In December, I decided to invest in my future foodie and made a few things I wouldn’t consume right away. It was a nice change from all the holiday cookies I was baking.
make your own vanilla
First, I made homemade vanilla. It’s so easy and he only needs two ingredients. You will need a bottle, funnel, vodka and vanilla beans. Split the beans in half, place the beans in a clean bottle, and fill with vodka. In just 6-8 weeks, you’ll have your own vanilla extract. At 6 months it’s really good. Store in a dark place when cooked. I gave away some bottles tied with cute ribbons and fun labels. No cooking skills required, but the payoff is well worth it!
Garlic confit & garlic oil
I’ve also made garlic confit to spread on toast, crackers, crispy slices of bread, and more. Confit literally means stewed in oil. Garlic confit can also be used as a spread in soups, vinaigrettes, sandwiches, or added to mashed potatoes.
This confit method can be done on the stovetop or in the oven. I made mine in a pot on the stove so you can see it carefully. I added just enough extra virgin olive oil to cover the bunches of cloves and thyme. Simmer until garlic is nicely browned, about 2 hours.
When completely cool, strain the garlic oil and discard the thyme. (It’s okay if some of the leaves are in the garlic or oil.) Next, I pureed the garlic in a food processor and added 2 tablespoons of butter. Once frozen, I transferred the cubes to freezer storage bags. The flavorful oil was of course kept in the refrigerator.
Not bad for a few hours of kitchen work. It’s great to have three homemade products on hand when you need them. Try it yourself and see what you think!
View full list