Our Blog

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.

 

Decorating, Events, Uncategorized

Parade of Homes 2019

P of H 2019 Exterior

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work MWG Custom Homes on the design and interior styling of their beautiful “Tiffany”.  This 4,200 square foot home is packed with stunning details that were uniquely designed for the buyers.

This year’s Parade of Homes runs through Sunday, October 29th and is located in the new Wildflower development on Hollyshire Way in Clay, New York.  I hope you have an opportunity to view this and the other beautiful model homes open for display – your sure to find inspiration for building your dream home… or your next design project!

 

Decorating, Floral arrangements and Interior Landscaping, Living Beautifully

White Peony Hoop Wreath – For your garden gate… or the bride?

I love the look of a beautiful hoop wreath adorned with fresh flowers – great for summer special event decor, but their life is short lived in the summer heat.

I decided to work on creating the same look with high quality faux greenery and flowers. The challenge is creating the same airy look and movement of fresh greens – artificial greens often can appear stiff.

I settled on white peonies with soft greens and white accent flowers.

img_8036-1

Because this wreath would be out in the summer heat.  Hot glue was not an option so I used floral wire to wind the greenery around the 14″ wooden hoop.

Peony hoop wreath 1Then, used floral tape to create clusters of white peonies and peony leaves together before wiring them on the bottom of the hoop.  The final step – adding a bit of willow green organza ribbon at the top.

peony hoop wreath 3The completed piece truly looks like the real thing… minus the wilting worries. This is a great summer garden accent – perfect for the front door, garden gate or porch.

It would also make a lovely decorative addition to a garden wedding, or even a unique and contemporary alternative to a traditional bridal bouquet.

Happy Summer, all!

Michele

 

Desserts, gluten-free, Healthy Eating, Recipe of the Week

Gooey Peanut Butter Bars… an almost guilt-free treat!

Gooey Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars - close up

I’ve been trying to behave, eat healthy and tame my sweet tooth, but I had a craving for chocolate and peanut butter so it was time to whip up a batch of these Gooey Peanut Butter bars.

With a relatively small amount of sugar and no grain flour, these come at about 17 grams of carbs and a good dose of healthy fats – thanks to the almond flour, coconut flour and flaxseed.  You could use stevia or your choice of sweetener to drop the carbs down to about 7 grams, I just personally prefer natural sugar if I’m doing to indulge.

I can attest that these will cure your peanut butter & chocolate craving.  I couldn’t wait to try them… and as I was enjoying my peanut butter chocolate moment, I realized I hadn’t taken the photo!

Gooey Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

Oh well… I think you will enjoy these too!

Recipe - Gooey Peanut Butter Bars

Enjoy!

Michele

#gluten-free, Cooking & Entertaining Ideas, Easy Entertaining, Entrees

Easy Weeknight Entree – Crispy Pesto Chicken Thighs

Having a well-stocked pantry makes week night meals delicious and hassle-free.  Crispy Pesto Chicken Thighs come together quickly with To Market To Market’s Pesto & Pastabilities seasoning mix and a few staples from your pantry.

Recipe - Pesto & Pastabilities Crispy Chicken 2

Crispy Pesto Chicken Thighs

2-3 Tbs. Pesto and Pastabilities seasoning mix
1/4 cup Pine Nuts
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/3 cup Olive Oil
1 cup Panko bread crumbs (for a gluten-free version – use gluten-free panko)
Sea or Kosher Salt & Pepper to Taste
2-3 lbs. Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a blender or food processor, process the Pesto and Pastabilities, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese together until it forms a smooth paste. Gradually add the olive oil and process until smooth. Season with kosher or sea salt and black pepper to taste.

Put the chicken thighs on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment. Brush the top of the chicken with the pesto mixture.  Mix the remaining pesto with the panko and spread over the chicken.

Bake for 30 minutes or until topping is brown and chicken is fully cooked.

Enjoy!

 

To Market To Market Pesto & Pastabilities is all-natural, gluten-free and sodium free.  Find it at a la Maison in Baldwinsville, NY or call 315-440-6637 to order.
Before & Afters, Decorating, Living Beautifully, Redesign & Interior Style

Kitchen Redesign – Correcting Dated & Dangerous Design

Moccasin Path - Kitchen 4 beforeThis kitchen at first glance was pretty nice – quality wood cabinets and already updated with granite countertops.  You almost don’t notice that the cabinets go straight across the gas stove – only 18″ inches above the open flame burners.  Definitely not a safe distance for cooking – nor built to code.

With the recent addition of two spacious pantries on the right wall of the kitchen, storage wasn’t an issue, so the cabinets over the stove had to go.

kitchen wall no cabinets

An added bonus was the opportunity to also update the dated tile backsplash that was used throughout the kitchen.  We made quick work of removing that as well.

kitchen sink wall bare 2

An off-white distressed subway tile with a dark taupe/gray grout was selected to coordinate with the existing granite.

kitchen wall tiling 2kitchen wall tiling

We decided to take the tile all the way up to the ceiling on both walls, which created height and really brightened up the room.

kitchen tile work

I always think of installing the grout as the easy part of the job, but it is really a workout for your arms when you’re grouting this much tile all at once!

kitchen tile work in process 4

 

With the messy grout job complete, it was time to install a new stainless steel hood vent, and reclaimed wood floating shelves on the new tile wall.  The existing wood cabinets got a good cleaning and new matte black pulls for an updated look.

kitchen after 2

Then the fun stuff begins – styling!  Wired bottles, cookbooks and cooking essentials are both practical and pretty – bringing a touch of updated farmhouse to this kitchen.

kitchen floating shelveskitchen floating shelf close up

The overall feel is spacious and bright.  Pair that with the tons of storage, ample work surface and multiple seating areas, I’d say this is a pretty great kitchen for both cooking and entertaining.  A win win!

kitchen pennisula seatingkitchen full view complete (2)