Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Vanilla Extract Part 2

About 2 and a half years ago I made some homemade vanilla extract. Homemade vanilla extract is the easiest thing in the world to make. It only has two ingredients - alcohol and vanilla beans. Most people use vodka because it has the cleanest flavor but any alcohol over a certain percentage can be used. The beans are steeped in the alcohol for about two months before use but the longer it sits the richer it becomes. So at this point my vanilla is a really rich brown color and imparts a great flavor to my baking.

Recently I decided to try something new. I am currently making a vanilla extract with Seagrams 7 as my base. Why Seagrams? Because I'm competitive. For the last three years my family has had a friendly competition on Christmas Eve. The first year was salsa (I lost), the next was fudge (I won), and this past year was mixed drinks (I came in second). This coming year will be cookies but we decided to put a twist on it. Everybody wrote down an ingredient on a piece of paper and we picked two that need to be included in the cookie. We ended up with Seagrams and peanut butter. I figured if I treated the Seagrams the same way I treat any vanilla extract, the peanut butter should be easy to incorporate.

I found the cutest bottles to use at a store called Home Goods. Since they had two bottles I picked up both and decided to do another batch of vanilla extract with a vodka base (I think it may end up divvied up into Christmas gifts.)

Hopefully this plan works for my cookies. I can't wait to start experimenting in a few months


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Work in Progress Wednesday

My work in progress this week is a pair of socks - this time for me! When I went to the yarn shop to get the yarn for my son's hat, I may have strayed into the sock yarn section and found a green and pink Zauberball. Of course something that fun and funky could not be passed up! (Hey at least it's not blue!)

I decided to branch out a little from a plain vanilla sock and do a patterned sock. It's still cuff down with a heel flap on my handy Size 1.5 needles, though. The pattern I chose was Jury Duty socks. Still pretty easy knitting but at least they are slightly different than others I've knit. And I absolutely love the color changes in the yarn - reminds me of a watermelon!

For more works in progress, check out Tami's Amis!