Thursday, March 3, 2011

Vanilla Kahlua

A couple days ago when I was looking in my spice cabinet I came across some vanilla beans that had fallen in the back and been forgotten about. I could tell they had seen better days since they were dried out and really brittle. I knew I wouldn't be able to scrape the seeds out cleanly but there was no way I could throw them out knowing how pricey they are to begin with.

Coincidentally the very same day while looking through Food & Wine Magazine I came across a recipe for "Homemade Coffee-Flavored Liqueur". Essentially, you make a simple syrup and then add vanilla beans, instant coffee and vodka, allow it to cool and let it steep for a couple weeks before using. I don't know about you, but for me there was no other option for my dry and craggy vanilla beans after seeing this recipe!

It is sitting on my bar right now, and I can't wait until it's ready to try it. I'm thinking Kahlua brownies, White Russians, Kahlua on top of Vanilla Ice Cream...............now I'm not sure how long this bottle will last!
Homemade Coffee-Flavored Liqueur
adapted from Food & Wine Magazine

2 cups water
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup instant coffee granules
1/4 cup instant espresso powder
4 (very dried out) vanilla beans
2 cups vodka

In a medium saucepan bring the water to a boil. Add the sugar, coffee and espresso powder and stir to dissolve. Turn off the heat and add vanilla beans. Let sit, uncovered to cool at least 1 hour. Add vodka and transfer the mixture to a clean bottle or jar. allow to sit at least 3 weeks or up to 6 weeks.


On the Menu this week:

Monday
Caesar Roasted Haddock, Roasted Parmesan Cauliflower and Tossed Green Salad

Maple Oat Banana Muffins

Wednesday

Honey Chipotle Pork Cutlets with Garlic Rice Pilaf and Roasted Butternut Squash

Friday

Feta and Sun-dried Tomato Turkey Meatloaf with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Marinated Cucumber Tomato Salad

Please let me know if you would like to be added to the weekly dinner e mail list!

Lastly, the Alaska Fish Taco contest is still going on, and any votes are appreciated. If you have an extra second on facebook please give my "Jerk Fish Tacos" a couple votes.

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