Monday, May 14, 2012

summer to-do list

Photobucket
via Pinterest

Do you remember the feeling of the last day of school before summer vacation? It seemed that the sun was always shining brightly on that last day of school, setting the tone for the coming months of freedom. 

Summer is a season filled with memories--family vacations, trips to visit family on the East Coast, camping, tootsie roll pops after swimming lessons, soccer camp, building forts at Davis Creek, summer camp at Hume Lake and Scholarship Camp near the Redwoods, Vacation Bible School...

I remember one summer that my mom put together a whole plan for our summer break. The first day of summer vacation she gave my sisters and I scrapbooks and little cameras to record all of our adventures for the summer. We each planted a flower box in the back yard, and I have a whole page full of photos charting the progress of my flower box throughout the summer. We spent a lot of time at Davis Creek, and I pressed some of the wild roses (I loved them because they were so fragrant) and put those into my book. Apparently my 10 year old self thought that pretty much everything that we did was "neat, and fun, too." 

I just looked through my book and realized that was the summer that my mom was pregnant with my brother--how smart of her to keep us so occupied with so many projects all summer. I'm sure that summer wasn't very much fun for my mom, but she made it one with some of my fondest memories (none of which include welcoming my brother into our home...).

Anyway, I intended this to be a short post with a list of things that I would like to do over the course of this summer, and it turned into a nice little stroll down memory lane. So, here are some of the things we're going to do this summer:

  1. Go to a horse race at Del Mar
  2. Take Chloe to the beach
  3. Hiking in Laguna Canyon
  4. Make homemade marshmallows (and graham crackers) for s'mores
  5. Take a ballet class
  6. Take some golf lessons
  7. Venice Beach
  8. Weekend in Palm Springs
  9. Go to a few baseball games (1)(2)
  10. Go to at least one concert in the park
  11. Check out a new museum
  12. Take the train down to San Diego for a baseball game
  13. Picnic in the park
  14. Go to the OC Fair
What are you going to be up to this summer?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

home tour: the guest room

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Admittedly, our guest room is not very exciting. It is a hodge podge of furniture that has been given to us by family members and items that we had on our own before we got married (2 mismatched lamps, television, duvet). We desperately need to replace the blinds in this room (I would like to put the same blinds that we have in the kitchen and living room throughout the house). I would love to make this a nice place for our guests to stay, but I have to admit that this room is pretty low on our priority list due to the fact that one day (in the future) it will be a baby nursery.

Here is our to-do list for this room:
  • Bamboo blinds
  • Blackout curtains
  • New bedspread
  • Renovate or replace dresser
  • Hook up cable
  • Wall-mounted flat screen TV
  • Matching lamps
  • Paint bed and night stands???
  • Bedside rugs
  • Art
  • Hangers for closet
  • Fitted sheet to cover box springs
  • Paint door
  • Paint trim
  • Lighting
  • Fix bottom drawer in night stand

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

turkey burgers

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This recipe is from a cookbook that my mother gave to me years ago. I love it, but I have to admit that I've only made a few things from it. I should definitely change that because so far I have loved the recipes that I've actually tried. The cookbook is Gourmet Meals in Minutes from The Culinary Institute of America.

These burgers are absolutely delicious and so easy--a great meal to add into your summer meal rotation. Because there are only two of us, I typically make the full recipe and throw half of them into the freezer to be used in the future.

Turkey Burgers
Makes 8 Servings

  • 2 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 2 garlic cloves,  minced
  • 1/2 t. salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 2 T. parsley, chives, or basil, chopped (I usually use a mix of parsley and basil)
  • 2 t. vegetable oil
  • 8 slices provolone or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 8 whole grain hamburger buns, toasted
  • Garnishes (whatever you like on your burger!)
Preheat the grill. Gently blend the ground turkey with the garlic, salt, pepper, and herbs. Shape into 8 patties and chill in the refrigerator until the grill is very hot.

Brush the grill rods with the oil. Grill the turkey burgers on the first side until browned, about 5 minutes. Carefully flip the burgers over, and grill on the second side until browned and cooked through, another 5 minutes. Top with the cheese during the final 2-3 minutes of grilling.

Serve the burgers on the toasted buns, topped with garnishes of your choice. We like avocado, romaine lettuce, ketchup, and whole grain mustard.