Blood Orange Martini

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I was in Trader Joe’s today and scored 2 bags of blood oranges for only $2.49 each!

In the past finding this unusual orange meant driving the distance to a specialty food store and paying what seemed like a king’s ransom for the honor.  You can understand my excitement about this deal at Traders.

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All I could think about was crafting my all-time favorite cocktail, Blood Orange Martinis this weekend!!

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The bright maroon colored flesh seems like a freak of nature.  The rich and vibrant hue makes me want to break into a happy dance.

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Generally we think about darker colored foods having greater nutritive value but the truth is there is not much difference between a navel orange and a blood orange.

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The flavor is a different story. Blood oranges are less acid than their counterparts and have a distinct smell and taste of red berries. This explains why the seasonal fruit is so special and perfection in my cocktail.

I hope you will grab a few bags of blood oranges, squeeze that precious juice and shake a few cocktail along with me.  We can toast each other!

à votre santé!

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blood orange martini

 Blood Orange Martini

1 part orange vodka

1 part blood orange soda

2 parts blood orange juice

½ part triple sec

Zest of ½ orange

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain before serving in a glass with a sugar rim.

 

 

Laduree, One of my favorite Parisian Addresses

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Laduree is the home of the modern day French Macaron selling more than 15,000 of the little cookies every single day! Can you imagine the ovens needed to produce that quantity of cookies?

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The first French mac was only a fraction of what we know today. In fact it was not French at all but an Italian cookie brought by Catherine de Medici.

In 1533 Catherine, married Henry II who would become king of France a few years later.  It was the Italian chef to Catherine that brought the recipe for the cookies made of almond flour, eggs and sugar.

This is still the recipe that Laduree uses today and the one that I teach in my French Macarons class.  The main difference, the cookies were only 1 layer, an almond meringue.

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A man by the name of Louis Ernest Laduree opened a fine patisserie in 1862 in the current Rue Royale location.  Laduree was an outspoken reformist and prolific writer of the times.

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Rue Royale was a nice address and considered quite posh and still is today.

A few short years later in 1871 the patisserie was burned to the ground in a social uprising.

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Jules Cheret, a popular poster artist of the time was hired to design the new structure.  Cheret is credited with choosing the iconic celadon green used for the exterior, interior and the packaging.  He designed the chubby “pastry cherubs” that adorn the ceiling at the Rue Royale address.

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In 1930, Pierre Desfontaines, the grandson of Laduree, decided to sandwich the cookies together with chocolate ganache, and the first double decker macaron was born!

But there is something else that may surprise you.

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What really makes me stop in my tracks is the knowledge that at the beginning of the 20th century women were not allowed to go into cafes, they were strictly reserved for men.

Laduree helped to change all that by creating one of the first tea rooms for women.

Laduree at Rue Royale is more than a wonderful stop for goodies; it is a historic site for women.  Having tea with friends in public was an absolute liberation for the women of this generation.

No wonder I love this brand so much!!

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The next time you are in Paris, soak up the girly vibe that is Laduree and have a French macaron!

Or, go with me and I will take you there!

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Let’s COOK Together!

I am very excited to be cooking at the Williams Sonoma at NorthPark mall in Dallas this Saturday, April, 7th from 11:00-3:00.  We are celebrating the launch of Giada De Laurentiis’s new book, Giada’s ItalyGiadas_Italy_Final-1503618517-625x790Giada’s Italy offers a fantastic assortment of flavor packed recipes and simply stunning photography. Photo with Giada 2 (2)I will be cooking several recipes from the book as William Sonoma prepares for her store visit the following day. I’ll be cooking live, offering yummy bites, and it is FREE!Lorie-grapefest-12.jpgI would LOVE to cook with you in May!

There are two opportunities both with delectable results. In my French Pastries Workshop, you will learn classic skills like sweet and savory tarts; how to make a soufflé rise to amazing heights and the precious Saint Eve from Bayeux, France.  Or join in the fun for French Macarons, where the best part is taking home the results!

I’ll be back from Paris just in time to teach with loads of new fun findings. Register now by email or call 214 551 9630Tomato basil tartlets

Classic French Pastries Workshop- Friday, May 4th 11:00-2:30 Join me in my gourmet kitchen to prepare my favorite time honored French pastries.  I will share the skills I’ve learned in cooking schools attended all over France in this fascinating look at the French pastries.  We will talk about how gourmet Patisseries prepare their goods and ensure freshness at all times.  Our time together begins French sparkling wine and delicate Crab Gourges, oh my! For our lunch we will prepare 2 savory sensations Goat Cheese and Ratatouille Tart and Salmon and Potato Quiche, both served with a Bistro Salad and French wine of course!  Next, we will head to the sweet stuff including Grand Mariner Soufflés that rise to amazing heights, served with an unbeatable White Chocolate Sauce.  We will feel like we are standing at the Maubert Marche in Paris where I first tasted the fabulous Apricot and Pistachio Tart, this treat will thrill you.  We will craft delectable and creamy Orange Crème Brulee.  Next a classic, Eclairs stuffed with Vanilla Pastry Cream and slathered with Chocolate Ganache.  And last but not least the precious Saint Eve from Bayeux, France will delight.  Guests will be provided a box to take their full sized portions of any goodies not consumed in class. Limited seats available! Class Fee $79.00Classic Macaroons-4.jpg

French Macarons Thursday, May 10th 6:30-9:00 This class will offer a true hands on cooking experience and the best part you take home the results!  Macarons, the quintessential French treat; light, delicate and irresistible! After studding macaron making in Paris, Lorie will lead a hands on class using tried and true Laduree method, but now with time saving shortcuts. We will first toast the macaron with a flute of bubbly before diving in to make this love at first bite treat.  Each step of the process will be clearly defined so students can replicate the process in their own kitchens with success!  We will prepare Salted Caramel, Raspberry Rose, and Mint Chocolate.  Recipes for additional macaron flavors will be shared. Class size is limited to 10, class fee class fee $62.50

See you soon!

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Pink Champagne

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Is there a more festive sound on earth than a champagne cork popping?

This is my last PINK post for March.  I have been posting all month celebrating women and a special event I am hosting in Paris next year.

A Taste of Paris Goes PINK

The response to my all-female culinary excursion, set for April of 2019 has been amazing, in fact there is only 1 room left for this adventure of a lifetime.  Don’t hesitate; click the link for more information and to register.

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Can you hear the sound of my own bottle of pink bubble popping right now?

I particularly love pink varieties; they tend to be a bit yeastier, with a velvety round finish, than their golden, fruit forward counterparts.

I rarely meet a bottle of pink bubbles that I don’t like but I wanted to share a few of my favorites with you and could not do so without relieving my recent trip to the champagne region with my September 2017 group.

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Here we are in Reims at our first stop, Taittinger. The Taittinger brut rosé, is vigorous and refreshing and you cannot beat this amazing vibrant shade of pink!

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We also visited Billecart-Salmon while in the champagne region.

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This is such an elegant brand and the brut rosé is lovely.

French champagne is expensive.  Visiting the region and many winemakers over the years, definitely gives me an appreciation of  the science and precision that goes into each precious bottle, which of course explains the high price tag.

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 If you don’t want to spend $50.00 or more for one bottle, there are lots of varieties can give you the same effervescence, lovely pink color and no sticker shock!

Le Grand Courtage is one of those brands; it is a product of France and is quite affordable.

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I tend to like sparkling wines that come from the Loire Valley like Deligeroy Cremant de Loire for around $15.00!

When shopping for an affordable bottle of bubbles check the label to see if it is made in France and in the traditional method and you can bet you will not be disappointed!

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You can’t do a post on Champagne without mentioning the world renowned Veuve Clicquot.  Veuve pronounced like LOVE with a ‘V”.  Can you tell I am having the time of my life?

I sincerely hope you are in celebration mode at your house and if you want to purchase a set of champagne flutes check out a few of my favorites below!

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Lenox Champagne Flutes

Villeroy Boch Champagne Flutes

LSA Champagne Flutes

 

Pink Flower POWER

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I’m inspired by this unbelievable bouquet of pink blooms. Each bud opened to an amazing 4 inches in diameter and they lasted for almost 2 weeks!

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I’ve been posting PINK all month to celebrate women, and the launch of

A Taste of Paris Goes PINK,

a very special all-female event I am hosting in Paris in April 2019. ONLY one room remains available. Grab a girlfriend and join the fun!

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When walking the streets of Paris, I can’t resist snapping loads of pictures, especially in the spring. By the beginning of April, flowers are a bloom everywhere. This is one of my all-time favorite photos; peonies at the local market.

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When you splurge on cocktails at the Ritz, your mojitos might even be served with a pink rose!

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I will start work in my own garden this week and you can bet it will be crammed full of PINK blossoms! What will YOU plant this year?

pinkflower2.jpgHope to see you at an upcoming cooking class; the spring-early summer schedule is posted and ready for registration!

And here’s a look of some of my former travelers!

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Pink Favorites~Part Deux

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

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Since PINK is my favorite color, and one of the hottest colors for spring, I have been featuring my PINK crushes on the blog.

I had no idea how hard it would be to narrow down my “BIG PINK HEARTS”, so I split the list in half.  Favorites Part Un and now Favorites Part Deux.

If you see something you LOVE too, all you have to do is click and ship!

KitchenAid Chopper

How happy would it make you to pull this chopper out for all of your recipes?  I use my KitchenAid chopper practically daily, it’s small size is ideal for making pesto, hummus or just chopping herbs for savory dishes. Shop Now

OPI Nail Polish

Being a girly girl at heart, pretty pink nails are what I crave.  OPI has always been my brand of choice; it goes on easy and lasts for days!  Summer Crush Blush is opaque with a hint of shimmer. Shop Now

Gucci Loafer

These darling Gucci loafers remind me of my ballet slippers and they are just as soft! The Brixton style gives you some versatility, fold the back in and you have a mule, pop it up and you have a traditional loafer. Shop Now

Pearl Earrings

PINK twist on a classic.  These beautiful PINK pearl studs are 10 mm, 14kt gold and less than $30.00. What more could a girl ask for? Shop Now

These wide spaced stripes remind me of high school but they are so fresh again this season.  This T pairs perfectly with the J. Crew cardigan.  Shop Now

J. Crew Cardigan

I heart this cardi, in fact I own it in 3 colors. It’s lightweight and holds its shape beautifully, and bonus, it’s on sale now! Shop Now

 

Thanks for letting me share my favorite PINK stuff with you!  Do you have a PINK Favorite?  I would love to hear about it!

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Macaron Joy!

 

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Macarons have become the iconic French sweet-treat and TODAY is National French Macaron Day!

Macs are so pretty especially in PINK!

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 Laduree is the birthplace of the French Macarons; the location on rue Royal in Paris is where it all began back in 1930.  I take all of my ATOP travelers there for tasty treats. It’s like watching kids in a candy store only better!

Come along with me for A Taste of Paris Goes PINK, an all-female trip to Paris in April 2019.

To satisfy your macaron craving until you can get to Paris, I suggest Joy Macarons.  They have 3 locations; Oak Cliff, lower Greenville and the newest location in Ft Worth.

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Their raspberries macs are a sensation; not too sweet, tender and bright pink of course.

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If you are in an ice cream state of mind you are in luck!  Pretty pink macaron ice cream sandwiches are the cutest things I have seen in a while.  Tender, crisp, cool and creamy all in one bite!  You have got to try one…or two!

Joy Macarons; pop by and see them the next time you need a sweet PINK bite.

And if you want to learn to make French Macarons in your own kitchen, register today for my upcoming class, just in time for Mother’s Day.

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French Macarons- Thursday, May 10th 6:30-9:00 Cooking class with a true hands on experience and the best part you take home the results!  Macarons, the quintessential French treat, light, delicate and irresistible! After studding macaron making in Paris, Lorie will lead a hands on class using the tried and true Laduree recipe with a simplified approach. We will first toast the macaron with a flute of bubbly before diving in to make this love at first bite treat.  Each step of the process will be clearly defined so students can replicate the process in their own kitchens with success!  We will prepare Salted Caramel, Raspberry Rose, and Mint Chocolate.  Recipes for additional macaron flavors will be shared. Class size is limited to 10, book early!  Class fee class fee $62.50

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OH and be sure and pick up one of these darling shirts at Joy Macarons.

Enjoy and…

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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. 

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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

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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

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!!

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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!

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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

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

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

“BIG PINK HEARTS!”

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!