It’s Vanilla-palooza!

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No, those aren’t mummy fingers! Those wrinkledy-brown things are one of my favorite ingredients — vanilla beans! And I’m about to give you the most extraordinary culinary gift — the gift of vanilla freedom!

Via this link, you can purchase vanilla beans BY THE POUND. Instead of $8 for two lonely little beans, you can get a quarter pound for $10! It sounds too good to be true, but it’s not. It’s legit. And you know what that means? You’re free to make some mischief! Here’s how you go about it once you get your beans…

Vanilla Goodness Extraction 101
Run a paring knife (or any small blade, so you have control) down the length of the bean, splitting it two long halves (do not chop it in half). Then use the flat side of the knife to scrape out the seeds on each half. Add these to cake batter, cookie dough, or ice cream. If you’re looking for the most perfectly indulgent recipe to showcase your vanilla, look no further than Barefoot Contessa’s panna cotta recipe. I make it every Christmas, and it’s DIVINE.

When it comes to vanilla beans, it may be what’s on the inside that counts, but the outside is most definitely NOT chopped liver. Don’t you dare throw away the husk! You can stash these perfumed peels in all manner of recipes and get a big flavor boost. Here’s just a few ideas:

Vanilla Sugar

Simply stash your discarded vanilla husks in a canister with your choice of sugar. In less than a week, you’ll have a richly perfumed pot of culinary gold. Substitute it for sugar in your favorite recipes, like cakes, cookies, pancakes — you name it. Plus, it makes a great gift. Pour some of the sugar into a mason jar, tuck in a vanilla husk or two, and you’ve given a gift that keeps on giving!

Vanilla Pomegranate Sangria

I love sangria, and when I happened upon this recipe on Pinterest the other day I literally swooned! Here’s a link for details on how to make it. It just sounds like the perfect winter sangria — the rich tartness of pomegranate and the sweet touch of vanilla. It’s on my to-do list for sure!

Vanilla Vodka
I’m not a huge fan of liquor, but the idea of vanilla vodka makes me smile. It’s just as easy as vanilla sugar. Just drop a couple of vanilla bean husks in your bottle, pop it in the freezer, and voila! It will probably tint your liquor, so go with something brown, like bourbon, if you like.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Now that you have access to an affordable supply of vanilla beans, the only limit is your imagination. So go forth, ye mischief-makers, and have some fun! ;)

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10 Responses to “It’s Vanilla-palooza!”

  1. inspired2010 Says:

    You guys are GREAT!!! Thanks for the FREEDOM!!! and the recipes!

  2. Monica Mainard Says:

    Can’t wait to try!! I’ve never used a vanilla bean!! Been hiding under a rock I guess!! I’m free at last!!

  3. karensdifferentcorners Says:

    I love anything and everything vanilla! Not a drinker, but I might have to try the vanilla vodka! And I am now following your blog!

  4. Karen Tegeler Says:

    My first “vanilla bean episode” was for creme brulee (which turned out fabulous, not gonna lie). Looking forward to trying these suggested recipes and sharing your blog with others. YUM!

  5. Karen Kazmorck Says:

    Thanks Josh! The vanilla sugar idea is just brilliant (and now I must have the belle meade canister to store it in) and vanilla vodka, wholly molly, this is my Absolute favorite. I’m heading to order my own stash and give it a try. !!!).

    P.S. Great job on the Kitchen Mischief video.

  6. Scotsman Ice Machines South Africa Says:

    Scotsman Ice Machines South Africa…

    [...]It’s Vanilla-palooza! « Kitchen Mischief![...]…

  7. You’d be Bananas not to Try this Recipe! « Kitchen Mischief! Says:

    [...] add the vanilla bean innards.  Don’t know how to open that pod?  Josh told us how in his Vanilla-palooza [...]

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