Homemade Vanilla Extract
brother sent us a link about making your own deliciously homemade vanilla extract. We'd already been putting together a Christmas basket of different little ingredients for Q's parents who love to bake & cook, so the vanilla extract seemed perfect for them (hopefully along with everyone else we plan to give this to!).
It was pretty simple to make: I ordered the beans inexpensively here on ebay, found mini bottles in bulk using a promo code here, and picked up one very large bottle of vodka at Target while buying Christmas lights. : ) I made most of it in larger jars, as it takes a month or two before it's ready to be strained and used. Since I needed it sooner for the gifts, I made those right in the mini bottles (1 1/2 beans per 4oz), with a note to the recipients to strain once ready.
My sister in-law is also trying this out with bourbon...already looking forward to swapping batches with her and having an excuse to make all kinds of treats!