Our Favorite Things… Spring Stems and Greenery

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This polar vortex is really grabbing a good portion of the country. Here is Central New York, we woke up to below zero temperatures with a wind chill factor of -24 degrees!

However, I’m focusing on what’s going on inside – a new shipment of beautiful spring stems and succulents!

Nothing chases the cold away like a room full of flowers and greenery. There’s no time like the present to bring the look into your house – whether fresh or faux. Plants and flowers bring warm and happy thoughts of spring and summer.

Here are a couple of my favorites:

Floral branches in white and green. I love a brimming vase of all white and green flowers. It’s so organic, elegant and feminine. Fill a vase and see what it does for a room – just lovely!

Creamy cabbage roses.

White peonies arranged in a rustic green metal can.

Faux Queen Anne’s Lace with ferns.

White and green floral stems ready and waiting for an afternoon of flower arranging.

A mantel decked out for spring with white and green.

Succulents and ferns. Both succulents and ferns are typically easy care options for fresh indoor plants. However, if you are really busy, faux is the way to go. Today’s faux greenery is gorgeous and hard to spot.

Faux succulent and boxwood spheres in various sizes and styles.

Faux succulents arrangements work perfectly on a interior stone wall. No watering required!

Potted ferns are always ready to go at the store. Tuck them in anywhere for a quick pop of green.

Greenery adds a pop of color to this black and white tablescape.

Options abound, so don’t let winter get you down… just bring in the green!

Easy Entrees – Cherry BBQ Pork Chops with Sauteed Baby Bok Choy

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cherry bbq pork chops - plate - cropped

Cherry BBQ Pork Chops are rich in flavor, thanks to Brownwood Farms Cherry BBQ sauce.  This item was a new addition to our store this fall and quickly became a family favorite.  It’s unique flavor is delicous on pork, chicken and salmon – plus it’s all natural, gluten-free and made in the USA.  What’s not to love?

brownwood-farms-cherry-bbq-sauce

Cherry BBQ Pork Chops with Sautéed Bok Choy is an easy and healthy entrée for any day of the week.

Recipe:

Oven Roasted Cherry BBQ Pork Chops with Sautéed Baby Bok Choy
4          Bone-in Pork Chops
1 Tbls  Grape seed or Canola Oil
Salt & Pepper
1 Btl     Brownwood Farms Cherry BBQ Sauce (you’ll need about ½ bottle)

Sautéed Baby Boy Choy
16 oz.     Baby Bok Choy, washed
½            White onion, sliced thin – vertically (optional)
2 Tsp      Grape seed Oil
1 Tbls     Brownwood Farms Cherry BBQ Sauce
1Tbls      Gluten-free Tamari or Soy Sauce
Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray baking sheet with cooking spray.

cherry bbq pork chops

Heat oil in an iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Season pork chops with salt & pepper on both sides.  Add to skillet – brown for 3 minutes.  Flip and brown the other size.  (You may have to cook the chops in two batches so you don’t over-crowd the pan.)

Transfer to a prepared baking sheet and brush with Brownwood Farms Cherry BBQ Sauce and bake for 15 minutes.  Flip the pork chops, heavily baste with the Cherry BBQ Sauce and roast for another 15-20 minutes, or until pork chops are cooked through (internal temp of about 145 degrees).  Cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.

cherry bbq pork chops 2

Prepare baby bok choy:  Heat skillet with 2 teaspoons of grape seed oil over medium heat.

baby bok choy

Add sliced onion (if using) and sauté for 4 minutes.  Add baby bok choy and sauté for 4 minutes.

baby bok choy 2

Add Cherry BBQ Sauce and Tamari Sauce.  Sauté for additional 3-5 minutes.

cherry bbq pork chops - plated

Serving suggestion:  Plate pork chops and baby bok choy with cauliflower rice or brown rice for a healthy meal.

Enjoy!

Interior Style… Layering with Vintage Art

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I’ve been very into using classic artwork in new ways. Using vintage doors, windows and architectural pieces layered with wreaths, greenery and art as wall decor opens so many styling opportunities.
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I had a print of a 1920’s Maxfield Parish piece that I loved put onto canvas.
maxfield parish art canvas closeup
Layering it over a pair of antique doors added color, dimension
and unique, eclectic style.
art - maxfield parish canvas

Easy Entertaining – Oven Roasted Bacon Wrapped Shrimp with Horseradish Sauce

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Oven Roasted Bacon Wrapped Shrimp with Horseradish Sauce

Whether you’re looking for an appetizer for a cocktail party or an impressive dinner for guests, these oven roasted bacon wrapped shrimp are delicious, quick and easy!

bacon wrapped shrimp 4 long cropped

Recipe:

1 lb      Jumbo Shrimp (peeled & deveined)
1 lb      Bacon

Horseradish Sauce
1 cup   Sour Cream
2 Tbls  Prepared Horseradish
1 Tbls Fresh Lemon Juice
Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray baking sheet with cooking spray.

Rinse shrimp with water and pat dry.  Cut bacon strips in half and wrap each shrimp in the bacon.  Place each shrimp seam side down on the baking sheet.

baon wrapped shrimp

Roast in oven for 15 – 18 minutes, or until bacon and shrimp are cooked through.

bacon wrapped shrimp 2

Transfer to a platter and serve as an appetizer with the horseradish sauce – or plate with sautéed spinach and rice for a delicious dinner.

bacon wrapped shrimp 3

Enjoy!

Our Favorite Things… Pottery Inspired by Nature

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florals and hydrangea leaf salad plate - better

It’s January in Central New York and I’m already dreaming about spring… Sunshine, fresh green foliage and flowers – I can’t wait!

In the meantime, there are so many ways to bring the outdoors in – including freshening up your tablescape.  Fresh flowers, centerpieces and seasonal linens are always an option to bring in natural elements, but how about your dinnerware?

pottery - hydrangea leaf plate display

This gorgeous Riviera pottery is designed by the famous French floral designer, Christian Tortu. The detailed design on these Hydrangea leaf salad plates are amazing.

pottery - white beaded with hydrangea leaf salad plate

Whether used in your tablescape, as appetizer plates for your spring gathering, or adorning a sidetable or night stand – they are sure to add a refreshing touch of nature.

pottery - white beaded platter bowl with laurel leaf plate

These petite Laurel Leaf plates are a perfect little dish for olives, condiments… plus how pretty would it be on a bedside tables and a little jewelry tray for rings and such?

pottery - hydrangea leaf salad plate

Simply to pretty to hide away – consider using them as art when not in use – hang them with plate hangers or display them on your mantel or buffet with an table top easel.  Stunning!

Prime Rib Salad with Butternut Squash and Honey Champagne Vinaigrette

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Warm up your salad options for fall with this satisfying salad filled with thinly sliced prime rib, roasted butternut squash, cranberries, goat cheese and a delicious and light honey vinaigrette.

This is the perfect recipe to use up your leftover prime rib or steak; or just pick up some thinly sliced prime rib/roast beef from your deli counter for a quick and healthy weeknight meal.

The stars of the vinaigrette are local honey and B.R. Cohn Champagne Vinegar, which create the perfect blend of acidity and sweetness.

Prime Rib Salad with Butternut Squash and Honey Champagne Vinaigrette

Prime Rib Salad with Butternut Squash and Honey Champagne Vinaigrette

1 Butternut squashed peeled and diced (or an 11oz package pre-diced)

1 Tbl. Olive oil or Avocado Oil

1/2 tsp. Kosher or Sea Salt

1/4 tsp. Freshly ground Black Pepper

6-8oz. Thinly sliced prime rib, steak or deli roast beef

1 pkg Mixed Greens or Baby Spinach

1/3 cup Dried Cranberries

1/3 cup Chopped Pecans

1 Small Shallot, thinly sliced (optional)

2 oz. Goat Cheese, crumbled

Honey Champagne Vinaigrette

1/3 cup Olive Oil (we use B.R. Cohn)*

1/3 cup B.R. Cohn Champagne Vinaigrette*

1/2 tsp Kosher or Sea Salt

1/4 tsp Freshly ground Black Pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange butternut squash on a baking sheet. Toss with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes (stirring once after 10 mins).

Prepare the vinaigrette by combining all in a magic bullet and blending; or hand whisk vigorously in a small bowl.

On a platter, or large salad bowl, arrange salad greens, butternut squash, cranberries, goat cheese and steak. Sprinkle over pecans and shallots. If serving immediately drizzle over vinaigrette. Or wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate salad until ready to serve.

Enjoy!

*B.R. Cohn Champagne Vinegar and Olive Oil can be found at a la Maison. For more information, or to order please call 315-440-6637.

70’s Colonial Redesign – Dining Room

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So excited to get to work on this 70’s colonial.  This house has great bones, a huge kitchen and a fantastic backyard… just needs a bit of updating to make it feel like home.

Since the first thing you see when you walk in the door is the dining room, so that was the first project to tackle.

Moccasin Path - Dining Room 2 before (2)

For instant gratification, a fresh paint job (walls in taupe-greige and ceiling in a soft gray-blue), a new area rug and window treatments were the answer.

Moccasin Path - Dining Room AFTER 4

To keep costs down, we elected to work with furniture that we already  owned with the exception of two new distressed leather upholstered chairs and a new chandelier.

Moccasin Path - Dining Room AFTER Chand Best

I love the rustic feel of this chandelier – almost looks barbed wire – with subtle lightly brushed gold accents.

I’ve been obsessed with these distressed leather-covered dining chairs since I got them in my store, and knew they would be a perfect replacement for the arm chairs at the head of the dining room table.

Moccasin Path - Dining Room AFTER leather chairs

This room was starting to remind me our of trips to California wine country and Sedona, AZ.

Luckily the dining room is huge, so I was able to include a special family heirloom – my grandparents piano, along with a couple of favorite Stickley pieces and a great accent chair.

Moccasin Path - Dining Room AFTER 2

All and all the room feels like home.  It’s warm and inviting and ready for guests, which is a good thing since our first family gathering is tonight!

 

Fall Tableware Finds… Costa Nova Pearl in Cocoa

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I am in love with Costa Nova’s Pearl dinnerware collection! I’ve been searching for quite a while, trying to find a replacement for an older beaded dinnerware pattern that I favored but just couldn’t anything that truly compared.

Costa Nova’s Pearl is a winner… It’s raised beaded-rim design is substantial, much more detailed the most beaded pottery, bringing elegance and great texture to any tablescape.

Although the white is stunning, I’m equally intrigued with the Cocoa. It’s soft brown/taupe is a perfect option for so many occasions, including the fall and winter holiday season. Paired with other seasonal pottery; or just a simple organic touch of boxwood, fall leaves, a fresh rosemary spring or a bit of evergreen creates a simple, organic and elegant place setting.

This dinnerware is a welcome addition to our store and our home as well. I know I’ll reach for this versatile pattern often!

Salad of the Week… GC Quinoa Tabbouleh

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A good friend of mine tells his kids, there are “GC’s and BC’s” – good choices and bad choices that you have the option to make every day.

This statement is true in so many areas of life, including what we choose to eat. Well, I have to say that this quinoa tabbouleh is a GC! A good choice full of healthy quinoa, vegetables and olive oil. It nourishes your body with antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins, fiber and protein.

Quick and easy, it was the Salad of the Week for me, and makes a light and healthy lunch that is ready and waiting in your frig.

Quinoa Tabbouleh

  • 1 cup Quinoa (cooked per package directions)
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher or Sea Salt
  • 1 One Seedless English Cucumber (cut into 1/2 pieces)
  • 1 Pint of cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup Chopped Flat Leaf Parsley
  • 1/4 cup Chopped Fresh Mint
  • 2 Scallions, sliced

Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 3 Tbl. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 Garlic Clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher or Sea Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Black Pepper

Prepare quinoa & 1/2 tsp salt per package instructions. Remove from heat and let stand covered for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Prepare the dressing by adding the lemon juice and garlic to a small mixing bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Season with the salt & pepper.

Add the quinoa, cucumber, tomatoes, parsley, mint and scallions

to a bowl. Toss together and then drizzle over the lemon vinaigrette. Gently toss again. Garnish with additional Parsley if serving immediately, or refrigerate and serve at your leisure.

Easy Entertaining… Turkey Mozzarella Meatballs Sliders with Blaak Tomato Jam

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As many of my customers know, one of my favorites new pantry items is Beekman 1802 Blaak Tomato Jam.

Turkey Mozz Meatballs with Blaak Tomato Jam 2

The unique combination of tomatoes, garlic, ginger, raisins and spices make it the perfect topping for my turkey mozzarella meatball sliders – and a nice change from traditional marinara sauce.  Try them for a easy and delicious appetizer option at your next event.

Turkey Mozz Meatballs with Blaak Tomato Jam 4

Turkey Mozzarella Meatballs Sliders with Blaak Tomato Jam

Ingredients
1 pound ground turkey
8 oz. fresh mozzarella Cheese – divided.
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup of finely diced sweet onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (plus extra for garnish – cut chiffonade)
½ teaspoon sea salt
Black pepper to taste
12 slider rolls
Fresh baby spinach leaves
Beekman 1802 Blaak Tomato Jam

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Prepare the mozzarella cheese by dividing it in half and shredding half and then slicing the remainder into 6 slices – then cut the 6 slices in half to make 12 pieces.  Set aside.

Add the ground turkey, the shredded mozzarella cheese, mustard, onion, basil, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl. Gently mix with hands – don’t overwork the meatball.  Form into 12 small 1/2-inch thick patties.

In a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil or avocado oil to the pan.  Gently place sliders into a pan and cook for 12 – 14 mins or until meat is cooked through. (flipping only once halfway through cooking time).

Turkey Mozz Meatballs with Blaak Tomato Jam 5

Transfer sliders to a baking dish and top each with a slice of the remaining mozzeralla cheese.  Bake in the oven for about 10 mins or until the cheese is melted.   Remove from oven and top each with a tablespoon of Beekman 1802 Blaak Tomato Jam and  fresh basil.

Serve with slider rolls, baby spinach leaves and extra Beekman 1802 Tomato Jam.

Turkey Mozz Meatballs with Blaak Tomato Jam 6

Turkey Mozz Meatballs with Blaak Tomato Jam 8 close up
Enjoy!

Michele