Easy Entertaining, Family Rooms & Great Rooms, Furniture & Accessories, Interior Design, Interior Styling, Living Beautifully

New Lake House… Family-friendly Great Room

When our homeowners were designing their new custom-built lake-front home, they had family and friends in mind.  Spaces were well thought-out, including the great room, where they would spend most of their leisure time with their two small children.

Cross Lake House - main floor view from kitchen 2 prof
Located right off the kitchen, this great room is convenient for large family gatherings.
Cross Lake House - main floor from great room view prof
This family-friendly sofa, purchased by the homeowners, was the start of a super-comfortable space… perfect for movie nights with the kids.
Cross Lake House - great room prof
The great room is designed for family living with a comfortable sectional and round reclaimed wood cocktail table – easy for toddlers and young kids to maneuver around. Custom details like the stone fireplace, custom built bookcases and coffered ceiling were designed based upon the customer wishes.
Cross Lake House - stone fireplace great room prof
The gorgeous custom-built stone fireplace and bookcases, styled with personal family photos and finds, add warmth and personality to the space. Light and crisp paint colors are bright, fresh and on-trend, while the wall of windows frame the view of the lake. Truly a “great room” to come home to!

 

Easy Entertaining, Furniture & Accessories, Interior Design, Interior Styling, Kitchen Design

New Lake House… Kitchen with a View

A recent design project with MWG Custom Homes introduced me to Kelly and Judd, homeowners who contracted MWG to build their dream home on a serene lake in Central New York.

Kelly and Judd wanted a kitchen designed to entertain family and friends – truly the heart of the home.  The end result was a stunning kitchen with an amazing view of the lake.

Cross Lake House - kitchen 4 better prof
Kitchen in a mix of beige, gray and white – one of my favorite kitchens to date! The backsplash features a tile that the homeowner fell in love with… and you can see why:}
Cross Lake House - kitchen full view 2 prof
Beauty and function – this kitchen can handle more than one cook in the kitchen. Perfect for making family dinners and entertaining guests.
Cross Lake House - kitchen full view prof
This kitchen was built for entertaining… with a huge kitchen island to the right; a wine bar island in the center; and a water-view dining area at the left (waiting for the arrival of the homeowners custom-built round dining table). All have a view to the lake thanks to a stunning round wall of windows. We chose an eclectic mix of lighting that adds interest to the space. We handled the seating for the counter, wine bar and dining table with the same principle – coordinating not necessarily matching.
Cross Lake House - kitchen bar area 2 prof
With a large built-in wine/beverage cooler close at hand, the wine bar island is a welcoming spot to relax after a long day.
Cross Lake House - kitchen window view prof
The dining table will be well worth the wait. Can you imagine dinners with the sunset on the lake?!

This kitchen project is almost complete – our dining chairs are ready… just waiting for the arrival of the custom-built round walnut and metal dining table.  A smart purchase by the homeowner.  Can’t wait to see it!

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Inspired Cooking… Roasted Chicken Thighs with Mustard Sauce

Mustard Chicken 20202I have been on the hunt for a new line of mustard for our store.  It’s one of those condiments that I rely on regularly – more than just topping of a ham and cheese sandwich.  It’s a key ingredient in many of my vinaigrettes, sauces and marinades so I wanted to pick a line of mustard that was not only delicious, but also made with clean ingredients in the USA.

I am pleased to say that Koops’ Mustards, which was established in 1897, was the mustard company I’d been looking for.  They are mustard experts who use clean, non-GMO ingredients, and have an impressive line of mustards… 14 to be exact.   I’m here to tell you, not all Stone Ground or Dijon mustards are created equally, and I’ve tasted many that lacked the flavor and tang of these organic mustards from Koops’.

I was inspired to get cooking with them on this cold and snowy Central New York evening so it time for Roasted Chicken Thighs with Mustard Sauce.

Mustard Chicken 2020This one is soooo easy!

Recipe - Roasted Chicken Thighs with Mustard Sauce

Pour yourself a nice glass of chardonnay and relax for an hour while it cooks in the oven.

This is delicious served with rice, cauliflower rice or oven roasted potatoes.

Enjoy!

Michele

 

Before & Afters, Decorating, Events, Interior Design, Living Beautifully, Redesign & Interior Style

Photo Shoot Day for this Lovely MWG Custom Homes Lake House

Cross Lake House - exterior front

I had the pleasure of working with Heidi Ferguson of Simply Heidi Photography on the photo shoot of this gorgeous new custom built Cross Lake home.   I’ve watched this MWG Custom Homes house develop from studs to completion and had the pleasure of working with both the builder and homeowners through the process.

It’s always exciting to see a finished design project – even better through the eyes of an artist!

Cross Lake House I brought in additional accessories and decor to style the spaces, working with what the homeowners already had in place – making adjustments as needed to prep for the photographer… then Heidi did the magic with her camera – bringing out the best in every room.

All and all it was a fun and productive day… Stay tuned for photos soon!

 

 

 

 

 

Breakfast Ideas, Cooking & Entertaining Ideas, Desserts, Easy Entertaining, gluten-free, Healthy Eating

Gluten-Free Goodies… GF Frosted Chocolate Donuts

This is going to be a quick one!… I thought I had posted these donuts the last time I made them, but alas – I did not.  It’s a great (and pretty healthy) recipe to have handy for easy entertaining for those with gluten sensitivities.  Quite honestly, gluten sensitive or not, they satisfy a chocolate craving for anybody.

So here is the recipe for those who requested it.

GF Chocolate Donuts

Chocolate Frosted Gluten-Free Donuts
 
1 cup       Multi-Grain GF Flour Blend*
1/2 cup    GF Oat Flour
1/2 cup    Almond Flour
1/2 cup    Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/4 cup    Ground Flaxseed
2 tsp        Baking Powder
1 tsp        Baking Soda
1/4 rsp     Sea Salt
1 1/2 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
1/2 cup    Pure Maple Syrup
1/3 cup    Grape Seed Oil
1/2 cup    Choco chips (semi-sweet, dark or mini)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mist donut baking pan with cooking spray.  In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients (Flours through to the salt).  In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (Milk through Grape Seed Oil).
Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk until combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips.
Carefully fill the donut pan with batter.  Bake 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.  Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.  Remove donuts to a cooling rack to cool to room temperature… then frost if desired.
Chocolate Frosting
(This is a small batch of frosting to drizzle or spread on donuts)
2 tbls    Butter or Coconut Oil  ( I usually use real butter – I figure to donuts are pretty healthy)
1 cup    Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 tbls    Almond Milk (or milk of your choice
1/2 tsp  Vanilla Extract
Whip or whisk together.  Add additional milk to loosen to desired consistency (I usually do a teaspoon at time so it doesn’t get too runny).
Drizzle, sprinkle…Enjoy!
Michele
GF Chocolate Donuts
Appetizers, Cooking & Entertaining Ideas, Easy Entertaining, gluten-free, Healthy Eating

Make it a Home… Bang Bang Cauliflower (gluten-free)

One of my favorite appetizers was Bang Bang Shrimp, but not the healthiest option – especially for anyone with celiac or is gluten-sensitive.

Utilizing an product that we always have on the shelves of our store, Terrapin Ridge Thai Aioli – I am able to create and healthier, lighter but equally tasty version using Cauliflower.

Bang Bang Cauliflowe 2020 2

I’ve don’t this without any breading by just roasting the cauliflower and then tossing it with the Thai Aioli before serving.  However, you miss out on the crunch.

I’ve also done it with gluten-free panko but found the best success by just making my own fresh bread-crumbs from a couple of pieces of whole grain gluten-free bread.  (My favorite store-bought bread is Canyon Bakehouse Heritage Style Whole Grain – hands down!) I just put them in the magic bullet and process to create bread crumbs.  For added flavor, I add a bit of ground ginger, tumeric and black paper, minimal salt, if any.

Canyon Bakehouse Heritage STyle Whole Grain Bread

I then beat up an egg and add a dash of milk for a two-step breading process.  Take cauliflower flowerettes and first dip in the egg mixture, then the bread crumbs and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Once all the flowerettes are breaded, I lightly spray them with cooking spray and roast at 425 degrees for about 27-30 minutes (depending on the size of your flowerettes).

Bang Bang Cauliflower 2020

When flowerettes are nicely browned and tender on the inside.  I transfer them to a bowl and toss with about a 1/3 – 1/2 jar of Terrapin Ridge Thai Aioli.

Bang Bang Cauliflower 2020 2

Serve on a bed or shredded lettuce or mixed greens for a healthy appetizer with a kick!

Recipe - Bang Bang Cauliflower 2020

Enjoy!

Michele

Find Terrapin Ridge Farms Thai Aioli in stock at à la Maison. à la Maison is a home and lifestyle boutique located in Baldwinsville, New York featuring home décor, lifestyle products and kitchen essentials. 

 

 

 

 

 

#kitchen, Before & Afters, Furniture & Accessories, Living Beautifully, Quick Tips, Redesign & Interior Style

Quick & Easy Kitchen Updates… #1 New Counter Stools

The holidays are over, most of the decorations are put away and many of you are looking at your living areas and kitchen through fresh eyes. Your heart might be saying “Let’s remodel the kitchen!” – but your head is telling you that’s a bit too ambitious right after the holidays. Fear not, there are several easy weekend projects that will update your space in a snap.

Ready for a mini kitchen design refresh?.. Tip #1 – Bring in new counter stools.

P of H 2019 Kitchen - prof
Model Home by MWG Custom Homes, North Syracuse, NY. Interior design & styling by a la Maison Home & Lifestyle, Baldwinsville, NY.  Counter stools by Ashley Furniture.

Choosing a new style of counter stool can update your look, bridge design styles, add texture and even add a pop of color, depending upon the look you are going for.

MUM Counter stools 1-2020
Counter stools by Uttermost. Available through a la Maison Home & Lifestyle, Baldwinsville, NY.

From casual to formal, today’s style and material options are plentiful so take time to explore new designs and materials including metal, wood and upholstery – both ready-made and custom.

kitchen pennisula seating
Design and interior styling by a la Maison Home & Lifestyle, Baldwinsville, NY. Counters stools from a la Maison Home & Lifestyle.

Whether your taste leans towards clean & contemporary, rustic, industrial or farmhouse, your sure to find something new and exciting for your space.