Tuesday, January 17, 2017

DIY Vanilla Bean Syrup {with Printable Labels and Option to Can} & Favorite New Pantry Cookbook

Today I am sharing a homemaking/homesteading resource that has become a favorite of mine and a recipe from it! It is full of old fashioned meal ideas and is shared by a woman who had once lived for three years off-grid with no modern appliances and minimal electricity. The reason I mention this is because her recipes are real and down to earth! These are the kinds of recipes that have been interesting to me as of late-- ones that are nourishing and can be prepared from your basic pantry staples without needing a trip to the grocery store. I have only dreamt of a cookbook like this -- for the common farm pantry and frugal, from-scratch cook! No need for fancy ingredients to make these homemade and healthy comfort foods! May I introduce you to...

"A Cabin Full of Food" by Marie Beausoleil (349 pages!)

~~ The Ultimate "Store What You Use and Use What You Store" Cookbook ~~

As Marie (the author of the cookbook) explains...

"you don't need another cookbook that requires a shopping trip before you make dinner. You need to know how to cook with what you have...

The Irish have a saying: Better a cabin full of food than a hungry castle.

I couldn’t agree more!

Unfortunately, too many people would rather be in the middle of a cabin full of food because most of us are not used to dealing with food (and lots of it) in its natural state.

Whether you’re on the farm or in town, you’ll find great classic recipes that you can use today in this cookbook. If you have a fully stocked pantry, you have what you need to feed your family!

This book is organized by food type (grains, vegetables, fruit, meat) and written in a conversational, easy to follow format. It’s packed with almost 1000 easy, frugal, traditional recipes that will help you make the best use of what you have in the pantry already!

This is a massive, value-loaded book with over 300 pages of recipes.

This isn’t a cookbook so much as an encyclopedia on homestead cooking written by someone who knows what she’s doing – the author lives deep in the woods, raising four children in an off-grid cabin with solar power, wood heat and no fridge.


My grandfather always said to eat food that remembers where it came from.

But in this era of cans, boxes and bags, it is sometimes hard to know what to do with simple, from-the-farm food.

My book contains over 1000 of my own recipes, or ones that I have adapted and used over the years to make my own. There are lot of plain old classics that have almost been forgotten.

And quite a few come from the hand-written tried-and-true recipe books of my Old Order Mennonite friends.

These are recipes that have stood the test of time.


You don’t need another book telling you how to make exotic ingredients into meals. This is real, down home cooking at its best. Save money by making your own ketchup, barbecue sauce, tomato soup and more from fresh tomatoes.

I’ll show you how to put up the garden bounty to quickly use it all winter. Learn to keep up with the egg and milk abundance when you have small livestock."

  ~ A Cabin Full of Food by Marie Beausoleil

Marie also shares a variety of pre-made spice recipes, a section on grains which shares many interesting frugal recipes such as a mixed coffee substitute, war yeast bread and leftovers quick bread. It is not a normal cook book but reminds me of an old fashioned receipt book. Her book is segmented by garden produce and how to use each one in each category and even includes some home remedies. There is a recipe for bean loaf instead of meat loaf (lots of bean recipes) that I am eager to try (lots of frugal recipes in general)!

This is probably one of her fanciest recipes that I am sharing today as it uses a vanilla bean (while the remainder of the book focuses on common pantry ingredients, garden harvests and farm by-products) but as a coffee lover, I had to try it! Marie mentions what a nice gift it would make and I must agree (I am sharing some vanilla bean syrup labels in case you would like to make some!).

She also says to drizzle it over baked goods, add to hot beverages or stew fresh fruit with it. I would like to add that you could even create the fancy cold coffee drinks with it! A bit of leftover morning coffee from the fridge... a splash of cream, a few cubes of ice, a drizzle of this syrup and you have an iced vanilla coffee.

Vanilla Bean Syrup Recipe 

(shared with permission by the author)

Bring to a simmer the following ingredients in a small saucepan:
  • 1 c. water
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 3 vanilla beans (split lengthwise and scraped) *
Cook until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and pour into 2 half-pint jars. Make sure to distribute the beans into each jar. You can refrigerate once cool or you can preserve it for your pantry she says. To do so, wipe the jar rims, apply lids and rings and process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath canner for a shelf stable syrup. Do make sure your jars have been sterilized first if you opt to can the syrup like I did.

* I get our vanilla beans on eBay from a French merchant as they are much more affordable this way.

Happy homemaking!

A Cabin Full of Food by Marie Beausoleil

All the fine print. This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The ScoopTitus 2 TuesdaysTuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersThe Homesteader HopWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadAwesome Life Friday Link UpFive Star Frou Frou Friday, and Shabbilicious Friday. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post may contain affiliate links (which are merchant links that help to support this site at no additional cost to you if you purchase an item through them). 


  1. I am a coffee lover, so the vanilla bean syrup looks like a wonderful thing to make, either for myself or as a gift. Thank you for sharing the recipe!
    Blessings, Leigh

  2. awesome! thanks for sharing this! perfect for coffee! I've made vanilla extract before and this seems easier than that so I'll definitely have to try!

    stop by and chat with me :) http://storybookapothecary.com

  3. Thank you and Marie for sharing this recipe. Do you have a link for the vanilla beans on EBay? I have quite a few I bought from a great source, but would like to have an option for another place to buy.
    Thanks again!
    Carol L.

    1. Hi Carol, here is the vendor link ~ http://www.ebay.com/usr/syriaxxx?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2754 ~ though I did notice the feedback wasn't perfect when I copied this link. I never had any problems with the people but felt I should warn you. Thanks for leaving a kind comment here today! :)

  4. I love your ideas here! And this quote is such a good one: Better a cabin full of food than a hungry castle. I've never heard it before!

  5. This looks really yummy!!
    I was just wondering where I could get vanilla beans, and seen you posted where you got yours.
    Thanks for sharing :)

  6. This is neat! I love the idea of old fashioned farm food!