Mar 31, 2017

A Boulangerie in France

FRANCE, a country where eating is appreciated at every meal and food is always at its finest. When strolling down a winding cobblestone street in France chances are you'll find a boulangerie somewhere. The scent of just made brioche and croissants is enough to make one step inside a local boulangerie and indulge in baked treats. C'est Magnifique! A course in baking in France? Yes it's possible. Perhaps one day you can have a French "Boulangerie" of your own and please the palates of connoisseurs
CROISSANTS on SUNDAY (from a French chef) 


1 cup milk, 2 teaspoons dry yeast, 3 cups flour (plus 3 tablespoons), 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, 12 tablespoons of (unsalted butter) 

Glaze: one egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon milk

Friday Evening (Day 1)

Heat one cup of milk to lukewarm. Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup of the lukewarm milk. Stir in 2 tablespoons of flour and whisk until there are no lumps left. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until doubled in volume. (This takes about 30 minutes)

Mix the sugar and salt into the remaining flour. Heat the remaining milk. Transfer the raised dough that set for 30 minutes and add milk. Use an electric mixer to mix in the milk along with sugar, salt, and remaining flour. Mix at high speed and than lower the speed until dough is sticky and soft.

Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap overnight.

Saturday Morning (Day 2)

Bring butter to room temperature and work with the heel of your hand to incorporate the remaining  3 tablespoons of flour. Shape into a square.

Sprinkle a work surface with flour and shape the cold dough into rectangle form and spread the butter square on the upper top of the rectangle form. Fold the dough like a letter in thirds.Turn the dough counterclockwise and roll out the dough again into a 6 x 15 inch rectangle. Transfer the dough into a baking pan, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for six hours.

Saturday Afternoon (Day 2)

Roll out the dough two more times, wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Sunday Morning (Day 3)

About 2 hours before baking time, remove the dough from refrigerator and sprinkle flour over your work surface. Roll the dough into a 16 inch circle. Cut the dough into quarters and than cut the quarters into 3 triangles.

Roll the base of each triangle toward the remaining corner. Transfer the croissants to a baking sheet and brush with 2 tablespoons of milk. Let stand at room temperature for 45 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Brush the croissants with a glaze made of one egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of milk.

Bake croissants 20 minutes. Croissants are ready when they're lightly browned.

It's Sunday and now you can relax and eat some of your croissants with a cafe au lait.

Bon Appetite!

French Cooking Classes:

Mar 23, 2017

Bali, a winning tourist destination

BALI, Indonesia has been named the #1 tourist destination by TripAdvisor for 2017. When you're seeking inner peace, relaxation, and the ultimate yoga retreat BALI is the answer. 

Blooming Lotus 
Kura Kura Yoga Retreat
Yoga Barn

Mar 17, 2017

Emerald Green Ireland (the land of cheese, pubs, and sheep)

I love IRELAND. I fell in love with the Emerald Green Island the moment I exited Shannon Airport. How fortunate I was to meet an Irish couple on the Air Lingus flight from New York City. They were heading to Killarney just like I was and they gave me a ride in their vehicle. We drove through the lush, verdant countryside and past picture perfect towns and villages each with a pub of course. I never saw so many sheep and I lost count of them halfway to Killarney. Once in Killarney the three of us enjoyed a meal with a pint of Guinness at a cozy pub. What a lovely start to my Ireland adventure.

IRELAND, is an island on the Atlantic Ocean with so much to offer. It's the land of cheese, shamrocks and leprechauns, saints and writers, lakes and meadows, pub crawlers and musicians,  farmers and fisherman, cities and countryside, narrow roads with sheep, cows and horses grazing grass, butter and soda bread, biscuits with a cups of tea, and much more. Ireland is a friendly place and while you're visiting you might just find a pot of gold and decide to stay.

The #1 Tourist Attraction


Pub is a short name for public house
The pub is a relaxing place to consume alcohol and mingle with friends
A pub is where you can become friends with a complete stranger
Irish pubs have some incredibly talented bands
Musicians who play instruments and sing display their talents in a pub
Musical entertainment is the highlight of hanging out in a pub
Pubs come in different colors, shapes, and sizes
Some of the best writers have been inspired inside Irish pubs
A pub is a wonderful place to feel at home
The best stouts and whiskeys in the world are made in Ireland 
You'll find plenty of stouts and whiskeys in an Irish pub
There are about 8,000 pubs in Ireland

It just goes to show that life inside an Irish pub is filled with good times and great opportunities.When in Ireland make it a priority to spend some time at a pub. Perhaps you'll never want to leave Ireland.

There are so many things to see and do in Ireland and the best way to get around is to hire/rent a vehicle and explore Ireland inch by inch.Since Killarney was my the first place I spent time at during my very first visit to Ireland I hold a special place for Killarney in my heart. Killarney is filled with attractions and from Killarney you can tour the Dingle Peninsula and the Ring of Kerry.

KILLARNEY is a must stop on your Ireland adventure. Killarney National Park is a treasure! Visit Killarney, Ireland

Mar 2, 2017

Heading to Iceland?


Iceland is "hot" not in temperature but in popularity. Iceland has recently become the go to destination for travelers wanting to experience the safest country in the world. Iceland is indeed a hot destination spot for 2017 and beyond. There are lots of unique things about Iceland and one of them is that the majority of Icelanders don't have a family name or surname. In Iceland children take on their father's name. Heading to Iceland soon? ICELANDAIR Airlines has recently started offering a free stopover in Iceland for up to seven days. When flying across the Atlantic Ocean you can spend a week in Iceland checking out the sights before flying to other countries like Denmark, Norway, Sweden, or France. 
            The Blue Lagoon is one of the 25 wonders of the world.

Covered by ice glaciers that are up to 1,000m thick, Iceland also has over 20 active volcano's. The landscape is quite diverse; beaches, national parks, nature reserves, remote farms, and waterfalls are some of the treasures to enjoy. One of Iceland's top attractions is geothermal water known as the Blue Lagoon. One of the 25 wonders of the world, the Blue Lagoon is composed of algae, minerals, and silica. There are 9 million liters of water in the lagoon. The sun is what makes the Blue Lagoon look so blue. Visitors to Iceland dream of seeing the Northern Lights and although the Northern Lights are active all year they can only be seen in darkness when the skies are clear. 

There are lots of horses and sheep in Iceland and from April to September puffins make Iceland their home. In Iceland all education is free of charge. Icelandic is the national language of Iceland but English is the second language. Icelanders enjoy eating dried fish, hot dogs, lamb and skyr a yogurt like white cheese. There's no shortage of fresh fish in Iceland. Be certain to add ICELAND to your bucket list of places to travel. With so much to see ICELAND is the go to country right now.

Icelanders love their Skyr

Reykjavik (The main hub) for flying in and out of Iceland. This glimmering city of lights has the biggest concentration of museums, shops, and restaurants. You can also begin many tours in Reykjavik.

                  Reykjavik is one of Iceland's top attractions

Reykjavik is a good place to begin your journey. It's a vibrant city.

Accommodations at Blue Lagoon:
Silica Hotel

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