Homemade Vanilla Extract

Pure Flavor
Pure Flavor

This is a great gift to give out for the Holidays to all your little baker friends and you still have time if you start now. It’s the ultimate Vanilla Extract and how cute it would be tucked into a basket with a treat made from this, all decorated up with your touches on it. I bought the bottles a while back online.Not sure where but they where pretty here for a good place to start shopping. I bought medium grade Vodka (Absolute) and some Vanilla Beans that I had sealed in the cupboard saving up for something? Now I know.Cut a Vanilla Bean in half then in fourths, placed two of the four cut sticks into the bottle and filled up with Vodka,store in a cool dark cabinet for a month and your ready. Take out once a week and give a good shake to blend flavors.

After I made all my bottles I found a label on-line to use, once again its been so long I’m not sure where?, so either make your own or start searching “labels for Vanilla Extract”.

Then later I found another blog with a fun twist on the bottling.

Almost wish I had seen this site first, but it might not appeal to everyone with issues on the Booze Bottle? 🙂

Enjoy and have fun putting your own twist and creations into this fun idea.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Click on this link below to take you to great instructions:

Happy Bottling.


Autumn Free Printable

Everybody love’s free printable’s, I do!

Here is one that I got from

She has a great blog with lots of cute ideas. I like her style and free printable’s. I put mine  in this black frame and tucked it into a corner. Don’t you think this would  make a cute Hostess gift, wrapped up with some Candy Corn. That’s my idea for the day, cause I would think that was special. Sometimes it’s the simple cute little things that are fun.

Autumn Sampler

Thanks Emily and Happy Autumn!


Love Story Lampshade

Love Story Lampshade IMG_1979 IMG_1980

I purchased this lamp at Crate n Barrel a few years ago and I have always thought, “this lampshade is just so white”. Its been moved around in several rooms and made its way into the garage until further use. Further use day came when I decided to re-do my entry way table. The lamp found its way there and looked ok, but once again I was telling myself, “it’s just so white”. I had to do something to it and it had to be simple and fast (or I wont do it). Looked on Pinterest and searched Lampshades. This is what I came up with. The one I found had favorite Quotes written all over it which was cute but I decided on my “Love Story”, grabbed my fine point Sharpie and started writing my husbands and mine story in brief. From how we met to where we are now. It took about 15 minutes and was very easy. I did not write it down first just dove right in.I was so pleased that I am excited about doing some more and maybe little lamps for gifts and customize them to the reciever.You can buy new replacement shades at Target for around $8.00 or watch garage sales and thrift stores because an old one could add some character. So favorite quotes,favorite lines from songs or I think this one would be cute, a small lamp in your kitchen tucked in the corner with a fun recipe wrote on it.

What would your Lampshade say?

Things to do in Havasu

Thrift Store Finds

20120601-113741.jpg I visit Thrift Stores for goodies and here is what I found today. I accent rooms with a touch of Orange and got all these orange covered hard backs that I will tuck in a dark spot to brighten up. The glass ware I will use in some way for hostess gifts, add chalk board labels to them or fill some with homemade treats. Spent $10.00 bucks and saved a bunch.


Thanksgiving Hostess Gifts

What did your Momma teach you? Never go emptied handed! So here is my list of Hostess Gifts that I’m making and taking:


Servings: Makes 8 cups, about 4 pint-size jars
4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries , picked over and stemmed
2 1/2 cups sugar
6 whole cloves
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
1 tsp. salt
2 (6-ounce) Granny Smith apples , peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 (6-ounce) firm Bosc or Anjou pears , peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 small (5-ounce) yellow onion , diced
1 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup diced crystallized ginger
In a deep 6-quart saucepan, combine cranberries, sugar, 1 1/4 cups water, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently to dissolve sugar. Cook until berries begin to pop open, 10 to 12 minutes. Adjust heat so mixture barely simmers. Stir in apples, pears, onion, raisins, and ginger. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until thick, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool to room temperature. Discard visible cinnamon sticks and cloves.

Refrigerate in tightly sealed jars for up to 2 months. Attach a ribbon and gift tag with suggested serving ideas (for instance, “Serve with Christmas turkey or ham, or spread on turkey sandwiches”).

*I added 1 chopped jalapeno the same time as the onion & fruit mixture cause I like a little bite to mine.


1 cup good mayonnaise
10 to 15 basil leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic

Directions:Add ingredients to a food processor and blend. Or you could whisk all ingredients together.


Read my post from May 18, 2011 and it will give you all details:)





Basic Pesto
(makes enough for 4 servings of pasta)

2 cups basil leaves, clean and very dry
1/3-1/2 cup olive oil
1-3 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup Parmesan or Pecorino Romano, grated
1/4 cup pine nuts

You can pound the ingredients together in mortar with a pestle, but you can also make this easily in a blender or food processor. Add the garlic first and chop it up with about 1/2 of the basil. When blended add the rest of the basil and the olive oil. Blend the cheese and pine nuts last. Don’t over blend or the garlic has a tendency to overpower. Store in the fridge with a thin layer of olive oil on top, wrap tightly with plastic wrap to help prevent discoloration.



Favorite herbs and/or spices
Sunflower, safflower, or extra-virgin olive oil

It is easy to make herb and/or spice infused olive oils at home. They make wonderful gifts for all occasions.

Wash and dry your choice of herb branches and lightly bruise them to release flavor. Place them in a clean decorative glass container, cover with warmed oil, and seal tightly. Leave in a cool, dark place to infuse about two weeks. Taste. If not strong enough, add more fresh herbs and let stand another week. You can either strain the oil or leave the herbs in. If you do not strain the herbs out, the flavor will become stronger as it stands, so keep that in mind.

Less strongly flavored oils like sunflower oil and safflower oil work best to give a more prominent herb flavor. However, extra-virgin olive oil is also a good choice.

If you begin with a monounsaturated oil such as olive oil or peanut oil, the infused oils should be refrigerated. These are highly perishable and can turn rancid quickly.

You can also add garlic, but remove the garlic cloves after a couple of days so as to not overpower the flavor of the herbs. If you choose to leave the garlic cloves in the oil, be sure to refrigerate the oil to avoid the threat of botulism.

Use your favorite combinations. Use the oils within two months. Use infused oils in salad dressings and marinades to enjoy full flavor.

Herb Suggestions: rosemary, thyme, basil, tarragon, summer savory, oregano, cilantro, marjoram, chervil, chives, dill, mint, parsley, bay leaf.

*I used just Rosemary

Use your cutest saved jars, add ribbon, labels, recipes,family pictures what ever your touch is and I’m SURE your Hostess will think YOUR the Mostess.

All these items will work great on your left over Turkey Paneni Sandwiches 🙂

Here is an idea if you’re not into cooking but want to take something different: A vintage Pie Server. Tie a ribbon on it, give it your flare and I think this would be something cool and different. I found one on e-bay and a couple at a Thrift Store. Happy Thanksgiving to you all.