Bastille Day Menu for your own Frenchie Celebration

Bastille-Day-Paris-02.jpg

The French celebrate their independence on Bastille Day, July 14th each year.  This is the day the French Revolutionists stormed the Bastille releasing its prisoners.  It’s considered the turning point of that conflict which ultimately overturned monarch rule in France.

arc-de-triumph-at-sunset-seen-from-champs-elysees-paris-france_v6zficunax__F0000

There is always a parade down the Champs Elysees with the beautiful Arc de Triomphe as the centerpiece and plenty of fireworks once dark falls on the city.

Glass of rose wine.

It’s a great excuse to pop open a bottle of rosé and invite a few friends for a simple dinner.

Hot July temperatures call for lighter dishes Like Ham and Avocado Tartine, a pretty salad and a sweet treat like my Chocolate Madeleines.  Enjoy!

Prosciutto and avocado tartine

Ham and Avocado Tartine

4 slices rustic bread toasted

1 clove garlic

1 avocado

4 slices deli ham or prosciutto

1 cucumber sliced

Pinch crushed red pepper

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Rub each slice of bread with garlic clove and discard.  Place bread on baking sheet and toast on both sides for about 3 minutes. Mash ¼ of the avocado on each slice of bread, season with salt and pepper.  Add cucumber. Place ham on top and sprinkle with crushed red pepper and plenty of salt and pepper and serve.

charming-salad1-1-3647396030-1528922506578-300x253

Purple Flower Salad

2 mini purple lettuce heads

1 cup carrot matchsticks

1/2 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted

1/4 dried cranberries

Balsamic Vinaigrette

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

1 garlic clove, pressed

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Pinch of both salt and pepper

½ cup olive oil

Hold each lettuce head firmly in your hand and cut the bottom root off.  Hold the head firmly as you run cold water through the bundle to clean the lettuce.  Place bundle in the center of a serving platter and release it so the leaves form a circle.  Repeat with second bundle on top of the first one creating the flower petals. Place the carrots in the center of the lettuce flower and spread them out a bit.  Mound the yellow peppers in the center of the carrots.  Next, place the walnuts then cranberries on top of the vegetables; you will create rings of color. To prepare the dressing, add vinegar, garlic, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk well to combine.  Add olive oil in a steady stream whisking vigorously until it is all mixed and you have a silky dressing.  Serve the salad with the dressing on the side.

Plate of chocolate Madeleine's.

Chocolate Madeleines

¾ cup butter

1 ½ cups sugar

¾ cup flour

¾ cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder

3 eggs

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

Extra butter and flour for preparing pans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Butter and flour madeleine pans well, and set aside.    Melt ¾ cup butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Add cocoa powder to butter and mix well.  Stir in sugar and then eggs.  Add flour, salt and vanilla and mix until combined. Spoon a walnut sized portion into each madeleine shell.  Place madeleine pans on a baking sheet and into the oven for 14-18 minutes until edges are set and tops are puffed.

 

There is still space in Herbs Fresh from the Garden at the Arboretum, hope to see you there!

au revoir for now lorie (002)

 

 

Red or White?

Wine Burgundy

Do you prefer red or white wine? I know when its hot outside many people drink lighter wines.

rose champagne 2

I simply prefer reds, the darker, thicker and richer they are the better!  The truth is, I have not always been a wine drinker.  In fact, I never drank wine other than sparkling’s, until about 16 years ago.

4 champagne glasses

I was invited to a big birthday party for a friend, I won’t tell you what number we were celebrating because I reserve the right to keep mine and my friends ages a secret!

French wine and cheese 2

The menu for the birthday dinner was set.  The choices were beef or salmon.  I never order salmon, since I am lucky enough to have a freezer full at all times due to my husband’s annual Alaskan fishing trip.  And the drink choices were red or white wine; naturally I selected the beef filet and my first ever, glass of red wine.

  Wine glasses

The label was Dynamite Cabernet and there was definitely a flavor explosion happening in my mouth. I never looked back and have been an avid red wine lover ever since.

Burgundy french wine corks

I discovered rosé wine in a similar way.  About 4 years ago when I was researching for my first ATOP group trip to Provence.  I was sitting at a seaside cafe eating mussels and frites with my sweet friend Donna who happens to live in Australia.  She suggested that we order wine with lunch…OK why not!  After that first glass of French rosé I totally understood the phrase Rosé all Day!

IMG_8748

I have not had that same light-bulb experience with white wines but I am hopeful!

Wine on boat

Tell me, are you a red or white wine drinker and if white is your jam, what label?  Maybe I will give it a try and be converted before summers end.

au revoir for now lorie (002)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Annick Goutal- Intoxicating, Fresh and Feminine

Store front of Annick Goutal Paris

On my most recent trip to Paris, I had a surprise for my A Taste of Paris Goes PINK group. Every French adventure reminds me to embrace and share the things I love.

Lorie and Celine at Annick Goutal in Paris

We spent a little more than an hour at one of my beloved Parisian addresses, Annick Goutal, the original location on rue Bellechasse.

A Taste of Paris perfume workshop in Paris

Celine guided us in our discovery of this iconic French brand. Fine French fragrance can’t be rushed, in some cases taking up to a decade to create.

A Taste of Paris travelers smelling fragrances

A Nose, is the name given to the highest caliber perfumer.  An artist, working with many raw scents to develop something original, that evokes emotion, much like a symphony. Celine explained the process of developing a perfume and offered us the chance to smell many raw ingredients that go into their fragrance assortment.

An assortment of Annick Goutal fragrances

My favorite Annick Goutal fragrance is Un Matin D’ Orage; a stormy morning.  Annick, the founder of the brand, was out for a morning walk after a rain storm, she discovered a magnolia blossom on the ground and pinned it to her blouse.  The scent of the flower, softened by the rain, was wafting about and from this experience she imagined the fragrance and set about creating it.  The smell of Un Matin D’Orage is intoxicating, fresh and feminine.

This is a snip of Celine explaining the NOTES of a perfume.  The first note, or head note is what you smell when the perfume is applied.  The head notes are the most volatile molecules so they fade quickly.  As the perfume dries down, you begin to have a hint of the middle note or the heart note.  These notes will linger longer and are considered the heart of the fragrance.  With a bit more time on the skin, the base notes come through and as they mingle with the heart notes, you will experience the full body of the fragrance.

Several A Taste of Paris travels that attended the perfume workshop

Body chemistry plays a role in how the notes of the fragrance mix.  That’s why a very fine fragrance never smells the same on someone else, it becomes your OWN.

Celine at Annick Goutal in Paris

Every time I spray Un Matin D’Orage, I am transported to the precious boutique on rue Bellechasse.

Sharing my love of Annick Goutal and fragrance with my A Taste of Paris travelers and YOU is a real joy!

Check out the details of A Taste of Paris 2020 Would YOU or someone you know like to fill one of the last seats?  If so, click the link and tag your friend in the comments.

au revoir for now lorie (002)

Christian Dior, a Fashion Legend

Join me for A Day of Dior

Friday, July 19th 2019- 8 tickets still available!

Dior office and store at 30, Montaigne Avenue Paris

In 1946 Christian Dior established his fashion house at 30, Avenue Montaigne and it still remains there today.

Dior window Spring 2019
Dior Window, Spring 2019, 30, Avenue Montaigne Paris

I take great delight in retracing Christian Dior’s footsteps as I head out with my Paris groups, we pass this address on our way to the morning train.

Dior 1947-1957

Dior was convinced that people were ready for something new after many years of war and in 1947, he debuted the New Look; a silhouette that would define the 1950’s.

Dior day suit with black skirt and white jacket and hat

This New Look with its narrow shoulders, accentuated bust, nipped waist with a wide flared “flower” skirt exudes femininity and despite the lack of practicality, people loved it.

White Dior gown with red velvet ribbon and ivy

Dior employed the very finest tailors and used the most sumptuous fabrics money could buy.

Diors fabric swatches and drawings

He understood the importance of catering to starlets and the press that would ultimately follow; after all he was making more than dresses, he was building a brand.

An assortment of white and cream Dior gowns.

Dior was the first to licences his name for other products like make-up and perfume.  The name Dior was and still is synonymous with luxury.

Join me for A Day of Dior

OR for A Taste of Paris 2020 and see Dior at Avenue Montaigne for yourself. 

au revoir for now lorie (002)

 

Maubert; a favorite Parisian Market

Vegetable Provence market

Market shopping in Paris is a must.  Markets run every morning in various areas of the city.

This is a quick selfie-video I took on my last trip.

One of my favorite markets is in the Latin quarter and it’s called Maubert Marche.  It’s so easy to find, just take the Metro, line 10 and get off at Maubert Mutualite, come above ground and you have arrived!

eggplant 2 market

The vegetables are incredible!

Basket of fresh herbs.

So are the herbs.

market-eggs.jpg

And eggs.

wall of roses.

Don’t even get me started on the flowers; pure paradise!

 

Lorie in the Maubert market

This is me in the Maubert Marche, from what seems like a million years ago!

I would Love to take YOU there!

Make one of the last seats for

A Taste of Paris 2020

YOURS!!

Register today by email lorie@atasteofparis.net

au revoir for now lorie (002)

An assortment of white and cream Dior gowns.

An Exclusive Day of Dior- with ATOP

An assortment of red Dior dresses.

Dior- From Paris to the World

I spent a few hours at the Louvre several years ago exploring the incredible world of Dior at the world acclaimed exhibit that broke all attendance records.  When I returned to the Dallas area, I visited the Dior store at Highland Park Village, they were all a buzz with the news that the Dior exhibit would, eventfully make its way to Dallas! After waiting more than 2 years the magnificent exhibit has finally arrived.

An assortment of white and cream Dior gowns.
I am thrilled to bring you an exclusive Day of Dior, curated just for ATOP followers.

This experience promises to be filled with amazing fashion, fabulous food and wine and of course FUN.  I sincerely hope you will join ATOP for…

A Day of Dior

Friday, July 19th

11:00 am Dallas Museum of Art
Welcome and a preview of the exhibit with an expert-
Dior from Paris to the World
Enjoy the Exhibit

12:45 Lunch at Bistro 31, Highland Park Village
Private lunch in the Champagne Room
with Wine

Christian Dior Highland Park Village- Sweets and Champagne
A look at modern day Dior and a peek at 2019 fall fashion- Jake Walton

3:00 Farewell- Gift bag for all participants

Tickets are limited Get them HERE

Cream colored Dior gown with red velvet ribbon and ivy.

The exhibit was so incredible, it literally brought me to tears.

An assortment of 4 Dior gowns.

Pictures hardly do the gowns justice; the fabrics are so ornate.

Up close of fabric from Dior gown.

This is a close-up of the fabric from a strapless gown.  The flowers are all hand-made of silk.  I wanted to scoop this up and take it with me, it was my favorite!

I hope YOU will join me!

au revoir for now lorie (002)

 

Playground for the Rich and Famous-the French Riviera

Pebbled beach in NIce, France

The French Riviera; playground for the rich and famous, will be the back drop for an amazing adventure for 7 travelers, in April 2020.

French Riviera

The vibrant coastal town of Nice will be our hub for this week-long exploration of the area and Nice has it all.  The magnificent cerulean blue Mediterranean ocean on one side, and 3 mountain caps on the other, home to the sweetest villages I have ever encountered.

Village around French Riviera.

This village with the fortress wall around it, is tucked into the mountains and is begging to be explored.

City view Nice, France.

The colorful city center of Nice is packed with cafes that spill into the streets, with a waft of the Provencal flavors in the air and the casual nature of these establishments hint at the warmth of its people.

Not far from this is SHOPPING!  Nice is a larger city so all of the high-end brands are available and plenty of moderately priced options too!

Te e Tisane al mercato di Eze, Costa Azzurra

Markets in this region of France abound and all with their own flair.  I always love seeing the beautiful spices and…

Confiture in the window, Nice, France.

…the candied fruits; confiture, a delicacy of the region.

Shrimp Risotto

Don’t even get me started on the food.

Penne pasta with basil.

Nice is very close to the Italian border so there is PASTA, so tasty and yet still served with the elegance that can only be associated with France.

Nice, France

Can you tell I am crushing hard on the French Riviera?

I have only 3 spaces left for this amazing trip

The French Riviera April 24th-30th 2020.

Don’t delay, make one of them YOURS Today.  By email to lorie@atasteofparis.netau revoir for now lorie (002)

ATOP Macarons at Up Inspired Kitchen

Silver compote with French Macarons.

Hey you guys!  Come see me at UP Inspired Kitchen, this Thursday from 9:00-1:00 and enjoy one of my fresh macarons on us! I’ll be on hand to demonstrate this magnificent  French treat!

Toasts with avocado, pears and prosciutto and spinach with mushrooms.

If it’s not already, UP will be one of your new favorite places!

Up-Inspired-2.jpg

The breakfast AND lunch menu is full of clean, honestly sourced foods that makes you feel great.  UP Inspired Kitchen is a on a mission to inspire you to feel your best, so you can BE your best!

group in front of hotel de ville Paris

Experiencing new cultures and traveling with friends is one of the best ways to Live UP!

IMG_1611

We’ll take your taste buds on a Parisian culinary adventure without even having to pack your suitcase. So stop by UP Inspired Kitchen on Thursday for a French macaron, stay for some coffee and enter to win some French treats!

Pot of orange flowers

AND Learn more about my exclusive excursions to France!
au revoir for now lorie (002)

There is NO Such Thing as TOO Many Bubbles!

 

Glasses toasting in our champagne tasting class

I ask you…is there any such thing as too many bubbles?

I hear a resounding NO in my head, is that YOU?

Mary leading us in a champagne tasting

This is Mary who led us in a wonderful class on the effervescent world of French Champagne.

Lorie about to open a bottle of champagne

We tasted lots of champagne and other goodies

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Charcuterie, Gougeres and the acclaimed Gillardeau oysters known as the Rolls-Royce of oysters.

Monica opening a bottle of champagne

Without a doubt the best part was watching ATOP travelers pop the bottles.

35TasteofParisChampagne

Our expert, Mary, was teaching us how to open the bottle “so that it gives a soft sigh, much like that of a satisfied women” not a loud pop!

59TasteofParisChampagne

To open the bottle, take off the foil wrapper, keep your thumb on the top of the bottle, twist the wire tab towards yourself, six times.  Keeping your thumb on the top, and hand over the wire cage, now twist the bottle, not the cork until it releases with a sigh.

Lorie opening a bottle of champagne

I’ll be practicing this new way but I won’t lie, I love the loud pop champagne makes! It lets me know a party is about to start!

The three special ladies you see see in this post will be featured on my Facebook page atasteofparistrips and on Instagram stories @atasteofparis, this week. I hope you will check it out!

MOMS do so much for everyone else!  I love when they do something for themselves like travel to FRANCE with me!

IMG_1040

For information on Travel in 2020 Click HERE!

A huge thank you to L’amour de Paris for the photos at our Champagne tasting, I appreciate them so much!

au revoir for now lorie (002)

 

 

Parisian Picnic in McKinney Texas

Parisian Picnic, McKinney Texas

I am so excited to be partnering with We Ate Well Food Tours for their first ever POP-UP!

It’s a Parisian Picnic right here in McKinney!! Did you know French picnics are one of my favorite things?  I’ll be showing you how I create them for my husband and I on the reg. Such a great way to spend and evening or entertain friends.

Parisian Picnic McKinney Texas

You don’t need a passport to enjoy a French-style picnic! This delicious, hands-on Spring experience will include a basket, yours to keep, full of goodies sourced from local businesses as well as surprise giveaways. We’ll meet at Mitchell Park in Historic Downtown McKinney to eat well and learn picnic essentials.

Whats in the basket? All the essentials!

Fruit

Salad

Baguette

Meat & Cheese

Vegetable Chips, Dip & Jam

Sparkling French Lemonade

Macarons & Truffles

Mini Floral Bouquet

McKinney Wine Merchant Gift Card

This event is BYOB = Bring Your Own Blanket!  We’ll provide a basket

Class size limited

Picnic Basket for 1 |   $ 85

Picnic Basket for 2 |   $105

For Tickets CLICK  

Hope to see you there!

au revoir for now lorie (002)