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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13 Responses to “Homemade Green Bean Casserole”

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    Cathy B. @ Brightbakes — December 7, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    wow..great to see a green bean casserole with ingredients that are actually found in nature! 🙂 thank you!
    love,
    cathy b.

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    Carolyn — December 7, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    I think this homemade version has to beat the pants off the one with canned mushroom soup. I mean, with portobellos and shitakes? Yes please!

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    Fun and Fearless in Beantown — December 7, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    I’ve only tried the “classic” green bean casserole for the first time like a month ago and I’m definitely recreating it this weekend – cream of mushroom and all! Yours, however, looks gourmet and unprocessed!

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    Sinful Sundays — December 7, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    i’ve never had Green Bean casserole and want to try it so badly! I may just make the processed version to see how it tastes. Yours looks way more fabulous than I could probably ever get mine to be!

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    Boston Food Diary — December 7, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Yummmmm- well done in getting rid of the processed sections and going for the natural approach!!!! Looks delicious!

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    Melissa — December 7, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    I’ve never had green bean casserole but this makes me want to try it! Yours looks really good.

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    stephchows — December 7, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    home made green bean casserole! I didn’t know it was possible! 🙂 Personally I’m in the hate category… but I’d be willing to try this version 🙂

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    Shannon — December 7, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    definitely looks better than the “traditional” version!!

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    Shannon — December 8, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Oooh, I am so excited about this! A friend requested green bean casserole for a small holiday party that I’m hosting, but I really, really didn’t want to make the regular version of it. This is perfect!

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    sabjimata — December 8, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    everything’s better homemade!

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    Lulu — December 19, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    This sounds like a very useful veggie side dish come the post-Xmas dinners. I did notice recently that oriental shops also sell roasted shredded crispy onions, if you find yourself very short of time one day (they are not expensive).

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    Stella — November 17, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Definitely the best green casserole recipe! I’ve been making Alton s recipe for years.

    • beantownbaker — November 24th, 2013 @ 5:51 pm

      Isn’t it great?!?

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