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Caesar Salad With Parmesean Twill

Featured Recipes


Menton, Côte d'Azur, France

Located on the French-Italian border, between Monaco and the Italian Riviera, Menton is âthe pearl of Franceâ and is blessed with 316 days of sunshine every year. Its microclimate makes it ideal for growing a wide array of vegetables and fruits, especially its world-famous lemons. This upscale resort town also has a fabulous restaurant scene of mostly home-style Italian, country French, and Mediterranean, as well as Greek and Moroccan cuisine. 
Menton is best known for its spectacular gardens many of which were created in the 19th century by the English nobility. In the mid-19th century, Menton was the top vacation resort for the British upper classes during wintertime. During this time, wealthy British residents built mansions and planted tropical gardens. In Menton, oranges and lemons bloomed even in winter.             
Compressed between two bays with the Alpes Mountains behind and the Mediterranean in front, you can go skiing in the mountains and take a swim in the beach on the same day. Founded by pirates in the medieval ages, the old town of Menton became the property of Monaco for six centuries until 1848 when Menton established a republic and united with Louis Napoleonâs France in 1860. One of the best places to have lunch at Menton is at the Quai Bonaparte, which was built by the emperor on 16 giant arches and is now filled with seaside restaurants.  
Compared to its upscale neighbors along the French Riviera, Menton is more serene and less crowded. Fresh air, bright sun, lemon groves, palm trees, and some of the finest gardens in the world make this a place for true relaxation and meditation.             
Some of the most beautiful gardens in Menton are Val Rahmeh, created by Sir Percy Radcliffe in 1905 and named after his wife. Serra de la Madone by landscape gardener Lawrence Johnstone created between the two world wars is also breathtaking. The Fontana Rose garden, which belonged to the Spanish writer Vicente Blasco Ibanez is an homage to his favorite writers including Shakespeare, Dickens, and Cervantes.
Menton, Côte d'Azur, France
Les Roches, Le Lavandou, France

Le Lavandou is a commune in southeastern France in Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Cote dâAzur region. The name is derived from the fragrant lavender flower, which is abundant in the area, and is sometimes thought to come from the Occitan term for lavoir (a public place for washing clothes) lavandor. A seaside resort town, Le Lavandou has fine sandy beaches, a dreamy seaside fishing port, and an active yacht marina. Every morning, a fish market is bustling with people and the freshest seafood can be purchased there.  
On a hilltop, overlooking the countryside, Chateau Les Roches sits in an ideal setting perfect for relaxation and romantic occasions. In the Maures range plunges its last counter-forts into the Mediterranean and unveils, in a roundabout and circuitous way of its creeks, a peace haven like a rocky and watery flower-vessel, the hotel des Roches and its exotic gardens. The daily fishing catch is directly served in the plates of guests, with its pilchard sardines, its domestic beds with pastis, a relish of spinach beet and a Provençal specialty of pine-seeded covered tart. At the distance from the Archipel of the Isles d'Or, an ecological paradise for migratory birds offers numerous small beaches.
One of the best places to stay and dine in the Cote dâOr, Les Roches is a beautiful country residence with stylish interiors and luxurious guest rooms. Every room in the chateau has a splendid view of the surrounding countryside that can be seen from the elegant French windows or balconies. Within the premises is a main building where the guest rooms and gastronomic restaurant are located, and a Gardenerâs Cottage, which is a self-catering accommodation that can be booked for weeklong stays.      
Les Roches restaurant offers two set menus including regional specialties and vegetarian options made from seasonal and local produce, five nights a week. Every Tuesdays and Wednesdays freshly baked bread and cold cut platters are served.
Les Roches, Le Lavandou, France
El Raco de Can Fabes, San Celoni, Spain

Situated in the valley of the Tordera river between the ranges of Montseny and Montnegre, the town of Sant Celoni sits on the left bank of the river and where one of the best restaurants in Spain can be found, El Raco de Can Fabes, a three star Michelin restaurant serving authentic Catalan cuisine inspired by Mediterranean and French nouvelle cooking.   
Created by Angel and Santi Santamarria the Raco De Can Fabes began as a family home gradually transformed into a top culinary and gastronomic destination. From a modest tavern opened in the 1980s, Chef Santamaria slowly developed and mastered his cuisine, becoming one of the most acclaimed in the country. He is renowned and respected for elevating Catalan cuisine into international gastronomic fame and is also the first Catalan chef to have received three Michelin stars. Sadly, Chef Santi Santamaria passed away on February 2011 at the age of 53 leaving the management of his legendary restaurant to the capable hands of his protégé Xavi Pellicer and wife Angel Santamaria.  
El Raco de Can Fabes is charmingly housed in a small citadel, in a building that is about three centuries old. The country chic interiors and elegant rustic setting provide an inviting and cozy ambiance. Aside from the acclaimed restaurant, the premises also include five quaintly decorated guestrooms for those who wish to stay for a night or two after a ravishing meal.
All the facets of the Catalan of todayâplural, dynamic, artistic and progressiveâare reflected in the inventive modern cuisine of El Raco de Can Fabes. A combination of the old and the new, the cuisine here is based on fresh and seasonal ingredients so the menu may vary depending on what is available in the local market. Some of the signature dishes in the famous Catalan restaurant include the Tender pigeon with duck tartare, Hot and cold mackerel with cream of caviar, Spicy foie gras with Sauternes and puree of sweet red and green peppers, and Festival of Chocolate.
El Raco de Can Fabes, San Celoni, Spain

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.

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.