My newest adventure is to make my own vanilla extract!! It's a lengthy process - a month or more to make food grade extract. I found out there is only two things separating extract from vanilla flavored vodka - time and ratio of beans to vodka!
You need about twelve vanilla beans to two cups of vodka. My local co-op has amazing vanilla bean prices, and they even sell really cute bottles with corks for $2 a piece!
Here's how ya do it:
Slice the vanilla beans to release all of the good stuff before placing them in a bottle. If they are too brittle to cut, let them soak for awhile in the vodka, remove and slice them once they're supple.
Then place the vanilla beans in an airtight container (preferably one that you can see through), cover with two cups of vodka and put away for 30-60 days! I'll update as mine gets closer to the finish!