Vanilla is a classic and amazing flavor used in sweets, cooking and baking everyday. Even real estate professionals use the scent of vanilla for their open house. I recently tried Neilsen Massy Madagascar Bourbon Vanillas and they have made a world of difference in my weekend French Toast! I can’t wait to use it in all my favorite recipes…. Panna Cotta!
Nielsen-Massey are vanilla experts, crafting vanilla products for over a century. They know everything from where the bean is from, to the best use and pairing for its natural essence to shine. They use proprietary cold extraction process instead of heat extraction.
This process gently extracts vanilla’s essential oils, preserving the more than 300 distinctive flavor compounds present in the beans. By protecting our vanilla from heat, even its subtlest flavors survive extraction. Cold extraction is a more delicate, longer process that takes weeks instead of days, to produce the finest flavor and risk losing any of the complexity and robustness of the original bean.
All vanilla is inspected carefully –bundle by bundle, bean by bean–to ensure each bean meets the Nielsen Massey high standards.
The vanilla beans used are from the finest growing regions: Madagascar, Mexico and Tahiti. And to showcase the unique flavor profiles of vanillas grown in different regions, we offer origin specific vanilla extracts from Madagascar, Mexico and Tahiti.
All Nielsen Massey products are Gluten-Free, Allergen-Free, GMO-Free and Kosher, and also have a line of Organic vanillas.
Some really fun Vanilla facts:
A teaspoon or so of vanilla in Italian tomato sauces or Mexican chili helps cut the acidity of the tomatoes.
For best results when using our extracts, add them at the end of the cooking process or cream them with butter for baking.
To taste for yourself the difference between Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, Mexican Vanilla and Tahitian Vanilla, whip up some whip cream. Just substitute in the different extracts for each batch. Ice cream and custards would also show off the delicious subtleties of each vanilla (though it would be a bigger undertaking).
Outside The Kitchen
A few drops of vanilla in a can of paint will help eliminate the unpleasant odor.
A vanilla bean under your car seat gives a fresh aroma and helps eliminate musty odors.
Vanilla extract is used by veteran fishermen to mask the smell of their hands so the fish won’t detect them.
Vanilla beans are hand-pollinated on family farms.
The curing process, which involves drying the beans in the sun by day and allowing them to sweat in a box at night, can take three to six months. The beans get hot enough in the sun to actually burn your hand.
Each vanilla flower opens for only one part of one day during the season. If it’s not pollinated on that day, no pod will be produced.
The entire vanilla-cultivation process, from planting to market, can take from five to six years.
In Mexico, vanilla was originally pollinated by a tiny native bee called the Melipone.
Montezuma, Emperor of the Aztecs, greeted Cortez the conqueror in his banquet hall with a chocolate drink, Chocolatl (or Xocolatl), made of ground corn, cacao beans, honey and vanilla pods. While Cortex greatly enjoyed the drink, Montezuma was nonetheless executed shortly after.
The Spaniards called the plant “vanilla” which means “little scabbard”.
Thomas Jefferson is credited with introducing vanilla to the United States in the late 1700s. While serving as Ambassador to King Louis XVI of France, he became familiar with vanilla beans and brought 200 vanilla beans back with him when he returned to the United States.
George Washington liked vanilla ice cream and kept two pewter ice-cream pots at Mount Vernon during his presidency from 1789-1797.
Dolley Madison created a sensation when she served vanilla ice cream as a dessert in the White House at the second inaugural ball in 1812.
Find out about the best vanilla in the world http://www.nielsenmassey.com/consumer/index.php
December is less than a month away, which means the holiday season/Christmas are like tomorrow (not really but you get what I mean.) So seeing as it’s already freezing cold like the holiday season, and Christmas is right around the corner; I vote that the holiday season starts now. And what better way to kick off the holiday season than with something sweet and Christmasy!
Nisha, found of Toronto’s premiere bite-sized dessert bar Bite Bar, recently invited us to a tasting preview of the Bite Bar Holiday menu. If you’re a dessert lover like me, you can only imagine how excited I was to get there, and get to tasting ALL of the sweet treats! The menu was mouthwatering, featuring items like Naughty and Nice Bite sized chocolate cookie sandwiches with Bite Bar’s signature raspberry vodka buttercream, Candy Cane Chocolate Cheesecakelettes, Bite Bar’s Cranberry Apple Spiked Cider and more! Our night was made even sweeter as we got to hang out with some of our favourite bloggers; and you know it was only a matter of time before we were laughing, taking selfies, as well as tweeting, instagraming, and Facebooking all the decadence that we were being treated to. It was a deliciously fun night 🙂 Okay enough talking, more pictures. Enjoy!
Some of my favourite things about the Bite Bar preview? I enjoyed all the treats, but I loved loved LOVED the Candy Cane Chocolate Cheesecakelettes, the Bite Bar Cranberry Apple Spiked Cider was the bomb, I absolutely adored the Bite Bar wall, and of course it’s always fun times hanging out with some of my favourite people! Oh I also love that I was able to eat as many different treats as I wanted without feeling full and/or sick, all because of the cute (and tasty) little bite sizes! Bonus!!
A big thank you to Nisha for inviting us and spoiling us rotten with delicious treats and drinks. We had an amazing time as you can see!
Can ice cream that has 7g protein, 70 calories, and 4 g of sugar taste good?
I recently got samples of Halo Top Creamery – All Natural Light Ice Cream. The golden lid is the “Halo Top”. The top-shelf ingredients are all organic, cage free, hormone free and taste just like ice cream.
They are in 17 states, Sprout, Whole Foods and comes in 4 flavors.
My favorite flavor is Vanilla Bean – It is perfect for smoothies, milkshakes, a la mode with desserts and yummy with cornflakes on top!
Chocolate – This one tastes just a bit like chocolate, it is so good with shredded coconut on top
Lemon Cake – This cheesecake texture and lemony flavor is yummy! I topped these with fresh strawberries
Strawberry – This one is made of real organic strawberries and it is just the perfect pink!
Ice cream season doesn’t end with summer.
Find out more on http://www.halotop.com
The perfect birthday gift can be hard to find; sometimes there’s not enough time and nothing seems right or good enough for the fabulous birthday king or queen. Today is my sister’s birthday (shout-out to the bday girl!). So, last night (extremely last minute, I know), on my quest to find the ultimate birthday present, I found myself at Union Square, and still empty-handed, when I stumbled upon the answer to all my gift giving misfortunes—cupcakes Baked by Melissa!
The perfect bite-sized little cupcakes in assorted flavors, “Baked By Melissa” are a fun and delicious way to celebrate! I mean who can resist mini cupcakes baked and frosted to perfection? Usually food makes a great gift and I have to say the cakes were a hit. I bought a box of 25 for $20 and they were all happily consumed between the hours of 12-midnight and 12:05am.
So, if you’re in search of a last minute—and delicious—way to celebrate and show someone you care (or at least buy you some time until you can find something more substantial), consider these cute little morsels; they’ll do the trick!
With all these summer shopping and impromptu trips, money is a lil tight. That doesn’t mean you can’t spend you last $5 on something delicious. I like to live on the edge a little. Let me introduce to you my new favorite dessert….Pillsbury Sweet Moments
illsbury® Sweet Moments™ are a little bite of decadent pleasure for you each day. We would like to introduce you to two unbelievably delicious new flavors: Raspberry Brownie Cheesecake and Caramel Brownie Cheesecake. Each bite will wrap you in rich layers of sweet pleasure. Break through the cocoa-kissed outer layer with its delicate drizzle detail… feel it break and give way to a deliciously moist fudgy brownie. Take a moment to savor the smooth caramel or velvety cheesecake melt luxuriously in your mouth. We refrigerate them to accentuate each decadent layer and magnify each distinct texture to create a truly luscious bite.
Now I know I’ve been doing lots of posts about strawberries lately but I can’t help it! These wonderful California Strawberries are so good I’ve been trying to use them anyway I can. This time, I’m going to share with you an amazing dessert recipe I am a huge fan of. It’s super fast and easy to make and its delish. I found this recipe from The California Strawberry Commission. They’ve come up with some great recipes all using strawberries.
Start off with a pound of Clam Shell Package California Strawberries, four tbsp of sugar, one package of softened light cream cheese, three tbsp of skim milk, two tbsp of lemon juice, one cup of light whipped cream or whipped topping, and a cup of graham cracker crumbles.
In bowl, toss strawberries with 2 tbsp (30mL) of sugar; cover and set aside. In mixer bowl, beat cheese, milk, juice and remainder of sugar until smooth, fold in whipped topping or whipped cream. Spoon 2 tablespoons crumbs into 4 8 to 10 oz stemmed glasses; top each with about 1/4 cup (50mL) of the strawberries, 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the cream cheese mixture, then the remaining crumbs and strawberries, dividing equally. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 6 hours.
This recipe should make 4 servings. I’d serve this as a dessert after a dinner party, maybe as a little sweet treat for yourself, or for any occasion. It’s a yummy treat with half the calories most dessert have so you don’t need to feel guilty. Plus, when you have leftover strawberries from doing the strawberry teeth whitening or the strawberry face mask, this is a great way to use them up! Give it a try 🙂
*HeyDoYou is for the cute, clever and connected*