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!

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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!

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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

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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)

 

Notre Dame has Inspired Generations

The world watched in horror as Notre Dame, Our Lady Cathedral in Paris, France, burned for hours on Monday, April 15th, 2019. I was in Paris having just returned to my hotel after being near Notre Dame when the fire broke out.

The video you see above was taken on April 11th, 2019 when I visited Notre Dame with my A Taste of Paris, 2019 group.  I feel very thankful that I took this tiny snippet, I don’t usually take video or pictures here as I have visited so many times but, on this day, I had been searching for several new artifacts.

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Notre Dame is ALWAYS on the list of sites to visit with my groups, it has to be one of the most memorable and emotional places we go.

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When you think about the fact that this structure is almost 900 years old, the very first stone was laid in 1163, it gives you chills.  As you enter the structure and see all of the painstaking details, you began to understand just what it must have been like in mid evil times to carry and hoist each and every stone to construct this Gothic marvel.  Notre Dame was completed in 1345 taking 182 years to build. Now that is awesome.

Notre Dame de Paris at night
Notre Dame de Paris at night

A few facts about Notre Dame you might not know:

    • When Notre Dame was built it could hold 10,000 people for worship, standing of course, there were no pews.
    • Notre Dame was built on the exact site of the pagan temple of Jupiter built by the Romans in the 6th century.
    • In 1804 Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned the first emperor of France here.
    • Victor Hugo’s, Hunchback of Notre Dame was completed, in 1831.  At that time, the cathedral was in a terrible state of disrepair.  As the novel gained in popularity, people began to visit Notre Dame and the French government decided to restore this massive beauty.
    • The crown of thorns worn by Jesus, a nail from his cross and a piece of the cross are housed in the crypt at Notre Dame, in the deepest part of the structure.  These artifacts are brought out for viewing only 1 time a year, on Good Friday.  Luckily, these artifacts were saved from the fire.
    • Notre Dame is one of the largest religious structure in the world.
  • Every year more that 13 million people visit Notre Dame

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The above image is the center front facade of Notre Dame.  You dont have a complete picture here but what you are looking at is Jesus in the center with his 12 apostles, Peter being just to His left.  Above Jesus you will see the last judgement taking place.  I love sharing this scene with my travelers in great detail and cannot tell you how grateful I am that it is still standing.

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The French have vowed to rebuild Notre Dame and hope to have it completed within 5 years. I look forward to watching the progress that I am sure will amaze.

I would love to hear from you guys about you first visit to Notre Dame or any detail you would like to share!

au revoir for now lorie (002)

A Favorite French Dessert

Lemon tart

There is nothing more classically French than a Lemon Tart.

By the time you read this I’ll be in Paris preparing for my A Taste of Paris 2019 group!  I thought it might be fun to share a French favorite with YOU.  You can make a Lemon Tart and enjoy a taste of Paris along with us!

Follow all of the FUN on Instagram @atasteofparis.net or Facebook by liking the atasteofparistrips page.

A special note to my followers that have been attempting to register for cooking classes and send pricing inquires for Upcoming Trips, after several weeks, all of the forms on my site are now working!

Lemon Tart

Crust

1 ½ cups flour

¾ cup cold butter

½ cup+ 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

Filling

1 8-ounce package cream cheese softened

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cream

½ cup fresh lemon juice (3 large lemons)

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon lemon zest

3 large eggs 

Topping

1 cup heavy cream

½ cup powdered sugar

To prepare the crust, combine flour sugar and salt in a food processor and process to combine.  Add cold butter cut into cubes and process until dough forms a ball.  Prepare tart pan by coating with butter or non-stick spray.  Press crust into pan evenly.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Chill crust for 15 minutes in the freezer.  Prick bottom of crust with fork and bake for 15 minutes until lightly browned. To prepare filling, combine sugar and cream cheese and whip with an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, next add lemon zest and juice and mix well. Pour into tart shell and bake for 25-30 minutes until filling is set. To prepare topping, combine cream and sugar in a bowl, whip with and electric mixer until stiff peaks form.  Pipe onto cooled tart and serve.

Trips in 2020- More information HERE

A Taste of Paris-April 13-20th, 2020

A Taste of Paris- The French Rivera and Monaco March 25th-April 1st

A Taste of Paris- Wine Lovers Burgundy and the Champagne Regions September 9th-17th 2020 

 

Cooking Classes- Register HERE

May 3rd 10:30-1:00 Make and Take Dinner for Two-A new offering in the cooking school!  Come and take a cooking class and take home a 4-course dinner for two.  Share it with your spouse or a friend!  This class promises to be lively and full of fun!

On the Menu:

Appetizer- Blue Cheese Pecan Crusted Grapes is a flavor explosion

Starter- Stunning Birds Nest Salad and Herbed Brioche Rolls

Main- Sweet Spiced Bourbon Pork Loin served with Darling Pommes William (ours are baked not fried) and abundant Balsamic Veg Roast

Dessert-Petite Chocolate Loaf Cakes slathered in Amara Cherry Creme Sauce

Tomato Soup and tea will be served.  Class size is limited.  Class Fee $64.50

June 21st 10:30-1:00 Make and Take Dinner for Two- A new offering in the cooking school!  Come and take a cooking class and take home a 4-course dinner for two.  Share it with your spouse or a friend!  This class promises to be lively and full of fun!

On the Menu:

Appetizer- We will master the art of precious Chinese Dumplings in both Pork and Vegetarian varieties and dipping sauce.

Starter- Thai Lettuce Wraps with chicken

Main- Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry with Pineapple Fried Rice

Dessert-Precious Pound Cakes with Sweet Citrus Compote

Spinach Salad and French Bread will be served with iced tea.  Class Fee $64.50

au revoir for now lorie (002)

Handcrafted Cheeseboard

Cheese and other foods on a wooden board.

Handcrafted cheeseboards that make people swoon are easier to make than you think!  After a long hard week, Mark and I often opt to stay in on a Friday night and enjoy a “picnic” cheeseboard made in a matter of minutes, and YOU can too!

3 types of cheese on a wooden board.

Start with a beautiful wooden board and 3 cheese varieties.  I like to choose something soft like Brie, a semi-soft cheese like Gouda and a hard cheese like Comté. Or in this case a stronger cheese like Blue.

Hancrafted Cheese board 6-R

I always add some type of meat to the board. If you get something sliced thin, like this salami, you can pinch the center of each slice to create this pretty ruffled effect.

Hancrafted Cheese board 7-R

Next, add fruit, apples are my favorite. I like a firm, tart apple varietal like Honey-crisp to pair with rich cheeses.  Dried fruits are always nice too, they are sweet and chewy giving you another texture to enjoy.  Sprinkle on a few nuts, some Provencal olives and maybe even a few cornichons.  Last but not least a good loaf of French bread.

Hancrafted Cheese board 3-R

That’s all there is to a gorgeous display of food.  Add a bottle of wine and you are ready for an epic Friday night!

I hope you will join me for an upcoming cooking class, we have so much fun!! Register for classes TODAY by email to Lorie@atasteofparis.net

April 25th 6:30-8:30 Let’s Make Dinner  A new offering at the cooking school; come and make and enjoy a 4-course meal.  The fun begins with a CoCo-Light Martini as we will dive into our menu. We will prepare and enjoy a Texas tradition Jalapeno Poppers MORE

May 3rd 10:30-1:00 Make and Take Dinner for Two A new offering in the cooking school!  Come and take a cooking class and take home a 4-course dinner for two.  Share it with your spouse or a friend!  This class promises to be lively and full of fun!On the Menu:Appetizer- Blue Cheese Pecan Crusted Grapes is a flavor explosion MORE

June 21st 10:30-1:00 Make and Take Dinner for Two A new offering in the cooking school!  Come and take a cooking class and take home a 4-course dinner for two.  Share it with your spouse or a friend!  This class promises to be lively and full of fun!On the Menu:Appetizer- We will master the art of precious Chinese Dumplings in Pork MORE

Handcrafted Cheeseboard Shopping LIST:

3 wedges of cheese

Thinly sliced salami

Assorted fresh fruits

Dried fruit

Nuts

Olives

Cornichon

French bread

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Bright red tulips in a green vase setting next to a stone cherub.

Are you ready for spring?

 

Bright red tulips in a green vase setting next to a stone cherub.

I don’t know about you, but winter has seemed extra-long. In my town we have had many cold, rainy and I will say it, gloomy days.

Much to my surprise, a sweet friend brought me a lovely bunch of tulips on Friday evening and it was a welcome sign that spring is on the way! I simply adore having fresh cut blooms in the house, it is such a decadent luxury.

Red tulips laying on a counter

When you start to see tulips and daffodils in the markets and florist you know warmer weather is just around the bend.

The stems of tulips being trimmed.

Tulips are probably the easiest flower to manage into a gorgeous arrangement.  I thought I would show you what I did. First, trim each stem with very sharp scissors and cut them at an angle.  This lets the stems take on more water.

Tulips laying on a counter with a hand removing excess foliage.

Next, remove any loose foliage towards the bottom of the stems.  This helps to keep the water clean and pure for the blooms.

A bunch of tulips being put in a green vase.

To arrange, simply gather the bunch of stems and place it into a vase or even a mason jar filled with water.

A bunch of red tulips in a glass vase.

I am always amused at how the stems seem to turn towards the sun, just like me!!

Are you as ready for spring as I am?  What are you looking forward to most? I hope you will share your thoughts so we can all get ready for spring together!au revoir for now lorie (002)

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Tune into FOX Tomorrow for Valentine Date Night

Lorie Fangio with the KDFW Fox crew

Tune into Fox 4 KDFW, tomorrow, Wednesday, February 13th about 9:40 to see ME cooking LIVE with the morning crew!

I’ll show you how to host a Romantic Date Night, just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Instead of fighting crowds this year, opt to stay in with this mouthwatering menu.  Pan seared Pork Chops with Apple Cranberry Pan Sauce served over Creamy Mashed Potatoes is decadent and satisfying and the best part, it won’t take you all day to prepare!

For a sweet ending try one of my favorite go-to recipes French Chocolate Bark.

porkchops with apple cran sauce

Pork Chops with Apple Cranberry Pan Sauce

2 boneless pork chops, 6 ounces each

1-2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons butter

½ large Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped

¼ cup dried cranberries

1 tablespoon onion, grated

1 small garlic clove, pressed

1 teaspoon brown sugar

2 tablespoons dry white wine

¼ cup chicken stock

pinch cinnamon

¼ teaspoon sage

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt butter in a chef’s pan set over medium/low heat.  Salt and pepper pork chops liberally.  Dredge chops in flour and place into the hot pan.  Sear for 3-4 minutes until pork is getting brown.  Flip and sear the second side. Remove the chops from the pan and place them in a glass baking dish and into the oven to finish cooking, about 18 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 155 degrees.   To prepare the sauce deglaze the pan with the white wine.  Add remaining ingredients and cook until mixture is thick and apples are breaking down a bit.  Remove from heat and serve over the pork shops.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

3 pounds potatoes, preferably Yukon Gold’s, peeled and diced

½ cup heavy cream

¼ cup butter

Salt and Pepper to taste

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender.  Drain water, reserving 1 cup of cooking water.  Place potatoes in a bowl an electric mixer and mix with cream and butter until perfectly smooth.  If potatoes are still too stiff, add a bit of the cooking water until desired consistency is reached.  Salt and pepper to taste. 

Silver dish of French Chocolate Bark topped with dried apricots, pistachios and dried cherries.
This version of French Chocolate Bark is topped with dried apricots, pistachios and dried cherries.

French Chocolate Bark

1 12-ounce package of 60% cocoa chocolate chips, I use Ghirardelli’s

½ cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped

½ cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

½ cup coconut

Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper.  Melt chocolate in microwave safe bowl in 30 second intervals stirring well in between each time.  Spread melted chocolate on parchment paper creating a thin sheet of chocolate. Sprinkle with fruit and nuts and slightly press into chocolate.  Chill the candy in the refrigerator until set and break into pieces. Keep bark refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

TASTE THE FOOD. TASTE THE WINE.

TASTE THE CULTURE.cropped-ATOP-Branding-Board-2-FINAL-02-1.png

A Taste of Paris 2020

Culinary adventure of a lifetime!

More Details…CLICK HERE

au revoir for now lorie (002)

 

 

My Favorite Valentine Treats!

french chocolates

Valentine’s Day means plenty of chocolate everywhere!

Red Velvet Brownies with cream cheese frosting in a glass baking dish.

I am sure you saw my recipe for decadent Red Velvet Brownies last week.

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How about Chocolate Lava Cake, a quintessential favorite and oh so easy to prepare as long as you know the secret…bake the cakes cold from the refrigerator!

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And of course Chocolate Truffles like the ones at Maison du Chocolat in Paris are unbeatable and surprising simple to make!

I hope you will be inspired to make a chocolate treat for someone you LOVE today!

Consider joining me in the kitchen for upcoming Cooking Classes, where Fun is Always on the Menu! Seats are limited, register TODAY! 

au revoir for now lorie (002)