Monday, June 25, 2012

Homemade Vanilla Extract

I have been eyeing the homemade vanilla extract recipe in the new cookbook I just bought, "The Homemade Pantry".


I went online and made a bulk purchase of gourmet bourbon vanilla beans (about 52 beans for $15.00). If anyone has ever priced these at retail you know that two vanilla beans cost more than $10 after tax (yes, you read that right...ten dollars for two beans 0_o) I also got some of the best vodka (Skyy brand) I could find/afford/was willing to pay for.


Now for my church folks who read my blog...I am NOT a drunk...;). For those who don't know most extracts are made with some form of alcohol . However, when you cook with it the majority bakes out and for the times when you don't bake it out the alcohol content is very low (you run a higher risk of getting drunk off your morning mouthwash)!

Anyway...back to the matter at hand. I read through the recipe in my cookbook and browsed recipes online to get a general understanding of the process. Here a my steps:

1. I sterilized my jar and lid to be sure they were nice and clean.


2. I took out 10 vanilla beans and split them lengthwise with a sharp knife.


3. I added the split beans to my clean jar.


4. I filled the jar to the top with the vodka, put on the lid and screwed it shut (my family calls me Sheera because I put lids on too tight and usually need help getting them off later).


5. I gave the jar a couple of shakes and put it in a dark corner of one of my cabinets.

I'll have to remember to give it a good shake once a week. Most recipes say that it will be ready in three weeks, but for the best flavor six weeks is the minimum. I am so excited!

I'll be sure to post weekly pics of its progress. If all goes well I plan to start a batch in the fall to give as Christmas gifts for all the bakers in my life!

Thanks for looking and don't forget to check back to see how it's going! Toddles!


Monday, June 18, 2012

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Raised Garden Bed Update

Hi all!

My garden is still going strong! I harvested some Roma tomatoes from my potted plants and had so many extra peppers that I took some to work to share with my co-workers (I hate I didn't take a picture of that harvest). I've included a few updated photos of the garden. Thanks for looking!