Laduree, One of my favorite Parisian Addresses

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Laduree is the home of the modern day French Macaron selling more than 15,000 of the little cookies every single day! Can you imagine the ovens needed to produce that quantity of cookies?

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The first French mac was only a fraction of what we know today. In fact it was not French at all but an Italian cookie brought by Catherine de Medici.

In 1533 Catherine, married Henry II who would become king of France a few years later.  It was the Italian chef to Catherine that brought the recipe for the cookies made of almond flour, eggs and sugar.

This is still the recipe that Laduree uses today and the one that I teach in my French Macarons class.  The main difference, the cookies were only 1 layer, an almond meringue.

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A man by the name of Louis Ernest Laduree opened a fine patisserie in 1862 in the current Rue Royale location.  Laduree was an outspoken reformist and prolific writer of the times.

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Rue Royale was a nice address and considered quite posh and still is today.

A few short years later in 1871 the patisserie was burned to the ground in a social uprising.

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Jules Cheret, a popular poster artist of the time was hired to design the new structure.  Cheret is credited with choosing the iconic celadon green used for the exterior, interior and the packaging.  He designed the chubby “pastry cherubs” that adorn the ceiling at the Rue Royale address.

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In 1930, Pierre Desfontaines, the grandson of Laduree, decided to sandwich the cookies together with chocolate ganache, and the first double decker macaron was born!

But there is something else that may surprise you.

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What really makes me stop in my tracks is the knowledge that at the beginning of the 20th century women were not allowed to go into cafes, they were strictly reserved for men.

Laduree helped to change all that by creating one of the first tea rooms for women.

Laduree at Rue Royale is more than a wonderful stop for goodies; it is a historic site for women.  Having tea with friends in public was an absolute liberation for the women of this generation.

No wonder I love this brand so much!!

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The next time you are in Paris, soak up the girly vibe that is Laduree and have a French macaron!

Or, go with me and I will take you there!

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The French Tart(e)

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The first French tart can be traced back to medieval times.  In the 1500’s tarts were enriched crusts generally stuffed with meat fillings and  were seen as haute cuisine for nobility. The tart naturally evolved to include sweet, fruit and custard fillings as well.

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A tart can also be called a pie, like our all-American apple pie but a tart never has a top crust.

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You may also be wondering what the difference is between a tart and a quiche.  Quiche always has an egg base. The tart may or may not have eggs in the recipe and a quiche is always savory.

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The frugal side to my personality loves the tart.

As long as you have a sheet of puff or pie pastry in the freezer, you can have a gorgeous dinner in minutes with leftovers (I like to call them planned overs) from the week.  Start with one serving of protein like a chicken breast or 4 ounce of salmon or ham; add whatever vegetable you have on hand.  Add all the ingredients along with 6-8 eggs and a sprinkle of cheese to the pastry, throw it in the oven and dinner is done!

Whether the tart is sweet, savory, loaded with fruit or eggs, I am in!

If you want to learn to make French tarts from scratch, join me for my upcoming French Pastries Workshop. We will sip wine while we prepare 3 types of tarts along with Crab Gourges, the adorable Saint Eve from Bayeux France and so much more. Details on registration below!

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One of my favorite things to do while in France is to press my nose against the glass of the fine patisseries, gazing upon the beauty and artistry of each morsel. Look at these mushroom hand pies!

  I am in Paris right now with my A Taste of Paris 2018 group; follow along on our culinary journey on Instagram @atasteofparis.

Are you ready to make a French adventure of your own?  Travel with me in 2019!  

signature3 no block less spaceClassic French Pastries Workshop- Friday, May 4th 11:00-2:30 Join me in my gourmet kitchen to prepare my favorite time honored French pastries.  I will share the skills I’ve learned in cooking schools attended all over France in this fascinating look at the French pastries.  We will talk about how gourmet Patisseries prepare their goods and ensure freshness at all times.  Our time together begins French sparkling wine and delicate Crab Gourges, oh my! For our lunch we will prepare 2 savory sensations Goat Cheese and Ratatouille Tart and Salmon and Potato Quiche, both served with a Bistro Salad and French wine of course!  Next, we will head to the sweet stuff including Grand Mariner Soufflés that rise to amazing heights, served with an unbeatable White Chocolate Sauce.  We will feel like we are standing at the Maubert Marche in Paris where I first tasted the fabulous Apricot and Pistachio Tart, this treat will thrill you.  We will craft delectable and creamy Orange Crème Brulee.  Next a classic, Eclairs stuffed with Vanilla Pastry Cream and slathered with Chocolate Ganache.  And last but not least the precious Saint Eve from Bayeux, France will delight.  Guests will be provided a box to take their full sized portions of any goodies not consumed in class. Limited seats available! Class Fee $79.00

Register TODAY by email to lorie@atasteofparis.net OR click HERE to go to class registration page!

Top 5 Travel Tips for Paris

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I am preparing for another trip to Paris with my fantastic 2018 group and I cannot tell you how excited I am to be back in the city I love so much.

I thought it might be fun to give you my top 5 tips for a fabulous trip to Paris.

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#1 Make a Plan for your time in the city.

Paris is a busy place and you need a plan for what you want to see and do long before you get there.  This is not a town to show up and wing it.  Start your first day with activities that are in close proximity to your hotel.  Resist the urge to take a nap, this is a rookie mistake.  Just take it easy, have a good dinner and get to bed early and by the second day, you will be golden! Plan to use the Paris metro, it is easy to figure out and the very best way to get around the city.  For activities that are more spread out, use Uber to save your feet and don’t forget to schedule lots of breaks for pastry snacks!

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#2 Packing

The best time for Paris is the early spring and late fall because the city is less crowded. The weather is usually lovely, although unpredictable so I recommend packing layers of clothing. I like to plan my outfits and fold them as a set; this is a huge time saver when getting ready. You will need:

  • Passport
  • Map
  • Umbrella
  • Scarves
  • Gloves
  • Lightweight coat or jacket
  • Electric converters or transformer for electric appliances
  • 2 pairs of comfortable shoes

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#3 Banks and Credit Cards

Call your bank and credit card companies to give them your travel dates. Ask them if they charge a conversion fee, many cc companies charge a 3% fee for changing the currency from Euros to dollars and that can add up! Think about loading a prepaid debit card with Euros before leaving the US, this is a handy way to be sure you don’t break your travel budget.

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#4 Hydrate!

Dehydration makes your body tired and lethargic and the last thing you want is to feel bad on your trip. Flying and alcohol consumption (you will be doing both…its France you must drink the wine!) really dehydrate the body and can wreak havoc on your digestive system.  I recommend you consume extra water and fiber starting 3 days before you travel.  This insures an easier transition and no unexpected down time.

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#5 Chill

Rest up before your trip. Getting out of town can be a challenge, there are so many details to tend too, I get it.  But pulling all-nighters before your big vaca is a mistake.  Instead, try and take it easy the last few days before travel, getting some extra sleep if you can.  Pack your carry on with a few of your favorite snacks, board your fight just chill.  I like to marathon watch movies and dive into a bag of Chex Mix.  Don’t underestimate the power of a snack to help you pass the time.

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I would love to have YOU along on one  of my trips for 2019!

ATOP Goes PINK is SOLD OUT so I have added Springtime in Paris 2019

Or you might like ATOProvence September 2019!

For more information and to register CLICK HERE 

 

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Most requested~Fontina Mac and Cheese

macncheese8.jpgDon’t you just love make the dishes that people ask for?  My homemade Fontina Mac and Cheese is one of those dishes.

Recently,  I had a long-time student share that my Fontina Mac and Cheese has become a holiday tradition in her home.  Her husband and daughter insist on it for all special meals.  I can’t tell you how much this story both humbles and brings me so much happiness all at the same time.macncheese6.jpg

Such simple ingredients really do make magic when they are combined!macncheese2.jpgJust mix milk products with half of the cheese.macncheese3Sprinkle the rest on top and bake.

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The person in my life that requests this dish is my son, Brandon.  He is a second year college student that has left our nest empty.  It fills me with joy to prepare this dish for him.  My heart swells as I pick up the special ingredients, grate the cheese and slide this glorious dish in to be baked.  But mostly because she says something funny like “oh mamma it’s goooood” when he sees it coming out of the oven! And it is!

I hope you will love this dish as much as we do

XOXO

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Fontina Mac and Cheese 

1 pound cavatappi pasta

1 ½ cups heavy cream

3 cups whole milk

1 tablespoons flour

2 cups grated Fontina cheese

1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

¾ cup grated parmesan cheese

2 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Butter a 9×13 glass baking dish.  Cook pasta in salted water to just al dente.  Whisk seasoning and flour into cream and milk.  Add half of the cheese to the milk mixture.  Place cooked pasta into the prepared baking dish and pour milk mixture over pasta, stir to combine well.  Sprinkle top of dish with remaining cheese.  Bake 25 minutes, if top is getting too brown tent lightly with foil.  Allow dish to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

 

Let’s COOK Together!

I am very excited to be cooking at the Williams Sonoma at NorthPark mall in Dallas this Saturday, April, 7th from 11:00-3:00.  We are celebrating the launch of Giada De Laurentiis’s new book, Giada’s ItalyGiadas_Italy_Final-1503618517-625x790Giada’s Italy offers a fantastic assortment of flavor packed recipes and simply stunning photography. Photo with Giada 2 (2)I will be cooking several recipes from the book as William Sonoma prepares for her store visit the following day. I’ll be cooking live, offering yummy bites, and it is FREE!Lorie-grapefest-12.jpgI would LOVE to cook with you in May!

There are two opportunities both with delectable results. In my French Pastries Workshop, you will learn classic skills like sweet and savory tarts; how to make a soufflé rise to amazing heights and the precious Saint Eve from Bayeux, France.  Or join in the fun for French Macarons, where the best part is taking home the results!

I’ll be back from Paris just in time to teach with loads of new fun findings. Register now by email or call 214 551 9630Tomato basil tartlets

Classic French Pastries Workshop- Friday, May 4th 11:00-2:30 Join me in my gourmet kitchen to prepare my favorite time honored French pastries.  I will share the skills I’ve learned in cooking schools attended all over France in this fascinating look at the French pastries.  We will talk about how gourmet Patisseries prepare their goods and ensure freshness at all times.  Our time together begins French sparkling wine and delicate Crab Gourges, oh my! For our lunch we will prepare 2 savory sensations Goat Cheese and Ratatouille Tart and Salmon and Potato Quiche, both served with a Bistro Salad and French wine of course!  Next, we will head to the sweet stuff including Grand Mariner Soufflés that rise to amazing heights, served with an unbeatable White Chocolate Sauce.  We will feel like we are standing at the Maubert Marche in Paris where I first tasted the fabulous Apricot and Pistachio Tart, this treat will thrill you.  We will craft delectable and creamy Orange Crème Brulee.  Next a classic, Eclairs stuffed with Vanilla Pastry Cream and slathered with Chocolate Ganache.  And last but not least the precious Saint Eve from Bayeux, France will delight.  Guests will be provided a box to take their full sized portions of any goodies not consumed in class. Limited seats available! Class Fee $79.00Classic Macaroons-4.jpg

French Macarons Thursday, May 10th 6:30-9:00 This class will offer a true hands on cooking experience and the best part you take home the results!  Macarons, the quintessential French treat; light, delicate and irresistible! After studding macaron making in Paris, Lorie will lead a hands on class using tried and true Laduree method, but now with time saving shortcuts. We will first toast the macaron with a flute of bubbly before diving in to make this love at first bite treat.  Each step of the process will be clearly defined so students can replicate the process in their own kitchens with success!  We will prepare Salted Caramel, Raspberry Rose, and Mint Chocolate.  Recipes for additional macaron flavors will be shared. Class size is limited to 10, class fee class fee $62.50

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

 

Pink Flower POWER

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I’m inspired by this unbelievable bouquet of pink blooms. Each bud opened to an amazing 4 inches in diameter and they lasted for almost 2 weeks!

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I’ve been posting PINK all month to celebrate women, and the launch of

A Taste of Paris Goes PINK,

a very special all-female event I am hosting in Paris in April 2019. ONLY one room remains available. Grab a girlfriend and join the fun!

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When walking the streets of Paris, I can’t resist snapping loads of pictures, especially in the spring. By the beginning of April, flowers are a bloom everywhere. This is one of my all-time favorite photos; peonies at the local market.

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When you splurge on cocktails at the Ritz, your mojitos might even be served with a pink rose!

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I will start work in my own garden this week and you can bet it will be crammed full of PINK blossoms! What will YOU plant this year?

pinkflower2.jpgHope to see you at an upcoming cooking class; the spring-early summer schedule is posted and ready for registration!

And here’s a look of some of my former travelers!

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Macaron Joy!

 

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Macarons have become the iconic French sweet-treat and TODAY is National French Macaron Day!

Macs are so pretty especially in PINK!

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 Laduree is the birthplace of the French Macarons; the location on rue Royal in Paris is where it all began back in 1930.  I take all of my ATOP travelers there for tasty treats. It’s like watching kids in a candy store only better!

Come along with me for A Taste of Paris Goes PINK, an all-female trip to Paris in April 2019.

To satisfy your macaron craving until you can get to Paris, I suggest Joy Macarons.  They have 3 locations; Oak Cliff, lower Greenville and the newest location in Ft Worth.

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Their raspberries macs are a sensation; not too sweet, tender and bright pink of course.

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If you are in an ice cream state of mind you are in luck!  Pretty pink macaron ice cream sandwiches are the cutest things I have seen in a while.  Tender, crisp, cool and creamy all in one bite!  You have got to try one…or two!

Joy Macarons; pop by and see them the next time you need a sweet PINK bite.

And if you want to learn to make French Macarons in your own kitchen, register today for my upcoming class, just in time for Mother’s Day.

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French Macarons- Thursday, May 10th 6:30-9:00 Cooking class with a true hands on experience and the best part you take home the results!  Macarons, the quintessential French treat, light, delicate and irresistible! After studding macaron making in Paris, Lorie will lead a hands on class using the tried and true Laduree recipe with a simplified approach. We will first toast the macaron with a flute of bubbly before diving in to make this love at first bite treat.  Each step of the process will be clearly defined so students can replicate the process in their own kitchens with success!  We will prepare Salted Caramel, Raspberry Rose, and Mint Chocolate.  Recipes for additional macaron flavors will be shared. Class size is limited to 10, book early!  Class fee class fee $62.50

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OH and be sure and pick up one of these darling shirts at Joy Macarons.

Enjoy and…

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PINK Giveaway!

ATOP has launched A Taste of Paris Goes PINK, turning the site PINK for the month of March in celebration of our all-female culinary trip to Paris in April 2019.  Check out this amazing trip including all of the very best culinary gems, Paris has to offer.

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To keep the PINK ball in-the-air, I am hosting an all-PINK GIVEAWAY!!!

This amazing prize includes: a big beautiful PINK Mason Cash Bowl, a PINK 5 speed Cuisinart hand mixer, a set of two Kate Spade kitchen towels and a set of 3 PINK rubber spatulas.

A value of $150.00!!

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Can you imagine yourself baking treats in your kitchen with these delightful accessories?

Register TODAY!!!

All you have to do is send me email addresses for anyone that you think might be interested in A Taste of Paris; the blog, travel to France or cooking classes!

Each email address is an entry.  Enter as many times as you want!

Click HERE and get started or simply email me at lorie@atasteofparis.net

Gift will be awarded on March 30th! GOOD LUCK!

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A Taste of Paris Goes PINK!
April 7th – 13th, 2019

Mothers, Daughters, Sisters and Besties
Reserve your seats TODAY

For this all girls trip of a lifetime!
Be treated like royalty at the  Ecole Ritz Escoffier with a Special French Market Class

French Desserts Technique class developed especially for ATOP at the famed Lenotre

French Cheese and Wine Pairing  class taught in a 400 year old cave will awaken your senses and ignite your palate

Entertaining Champagne Tasting including bottle sabering!!

Enjoy high tea at famous salon

Macaroons and Chocolate Tasting

Soufflé Dinner and ATOP original Hotel Picnic

River Cruise on the Seine

The Louvre, Musee d’Orsay and Musee Rodin

Notre Dame and La Madeleine

Concert at Sainte-Chapelle

Arc de Triomphe, Place Concorde, Flower Market

Tuileries Garden and Luxembourg Garden

Culinary shopping trip and Visit the best Flea Market in Paris

Accommodations:
6 Nights Stay at 4 Star hotel with fabulous address
VIP no waiting in lines at museums and sites
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A Taste of Paris Goes PINK!

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Registration for ATOP Travel is now OPEN. In April 2019, I am hosting a very special event: A Taste of Paris Goes PINK. This all-female trip is jam-packed with amazing offerings.

What a perfect time to travel with your mother, daughter, sister, or best friends, and ME to The City of Light. You will be treated like royalty at the Ecole Ritz Escoffier, the most luxurious address in the city of Paris. You will enjoy a custom-crafted class on classic French desserts at the famed Lenôtre. You will venture into a 400-year-old cave for a cheese and wine pairing class, igniting your palate and your spirit. You will also be treated to a Champagne tasting event like no other, complete with Champagne Sabering!

To celebrate this extraordinary one-time offer, my website will go PINK for the entire month of March!

Get ready for PINK- fun, food, and fashion just in time for spring.

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Just a few of the precious ladies that have joined me for ATOP trips!

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