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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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Enjoy!

Michele

Our Favorites Things… Recycled Candleholders

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Who wouldn’t love one of the beautiful new Mesa candles from PADDYWAX?  From the great southwestern inspired pottery to the soothing array of scent blends, they make a perfect gift option.

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However, these pretty little vessels have another purpose and will long outlive the candle within them.  Once the candles are gone, these pottery pieces are designed to be a stackable cream and sugar set.

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I just love multi-purpose products for the home!  Not a coffee drinker?   These pottery pieces would be great for sauces, condiments, etc.

No need to limit them to a life in the kitchen… How about a little greenery?… I can see them holding pretty little succulents arrangements as well!

 

New Life for Tired Flowers

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One of the easiest ways to breath a little life into a fresh cut flower arrangement that’s starting to fade is a fresh water and a snip of the stems.
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Look over the flowers and discard any that are truly past their prime (limp or browning petals, etc). Working with the flowers that have potential, remove them from the vase so you can thoroughly rinse out the vase and add fresh water.

Because you’ll probably working with less flowers/greenery, now is the perfect time to get creative and re-arrange the stems to create a totally new arrangement. Many times, I’ll opt for a trio of smaller vases to create a little floral vignette for a new centerpiece or accent to a tray.

Select the vases or vessels you’ll be working with and clip the stems at an angle to the appropriate high for the vase and style of arrangement you wish to create.

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If desired, add fresh greenery (I’ve just mixed in a bit of lilac greenery that I slipped from the yard) and embellish with ribbon if desired.

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Quick and easy updates that will prolong the life of your flowers!

Easy Entertaining… Blackberry Basil Simple Syrup

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When creating the menu for a recent gathering at our shoppe, I wanted a refreshing  non-alcoholic beverage option.  Something special and pretty that would appeal to the guests coming to celebrate the opening of à la Maison’s newly expanded showroom.

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One of the prettiest cocktail ingredients I count on is Blackberry Basil Simple Syrup.  Easy to make and quite versatile, you can take it in any direction you’d like… an elegant non-alcoholic spritzer , a pretty kiddie cocktail, or a delicious vodka blackberry basil spitzer.

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Just a few simple ingredients – fresh blackberries, fresh basil and sugar simmered in pure water creates this unique and fruity twist on simple syrup.  It’s a quick and easy option to prep ahead of your next event.

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Blackberry Basil Simple Syrup

  • 4 cups fresh blackberries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cup water
  • ¼ cup of fresh basil leaves

Add ingredients to a medium sized pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and boil for 15-20.  Stirring occasionally.  Cool Completely.  Pour through a fine strainer and store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for about a week.

Now your ready to put your new Blackberry Basil Simply Syrup to good use!  With or without alcohol, it’s a fruity and refreshing choice

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Blackberry Basil Vodka Spritzer

  • 2 tbl blackberry simply syrup
  • 1 tbl triple sec
  • 1 shot of vodka
  • 1/2 cup seltzer water
  • Fresh Basil and blackberries to garnish

Blackberry basil simple syrup, triple sec and vodka to a shaker with ice.  Shake then pour into a glass, top with seltzer water and garnish with fresh basil & blackberries.

Blackberry Basil Spritzer Mocktail

  • Seltzer Water
  • Blackberry Basil Simple Syrup
  • Fresh Basil and blackberries to garnish

Fill goblet with ice, top with a fresh blackberry and sprig of basil.  Fill glass with seltzer water, then top with Blackberry Basil Simply Syrup to taste.

Enjoy!

Quick Styling for a Wooden Tray

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Wooden Tray are not only useful, but also a great staging tool.  Here are some quick and easy styling tips to dress them up…

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1) Think in odd numbers – Three decorative items are perfect. 2) Pick items that are different heights. 3) Add something green – plants & succulents are very popular right now and will add an organic element to the room.

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Your newly styled tray will look great on a cocktail table, buffet, or dresser!

 

Dining Room Redesign

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The main objective with the redesign/staging of this dining room was to lighten and freshen the space while working with the furniture that was already there.

The first order of business was selecting a new color palette of taupe for the walls, a pale blue for the ceiling and crisp white trim.  Replacing the ceiling medallion and painting it the same color as the ceiling was a quick and inexpensive way to add some overhead detail.

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The furniture needed to stay so the goal here was to minimize the heavy, dark and dated feel it brought to the room.  By simply removing the hutch top and working with just the buffet (which we found was plenty of space once all the clutter and used items were removed), and covering the side chairs with neutral cotton chair covers did the trick.

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Removing the hutch allowed us more wall space which was the perfect location for a great architectural feature – a pair of antique armoire doors.

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Some art and a bit of greenery for an organic touch and this room is complete!

 

 

 

Our Favorite Things… A Great Bench

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You just can’t beat the versatility of a great bench.

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Here is one of my favorites… So many options with this new bench. Measuring a generous 76″ long, it makes the perfect window seat or  mudroom bench.  Also perfect for dining table seating… especially in a tight space.  Consider a bench for a beautiful and useful piece to place at the foot of a bed.
 
Crafted from 100% solid oak, featuring a carved trestle base finished in a smooth tobacco finish, this bench easily fits into traditional, farmhouse, cottage or even modern decor.

Easy Entertaining… Bacon Wrapped Pineapple with Kentuckyaki Sauce

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It all started with the pineapple I had on the counter.  It was ripe, ready to eat and I had friends stopping by for a glass of wine.  I needed a quick appetizer, and always have bacon on hand – everyone knows that salty and sweet are match made in heaven so I whipped up batch of Bacon Wrapped Pineapple.

I wanted a bit more flavor so I reached for one of my favorite sauces – Bourbon Barrel Foods Kentuckyaki.  This all-natural sauce is sweetened with sorghum syrup and flavored with garlic and ginger – what’s not too love?  The tough question was – which one?  Traditional Kentuckyaki or Hot & Spicy?  I opted for both… so half the appetizers were drizzled with Traditional Kentuckyaki and other half in Hot & Spicy.  My guests unanimously agreed – both were delicious!

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Bacon Wrapped Pineapple with Kentuckyaki Sauce

1 lb. Applewood Smoked Bacon
1 Fresh Pineapple, cored, sliced and cut into 20 3/4-1″ chunks
Bourbon Barrel Foods Kentuckyaki Sauce*

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut bacon strips in half so you get two pieces per strip. Wrap each half-strip of bacon around a pineapple chunk, and hold in place with toothpick. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes.  Once bacon is cooked through, immediately drizzle with Kentuckyaki Sauce while pineapple is still hot.  Move to a serving platter.  Serve warm.

Enjoy!

*Bourbon Barrel Foods Kentuckyaki Sauces are available at a la Maison.  To order call 315-440-6637.  You can also substitute Tamari Sauce.

Our Favorite Things… Blue and White Pottery

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Blue and white pottery has long been a tasteful and timeless home decor and dinnerware choice of both homemakers and interior stylists alike.

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Although I still love the classic blue and white patterns (think Blue Willow, South Hampton, the gorgeous french and Italian patterns), I’m also loving the fun new patterns that are available today.

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The best thing about blue and white style is the more, the merrier!  Whether in my store displays or at home, it’s the perfect “mix and match” choice to create fresh and fun tablescapes and vignettes.

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At the table, blue and white pottery just feels like summer.  I see this place setting for a beautiful summer barbecue.  Add red accents and you’ve got a great nautical look… go for yellow accents to add a touch of southern french style.

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Adding a touch of blue and white pottery filled with greenery or flowers to a shelf or china hutch to an organic touch and pop of color.

Whether you prefer traditional, contemporary, farmhouse or coastal cottage decor, blue and white pottery would be a smart design choice and look right at home!