Sunday, November 29, 2015

Turkey with a twist...

... or a roll! Most years we cook up a turkey on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, mainly so we can have a few  leftover sandwiches the following week. We've been cooking boneless, stuffed turkey breast roulades for several years now. This year we stuffed our roulade with baby spinach leaves, and a stuffing made with the usual onions and celery, but also added in turkey sausage, fresh chopped parsley, dried apricots, and whole pecans. When the turkey roulade is cooked and sliced, the result is a colorful, succulent, mosaic of turkey and stuffing goodness. Here's how we make it:

The toughest part of making this roulade is removing the bone from the turkey (not for the faint of heart). If you aren't up for it, perhaps you can sweet talk your butcher into doing it. It's job security for them, right? After you wrangle your turkey, butterfly the meat out flat, season with salt and black pepper, stuff it with whatever stuffing you wish. We like adding this layer of green spinach leaves before adding the stuffing in. 

Carefully roll the turkey, then tie the roulade with kitchen twine at at least three sections so the roulade doesn't explode. We also add trips of bacon to keep Tom Turkey moist (I know, right?!), but you can skip this part if you wish. Then just pop that bad boy in a toasty 350° oven for about an hour and a half until the inside reaches a temp of 160° with a meat thermometer. If you wanted to cook this for Thanksgiving, all of this prepping and stuffing business can be done the day before. Nice, neat and easy-peasy.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Currently coveting—a bit of Iris!

How's this for a dream gift? This year—as part of Neiman Marcus's fantasy gift offerings—you can purchase a little bit of Iris Apfel's unique, unparalleled, and indomitable style. The Iris Apfel Trunk is a treasure trove of jewels and other accessories.

This giant red lacquered steamer trunk with myriad pull-out drawers has been stuffed to the gills with global, girly goodies, including necklaces, bracelets, belts, handbags, scarves and well... Iris style! There are over 200 pieces—antique vintage and newly made—that have each been chosen by Iris herself to represent her crazy awesome s-t-y-l-e. The pieces are all handcrafted by women in places such as Nepal, Turkey, India, Afghanistan, Tibet, Haiti, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Rwanda, and beyond. The fantasy trunk gift includes a personal styling session and lunch with Apfel at the Neiman Marcus flagship store in downtown NYC. (OMG... what would you wear?!) Iris is one of my favorite fashion icons, and is still rocking it at age 94. I would love to know if she and Tony Doucette ever hung out together. Seriously. They both pulled off  the "More is More" thing quite fabulously. Tempted? Watch the video here. Oh, and this little trunk will only set you back  $80,000. A girl can dream, can't she?

Friday, November 6, 2015

Crane Estate art show & sale—2015

This coming weekend is the Trustees of Reservations annual juried Crane Estate art show & sale! It's a nice chance to visit and view "... art highlighting the beauty of North Shore's landscapes and landmarks." I have 5 paintings in the show this year. The smaller ones are priced lower (think Christmas prezzies!).

The show is free and open to the public from 10AM to 4PM Saturday and Sunday. Also, there is a preview party Friday night (tonight!) from 7 to 10 PM, and the ticket price includes an open bar, catered hors d'oeuvres, and live music. They throw a good bash, so hope to see you there. 

Even without the awesome art show, the Crane Estate is beautiful to visit this time of year, magically perched on a hillside that overlooks the Atlantic ocean. The kids can run wild and the adults can pop inside to see the paintings, then you can take a long walk on Crane's Beach, or stop into Russell Orchards on the way home for some apples or cider donuts. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Color inspiration—Scottish heather

This is one of my favorite photos that we snapped in the Isle of Skye during our recent two-week spin around the Scottish countryside. (Hi Sheep!) What a beautiful country. The hillsides weren't just speckled with heath and heather plants—they were magnificently swathed in it. Although we have a small patchwork of a heath and heather garden in the front of our house, it's not quite this colored heather, which I seriously covet.

I sway towards these purply-mauve colors in my garden anyhow. Below is one of my flower borders in the spring, with alliums in full bloom, and two species of irises that are not too far behind and ready to bloom. This fall I planted heaps of mauve colored tulips in this flower border, so next spring it will be a symphony of mauve and purple colors, which—I hope—will remind me of this particular spot in Scotland... minus the sheep.

To see more colors, click on the red "color inspirationlabel below.