Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Low Glycemic Brownies

Not very many people say "I don't like brownies"; however, for some, dietary situations keep us away from them. Others prefer to pass for fat belly reasons. These brownies were made with Agave syrup, which has a high fructose content allowing access to anybody who wants to enjoy them...so, what are you waiting for?

Low Glycemic Brownies

8 oz unsweetened chocolate
12 oz butter
*12 oz eggs
*24 oz agave syrup
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbs 2X vanilla
4 oz all purpose flour
4 oz white whole wheat flour
8 oz walnuts

*Measure eggs and agave syrup in a measuring cup.
-Chocolate, flour, and walnuts can be measured in a kitchen scale.


Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler. Set aside and use until the mix is at room temperature.
Preheat the oven at 325F.
Combine agave syrup, eggs, and vanilla with a whisk until they are well incorporated.
Add the chocolate mixture and fold it in using a spatula.
Add flours and fold them in. Dissolve any lumps of flour in the batter.
Spray parchment paper in a baking sheet and smear the batter.
Bake for about 50 minutes. Let it cool and enjoy!

Till next time... VANILLA ROCKS!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Vanilla Rocks: Make your own 2X extract at home!

Vanilla Rocks: Make your own 2X extract at home!

Make your own 2X extract at home!

The FDA states that vanilla extract should be made with 13.2 oz vanilla beans and 1 gallon of solvent for one fold or 1X. The end product should be a 35% alcohol-base solution. This is the minimum requirement. If you want a stronger extract, you double the amount of vanilla beans to the same amount of solvent as it was for 1X. This is the procedure we follow to produce our extract, through cold percolation. However, you can do your own 2X at home! How? Very simple...evaporation! Take your 8 oz or your 32 oz bottle of extract and simmer it until it is reduced by half and what do you have? Viola...2X extract! Now you can enjoy double the flavor from the comfort of your home without having to pay extra for it!

A little recommendation...don't let it burn PLEEEEEASE!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Double Layered Shepherd Pie

Happy New Year Vanilla Lovers!!!

Let’s start 2010 with a twist in an old favorite…Double Layered Shepherd Pie! Those of you who know me will recognize that I add vanilla extract to tomato-based dishes to cut the acidity of the tomato. Try it yourself and experience the difference.


2 bacon strips
2 tbs olive oil or vegetable oil
2 lbs ground beef
1 medium size onion finely diced
1 small bell pepper finely diced
½ cup diced carrots finely diced
2 garlic cloves minced
1 celery stalk finely diced
2 cups mushrooms finely diced
2 Roma tomatoes diced
2 small cans tomato sauce
2 tbs tomato paste
¼ tsp Madagascar vanilla extract
1 14oz can beef broth
5 lbs potatoes
1 stick butter
1 sprig fresh rosemary chopped
2 tbs parmesan cheese
4 cups cheese blend
Salt and Pepper to taste
Finely chopped parsley (for garnish)


Cut potatoes in large dices and cook them in salted water.

Dice bacon and render it in a large skillet until crisp. Remove and set aside.
Saute onions until they are clear and add carrots, celery, peppers, garlic, and mushrooms. Mix for about 7 minutes on medium heat and add the tomatoes. Cook vegetable mix for about 10-15 minutes.

-Remove potatoes from the heat, strain and mix with butter, rosemary, and parmesan. Make mash potatoes and set them aside.

Mix tomato sauce with vanilla extract and add it to the vegetables. Incorporate the beef broth at this time and stir until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
Add the meat (thawed out) and season with salt and pepper to taste. Let it simmer until barely cooked. Add bacon and mix.

Remove meat from heat and make a layer with it in a baking dish. Add potatoes to make the second layer and top it off with the rest of the meat. Spread cheese blend and bake it at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the cheese looks lightly brown. Garnish it with chopped parsley before serving time.

Bon App├ętit!