Sunday, June 01, 2008

Bathroom Blues

I'm sitting on my bathroom floor, enjoying the Sunday morning sun and my freshly-painted walls. The end of the story is a happy one - I really like the wall color, but when I first started, I was very worried. After the first few strokes of the brush, I thought, "Oh, I've made a big mistake!" Fortunately, the paint is very different when it is dried. And I am amazed at how much my experience of it changed when the blue painter's tape was taken down. A completely different and much softer experience. I was looking for a little color in my house (we have ubiquitous ivory walls). With a big sigh of relief, I love the color - Benjamin Moore Waterfall. By the way, I highly recommend the Benjamin Moore Aura paints. They are water-based and very low VOC levels. A little pricey, but for me, very worth it. I get really bad headaches from regular paint fumes.

Onto other domestic topics today. The DH and I shared dinner here last evening with a new pair of friends. We enjoyed the garden and had New Mexican enchiladas. For dessert, I made a recipe from the current edition of Tea Time magazine. I don't have photos of that, but here are the strawberries (from my garden) that I used.

I did a trial run of the recipe earlier in the week, and wasn't pleased with it. The custard sauce was too clumpy thick and I didn't have any Marsala (and didn't want to buy some just for this), so below is the recipe with my alterations noted.

Zabaglione with Raspberries and Pound Cake
1 prepared (10.75 oz) butter pound cake
2 1/2 cups fresh raspberries (I used blueberries and strawberries)
2 tablespoons sugar (I didn't use this)
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice (I didn't use this)
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest (I didn't use this)
3 egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons Marsala (I replaced this with 1 tsp Vanilla and the rest in water)
2 tablespoons milk (the recipe didn't call for this, but my trial run showed it was needed)
Garnish: fresh mint sprigs
Makes 4 - 6 servings

1. Thaw cake, according to directions.
2. Cut the cake into uniform slices. Place into serving dishes.
3. In a small bowl, toss the raspberries with sugar, lemon juice and zest to coat evenly; set aside. (I skipped this step and just used fresh berries. I don't think they need the extra sugar.)
4. In the top half of a double boiler, combine the egg yolks, sugar, and Marsala. Whisk together until mixture has doubled in volume and is thick and shiny. Spoon the warm custard over the cake and top with the prepared berries. Garnish with mint and serve immediately.
My note: Cook over medium-low heat. If the heat is too high, the custard sets up too quickly and gets clumpy.


Jason said...

Speaking as one of the "New pair of Friends", I can say the dessert was delicious. Thanks for all of your hard work. It was a wonderful dinner, and evening, with you and your DH!

Tea Party Girl said...

Steph! Great color choice!! One more item to add to our things in common. The color is almost exactly what I painted my bedroom in.


Amanda said...

The New Mexican enchiladas were fabulous...I forgot to ask for the recipe. Thanks again for a wonderful evening!

Rosemary said...

Love the photo with the fresh strawberries in the red rimmed colander sitting on the berry cloth. Such fun!

MEP said...

Love the color of the bathroom and your lovely tablecloth.

I have a gardening question for you. My mom is growing strawberries this year, but the squirrels are eating them all. Any tips?

Steph said...

MEP - I have the same problem with the birds! It's so frustrating - they leave them half eaten!

A couple of options - you can try the old trick of tying aluminum pie pans in the strawberry patch. The motion/reflection may help deter the squirrels. Alternately, your Mom can buy this mesh cloth stuff to put over the berries. It lets light through but prevents critters from getting in. A garden store would know what to suggest. Good luck to her!

Frivolitea said...

Love the bathroom color!

sweetcakes said...

I love the color. It reminds me of the color I used to have in my living room.

VeeTea said...

I, too, am glad to see more low VOC products out there, even if they are more expensive. There was an interesting program on NPR a while back about greening the hospital industry and the importance of low VOC paints and lower off-gassing in furniture, etc. for the comfort of patients (and staff!).

The color looks lovely. :)

Anselm said...

After a week of work, it really feels satisfying to relax on Sundays! Yes, there are some instances that wet paint and dried paint look differently. And the best thing that you did was to use water-based paint. You did yourself and the environment a big favor by using an earth friendly paint. Good Job!

-Anselm Armando

William Gulliver said...

Your bathroom looks refreshing (and those strawberries too)! Well, the color you used is really a perfect color for a bathroom. It makes the area cool and invigorating. Was that pinstriped cloth your shower curtain? Hmm, you really have good taste, huh? ;) That’s really nice, Steph!