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.

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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

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It’s a Provencal Happy Hour!

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DATE CHANGE!

Happy Hour October 18, 6:00-8:00

Celebrate Autumn in Provence with an ATOP Happy Hour just for fun!

Have you been to the beautiful new Toulouse at Legacy West?
Join A Taste of Paris for a Provencal Happy Hour. Drink and food specials just for ATOP!

Registration for A Taste of Provence 2019 is OPEN and Toulouse is helping us celebrate!
Travel with me in 2019 for an unforgettable experience.

Immerse yourself in the flavors of Provence.  Soak up sundrenched farm land, cultivated by artisans passionate about their craft.  Visit and taste at local producers of wine, cheese and olives for an up-close view of the fabulous food this region is known for.  Enjoy private cooking classes and some of the best markets in the world. Your taste buds will sing with the flavors of France.

September 7-14th, 2019  Only 2 seats OPEN

OR

September 14th-21st, 2019  Only 1 seat OPEN

Join the fun as Toulouse transports us to Provence,
for a full list of Happy Hour offerings and the address CLICK HERE

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Registration for Fall and Holiday cooking classes is underway, dont miss out on the fun!  Register TODAY!

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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.

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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Pink Champagne

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Is there a more festive sound on earth than a champagne cork popping?

This is my last PINK post for March.  I have been posting all month celebrating women and a special event I am hosting in Paris next year.

A Taste of Paris Goes PINK

The response to my all-female culinary excursion, set for April of 2019 has been amazing, in fact there is only 1 room left for this adventure of a lifetime.  Don’t hesitate; click the link for more information and to register.

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Can you hear the sound of my own bottle of pink bubble popping right now?

I particularly love pink varieties; they tend to be a bit yeastier, with a velvety round finish, than their golden, fruit forward counterparts.

I rarely meet a bottle of pink bubbles that I don’t like but I wanted to share a few of my favorites with you and could not do so without relieving my recent trip to the champagne region with my September 2017 group.

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Here we are in Reims at our first stop, Taittinger. The Taittinger brut rosé, is vigorous and refreshing and you cannot beat this amazing vibrant shade of pink!

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We also visited Billecart-Salmon while in the champagne region.

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This is such an elegant brand and the brut rosé is lovely.

French champagne is expensive.  Visiting the region and many winemakers over the years, definitely gives me an appreciation of  the science and precision that goes into each precious bottle, which of course explains the high price tag.

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 If you don’t want to spend $50.00 or more for one bottle, there are lots of varieties can give you the same effervescence, lovely pink color and no sticker shock!

Le Grand Courtage is one of those brands; it is a product of France and is quite affordable.

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I tend to like sparkling wines that come from the Loire Valley like Deligeroy Cremant de Loire for around $15.00!

When shopping for an affordable bottle of bubbles check the label to see if it is made in France and in the traditional method and you can bet you will not be disappointed!

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You can’t do a post on Champagne without mentioning the world renowned Veuve Clicquot.  Veuve pronounced like LOVE with a ‘V”.  Can you tell I am having the time of my life?

I sincerely hope you are in celebration mode at your house and if you want to purchase a set of champagne flutes check out a few of my favorites below!

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Lenox Champagne Flutes

Villeroy Boch Champagne Flutes

LSA Champagne Flutes

 

Imagine Yourself Sipping Champagne…

Imagine yourself sipping champagne on the Avenue de Champagne, it’s not too late!  There are still a few seats left in the culinary excursion of a lifetime!

We will cook and taste our way through Paris while seeing the major sites and museums and then hop on a train to the champagne region of France.  Champagne Houses are within walking distance from our beautiful accommodations on the Avenues des Champagne.  We’ll spend a few days visiting champagne houses, the chapel at Dom Perignon, the birthplace of champagne, and we will see first hand the production of this lively liquid.

Registration remains open but only a few seats are left, don’t miss your chance!  For more information CLICK HERE or call 214 551 9630.

The bottle pictured here is a special vintage for Charles Mignon, a tiny bit sweeter than the typical brut.  I picked this one up for my husband while at Charles Mignon in April.  For my absolute favorite label in this brand, go to Goody Goody Liquor and ask for the Charles Mignon blush, you will not be disappointed!

Come with us, you will be glad you did!
Lorie

Find me on Instagram @atasteofparis

I do not receive compensation for brand recommendations.