One of the Sweetest Provencal Towns

IMG_8649

L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is without a doubt one of the sweetest towns I have ever visited.  It’s an idyllic small community that is surrounded by the Sorgue River.

water wheels in L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue

The Sorgue has 14 remaining water wheels making use of the power of running water.  These wheels were originally used to power mills; first corn then wool and silk mills.  The moss-covered paddles pushing the babbling water, add real charm to the riverside.

market day in L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue.

Sunday is market day in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue.

Fresh foods at the L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue market.

Shoppers can find vegetables and other food items.

Paella in the L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue market

Prepared foods abound, like this enormous copper pan filled to the brim with paella.

This market usually has a nice assortment of brocante for shoppers seeking treasures. Arrive early, by 8:00 as vendors start to pack up by noon.

baskets and pails in the L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue market.

L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is an antique town and shops are open on Sundays.  A little known fact; walk down the alleys past the antique stores and you will find many of the back-doors of the establishments open creating a maze of tiny booths and tables of goodies.  If you are an antique lover, this comes highly recommended.

I found several sets of linens here that are absolute treasures.

Open window in L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue

I am still wondering what is behind this charming open window covered with ivy in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue…

Want to visit L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and many other Provencal villages in 2021?  REGISTRATION IS OPEN!

PROVENCE
September 11th-18th, 2021

Provence – where sparkling seascapes, fiery sunsets, and the striking variety of scenery make visitors feel as though they are stepping into a French Impressionist painting. Sun-soaked flavors and a convivial spirit flourish in this region. Our magnificent base for this food and wine centric trip of a lifetime is Saint-Rémy-READ MORE  

Burgundy, France- Where Beautiful Food and Elegant Wines Prevail

Old dusty wine bottles Burgundy, France.

After spending time in the Burgundy region of France this spring, I am ready to share 2 exceptional A Taste of Paris happenings, that YOU won’t want to miss.

Chateau Pommard

I am both delighted and humbled to announce the A Taste of Paris Fall Event.  One of the most prestigious wine houses in Burgundy, France, Chateau Pommard, will be making a trip to McKinney TX to share their knowledge, passion and wine with a few A Taste of Paris guests.

Pommard-1-1-1.png

This extraordinary experience was crafted to give each participant a rare look at the elegant foods & wines of Burgundy, France.  The festivities will begin with flute of Crémant de Bourgogne, followed by an entertaining cooking lesson, Let’s Get Skewered, perfect inspiration for holiday entertaining.  Advanced wine tasting techniques will be shared by Chateau Pommard’s own Preston Mohr as you relish their exceptional wines.  Wines will be paired with fanciful tidbits AND a composed, passed Appetizer. Delectable French sweets from a renowned patisserie will abound and the evening will end with a luxury gift for each participant.  Couples and singles are welcome!  For tickets Click HERE

Boeuf Bourguignon

I was absolutely energized by the amazing foods, of Burgundy.  Superb flavors and magnificent presentations inspired me to create a 2-Day French Workshop.  We will spend 2-thrilling days cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner together.  These dishes will dazzle and soon become your families favorites. Space is limited so register TODAY.

Wine country of Burgundy France.

 

A Taste of Paris  Presents:

Friday, November 22nd 6:30-9:30  France Comes to Texas, Burgundy Wine Tasting Experience

Chateau Pommard, one of the most prestigious and beautiful wine houses in Burgundy will be coming to McKinney Texas for a very special evening of wine tasting with A Taste of Paris guests.

Taste 6 luxurious Burgundy wines. Plus 2 full pours.

Relish premium composed appetizers paired with each wine.

Entertaining lesson Let’s get Skewered- that will get you ready to host for the holidays.

Wine tasting techniques will be shared as well as the background and stories of these Burgundy wines; rich in both intensity and history.

Tidbits that pair with each wine will abound.

French Sweets to satisfy any sweet-tooth will be almost too pretty to eat!

Each guest will receive a recipe booklet with pairing information AND an exceptional gift to commemorate the evening.

Tickets are limited. Tickets.

IMG_2059

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 10-11th 10:00-2:30 French 2-Day Flavors and Inspiration form Burgundy France-for a truly unique culinary event as we travel to Burgundy for some of the most delectable food on earth.  Slow cooked dishes eking all of the flavor from food, Dijon mustard and delectable cheese abound in the Burgundy region.  Dishes packed full of love and timeless flavors with an artful quality that we will share together.

This 2-day workshop is immersion style, cooking side by side. Each day we will prepare breakfast, lunch, dinner and a sweet along with a snack or two!  Wine and a cheese course will be served each day for an authentic French dining experience.  Dinner portions will be packed up to-go.

In addition to this fabulous menu, we will prepare 2 classic French doughs; Brioche, an enriched dough that is a staple in France and Choux Paste the basis for so many sweet and savory dishes.  For those that want to arrive 30 minutes early on the second day, I will demonstrate Laminated Brioche, similar to croissant, a favorite treat of mine that is hard to find unless you are at the finest boulangerie in Paris! And just because we can, we will shake and enjoy French 75’s, how much for French can you get?

This course promises to improve your overall kitchen skills; French cooking is the gold standard and expertise acquired will last a lifetime.  Be a part of the fun! Limited enrollment, Fee $189.00

Day 1- We’ll start our day with time honored baking skills.  Brioche, made with my Parisian, Le Cordon Bleu recipe; is hands down the absolute best, add fresh churned European Style Butter and exquisite Cherry Jam and you have achieved perfection!  We will also prepare delectable Oeuf en Meurette, traditionally served as a main course, will make a hearty breakfast.  Cornittes, precious pockets of cheesy goodness, will be our luxurious snack.  For lunch, Wreath of Greens Salad with Choux as the centerpiece, will delight your pallet and your senses.  Choux puffs stuffed with mushrooms, leeks and a frothy goat cheese mixture is almost too pretty to eat! For dinner, Traditional Coq au Vin a classic slow simmered dish with rich complex flavors.  Served with Maple Roasted Carrot Salad, sure to be a favorite fall go-to. For dessert we will make Burgundy Poached Pears with homemade Vanilla Ice Cream.

Day 2-Arrive 30 minutes early for a demonstration on cinnamon crusted Laminated Brioche, a truly unique treat that is worth every bite.  We will start our day with wholesome Tartouillat, a tart filled with apples and pears that you will see in every glass pastry counter in the Burgundy region.   Crème de Cassis, a black currant liquor, is produced in the Burgundy region. We will make a Kir Royal, one of my all-time favorites and toast them with thanks! For an irresistible snack we will make Herbed Fromage Blanc served with fresh vegetables.  We will prepare the most famous dish from the burgundy region, Boeuf Bourguignon and we will serve it with Potato Leek Gratin, my favorite bite from my recent trip to Burgundy! Dinner will be delectable Jambon au Chablis served with Roasted Root Vegetables.  For dessert, heavenly Chocolate Banana Crepes. Register NOW

Lorie at Chateau Pommard, Burgundy, France.

What to go to Burgundy with me?  Click HERE for more info!

Can’t wait to see you!

au revoir for now lorie (002)

 

Getting Creative with Seashells

decorating with seashells

Nothing screams summer more than seashells.  I bought loads of shells years ago when I was throwing a 50th birthday party for my husband, you guessed it, the party was beach themed.

decorating with seashells

The seashells were packed up in boxes on shelves in the garage until one day I came across them and thought…huh, these might look good in my house!  Ever since then, I’ve been decorating for summer using these shells.

decorating with seashells

I’ll have to admit; I really hate to put them away when fall creeps in because I enjoy them so much.

decorating with seashells

This year will be especially hard because I am only now getting the place set for summer…no judgement, please!

decorating with seashells

I’m sharing the pictures because I thought you might enjoy them too!

decorating with seashells

This little bird made her next in a bed of seashells.  She makes me smile!

decorating with seashells

Stay tuned for next week, I am going to share a fun paper craft with you!

au revoir for now lorie (002)

decorating with seashellsDecorating with seashells 9

Dior gowns at the DMA

Two Magical Friday’s

Dior gowns at the DMA

As promised, a recap of the ATOP summer event, A Day of Dior, and in case you missed it; how to create your own Day of Dior.

Silk floral Dior gown

I had 2, sold-out events, both on Friday’s in July.  We met at the Dallas Museum of Art and begin our day together.

Dior gowns

The exhibit Dior from Paris to the World, is a feast for the eyes.  Each room, more beautiful than the last.

Day-of-Dior-7.jpg

I had seen the exhibit in Paris more than 2 years ago and was moved deeply by it. The Dallas exhibit is very different than the one in Paris.  One of the unique features of the Dallas exhibit is the inclusion of artwork in many of the rooms.  Seven pieces of artwork that are part of the permanent DMA collection, and 2 that are borrowed, are incorporated in the exhibit.  The artwork, like Monet’s “Water Lilies” seen here, help to create a particular mood in each room.

Dior gowns at the DMA

The painting called “The Abduction of Europa” by Jean Baptiste Marie Pierre, along with the Dior gowns, created a dream-like experience.

Day of Dior 11

Next, a delicious lunch at Bistro 31.

Bistro 31 menu

Good food and…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Great company!

Dior boutique.

And finally, to the Dior boutique for stories about classic products at Dior.  Learning the history and back ground of this iconic brand was definitely the highlight of the day.

 Champagne ands sweets at Dior

Champagne and sweets in the salon made it very special too!

Dior Swag 6

And the day was capped off with treat bags given to each guest of A Taste of Paris. A good time was had by all!

The land in Burgundy France.

I am thrilled to share that A Taste of Paris will be offering quarterly, French Inspired events.  After the success of the first event, A Day of Dior, I am more convinced than ever that YOU want events like this!

Pommard 1 (1)

What’s next?  A Taste of Paris presents: Burgundy, France comes to McKinney, TX!  All of the details and only 15 tickets available by clicking HERE.

 

Glass of champagne.

To Create your own Day of Dior:

Book Tickets in advance for the Dior exhibit

Make a reservation at your favorite French restaurant for lunch after the exhibit.

Plan to make a stop at the Dior boutique for a little shopping.

Stop off at your favorite sweet-shop for a treat.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

au revoir for now lorie (002)

Dior SWAG for A Day of Dior Guests!

Dior Swag bag

Last Friday was the first A Taste of Paris- A Day of Dior event, and today will be the second.

Rainbow windows at Dior exhibit at the DMA.

What a feast for the sense!

Stay tuned for the full recap of the event coming next Tuesday with plenty of photos and a how-to create YOUR own day of Dior!

A huge part of the joy in putting this event together was crafting an amazing SWAG bag for each guest and I’d like to share it with you now!

Dior goodies

All kinds of goodies from Dior  Beauty were included in the gift bags along with a gorgeous Dior fall look book.

Lombardi gift cards and pop champagne.

Gift cards for Lombardi Group, one of my all-time favorite restaurant brands were given as well as POP Pink champagne splits, perfect for a girly touch.

The little dictionary of fashion by Christian Dior

This pretty Little Fashion Dictionary by Christian Dior was a true throw-back and a must for any Dior event.

6-pack of mini cupcakes from Bird bakery.

Nothing cures a sweet craving quite like a 6-pack of mini cupcakes from Bird Bakery and when they are inspired by Dior, well, they are extra tasty!

Kiehls 2

Kiehl’s, the luxury skin care line, got in on the action too, and shared these lovely gifts with participants.

Dior red dress cookies

And for just a touch of whimsy, Dior red dress cookies by @sugarcomacookies.

Dior Swag 5

Don’t you just love getting goodies?

Have you heard?  The A Taste of Paris fall event is live and tickets are selling quickly!

Pommard 1 (1)

Chateau Pommard, one of the most prestigious wine houses in Burgundy will be making a trip to McKinney, TX this fall; for an exclusive VIP event for A Taste of Paris guests only.  For more information on this exquisite event and for tickets CLICK HERE

Hope to see you there or at a class this Fall!

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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assortment of chocolates at Maison du Chocolat in Paris.

Lorie’s Top 3 Paris Chocolate Bites

Chocolate is the ONLY food I eat every day without fail.  Does this make me a chocolate expert?  Maybe not but my passion for chocolate goes way back, I’ve been studying this fascinating food for over 20 years. I am excited to share my top 3 chocolate bites with YOU that will not disappoint.

Milk chocolate piece

On ATOP trips to Paris, we always schedule a chocolate tasting and it’s one of my favorite events of the week.  I buy tidbits from 5-6 of my favorite chocolatiers and we taste and learn more about chocolate.  It is big fun!

Chocolate and praline fish at Easter in Patrick Roger, Paris.

Fine French chocolates have several things in common.  To start, they are mostly dark chocolate; roughly 70% with the remaining 30% being milk chocolate and NO white chocolate.  It’s rare to find white chocolate in fine French shops, after-all, with no cocoa in the formula, it’s not really chocolate.

Chocolates at Maison du Chocolat.

Secondly, fine French chocolate bonbons come in 2 categories; praline and ganache.  Praline is a mixture of caramelized nuts, caramel and chocolate that has been finely ground into a paste.  The nuts can be hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios or some combination of these.  Ganache bonbon centers are a mixture of cream, chocolate and flavorings, almost always natural such as steeped herbs and fruits.  Ganache fillings are very smooth and melt on your tongue.

Assortment of chocolates at Maison du Chocolat in Paris.

The third commonality and a big difference between French chocolates and American, Swiss or Belgium varieties is the very thin coating of chocolate that covers the fillings.  The thinner the coating, the more elegant the bite.  This paper-thin coating is very difficult to achieve and takes a tremendous amount of skill.

Now my favorites counting down from 3-1!

Jean-Paul Hevin poster.

In 3rd place- JP Hevin- My favorite bite is Framboise (raspberry) Ganache in dark chocolate. It’s sweet-tart decadence in one bite!

La Maison du Chocolate in Paris.

2nd place- La Maison du Chocolat 

Favorite bit at La Maison du Chocolat, Paris.

The Petit Rocher Noir- Small chocolates with an almond in the center, en-robed first in praline and then coated with dark chocolate.

Patrick Roger chocolate almonds, Paris.

1st place- Patrick Roger Chocolate Almonds.  I have never had this type of almond anywhere else.  I know many have tried to replicate it, including yours truly to NO avail.  The almonds are roasted, en-robed in praline, coated in chocolate and then rolled in coco powder.  I call them heaven and hell almonds, heaven when you have them and craving hell when you run out!

Next time you are in Paris, you will know exactly where to go to get your chocolate fix!

Register for Paris 2020 and be on my NEXT Chocolate Tasting!

OH, are you looking for a speaker for your meetings in 2020?  See The Joy of Chocolate and my other speaker offerings here.

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)

Rainbow windows at Dior exhibit at the DMA.

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)