Appetizers, Cooking & Entertaining Ideas, Our Favorite Things...

Dynamic Dessert Duo… Our Two Favorite Caramel Sauces by Stonewall Kitchen

SWK Caramel Sauce set

The dynamic duo of dessert sauces – keep these delicious caramel sauces in your pantry and easy entertaining will be at your fingertips.

Enjoy Stonewall Kitchen’s rich Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Sauce drizzled over ice cream, brownies, strawberries and raspberries.

The flavor combination in Stonewall Kitchen’s Bourbon Pecan Caramel Sauce truly takes this caramel sauce to the next level.  Try it drizzled over apple crisp, pie or brownies… or for a special breakfast or brunch, pour it over french toast!

Both make an incredible dip for pretzels, short bread cookies and fruit; and are all-natural.  What’s not to love?!

Find both of Stonewall Kitchen’s delicious caramel sauces at a la Maison in Baldwinsville, NY or call 315-440-6637.

Decorating, Floral arrangements and Interior Landscaping, Living Beautifully, Quick Tips

Quick Tip – Creative Use for an Ice Bucket

When was the last time you used your ice bucket? Is it hidden away until company comes?   It’s time to dig out your beautiful bucket and put it on display.  You’ll quick discover that it makes a lovely vessel for potted flowers and plants.

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Our Beatriz Ball metal ice buckets loves great with faux potted white agapanthus.

BB Ice Bucket with plant

This faux potted plant is so realistic – even the dirt look real.

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When company comes, just pop out your faux plant, give your ice bucket a quick wash and you are ready for guests!

 

#eating healthfully, #gluten-free, Cooking & Entertaining Ideas, Entrees, Recipe of the Week

Easy Entertaining… Panko Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Mustard & Horseradish

Here’s an easy and impressive pork tenderloin recipe that is simple enough for weeknight entertaining… or a lovely dinner with the hubby and kids.  The combination of the Garlic Mustard and Horseradish in this pork dish adds nice punch of flavor.  I like to serve it with a horseradish cream sauce for extra zip.

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Panko Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Mustard & Horseradish

1 pork tenderloin (2 pieces)

½ cup Terrapin Ridge Farms Creamy Garlic Mustard*

½ cup drained prepared horseradish

1 cup Panko (I used Ian’s Gluten-Free Panko)

Salt & Pepper to taste

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

Mix: In a bowl, mix together the mustard & horseradish.   In a flat pan or baking dish, mix the panko with the salt and pepper

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Assemble & Bake: Preheat oven to 400°.  Lightly coat the base of a 9” x 13” baking pan with olive oil or olive oil spray.  Rinse and pat dry pork tenderloins.  Generously brush each tenderloin with the mustard-horseradish mixture.  Dredge tenderloins in the panko and place in baking pan.  (Feel free to sprinkle addition panko on top of tenderloin is there are bare spots).  Lightly drizzle olive oil over the top.  Bake for about 30 mins or until the internal temp reaches at least 145°.

Let rest for 10 mins.  Slice, serve and enjoy!

Serving tip… Horseradish cream sauce is delicious served alongside this dish.

*Find Terrapin Ridge Farms Creamy Garlic Mustard at a la Maison in Baldwinsville, NY.

 

Decorating, Living Beautifully, Our Favorite Things..., Uncategorized

Our Home Studio Remodel is Complete!

This was a great weekend for the Graham’s as we have finally finished our home studio remodel!  This project took us a while as it kept getting put on the back burner due to other commitments and projects, but this weekend we were able to put the finishing touch on this remodel… hanging the beautiful reclaimed freight elevators doors we found in Ithaca, New York.

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The doors needed some TLC, but they were just what I had envisioned for the entrance to my home studio and workroom.

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They are made of chestnut and once we cleaned them up with mineral spirits, the color was truly stunning.

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Structurally, they needed a bit of work, but my husband did a great job tightening them up and repairing some of the damaged boards.  The visible dents and dings are just part of the charm and character of these unique vintage doors.

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Now they make a grand entrance to my home design studio and workroom – the perfect space to spark my creativity!

 

 

 

 

#eating healthfully, #gluten-free, New at à la Maison, Our Favorite Things..., Recipe of the Week

Our Favorite Things… Blends by Orly Gluten Free Flour Blends

blends-by-orly-group-pic-1Gluten free baking is a breeze with Blends by Orly… 4 different artisan gluten free flour blends (London, Manhattan, Tuscany, and Sydney) which have become a staple in the Graham home.

What makes Blends by Orly unique is that it’s comprised of multiple different blends of gluten free grains  custom created to give bakers the most perfect results whether they’re creating bread, pizza dough, cake, cookies, biscuits, pancakes, or a pie crust. (I actually just ordered a new bread maker which I can’t wait to test out, and  Blends by Orly bread flours perform wonderfully in bread makers on the gluten free setting).

These amazing blends are a 1 to 1 replacement for wheat flour in any recipe, and are made with the highest quality wholesome gluten free ingredients, including quinoa, sorghum, millet, and brown rice, and they contain no sugar or additives. They’re also Kosher and Non GMO certified, Nut Free, Vegan and Corn Free.  Plus each bag comes with a recipe on the back – however, these flour blends will work beautifully in your favorite recipes!

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Orly’s recipe for Coffeecake Muffins… delicious!  Nobody would guess these were gluten free.

Orly’s Gluten Free Coffee Cake Crumb Muffins

Cake:

1 2/3 cups (215 grams) Sydney Blend
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup (180 ml) sour cream or plain yogurt (I used greek yogurt)

Crumb Topping:
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups (200 grams) Sydney Blend
1 1/3 (215 grams) white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (210 gram) melted butter

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cups.

Mix: Mix together the Sydney Blend, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.   Then add the melted butter and use your hands to rub the butter into the dry mixture.  Mix all ingredients together until the texture is crumbly.  In the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until softened (about 1 minute). Gradually add the sugar and cream together until light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and sour cream alternately, starting and ending with the flour. Mix until fully incorporated.

Bake: Spoon or pipe the batter to fill ¾ of the muffin cups.  Fill the rest of the cups with the crumb topping on top of the batter. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

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

Cooking & Entertaining Ideas, Decorating, Living Beautifully, New at à la Maison, Tablescapes

Living Beautifully… La Cadeaux Tableware

I have a weakness for pottery… all kids of pottery and dinnerware.  Although, I carry a variety of patterns in my store,  I always find a pattern or piece that catches my eye on vacation.  I have been known to carry large pottery platters and bowls  through the airport and in my carry-on bags to protect my new found purchases.

The challenge with pottery is that it’s fragile, and as a mother of three boys, I’ve lost my pieces of pottery due to breakage.  However, I am a very firm believer of using your dinnerware and glassware – everyday and any day!

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There is a solution to fretting over and guarding your dinnerware… La Cadeaux fine melamine china.  This gorgeous dinnerware is made of a heavier melamine, and truly looks like real ceramic Italian pottery – with designs inspired by the French and Italian countryside.

Beautiful enough for a special gathering, but kid-friendly, unbreakable and dishwasher safe.  Perfect for dining by the pool, patio or any of your outdoor entertaining needs.

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There may be lake effect snow in New York today, but Spring and al fresco dining season is just around the corner.  I can already picture that beautiful La Cadeaux Allegra Red dinnerware on my patio… come on Spring!

Bon Appétit!

For more information on La Cadeaux, please call a la Maison at 315-440-6637.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Decorating, Gift Ideas, Living Beautifully, Uncategorized

Living Beautifully… Your Home’s Signature Scent

When decorating our homes, we always have our sense of sight and touch in mind.  We create a room that is visually beautiful, and fill it with a variety of textures in our furnishings, accessories and textiles.

One other important element to considering when designing your home is your home’s scent.  A beautiful room layered with the right home fragrance will create a welcoming environment for all who enter.  Your home’s fragrance will also leave a lasting impression as our sense of smell has a strong link to our memory.

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Scent can also set the mood for a special event.  Depending on the scent you choose, it has the power to relax, energize and uplift the mood of family and guests.

When choosing a home fragrance, whether using candles or a fragrance diffuser, natural is best.  Choose candles made of soy or beeswax with all-natural cotton wicks.

To find your home’s signature scent, let your home’s style & décor by your guide:

Farmhouse Chic:  Typically are homes featuring natural woods, light colors, organic & vinatge accents – look to scents that are herbal & green such as grasses, herbs and woods.

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Paddywax Thyme & Olive Leaf is one of our new favorites!

Modern Rustic & Industrial:  Think open floor plan, natural architectural elements, stone, wood, modern & eclectic furnishings.  Consider woody fragrances with notes of sandalwood, amber, bamboo or balsam.

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Transitional/Eclectic:  For homes that blend the warmth of traditional design with and the homeowner’s own style – there is lots of room for creativity.  Choose from an array scents that are earthy such as scents with herbs, sea salt, eucalyptus, fruits or bordeaux.

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Contemporary/Minimalist: For homes with open spaces, clean lines, light colors, simply designed furnishings & minimal décor.  Choose clean scents such as citrus, cotton & linen.

paddy-wax-eco-rosemary-citrus

French Country/Romantic/Floral: Homes filled with vintage and reclaimed furnishings, floral fabrics and layered décor.  Turn to home fragrance with floral and sweet notes of rose, lavender, gardenia and vanilla.

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Find your home’s signature scent and Paddywax candles at `a la Maison, Baldwinsville, New York.

Appetizers, Cooking & Entertaining Ideas, Recipe of the Week

Easy Entertaining… Pear, Goat Cheese & Balsamic Herb Jam Tart

Easy and elegant… go to our Pear, Goat Cheese & Balsamic Herb Jam Tart for a quick appetizer or addition to your brunch menu.

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Pear, Goat Cheese & Balsamic Herb Jam Tart

1 Pie/Pastry Crust Dough (use our recipe below or grab on from the grocery store refrigerator section)

½ Jar of Terrapin Ridge Farms Balsamic Herb Jam* (room temp)

2-3 Fresh Pears, peeled and sliced thin

4 oz. Goat Cheese (or Bleu Cheese if you prefer)

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Roll out dough to fit into a fluted tart pan. Trim or pinch edges.
  • Spread herb jam over crust, and lay pear slices over jam.
  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, top with crumbled goat cheese – then put back in oven for another 5-6 minutes, or until bubbly.
  • Let rest for 10 minutes before cutting into thin slices.

*Find Terrapin Ridge Farm Balsamic Herb Jam at `a la Maison in Baldwinsville or call 315-440-6637 to order.

My Gluten-Free Pastry/Pie Dough

¾ cup Tapioca Starch

½ cup Oat Flour

½ cup Brown Rice Flour

¾ teaspoon Salt

8 tablespoons of COLD butter, cut into 12 pieces

1 large egg white

2-3 tablespoons of water

In your food processor, combine the dry ingredients (including salt) and pulse to combine.  Add the cold butter and pulse until the pieces are small (pea-sized)

Add the egg white – pulse to combine.  Add the water, one tablespoon at a time and pulse until the dough starts to come together.  Transfer to a board and gently knead into a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Roll out dough in between two pieces of parchment paper until it’s slightly bigger than the opening of your tart pan (about 11 inches).  Remove top parchment paper, lay the tart pan on top and flip over.  Remove last piece of parchment and gently push the dough into the pan.  Trim and flute edges… read to use for your recipe of choice!

Enjoy!

Michele

 

 

Living Beautifully

Transitioning Your Home from Summer to Fall – Part 1

The morning air is a bit crisper and days a bit shorter as fall starts to settle in around us.  The change of seasons is good time to embark on those indoor and outdoor tasks that may have been neglected over the summer months.

A good bi-annual clean-up is a great idea and gets some of the big work done and  out of the way before the holidays.  Tackle of these indoor projects now:

  • Wash and/or dry clean draperies and comforters. Pay close attention to manufacturers cleaning instructions. For those items that can be machined or hand washes, use a safe, natural product life.  (I personally love The Laundress Signature Detergent in Classic scent… makes the laundry smell amazing!)
  • Clean carpets and floorsGive carpeting and area rugs a thorough vacuuming and then spot clean, or have professionally cleaned, if needed.
  • Give your wood floor a good cleaning with a quality wood floor cleaner (I like both Bona and Method brands).  Look for scratches and damage, and if your finish is really worn, consider having them refinished.
  • Wipe down kitchen and bathroom wooden cabinets with a good wood cleaner (I prefer Stickley Furniture Dressing which has antibacterial properties and is made for wood).
  • Clean your home office and get papers organized and filed. Many of us neglect office work during the beautiful summers months – now is the time to find your desk top again!

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Pick a nice sunny day to clean up the yard, increase your curb appeal and celebrate the look and feel of autumn with a few outdoor projects:

  • Remove and compost old annuals flowers, remove dead leaves and blooms from perennials.
  • Bring in fall color with mums, sunflowers, pumpkins and gourds to dress the front your home, urns and walkways. Harvest accents such as corn stalks and hay bales and height and interest by creating different levels to display your fall décor on.
  • Replace your summer door décor or wreath with a beautiful fall floral or harvest inspired wreath.
  • Clean wrap and store patio furniture and summer accessories for next season.

 

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Enjoy your refreshly cleaned home and get ready to have fun with Step 2…  Bringing to the look of fall inside!