A heavy drinker of hard liquor appears to be in high spirits.

Happy New Year!

Being that it is the new year, I started thinking (a dangerous past time, I know). I have been thinking about what I do, where I’m going, what the meaning of life is…So far, I’ve come to a few conclusions–mainly about this blog. As you may have noticed, my little blog has undergone some big changes. I felt it was time to get a new image. I hope you like it as much as I do. I hope to give you guys a little more focus, while still keeping my posts fresh and fun.

So here’s to a New Year! On with the post!!

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I don’t know about you, but I use a lot of vanilla extract on an almost daily basis.

I love the smell. I love the flavor. Everything about it. Vanilla is one of those flavors that just works.

I use it for baking, to put in my oatmeal, to put in my coffee…it’s wonderful. It’s warm. It’s comforting.

And it’s expensive. Especially if you are getting the good kind, not the imitation. And let’s be honest, the imitation is NOT vanilla extract. It says so right on the label.

So, after seeing tons of pins about it, I decided to make my own vanilla extract. I had bought some Madagascar vanilla beans and was contemplating what to use them for. I didn’t want any more sweets, since the holidays have just happened, and I am sweets-ed out. No more, my body says. So, my idea for creme brulee was out.

And then one of my relatives handed me a bottle of vodka and BAM. It hit me. Homemade Vanilla.

This recipe could not be easier, and it is absolutely worth the wait. The vanilla came out beautifully and deliciously. It had an even richer flavor than the store bought stuff. I might never buy vanilla in the store again. We shall see.

Homemade vanilla makes a great gift (I know I gave a few bottles out over Christmas) and it’s really unexpected. Give it a go!

Homemade Vanilla Extract
Or, if you are not a baker, delicious Vanilla Vodka (I’m a choose your own adventure type girl AND it goes with the theme).

vanilla

Ingredients

5-8 vanilla beans per every cup of vodka

Method

1. Slice the vanilla beans in half lengthwise. Using the tip of the paring knife or a spoon, scrape out the seeds and transfer to a small saucepan. Cut the empty bean pods into 1-inch pieces and add them to the saucepan.

2. Add the vodka, cover and cook over medium-low heat until the mixture is hot and steaming, about 2 minutes. (Fun Fact: Do not open the lid while the pot is over the flame or the alcohol will ignite.)

3. Pour the mixture into a jar with a tight-fitting lid and let cool to room temperature. Cover with the lid and store in a dark place for at least 6 weeks (the longer, the better!), shaking the jar gently once a week.

4. Line a fine-mesh strainer with 2 coffee filters or 2 layers of cheesecloth, and place over a liquid measuring cup. Strain the vanilla through the filters, then transfer from the measuring cup to a clean jar with a tight-fitting lid. The vanilla extract will keep indefinitely at room temperature.
vanilla 1

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