39th Annual Home Expo Is Here!

39th Annual Home Expo and our Second year at The Albany Capital Center venue is starting off to be a great weekend! Meet our local vendors, visit the in-booth demonstrations taking place as well as free giveaways throughout the show.  Come in out of the cold, and feel spring in the air!

The most wonderful time of the year shouldn’t be put on hold just because of a little cold weather. Even though outside it hasn’t been the best, inside at the Home Expo the grass was green! It really has felt like a spring was here in the home and garden booths around me.

All the attendee’s are ready to start remodeling and/or building projects, and looking for the latest trends, fresh ideas and great deals. With hundreds of experts under one roof you are sure to find what your looking for. Come Join the excitement, there’s only two days left!

If your looking for inspiration, I invite you to attend the 39TH Annual Times Union Home Expo, come see me in booth 323!

Sweetly,

Michele Conti

 

 

Super Bowl Sunday LIII

The Super Bowl is today, and you’re going to be hungry. When you watch a Super Bowl, there’s nothing like sitting down with an amazing spread to gorge on during the game.  With food that will make the weeks of planning worth it when the Patriots face the Rams today!

I’m guessing you’re going to be eating at some point during the game, if not the entire night. Remember, for many people, the Big Game is more like the Big Gulp — a wintertime Thanksgiving for football fans, their friends and, best of all, the people who pretend to be both. So what better way to prepare for Super Sunday than by sizing up some of the most popular game-day snacks?

 

Tired of the same old wings recipe? Kick it up a notch with Maple Mustard Chicken wings which are sweet and spicy and go down great with your favorite beer!

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 pounds chicken wings, separated into drumettes and midsections (or flats), wing tips discarded
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • Vegetable oil, for oiling the grill
  1. Combine the salt, pepper, and cayenne in a large container with a tight fitting lid or a large resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken and toss with your hands until evenly coated. Close the container and refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, place the maple syrup, Dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard, vinegar, and soy sauce in a small, nonreactive bowl and whisk to combine; set aside.
  3. Heat an outdoor grill to medium high (about 375°F to 425°F). When the grill is ready, use tongs to rub the grate with several layers of paper towels dipped in vegetable oil. Place the wings on the grate in a single layer so they are not touching (if needed, cook them in batches). Cover the grill and cook, flipping the wings occasionally with tongs, until the skin is opaque and no longer raw-looking, about 10 minutes. Brush all over with the reserved maple-mustard sauce and continue to cook, flipping and basting occasionally, until the wings are golden brown, no longer pink at the bone, and the skin is crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes more.

These slightly sweet and spicy wings are easy to eat with your fingers and go great with beer. The glaze, made from common ingredients, is a snap to throw together. Have lots of napkins on hand for sticky fingers.

Mini Wonton Tacos

Serves 24
Meat
1 lb 80% lean ground beef, lean
3/4 cup Pace chunky salsa, Mild
1 package Taco seasoning mix
24 Wonton wrappers
1 cup Mexican blend cheese
1/4 cup Sour cream
Heat the oven to 425°F.  Press the wonton wrappers into 24 (1 1/2-inch) mini muffin-pan cups.
Cook the beef in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until well browned, stirring often to separate meat. Pour off any fat. Stir in the taco seasoning mix and 1/4 cup salsa.
Spoon the beef mixture into the wonton cups. Top with the remaining salsa and the cheese.
Bake for 5 minutes or until the wontons are golden brown and the cheese is melted.  Top with the sour cream, if desired.

Chips and dip are an easy go-to snack for tailgating, but what about a cheesy pimento dip and crackers instead? This is a recipe for a mild pepper cheese dip with herbs that is a little more interesting than the usual.
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from canned chipotle’s
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 8 ounces pepper jack, grated
  • 4 ounces pimentos, jarred or fresh
  • 2 teaspoons fresh dill, finely chopped

Combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, adobo sauce, and black pepper in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix it until totally combined (if you have a few lumps from the cream cheese, no problem; you won’t see them later!)

Jalapeno Poppers

To make this amazing DIY bar snack recipe, begin by splitting open fresh jalapeño peppers and scraping out the seeds and veins. Separately, mix cream cheese, cooked Mexican chorizo, canned chipotle chiles, and salt and pepper to form a smooth mixture. Fill the jalapeños, then broil until hot and blistered. Serve at once, with plenty of cold beer or soft drinks.

  • 12 jalapeño peppers
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup minced, cooked Mexican chorizo
  • 1 teaspoon minced canned chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Set the oven to broil and arrange a rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
  2. Lay a jalapeño on your work surface so that it sits flat without rolling. Make two cuts forming a “T” by first slicing down the middle of the chile lengthwise from stem to tip, then making a second cut perpendicular to the first about 1/4 inch from the stem, slicing only halfway through the chile (be careful not to cut off the stem end completely). Carefully open the flaps to expose the interior of the chile, and, using a butter knife or small measuring spoon, scrape the inside to remove the seeds and ribs. Repeat with the remaining peppers; set aside.
  3. Place the cream cheese, chorizo, chipotles, and salt in a medium bowl, season with freshly ground black pepper, and mix until smooth and evenly combined. Transfer the mixture to a quart-size resealable plastic bag, cut one bottom corner off to make a 3/4-inch-wide opening, and squeeze the mixture into the chiles until just filled (be careful not to overfill). Insert a toothpick widthwise through each chile to secure the flaps and filling. Place the filled chiles on the prepared baking sheet in two evenly spaced rows of six.
  4. Broil for 4 minutes, rotate the pan, and continue to broil until the peppers are starting to char and the filling is browned and bubbly, about 4 minutes more. Remove from the oven, and remove the toothpicks if desired. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Get your game face on!! Bon Appetit!

Sweetly,

Michele

Opening Day at The Home Expo!

The 38th annual Times Union Home Expo brought a crowd of infinite energy. Kicking off what show organizers hope to be a successful weekend! The new Albany Capital Center was bustling with enthusiastic show attendees, and some of our favorite vendors were on hand to great them.

Local professionals will be available all weekend to discuss the plans you have for your home. Whatever your plans include, from selling your home to buying into the real estate for market, a large scale renovation to your home, or minor cosmetic changes you’ll find what you need here! There will be in-booth demonstrations taking place as well as free giveaways throughout the show.

The venue was beautiful and traffic moved well through both levels. The lights in the ceiling on the second level, are stupendous setting the mood for attendee’s to discover new products, and meet with vendors for latest trends, fresh ideas and great deals with hundreds of experts under one roof… 

 

 

 Welcoming new friends, L. Browe Asphalt is with us this year, Loren Browe says “Not only does quality paving enhance your home or business’s curb appeal, it also adds value to your property’s total investment. Whether you are residential or commercial, and in need of a new driveway, parking lot, private road or tennis court, stop in and make an appointment for a free consultation and estimate.”

Click Heaters offers reusable and instant Thermal pads which can be used nearly anywhere on one’s body. Unlike most heating pad products, what makes this product unique is that it requires no electricity for immediate activation. With just a click of a small metal disc located inside the pad, it instantly heats up and can last up to an hour or more, depending on use.

Visit Click Heathers in booth# 140 for a demonstration!

 

Looking forward to a great day tomorrow,  when you renovate your home you want to choose products that are cutting edge and timeless. If your looking for inspiration, we invite you to attend the 38TH Annual Times Union Home Expo!

 

See you all tomorrow!!

 

XOXO

Michele Conti

Designs by Michele

Windows – The Eyes of Our Homes

There is a certain appeal to a home with plenty of windows, even more so for large windows. Most of us would agree that a home with floor to ceiling windows tends to be more desirable than one with fewer and smaller windows. Window World knows the hardest part of the home improvement process is visualizing what the final product will look like. With Window World’s unique Design Software, envisioning new products on your home becomes as easy as a few clicks of a mouse. Simple to use and navigate, the Design Center brings your future project to life. The convenient “Print” option provides a hard copy of your selections for inspiration during your in-home consultation.

Windows provide visual access to the outdoors, allow in natural daylight and can provide fresh air and air circulation. Large windows have plenty of advantages, as listed below. They provide:

 

1.      Plenty of natural daylight. Especially during the dark days of winter, when some of us are affected by seasonal affect disorder , large windows can allow light to stream in, allowing you to forgo electric lighting while benefiting from natural light. Exposure to natural light is known to help boost energy and moods and generally makes you feel better, while at the same time regulating your natural circadian rhythm, encouraging better sleeping at night.

2.   Passive Solar Gain.  If designed properly, large well-positioned windows can help heat a home through in the winter when passive solar gain the sun is shining.

3.      A way to bring the outdoors in. Large windows can help you feel like you are part of the outdoors even when you’re inside. Studies have shown that views of the natural world have a profound positive effect on our health and well-being. Views of nature help boost our mood and make us happy. The beauty of the outdoors can also be used as a stunning backdrop for your decor.

4.      Functional Art. Beautiful windows are pleasing to look at, make a room appear bigger and add value to a home in the event of resale.

Some other points about large windows:

Design: An architect will take house orientation on the property into account when planning window design. It’s important to address potential glare and/or excessive heat during certain times of the year. Architects can design windows or shading structures that help minimize glare while preserving views. Ideally, in northern climates like ours, large windows should face south or southwest to allow maximum solar heat gain in winter.

Window World is located in booth #209, this year at the Times Union Home Expo in the Albany Capital Center. Stop in and start seeing the world through the eyes of your home…

Stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…

 

XOXO

Michele Conti

Designs by Michele

 

 

 

 

Sweet and Simple Butter Cookies…Merry Christmas!

 

Christmas cookies are something that everyone looks forward to. You can either make them from scratch, or you can buy the ready made dough at the store. Either way you decide, your kitchen will still smell like fresh baked cookies! I wanted to share our family recipe with you, we use a press or pastry bag. You can layer two cookies and fill with jelly or dip half in chocolate. But we always made green trees and red wreaths…

Recipe:

Ingredients
  • Unsalted Butter 1 cup (226g)
  • Granulated Sugar 1 cup (200g)
  • Large Egg 1 (50g)
  • Whole Milk 2 Tablespoons (44ml)
  • Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon (5ml)
  • All Purpose Flour 2½ cups (320g)
  • Salt ¼ teaspoon

Instructions:

  1. Cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the salt
  3. Combine the egg and vanilla extract together and add to the creaming butter mixture.
  4. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl to incorporate well.
  5. Add the milk and mix until combined, scrape the sides again.
  6. Add the sifted flour all at once and mix on low speed just until combined.
  7. With cookie press pipe the dough onto a parchment lined sheet pan spaced about 1 inch apart.
  8. Bake for about 12 – 17 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned on the edges.
  9. Cool completely and fill with jams, chocolates, ganache’s, buttercream or your choice of fillings and adorn with nuts or sprinkles of your choice.

 

Whether you’re leaving a plate out for Santa, or sharing with everyone at your next get together, cookies are the perfect treat for the holiday season. To celebrate this festive time of year, I wanted so share a recipe that’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. Place them in a mason Jar or cookie tin and share with family and friends. This diy gift is sure to be a hit! My mom would always count her cookies, and make sure we had enough to share….so enjoy your holiday and remember to always count your cookies….

 

 

Merry Christmas!! Stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…

 

XOXO

Michele Coni

 

 

Good Bye Sweetly…

For the 37th year the annual Times Union Home Expo came off without a hitch and lived up to all that we would expect.  A vibrant atmosphere was created among the vendors showcasing their most innovative home improvement services at this year’s show. The attendance was once again great despite the weather.  The number of visitors who have been filing in over the past two days was great. Ending early today due to inclement weather (or should I say a whopper of a snow storm) for the safety of our show goers and vendors…we were sad to say good bye!
Read more “Good Bye Sweetly…”

Day Two At The 37th Annual Home Expo

After 2 days at the Home Expo there is still so much to see and do to keep you entertained as well as providing you with ideas and inspiration for your home! See our Saturday Highlights below from the Beekman Boys book signing and guess who our guest Chef was at the Rising Star Chef Pavilion today? Enjoy the pictures and share some of your photos with us on Facebook!
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First Day Of The 37TH Annual Home Expo!!

What an amazing day! I got to meet and interact with so many wonderful and amazing people! There was a steady stream of people coming through the Times Union Home Expo this afternoon. The crowd was in good spirits despite the brisk 20 degree temperature. There was a great amount of anticipation as the last few  vendors were busy putting together the final touches on their booths for the annual Home Expo.
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Get Ready…The Home Expo Is Almost Here!

Get ready Albany NY,  I’m so excited The 37th Annual Home Expo starts tomorrow! Our event includes home improvement and remodeling exhibits with product demonstrations and sample interior and exterior vignettes. Many of our exhibitors go to great lengths to provide you with visual, interactive experiences designed to stimulate your creativity and dreams for your home improvement plans.
Read more “Get Ready…The Home Expo Is Almost Here!”

High Style Design

The modern American home is constantly evolving, and while some trends go in and out of style, others take their place in the design arena and stick around. The trends that stand the test of time are often those that allow people to live more comfortably and get more use out of their home.

When it comes to home design, kitchen and bath renovation projects still remain at the top of the list for most homeowners. But what are people demanding from these upgrades? Here are a few trends we’ve seen in 2016.
Read more “High Style Design”