Pure Vanilla


Poor Vanilla!  It gets such a bad rap!  It is referred to as so many undeserving things.  There is plain vanilla, just vanilla, and boring old vanilla just to name a few.


But, it is second only to saffron as the world’s most expensive flavoring.   It is carefully harvested from the orchid flowers from vanilla vines.   Vanilla is highly valued as a culinary addition.  It enhances the fruit flavors of many sweet combinations, cuts the acidity of tomato-based foods and rounds out strong flavors in chutney and curry.

A recipe written in Thomas Jefferson’s hand for Vanilla Ice Cream in the 1780’s is thought to be the first known recipe recorded in the United States.  He is believed to be the first American to bring the vanilla bean home to the US in 1789 following his tenure as ambassador to France. The United States is the largest consumer of Vanilla in the world followed by Europe.



Pure Vanilla is consistently one of our best selling fragrances at Milkhouse Candles.  The aroma of vanilla is know as calming, relaxing, and sensual, and even sometimes considered an aphrodisiac.



So, I am going to keep my cocktail today as American as we can get it.  How about an old fashioned vanilla ice cream shake?  Of course we are going to add a bit of good old American bourbon to the adult version.


Alongside of this, we will need some beef burger sliders topped with a delicious Bacon Bourbon Vanilla Jam.

Bacon Bourbon Vanilla Jam
  • 1# bacon cut into cubes
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup strong coffee
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • 1 ½ tablespoons vanilla paste
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
  1. Brown half of the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon and discard grease. Brown remaining grease in the same skillet until crisp. Remove bacon and all but 1 tablespoon grease. Add onion and garlic to grease and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add vinegar, coffee, sugar, maple syrup, bourbon, vanilla and sriracha to skillet. Reduce heat and simmer until most of the sauce is absorbed and jam is thick. Let cool slightly. Place in food processor or blender and blend until somewhat smooth, but some bacon texture remain. Place in covered jar and refrigerate.
  2. Use as a spread on any sandwich, as a topping for cream cheese or brie, or on grilled meats.


Could we leave this all American tribute without a bit of apple pie?  I don’t think it would be a good idea.  But who has time to bake a pie?  Some Granny Smith apple slices mixed with brown sugar and butter and cooked in the microwave, topped with a sugar cookie will do just fine.

Pure Vanilla Milkshake
  • Pure Vanilla Milkshake
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla paste
  • 2 cups top quality vanilla ice-cream
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • whipped cream and cherry for garnish, optional
  1. Place the milk, vanilla, ice-cream and vanilla in a blender. Blend until combined. Pour into 2 8 ounce glasses and garnish with whipped cream and cherry if desired.
  2. Just omit the bourbon for a family friendly version.




So we salute you “Good Old Vanilla” for all you do.  Your fragrant delicious goodness adds so much to our lives every day.