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Entries in vanilla (6)


Cardamom Vanilla Brown Butter Spread

Cardamom Vanilla Brown Butter Spread

200g butter, room temperature - divided in half

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

3 Tbsp sugar (I used Just Us! Organic Cane Sugar - the crystals add a nice crunch)

2 tsp ground cardamom

- Place 100g of butter in a TALL heatproof microwaveable dish - microwave butter, in one minute intervals, until deep caramel in colour with a nice nutty smell - mine took 4 minutes - if you have some sort of screen or cover for the dish GREAT because during minute 3 my butter splattered to high heaven - set aside to cool

- In a large bowl, mix un-browned 100g butter, seeds from vanilla bean, sugar and cardamom (I added my cardamom in 1/2 tsp amounts until I was happy with the taste - 2 tsp was a nice balance) - when brown butter is cool mix in with other ingredients until thoroughly combined - use on toast/bagels, on top of French toast or pancakes, or anywhere else you would use cinnamon sugar spread


The butter will splatter quite a bit during minute 2 so if you have a heatproof screen or cover - use it. It's also important to use a TALL vessel for browning butter in the microwave because around minute 3 it will become quite foamy. 


After minute 4, I poured my butter into a fresh ceramic dish to cool faster. I didn't remove the milk solids (white bubbly bits floating on top), I just added everything to my spread once cool.


Keurig MINI Plus Brewer and Van Houtte Vanilla Hazenut Coffee Ice Cream

This is my brand new Cobalt Blue Keurig MINI Plus Brewer. Isn't it cute?

I've been toying with making the switch to Keurig for a while now. Every time I would go to the store to buy coffee, I would stand in front of the Keurig section, staring forlornly at the amazing selection (over 100 different flavours of K-Cups to choose from!!) that is available to Keurig owners. 'I want to drink Van Houtte Vanilla Hazelnut!', I would think to myself, but NOOO, instead I would head home, no K-Cups in my bags, because I didn't own a Keurig.

I live in a one-coffee-drinker household. And THAT is why I'm so thrilled about this adorable efficient little machine. It takes up hardly any space on my counter, I have TONS of selection for coffee (or tea, or hot chocolate, or apple cider and more!), it's so easy to use my Grandma could figure it out and it's PRETTY which means it's MINE.

As most of you know, I can't just make a cup of coffee and call it a day - I like to play! - and so I thought, what would be fun to do with GMCR's Van Houtte coffee? Then it hit me - ICE CREAM.

Van Houtte Vanilla Hazelnut Coffee Ice Cream with Toasted Hazelnuts and Chopped Milk Chocolate (recipe adapted from Not Eating Out In New York)

1.5 C 35% whipping cream

1.5 C whole milk

0.5 + 0.25 C sugar

3 egg yolks

2 whole eggs

3/4 C water

2 Van Houtte Vanilla Hazelnut K-Cups

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 C hazelnuts, skinned, roasted, chopped

1/2 C milk chocolate pieces

- heat whipping cream, milk and 0.5 C sugar in a saucepan over med-low heat until sugar dissolves and steam starts to rise

- in a med-large bowl, whisk 0.25 C sugar, egg yolks and whole eggs

- pour 3/4 C water into Keurig MINI Plus Brewer - brew one Van Houtte Vanilla Hazelnut Coffee K-Cup - discard brewed coffee to keep 0.5 C - peel lid from second K-Cup and add fresh grounds to brewed 0.5 C - steep

- whisk 1 C hot milk mixture, very little at a time, into egg mixture - once 1 C hot milk is whisked into egg, add everything back into the pot of hot milk - cook over med-low heat until custard coats the back of a wooden spoon and you can draw a clear line through it with your finger - remove from heat

- strain steeped Van Houtte Vanilla Hazelnut Coffee through a fine mesh strainer TWICE - add to custard with 1 tsp vanilla - stir well - cool then chill in fridge 3-4 hours

- churn in ice cream maker according to your manufacturer's directions - layer ice cream in container with chopped hazelnuts and chopped chocolate - freeze 3-4 hours


*Please note that although I did receive a free Keurig Cobalt Blue MINI Plus Brewer, a Keurig K-Cup Carousel, Van Houtte House Blend, Van Houtte Vanilla Hazelnut, Bigelow Green Tea and Café Escapes Hot Cocoa K-Cups from Keurig, they did not specifically ask me to write a blog post promoting their product. I just really love this little machine and would have bought one anyway at some point! Thank you Keurig!!

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Homemade Vanilla Extract

My friends gave me huge bottle of Mexican Vanilla last year - it's almost gone which makes me a little sad.

The smell and taste of good vanilla is pretty hard to beat, unless, I've read, you make your own.

2 Vanilla Beans, cut and scraped + 1/2 C warm/hottish vodka + a jar/container with a lid. Let vanilla cool then screw lid on tightly.

Keep in a dark place until strong alcohol smell is gone - shake every few days.

Find out more here and here.