European vs American School Lunches

European vs American School Lunches

(Photo source) Like many parents, what schools serve for lunch became important to me when my children started attending schools that provided daily meals. Growing up, I attended a private school where "hot lunch" was pizza served once a week. Today, most schools provide a multiple hot and Continue reading

French Champagne Uncorked

French Champagne Uncorked

New Year's Eve - a time to reflect on the previous year and welcome a brand new one. And what better way to toast to new and shiny year than with a bit of something sparkly? For French enthusiasts, such as yours truly, New Year's is the perfect time to indulge in a classic French treat - Continue reading

Gift Ideas for Coffee Lovers

Gift Ideas for Coffee Lovers

(photo source) For those who know me, you know that I love espresso drinks. Not regular coffee drinks but the fancy kinds that more resemble a dessert than a beverage. But while in France, I had challenges finding espresso drinks similar to what I had in the US - unless I visited Starbucks. So, Continue reading

A Taste of Champagne in France

A Taste of Champagne in France

By now you should know that I adore Champagne and sparkling wine. So it should be no surprise that after 3 nights in Paris, we made our way North to the Champagne region to taste a bit of the bubbly. Our first stop was in Epernay at Champagne Mercier where we were taken on a short train tour of Continue reading

Chicago Gourmet 2014 Celebrity Chefs

Chicago Gourmet 2014 Celebrity Chefs

Chicago Gourmet 2014 - a celebration of gourmet food and fine - featured many local celebrity Chefs, including Rick Bayless, Stephanie Izard, and Jimmy Banos. What I especially liked about this year's event, was that the celebrity Chefs were front and center at the event, giving food Continue reading

New Impressions of Chicago Gourmet

New Impressions of Chicago Gourmet

This year marked the 7th anniversary of Chicago's premier culinary event, Chicago Gourmet. Created by the Illinois Restaurant Association and presented by Bon Appétit magazine, Chicago Gourmet continues to impress year after year. Held September 26-28 in Millennium Park, Chicago Gourmet 2014 was Continue reading

Living Renoir

Living Renoir

It is now less than 8 weeks until my trip to France! When I’m not scouring travel blogs and guide books for insiders’ tips to Paris and Provence, I’m getting my France fix in advance by attending French or European style events around the city. Last week, I was thrilled to have attended my second Continue reading

Mini and Mighty Scones

Mini and Mighty Scones

A few weeks ago, I received the August edition of Cooking Light magazine. After flipping through the pages, I came across a short article on a small baking company called Tiny Buffalo out of Atlana. Normally, I would not think twice about skipping this article and moving on to the next. However, the Continue reading

Fresh French Bread

Fresh French Bread

(photo source) It may be 2am in Paris, but the French can still get their fresh bread fix. A recent invention by a French baker offers fresh, hot baguettes by way of a unique vending machine. Now it may seem sacriledge for the French to buy bread from anything other than a bakery. However, many Continue reading

Mother’s Day Macarons

Mother’s Day Macarons

While in downtown Chicago this weekend celebrating Mother's Day, I happened upon one of my favorite French pastry shops outside of France - Vanille Patisserie. (By the way, this charming little shop is a MUST if you enjoy a little taste of French heaven in the Windy City.) While I debated the Continue reading

Big Bites in the ‘Burbs

Big Bites in the ‘Burbs

Whenever I travel, I look for smaller, locally owned and sometimes out-of-the-ordinary places to dine, avoiding chain restaurants whenever possible. This had led me to some amazing meals here in the US, Canada, Europe, and beyond. At home in Chicago, I try to follow this more European style of Continue reading

Valentine’s Day With a French Twist

Valentine’s Day With a French Twist

(photo source) Valentine's Day is right around the corner. And whether you're celebrating with your true love, your family, or friends - why not put a French twist on the special day by serving a Paris-inspired drink? Take a look at these simply sweet and tasty French recipes: French Continue reading