Vanilla, Let Me Count the Ways

I love Vanilla anything.  Always have, always will.

Here are just a few things I found in my kitchen in a matter of seconds that are vanilla related

I found this Vanilla Sugar in Aruba

I found this gourmet real vanilla extract on sale at my local Ralph’s grocery store. $12.99 for 8 ounces.  That is insanely cheap for real vanilla extract.  The McCormick’s “non-gourmet” vanilla is about $7.99 for 2 ounces.  The math definitely pencils out on the Rodelle.

If you have a TJ’s near you, this is definitely worth the $4.99 for 4 ounces.  Better grab this and some peanut flour.

You can make Vegan Bourbon Vanilla Softserve with it

Or Vegan Vanilla Chocolate Chip Softserve

That’s a bourbon vanilla pool

And Vanilla Stevia is a staple for me

Check out my Stevia Recipes Compilation Post for the many ways I use stevia.

And I love Vanilla candles

For grocery store type candles, this Glade one does a good job of really making the air smell vanilla-ey.  Sometimes candles are so “faint”, I find them to be a waste of money.

I also love vanilla lotions, bodyspray, perfumes, and anything vanilla-scented.

And I love vanilla in Drinks.

Vegan Vanilla Hot CocoaGuiltless and fast.

And I love vanilla in Food.  And Desserts.

Raw Vegan Apple Crumble

That is Vanilla-Agave-Cinnamon “Juice”

Vegan Caramels

Only 3 ingredients in these and one of them is vanilla.

And Vegan Peanut Butter Vanilla Balls

Yes, I love vanilla.
From my last post about the discontinuation of Trader Joe’s Peanut Flour, yes, sorry to be the bearer of bad news for anyone who’s a fan who didn’t already know that. Seems many of you were caught off guard.
It was good to hear what foods you have tried lately or have tried because of the sphere.  Many of you said Peanut Flour was on your list.   And it was fun to hear what foods you tried but didn’t like.
1. How’s your Hump Day going?
Mine has been busy.
But…Today is the actual day of Skylar’s birthday!
She’s officially 4 as of today! And I can’t believe I was in labor 4 years ago and she was 6 pounds back then.
We celebrated over the weekend, she had a party on Monday with her little friends, and today it’s a Mommy ‘n Skylar afternoon in between juggling work and everything else.
2. Are you a fan of vanilla?  What kinds of vanilla items do you love?  How do you use it?
I use vanilla extract in just about every sweet recipe, bakery item, cookie, cake, raw dessert, granola bar, or muffin you can think of.   And slather vanilla lotion, bodywash, and bodyspray on, too!

3. Any other scents or flavors you really love?
I did a post on scents and memories and mentioned some of my fave perfumes and scents.   Anything that’s sweet, smells like chocolate, or cookies or bread baking….mmm, good.
Time for me to be with the Birthday Girl!

68 Responses to “Vanilla, Let Me Count the Ways”

  1. Angela (Oh She Glows) — February 2, 2011 at 3:18 pm (#

    Happy Birthday Skylar!!

    Oh gosh you have just reminded me why I need to invest in some quality vanilla. I didn’t realize the difference until I tried some a few months ago. I buy Kirkland Costa brand…you get a huge bottle for like $8. lol. I guess I could buy a small bottle of the good stuff and then use it only for the veeeeery special recipes.

    • Averie (Love Veggies and Yoga) — February 2, 2011 at 4:08 pm (#

      I love the idea of a huge bottle for $8!

      And I totally “ration” out and select certain vanillas for certain recipes. If I know I am making something I give away like at a party, I don’t exactly break out the top shelf vanilla :)

  2. aubrey @ italktofood — February 2, 2011 at 3:26 pm (#

    I just learned that madagascar had a bad year in producing pure vanilla extract :(

    BUT they are selling vanilla beans at a much cheaper price, so we’ll be able to use the actual bean instead of extract now!

  3. Christin@purplebirdblog — February 2, 2011 at 3:30 pm (#

    Happy birthday, Skylar! She is such a little lady now!!

    I am totally a sucker for vanilla pretty much anything. I used to be a total chocolate girl, and I still love me some chocolate (the darker the better!), but vanilla has my heart. I too put vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste, my vanilla true love) in anything, especially my oats, farina, and smoothies. Cookies. Cakes. And always more than they say to use if it’s called for in a recipe.
    Love. It!

  4. Crystal — February 2, 2011 at 3:30 pm (#

    Happy Birthday to Skylar! :)

    I was looking at your caramel recipe and I was wondering if you have tried it with another type of nut and have gotten the same results? The reason why I am asking is because pine nuts are RIDICULOUSLY expensive here in B.C. Canada. They cost $8 for 100gm!

    I love the smell of clean laundry. I bought a candle that is suppose to smell like it, but really… it doesn’t! I’ve been on the hunt for a replacement so maybe I’ll see about this vanilla one. :)

    My day has been pretty ok. My university is known for having a lot of wild bunnies on campus, so we had to do an ecology lab to go out and count all the bunnies. There weren’t too many though, due to new policies and whatnot. But it was still great to walk around campus for 45 minutes!

    • Averie (Love Veggies and Yoga) — February 2, 2011 at 4:10 pm (#

      other canadian readers have told me that about pine nuts. Honestly, the way the pine nut blends/gets crushed up with the pine nut oils, just buy them. You won’t regret it. And the recipe calls for a tiny amount, like 1/4 or 1/2 cup. Not many. Consider it your splurge this week :) If you use other nuts, you will get more of this
      minus the sugar.

    • Crystal — February 4, 2011 at 8:01 pm (#

      Thank you for answering my question! Those sugar cookie dough balls look really delicious.

      Hope you are having a nice day! :)

  5. Evan Thomas — February 2, 2011 at 3:36 pm (#

    Happy birthday to Skylar!
    My favorite vanilla is definitely vanilla bean paste. It’s a blend of vanilla extract, vanilla beans, sugar, and alcohol, and it makes the best ice cream

  6. Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) — February 2, 2011 at 3:37 pm (#

    Happy Birthday to you sweet little one! She has gotten so big this past year! I love vanilla! We stopped buying extracts years ago and now we make our own. It’s too expensive for us to buy the stuff at the store. I hope you are having a great afternoon!

    • Averie (Love Veggies and Yoga) — February 2, 2011 at 4:11 pm (#

      You make your own? As in vanilla beans + vodka and wait a month? I have heard/wanted to try this for ages…just never have.

      Fill me in!

  7. Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} — February 2, 2011 at 3:42 pm (#

    I love vanilla, too. I splurge for the good stuff–it’s so worth it! I’ve never tried vanilla stevia though, I need to.

  8. Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn — February 2, 2011 at 3:51 pm (#

    Girl, I love ALL things vanilla! Vanilla almond milk, extract in everything, vanilla Vega protein, you get the idea. And vanilla stevia drops are liquid gold in my house, it’s especially good in hot chocolate!

  9. rebecca lustig — February 2, 2011 at 4:02 pm (#

    i find myself adding vanilla to every breakfast, snack and dessert imaginable. and coffee. and Kahlua? Rum? The possibilities are endless…

  10. Keelie — February 2, 2011 at 4:19 pm (#

    Happy Birthday to Skylar! She’s adorable!

    Vanilla has been since childhood and always will be my absolute favorite flavor. For the first 20 years of my life, I refused to eat ANY other flavor of ice cream. :)

  11. Christine @ Merf In Progress — February 2, 2011 at 4:29 pm (#

    Skylar is just precious, beautiful and looks like she has such a great spirit. That smile is catching!!!

    Scents: I go insane for woodsy scents — mint, leaves, grass, rain. Next up is citrus and flowers. Last comes anything food-related. Haha!

  12. CathyK — February 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm (#

    happy birthday, skylar! i hope you had a beautiful day!
    do you remember where in aruba you got the vanilla sugar, averie? just wondering if at the supermarkets or downtown…
    i love the scent of vanilla lotions and candles, and love vanilla in baked goods. for some reason, have always DISliked vanilla ice cream – too plain for my taste!

  13. Red Deception — February 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm (#

    I think vanilla is ok.

    I am a HUGE fan of mint, especially in chocolate! I have spied a new recipe that uses mint leaves in a bean concoction, and I cannot wait to try it.
    Seriously. I can’t resist anything mint. It’s my ‘strange addiction’!

  14. Annie — February 2, 2011 at 4:35 pm (#

    Happy official Birthday, Skylar! I hope your day is full of pink outfits and fun memories!

  15. Heather (Where's the Beach) — February 2, 2011 at 4:40 pm (#

    Happy birthday to that gorgeous daughter! And I am a HUGE vanilla fan. Love it. Love the taste. Love the smell.

  16. J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) — February 2, 2011 at 4:50 pm (#

    Happy birthday, Skylar!! :D

    I love vanilla! Vanilla extract is one of my favorite scents. It’s heavenly! Vanilla beans are a real treat, too.

  17. maria @ Chasing the Now — February 2, 2011 at 5:02 pm (#

    I like vanilla ice cream and sometimes I put vanilla extract in my hot oats, but really it’s not my favorite flavor. I like cinnamon a lot more! :)

  18. Steph! — February 2, 2011 at 5:19 pm (#

    Happy Birthday to Skylar!!

    I’m a vanilla freak. I wear vanilla lotion and perfume all the time, and I’ll take vanilla ice cream/cake/cookies/whatever over chocolate any day. So good! I’ll have to try some of the vanilla stevia next

  19. PB&Jenny — February 2, 2011 at 5:20 pm (#

    I’m more of a chocolate gal myself but I can never resist the allure of a delicious vanilla candle or perfume.

    Happy Birthday to my favorite little peanut :) Love and hugs to you both!!!

  20. Jess — February 2, 2011 at 5:23 pm (#

    I LOVE vanilla!! Ahhh, so good!!

  21. julie — February 2, 2011 at 5:28 pm (#

    oh! i really have to bite the TJs bullet haha and just do it. maybe after my next paycheck. although one time i did find real vanilla extract superrrr cheap at marshalls and it was amaaaze! i share your appreciation for vanilla flavs ;)

  22. melissa @ the delicate place — February 2, 2011 at 5:30 pm (#

    happy bday skylar! i’m obsessed with vanilla too. i like chocolate as a topping on vanilla anything (choco chips in particular ;) i love pure vanilla beans, pricey but the taste is divine scraped into any food you want to flavor. i love vanilla teas, dairy free ice creams, coffee, biscotti, scones etc.

  23. Christina — February 2, 2011 at 5:33 pm (#

    Awe! Happy birthday to the cutie pie!! Tell her we send hugs from NY :)

    I love TJ’s bourbon vanilla, that’s pretty much the only one I buy ;) um and 2 packages of peanut flour are just chillin in my cabinet lol. I think I’m gonna have to make some pancakes with it this weekend.

  24. ashley@quasichick — February 2, 2011 at 5:51 pm (#

    Happy bday Skylar! If I am ever in Cali or you in Louisiana we need to get our girls together ot play! I love vanilla! I run out of my extract weekly!

  25. Helen — February 2, 2011 at 6:09 pm (#

    Happy birthday Skylar!

    She is such a beautiful little lady! I love vanilla as far as foods go, but I am not to big on lotions, sprays, or candles.

    My hump day was very busy this mornig at work, but it is much better now. I just received the call that school is cancelled tomorrow….free day for me!!

  26. eatingRD — February 2, 2011 at 6:12 pm (#

    Love vanilla!!! I actually have the bourbon one from TJ’s too :) Every time I visit your site I say I need to get a vitamix! lol
    Happy Birthday to Skylar! What a doll!

  27. Sonia @ Master of Her Romaine — February 2, 2011 at 6:24 pm (#

    Happy Birthday to Skylar!!
    Sometimes I use vanilla like perfume…I put a tiny dab on my neck lol

  28. tricia — February 2, 2011 at 6:25 pm (#

    Happy Birthday to Skylar!

  29. Holly @ Couch Potato Athlete — February 2, 2011 at 6:32 pm (#

    Happy Birthday Skylar!

    Averie I am so jealous of all of your vanilla items — vanilla is the best flavor AND smell. I love it. And all of your ball recipes are the best too. I need some of them in my life right now! The perfect snack.

    Humpday is always good — only 2 more days until the weekend!

  30. Ally (oatsandspice) — February 2, 2011 at 6:55 pm (#

    I literally dump the glass of vanilla in basically everything I bake – it adds so much flavor! And I recently got the Liquid Stevia Vanilla – I am so excited to incorporate it into my meals (especially my oatmeal).

  31. Cindy — February 2, 2011 at 7:07 pm (#

    gosh 4 already!
    where does the time go????

    and Vanilla???


  32. bitt — February 2, 2011 at 7:28 pm (#

    I love vanilla! the real bean is the best. I order online for dirt cheap.

    FYI, I think the Trader Joe’s Bourbon might have gluten in it. I was using it but felt bad after and finally connected it to that. It probably has just a small amount, but over time adds up.

  33. Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty — February 2, 2011 at 7:41 pm (#

    Skylar is getting so big!!
    I love everything vanilla! YUM!!! :)

  34. Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) — February 2, 2011 at 7:44 pm (#

    Wow, she’s getting cuter if that was even possible. Love her smile.

    I got ahold of some vanilla sugar and was disappointed. I wanted real vanilla powder, not sugar. You can also buy it in Sweden and it’s yummy but it’s more the consistency of powdered sugar. Yes I love it. Mostly in smoothies :-)

  35. Mindy — February 2, 2011 at 7:44 pm (#

    Happy Birthday to Skylar! Yes, I do love vanilla as a scent and flavoring. I also love sandalwood scent. After discovering Indian food, I fell in love with rosewater as a flavoring. Recently found a recipe in 30 minute vegan’s Asian cookbook for Vanilla Rose Cardamom Lassi that is off the charts to my taste buds. :)

  36. Torri — February 2, 2011 at 7:49 pm (#

    Love vanilla!! I’m soooo vanilla. I would rather have vanilla than chocolate, any day!

    Happy Birthday to Skylar!

  37. Martha — February 2, 2011 at 7:49 pm (#

    On Amazon you can buy 32 oz of Nielsen-Massey vanilla for $25! It’s so the way to go, and I can fly through one of those tallboys scary fast!

  38. Katie — February 2, 2011 at 7:54 pm (#

    I always double the amount of vanilla called for in recipes. I love the bourbon vanilla, and vanilla beans are amazing. I haven’t tried vanilla sugar or paste, but as soon as I find them, you can believe I will be getting them. I have about 6 kinds of vanilla in my cabinet. For trial recipes, I use the cheapo stuff, but for when I know something is going to be good, I go all out. I want to make some vanilla maple granola right now, but I’m too lazy.

  39. Angie — February 2, 2011 at 8:19 pm (#

    i love vanilla but not as much as chocolate! you should do a cacao or chocolate post like this! Happy birthday Skylar!

  40. Laury @TheFitnessDish — February 2, 2011 at 8:22 pm (#


    I am obsessed with vanilla too! I need to get my paws on some of that bourbon vanilla!!! Was just at the farmers market next to TJ’s today. It was so icy I never went in TJ’s, but now I am regretting not going in to grab some peanut flour!

  41. Aj — February 2, 2011 at 8:23 pm (#

    Your daughter is so cute!

    As for scents…I love lavender and burn a lavender candle when I’m studying (it’s supposed to be calming). I also have some fruity scents (mango, berry) that I adore!

    Oh and cupcake scented…almost as good as indulging in one!

  42. Maryann — February 2, 2011 at 8:27 pm (#

    Happy birthday Skylar!! I love vanilla! Lots of other scents too…my mind has drawn a blank though!

  43. mi-an dela cruz — February 2, 2011 at 8:47 pm (#


    i love vanilla everything too!!! most baking and making desserts…but i also love vanilla drinks! vanilla ice cream! yum yum!

  44. Marissa — February 2, 2011 at 9:05 pm (#

    I looooove vanilla! When people refer to “plain vanilla” I think “vanilla isn’t plain, its delicious!”

  45. Stephanie — February 2, 2011 at 9:51 pm (#

    I love to SMELL vanilla…I love to EAT chocolate more though. :)

  46. hippierunner — February 2, 2011 at 9:54 pm (#

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY Skylar! I hope it was a really great day! :)

  47. chocolatecoatedrunner — February 2, 2011 at 10:08 pm (#

    happy birthday sklyar!
    i love vanilla as well!!
    my day went well; i got homework done, talked to some people, went to the gym, etc.
    i like vanilla in *anything sweet*
    other scents that i like are: flowery, chocolatey, and basically anything that smells sweet or refreshing!

  48. annie — February 3, 2011 at 12:02 am (#

    happy birthday cutie pie!!

  49. Kim — February 3, 2011 at 1:17 am (#

    Happy Birthday Skylar!!!!!! (again :D hehehe)
    Hope she had a really fun day with her mum!
    Mmmmmmm Im also a Vanilla fan!
    Vanilla perfume, vanilla milkshakes, vanilla candles, vanilla ice cream!! Mmm Mmm!

  50. Carrie (Moves 'N Munchies) — February 3, 2011 at 6:39 am (#

    im so with you!! i think i put vanilla in EVERYTHING i bake.. or make for that matter! along with vanilla id say i LOVE the smell of gingerbread, cinnamon, and peanut butter hehe!

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