Chateau in the Dordogne region of France.

Audrey’s Frenchie Story

Vintage metal flower pot with pink and blue flowers.

I love introducing you guys to my friends.

Audrey Friedman, owner of French Vintage Home, and I met years ago at an event in Dallas.  We bonded over our shared love and passion for France so we decided to meet for lunch.  We’ve been meeting regularly ever since and have become fast friends.

Audrey Friedman in front of the Eiffel tower.

Audrey has been such a generous supporter of A Taste of Paris and ME and I know you will find her Frenchie story fascinating.

Audrey made her mark in industry by creating, building and then ultimately selling a linen company.  In the midst of her busy work-a-day life she found herself traveling the world to visit family and for adventures of her own.

In 1998, Audrey visited a friend in the Dordogne region of France and fell in love with it.  She began toying with the idea of buying a holiday home there.

Chateau in disrepair before construction.

While looking and working with her agent, she came across at 15th century chateau in a terrible state.  The agent tried to talk her out of buying the property but Audrey had vision and knew the place would be spectacular when completed.

Chateau in state of disrepair.

When Audrey began, there was no running water, no indoor restrooms and a kitchen that was just a hull; cooking had previously been done outside.

Chateau in the Dordogne region of France.

The restoration was done, quite remarkably, in 1 year.  Audrey credits an extraordinary architect for the process going so smoothly.

The chateau was back and stunning as you can clearly see.  During construction, many of the townspeople came to thank her for restoring this magnificent place which had been in ruin for over 100 years.

Audrey pink table

During the busy year Audrey made many friends and had a full social calendar attending and hosting her new neighbors but on Sundays, things were just too quiet.  In small town France, everything is closed on Sundays, except the flea market.

French flea market.

Audrey made a trip to the market and with the first treasure found and purchased a new business was created.

French flea market

Since that time Audrey has been seeking out the very best that the French brocante has to offer.  She imports these amazing goods and sells them in her Etsy Shop and on her website French Vintage Home at very reasonable prices.

vintage linens

I know many of you like myself, are seeking the perfect treasures to go under the Christmas tree for family and friends.

red package

Let me tell you, French Vintage Home is a great place to look but don’t delay, the best is going fast!

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Cornbread stuffed acorn squash.

Thanksgiving Inspiration- 2 Scrumptious Recipes

Cornbread stuffed acorn squash.

Every year I teach a cooking class called The Thanksgiving Table; it gives me a chance to get creative with traditional fall flavors for that big meal everyone is anticipating.

I’m sharing a few of my favorites from this year in hopes of inspiring YOU!

Citrus glazed and roasted turkey breasts.

Of course, the turkey is always the star of the Thanksgiving meal.  If you only like white meat, consider skipping the huge bird and opt instead for a few turkey breasts, either way, my Citrus Roasted and Glazed Turkey is moist, juicy and filled with flavor.

Cornbread cooked in acorn squash cups

These beautiful acorn squash make the ideal cooking cups for cornbread OR your own stuffing recipe!  The key is to pre-roast the squash first so it gets tender, be sure you salt and pepper it liberally too.

Cooking time for the cornbread will be a bit longer than when using a baking dish too, so keep that in mind!

Citrus Roasted and Glazed Turkey

2 large turkey breasts

Salt and pepper

4 tablespoons butter

3 oranges, divided

3 lemons, divided

¼ cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, pressed

11 teaspoon ground sage

2 sprigs fresh thyme

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 onion quartered

1 cup white wine

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Prepare the glaze by first zesting and juicing 2 of the oranges and 2 of the lemons.  Add the juice and zest to a small sauce pan with 2 tablespoons of butter, sugar, honey, mustard, garlic, sage and herbs and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer until mixture is thick, like syrup.  Let turkey breast come to room temperature, about 30 minutes, before slathering with 2 tablespoons butter.  Liberally salt and pepper the breasts. Quarter the remaining fruit and place that along with the onion in a greased glass baking dish.  Position the turkey breasts on top of the fruit and onions and add white wine to the dish. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake turkey until a thermometer reads 125 degrees.  Remove the dish from the oven and baste with glaze.  Continue to baste every 15 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.  Let turkey rest for at least 20 minutes tented with foil before carving.

Acorn Squash with Cornbread Filling

4 acorn squash

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 ½ cups yellow corn meal

½ cup flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

¼ cup butter melted and cooled

1 ½ cups milk

2 eggs

½ red bell pepper finely diced

½ green bell pepper finely diced

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut squash in half and remove seeds.  Bush the surface of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast for 30 minutes.  Prepare cornbread by combining dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.  Add wet ingredients to a separate bowl along with peppers and mix very well.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix just until combined.  Pour batter into the squash and bake for 28-32 minutes until cornbread is firm and beginning to brown. Allow to cool before serving.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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The Thanksgiving Table-SOLD OUT Wait list available

Looking for inspiration for the most talked about meal of the year?  Join me for a class that will inspire you to explore traditional flavors in fresh new recipes.  While we get our feast together, we will sip Peartinis, my most requested cocktail, and snack on a wonderful TG app, Rosemary Raspberry Pistachio Brie. Of course, the turkey is always the star of the Thanksgiving show; ours will be, Citrus Roasted and Glazed Turkey, succulent and fragrant and flavor-filled!  I simply cannot wait to share my recipe for puffy Jalapeno Cheddar Bacon Biscuits guaranteed to have them begging for more!  Crunchy Brussels Sprouts Slaw is studded with goodies and my Cran-apple Chutney is sweet-tart goodness. Sweet potatoes with candied pecans and coconut is irresistible and wholesome Cornbread Stuffed Acorn Squash rounds out this fall feast. Our Thanksgiving dessert is Lemon Curd Cheesecake, cottony clouds of goodness! Class fee $62.50

Register TODAY by email to lorie@atasteofparis.net OR Click Here to go to the class registration page!

Coming UP Roses Tart

apple tart

It’s important to celebrate life’s little victories.

This beautiful apple tart I’ve named, Coming Up Roses, was made in a cooking class I taught last week. Even the picture makes me happy!

The recipe is fairly simple, the hardest part is slicing the apples, best done on a mandolin so they can be cut very thin. The key here is to really pack the apples tightly as you layer them around the tart.

It’s apple season so grab a bushel and serve a slice of this gorgeous tart to the people you love and you’ll be coming up roses too!

Apple Rose tart 4

Coming up Roses Tart

1 sheet of puff pastry

4 Honey-crisp apples

1 tablespoon flour plus more for work surface

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided

3 tablespoons butter

¼ cup apricot jam

1 teaspoon water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Roll puff pastry out to eliminate the creases and so it will fit into a 9-inch tart pan.  Place the pastry into the pan and press it firmly up the sides and on the bottom.  Prick the bottom well with a fork.  Line the crust with a sheet of greased foil and add pastry weights or dried beans to the top.  Bake the crust for 12 minutes until it is beginning to brown.  Remove from the oven and reduce heat to 375.  Prepare apples by slicing them in pieces off the core and cut into very thin slices or use a mandolin and slice through whole apple, then cut the apple shards in half at the core.  Sprinkle the bottom of the crust with first flour then 1 tablespoon of sugar.  Begin arranging the apples on the outer edge of the prepared tart crust.  Place apples peel side up, making rows and winding towards the center. Continue arranging apples very tightly working towards the middle.  Roll several thin slices into a coil to form the center.  The exposed peel will look slightly pink on the finished tart. Sprinkle the tart with remaining sugar and dot with butter.  Place pan on a baking sheet and into the oven for 30-40 minutes until apples are tender and browning on the tops.  Remove from the oven and glaze the top of the tart by heating the jam with the water until it is smooth.  Paint the tart surface with the glaze using a pastry brush. Allow to cool before serving.

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centerpiece

Fall Dinner Party- 2019

Fall decorations and a sign that says happy fall y'all!

Last year I participated in a huge dinner party with The Art of Living Beautifully and Unique Unique Designs, it was a blast so this year I decided to create a Fall Dinner Party Class on a smaller scale.  It was really fun for me to get out my dishes and crystal wine glasses and set a beautiful table for my honored guests.

Copper pumpkins and fresh fruit centerpiece.

For the centerpiece I wanted to use copper pumpkins.  These were perfect to go along with my copper chargers and I thought a little bit of metallic would reflect the lights.  To make them, I bought fresh white pumpkins, the stems were taped off and then sprayed them with copper paint.  Once they were dry, they were ready to be the focal point of the table arrangement.

To complete the design, pears, squash and lots of grapes were added.  Using fresh foods as centerpieces is an idea that has been gaining popularity and it’s really smart because you can eat the arrangement after the party is over!

orange roses in a crystal bowl.

I still had plenty of fresh flowers in the house.

roses and pumpkins make pretty decoratins

I was completely enchanted with these stunning roses that were the color of fire.

Rosemary Grapefruit Sparkler.

The table was set and the guests arrived!

All 12 were greeted with a Rosemary Grapefruit Sparkler, a tart refreshing cocktail, ideal for the unpredictable Texas fall season.

Focaccia bread and spicy shrimp

While we munched on appetizers of Focaccia Bread topped with Caramelized Onions and Fennel and Spicy Shrimp, we had a short cooking lesson.

I shared about my recent experience in Lake Como, Italy and how a special meal there  inspired this menu.

Salad with pears, blue cheese and pecans.

Next up were beautiful salads topped with pear shards, blue cheese and my famous Sweet and Spicy Pecans, recipe below!

My kitchen all set for fall.

Dinner was a Roasted Vegetable Stuffed Pork Loin Roast served on a bed of root vegetables and alongside Fontina Mac and Cheese.  Dessert was Chocolate Lava Cakes with Tuaca Ice Cream and I might have even gotten the bottle of Tuaca out for sampling…I will never tell!

Pumpkin and leaves in an urn.

The night was a huge success and I look forward to hosting many more events like this one!

Pumpkins arranged on a pedestal.

In fact, I have a Holiday Luncheon scheduled for December 13th with only 2 seats left at the table.  If you would like more information CLICK HERE and register TODAY!

Velvet pumpkins on a silver tray.

Registration for all 4- 2021 ATOP trips to France is in full-swing.  Request information TODAY and start to plan YOUR ATOP trip to France!

 

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I hope you are all enjoying the fall season!

Sweet and Spicy Pecans

2 cup whole pecans

3 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon smoky paprika

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large skillet, brown pecans in butter over medium heat.  Add sugar, spices and toss until pecans are coated.  Add vinegar to mixture, stir over low heat until the moisture is mostly evaporated.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Pour pecans onto prepared pan and bake for 5-7 minutes until golden brown and pecans are dry to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool.

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Eating in Paris

Pain chocolate croissant

For me, eating in Paris is a magical experience.

Without fail, I start my day with my favorite bite, pain chocolate.

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I will be in France when this post drops; thank goodness because my cravings for these little gems has been intense!  I don’t worry about calories while I’m there.  I eat what I want within reason and I walk…all day.

baguette sandwhich

For lunch I usually try and find something on the run.  This can be hard to do in a country whose culture supports sitting for meals for roughly 2 hours at a time.

Ham and Cheese crepe.

Usually I grab a prepared sandwich at a boulangerie or a savory crepe eat as I go, very American!

The chocolate counter at La maison du Chocolat.

In the afternoon, I almost always make a stop for a bite at one of my favorite chocolatiers!

Chicken and vegetable in a copper pot.

For dinner, I usually sit and almost always order some version of roasted chicken or fish with vegetables.

Fish with potatoes and vegetables

Ratatouille is my favorite and I get very excited when I find it on the menu.  Full disclosure, fish is rarely served like in this photo.  It’s almost always brought to the table whole; head on!

Lorie at a French bistro in paris.

Want to eat and cook your way through Paris with me?  Registration for travel for 2021 is OPEN!!

A Taste of Paris April 12-18th

Want to just spend A Day in Paris, Cooking?  Join me for:

A Day in France- Bistronomy Friday, November 1st 10:00-2:30 French bistros have changed over the years, many combining the classics along with gastronomic dishes all at affordable prices.  Bringing an haute cuisine experience to the masses, this movement, now decades in the making is called Bistromomy and will be the inspiration for our class. We will enjoy crafting a French Blonde Cocktail, wine with the meal as well as a cheese course. For Petit Dejeuner, I will demonstrate Pain Chocolate, always my favorite, served with Homemade Yogurt and Fresh Fruit Compote and honey.  Le Dejeuner will be comprised of a beautiful Savory Tart and Beet and Goat Cheese Mousse Salad a la Ritz, Paris.  For diner, 2 dishes; sensational Salmon over Hash wildly elegant and Polenta Ratatouille, both will have your taste buds on high and served with Gougeres Swans! Dessert will be a bouquet of Roses, a stunning apple tart AND from Stohrer in Paris, chocolate Cake Stuffed with Cream and more chocolate! Tuition $89.00 Register HERE or by email to lorie@atasteofparis.net

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Heavenly Double Chocolate Pecan Cookies

Double chocolate pecan cookies on a marble board.

Sometimes a girl just needs a nice hit of chocolate.  Next time that happens to you, try this recipe!

If you enjoy my blog, please share it with friends and family that might enjoy it too!

Double chocolate pecan cookies on a marble board.

Double Chocolate Pecan Cookies

1 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

3 eggs

1 cup dark cocoa

2 cups flour

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Using an electric mixer cream together butter and sugar until it is pale and fluffy.  Add eggs 1 at a time, add vanilla then cocoa and mix well to combine.  Add salt, leavening and flour and mix just until incorporated.  Stir in, chocolate chips and pecans.  Drop cookies by tablespoons on a greased baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.

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Artichoke Cheese Bake

Artichoke Cheese Bake

Artichoke Cheese Bake

Need a simple go-to appetizer?  My Artichoke Cheese Bake never disappoints a crowd.

Artichoke Cheese Bake before it goes into the oven.

It really is so simple to make, just mix the ingredients, put it in a baking dish and pop it in the oven.  Really people go crazy for this stuff!  Try it the next time someone asks you to bring an appetizer to a party!

For more fantastic appetizer recipes, consider joining me for an upcoming class, Ultimate Appetizers on  November 14th, just in time for holiday party inspiration!

Artichoke Cheese Bake.

Artichoke Cheese Soufflé Bake

2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese

1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup of mayonnaise

2 cloves garlic, pressed

1 cup chopped frozen artichoke hearts

1 red pepper chopped

Dash cayenne

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese, mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese for 2-3 minutes.  Fold in vegetables, garlic and cayenne.  Pour mixture into a deep baking dish and bake 25-30 minutes, until brown and bubbly.  Serve with crackers or French bread.

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Dinner Boards

 

Lorie holding antique board from Turkey.

I am into wooden boards!

Of all shapes and sizes!  These are a few of my favorites.  The board I am holding is an antique Turkish bread board, and it’s old!  You can see that the wood split and copper was hammered in place to hold it together and restore it for good use.  Below that is a striped board that Mark and Brandon made me many years ago that is a treasure and staple in my kitchen.  And just beneath that, is a prized large olive wood board that I hauled back from Provence and trust me, it barely fit in  my suitcase!

Artichoke and red Pepper Quiche on a wooden board.

I NEVER cut on these boards!

Instead, I like to use them for serving.  Here I am using it as a trivet for a hot dish of Artichoke and Red Pepper Quiche.

Chicken Cesar Salad on a wooden board.

What about the idea of serving an entire meal on the board?  This is my olive wood board, piled high with a fresh crispy Chicken Caesar Salad, ready to be served right from the board.

Sausage, beans and slaw on a wooden board.

Talk about a quick dinner, Sausage warmed along with Baked Beans and Confetti Slaw.

Who’s hungry?

If you are board with dinner, try using your wooden boards to serve!

Tune into Fox 4 for a segment featuring ME and more Dinner Boards on Tuesday, October 14th!!

Chicken Caesar Salad on a Board

Dressing

1 cup mayo

3 cloves of garlic

1-ounce anchovy paste

¼ cup milk or half and half

1/3 cup grated Parmesan

2 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon Dijon

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Salad

2 grilled chicken breasts cut into chunks

2 heads Romaine lettuce

½ cup of halved tomatoes

Parmesan cheese shards

Toasts

½ small French bread loaf sliced paper thin

¼ cup olive oil

2 cloves of garlic crushed

To prepare the toasts, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix olive oil and garlic in a small bowl.  Dot both sides of the bread with a small amount of the oil mixture using a pastry brush.  Spread the bread on a baking pan.  Bake toast until golden brown about 4 minutes, turn toasts and cook another 3-4 minutes to brown the other side. Meanwhile, prepare dressing by adding all ingredients in food processor or blender, process to combine well.  Add additional milk if a thinner dressing is desired.  To prepare the salad cut root of each lettuce head off and let water run through to clean the leaves.  Keeping the bundles intact slice heads into thin strips and place the lettuce in the center of the serving board.  Add chicken, tomatoes and toasts and toss along with a generous amount of dressing.  Top with Parmesan shards and serve.

Confetti Slaw.

Confetti Veggie Slaw

2 carrots shredded

1 green bell pepper cut in a julienne

1 red bell pepper cut in a julienne

2 cups of shredded purple cabbage

2 green onions finely diced

Dressing

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoons olive oil

To prepare dressing, whisk together ingredients in a small bowl.  Assemble slaw in serving bowl by layering ingredients.  Add dressing, toss to coat.  Let salad stand for a few minutes before serving.

Baked Beans

Baked Beans

2 16-ounce cans of baked beans any brand

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup ketchup

¼ cup yellow mustard

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch salt

Mix all ingredients in a 9 x 13 glass baking dish.  Bake for 25 minutes or until center is bubbling.

au revoir for now lorie (002)

Panna Cotta with Raspberry Coulis

Panna Cotta with Raspberry Coulis (2)

Have you ever made panna cotta?  It really is delicious!

Panna cotta is a lot like creme brulee only not quite as rich.  Gelatin is used to thicken the milk and cream mixture rather than egg yolks and it is generally topped with berries.

Making Panna Cotta with Raspberry Coulis is a great way to eek the last bit of flavor from summer berries.  Make it today, you will be glad you did!

Raspberry Coulis topped panna cotta.

Panna Cotta with Raspberry Coulis

1 envelop plain gelatin

2 tablespoons water

1 ½ cups heavy cream

1 ½ cup whole milk

1/3 cup sugar

Seeds from one vanilla pod

In a small sauce pan add water to gelatin.  Let it bloom about 2 minutes.  Next turn the burner on to low and stir until gelatin is completely dissolved.  Meanwhile, heat the milk and cream and sugar together in a large saucepan over medium heat stirring constantly until mixture begins to boil.  Remove from heat, add gelatin and vanilla and stir well.  Pour mixture into 4- 6-ounce ramekins.  Cover with plastic wrap and let chill before topping with Raspberry Coulis.

Raspberry Coulis

10 ounces fresh raspberries

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

In a heavy bottomed sauce pan heat berries with sugar and lemon for about 8 minutes.  Pour berry mixture into a blender and process.  Strain mixture to remove raspberry seeds.  Store coulis in refrigerator until needed.

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