While there are plenty of things at which I excel, one of the things that I’m not so good at is keeping a tidy and well-organized house. I struggle with day-to-day chores like vacuuming, dusting and keeping toys picked up and counters wiped off. It’s just not my thing. I envy people for whom this comes naturally – like my cousin. Her house is always spotless, and her kids’ toys are neatly organized and stowed away in color-coordinated bins. I’m working on it,. but I’m not there yet.My most recent foray into home organization can be seen above. I got tired of everyone coming home (me included) and leaving their jackets draped across the backs of dining room chairs and kitchen stools, bags sitting on counters or floors and shoes strewn about the house. I thought if we had a place by the front door where we could remove our shoes and hang our jackets and bags it would be a step in the right direction. For the last year or so, I’ve been looking for photos of mudrooms and entryways, and when I found something I liked, I would add it to one of my pinterest pin boards. My goal was to try to recreate these ideas at home on a very restricted budget. I finally managed to do this for under $150, and so far it seems to be working.
Now I just have to get to work on organizing the rest of the house. And keeping up with the laundry. Which is never ending. Just thinking about all of it is exhausting.
Yesterday, after a morning of house cleaning – which really just entailed me locking myself in my bedroom for four or five hours and filling trash bags with junk and removing every bit of stuff from all of the flat surfaces and thoroughly dusting each and every bit of furniture (including the bookshelves and the books), and vacuuming under the bed, dresser and side tables – I emerged with my lungs full of dust and a hankering for something a little indulgent (as you do).
I settled on Tiramisu, which in Italian means “pick me up.” It seemed appropriate after a long morning of terrible housework, plus I knew it would be a hit at a neighborhood get together that evening. Espresso-soaked lady fingers, layered with a rich combination of zabaglione and mascarpone – what’s not to love?
prep time: 20 minutes
cook time: 8-10 minutes
rest time: 2-4 hours
yields: 10-12 servings
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup plus 4 tablespoons honey granules (can use granulated sugar)
- 4 tablespoons Marsala wine
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 lb. mascarpone cheese
- 2 7 oz. packages lady fingers
- 2 cups brewed espresso
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
Begin by making the zabaglione. Combine 5 egg yolks and 1/4 cup of honey granules in the top part of a double boiler. Using a hand-held mixer, beat on high speed until light in color and foamy. Bring water to a boil in the bottom part of the double boiler then reduce to a simmer. Add the marsala wine to the egg yolk mixter and place over the simmering water. Continue to beat on high speed until it has thickened and increased in volume – it should form soft mounts. Removed from the heat, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cream, mascarpone and 2 tablespoons of honey granules. Beat on high using the whisk attachment until light and fluffy. Once the zabaglione has cooled, fold it into the mascarpone mixture.
For the espresso mixture, take two cups cooled espresso, add 2 tablespoons honey granules and 1 tablespoon of vanilla. In a glass trifle or baking dish, assemble the Tiramisu. Begin by dipping one side of each lady finger into the espresso mixture and then laying them in the bottom of the dish. Once you’ve covered the bottom, pour 1/4 of the mascarpone/zabaglione mixture over the ladyfingers and spread it out to cover them. Sprinkle this with a dusting of cocoa powder, and repeat three more times (ladyfingers, espresso, mascarpone, cocoa).
This was the perfect little pick me up yesterday – the strong espresso plays perfectly against the rich, creamy mascarpone and the eggy zabaglione. Paired with a hot cup of coffee or a bit of freshly brewed espresso, it’ll keep you going for hours.