Caesar Salad With Parmesean Twill

Featured Recipes

Travel

Château St Gerlach - Camille Oostwegel

A beautiful country estate in the heart of Ingedael wild life reserve in Maastricht in the Netherlands, Château St Gerlach is an attractive and relaxing place to stay and dine, offering views of the Geul valley and breathtaking surroundings of lush baroque gardens and parks, farmhouse herb garden, rose garden, and fruit trees. Also in the premises are salon rooms, function rooms, a spa and wellness center, and gourmet restaurant serving exceptional French cuisine.   
An ideal location for total relaxation as well as festive occasions, Château St Gerlach offers many possibilities for rest and leisure. There are 97 elegant hotel rooms in the estate including suites and apartments that can accommodate families or large groups of people. Each room at the St Gerlach is uniquely and stylishly decorated in harmony with the original painted walls and ceilings. There are also various meeting and banqueting rooms for business activities and receptions. Recent notable guest that stayed at the chateau include American President G.W. Bush.   
Fine food is served at the a la carte Restaurant Château St. Gerlach and Bistrot de Liège. The dining room is housed in the former reception rooms that the former aristocratic family used as living quarters. The comprehensive menu serves top quality French cuisine as well as exceptional wines to complement the dishes. When the weather is favorable, guests can dine outside the patio for wonderful views of nature. For business or festive gatherings, there are six stylishly furnished rooms that can accommodate from five up to 300 guests.     
Breakfast is served at the garden pavilion where guests can bask in the scent of the herb garden and admire the pastoral landscape where cattleâs and horses graze peacefully. The hotel also has an indoor Roman swimming pool, sauna and Turkish baths that guests can use at no extra cost.
Château St Gerlach - Camille Oostwegel
Le Mont Ventoux, France

Known as the âGiant of Provenceâ or the âBeast of Provence,â or the âThe Bald Mountain,â Le Mont Ventoux is most famous for being one of the most grueling climbs in the Tour de France bicycle race. Located in the Provence region of southern France, 20 kilometres northeast of Carpentras, Vaucluse and bordering the Drome department on the north side, Mont Ventoux is the largest mountain in the region and is one the most important tourist spots in Provence.
There is little infrastructure on top of the mountain but there are a lot of villages around with hotels and restaurants. Mount Ventoux is only the highest part of the mountain range, which runs from the village of Montbrun-les-Bains in the east and to Malaucène in the west. The range rises up again further to the west at the Dentelles de Montmirail.  
From the top of the mountain, you can see most of the Alps including Mont Blanc, Chaine de Belledonne, Vercors, the Queyras, the Ecrins, and the Mercantour especially if the air is clear and the weather permits. If you plan to bike up to the mountain, be sure to take some food with you and plenty of water as there are no places to stop by for snacks. It is also a good idea to bring a wind jacket and a sweater even in the summer, as well as a mobile phone. Other activities in the area besides cycling are hiking, rock climbing, and visiting historical sites.       
In the surrounding small villages, there are a lot of B&Bs, country hotels, self-catering vacation rentals, and markets that carry local products like strawberries, cherries, vegetables, lamb, wine, aromatic herbs and other fresh ingredients. While Le Mont Ventoux is quite busy during the summertime, it is never overcrowded and has a tranquil air and peaceful charm.
Le Mont Ventoux, France
Le Palais de la Méditerranée, France

A five-star hotel in the centre of Rue de France and Jardin Albert I, Le Palais de la Mediterranee is only a short walk from the vibrant nightlife of Nice and is near the Northern Forum and Opera de Nice. The Nice-Cote dâAzur Airport is just 6km away and Nice Train station is only a 5-minute walk away. This luxury Art Deco-style hotel has an on-site casino, gourmet restaurant, Le 3e that serves Mediterranean, Southern and regional cuisine, a trendy lounge bar, two swimming pools, a sauna, fitness centre, and terrace with sweeping views of the Baie des Anges.     
The nine-story building is right across the beach and sits in the midst of the Verdure and Nice theatres, Sours Seleya flower market, Place Masséna, Niece Etoile Shopping Center, Albert 1st Gardens. Nearby attractions are the Boutique de L'homme Moderne, Musee des Beaux-Arts Jules Cheret, and the Nice Cathedral.
Le Palais de la Méditerranée
La Bastide de Capelongue, France

In the heart of the Luberon triangle is la Bastide de Capelongue, which serves some of the finest gourmet cuisines of the region in an elegant Provencal setting. Chef Ãdouard Loubet shows a high respect for the land and the local terroir with his signature dishes that may vary according to the season. The bastide has the warmth and comfort of a real family home transformed into an elegant place to stay and dine. From the beautiful dining room bathed in light, you can see the lavender fields. Most of dishes are made with local Luberon produce especially herbs and even flowers.   
The Gault Millau Guide awarded Chef Edouard Loubet as 2011 Chef of the Year. Specialties in La Bastide de Capelongue include Loup saisi à la fleur de sel, légère infusion à la sauge et chips d'orange, Truffe de saison en croûte, coulis de maïs, pop-corn et feuille de pimprenelle, and Soufflé au cèdre des crêtes du Luberon, crème glacée aux clous de girofle. Local Côtes du Luberon wine are paired with the exquisite dishes for a complete gastronomic experience.
Overlooking the picturesque village of Bonnieux and the rest of the Luberon, La Bastide is a place of serene tranquility and luxurious meditation. Fresh fruit in the bedrooms, sumptuous beddings and cushions, and fresh herbs and vegetables from the bastideâs garden make a worthwhile and unforgettable stay. The rural building is decorated with soft colors, light décor, and whitened old furniture. Outbuildings, formerly Ferme, were transformed into contemporary apartments of concrete and brute stone accented with plump furniture and bright colors and lovely terraces. The bastide is surrounded with long stretches of gardens and in the property is a swimming pool. 
The 17 rooms in the bastide itself are designed in the classical Provencal style with touches of contemporaru aesthetics. The apartments in the Ferme are more modern but also cozy and comfortable.
La Bastide de Capelongue, 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.

Read more...