Taste & Travel Blog

In my Taste & Travel Blog, I share with you my passion for food & travel, including recipes and food-oriented trips to (mostly) France, the gastronomic capital of the world.  The key to good food starts with good ingredients.  The highest quality, and best-tasting, ingredients are those that are locally grown and produced.

market_foundationFarm_lgAn abundant array of vegetables produced from my husband’s organic farm in Northwest Arkansas, Foundation Farm

 

Pure Vermont Maple Syrup

Posted by on Oct 29, 2013 in Travel with Karen | 0 comments

Pure Vermont Maple Syrup

Did you know it takes approximately 40 gallons of maple sap to make one gallon of syrup?  Each sugar maple tree produces an average one-quart of syrup per year.   “Sugar season”, as it’s referred to by Vermonters, is only 6-8 weeks, February – April. I’m a purist, and have eschewed fake syrups, such as Aunt […]

How to prepare leeks

Posted by on Oct 3, 2013 in Recipes by Karen Gros | 0 comments

How to prepare leeks

Leeks can be considered as all-purpose as onions, though few people use them as such.  I use them often when they’re in season, which is right about now (mid- to late-Fall) in Arkansas.   They are delicious sautéed, along with other in-season vegetables, but my two favorite ways to eat leeks are the French recipes […]

Homemade chicken stock

Posted by on Oct 3, 2013 in Recipes by Karen Gros | 0 comments

Homemade chicken stock

As everyone knows, chicken soup feeds the soul; it also highly nourishes the body, and is the foundation for a wide array of soups and sauces. Homemade chicken stock is easy to make, it only needs to become a habit.  I make a large stock pot nearly every week, using real free-range chicken (the kind […]

Guérande sea salt

Posted by on Sep 20, 2013 in Cooking with Karen | 0 comments

Guérande sea salt

Fruit of the ocean, sun, and wind, the salt from the Brittany Atlantic coast of Guérande is hand-harvested by “paludiers,” or salt workers, according to a traditional method dating back 1,000 years.  The Guérande salt marshes are located
on the Atlantic Coast in the northwest Loire-Atlantique Department, between the Loire and the Vilaine rivers. Two types […]

Ratatouille Niçoise

Posted by on Sep 9, 2013 in Recipes by Karen Gros | 0 comments

Ratatouille Niçoise

Every French cook has their own version of this classic Provençal stewed vegetable dish (which originates from the area of Nice, hence the Niçoise in the title).  Purists will tell you that each vegetable must be sautéed separately before stewing as a whole.  While it does save a little time to sauté everything together at once, my husband’s step mother, […]

Roasted red pepper & tomato bisque

Posted by on Aug 28, 2013 in Recipes by Karen Gros | 0 comments

Roasted red pepper & tomato bisque

The perfect late-summer, early-fall soup, this “creamy” bisque is achieved by thoroughly blending the soup on high speed.  The method of rolling the roasted peppers in newspaper comes from my sister-in-law, Bernadette, in Nice who learned the technique from her mother-in-law years ago.  For extra smokiness, consider adding a teaspoon of smoked paprika. Serves 6 2 […]

Stuffed vegetables Provençal

Posted by on Aug 19, 2013 in Recipes by Karen Gros | 0 comments

Stuffed vegetables Provençal

Wondering what to cook this time of year?  Head to your local farmers market and select an array of beautiful vegetables.  Make a stuffing of sautéed vegetables, meat, and rice (or bread crumbs), and voilà!, you have a complete meal that pleases adults and kids alike.  Similar in concept to meatloaf, my version of this Provençal […]

Basic brown rice

Posted by on Aug 19, 2013 in Recipes by Karen Gros | 0 comments

Basic brown rice

Looking for a wholesome alternative to bread crumbs?  When combined with vegetables and/or meat, rice works wonderfully as a stuffing.  Enjoy this universal recipe in all your recipes calling for white or brown rice.  The cooking method presented here maximizes taste and nutritional benefits.   Recipe adapted from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. Soaking & […]

Gourmet leisure cruise in the bay of Cancale

Posted by on Aug 2, 2013 in Normandy & Brittany, Travel with Karen | 0 comments

Gourmet leisure cruise in the bay of Cancale

What better way to experience Brittany than from the sea? We join Captain Jérôme for a gourmet leisure cruise aboard his traditional fishing boat to experience Brittany as authentically as possible ~ from the sea ~ with an epicurean picnic reflecting authentic Breton fare paired with chilled Muscadet. For those who wish to participate, the captain […]

AOP Camembert cheese in Normandy

Posted by on Aug 2, 2013 in Normandy & Brittany, Travel with Karen | 0 comments

AOP Camembert cheese in Normandy

As with most food items today, there is a traditional or artisanal product, as well as industrial products (in the case of Camembert, the industrial creamery giant Président, as well as others, produce pasteurized, machine-made Camembert). During my Normandy & Brittany tour, we savored a tour & tasting at Réo (orginally known Réaux), one of […]