Mrs. Regueiro's Plate: Homemade Vanilla Extract

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Sometimes shopping during this holiday season makes you a little frantic/tired/weary or BSC! Last week, I was on a mission to find house slippers for Elena to wear around the house. She usually wears her shoes, but most often goes barefoot while in the house. It's getting a little bit colder as we head into the Fall and Winter season, and she needed something cozy for around the house instead of her bare feet.

I went to my go-to store (Target) and found the most hideous glittery over the top princess slippers and Hello Kitty slippers. There was another plain boot style slipper but they didn't seem comfy for her. Honestly, I didn't want any of these slippers nor did I want to scour another store to find them. The easiest solution would have been to find something online but I needed something right away. I texted my husband which one of these slippers to purchase and his quick response was "definitely not the Hello Kitty." I reluctantly bought the princess slippers and came home with the kids.

I wasn't really happy with my purchase because I typically avoid anything princess-y for Elena, and I don't want to give her that princess infatuation just yet. I searched online and had found that Target had sold Minnie Mouse slippers as well, but my store had them out of stock. (Elena loves Mickey and Minnie Mouse!) I called maybe about 6 stores to see if any of them had them in her size, and it turns out there was one store that had them in stock. They placed them on hold for me to pick up, but the real kicker was that this was the store I had originally wanted to shop at - (a bigger Target) versus my own. Mommy lesson : always trust your gut instinct and more importantly do your research before shopping.
I want to save you some time for the holidays and not struggle shopping around at the stores like my mommy madness up above. Start making your own homemade vanilla extract, it's one of those DIY projects that you need to add to your to-do list. It's simple and so straightforward that you will be kicking yourself in the butt for not making it sooner.

The main reason why you should start now is because you need time for the vanilla extract to ferment. Plus, you get to buy booze, mainly vodka or you could substitute dark rum or perhaps a Cognac that you might have you in your alcohol stash. I use an inexpensive vodka, not one that I would use for drinking. The main shopping problem you might experience is finding cute bottles. I found mine at TJ Maxx and Home Goods, but you can always check out online or the Container Store like Shawnda did. I bought my vanilla beans pods in bulk online at Penzeys Spices because my grocery store has one vanilla bean for $12! The more you buy, the more money you save. This entire DIY project is all about saving money and time!

These are perfect little stocking stuffers for all your baking friends or for yourself!

Homemade Vanilla Extract
Adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride
ZipList Add Recipe
  • 9 to 12 vanilla bean pods
  • Vodka or rum
  • Bottles or Jars
Cooking Directions
  1. Slice the vanilla bean pods in half length-wise using a paring knife.
  2. Place 3 vanilla bean pods in the bottle for about an 8-ounce bottle.
  3. Using a funnel, fill each bottle with vodka.
  4. Seal the lid, or top lightly. Give it a good shake.
  5. Place in a dark and cool location for 3 months. Label and date the estimated time of use for good measure.
  6. Shake the bottle occasionally.
Review: Perfect, it's better than buying storebought! I have been making homemade vanilla extract for the past 2 years and haven't really bought a bottle since. The easier recipe for making a bulk - is to ferment all the vanilla beans in your vodka bottle (750 ml) as Shawda did and pour into your desired bottles.

I finally found some old pictures and wanted to show you the comparisons of Emilio to myself and Elena to Eric. Do you see the similarities? Yes, I was a bald baby only after my parents shaved my head. It's one of those old wive's tales that your hair grows thicker afterwards instead of the baby hair.

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