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!

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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.

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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.

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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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Autumn in Provence~Sunflowers and Van Gogh

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I was at Trader Joes this morning gathering supplies for my classes this week, French Foods of the Normandy Coast and 4 Course French Menu at the Arboretum on Saturday and I noticed the gorgeous sunflowers for sale.

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They reminded me of the lovely sunflowers I enjoyed while touring my A Taste of Provence group in September. Sunflowers are such a happy flower!

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So big and bold, they almost don’t look real.

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The Provencal sunflowers surely inspired Vincent Van Gogh to paint this vase chalked full.  This particular painting was done while he lived in Arles, not far from our base in Saint Remy.

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One of the most interesting places we visited this year was the Van Gogh Clinic.  Van Gogh checked himself in and spent the last year of his life here in Saint Remy.

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He was very prolific and painted some of his most well-known pieces here, including Starry Night and Irises.  This is a look at the beautiful interior garden that inspired Van Gogh and many other residents.

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This is such a beautiful view of the outdoor garden at the clinic, also a source of inspiration to the artists here.

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I thought this was such an interesting arrangement I came across while traveling in the area. The sunflowers standing so tall and proud!

Have a happy day!

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Provence and Pastis

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Have you ever heard of Pastis?  This aperitif cocktail was a mystery to me until I visited Marsalis France a few years ago.

This is my last week to explore my recent travelers response to the questions  “Why France?” Registration for my trips to France in 2019 is OPEN

A Taste of Paris- March 31st-April 7th 2019

A Taste of Provence- September, 2019 

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“My favorite thing about my ATOP trip was getting to do so many things, cooking, the history, shopping, eating and having cocktails only the way the French do.

“I loved the bonding of the ladies and getting to branch out on the side to go to the big flea market.”

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“Knowing Lorie personally, I knew the trip would be well planned and informative and now I can place a check on my bucket list!” Kelly Jacob

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It’s true Kelly, having cocktails in France is an event and serving Pastis definitely fits that bill!

Pastis is an anise flavored aperitif that’s strong and a bright green color.  It’s served  with water and a few cubes of ice, unless you are in America, you know how we love our cold drinks! To drink this beverage, add desired water, a few cubes of ice and stir.  At this point pastis looks like milk.  With its fresh licorice flavor’ pastis, is really quite refreshing especially in August.  If you have not tried it before I highly recommend it!

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It was super fun having Kelly along for our France adventure!  To make some memories of your own in 2019 contact me by email lorie@atasteofparis.net or phone 214 551 9630!

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Paris, a City for Romance

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“Why travel to Paris? Why not? In my opinion, Paris is magic!”

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“It transforms/transports my spirit to another level; one of tradition, romance, history and of course, food and wine that is truly unique.”

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It feeds my soul as well as my body! I return refreshed and renewed!” Jeanne Busch

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I love what Jeanne shared, this is how I feel too.  I get goosebumps reading her words.

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It’s true, Paris is a place for romance whether you are with someone you love or completely alone, Paris seduces you with its sights sounds and tastes.

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Jeannie is a special lady that inspires me with her courage and wisdom. Thanks for sharing and for traveling with me!

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To make some memories of your own in 2019 contact me by email lorie@atasteofparis.net or phone 214 551 9630!

A Taste of Paris- March 31st-April 7th 2019

A Taste of Provence- September, 2019 

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Story Time- Le Vert Galant

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Le Vert Galant does not have a literal English translation; the closest I can come up with is a man past his prime that is still a ladies’ man. The most scandalous stories often come from history!

While registration for A Taste of Paris 2019 travel is open…

A Taste of Paris- March 31st-April 7th 2019

A Taste of Provence- September 7th-14th, 2019 OR September 14th-21st, 2019

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…I am exploring a simple question with past ATOP travelers; “Why France?”

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I was excited to hear from Barbara Wagner.  She has been taking cooking classes with me for over a decade and is a huge supporter of mine.

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“I had been to Paris before, but had never really SEEN Paris until I went with ATOP”

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The best part of the trip was seeing Paris through Lorie’s eyes, the tiny neighborhoods; the cooking stores and the stories were amazing”

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Did Barbara mention stories?  OK, twist my arm, I will tell one of my favorites, the story of Square du Vert-Galant.  I love bringing my Paris travelers here.

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This tiny garden is situated on the tip of the Île de la Cité, an island in the center of the Seine river and just under Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge in Paris. Even though this is just a tiny patch of green there is so much history here.

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When you cross Pont Neuf, you see this magnificent statue of Henry IV, the first French monarch of the Bourbon dynasty.  He ruled France from 1589-1610, when the blade of a knife took him to his untimely death, he was assassinated.

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Henry had quite the reputation as a ladies man despite his age and the fact that he was married.

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Legend has it that he brought many lovers to this spot.

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The foliage around the tiny island garden shields it from view, but rumors abound that King Henry could be seen from the palace walls by the queen.  You can imagine that there was a lot of trouble at home!

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His queen, Margaret, had at one point saved his life by converting to Catholicism, which of course is another story.

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Square du Vert Galant offers and amazing view of the Seine, is a great spot for a small picnic or just to catch a few rays. I would love to take you there! For more information on ATOP 2019 travel email lorie@atasteofparis.net or call 214 551 9630.

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Barbara was an absolute dream to travel with and I am so humbled by her comments about A Taste of Paris travel. Barbara is active in many organizations including the McKinney Garden Club; in fact her home was recently on the Garden Club tour and is a shining example of the lovely gardens our city has to offer.  She is a wonderful cook and loves to travel with her darling husband.  Barbara is such a thoughtful friend.

I want to hear YOUR, why France?

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