Caesar Salad With Parmesean Twill

Featured Recipes


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
Portofino, Italy

A former fishing village and a favorite vacation spot of the rich, famous and chic, Portofino is one of the most beautiful and photogenic places on earth. Located in the Italian Mediterranean, this resort town has some of the finest cuisines and most luxurious accommodations in the area. The secluded atmosphere creates a romantic and peaceful setting for those who desire natural scenery for meditation and total relaxation.  Since the late 19th century, Portofino remains to be one of the most exclusive locations and glamorous places on the Ligurian coast.     
When in Portofino, the best thing to do is to relax, wine, dine and walk around the small city. Take in the immaculate views of the coast while sipping wine less than a meter from the sea. There are a couple of small shops in the harbor area where you can buy regional foods and reasonably priced wines. Several posh boutiques carry the latest designer clothes and accessories from some of the luminaries of Italian high fashion like Gucci, Armani, Pucci, Zegna, and Ferragamo. There are also boutiques selling unique items like Murano glass jewelry. Tourist ships and kiosks sell the usual souvenir items like t-shirts, magnets, and beads.   
Restaurants abound in the Portofino harbor serving mostly regional specialties and Mediterranean cuisine, from Italian comfort food to haute cuisine and fine dining. Family-run pizzerias offer great food at affordable prices and warm and friendly service.  When dining in the Italian Riviera, take note that lunchtime is between two and four PM and dinner wonât begin until 8 PM. You can have breakfast late in the morning or close to brunch. Weekends at Portofino can get very busy since it is a popular weekend destination for yacht and line cruisers and travelers. Make reservations if you wish to dine at a particular restaurant.
Portofino, Italy
Le Mas de Peint, Arles

A seventeenth century farmhouse transformed into a charming hotel and gourmet restaurant, Le Mas de Peint in Arles at the heart of Camargue is a rustic getaway with all the amenities of a luxury establishment. The homestead of Jacques and Lucille Bon, Le Mas de Peint is a labor of love and tradition. The property is covered in ivy and surrounded with crops of Camargue rice that Jacqueâs family has been growing for generations. In the 500-hectare estate, Jacques also raises semi-wild long-horned bulls for a local bullfighting tradition called the âCourse à la Cocarde.â He is a well-known âManadierâ in Carmague. 
Lucille Bon is a designer and architect in contrast, balancing the rough and wild nature of the place. The eight rooms and three suites in Le Mas are elegantly decorated with contemporary furnishings, exposed pine beams, antique fixtures, delicate fabrics, chic bathrooms, thick and fluffy towels, and soft colors of pinks and bright colors of greens. The rooms at Le Mas de Peint have been featured in various magazines including Elle, Cote Sud, Marie Claire, Homes & Gardens, Joyce, and Gault Millau.     
The cuisine is based on local and fresh ingredients especially local beef, Mediterranean seafood, and the famous Camargue red rice. The dining are consists of large round tables arranged right in the middle of the kitchen so that guests can see the chef and crew cook the dishes. The gastronomic restaurant is well known in the area and reservations are a must especially if you are not staying here.
The large property is best explored by horseback or at the wheel of a 4x4. It is also an extraordinary place for meetings and big events like weddings or birthday celebrations. Le Mas de Peint is an unforgettable place for romantic occasions and ideal for quiet meditation and utmost relaxation.
Le Mas de Peint, Arles
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.