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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10 Responses to “Mini Ham and Cheese Sandwiches”

  1. #
    Dorothy — December 28, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Holy snap! Guess what I’m bringing to our post-holiday party on the 2nd? I have a reputation for being the “sweets girl,” but that might just have to change…
    Thanks for the recipe!

  2. #
    Dorothy — December 28, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Forgot to ask – Do you bake the rolls in the same dish you marinated them in, or do you place them on a cookie sheet or something?

  3. #
    Jen — December 28, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Dorothy – we just bake them in the same pan. Usually, we’ll buy the disposable foil ones from the store that come with a lid. Marinade them overnight and then just grab and go to a party. Pop them in the oven for the 10 minutes and serve hot. Works really well.

  4. #
    Kat — December 28, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    I have leftover ham from Christmas dinner (and who doesn’t have cheese on hand!) and will be trying these this week.

  5. #
    Faith — December 28, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    I hope you and yours had a nice Christmas. This recipe is unlike any I’ve ever seen! It sounds SO GOOD!

    Happy (almost) New Year!

  6. #
    Daily — December 29, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    Wow, those look delicious! Seem perfect for New Years Eve hors d’oeuvres. I’ve never thought of using Kings Hawaiian rolls for anything other than a dinner-time side.

  7. #
    Amanda — January 4, 2010 at 5:19 am

    Made these for New Years Eve….& they were fantastic! These are definitely going on my short list of yummy ( & easy) appetizers.

  8. #
    Rachelle @ "Mommy? I'm Hungry!" — January 18, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    Hi, after seeing these on a friend’s blog, I had to give them a try! I made them for dinner to try out and they were a huge hit! They will be a new dish I’ll be bringing to our next potluck!

  9. #
    Debra Asmuth Fillingim — April 2, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    My friend made these and they were fantastic-I don’t usually like ham and cheese!

  10. #
    beantownbaker — April 2, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    These little guys are tasty. Glad you enjoyed them.

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