#easy entertaining, Appetizers, Cooking & Entertaining Ideas, Recipe of the Week

Easy Entertaining… Bacon Wrapped Pineapple with Kentuckyaki Sauce

bacon wrapped pineapple with kentuckyaki 4

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!

bacon wrapped pineapple with kentuckyaki 3

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.
#easy entertaining, Decorating, Living Beautifully, New at à la Maison, Our Favorite Things..., Tablescapes

Our Favorite Things… Blue and White Pottery

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

blue and white pottery

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.

pottery blue and white wall (2)

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.

pottery blue and white 2

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.

place setting blue and white

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!

#easy entertaining, #kitchen, #pantry, Healthy Eating, Our Favorite Things...

Our Favorite Things… Chasseur Cookware

We don’t carry a lot of cookware in the store, so I wanted to be sure we had a product on our shelves that was versatile and a good option for healthy cooking… cast-iron definitely fits the bill.

I absolutely love this Chasseur enameled cast-iron cookware – it’s not only beautiful but so practical!

store display kitchen 1-18-18 2

Enameled cast-iron is ideal for grilling, simmering, roasting or simply for re-heating, thanks to its impeccable design and quality:

  • Distributes heat evenly, for slow cooking and saving energy
  • Resistant to high temperatures
  • Absorbs and retains heat to keep food hot
  • Durable and hard-wearing
  • It’s truly a work-horse in the kitchen that you’ll reach for time and again for soups, stews, braised meats… the list goes on and on!

store display kitchen 1-18-18 3

Double layer of enamel, black on the edges to protect from corrosion – stylist on the outside.  Pretty and practical!

 

For more information about Chasseur cookware or to order, please call Michele at 315-440-6637 or send an email to mgraham.alamaison@yahoo.com.
#easy entertaining, #gluten-free, Cooking & Entertaining Ideas, Entrees, Healthy Eating, Recipe of the Week

Easy Korean BBQ Pineapple Pork Lettuce Wraps

Love this quick and easy fusion of flavor… a little Asian with a little Hawaiian barbecue.  A delicious and healthy weeknight option or a casual gathering with friends.

Korean-Pineapple-Pork-Lettuce-Wraps - my pic

Serves 6-8

Pork & Pineapple Recipe

  • One medium sweet onion, sliced vertically
  • 3 pounds of pork tenderloin
  • ½ teaspoon salt & pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger & garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Napa Valley Naturals dark sesame oil*
  • 1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple with juice
  • 1/2 cup Urban Accents Korean BBQ Taco Simmer Sauce*
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha (optional)
  • Additional 1/2 cup of UA Korean BBA Taco Simmer Sauce* to add at end of cooking

Grilled Pineapple

Grilled Pineapple

  • 8 fresh pineapple rings – Canned pineapple works here too!

 

Lettuce Wrap Recipe

  • Butter or Iceberg Lettuce Leaves (12 large leaves)
  • Angel hair coleslaw mix
  • Shredded carrots
  • Greens onions
  • Grilled pineapple
  • Cauliflower rice or Steam White Rice (Optional)
  • Bourbon Barrels Foods Smoked Sesame Seeds*
  • Urban Accent Korean BBQ Taco Simmer Sauce* (to drizzle)
  • Sriracha Sauce (to drizzle)
  • Steamed Rice (optional as a side or in the lettuce wraps)

 

 Directions

  1. Season pork with salt & pepper. Place the pork and pineapple recipe ingredients in the slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours.
  2. Grill Pineapple –Spray grill pan with cooking spray. Grill 5 mins on each side or until nice grill mark on both sides.   (Alternative methods bake pineapple rings at 425 until caramelized (about 8 mins).
  3. Shred cooked pork and return it to the slow cooker – add extra ½ cup Korean BBQ Simmer Sauce. Cook on low for another 20-30 minutes or until heated through.
  4. Assemble the lettuce wraps as noted in the recipe above. Top with bourbon smoked sesame seeds and serve with steamed rice.

Korean-Pineapple-Pork-Lettuce-Wraps - my pic2

Additional Notes:

To make this in the slow cooker, add the pork + the marinade to the bowl of your slow cooker. Cover and cooking on high for 4-5 hours and on low for 6-8 hours. Finish the recipe as directed.

 

Swap out the lettuce for corn or flour tortillas – this recipe also make great pork tacos.

         

*Find these fine ingredients at à la Maison at 25 Syracuse Street, Baldwinsville, NY  13027.  Or call 315-440-6637 to order.

#easy entertaining, Floral arrangements and Interior Landscaping, Gift Ideas, Living Beautifully, New at à la Maison, Our Favorite Things..., Tablescapes

Our Favorite Things… Hydrangeas & Fall Foliage

What’s more beautiful on a sunny autumn day than colorful fall leaves scattered among hydrangeas?   Why not bring that look inside?  This beautiful hydrangea pottery can adorn your table from spring to fall by just changing the greenery and flowers.
hydrangea pottery fall group 3
Paired with rich colored fall foliage and hydrangea stems, the pottery’s terracotta accents just seem to pop.  Add burlap linens for a great casual look for entertaining.
hydrangea app plates
Perfect for living or giving… beautifully!
#easy entertaining, Appetizers, Entrees, Side Dishes, Triple Play Recipes

Recipe Triple Play… Bourbon Barrel Foods Kentuckyaki  

kentuckyaki both

What’s not to love about Bourbon Barrel Foods’ Kentuckyaki?  This all-natural sauce is sweetened with Kentucky-grown sorghum syrup, flavored with fresh garlic and ginger; and a hint of Kentucky bourbon too. Looking for a little more kick?  You’ll want to try Kentuckyaki Hot & Spicy for sure!

Both are perfect as a marinade on salmon, beef, chicken or veggies.  Delicious for vegetable stir fry.

We’ve got three more great reasons to keep Bourbon Barrel Foods Kentuckyaki in your pantry…

We’ve got three more great reasons to keep Bourbon Barrel Foods Kentuckyaki in your pantry…

#1 Kentuckyaki Pork & Grilled Pineapple Appetizer Meatballs

asian pork meatballs - kentuckyaki 9

Ingredients:

Meatballs

  • 2 lbs. pork, ground
  • 1/2 cup Kentuckyaki, plus extra for drizzling*
  • 1/3 cup cilantro (or parsley if you don’t care for cilantro), chopped
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger

Grilled Pineapple

  • 1 fresh pineapple

Directions

  1. For the meatballs: Combine all meatball ingredients.  Gently fold them together just until mixed – don’t over work the meat.
  2. Form 1.5” balls and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Roast at 400ºF for 22 minutes.  Remove from oven and lightly drizzle meatballs with additional Kentuckyaki.
  3. While meatballs are roasting – prepare the grilled pineapple.  Remove the skin of pineapple. Cut the fruit in half lengthwise, then cut into quarters. Slice the pineapple into even wedge-shaped slices – about ½” thick. Grill over medium high heat just until grill marks appear (about 3-4 minutes per side).
  4. Cut pineapple into bite size pieces and place on top of meatballs. Secure with a tooth pick.

 

#2 Kentuckyaki Hot & Spicy Chicken Thighs

Kentuckyaki Hot & Spicy Chicken Thighs

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs. Chicken Thighs, bone in
  • 1/2 bottle Kentuckyaki Hot & Spicy*, plus extra for drizzling
  • 3 Tablespoons Bourbon Barrel Food Smoked Sesame Seeds*
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional garnish

Directions

Place chicken thighs and marinade in large Ziploc bag or a large baking dish.  Toss to coat.  Marinade in the refrigerator for 2 hours or more.

Place skin side down on medium hot grill (375 degrees) cook for 12-14.  Flip and baste with additional Kentuckyaki Hot & Spicy. Cook for additional 12-14 minutes or until juices run clear.   (Or use your oven… cook in 375 degree oven for 30-35 minutes and baste after 20 minutes)

Plate chicken thighs and let rest for 5-10 minutes.  Sprinkle with smoked sesame seeds (and cilantro is using).

#3 Vegetable Stir Fry with Asian Noodles

Asian Noodle Stir Fry 4-2016

This is the perfect clean out your crisper drawer meal.  Use whatever you like here… Broccoli, red bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, green beans, snow peas, carrots, zucchini sliced cabbage are just a few of my favorites.

  • 5 Cups of fresh veggies of your choice cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon Napa Valley Naturals Grapeseed Oil*
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1 Teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil*
  • ½ cup Kentuckyaki Sauce*
  • 3 blocks from a package of King Soba Brown Rice Ramen Noodles*, cooked per package instructions

Garnish:  Bourbon Barrel Smoked Sesame Seeds* and fresh cilantro – optional.

Directions

Over medium-high heat, stir fry veggies in Grapeseed oil for about 5 minutes.  Add ground ginger and toasted sesame oil then gently stir fry for additional 1-2 minutes.  Add Kentuckyaki sauce and ramen noodles and stir fry additional 2 minutes.

Garnish with smoked sesame seeds and cilantro if desired.  Drizzle with additional Kentuckyaki sauce.

Enjoy!

*Find these specialy food items at a la Maison in Baldwinsville, New York.  To place an order, call 315-440-6637 or email mgraham.alamaison@yahoo.com.

 

 

 

 

#easy entertaining, #eating healthfully, Cooking & Entertaining Ideas, Entrees, Recipe of the Week

Eating Healthfully… Grilled Sesame Teriyaki Tuna

asian grilled tuna teriyaki plated 2

One of the quickest ways to a healthy summer-time dinner is fish on the grill.  Impressive enough for company, but simple enough for any night of the week.

A personal favorite of mine is Grilled Sesame Teriyaki Tuna.  I find yellowfin tuna a great option for this recipe – it’s got a nice mild flavor and holds up great on the grill.

Grilled Sesame Teriyaki Tuna

Asian Marinade

4   Tbls.    Stonewall Kitchen Organic Sesame Teriyaki* (it’s also gluten-free!)
1   Tbls.    Tamari (gluten free)
2   Tbls.    White Vinegar
1   Tbls.    Napa Valley Naturals toasted Sesame Oil*
2   tsp.     Bourbon Barrel Smoked Sesame Seeds*

4              6 oz. pieces of yellowfin tuna, 1 inch thick
½  Cup    Stonewall Kitchen Organic Sesame Teriyaki Sauce*
2   tsp.    Bourbon Barrel Smoked Sesame Seeds*

In a bowl, add all the marinade ingredients together and whisk until thoroughly blended.  Place tuna steaks in a shallow baking dish and pour marinade of tuna.  Gently turn tuna to coat.  Chill for 30 mins – 1 hour.

Preheat grill.  Once grill is hot, place tuna on grill.  Grill for 5-6 minutes on each side or tuna is just opaque. (Only flip once to avoid sticking).  DISCARD LEFTOVER MARINADE.

Drizzle tuna with Stonewall Kitchen Organic Sesame Teriyaki and garnish with smoked sesame seeds. Tent and left rest for 5 minutes.

asian grilled tuna teriyaki plated

Serving suggestion:  Serve with Asian noodles (i.e. King Soba Noodles*) tossed with steamed broccoli and Sesame Teriyaki Sauce; or basmati rice and healthy Asian Cabbage & Kale Slaw**.

asian ingredients 2

*Ingredients available at à la Maison in Baldwinsville, NY or contact us at www.alamaisonaccents.com

** Find Asian Cabbage & Kale Slaw recipe on our website.

Enjoy!

Michele

#easy entertaining, #eating healthfully, #gluten-free, Recipe of the Week, Side Dishes

Eating Healthfully… Asian Cabbage & Kale Slaw

Asian cabbage and kale slaw 2

Nothing pairs with summer grilling like a great slaw.  Although I love the classic sweet mayo based coleslaw, I also find the lighter (and healthier) taste of this Asian slaw delicious and refreshing paired with fish or chicken.

Asian cabbage and kale

Asian Cabbage & Kale Slaw

4  Cups    Kale washed with ribs removedthen rolled and sliced thin (chiffonade)
4  Cups    Red Cabbage, thinly sliced
2               Carrots, large- shredded

Asian Vinaigrette
¼  Cup     GF Tamari or Soy Sauce (use Tamari for gluten free)
¼  Cup     Lemon Juice
¼  Cup     Napa Valley Naturals Grapeseed Oil*
2   Tbls.                Grated Ginger, fresh
2   Tbls.                White Vinegar
2   Tbls.                Napa Valley Naturals toasted Sesame Oil*
1   Tbls.                Bourbon Barrel Smoked Sesame Seeds*

Toss together the kale, red cabbage and carrots in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, add all the vinaigrette ingredients together and whisk until thoroughly blended.  Pour ½ the vinaigrette over the slaw and toss.  Serve immediately or chill for 1 hour.  Taste and apply more dressing if needed.

Asian cabbage and kale slaw

Save left over vinaigrette use over green salad, toss with Asian noodles for a delicious Asian pasta salad, or use as a flavorful marinade.  Delicious on tuna or chicken.

asian ingredients 2

*Ingredients available at à la Maison in Baldwinsville, NY or contact us at www.alamaisonaccents.com

Enjoy!

Michele

#cooking healthfully, #easy entertaining, Quick Tips, Recipe of the Week, Side Dishes

Super Substitute…. “Saffron” Yellow Basmati Rice

saffron yellow basmati rice

Many of us have a recipe or two that calls for saffron and experienced sticker shock when we looked at the price tag.

Saffron is a spice derived from the crocus sativus flower (or the Saffron crocus). As Saffron crocus grows and flowers, its vibrantly colored stigmas (or threads) are harvested, by hand, and dried to be used mainly as a gourmet seasoning and coloring agent in food. Saffron, is a rare and delicate spice and among the world’s most costly spices by weight.

An expensive ingredient that I don’t always have on hand, however, I have managed to get by substituting a combination of two spices that are always in my kitchen… turmeric and paprika.

My take on a “saffron” rice is a quick, easy and economical recipe that’s a great dish or perfect base for a quick dinner – just add diced chicken or shrimp and some veggies and you’re set.   I also sometimes serve this alongside my oven-fried haddock, my black beans or in a burrito.

saffron yellow basmati rice 2

“Saffron” Yellow Basmati Rice
½    onion, finely diced
1    tablespoon olive oil
1    cup basmati rice
1 ¾ cup water or chicken stock
¼    teaspoon turmeric
½    teaspoon paprika
salt & pepper to taste

Add all ingredients to a microwave safe bowl, cover and cook on high for 5 minutes.  Take out microwave, stir and cover again.  Return to microwave and cook at 50% power for additional 12 minutes.  Let sit for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork.

Double this recipe to have extras on hand for easy weeknight meals.

Enjoy!

Michele

#easy entertaining, Cooking & Entertaining Ideas, Recipe of the Week, Side Dishes

Culinary Classics… Creamy Coleslaw

coleslaw 4

When I was growing up, I often saw my mother, and my grandmother, reach for their Better Homes and Gardens cookbook for inspiration when making the family meal or getting ready to do some baking.

That same classic red and white checked Better Homes and Gardens cookbook was the first cookbook I received as a new bride, and I too, relied on it to learn how to cook and bake for my own family.

BHG Cookbook pic

Although I now have a library of cookbooks (I am a bit obsessed with them!), there are still certain classic recipes that I just don’t mess with – one being Better Homes and Gardens Coleslaw.   This creamy classic needs to no tampering – it’s always delicious and a big hit at family gatherings, picnics and with my oven baked fish fry.

It’s quick and easy – especially if you pick up a bag of angel hair pre-shredded coleslaw in your produce section.

Better Homes and Gardens Coleslaw

2  cups   shredded cabbage
1  medium carrot, shredded
½  small green or red sweet bell pepper, finely chopped
2  green onions, sliced (these are optional for me)
½  cup mayonnaise
1  tablespoon vinegar
2  teaspoons sugar
½  teaspoon celery seed

coleslaw 1

Toss together the cabbage, carrot, pepper and onion.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar and celery seed.

coleslaw 2

Pour dressing over the cabbage mixture – toss to coat.  Cover and chill for 1 hour.  Makes 4 servings – double or triple for a bigger crowd.

coleslaw 5

Watch it disappear… Enjoy!

Michele