May 24, 2011


Posted by Ethne~

I had to do it - being one of the MTV generation, I had to squeeze Vanilla Ice in somehow.  Boy did Eminem eclipse him.  You know from here that Lori and I are suckers for a little rap music. :)
PS - If you own the copyright to this photo, please contact me:
I could find the photo but not any credit

Dad and Mom Connie do a lot of cooking (all of my family do, but they’re whom I’m talking about) – they gave me one of the best cooking inventions: Endless Vanilla.

I give up finding a good pic of Dad - he always talks in pictures!!
This one is a good one of Mom Connie, so she wins.
See how Baby T-Rex loves her??

They purchased mine – but you can SOOOO make your own.  I had to tell you about it!  Vanilla Extract is pretty much vanilla infused and/or pressed with alcohol to extract the essence.  Doesn’t sound like rocket science, does it?

If you like to bake, you'll think this is gorgeous!

You’ll need three things:

--4-6 vanilla beans, whole

I wish I could smello-vision this to you.  Heavenly.

--Rum – we usually have Captain Morgan spiced rum around the house, so that’s what I use
--A glass bottle with a screw top.  Think of something smaller than a pop bottle, but not miniature either.

The thing with vanilla beans is they can be rather expensive.  Not out-of-your-mind expensive, but they’re not cheap, either.  The best deal BY FAR is at Costco.  You can get 10 whole vanilla beans for $13.99.  You can buy 1-3 whole vanilla beans at the grocery store for around $5.00.  Since you re-use these vanilla beans as extract endlessly, the price works itself out.

So, take your beans and lay each out on a cutting board.  Cut them open with a slit all the way down one side – don’t cut all the way through (remember dissecting worms in HS biology?  This is SOOOO not like that).

Put the beans in a screw-top bottle and fill up to the top with rum.  Let this sit in your cupboard for about a month and use when you bake!  When I use some, I top it off with a little more rum.  It’s endless!!!

Trust me, Friends, you will love this – it’s pretty much the greatest idea ever.  Thanks Dad and Mom Connie!! (Also a shout-out to another WOM-MOM follower Holly who also shared this idea with WOM-MOM!  It's fabulous!)

Whit and Bryan's FAB wedding cake

BAKING TIP - Remember Aunt Pam from this post?  She knows what she's talking about when it comes to cake, and when she wants white cake or white frosting, she wants it WHITE.  That means you only use egg whites (no yellow to taint it) and, if you can find it, WHITE vanilla.  In the States you really can only find the amber colored kind.  When Shaun and I were in Mexico, however, we found some white vanilla for her.  She was in love.  You can achieve this (as much as is possible) by only using clear-colored rum like Bacardi.  Vodka would work too.  It'll definitely be lighter than if you use spiced or dark rum.

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