Cheers to “Cooking Season” and Irresistible Greek Layered Dip

cooking class toasting

I can’t think of a better way to spend a few hours than making great food with YOU GUYS!

There are so many fabulous cooking classes this fall, how will you choose?

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Classes are filling fast so take a look and make your plans for “cooking season” and tons of great friends and good times, with me!

Group of students at Gifts from the kitchen class

Some classes are already sold out so register TODAY HERE or by email to lorie@atasteofparis.net

Friday, August 30th 10:30-2:00 Pasta Pop-UP!-1 seat just opened for this SOLD OUT class Let’s make homemade pasta!  After working with Italian chefs in the Lake Como region, Lorie is ready to share all the secrets and fresh dishes she learned with YOU! We will make a snack of Sundried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese dip for fresh Crudité and we’ll toast the generous spirit of the Italians with Prosecco READ MORE

October 10-11th French 2-Day Flavors and Inspiration from Burgundy France 10:30-2:30- 2 SEATS OPEN Join me for a truly unique culinary event as we travel to Burgundy for some of the most delectable food on earth.  Slow cooked dishes eking all of the flavor from food, Dijon mustard and delectable cheese abound in the Burgundy READ MORE

Friday, October 25th 7:00-9:00 POP-UP Dinner Fall Party  Join me for the first time ever for a Fall Dinner Party.  We will have a cooking lesson while enjoying appetizers and a Grapefruit Rosemary Sparkler Cocktail.  Relish a gorgeous tablescape set for fall.   Feast on a 4-course meal inspired by my trip to Lake Como this spring, READ MORE

Friday, November 1st 10:00-2:30 A Day in France- Bistronomy Join me for a fabulous class- a day in France.  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 READ MORE

Friday, November 8th 11:00-1:30 The Thanksgiving Table-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 READ MORE

Thursday, November 14th 6:30-8:30 Ultimate Appetizers-Holiday Entertaining Come to a cooking class that’s like throwing a party without the work!  Join me in the kitchen to concoct crave able appetizers that look more complicated than they are.  Enjoy my fabulous fall Apple Pear Rosemary Martini while we prepare an appetizer feast.  Join in the action or just sit back and watch the show!  We will get the party started with unbeatable Salmon Tacos with Crispy Slaw and spicy Aoli Sauce.  Next up, READ MORE

FRIDAY, November 22nd 6:30-9:30 A Taste of Paris presents- France comes to McKinney, Burgundy Wine Tasting Experience. Chateau Pommard, one of the most prestigious wine houses in Burgundy will be coming to McKinney Texas for a very special evening of wine tasting with A Taste of Paris guests.  As a participant you will taste 6 luxurious Burgundy wines and relish premium composed appetizers READ MORE

Thursday, December 5th 6:30-9:00 AND Friday, December 6th 11:00-1:30 15th Annual Gifts from the Kitchen-FILLING FAST! Back by popular demand this fun and festive class will take you through an array of goodies perfect for gift giving from your own kitchen, fabulous ideas to gift neighbor’s, coworkers or hostess.  Each recipe will be made and tasted and all while sipping delightful Citrus Crush Cocktails.  Creative packaging techniques will be taught for each recipe so your gifts will dazzle…so fun! Most of the work will be done so you can sit back and soak up the spirit READ MORE

Friday December 13th 11:00-2:00 Holiday Luncheon Join me for the first time ever for a Holiday Luncheon.  We will have a cooking lesson while enjoying appetizers and a Pomegranate Martini.  Next, we will sit for Lunch, at a lovely table scapped with the spirit of the season. Relish a 4- course meal prepared and served by ME! READ MORE

Register now by clicking HERE or by email to lorie@atasteofparis.net

Lorie with a dish of Greek layered dip

7 Layer Greek Dip

1 recipe Basil Hummus

2 recipes Pita Chips

4 ounces feta cheese crumbled

1 large cucumber peeled and diced

1 clove garlic

1 5-ounce container plain Greek yogurt

¼ teaspoon dried dill

1 teaspoon chopped parsley

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

½ cup diced red onion

1 jar roasted red peppers diced

1 cup assorted sliced olives

In an 8-inch glass dish spread hummus as the first layer of the dip.  In a small bowl mix cucumbers with yogurt, garlic, dill and parsley and mix well, gently spread this as the second layer.  Sprinkle on tomatoes, then peppers, onions then olives.  Sprinkle the last layer of feta cheese and serve with pita chips.

Basil Hummus

1 15-ounce can chickpeas drained and washed

1/3 cup fresh basil packed

2 cloves garlic

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

¼ cup tahini paste

2 tablespoons olive oil

Put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until creamy.  Serve with pita chips.

Pita Chips

1 package of pita bread cut into wedges

¼ cup olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Brush bread with a small amount of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and arrange on baking sheet in single layer.  Bake until chips are crispy.  Flip over and bake until other side is crispy.

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gelato toppings

Grown-UP Sundae Party

Grown up gelato sundae party.

Do you have a favorite flavor of gelato?

I recently hosted some friends for dinner.  At the peak of the summer heat, I just didn’t  feel like baking something for dessert. Instead, I made homemade Vanilla and Dark Chocolate Gelato; a classic and my husband’s favorite combination.

Lorie eating chocolate gelato

Yummy!

If you want to learn to make gelato; join me for Pasta POP-UP! I’ll share all I learned while cooking with Italian chef’s this past spring!

grown up sundae party.

To create a super-fun vibe, I decided to turn my frozen concoctions into a Grown-Up Sundae Party.

gelato toppings

To create your own party, just grab a tray, I used a silver one.  Fill small bowls with good things to top gelato with, such as nuts, coconut, white or dark chocolate and marshmallow cream.  Add several of your favorite liquors to the tray to pour over the frozen sweet.   And the sundae party is ready!

pistachio gelato

Pistachio is my favorite gelato flavor, what about you?

Tips:

– Use store bought ice cream if there is no time to make your own gelato.

-Dish the gelato or ice cream into scoops several hours before your party.  Place the individual scoops on parchment paper in the freezer until ready to serve.

 

au revoir for now lorie (002)

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)

 

 

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)

 

 

ATOP Macarons at Up Inspired Kitchen

Silver compote with French Macarons.

Hey you guys!  Come see me at UP Inspired Kitchen, this Thursday from 9:00-1:00 and enjoy one of my fresh macarons on us! I’ll be on hand to demonstrate this magnificent  French treat!

Toasts with avocado, pears and prosciutto and spinach with mushrooms.

If it’s not already, UP will be one of your new favorite places!

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The breakfast AND lunch menu is full of clean, honestly sourced foods that makes you feel great.  UP Inspired Kitchen is a on a mission to inspire you to feel your best, so you can BE your best!

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Experiencing new cultures and traveling with friends is one of the best ways to Live UP!

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We’ll take your taste buds on a Parisian culinary adventure without even having to pack your suitcase. So stop by UP Inspired Kitchen on Thursday for a French macaron, stay for some coffee and enter to win some French treats!

Pot of orange flowers

AND Learn more about my exclusive excursions to France!
au revoir for now lorie (002)

Bright red tulips in a green vase setting next to a stone cherub.

Are you ready for spring?

 

Bright red tulips in a green vase setting next to a stone cherub.

I don’t know about you, but winter has seemed extra-long. In my town we have had many cold, rainy and I will say it, gloomy days.

Much to my surprise, a sweet friend brought me a lovely bunch of tulips on Friday evening and it was a welcome sign that spring is on the way! I simply adore having fresh cut blooms in the house, it is such a decadent luxury.

Red tulips laying on a counter

When you start to see tulips and daffodils in the markets and florist you know warmer weather is just around the bend.

The stems of tulips being trimmed.

Tulips are probably the easiest flower to manage into a gorgeous arrangement.  I thought I would show you what I did. First, trim each stem with very sharp scissors and cut them at an angle.  This lets the stems take on more water.

Tulips laying on a counter with a hand removing excess foliage.

Next, remove any loose foliage towards the bottom of the stems.  This helps to keep the water clean and pure for the blooms.

A bunch of tulips being put in a green vase.

To arrange, simply gather the bunch of stems and place it into a vase or even a mason jar filled with water.

A bunch of red tulips in a glass vase.

I am always amused at how the stems seem to turn towards the sun, just like me!!

Are you as ready for spring as I am?  What are you looking forward to most? I hope you will share your thoughts so we can all get ready for spring together!au revoir for now lorie (002)

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Plate of Macaroons

ATOP Named to TOP 150 Food Blogs!!

I am thrilled to report that A Taste of Paris was named one of the top 150 food blogs by BrandBallot.  What an honor to be among so many talented food writers!  I hope you will join me as I celebrate this fantastic news, thank you BrandBallot!



Teaching this holiday season was filled with fantastic food, amazing people and so much fun, thank you for joining me in the kitchen!

The winter and spring cooking class schedule is live and filled with fabulous food experiences. There are several new class styles added to the assortment. Registration is open so make your choices TODAY; and  email lorie@atasteofparis or click HERE. to secure your seat.

I look forward to seeing you soon!!

Cooking Classes Winter Spring 2019

Eating Well-January 25th 11:00-1:00-Being well in the New Year is at the top of everyone’s to-do list.  In this entertaining class we will explore simply GOOD FOOD that will feed your body and your soul. In this class we will sip red wine as we start with breakfast, pretty Poached Egg and Veg Tartine. Nothing heals the soul like classic Chicken Noodle Soup, when made from scratch it really satisfies.  We will prepare Baby Kale salad packed with nuggets of goodness.  Wild caught Orange Glazed Alaskan Salmon with Balsamic Roasted Root Vegetables is quite possibly the best dinner ever. Marinated Pork Tenderloin served with cranberry apple chutney with quinoa hash alongside will get your crew to the table fast! Cinnamon Baked Apples make a great side dish or dessert and for a truly decadent finish we will prepare chocolate cups filled with dried fruits and nuts. Class Fee $59.00

XoXo Chocolate- February 6th 6:30-9:00 Valentine’s Day right around the corner and my mind always drifts to Chocolate. Chocolate is an interesting food; of all the foods on earth I have the most passion for this rich dark flavor. Maybe it’s the seductive quality of chocolate or simply the fact that there is artistry involved in creating with it, either way I look forward to sharing with you in this amazing class.  Bourbon pairs perfectly with chocolate so we will sip a Mint Julep while we dive into chocolate. Our first Chocolate recipe will be savory, Cocoa Rubbed Short Ribs served with Roasted Carrots and Cauliflower and a Picada (herb and chocolate) Sauce. We will prepare an exquisite Decadent Chocolate Cake stuffed with Whipped Chocolate Ganache and topped with silky Ganache. Next up, we’ll make White Chocolate Pot de Crème with Strawberries. No chocolate class would be complete without an irresistible cookie; ours will be Chocolate Shortbread, dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with peppermint!  Vanilla Lavender Chocolate Truffles are like little bites of heaven. We will keep the chocolate love going with Chocolate Crepes stuffed with cream and berries and drizzled with chocolate Ganache. Each guest will decorate a Chocolate Pop as a take home treat!  Class Fee 62.50

Artisanal European Breads-February 8th 10:30-2:30 ONE SEAT OPEN There is nothing like the smell of fresh baked bread coming from of the oven.  Imagine yourself with the skills to prepare European style artisan loaves right in your own home!  You will learn many techniques that go into producing amazing loaves including proper scoring techniques and stenciling for beautiful results.  You will be taught the French Baguette, the Batard, Boule and Tabletierie. Each guest will take home 2 full sized loaves, a baguette and second; guests choice.  In addition, you will prepare a batch of dough from scratch to be finished in your home oven. Class includes churning fresh cultured butter.  We will take a break from the ovens and enjoy our warm bread with a lovely Chopped Salad for lunch with wine and cheese of course!  A pretty great way to spend the day and your friends and family will be delighted by the results!  $79.00

Make and Take-Dinner for Two- February 22nd 10:30-1:00 A new offering in the cooking school!  Come and take a cooking class and take home a 4 course dinner for two.  Share it with your spouse or a friend!  This class promises to be lively and full of fun! On the Menu:

Appetizer- Goat Cheese and Cranberry Spiral and ½ loaf French bread

Starter- Sun Dried Tomato Basil Soup with Cheesy Pillows of goodness

Main- Mouthwatering Chicken Cordon Blue with Honey Garlic Green Beans

Dessert-Apple Tart with Almond Custard filling

Chopped Salad and iced tea will be served.  Class size is limited.  Class Fee $64.50

Let’s Make Dinner! March 7th 6:30-8:30 A new offering at the cooking school;  come and make a 4 course dinner to be enjoyed together with a glass of wine.  What a great way to spend the evening!  We will cook together to prepare our feast then sit and enjoy the fruits of our labor with a beautiful glass of wine! You will leave with the recipes; this class promises to improve overall kitchen skills. Class fee 59.50

Food and Wine Workshop March 21-22nd 10:30-2:00 Join me for an extraordinary 2- day culinary event and immerse yourself in good food and wine!  We will explore wine styles and pairings as we work side by side to prepare truly mouthwatering dishes.  We will dine together as we taste wine varietals and enjoy the recipes. Dinner tastes can be enjoyed here or taken home.  This course promises to improve overall kitchen skills that last a lifetime.  Hope you will join the fun! Class size is limited.  Class Fee $192.50

Day 1~Champagne and Crement and Appetizers

We will begin our time together with a mini champagne workshop.  The mystery of this amazing beverage will be revealed as we enjoy it with our appetizers of Tomato Basil and Gruyere Gourges, Crab Stuffed Mushroom Caps and an artistic American Style Cheese Board, packed to the brim with cheese, meat and goodness.

Sancerre and Chardonnay and Lunch

We will prepare and enjoy a crispy Goat Cheese Grapefruit and Avocado Salad and Seafood Crepes as we enjoy these beautiful white wines.

Rose and Dinner

We will prepare a lovely Chicken and Artichoke Tart perfect for dinner when served with a green salad.  For a sweet finish we will make Pears in Chocolate Ganache and tiny Chocolate Madeleines.

Day 2~Beaujolais and Grenache and Breakfast

We will prepare a breakfast soufflé, Bacon and Cheddar to be eaten alongside Fruit and Almond Butter Tartine.

Red Blends and Lunch

As we taste our wines we will enjoy freshly made Creamy Cauliflower Soup and an inventive Crispy Vegetable Salad.

Bordeaux and Cabernet and Dinner

We will learn the origin of the iconic dish Beef Tournedos served with Blue Cheese and Walnut Butter over dreamy Mashed Potatoes.  To finish our days together we will celebrate round an exquisite Double Chocolate Tart topped with Raspberries.

April 25th Let’s Make Dinner Details coming soon

May 3rd Make and Take Dinner for Two- Details coming soon

Autumn in Provence- Through an Open Door

Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls. Joseph Campbell

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I adore this image from my most recent autumnal visit to Provence. It draws you in, wondering what could be on the other side of that passageway.

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It’s Friday and I am contemplating the doors that have both opened and closed in my life while sifting through photos and I am grateful for both.

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I am always curious about what is on the other side of colorful doors like this with grand adornments.

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When a door closes it can be very sad.  It’s like we are being pushed forward even though we might not feel ready; it’s times like these that faith and hope get us through.

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And just like that a window opens and things are better than you could have ever imagined.  I think this little kitty agrees!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend, hug someone you love today!

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