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Caesar Salad With Parmesean Twill

Featured Recipes

Travel

Kasteel Wittem, The Netherland

Situated in the beautiful Geul Valley in southern Limbourg, the historical Wittem Kasteel was for centuries a redoubtable citadel. It is only a 20-minute drive from Maastricht, Aachen and Valkenburg and is surrounded with age-old trees, large parkland, brooks, rivulets, marshland, and castle moats making it a dreamy and romantic place to stay ideal for grand parties and weddings.    
The 12th century castle was transformed into a luxury hotel and a gourmet restaurant with a brasserie that serves lunch and the local specialty Limburgian pie. The award-winning gastronomic restaurant serves some of the finest cuisine in the area with emphasis on local and fresh ingredients. On the occasion of favorable weather, coffee or lunch can be had on the terrace. The property consists of 7.5 acres of parkland with picturesque creeks and ancient trees. Nearby are endless possibilities for leisure activities including golf, tennis, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, cycling acrosss forests and parks, and strolling along the promenades. Nearby local attractions include the De Valkenier Amusement Park, Valkenburg Castle, Valkenburg Holland Casino, Wilhemina Toren, and Theodor Dorrenplein.    
A member of the luxurious Relais et Châteaux since 1980, Kasteel Wittem is one of the most elegant places to stay and dine in the Netherlands. It was fully renovated and was completed in early 2011. Inside the medieval castle, there are 12 lodgings furnished with neo-gothic fixtures updated with contemporary styles using warm colors and intricate fabrics. The rooms are also equipped with modern amenities such as LCD televisions, high-speed wireless Internet access, TV Internet, and cable channels. The bathrooms are also modern with handheld showerheads, bathtub, vanity mirrors, hair dryers, and toiletries. Beds are fitted with Select Comfort mattresses, down comforters, and premium sheets and bedding. Most rooms have large windows that look out to the garden, river, or courtyard. The Tower Suite is one of the best rooms in the castle and offers breathtaking views of the landscape.
Kasteel Wittem, The Netherland
Manoir Interscaldes, Kasteel Wittem, Netherlands

The cuisine of the Netherlands has been closely linked to that of Northern France throughout history and many fine dining restaurants in the country serve French food. Many of these include meat, cheese, nuts, fruits and wine. Farming and fishing shaped traditional Dutch food and are largely based on dairy products, especially cheese, which are known and exported throughout the world. 
Some of the most famous cheeses from the Netherlands include Leyden, Edam, and Gouda. Dried sausages with a strong flavor also feature prominently in Dutch food and many villages in the country produce their own type of sausage. A traditional and typical meal in Netherlands served for breakfast or lunch includes different kinds of cheeses, a plate of cold cuts, and sweet toppings. A traditional Dutch dinner may include beans, potatoes, meat, and vegetables. A dish called stamppot, which is mashed potatoes mixed with other mashed vegetables is also often included. 
Two of the most revered restaurants in the Netherlands that serve fine French cuisine include the Manoir Interscaldes and Kasteel Wittem. In the Dutch culinary world, the Manoir Interscaldes of Martje and Kess Boudeling is such a monument in gastronomy. The sea everywhere surrounds their generous Zélande. Martje selects the best of seafood and combines it with the first-choice land products to serve only the best, imaginative and refined cuisine. 
Towards Maastricht, is another renowned gastronomic paradise, Kasteel Witten. The castle Witten dating back to the 12th century, is surrounded by a three-hectare park, full of secular trees and picturesque domes, all bordered by the rapid flow of the Geul. The young chef Ralph Berendsen went strengthened his learning under the most renowned German cooking chefs, all of it before making proposals to the castle of an inventive type of food, where the sea takes the first and foremost important place.
Manoir Interscaldes, Kasteel Wittem,...
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
Chez Georges Blanc, Vonnas, France

In a large property that includes luxury inns and fine dining establishments owned by the Blanc family, Chez Georges Blanc serves the best chicken in the world, the âPoulet Bresse,â at Chez Georges Blanc. Situated next to the Veyle River and close to Lyon, Chez Georges Blanc is one of the best places for enjoying traditional and modern French cuisine in Vonnas, France. Some of the signature dishes in the gourmet restaurant are the Fattened- pullet fricassee, Chartreuse asparagus with crab and caviar, and the Crepes Vonnassiennes with salmon and caviar.      
Vonnas is a small town near the village Bresse, which is world-famous for its lobster, truffles, and poultry, all of which are a main feature in the menu at Chez Georges Blanc. The passion for cooking runs in the blood of the Blanc family and Chef Georges Blanc belongs to the fourth generation of Blancs that settled in Vinnas. From a small family business beginning with a 19th century inn built before the revolution, the Blanc family expanded their enterprise and transformed their large property into a premiere gastronomic destination. 
The Blanc family owns about 20 buildings in the town of Vonnas and Chef Georges Blanc is well known in the region, becoming a town legend in his own right. Chez Blanc also houses some of the finest wines and extensive cellars in the world with about 135,000 bottles included in the inventory as well as approximately 3,000 appellations. 
The inn is elegantly renovated and offers a luxurious but cozy place for guests to stay. One of the finest gourmet restaurants in France, Chez Georges Blanc offers exciting and creative dishes inspired by the local cuisine. The restaurant is fitted with a fireplace, genuine Bressan woodwork, antique furniture, Louis XIII chairs, and floral tapestries. Within the property, there is also a luxury spa, swimming pool, bar and lounge, ponds, landscaped parks, tableware shops, and gourmet stores.
Chez Georges Blanc, Vonnas, France

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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