One of the Sweetest Provencal Towns

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L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is without a doubt one of the sweetest towns I have ever visited.  It’s an idyllic small community that is surrounded by the Sorgue River.

water wheels in L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue

The Sorgue has 14 remaining water wheels making use of the power of running water.  These wheels were originally used to power mills; first corn then wool and silk mills.  The moss-covered paddles pushing the babbling water, add real charm to the riverside.

market day in L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue.

Sunday is market day in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue.

Fresh foods at the L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue market.

Shoppers can find vegetables and other food items.

Paella in the L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue market

Prepared foods abound, like this enormous copper pan filled to the brim with paella.

This market usually has a nice assortment of brocante for shoppers seeking treasures. Arrive early, by 8:00 as vendors start to pack up by noon.

baskets and pails in the L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue market.

L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is an antique town and shops are open on Sundays.  A little known fact; walk down the alleys past the antique stores and you will find many of the back-doors of the establishments open creating a maze of tiny booths and tables of goodies.  If you are an antique lover, this comes highly recommended.

I found several sets of linens here that are absolute treasures.

Open window in L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue

I am still wondering what is behind this charming open window covered with ivy in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue…

Want to visit L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and many other Provencal villages in 2021?  REGISTRATION IS OPEN!

PROVENCE
September 11th-18th, 2021

Provence – where sparkling seascapes, fiery sunsets, and the striking variety of scenery make visitors feel as though they are stepping into a French Impressionist painting. Sun-soaked flavors and a convivial spirit flourish in this region. Our magnificent base for this food and wine centric trip of a lifetime is Saint-Rémy-READ MORE  

Burgundy, France- Where Beautiful Food and Elegant Wines Prevail

Old dusty wine bottles Burgundy, France.

After spending time in the Burgundy region of France this spring, I am ready to share 2 exceptional A Taste of Paris happenings, that YOU won’t want to miss.

Chateau Pommard

I am both delighted and humbled to announce the A Taste of Paris Fall Event.  One of the most prestigious wine houses in Burgundy, France, Chateau Pommard, will be making a trip to McKinney TX to share their knowledge, passion and wine with a few A Taste of Paris guests.

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This extraordinary experience was crafted to give each participant a rare look at the elegant foods & wines of Burgundy, France.  The festivities will begin with flute of Crémant de Bourgogne, followed by an entertaining cooking lesson, Let’s Get Skewered, perfect inspiration for holiday entertaining.  Advanced wine tasting techniques will be shared by Chateau Pommard’s own Preston Mohr as you relish their exceptional wines.  Wines will be paired with fanciful tidbits AND a composed, passed Appetizer. Delectable French sweets from a renowned patisserie will abound and the evening will end with a luxury gift for each participant.  Couples and singles are welcome!  For tickets Click HERE

Boeuf Bourguignon

I was absolutely energized by the amazing foods, of Burgundy.  Superb flavors and magnificent presentations inspired me to create a 2-Day French Workshop.  We will spend 2-thrilling days cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner together.  These dishes will dazzle and soon become your families favorites. Space is limited so register TODAY.

Wine country of Burgundy France.

 

A Taste of Paris  Presents:

Friday, November 22nd 6:30-9:30  France Comes to Texas, Burgundy Wine Tasting Experience

Chateau Pommard, one of the most prestigious and beautiful wine houses in Burgundy will be coming to McKinney Texas for a very special evening of wine tasting with A Taste of Paris guests.

Taste 6 luxurious Burgundy wines. Plus 2 full pours.

Relish premium composed appetizers paired with each wine.

Entertaining lesson Let’s get Skewered- that will get you ready to host for the holidays.

Wine tasting techniques will be shared as well as the background and stories of these Burgundy wines; rich in both intensity and history.

Tidbits that pair with each wine will abound.

French Sweets to satisfy any sweet-tooth will be almost too pretty to eat!

Each guest will receive a recipe booklet with pairing information AND an exceptional gift to commemorate the evening.

Tickets are limited. Tickets.

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October 10-11th 10:00-2:30 French 2-Day Flavors and Inspiration form Burgundy France-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 region.  Dishes packed full of love and timeless flavors with an artful quality that we will share together.

This 2-day workshop is immersion style, cooking side by side. Each day we will prepare breakfast, lunch, dinner and a sweet along with a snack or two!  Wine and a cheese course will be served each day for an authentic French dining experience.  Dinner portions will be packed up to-go.

In addition to this fabulous menu, we will prepare 2 classic French doughs; Brioche, an enriched dough that is a staple in France and Choux Paste the basis for so many sweet and savory dishes.  For those that want to arrive 30 minutes early on the second day, I will demonstrate Laminated Brioche, similar to croissant, a favorite treat of mine that is hard to find unless you are at the finest boulangerie in Paris! And just because we can, we will shake and enjoy French 75’s, how much for French can you get?

This course promises to improve your overall kitchen skills; French cooking is the gold standard and expertise acquired will last a lifetime.  Be a part of the fun! Limited enrollment, Fee $189.00

Day 1- We’ll start our day with time honored baking skills.  Brioche, made with my Parisian, Le Cordon Bleu recipe; is hands down the absolute best, add fresh churned European Style Butter and exquisite Cherry Jam and you have achieved perfection!  We will also prepare delectable Oeuf en Meurette, traditionally served as a main course, will make a hearty breakfast.  Cornittes, precious pockets of cheesy goodness, will be our luxurious snack.  For lunch, Wreath of Greens Salad with Choux as the centerpiece, will delight your pallet and your senses.  Choux puffs stuffed with mushrooms, leeks and a frothy goat cheese mixture is almost too pretty to eat! For dinner, Traditional Coq au Vin a classic slow simmered dish with rich complex flavors.  Served with Maple Roasted Carrot Salad, sure to be a favorite fall go-to. For dessert we will make Burgundy Poached Pears with homemade Vanilla Ice Cream.

Day 2-Arrive 30 minutes early for a demonstration on cinnamon crusted Laminated Brioche, a truly unique treat that is worth every bite.  We will start our day with wholesome Tartouillat, a tart filled with apples and pears that you will see in every glass pastry counter in the Burgundy region.   Crème de Cassis, a black currant liquor, is produced in the Burgundy region. We will make a Kir Royal, one of my all-time favorites and toast them with thanks! For an irresistible snack we will make Herbed Fromage Blanc served with fresh vegetables.  We will prepare the most famous dish from the burgundy region, Boeuf Bourguignon and we will serve it with Potato Leek Gratin, my favorite bite from my recent trip to Burgundy! Dinner will be delectable Jambon au Chablis served with Roasted Root Vegetables.  For dessert, heavenly Chocolate Banana Crepes. Register NOW

Lorie at Chateau Pommard, Burgundy, France.

What to go to Burgundy with me?  Click HERE for more info!

Can’t wait to see you!

au revoir for now lorie (002)

 

Paper Flowers Fun

Paper flower globe

For years I have been working on lightening up the interior of our home.  Letting go of the rich reds and golds and replacing them with warm whites, creams and blues.

I  finally reset my home for summer…I know, it’s almost fall but you guys I have been behind since November!

I really wanted something soft in the two vases that flank the TV on the mantel in my family room.  I looked high and low for something that was the right color and size without breaking the bank and ultimately, I decided to get crafty.

It was so much fun I wanted to share the project with you.  I hope you will forgive the shadowy photos, it was a very late night project!

supplies for paper flower globes

To make your own paper flower globe, you will need a 7 7/8-inch Styrofoam ball, a large package of paper flowers in assorted sizes, a package of tiny paper flowers with pearl centers and a hot glue gun with plenty of glue.

how to make the start line

Place the ball in your container and draw a line around the top of the container.  This will be your start line.

paper flower globe start line

Start gluing flowers around the start line.  Be sure to vary the flower size, overlap the flowers slightly and only glue the center so the petals are free.

Paper flower ball

Once you have gone around the start line, start to fill in the blank space with flowers and again be sure to vary sizes and overlap, this gives the surface texture.

working on the paper flower globe

I could not resist leaving my fur baby in this shot.  He is sleeping close to the action!

A tip for getting the flowers just right and not burning your fingers is to use the eraser end of a pencil to press the center of each flower into the ball while the glue cools off.

finished paper flower globe

Once the ball is covered with flowers above the start line, go back around the globe and add the tiny pearled flowers to the center of some of the flowers.  This adds a little sparkle and more texture.

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 There is no hiding that big TV, but I am really pleased with the look of my creations.

You can cover these Styrofoam balls with many things to create a look you love.  Seashells, moss, small bits of tile, crushed flowers or herbs like lavender…so many ideas and so little time!

What would you cover a globe with?

au revoir for now lorie (002)

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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Mix it Up!

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To celebrate, the launch of 2019 travel, I will be exploring France in a different way; through the eyes of my travelers with one simple question…”Why France?”

This is Sharilyn Getz’s answer; she traveled with me in April 2018

“A Taste of Paris Trips are the perfect mix of cooking, shopping and sightseeing in a magical city. It was a spectacular trip!”

I am excited to share some of the memories made on Sharilyn’s trip to Paris.

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Sharing some time with best friends.

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Sharilyn receiving her certificate at the famous Le Cordon Bleu!

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Making French macarons is fun but the best part is eating them!

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Shopping at the flower market,

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and for cheese; the ideal afternoon snack!

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Sightseeing…

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and a selfie!

I enjoyed having this vivacious lady along for the journey!

Register for 2019 travel TODAY!  Just click for more details or email me at lorie@atasteofparis.net

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

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

A Taste of Provence- September 14th-21st, 2019 hurry only 1 seat left!

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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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Turkey Talk on Fox 4

We put so much pressure on ourselves to prepare the perfect Thanksgiving feast. Making a turkey only once a year can cause even the most accomplished home chef to get a bit nervous.  We all want the star of the show to be succulent and juicy and for me, the best insurance policy is a wet brine solution.

Join me on Wednesday, November 22nd about 8:40 am, on Fox 4 Good Day.  I will show you the simple techniques to insure you have a beautiful bird on the table this year and every year!

See the recipes and a recap of turkey tips below.

This year, I am most grateful for the time to share a meal of fresh food with my darling family.  What are you grateful for this year? I would love to hear from you.

Au revoir for now

Lorie

Turkey Tips

-Brine the turkey to insure it’s tender and juicy

-Let the turkey come to room temp before cooking, about 30 minutes

-For golden skin on the turkey, pat dry very well and brush with melted butter

-If you brine, don’t add more salt

-No need to baste!

-Let turkey rest 20-30 minutes before carving 

Wet Brined Turkey 12-18 Pounds

Brine

2 gallons water

1 ¼ cups kosher salt

1 cup sugar

8 whole cloves garlic

1 tablespoon pepper corns

2 onions cut in quarters

2 sprigs rosemary

2 sprigs thyme

Turkey

12-18 pound turkey

4 tablespoons butter melted

1 onion quartered

1 orange cut in wedges

1 celery stalk cut in pieces

2 sprigs rosemary

In a large pot heat 1 gallon of water with salt and sugar and bring to a boil.  Add aromatics and remove from heat, add remaining gallon of water.  When the water is completely cool, pour it into a large zip top bag inside a plastic tub.  Submerge the turkey in the cool water.  Zip the bag and place turkey tub in the refrigerator for 6 hours.  Remove the turkey and discard the brine solution.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Let turkey come to room temperature about 30 minutes.  Pat the bird down until completely dry and place it into a roasting pan with a wire rack.  Stuff the cavity of the turkey with onions, orange, celery and rosemary.  Brush the entire surface of the turkey with butter. Place a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and place the turkey in the oven.  Turn the oven down to 325 degrees after the first 30 minutes of cooking.  Cook turkey roughly 15 minutes per pound but be sure you test the thickest part of the breast to reach a minimum temperature of 165 degrees.

No Fail Cream Gravy

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

1 ½ cups chicken or turkey stock

1 cup milk

Salt and pepper

Melt butter in the bottom of a sauce pan, add flour and cook stirring constantly for 2 minutes.  Meanwhile, warm the chicken stock and milk together in the microwave for 2 minutes.  Add liquid to flour mixture whisking vigorously and cook until thick. Season the gravy with salt and pepper to taste. For brown gravy; simply cook the butter and flour mixture an additional 3 -5 minutes, to brown the roux before adding the liquid.

Tip: For a brown gravy, cook the butter flour mixture 5-6 minutes until is is medium brown in color, then proceed with recipe.