Food & Wine Writing & Books: Food & Wine Writing & Books
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Looking to take your holiday baking up a notch? Pick up a copy of Holly Herrick‘s new book, The French Cook: Cream Puffs & Eclairs, and whip up some sweet and savory creations that will leave you and your guests swooning. This cookbook, second in the series, showcases luscious-looking delights in glossy images that you’d never believe are so easy to make. But according to Holly, they are. And they’re also economical.
With choux as the foundation for most everything in The French Cook: Cream Puffs & Eclairs, you learn about this fun and messy pastry dough that becomes light and airy once baked. You can make these floaty confections weeks ahead and keep them in your freezer and take them out as you need them. I see this as a wonderful holiday baking project either by yourself or say between mother and daughter. “It’s always my goal to get people really exciting about cooking. It’s important that it’s fun and delicious,” says this renowned food writer and author of six cookbooks.
“Happily (choux) is one of the easiest pastries to make: bring a little water and butter to a simmer in a saucepan, dump in flour, beat over heat to thicken it, and whip in a few eggs. That’s all there is to it…”
—Julia Child, The Way to Cook, 1989
Colorado Food & Wine Hotels Shopping The Rockies: Colorado Food & Wine Hotels Palisade Shopping The Rockies
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What a wintery time it has been here in Colorado! It even snowed on the western slope in Palisade/Grand Junction, an area known as the bread basket/banana belt of the state where it’s typically twenty degrees warmer than in the mountains. I did a getaway there with a friend over the weekend and reveled in exploring Colorado’s wine country; I loved seeing the vines beneath a frosty blanket of white. Vineyards the world over are picturesque, however, I find the contrast of the rows and rows of vines backdropped by the dramatic, buff-colored rock towers and cliffs here—known as the Book Cliffs—especially striking.
Colorado Food & Wine Podcasts Telluride: Colorado Food & Wine Podcasts Telluride
Ever wonder who’s behind those wildly successful food blogs? You know the ones that leave you salivating over every dish and make you yearn to recreate the same in your own home? Well, click on the play button below to hear what Telluride local Marla Meridith says about her blog, Family Fresh Cooking, a popular website/blog that enjoys a large following on virtually every platform of social media.
“I work hard to make it very visually appealing,” Marla told me during a recent Travel Fun interview when talking about how she became a food stylist/professional photographer/blogger practically overnight. “A lot of the food bloggers are self taught and workshop driven,” Marla continues when talking about her blog that features mostly original recipes and all her own photos. Indeed, Marla takes whole foods and makes them shine. In our interview she chats about two seasonal favorites: her Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake and Maple Cranberry Bourbon Martini, recipes you’ll want to prepare for the holidays.
Food & Wine France French Life Paris Podcasts Travel Writing & Books: Cooking Schools Food & Wine France French Life Paris Podcasts Travel Writing & Books
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And to most of us they’re such a big part of fall and Thanksgiving, so tune into the our chat below if you’d like to add a French twist to your holiday feasting. I met Susan briefly some twenty-five years (yes—a quarter of a century) in Paris at an American women’s function when I first moved to the French capital. At that time she was working as an assistant to Patricia Wells on The Food Lover’s Guide to Paris, one of my all-time favorite books.
Art & Culture Food & Wine French Life Paris Shopping Travel Writing & Books: Art & Culture Food & Wine French Life Paris Shopping Travel Travel Writing Writing & Books
With ski season behind me, I suddenly have a voracious appetite for reading. I always want to read and to me, it’s one of the most relaxing and enjoyable activities in the world. But during ski season I’m exhausted in the evenings and tend to just zone out in front of the TV and then head to bed before there’s time for a leisurely read. (Also, I often stay up late when engrossed in a good book and that certainly doesn’t gel with a ski instructor’s need for a long, fat sleep.)
Being the Francophile that I am, I love reading books set in France. Whether it’s Paris or the provinces, if the writing is rich, I relish being instantly transported to my beloved land. So you can only imagine how thrilled I was when I discovered Jaqui Brown’s charming website/blog, French Village Diaries. There you may delve into an abundance of book reviews on books relating to France and then shop in her online bookstore which features titles she has reviewed and more. Jacqui, a Brit that moved to France in 2004 with her British husband, scours the internet for the most interesting reads on her adopted country. That’s how she found my book, A Tour of the Heart: A Seductive Cycling Trip Through France, and then wrote it up at French Village Diaries.
Colorado Food & Wine French Life Mountain Living Skiing & Snowboarding Telluride: Colorado Food & Wine French Life Mountain Living Skiing & Snowboarding Telluride
As a ski instructor, the holiday period always becomes a bit of a blur. And you thought it felt that way to you? Try working full days on the mountain for as long as a ten- to fourteen-day stint and see how much relaxing you’re able to do during this festive period. We don’t complain though—we love it. What better way to celebrate the holidays than out on the slopes assisting in the fun and merrymaking of travelers from all over the world?
Now that most people have chucked their Christmas trees and resolved to consume far less fattening food and drink, I’m embracing the holiday spirit more than ever. I’m not working on the hill as much, so I can breathe easier and nestle myself into my little apartment that’s still adorned with a smattering of ornaments, winter wonderland knickknacks and an abundance of candles. It’s red and green chez moi year round—the classic colors of the mountains—the rich and heartwarming hues that I very much love. My jolly look is ramped up during the holiday period with the addition of fresh pine cuttings and red bows. I’ll keep most of that up until it stays fresh, likely for another couple of weeks, and then dismantle the bulk of my joyful trimmings by Valentine’s Day. There’s many a chalet in the Alps done up holiday style all the way to the end of ski season, so I’m not as odd as you may be thinking.
In my new book, A Tour of the Heart: A Seductive Cycling Trip Through France, there’s a scene where I feast over confit de canard, cassoulet de canard and a couple of pork-product dishes in a simple—yet elegant—homestyled restaurant above a bar/tabac in the Languedoc Roussillon region of France.
“Almost toute de suite we were served a Blanquette de Limoux, the oldest sparkling wine in France said to have served as inspiration for Dom Perignon, the most praise-worthy monk who created champagne centuries ago,” I wrote.
I never would have known this had my guide not clued me in. And what a delicious nectar I found it to be! A robust red was poured for that hearty meal, yet my palette was delightfully awakened by this sparkling wine.
Many years later, I was thrilled to discover that Blanquette de Limoux is readily available in the United States at a fraction of the price of champagne. Saint-Hilaire, one of the finest of these wines, is widely distributed at a price point of about $15. Who ever imagined that such a luxurious tasting beverage could be so affordable? I suggest you stock up on it for the New Year and all year long.
Happy 2013 everyone!
Food & Wine Shopping: Food & Wine Online Boutiques Shopping
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I feel like I’ve been hearing a lot of pop, pop, pop on TV, over the airwaves and on social media ever since late Tuesday night. Whether your guy (or gal) won or lost, I think we’re all happy that the elections are over and that our great country carried out democracy in fine fashion. (Perhaps except in Florida; although in a state populated with so many old people, you have to figure they’re going to move at a slower pace.)
Now it’s time to focus on fun, the holidays and the inevitable dilemmas of gift giving that this time of year often presents. (OK, we have a lot of work to do, too.) But there’s nothing like bubbly during this festive time of year, and I’ve found some of the best champagnes—largely from boutique purveyors—at Henri’s Reserve. Yes, I said champagne which means these divine wines have all been sourced from France in the Champagne region of this wonderful country.
And the packaging is superb. Henri’s Reserve offers just the sort of fun and elegant look you want to share with loved ones, business contacts and yes, even yourself this time of year. Bestsellers include tasting samplers such as Henri’s Tasting Soirée which features three bottles of “champ” from their favorite champagne houses. Or, if you really have someone to woo, send a case of Jacquesson 734, the standard-bearer of champagne.
You can read about all this and more at Henri’s Reserve, a classy and colorful online boutique that makes shopping a pleasure. Be sure also to check out Henri’s Journal, an informative and entertaining blog filled with all kinds of delicious nuggets. A recent post showcased terroir, one of the most interesting words of the French language. Their Facebook page furnishes lots of nice tidbits, too.
Type in the code “bonjour” to receive a 10% discount on all orders and enjoy your tour of Henri’s Reserve.