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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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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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!

group in front of hotel de ville Paris

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)