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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11 Responses to “Biscuits and Sausage Gravy”

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    1
    oneordinaryday — December 15, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    I’ve actually never had biscuits and gravy, but this sounds yummy, so I would definitely like to try it. I never realized it was so easy to make. Thanks for sharing!

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    2
    Manne — December 15, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    Wait – that’s all it takes to make biscuits and gravy?

    I want that now

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    3
    carrie1 — December 15, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    mmm….. I just decided I am going to make this on Thursday when my boyfriend gets home from sea. =)

    Thank you for sharing. =)

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    4
    Ingrid — December 15, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    I’m with One Ordinary Day! You’re the third or so blog in the past day I’ve seen post about biscuits and gravy. I’d say that’s a sign!
    ~ingrid

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    5
    Jeanette — December 15, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    Yummy is all I can say!

  6. #
    6
    BeeKayRoot — December 16, 2009 at 12:01 am

    I just moved to Southwestern Virginia a few months ago, and biscuits and gravy are an everyday delicacy around here.

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    7
    Lorie — December 16, 2009 at 2:40 am

    A couple of tips from my grandma…use hot sausgae because it gives it a TON of flavor without making the gravey actually hot. (The milk and flour tone it down)

    And to avoid the whisking, after browning the sausage, add just the flower. It will make a roux from the fat that has cooked out of the sausage. THEN turn it on high and add the milk. No whisking, no lumps. I guarantee it! ;D

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    8
    Julie — December 16, 2009 at 4:39 am

    Sounds perfect! We went to some breakfast place on Sunday and I had sausage and biscuits on my mind, and they didn’t have any! How can they even call themselves a breakfast place??

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    9
    Ingrid — January 9, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Hi, my children just finished eating your biscuits and gravy. All three of them loved it. I loved it as it was super easy and fairly quick to make. Thanks!
    ~ingrid

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    10
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