The rise of the pumpkin!

OK, so maybe pumpkins everywhere aren’t actually rising up against the human race with demands of freedom or other inventive ways to use them.  But they do seem to be growing in popularity within the culinary world.  We all know and love the traditional pumpkin pie or pumpkin soup but if you do a little bit of research you will find some really great and delicious recipes containing our fall friend.

There are so many different varieties and colors of pumpkins out there that work very well in recipes while some others not so well.  I would say the best way to find out is to go to your local pumpkin purveyor…..a.k.a. the farmer who is growing the little lovely.  Your local farmers market is a great place to shop.  However, Shelly and I prefer to go to a local pumpkin stand in Saratoga Springs, Hanehan’s Pumpkins.  They have numerous varieties and are very knowledgeable with their product.  What I like to do is get all of my pumpkins that will serve as carvers and decorations during Halloween and Thanksgiving and then sacrificing one for a side dish  for Thanksgiving dinner.

Here is one of my favorite recipes that is easy to make and delicious to eat!  Perhaps you’ll even serve it at your Thanksgiving table this year!

Pumpkin Gratin

Pupmkins

The rise of the pumpkins

  • 1 Pumpkin about medium in size or large if using a sugar pumpkin  (I have  used a Jack-O-Lantern and sugar types)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • Maple syrup (about 2-3 tablespoons)
  • 1 large chopped apple
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 6-8 oz. brick grated cheddar cheese.  (A sharp cheese is best)
  • 2 cups fresh bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste

You are going to cook the pumpkin whole in a 375 degree oven for 80- 90 minutes.  Place the pumpkin in a shallow dish with 1/4 inch of water and cover tightly with aluminum foil.  You want the pumpkin tender so you can extract the flesh after scraping out the seeds.  Leave at least a 1/4 inch of flesh in the shell.  Chop the pumpkin into bite-sized pieces along with the stringy portion.  (When cutting the lid remember to make it large enough for scooping out flesh and serving)

Heat the oil and add the onions cooking until tender.  Add the maple syrup, apple, thyme, salt and  pepper.  Cook for about 5 minutes and then add in one cup of the broth along with the pumpkin.  Continue cooking until heated through.

Mix the cheese and bread crumbs in a separate and large bowl.  Pour the pumpkin mixture over and mix well. You want the bread crumbs to be moist.  Add the remaining 1/2 cup of broth mixing well.  ( I like to get my hands into it to thoroughly mix)

The mixture goes back into the pumpkin shell and baked at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes depending on pumpkin size.  Don’t forget to cover top with aluminum foil.  When done remove aluminum foil and bake an additional 5-10 minutes to get top golden brown.

Because the pumpkin is hot you will want to place it on a shallow dish or small plate for safe serving.  If you don’t like how it detracts from the pumpkin another option is to bake the  mixture in a dish and scoop it into the room-temperature pumpkin therefore not needing a plate as a base and allowing for easier passing of the dish.  Enjoy!!

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East Elm Interiors Has a Fun Twist For Your Travers Stakes Party

A twist on Travers

We at EEI thought it would be fun to take you on our most recent shopping spree and to help inspire you all with your Travers party or any gathering for that matter.  Come, please join us for some fun….

Friends of ours are having their annual Travers party at their Saratoga Lake house and wanted to change it up a tad this year.  So she asked us to help with setting up the decks along with shopping for new items.  She told us she wanted, “color, I’m looking for color and something a bit different from the usual Saratoga horse theme.”

Armed with this knowledge, we headed to one of our favorite haunts, Homegoods!  It’s the perfect place to find the unusual so we can put that spin on the decorations.

We hit the pillow section first for our inspiration of colors as there are many chaise lounges, chairs and benches on the deck that we can adorn.  Pillows are a great inexpensive way to throw color around any space whether it is inside or out.  We were drawn right away to some coral printed beauties in teal, pale aqua and coral.   We then built upon it with a bohemain print in oranges, cut velvet giraffe print in teal and orange linen pillows with a jute flange.

Although loving the patterns, colors and textures we still hadn’t fully arrived at this year’s theme but could feel it building as we went down aisle after aisle grabbing colorful accessories and faux greenery to use on tables and nooks throughout the deck.  And then there it was!  Our piece de resistance, a jute rope wrapped 2 and a half foot tall sea horse!  This thoroughbred of the sea was just the twist we needed for this foray!!

Everything was falling into place.  A conch shell to represent the bugle.  Dinner plates in our “Sea Travers” theme, glasses, knotted silverware, and accessories to be scattered about.  All pulling in the colors we originally found in the pillows.  When we are pulling together a casual fun look, we like to layer with patterns and color. In the one picture you will see this with the table cloth, plates and serving pieces.  We then give the eye a rest with solid items such as the large orange platter, orange fish salad plate, orange glass and white napkins.

Rounding out our shopping excursion was a stop at the local plant nursery.  There we selected tropical plants in varying heights, textures and color.  These will be the backdrop on the deck that plays into setting the mood for our “Sea Travers” party theme.  On a side note some local nurseries will rent plants for occasions such as this but if you choose not to go that route most of these tropical plants can come inside during the winter months and then be ready for next year’s party season!

Happy shopping!

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East Elm Interiors’ Sizzling Summer Outdoor Living Ideas

Summertime is always a great time to be outdoors, gathering with family and friends.  Why not spruce up your outdoor living space to make it fun and relaxing?  Here are some easy, fun ideas to help make lasting memories even better:

Have a balcony with a view of the neighbors?

Try adding a funky trellis or screen with some hardy vines to minimize the view without feeling closed in. Exterior fabric tied back at the corners will give the space a cozier feel and become an extension of the room that leads out to it. Add in plants and flowers in varying heights and colors to add interest and dimension.

Have an exterior space that just gets too hot in the afternoon sun?

A large umbrella that rotates and tilts might be just what you need to make it usable every day. They come in a variety of sizes, patterns and colors and are relatively inexpensive. By adding some comfortable chairs and tables, you will have a new space to sit and relax or entertain family and friends. Make sure the umbrella fabric and furniture fabrics coordinate. Throw pillows in different patterns and colors are another way to ensure everything will tie in nicely.

Have a space in your yard that could be converted into a patio?

A relatively low cost, but attractive option would be to add a concrete slab. Color can be added to the concrete to coordinate with your house color and once it is dry can be cut to look like large tiles (this also prevents cracking). Make sure the space is large enough for everything you want to include (table and chairs, lounge chairs, grill, etc). To ensure the correct size before you begin, we recommended making drawing a floor plan first. Once the concrete is dry add an outdoor area rug that has some personality under the furniture that you have selected along with outdoor lamps and pillows and voila that old space has new life!

Tired of outdoor picnics with hotdogs and paper plates?

Get creative with some great new recipes and dress the table up with colors of the season – bright reds, oranges, yellows and purples. Include dishes in a variety of colors and unique glasses with different patterns. Napkin rings and salt and pepper shakers with butterflies, birds, frogs, parrots or anything that you can find are a great way to add some summer fun to any table. Of course add a centerpiece that you can make yourself from anything in your yard, such as pretty flowers in a mix of breeds and colors.

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East Elm Interiors Celebrates Move to Saratoga Springs

WE MOVED!!

We recently relocated our East Elm Interiors office to 62 Church Street in Saratoga Springs to better serve our regional clientele.  We can now offer our interior design and home staging services to an even larger geographic area.  We recently held an opening reception and ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the move, which was attended by representatives from the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, clients and friends.

We are excited to continue offering our services from our new home, including residential and commercial interior design services, custom window treatments, outdoor living area design, new home construction materials selection, kitchen and bath remodeling selection, as well as home staging services.

While we will miss our friends in Glens Falls, we are very excited about our new move to Saratoga.  Thank you to our friends, clients and the business community for welcoming us with open arms.

To contact us, email info@eastelminteriors.com, call 518-306-6783 or stop by 62 Church Street, Saratoga Springs.

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East Elm Interiors Has Great, Fun & Easy Spring Décor Ideas

Spring has sprung, which makes it the perfect time to revitalize your home with fun and refreshing spring décor ideas.

Start at the Front Door

If you are tired of the look of your house, instead of spending a lot of money, try painting your front door a different color. If you have shutters, give them a little facelift as well. Paint the front door (and your garage door) one color and your shutters another.  Make it even more colorful by adding flower boxes on your front porch incorporating the colors of your newly painted doors and shutters.  Mix in flowers of coordinating colors to give it an extra “pop”. Add a nice big colorful wreath on your front door and voila you have a great new look for spring.

Lighten your Spaces

Now that spring is finally here, store your heavy draperies and install sheer panels in their place instead. The new sheer drapery panels will allow light to filter in providing a fresh sunlit look. Whether you choose custom or ready-made options, be sure to select some fun patterns, textures and colors to jazz up the space for the season ahead.

Think Color

Spring is the perfect time to change out some dated colors inside your house to give your rooms more “pop”.  Rearrange artwork and move furniture around, even take pieces out if they are not being used to give the space a more open feel. Take inspiration from new bedding and artwork. With just a few new items, you can transform a tired room into a spring sanctuary.

Repurpose

If you are working on a limited budget try revamping existing accessories by painting them. They can be sprayed for a smoother finish or brushed on in layers to create a light texture. For added interest try a crackle finish to allow more than one paint color to shine through. Garage sales and auctions are great places to find unique accessories that will be one-of-a-kind treasures in your own home.

Outdoor Accessorizing

Artwork and accessories are not just for inside anymore. Bring them out on porches and patios to give your outdoor areas a cozier feel. Accessorize with candles, lanterns, vases, and urns as well as any repurposed items you may be tired of as indoor pieces. Artwork can be hung on porches over sitting areas that include end tables and outdoor lamps to give your house more areas to read, eat and entertain. Add outdoor area rugs and pillows to complete the space.

Happy spring!

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Fun & Festive Holiday Décor Tips From East Elm Interiors

Are you hosting your family or friends or co-workers for a holiday get-together?  Are you looking for new ways to liven up your home for the holidays?  Tired of the same old decorations?  Let us help you with some simple and festive ideas to bring the holiday season into every room of your home.

Instead of a wreath on your front door, why not gather 5-6 pine boughs (balsam fir work best) and bundle them together by laying them on top of one another while slightly fanning out the bottom. Tie the branches together approximately 5 inches from the top with thin wire making a loop to hang it from later. Spray paint twigs with gold or silver and attach to the swag with wire along with a large decorative bow, ornaments and any other decorative feature you would like it to adorn.  This creates a very inexpensive, yet unique holiday décor item to showcase.

Different size trees with varying themes make interesting conversation pieces for your holiday party. Make it fun by using all of your own childhood ornaments on one tree and newer ornaments on another.  Try a mix of large poinsettias, red ornaments, beading and red ribbon to add a pop of color and pizzazz. Let the kids have their own tree as well. They can use ornaments and items they have made throughout the school year to layer on the tree. You can even liven up an unused corner with a tree just for the dogs, using photos of the dog growing up mixed in with candy cane rawhides to make it festive.

Use the accent colors from your rooms to bring in the holidays instead of the traditional green and red. Play up blues, purples, yellows and greens with a mix of gold and silver to add sparkle. Silky pillows and luxurious throws, even tiebacks with colorful beading on your window treatments will make any room more festive. Combine cream, ivory and white in your place settings, table cloths, chargers and napkins to add a different, yet classical touch to your table.

You can add a bit of rustic flair to your camp or lodge too. Start with a grapevine wreath and add a mix of flowers, ornaments and ribbon in colors to complement your décor. Mix in some pine cones and berries and, to make it a bit more unique, add some simple wispy twigs that you can find easily close to home. Adding layers of different colors and textures adds to the interest of your hand-made holiday wreath.

Poinsettias, ornaments, beads and ribbon of different sizes and shapes can be used throughout the house to provide a bit of holiday color in every room. Place them on shelves and end tables in living and family rooms, window sills in the kitchen, on sideboards in your dining room and even on vanities in your half bath for guests to enjoy. Change out hand towels in your kitchen and bathrooms and you have a different and inexpensive new look for the season.

Window treatments not only add warmth to a room, they add personal flare. Whether you enjoy the vast array of choices custom window treatments provide or the simple beauty of ready-mades, your room(s) can be changed for the season within a matter of weeks. If you are opting for ready-made treatment make them your unique style with embellishments like fringe and beading. Throw caution to the wind and make them fun – make them your own!

Don’t stress about changing out your whole room’s décor. Just remember: simple touches can make any room come alive for the holidays.

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East Elm Interiors Wins an Award for Best Interior Decorating at Showcase of Homes

The votes are in for the Professional Awards and East Elm Interiors won an award in the Classic Home Best Interior Decorating category for our work on the Witt Construction home at Rivercrest Estates.

To see all of the awards, please visit www.saratogashowcaseofhomes.com.

There are still two weekends left to see our award-winning interior design in a beautiful custom classic home. Please come and see the beautiful homes. We hope to see you there!

If you go:  The Showcase runs for two more weekends: Sept 22 and 23, Sept 29 and 30. The hours are from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, both days, each weekend. Tickets can be purchased at the home and are $20.00 per person, with proceeds to benefit Rebuilding Together Saratoga and Habitat for Humanity. For more information visit www.saratogashowcaseofhomes.com.

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East Elm Interiors To Be Featured During The Saratoga Showcase of Homes

Thinking about remodeling or redesigning a room in your home? Come experience our interior design expertise first-hand. We are participating in the Saratoga Builders Association 2012 Showcase of Homes, which starts this Friday.

During the event, you can tour the Witt Construction built home located at 13 Rivercrest Road in Gansevoort. It is a mission style home, where we added a refined rustic look to the décor, mixing Stickley furniture with rustic works of art made by local artist Peter Winter. The house is warm and inviting with a color palette the home owners just love. It is a must see!

The Showcase runs for three weekends: Sept 15 and 16, Sept 22 and 23, Sept 29 and 30. The hours are from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, both days on all three weekends. Tickets are $20.00 per person, with proceeds to benefit Rebuilding Together Saratoga and Habitat for Humanity. For more information visit www.saratogashowcaseofhomes.com.

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Summer Outdoor Living Design and Decor Ideas

Our summer Outdoor Living Design and Decor Ideas were recently featured in Saratoga Today.  Get the most enjoyment out of your summer outdoor spaces with these simple tips.  Transform your outdoor living spaces into places you’ll love and use again and again!

Read the article here.

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Spring Decor and Design Tips Featured In Saratoga Today

East Elm Interiors was recently featured in Saratoga Today, offering our interior design and decor tips for the Spring season.  It’s a great time of year to rejuvenate your interior spaces, so be sure to check it out.

You can read the full article here - http://issuu.com/saratogapublishing/docs/april_6_saratogatoday/25

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