Monthly Archives: November 2010

How to Make Your Own Advent Calendars

The turning of November means one thing:  Christmas is a comin’!  What better way to count down to this festive holiday than to create (or buy) an advent calendar?  They are really fun to make and even more fun to give…since you can fill each space with little gifts for the receiver.  Here are some I found online:

I’ve also done this for new babies using baby socks tied to a string (fill each sock with chew toys, gift cards, rattles, or even stuff for mom).  One year I used a mini muffin tin and filled each hole with a baked treat.  Just be sure to give advent calendars as gifts before December starts…so they can be put to use to count down until Christmas!

Advent calendars aren’t only for Christmas, by the way.  Have fun counting down until Valentine’s day by giving your sweetie a little card or candy for the first two weeks of February.  Count down to birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and other holidays.

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

Leave a comment

Filed under christmas

Fried Stuffing Bites with Cranberry Pesto

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving, everyone!  I hope you all had a most wonderful and satisfying holiday.

As every new year ends, my mother looks forward to one thing:  hosting Thanksgiving.  Of course, hosting means we’re always eating leftovers from dinner for days following…so here’s a new idea to get rid of stuffing…which doesn’t last long as leftovers anyway.  For an extra treat, put some turkey pieces in the middle of the stuffing balls.

Fried Stuffing Bites with Cranberry Sauce Pesto

  • Leftover stuffing
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 cup cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • Oil, for frying


Preheat oil to 350 degrees F.

Cut leftover stuffing into bite-sized cubes and set aside. In a small bowl whisk eggs and milk. Coat each stuffing bite with this egg wash, then dredge in the bread crumbs until fully coated and set aside. In a food processor blend cranberry sauce, pepper and walnuts and set aside. Once oil is at temperature fry each piece of stuffing until golden brown about 4 minutes. Drain on a paper towel and serve with cranberry pesto.


Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 


Filed under appetizer recipes

Pear-Inspired Thanksgiving Centerpiece Idea

In a bind to find something to put on your Thanksgiving table?  Have no fear!!  The Hot Glue Gun is here!!  Grab your trusted glue gun, some gems, sequins or pins from your craft box, and some leftover fruit from your fridge.

You can attach the decor to the fruit using the glue gun, or you can simply stick pins (with colorful heads) into the fruit to create an elegant design.  Use like colors and put the fruit in a shallow white bowl and there you have it.  A beautiful, affordable, and super easy centerpiece!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  The Hobbee Hive will be taking a holiday tomorrow and Friday, but I’ll see you on Monday with a brand new recipe…if we can even think about food by then 😉

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

Leave a comment

Filed under thanksgiving

For Everything Thy Goodness Sends

It’s not often that I sit down and really think about what I’m thankful for.  It’s unfortunate (and probably quite common) that the event that sparked my thought was a sad one…

A few days ago, a good family friend lost his battle with cancer.  It was a quick and painful end to a life that touched so many.  During his funeral last week, I couldn’t help but think how thankful I am to have my health…after all, in the words of my late great-grandfather, “When you have your health, you have everything.”

As I sat listening to his two young daughters speak about this caring and thoughtful man, I felt something overcome me…a sense of comfort and belonging in my own close family.  I give thanks every year for being given the opportunity to know so many wonderful people in my lifetime, and to have been raised in a loving and supportive family system.

This year take time to give thanks for the little things, the big things, the painful ones and the joyous ones.  Give your Aunt Gretta an extra hug and go ahead and indulge in a piece of pecan pie.  Feel gratitude for the opportunity to be able to sit down with your loved ones and enjoy a warm meal.  Laugh.  Love.  Enjoy.

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

Leave a comment

Filed under quotes

Tangerine-Pomegranate Cider

Greetings, Readers!  Hard to believe Thanksgiving is this week!!  Where did this year go?  For Heaven’s Snakes…

Anyway, I have a recipe for a delicious drink to serve at your holiday parties this winter…whether it be for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or even New Year’s…

Tangerine-Pomegranate Cider

7 cups apple cider

1 1/2 cups fresh tangerine juice

1 cup pomegranate juice (fresh or store bought)

2 cinnamon sticks

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

Tangerine slices or pomegranate seeds for decoration (optional)

In a large saucepan combine cider, tangerine juice, pomegranate juice, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, and cloves.  Place over medium high heat and bring to a simmer; cook 30 minutes.  Remove cinnamon sticks.

Ladle into mugs and garnish with tangerines or seeds.  Serve warm/hot.

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

Leave a comment

Filed under drink recipes

The Science of Harry Potter Book Review

Happy Harry Potter Week!

It’s been nearly twelve years since Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone hit shelves in the U.S.  Since then, schools all over the world have added the Harry Potter series to required reading lists…kids (including myself) have forgone parties, sleep, and playtime to waiting in lines miles and miles long to get a first glimpse of the next Harry Potter novel.  Since its inception, the Harry Potter franchise has grossed more than four billion dollars…and that number’s only going to skyrocket with the movie release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

So what is it about this boy wizard’s world that has everyone hooked?  And how far away are we from really being able to enjoy using an Invisibility Cloak, having our own house elves, or training owls to deliver the mail?  Those are the questions Roger Highfield tries to answer in his illuminating book, The Science of Harry Potter:  How Magic REALLY Works.

Here we are introduced to the world of Harry Potter…not as J.K. Rowling shows it, but as a learned muggle might see it.  Highfield takes the works of Harry Potter and highlights the “magic” in them…the Invisibility Cloak, the Quidditch games, the animals in the dark forest, the people, places, and things that help bring Harry Potter to life, and attempts to explain to the reader how this magic could or might “work.”  For example, he offers his suggestions of DNA combinations to make yourself a Dobby, or a Hagrid, or even a giant man-eating spider.

I’m not going to lie here…a lot of this stuff went right over my head.  The calculations at the beginning of the book that tried to explain what must happen for a broom to fly or how to move through time were enough to make me “wingardium leviosa” the book right back on the shelf…but I plowed through and I’m so glad I did.

The Science of Harry Potter is broken down into two main parts:  the first part deals mainly with how the magic works…how we can ideally move through time or create Every Flavor Jelly Beans or mutate DNA genes to make a dragon.  The second half is more of a historical look into magic…an overview of the world of sorcery, witches and wizards, the Sorcerer’s stone, and the one wizard who would give Dumbledore a run for his money…

The Science of Harry Potter is a great book for any fan of the series.  While some may be weary that this book might ruin the magic, they should fear not.  After all, Highfield himself has this to say of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter:  “Science will never be able to erase all the magic from life.”

COMING UP IN TWO WEEKS:  I’ll share with you the book that has changed my life…forever.


Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.


Filed under book reviews

The Harry Potter Creative Process

Hey everyone!  Sorry I missed you yesterday.  I was taking a birthday holiday from technology 🙂

Anyway, to go along with today’s theme of creativity and this week’s Harry Potter theme, I have for you a rare look into the mind of author, J.K. Rowling.  Ever wonder how she plots out her books?  How hundreds of pages come to life in her mind?

Here is a look at a “worksheet” drawn up by Rowling.  In it you will see how she maps out not only the plot of the books, but the character arches and the themes present in each section of the books.

J.K. Rowling’s Character Map

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

Leave a comment

Filed under pop culture

How to Make Butterbeer

Well, the end of an era is upon us.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows opens this Friday and so I’ve decided to dedicate this week to this fascinating boy wizard.

If you want to get into the spirit of Harry Potter before this epic saga comes to an end, try whipping up some butterbeer, Harry’s favorite frothy treat.



  • 1 cup (8 oz) club soda or cream soda
  • ½ cup (4 oz) butterscotch syrup (ice cream topping)
  • ½ tablespoon butter


Step 1: Measure butterscotch and butter into a 2 cup (16 oz) glass. Microwave on high for 1 to 1½ minutes, or until syrup is bubbly and butter is completely incorporated.

Step 2: Stir and cool for 30 seconds, then slowly mix in club soda. Mixture will fizz quite a bit.

Step 3: Serve in two coffee mugs or small glasses; a perfectly warm Hogwarts treat for two!

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

Leave a comment

Filed under drink recipes

Growing Up Native American Book Review

I originally started reading Growing Up Native American for a Native American culture class in college.  We only had to read one essay in this collection of 22…and the remaining stories went unread throughout my collegiate years…which was quite unfortunate.

When you are learning about a people, a culture, a way of life, there’s no better way to do it than to take lessons from the source.  Every book I read for my Native Studies degree was a personal account (or something similar) that not only touched the reader emotionally, but mentally and spiritually as well.

Through the rubble of the questions left open by our history books comes a collection of 22 personal accounts from Native writers, both famous and not so famous, of what it was like to grow up “Native American”.  These are tales about boarding school, family life, conflict of traditions, life, death, children, growing up, and letting go.  These are stories by the people for the people.  These are the tales passed down from generations of storytellers.  These are the true stories.

Growing Up Native American is a collection of personal essays, broken down into four parts: the nineteenth and twentieth century make up two parts, while the other two are divided into moving forward by using the lessons of ages past and life in the Native educational system, whether that be at home with parents or away at boarding school.

Many of these accounts are truly awakening.  “The Middle Five:  Indian Schoolboys of the Omaha Tribe” by Francis La Flesche, for example, is as touching and beautiful as it is sorrowful and unfortunate.  These stories will make you think.  They will invoke familiar emotions and not so familiar ones.  These stories will teach you, inspire you, captivate you, and stay with you for quite a while.

Contributors include Black Elk, Louise Erdrich, Linda Hogan, N. Scott Momaday, and Simon Ortiz.

Growing Up Native American is not just a book for natives, but for those of us who are inspired by their teachings.  This is a book for people who love storytelling and tradition and a book for those of us who can appreciate the importance of culture and history.

NEXT WEEK:  IT’S HARRY POTTER WEEK!!! AAAAHHHHH!!  Okay, I’m okay.  So here’s a thought:  What if we could find a way to bring Harry Potter to life?  What if we could find a way to really play Quidditch?  Can owls really be reliable mail service carriers?  Can I get an Invisibility Cloak at Macy’s?  These answers may surprise you…

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

Leave a comment

Filed under book reviews

How to Prepare and Eat Pomegranates


Pomegranates are making a comeback.  Not only are they delicious and healthy, but inside that hard shell lies a bountiful amount of little red berries that will add beautiful color to nearly everything.

First, let’s talk about how to open these sexy things.  The best way to do it is to first cut off the top so you have a flat surface.  Lay it down on the flat side and score the skin from top to base five times around the fruit.  Put the fruit in a bowl of water and gently pull it apart.  The seeds will sink to the bottom and the skin and pith will float to the top.  Remove the floaters.  Drain the water from the bowl by pouring the seeds into a sieve.  Rinse the seeds under cold water and you’re ready to go!

Now, what to do with those beautiful berries?

Like any berry, pomegranate seeds make delicious additions to stand-by recipes.  Toss them in salads, oatmeal, muffins, scones, breads, cookies, chicken and turkey dishes, ice cream, fruit salads, cakes, or just eat them plain.  You can turn the seeds into juice and drink it as well, which is absolutely delicious.

Three words for you:  Pomegranate Tangerine Cocktail.  Best.  Thing.  Of.  My.  Life.

Pomegranates do wonders for your skin, whether it be acne, anti aging, or just rejuvenation.  You can get these benefits by consuming the fruit or simply rubbing pomegranate juice on areas of the skin that need special attention.

Unfortunately, not much can be done with the shell of the pomegranate.  It’s not edible and doesn’t have many uses outside containing the seeds.  For color and a subtle scent, you could add the shell to a mix of water, cinnamon, orange peel, and nutmeg and let it simmer on your stove.

For beautiful bowl displays or dried floral arrangements, you can simply dry pomegranates like this:  Purchase the freshest pomegranates you can find—make sure there is now sponginess or bruising.  Puncture the rind multiple times with a pin—try to do it in vertical and parallel patterns, not random pokes.  Let the fruit dry on wire racks for three weeks or more.  Once dry, they should be about one-third their original size and more brownish pink than red.  They should also feel very light.  Place them in a bowl with pinecones, cinnamon sticks, nuts, evergreen branches, etc for a striking table display.  You could even spray paint some of them with metallic gold to make them stand out.  These dried pomegranates will last about 2 months.

Here’s an example…

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 


Filed under cooking and baking tips