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. 

 

 

 

 

 

#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.
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.

Easy Entertaining, New at à la Maison, Tablescapes

Fall Tableware Finds… Costa Nova Pearl in Cocoa

I am in love with Costa Nova’s Pearl dinnerware collection! I’ve been searching for quite a while, trying to find a replacement for an older beaded dinnerware pattern that I favored but just couldn’t anything that truly compared.

Costa Nova’s Pearl is a winner… It’s raised beaded-rim design is substantial, much more detailed the most beaded pottery, bringing elegance and great texture to any tablescape.

Although the white is stunning, I’m equally intrigued with the Cocoa. It’s soft brown/taupe is a perfect option for so many occasions, including the fall and winter holiday season. Paired with other seasonal pottery; or just a simple organic touch of boxwood, fall leaves, a fresh rosemary spring or a bit of evergreen creates a simple, organic and elegant place setting.

This dinnerware is a welcome addition to our store and our home as well. I know I’ll reach for this versatile pattern often!

Healthy Eating, Salads, Soups & Stews

Salad of the Week… GC Quinoa Tabbouleh

A good friend of mine tells his kids, there are “GC’s and BC’s” – good choices and bad choices that you have the option to make every day.

This statement is true in so many areas of life, including what we choose to eat. Well, I have to say that this quinoa tabbouleh is a GC! A good choice full of healthy quinoa, vegetables and olive oil. It nourishes your body with antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins, fiber and protein.

Quick and easy, it was the Salad of the Week for me, and makes a light and healthy lunch that is ready and waiting in your frig.

Quinoa Tabbouleh

  • 1 cup Quinoa (cooked per package directions)
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher or Sea Salt
  • 1 One Seedless English Cucumber (cut into 1/2 pieces)
  • 1 Pint of cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup Chopped Flat Leaf Parsley
  • 1/4 cup Chopped Fresh Mint
  • 2 Scallions, sliced

Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 3 Tbl. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 Garlic Clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher or Sea Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Black Pepper

Prepare quinoa & 1/2 tsp salt per package instructions. Remove from heat and let stand covered for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Prepare the dressing by adding the lemon juice and garlic to a small mixing bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Season with the salt & pepper.

Add the quinoa, cucumber, tomatoes, parsley, mint and scallions

to a bowl. Toss together and then drizzle over the lemon vinaigrette. Gently toss again. Garnish with additional Parsley if serving immediately, or refrigerate and serve at your leisure.

Easy Entertaining, Events

Easy Entertaining… Blackberry Basil Simple Syrup

When creating the menu for a recent gathering at our shoppe, I wanted a refreshing  non-alcoholic beverage option.  Something special and pretty that would appeal to the guests coming to celebrate the opening of à la Maison’s newly expanded showroom.

blackberry basil spitzer 3.jpg

One of the prettiest cocktail ingredients I count on is Blackberry Basil Simple Syrup.  Easy to make and quite versatile, you can take it in any direction you’d like… an elegant non-alcoholic spritzer , a pretty kiddie cocktail, or a delicious vodka blackberry basil spitzer.

blackberry basil simple syrup 2

Just a few simple ingredients – fresh blackberries, fresh basil and sugar simmered in pure water creates this unique and fruity twist on simple syrup.  It’s a quick and easy option to prep ahead of your next event.

blackberry basil simple syrup in mason jar

Blackberry Basil Simple Syrup

  • 4 cups fresh blackberries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cup water
  • ¼ cup of fresh basil leaves

Add ingredients to a medium sized pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and boil for 15-20.  Stirring occasionally.  Cool Completely.  Pour through a fine strainer and store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for about a week.

Now your ready to put your new Blackberry Basil Simply Syrup to good use!  With or without alcohol, it’s a fruity and refreshing choice

blackberry basil spitzer 2

Blackberry Basil Vodka Spritzer

  • 2 tbl blackberry simply syrup
  • 1 tbl triple sec
  • 1 shot of vodka
  • 1/2 cup seltzer water
  • Fresh Basil and blackberries to garnish

Blackberry basil simple syrup, triple sec and vodka to a shaker with ice.  Shake then pour into a glass, top with seltzer water and garnish with fresh basil & blackberries.

Blackberry Basil Spritzer Mocktail

  • Seltzer Water
  • Blackberry Basil Simple Syrup
  • Fresh Basil and blackberries to garnish

Fill goblet with ice, top with a fresh blackberry and sprig of basil.  Fill glass with seltzer water, then top with Blackberry Basil Simply Syrup to taste.

Enjoy!

#easy entertaining, Appetizers, Cooking & Entertaining Ideas, Recipe of the Week

Easy Entertaining… Bacon Wrapped Pineapple with Kentuckyaki Sauce

bacon wrapped pineapple with kentuckyaki 4

It all started with the pineapple I had on the counter.  It was ripe, ready to eat and I had friends stopping by for a glass of wine.  I needed a quick appetizer, and always have bacon on hand – everyone knows that salty and sweet are match made in heaven so I whipped up batch of Bacon Wrapped Pineapple.

I wanted a bit more flavor so I reached for one of my favorite sauces – Bourbon Barrel Foods Kentuckyaki.  This all-natural sauce is sweetened with sorghum syrup and flavored with garlic and ginger – what’s not too love?  The tough question was – which one?  Traditional Kentuckyaki or Hot & Spicy?  I opted for both… so half the appetizers were drizzled with Traditional Kentuckyaki and other half in Hot & Spicy.  My guests unanimously agreed – both were delicious!

bacon wrapped pineapple with kentuckyaki 3

Bacon Wrapped Pineapple with Kentuckyaki Sauce

1 lb. Applewood Smoked Bacon
1 Fresh Pineapple, cored, sliced and cut into 20 3/4-1″ chunks
Bourbon Barrel Foods Kentuckyaki Sauce*

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut bacon strips in half so you get two pieces per strip. Wrap each half-strip of bacon around a pineapple chunk, and hold in place with toothpick. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes.  Once bacon is cooked through, immediately drizzle with Kentuckyaki Sauce while pineapple is still hot.  Move to a serving platter.  Serve warm.

Enjoy!

*Bourbon Barrel Foods Kentuckyaki Sauces are available at a la Maison.  To order call 315-440-6637.  You can also substitute Tamari Sauce.
Cooking & Entertaining Ideas, Desserts, Events

Refreshing Gluten Free Lemon Bars

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.
#easy entertaining, #gluten-free, Cooking & Entertaining Ideas, Entrees, Healthy Eating, Recipe of the Week

Easy Korean BBQ Pineapple Pork Lettuce Wraps

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.

#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.