Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Yummy Christmas Cupcakes!


4 oz Butter
¾ cup Sugar
2 eggs
2 oz Instant Vanilla Pudding
4 oz Milk
1 TBS Madagascar pure vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups flour
½ tsp baking soda
1 ½ TBS baking powder
1 tsp Lemon zest
Juice of 1 lemon
Strawberry Jam


Mix milk and pudding mix together. Add other wet ingredients, except the strawberry jam, then mix in the dry ingredients.

Spoon the mixture into a cupcake tin, in which the cupcake papers have been placed, in the following manner:

1 tablespoon of cupcake batter, then 1 tsp of Strawberry jam, then finish off with 1 more table spoon of the cupcake batter.

Cook in 325 degree oven for 40 minutes.

Remove, let cool and then decorate as desired.

Here are pictures of more Christmas treat ideas if you have left over frosting and sprinkles make festive sugar cookies.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Santa is Coming to Town Pancake

The most exciting and busiest time of the year has arrived. This eggnog Santa pancake recipe is a fantastic way to cook with kids as they learn to enjoy family time in the kitchen. Danny helped me to put Santa's face and I'm sure your children, nieces, nephews, and friends will have a fun time as well.


3.2 ounces all purpose flour
A pinch of salt
1/8 tsp Madagascar Ground Vanilla
1/2 tbs baking powder
1/3 tps baking soda
1 egg lightly beaten
2/3 cup eggnog (or 6.5 oz)
2 tbs melted butter or oil
Non stick spray
2 raisings
1 marachino cherry
1 peppermint hard candy
1 container light-whipped cream
1 tube decorating gel in white


Preheat the oven at 400 degrees.

Sift together dry ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl.

Add wet ingredients to flour mix and whisk until thoroughly incorporated.

Spray non stick oil on to a pizza baking sheet and pour your pancake batter in it. Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until center is cooked.

Remove pan from heat and place it on top of iced water to cool off quickly.

Once cooled, draw a hat with the whipping cream.

Use your decorating gel to make the eye balls and insert the raisins.

Cut cherry in half and use it as a nose.

Draw the beard with the whipping cream leaving some space for the mouth. To do the mouth, just cut two slices of the other half of the cherry and place them facing each other. Finish beard with whipped cream. Place hard candy at the tip of Santa's hat and watch your kids say, "WOW!!!"

Visit us soon for more exciting ideas for non-expensive Christmas treats to share with friends and neighbors.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Caramel Apples - The Perfect Holiday Gift (in my opinion)

Apparently I am in love with apples lately, because I sure have been eating and cooking a lot with them :) That being said I found some caramel apple containers and I knew that I should make caramel apples for my neighbors and friends for Christmas gifts. Once I decided that was the gift to give this year, I could not wait to get them done...so on December 2nd I went out and bought loads of candy and sweets to top the apples. So of course as soon as I got home I got going on my caramel apples. I cheated and bought caramel candies and melted them in my crock pot, then I got some semi-sweet chocolate chips and added a teaspoon of Pure Mexican Vanilla Extract and 1/4 teaspoon of our Pure Almond Extract, which by the way adds such an excellent flavor that really makes a difference...mmmm...it's so good, then after adding some vegetable shortening I melted the chocolate concoction in the microwave. I put my topping into containers and got going with the fun stuff. Make sure that you use sturdy sticks that will bear the weight of the apple. Dip your apple in the caramel be sure to give it time to drip before you roll it into the topping and set it on the parchment paper to cool, just if you get too much caramel your toppings might end up on the bottom of the apple. You can top them with crushed oreos, crushed nuts, mini chocolate chips, peppermint sticks, m&ms, mini marshmallows....the possibilities are endless, have fun with it.

After decorating, let them cool for at least 5 minutes. Then you can put them on a paper plate or in a nifty container and then you can put them in a bag add a card and they're ready to be delivered.
With my holiday gifts done for some of my neighbors and friends, I'm just left to wonder, am I doing this too soon?!? It is only the second and I'll deliver them on the third.....well I'm glad to have that almost checked off my list, but I am sure I will think of another excuse to make more treats for the people I love over the Christmas season. I love the holidays, in case you hadn't noticed. Caramel Apples are an inexpensive way to share holiday cheer with your neighbors and friends. Using the Totonac vanilla and flavor extracts made it taste so delicious, you have to try it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

German Apple Pancakes - Apfelpfannkuchen

Yesterday I woke up and it was chilly in my apartment and all I wanted was something warm and delicious for breakfast. I had all the ingredients to make German Pancakes and I saw a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens and they used apples in the pancakes and I just happened to have apples so I had to make it. I added Madagascar Pure Vanilla Extract to the recipe, it added a smooth and creamy flavor. The pancakes were just what I needed to warm up on that chilly morning, they had the perfect degree of sweetness and Chris (my husband) loved them. So this recipe is definitely a new favorite of ours :) Give it a try. For more of our Gourmet all natural products visit www.arizonavanilla.com

3 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon Madagascar Pure Vanilla Extract
2 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 medium cooking apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (2 cups)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Sifted powdered sugar

1. In a medium mixing bowl beat eggs with a wire whisk until frothy. Add flour, milk, 1 tablespoon of the melted margarine or butter, vanilla extract and salt; beat until smooth.
2. Heat an 8-inch round baking pan or ovenproof skillet in a 450 degree F oven for 2 minutes. Add remaining 1 tablespoon melted margarine; swirl to coat pan. Pour batter into hot pan. Bake pancake in the 450 degree F oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until puffed and golden.
3. Meanwhile, for filling, in a medium skillet melt the 2 tablespoons margarine or butter over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar until combined. Stir in apple slices, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cook, uncovered, for 3 to 5 minutes or until apples are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.
4. To serve, remove pancake from oven. Spoon some of the filling into center of pancake. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into wedges. Pass the remaining filling. Pancake will collapse as it cools. Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition Facts
Calories 217, Total Fat 11 g, Saturated Fat 3 g, Cholesterol 108 mg, Sodium 223 mg, Carbohydrate 26 g, Fiber 1 g, Protein 5 g. Daily Values: Vitamin C 3%, Calcium 4%, Iron 7%.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Stress-Free Thanksgiving

It's turkey day and time to think about gratitude. Whether you're cooking for yourself, two,or a crowd, this simple dinner will delight your evening.

Turkey with White Wine Sauce

4 turkey slices (ready at the grocery store)


2 oz diced onions
1 oz diced carrots
1 oz diced bell peppers
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 tbs. butter
1 sachet ( 1 bay leaf, 2 sprigs thyme, 3 springs parsley, 1 clove wrapped in cheesecloth)
10 oz chicken stock
6 oz white wine
1/2 oz all purpose flour
1/2 oz butter
2 tbs cold butter in dices
Salt and pepper to taste
Finely chopped parsley for garnish

In a medium size sauce pan heat oil and 1 tbs butter. Sweat onions carrots and bell peppers but do not brown them. Add stock and white wine. Add sachet and bring to a soft boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover to reduce by half.
Discard sachet and mix 1/2 butter with 1/2 flour. Whisk in the mixture (little by little) in your sauce to thicken. Turn your stove to low and stir in the cold butter up to 4 dices at a time and swirl until melted. Season to taste and top your turkey with it. Garnish with parsley.

Saffron Rice Pilaf

4 oz long grain rice
2 oz chopped onion
1/2 oz chopped garlic
5-6 threads saffron
1 tbs butter
8 oz boiling chicken stock
Salt and white pepper to taste

Put saffron in your chicken broth and microwave for about 3 minutes.

Melt butter in a small pot and sweat onion and garlic. Add rice and braise with butter. Season with salt and pepper.

Add chicken stock, bring to a soft boil and reduce heat to low simmer. Cover and cook undisturbed for about 15-20 minutes until rice is cooked.

Remove from heat and serve warm.

Spinach a la Romana

8 oz baby spinach
1 bacon slice chopped
1 tsp vanilla oil
1/2 oz red wine
1/2 oz raisings
1/2 pine nuts (or any other nut of your preference)
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium saute pan heat oil and add chopped bacon. Cook until crisp.
Remove bacon and put aside.
Add spinach to fat and cook for about 30 seconds (just to wilt the spinach).
Add pine nuts, raisings (plumped in red wine), red wine, half bacon and season to taste.
Turn heat off and stir until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
Strain the spinach to ensure liquids do not transfer to your plate when serving.
Serve immediately. Garnish with the rest of the bacon.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Creamy Spiced Hot Chocolate

With nights getting cooler, nothing is better than snuggling up with a delicious cup of homemade spiced hot chocolate. Using our brand new Naturally Sugar Free Vanilla Cinnamon syrup I was able to sweeten the hot chocolate and cut down on the sugar, it added a kick of cinnamon flavor. After you try this wonderful recipe, no other hot chocolate will compare. I used our pure Mexican vanilla extract, which really brought out a smooth chocolaty flavor that made all the difference.


What to do:
  1. Finely chop the chocolate.
  2. place the chopped chocolate and the water in the top of a double boiler over hot water.
  3. Stir often, until chocolate is completely melted.
  4. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, vanilla cinnamon flavored syrup.
  5. Warm over medium heat until milk begins to boil.
  6. Stir the milk into the chocolate mixture.
  7. Remove the top of the double boiler.
  8. Carefully wipe the bottom and sides of the pan very dry.
  9. Pour mixture into saucepan.
  10. Add 1/3 cup sugar.
  11. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  12. Add 1/2 cup of cream to the mixture.
  13. Stir in 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.
  14. In a small mixing bowl, use electric mixer to whip the remaining 1/2 cup, cream until frothy.
  15. Add 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract and tablespoon of sugar.
  16. Divide the hot chocolate into 4 mugs.
  17. Top each mug with a scoop of the whipped cream
  18. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg on top of the four mugs and garnish them with the cinnamon stick.
  • Preparation time: 5 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1/2

You can try this recipe with any of our new all natural sugar free flavored syrups. Try them all, hazelnut, raspberry, vanilla, vanilla cinnamon and almond.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Scary Halloween Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Halloween is known for candy, costumes and tummy aches. I know that when I was young my Halloween candy lasted maybe a week. I would eat so much candy I would be sick. So now that I am older and wiser, I am always trying lower calorie alternatives to the traditional candy treats. I was debating between caramel apples or chocolate covered strawberries and my craving for chocolate won out and I made chocolate covered strawberries. This is a healthier option for kids, but moderation is key, if you are trying to cut back on calories have just one and you will have the satisfaction of eating something delicious, without adding too much to your waistline. I posted the calories below. It was loads of fun coming up with cute and scary ways to decorate each strawberry. I took them to a party and they were gone so fast, the combination of white and milk chocolate with a hint of almond and mexican vanilla extract was delectable. You have to try this recipe. It's good and fun to make...can you really ask for more? :)

You need

  • Wash strawberries and gently pat with paper towels until completely dry. In a microwave-safe bowl, add almond extract and vanilla extract to chocolate then melt chocolate chips and shortening at 50% power; stir until smooth.
  • Dip strawberries in chocolate mixture; place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet.
  • In a zip lock bag melt white baking chocolate; cut a small corner of the bag, then squeeze the air out and draw a spooky designs on each strawberry . Yield: 2-1/2 dozen.

Nutrition Facts: 1 strawberry equals 54 calories, 3 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 2 mg cholesterol, 8 mg sodium, 6 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 1 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1/2 fat.

To see more of our All Natural Totonac products visit www.arizonavanilla.com

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Update: Homemade Vanilla Extract - After two weeks

I am amazed at how dark it is getting already, it has been only two weeks and it is coming along very well. I keep it on the kitchen counter so that I remember to shake it daily.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Spooky Black Cat Cake

Halloween is my favorite holiday, I love all the fun decorations, the fact that you can dress up as whatever you want, but I would say my absolute favorite thing is making spooky treats. This is a a fun and easy cake to make! Your family will love it.


Flour No-Stick Spray
2cups sugar
1cup butter, softened
1teaspoon Totonac Mexican Pure Vanilla Extract
3/4teaspoon Totonac Almond Extract
2 large eggs
2 1/2
cups Cake Flour
1cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder (alkalized) or unsweetened cocoa powder
2teaspoons baking soda
1/2teaspoon salt
2 1/4
cups buttermilk

1 1/4
cups butter, room temperature
2teaspoons Totonac Mexican Pure Vanilla Extract
1teaspoon Totonac Almond Extract
8 to 9tablespoons milk
7 1/2
cups (2 lbs.) powdered sugar
cup Cocoa Powder

Preparation Directions:
1.HEAT oven to 350°F. Spray three 9-inch round cake pans generously with flour no-stick cooking spray.
2.BEAT sugar, 1 cup butter, 1 teaspoon Mexican pure vanilla extract and 3/4 teaspoon almond extract in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl; beat into creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk on medium speed. Beat 1 minute longer. Pour into prepared pans.
3.BAKE 26 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pans to wire rack. Cool completely.
4.BEAT 1 1/4 cups butter, 2 teaspoons Mexican pure vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon almond extract in medium bowl at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add milk and powdered sugar, scraping bowl as needed. Beat on high speed adding additional milk by the tablespoon until desired spreading consistency is achieved. Brush any loose crumbs from cooled layers.
Set 1/4 cup of frosting aside. Now add 2/3 cup cocoa powder.
5.PLACE first layer, rounded side down, on plate and cute the second layer on wax paper and cut into 4 piece, like picture below.
Arrange all pieces into a cat like picture below.
Spread with chocolate Buttercream Frosting to within 1/4 inch of edge of the top. Coat side of cake with thin layer of frosting to seal in crumbs. Frost side and top of cake. Pipe the white frosting on as eyes and some of the chocolate frosting as the iris, if desired use food coloring and make yellow eyes and a pink nose.
6.REFRIGERATE cake to set frosting; allow cake to stand at room temperature 10 minutes before serving.
High Altitude (above 3500 feet):
1.HEAT oven to 375°F. Decrease sugar in cake to 1 3/4 cups and baking soda to 1 1/2 teaspoons. Increase cake flour to 2-3/4 cups.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Homemade Extract Day 1

12 Madagascar beans and vodka.

I split and cut the beans before adding them to the vodka. This picture was taken after I shook the bottle.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Homemade Vanilla Extract

I can't believe it's October already, and before you know it Christmas will be here. This year I am making most of my family and friends gifts. This takes a lot more planning ahead but I know I am putting more thought into what I would like to give them. So working at Arizona Vanilla really helped in the idea department and I have decided to make my own vanilla extract to give to my friends/family members that love to bake. I figure, if I start it now it will be ready just in time for Christmas. I will keep you posted on the progress. The best part about making your own extract is, it's super easy to make.

Okay so here's what you need:
Once you have all the ingredients here's what you do:
  1. Using a sharp knife, cut a lengthwise split down the middle of each bean.
  2. Cut beans into 1/2 - 3/4 inch pieces.
  3. Pour vodka into container.
  4. Add vanilla beans to the container and shake it.
  5. Shake it vigorously daily for 7-8 weeks.
  6. Strain through a coffee filter and funnel into bottles.

Your done, yay! Now how do you personalize each bottle? Create individual labels! I am going to create some super cute labels for each bottle. When I get them done I will post them.

Be sure visit our website and try see our of our wonderful all natural products at http://www.arizonavanilla.com/

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Delectable Vanilla Pineapple Salsa

So Chris, my husband, went to Alaska a month ago to fish and brought home delicious salmon. I have been trying to be creative and use the salmon as much as possible, so when I had friends over for dinner last night, I took the opportunity to have a luau themed dinner. Okay so the only reason it is luau themed, is because pineapple was on sale at the grocery store and I have been dying to try Patty’s Vanilla Pineapple salsa recipe. The salsa was a really quick recipe and tasted like a Hawaiian sunset. I used the salsa over shrimp lettuce wraps as the appetizer and also over baked salmon. The meal was fab if you ask me, the vanilla pineapple salsa was very good it was sweet and tangy, with a hint of spice and over the seafood it was the perfect combination of salty and sweet! You have to try it. To drink I made Patty's Vanilla Orange-Pineapple smoothie, it was so refreshing. Whether you are looking for a dinner party menu or just a fun meal, this is a great one to try, it was a hit at my house.

The Menu

Appetizer - Shrimp Lettuce Wraps with Vanilla Pineapple Salsa
Entrée – Baked Salmon with homemade teriyaki sauce topped with vanilla pineapple salsa
Drinks – Vanilla Orange Pineapple Smoothie

The Recipes

Vanilla Pineapple Salsa
1 fresh pineapple – peeled and cut into small chunks (you can hollow out half of the pineapple and use it to serve the salsa in.)
½ Jalapeno
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
½ red onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp basic vanilla oil
Combine ingredients in a medium bowl, chill and enjoy.

Shrimp Lettuce Wraps
2 cups medium cooked shrimp
5 – 10 leaves of romaine lettuce
Wrap shrimp in lettuce leaves with salsa

Vanilla Orange-Pineapple Smoothie

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 - 8 oz glasses Ingredients:
1 12 oz can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 cup ripe diced Pineapple
1 cup vanilla sugar
6 cups water
Ice cubes
Preparation: Mix all of the ingredients in the blender.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Decadent Peach Mousse Cake

On Saturday I invited friends to come for dinner. My Saturdays are hectic to say the least and I lost track of time. In the blink of an eye it was 4:25pm, my friends were coming over in 35 minutes and I hadn’t made any dessert. And in my house dinner isn’t complete without dessert…honestly with out dessert, what’s the point? So I had to think fast, I went through my cupboards and found white cake mix and the creative juices started flowing. I decided that with the ingredients that I found in my kitchen I could create a Peach Mousse Cake and I had no time to spare. So I made the cake mix adding Madagascar Vanilla Extract to create a yummy creaminess, believe me it made all the difference. After that, the recipe went together like a dream and I had just enough time to finish and decorate the dessert, before my guests arrived. And thankfully the dinner went very well and the dessert was a hit, no one could tell that I whipped it together almost as an after thought. It tasted as if I spent hours slaving over it, and isn’t that the reaction we all want? This recipe is worth trying, it was smooth, creamy, and light, with the perfect amount of sweetness. A little bit of heaven on earth if you ask me.


One box of white cake mix (Follow the box directions {I used butter not oil and milk not water.}) 1 ½ tsp Totonac Madagascar vanilla extract
Non stick oil spray

1 pint heavy cream
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp dried peaches
1 ½ tsp peach extract
Red and yellow food coloring (to make an orange mousse)
14 oz can peaches
½ cup fresh blueberries

Mint leaves
Powder sugar

Cake Preparation
Pre-heat the oven at 350 degrees. Mix the cake ingredients until they are all thoroughly mixed, which should take about 5 minutes. Spread the batter in a cookie sheet previously sprayed with non-stick oil. Cook for 17 minutes. Let cool. To cool the cake, I poured some ice cubes in another cookie sheet, then put my sheet cake on top and the cake cooled very quickly.
Mousse Preparation
Mix the ingredients for the mousse at medium speed until cream looks firm. Do not over mix or the cream will turn into butter. Put in the refrigerator to chill.
Let cake cool for about 10- 15 minutes I was able to spread the mousse on the cake. I then cut a piece with a round cutter and garnished it with fresh fruit and mint leaves, with powdered sugar sprinkled on top.

For more information about wonderful products see our website www.arizonavanilla.com

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Better n' Nutella

Watch Patty Elsberry, in her series Vanilla Rocks; make Nutella with a delicious twist…Macadamia nuts. Using Totonac Mexican Vanilla Paste, this enhances the chocolate flavors and adds a smooth creaminess, this recipe tastes like a party in your mouth! It is delightful on toast with breakfast and is the perfect after school snack. Just spread over toast, bagels, or fruit. I love to spread it on apple slices…it’s so good. I am always trying to think of new snack ideas and although this isn't the most low calorie snack, it makes your tongue happy. Honestly, can you ask for more? I hope you enjoy this delicious twist on traditional Nutella. We love to hear from our readers/viewers, let us know what you are interested in reading. What sort of recipes are you looking for? We welcome any comments, questions, or suggestions. For more information on our all natural products visit http://www.arizonavanilla.com/.

1 tsp Totonac Mexican Vanilla Paste
½ Cup Semi Sweet Baking Chocolate
2 Cups Macadamia Nuts
1 ½ Tbsp Butter or Margarine
1 Tbsp Sugar or Sugar Substitute

1. In a double boiler melt chocolate with the heat set at medium-low, stir the chocolate as it melts, add butter, vanilla paste and sugar while the chocolate melts. Be sure not to burn the chocolate, this is easy to do, so pay careful attention to the chocolate and as soon as it is all melted and mixed together remove it from the heat and set it aside for a moment.

2. Now pour the nuts into the food processor, grind the nuts until they are smooth like butter, scrapping the sides when necessary, this can take about 5-7 minutes.

3. Now add the melted chocolate and continue to process until it is well blended, this should take about 1 minute. The consistency should be like creamy peanut butter; if it is too dry, process a little vegetable oil until the desired consistency is achieved. Now remove to a container with a lid, refrigerate until spread reaches room temperature and then enjoy. Keep refrigerated after use.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Best Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Ever!

I don't know about you, but with the temperatures rising, nothing sounds better than cool, creamy homemade vanilla ice cream. I have many fond memories of enjoying homemade ice cream in the summer months, the sound of the ice cream maker churning the creamy, delicious treat and the feeling that it would take forever before I would be able to enjoy the refreshing and magical cooling powers of my moms ice cream. And just so you know, the wait was always well worth it.
You have to try this recipe that is sure to cool you down on a warm summer day. Using Totonac Madagascar Pure Vanilla Extract and Ground Vanilla enhances the flavors and adds a kick of the smooth, creamy vanilla flavor we all know and love. Surprise your family with this delicious summer treat and it will be a memory in the making.

Yield: 1 quart
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Chill time: 4 hours
Freeze time: 30-35 minutes (depending on Ice Cream Machine manufacturer's instructions)

You will need:
2 cups whipping cream
2 cups half and half
3/4 cup sugar
7 egg yolks
1 tsp fresh lime juice

Ice cream making machine (Be sure to read the manufacturers instructions before apporating your ice cream maker.)


1. Scald the whipping cream with half and half. Now add sugar, ground vanilla, and vanilla extract, be careful to not let it boil. remove from heat.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and lime juice. Pour approximately 1/2 cup of the cream mixture to the egg yolks briskly whisk to air out the yolks. Add another 1/2 cup of cream and the remaining cream mixture.
3. Cover and chill thoroughly for at least 4 hours and then follow ice cream machine manufacturer's instruction for freezing your ice cream.

After the ice cream is ready top it with your favorite fruit, chocolate syrup, over your favorite pie, or my favorite with fresh berries, honestly the possibilities are endless. So whether you are looking to cool down or want a sweet treat this recipe is for you!

Feel free to leave any comments, let us know what you would like to hear about.

For more delicious recipes check out Patty's cookbook "Simply Vanilla".

For more information on our all natural gourmet products visit our website http://www.arizonavanilla.com/

Monday, July 27, 2009

Skillet Chilaquiles (Corn tortillas and chicken)

Too hungry to bake your chilaquiles? No problem! You can make 'em just fine in a skillet...


2 cups shredded chicken
2 tbs vegetable oil
12 corn tortillas cut in pieces
1 medium onion chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
2 small cans tomato sauce
1/3 cup water
1/8 Totonac Mexican Vanilla Extract (to cut the acidity of the tomato sauce)
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp dried basil leaves
1 1/2 cups 4 cheeses mix
Salt and pepper to taste


In a large skillet heat the vegetable oil and add the tortillas.

Mix tomato sauce, vanilla, water, onion and garlic powders, and basil leaves in a small bowl. Stir well until ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.

Add chicken on top of tortillas, add onion, peppers, tomato sauce,cover your skillet and let it simmer for about 7 minutes.

Add cheese on top and let it melt. Remove from heat and serve warm.

A fresh vegetable salad would be a nice side dish.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Grill It Up! - Asparagus with Tarragon-Vanilla Butter

Asparagus in Tarragon-Vanilla Butter


2 bundles fresh asparagus
1 tbs unsalted butter
1 pinch Totonac Madagascar Pure Ground Vanilla
½ tsp fresh tarragon leaves
Kosher salt


Preheat your grill at medium heat.

Melt butter, add vanilla and chopped tarragon leaves.

Spray your grill with non stick oil and place your asparagus. Brush them with the tarragon butter and season them with salt.

Remove them from heat after 2 – 3 minutes.

Note: Madagascar vanilla was used to add creaminess to the asparagus.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Homemade Nutella

This recipe is delectable and has the smooth, creamy taste of nutella and the best part is it's so fresh and scrumptious. I had a lot of fun making it! It was my first time making anything like it and it turned out great. It does take a bit of time removing the skins of the hazelnuts but after that it's smooth sailing. Be sure to grind them in the food processor until it's smooth like peanut butter. Be patient and I guarantee it will become smooth. To enhance the chocolate flavor, I used Totonac Mexican Vanilla extract and believe me it made all the difference. If you want to try something new, this recipe is sure to impress and very easy to make.

Nutella Recipe

2 cups raw hazelnuts

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used dark chocolate cocoa powder, for a richer taste)

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon Pure Mexican Vanilla Extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons canola oil, more as needed

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the hazelnuts evenly over a cookie sheet and roast until they darken and become aromatic, about 10 minutes. Transfer the hazelnuts to a damp towel and rub to remove the skins.

2. In a food processor, grind the hazelnuts to a smooth butter, scraping the sides as needed so they process evenly, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the cocoa, sugar, vanilla, salt and oil to the food processor and continue to process until well blended, about 1 minute. The finished spread should have the consistency of creamy peanut butter; if it is too dry, process in a little extra hazelnut oil until the desired consistency is achieved. Remove to a container, cover and refrigerate until needed. Allow the spread to come to room temperature before using, as it thickens considerably when refrigerated. It will keep for at least a week.Each tablespoon: 109 calories; 2 grams protein; 8 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 9 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 13 mg. sodium.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Is pumpkin just for the Holidays?

The Story of a Pumpkin Rice Pudding
By Patty Elsberry

I made soft cheese and had about a gallon of whey left over. Not wanting to through away good whey, I decided to make ricotta cheese but I still had about that same gallon of whey left when I finished my second cheese.

I was determined to get the most out of my whey and used about half gallon in corn tortillas. I put my tortillas in a zip lock bag and froze them. They served us well and are long gone by now, but I still had my other half a gallon of whey. I was sure my strawberry plants would have loved it but I wanted to give it a better use.

I read that I could use real whey for soups so I figured I could also cook rice with it so I did. The rice turned out great and my kids enjoyed it with home made chili. However, I still had half of my rice left plus about three cups of whey left.

Suddenly a bright idea came to me…, I CAN MAKE PUMPKIN RICE PUDDING for breakfast!!!! I was excited about the idea and started cooking:


3 cups cooked brown rice
3 cups almond milk (more if needed)
¾ cups Splenda (or sugar)
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract (for creaminess)
1 tsp Almond extract (to bring out the almond flavor of the milk)
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
Freeze dried fruit for garnish


I scalded the milk and added the rest of the ingredients. Then I stirred for about 15 minutes until it had a thick consistency and removed it from the burner.

Then I served it in a cereal bowl and topped it with the freeze dried fruit.

My kids were so excited to have it for breakfast and imagine my joy to have been able to use my gallon of whey!

I still have the last three cups of whey left but they will soon be gone when I make fresh, home made tortillas in a day or so.

The End.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Watch Patty in her series Vanilla Rocks make another delectable dish. This time she roasts crisp, fresh red bell peppers using a splash of basic vanilla oil to help bring out the wonderful flavor of the bell peppers, then she adds decadent spices and cream, lets it simmer then blends it all together to make a harmonious dish that will make your taste buds shout for more! All you need is a few basic ingredients and with Patty's help you will be able to recreate this savory soup.

Have fun and remember vanilla rocks!


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sensational Salad with All Natural Raspberry Vanilla Dressing!

With summer quickly approaching, and each day warming up more and more a crisp, cool salad sounds better each day! In this video you will learn to make your own Vanilla Raspberry Dressing. It’s great over your favorite lettuce to add a fresh, cool, clean flavor that will make your salad go from good to fabulous! The best type of bean to use in this recipe is the Indian Vanilla Bean.
Q: Why is Indian Vanilla Bean best for this?
A: With its candy sweet flavor and aroma it compliments acidic fruit such as raspberries, because it brings out the sweet flavor of the fruit and help cut the acidity.

Dressing Ingredients:
12 ounces washed raspberries
1 Indian Vanilla Bean
½ cup water
Pinch of salt
tsp Sugar (optional)

Serving Size: 2 Tbsp


Add Raspberries, salt, water, sugar. Blend at medium speed for about a minute, when it’s all blended then use a strainer and strain the sauce into a bowl, leaving the seeds in the strainer. After the sauce has been strained set the bowl aside and take your vanilla bean, split and scrap it add the caviar or the scrapped vanilla to the sauce and mix with a spoon then cover and let it refridgrate for a couple of hours then serve with salad with the serving size of 2 Tbsp. per person. Don’t throw the vanilla pod away! You can put it in your sugar or salt to add a hint of vanilla to them.

Options for salad:
Your favorite lettuce
Spring mix
Try over raw chopped broccoli, zucchini, or even over fruit.

Ideas for toppings:
Grilled Chicken
Feta Cheese
Walnuts or Almonds
Chopped broccoli

Shop at our website www.arizonavanilla.com

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hungry? Learn to Make Mouthwatering Zucchini Pineapple Bread!

With summer approaching zucchini is readily available, I don't know about you but I am always trying to find new ways to enjoy this delicious vegetable. Well I found this delicious recipe for zucchini bread done right! I am constantly trying to find recipes that are healthy and full in flavor and this recipe delivers! It's a healthy, hearty version of a heavier standard, this bread mixes up easily and is a great recipe for using up leftover zucchini, pineapple, or overripe avocado. Plus if you're in a hurry you can bake muffins in the microwave...see below! Suffering from a sweet tooth? Well check out the dessert idea below, it's defiantly worth trying.

5 ounces (150 g.) finely grated zucchini (fresh or previously frozen)

1/4 cup (60 ml.) avocado purée (fresh or previously frozen)

1/2 cup (100-120 g.) very well-drained crushed pineapple (drain first and then measure)

1/2 cup (90 g.) Sucanat (unrefined brown sugar)

1/4 cup (60 ml.) pure maple syrup

2 Tbsp. (30 ml.) finely ground flax seed

2 Tbsp. (30 ml.) sunflower or other light-tasting oil

1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml.) apple cider vinegar

1 tsp. (5 ml.) Pure Tahitian Vanilla Extract
(Why Tahitian Vanilla? Because it's ideal for recipes with dried fruits and brown sugar. It brings a delicious aroma and enhances the flavor of the bread.)

generous 1/4 cup (35-40 g.) chopped dried dates

3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. (125-130 g.) light spelt flour

3/4 cup (90 g.) whole barley flour

1 tsp. (5 ml.) baking powder

1 tsp. (5 ml.) baking soda

2 tsp. (10 ml.) cinnamon

1/4 tsp. (1.5 ml.) sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Lightly grease 8 mini-loaf pans or muffin cups, or line with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, combine the zucchini, avocado, pineapple, Sucanat, maple syrup, flax, apple cider vinegar, vanilla and chopped dates. Stir to mix well and set aside while you prepare the dry ingredients, or at least 2 minutes.

In a large bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir or whisk to distribute the leaveners and cinnamon throughout.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir just to blend (don’t worry if a few dry spots remain here and there). Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup or large ice cream scoop, fill each tin about 3/4 full.

Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate pan and bake another 10-15 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for about 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. Makes 8 loaves or muffins. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. May be frozen.

In a hurry? Well here is a speedy way to bake them, in the microwave!
Pour muffin batter into paper liner and place liners in microwave (not the muffin tin.) This has two settings, the first setting is 100% power for 2 Minutes. The second setting is 50% power for 8 minutes. You will have to test your microwave to find out the appropriate time for the second setting. The muffins wont rise as much and they will not brown. However they save time and taste fantastic!


If you would like a delicious dessert using some of this batter, pour batter into a 5 x 9 inch loaf pan, fill the pan about 1/4 of the way and bake. Meanwhile mix instant sugar free vanilla pudding with milk and 1 tsp Pineapple flavoring and refrigerate. When the loaf has baked and cooled, pour pudding on top then top with the remaining crushed pineapples slice and enjoy. Store in the refrigerator.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

How to Make Homemade Cheese

In our last post Patty used homemade cheese, you defiantly should give it a try!

1 gallon 2% milk
½ cup white vinegar
Salt to taste


Scald milk until it is about to boil stirring constantly. This is a very important step, -do not let the milk boil.-
Slowly add vinegar while still stirring. At the time you’re done adding the vinegar, curds should form already.
Turn the stove off and cover milk for ten minutes.

Strain milk in cheese cloth in a colander. Add salt and put away in an air-tight container.
If you want to watch a video on how to make it here is the link to a youtube video

Patty's Delectable Frittata

Patty’s Frittata Recipe

4 Fresh Basil Leaves
1 Cup Shredded Potatoes
½ Cup Chopped Fennel
4 Eggs
½ Cup Homemade Ricotta Cheese
Pinch of Salt
1 tsp. Pepper
½ cup Shredded Zucchini
2 Strips of Bacon (a healthier option - turkey bacon)


2 Tbsp. White Balsamic Vinegar
¼ Cup Fennel Leaves
½ Cup Shredded Zucchini
2 tsp. Sugar
Pinch of Salt
½ tsp. Pepper
1 Tsp. Vanilla Oil


Fry two strips of Bacon, when they are cooked chop them and set them aside for later. Warm vanilla herb oil in a medium sized frying pan on medium-high setting. When the pan oil has warmed for a few minutes, place the four basil leaves in the oil. When the leaves become crispy and transparent it's time to pull them out of the pan and set them aside. Add potatoes and fennel to the frying pan and saute until the potatoes begin to brown. While the potatoes and fennel are cooking whisk four eggs, then add ricotta cheese, zucchini, pepper and salt. Mixed together, then add the mixture on top of the potatoes and fennel and reduce heat to medium to medium/low and cover. While that cooks it's the perfect time to make the relish, so add 2 tsp of white balsamic vinegar to the fennel leaves and zucchini in a small bowl, add sugar, salt, pepper and vanilla mix together cover and refrigerate until the frittata is fully cooked.

Check out our gourmet all natural products at http://www.arizonavanilla.com/

Monday, April 20, 2009

All Natural Oatmeal Cookies

Watch as Patty teaches how to make oatmeal cookies with all natural ingredients, the best part is these delicious treats are low in fat and high in fiber, not only will they cure any craving for cookies, they wont add to your waist line!

  • 1 cup whole oats

  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour

  • 1/2 cup chopped dates (you can substitute with raisins or dried cranberries if you'd like.)

  • 1 tsp. dried stevia - If you don't have stevia you can use 3/4 cup of brown sugar, or an artificial sweetener.

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 cup applesauce - The applesauce is to replace butter, or oil.

  • 1/2 tsp. Tahitian Ground Vanilla

  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon

  • 1/2 cup walnuts


Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C.) Mix together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, Tahitian ground, cinnamon, and dried stevia, add applesauce, dates and walnuts. When all ingredients are thoroughly mixed, roll into 1 inch balls, you may use the bottom of a cup to flatten cookies so that are in the traditional cookie shape or keep them in a fun ball shape as we did. Place cookies on a greased cookie sheet, bake for 10-12 minutes, let cool for 10-15 minutes then enjoy!

For more wonderful recipes like this checkout Patty's Cookbook "Simply Vanilla"

Check out our All Natural Gourmet products check out our online store http://www.arizonavanilla.com/

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hot Cross Cross Buns

This is one of my all time favorite Easter recipe traditionally eaten on Good Friday.
Hot Cross Buns:

3/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon instant powdered milk
1/4 cup white sugar
3/8 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 egg white
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup dried currants
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
2 teaspoons milk

Put warm water, butter, skim milk powder, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, egg, egg white, flour, and yeast in bread maker and start on dough program.
When 5 minutes of kneading are left, add currants and cinnamon. Leave in machine till double.
Punch down on floured surface, cover, and let rest 10 minutes.
Shape into 12 balls and place in a greased 9 x 12 inch pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place till double, about 35-40 minutes.
Mix egg yolk and 2 tablespoons water. Brush on balls.
Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 20 minutes. Remove from pan immediately and cool on wire rack.
To make crosses: mix together confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and milk. Brush an X on each cooled bun.

Visit Arizona Vanilla Store for our great all natural gourmet products

Monday, April 6, 2009

French Corner Cafe

While Patty and Eric were in California for the Southern Califoria IFT Suppliers Night they couldn't resist stopping in and visiting the French Corner Cafe in Palm Desert, CA. They have been ordering vanilla beans from us for quite some time, their pasteries taste as good as they look! This is a place that is worth stopping in and having a taste of their wonderful food. For more information on their menu and services visit their website http://www.frenchcornercafe.com/

Monday, March 23, 2009

Springtime Brownie Bites

If you're looking for a yummy, quick treat that is perfect for kids of all ages, then this is the recipe for you! Patty and her 6 year old son Danny show how fun it can be to let the kids help. All you need is a basic brownie...I know easy, right!?! Follow the directions on the box, but that's not all we added Pure Mexican Vanilla 3 - Fold Paste to the brownie batter, Mexican Vanilla enhances chocolate and creamy flavors, try adding Pure Mexican Vanilla to your favorite chocolaty recipes and it will make them even better! The complete recipe is listed below. Surprise your family and friends with this adorable and delicious treat!

All you need is
Brownie Mix (Follow the recipe on the box)
Most Brownie Mixes Call for 2 large eggs, 1/3 cup Oil and 1/2 cup Water.
1 Tsp. Pure Mexican Vanilla Paste

2 Cups Whipping Cream
1 tsp Pure Orange Extract
1 tsp Pure Mexican Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
1/2 Cup Sugar
Jelly beans
Chocolate Sprinkles

Pre-heat oven to 350 Degrees. Mix brownie mix, eggs, water, and oil then add the secret ingredient Mexican Vanilla Paste in a medium sized bowl, at a medium speed until the mix is all blended. Then pour the brownie batter to a mini cupcake pan, fill each about half way. Bake at 350 degrees for 7-10. Let brownies cool for 10-15 minutes before decorating.

Mix 2 cups of Whipping Cream in medium sized bowl add sugar, cocoa powder, Pure Mexican Vanilla Extract, and last but not least Pure Orange Extract. Mix at medium to high speed until the whipping cream is firm and fluffy. Then you may put it in a large zip lock bag and snip the corner or your cake decorating bag.

Frost each brownie bite in with a little swirl...the goal is to make a nest for our eggs to be in. sprinkle the nest and then add the eggs aka jelly beans and your done! This sweet treat will be sure to please your friends and family!

Visit our website and remember Vanilla Rocks!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Delicious Butternut Squash Lentil Soup....Check it out!

In this video Patty shows how to use basic vanilla oil to bring out all of the wonderful flavors in this soup. This is a healthy recipe, that is sure to fill you up and is the perfect meal for a cool spring day. This video shows one of the many ways that this wonderful spice can be used in not just your sweet dishes but also your savory ones! The vanilla enhances the other flavors and spices in this soup to really make it a party in your mouth! I hope you enjoy this video as much as we did making for you. Please find the complete recipe is below.


1 Bratwurst sausage
1 medium size butternut squash
2 tbs vanilla oil (separated)
Non stick cooking spray
¼ chopped onion
½ cup chopped carrots
2 celery stalks
1 can chicken broth
½ cup water (if needed)
½ cup red lentils
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
Fresh cilantro to garnish (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste


Preheat the oven at 400 degrees.
Cut the butternut squash in quarters; remove the seeds, put them in a cookie sheet, and drizzle with vanilla oil. Season it with salt and pepper and roast for 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.
Scoop out the meat and set aside.

Spray a medium skillet, cook the sausage and put it aside in a small container.
Sauté onions, carrots, and celery stalks with vanilla oil in a soup pot. Add butternut squash, cinnamon, chicken broth, and lentils. Let it cook for about 20 – 35 minutes until lentils are thoroughly cooked. Add water and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Remove from heat and pour soup in a bowl. Top with sausage and fresh chopped cilantro if desired.

For more information about our All Natural Gourmet Products visit our website at http://www.arizonavanilla.com/

Monday, March 2, 2009

Vanilla Rocks! Delicious Omelet made with Vanilla Herbed Oil with Patty Elsberry

You need:

  1. 2 large eggs, whisked (for a lower calorie omelet use 3 egg whites instead of 2 whole eggs)
  2. 2 table spoon Vanilla Herb Oil
  3. 1/4 c. chopped mushrooms
  4. 1/4 c. chopped tomatoes
  5. 1/4 c. chopped onion
  6. 1/3 c. Grated Mozzarella Cheese
  7. Medium frying pan


  1. Set heat on stove to medium-high
  2. Add oil to pan and make sure the pan has a thin coat of oil so that your omelet wont stick.
  3. When the pan is hot add egg to the pan.
  4. When the egg begins to bubble you can either add vegetables and then flip the omelet or flip the omelet then add the vegetables. If you like your mushrooms and onions cooked, put them in a small pan with a tablespoon of oil, let them cook and then add them to your omelet.
  5. When the omelet is golden brown add cheese and tomatoes on the plate.
  6. Enjoy!

Visit our website for our gourmet products http://www.arizonavanilla.com/

For more recipes like this check out Patty's cookbook "Simply Vanilla"

Friday, February 20, 2009

Vanilla Rocks! Vanilla Herbed Oil video with Patty Elsberry

Make a delicous Vanilla Herbed Oil that will add a delicous to your savory dishes!

All you need is:

  1. 1-2 cups of your favorite cooking oil (Patty used basic vegatable oil)

  2. 1/2 tsp Ground Vanilla or 1 Vanilla Bean

  3. Your favorite fresh herb (we used about of half a cup of each of the following Basil, Sage, Thyme, Rosemary and Parsley)

  4. Medium frying pan

  5. Funnel

  6. Bottle


  1. Set stove at medium tempature.

  2. pour oil into pan and let oil heat

  3. add 1/2 tsp of ground vanilla or the caviar of 1 vanilla bean

  4. When the oil starts bubbling add herbs, be very careful that oil is not too hot, test it by putting one leaf in the oil and if it starts popping oil out of the pan, it's too hot so lower the heat a bit, then add the herbs.

  5. Let the herbs fry in the pan for about 5-7 or until they are stiff

  6. Let cool for 10 minutes

  7. Remove herbs and discard

  8. Pour oil into bottle using funnel

This can make a very nice gift, you can add a ribbon and make your own label and insert some of the herbs into the bottle which would make it very decorative.

This recipe and many more can be found in "Simply Vanilla" Cookbook

Visit our website at http://www.arizonavanilla.com/ for more of our gourmet products.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Vanilla Beans

Patty found this facsinating video on youtube, it's short and sweet and shows how vanilla beans are cured and where they come from, Check it out.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Vanilla Rocks! Basic Vanilla Oil with Patty Elsberry

Learn how to make a basic vanilla oil, that can be used in so many recipe and vanilla adds extra flavor that makes any dish delicous.

All you need to create this Vanilla Oil is:

1-2 Cups of Your Favorite Cooking Oil

1 Vanilla Bean

Cutting Board


Frying Pan

Funnel or a liquid measuring cup


You can find this recipe and many more in Simply Vanilla Cookbook, It is a wonderful cookbook that teaches you about vanilla and how you can use it everyday in many dishes.

Here is just one review of this cookbook:

"Yummy! I''ll never look at Vanilla the same way again! This book offers quite the tutorial on the spice that I knew very little about. I'm amazed at how many everyday foods can be jazzed up by the use of this ingredient. From breakfast to dinner, Vanilla can play an amazing role in making a meal very memorable. I especially enjoyed the chapter on how to use and store vanilla beans. What I thought would be hard to do, is actually very easy. Well written with easy to follow recipes. Try the French Toast with Orange Vanilla Butter. It is absolutely outstanding!" - Mary