Is 2018 YOUR Year to Shine?

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Is it possible to look younger and feel better in 2018?  The answer is a resounding YES! Join me this month for Food the Secret Fountain of Youth, a special kind of cooking class designed to turn the clock back. I’m ready to share ALL of my hacks for keeping our bodies young. Make a few simple modifications and see astounding results.

Join me and make 2018, YOUR year to shine. Register HERE or send an email to lorie@atasteofparis.net

Food the Secret Fountain of Youth Workshop- Friday, January 19th 11:00-2:00 Let’s young up in 2018, it’s easier than you think! The key to staying young is keeping inflammation down in the body and the latest research supports the notion that gut health plays a huge roll in doing just that.   In the super fun class, participants will learn how to choose foods that support anti-aging. EAT WELL AND LOOK YOUNGER! In addition, I’ll share all my secrets for staying youthful including; moving your body, stretching, moves to kick start a sluggish metabolism and keeping your gut working, so wear clothing you can move in. The food fun begins with fantastic options to jump start your day. Mouth watering grass fed cow Yogurt and Berries and a fabulous Veggie Omelet so packed with flavor you won’t miss the bacon!  We’ll top that breakfast with my favorite anti aging condiment, zesty Homemade Salsa.  6 Bean Soup topped with grass fed cheese and avocado will become a family favorite.  Another fabulous weeknight meal is Garlic Chicken with Quinoa and Turmeric served with a marvelous Spinach Salad good enough to be a main course.  We will prepare a yogurt and flaxseed Crusted Salmon that is out of this world served with Marinated and Roasted Asparagus.  Almond Butter with pears, apples, and bananas make the perfect afternoon snack.  Have you heard?  Pickled anything is good for you so we will pickle my favorite veggies to snack or top everything!  Eating well means being satisfied so we need a little sweet, Honey Banana Oat Cookie Bites and my favorite Chocolate Shards topped with goodness will finish us up.  Class Fee $65.00signature3 no block

 

Movie Night with Provence Crew

Have you seen the darling movie A Good Year? I highly recommend it!  It’s a sweet flick starring Russell Crowe and the adorable Marion Cotillard set in Provence.  The movie details the life of workaholic Max Skinner; you guessed it, boy meets girls, there are fireworks and plenty of wine!

Much of the movie was filmed in the Luberon area of Provence.  Lush green hills and one charming French village after another and the food…don’t even get me started!

Before the craziness of the holidays insue, I invited my Provence 2018 travelers for a movie night to watch A Good Year.

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The perfect fare for the casual fete was a simple Provencal Picnic. Served with French bread of course!

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If you’re going to watch a movie, popcorn is a must.  I like to make homemade microwave popcorn in various flavors.  For the party, I made Herbs de Provence and Cayenne Parmesan.

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No picnic is complete in my book without chocolate. I served freshly made dark chocolate strawberry truffles and foil wrapped chocolate cherry cordials.

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Bubbles are always a good idea, especially fun in single serve bottles.

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Our journey to Provence really begin as we watched the movie.  Oh what fun we will have!

Provence 2018 is sold out but for more information on traveling with me to Provence OR Paris in 2019 Click HERE! Inquire TODAY seats sell out very early.

Do you have a favorite movie set in France?  There are so many to choose from, please share your fav with us.

Au revoir for now~  Lorie

 

Movie Night with Provence Crew

Have you seen the darling movie A Good Year? I highly recommend it!  It’s a sweet flick starring Russell Crowe and the adorable Marion Cotillard set in Provence.  The movie details the life of workaholic Max Skinner; you guessed it, boy meets girls, there are fireworks and plenty of wine!

Much of the movie was filmed in the Luberon area of Provence.  Lush green hills and one charming French village after another and the food…don’t even get me started!

Before the craziness of the holidays insue, I invited my Provence 2018 travelers for a movie night to watch A Good Year.

IMG_2430.jpg

The perfect fare for the casual fete was a simple Provencal Picnic. Served with French bread of course!

IMG_2417-3650268931-1510787780759.jpg

If you’re going to watch a movie, popcorn is a must.  I like to make homemade microwave popcorn in various flavors.  For the party, I made Herbs de Provence and Cayenne Parmesan.

IMG_2426

No picnic is complete in my book without chocolate. I served freshly made dark chocolate strawberry truffles and foil wrapped chocolate cherry cordials.

IMG_2391-4251424443-1510788309410.jpg

Bubbles are always a good idea, especially fun in single serve bottles.

IMG_2330

Our journey to Provence really begin as we watched the movie.  Oh what fun we will have!

Provence 2018 is sold out but for more information on traveling with me to Provence OR Paris in 2019 Click HERE! Inquire TODAY seats sell out very early.

Do you have a favorite movie set in France?  There are so many to choose from, please share your fav with us.

Au revoir for now~  Lorie

 

A Cookie Exchange Party with Texasliving

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I opened my mailbox and look what was inside…

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My fresh copy of Texasliving!

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I was invited by the editor of Texasliving to write an article on how to host a cookie exchange party.  If you plan to have some friends over for holiday cheer this year, now is the time to get the snowball rolling!

I have copied the article below to make it easy to read AND below you will also find the recipe for my delicious Cookie Martini and my no fail Sturdy Sugar Cookie recipe.

Enjoy and Au revoir for now! Lorie

Host the Merriest of Cookie Exchanges!

Hosting a cookie exchange party is a fantastic way to have friends and neighbors for a few hours of festive fun. Entertaining with a theme lets you narrow the focus to organize a fabulous event, without a lot of effort.  When you bring cookies and friends together good things happen!

Follow a few simple steps and you will be on your way to the perfect cookie exchange for a sweet time had by all.

Invitations

Be a smart cookie, and secure the date.  This is a busy time of year, so to ensure a good turnout, send invitations 3 weeks early and lock your guests down.

Themed invitations are an excellent way to generate excitement and boost party attendance.  There are a multitude of printable options available on the web.  Feeling creative?  Bake a batch of cookies to hand deliver to guests along with their paper invitation.  For mailed invitations, think about adding a pinch of cookie sprinkles like confetti inside each card before mailing.

Be sure to include all of the normal party details, in addition, tell your guests to bring 2 dozen of their favorite cookies to share at the party.

Let’s Party

Elaborate party set up with trays of food and loads decorations are wonderful if you have the time and resources, otherwise, keep it simple.  Do plan to have at least a few savory tidbits to balance the sweets.

A beverage station allows party goers to serve themselves and is a huge time saver for the host.  A coffee and tea station work well for a cookie party.  If cocktails are more your style, look for cookie inspired recipes on line to carry the motif forward.  Mix drinks in advance and serve them from a decanter or pitcher to make party time a breeze and don’t forget to give your glasses a sprinkle rim!

Prepare a cookie table in advance. Furnish serving platters, jars or cake stands to display the baked goods, for an inviting table arrangement.  Prepare place cards to detail the cookie flavors.

Cookie Party Games

The BEST Cookie Contest! Organize a BEST cookie contest for an added layer of fun. Conduct the competition by cutting bite sized pieces of each cookie for the guests to taste.  Prepare ballots calling for the top 3 choices.  When the votes are tallied, give your BEST cookie winners a small prize such as cookie sprinkles, a pretty mixing bowl or holiday cookie cookbook.

Deck the Cookies Instead of providing a cookie of your own for the exchange, set up a decorating station.  Bake plain sugar cookies in a variety of shapes.  Make frosting in several colors and place it in piping bags or better yet, purchase decorating frosting ready to go.  Buy a few small holiday candies and sprinkles for more embellishing fun.  Provide pictures of decorated cookies for inspiration, you can copy these from cookbooks or download on line. 

Games and Grins Fill a jar with tiny store bought cookies and have a “guess how many are in the jar” contest.  The winner gets to take all the leftover cookies!

Goodies To Go

Supply guests with a container to pack and take their shared confections. Purchase paper cookie boxes or think outside the box.  Look for pails, tins, even a clay pot lined with tissue paper is a marvelous vessel to stuff with cookies to be taken home and enjoyed. 

Host with the Most

Keep a few additional things in mind for hosting a terrific event.  Bake several dozen extra cookies just in case you need a few more.

As your friends RSVP, ask for their cookie recipe and organize a packet for each guest. Or think about a themed party favor, like an oven mitt, a cookie cutter or even a cute holiday dishtowel.

Most of all don’t crumble under the pressure of hosting; remember, if you are relaxed, your guests will be too.  So keep calm and cookie on!

Cupcake Martini

 

Cupcake Martini

Cocktail

2 parts vanilla vodka

1 part Amaretto

1 part whole milk

2 parts club soda

Garnish

Vanilla cake frosting

Sprinkles

To garnish glasses, pour sprinkles into a shallow dish.  Rub the edge of each glass with a small amount of frosting, press glass rims into the plate with the sprinkles. Shake all cocktail ingredients with ice and strain into prepared martini glasses.

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Sturdy Sugar Cookie

1 cup butter

4 cups flour

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon almond extract

In a large bowl mix dry ingredients together. Cream butter and sugar together using an electric mixer until mixture is pale and fluffy.  Continue to beat and add eggs one at a time.  Next, add extracts.  Add dry ingredients slowly until combined. Separate dough into 2 gallon zip locks.  Flatten dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Turn dough out on to a floured surface and roll out dough to 1/8 inch thickness.  Cut out shapes and bake on greased baking sheet for 13-15 minutes.

 

Brunch is BACK Baby!

Have you heard? Brunch is back as one of this years hottest food trends and it’s taking on a whole new vibe.

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For many years, Sunday brunch has had a special place in our hearts.  A lovely assortment of savory and sweet delicacies to choose from.  But have you noticed a whole new crowd assembling at restaurants and patios all over downtown and uptown at 11:00 am on Friday, Saturday…really any day of the week?

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People gathering with friends to vacate their lives for a while; sunglasses on, sipping a sensational concoction…life is pretty sweet huh!  I think part of the draw is the classic mimosa.  Let’s face it everything seems a little roser after a glass filled with nectar and bubbles.

Brunch is one of the best ways to entertain family and friends for the holidays. Simple set up, plenty of make ahead dishes packed with fresh flavors and perhaps the best attribute, the party’s over by 1:00pm. That lets you turn your attention to other holiday activities or to take a nap.

Join me for Brunch is BACK, a one day workshop where we’ll taste the sweet life.  We will craft and enjoy a Bubble Bar while we cook and taste scrumptious dishes perfect for holiday entertaining.  OH and the Pear Tart, WILL be a work of ART! There are only a few seats left at the table! Email lorie@atasteofparis.net orcall 214 551 9630

Au revoir for now,  Lorie

Brunch is BACK Workshop- Friday, December 8th from 10:30-2:00  Join me for a day in the kitchen you will not soon forget!  Brunching is a wonderful way to entertain over the holiday season.  Imagine yourself armed with amazing recipes to serve visiting family and friends through the holidays and beyond.   We will craft our brunch and enjoy it together family style for a lovely break to the holiday season.  Plus take home 4 lightly flavored Lavender Honey scones to be baked or frozen for a yummy family treat.  We will start the fun by creating a bubble bar to be enjoyed during the class.  Tangy Orange Pomegranate Salad is lovely on any holiday table.  Eggs for brunch will take the shape of a Soufflé and our Bacon Parmesan Soufflés will be rise to amazing heights.  Pecan Bourbon Glazed Pork Loin will be tender and juicy and the centerpiece of the feast.  Parmesan Crusted Potatoes are outstanding nuggets of delight.  Asparagus cooked to perfection served with classic French Hollandaise sauce.  We will look to Provence for their Christmas Sweet bread called Fougasse that will be irresistible with more bubbles.  For dessert we will craft a gorgeous Vanilla Pear Tart. Class Fee $79.00

Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice!

Fall is here and pumpkin is back!

If you know me at all; you are aware that I adore baked goods.  Mostly cakes and cookies.  When the leaves start to fall, I look forward to the indulgence of at least 1 batch of my insanely simple Pumpkin Walnut Muffins.

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Packed with pumpkin puree and plenty of walnuts so each bite has that sweet crunch. A delicate moist crumb with that unmistakable pumpkin flavor.

So I’ve shared my pumpkin crush, what about you?  What pumpkin concoction are you craving this fall?

Can’t wait to hear!

Au revoir for now

Lorie

Pumpkin Walnut Muffins

1 boxed yellow cake mix

2 cups of pumpkin puree

1/2 cup melted butter

1 egg

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon all spice

Pinch ground cloves

Seeds from 1 vanilla pod

Crumble Topping

¼ cup butter softened

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 18 muffin tins with paper liners.  Mix pumpkin, butter and egg in a bowl, add cake mix, vanilla and spices and stir until smooth.   Add walnuts and mix well, fill muffin tins using a kitchen scoop.  To prepare the crumble topping, mix butter sugar and flour in a small bowl with a fork until crumbly.  Sprinkle topping onto each muffin before baking for 22-28 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Bonjour!

“My love affair with France began as a five-year-old.  My parents took a 3-week European holiday and returned home forever changed.  The stories of faraway places were undoubtedly romanticized; nonetheless, I could not wait for my chance to go.

Years later, as a young fashion professional, I finally had my chance for a European adventure.  I boarded a plane headed for France.  Paris is intoxicating and I fell hard.  It was love at first sight, sound and taste.  My heart swelled and my mind drifted to thoughts of a second visit.

Having children changed everything, including my career.  I desperately wanted to be present for the day-to-day routine of motherhood.  With my mind and heart focused on my precious babies, it was easy to put my fashion career in the rear view mirror.

As a stay at home mom, my focus shifted.  Cooking, entertaining, gardening, and decorating came naturally to me.  As I worked to perfect these gifts, my spirit sparked.

I decided to share my passion for food with others and began teaching cooking classes all over Texas.  Soon, I was writing for local publications and even had a radio show.  All of the work orbited around one thing: connecting families and friends Around the Table.  This is how my first blog was created.

As life evolved, so did my career.  Traveling to Paris became a yearly adventure.  I studied in the finest cooking schools the city had to offer, and enjoyed bringing French recipes and techniques to classes taught in Texas.

Over the years, I grew to love Paris more and more. I knew Paris like the back of my hand, becoming intimately acquainted with world-renowned eateries and up-and-coming establishments. I discovered the finest places to shop for cheese, wine, bread, and any food related item your heart could desire.  Scouring the city for premier kitchen accoutrements and Brocante became an exciting sport for me.  Having the opportunity to bring these found treasures home to become part of daily life made my heart sing.

My curiosity for this country and its people was piqued with each visit.  Food is one of the greatest influences on any culture; without a doubt, the French love their food.  With an up-close view of the way the French eat and live, I soon garnered a deep respect for French tradition and its culture.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a true-blue American with a deep love for my country.  There is just something special about France; it’s where my soul comes alive.

People often ask me how A Taste of Paris™ became a reality. My life changed forever, one day, while I was teaching a French Pastries class.

A longtime student piped up and asked, “Lorie…when are you going to take us to Paris?” I stopped in my tracks. My mouth fell open. As I mulled the question over, I noticed a deep stirring in my gut.  That night, I had a dream in vivid color about how to share my love of food and France with others. The next morning, I bounded out of bed and eagerly shared the burgeoning idea with my husband.  With his encouragement, a good business plan, and a lot of prayer, I took a leap of faith.  The best part? Nine remarkable women lined up and leapt with me, and A Taste of Paris™ was born.

I knew A Taste of Paris™ would have a personal impact on travelers.  Immersing yourself in the French way of life, and exploring this country through its food, alters your point of view forever.  There was no doubt in my mind that people would be transformed through this experience, and I was eager to offer that gift to them. The part of this experience I did not expect was the gift these incredible travelers would give me in return.  Each of their stores is a gift to my heart. You see, life stories tend to tumble out while breaking bread in a foreign country; tales of overcoming adversity, and moments of triumph-great and small.  All of these intimate moments, the meeting of hearts around a table, have become invaluable treasures to me.

Whether you are trying a new delicacy, comforting a sorrow, tasting another culture, or celebrating a triumph, food brings people together.  This is the truth in my life, like a glittering thread that runs from the beginning, binding me to the people I love.  When food is shared around a table, magical things happen.  A Taste of Paris™ is a wonderful opportunity for me to share this truth with you.”

Flower Power

Flowers have powers!  In these troubling times, take time to stop and smell the roses.   Sometimes it’s the little things in life that can bring us the most joy.  For that reason, I beleive flowers have healing powers.

I picked up a bunch of these gorgeous light yellow roses that paired perfectly with several stems of blue hydrangeas.  I always craft simple flower arrangements in my crystal rose bowls. They are low and have a wide mouth making it easy to cut stems short and stuff the bowl full! One little trick I’ve learned to keep the stems steady is to secure them with a rubber band.

If hydrangeas get wilted, revive them by cutting about 1/2 inch of the stems off.  Then gently run cold water over the blooms from the back side.  Let the water drain well before placing the hydrangeas back in the bowl with clean water.

Enjoy!

Lorie

Join me for

3 Day French Workshop  September 13th-15th 10:00-1:30- 3 seats OPEN!

I am planning an extraordinary week for 10 class participants. Join me for my 3 Day French Workshop.   Immerse yourself in the French culture as we prepare 3 meals a day including 2 French sauces..  French cooking is the gold standard and when you master these skills, they apply to all types of cooking.  In French Food Workshop you will travel the country of France as we prepare time honored classics.   We will cook and enjoy breakfast and lunch together and a single portion of the dinner offering will be packed home to enjoy in the evening hours.

Two of the five French mother sauces, Hollandaise and Veloute are included in this workshop, three timeless and irresistible desserts as well as French Bread and fresh churned European style butter.   We will make our own Herbs de Provence to be used in our recipes.  Class is limited to 10 participants.  Class Fee $232.00

Day 1  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and ours will be puffy golden brown Pain Perdue served with freshly made sweet Strawberry Jam.  Tomato Basil Soufflés will rise to amazing heights for lunch along with a Fall Salad made from the perfect combination of pears blue cheese and walnuts.  For dinner we will prepare rich and satisfying Daube de Boeuf Provencal a lovely hearty beef stew.  For dessert we will concoct dreamy Coconut Crème Brulee.

Day 2  We will start our day with the tasty simplicity of Cherry Clafouti.  For lunch we will learn to make the perfect Buckwheat Crepes and luscious Hollandaise Sauce; they come together to create Asparagus and Ham Crepes. We will head to the Basque region of France to concoct a dinner that is sure to become a favorite recipe.  Bell pepper, onions and tomatoes are slow cooked with chicken to become Poulet Basquaise.  For dessert Strawberry Jam will be used to fill sweet and crumbly Gateau Basque

Day 3  Breakfast will be extraordinary Soufflé Omelet with herbs and Gruyere cheese.  We will enjoy fresh baked French Bread and Churned Butter with lunch of my all-time favorite Coquilles Saint Jacques.  For Coquilles we will learn the second of our sauces, Veloute.  Dinner will be slow cooked, satisfying Cassoulet with Kielbasa Sausage and Bacon.  As a celebration of our last day together we will prepare and enjoy the gorgeous Apple Almandine Tart.