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Summer in Paris Sweepstakes

{I’m an embassador for World Market and sharing about their Summer in Paris Sweepstakes. All opinions and stories are 100% my own.}

My husband lived in France for 2 years before we met. He was a missionary for our church, and being immersed in the culture, he speaks fluent french to this day.

When we got married, it was my dream to travel to France with him, though he never thought he’d go back. It is across the ocean and everything. My parents are travelers, and passed the traveling bug along to me, so I knew we’d go to France, I just didn’t know when. 7 years ago, that time came. The stars aligned, I had a dream, and we made it happen. We spent 10 days in France. We started in Paris, took a train down to Aix-en-Provence, then rented a car and drove into the Alps and along the French Riviera from Nice to Monte Carlo. Here we are in front of the Eiffel Tower below.

france

Oh yes, we enjoyed France. Because he lived in Southern France, that’s where we spent most of our time on our trip. We spent just a day and a half in Paris. Enough time to take the bus tour around the city and get the “cliff’s notes” version of the history, and go up to the first floor of the Eiffel Tower. I’d  love to go back and explore it a little more.

I’ve always known that my local World Market store has a sampling of foods from all over the world, but right now, they have a HUGE selection of French treats–sweet and savory! I scooped up a bunch so we could have a French Dinner at our home. Here are some of the items I brought home from my local World Market trip (with our French Flag in the background):

World Market Summer in Paris

Items Pictured: Cream of Tomato Soup with Basil//TriColor Egg Pasta Noodles//Crepe Dentelle Chocolates (probably my FAVE! and my husband said they reminded him of France)//Sable au Caramel Cookies//St Michel Madeleines Petite French Cakes//Moutarde de Diox//Petit Saucisson// Eiffel Strawberry Bon Bons

Summer in Paris with World Market

Bechamel Sauce//Hollandaise Sauce// Caramel Spread//French Twists

For dinner one night, I made the tri colored egg noodles with the Bechamel sauce. Just cooke the noodles in water, and make the sauce according to the directions.

french pasta and sauce

Then I served some most delicious Cream of Tomato Soup with Basil with some homemade grilled cheese sandwiches. Just heated up this most delicious bottle of goodness!

cream of tomato soup with basil

To top it off, I made sopapilla cheesecake, drizzled with this french caramel spread (link below picture above)

sopilla cheesecake

 A lot of the others were just yummy treats that we all enjoyed right out of the box. Such a fun selection of French goodness. To see  a lot more of the FOOD & DRINK selection that World Market has to offer, browse through the link. To see some FRENCH FAVORITES in decor and food, check that out, too (there is even a Napoleon Bobble Head)!

I’m excited to share that Cost Plus WORLD MARKET along with Lorina French Lemonade are partnering to offer a lucky winner a DREAM TRIP to Paris for their “Summer in Paris” Sweepstakes!

summer in paris

The Grand Prize Package Includes:

  • Trip for 2 to Paris (Airfare & Accommodations)
  • 2 Day Museum Pass, River Cruise
  • Dinner at the Eiffel Tower
  • $1,000 World Market gift card
  • Case of Lorina French Lemonade

Plus, 3 First Prizes: $500 World Market gift card

What are you waiting for, ENTER TO WIN!!  And then head to World Market online (through any of those links above) or to a store near you to stock up on the French Experience.

Homemade Oven Baked Croutons

When my friend Emily introduced me to her homemade oven baked croutons, I just couldn’t turn back to the hard ones from the box anymore.  These puppies are melt-in-your-mouth delicious, and rather quick to whip up!

We had our church missionaries (the 20 something boys with white shirts and ties) over for dinner last night, and when I asked what they REALLY wanted to eat, there was a request for a Caesar Salad with the meal. These croutons instantly came to my mind. You can use any bread, but french bread is my preference (then I can sneak some of the middle out to nibble on).

I cut up the bread into cubes…melted the butter with some spices, salt, & pepper…then tossed the bread in the bowl. Cooks about ten minutes, flipping them halfway through….YUM YUM!Serve with salad or eat all by itself…I kept snacking on them all night! They last about 3 days in a tight container.
The actual recipe:

Homemade Oven Baked Croutons

MAKES ABOUT 6 CUPS

Either fresh or stale bread can be used in this recipe, although stale bread is easier to cut and crisps more quickly in the oven (but I kinda like it softer). To use stale bread, reduce the baking time by about two minutes. Croutons made from stale bread will be more crisp than those made from fresh. Be sure to use regular or thick-sliced bread.

INGREDIENTS

12 slices white sandwich bread or a loaf of french bread sliced cut into ½-inch cubes (about 6 cups)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 T Italian Seasoning

Salt

Pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees and plan to place the sheet on the top oven rack. Combine bread cubes, butter, seasoning, salt and pepper to taste in medium bowl. Toss well with  spatula to combine.

2. Spread croutons in single layer baking sheet (with edge). Bake croutons, turning halfway, until golden brown and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. After cooling, croutons can be stored in an airtight container or plastic bag for up to 3 days.

Enjoy!!!

Have you ever made your own croutons before? I didn’t realize I could!

Linking up to a few parties:

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The 36th AVENUE

Lil\'Luna
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Baked French Toast~A secret family recipe

My secret family recipe…well, maybe it’s not a secret–per se–but there is a secret ingredient that makes this french toast scrumptious! And by family, I mean, my sister in law (who married my brother) introduced this recipe to me.  Each time I’ve made it in the past year or so, I’ll call her to get the recipe again because I had always just scribbled it down on a piece of paper and then lost it. THIS time, I had her email it to me and I’m sharing it with you! I love the baked method because at the end, the oven is set to broil and it sortof carmelizes the yumminess on the bread and makes it slightly crispy on top but still eggy and yummy in the middle.  It’s also really great for a big group…doubles easily!

You start with a loaf of french bread. Recommended day old so it is a bit firmer, but not necessary. 

Here’s the secret ingredient.  Well, I don’t know, maybe others have done this before, but it was new to me. I don’t drink coffee, so I don’t normally have this Coffeemate creamer in the house, but there are several different flavors I’ve tried with this recipe. I like the french vanilla.

Max the egg mixture and pile up the soppy breads…

Metl some butter on a cookie sheet…

Line ‘em up on a tray and pop them in the oven.

Even though I generously spray and butter my pan, the bread still sticks some…I bake it about 7 minutes on each side, then turn the oven to broil on each side for a minute or two.

Mmmm, it’s so good….eggy in the middle and crunchy on the outside.  Toasted oh so nicely;)

Baked french toast

Preheat oven to 500 degrees
mix:
1 c.  french vanilla coffee creamer (liquid)
1/3- 1/2 c. milk
6 eggs
3 tbs. sugar.
1 tsp vanilla
If too thick add more milk , if too thin add eggs or creamer
Sprinkle with cinnamon

Dip 1 inch slices of day old french bread and set aside. Generously butter jelly roll pan.  Heat in oven 1 minute; remove from oven.  Arranged dipped bread in hot pan drizzle any remaining mixture over bread.  Bake 5-8 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown; turn bread.  Bake 2-4 minutes longer or until golden brown. Then turn the oven to broil and broil each side for about a minute each. Add your favorite toppings (whipped cream and strawberries below).  I actually like the bread all by itself, too.