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!

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Decorating, Easy Entertaining, Living Beautifully, New at à la Maison, Our Favorite Things..., Tablescapes

Our Favorite Things… Pottery Inspired by Nature

florals and hydrangea leaf salad plate - better

It’s January in Central New York and I’m already dreaming about spring… Sunshine, fresh green foliage and flowers – I can’t wait!

In the meantime, there are so many ways to bring the outdoors in – including freshening up your tablescape.  Fresh flowers, centerpieces and seasonal linens are always an option to bring in natural elements, but how about your dinnerware?

pottery - hydrangea leaf plate display

This gorgeous Riviera pottery is designed by the famous French floral designer, Christian Tortu. The detailed design on these Hydrangea leaf salad plates are amazing.

pottery - white beaded with hydrangea leaf salad plate

Whether used in your tablescape, as appetizer plates for your spring gathering, or adorning a sidetable or night stand – they are sure to add a refreshing touch of nature.

pottery - white beaded platter bowl with laurel leaf plate

These petite Laurel Leaf plates are a perfect little dish for olives, condiments… plus how pretty would it be on a bedside tables and a little jewelry tray for rings and such?

pottery - hydrangea leaf salad plate

Simply to pretty to hide away – consider using them as art when not in use – hang them with plate hangers or display them on your mantel or buffet with an table top easel.  Stunning!

Before & Afters, Decorating, Furniture & Accessories, Living Beautifully, Redesign & Interior Style

70’s Colonial Redesign – Dining Room

So excited to get to work on this 70’s colonial.  This house has great bones, a huge kitchen and a fantastic backyard… just needs a bit of updating to make it feel like home.

Since the first thing you see when you walk in the door is the dining room, so that was the first project to tackle.

Moccasin Path - Dining Room 2 before (2)

For instant gratification, a fresh paint job (walls in taupe-greige and ceiling in a soft gray-blue), a new area rug and window treatments were the answer.

Moccasin Path - Dining Room AFTER 4

To keep costs down, we elected to work with furniture that we already  owned with the exception of two new distressed leather upholstered chairs and a new chandelier.

Moccasin Path - Dining Room AFTER Chand Best

I love the rustic feel of this chandelier – almost looks barbed wire – with subtle lightly brushed gold accents.

I’ve been obsessed with these distressed leather-covered dining chairs since I got them in my store, and knew they would be a perfect replacement for the arm chairs at the head of the dining room table.

Moccasin Path - Dining Room AFTER leather chairs

This room was starting to remind me our of trips to California wine country and Sedona, AZ.

Luckily the dining room is huge, so I was able to include a special family heirloom – my grandparents piano, along with a couple of favorite Stickley pieces and a great accent chair.

Moccasin Path - Dining Room AFTER 2

All and all the room feels like home.  It’s warm and inviting and ready for guests, which is a good thing since our first family gathering is tonight!

 

#gluten free recipes, #gluten-free, Appetizers, Cooking & Entertaining Ideas, Healthy Eating, Recipe of the Week, Triple Play Recipes

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

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.

Cooking & Entertaining Ideas, Entrees, Recipe of the Week, Triple Play Recipes

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

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.