Decorating, Floral arrangements and Interior Landscaping, Living Beautifully, New at à la Maison, Our Favorite Things..., Redesign & Interior Style

Our Favorite Things… Spring Stems and Greenery

This polar vortex is really grabbing a good portion of the country. Here is Central New York, we woke up to below zero temperatures with a wind chill factor of -24 degrees!

However, I’m focusing on what’s going on inside – a new shipment of beautiful spring stems and succulents!

Nothing chases the cold away like a room full of flowers and greenery. There’s no time like the present to bring the look into your house – whether fresh or faux. Plants and flowers bring warm and happy thoughts of spring and summer.

Here are a couple of my favorites:

Floral branches in white and green. I love a brimming vase of all white and green flowers. It’s so organic, elegant and feminine. Fill a vase and see what it does for a room – just lovely!

Creamy cabbage roses.
White peonies arranged in a rustic green metal can.
Faux Queen Anne’s Lace with ferns.
White and green floral stems ready and waiting for an afternoon of flower arranging.
A mantel decked out for spring with white and green.

Succulents and ferns. Both succulents and ferns are typically easy care options for fresh indoor plants. However, if you are really busy, faux is the way to go. Today’s faux greenery is gorgeous and hard to spot.

Faux succulent and boxwood spheres in various sizes and styles.

Faux succulents arrangements work perfectly on a interior stone wall. No watering required!
Potted ferns are always ready to go at the store. Tuck them in anywhere for a quick pop of green.

Greenery adds a pop of color to this black and white tablescape.

Options abound, so don’t let winter get you down… just bring in the green!

Easy Entertaining, Entrees, Healthy Eating, Salads, Soups & Stews

Prime Rib Salad with Butternut Squash and Honey Champagne Vinaigrette

Warm up your salad options for fall with this satisfying salad filled with thinly sliced prime rib, roasted butternut squash, cranberries, goat cheese and a delicious and light honey vinaigrette.

This is the perfect recipe to use up your leftover prime rib or steak; or just pick up some thinly sliced prime rib/roast beef from your deli counter for a quick and healthy weeknight meal.

The stars of the vinaigrette are local honey and B.R. Cohn Champagne Vinegar, which create the perfect blend of acidity and sweetness.

Prime Rib Salad with Butternut Squash and Honey Champagne Vinaigrette

Prime Rib Salad with Butternut Squash and Honey Champagne Vinaigrette

1 Butternut squashed peeled and diced (or an 11oz package pre-diced)

1 Tbl. Olive oil or Avocado Oil

1/2 tsp. Kosher or Sea Salt

1/4 tsp. Freshly ground Black Pepper

6-8oz. Thinly sliced prime rib, steak or deli roast beef

1 pkg Mixed Greens or Baby Spinach

1/3 cup Dried Cranberries

1/3 cup Chopped Pecans

1 Small Shallot, thinly sliced (optional)

2 oz. Goat Cheese, crumbled

Honey Champagne Vinaigrette

1/3 cup Olive Oil (we use B.R. Cohn)*

1/3 cup B.R. Cohn Champagne Vinaigrette*

1/2 tsp Kosher or Sea Salt

1/4 tsp Freshly ground Black Pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange butternut squash on a baking sheet. Toss with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes (stirring once after 10 mins).

Prepare the vinaigrette by combining all in a magic bullet and blending; or hand whisk vigorously in a small bowl.

On a platter, or large salad bowl, arrange salad greens, butternut squash, cranberries, goat cheese and steak. Sprinkle over pecans and shallots. If serving immediately drizzle over vinaigrette. Or wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate salad until ready to serve.

Enjoy!

*B.R. Cohn Champagne Vinegar and Olive Oil can be found at a la Maison. For more information, or to order please call 315-440-6637.

Before & Afters, Decorating, Floral arrangements and Interior Landscaping, Furniture & Accessories, Living Beautifully, Redesign & Interior Style

Dining Room Redesign

dining room after 10 - Copy

The main objective with the redesign/staging of this dining room was to lighten and freshen the space while working with the furniture that was already there.

The first order of business was selecting a new color palette of taupe for the walls, a pale blue for the ceiling and crisp white trim.  Replacing the ceiling medallion and painting it the same color as the ceiling was a quick and inexpensive way to add some overhead detail.

Dining room after ceiling

The furniture needed to stay so the goal here was to minimize the heavy, dark and dated feel it brought to the room.  By simply removing the hutch top and working with just the buffet (which we found was plenty of space once all the clutter and used items were removed), and covering the side chairs with neutral cotton chair covers did the trick.

dining room after 7

Removing the hutch allowed us more wall space which was the perfect location for a great architectural feature – a pair of antique armoire doors.

dining room centerpiece

Some art and a bit of greenery for an organic touch and this room is complete!

 

 

 

Before & Afters, Decorating, Holiday Decor & Styling, Living Beautifully, Redesign & Interior Style

Exterior Style – Holiday Color for a Village Carriage House

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

Before & Afters, Decorating, Redesign & Interior Style

Entryway and Staircase Redesign

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

Decorating, Furniture & Accessories, Living Beautifully, Our Favorite Things..., Uncategorized

Our Favorite Things… Denim Upholstery

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.

#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.

#gluten free recipes, Healthy Eating, Lunch Recipes, Recipe of the Week, Triple Play Recipes

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

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.

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.

 

#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