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Traditional Apple Frangipane Flan

Featured Recipes

Travel

Montreux, Switzerland

The âPearl of the Swiss Riviera,â Montreaux is located on the shore of Lake Geneva and is known for being a town of music, primarily because of the Montreux Jazz festival held for a stretch of 20 days every July and attracts some 250,000 visitors. Not only jazz musicians are invited to play but also popular musicians like Beck or David Bowie.   
Montreux is also home to the most extraordinary and most visited castle in Switzerland, the Château de Chillon, an island castle that dates back to the 12th century made popular by the Lord Byron in his poem âThe Prisoner of Chillonâ written in 1816. The castle is also one of the settings in Henry Jamesâs novella Daisy Miller written in 1878. Three major periods influenced the history of Chillon, including the Savoy Period, the Bernese Period, and the Vaudois Period.    
Montreux has long been an inspiration to artists, writers, and musicians throughout the centuries and until the present. Ernest Hemingway, Lord Byron, and the Shelleys were one-time residents. In 1971, while Frank Zappa was playing in the Montreux casino, the building caught fire and cast a pall of smoke over Lake Geneva, inspiring Deep Purpleâs classic rock single, âSmoke on the Water.â Freddie Mercury and Igor Stravinsky are also frequent visitors.       
Montreux has a breathtaking landscape composed of palm trees, Lake Geneva, the Alps, vineyards, and a glacier within a short distance. The favorable Mediterranean microclimate and easy access from the Geneva International Airport also makes it a favorite getaway at every time of the year.
Besides the famous Chillon castle, there is also an Alpine garden, an animal park called Marmottes Paradis, and Mongolian yurts for spending the night in. The Christmas market is also a huge event, held a month before Christmas, and features a wide array of culinary tastings, gifts, and chalets. For the best hiking experience, head off to Hauts de Montreux.
Montreux, Switzerland
Restaurant Helene Darroze, Paris, France

In the heart of Paris, Michelin Chef Helene Darroze brings her native cuisine of Landes and presents it in contemporary haute cuisine style in her acclaimed Restaurant Helene Darroze. After her apprenticeship with the legendary chef Alain Ducasse and working at their family estate, Darroze set up her own restaurant in Paris to share with guests her original cuisine with a menu that changes almost daily depending on what is in season and the dayâs produce. She uses only the freshest and best quality ingredients to produce some of the finest food in the county. 
One of the most celebrated chefs in France and a very hard-working woman, Chef Helene Darroze puts an elegant touch to traditional family recipes and country cooking creating a distinctive culinary style of her own. Her restaurant, decorated by her cousin, is stylishly decorated yet very homey and cozy. The ambiance exudes charm and grace, reflecting the character and style of the founder and owner. 
The restaurant consists of two floors and dining areas. The first floor is a more relaxed and casual ambiance where guests can sit back and munch on appetizers and tapas while sipping wine and other beverages.  The second floor is much more formal and romantic setting where guests can savor the gastronomic creations of Chef Darroze. Foie gras is a prominent feature of the menu and appears in a lot of the dishes. The female sommelier aids guests in selecting wine to pair with the sumptuous dishes.         
Some of the signature dishes in the restaurant include Suckling lamb from the Pyrenees and Roast wild duck stuffed with truffles and foie gras. For starters, guests can pick from a wide selection of sausages and cheeses from southwest France. A ham trolley goes around the restaurant featuring homemade cold cuts and regional specialties.
Restaurant Helene Darroze, Paris, France
L'Auberge d'Hermance, Geneva, Switzerland

In the heart of the pretty lakeside village of Hermance just a short distance from downtown Geneva, LâAuberge dâHermance is a cozy and chic place to dine and stay if you prefer enjoying fine cuisine in a peace and tranquil setting.  Decorated with elegant woodcarvings, gilt-framed paintings, twig chandeliers, and Hansel-and-Gretel wainscoting, the charming restaurant and inn exudes a fairytale charm. 
There are three eating-places to choose from at LâAuberge. You can choose to dine in the fire-lit dining area with a rustic ambiance, the shady terrace with a Mediterranean vibe, or the winter garden reminiscent of Provence. 
From Centre Ville Rive Gauche, LâAuberge is just a bus ride away, about 10 miles or 14 kilometers. TPG bus links Hermance with Rue de Pierro Fatio on the left bank of Geneva. One of the best times to stay here is during the winter months because it provides a superb place of comfort and leisure. During the summer months, there is beautiful scenery and floral displays that can be admired from the breezy terrace.  
Classical Swiss and French Mediterranean dishes with a touch of exotic ingredients are served at the innâs restaurant. It is considered to be one of finest restaurants in the region. Some of the specialties that should not be missed include the Watercress soup with smoked eel, ravioli and croutons, the Traditional Chicken of the Auberge in salt crust served with vegetables and rösti, the Perch fillets from Lake Geneva with vegetables and French fries, the Kabier beef burger with foie gras, truffles, brioche, potatoes, and homemade ketchup, the Breaded âBierschweinâ pork escalope with potatoes and salad, and the Pigeon Mieral with beetroots, celery and potatoes.    
Rooms at the inn are decorated in a comfortable and harmonious manner, combining traditional furnishings with unusual accents, hand-painted furniture, stonewalls, open beans, coconut matting, and contemporary paintings.
L'Auberge d'Hermance, Geneva,...
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

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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