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Pistou Recipe

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Pistou is an infinitely adaptable condiment from Provence. A classic pistou consists of four simple ingredients: basil, garlic, olive oil and salt, but is quite accommodating to various herbs or the addition of nuts and/or cheese (which would make it more akin to Italy’s pesto).

French-Style Tomato Tart Recipe

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A French-style tomato tart is wonderfully simple and delicious. This tart is a canvas that can be tailored to your taste – add herbs to the crust, use different flavors of mustard or experiment with various cheeses.

Beef Carpaccio Salad Recipe

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On a hot summer day in the south of France, my lunch entrée of choice is Beef Carpaccio Salad. While beef doesn’t immediately make you think ‘refreshing,’this salad is almost always exactly that. Raw beef is sliced paper thin and usually topped with arugula, parmesan and a light, tangy dressing (pesto is my favorite).

Artichoke Tapenade Recipe

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This condiment/spread/dip comes together quickly and easily – and tastes delicious. Tapenade can be altered to your taste – more olives, less olives, leave out the artichoke and add in some sun-dried tomatoes, add herbs or spices.

Aperitif – One of Life’s Small Pleasures of French Lifestyle

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Perhaps my favorite French custom is l’heure de l’apéritif, a time to transition between the day’s activities and the evening meal with a beverage and a few nibbles. Apéritif, derived from the Latin aprire, meaning ‘to open’, is designed to open up the palate and stimulate the appetite. A light alcoholic beverage and a few snacks at the end of the day with friends, family and good conversation is truly one of life’s small pleasures. I recently discovered Pastis and it has become my apéritif of choice. Originating in 1920 in the south of France, Pastis is an anise flavored liqueur poured over ice, then diluted with water. The amount of water varies to one’s taste, but a 1 to 5 ratio is common. And, fun little aside, Pastis turns milky white when mixed with water. If the flavor of black licorice isn’t your proverbial cup of tea, have yourself a glass of rosé, sparkling wine, a beer or...

13 Desserts Of Noel In Provence

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An age old tradition in the life of a Provençal family, are enjoyed after Gros Souper, which is equivalent to our Christmas dinner.  The origin of the Thirteen Desserts seems to be part of the tradition of opulence in the Mediterranean regions. Combined with the religious element, this tradition gave the Christmas season its festive character well before gifts inundated households. The thirteen desserts are in reference to Jesus and his twelve apostles at the Last Supper. As tradition goes, there must be at least thirteen sweets available. They are all served at once, and each guest must have at least a small bite of each dessert. Upon returning from Mass, the table was set with three tablecloths representing the Holy Trinity, upon which the Thirteen Desserts were set. Based on the symbolism of the Last Supper, with Jesus surrounded by his Apostles, tradition forbids seating 13 people...