Cherry Granola~Monday on FOX for Back-to-School!

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It’s hard to believe just how quickly the summer goes, just like that, it’s the first day of school.  Send a little bit of home in your child’s lunch with my crave-able Cherry Chocolate Granola.

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Tune into to Good Day on Fox 4, KDFW at 8:30 Monday, August 205th, I’ll be demonstrating fantastic time saving ideas for getting lunches made.  I remember what I chore making school lunches was when I had school age children but with a few simple tips, you will actually look forward to it!

I will also share a fabulous option to get everyone’s day off to the right start with Grab and Go Omelet, so tasty!

Making your own granola bars is fast and easy.

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Start with fresh ingredients.

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Heat peanut butter and honey in the microwave for about 20 seconds and mix well.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

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Pour the mixture into a glass baking dish and press it flat.  Place the dish in the refrigerator to allow the bars to set. Slice into squares and store at room temperature.

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Chocolate Cherry Granola Bars

2 cups rolled oats

1 ¼ cup peanut butter

1 cup ground almonds

¾ cup honey

¾ cup dried cherries

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

¼ cup sliced almonds

First mix the peanut butter and honey well before adding remaining ingredients.  Mix well and spread in a 9×13 baking dish and refrigerate for 1 hour before cutting bars into squares.

 

Grab and Go Omelets

4- 1 cup jars

Non-stick cooking spray

4 eggs

4 slices deli ham

1 cup assorted chopped vegetables

Salt and pepper

Spray in inside of the jars with non-stick cooking spray.  In each jar place 1 cracked egg, ¼ cup vegetables and one slice ham.  Add salt and pepper and tighten lid on the jars.  Place the jars in the refrigerator.  When you are ready to cook, shake the jar well and remove the lid.  Place the jar in the microwave for 45 seconds checking it after 20 seconds.  Allow jar to cool slightly before eating.

Join me for an upcoming cooking class, the fall and holiday is going to be wonderful!

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European Garden in my Silverplate Punchbowl

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I generally keep 3 large white orchids in my silver-plate punch bowl  year round.  This summer has been exceptionally hot and the orchids did not fare very well.  I decided to brighten things up a bit by creating a European garden.

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I’ll reuse the punchbowl for my garden because the scale will create a lot of impact.

To get started, collect a variety of plants. Choose 1 tall plant, 1 that will drape down and a flowering plant. My container is large so 6 plants are needed to fill it up.  Going with varying shades of green and textures will give my arrangement a lot of interest.

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To construct the garden, first pop a plastic liner in the bottom of the container.  This will protect it and your tabletop from leeks.

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Add the tallest plant first towards the back of the arrangement.

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Continue to add plants until you have a balanced garden.

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Use crumpled paper or even better, foil to boost plants if needed and to hold them in place.

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Fill in all of the blank spaces with a variety of moss.

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This will bring the whole arrangement together and give you a cohesive European garden.

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I just love it!  It is like a little bit of the outdoors right in my living room!

If you don’t already have a silver punch bowl, I thought you might like this one! It is an upside down pineapple.  SHOP NOW

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Peppered Cashews and a Final Nod the the Past

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I’ve been looking back through the last few years of travel, sharing comments made by previous ATOP travelers.  I hope you have enjoyed getting to know this fabulous group of people.

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I knew A Taste of Paris™ would have a personal impact on travelers.  Immersing in the French way of life, and exploring this country through its food, alters your point of view.  The part of this experience I did not expect, was the gift these incredible travelers would give me in return.  Each of their stories is a precious gift. Intimate moments and the meeting of hearts around a table, have become invaluable treasures to me.

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“Why did I choose A Taste of Paris/Champagne? Paris has always been on my bucket list. I haven’t been to Paris since I was a young girl.”

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“Paris is a beautiful city filled with wonderful culinary experiences as well wonderful historical and cultural venues.” 

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“And to add Champagne, my favorite drink to the mix was a no brainer. Sipping wonderful French champagne and seeing the beautiful countryside was an incredible experience.” 

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“Also traveling with a “seasoned” American Chef who was able to escort us and  provide her insights of France was a great add!” Zorianna Spies

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Thank you Zorianna, you are always so full of life and fun!  It was a pleasure to share the experience with you.

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Nothing goes better with Champagne than my peppered cashews.  Make a quick batch and pop open a bottle of bubbles this weekend!

Travel to France with me in 2019 and make some delicious memories of your own!

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Peppered Cashews

1 pound raw cashew nuts

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a chef’s pan melt butter and stir in all seasonings.  Mix well.  Toss in nuts.  Spread nuts on a baking sheet and cook for 10-15 minutes until nuts are beginning to brown.  Serve warm.

Provence and Pastis

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Have you ever heard of Pastis?  This aperitif cocktail was a mystery to me until I visited Marsalis France a few years ago.

This is my last week to explore my recent travelers response to the questions  “Why France?” Registration for my trips to France in 2019 is OPEN

A Taste of Paris- March 31st-April 7th 2019

A Taste of Provence- September, 2019 

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“My favorite thing about my ATOP trip was getting to do so many things, cooking, the history, shopping, eating and having cocktails only the way the French do.

“I loved the bonding of the ladies and getting to branch out on the side to go to the big flea market.”

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“Knowing Lorie personally, I knew the trip would be well planned and informative and now I can place a check on my bucket list!” Kelly Jacob

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It’s true Kelly, having cocktails in France is an event and serving Pastis definitely fits that bill!

Pastis is an anise flavored aperitif that’s strong and a bright green color.  It’s served  with water and a few cubes of ice, unless you are in America, you know how we love our cold drinks! To drink this beverage, add desired water, a few cubes of ice and stir.  At this point pastis looks like milk.  With its fresh licorice flavor’ pastis, is really quite refreshing especially in August.  If you have not tried it before I highly recommend it!

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It was super fun having Kelly along for our France adventure!  To make some memories of your own in 2019 contact me by email lorie@atasteofparis.net or phone 214 551 9630!

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Cheese Truffles, Oh My!

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“After my first ATOP trip to Paris and the champagne region, meeting food artisans;

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I could not wait to go to Provence where we get to meet the farmers and local producers!” Tonni Callan

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Cultivating relationships with French food artisans is something I take very seriously.  I have been working for decades to find the very best experiences France has to offer!

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I am excited too, Tonni, about taking my Provence 2018 group to meet the farmers and producers of fine foods and wines of the region.

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A Taste of Provence is a bit more relaxed pace.  Unlike Paris, people tend to take their time and get to know one another.

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We may even get to milk the goats before seeing how this creamy tart cheese is made.

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I was inspired to create my recipe for Goat Cheese Truffles by a visit to a cheese cave in Saint Remy-de-Provence.

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I’ll be taking my travelers here to enjoy local wine, some of these luscious morsels and the beautiful cave. Saint Remy, nicknamed the jewel of Provence, will be our home for a week.

There is still time to register for travel with me to Provence in 2019!

And meanwhile, make some of these beautiful treats to enjoy with a bottle of rosé this weekend!

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Goat Cheese Truffles 3 Varieties

Base

1 8 ounce package of cream cheese

6 ounce package fresh chevre

Prepare base mixture by combining cheeses and mixing well. Split mixture evenly into 3 small bowls. Proceed with each recipe below.

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Paprika Goat Cheese Truffles

¼ teaspoon onion powder

1 clove garlic, pressed

3 tablespoons paprika, divided.

To one of the small bowls of cheese mix onion powder, garlic and ¼ teaspoon paprika and mix well. Shape scant teaspoon sized amounts of cheese into balls.  Place remaining paprika in a shallow dish and roll each cheese ball into the paprika coating all surfaces

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Herbed Goat Cheese Truffles

½ teaspoon herbs de Provence

¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley divided

To one of the small bowls of cheese mix herbs and ½ teaspoon parsley and mix well. Shape scant teaspoon sized amounts of cheese into balls.  Place remaining parsley in a shallow dish and roll each cheese ball into the parsley coating all surfaces.

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Lavender Goat Cheese Truffles

¼ teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon creamed honey

¼ cup crushed lavender

To one of the small bowls of cheese mix onion powder and honey and mix well. Shape scant teaspoon sized amounts of cheese into balls.  Place lavender in a shallow dish and roll each cheese ball into the parsley coating all surfaces.

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Paris, a City for Romance

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“Why travel to Paris? Why not? In my opinion, Paris is magic!”

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“It transforms/transports my spirit to another level; one of tradition, romance, history and of course, food and wine that is truly unique.”

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It feeds my soul as well as my body! I return refreshed and renewed!” Jeanne Busch

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I love what Jeanne shared, this is how I feel too.  I get goosebumps reading her words.

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It’s true, Paris is a place for romance whether you are with someone you love or completely alone, Paris seduces you with its sights sounds and tastes.

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Jeannie is a special lady that inspires me with her courage and wisdom. Thanks for sharing and for traveling with me!

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To make some memories of your own in 2019 contact me by email lorie@atasteofparis.net or phone 214 551 9630!

A Taste of Paris- March 31st-April 7th 2019

A Taste of Provence- September, 2019 

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The Best Teaching Chef’s

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Food is so important to the French; in fact it is their number 1 expenditure beyond housing.

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Who else would painstakingly craft these tiny little cakes with so much detail?

If you see a group of French people together, they are probably talking about what they ate yesterday what they are currently eating or what they will eat tomorrow.  It is almost an obsession to find the finest best tasting food available.

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This is why their markets are loaded with food that looks like this (no filter).

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Because of Frances rich culinary history and their quest for the very best food, the cooking classes in France are like nothing you experience here.

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While trip registration for A Taste of Paris is open, I am exploring “Why France?” with my travelers and this is what Laura Whatley said…

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“I always wanted to go to Paris to take cooking classes there.  I knew Lorie had extensive experience cooking in Paris, so I immediately knew ATOP was an absolute perfect fit!”

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“This was an amazing trip of a lifetime; the sites, the friendships made, and the delectable cooking.”  

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“Go with an appetite for Paris and you will be on cloud nine.” 

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After decades of cultivating relationships with the very best teaching chef’s in France, I am able to offer my A Taste of Paris travelers something really special.

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We cook in the finest schools the country has to offer.

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Not only are the classes entertaining,

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and tasty,

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mad skills, like deboning fish are learned!

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Travel with me in 2019 and let’s make some memories together!

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Poilane a Favorite Parisian Address

 

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“I love bread!” Oprah Winfrey

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Poilane is one of my favorite Parisian address.  Visiting and buying bread here is quite an experience.

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My registration for travel remains open and today I am looking at the comments from Anne Banta as I explore my travelers answer to the question ‘Why France?” Click the link for all of the spectacular details for these ATOP trips.

A Taste of Paris- March 31st-April 7th 2019

A Taste of Provence- September 7th-14th, 2019 OR

Shopping in Paris is truly an incredible experience.  Since A Taste of Paris trips are food and wine centric, you can bet I know the finest, most iconic shops to visit and Poilane is one of these stores!

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Pierre Poilane started it all in 1932 with a boulangerie in the Latin quarter on Rue Cherche-Midi; the location for my photos.

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 The round, 2 kilogram sourdough loaf, called a miche or pain Poilane is what Poilane is famous for.  Each loaf has the signature P, is made with stone ground flour, is naturally fermented and baked to perfection in wood fired ovens.

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It was Pierre’s son, Lionel, who took over the business in the 1970’s,that took things to a new level. Lionel believed 1 person should be responsible for the loaf from start to finish, creating ownership.  This modern approach was to insure quality in each and every loaf. His commitment to craftsmanship and quality gained Lionel and the Poilane brand  worldwide renowned.

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Just outside of Paris in the Bievres location, 15,000 loaves of bread are baked and shipped daily, all over the world!

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At Poilane the Viennoiserie pictured here, is golden brown flaky, buttery goodness and among the best I have ever eaten.

“I have always loved visiting Paris. However, seeing Paris through Lorie’s eyes and experiences was completely different and exciting!”  

IMG_6068.jpgThe knowledge she shares of the museums, cooking, tasting and shopping is outstanding.” 

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“Joining Lorie and our group in April 2016 was a wonderful experience!!  Best trip ever!!” Anne Banta

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Here we are all together breaking bread at a picnic in the park!

Thank you Anne you were such a dream to travel with and I hope to see you along on another adventure soon!

To travel with me to Paris and to Poilane visit, Click HERE!

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A River Runs Through It

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The River Seine, (pronounced like sin) gets its name from the Latin word Sequana; the Gallo-Roman goddess of the river. The Seine runs through Paris splitting in in half, on one side, the right bank and on the other the left.

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  The river snakes through the city making it hard to determine which side you’re on unless you are a seasoned Paris traveler.

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Taking a cruise on the Seine is always an activity planned for A Taste of Paris groups on our first evening. Seeing Paris from a river view helps people understand how the city is laid out.

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Not to mention the very best view of the Eiffel Tower is from a boat on the Seine!

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The Seine is closely associated with Paris and is featured in many poems and songs; however, it covers much more of France than just Paris.  The Seine is 482 miles long running from Dijon France through Paris and Rouen and finally to the English Channel at Le Havre and Honfleur.

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The city of Paris boasts 37 bridges that span the Seine and there are no two alike!

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The Seine happened to be a favorite of Sue Nagy, the ATOP guest that is being featured in today’s post answering the question “Why France?”

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Sue traveled to Paris with me in 2017 and will be with me again for A Taste of Paris Goes PINK in 2019!  I adore Sue’s fun nature. Here she is with friend and fellow traveler Kerry Harrison in front of Notre Dame.

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This is the best picture of Sue, writing her name in her croissant dough, I am certain that was not part of the chef’s instructions!

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Here is what Sue had to say about our travel. “My ATOP trip to Paris with Lorie was over the top wonderful!  I loved every single moment!!”  

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“Lorie’s knowledge on the food, culture and neighborhoods was exceptional! 

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The agenda is well planned, professionally organized and a must-do for anyone that loves an adventure!”

If you travel with me to Paris, our first adventure will be a cruise on the Seine!

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This is the final photo I will leave you with today.  It is a blurred view but reminds me of the French impressionist paintings hanging of the Musee d’Orsay!

For more information on Travel in 2019, CLICK HERE

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Did Someone Say Food?

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When traveling with A Taste of Paris, food is pretty much always on our minds.  You know what they say…”When in France, do as the French do” and food is always on the minds of the French!

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When asked, Why France?  Jacqui Cooper, a former ATOP traveler, said it best…”To me, the mere mention of Paris evokes thoughts of exquisite food, wine, and pastries;” 

See the recipe below for Sweet Red Chili Basil Tomatoes from our Parisian chef; you may be surprised by one of the ingredients that make this stunning morsel an explosion in your mouth.

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“the first hint of trendsetter fashions; beautiful countryside and gardens; and a city of lights illuminating some of the world’s magnificent historical architectures.” 

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“Paris also brings to mind the flea and food markets where ordinary folks shop for the necessities of the day.” 

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“I chose the ATOP trips because it enabled me to revisit some of Paris’ breathtaking historical sites,”

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“such as Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, and the Pantheon;”

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“and to enjoy again, the French countryside and wonderful champagne.” 

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“The tour also gave me the unique opportunity to delve into the food side of Paris.”

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  “Of course, we went to lovely restaurants and bistros to partake of the Parisian cuisine,”

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“but the motivating reason for choosing ATOP was the “hands on” activities.  For example, we had an afternoon at the world famous Le Cordon Bleu School, where we actually, under the watchful eye of a French pastry chef, participated in the painstaking detailed process of making macrons.” 

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“Another day found us meeting the Chef for our market class at the food market in mid-morning to shop for ingredients for the day’s luncheon.” 

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“We purchased what was needed and returned to the Chef’s school to cook.  We again participated in every step of preparing a meal and how to beautifully present it on the plate.”

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“These kinds of “hands on” experiences made the ATOP tour truly an unforgettable trip.”

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“An ever present reminder of the trip is the personalized chef’s jacket that Lorie gave each of us while in Paris.  Thanks Lorie.”

So Thank you Jacqui for summing up the A Taste of Paris experience so articulately!

You can still travel with ATOP in 2019 CLICK HERE for all the details!

And try Sweet Red Chili Basil Tomatoes with produce ripe from the field today!

Sweet Red Chili Basil Tomatoes

1-2 cups cherry tomatoes

Basil leaves, one for each tomato

1 teaspoon brown sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon Piment d’espelette (or substitute, 11/2 teaspoon paprika and a healthy dash of cayenne pepper)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Make a slit in each tomato about ¼ inch deep.  In a bowl, mix sugar and seasonings very well.  Add tomatoes and coat well with the sugar mixture.  Place tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment and using the back of a knife; slide a basil leaf into the slit of each tomato.  Place baking sheet into the oven to warm through for 4 minutes.

See you soon!

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