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Monday, December 10, 2012

Food Blogger Holiday Auction 2012 with LifeTastesLikeFood



If you've been following our blog (please say yes!), then you caught our post about the Food Bloggers dinner at Bar Tartine. (recap:Yummy and Good Conversation!) Stephanie was our hostess (and Meetup leader) for the evening and Tea Time thought her idea of having an online auction was brilliant. The proceeds will go towards the leukemia society and her friend, who is currently battling the disease.

Angela is donating a jar of homemade vanilla bean extract plus a fashionable MMM for H&M staff apron.

J.K. is donating three cookbooks from her collection. She will miss them, but she knows this is a good cause. You can find out more about the blog Life Tastes Like Food (and BID) here, and also learn more about who the auction proceeds will benefit.

Tea Time wants to share the super easy recipe for making your own vanilla bean extract. Don't be fooled by the stuff in the store. Make your own at home that can last Forever if you feed it.

HOMEMADE VANILLA EXTRACT
(you need)
1 glass jar with lid (I like salad dressing jars, like in picture)
3 vanilla beans
1 bottle hard liquor (vodka or bourbon are both good choices)
a knife and cutting board

Take your knife and slice the vanilla beans down the long way, spreading apart the bean as you go.( If seeds fall out, just save them and put them in the jar too.) Once you have all 3 beans split, then place them in your jar. Fill the jar with liquor and slap on a label. How easy is that??

Just born today.

Born in September 2012
Once you have your beans sliced and in the bottle with your liquor, agitate it for a minute. After shaking your new baby, slap a label on it, so that 6 weeks from  now you'll be able to start adding it to your baked goods and/or cocktails! If your vanilla extract is not extremely dark, like commercial brands, please be aware that they macerate the entire bean to create an 'instant' extract. You will be extracting the flavor which will give you a pure flavor without demolishing the vanilla pod itself.

In order to 'feed' your extract, you will simply need to top off the jar once 1/4 of your extract is used. Add a bean after using 1/2 the bottle, which would be the second time you top it off. Keep agitating the bottle whenever you think of it/use it in order to release more of the vanilla seeds. Feel free to taste test the Vanilla at any time. In fact if you want to infuse a whole bottle of vodka this way, you can!! Then you'll have some for baking And some for drinking. (Keep the stuff for drinking in the freezer After it's done steeping for 6 weeks.) While it is steeping/extracting keep your jar out of the light and preferably at room temperature. Enjoy!!


Here is a bit more info about the cookbooks J.K. has donated to the auction. Please check out all the great stuff donated by many different bloggers and readers around the USA. You may find the perfect gift And you'll know the money is going towards helping a real person who is going through a tough time.


Three from the Joy Of series:  Pastry, Chocolate and Cookies. Pastry and Chocolate are hardcover and have their dust jackets. Cookies is paperback. All three were previously owned when J.K. collected them.


Happy Holidays from Tea Time, we hope you get the chance for a little downtime during this stressful time of year. Take a break and enjoy a cup of tea whether it's by yourself or with good friends/family. Keep your eyes on our blog as we'll have new Holiday Tea adventures coming your way this month!

AUCTION UPDATE:

The auction was a great success. We raised $3,000 in total.  Tea Time was responsible for $85--$45 for Angela's contribution and $40 for J.K.'s.