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!

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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.

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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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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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