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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8 Responses to “Christmas in July – Homemade Taco Seasoning”

  1. #
    How To Be Perfect — July 28, 2010 at 11:34 am

    I’m loving your gift ideas, at the bakery we always start planning the Christmas cakes/cupcake in August, I get very excited. It is after all the most magical time of the year, Christmas that is, not August.

  2. #
    newlywed — July 28, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    These are great ideas! You get so many boxes of cookies during the holiday season…I love the idea of giving something homemade to cook with instead.

  3. #
    nutmegnanny — July 28, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    This is so cute! I could make adorable little baskets of homemade gifts. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  4. #
    Fun and Fearless in Beantown — July 28, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    This is such a great idea – perfect for a stocking stuffer! Thanks for sharing!

  5. #
    booksncooks — July 28, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Great blog series! I’m definitely going to make this in fall!

  6. #
    *Maybe* Baby ♥ Mama — July 29, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    Our journey has begun!… secretly though =)

    If I’ve left you this message, you’re a follower of my original blog ~OR~ just someone I’ve happened upon while sending out these invites and decided I would LOVE for to come along for the ride! Though I won’t be revealing who I am just yet – until we’re TO and THROUGH the first trimester! Just getting the word out about our new site – further explanation of all the secrecy and what we’re about on my first post now up. I’d love for you to stop by.

    Exciting things going on around here!

    ~ the {secret} *Maybe* Baby Mama

  7. #
    gay barnes — July 9, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    would love your recipe for taco seasoning thanks

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