Sunday, July 19, 2009


I am having a fantastic Giveaway! This Giveaway is simple just leave an unique idea on how you would use Vanilla. The winner will receive 5 Mexican Vanilla Beans, 4 oz. Tahitian Vanilla Extracts, 1 0z. of ground Vanilla Beans, and my all time favorite product, 4 0z. of Vanilla Paste!!
All of the Vanilla will be from Steve @ The Boston Vanilla Bean Company. I love their product and their passion.
The Giveaway will begin tonight and will end on Friday. On Friday, Steve from the Boston Vanilla Bean Company will pick the top 3!!! Then your fellow foodies will vote for the number ONE!
Just leave a comment on how you would use vanilla.


  1. Ummm I can smell it now...I used to wear vanilla oil in the 80's I love it so much...

  2. great giveaway I am void on idea's but will eagerly wait to see folks creativity LOL

  3. WOW...that's a lot of vanilla. ;-) Though, you ca never get enough of vanilla. It's essential right.

  4. You can use the vanilla seeds for a custard or some other dessert. Simply add the leftover vanilla bean pod in sugar to make vanilla scented sugar to sprinkle on buttered toast. Could you tell that I have breakfast on my mind? :) -Tien

  5. How would I use this vanilla? In a refreshing cocktail! Blogger Steven Gdula of The Warmest Room in the House showcased the 'Hampden Highball', a bourbon and ginger beer mixed drink featuring a dash of vanilla and garnished with a whole vanilla bean. Delicious!

  6. I hve been thinking of making my own vanilla - cannot get enough of the stuff! Dreaming of a vanilla cream over some berry souffle.... hungry now.

  7. Ooo what a great idea! I would definitely use my vanilla to make VANILLA LATTES! YUM!

  8. First on my list of things to make with this vanilla would be vanilla bean creme brulee. But I love vanilla so much, there's no way it'd stop there. I see vanilla meringue cookies, vanilla cheesecake swirl brownies, vanilla lattes and more!

  9. What a fabulous giveaway! Our pear tree is absolutely bursting with fruit that will be ready to pick in about a month. Using seeds from a vanilla bean and a little lemon zest and sugar, I am hoping to make Vanilla Poached Pears. The perfect recipe to bring you into fall.

  10. I make my own vanilla extract. Here's my easy recipe:

  11. It's simple, but a true vanilla bean gelato or ice cream would be amazing. It's tough to buy good, quality oranic vanilla bean ice cream and it's the best! Oh, and I'm sure I'd put it on top of a hazelnut brownie:) I've never cooked with vanilla paste before but it sounds so fun!

  12. I LOVE vanilla in decadent ice creams, creme brulee, the works, but an interesting pairing I've seen is vanilla paired with lobster. I've never tried it, but this it would be an interesting experiment :) Maybe some sort of lobster cake with a vanilla-scented remoulade? Could be interesting!

  13. I came up with three things that I'd make based on the ingredients I currently have at home :)

    1.) Cold Vanilla Chocolate (think of hot chocolate, but iced down for the summer months...I have chocolate shavings from Dylan's Candy Bar that have been screaming at me to be used - I'd love to try the vanilla paste in this)

    2.) Shrimp with a Coconut Vanilla Sauce (the recipe calls for rum, heavy cream, coconut milk, and a vanilla bean to be served over rice - YUM)


    3.) Vanilla Sugar for my hubby's and I's morning coffee :) I still have yet to get a vanilla bean since you first introduced this idea to us, Miranda. But it hasn't slipped my mind!!!

  14. I Love Apple Tarte Tatin
    For the tarts:
    7 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
    1 cup sugar
    2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
    4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into halves
    2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
    Two 7-inch-diameter discs of puff pastry, rolled to ¼ inch thickness
    For the caramel sauce:
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup whipping cream
    To make the tarts:
    Divide the butter between two 6-inch-diameter, high-sided copper pans and spread it over the bottoms of the pans. Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the butter in each pan. Using a small sharp knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla beans into the sugar mixture. Reserve the vanilla beans.
    Place the pans over medium heat and cook until the butter and sugar have melted. The sugar should start to turn a light golden color; once this has happened, remove from the heat. Place four apple halves, core-side facing up, onto the butter and sugar in each pan. Place 2 cinnamon stick halves and 1 reserved vanilla bean between the apple halves in each pan to resemble a cross. Stretch the pastry over the apples and tuck the pastry down between the apples and the sides of the pans. Prick the pastry 4 to 5 times with a fork.
    Place the tarts in the refrigerator to chill the pastry for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 375°F/180ºC. Transfer the tarte tatin to the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown. Let rest at room temperature for 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
    To make the caramel sauce:
    Place the sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until the sugar dissolves, watching carefully once the sugar has dissolved since the sugar begins to change color and will burn quickly. Allow the sugar to turn a golden brown. Add the cream and stir to blend. Once the cream is incorporated, remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
    To serve tarte tatin:
    Place the pans with the tarts over high heat until the caramel in the bottom of the pans begins to bubble. Place a plate over each pan. In a swift movement, invert the tarte tatins onto the plates. Discard the vanilla bean and cinnamon stick. If the plate is a little messy, it may be easier to transfer the tarte tatins onto clean plates to serve. Drizzle the caramel sauce around the tarte tatins.

  15. Great Ideas so far....
    Leslie- I can't live with out my Vanilla Sugar in my coffee! IT is fantastic!!!!!

  16. I LOVE it in my French Vanilla Cake, and a touch in hot chocolate is delicious!

  17. I have never had REAL vanilla beans or paste! I would love to try adding it to oatmeal, pancakes, and TONS of baked goods :)

  18. Hi Miranda,
    Couldn't keep myself away from commenting, not only for the possibility of winning but also I DO love vanilla.
    I use vanilla pods in simple ways.
    My favorites are to put a couple of vanilla pods into a big jar of sugar to use them in desserts when sugar gets the scent of vanilla.
    And secondly I love blending chopped vanilla pods with my full leaf Assam and Ceylon teas! Oh my! Such a flavour!
    Finally I love the vanilla pod steamed in milk with cinnamon sticks and a little chunk of bitter chocolate (with 70% cocoa)

    These are the three ways that keeps me smiling :)

  19. I would make a vanilla bean custard and filled it in little cream puffs! SO delicious.

  20. Ooh! I'd make some vanilla sugar and some french vanilla ice cream in my new ice cream maker. Maybe I'd also make some vanilla vodka for the end of summer pool party!

  21. Great give-away....:-)
    I use vanilla for almost all the make the pudding, to bake the Chiffon cakes, to make ice cream, and use the skin to make the vanilla sugar, and even the plastic containers are saved for my husband, who use them to play the string instruments!

    Angie's Recipes

  22. Chef Michael Smith has a very yummy looking Vanilla Chicken recipe that I would love to try. Have a look

    Rosemary Vanilla Chicken

    8 chicken thighs
    4 tablespoons of olive oil or vegetable oil
    2 onions, sliced
    2 carrots, chopped
    1 bottle of chardonnay
    1 vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
    2 large sprigs of rosemary, needles peeled off

    Remove the bones from the chicken thighs by slitting the back of the thigh with a sharp knife. Carefully trim the meat off of each bone. Try to leave the thigh in one piece, but it’s OK if it ends up in several pieces.

    Preheat a large frying pan over medium-high heat then splash in the olive oil. Add the chicken and the bones and begin browning. As each piece browns, turn it over. Continue until each piece is golden brown then lower the temperature. This is the best time to add the rich flavours of caramelization before the liquids are added and before the meat begins braising. Take the meat and bones out and reserve while the vegetables are cooked.

    Add the onions and carrots to the hot pan and cook them for a few minutes until they slightly soften. This will brighten their flavours considerably. As you stir them, loosen any brown bits that adhere to the pan’s bottom. These are caramelized juices from the meat and will add a lot of flavour to the dish.

    Add the chicken meat and bones back to the pan. Pour in the wine - reserving a sip for yourself! You may also use less wine and make up the difference with homemade or canned chicken broth. For this dish I prefer the oaky vanilla-like flavours of California chardonnay.

    Slit the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape out the seed paste inside. Mince the remaining pod and add along with the seeds and rosemary to the chicken. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Place a tight-fitting lid on the pan and let braise on the stovetop over medium heat until tender, about 45 minutes. Remove the lid and fish out the bones, they’ve added their flavour and can now be discarded. Turn the heat up and reduce the liquid until it thickens into a sauce. Taste; then season with salt and pepper.

    Serve over any rice, pasta or grain

  23. I love vanilla! A few days ago I made cream cheese sugar cookies and added a full teaspoon of vanilla bean paste, I think it makes everything better. :)

    I have never had Mexican vanilla beans, if I won I think I would have to make creme brulee. Something I have never made at home, but it tastes SO fantastic with pure vanilla. (plus I have been needing an excuse to buy a torch!)

  24. Love Vanilla!
    I would definately work this vanilla into my Vanilla Almond Chai Breakfast Cookies or Maybe a Vanilla Chai & Lavender infused Rice Pudding?

  25. Ooooo I could make the strawberry vanilla jam I've been imagining and then my Vanilla bean cardamom peach pie would be well served by the ground up vanilla beans in the crust and then maybe some delicious vanilla cupcakes. I could go on and on

  26. I scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and make creme anglaise (vanilla pouring custard) and creme chantilly (whipped cream with vanilla and sugar, I also add a bit of sour cream making it more like creme fraiche). I scoop either creme anglaise or creme chantilly over a bowl of fresh strawberries. It's my favorite summer dish, now if only I had a bowl right now!

  27. Oh Vanilla, for all your quiet subtleties, your flavour speaks volumes. It's the foundation for astounding baked goodies, a perfect partner for anything creamy or sweet, and the yin to my chocolate yang. So versatile, so delicious.

    I've always wanted to try something savory with vanilla. Maybe a marinade or sauce using the vanilla beans? I wonder if certain vegetables would like vanilla?

    It would be fun to experiment, but you know I've got my heart set on a beautiful white cake with white icing and pretty flowers. It's almost birthday season . . . and after that, holiday cookie time! Trying out some vanilla paste would be a lot of fun.

    Excellent idea for a giveaway, Miranda!

  28. Id love to use some to make vanilla sugar. Then Id make some rice pudding also. Vanilla bean scones would be another choice. Definitely vanilla sugar chocolate chip muffins of some kind.. Id love to use them in some kind of pound cake with maybe coconut, macadamia nuts? I am just a vanilla slave.

  29. I use vanilla in every sort of dessert. It's my all time favorite flavor! Especially great mixed in with a mug of hot cocoa topped with cinnamon or in homemade vanilla ice cream! please choose me I recently ran out of pure vanilla and have been using the fake stuff. I feel terrible! haha I want my vanilla back. I almost cried when I used the last drop in a batch of cookies. =)
    -yours truly, the Sassychef on foodbuzz.

  30. I have been bouncing vanilla ideas in my head for few days now. So far I am going to make my own extract, vanilla sugar, and vanilla infused vodka. I am also going to do a desert pizza using vanilla in the crust, in the cream cheese "sauce" and vanilla sugar spinkled over fresh peaches. I am also going to add vanilla to some melted white chocolate to drizzle over the top. I think some cranberry vanilla breakfast bread will be wonderful also. :)

  31. oooh what a fantastic giveaway. vanilla is one of my alltime favorite ingredients - it just adds such a sensual dimension to anything! i would love to experiment with using it in a savory dish.

    I'd pan sear some day boat scallops and serve them over a vanilla saffron butternut squash risotto.

  32. I have a lot and use a lot but I can always use more

  33. I have not heard of vanilla paste before, I am going to have to look into that for the store! I cook with many spice paste mixtures and modify they with other spices to suit our tastes. Most are Indonesian curries.

    I think I would make vanilla pineapple rice. There are many versions of coconut rice in Indonesian and Thai cooking, savory and sweet. I think that vanilla would be a yummy sub for the coconut.

    In the savory it is a stir fried meal with chicken, pineapple and chinese sausage.

    I think that vanilla and rice work well together in the traditional Norwegian dish Risengrot.
    I think that adding it to steamed rice with crushed almonds and cranberries to go alongside a spicy curry would be fantastic!

    And using the paste to make a vanilla lemongrass cream sauce would go great with any kind of fowl.. or fish.

    Vanilla turkey meatballs would be nice. Vanilla added to a homemade country pate with pistachio or macadamia nuts.

    And can you imagine the flavor of homemade vanilla yogurt-nummo!
    I'm not a baked but I can think of tons of savory uses for vanilla.

    P.S. Vanilla and Fresh Rosemary go well together for fowl.


Thank you so much for letting me know how you feel about my dishes.