Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Introducing the Amuse Bouche!

Planning a dinner party for friends inspires creativity and the desire to offer something special to your guests. Introducing a new culinary experience can spice up the fun. The French like to begin the meal by offering the amuse bouche.
def: \a-'myuz bush\ [Fr. amuse the mouth] Defined as a small bite before the meal begins, the amuse bouche often delights both the mouth and the eyes as well. 
While in Paris I had been inspired by friends who prepared delicious dinners and offered the amuse bouche in a variety of presentations. The choices seemed endless. I just had to treat my friends to the same experience. I purchased several sets of petits verres, small glasses used especially for serving the amuse bouche. The styles varied from simple to sleek, clear to colored, striped or dotted. It was just as much fun selecting the petite serving spoons that would be the second surprise for my guests.

 The holiday season was the perfect time to include this item on my dinner menu. I prepared creamed soups topped with minced chives or gazpacho drizzled with vodka cream or a layering of boiled baby shrimp with minced crabmeat and a touch of spicy cocktail sauce. The new offering received rave reviews! Even my gentlemen dinner guests did not seem to mind the elegant but smaller serving portion, and they used those cute little spoons with cautious flare. Guests were delighted with the presentation and this new dining experience…..Just another way to share the culture of my French friends.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Marking Milestones---Celebrating Life's Special Moments with Paris du Jour

Women love to celebrate, and a trip to Paris for many women is a way to mark a special milestone in their lives.
It has been such a joy to meet women who travel with Paris du Jour for the purpose of marking a significant event in their lives. They come alone or with a group of dear friends to celebrate the beginning of a new decade that holds promise for new beginnings and defines life’s previous experiences.

 Elizabeth from Houston decided to celebrate her 50th birthday in grand style. She invited nine special friends to join her. Pre-planning by her creative friends led to many surprises for Elizabeth from the moment she arrived in Paris. Charles de Gaulle Airport was the scene for excitement as ten Texas women draped in hot pink boas arrived in the early morning hours.   Flowers, champagne, cards and gifts welcomed her from the moment she arrived at the Paris hotel. A surprise pajama party---pink pj's with French poodles, of course!--added to the fun.  Paris du Jour added some special fun to the week's activities. Une petite pâtisserie decorated with sparklers and elegantly presented with a glass of champagne followed a beautiful meal on the dinner cruise. The menu for the cooking class was pre-planned around Elizabeth's favorite foods. The festive birthday themed table was beautifully decorated by our hostess in her lovely Paris apartment. A little Paris mimento was presented each morning to Elizabeth from Paris du Jour before the day's activities began. For la célèbration extraordinaire, a birthday luncheon in a Normandy hunting estate was a perfect event to end a magical week.

Birthday table set for Elizabeth's luncheon...the setting in a traditional Normandy style estate in the French countryside.

Celebrating birthdays and successes or surviving life’s difficult challenges provide occasions to seize the moment. Women love to share their joy with other women in small groups. Whether it's by fulfilling a dream of taking a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower, or by walking along the tiny rues of Paris and marveling at gorgeous architecture, or by enjoying hospitality in a lovely Paris home for a gorgeous dinner with new friends….women create memories that will last a life time.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Creating the Perfect "Girl" Trip to Paris for Energetic Women

Just a bit of Intro…..Many people have asked what ideas inspired me to create my company, Paris du Jour. In 2004 I decided to create Paris du Jour with the idea that women would love to meet other women and share their culture.  We know that as women, we love to visit each other’s homes, and then share a glass of wine or cup of coffee while we chat. Women in other cultures enjoy those Venus moments as well.  I thought that a travel company could showcase the famous sights of Paris and then add an exciting perspective, meeting the French up close and personal.  It is a perfect match for traveling women to meet French women who are eager to share their lifestyle and open their homes to visitors from abroad. In the comfortable setting of a private home, we all enjoy genuine hospitality whether we share delicious champagne and some decadent chocolate or a scrumptious meal presented by our hostess. Whatever the setting, The Perfect Girl trip is born.
I never envisioned my new Paris venture as something that would fill a niche for women who love to travel, but happily, that is the case. I have found that many women have the desire, time and money to travel, but for a variety of reasons, they have no travel buddy. Their husbands prefer golfing trips with the guys or hunting trips…and they don’t mean hunting for the perfect Paris treasure!  Many women have good friends who are just dying to get away, but job commitments keep them at home. Other friends are involved in caring for parents and cannot commit to a trip abroad. So what’s a girl to do? Joining a small group tour for women provides the answer! Finding a group of women to share the Paris experience provides the comfort zone many women are seeking rather than setting out solo for their travels. A previous Paris du Jour traveler from Vermont said it best.  While she happily packed and eagerly planned for her Paris du Jour tour, her friends asked who she would be traveling with.  Her reply… ”Seven friends I haven’t met yet.”   That is an attitude I see more and more as women contemplate their Bucket List.  A trip to Paris is usually at the top.  Experiencing Paris with Paris du Jour is a great way to discover beautiful Paris, alone or with “new friends.”