I'm amazed at how superior your vanilla is!
- Des, The Grommet

Fresh Vanilla Liquid — A Non-Alcohol Option

Fresh Vanilla Liquid –A Non-Alcohol Option
Courtesy of Rita Rivera Author of Milks Alive

A lot of people want an alcohol-free liquid vanilla  option. Although there is vanilla flavor, I personally don’t like it as it is made with propylene glycol and it isn’t very flavorful. Rita Rivera also wanted an alcohol-free option and came up with fresh vanilla liquid. It doesn’t keep as long as vanilla flavor but you can make this recipe in small batches. Here is Rita’s recipe along with her comments.

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Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Panna Cotta

This is, hands down, the best panna cotta I’ve ever tasted. I suspect that the buttermilk plays a starring role as it provides a delicately tart undertaste. I have to say, I have never ordered a second dessert at a restaurant before, but my friend ate part of mine so, when he went to the rest room, I ordered a second one! Fortunately, he found this amusing.

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Kick-Ass Applesauce

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 Anyone with a stove, a pot and apples can make applesauce. But, really good applesauce? Use heritage apples and a few special ingredients and you’ve got yourself a kick-ass good dessert!

In 1969 I moved to a ridge along the Mendocino coast.  Through serendipity I ended up in the second oldest farmhouse on the Coast and it came with 29 heritage apple trees! Needless to say, we had apple everything from early autumn until spring.  Apple pie, apple crisp, apple cookies, apple cake, baked apples, candied apples and a whole lot of applesauce.

Amazingly enough, I still look forward to autumn for the apples. Let’s face it, there’s nothing quite like  the snap of biting into a crisp apple and feeling and tasting the juices flood your palate!

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I Scream Sandwiches

I Scream Sandwiches by Jennie Schacht (Stewart, Tabori & Chang; May, 2013)

Nothing screams SUMMER! louder to any kid than the ice cream truck bell or a trip to an ice cream shop.  For kids lucky enough to have a mom who makes homemade ice cream, it’s summer heaven, but even a dive into a store freezer for an ice cream sandwich will do in a pinch. You may remember, however, that unless you score an “It’s It,” most ice cream sandwiches have soggy cookies and artificially flavored ice cream.  We tolerated them — and kids still do — because they are cold and sweet.

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A Knock-Out Vanilla-Bean Ice Cream Sandwich

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Fresh off the press, Jennie Schacht’s latest book, I Scream Sandwich is out in time for summer. Here’s what she says about the following recipe:

The It’s-It company began selling scoops of vanilla ice cream sandwiched between old-fashioned oatmeal cookies, all cloaked in chocolate, at San Francisco’s Playland at the Beach in 1928. By the time I moved to the area in 1978, the It’s-It was a well-established local phenomenon. I’ve filled my version of the novelty with a not-overly-sweet vanilla frozen custard.

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Stuffed Apricots with Pistachios and Pomegranate Molasses

A few months ago I read about a Facebook friend’s dessert at a Mediterranean restaurant – Apricots stuffed with pistachios and drizzled with pomegranate molasses.  My mind could immediately taste this delicacy but I automatically adapted it mentally. It was late autumn, not apricot season, which meant it was made with Turkish apricots.

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Cherries with Vanilla Bean

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 Courtesy of Alice Medrich, Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts

In this book, Alice offers “Fresh Cherries 3 Ways.” I’m providing you with the recipe for one plus her caveat, “Cheating with Frozen Cherries.” For the other two specialties, you’ll need to read the book. (Believe me, it’s worth it.)

Alice says, “These get better and better as they sit in the fridge, drawing flavor from the (Rain’s Choice) vanilla bean.”

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Vanilla Bean Pudding

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 Courtesy of Carol Fenster, Ph.D. from 125 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes

Carol’s recipe is based on the classic, Blancmange, a sweet pudding made from milk and thickened with cornstarch, gelatin or other thickener. In the late 1800s/early 1900s, this was a food given to people who were ill to build back their strength. As we had no antibiotics, food was critically important. This is a nice treat for kids when their braces get tightened or when they’re home with the flu. Feel free to use extract if you prefer though the vanilla bean does impart a lovely flavor.

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Poached Pear Tart

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Courtesy of Mary Sommers

This will make one 10″ Tart. You will need a 10″ removable bottom tart pan.

Peel, cut in half and core 3 pears. Poach them until soft in the following liquid.
After pears are softened by poaching, cool them and slice them very thin from the stem end through the blossom end. Place them on paper towels to drain while you make the crust and the filling.

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Manzanas en Dulce con Vainilla (Sweet Apples with Vanilla)

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Courtesy of Dona Judith Galicia

This recipe comes from Papantla, Veracruz, the center of the Mexican vanilla growing industry. Although apples are certainly not a fruit we associate with the tropics, the apples come from the Sierra Madre Oriental, the mountain range that is only a few hours away.

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Why do our customers love Rain's Choice vanilla?

  • You get MORE FLAVOR because we use 20% more beans in our extracts than is required by law!
  • 99% of all vanilla products are imitation. Ours are 100% PURE!
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For an update on the 2016 vanilla shortage, please see "Why is Vanilla so Expensive?"

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