Bathroom Reno Sneak Peek

After months of talking about it, we finally started working on the guest bathroom on the main level. It's hard to believe how much it was transformed in just one day. Just a couple more pieces to add and we'll be ready for the big reveal! It has become my favorite room in the house. The beachy feel makes me feel like I'm on vacation.  

Here is how it looked during prep. The previous owners painted the walls a pale purple. It was awful. We removed the large mirror that hung above the sink. Oh, and the sink. Here we are pretending to see what it will look like with tiles on the counter.

We thought about putting in a pedestal sink, but after drilling a hole in the floor of the vanity, we discovered linoleum underneath. Truthfully, I was looking forward to painting and distressing the vanity myself.

Mr. Vanilla Bean took care of all the tiling...leaving me with the painting. 


Here is a close up of the finished product, along with some beachy decor. All we need is a black mirror and some knobs and it's done. Stay tuned!




Seared Jumbo Scallops with a Champagne-Vanilla Butter Sauce

I’ll be the first to admit, I didn’t do much during the week I took off between Christmas and New Year’s. I tossed around words like painting, organizing and cleaning. Unfortunatley, due to Soapnet’s impressive all-day line-up of 90210, The OC, One Tree Hill, and a little more 90210, I didn’t get much accomplished. If I hadn’t been glued to the couch, however, I would not have stumbled upon this recipe.

Just prior to NYE, Emeril presented a champagne-inspired menu. This recipe combined my love of champagne, my namesake, and my recent craving for scallops. Don’t let the idea of vanilla and seafood put you off. These scallops were like candy. They melted in your mouth.

Seared Jumbo Scallops with a Champagne-Vanilla Butter Sauce
From Emeril Lagasse
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 cup dry brut Champagne
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup (2 sticks), cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces, plus 1 tablespoon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
12 jumbo sea scallops, cleaned
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

In a medium saucepan combine the shallots, Champagne, and vanilla bean pod and seeds and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the mixture is almost completely reduced, about 7 minutes. Add the cream, bring to a boil, and reduce by half, about 3 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and little by little whisk in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, adding each piece before the previous one has completely incorporated. Remove the pan from the heat periodically to prevent the sauce from getting too hot and breaking. Continue until the entire cup of butter pieces has been added and the sauce coats the back of a spoon.

Season the sauce with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the white pepper. Remove the vanilla bean pod and keep the sauce warm until ready to serve.

Season the scallops on all sides with the remaining salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large, 12-inch saute pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the scallops and sear for 2 minutes. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the pan and allow the scallops to cook for another minute. Turn the scallops over and cook for an additional 3 minutes.

To serve, place 3 scallops on each of 4 entree plates and spoon the Champagne-Vanilla butter sauce around them. Garnish with fresh chives and serve immediately.