Dreaming of a Rose Hued Bag

PINK is on my mind this March, As I celebrate open registration for my All-Female trip to Paris in April 2019

A Taste of Paris Goes PINK

Contact me for pricing and registration. 

pink paris

While everything on the site has been rose hued, I’ve been dreaming of a new PINK bag.  A pop of PINK goes with any spring outfit, right?

Below is a curated list of my favorites for you to explore.  Several are high end, luxury brands that are always fun to look at, and a couple of very affordable options. Hint…the Ted Baker is on sale right now for $78.00!!

When shopping for a colored bag, you want to notice a few things.  Always check the color saturation; color transfer can ruin car seats and favorite outfits.  You also want to make sure your new bag is made of leather. Leather looks better with age, the more you wear it the softer it becomes.  Of course there are many grades of leather and that is reflected in the price.

 I love large bags that hold a ton but the newest shape is a sleek shoulder bag. I’m really excited to share this assortment with you starting with the most luxurious.

Valentino Garavani Quilted Heart Bag


Everything about this bag makes me happy, especially the red heart. Notice the rock stud detail that has become the calling card for Valentino.  The leather handle makes it easy to carry as a handbag or pop out the chain strap and you have a shoulder style.  This is definitely a statement piece!

Gucci GG Marmont Matelasse Mini

This pretty bag features chevron quilting and the iconic GG Gucci is known for.  The shoulder strap is a heavy weight brass to keep this bag firmly on your shoulder. This is the mini, Gucci offers this style in several sizes.

Botkier Cobble Hill


This powder PINK Botkier is an affordable classic that will serve you for many years.  It is all leather and features a front pouch perfect for keys and cell phones.  Don’t like the black fabric shoulder strap?  The Cobble Hill bag is available with a chain shoulder strap as well.

Ted Baker London Barkley

This precious Ted Baker bag is packed with personality and lots of details.  I like the on-trend rose gold hardware that is detachable so you could carry it as a clutch if you like.  This bag retailed for $195.00 and is now on sale for $78.00!


I could not resist bringing this PINK leather tote to you.  Having a bag shaped like this is ideal for ladies on the go; just toss in everything you need and you’re out the door.  Totes are so practical for travel and meetings, this one will accommodate an iPad and small laptop.  If pink is not your thing, there are a variety of spring shades to choose from.

After all of this I can’t decide!  Which one is YOUR favorite? Let me know and for now I’ll keep dreaming!

signature3 no block less space



Strawberry Cupcakes Make Sweet Memories


I love fresh strawberries.  The natural growing season is April to June; pretty short, although with modern growing practices, we can enjoy good berries practically year round.  At the first hint of spring, I am ready for that burst of unmistakable flavor that brings me so much joy.

ATOP has launched A Taste of Paris Goes PINK, turning the site PINK for the month of March in celebration of our all-female culinary trip to Paris in April 2019.

My Strawberry Cupcakes are delightfully pink and simple to make.

strawberry cupcake

Most of you know I am a recent empty nester.

Thinking back on my fondest memories of school days with my kids under foot, cupcakes come to mind.  I remember the children running in the door, their shrieks of joy and those tiny faces filled with excitement because I had baked something yummy. These memories are priceless and a reminder that the most precious things in life, are often the simplest.

I know we live in a busy world and sometimes struggle to keep up.   My suggestion to stop and bake cupcakes is not meant to make you feel guilty but to give you permission to prioritize your day for the sweet faces than mean the most to you.

You will find my no-fail Strawberry Cupcake recipe below; it yields a beautiful batch in the prettiest shade of PINK.  The recipe starts with a boxed mix and calls for frozen berries making it easy to whip up, start to finish in less than 1 hour. I have also added a couple of my favorite time saving kitchen baking utensils.

A scoop for dishing batter, mess free, and…

OXO Cookie Scoop

… one batch cupcake pans that allow you to maneuver and clean up only one pan instead of two. There are two sizes, 24 count for standard cupcakes and 48 count for mini cupcakes.

Wilton 24 Count Pan
Wilton 48 Count Pan

Time goes so fast and in the blink of an eye everything changes.  If you don’t have an hour; order cookies online or swing by your local bakery.  Put the treats on a pretty plate and you will get the same results, a shriek of joy as your loved ones come through the door.

I don’t know about you but I live for those moments!

strawberry cupcake

Strawberry Cupcake



1 white cake mix

1 cup frozen strawberries thawed

1/3 cup oil

4 egg whites
½ cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all ingredients in a bowl with an electric mixer.  Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour batter into 24 cupcake tins lined with paper wrappers and bake for 19-23 minutes. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting with strawberry buttercream frosting.

Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

1½ sticks butter, at room temperature

6 cups of powdered sugar

1 cup frozen strawberries thawed

1-6 tablespoons cream

In a medium bowl, mix butter and fruit with an electric mixer until combined.  Add sugar slowly whipping to incorporate.  If frosting gets to stiff, add cream a little at a time until desired consistency is achieved.  Continue to beat frosting for a few minutes to make it fluffy.



Want to win this set of PINK kitchen utensils?  Send me email addresses for friends that might enjoy my blog, cooking classes or a culinary trip to France!  Each email address is an entry for your friend and for YOU! Winner will be announced on March 31!


signature3 no block less space

Pink Grapefruit Martini

It’s Friday!

And I’m keeping the pink theme going through the end of March to celebrate the launch of A Taste of Paris Goes PINK, an all-female culinary trip to Paris in April 2019. Grab your daughter, mother, and friends to join me for this boutique culinary excursion of a lifetime. Seats are going FAST!

Since it’s the weekend, how about an aperitif, as the French would say!

pomegranite martini

Sometimes after a long week, I just need to chill with a cocktail and some girlfriends.

My no -fuss Grapefruit Martini – a juicy balance of sweet and tart – is the ideal cocktail to serve friends or just bring the week to a close.

It’s not too sweet so if one drink won’t flip your mood, no worries, you can have a few.

You know they say, we taste with our eyes first, and this pretty pink martini would look fetching served in Luigi Bormioli retro chic glasses.

Are you planning a party for lots of BFF’s? The more the merrier, I always say!

Be sure you are stocked up on wine charms to help everyone keep their drinks straight. Below are a few of my on-trend favs. The jeweled bees by Joanna Buchanan have been buzzing around in my head since I first laid eyes on them.  I am not sure how long I can resist temptation!

Tassel Wine Charms 

Tassel Wine Charms March 9
Fred Wine Lines

Wine Charms March 9

Bug Wine Charms

Bug Wine Charms March 9

Grapefruit Martini

2 parts grapefruit vodka

2 parts Ruby Red Grapefruit juice

½ part triple sec

Grapefruit twist for garnish

Shake all ingredients with ice and serve in a chilled glass with a grapefruit twist.


As always; drink responsibly and do not drive!

Enjoy and

signature3 no block less space




PINK Giveaway!

ATOP has launched A Taste of Paris Goes PINK, turning the site PINK for the month of March in celebration of our all-female culinary trip to Paris in April 2019.  Check out this amazing trip including all of the very best culinary gems, Paris has to offer.


To keep the PINK ball in-the-air, I am hosting an all-PINK GIVEAWAY!!!

This amazing prize includes: a big beautiful PINK Mason Cash Bowl, a PINK 5 speed Cuisinart hand mixer, a set of two Kate Spade kitchen towels and a set of 3 PINK rubber spatulas.

A value of $150.00!!


Can you imagine yourself baking treats in your kitchen with these delightful accessories?

Register TODAY!!!

All you have to do is send me email addresses for anyone that you think might be interested in A Taste of Paris; the blog, travel to France or cooking classes!

Each email address is an entry.  Enter as many times as you want!

Click HERE and get started or simply email me at lorie@atasteofparis.net

Gift will be awarded on March 30th! GOOD LUCK!


A Taste of Paris Goes PINK!
April 7th – 13th, 2019

Mothers, Daughters, Sisters and Besties
Reserve your seats TODAY

For this all girls trip of a lifetime!
Be treated like royalty at the  Ecole Ritz Escoffier with a Special French Market Class

French Desserts Technique class developed especially for ATOP at the famed Lenotre

French Cheese and Wine Pairing  class taught in a 400 year old cave will awaken your senses and ignite your palate

Entertaining Champagne Tasting including bottle sabering!!

Enjoy high tea at famous salon

Macaroons and Chocolate Tasting

Soufflé Dinner and ATOP original Hotel Picnic

River Cruise on the Seine

The Louvre, Musee d’Orsay and Musee Rodin

Notre Dame and La Madeleine

Concert at Sainte-Chapelle

Arc de Triomphe, Place Concorde, Flower Market

Tuileries Garden and Luxembourg Garden

Culinary shopping trip and Visit the best Flea Market in Paris

6 Nights Stay at 4 Star hotel with fabulous address
VIP no waiting in lines at museums and sites

signature3 no block less space

PINK Favorites Part Un!

ATOP has launched A Taste of Paris Goes PINK, turning the site PINK for the month of March in celebration of our all-female culinary trip to Paris in April 2019.



My oldest friend and I have a saying we use when we adore something…


When either of us uses that phrase, we know it’s something really special.

After combing through retailers’ spring offerings I am happy to say I have curated a list of

“BIG PINK HEARTS” for you to enjoy!

Pink is a hot color this season. With so many goods to choose from, my list was split into two parts. I am pleased to share the first half with you right now. The second half of the list will be coming later this month, so stay tuned!

Have I mentioned PINK is my favorite color? Maybe that’s why I am so excited about this ring. The pearl is freshwater and 9-10 millimeters in size. The band is made of 14 karat rose gold. Think Audrey Hepburn: simple and elegant! Shop Now!


I just adore this shade of pink, J. Crew calls “neon peony”. This super soft, lightweight cashmere will keep you warm without breaking the bank. Shop Now!

This blender just makes me happy! Can you imagine making your morning green drinks in this cheerful blender? Shop Now!

Fig is my shade! This emollient-rich lipstick stays put and has a slight sheen so your lips don’t look dry.Shop Now!

So cute! Sneakers worn with everything is on-trend again for spring. This pair by Ted Baker takes the cake with darling pink flowers on the rubber edging. Shop Now!

I am a blazer girl. I like to pop a blazer over almost all my outfits, giving me a long and lean look! Shop Now!

A Taste of Paris Goes PINK!


Registration for ATOP Travel is now OPEN. In April 2019, I am hosting a very special event: A Taste of Paris Goes PINK. This all-female trip is jam-packed with amazing offerings.

What a perfect time to travel with your mother, daughter, sister, or best friends, and ME to The City of Light. You will be treated like royalty at the Ecole Ritz Escoffier, the most luxurious address in the city of Paris. You will enjoy a custom-crafted class on classic French desserts at the famed Lenôtre. You will venture into a 400-year-old cave for a cheese and wine pairing class, igniting your palate and your spirit. You will also be treated to a Champagne tasting event like no other, complete with Champagne Sabering!

To celebrate this extraordinary one-time offer, my website will go PINK for the entire month of March!

Get ready for PINK- fun, food, and fashion just in time for spring.

signature3 no block less space

Just a few of the precious ladies that have joined me for ATOP trips!








Front Door Update!

Being closed inside for months of cold temperatures and rain always gives me the urge to update some things around the house.

My front door space was in desperate need of a facelift.  I think that is the perfect word.  The front door is like the face of your home.  It is the first thing visitors and people driving by notice.

My front door was really looking tired!  So I decided to update.

Front door 1

Most of the plants in my urns were gone due to lack of care through the colder temperatures of winter. And the front door wreaths were really in trouble; not only were the red flowers and ribbons looking worn and dirty, I could never get them to hang straight on my door. It was time for a redo!

Front door 7

I pulled off the red flowers and ribbon and touched up the paint on the large empty frames.  I bought wired edge burlap ribbon and heavy jute string.  I looped the jute string around the frame in a double loop.  This would allow one side of the jute loop to hang on either side of my door wreath hangers (painted the same color as my front door).  I first hot glued then taped the jute string to the back of the silver chalkboards.  I tied a pretty bow with the burlap ribbon and hot glued it in place. Now the frames hang straight!

Front door 9

After getting my “wreaths” set, I added a huge monogrammed door mat.  Since I have a double front door, the space could handle this oversized statement mat and I love that the design seems to reflect the color of the front door!


I added white primroses and…

Front door 5

…purple pansies to the posts urns and baskets.

Front door 10

One lantern with a pop of pink is just what the space needed.

Front door 8

Are you noticing a theme?


Sweet cherubs bring me so much joy!

Front door 2

That’s better, now my front door is smiling!signature3 no block less space


Barthelemy One of My Favorite Parisian Addresses!


The French are serious about their cheese.  The average French citizen consumes more than 55 pounds of cheese annually compared to a meager 34 pounds for Americans. No matter how you slice it, thats a lot of cheese!


In France there is an entire course of the meal dedicated to cheese.  The cheese course is served after the main course and before or instead of dessert.  Cheese is considered a digestive, it “closes the stomach”.  I tend to close my stomach with chocolate but I digress.

Barthelemy 2

Because the French love their cheese, every community in France has a Fromagerie, an entire shop dedicated to cheese.


If you’re visiting Paris and have time for only 1 cheese shop, Barthelemy is a must.  This quaint little shop is packed full of wonderful cheese. It’s worth noting that Barthelemy is the supplier to the Elysee, the official residence of the President! So if you go there and taste cheese, you will eat the same cheese as President Macron, pretty cool huh?


When I visited in September, I could  not  wait to get my hands on the petit coeur de neufchatel.  These darling hearts had mine at first glance and the flavor was incredible.  If you like creamy cheeses the house made Fontainbleau should not be missed.  It has a dreamy cloud like texture, is mild in flavor and made with cows milk.

It makes me want to emulate the French and have a dedicated cheese course with all of my meals!

If you want to learn more about French cheeses, join me this Saturday, February 23rd  for a demonstration The French and Their Cheese at the Dallas Arboretum

Or register for French Provencal 2 Day Workshop April 5th and 6th, a cheese course is served each day in this deep dive into provencal cooking for a once in a lifetime cooking class experience.


Come with me to France and taste it all for yourself!

Registration for

A Taste of Paris Goes Pink


A Taste of Provence is NOW OPEN!

signature3 no block less space

Chocolate Lava Cake for your Valentine!


Chocolate Lava Cake is the PERFECT Valentine dessert.  Nothing melts the heart quite like the molten center of a rich chocolate cake! And a bonus, this recipe is simple to make, no mixer required. Just stir up the easy batter and fill your ramekins. Remember to chill the prepared cakes before baking as an insurance policy for those luscious liquid centers!


Chocolate Lava Cake

1½ sticks butter

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed

6 eggs

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour

Butter 6 (6 ounce) ramekins well and dust with flour.  Melt chocolate and butter in the microwave in 30 second intervals stirring in between each heating and let cool.  In a bowl combine flour and sugar.  Add eggs to the chocolate mixture one at a time and incorporate well before adding flour and sugar.  Mix to combine.  Using a kitchen scoop, spoon batter into prepared dishes and place the dishes into the refrigerator to rest 1-2 hours or for up to 3 days.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Let rest 3 minutes before inverting dish onto a plate, dust with powdered sugar if desired.

For fabulous recipes and a great time, join me for an upcoming cooking class, Click Here for a full schedule of events.


signature3 no block less space

Start your day with Chocolate!!


I was wandering around our downtown square one day a few weeks ago and stopped into Ettiene Market.  I had a nice chat with Coryanne Ettiene, the owner and all around fabulous kitchen expert.  She showed me some of her delicious spice blends and gave me this fantastic idea to make Chocolate Flakes for adding to any hot beverage.

Start your day with the indulgence of Chocolate? How French!

I came home and made an irresistible batch and thought you might enjoy seeing how to make some for yourself!

CA 2

There are several spice blends available at Ettiene’s but this one really spoke to me.  It has been only a few months since I spent some time with my A Taste of Paris group in the precious town of Reims, France.

Reims N.39 has a honey, anise and cinnamon flavor making you think of warm cookies right out of the oven.


To get started; melt dark chocolate(I use Ghirardelli 60% cacao) in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between each time.  Always use the least amount of heat necessary to melt the chocolate.

Pour the melted chocolate out onto a parchment lined baking sheet.


Spread the chocolate into a very thin layer.


Using a fine mesh sieve, sprinkle a nice coating or Reims N.39 on the surface of the chocolate.


Place the baking sheet into the refrigerator until chocolate hardens, about 1 hour, before breaking it into pieces.


I put the chocolate flakes in a jar and when I have hot tea, I add a few flakes to take me right back to Reims.  I am already dreaming of my next visit!

Make some yourself, and start your day or have an afternoon pick-me-up, with decadent chocolate goodness.


signature3 no block less space