Handcrafted Cheeseboard

Cheese and other foods on a wooden board.

Handcrafted cheeseboards that make people swoon are easier to make than you think!  After a long hard week, Mark and I often opt to stay in on a Friday night and enjoy a “picnic” cheeseboard made in a matter of minutes, and YOU can too!

3 types of cheese on a wooden board.

Start with a beautiful wooden board and 3 cheese varieties.  I like to choose something soft like Brie, a semi-soft cheese like Gouda and a hard cheese like Comté. Or in this case a stronger cheese like Blue.

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I always add some type of meat to the board. If you get something sliced thin, like this salami, you can pinch the center of each slice to create this pretty ruffled effect.

Hancrafted Cheese board 7-R

Next, add fruit, apples are my favorite. I like a firm, tart apple varietal like Honey-crisp to pair with rich cheeses.  Dried fruits are always nice too, they are sweet and chewy giving you another texture to enjoy.  Sprinkle on a few nuts, some Provencal olives and maybe even a few cornichons.  Last but not least a good loaf of French bread.

Hancrafted Cheese board 3-R

That’s all there is to a gorgeous display of food.  Add a bottle of wine and you are ready for an epic Friday night!

I hope you will join me for an upcoming cooking class, we have so much fun!! Register for classes TODAY by email to Lorie@atasteofparis.net

April 25th 6:30-8:30 Let’s Make Dinner  A new offering at the cooking school; come and make and enjoy a 4-course meal.  The fun begins with a CoCo-Light Martini as we will dive into our menu. We will prepare and enjoy a Texas tradition Jalapeno Poppers MORE

May 3rd 10:30-1:00 Make and Take Dinner for Two A new offering in the cooking school!  Come and take a cooking class and take home a 4-course dinner for two.  Share it with your spouse or a friend!  This class promises to be lively and full of fun!On the Menu:Appetizer- Blue Cheese Pecan Crusted Grapes is a flavor explosion MORE

June 21st 10:30-1:00 Make and Take Dinner for Two A new offering in the cooking school!  Come and take a cooking class and take home a 4-course dinner for two.  Share it with your spouse or a friend!  This class promises to be lively and full of fun!On the Menu:Appetizer- We will master the art of precious Chinese Dumplings in Pork MORE

Handcrafted Cheeseboard Shopping LIST:

3 wedges of cheese

Thinly sliced salami

Assorted fresh fruits

Dried fruit

Nuts

Olives

Cornichon

French bread

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Basil from the Market

Lorie harvesting basil from her garden.

Sweet Basil is my favorite herb.  The vibrant color and fragrant flavors of pepper, anise and mint make a delightful addition to many of my recipes. I grow plenty of this prolific herb in my garden every year to support my habit and my cooking classes.

Fresh basil, glass of water, scissors and a zip top bag on the counter.

During the winter months I crave that fresh from the garden flavor so I pick up organic containers of basil at the market. To prolong its life, you will need a few household items; a glass or vase filled with water, a pair of scissors and a zip-top bag.

Stem of basil being trimmed

Snip the tip of each basil sprig at an angle with a pair of sharp scissors and put each stem in the glass filled with water.

Zip top bag being placed over the basil.

Next, split the bottom of the zip-top bag on both sides about 2-3 inches and place it over the basil. This will create a greenhouse effect.

Basil green house.

Leave your basil greenhouse on the counter-top where it will receive plenty of bright light.  Change the water daily and you will be surprised at how long basil will keep!

Basil pesto used for Panini is my favorite Basil; recipe, what’s yours?

 

Basil Pesto

1½ cups fresh basil, compacted

2 garlic cloves

½ cup walnuts

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

Place basil, garlic, walnuts, salt in food processor, pulse until smooth, add Parmesan, olive oil and process until mixed well.

au revoir for now lorie (002)

Tune into FOX Tomorrow for Valentine Date Night

Lorie Fangio with the KDFW Fox crew

Tune into Fox 4 KDFW, tomorrow, Wednesday, February 13th about 9:40 to see ME cooking LIVE with the morning crew!

I’ll show you how to host a Romantic Date Night, just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Instead of fighting crowds this year, opt to stay in with this mouthwatering menu.  Pan seared Pork Chops with Apple Cranberry Pan Sauce served over Creamy Mashed Potatoes is decadent and satisfying and the best part, it won’t take you all day to prepare!

For a sweet ending try one of my favorite go-to recipes French Chocolate Bark.

porkchops with apple cran sauce

Pork Chops with Apple Cranberry Pan Sauce

2 boneless pork chops, 6 ounces each

1-2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons butter

½ large Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped

¼ cup dried cranberries

1 tablespoon onion, grated

1 small garlic clove, pressed

1 teaspoon brown sugar

2 tablespoons dry white wine

¼ cup chicken stock

pinch cinnamon

¼ teaspoon sage

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt butter in a chef’s pan set over medium/low heat.  Salt and pepper pork chops liberally.  Dredge chops in flour and place into the hot pan.  Sear for 3-4 minutes until pork is getting brown.  Flip and sear the second side. Remove the chops from the pan and place them in a glass baking dish and into the oven to finish cooking, about 18 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 155 degrees.   To prepare the sauce deglaze the pan with the white wine.  Add remaining ingredients and cook until mixture is thick and apples are breaking down a bit.  Remove from heat and serve over the pork shops.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

3 pounds potatoes, preferably Yukon Gold’s, peeled and diced

½ cup heavy cream

¼ cup butter

Salt and Pepper to taste

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender.  Drain water, reserving 1 cup of cooking water.  Place potatoes in a bowl an electric mixer and mix with cream and butter until perfectly smooth.  If potatoes are still too stiff, add a bit of the cooking water until desired consistency is reached.  Salt and pepper to taste. 

Silver dish of French Chocolate Bark topped with dried apricots, pistachios and dried cherries.
This version of French Chocolate Bark is topped with dried apricots, pistachios and dried cherries.

French Chocolate Bark

1 12-ounce package of 60% cocoa chocolate chips, I use Ghirardelli’s

½ cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped

½ cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

½ cup coconut

Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper.  Melt chocolate in microwave safe bowl in 30 second intervals stirring well in between each time.  Spread melted chocolate on parchment paper creating a thin sheet of chocolate. Sprinkle with fruit and nuts and slightly press into chocolate.  Chill the candy in the refrigerator until set and break into pieces. Keep bark refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

TASTE THE FOOD. TASTE THE WINE.

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A Taste of Paris 2020

Culinary adventure of a lifetime!

More Details…CLICK HERE

au revoir for now lorie (002)

 

 

My Favorite Valentine Treats!

french chocolates

Valentine’s Day means plenty of chocolate everywhere!

Red Velvet Brownies with cream cheese frosting in a glass baking dish.

I am sure you saw my recipe for decadent Red Velvet Brownies last week.

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How about Chocolate Lava Cake, a quintessential favorite and oh so easy to prepare as long as you know the secret…bake the cakes cold from the refrigerator!

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And of course Chocolate Truffles like the ones at Maison du Chocolat in Paris are unbeatable and surprising simple to make!

I hope you will be inspired to make a chocolate treat for someone you LOVE today!

Consider joining me in the kitchen for upcoming Cooking Classes, where Fun is Always on the Menu! Seats are limited, register TODAY! 

au revoir for now lorie (002)

Decadent Red Velvet Brownies

Red Velvet Brownies with cream cheese frosting in a glass baking dish.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner!  Will you be making a sweet treat for someone you love?  Red Velvet Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting may be the most decadent treat on earth!

Ingredients to make Red Velvet Brownies spread out on a counter top.

This is such a great recipe because it begins with 2 boxed mixes so there is very little measuring required!

Baked Red Velvet Brownies, in a glass dish inside the oven, oven door opened.

Just mix by hand and pop them in the oven.

Baked Red Velvet Brownies with bowl of prepared Cream Cheese Frosting

Let the brownies cool completely before slathering with rich cream cheese frosting.

Red Velvet Brownies with cream cheese frosting in a glass baking dish.

I like to sprinkle the tops of my Red Velvet Brownies with a tiny bit of unsweetened coco, to hint that there is chocolate here!   Make a batch today, your Lovies will be so happy!

Red Velvet Brownies

Batter

1 package family size dark chocolate brownie mix

1 package yellow cake mix

1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

¾ cup canola oil

2 teaspoons vanilla

3 eggs

1-ounce red food coloring, I used Wilton

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a small bowl mix all wet ingredients including red coloring until well blended.  Place both brownie and cake mix in a large bowl and whisk until mixed well, add chocolate chips.  Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until no lumps remain.  Spread batter into a greased 8×11 glass baking dish.  Bake for 50-58 minutes until edges are beginning to brown.  Let brownies cool completely before frosting.

Frosting

1 8-ounce package cream cheese at room temperature

2 tablespoons butter at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 cups powdered sugar

Using a hand mixer combine butter, cream cheese and vanilla and mix well.  Add sugar slowly until all is combined.  Frost cooled brownies.

I hope to see YOU in an upcoming Cooking Class!  I have new titles just added TODAY!

There are still a few seats remaining for the extraordinary 2-day culinary event; Food and Wine Workshop on March 21-22nd.

I hope you will join me!

au revoir for now lorie (002)

Bowl of Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup with Crackers

Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup

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Nothing warms the body and soul like a bowl of homemade Chicken Noodle Soup.  With a cold snap upon us, make a pot today, you will be so glad you did!

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

2 chicken breasts baked and cubed

2 tablespoons butter

1 medium onion, chopped

3 ribs of celery, finely chopped

2 cups carrots, chopped

1 clove garlic minced

1 bay leaf

6 cups chicken stock

1 teaspoon dried sage

1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

1 12-ounce package egg noodles

Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in large soup pan set over medium heat.  Cook onions, celery and carrots in butter for about 8 minutes until onions are clear.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.  Add spices and stock and bring to a boil.  Add noodles and cook for about 7 minutes.  Add chicken into the pot and continue cooking until noodles are tender.

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Join me for Let’s Make Dinner Thursday, March 7th 6:30-8:30- A new kind of cooking class.   The fun begins with a Cran-Pineapple Vodka Spritzer as we will dive into our menu.  We will prepare simple French Loaves to be served with Salmon Rillettes, packed with fresh goodness and Herbed Goat Cheese Spread.  We will sit for our 2-4th courses and wine will be served.  The second course will be Vegetable Lentil Soup, so tasty it could stand on its own.  Ripe peppers, onions and paprika are key ingredients to the mouthwatering Chicken a la Basquaise served alongside Potato Leek and Gruyere Tart, oh my.  For a delectable sweet finish, we will prepare Grand Mariner Souffle served with a White Chocolate Sauce. What a great way to spend the evening!  We will prepare our 4 course feast then sit together to enjoy the fruits of our labor.  Class size is limited and promises to be an amazing evening! Class fee 59.50.  To Register CLICK HERE or email lorie@atasteofparis.net 

au revoir for now lorie (002)

Variouls Spices for Chicken Marinde including soy sauce, miller lite, green chile's

Chicken Marinade 3 Ways

It’s that time of year, everyone is working to eat cleaner. Chicken breasts are a great source of high-quality protein but preparing them the same old way can became boring.

I wanted to share a technique that I have been using for many years that allows me to get dinner on the table in a hurry without sacrificing variety.

Forgive the shadowing pics, it was late on a gloomy day when I shot these. Start by slicing chicken breast in half to create meal sized portions.

Next, get out 3-gallon zip top bags and all of the ingredients to create the 3 chicken marinade recipes below.

Add chicken to the bags and marinate for 2 hours, overnight or stow in the freezer until needed!

Having trouble sticking to your plan to Eat Well in 2019 or are you out of ideas for delicious options? Join me for a cooking class filled with amazing recipes and tons of tips for helping you look and feel your BEST in 2019.

Eating Well- Friday, January 25th from 11:00. For more information Click HERE or email me to register lorie@atasteofparis.net

Chicken Marinade 3 Ways

Honey Mustard Chicken Marinade

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

½ cup beer

1 garlic clove, pressed

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon Tony Chachere’s Creole seasonings

Mix all ingredients in a zip top gallon bag.  Add up to 6 chicken breasts and let marinate 2 hours-overnight or place in the freezer until ready to cook.

Teriyaki Chicken Marinade

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ cup beer

2 cloves garlic, pressed

¼ cup teriyaki sauce

2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

Pinch crushed red pepper

Mix all ingredients in a zip top gallon bag.  Add up to 6 chicken breasts and let marinate 2 hours-overnight or place in the freezer until ready to cook.

Green Chili Chicken Marinade

1 cup green chili enchiladas sauce

2 cloves garlic pressed

1 lime, juiced and zested

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

Mix all ingredients in a zip top gallon bag.  Add up to 6 chicken breasts and let marinate 2 hours-overnight or place in the freezer until ready to cook.

Eating Well and Quinoa Tabouli

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

dark chocolate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Quinoa Tabouli

2 cups quinoa

3 cups water

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 cloves garlic pressed

½ teaspoon salt

2 cups cherry tomatoes finely chopped

½ red onion finely chopped

1 large English cucumber finely chopped

1 red bell pepper finely chopped

¼ cup Finley minced parsley

¼ cup finely minced mint

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

au revoir for now lorie (002)

 

Christmas Morning~Salmon Artichoke Quiche

Looking for something scrumptious to make for Christmas morning?  Try my Salmon and Artichoke Quiche, you will not be disappointed!

Salmon and Artichoke Quiche

1 sheet puff pastry

10 eggs

½ cup cream or milk

1 cup grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese

1 ½ cups cooked salmon chunks

1 ½ cups frozen artichoke coarsely chopped

½  cup grated parmesan cheese

½ teaspoon fresh dill finely chopped

2 green onions finely chopped

½ teaspoon salt

¼ freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degree.  Unfold puff pastry sheet on a floured surface.  Eliminate folds in dough by rolling with a rolling pin.  Grease a deep 9 inch round quiche dish. Place dough into dish, letting the corners fall over.  Fill quiche by first sprinkling an even amount of gruyere cheese into the dish.  Next layer the salmon, artichokes and green onion into the dish. In a bowl, beat eggs, milk salt and pep[per and dill until well combined.  Pour the egg mixture into the dish and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Fold corners of pastry over the quiche and bake until center is set and quiche is puffed and brown, about 35-40 minutes.

If you prefer a more formal quiche, trim the edges of the crust and pinch into a fluted pattern.

Christmas Morning~Cinnamon Pecan Wreath

Do you have your menu planned for Christmas morning? At our house, I always make something sweet and something savory.  We eat a big breakfast to tide us over to an early Christmas dinner.  Last year I shared my Cinnamon Bread Leaves with you and this year I have done a throwback to on oldie but goodie.  Cinnamon Pecan Wreath is so beautiful and tempting; your family will be delighted! Cinnamon Pecan Wreath happens to be one of the recipes I shared with The Art of Living Beautifully readers this month.  For my post, I want to take you through the steps to make this centerpiece delight.

Begin the day before you want to serve the Cinnamon Pecan Wreath by thawing frozen bread rolls in a greased bowl overnight in the refrigerator. Roll the dough into a rectangle; it does not have to be perfect!  Next pour on melted butter, then cinnamon sugar and last pecans.

Roll dough into a log; bring both ends of the log, together to form a ring.  Pinch the dough ends together, sealing it.

Using a pair of kitchen scissors; cut 2/3 of the way through the ring every 1-2 inches all the way around.  Take each slice and twist it to expose the layers.  Twist all of the slices.

Once your wreath is complete, cover it with a cloth and let it rise in a warm place for about an hour or until it has doubled in size.  Bake for 30-35 minutes in an oven set to 350 degrees before garnishing with glaze and pecans. 

Stay tuned for another Christmas Breakfast recipe later this week!!

Cinnamon Pecan Wreath

20 frozen bread rolls

1 stick of butter, melted

¾ cup sugar

¼ cup cinnamon

1 cup pecans chopped

12 whole pecan halves

Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar

1 vanilla pod

1 small orange, zested and juiced

Pinch salt

Grease a medium mixing bowl and place frozen rolls in the bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface.  Roll the dough to a large rectangle about 13×22 inches.  Brush the rectangle with melted butter.  Mix sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and sprinkle the mixture evenly over the butter.  Next, sprinkle on chopped pecans.  Roll long end of rectangle into a log.  Bring the two ends of the log together to form a ring and pinch the dough to seal the ring.  Using kitchen scissors, cut into the ring every 1-2 inches, about 2/3 of the way through the ring forming slices.  Pull each slice firmly and twist it towards the right.  Continue twisting all the slices. Your cinnamon ring will resemble a wreath.   Cover the wreath with a cloth and let it rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size, about one hour.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake wreath for 30-35 minutes.  If wreath is getting too brown, tent it with foil.  Prepare glaze by combining powdered sugar, the seeds from the vanilla pod, salt, the zest and 2 tablespoons of juice in a bowl and mix well.    Drizzle glaze over bread ring and garnish the top with pecan halves.