Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Product Recommendation - Navy Bean Soup - Vanilla Extract - Spoiled Pets

RECOMMENDATION

YAKTRAX

Yaktrax, have you heard of them? I swear by them when walking on ice and snow. This handy little device is made with steel coils, and easy to use polyelastomer material making it easy to slip onto any shoe or boot. I’m here to tell you, they’re great for walking with more confidence on the ice and snow.  I picked up a pair of Yaktrax, 2 years ago, and finally wore them out.  Today, I drove into town to go to our local sporting goods store, and bought myself another pair.  For under $20.00, I can walk to my truck with the traction, or anywhere, and not have fear of falling down.  Please check out Yaktrax website here for several available options. 

*****

With our left over ham pieces and bone, I made Navy Bean Soup.  This was dinner tonight. In a pot of water, I threw my left over ham bone, small ham pieces, 2 carrots chopped, 1 celery stalk chopped, ½ chopped onion, ¼ cup of chopped parsley, 1 teaspoon of thyme, 2 bay leafs, salt and pepper to taste, and 3 to 4 cans of navy beans (rinsed).  Most people would use cream as a broth, I prefer a clear broth. 

*****

Because I use a lot of vanilla extract throughout the year, I’ve decided to attempt to create my own.  The process seems pretty easy.  The items required to make vanilla extract:
       1 bottle of vodka (you can use vodka, rum, brandy or bourbon)

                                   Several fresh vanilla beans
                                   Several clean bottles with caps

Split bean down middle

Split the vanilla bean down the middle, scraping briefly, place the entire bean in a clean bottle with any particles from the bean, fill the bottle with vodka (not all the way to the top). 
Place split bean in bottle
Add vodka
Seal the lid, let the bean steep, shake briefly daily, and place the bottle in a dark, cool, cabinet.    After a 3 month period, you have fresh vanilla extract.  This extract can be used for baking, or given as a gift.
Seal lid, shake briefly, place in dark cool cabinet
***** 

After standing by the stove and oven while I cooked our Christmas dinner, both of our dogs got tired of waiting for me to give them a little treat. 
This is Bug, she got tired of waiting (she thinks you can't see her)

This is Beans, he got tired of waiting for a treat


Are your family pets as spoiled as mine?

20 comments:

  1. your doggies are super cute! Yes mine are just as spoiled...but wouldn't have them any other way :) Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, both of them are rescues and I love spoiling them. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too.

      Delete
  2. Sandy, what a great post! Full of all kinds of interesting things. Never heard of Yaktrax, so that one is good to learn about. I love bean soup and next time I need vanilla, I'll definitely have to make my own.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Leigh, I love Yaktrax (they help me when walking across ice). The vanilla makes for great gift ideas too.

      Delete
  3. We LUV our Yaktrax! I've been wanting to try making vanilla extract .. and have everything needed .. thanks for the instructions :) Cute rescue pets! We just took in a kitty (and we're not cat people .. but this cat is a person ;) Hubby said if she doesn't have a computer chip in her and no one in the neighborhood claims her, we may keep her. Weird for him to say!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yak's a great! You'll enjoy having homemade vanilla at your finger tips. It sure sounds this cat has found herself a new home :-)
      Enjoy, cats can be fun!

      Delete
  4. OK, I'm gonna give the vanilla extract a try! Thanks for the info. Love your dogs, and yes our dog is spoiled and a rescue. They make the best pets! Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe you'll be happy with the vanilla. Our dogs are rescued dogs too. I say any rescued dog needs to be spoiled rotten, lol....

      Happy New Year To You and Yours Too!

      Delete
  5. I'm going to try that vanilla process, I have not heard about making your own.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a great process, you won't want to go back to store bought vanilla.

      Delete
  6. I'm a PINTEREST junky and I was reading how to make vanilla. Does it WORK??

    You know about me and Beau, so I can answer your last question: They are NOT spoiled. They have peace knowing they are loved.

    When I make my bean soup, I use an immersion blender, or a potato masher, to squish up the beans to make a thick bean broth. yum

    And I SWEAR, there's no leftover gas formation after eating bowls of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've not really picked up PINTEREST. Yes, the vanilla works.

      There are many processes of making the broth for bean soup, I like a clear chunky broth......oh and the more beans you eat.....the more gas one produces, lol

      Delete
    2. (I think that by using the blender, I must be squishing the farts out of them) LOL

      Delete
    3. Now you have me laughing and it hurts, :-)

      Delete
  7. Yes, my pets are so spoiled!! They get their little outfits, stockings, treats, etc... :) Love the navy bean recipe, and I bet the vanilla will be so good!
    Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
    Blessings,
    Susie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susie,

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!! Pets deserved being spoiled :-)

      Delete
    2. Sandy I agree, the Yaktrax work great!
      I love beans with cornbread on a cold wintry day too.
      Let me know how your vanilla turns out. And get busy with those treats for your poor babies!

      Delete
    3. I don't go any where without th Yaktrax when we have ice and snow.

      Yes Ma'am, I will let you know how my vanilla turns out.

      The babies get all kinds of cookies, that's why Beans is over weight, lol

      Delete
  8. Bug was right; I couldn't see her!

    Soup sounds delicious; I have one I make using stew meat and potatoes. I also make my own vanilla extract but I do it in the vodka bottle and drop 10 split beans inside.

    Hope you have a restful day to day.

    BTW, we both have Yaktrax but haven't had to use them this year.....yet. They do work great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bug is a little nut, she's to funny and lot's of fun to watch.

      Using stew meat and potatoes sounds like a great idea, I must try this.

      I was going to use the Vodka bottle straight up but since I was giving some of the vanilla away, I split it into a couple of bottles for gifts.

      You have Yaktrax and haven't used them, maybe thats a good thing.

      Delete