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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12 Responses to “Monkey Bread”

  1. #
    jCam — July 23, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Mmm I love monkey bread!

  2. #
    Jessica Segarra — July 23, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    That looks so good! I am going to have to try this soon!

  3. #
    Memória — July 23, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    This looks yummy! I love making monkey bread with homemade dough. To make it even richer, you could use leftover brioche dough. I have tried using the Artisan Bread in Five minutes recipes to make it quicker and easier. YUM!!!

    Lovely photos.

  4. #
    Amy Kingman — July 23, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    looks delicious! Mmmmm!

  5. #
    madebymel — July 23, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    I LOVE monkey bread! I can only make it for company or I will seriously eat the entire pan!

  6. #
    oneparticularkitchen — July 24, 2009 at 2:19 am

    You are killing me with those pictures! That looks amazing.

  7. #
    newlyweds — July 24, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    I just posted about monkey bread also. Love the stuff, here is my link if your interested.

  8. #
    Jennifer — July 24, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    I LOVE monkey bread, yours looks great!!

  9. #
    Ingrid — July 26, 2009 at 1:10 am

    We L-O-V-E monkey bread! I’ve been making it for my children for several years now. I’ve also made monkey bread muffins which is the same thing but baked in muffins tins.

  10. #
    Lee — July 26, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    My family used to make monkey bread when we were growing up too! YUM!

  11. #
    Mermaid Sweets — July 27, 2009 at 5:06 am

    I have yet to make this, but this looks amazing. Love the new blog look.

  12. #
    alexandjess — October 6, 2009 at 3:29 am

    I know I’m about 3 months behind, but I saw this recipe in your “Blog Recap – Big Hitters” post and added it to my list of things to try. It only took me a month and a half to get to it ;).

    Like you, I made it on a Sunday morning as a suprise for my husband and he loved it!

    I blogged it here, if you want to check it out:

    Thanks for sharing your fun recipe!

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