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Caesar Salad With Parmesean Twill

Featured Recipes

Travel

Villa San Michele, Fiesole, Italy

On the hill of Fiesole, overhanging the valley of Arno and the town of Provence stands the Villa San Michelle, an ancient convent of tertiary Franciscans. Built in the 15th century, this hotel shelters architectural treasures and frescos. Discover, with the chef, the delights of the Tuscan cuisine with signature dishes like Fritters of courgette-flowers with Pecorino and Beef fillet of Chiana Brunello, accompanied with a glass of wine from the nearby Chianti vineyards. A whole year won't be enough to find out about Florence and when it is a late hour of the night, sit down with the young Florentine facing the Ponto Vecchio to await the morning break.
The former monastery is situated in the midst of trees and gardens and an ambiance that cannot be beat. From the suites and terraces, you can admire breathtaking views of Florence, the City of Lilies, and the Arno valley. The façade of the building dates back to the 15th century and historians attribute its design to none other than Michelangelo. The Italian National Trust designated the property as a monument, which was converted into a hotel in the 1950. In 1982, the legendary luxury group Orient-Express Hotels bought the Villa San Michele and totally restored the buildings, turning it into a national treasure with the help of the Florence Fine Arts Authority.
Arched ceilings, antique furnishings, and floral arrangements in large ceramic vases adorn the interiors of the hotel. There are 21 guestrooms and 25 suites in the hotel with two floors and two wings. Service at the Villa San Michele is almost impeccable.       
The hotel also offers upscale dining and regional haute cuisine at the restaurant Loggia. The renowned restaurant features a terrace with views of the Arno valley. Loggia is a culinary destination in its own right and serves some of the finest Tuscan cuisine in the area, paired with local wines.
Villa San Michele, Fiesole, Italy
Hôtel de Snippe, Bruges, Belgium

Originally a manor house built in the 18th century, Hotel de Snippe in Bruges is located in the center of the city near notable museums and the famous canals. Bruges is also known as the Venice of Northern Europe and Hotel de Snippe was once the residence of the mayor. Elegant décor from the 18th century was beautifully restored by husband and wife team Luc and Francine Huysentruyt who now owns and operates the place. 
Hotel de Snippe serves a refined cuisine in the spectacular winter garden. It is also possible to dine on the terrace during summer. Chef Luc Husentruytâs subtle cuisine is rooted in the Flemish tradition but is also innovative and creative, infusing modern techniques and contemporary methods in his craft. Luc Huysentruyt is the President of Disciples dâEscoffier he is well known in the culinary scene in Belgium and prepares some of the finest haute cuisine in the area. Some of his signature dishes include the Browned asparagus with truffles, Anguilles au vert, and Lobsters with white Bruges beer.    
An idyllic place to stay and dine far from the city lights and the bustling towns, Hotel de Snippe is an unforgettable experience for those looking for tranquility and peaceful meditation. While it is close to nature, Hotel de Snippe is not to far from historic sites, government buildings, museums, major shopping malls, major tourist attractions in Brugge, post office, tourism visitor center, conference center, and the bus terminal. Around the hotel de Snippe, there is also a gymnasium and a golf course in driving range.         
The stylish rooms are designed for comfort and luxury, combining classic pieces and up-to-date amenities. Breakfast and lunch is offered in the room and there is also free newspaper delivery in the morning.  Satellite TV, cable TV, local TV stations, minibar, modem dataport, electronic safe, coffee and tea facilities, radio, video player, and electronic keycard are provided.
Hôtel de Snippe, Bruges, Belgium
Vienna, Austria

The capital of Austria and also the largest city in the country, Vienna is one of the greatest places in the world and one of the most visited places in Europe. It has a rich cultural tradition that is well preserved and is also technologically advanced and up-to-date. For centuries, Vienna was the seat of the Habsburg rulers and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Many of the structures and architectures from the imperial past remain and maintained. Many artistic geniuses were nourished in Vienna including Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Strauss, and Gustav Klimt.    
There are endless things to explore in Vienna. Visit the splendid baroque Schönbrunn and Belvedere Palaces, or stroll along the magnificent Ring Boulevard and take a look at the heart of the former vast Habsburg empire, the Imperial Palace. Get a sense of the luster and glory of the old empire by visiting St. Stephen's Cathedral, the Spanish Riding School, the Giant Ferris Wheel at the Prater, as well as the sarcophagi in the Imperial Vault.
When it comes to eating and drinking, Vienna is quite diverse in its culinary offerings from street food and cozy cafes to fine dining and haute cuisine. The cosmopolitan city is made up of a mix of nationalities so you will find not only traditional Austrian cuisine, but also a lot of superb Turkish, Greek, Asian, Middle Eastern, French and Italian fare.   
Classic Viennoise cuisine is typically heart and fat is often used for frying such as in the all-time local favorite, Viennese Schnitzel. Boiling is also a common method for cooking, typically for beef. Pork, dumplings, and cabbage are a common meal in Vienna, and sausages in all shapes and sizes are always a popular snack. Younger generations of chefs are more experimental and the New Vienna Cuisine (Neu Wiener Küche) is defined by exciting and innovative creations like Styrian beef or Alpine-garden stinging nettle.
Vienna, Austria
Auberge des Templiers, Les Bezards, France

At the crossroads of Sologne, Gâtinais and Val de Loire, in an ancient posting house, with a thatched roof and half timberings all covered with virgin vines, Françoise Dépée is ready to open doors wide, to welcome us inside the hostel of the Templiers. 
The history of Auberge des Templiers can be traced back to 1160 when Major General of the Templars Everard des Barres built a guars post on the site, which was later destroyed Philippe le Bel and much later, in 1946, renewed by the Depee family. One of the eight establishments in the original group of Relais & Châteaux (originally âRelais de Campagneâ), Auberge des Templiers has been around for more than 65 years and continues to be one of the most elegant and beautiful places to stay in the region. Defined by style, luxury and refinement, Auberge des Templiers exemplify the art of fine living in the French countryside.     
Haute cuisine is served at the hotelâs fine dining restaurant, Les Bezards, including classic country dishes like ravioli of mild mushrooms and velouté with truffle jus. A great way to start is with a mille-feuilles of liver with stewed apples, or an onion and parsley sauce with virgin oil followed by a Gâtinais chicken, all terra-cotta crusted, and finish with a crispy-crunchy pineapple covered with glazed coconut. The hotel also houses an impressive collection of local wines. The dining room is tastefully decorated with soft carpets, Aubusson tapestries, burnished leather, plush fabrics, elegant oak beams, and a romantic fireplace.  
Very near the Loire, with its pinky sand and its thousand castles, you will find the quite renowned museum of the crockery of Gien, as well as a museum of hunting and shooting in this region where, as soon as Autumn peeps in, the hunters close up and crowd hurriedly.
Auberge des Templiers, Les Bezards,...

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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