Wednesday, July 29, 2009

BAD Blogger

I'm not talking about "Blogger," either. I'm talking about ME! It's been two weeks since I last sat down and blogged! Summer is a busy time.

Let's see what I've been up to over the last two weeks. I threw a birthday party for my friend Suzanne, which was a lot of fun. It was a somewhat different bunch of ladies than usual, and some I haven't seen in a LONG time, so we had a great time catching up. I set the table up on the side of the house with the view of the field, instead of out back, and everybody ended up staying until about 11am out by the fire. Good times!

I've been meaning to share the MOST AMAZING turkey burger recipe with y'all since I made them for my OWN birthday party in June. I served them for this last party, too, and they were a big hit yet again. The chutney for the top is a total necessity--it brings the whole thing together. Serve them on fresh baked focaccia bread, and your guests will rave! It's the recipe from Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort. I'm going to copy it here so that just in case they take it off their website someday, it'll still be here in my archives:

Mar-a-Lago Turkey Burger

Turkey burger
Oprah found a new favorite food when she tried this turkey burger at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump's private club in Palm Beach. "I believe [it] may be the best turkey burger in the entire world," she says. The Mar-a-Lago Turkey Burger will be permanently available at the Trump Bar and Grille in Trump Tower in New York City, open to the public for lunch and dinner. It will also be served during lunch in Chicago at Sixteen, the Trump International Hotel restaurant.

Serves 6

  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 3 Granny Smith apples , peeled and diced
  • 1/8 cup canola oil
  • 4 pounds ground turkey breast
  • 2 Tbsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. Tabasco® chipotle pepper sauce
  • 1 lemon , juiced and grated zest
  • 1/2 bunch parsley , finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Major Grey's Chutney , pureed
Sauté the scallions, celery and apples in the canola oil until tender. Let cool.

Place the ground turkey in a large mixing bowl. Add sautéed items and the remaining ingredients. Shape into eight 8-ounce burgers. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Season the turkey burgers with salt and pepper. Place on a preheated, lightly oiled grill. Grill each side for 7 minutes until meat is thoroughly cooked. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Serve with a side of Mar-a-Lago Pear Chutney and your favorite toasted bread, pita or hamburger roll.
The recipe for the pear chutney is here:
Mar-a-Lago Pear Chutney

Mar-a-Lago Pear Chutney
This pear chutney topping is the key to giving the Mar-a-Lago Turkey Burger that extra zing.

Serves 6

  • 1 Anjour pear , peeled and diced
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups Major Grey's Chutney
  • 1/4 cup dried currants or raisins
Preheat oven to 350°.

Toss the diced pears with the cinnamon and salt. Bake on a parchment-lined cookie sheet for 10 minutes.

Cool and mix with the chutney and currants or raisins.
Let's see....I've been tubing down the Battenkill River with friends, sewing a TON of window treatments for a big job, getting the house ready for more guests, (another big party this weekend--family coming--there will be 25+ guests, I think), going to other peoples' summer parties, swimming at my sister's house in her awesome heated pool, and working on a couple more house projects--you HAVE to do house projects just days before guests arrive! It's mandatory! My sister Ann and her family are coming up from Florida, and they haven't seen my house yet!
I'll post pictures of the projects after I finish them. Hey, I have three days left. No problemo! :-/

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Another Slipcover and a Bedroom Makeover

Kathleen is finally home from Indianapolis, and I actually managed to get her room finished before she returned! I whipped up this slipcover the night before she got home, while watching "Ghost Whisperer" (pretty good show!) and "Numbers."
I got the little pleated skirt idea from a picture that Linda at Lime in the Coconut posted last week of a sofa with a pleated skirt. I was inspired!
And here is the built-in bed! She LOVES it! There is a TON of storage behind those wrinkled linen curtains! ;)
Little window seat:
I took this picture from the window seat:
(her desk chair is in my sewing room...oops!)
She has the best view in the house!
Duvet cover is from IKEA. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE that store?!

Her map of Mid-town Manhattan! Hee!
I'm thinking I should make a little skirt for that window seat cubby:
I did a ton of yard work today--dinner party coming up on Wednesday--so I may have some yard/garden shots for you in a few days. Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Top Secret Bed Project

Since Kathleen is in Indiana (and never reads my blog), I thought I'd share with you all a little project we've been working on in her absence.
Bye Bye to the old bed I painted just for my little baby-girl (with castles, and her and her cat)....

And hello to a new built-in bed built by BF, and painted by me! :)
I had a basic design in mind, but thank God BF knows what he's doing. I would have cobbed that thing together SO He did an amazing job.
The shelf at the end is for her TV. I know, she shouldn't have a TV in her room. Whatev.
She's a good kid!
The shelf at the back was BF's idea, and it's genius! I was just going to have her mattress floating around up there on 48" of plywood. Now she has a place for books, and drinks, and her clock and whatnot. And look at all that storage underneath! I hadn't considered what I would put on the sides of the cubbies to keep it from being naked 2 x 4's, but we found the 1/8" hardboard sheathing, and it works perfectly! I'm thinking little curtains on tension rods in each section will keep the whole thing looking neat. Then she can put whatever she wants under there and we won't have to look at it! :)
Here it is with one coat of wet paint. You're going to have to wait until I get her room put back together for REAL after pics.
Oh, and LOOK! Tiny little turkeys in my yard! Aren't they adorable?!
And last but not least, we had a lovely time at my friends Georgia and Dan's house on the 4th. They had lots of fireworks and put on quite a show. I couldn't believe my camera actually had a fireworks setting! Not bad, eh?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


Ok. First things first. I took Kathleen over to Pittsfield to the Barrington Stage Company to see Carousel last weekend. What an amazing production! The acting was great, and the singing even better. I was enthralled! (So was Kathleen!) The show runs through July 11, so if you're looking for something to do, and you enjoy musicals, this show is for you!
Click HERE to go to the website for details.
Second, my sister Ann gave me this awesome little hand woven purse (with a bee!) for my birthday. Isn't it the cutest thing EVER? It's just big enough for my phone, credit cards, cash, Dr. Pepper Lipsmacker, and of course--a fabric swatch! I love it!
So...the other day I started digging a hole for my new dogwood tree. I got about 6" down, and look what I found!
Seriously! I almost broke my back getting that thing out of there!
....and it fits just right! I've since added another smaller stone as another step-down from that large one. Not a bad cover-up for that crumbling cement, eh? Painting those steps is also on my list of things to do before winter comes again. I need to use sanded paint--those steps got SLIPPERY last winter.
It's been a busy week. Kathleen finished up her last week of school, and had a graduation ceremony for moving up day. Next year she's going to be in the high school! Where does the time go? Anywho....she gave a speech, sang a solo, got four awards for excellence and citizenship in four different subjects and an overall award for being on the honor roll for every quarter of her three years at the middle school. Not too shabby! I'm such a proud momma!
Her friends Riley and Emily had a birthday party, and made their friends dress up as different characters. Kathleen was assigned Britney Spears. (She's second from the right.) Not bad, eh? Cracks me right up. All these kids do. They are so game for silly stuff--I hope they stay that way for a LONG time. (Click to enlarge.)
Finally, just this past Saturday, Kathleen and Madeline (my niece) played in their piano recital. That's Madeline below. Her dress was gorgeous, and she played great!
...and here is my lovely Kathleen. She had only had four lessons, but managed to pull off Edelweiss with chords on the left hand, melody on the right. We didn't think she was going to be in town for the recital, so it was a nice surprise that she was still around and could play.
The girls. :)

Madeline's gettin' so big! *sigh*

So...Kathleen is off to Indiana for two weeks with friends, and I'm stuck home working my tush off getting window treatments done for customers. Hey, SOMEbody has to bring home the bacon, right? When Kathleen comes home, she'll be going to a drama camp for a week (day camp), where they will put on a production of "Into the Woods" after a week of rehearsals. She's excited, and so am I! I can't get over her voice. She keeps surprising me every day.

I'll be back soon, hopefully with pictures of the window treatments I'll be cranking out.
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