Peach Blueberry salad

Inspired Weeknight Meals- My Favorite Go-To Recipe

Peach Blueberry salad

It is hard to believe that in only a few short weeks kiddos will be back at school!

The lazy days of summer will soon be in the rear-view mirror and we will all be back to our schedule.

As we slide back into a routine, does the question “What’s for dinner?” ever haunt you?

I have to be honest, I often dread that question too and my job is creating fabulous food!

Mediterranean chicken

Coming  up with something that tastes good and does not take all day to prepare night after night can be a challenge!

Parmesan green beans

Weeknight Meals is a fun class that offers great new recipes and inspiration to help you get dinner on the table night after night and feel great about it. There are still a few seats open so register TODAY by Clicking HERE.

fluffy biscuits

Thursday, August 22nd 6:30-8:30  Weeknight Meals- Wonderful everyday meals designed to inspire YOU and have your family begging for more! Fresh foods made in a matter of minutes answer the question “What’s for dinner?” To get us in the mood to cook, we’ll start the fun with Red Berry Vodka Spritzers. Our fresh and bright Peach and Blueberry Salad is a great compliment to any dinner.  A meal fancy enough for company, but easy enough for everyday is Succulent Honey Bourbon Pork Loin with Mango Salsa served with irresistible Potato Pancakes. And how about fluffy Honey Butter Biscuits that work with ANY meal? One Dish Wonders are a favorite strategy for busy people.  Just assemble ingredients in a baking dish or pan and slide it in the oven and dinner is served!   Mediterranean Chicken, is one of my favorites, so colorful and drenched with flavor.  Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetable covered in melted, bubbly cheese is a hit! Jazzed up Roasted Potato Nachos are so good you better make extra! Parmesan Green Beans make a great side to any protein.  For dessert we will do a classic, moist White Butter Cake with Fudge frosting, OH MY!  BONUS Salmon recipe added to this class! Class fee $59.00

I have added a BONUS salmon recipe to this class since My guys have been catching fish like crazy.  It will come to you right from the Kenai River in Alaska!

And because we need to make dinner TONIGHT, below is one of my all-time favorite go-to’s.  Orange Glazed Salmon, and oldie but goodie and perfect, since we are in salmon season.

Orange glazed salmon

Orange Glazed Salmon

1-2 pound salmon fillet

1 orange

¼ cup brown sugar

2-3 tablespoons teriyaki sauce

1 teaspoon chopped parsley

1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place salmon in a baking dish, salt and pepper the meat.  Drizzle teriyaki sauce over fish.  Zest the orange and mix the zest into the brown sugar, rub the sugar paste all over the surface of the fish.  Cut orange into slices and place on top of the seasoned fish. Bake uncovered for 13-18 minutes until fat from meat bubbles to the surface. Sprinkle with fresh herbs before serving.

Stone Fruit Chutney Over Brie-Oh My

Stone Fruit Chutney Over Brie

Sometimes it’s the simplest things in life that taste the sweetest.  Stone Fruit Chutney Over Brie is definitely in this category. So simple to make and it really wakes up your taste buds.

Stone fruit chutney over brie on a grazing board.

Stone fruit is only in season a short time so grab bushels of cherries and nectarines NOW and what you can’t eat; make into chutney.  You will be glad you did!

Stone Fruit Chutney over Brie

1 wedge Brie

2 small nectarines peeled and chopped

1 cup fresh cherries pitted and sliced in half

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Pinch of lemon zest

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Pinch of salt

In a small chef’s pan combine, fruit, sugar, lemon juice and zest and salt.  Cook over medium heat until mixture is bubbling, turn the heat down and simmer until the fruit is broken down and the juice is a thick syrup.  Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla.  Pour hot mixture over the Brie and serve with French bread or for dessert, ginger snaps.

au revoir for now lorie (002)

 

 

Bastille Day Menu for your own Frenchie Celebration

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The French celebrate their independence on Bastille Day, July 14th each year.  This is the day the French Revolutionists stormed the Bastille releasing its prisoners.  It’s considered the turning point of that conflict which ultimately overturned monarch rule in France.

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There is always a parade down the Champs Elysees with the beautiful Arc de Triomphe as the centerpiece and plenty of fireworks once dark falls on the city.

Glass of rose wine.

It’s a great excuse to pop open a bottle of rosé and invite a few friends for a simple dinner.

Hot July temperatures call for lighter dishes Like Ham and Avocado Tartine, a pretty salad and a sweet treat like my Chocolate Madeleines.  Enjoy!

Prosciutto and avocado tartine

Ham and Avocado Tartine

4 slices rustic bread toasted

1 clove garlic

1 avocado

4 slices deli ham or prosciutto

1 cucumber sliced

Pinch crushed red pepper

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Rub each slice of bread with garlic clove and discard.  Place bread on baking sheet and toast on both sides for about 3 minutes. Mash ¼ of the avocado on each slice of bread, season with salt and pepper.  Add cucumber. Place ham on top and sprinkle with crushed red pepper and plenty of salt and pepper and serve.

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Purple Flower Salad

2 mini purple lettuce heads

1 cup carrot matchsticks

1/2 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted

1/4 dried cranberries

Balsamic Vinaigrette

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

1 garlic clove, pressed

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Pinch of both salt and pepper

½ cup olive oil

Hold each lettuce head firmly in your hand and cut the bottom root off.  Hold the head firmly as you run cold water through the bundle to clean the lettuce.  Place bundle in the center of a serving platter and release it so the leaves form a circle.  Repeat with second bundle on top of the first one creating the flower petals. Place the carrots in the center of the lettuce flower and spread them out a bit.  Mound the yellow peppers in the center of the carrots.  Next, place the walnuts then cranberries on top of the vegetables; you will create rings of color. To prepare the dressing, add vinegar, garlic, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk well to combine.  Add olive oil in a steady stream whisking vigorously until it is all mixed and you have a silky dressing.  Serve the salad with the dressing on the side.

Plate of chocolate Madeleine's.

Chocolate Madeleines

¾ cup butter

1 ½ cups sugar

¾ cup flour

¾ cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder

3 eggs

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

Extra butter and flour for preparing pans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Butter and flour madeleine pans well, and set aside.    Melt ¾ cup butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Add cocoa powder to butter and mix well.  Stir in sugar and then eggs.  Add flour, salt and vanilla and mix until combined. Spoon a walnut sized portion into each madeleine shell.  Place madeleine pans on a baking sheet and into the oven for 14-18 minutes until edges are set and tops are puffed.

 

There is still space in Herbs Fresh from the Garden at the Arboretum, hope to see you there!

au revoir for now lorie (002)

 

 

Happy 4th- Celebrate with a Berry Tart!

berrytart

Is there anything on earth that tastes better in the summer than fresh, ripe berries?  The 4th of July is a fantastic time to feature them in dessert!

Truth? In my book, anytime the berries are sweet, this dessert hits the spot!

Let your flags fly and Enjoy!

Berries and Cream Cheese Tart

Crust

1 prepared pie crust

Cream Cheese Filling

1 8-ounce package cream cheese

½ cup sour cream

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon vanilla

Topping

1/12 cups strawberries, washed and chopped

1 cup raspberries

2 cups blueberries

Prepare filling by combining all ingredients in a small bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer until the filling is smooth and fluffy.  Pour filling into crust and chill until ready to serve.  Top with berries and serve.

au revoir for now lorie (002)

Caprese Panini and HERBS at the Arboretum

MInt growing in Lorie's garden.

There is nothing like herbs fresh from the garden to bump up the flavor quotient of your summer foods. I will be celebrating all-things HERBS at the Arboretum on Saturday, July 20th from 11:00-1:00, register TODAY!

basket of herbs at the french market

Do you have a favorite herb?  Mine is basil. I thought I would share one of my most-loved herb recipes; Basil Pesto and my favorite way to eat it, Caprese Panini!

basil pesto

Pesto is typically made with pine nuts but my version uses walnuts.  I always have walnuts on hand and I think it makes the pesto really creamy.  My basil rich pesto only calls for 1 tablespoon of olive oil, you can definitely use more but I personally don’t like an oily mouthfeel so it’s perfect for us.

Lorie clipping basil

There is something so gratifying about going to the garden to pick basil for a bright green batch of goodness.  It’s not too late to plant basil and reap the rewards right up until the first frost!

caprese panini

 

Caprese Panini

1 loaf French bread sliced in about ¾ inch slices

6 slices provolone cheese or fresh mozzarella

½ cup sun dried tomatoes drained and chopped

2 large tomatoes sliced thin and drained

1/3 cup fresh basil pesto

Olive oil

Brush grill pan with olive oil and turn burner to medium heat.   Make sandwiches by spreading a generous amount of pesto on every other slice of bread. Sprinkle pesto with sun-dried tomatoes.  Add cheese and fresh tomato slices and top with additional bread slice to create a sandwich.  Place sandwiches on grill with a panini press on top; grill each side for about 2 minutes until golden brown.

Basil Pesto

1 ½ 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.

herbs

Arboretum- Herbs Fresh From the Garden or market. Do you cultivate a garden full of fresh herbs and want to cook more with them or maybe you love picking up fresh herbs at the local farmers markets; either way this class will delight with flavors from the earth.   The tasty dishes will begin with a vibrant appetizer of freshly made Chimichurri Hummus as pretty as it is tasty.  Next up, crispy Herbed Greek Salad that will have you diving in bite after bite.  For the main course we will prepare succulent Herb and Pistachio Crusted Chicken served with fresh from-the-garden Tomato Gratin. For a decadent treat, we will make Herb and Garlic Parmesan Knots.  For a sweet finish delectable Basil Infused Berries and Cream will not disappoint!

Hope you will tell me your favorite herb!  See you at the Arboretum!

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)

 

Shrimp with Basil Gremolata

shrimp with Basil gremolata

In the summertime, I am less interested in spending time in the kitchen prepping and cooking.  Dishes that utilize all of the goodness from the earth and my garden that cook very quickly are winners in my book.

Basil gremolata

My Shrimp with Basil Gremolata is fast and easy to prepare and incredibly tasty.  Gremolata is an herb rich, lemony sauce that is fantastic over any fish or grilled meat.

Serve Shrimp with Basil Gremolata over pasta or alongside a large salad and you will have a fantastic dinner on the table in minutes. Enjoy!

Shrimp with Basil Gremolata

Shrimp

1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt to taste

Gremolata

Zest from a lemon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

2 cloves garlic

1 ½ cups fresh basil, packed

½ cup fresh parsley packed

½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup olive oil

To make gremolata, place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined.  To prepare shrimp, heat a chefs pan over medium heat, add olive oil and shrimp.  Sprinkle shrimp with salt and cook on each side for 2-3 minutes until shrimp is opaque.  Remove pan from heat.  Toss with gremolata and serve.

au revoir for now lorie (002)

Salmon with Fresh Strawberry Salsa

Salmon with Strawberry Salsa

Today I want to share a true go-to from my kitchen.

A standout topping that can be used on practically any grilled meat.  My Fresh Strawberry Salsa over salmon is a true taste sensation. The sweet and savory blend of fruits and vegetables with just a hint of lime keeps you diving in for more with every single bite.

Try this idea with fruits and veg you have on hand and create your own flavor combinations; the key is to combine flavors you love.

Fresh salsas; a great way to brighten up any plate!

Do you have a delicious go-to you would like to share from your kitchen?  Please tell us in the comment section!!

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 Salmon with Fresh Strawberry Salsa

1-2 pounds wild caught salmon

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

½ cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 tablespoon red onion, finely chopped

½ orange bell pepper, chopped

½ poblano pepper, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh jalapeno, finely minced

½ cup fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped

1 lime, zested and juiced

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare salmon by brushing with Worcestershire sauce on both sides of the fish.  Salt and pepper the fish generously and place it in a glass baking dish.  Cook the salmon for 12-15 minutes until fat is bubbling to the surface.  Meanwhile, prepare the salsa by combining all remaining ingredients and toss well. Season with salt and serve a generous amount of salsa on each portion of salmon.

au revoir for now lorie (002)

A melt in your mouth bite…in Paris!

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When I find something new that is crave-able…

ATOP 2019 group at Aux Merveilleux de Fred, Paris

I can’t wait to share it with my travelers and YOU!

Last year I happened upon this adorable sweet shop with its classic slate grey facade and huge crystal chandelier that beckoned me in.

Aux Mervilleux de Fred, Paris

Aux Merveilleux de Fred in the Latin quarter of Paris has windowed stuffed with cute balls of goodness that resemble Hostess Snowballs

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One bite lets you know this is oh so different!

Aux Merveilleux de Fred small treat with 1 bite missing.

I have always been a lover of meringues and when you stuff it with cream, and then roll them in chocolate, how can you go wrong?

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I predict these pretty, melt in your mouth treats will become all the rage.  There are already 1/2 a dozen locations around Paris and a location in New York city!

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Want me to take you there?  I would love for YOU to be along next year for the tasty FUN!

Register TODAY by email to lorie@atasteofparis.net

 A Taste of Paris April 13-20th  

Guacamole with a Twist

Grapefruit guacamole.

When Lauren Palmer, the editor of The Art of Living Beautifully asked me to develop a grapefruit guacamole recipe for the summer issue of the magazine, I was skeptical.  The inherit problem with grapefruit is their intense bitterness.  As I thought about the combination, I began to get really excited.

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The key to a great tasting guac is cutting the fruit into supremes. This method of preparation takes most of the bitterness from the fruit leaving behind that unmistakable, juicy, citrus flavor.

Lauren and I created this video to show you how to cut grapefruits into supremes.  This method works really well for oranges too!

I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as I do and the many taste tester friends, I made it for this spring!

If you have not already subscribed to The Art of Living Beautifully, do so!  You will find lots of inspiration there as well as recipes from me!

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Grapefruit Guacamole 

2 large ripe avocados

½ teaspoon grapefruit zest

1 large grapefruit cut into supremes

2 teaspoons fresh jalapeno, finely chopped

2 tablespoons red onion, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh basil cut into a chiffonade

Dash cayenne pepper

Salt to taste

Cut grapefruit supremes into ½ chunks. Mix avocado, grapefruit chunks and zest, onion, jalapeno and basil very well.  Season to taste with salt and cayenne and serve with chips.