Cooking & Entertaining Ideas, Desserts, Easy Entertaining, Healthy Eating, Quick Tips

Pantry Perfect Chocolate Pudding

As with many businesses across the country, we’ve made changes to how we are operating our Home and Lifestyle Boutique, à la Maison, and our design services.  For the health and safety of our store customers and design clients, we have closed our store and postponed design appointments for a few weeks – and that could be extended depending on how the Coronavirus progresses.

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:}

I am blessed to spend much of my time helping customers and clients create beautiful spaces within their homes… working with them to design their personal haven.

As we all practice Social Distancing, now it’s time to focus more energy on life at home and how to nuture, entertain and feed our families.   I’ve decide to allocate some time highlighting a few family entertaining tips and some of my favorites recipes that include ingredients you probably have right in your own pantry.

Starting with something fun that even the kids can get involved with – Quick & Easy Chocolate Pudding.

Chocolate Pudding 6

This recipes is one I make quite often using almond milk instead of diary, but today I went with 1% diary milk as I had more of that in the refrigerator.  You’ll notice that I recommend adding a small amount of coffee extract – only if you have it in the pantry.  The recipe is delicious either with our without the coffee extract.  If you have it, it amps up the chocolate a notch.

Pantry Perfect Chocolate Pudding

Hope you and your family enjoy!

Michele

#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.

 

Decorating, Floral arrangements and Interior Landscaping, Living Beautifully, Quick Tips, Redesign & Interior Style

Quick Styling for a Wooden Tray

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

tray with succulents

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.

dining room 11

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

 

#giving beautifully, Gift Ideas, Living Beautifully, Our Favorite Things..., Quick Tips

Our Favorite Things… Outdoor Entertaining & Corkcicle Stemless

corkcicle stemless stainless (2)

Go sleek and stylish at your next tail gate party or outdoor reception with the new Corkcicle Stemless.   Elegant and practical, this gorgeous vessel keeps your wine or beverage cold for 9 hours or hot for 3 hours.

corkcicle pink top

The spill-proof tops keeps bugs out and beverages in… a definite plus for any outdoor event!

corkcicle stemless white (2)

Also engravable so makes a great hostess, wedding or corporate gift option as well!  Find them in a variety of colors at à la Maison, or call 315-440-6637 for more information.

Cheers!

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

Decorating, Floral arrangements and Interior Landscaping, Living Beautifully, Quick Tips

Quick Tip – Creative Use for an Ice Bucket

When was the last time you used your ice bucket? Is it hidden away until company comes?   It’s time to dig out your beautiful bucket and put it on display.  You’ll quick discover that it makes a lovely vessel for potted flowers and plants.

bb ice bucket with flowers

Our Beatriz Ball metal ice buckets loves great with faux potted white agapanthus.

BB Ice Bucket with plant

This faux potted plant is so realistic – even the dirt look real.

bb ice bucket with flowers

When company comes, just pop out your faux plant, give your ice bucket a quick wash and you are ready for guests!