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~Olives

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For my last look at autumn in Provence I want to share picture of gorgeous colorful olives in the markets.

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Workers scoop large spoonfuls of olives into bags to be enjoyed by their customers.

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I am not an olive eater per say, but the olives in France taste amazing and once I start, stopping is difficult!! The olives are not pitted, making eating them a bit inconvenient but the flavor and meatiness is well worth the effort!

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There is much variety in the brining liquid and herbs used to finish the olives, a flavor for everyone.

Olive tapenade and bread is often served on the tables of  Provencal restaurants when you sit down, think salsa at a mexican restaurants. Below you will find my Green Olive Tapenade recipe, enjoy!

Green Olive Tapenade

1 ½ cups Spanish olives, pitted and rinsed

2 cloves garlic, pressed

1 tablespoon capers

1 teaspoon each lemon zest and freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 tablespoons or more olive oil

½ teaspoon herbs de Provence

Salt to taste

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until mixture is chunky.  Serve with French bread.

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Autumn in Provence~A Trip to the Market

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Provencal markets are truly a magical place for food lovers.

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Gorgeous seasonal vegetables were relying only on their vivid color to entice buyers.

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Stunning eggplants begging to come home and become something wonderful on your plate!

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I adore the vegetables artfully displayed in sturdy baskets.

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Freshly picked thyme and bay leaves perched in this precious, red riding hood basket.

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The markets of Provence have much more to offer foodies besides just produce.

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Freshly made sausage is always a good bet to go along with a cheese and wine picnic perhaps?

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Nuts and dried fruits as far as the eye can see.

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And prepared foods like roasted chicken or this enormous copper pan loaded to the brim with Paella, just look at the size of those shrimp!

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Markets are bursting with jams, tapenades and spreads along with clothing, table linens, soaps and lavender. All in all a truly lovely way to spend a few hours and we did!

Travel with me next autumn! Two seats are available for

A Taste of Provence September 7-14th 2019

Reach out today for more information!

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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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ATOP Video and the Making!

Did you ever have one of those work days so stellar that you will never forget it as long as you live?

Welcome to one of mine!

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I invited a few of my travelers, most of whom have been with me on multiple trips, to share in the experience of making a film.

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In fact, to share some of their experiences while traveling with A Taste of Paris, to France.

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We sipped some of my favorite French sparkling wines…

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…and nibbled on French goodies like Chocolate Madeleines, Raspberry and Mint Chocolate Macarons.

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In a flash, the party was over and the real work begins.

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Hours spent combing through video from my most recent trip, searching for the very best shots.

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4:00 am calls from my colleague in Paris to insure we were capturing the best of the city in video content she was taking and sending via the amazing internet.

Listening to music for just the right French sound and by the way after a bit it all sound alike!

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And testing the patience of filmmaker, Shane Reitzammer owner of CinemaStory Productions for many weeks to create something really special; a tool for people considering travel with A Taste of Paris and me!

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Thank you to these special ladies and to all my travelers for helping to bring my dream to life!

Click here to watch!

Click here for information on A Taste of Paris travel.

The Iconic Eiffel Tower

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As I explore “Why France?” with past and future travelers, one iconic symbol is on everyone’s list, the Eiffel Tower.  It is the single most recognized symbol in the world and of course when you see it, you think of Paris, the capital of France.

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The Eiffel Tower was designed by Gustave Eiffel and his team of engineers for the 1889 World’s Fair.  Paris was chosen as the location for the fair to mark the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution.

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The Eiffel rests on the Champ-de-Mars and this structural marvel of iron lattice stands 324 meters tall, the equivalent of an 81 story building.  The tower took only 2 short years to build which is amazing when you think of the rudimentary construction capabilities of the times.

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I believe the very best view of the Eiffel Tower is from the Seine, right at dusk.  The tower lights up and if you are lucky enough to be sipping champagne, it’s magical!

Romantic Paris Portraits

I am excited to share that A Taste of Paris has partnered with L’amour de Paris for what can only be described as a fashion styled photo shoots at the Eiffel Tower.  All of the photos you see here of me were taken by the talented and adorable CheyAnne and wow was it fun!

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L’amour de Paris has offered a very special price to ATOP travelers, Thank YOU!

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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Why France?

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A Taste of Paris registration for travel in 2019 is officially OPEN!

To see all 4 offerings for 2019 CLICK HERE!

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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?”

But first let me give you a little TASTE of what we were up to only 2 short months ago!

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I can almost taste this bread right now! Isn’t it gorgeous?   After a visit to the famed Poilane boulangerie, we enjoyed our bread along with cheese bought at Barthelemy all while sipping wine at a sweet cafe.

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Paris was unseasonably warm for April so we felt like kids after enjoying frozen hot chocolate.

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Sightseeing is hard work!  Time for a quick rest!

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Our chefs were so much fun.  We cooked up a storm in 3 cooking classes!

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This guy was so cute telling us stories about F. Scott Fitzgerald as he served us cocktails with pretty pink roses for all the Mademoiselles.

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Hanging out on the Seine is a good way to spend some time.

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When I look back at these faces my heart fills with joy, I hope you will

Click to Join the FUN in 2019!

OR email lorie@atasteofparis.net for more information!

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*Photo of Pont Alexandre taken by Lisa Schwab, find her on Instagram at @shutterschwab

 

 

French Market Class and Gâteau Basque au Fraise

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The French Market class in Paris is always the favorite day of A Taste of Paris travelers.

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It’s so fun to visit the market, learn how the French shop and eat and then to go back to the cooking school with all of the ingredients and craft a gourmet meal.  The classes curated for ATOP always include French sauces, composed desserts a cheese course and plenty of wine of course!

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The Gâteau Basque au Fraise is one of my best loved dessert recipes from a French Market class I attended many years ago.  The Gâteau is rich, gorgeous and really scrumptious made with fresh strawberry jam if you are so inclined!

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Sadly I can’t bring my favorite teaching chefs to McKinney, TX from Paris for a cooking class so I’ll be recreating this spectacular event right here!!

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If you are an adventurous foodie and love to spend time in the kitchen, join me!  There are still 2 spaces left for this amazing day of fresh from the earth food!

Friday June 29th French Market Class 10:00-3:00- Join me for this super fun French cooking class.  I’ll gather fresh local ingredients like bread, cheese, wine and more downtown before you arrive. We will craft a 5 course meal just like in the cooking schools in Paris!  You won’t know what’s on the menu because we will be creating from fresh, in season, locally grown ingredients!   Come ready to cook and have a fantastic day of food and fun. Cooking class will include 5 courses; a composed dessert, cheese course and wine! You will leave with an ingredient map so you can shop for local products. $92.50      Register HERE

I’ll leave you with a few more of my favorite French market photos and Click HERE for more information on French travel 2019!

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Gâteau Basque au Fraise

Dough

9 ounces butter

6.5 ounces sugar

Zest of 1 lemon

Pinch salt

4 ounces almond meal

1 egg plus 1 yolk

11.5 ounces flour

2/3 cup Strawberry Jam

1 egg yolk

Prepare the dough in a mixer by first creaming the butter, sugar, zest and salt until pale and fluffy.  Add eggs and mix until well incorporated.  Add almond meal until and mix well.  Stop the machine and add flour by hand until just incorporated do not over mix.  Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour a tart pan.  Roll 1/3 of the dough to fit the bottom of the pan and lay it in carefully.  Take a second third of the dough and roll it into a rope to form a border around the edge of the pan.  Spread the cool jam inside the bordered area.  Roll the remaining dough to form the top of the gateau.  Using a sharp knife score the top of the crust in a criss cross pattern. Brush the top with a beaten egg.  Bake for 35 minutes or until top is golden brown.

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Macaron Joy!

 

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Macarons have become the iconic French sweet-treat and TODAY is National French Macaron Day!

Macs are so pretty especially in PINK!

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 Laduree is the birthplace of the French Macarons; the location on rue Royal in Paris is where it all began back in 1930.  I take all of my ATOP travelers there for tasty treats. It’s like watching kids in a candy store only better!

Come along with me for A Taste of Paris Goes PINK, an all-female trip to Paris in April 2019.

To satisfy your macaron craving until you can get to Paris, I suggest Joy Macarons.  They have 3 locations; Oak Cliff, lower Greenville and the newest location in Ft Worth.

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Their raspberries macs are a sensation; not too sweet, tender and bright pink of course.

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If you are in an ice cream state of mind you are in luck!  Pretty pink macaron ice cream sandwiches are the cutest things I have seen in a while.  Tender, crisp, cool and creamy all in one bite!  You have got to try one…or two!

Joy Macarons; pop by and see them the next time you need a sweet PINK bite.

And if you want to learn to make French Macarons in your own kitchen, register today for my upcoming class, just in time for Mother’s Day.

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French Macarons- Thursday, May 10th 6:30-9:00 Cooking class with a true hands on experience and the best part you take home the results!  Macarons, the quintessential French treat, light, delicate and irresistible! After studding macaron making in Paris, Lorie will lead a hands on class using the tried and true Laduree recipe with a simplified approach. We will first toast the macaron with a flute of bubbly before diving in to make this love at first bite treat.  Each step of the process will be clearly defined so students can replicate the process in their own kitchens with success!  We will prepare Salted Caramel, Raspberry Rose, and Mint Chocolate.  Recipes for additional macaron flavors will be shared. Class size is limited to 10, book early!  Class fee class fee $62.50

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OH and be sure and pick up one of these darling shirts at Joy Macarons.

Enjoy and…

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Pink Grapefruit Martini

It’s Friday!

And I’m keeping the pink theme going through the end of March to celebrate the launch of A Taste of Paris Goes PINK, an all-female culinary trip to Paris in April 2019. Grab your daughter, mother, and friends to join me for this boutique culinary excursion of a lifetime. Seats are going FAST!

Since it’s the weekend, how about an aperitif, as the French would say!

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Sometimes after a long week, I just need to chill with a cocktail and some girlfriends.

My no -fuss Grapefruit Martini – a juicy balance of sweet and tart – is the ideal cocktail to serve friends or just bring the week to a close.

It’s not too sweet so if one drink won’t flip your mood, no worries, you can have a few.

You know they say, we taste with our eyes first, and this pretty pink martini would look fetching served in Luigi Bormioli retro chic glasses.

Are you planning a party for lots of BFF’s? The more the merrier, I always say!

Be sure you are stocked up on wine charms to help everyone keep their drinks straight. Below are a few of my on-trend favs. The jeweled bees by Joanna Buchanan have been buzzing around in my head since I first laid eyes on them.  I am not sure how long I can resist temptation!

Tassel Wine Charms 

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Fred Wine Lines

Wine Charms March 9

Bug Wine Charms

Bug Wine Charms March 9
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Grapefruit Martini

2 parts grapefruit vodka

2 parts Ruby Red Grapefruit juice

½ part triple sec

Grapefruit twist for garnish

Shake all ingredients with ice and serve in a chilled glass with a grapefruit twist.

 

As always; drink responsibly and do not drive!

Enjoy and

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