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Traditional Apple Frangipane Flan

Featured Recipes


Le Château de Goulaine, Le Marquis de Goulaine,France

A former castle fortified in the 12th century and transformed by the Goulaine family into a chateau, Le Château de Goulaine is also the home of the estate-bottled wine Le Marquis de Goulaine. Located near Nantes, France in the Loire Valley, the chateau has been home of the marquis de Goulaine and family for over a thousand years. The high pitched slate roofs of the chateau has similarities with the central Loire estates of Château de Chambord and Château de Blois, but Château de Goulaine was built earlier and thus has a more conservative style of architecture.  
It was during the 12th century that the first Goulain, Jean de Goulaine, leader of the city of Nantes at that time, fortified the castle to defend against the attacks of the Normans. The Goulaine were recorded in the Seventh Crusade in 1248 and were of old nobility. The Goulaine fought for the Catholic League during the Wars of Religion and took the chateaux or Trogoff (Plouescat) and of Kérouzéré (Sibiril) in 1590. The ownership of the estate remained in the hands of the Goulaine family until 1788 and then was sold to a Dutch banker, which saved the chateau from destruction during the French Revolution. In 1858, a member of the Goulaine family reacquired the chateau and until today it remains in their possession.       
Perhaps the oldest known wine business in existence, the estate of Château de Goulaine has been producing wine for centuries initially for family consumption and later for commercial purposes. Le Château de Goulaine is the third oldest commercial enterprise in the world and the oldest European family owned business. The chateau is also one of the last Châteaux de la Loire that produces wine to this day. The estate produces mostly Muscadet as well as Sancerre, Vouvray, and the first commercial Chardonnay in the western Loire Valley. Château de Goulaine also grows some Folle blanche.
Le Château de Goulaine, Le Marquis de...
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
Les Frères Pourcel, Le Jardin des Sens

A design hotel and gourmet restaurant in Montpellier, Le Jardin des Sens is the property of twin brothers Jacques and Laurent Pourcel who are both acclaimed chefs. They found the abandoned house in the center of Montpellier when they were only 24 years old and transformed it into a gastronomic paradise and a temple of the senses filled with flowers and a bountiful garden. 
Their cuisine is rooted in the flavors of the Languedoc and the Mediterranean but is also influenced by the flavors of Italy, Greece, Morocco, and other countries near the border of the Mediterranean. Simple and subtle yet creative and surprising, the brothers use the basic Mediterranean ingredients of olive oil, tomatoes, and herbs to create a wide array of dishes that are mostly light, always fresh, and delicious. The cuisine is based on top quality produce and the local terroir.    
The décor of the hotel is contemporary with modern art and sculptures expressing true art de vivre that is the philosophy of good living in the French Mediterranean. Interior designer Bruno Borrione created an elegant yet very relaxed and welcoming place that delight all of the senses.   
Le Jardin des Sens is only a short ten-minute walk for the town centre. It has a private bar and gourmet restaurant in a dining room with glass walls where guests can look out to the garden. On the occasion of favorable weather, guests can dine outside on the terrace for a spectacular ambiance. All the guest rooms in the hotel are air-conditioned and equipped with free wireless Internet access, mini-bars, and television. Possible activities while staying in Le Jardin des Sens include swimming, mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking, sailing, fishing, diving, water-skiing, polo, and golf. The Mediterranean coast is only a 15-minute drive away and Nimes is a 35-minute drive.
Les Frères Pourcel, Le Jardin des Sens
Verdon - France

The Grand Canyon of Europe, Gorges du Verdon is a spectacular and breathtaking canyon that is found in central Provence, forming the border between the Var and the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. It is a lot smaller than the Arizonaâs Grand Canyon but is wonderfully deep going down up to 700 m and between 100 and 15000 meters across, carved by the Verdon River. 
From Castellane to the Rougons village, the Verdon River flows while the road follows along the banks. At the Point Sublime in Rougons, the turquoise river plunges into the rock walls and comes out the western end then flowing into Lac de Ste Croix. It is estimated that the river carved the gorges for about two million years. In 1997, the Natural Regional Park of Verdon was created to protect the environment or Verdon.          
The canyon is a popular destination especially for those who enjoy nature adventures. Some drive around to the top, which is a 130 km drive, to take in the dramatic views, while others opt to hike, raft, or kayak on the river itself at the bottom of the cliffs. For those who prefer to walk and are not afraid of heights, the path to take is the Sentier Martel, which is a 15km walk through the canyon, between the Point Sublime and the Chalet de la Maline. Water, food, and walking boots are essential for making the walk.    
There are many places for kayaking and rafting and will also depend on the time of the year. The upper gorge between Allos and Saint Andre is popular in the late spring and early summer for those experienced in canoeing. For beginners or anylevels, the pre-gorges below Castellane is a good choice except for wintertime. Further downstream the Canyon du Verdon is a more challenging feat. There are also gorgeous lakes with stunning scenery along the length of Verdon and is great for swimming and other leisure activities.
Verdon, 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.