• This time of year is full or parties. Christmas parties and New Years parties are the two biggest. Of course you cannot go to a party without offering a hostess gift right? It seems that the normal hostess gift these days is a nice bottle of wine. I have no issues with that, but I like to be a bit different. This year I made some vanilla extract. It was so easy to do.

    You need:

    • Vanilla beans
    • Vodka (roughly 375ml per bottle you plan to make)
    • Fancy bottles that seal up well.  Make sure they are big enough to hold 375mls or so (I got mine at the local craft store).

    Pour your vodka into the bottles. Cut your vanilla beans in half lengthwise. Place one in each bottle. Seal them up, put a sticker and a bow on and you are good to go.  Really?!  And I’ve been paying all this money for those tiny little bottles? Ouch!

    Ideally you would make these at least a few weeks in advance. But if you are like me and are running behind on life, just add a note giving the recipient a date of when the extract will be ready. The cool thing about this, is truly the longer they wait to open it the better it will be. You can make them this year to give out next Christmas and call it “aged” vanilla extract. How fancy does that sound?

    For a nice touch, give a few recipes that would really benefit from some good vanilla extract. Cookies, cakes, ice cream, whatever you think works the best.