, Doeden also shares tips to help increase and support local bee populations.

This summer marks her fourth season as a beekeeper, a duty she shares with a close friend in Bemidji. They currently oversee four beehives in her friend’s expansive backyard, which includes a large garden and fruit trees.

“I wouldn’t say it’s complicated,” Doeden said of beekeeping. “It’s a learn-as-you-go hobby.”

She attended University of Minnesota Extension classes to learn the craft.

“Every year it seems we experience something new.”

One of their hives recently swarmed, meaning half of the hive left with a queen bee to form a new hive.

“We were lucky enough to capture the large bundle of thousands of bees together, hanging from a branch,” she said.

A lot of areas have local beekeeping groups that meet regularly, she added. Purchasing catalogs from beekeeping suppliers is also a must, providing insight into the amount of investment needed for tools of the trade.

“One thing I do recommend is finding an experienced beekeeper who can be your mentor,” she said. “I wish I had followed a beekeeper for a full season.”

Beekeepers can range from 12-year-olds to 90-year-olds.

“There’s just no limit to who can be a beekeeper,” she said. “You don’t have to be a beekeeper to help bees either. There’s a lot you can do in your own backyard.”

Doeden doesn’t sell the honey produced by her bees.

“We just harvest, enjoy it and give it as gifts,” she said, adding that her cookbook, along with a jar of local honey, makes a perfect gift.

Published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press, “Homemade with Honey” is available in paperback.

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