Naan Margherita Pizza

If you have never tried making pizzas on naan bread I am so glad you are here because it is so good and needs to immediately become a staple recipe ~ super easy and always fun to create your own individual pizzas for nights with friends or family and naan typically makes the perfect size for individual pizza! It’s pillowy but not super heavy tasting like a thick crust pizza. Gets a perfect golden brown without tasting too crunchy. It’ really just crust perfection that you can buy already made. 

 

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Crab & Cream Cheese Jalapeno Poppers

Crab rangoon (puff) meets jalapeno popper — OMG. So good y’all. I’ve been a long time fan of jalapeno poppers (I know i’m not alone here), typically stuffed with a blend of cream cheese and cheddar, and always wrapped in bacon. I had some leftover crab meat I was trying to decide how to use up, Jason had brought home a bunch of jalapeños and here we are. I don’t know if I’ll ever plan to make these poppers without crab again you guys. Creamy cheese, crispy bacon, spicy jalapeno and real crab meat — 4 ingredient appetizer that is guaranteed to be a hit, if you’re even willing to share. 

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Sautéed Salmon with Avocado & Cucumber Salad

I’ll just start off by saying this recipe is already one of my favorites I’ve developed. The flavors and ingredients are inspired by one of my all time favorite sushi rolls. Give me simple fresh salmon, avocado, cucumber with some lemon, dill and a spicy mayo and I am in heaven…. but just to be clear we’re not calling this at home sushi. This may be an unpopular opinion but as someone who appreciates a good roll so much, when I hear “sushi bake” I cringe a little. The flavors all work great with sautéed salmon, which has in some variation or another become an at least once a week staple in our house. 

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Veuve Clicquot Aromatics Tour

Is the aromatics tour at Maison Veuve Clicquot worth it? The answer is 1000% YES. As much as I love Veuve and knew I wanted to tour regardless, I wasn’t sure what the experience would be like because honestly so many of the higher end champagne and wine tours can be stuffy or underwhelming. Our experience was anything but, it was truly incredible and possibly my favorite  wine tour I’ve ever done. We did pay the premium for the aromatics tour, which was $150 euro pp, but we didn’t just learn about the aromas in a boring speech… we went the the garden and actually smelled and tasted, had a whole aroma presentation as well as a sensory video experience in the chalk caves which was all before our actual tasting began. The whole experience was very laid back, our guide was informative and promised us no questions were bad questions. We learned about the history (side note, Madame Clicquot is a bad b*tch who pioneered so many champagne production practices), we drank lots of champagne, we laughed and honestly just had the best time. So many tours leave you feeling a sense of that was fun but now I’ve “been there done that” and both Jason and I left saying we can’t wait to go back. Hopefully next time we’ll get some sunshine and be able to explore the vineyards! 

If you’re just here to find out the highlights and if you should go, I hope you got your answer above as I don’t want to spoil any of the surprises, but if you want more information or just to read more about our experience keep reading below for lots more detail and photos! 

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Renaissance, Aix-en-Provence Hotel

Hotel Pool

If you’re here to find out if you should stay at the Renaissance Hotel while in Aix-en-Provence, I’m here to tell you the answer is yes. The lobby and rooms are clean, modern and spacious. The restaurant food is fabulous. The pool is heavenly. Sadly I didn’t get to check out the spa this trip as they were booked up prior to me booking a room, but I did check out the area, and it also seemed heavenly ~ a very valid reason to make a return trip, am I right?

Hotel Highlights

Walking Distance into Downtown – the hotel is in a great location with an easy walk to shops and other restaurants, as well as the tourism office.

English Speaking Staff – if you’re travelling from the USA, speaking French can be intimidating. You’ll feel at home at this hotel. Everyone is very bilingual and friendly.

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Creamy Parmesan Basil Noodles with Pistachio Crusted Salmon

Creamy pesto noodles are one of my favorites, and typically I prefer to use pistachios to pine nuts. You can find my pistachio pesto recipe here. I decided to try go get in all those flavors here in a different way. Pistachios and olive oil coming in on the crusted salmon, and parmigiano reggiano and basil in the noodles. I notably did not use a lot of basil here, as I used what I had fresh from the garden, but you could certainly add a lot more! Garlic cooks into the roux we use as our sauce base along with salt & pepper to bring it all home. We get all the pesto ingredients deconstructed into this dish and let me tell ya, it. is. delicious.

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Parmesan Lemon Butter Noodles with Roasted Pesto Shrimp & Vine Tomatoes

I would eat pasta every. single. day. if it didn’t mean an extra trip to the gym each time. Pasta is simply the best. These parmesan and lemon butter noodles are as simple as it gets, topped with even easier roasted shrimp coated in pesto sauce and finished off with roasted cherry tomatoes that burst in your mouth and add oh so much flavor. We’ll start this dish by roasting the tomatoes & shrimp, then boil noodles which will get tossed with reserve pasta water, fresh lemon juice, butter and some parmesan. Creamy without being too heavy. Flavorful but not overpowering the shrimp and tomatoes. The three together make for the tastiest combo! 

 

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Baked Flour Tortilla Chips

These flour tortilla chips are so good and so easy! Although we’re not making the tortilla from scratch on this recipe, just baking up the chips yourself is a fun alternative to grocery store bought and a great way to use up excess tortillas in your house.  The key here is to find fresh tortillas that are as small enough in diameter so your chips are a good size. The rest is easy peasy! 

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Cucumber Sushi Boats

Sushi is probably what I would pick if I was given only one thing to eat for the rest of my life. It. is. the. best. Sure, there are lots of other things I absolutely love, but sushi is the one that I love the taste, and how I feel after just as equally. That is if you stay away from the overly fried and saucy rolls. Anyway, I know this isn’t exactly a sushi dish. In fact after my travels to Japan a couple years ago I’m hesitant to call anything other than sashimi or fish over rice true sushi… the rolls are really a pretty American thing. Even here in France, rolls are not very common, even though sushi is one of the most prevalent types of restaurants I see! However, unless you are a sushi chef or know where to buy the sushi grade fish, it’s not the easiest thing to make at home. Trust me, I’ve done it. I actually made what I would consider restaurant quality rolls  just one time, but between finding the fish and getting the rice right it was an all day project… and honestly, who has got time for that?! That leads us here, to these cucumber rolls with shrimp and crab that kill that sushi craving but are super easy to put together. 

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Herby Chicken a la Maryland

I am so excited to be sharing this Chicken a la Maryland recipe for so many reasons.​ For starters and most importantly it is absolutely heavenly tasting. It combines flavors you may not have put together before, like fried chicken in sautéed bananas, and it works in the best and most surprising way. It’s an easy recipe, but sure to impress, after all a version of it was served to the Titanic’s first class passengers. Which leads me to the historic rabbit hole I went down on this recipe which was so fun to learn about. As some of you may have read in prior posts, I recently purchased a book called “F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Taste of France” by Carol Hilker which highlights many of F. Scott Fitzgeralds favorite dishes from his travels through France in the 1920’s. It’s been so fun to read for both inspiration and historical anecdotes. 

 
 
 
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