Vanilla Extract

I have a confession…I’ve always bought vanilla extract (once, when I wasn’t paying attention, I even bought imitation vanilla)! Shhh…don’t tell anyone.  But not anymore!  Have you ever looked at ingredients in vanilla extract?  The main ingredient is alcohol!  So I decided I’d make my own!  It is so easy to make, the hardest part is waiting the four weeks or so before it’s actually ready to use.

I used a sealable bottle (you can use a small jar).

Split 2 Vanilla Beans lengthwise and scrape out the seeds.  If you are using a quart or large mason jar you might need 4 or 5 vanilla beans.

Put the seeds and vanilla beans in the glass container.

Pour Vodka in (you might want to use a funnel if you’re filling a bottle) enough to cover the beans.

Seal the container and shake.

Place in a cool dark place and shake every week.

The vodka will begin to darken in color over time and after about 4 weeks you will have homemade vanilla extract!

I bought 2 vanilla beans at Trader Joe’s for about $3.  I know I could get more for my money by ordering off the internet but I was impatient (remember, I told you all that in my “about me” section!) and I wanted them now.

My extract is going on week 2.  I did pop it open to smell it and it smells really good.  I cannot wait to try this in something!

You can also make lemon extract and other extracts this way!  It’s way cheaper than buying ready made from the store and some of that store bought stuff has additives and preservatives in it.

And a bonus….Once you use up the extract you can throw the vanilla beans in a bag of white sugar and make vanilla sugar out of it!

I ‘d love to hear some of your tips for homemade extracts and what you use them in!

One Minute Self Saucing Nutella Mug Pudding for One

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Warm, Chocolatey & Yummy

Oh my gosh!! This is heavenly and so simple!  I came across this recipe on Lick The Spoon (I love that title!).  Her pictures of the treat looked so good I couldn’t wait to make it and I had all of the ingredients on hand so it was like warm gooey destiny! And it only took about 5 minutes from start to finish.  You just can’t go wrong with this treat!

All you need are a few simple ingredients!

1 egg
4 tbsp self rising flour
4 tbsp sugar (I used Splenda and it was still great!)
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tbsp Nutella
3 tbsp milk
3 tbsp oil

Place all the ingredients in a large mug. Mix well with a fork. Microwave on high, for approximately 1-1.5 minutes. Stick around and watch it rise up over the mug like magic. It can be served with cream or ice cream or enjoy it by itself like I did.

The finished product will look like chocolate cake with a gooey chocolate sauce in it.  It makes a really large serving and I couldn’t eat the entire thing by myself (this time).  So easy even the kids can make it and if your watching what you eat it’s a quick one serving fix for that chocolate craving!

LIEBSTER AWARD

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Imagine my surprise when I woke up the other morning to a message from  a fellow blogger, goodfoodseeking, letting me know my blog had been nominated for a Liebster award!  Being a newbie at this whole blogging thing I’m always just thrilled to get a comment or new follower, but a nomination for an award…wow, I was really excited.

But wait…What is a Liebster Award?  I dunno, sounds German though and hey, it’s an AWARD!

After a quick search I learned that the Liebster Award is given to new bloggers who have less than 200 followers.  I have 10 followers but one is my mom so I don’t think that really counts since it’s kinda mandatory that she has to follow my blog (but she isn’t allowed to post gushy, motherly comments about how great I am or “Remember when you were little and you ate dog food and shared your suckers with the dog..” posts).  And just in case you were wondering, I don’t remember doing those things so they never happened.

Ok, I get side tracked easily at times…Back to the Liebster Award…The rules for receiving the award are:

Answer the questions that the tagger set for you & create 10 questions for the people you’ve tagged to answer.
Choose 10 people and link them in your post.
Go to their page and tell them.
No tag backs.

Here at the questions goodfoodseeking has asked along with my answers:

1. What is your favourite film? That would be Shawshank Redemption. Red: “Get busy living, or get busy dying.”

2. What is your most memorable meal? My grandmother’s fried catfish.  No one & I do mean no one makes fried catfish like that woman!

3. What ingredient could you not do without? Probably garlic powder.
4. Do you have a favourite Christmas recipe? Monkey Bread.  I usually make it Christmas morning for everyone to pick at when they aren’t unwrapping presents.

5. If you could visit anywhere in the world right now where would you go? Italy

6. Would you like to be on board the first flight to the moon? Nope, I’m happy with my toes dug down in the dirt!

7. Salted chocolate – love or hate? Love it!

8. Whats the first thing you remember cooking/baking? Making fried donuts with my mom when I was about 3 years old. And my Easy Bake Oven.  I loved that thing!

9. Do you have a favourite restaurant? Volare in Louisville, KY.  Super delish and the co-owner is fab and has a really great accent 🙂

10.What made you start your blog? I needed something to do.  I wasn’t working and I had started baking and cooking a lot and people were always asking for my recipes so I figured it would be fun to start a blog.  Now it’s like my baby, I want to nourish it and watch it grow.

Here are the blogs I nominate:

pepperminting

justhomemade

southern kissed

Dixieland Sweets

Miss Foodie

The Table Blog

Take Two Tapas

Top Ate On Your Plate

The Kitchen Getaway

Teaspoon of Life

Now here are the questions the blogs I have nominated must answer:

1. What is your favorite animal?

2. If you were dropped off on a deserted island and  you  could only have three items with you what would they be and why?

3. What is your favorite kitchen gadget?

4. What was your favorite cartoon when you were a kid?

5. Do you know what Underoos are, if so what were your favorite?

6. What is the grossest/weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

7. What would you like your last dinner to be?

8. What is one holiday tradition your family has passed down to you?

9. What do you think has been the single worst fashion trend?

10. What is your favorite gift you’ve ever given someone?

Happy bloggin’ y’all!!!!