Giveaway: Vanilla!

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My first blog giveaway is vanilla…mainly because I feel the need to stress the importance of this ingredient!  I’ve had a few people make a recipe of mine and say “it didn’t taste like yours did” and I want to immediately ask “did you use crappy imitation vanilla?” but I’m a little nicer than that and say something like “well, I use pure vanilla and that WILL make a difference.” because…it really does make a difference {especially in things like frosting!} Not to mention the things used to make imitation vanilla like coal & bark! No thank you!!

The first thing that people usually question is the price. It is the second most expensive spice aside from saffron, and for good reason! Did you know that vanilla is actually a product of orchids grown in tropical climates and hand pollinated, hand picked, then dried in the sun during the day & wrapped in blankets at night so they can sweat?! Of course it will be at a premium price for all that work!! If price is truly the issue here then a) enter this giveaway and get it FREE b) check out your local TJMaxx – I have often found Neilsen Massey and Sonoma Syrup brands which are both great! c) think about how often you use vanilla- this is going to last you a while… Russell gave me some in my stocking at Christmas {yes, you read that correctly!} and as often as I bake, I’m still using the same bottle!! The price is worth it!

So to enter this giveaway for a bottle of PURE vanilla extract, comment on this post and let me know your favorite dessert to bake {or just eat!}, more than likely it contains vanilla and would taste even better with the real deal! Feel free to spread the word on facebook or twitter and become entered twice-that is if you’re a good friend and not concerned with keeping the odds low 😉

*If you’re out of town- no worries- I can ship it 🙂

Winner will be announced on Monday!

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19 thoughts on “Giveaway: Vanilla!

  1. Oh, yes please!! While I don’t have an absolute favorite dessert to bake, I’d have to say that I enjoy baking cupcakes the most, because of all the cute things you can do with them and all the flavor possibilities!

  2. I would love a free bottle of vanilla. I think the best way to appreciate vanilla is in a pound cake. There is nothing else to detract from the pure vanilla flavor and the cake just keeps getting better if it is allowed to sit for a day or two. It is also good in a reduction of Cabernet wine and cream mixed with the fond from a pan seared steak, yummy!

  3. One of my all time favorite desserts is Hot Milk Cake (tastes like a pound cake but better). I don’t make it often but when I do I love to serve it with fresh berries and whipped cream! Hope I’m the winner 🙂

  4. Such a cool giveaway! I really don’t have a favorite dessert I like to make. I just always like trying new desserts when I see them on blogs and in recipe books.

  5. Cookies have always been my favorite thing to bake. I don’t think there is anything better than a chocolate chip cookie right from the oven with a cold glass of milk. I always use real vanilla (Mom taught me that!).

  6. I used the cheapest extract I could find for YEARS until about 2 years ago when I found a fun little bottle with 3 vanilla beans in it at ROSS. I thought it looked neat (plus it was only $8 for a bottle and 3 beans, where most beans cost $7-8 each in a grocery store)- so I tried it and LOVE how a real quality vanilla changes the way my baked goods taste.

    My favorite recipe with a good vanilla would definitely be vanilla buttercream frosting, and my favorite recipe with real vanilla beans is creme brulee OR just making vanilla sugar with leftover pods (the vanilla sugar makes some yummy chocolate chip cookies)— yum- I love vanilla!!

  7. Great giveaway! With the weather getting warmer (finally), my favorite dessert is angel food cake with fresh berries. I bet macerating the berries in sugar and vanilla would be amazing!

  8. I have a non-Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe that I LOVE to bake. I found it in Bo Friburg’s “The Professional Pastry Chef” — those cookies never last long!

  9. I would love to win this bottle of vanilla. I usually use plain old McCormick so I would love to try a “fancy” brand! My favorite thing to bake is blondies and they taste yummy with vanilla.

  10. very interesting. I had NO idea they were a product of orchids or that they go through such an extensive process. You’re right, no wonder they’re pricey.

    I would have to say one of my favorite things to make is banana bread. And last time I made it, I was out of vanilla! Definitely not the same thing! So I could stand to restock the pantry 😉

  11. Yum, love a good vanilla. My favorite dessert to use it in would be a tie; either vanilla buttercream or chocolate chip cookies.

  12. Ooh, I love to bake Pumpkin & Banana Breads, cupcakes with our girls, and of course cookies and brownies!! And, thanks to you, I now make our frosting homemade as well 😉

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