I decided to try my hand at something new - making my own vanilla extract. It is so easy!
Take 3 vanilla beans and slice them lengthwise down the middle, making sure to leave the ends intact. Put them in a mason jar and pour in 1 cup of vodka. Give it a good shake and place in a cool, dark cupboard. Shake the jar once a week and let sit for about 3-4 months. It will get darker as time goes on.
Viola! You have extract. As you use it up, you can top it off with more vodka. Also, after a while you can replace the beans with new ones and continue this pattern forever. In the long run, it is more economical and costs much better than the imitation stuff you buy in the store.