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I know, I know….a VERY LONG awaited blog post.  I’ve been slacking – hardcore – but I’m making a promise to all of you, and to myself, to get better about blogging! Especially with my trip to Italy coming up (for work)!  🙂  I’m leaving on Sunday, but DEFINITELY be prepared to get updates.  I won’t be able to post from my phone since I don’t have an international plan, but I’m definitely taking the camera and I will post when I’m back at the hotel for the evening, so your afternoon! 🙂  Here it goes!

I don’t know about you, but I was getting extremely sick of going to the grocery store (even Whole Foods) and finding either corn starch or high fructose corn syrup in all of the vanilla extract…especially for how pricey that stuff can be!  So, being as frustrated as we were, Adam found out that it is EXTREMELY easy to make your own vanilla extract.  What is incredibly awesome about the process is that while vanilla beans are expensive, you can use them over and over! 🙂

What you’ll need:

3 oz. glass jars – I went to Michaels and found great ones that are about 3 oz. each, but really you can get whatever size you like

Vanilla beans (as many as you have jars)

Vodka – yep, that’s right! 🙂

Time – you’ll need about 6 weeks to let everything sit to turn into the amazing vanilla extract you know and love!

What you’ll do:

Wash your jars and dry them.  Put one vanilla bean in each jar and fill them up with vodka.  We put a piece of tape on each jar and put the date that they would be ready on the piece of tape for 2 reasons… 1) I have a HORRIBLE memory, so I needed the date to help me out, and 2) so we didn’t start using them way too early and get disappointed.

This vanilla not only tastes awesome, but was incredibly easy to make, and you know EXACTLY what goes into it! 🙂  That’s the best part!  When your vanilla extract gets to be about half empty (or half full, however you prefer to look at it…) simply fill it back up and wait about 3 more weeks to use, but you can start using another jar in the meantime.  Adam and I made two jars of it, only because there were only 2 vanilla beans at Whole Foods that week.  But so far, we’ve just been alternating between the two jars and it’s been working out great!  Plus, this is also a great gift to give to people around the holidays with all of the baking!  It’s the gift that keeps on giving since vanilla beans keep on giving!  Enjoy!