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Caesar Salad With Parmesean Twill

Featured Recipes

Travel

Croatia

One of the premiere destinations and vacation hotspots of Europe, Croatia is a mix of old-fashioned glamour and authentic charm dubbed âthe Mediterranean as it once was.â People go here for the wonderful beaches and sunshine, ancient architecture, folk traditions, and cultural treasures. The country is still in transition between Mitteleuropa and the Mediterranean, bouncing from a brutal civil war in the 1990s. Visitors on all budgets can find something memorable to see and do in the diverse landscape.       
Croatiaâs coast is where most of the trendy and hip places are and where youâll find plenty of glitz and glamour, particularly in Hvar and Dubrovnik. Here you can sip cocktails while checking out the beautiful people and spotting the occasional celebrity. Fancy yachts are docked on the coast and come in droves. Peace and quiet can also be had at secluded coves and atolls in the style of Robinson Crusoe, as well as fishing villages and lighthouse islets in remote areas. There are also a number of safe beaches that are family-friendly and a lot of leisure activities and water sports for all ages.      
In continental Croatia, there are over a thousand islands and the thing to do here is to stay in one of the rural hotels and explore the wild or go hiking, biking, paragliding, rafting, abseiling, or canoeing. There are many farmlands to tour and agro-tourism is a huge trend. Zagreb is also a notable place to visit, which has a lively café life, ancient attractions, contemporary art museum, and lots of festivals and events.   
Croatia is also fast becoming one of Europeâs top culinary destinations and an important wine region. Fresh ingredients come from the land and sea and a lot of the food are sourced locally. A lot of family-run taverns and haute cuisine prepared by celebrity chefs provide visitors with tons of gastronomic options.
Croatia
Hotel 3.14, Cannes, France


A designer boutique hotel in the heart of Cannesâ golden triangle, Hotel 3.14 is a rare and unique experience offering luxury accommodations and themed rooms. Based on the idea of a trip around the world, each floor of the hotel is themed to represent one of the five continents. Designer Karine Ellena-Partouche and her sister, Alexandra, created a unique universe on each floor representing America, Africa, Oceania, Europe and Asia in the use of colors, objects, fragrances, and music. The restaurant-bar serves gourmet Mediterranean cuisine using fresh organic produce.     
The American floor, which is the first floor, is homage to creative and luminous spirit. Sharp colors, Pop-art décor, Pacific blue tinted walls, rough iron furniture, bright curtains, the fragrance of cedar trees and sequoias, a cross between Latino and U.S. culture, all of which emphasize the eclecticism and diversity of the New World.     
Up the African-themed second floor, the gateway to the desert, Moorish windows are covered with curtains decorated with beads evoking sensuality and belly dancing. Chiseled brass light fixtures, cushions trimmed with pendants, and scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, and damask roses create an atmosphere like Arabian nights.   
The third floor rooms are themed after the distant islands of Oceania and are reminiscent of a tropical paradise with its raffia shades, soft fabrics, and sweet fragrance of newly dried copra.      
The fourth floor is designed like Paris in the Belle Epoque era with its pink wall drapes, carmine red curtains, soft wall lights, sparkling chandeliers, earthy aroma of cedar wood and powdery scent of roses suggesting a romantic and feminine atmosphere. 
The fifth floor represents Asia and impressions of the rising sun. Inspired by Japanese Zen traditions, the rooms are furnished minimally with dark furniture, light fabrics, geometric lines, as well as Chinese silk and a Buddha statue. A light mix of Jasmine and Patchouli incense is in the air.
Hotel 3.14 Cannes
Restaurant Helene Darroze, Paris, France

In the heart of Paris, Michelin Chef Helene Darroze brings her native cuisine of Landes and presents it in contemporary haute cuisine style in her acclaimed Restaurant Helene Darroze. After her apprenticeship with the legendary chef Alain Ducasse and working at their family estate, Darroze set up her own restaurant in Paris to share with guests her original cuisine with a menu that changes almost daily depending on what is in season and the dayâs produce. She uses only the freshest and best quality ingredients to produce some of the finest food in the county. 
One of the most celebrated chefs in France and a very hard-working woman, Chef Helene Darroze puts an elegant touch to traditional family recipes and country cooking creating a distinctive culinary style of her own. Her restaurant, decorated by her cousin, is stylishly decorated yet very homey and cozy. The ambiance exudes charm and grace, reflecting the character and style of the founder and owner. 
The restaurant consists of two floors and dining areas. The first floor is a more relaxed and casual ambiance where guests can sit back and munch on appetizers and tapas while sipping wine and other beverages.  The second floor is much more formal and romantic setting where guests can savor the gastronomic creations of Chef Darroze. Foie gras is a prominent feature of the menu and appears in a lot of the dishes. The female sommelier aids guests in selecting wine to pair with the sumptuous dishes.         
Some of the signature dishes in the restaurant include Suckling lamb from the Pyrenees and Roast wild duck stuffed with truffles and foie gras. For starters, guests can pick from a wide selection of sausages and cheeses from southwest France. A ham trolley goes around the restaurant featuring homemade cold cuts and regional specialties.
Restaurant Helene Darroze, Paris, France
Bruges, Belgium

One of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Bruges in Belgium is considered as the Venice of the North and is the most popular tourist destination in Belgium. The medieval city is perfectly preserved and evokes a world long gone. Renovated to maintain its medieval appearance, Bruges feels like a trip back in time with its clock towers, canals, and cobblestone streets, although a lot of the architecture was only built in the 19th and 20th centuries so it feels more like a fairy tale than a real historical past. 
Besides the sights and usual tourist attractions, Bruges is in recent years becoming known for its food and 21st century avant-garde cuisine. There are a lot of Michelin star restaurants and chefs in the city and plenty of traditional pubs, bistros and restaurants that serve local favorites like beer-based Flemish pie or stew, mussels and frites or fricadellen (frites with mayonnaise), fried goose liver serve on top of apple tarte, and vol-au-vents. Classic French dishes and French haute cuisine are also excellent here. A lot of the restaurants and food joints do not open until six in the late noon. 
The Central market place, the Grote Markt, and the Burg Square is where most tourists go to eat but you can find better places and experiences if you wander off the beaten track.  Avoid the restaurants in the historic old town where prices are exorbitant and choose a local favorite where the menu is only in Dutch and the chef or stadd are happy to translate for you or recommend the specials. Make sure to pass by the numerous creative chocolate shops that stock confections by experimental chocolatiers and the local beer pubs that offer a wide selection of rare Belgian beers from the regions breweries.     
Head off to the street market on ât Zand square first thing in the morning and shop for Belgian cheeses, freshly baked loaves, smoked herring, and mini-boterwafels, and sweet butter waffles.
Bruges, Belgium

Napkin Folding

Hosts and restaurant owners take into consideration not just the food and the taste. Even the table setting becomes an art form on its own. The table napkin has not only served its purpose of wiping excess food on the lips. It has now become a small piece of art welcoming a crowd of diners as you sit down for dinner. These table napkins are folded in various ways, usually in attractive shapes, flowers, animals, and other amusing shapes with just a fold and tuck. It’s actually very interesting to see the table linen shaped like a flower or swan welcoming you for dinner.

Folded napkins also serve the purpose of storing silverware in a prettier way. Not only do they serve as keeping utensils, but the utensils also help in preventing the napkins from flying off when a strong gust of wind approaches. Remember, napkins are usually made of light material, such as paper and cloth. If the event is outdoors, say a garden wedding, lunch, or afternoon barbecue, a little weight from silverware may help keep them in place and prevent unnecessary chasing of that cloth swan folded in place.

Napkins also come in paper or cloth. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages. Cloth does not tear as easily as paper, and may be used throughout the entire meal and absorbs liquid better. Paper of course, is more convenient for picnics and fast foods. They also prove to be more cost-efficient in some diners as there’s no need for additional laundry costs. There is also the option of being stiffer than paper so they can be folded into a lot more shapes.

Cloth and paper napkins come in a lot of swatches or colors. Even basic white has variants like ecru, ivory, cream, and bone. Red, pink, or blue, and other colored and printed napkins may be used for themed parties or may be matched with the restaurant’s interior. Attractive napkin rings may be purchased to keep them in place, and in weddings and parties, they may also be used as giveaways. The shape of the napkin when folded may also be themed according to the occasion, such as flowers and hearts for Valentine’s Day, animals for a children’s party, and so on.

Various tutorials online as well as books are available for those who would like to learn a few shapes to do in the next dinner party. You don’t have to own a five-star restaurant to be able to make a table setting just a little more special.

Frozen Cream

Everyone’s heard of ice cream, sherbets, sorbets, frozen yoghurt–popular icy dessert confections made with varying amounts of milk (or none at all) flavored with chocolate, fruits and many other ingredients. But what is frozen cream? Is it a kind of food or an ingredient?

To the ordinary layman and maybe even novice chefs unfamiliar with dairy or dessert terminology, frozen cream could be taken for ordinary cream that is frozen. A quick online search for the exact words will not yield much formal explanation on this exact product and direct the searcher to lots of information about ice cream.

There’s one site that describes frozen sweet cream as an additive-free product made from pasteurizing then freezing cream that is separated from fresh whole milk. The resulting product is a white creamy homogenous liquid that is free from any visible fat. This is probable not produced in large quantities in most countries as cream is a dairy product doesn’t hold well to freezing temperature. Another possible reason is that plain cream not that difficult to produce, store and use. In fact, there’s so many different kinds available with vary amounts of fat and some do not even need refrigeration–as in the case of canned cream.

Pasteurization is a process of subjecting foods to high temperature for a prescribed amount of time to kill off potentially harmful microorganisms and extend shelf life. Unpasteurized products, usually juices and dairy products, just stay fresh for a few hours if not kept in the refrigerator or freezer. Unfortunately, for raw foodists, the high temperature compromises health benefits such as heat sensitive phytonutrients and enzymes. An alternative treatment done by some companies and homemakers, particularly for raw milk is to ferment it with different cultures of beneficial microorganisms that increase the good bacteria and kill off the bad.

Sour cream, a high-fat product made from the fermentation of regular cream by some strains of Lactobacillus bacteria, can be frozen to extend its shelf life but this will affect the texture of the product after thawing–it will separate and not have the same creamy texture as the original. It still has the beneficial bacteria and health benefits but should be used in recipes wherein the texture is not important.

Ice cream and other frozen confections are a different story as the dairy ingredients, namely milk and cream with varying amounts of fat, are usually combined with other ingredients that act as emulsifiers and stabilizers which, as their names suggest, act to keep the resulting product smooth and creamy despite being frozen.

Cooking Recipe Videos

There are many ways to improve your cooking skills: reading great cookbooks, taking cooking classes, and good old fashioned practice in the kitchen are traditional methods. But these days, online cooking recipe videos are another excellent resource for aspiring chefs. Here's how to get the most from the cooking videos you encounter.

Find Them

There are lots of cooking recipe videos out there, but not all are created equal. Before you spend time watching any, consider the source. If you want to widen your cooking horizons, videos featuring famous chefs are a must. Such chefs might include television personalities (who may or may not have formal cooking backgrounds), cooking legends (like Julia Child, Graham Kerr, and Wolfgang Puck), or Michelin star-awarded chefs who've impressed the cooking world with their expertise and talent.

Live Demos

Once you find cooking recipe videos by esteemed chefs, you will probably discover you learn the most if you watch the videos more than once. In the first viewing, you'll likely only get the overall picture of what the chef is doing. If you watch the video once or twice more, you may notice and remember details you didn't before.

Bear in mind that you're not just learning how to make a particular recipe. You're also hoping to learn cooking techniques you can rely upon for other dishes. For example, you might see a Michelin chef chop up food in a faster, simpler way than you've ever seen before. Or you might see how a meal is flambéed. Or you might learn a new way to cook meat so it's crisp on the outside and tender and juice on the inside. There is nothing quite like a live demo, to make those techniques stick in your brain and come to life next time you are in the kitchen.

Share it

Although cooking recipe videos are helpful and educational, they're also fun. You can make them even more entertaining by sharing them with friends. What does your best friend think about trying to make a flambéed meal with you? Does she have a funny story to tell about attempting this on her own? Does your work mate drool over gourmet desserts as much as you do? Are you and your friends inspired by a certain video to try a pot luck gourmet party? Let cooking videos be part of you and your friends online entertainment, and you'll have fun while you improve your cooking skills.

Try it Out

After watching cooking recipe videos, it's a great idea to make the recipes in your own kitchen. The best cooking video websites also have printed recipes to go along with their videos. Print one out and give the recipe your best go.

Or, you could just try out one or two techniques you learned by watching a great chef. For example, maybe you've never tried blanching vegetables before. After watching a chef demonstrate this on a video, you can try the technique almost any time you're preparing veggies.

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