Saturday, February 27, 2010


~Spring 2010~
           motto. Time to work hard and look cute
              .  stripes of blues and creams
              .  high waisted blue jeans
              .  oxford shoes
              .  vintage round sunglasses
              .  silk scarves as belts
              .  red lips
              .  40's long curly hair
              . khaki rain coat
              . pink cheeks
              . leather bags/ straw bags
              . Hair pinned back on both sides of head



Rainy days and vanilla extract

 It's raining out again for the third day in a row up here in Downeast Maine.  We've been having the strangest weather, 50 degrees and rainy.  We did have some sort of sign that it was winter last night when it snowed. As I was getting ready for bed I noticed that it was really bright outside and saw we had this lovely coating of snow on the ground. But as I woke up this morning all the snow had either melted away or had been washed away by the stupid rain. Go away rain!!! And since it's such a crappy day I decided to finally make vanilla extract with the huge bag of beans I bought months ago. I purchased them from the kitchen store leroux kitchen in Portland, Maine. It had about 20 beans in it for only $15. What a steal! They're Tahitian vanilla beans from Vanilla Saffron Imports in San Francisco, CA. 
All you need is some good vanilla beans, rum, vodka or bourbon and a airtight jar to store them in. I made two different kinds of vanilla extract using Bulleit Bourbon and Appleton Estate Rum (not the best choice but was all I had).

.First to split the beans down the middle using a sharp knife. 
.Then place them in an airtight jar like a mason jar or an old clean jelly jar. 
.Then pour your choice of liquor over the beans covering then and screw on the lid.
.Give it a good shake and viola!!! You have the beginning stages of vanilla extract.
.Store in a dark place for 8 weeks giving it a couple of shakes every two weeks. 

To keep your extract strong and flavorful keep adding beans that you've used in baking projects. Just rinse them off and stick them in the jar. 
When your extract is all gone, don't throw away the beans just pour more liquor into the same jar and store as before.

 Another yummy food specialty item you can make is vanilla sugar. When storing vanilla beans you don't want them to dry out and a good way to keep them fresh and oily is to keep them in sugar.  This keeps the moisture in and in the process makes yummy vanilla sugar that you can use in cookies, and cakes. Do not refrigerate your beans.

Homemade vanilla extract makes great gifts for friends and family especially for anyone that bakes. Just pour some into smaller bottles and label unless you want to give them the whole jar!!!

Have fun!!