It’s Valentine’s Day -An Enchanting French Experience

pink flowers and petals

When I set out to create the winter A Taste of Paris event for Valentine’s Day, I knew it had to be something really special.

While reflecting on Valentine’s Day, one word kept coming to mind, PASSION.

Curating an experience with one purpose in mind; to spark or reignite passion for the participants, became my goal and I am thrilled to share this exclusive opportunity with you.

It’s Valentine’s Day- An Enchanting French Experience is a French inspired event, held at the stunning Toulouse, Legacy West.  The day starts with 3 sessions focusing on beauty and pleasure.  French people are pleasure seekers, this passion prone quality stems from their Latin roots. This is one of the many mysterious qualities that makes French women so alluring and for the day we will act as they do!

assorted chocolates

Beginning of course with chocolate!  You will hear from a passionate chocolate maker that hand-crafts the very finest ganache and fillings and finishes them in the elegant French style…the best part?  Tasting!

pink flowers and petals

I was deeply inspired by the simple floral arrangements in the Provencal villa where I stayed this past September that I thought this was the ideal chance to share these ideas with you.  You will see a gorgeous arrangement made by an expert in the field, right before your eyes.  I think you will be inspired too!Christian Dior logo

French women just seem to have that special something, that je ne sais quois.  The regional director of Dior Beauty and his team, will present Savoir Faire, an interactive experience designed to unlock the mystery of the alluring French women, Christian Dior the man and this iconic brand.

 

After fanning the flames of passion, we will take a break for a flute of champagne before heading to the table for a lovely 3-course French meal.

At the conclusion of the day, guests will be presented with a gift valued at over $65.00.

I hope you will join me for this exclusive A Taste of Paris event offered 1-time only

Friday, February 7th 10:30-2:30 It’s Valentines Day-

An Enchanting French Experience 

See YOU soon!

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Tickets are available ONLY from Eventbrite, DO NOT accept tickets from any other source.

 

Natures Palette is Irresistible

colorful winter vegetables

Every year it seems just a little bit harder to clean my act up after all of the holiday feasting.  Is it just me?

This year it’s helping to concentrate on preparing beautiful plates.  Did you know pretty food is good for you?  Focus along with me, on filling your plates with the irresistible colors from the earth, and you will be well on your way to that healthy routine your body, mind and spirit will love!

Need a bit more inspiration?  Join me for a cooking class on January 24th, filled with goodness from the earth.

beets

Eating Right is so Colorful- Friday, January 24th 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 packed with color and nutrients from the earth that will feed your body and your soul. In this class we will sip a glass of red wine as we start with a Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad, pretty and tasty! Fresh Pesto is so fast and versatile; we’ll top our piping hot Fire Roasted Tomato Soup with it AND we’ll use it again for our Lemon Pesto Chicken served a top satisfying Quinoa and Vegetable Medley.  Faro and Salmon Hash will be a dish you love, it has all the key elements for a crave-able meal and oh so fast! For a any-time snack and a sweet treat we will explore bars.  First, my Apricot Oat Bars followed by a family favorite, Cherry Chocolate Granola bars. Class Fee $59.00

Register for the class Now by Clicking Here or email lorie@atasteofparis.net

Santa winking

Dear Santa…

Santa winking

Have you been dreaming of a trip to France?

I’ll bet Santa is wondering what to put under the tree for you…

I have some good news, there are still seats OPEN in all 3 A Taste of Paris food and wine excursions to France, but registration is heating up so let Santa know which trip he should stuff in your Christmas stocking!

The arc de Triomphe in Paris

 Have you always dreamed of visiting Paris?  Or maybe you have been many times before, and like me, you can’t get enough.  Either way, this trip dazzles with historic marvels, breathtaking masterpieces and unsurpassed flavors.

Eiffel tower at sunset

Paris, the most recognized city on earth, holds unmatched gastronomic treasures waiting to be experienced. Tree-lined boulevards and the romantic river Seine, winds through the city beckoning travelers from all corners of the globe. Partake in the glory that is Paris.

A Taste of Paris- April 12-18th, 2021

 

grapes on the vine in Burgundy France

Are you a lover of wine?  Join the fun and explore the thriving wine regions of Burgundy and Champagne, France; their rolling hills, medieval villages, the labyrinth of centuries old cellars and slow cooked iconic dishes will trill.

Very old dusty bottles of wine in a wine cellar in Burgundy France.

Champagne and Burgundy: Two of the most prestigious wine regions in the world, are as divine as the wines they produce.  French wines delight the senses and engage the soul.  With stunning estates and fruit laden vines that reach to the heavens.

A Taste of Paris- Wine Lovers- April 22nd-30th, 2021

 

View of Gordes in Provence

Or maybe you have been dreaming of Provence; the colors and light have seduced artists for centuries and it’s no wonder.  The countryside of rolling hills, olive groves, pine forests and lavender fields is peppered with Roman relics and elegant churches giving it a storybook quality.

Cassis France harbor view

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.

A Taste of Paris- Provence- September 11th-18th, 2021

Let Santa know what you are hoping for and dont delay! Christmas morning you may just find it under the tree!

For more information, contact me at lorie@atasteofparis.net OR call 214 551 9630 

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Top 5 Goodies from Paris

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I have always dreamed of spending Christmas in Paris.  Snow gently falling on the bustling streets and shop windows packed full of interesting goodies.

Alas, for now it is merely a dream.  For anyone lucky enough to be traveling to my favorite city this holiday season, or any time of year for that matter, I have assembled a goodie guide for you.

Top 5 goodies to bring back from Paris

1-CHOCOLATE

chocolate from Paris.

Simple bars or carefully curated chocolate morsels, packed in a precious box, travel well and make marvelous gifts.

2- TEA

Mariage Freees tea from Paris

Mariage Freres tea is a lovely gift to bring back from the city.  The blends are crafted much like fine French perfume and are meant to excite and entice the palette.  You can buy loose tea or tea bags; tiny muslin sachets, that make me smile every time I reach for one. My favorite blend is called Wedding Imperial.

3- COOKIES

boxes of French cookies

Marquise de Sable is a wonderful brand of biscuit, or cookie as we call them, to bring back for friends.

French cookies

There is a wide assortment of flavors and the boxes are nice and flat making packing a breeze.

4- Mustard 

Maille French mustard

Maille is a fantastic French mustard and lovely for gifts carried home.

mustard assortment in Paris

It is astonishing the number of mustard flavors available; there is something for everyone on your list.

5- Olives 

wall of French olives

Olives make a nice gift or tidbit to enjoy once you are home.

jar of French olives

French olives have their pit making them much more flavorful.  My personal favorite are the picholine.

Paris in the snow

Is Paris your favorite city too or have you been dreaming of going there?

Join the group and come along with me, A Taste of Paris!

 A Taste of Paris- April 12-18th, 2021

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Christmas decoration with houses and cloches

Inspiration for Your Home

Foyer decoration for Christmas

Do you decorate your home for Christmas?

Christmas decoration with houses and cloches

I enjoy having the halls decked for the season so much, but I’ll be honest, there is a sense of dread associated with getting out all of the boxes and tubs and the mess it makes to decorate.  Once the last ornament is hung, the celebration begins with Christmas cookies and hot chocolate or a glass of bubbly!

Christmas decorations

I think the hardest part is getting motivated.

I want to share a few photos from my sweet friend, Vonda Cloutier’s home.  I am always so inspired when I visit her and I thought you might be too.

Christmas wreath

Wreaths are a major element in Vonda’s holiday decorations.

Christmas decorations

She uses wreaths as the foundation for so many of her decorations and they ground the design. Notice how she creates interest by mixing the style of wreaths.

Christmas decorations

Layered wreaths add fullness to this urn and rose bowl arrangement.

Christmas decoration in mason jars

These darling jars are filled with snow and reindeer!

Reindeer in a Mason jar.

Surprises are everywhere!

Lanterns with Christmas decorations

I love how Vonda uses lanterns on the tabletops and fills them with a mixture of ornaments, trees and houses.

Metal lantern with Christmas decorations

This metal lantern is particularity fetching with sparkly lights; it hangs on the wall near the front door.

Living room with Christmas decorations.

When I look at this picture, I notice that the holiday decor is like jewelry and so elegantly done.

I can’t help but associate Vonda with gorgeous sterling silver jewelry.  She had a thriving Silpada jewelry business hosting in home parties for many years. When Silpada changed their structure several years back, Vonda was one of only a few, invited to be a Silpada Brand Ambassador with an online shop, so if you have been searching for this iconic brand, just click this bit.ly/SilpadaInsiderVonda 

Santa and other Christmas decorations

You can also catch up with Vonda in her latest endeavor; she has an adorable shop called Lovely Jane at the Antique Company Mall in historic downtown McKinney!

Silverplate chalk board with the word Joy

It brings me so much JOY to introduce you all to my talented friends!!

Happy decorating!

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Chateau in the Dordogne region of France.

Audrey’s Frenchie Story

Vintage metal flower pot with pink and blue flowers.

I love introducing you guys to my friends.

Audrey Friedman, owner of French Vintage Home, and I met years ago at an event in Dallas.  We bonded over our shared love and passion for France so we decided to meet for lunch.  We’ve been meeting regularly ever since and have become fast friends.

Audrey Friedman in front of the Eiffel tower.

Audrey has been such a generous supporter of A Taste of Paris and ME and I know you will find her Frenchie story fascinating.

Audrey made her mark in industry by creating, building and then ultimately selling a linen company.  In the midst of her busy work-a-day life she found herself traveling the world to visit family and for adventures of her own.

In 1998, Audrey visited a friend in the Dordogne region of France and fell in love with it.  She began toying with the idea of buying a holiday home there.

Chateau in disrepair before construction.

While looking and working with her agent, she came across at 15th century chateau in a terrible state.  The agent tried to talk her out of buying the property but Audrey had vision and knew the place would be spectacular when completed.

Chateau in state of disrepair.

When Audrey began, there was no running water, no indoor restrooms and a kitchen that was just a hull; cooking had previously been done outside.

Chateau in the Dordogne region of France.

The restoration was done, quite remarkably, in 1 year.  Audrey credits an extraordinary architect for the process going so smoothly.

The chateau was back and stunning as you can clearly see.  During construction, many of the townspeople came to thank her for restoring this magnificent place which had been in ruin for over 100 years.

Audrey pink table

During the busy year Audrey made many friends and had a full social calendar attending and hosting her new neighbors but on Sundays, things were just too quiet.  In small town France, everything is closed on Sundays, except the flea market.

French flea market.

Audrey made a trip to the market and with the first treasure found and purchased a new business was created.

French flea market

Since that time Audrey has been seeking out the very best that the French brocante has to offer.  She imports these amazing goods and sells them in her Etsy Shop and on her website French Vintage Home at very reasonable prices.

vintage linens

I know many of you like myself, are seeking the perfect treasures to go under the Christmas tree for family and friends.

red package

Let me tell you, French Vintage Home is a great place to look but don’t delay, the best is going fast!

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Tune in Tomorrow on Fox 4 for Dinner Boards!

Sausage, beans and slaw on a wooden board.

Tune in tomorrow, Tuesday, October 15th to see me making gorgeous Dinner Boards on Fox 4, KDFW.  I will be on about 9:35!

Lorie with wooden boards

This is a sneak Peek at the featured recipes:

Rotisserie Chicken Board

Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Carrots

2 sweet potatoes cut into medallions

4 large carrots peeled and cut into sticks

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 tablespoons good quality maple syrup

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary

Pinch fresh thyme

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place oil, syrup, herbs and cinnamon into a zip top bag and mix well.  Add vegetable and toss to coat evenly.  Spread vegetables onto a baking sheet, generously salt and pepper.  Place into the oven and roast until fork tender 15-18 minutes.

Kielbasa Sausage with Parmesan Crusted Potatoes and Green Bean Salad

Parmesan Crusted Potatoes

3 pounds baking potatoes

1 teaspoon salt divided

½ cup melted butter

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup panko bread crumbs

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

½ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Peel and cut potatoes into 1-2-inch chunks.  Mix parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, rosemary, salt, garlic and pepper on a plate. Put potatoes in zip top bag, pour butter over and toss to be sure potatoes are coated.  Next roll potatoes in bread crumb mixture before placing in a single layer on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake uncovered for 45 minutes or until golden brown and tender.

Green Bean and Cranberry Salad

1 ½ pounds of tiny green beans washed and trimmed

½ cup dried cranberries

½ red onions sliced very thinly

¼ cup slivered almonds

Dressing

¼ cup red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons honey

1 garlic clove crushed

Pinch salt

Pinch pepper

¼ cup olive oil

Heat 2 quarts of water with 2 teaspoons salt in a saucepan until it boils.  Add green beans and cook for about 4 minutes.  Drain the beans and plunge into an ice batch to stop cooking. Make the dressing in the bottom of serving dish by whisking all ingredients together reserving the olive oil.  Stream olive oil in slowly while continuing to whisk.  Add first onions then beans and remaining ingredients to the serving dish.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Just before serving toss salad well.

Take Out Pizza Board

Harvest Salad

Mixed greens

½ cup crumbled fresh chevre

½ cup dried cranberries

½ toasted walnuts

1 ½ cups cubed butternut squash

1 teaspoon olive oil

Salt and pepper

Vinaigrette

1 shallot minced

¼ cup red wine vinegar

1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 Tablespoons honey

1/3 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

To prepare salad preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Toss squash with oil and salt and pepper and place on a foil lined baking sheet.  Roast for 8-12 minutes until squash reaches desired tenderness, remove from oven and set aside. To prepare dressing, combine vinegar, shallot, mustard, honey and olive oil in a small jar and shake well.  Assemble the salad by combining all ingredients in a serving bowl, toss with dressing and serve.

Looking for a FUN Friday Night?

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Will today finally feel like FALL?

When the first cool and crisp air blows in, I always feel like cooking.  It’s the signal to my brain that the holidays, are just around the corner. Old recipes feel new again and I am invigorated to be in the kitchen.

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I am welcoming fall with a nod to my precious time spent in Lake Como AND a first time ever, Friday Night Dinner Party on October 25th from 7:00-9:00.

With only 12 SEATS at the table, this will be a truly special evening of amazing food and FUN. Perfect for date night or night out just for YOU! 

A quick demonstration style cooking lesson and then I will cook and serve YOU!

ON THE MENU:

Grapefruit Rosemary Sparkler Cocktail.

Appetizers: Spicy Shrimp with Basil and Focaccia with Caramelized Onions and Fennel

Salad Course: Grilled Pear and Gorgonzola Salad

Main Course: Menaggio Pork Loin served with Fontina Mac and Cheese and Assorted Roasted and Picked Vegetables– served family style

Dessert: Chocolate Lava Cake with Vanilla Tuaca Gelato $79.00

To register, email me lorie@atasteofparis.net or CLICK HERE

Huge wheel of Parmesan Cheese

Fall and Holiday classes are booking fast, to see the complete list CLICK HERE

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Eating in Paris

Pain chocolate croissant

For me, eating in Paris is a magical experience.

Without fail, I start my day with my favorite bite, pain chocolate.

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I will be in France when this post drops; thank goodness because my cravings for these little gems has been intense!  I don’t worry about calories while I’m there.  I eat what I want within reason and I walk…all day.

baguette sandwhich

For lunch I usually try and find something on the run.  This can be hard to do in a country whose culture supports sitting for meals for roughly 2 hours at a time.

Ham and Cheese crepe.

Usually I grab a prepared sandwich at a boulangerie or a savory crepe eat as I go, very American!

The chocolate counter at La maison du Chocolat.

In the afternoon, I almost always make a stop for a bite at one of my favorite chocolatiers!

Chicken and vegetable in a copper pot.

For dinner, I usually sit and almost always order some version of roasted chicken or fish with vegetables.

Fish with potatoes and vegetables

Ratatouille is my favorite and I get very excited when I find it on the menu.  Full disclosure, fish is rarely served like in this photo.  It’s almost always brought to the table whole; head on!

Lorie at a French bistro in paris.

Want to eat and cook your way through Paris with me?  Registration for travel for 2021 is OPEN!!

A Taste of Paris April 12-18th

Want to just spend A Day in Paris, Cooking?  Join me for:

A Day in France- Bistronomy Friday, November 1st 10:00-2:30 French bistros have changed over the years, many combining the classics along with gastronomic dishes all at affordable prices.  Bringing an haute cuisine experience to the masses, this movement, now decades in the making is called Bistromomy and will be the inspiration for our class. We will enjoy crafting a French Blonde Cocktail, wine with the meal as well as a cheese course. For Petit Dejeuner, I will demonstrate Pain Chocolate, always my favorite, served with Homemade Yogurt and Fresh Fruit Compote and honey.  Le Dejeuner will be comprised of a beautiful Savory Tart and Beet and Goat Cheese Mousse Salad a la Ritz, Paris.  For diner, 2 dishes; sensational Salmon over Hash wildly elegant and Polenta Ratatouille, both will have your taste buds on high and served with Gougeres Swans! Dessert will be a bouquet of Roses, a stunning apple tart AND from Stohrer in Paris, chocolate Cake Stuffed with Cream and more chocolate! Tuition $89.00 Register HERE or by email to lorie@atasteofparis.net

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Roasted chicken at Bistro 31

A Favorite- Bistro 31

Up the stairs to the bar at Bistro 31.

Do you have a place that no matter how many times you go; you ALWAYS have a fantastic time?

That’s how it is for me with Bistro 31 at Highland Park Village.

Coctails at Bistro 31

It all started about 6 years ago when Mark and I had date night here.  We went to the upstairs bar, (hidden at the time) and ordered a bottle of champagne!  What an absolute luxury!  We had an amazing night and Bistro 31 became one of my favorites.

Glass of champagne in the stairwell.

There are so many things to love about this place.

For starters, it is just fun to get “off campus” and do a little people watching.

Patio tabels at Bistro 31.

The restaurant is intimate with a smallish main building and a greenhouse structure with a movable wall.  When the weather is nice, they leave it open so you get an al fresco dining experience.

The cocktails are fabulous, they have a superb wine list and the food is always scrumptious.

Bistro 31 (26)

 Mark always gets the steak and frites but there is something for everyone; seafood, pasta and specials including a chef featured risotto of the day.

 The furnishings are cool and comfortable, upholstered booths and chairs at the tables by the windows.

Burata salad Bistro 31

On this visit I had the Burrata Salad and the Roasted Chicken.

Roasted chicken at Bistro 31

Such a lovely evening!

Lorie at Bistro 31

Bistro 31 was the site for lunch at the ATOP summer event; A Day of Dior.

I hope you will be inspired to give Bistro 31 a try soon, and let me know how you like it!

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