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 “Tzatziki sauce”

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    1
    Lara — July 7, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    its pronounced “zat-zee-kee” and is a staple in Greek cuisine! Its great as a dip, as you point out, but it is also delicious if you use it to make a chicken gyro sandwich(pita pocket, grilled chicken, red onion, feta, tomatoes, and tzatziki.

    P.S. I love your blog!

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    Renee — July 7, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    I love tzatziki 🙂

    I’ve always pronounced it like the above poster but our waiter at a greek restaurant pronounced it “tah-zee-kee” and I’ve been wondering since then if I pronounce it wrong.

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    Sweet and Savory — July 7, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Beantown Baker is a wonderful blog filled with good food and great photos. The recipes sound delectable. My Sweet and Savory is featuring your blog, this week. We are proud of our choice.

    http://sweetsav.blogspot.com/p/blog-of-week.html

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    Debbi Does Dinner Healthy — July 7, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    I just made this last week and posted a version on my blog and we LOVED it! So cool and creamy and tasty! Thanks!

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    roxan — July 7, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Thanks for the recipe! I LOVE LOVE LOVE dill, and also tzatziki. I put dill in so many things that it doesn’t belong in. 🙂

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    Jen — July 7, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Just wait to see what is coming on Friday Lara!

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    Amanda — July 7, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Sam will be excited for this recipe…tzatziki is one of his current faves.

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    Fun and Fearless in Beantown — July 7, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    Tzatziki sauce is so perfect for these hot summer days!

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    We Are Not Martha — July 8, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    This looks so awesome! And now it has me craving some falafel. I made a super simple tzatziki a year or so ago, but yours is absolutely beautiful 🙂

    Sues

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    Shannon — July 14, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    My Greek friend told me it’s “tah-zee-kee”, which is how I pronounced it last week in Greece. Hoo-boy, my order was loaded with 10x more garlic than I ever put in my own batches at home! But it’s so, so good, and like a previous comment said, great for the summer when you need a break from plain ol’ salsa.

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