I have been on vacation this week. I have gone nowhere farther than downtown North Adams to pay some bills and I have done as little as possible. Since I work two jobs, I'm rarely home and being able to sleep late and stay home is a real treat.
One of my guilty pleasures is staying in my PJs and watching all the "junk" TV shows -- you know, the ones we all watch on the sly but will never admit it.
I love "The Steve Wilkos Show," especially when he goes ballistic on people who should never have had kids in the first place. Another favorite is "The Maury Show," which has led me to believe that 65 percent of all women have no clue who their "baby daddies" are. Ah, daytime TV at its finest.
My four-legged BFF, Sassy, and I have spent every afternoon, and sometimes an evening, at Button Beach, soaking up the rays and keeping cool.
Last week, as I stared at a package of hamburger, I decided I had reached that part of summer where I can't bear the thought of another burger on the grill. I started looking in my pantry for ways to change them up. The first thing I tried was adding a package of dry onion soup mix and shredded cheddar cheese to the hamburger. It was good, so this week I tried adding the same ingredients to ground turkey, and added a 1/2 cup or so of bread crumbs to help glue the turkey burgers together. It was a nice change.
I've made taco burgers by adding a package of dry taco seasoning to the hamburger and topping the burgers with slices of tomato and onion and pepper jack cheese. I've also experimented with making two thin patties and putting blue cheese on one, then topping it with the other patty and sealing the edges together. I also made a caprese burger in the same way -- a slice of fresh mozzarella between two thin patties and topped with fresh basil and tomato slices.
I've also experimented this week with recipes for fresh strawberry margaritas. Strawberries are so abundant right now, either buy one, get one in the markets or pick your own. I've narrowed it down to three Let me know which one you prefer!
Strawberry Margaritas 1
1 cup frozen whole strawberries
6 tablespoons tequila
1/4 cup frozen limeade concentrate
2 tablespoons triple sec
2 cups crushed ice
Place four 8-ounce glasses in freezer. Place strawberries, tequila, limeade concentrate and triple sec in the jar of a blender. Blend until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Add ice and blend until liquid is smooth. Serve immediately in chilled glasses.
Strawberry Margarita 2
2 cups crushed ice
1/2 cup pureed fresh strawberries
1 cup tequila
2 limes, juiced
Splash Triple Sec
Splash simple syrup (equal amounts sugar and water heated until sugar dissolves, then cooled)
Combine in a blender the ice, strawberry water, tequila, lime juice, Triple Sec and simple syrup. Puree until smooth. Pour into rocks glasses and serve.
Strawberry Margaritas 3
2 pints ripe strawberries
4 ripe limes, juiced
1 lime, wedged for rimming and garnish
8 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
ice cubes (2 trays)
12 fluid ounces tequila
coarse salt or sugar, to rim glasses
Reserve 4 strawberries with tops for garnish and split them. Clean, dry and trim remaining strawberries. Add all but the reserved strawberries to a blender. To that, add the lime juice, sugar, orange juice, ice cubes and tequila. Blend on high speed until the drink is icy but smooth. Rim glasses with lime juice and dip rim in salt or sugar and pour in the frozen strawberry lime drink.