1 twig of Rosemary
1 sealable flask/bottle
Making Homemade Rosemary Oil
Rosemary oil might sound fancy, but it is very easily made. You need 1 twig of rosemary, 1 bottle with a lid and olive oil. Stick the twig in the bottle add olive oil, voila rosemary oil. I have had mine in the kitchen for about a month and it is very aromatic.
Tip: Makes for a very nice gift if you add a card with recipe for dressing or focaccia that It could be used for :)
1 vanilla bean
200 grams of sugar
Making Homemade Vanilla Sugar
Cut the vanilla bean in smaller pieces and to a food processor. Pour the sugar in and run until the sugar and vanilla bean makes a fine mix. Sift the mass into a bowl, this way you get rid of the coarse pieces of vanilla. The sifted vanilla sugar is now ready for use and should be added to an airtight container. I put mine in a glass that had been sterilized after a turn in the dishwasher. The sugar can be used for cakes and cookies, or as a sweet addition to a cup of cocoa. It also makes for a nice present, especially if you write a recipe on a little card, suggesting how to use it.
Over time I have improved this version of vanilla sugar by adding my used vanilla pods. They might not look it, but covered in sugar they will help infuse your sugar with splendid vanilla taste. Just cover them with new sugar as you use it up and give the sugar a shake to have it equally dispersed. I have been using sugar from this jar since March 2012, today is 31st of January 2013, so that is how long it lasts.
Making Homemade Chili Salt
I like using chili peppers when I cook, but never seem to be able to use them all. When you buy them in the store they are always in packs of 4 or 5, and seeing that there is a limit to my hot food tolerance, I needed to find an alternative solution for the ones left over. I read a lot of food blogs and came across an amazingly simple idea, which I’m now gonna share with you. What you need is either a kitchen machine, with a chopping function, or a mortar. You will also need some dried chilis and sea salt. If you know you won’t use all of you chilis you might do as I did, place them in a glass on the kitchen counter, where they are left to dry out. I think it took about 2 -3 weeks before they were dry enough to be used for this “recipe”. You can tell by the looks of them and also feel that they are a lot lighter, and then you know they are ready for use.
Just remember to cut of the stem, and cut them into smaller pieces, before you add them to the kitchen machine. If you want to use a mortar, I would finely chop them , before crushing them in the mortar with the salt. You add as much salt as you think necessary and either grind in the mortar, or take for a spin in the kitchen machine until its thoroughly mixed and the salt is a bit crushed. Now you should have a lovely coloured “Chilisalt” that can be added to any dish you like. I put mine in some homemade chili, and will be sure to let you in on the recipe later.
Tip: If you are out of gift ideas and want to give an original present to someone, just add the salt to some nice glasses or containers, and voila, home-made gift with a zest!