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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

Eating Well and Quinoa Tabouli

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You are what you eat…if this is true, I may turn into a block of dark chocolate!

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To get the year off to a great start, I will be teaching a class called Eating Well. We will explore ways to get the most flavor and nutrients from the foods we eat. The fun begins with red wine, because it’s good for us and crave-able Fire Roasted Salsa, my favorite condiment.  This chunky salsa is sure to become a staple in your house too for vibrant color and taste explosions!

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The more we learn about food the more convincing it becomes that eating well is essential to looking and feeling our best. Foods that nourish the body can also feed the soul; the part of us that craves amazing flavor.

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Join me for Eating Well, a fantastic class where great tastes rule!  Seats are limited so register TODAY by clicking HERE or email lorie@atasteofparis.net

Scroll to the end to see one of my favorite recipes from the Eating Well class last year, Quinoa Tabouli.

Eating Well Friday, January 25th 11;00-1:00~ Only a few seats remain

Being well in the New Year is at the top of everyone’s to-do list.  In this entertaining class we will explore simply GOOD FOOD that will feed your body and your soul. In this class we will sip red wine as we start with my favorite condiment for topping or snacking, vibrant Fire Roasted Salsa.  Our breakfast recipe, Poached Egg and Veg Tartine is almost too pretty to eat. Nothing heals the soul like classic Chicken Noodle Soup, when made from scratch it really satisfies.  We will prepare Baby Kale salad packed with nuggets of goodness.  Wild caught Orange Glazed Alaskan Salmon with Balsamic Roasted Root Vegetables is quite possibly the best dinner ever. Marinated Pork Tenderloin served with cranberry apple chutney with quinoa hash alongside will get your crew to the table fast! Cinnamon Baked Apples make a great side dish or dessert and for a truly decadent finish we will prepare chocolate cups filled with dried fruits and nuts. Class Fee $59.00

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Quinoa Tabouli

2 cups quinoa

3 cups water

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 cloves garlic pressed

½ teaspoon salt

2 cups cherry tomatoes finely chopped

½ red onion finely chopped

1 large English cucumber finely chopped

1 red bell pepper finely chopped

¼ cup Finley minced parsley

¼ cup finely minced mint

Wash quinoa thoroughly.  Place quinoa in a medium sauce pan and cover with 3 cups water.  Cook over medium heat, when water comes to a boil lower the temperature and place a lid on the pot, cook stirring occasionally for 12-15 minutes until seeds are tender.  Meanwhile, make the dressing by combining, garlic, mustard, salt, lemon juice and mix well.  Add olive oil in a stream whisking to incorporate.  Remove quinoa from heat, allow it to cool.   Toss vegetables and herbs in dressing, coating well.  Add vegetables to cooled quinoa and toss.

au revoir for now lorie (002)

 

Bowl of Chocolate Truffles

Joy Seeker

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2019 is finally here and we have a fresh start.  2018 was a good year and probably like many of you, I worked too much.  The arrival of January offers us an opportunity to reflect on the past year and to think about what we would like to create for the new one.

As I worked through this exercise, one word kept coming to mind, JOY!

I have resolved to be a joy seeker in 2019. Finding joy in great accomplishments is easy but as we get wrapped up in mounds of work and commitments it can be a bit more of a challenge to be joyful about the little things.

To keep myself focused, I made a list of the things that make my heart happy and I will spend some time each day doing, being or having some of these things.

What brings your heart Joy?  Will you share?

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family photo 2018

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au revoir for now lorie (002)

Plate of Macaroons

ATOP Named to TOP 150 Food Blogs!!

I am thrilled to report that A Taste of Paris was named one of the top 150 food blogs by BrandBallot.  What an honor to be among so many talented food writers!  I hope you will join me as I celebrate this fantastic news, thank you BrandBallot!



Teaching this holiday season was filled with fantastic food, amazing people and so much fun, thank you for joining me in the kitchen!

The winter and spring cooking class schedule is live and filled with fabulous food experiences. There are several new class styles added to the assortment. Registration is open so make your choices TODAY; and  email lorie@atasteofparis or click HERE. to secure your seat.

I look forward to seeing you soon!!

Cooking Classes Winter Spring 2019

Eating Well-January 25th 11:00-1:00-Being well in the New Year is at the top of everyone’s to-do list.  In this entertaining class we will explore simply GOOD FOOD that will feed your body and your soul. In this class we will sip red wine as we start with breakfast, pretty Poached Egg and Veg Tartine. Nothing heals the soul like classic Chicken Noodle Soup, when made from scratch it really satisfies.  We will prepare Baby Kale salad packed with nuggets of goodness.  Wild caught Orange Glazed Alaskan Salmon with Balsamic Roasted Root Vegetables is quite possibly the best dinner ever. Marinated Pork Tenderloin served with cranberry apple chutney with quinoa hash alongside will get your crew to the table fast! Cinnamon Baked Apples make a great side dish or dessert and for a truly decadent finish we will prepare chocolate cups filled with dried fruits and nuts. Class Fee $59.00

XoXo Chocolate- February 6th 6:30-9:00 Valentine’s Day right around the corner and my mind always drifts to Chocolate. Chocolate is an interesting food; of all the foods on earth I have the most passion for this rich dark flavor. Maybe it’s the seductive quality of chocolate or simply the fact that there is artistry involved in creating with it, either way I look forward to sharing with you in this amazing class.  Bourbon pairs perfectly with chocolate so we will sip a Mint Julep while we dive into chocolate. Our first Chocolate recipe will be savory, Cocoa Rubbed Short Ribs served with Roasted Carrots and Cauliflower and a Picada (herb and chocolate) Sauce. We will prepare an exquisite Decadent Chocolate Cake stuffed with Whipped Chocolate Ganache and topped with silky Ganache. Next up, we’ll make White Chocolate Pot de Crème with Strawberries. No chocolate class would be complete without an irresistible cookie; ours will be Chocolate Shortbread, dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with peppermint!  Vanilla Lavender Chocolate Truffles are like little bites of heaven. We will keep the chocolate love going with Chocolate Crepes stuffed with cream and berries and drizzled with chocolate Ganache. Each guest will decorate a Chocolate Pop as a take home treat!  Class Fee 62.50

Artisanal European Breads-February 8th 10:30-2:30 ONE SEAT OPEN There is nothing like the smell of fresh baked bread coming from of the oven.  Imagine yourself with the skills to prepare European style artisan loaves right in your own home!  You will learn many techniques that go into producing amazing loaves including proper scoring techniques and stenciling for beautiful results.  You will be taught the French Baguette, the Batard, Boule and Tabletierie. Each guest will take home 2 full sized loaves, a baguette and second; guests choice.  In addition, you will prepare a batch of dough from scratch to be finished in your home oven. Class includes churning fresh cultured butter.  We will take a break from the ovens and enjoy our warm bread with a lovely Chopped Salad for lunch with wine and cheese of course!  A pretty great way to spend the day and your friends and family will be delighted by the results!  $79.00

Make and Take-Dinner for Two- February 22nd 10:30-1:00 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- Goat Cheese and Cranberry Spiral and ½ loaf French bread

Starter- Sun Dried Tomato Basil Soup with Cheesy Pillows of goodness

Main- Mouthwatering Chicken Cordon Blue with Honey Garlic Green Beans

Dessert-Apple Tart with Almond Custard filling

Chopped Salad and iced tea will be served.  Class size is limited.  Class Fee $64.50

Let’s Make Dinner! March 7th 6:30-8:30 A new offering at the cooking school;  come and make a 4 course dinner to be enjoyed together with a glass of wine.  What a great way to spend the evening!  We will cook together to prepare our feast then sit and enjoy the fruits of our labor with a beautiful glass of wine! You will leave with the recipes; this class promises to improve overall kitchen skills. Class fee 59.50

Food and Wine Workshop March 21-22nd 10:30-2:00 Join me for an extraordinary 2- day culinary event and immerse yourself in good food and wine!  We will explore wine styles and pairings as we work side by side to prepare truly mouthwatering dishes.  We will dine together as we taste wine varietals and enjoy the recipes. Dinner tastes can be enjoyed here or taken home.  This course promises to improve overall kitchen skills that last a lifetime.  Hope you will join the fun! Class size is limited.  Class Fee $192.50

Day 1~Champagne and Crement and Appetizers

We will begin our time together with a mini champagne workshop.  The mystery of this amazing beverage will be revealed as we enjoy it with our appetizers of Tomato Basil and Gruyere Gourges, Crab Stuffed Mushroom Caps and an artistic American Style Cheese Board, packed to the brim with cheese, meat and goodness.

Sancerre and Chardonnay and Lunch

We will prepare and enjoy a crispy Goat Cheese Grapefruit and Avocado Salad and Seafood Crepes as we enjoy these beautiful white wines.

Rose and Dinner

We will prepare a lovely Chicken and Artichoke Tart perfect for dinner when served with a green salad.  For a sweet finish we will make Pears in Chocolate Ganache and tiny Chocolate Madeleines.

Day 2~Beaujolais and Grenache and Breakfast

We will prepare a breakfast soufflé, Bacon and Cheddar to be eaten alongside Fruit and Almond Butter Tartine.

Red Blends and Lunch

As we taste our wines we will enjoy freshly made Creamy Cauliflower Soup and an inventive Crispy Vegetable Salad.

Bordeaux and Cabernet and Dinner

We will learn the origin of the iconic dish Beef Tournedos served with Blue Cheese and Walnut Butter over dreamy Mashed Potatoes.  To finish our days together we will celebrate round an exquisite Double Chocolate Tart topped with Raspberries.

April 25th Let’s Make Dinner Details coming soon

May 3rd Make and Take Dinner for Two- Details coming soon

Christmas Tree Cookies~A Fangio Tradition

Christmas Tree Cookies

Christmas Tree Cookies are a tradition in the Fangio home!  Ever since my children we scooting around the house in footed PJ’s we’ve been making these delicious cookies.  Buttery, soft, and melt in your mouth goodness is only the beginning.  I simply adore the fact that they look so homespun.  Sure, these days we could break out the royal frosting and fancy tips and go for a instagram able moment but it would just not be the same.

Cookie Garland Door

One year we even turned our Christmas Tree Cookies into a cookie garland and hung it around the door.

Cookie Garland Brandon

When guests left the house we cut the cookies apart for a little to-go treat.  The kids’ and little Brandon LOVED it!

Make a batch of Christmas Tree Cookies with someone you adore TODAY! You will be so glad you did and stay tuned all week!  I will be sending some of our favorite sweet recipes perfect for taking, sharing or just plain munching!

Christmas Tree Cookies

2 cups butter

3 cups powdered sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon almond extract

5 cups flour

2 teaspoons soda

Using an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar together, add eggs one at a time until both are incorporated. Add vanilla and almond extract and mix well.  Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and add slowly mixing to incorporate.  To make rolling faster and easier, separate dough into 2 large zip lock bags.  Press dough flat into the bags.  Chill dough for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut bags off of chilled dough.  Roll and cut on floured surface.  Bake cookies on greased cookie sheets 7-11 minutes.

Buttercream Frosting

1½ sticks butter at room temperature

6 cups powdered sugar

1 tablespoon of vanilla

1 teaspoon almond extract

Milk or heavy cream

Green and yellow food coloring

Using an electric mixer, combine butter, sugar, extracts and several teaspoons of milk on low speed; continue to add milk as needed to get the proper consistency for spreading.  Beat on high speed for 5-7 minutes to create a fluffy frosting.  Do not leave the mixer unattended.  Color ½ cup frosting bright yellow and color the remainder bright green.  Spread the green frosting onto the Christmas trees.  Using a pastry bag fitted with a star tip, pipe a star at the top of each cookie.

 

 

 

Hand Poured Candles from France at Sharla’s!

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I love it when something really special comes to our sweet town of McKinney.  We can always count on Sharla Bush of Sharla’s Boutique to do just that and to be very generous, hint; stay tuned there might be a giveaway!

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Sharla and I share of love of France and the fabulous luxuries that are produced there. At Sharla’s, you can find many treasures from around the world but today I want to tell you about one that was over 2 years in the making.

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Several years ago, Sharla was encouraged to create her own line of candles.  After a series of serendipitous events, she was led to Paris and the oldest manufacturer of scented candles.  Rigaud in Paris produces customized scents for customers all over the world including the very best French designers.

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At this magnificent place, Sharla began the journey to create a line of exquisite candles reflecting her interpretation of how to live beautifully.

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The candles are hand poured using the finest oils into a mirrored glass container.  The containers have an etched front door and window allowing the light to shine through when the candle burns.

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Each candle is outfitted in a darling “house” box.  The boxes and fragrances are numbered 1-5; each number represents a different fragrance.

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  Sharla wanted to give the candles numbers instead of names.  “I want my clients to interpret each fragrance,” she said, “scents evoke memories and I want choosing one to be an individual experience for each guest.”

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This a silver tray full of Sharla’s candles, a gift I recently gave to my party guests.  I attached and antique key from a flea market find in Paris.

Sharla’s scent, is number 1, she describes it as encompassing her life and the olfactory senses from her past.  My favorite of the collection is number 5, what will yours be?  Please tell me!!

GIVEAWAY

I am very excited to tell you that Sharla has graciously given me 2 of her signature candles in scent number 1 for an instagram giveaway.  Head over to @atasteofparis for all of the details and I hope YOU win!

To double your odds, write your friends name in the comment section of this post, share the post and if they subscribe to A Taste of Paris, you will both be entered TWICE!

GOOD LUCK!
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