Christmas in July – Homemade Vanilla Extract

With just under 5 months until Christmas, it might be time to start thinking about gifts for your friends and family. That’s what I was doing about a year ago. I am definitely a big planner and had decided early in 2009 to make as many Christmas gifts as I could. Some of these gifts required quite a bit of time and some were easy to throw together. This week I’ll be sharing the gifts that I gave our family and friends last year.

The first gift came about due to a sale on Amazon. There was a great deal on 1/2 lb of vanilla beans. I started with two bottles of vodka and the vanilla beans. Once the beans were split (but not scraped) and placed in the vodka, the bottles just had to sit in a cool dark place. Every couple of weeks Hubby would pull the vodka out of the closet and shake the crap out of it. A couple months later the vanilla extract was ready to go!

I ordered some bottles online and made some labels for the bottles to finish off the look. I also placed two vanilla beans into each bottle.

I love that the vanilla extract tastes so good, has the specks of fresh vanilla beans, and will essentially never run out. If the vanilla starts running low, you can just top it off with some more vodka. As you use vanilla beans, just throw the pods in the bottle to replenish the vanilla flavor.

One Year Ago: Goat Cheese Potato Salad and Salmon with Yellow Pepper and Cilantro Pesto
Two Years Ago: Champagne Cupcakes

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5 Responses to “Crockpot Garlic Mashed Potatoes”

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    Becki's Whole Life — November 18, 2013 at 6:49 am

    I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. The people in the mid-west will be in our prayers this week for sure. Your mom is lucky to have you to help:-).

    Your potatoes sound delish and I love your addition of roasted garlic. This is a great T-giving recipe particularly since it frees up the stove!

    • beantownbaker — November 24th, 2013 @ 5:52 pm

      Thanks for the prayers. It has helped a lot over the last week.

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    Shannon — November 20, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    this is totally cool! what a great way to free-up some space on the stovetop 🙂

    hoping things are going well with the cleanup, glad to hear your mom and Andrew are ok!

    • beantownbaker — November 24th, 2013 @ 5:52 pm

      Thanks Shannon. Can’t believe it’s been a week since the storm hit. We made a lot of progress this week, but it’s going to be a long road to come…

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    Potato Oven — December 12, 2013 at 1:04 am

    Sorry for your mom.she will be in every ones prayer mate.And second thing is this dish is really delicious and its good to be in kitchen and get some heat because of cold..jk..Looking forward for more dishes from you mate.

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