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29 December 2014

Apple Upside Down Cake - Magnolias (Charleston)


I am only going to talk about one thing in this post because I have to share with you the most delicious dessert I think I have ever had in my life--I am NOT exaggerating!  Please let me introduce you to the Apple Upside Down Cake which can be found at Magnolias Restaurant.

Close your eyes and imagine this:

  • Spiced Anglaise
  • Toasted Oatmeal Streusel Topping
  • Cinnamon Ice Cream
Now take a long look at this beautiful culinary art and tell me you are not drooling!
Mouthwatering

I do not typically do this but I had to ask for the recipe because I deserve the opportunity to try and make this for myself so I can have it whenever I want and not just travel all the way to Charleston for a taste--which I will do if necessary!

To my surprise they actually shared the entire recipe BUT it is four pages long!  I guess I will just have to book several more trips to Charleston, South Carolina in the very near future because I do not have that much patience.





27 December 2014

The Enchanted Forest - Laduree Le Bar (Paris, France)

Once Upon A Time in the Enchanted Forest at Le Bar...
 
We never thought we would find the secret home an Enchanted Forest all the way in Paris, France but we did! 
This place really is magical
What could be better than the most delicious macarons AND a ridiculous cocktail?  Absolutely nothing and you can get both sinful items at Laduree Le Bar.  I decided to start with one of their macaron cocktails and it left nothing to be desired!  This aperitif was so satisfying one drink was enough--never thought I would say that!

I am sure you are drooling because I am!
Take a look at this magical place and tell me you don't think it looks like Tinkerbell just might actually live here.


I am pretty sure Tinkerbell is somewhere around here

If you ever visit Paris, Laduree is a place you must visit.

25 December 2014

Twelve Days of Christmas Part Two - Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse Washington D.C. (District of Columbia)

On the First Day of Christmas
Del Frisco's gave to me
A Double Eagle in D.C.
Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse Washington D.C. (Courtesy of Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse)


On the Second Day of Christmas
Del Frisco's gave to me
Two Crab Cake Dinners

Delicious Crab Cake Dinner
And a Double Eagle in D.C.


On the Third Day of Christmas
Del Frisco's gave to me
Three Chilaquillas
Mucho Gusto
Two Crab Cake Dinners
And a Double Eagle in D.C.



On the Fourth Day of Christmas
Del Frisco's gave to me
Four Steak Knives
Putting these to good use
Three Chilaquillas, Two Crab Cake Dinners
And a Double Eagle in D.C.



On the Fifth Day of Christmas
Del Frisco's gave to me
Five V-I-Ps
V.I.P
Four Steak Knives, Three Chilaquillas
Two Crab Cake Dinners
And a Double Eagle in D.C.



On the Sixth Day of Christmas
Del Frisco's gave to me
Six Desserts now I'm Drooling

The Caramel Cake is just sinful!
Five V-I-Ps, Four Steak Knives, Three Chilaquillas, Two Crab Cake Dinners
And a Double Eagle in D.C.




On the Seventh Day of Christmas
Del Frisco's gave to me
Seven Eggs for Deviling
The Deviled Eggs can be found at Del Frisco's Grille D.C. and North Bethesda
Six Desserts now I'm Drooling
Five V-I-Ps, Four Steak Knives, 
Three Chilaquillas, Two Crab Cake Dinners
And a Double Eagle in D.C.



On the Eighth Day of Christmas
Del Frisco's gave to me
Eight ounce Chops-a-Sizzling
Lamb 2 Double Cut 8oz Chops (Courtesy of Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse)
Seven Eggs for Deviling
Six Desserts now I'm Drooling
Five V-I-Ps, Four Steak Knives, 
Three Chilaquillas, Two Crab Cake Dinners
And a Double Eagle in D.C.




On the Ninth Day of Christmas
Del Frisco's gave to me
Nine Red Velvet Waffles so Tempting
The picture speaks for itself!
Eight ounce Chops-a-Sizzling, 
Seven Eggs for Deviling
Six Desserts now I'm Drooling
Five V-I-Ps, Four Steak Knives, 
Three Chilaquillas, Two Crab Cake Dinners
And a Double Eagle in D.C.


On the Tenth Day of Christmas
Del Frisco's gave to me
Ten Shanghai Style Calamari

Nine Velvet Waffles are Tempting
Eight ounce Chops-a-Sizzling, 
Seven Eggs for Deviling
Six Desserts now I'm Drooling
Five V-I-Ps, Four Steak Knives, 
Three Chilaquillas, Two Crab Cake Dinners
And a Double Eagle in D.C.


On the Eleventh Day of Christmas
Del Frisco's gave to me
Eleven Oysters meant for Sharing
I didn't really share!
Ten Shanghai Style CalamariNine Red Velvet Waffles so Tempting
Eight ounce Chops-a-Sizzling, 
Seven Eggs for Deviling
Six Desserts now I'm Drooling
Five V-I-Ps, Four Steak Knives, 
Three Chilaquillas, Two Crab Cake Dinners
And a Double Eagle in D.C.


On the Twelfth Day of Christmas
Del Frisco's gave to me
Twelve Coins and Counting...
Where will lucky #13 be?
Eleven Oysters meant for Sharing
Ten Shanghai Style Calamari
Nine Red Velvet Waffles so Tempting
Eight ounce Chops-a-Sizzling, 
Seven Eggs for Deviling
Six Desserts now I'm Drooling
Five V-I-Ps, Four Steak Knives, 
Three Chilaquillas, Two Crab Cake Dinners
And a Double Eagle in D.C.





The second time made us even more hungry!

Happy Holidays from the Gourmand Girls!



21 December 2014

The Hidden Gem- The Corner Restaurant and Champagne Bar at Selfridges & Co (London, England)


Hidden in Womens Designer Galleries on Level 2 at Selfridges & Co is the cutest little bar.  The Corner Restaurant and Champagne Bar is the perfect place to take a break from your shopping and just relax and have a little nosh or a simple aperitif.  Regardless of your level of hunger, their unique menu will have something to fit whatever you desire.


MR. SELFRIDGE'S AFTERNOON TEA


We just simply could not resist the chance to try Mr. Selfridge's Afternoon Tea since we love the show so much and we are always in the mood to par-tea!


Amuse-Bouche

I have no clue what these were but we loved them nonetheless.

Not sure what these were but they were good


Sandwiches

  • Egg and mustard cress
  • Coronation Chicken
  • Cucumber and Cream Cheese

The egg was my favorite



Open Faced Sandwiches

  • Pulled salt beef, potato bread and sauce gribiche
  • Rye crisp bread, whipped goats cheese and beetroot
  • Smoked salmon blini, lobster and caper mayonnaise
I possibly ate extra potato bread sandwiches

Scones

We were not prepared for the scones to come with the lemon curd, cream and jam already on them but after you try it you won't really care.  These were delicious!

Pretty sure we asked for additional scones as well!

Sweet Treats

One word...dessert!

They are ALL phenomenal!
  • Black Forest Top Hat
  • Raspberry and Rose Water Eclair
  • Toasted Banana and Coconut Bread with caramelised banana



Tea Selections

I appreciate the petite options of tea on the menu because there are far more appealing cocktail options!  If you are accustomed to traditional British Afternoon Tea then you will not have the anxiety of picking a selection.
  • Original Leaf
  • Grey Leaf
  • Darjeeling Leaf
  • Assam BOP
  • Mint Rubbed Leaf
  • Passion Fruit and Orange
  • Camomile Flower
  • Green Leaf


We give Mr. Selfridges Afternoon Tea two pinkies up and we highly recommend it.

Classic American Cocktails in London?! - Fifth Floor Bar at Harvey Nichols (London, England)



Define irony.  How about Americans learning how to make classic American cocktails in a Cocktail Masterclass in London being taught by an Italian named Stani!  

Although the event was a bit ironic, it didn't take away from the amazing time we had and the nice buzz we got from making libations and meeting new friends at the Fifth Floor Bar at Harvey Nichols


The beautiful Harvey Nichols Fifth Floor Bar


THE MASTERCLASS

If you want an excuse to sip an aperitif before 10 in the morning without any judgement then you should attend a cocktail masterclass like we did!  For just a few GBP's we were able to:

  • eat a light breakfast
  • learn about classic American Cocktails
  • make a cocktail of our choosing
  • eat a nice lunch to help soak up the alcohol

The class is taught by Master Bartender Stani Visciano--who is just a doll.  He keeps the class fun and interesting and you will walk away with a better appreciation for the art of mixing cocktails.


THE DRINKS

As we mentioned before, the theme of our class was the "U.S.A. Cocktail".  First, Stani demonstrated how to make the following drinks which we were able to sample:

  • Cosmopolitan:  yes, they went there and even referenced Sex and the City
  • American Beauty:  we totally thought this drink was made in our honor
  • Fifth Floor Mint Julep:  this was delicious, you know I love my Scotch Whiskey
Demo Drinks that gave us a great buzz!

After the demonstration it is then your turn to jump behind the bar and create your very own cocktail!  There were eight to chose from:

  1. Ginny Hendricks - simply delicious
  2. Bramble
  3. Cosmopolitan - Truly a classic
  4. Mojito
  5. Sky Cruiser - Fancy
  6. Classic Tommy Margarita
  7. American Beauty
  8. Fifth Floor Mint Julep - Delish

The Ginny Hendricks

The Sky Cruiser tastes delicious with or without the Rose.  It is two drinks in one!


We think everyone's favorite thing to do was shaking up their drinks.  By this time of the event most people had a pretty good buzz going so they were not overly concerned about their technique which made watching everyone all the more entertaining!

THE LUNCH

Excellent way to sober up and break bread with new friends

After everyone has a turn behind the bar it is now time to sober up and break some bread with new friends.  Fifth Floor Restaurant creates a lovely menu for all of the Masterclass participants.  I left Harvey Nichols that afternoon thoroughly satisfied!  

All in all this was a perfect way to spend a cold rainy day in London and at the end you get a very colorful certificate which makes you official!

See, I am now official!