Do you know what? I think vanilla bean is too expensive, which is too bad because I would love to experiment with vanilla bean recipes. Awhile ago, I went to the Spice House in Old Town and tried some of their 'vanilla sugar'. It was so yummy and aromatic but also about 10 bucks...way too much for this cheap girl. I thought, I could make that for WAY less! It looked like it was just made with sugar, vanilla bean and cinnamon (there was also a version with lavender). The problem is that some stores sell one vanilla bean for almost 10 bucks which is why I was so excited to find it at World Market for only 3 bucks!
So I made my own version of vanilla sugar by combining the seeds of one vanilla bean, sugar and cinnamon and ground them all up together in my mini food processor. I have used it so much since I made it...on toast, bagels, in my coffee, in pancake batter, to sweeten whipped cream and to make homemade granola.