Refreshing Gluten Free Lemon Bars

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These gluten-free lemons bars are so refreshing and a delicious addition to your spring dinner or party menu.  I’ve made them gluten-free but you can easily change the flour to regular AP flour if you choose.

lemon bars 2

Gluten Free Lemon Bars 

Crust

  • ¾  cup Almond Flour
  • ¾  Blends by Orly Gluten Free Flour Blend* (London Blend) or your favorite Gluten Free AP Flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold salted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoons water

 Filling

  • 1 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup Brown Rice Flour or Blends by Orly Flour Blend

Heat Oven to 350F. Line a 9×9 baking dish with parchment paper and lightly spray with nonstick spray.

In a medium bowl, combine flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender or two butter knives, blend until a crumbly mixture results. Add water one tablespoon of water.  Press mixture into the bottom of the baking dished ensuring that you go up the sides of the pan slightly (this will help hold the lemon mixture).  Bake for approximately 25 minutes until slightly golden and set.

 In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, blend the sugar lemon juice, lemon zest together.  Beat in the eggs until smooth.  Pour mixture over the hot crust.

Bake 24-26 minutes or until set in the middle. Let cool on the counter and then refrigerate for a couple of hours.

lemon bars

To serve, cut into squares and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Store leftovers in the refrigerator… Enjoy!

*Find Blends by Orly at a la Maison or call 315-440-6637 to order.

Our Favorite Things… Chasseur Cookware

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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 Korean BBQ Pineapple Pork Lettuce Wraps

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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.

Exterior Style – Holiday Color for a Village Carriage House

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This charming village home, now owned by a lovely family, wanted a pop of bright holiday color for their historic carriage house.

Wreaths - Sunset Terrace 6

I was thrilled to take the job as this home has special meaning for me>.. my mother-in-law, who recently passed, owned and loved this home for over 30 years.

Accents in lime green and purple on an evergreen base looked great with the neutral brown/taupe of the exterior shingles.

The homeowner loved them and I think Norma would be pleased with the results as well!

Wreathers - Sunset Terrace 5Wreaths - Sunset Terrace Close up

Wishing you all happy holidays, a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year!

Michele

Entryway and Staircase Redesign

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Staircase entry redesign 11-2017.pdf

The entryway is the first impression of a home and a space that should be warm and welcoming.  This entryway and staircase were ready for an update and redesign.

staircase before

This stairs were looking a bit tired and dated with this worn carpet.

Removing the wall to wall carpet, adding a runner and fresh new color on the walls was the answer.

staircase after 3

Our Favorite Things… Denim Upholstery

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chair - denim

I’m a denim fan through and through… from a great pair of jeans to denim dresses, skirts and shirts… I’ve got them.  So when I saw this great little vintage-style arm chair upholstered in denim, it was love at first site!

Used alone, this chair is perfect for a side chair in a bedroom, office, or living area.   This could also be a great way to freshen up a dining room – consider ordering a set to replace current dining room chairs for a more casual and updated look.

Chair - PH denim armless

These chairs can be ordered and are available with or without arms.  For more information, contact Michele at 315-440-6637.

Fig Balsamic Vinegar Triple Play: Recipe #3 – Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette

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Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with Fig Balsamic Vinegarette

As promised, here is a third recipe that uses flavorful fig balsamic vinegar.  We are actually going to use the extra Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing from the Autumn Harvest Rice Bowl to dress up a quick and delicious appetizer – Recipe #3: Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with Fig Balsamic Vinegarette 2

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette
16 Stems   Fresh Asparagus
4 oz.           Package of Thin Sliced Prosciutto
1 Tbls.        Extra Virgin Oil Olive*

Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette
4 Tbls      Orange Juice
4 Tbls      Napa Valley Naturals Fig Balsamic Vinegar*
½ Tsp       Dijon Mustard
¾ Tsp       Dried Thyme
¼ Tsp       Black Pepper
½ Tsp       Salt
½ Cup      Extra Virgin Olive Oil”

Make the vinaigrette:  Combine all ingredients in a small lidded jar.  (When using dried thyme – rub in in between your hands before dropping it into the jar to release its natural oils).  Shake until mixed and set aside.

Wash and trim woody ends off of asparagus.  (For larger stalks, you may want to use a vegetable peeler to remove the tougher skin at the bottom end).  Dry with a paper towel.  Tightly wrap each stem in a ½ piece of prosciutto, pressing firmly.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Lightly brush the  of the asparagus tips with olive oil to keep them from drying out.  Roast until prosciutto is crispy and asparagus is tender and lightly brown.  About 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and plate.  Using a tablespoon, drizzle lightly with fig balsamic vinaigrette.  Serve immediately or at room temp.

You’ll have plenty of vinaigrette leftover to use when serving with your favorite salads, over roasted chicken and grains.

Enjoy!

*Ingredients available at à la Maison in Baldwinsville, NY or contact us at 315-440-6637.

Fig Balsamic Vinegar Triple Play: Recipe #2 – Autumn Harvest Rice Bowl with Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette

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I often start the week off by making a batch of healthy grains and a big salad to make weekday lunches easy and healthy.  (I’ve definitely learned that if I have to make last minute lunch choices on the go, they often are not very healthy).

Autumn Harvest Rice Bowl 3

This week, I’m reaching for my Fig Balsamic Vinegar to bring rich flavor to Triple Play Recipe #2:  Autumn Harvest Rice Bowl with Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette.  My grain bowls tend to go heavier on the veggies then most, adding  added fiber, nutrients and antioxidants.

Autumn Harvest Rice Bowl 1

Autumn Harvest Rice Bowl with Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette
1  Cup        Brown Rice or Brown Rice Blend
1 3/4 Cups Vegetable or Chicken Broth (low sodium)
4 Cups       Butternut Squash (1” cubes)
3 Tbls.       Extra Virgin Oil Olive*
¼ Tsp.       Chili Powder
¼ Tsp.       Cinnamon
14-15 oz.   Bag of Pre-Shredded Brussel Sprouts
Salt & Pepper to taste
1                 Large Apple (cubed) – I like Gala for this
4 oz.           Maple Cheddar Cheese or Sharp Cheddar (cubed)
½ cup        Pepitas or Almonds (raw or honey roasted is great too)
½ cup        Dried Cranberries

Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette
4 Tbls       Orange Juice
4 Tbls       Napa Valley Naturals Fig Balsamic Vinegar*
½ Tsp       Dijon Mustard
¾ Tsp       Dried Thyme
¼ Tsp       Black Pepper
½ Tsp       Salt
½ Cup      Extra Virgin Olive Oil*

Add rice and broth to a medium saucepan then bring to a boil – prepare per rice package instructions.  (Left over rice is also great for this recipe).

Make the vinaigrette:  Combine all ingredients in a small lidded jar.  (When using dried thyme – rub in in between your hands before dropping it into the jar to release its natural oils).  Shake until mixed and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place butternut squash cubes in a bowl – toss with 1½  tablespoons of olive oil, the chili powder and cinnamon. Salt & pepper to taste.  Toss together then place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast until tender- a total of about 15-20 minutes (stirring after 10 mins).

Next, add shredded brussel sprouts, remaining 1 ½ tablespoon of olive oil, along with salt & pepper to taste, to a bowl and toss together (you can use the same bowl that you tossed the squash in). Place on a second parchment lined baking sheet and put in the oven when you stir the butternut squash- roast both for another 10 minutes or until brussel sprouts are lightly brown and tender.  Cool for about 5 minutes.

Autumn Harvest Rice Bowl - roasted veg

Combine all the rice bowl ingredients in a large bowl and lightly toss – then mix in ½ of the Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Garnish with additional nuts & dried cranberries.  Serve immediately or chill for later.  Store in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Autumn Harvest Rice Bowl 6

Save additional vinaigrette to use when serving rice bowls and for your favorite mixed greens salad.

Enjoy!

*Ingredients available at à la Maison in Baldwinsville, NY or contact us at 315-440-6637.

Fig Balsamic Vinegar Triple Play: Recipe #1 – Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken Breasts with Fig Balsamic Sauce

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Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken Breast with Balsamic Fig Sauce 5

Well, I have to say… it felt really good to turn the oven on again.  With the unusual heat wave we have been having in Central New York, we’ve been pretty focused on the grill for the past month.

This week I wanted to bring to light on of my favorite vinegars, Napa Valley Naturals Fig Balsamic Vinegar.

napa valley naturals fig balsamic vinegar

This artisan handcrafted Fig Balsamic Vinegar is aged in Modena, Italy.  It’s a rich, dark,  sweet, and lightly acidic vinegar made from just two ingredients – balsamic vinegar and fig puree.  Simply delicious… even by itself drizzled over mixed greens or vanilla ice cream!  It’s also very reasonable priced and something we always carry in the store.

Fig Balsamic Vinegar makes healthy flavorful cooking a snap.  This week, I’ll share three of my favorite healthy recipes with this great pantry staple.  Starting with Recipe #1:  Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken Breasts with Fig Balsamic Sauce.

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken Breast with Balsamic Fig Sauce 5

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken Breasts with Fig Balsamic Sauce

4               Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
4 oz.         Package of Thin Sliced Prosciutto (8 Slices)
1 Tbls.      Extra Virgin Oil Olive*
Salt & Pepper to Taste

Fig Balsamic Marinade
½ Cup      Napa Valley Naturals Fig Balsamic Vinegar*
½ Cup      Chicken Stock
1 Tbsp.     Brown Sugar
1               Clove Garlic, Minced
1 Tbsp.     Extra Virgin Olive Oil”
Salt & Pepper to taste

Make the marinade:  Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.  (When using dried thyme – rub in between your hands before dropping it into the jar to release its natural oils).

Place chicken breasts in a casserole dish (or large Ziploc bag) and add in marinade (mix and turn chicken to coat.  Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes or longer.

Take chicken breasts out of marinade and lightly pat dry with paper towels.  Pour marinade into a small sauce pan and bring to a full boil.  Reduce and cook over medium heat for about 10-12 minutes until the fig balsamic sauce is thoroughly cooked and thickened.

In the meantime, start wrapping your chicken.  Lay two slices of prosciutto (side by side) on a cutting board.  Place chicken (top side down) on the center of the two slices of prosciutto – wrap the prosciutto around the chicken breasts. Secure with a couple of toothpicks as needed.

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken Breast with Balsamic Fig Sauce 3

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place a large oven safe frying pan on the stove top over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and then place the chicken breasts (top side down first – toothpicks up) to the pan.  Brown for about 4 minutes, then flip and brown the other side.  Flip chicken once again so that the top of the chicken breasts are showing again.

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken Breast with Balsamic Fig Sauce 4

Spoon the sauce over the chicken breasts then place the frying pan into the oven to roast for about 20 minutes or until chicken has reached 160 degrees.  Remove from oven let rest for about 5-10 minutes.

Move chicken to a platter and drizzle remaining frying pan sauce over the chicken.  Serve with cauli-rice, rice, or mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables.

Enjoy!

*Ingredients available at à la Maison in Baldwinsville, NY or contact us at 315-440-6637.

 

Our Favorite Things… Hydrangeas & Fall Foliage

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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!