Active Gourmet Holidays
Active Gourmet Holidays

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April 2014
April News from Active Gourmet Holidays
EXCITING NEW CULINARY TOURS! April 2014


 Active Gourmet Holidays

Greetings from Active Gourmet Holidays!

Active Gourmet Holidays brings you some exciting new tours for 2014. Check out our luxury culinary vacation on the French Riviera "The South of France Gastronome". We also invite you to Italy with our fabulous "Amalfi Coast Immersion". How about the magical island of Sicily? "Sicilian Delights". 

 

Our recipe this month comes from the amazing Amalfi Coast, "Little Chocolate Cake". Check it out below.

Active Gourmet Holidays is on Facebook! Click here to LIKE US and please share photos of your trip! www.facebook.com/ActiveGourmetHolidays  

For more information on specific tours or pricing, please email Jo-Ann Gaidosz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website at www.activegourmetholidays.com.

 

ATTENTION: Please make sure to hit the "Click Here" button above if you are not seeing the entire newsletter with the featured monthly recipe at the bottom!  

 

To ensure delivery of your Active Gourmet Holidays emails, be sure to add This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to your Address Book or "Known Senders" list!

 
April 2014 News - South of France Gastronome NEW! - The South of France Gastronome
Cote d'Azur, France - 6 nights

Available April, September to November - Monday to Saturday

The Cote d'Azur beckons you to enjoy a luxury gourmet vacation that explores the culinary world of the South of France. We invite you to discover the gastronomic delights of Provence and the French Riviera. Accommodation is in a gorgeous 300 year old bastide in a beautiful hillside town, the epitome of modern Provençal luxury, offering easy access to both the glamorous coastline and the breathtaking countryside. It is an ideal location for a peaceful and authentic experience that brings the gastronomy of the Riviera and Provence to life!

  

  

Read more: The South of France Gastronome

 

April 2014 News - Amalfi Coast Immersion NEW! - Amalfi Coast Immersion 
Amalfi Coast, Italy - 3 or 5 nights  
Available April to October - Sunday to Friday
 
 
Immerse yourself into Italian living by visiting this little fishing village situated in an enchanting location among the beautiful inlets of the breathtaking Amalfi Coast. Nicely located just a couple of miles from Positano and about 6 miles from Amalfi, your home for this cooking holiday is a prestigious seaside resort with a beautiful rooftop pool. Learn traditional regional cuisine along with a few modern twists from your talented and passionate instructors.
 
 
April 2014 News - Sicilian Delights NEW! - Sicilian Delights 
Sicily, Italy - 7 nights
Available year round

Experience the incredible island of Sicily through this fantastic seven night journey. Stay in three different accommodations: an olive estate, a lovely bed and breakfast and a four star hotel in Palermo. During this tour you will taste exquisite cuisine, you will meet the wonderful Sicilian people and above all, you will get the authentic taste of this Mediterranean gem.

 

Read more: Sicilian Delights

 

 

 Client Testimonial 

"HOME STYLE TUSCAN COOKING"  

 

 

"Jo-Ann did a wonderful job in planning and arranging my Active Gourmet Holiday in Chianti. Paola and Simonetta have a special way of making one feel at home in their charming 18th century home, the cooking classes were exceptional. It was everything I had hoped for and more!."

 

Taunya Daley, Jr. - San Diego, CA 

 RECIPE OF THE MONTH

TORTINO AL CIOCCOLATO
(LITTLE CHOCOLATE CAKE)
 

 


Ingredients:

 

10 and ½ oz. of butter, 10 and ½ oz. of dark chocolate(semi-sweet),6 and ½ oz. of flour, 6 and ½ oz. of sugar, 2 oz. of cocoa , 9 eggs.

  April 2014 News - Recipe - Amalfi Coast Immersion


Method: 

Melt together chocolate and butter. Then whip the eggs with the sugar. Mix the two mixtures and add the flour and the cocoa. Fill buttered and floured cups with the mixture in individual portions cups.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 8 minutes. Spread them with icing sugar and serve warm.

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Contact Information
Active Gourmet Holidays
Jo-Ann Gaidosz
Phone: 1.203.732.0771
Fax: 1.203.734.6903
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.activegourmetholidays.com
Skype: active.gourmet.holidays 
March 2014
March News from Active Gourmet Holidays
TASTE EUROPE! March 2014


 Active Gourmet Holidays

Greetings from Active Gourmet Holidays!

This month's newsletter features a wonderful Portugal cooking vacation, a five night stay in the Cinque Terre and a delicious foodie vacation in Andalusia where you will see the most important sites in the area and learn to cook healthy creative cuisine. The recipe of the month is compliments of a great chef in the heart of Rome. 

 

Please check out our BLOG: Stories for the Foodie Travelerwww.activegourmetholidays.com/blog

Active Gourmet Holidays is on Facebook! Click here to LIKE US and please share photos of your trip! www.facebook.com/ActiveGourmetHolidays  

For more information on specific tours or pricing, please email Jo-Ann Gaidosz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website at www.activegourmetholidays.com.

 

ATTENTION: Please make sure to hit the "Click Here" button above if you are not seeing the entire newsletter with the featured monthly recipe at the bottom!  

 

To ensure delivery of your Active Gourmet Holidays emails, be sure to add This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to your Address Book or "Known Senders" list!

 
March 2014 News - Alentejo Portuguese Cooking in the Alentejo
Alentejo, Portugal - 7 nights

Available year round - Sunday to Sunday

Spend a week indulging in delicious Mediterranean cuisine of Portugal as you learn hands-on cooking techniques from a talented chef using the local flavors and herbs of the Alentejo. The cooking school is conveniently located just one hour from the Spanish border and 90 minutes from Lisbon. An Active Gourmet Holidays' bestseller, this culinary holiday is one you will always remember and cherish.

  

  

Read more: Portuguese Cooking in the Alentejo

 

March 2014 News - Cinque Terre Cooking Cinque Terre Cooking 
Cinque Terre, Italy - 5 nights  
Available March to October
 
 
Immerse yourself in the delicious Cinque Terre cuisine with a chef who was born and grew up in this area and has formerly owned some restaurants in Liguria. Your hands-on lessons will feature typical Ligurian cuisine and simple, yet fresh and flavorful ingredients, most of which will be picked up from the garden of the 17th century estate where you will stay. If you already have an accommodaton but are in the Cinque Terre, we also offer an afternoon cooking class.
 
 
March 2014 News - Los Pueblos Blancos Los Pueblos Blancos in Andalusia 

Estepona/Marbella, Spain - 5 nights
Available year round

Explore the beautiful and impressive white washed villages (los pueblos blancos) of Andalusia while also partaking in healthy, hands-on organic cooking classes at a beach villa in an open kitchen facing the beautiful blue Mediterranean Sea. Your hostess not only speaks Arabic, French, English and Spanish, but  is a passionate cook and advocate of healthy, organic food.

Read more: Los Pueblos Blancos of Andalusia

 

 

 Client Testimonial 

"CULINARY DELIGHTS OF ANDALUSIA 

 

March 2014 News - Culinary Delights Andalusia  

"The culinary experience in Spain was fantastic. I would love to go again if I have the chanceJo-Ann from AGH is very professional, helpful and thorough."

 

Betty K., Hong Kong  

 RECIPE OF THE MONTH

FRAPPE  

("The Flavours of Rome" Program

During Carnival season you will find these delicacies in pastry shops but of course the best are homemade. Delicioso!

 

Ingredients

 

500 gr (4 cups) flour
50 gr (3.5 tbsp) butter
25 ml (5 tsp) grappa
1 tbsp sugar
1 envelope of vanilla powder (0.5 gr) or 1 tsp vanilla extract
6 gr (2 tsp) yeast
3 eggs plus one yolk
powdered sugar
1 lt canola oil

Frappe - Rome Recipe - March 2014 News

Put all ingredients inside a big bowl and mix well.

Work the dough for 10 minutes and when it becomes smooth and elastic let it rest for 30 minutes. 

Roll the dough very very thin, then with a pastry wheel cut into strips (approximately 8x3 cm)
 
Heat the frying oil in a deep pan. When hot (but not too hot) fry the frappe until lightly golden. Scoop them out and drain off the oil on paper towels or parchment paper.
Sprinkle generously with powdered sugar and serve! As an alternate to powdered sugar, you can also dip the ends in melted dark chocolate.

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Contact Information
Active Gourmet Holidays
Jo-Ann Gaidosz
Phone: 1.203.732.0771
Fax: 1.203.734.6903
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.activegourmetholidays.com
Skype: active.gourmet.holidays 
February 2014
February News from Active Gourmet Holidays
Delicious Destinations for 2014! February 2014


 Active Gourmet Holidays

Greetings from Active Gourmet Holidays!

February's newsletter invites you to Italy for both active and culinary holidays. Take a look at our "Cycling Gourmet" tour or our ever popular "Yoga and Cooking in Le Marche" tour. For a tasty program, escape to the Amalfi Coast for "Secrets of Italian Cooking". Buon Appetito!

 

If you are able to travel the week of May 18-24, 2014 please look at our "Savoring Crete" tour for a HUGE savings! 

 

Active Gourmet Holidays is on Facebook! Click here to LIKE US and please share photos of your trip! www.facebook.com/ActiveGourmetHolidays  

For more information on specific tours or pricing, please email Jo-Ann Gaidosz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website at www.activegourmetholidays.com.

 

ATTENTION: Please make sure to hit the "Click Here" button above if you are not seeing the entire newsletter with the featured monthly recipe at the bottom!  

 

To ensure delivery of your Active Gourmet Holidays emails, be sure to add This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to your Address Book or "Known Senders" list!

 
NEW! - Secrets of Italian Cooking
Sant'Agata, Italy - 6 nights

Available year round 

Uncover the secrets of Italian cooking by spending a week in a beautiful village on the Amalfi Coast while taking hands on cooking classes from an Italian woman whose passion for her native cuisine will shine through in an instant. This cooking holiday is for both amateur and experienced cooks who have a desire to learn about the local gastronomy and culture of this spectacular region of Italy. You will visit the beautiful villages of Positano and Sorrento, as well as a lemon tree farm and a mozzarella cheese farm to learn about the process of cheese making.

  

  

Read more: Secrets of Italian Cooking

 

The Cycling Gourmet 
Tuscny, Italy - 6 nights  
Available year round 
 
 
Join us in Tuscany for a memorable cycling holiday with gourmet experiences. This  tour is run by specialists in private custom luxury cycle tours throughout Tuscany and beyond. Choose the tour below or if you prefer we can design a custom or different tour for you and your group.
 

 
 
Yoga and Cooking in Le Marche 

Le Marche, Italy - 7 nights
Available year round - Saturday to Saturday

Join us for a week of hands-on cooking classes and yoga in the hidden region of Le Marche, Italy. Le Marche is a province in east-central Italy with rolling vineyards surrounded by walled cities, castles, history and breathtaking scenery. Your accommodations will be in a totally renovated traditional country home, with five en-suite double rooms and three self catering apartments. The atmosphere is peaceful, tranquil and ideal for yoga. The property also boasts a wellness corner with jacuzzi and the opportunity for massages so you can totally relax during your holiday! You may also inquire about bringing your own yoga instructor from home and discussing alternate programs for your own group of friends!

Read more: Yoga and Cooking in Le Marche

 

 

 Client Testimonial 

"DELICIOUS SICILY 

 

 

 "Everything was perfect.

We are so glad that we took two different courses in two different regions of Sicily. We were amazed at the different recipes and the different teaching styles, but all were great!" 

 

Paula K., Dallas, Texas 

 RECIPE OF THE MONTH
CATALAN SEAFOOD PAELLA
Paella is a fantastic culinary work of art, according to the sun and Mediterranean tastes and its overwhelming colours. Originally a food of the farmers, it was added with seafood in coastal areas. Instead of the fish, paella can also be prepared with chicken and beans which is the variant of Valencia.
Ingredients for 4 people:

350g (about 12.5 ounces) of bomba rice ( arborio risotto works as a substitute)
8 large prawns or norway lobster
8 mussels
16 clams
200g (7 ounces) squid
2 onions (medium size)
200g (7 ounces) mashed tomatoes
1 Bell pepper and one green pepper
2 garlic cloves
100 gr (3.5 ounces) boiled peas
A little saffron

Preparation:

Step 1: Place clams for half an hour in salt water so as to bring the sand out.
Cook the clams in very limited water. Then add the mussels, so they open. Mussels, which are not open, throw away. Stir fry the squid in little pieces in a pan with a little bit of olive oil.

Step 2: Fry the squid in a paella pan made of metal with a little olive oil until it turns golden brown. Then, brown garlic, onion and bell pepper until they're softened, add the smashed tomatoes before the mixture is finished. Stir a few times and add the rice.

Step 3: Add the fish stock, season and cook at medium heat, moving as little as possible so that the rice grains are loose. Adding broth as necessary to keep the rice fully covered. Decorate with the squid clams, mussels, peas, and prawns on top. When it begins to boil, leave to cook for about 18 minutes.

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Contact Information
Active Gourmet Holidays
Jo-Ann Gaidosz
Phone: 1.203.732.0771
Fax: 1.203.734.6903
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.activegourmetholidays.com
Skype: active.gourmet.holidays 
January 2014
January News from Active Gourmet Holidays
PUT GREECE ON YOUR CALENDAR FOR THE NEW YEAR! January 2014


 Active Gourmet Holidays

Greetings from Active Gourmet Holidays!

Active Gourmet Holidays is pleased to celebrate our 12 year anniversary this month, offering the finest in culinary travel to our wonderful clients around the world. 

 

We are very excited to bring you some exquisite tours to Greece, a recent addition to our repertoire of delicious destinations. Look below for three exceptional choices to Greece, all offering different elements and itineraries. Greece is a country like no other and has become a fabulous foodie destination. Put Greece on your bucket list for 2014!

 

Please check out our BLOG: Stories for the Foodie Travelerwww.activegourmetholidays.com/blog

Active Gourmet Holidays is on Facebook! Click here to LIKE US and please share photos of your trip! www.facebook.com/ActiveGourmetHolidays  

For more information on specific tours or pricing, please email Jo-Ann Gaidosz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website at www.activegourmetholidays.com.

 

ATTENTION: Please make sure to hit the "Click Here" button above if you are not seeing the entire newsletter with the featured monthly recipe at the bottom!  

 

To ensure delivery of your Active Gourmet Holidays emails, be sure to add This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to your Address Book or "Known Senders" list!

 

Sept 2013 News - Savoring Crete Savoring Crete
Crete, Greece - 6 nights

Available year round - Sunday to Saturday

This is a unique opportunity to experience first hand authentic Cretan regional cooking techniques and recipes that have been developed and handed down over generations. Your cooking trip takes place in a beautiful wonderfully tranquil location in the mountain of Asteroussia about 40 miles south of Heraklion city. The cooking classes allow you to immerse yourself in the culture and lifestyle of Crete and learn to cook authentic Cretan dishes in an informal and friendly environment. All of the ingredients you will use are bought each morning from the local open market or direct from the fields so you will be working with fresh fruits and vegetables in season. You will learn the tradtions and passion of the Cretan kitchen and, most importantly, will have a lot of fun!

  

  

Read more: Savoring Crete

 

Aug 2013 News Bountiful Greece Bountiful Greece 
Crete, Greece - 7 nights  
Available year round - Sunday to Sunday
 
 
Greece always conjurs up thoughts of beautiful ocean, great food and warm people. This Greek cooking vacation promises to be an experience you will always remember. Learn the secrets of the Cretan kitchen through hands on cooking classes. Visit local food producers, learn about wine making in Crete, go on a picnic and simply enjoy the beauty of nature. This holiday also offers a free day where you can relax or choose from a variety of exciting options. very seriously. This holiday offers you unrivalled gastronomy, incredible wines, food and cultural visits.
 
 
JAN 2014 News Santorini Treasures Thumb NEW! - Santorini Treasures 
Santorini, Greece - 7 nights
Available June and September - Saturday to Saturday

There is a good reason why, when people speak of Santorini, they have a difficult time finding the words to describe its beauty. Active Gourmet Holidays is pleased to exclusively offer this incredible culinary journey to our clients. While on this spectacular island you will enjoy cooking classes to learn about the Greek cuisine and will also learn about the oldest vineyards in the world through wine education and tastings. You will stay in a beautiful four star hotel and will even have a sunset sailing tour to see the island from another vantage point. It doesn't get any better than this!

Read more: Santorini Treasures

 

 

 Client Testimonial 

"MAGICAL MOROCCO 

 

Jan 2014 News - Client Photo - Magical Morocco  

"As always AGH has given me another exceptional vacation. My trip to Morocco far exceeded my expectations. I thought I would be attending just a cooking school; and it was so much more. Part spa with the worlds best massages and part cooking school with exceptional food, along with amazing accommodations. I couldn't ask for a better vacation."

 

Artrease S., Detroit, MI 

 RECIPE OF THE MONTH

 MELOPITA OF SANTORINI  

("HONEY AND CHEESE TART")   

("Santorini Treasures" Program
 

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 2 - 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • 1/4 cup safflower oil
  • 1/2 cup beer

Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese, drained overnight in a cheesecloth-lined colander
  • 1/3 cup honey, preferably thyme honey
  • About 1/2 teaspoon (2 pieces) ground mastic (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • Ground cinnamon

 

JAN 2014 Santorini Treasures Recipe Photo  

 

Preparation

 

MAKE THE PASTRY:

In a large bowl combine 2 cups flour with the baking powder. Add the oils and beer and mix briefly with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer until soft, oily dough forms. If it is too soft, mix in a little more flour. Shape the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Flatten the dough with your hands. Place it in a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and press it evenly over the bottom and up the sides. Line with aluminum foil, and bake for 15 minutes.

Remove the foil, prick the dough with a fork and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more, or until set but not colored. Let cool.

MAKE THE FILLING: 

In a food processor, combine the ricotta, honey, mastic (if using) and cinnamon. Process for 30 seconds. With the motor running, add the eggs one at a time, processing until smooth.

Pour the filling into the cooled tart shell and smooth the top with spatula. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the filling is golden brown and set. 

Sprinkle with cinnamon and let cool before serving.

Variation


FRESH CHEESE AND HONEY TARTLETS
MYZITHROPITAKIA, LIHNARAKIA OR MELITINIA

Instead of one large tart, you can make about 30 individual tartlets.

Divide the dough into 3 pieces and shape each into a 10 1/2-inch-long log about 1 inch in diameter. Cut each log into 10 pieces. Work with 1 piece of dough at a time, keeping the remaining dough covered with plastic wrap.

On a lightly floured surface, pat each piece into a 4 1/2-inch round. Put 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of each round and pinch the rim to make a star-shaped crown around the filling. Bake on baking sheets in batches for about 25 minutes, or until light golden.

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Contact Information
Active Gourmet Holidays
Jo-Ann Gaidosz
Phone: 1.203.732.0771
Fax: 1.203.734.6903
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.activegourmetholidays.com
Skype: active.gourmet.holidays 
December 2013
December News from Active Gourmet Holidays
THE HOLIDAYS ARE HERE! December 2013


 Active Gourmet Holidays

Greetings from Active Gourmet Holidays!

How about surprising your foodie friend or relative with a gift certificate for a cooking vacation? Just inquire and we can give you some advice on a residential cooking vacation or a non residential day or evening cooking class. 

 

We are featuring some great tours this month including our "Cook Like a Tuscan" program in Tuscany. Our recipe comes from the chef at this beautiful property and is simple and delicious! 

 

Please check out our BLOG: Stories for the Foodie Travelerwww.activegourmetholidays.com/blog

Active Gourmet Holidays is on Facebook! Click here to LIKE US and please share photos of your trip! www.facebook.com/ActiveGourmetHolidays  

For more information on specific tours or pricing, please email Jo-Ann Gaidosz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website at www.activegourmetholidays.com.

 

ATTENTION: Please make sure to hit the "Click Here" button above if you are not seeing the entire newsletter with the featured monthly recipe at the bottom!  

 

To ensure delivery of your Active Gourmet Holidays emails, be sure to add This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to your Address Book or "Known Senders" list!

 
Dec 2013 News Active Gourmets in Bordeaux
Active Gourmets in Bordeaux
Bordeaux, France - 3 nights

Available year round (excluding July 14 to August 15)

Savor the wines, foods and landscapes that define this southwestern corner of France between Bordeaux and St. Emilion. Your stay in the "Entre Deux Mers" AOC region is a unique way to get to know French people and to share their culinary passions. Your hosts are a French-American couple who invite you into their home, a comfortable renovated 18th century forge, and their nearby vineyard farm.

  

  

Read more: Active Gourmets in Bordeaux

 

Dec 2013 News - Legacy of Al Andalus
The Legacy of Al Andalus 
Andalusia, Spain - 7 nights  
Available year round
 
 
The Legacy of Al Andalus will enable you to discover and explore the abundant history and culture of three of the most enchanting cities in the region, Seville, Granada and Córdoba - especially in its exceptional food and wine. In Andalusia, life is lived to the fullest and eating and drinking are taken very seriously. This holiday offers you unrivalled gastronomy, incredible wines, food and cultural visits.
 
 
Dec 2013 News - Cook Like a Tuscan Cook Like a Tuscan
 
Cortona, Italy - 3, 5 or 6 nights
Available year round

Stay in a gorgeous 17th Century property located in the quiet countryside of Tuscany, just over one mile from the beautiful walled Etruscan town of Cortona which has been written about in the very popular Frances Mayes books. Enjoy an unforgettable cooking vacation with hands-on cooking classes that are taught by two Michelin starred chefs. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking panoramas of this famed area of Italy. 

Read more: Cook Like a Tuscan

 

 

 Client Testimonial 

"SAVORING CRETE  

Savoring Crete_client photo - Dec 2013 News  

"Thank you! We had an absolutely spectacular time in Crete. It was a trip I had never imagined... George was a first class host who went above and beyond to make sure we had an exceptional time... The cooking lessons were fun and very informative. The food was abundant and delicious-top quality and all locally produced. This was indeed a trip of a lifetime! Thank you for all of your help.!"

 

Sarah P., Ormond Bch, FL

Pauline B.,  Boulder, CO 

 RECIPE OF THE MONTH

 CHICKEN BREAST WITH TUSCAN FLAVORS     

("Cook Like a Tuscan" Program
 
 

6 Servings 

 

INGREDIENTS:

3 chicken breasts

 

For the filling

3 pork sausages

1 tablespoon pistachio

½ grated lemon zest

Nutmeg

2 slices of white bread soaked in milk
Dec 2014 News Recipe

                                                                                                                         

For the cooking

Aromatic herbs: thyme, sage and rosemary  

3 garlic cloves

½ cup white wine

 

Make an incision in the center of the chicken breast. Prepare the filling by mixing the sausage, pistachio, grated lemon, the soaked bread and grated nutmeg

Place filling in a pastry bag and fill the breasts.  

Tie with kitchen string and brown in a pan with olive oil herbs and garlic, deglaze with the white wine and let it cook gently for about 20 minutes in pan or oven to 180°C (275°F)

Remove  the string and cut in slices. Served with sautéed zucchini with mint and lemon 

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Contact Information
Active Gourmet Holidays
Jo-Ann Gaidosz
Phone: 1.203.732.0771
Fax: 1.203.734.6903
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.activegourmetholidays.com
Skype: active.gourmet.holidays 
November 2013
November News from Active Gourmet Holidays
BEAUTIFUL SICILY! November 2013


 Active Gourmet Holidays

Greetings from Active Gourmet Holidays!

Given our September visit to Sicily, this month's newsletter focuses on this fabulous island! Take a look at our new tour called "Bella Sicilia" along with another wonderful cooking vacation called "Savoring Sicily" and also a selection of delicious day cooking class options in "Delicious Sicily ". Our recipe also comes from this island - the biggest in the Mediterranean! 

 

Please check out our BLOG: Stories for the Foodie Travelerwww.activegourmetholidays.com/blog

Active Gourmet Holidays is on Facebook! Click here to LIKE US and please share photos of your trip! www.facebook.com/ActiveGourmetHolidays  

For more information on specific tours or pricing, please email Jo-Ann Gaidosz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website at www.activegourmetholidays.com.

 

ATTENTION: Please make sure to hit the "Click Here" button above if you are not seeing the entire newsletter with the featured monthly recipe at the bottom!  

 

To ensure delivery of your Active Gourmet Holidays emails, be sure to add This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to your Address Book or "Known Senders" list!

 
Bella Sicilia!
Sicily, Italy - 4 or 6 nights

Available March to October 

Sicily invites you to discover its authenticity by engaging in hands on cooking classes with a chef who was born right in the surrounding area where the program takes place. Learn recipes that he learned both as a young man from his family and as a trained chef with instruction by a well known chef in Sicily. His gentle nature and passion for food will be evident as he guides you through the lesson. Stay in beautiful accommodations, explore fishing villages, markets and indulge in incredible food and wine during a four or six night exploration of northern Sicily.

  

  

Read more: Bella Sicilia!     

 

Savoring Sicily 
Sicily, Italy - 6 nights  
Available year round
 
 
Join us for a week of hands-on cooking classes and foodie excursions in the charming south-eastern tip of Sicily, Italy. The area is home to mile after mile of largely unspoiled sandy beaches, beautiful countryside, a series of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and lively towns. It is famous for the wonderful baroque architecture as well as for its rich culinary tradition as Sicilian cuisine represents the richness of centuries of euro-Mediterranean cultural encounters.
 
 

Delicious Sicily
      
Sicily, Italy 
Available year round

Savor delicious Sicily by choosing from one of the many cooking classes we offer. If you have a place to stay but would like to experience authentic Sicily, why not take a cooking class to learn about Sicilian cuisine? Take a class from a Duchess, a chef, a cookbook author, vist a wine or olive oil estate - and simply enjoy all that this magical place has to offer all the while indulging in great food and wine and meeting the warm Sicilian people. 

Read more: Delicious Sicily

 

 

 Client Testimonial 

"COOKING IN PROVENCE 

 

"Dear Jo-Ann - 


Just a note to let you know that today we spent an absolutely delightful day with Erick. We loved the idea of being in his home kitchen. We enjoyed our time at the market with him; he was totally hands-on in the kitchen and let us participate actively; and the food was plentiful and delicious. Thank you - I would recommend any time!!"
 

Adrienne and Brian K.,  Issaquah, Washington 

 RECIPE OF THE MONTH

 SARDE E BECCAFICO

("Bella Sicilia!" Program
 
 

Preparation & Cooking Time, 40 min. + 20 min.

Ingredients, Serves 8


24 sardines

1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup of white wine vinegar

juice and zest of one lemon, juice of 4 oranges (or 2 cups of orange juice)
2 cups (200gr) breadcrumbs
5 tbsp (75gr) sugar, 18 bay leaves
1 tbsp (15gr) fresh parsley, chopped

2 tbsp (30gr) raisins, 2 tbsp (30gr) pine nuts
salt and pepper to taste

Utensils, mixing bowl, plate, baking dish

Wine Pairings: Still White Wine, Medium-Bodied, Soft and Fragrant - Grape "Grillo"

 

Stuffed sardines, sarde a beccafico in Sicilian dialect, is one of the most traditional and well-loved dishes in Sicily. Sardines are small, inexpensive and are commonly found off the coast of Sicily. For a long time, sardines were one of the main ingredients in the diet of the lower class, especially fishermen, who ate them quite often. 


It should come as no surprise that many Sicilian recipes are based on sardines. In many cases, sardines were used as a substitute for more expensive fish, allowing the poor to recreate the dishes the noblemen were accustomed to eating. This recipe for stuffed sardines is actual the poor man's version of a much more noble meat dish. 

Beccafico is the name of a small bird with very flavorful meat that consumes figs during the summertime, becoming quite plump. Noble Sicilians would catch and eat these birds, stuffed with their innards. They said that their meat was nice and tender so they were eating them with all the guts.


This dish was obviously out of range of the poorer population who tried to recreate the dish with other ingredients. The small birds were substituted with less-expensive sardines and were stuffed with breadcrumbs rather than innards. During assembly, the tail of the fish is twisted upward in imitation of the bird's tail. The Sicilian name of the plate recall the bird: sarde a beccafico (beccafico literally means beak figs) Sicilian stuffed sardines became very popular in Sicily and are now considered an important part of the island's cuisine.

As always, there are a number of variations on this dish. Some cooks add diced caciocavallo cheese to the stuffing and the stuffed sardines are dipped in flour and fried instead of baked. Others soak the currants or raisins in Marsala wine or add saffron to the filling.

Directions

 

Clean the sardines and remove the backbone. 

In a bowl combine breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, the juice of 2 oranges (or a cup of orange juice), grated orange zest, grated lemon zest, the juice of 1 lemon, chopped parsley, 1/2 olive oil, vinegar. Add sugar, raisins, pine nuts. Mix well and season to taste. The dough should be reasonably dense, firm and sticky enough to make balls for the filling - a bit like modeling clay. Add olive oil if necessary.

To assemble the sardines and stuffing 

 Select a baking dish large enough to fit all the sardines once they are rolled. Lightly oil the baking dish. In a big plate have all 18 sardines opened and ready to be filled. Place a tablespoon of filling near the wide end of each fish.
Roll the fish around the stuffing toward the tail very carefully as they are extremely delicate and easy to break.


Place the rolled fish, tail up, in the prepared baking dish. Pack them tightly in the baking dish so that they don't unroll.


Insert bay leaves between the fish rolls. Add some drops of oil and sprinkle the sugar on the fishes. Now bake in a preheated oven (350°F - 180°C) for about 20 minutes. Before serving it, sprinkle with orange juice to moisten the fish. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature. It is a perfect starter or a great side-dish, hot or cold it doesn't matter, you are going to love and enjoy it!!!!

Use the remaining filling to stuff fried slices of eggplant. Sprinkle with grated cheese and olive oil and bake it for 5 minutes in a preheated oven (350°F - 180°C).

If you are using frozen sardines, do not roll them (they cannot be easily sealed anymore) but make them "baciate (kissed)" - see pictures

 

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Active Gourmet Holidays
Jo-Ann Gaidosz
Phone: 1.203.732.0771
Fax: 1.203.734.6903
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.activegourmetholidays.com
Skype: active.gourmet.holidays 
October 2013

October News from Active Gourmet Holidays
IT'S NOT TOO EARLY TO THINK ABOUT HOLIDAY GIFTS!    October 2013

 Active Gourmet Holidays
Greetings from Active Gourmet Holidays!
 
Active Gourmet Holidays offers some exquisite culinary tours including our "Gastronomy in Costa del Sol" in Spain, "Cooking with Port Wine" in Portugal and "Sicilian Flavours" in Sicily. Our recipe comes from the well known Eleanora Consoli in Sicily who I had the pleasure of meeting during my recent trip to her home near Mt. Etna.
 
**We are pleased to announce that one of our Tuscan chefs from Lucca will be visiting the Connecticut area in mid November to conduct cooking classes. If interested in learning more about the few classes we will be offering please contact us through our website. Classes are limited to 10 persons.
 
Please check out our BLOG: Stories for the Foodie Traveler. www.activegourmetholidays.com/blog
 
Active Gourmet Holidays is on Facebook! Click here to LIKE US and please share photos of your trip! www.facebook.com/ActiveGourmetHolidays  
 
For more information on specific tours or pricing, please email Jo-Ann Gaidosz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website at www.activegourmetholidays.com.
 
ATTENTION: Please make sure to hit the "Click Here" button above if you are not seeing the entire newsletter with the featured monthly recipe at the bottom!  
 
To ensure delivery of your Active Gourmet Holidays emails, be sure to add This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to your Address Book or "Known Senders" list!
 
 

Oct 2013 News Gastronomy Costa del Sol Gastronomy in Costa del Sol
Costa del Sol, Spain - 3 or 6 nights
Available year round
 
Join us for an extraordinary gastronomic experience based in the beautiful Costa del Sol, Andalucía, Spain. You will be surrounded by a professional staff with one goal in mind: to create the most memorable gastronomic holiday for you that will exceed your expectations and ensure at all times that your are completey satisfied. Choose from a three or six night program but we also offer tapas tours, team building corporate days, wine and sherry tours and artisan visits. Looking for a private chef to cook a fabulous meal for you and your guests in the comfort of your own home or villa? We have that covered too!
 
 
Read more: Gastronomy in Costa del Sol     
 

 Oct 2013 News Cooking with Port Wine Cooking with Port Wine
Lousada, Portugal - 6 nights  
Available year round


Portugal is an amazing country with so much to offer: wonderful wines, including the famous Ports, a vast selection of cheeses, the very best in cuisine, ancient villages with cobblestone streets and best of all, the people. Portugal was by far one of my best European experiences. We were amazed at the diversity of the landscapes, the history and beauty of the people in this very small, but very abundant country.


 Read more: Cooking with Port Wine
 
 

Oct 2013 News - Sicilian Flavours Sicilian Flavours      
Sicily, Italy - 6 nights
Available year round
 
 
Experience six days of magical travel through the stunning Sicilian landscape, meet and cook with a wonderful chef, Fabrizia Lanza, who follows in her famous mother Anna Tasca Lanza's footsteps, and stay at her famous Regaleali Wine Estate as well as two other beautiful accommodations. You will also have a market visit followed by a cooking class in Siracusa. Discover the most traditional Sicilian dishes in Palermo, Agrigento, Catania, Siracusa, Taormina and Etna Volcano area.
 
Read more: Sicilian Flavours
 
 
 
1.0507936507936508
 Client Testimonial
 
"MAGICAL MONTALCINO!"  
 
AGH October 2013 News - Gnocchi in Montalcino   
 
"My cooking class in Montalcino was amazing! My cooking instructor went out of her way to first give me a tour of the town. Then, she taught me and helped me cook a few family recipes while also giving me a few more to take home and try on my own. She fully accommodated my gluten free sensitivity and request to make gnocchi (which was so good!). Not only did I learn a lot but I had so much fun and created memories that I will cherish forever!"
 
Amanda C., Washington
 
 
 
 
 RECIPE OF THE MONTH
 
 PASTA CON IL PESTO SICILIAN STYLE
("Culinary Sicily" Program)

This recipe comes from the lovely Eleanora Consoli, a pioneer in Sicilian cooking, who I had the pleasure of meeting on my recent trip to Sicily. Simple and delicious cuisine always works!

AGH Oct 2013 News - Eleanora

Ingredients:
 
400 g. (14 oz.) short cut pasta
10 ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded
1-2 garlic cloves
1 handful fresh basil leaves
40 g. (1.5 oz.) almonds, peeled, toasted and chopped
30 g. (1 oz.) breadcrumbs, toasted
6 TB extra virgin olive oil
 
Put the tomatoes, garlic, basil, salt and pepper in a blender and pulse until smooth. Pour mixture in a bowl. Mixing thoroughly, add the oil and chopped almonds. Cook the pasta al dente, strain and put in a serving dish. Mix it with the sauce and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and serve.
 
 
 
 
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Active Gourmet Holidays
Jo-Ann Gaidosz
Phone: 1.203.732.0771
Fax: 1.203.734.6903
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.activegourmetholidays.com
Skype: active.gourmet.holidays

September 2013

September News from Active Gourmet Holidays
IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO PLAN AN AUTUMN TRIP!    September 2013

 Active Gourmet Holidays
Greetings from Active Gourmet Holidays!
 
Active Gourmet Holidays features one of our best tours called "Savoring Crete" (see below for a special promotion for this tour!) along with the ever popular "Florentine Escape" and "The Wines of Sicily" tours. Our recipe comes from a skilled chef from Cannes: ("Culinary Cannes")
 
Please check out our BLOG: Stories for the Foodie Traveler. www.activegourmetholidays.com/blog
 
Active Gourmet Holidays is on Facebook! Click here to LIKE US and please share photos of your trip! www.facebook.com/ActiveGourmetHolidays  
 
For more information on specific tours or pricing, please email Jo-Ann Gaidosz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website at www.activegourmetholidays.com.
 
ATTENTION: Please make sure to hit the "Click Here" button above if you are not seeing the entire newsletter with the featured monthly recipe at the bottom!  
 
To ensure delivery of your Active Gourmet Holidays emails, be sure to add This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to your Address Book or "Known Senders" list!
 
 
 Sept 2013 News - Savoring Crete
Savoring Crete (SEE SPECIAL PROMOTION BELOW)
Crete, Greece - 6 nights
Available year round - Sunday to Saturday
 
This is a unique opportunity to experience first hand authentic Cretan regional cooking techniques and recipes that have been developed and handed down over generations. Your cooking trip takes place in a beautiful wonderfully tranquil location in the mountain of Asteroussia about 40 miles south of Heraklion city. The cooking classes allow you to immerse yourself in the culture and lifestyle of Crete and learn to cook authentic Cretan dishes in an informal and friendly environment. All of the ingredients you will use are bought each morning from the local open market or direct from the fields so you will be working with fresh fruits and vegetables in season. You will learn the tradtions and passion of the Cretan kitchen and, most importantly, will have a lot of fun!

 
PLEASE INQUIRE ABOUT A SPECIAL DISCOUNT FOR THE WEEKS OF:  
 
October 20-26
October 27-November 2
November 3- 9
 
Read more: Savoring Crete     
 

 Sept 2013 News - Florentine EscapeFlorentine Escape
Florence, Italy - 3 or 4 nights  
Available year round


Treat yourself to a relaxing getaway in a small and elegant family-run hotel, located less than 10 minutes from the center of Florence. The relais is an excellent base for excursions in the Chianti area. You can choose to have cooking lessons, learning the secrets of authentic Florentine and Tuscan cuisine from the host's mother while her daughter translates for the guests. You may also have a guided walking tour of Florence, a shopping outlet tour, a Chianti wine tour with the host who is a first level sommelier along with other activities you may choose to help you immerse yourself in the Tuscan way of life. Below you will find sample 3 or 4 night tours but we can also customize an itinerary for you to include other activities.


 Read more: Florentine Escape
 
 
 Sept 2013 News Wines of Sicily Tour The Wines of Sicily     
Sicily, Italy - 5 nights
Available June and October - Monday to Saturday
 
 
Come see why the ancient land of Sicily is now Italy's hottest new wine zone. On this 6-day gourmet wine tour, you'll visit the new top wineries, see Greek temples and Byzantine cathedrals, lunch at an olive oil producer, take a boat ride on the Mediterranean, and feast on Sicily's multicultural cuisine.
 
Read more: The Wines of Sicily
 
 
 
1.0507936507936508
 Client Testimonial
 
"TUSCAN WINE ROADS" & "FLORENTINE ESCAPE"  
  Sept 2013 News - Smith - Tuscan Wine Roads - Client Remark "It was a very well run, educational, and picturesque trip through Tuscany. The trip may have been better if all our activities were spread out over more number of days. Jo-Ann was very responsive with our inquiries and helpful in recommending places to stay and ways to get around even in portions of trip that were not purchased through her."
 
Virna and Michael S.,  Issaquah, Washington
 
 
 
 
 RECIPE OF THE MONTH
 
 Tarragon Chicken
("Culinary Cannes" Program)

Serves: 6
Preparation time: about 30 minutes
 
This delicious classic French chicken breast recipe from Normandy, France is cooked with tarragon, chicken broth a little white wine and heavy cream.
 
Ingredients:
 
* 6 boneless chicken breast halves (the chef always buys with skin on, in France called "Supreme")
* salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/4 cup unsalted butter
* 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
* 1/4 cup dry white wine
* 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
* 1/4 cup chicken broth
* 1/4 cup heavy cream
 
 
Sept 2013 News - Chicken Tarragon - Culinary Cannes

Preparation:
 
Sprinkle chicken breast halves with salt and pepper and dredge with flour. Set remaining flour aside.
 
In a large skillet heat 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Brown chicken on both sides,
Remove chicken and keep warm. Add the onion to the skillet and sauté for about 1 minute.
Add wine to the skillet nd increase heat to high and cook until liquid is almost evaporated, stirring with a spatula or wooden spoon to loosen browned bits on bottom of skillet.
 
Reduce heat to medium-low; add reserved flour, stirring to a thick paste. Add tarragon and chicken broth. Return chicken to skillet; cover and cook until tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove chicken breasts to a hot platter. Add remaining butter and heavy cream to the skillet. Heat through and pour creamy tarragon sauce over chicken breasts.

 
 
 
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Active Gourmet Holidays
Jo-Ann Gaidosz
Phone: 1.203.732.0771
Fax: 1.203.734.6903
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.activegourmetholidays.com
Skype: active.gourmet.holidays

August 2013
August News from Active Gourmet Holidays
FRANCE, GREECE AND ITALY  August 2013


 Active Gourmet Holidays

Greetings from Active Gourmet Holidays!

Active Gourmet Holidays has added a wonderful new tour called "Bountiful Greece" along with a delicious recipe featuring chicken and sage. We heard our clients' requests for Greek programs and we listened!

 

We also highlight our very popular "A Small Taste of Provence" and "Beautiful Barolos" set for October.

 

*If you are interested in a "Yoga and Organic Cooking" tour in Tuscany in October please email us for information.

 

Please check out our BLOG:Stories for the Foodie Travelerwww.activegourmetholidays.com/blog

Active Gourmet Holidays is on Facebook! Click here to LIKE US and please share photos of your trip! www.facebook.com/ActiveGourmetHolidays  

For more information on specific tours or pricing, please email Jo-Ann Gaidosz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website at www.activegourmetholidays.com.

 

ATTENTION: Please make sure to hit the "Click Here" button above if you are not seeing the entire newsletter with the featured monthly recipe at the bottom!  

 

To ensure delivery of your Active Gourmet Holidays emails, be sure to add This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to your Address Book or "Known Senders" list!

 
NEW! Bountiful GreeceAug 2013 News Bountiful Greece
Crete, Greece - 7 nights

Available year round - Sunday to Sunday

Greece always conjurs up thoughts of beautiful ocean, great food and warm people. This Greek cooking vacation promises to be an experience you will always remember. Learn the secrets of the Cretan kitchen through hands on cooking classes. Visit local food producers, learn about wine making in Crete, go on a picnic and simply enjoy the beauty of nature. This holiday also offers a free day where you can relax or choose from a variety of exciting options.

  

Read more: Bountiful Greece     

 

Aug 2013 News - Small Taste of provence A Small Taste of Provence
Provence, France - 2 or more nights 
Available March to June, September to December
 
 
Welcome to Provence! You will be greeted by your hosts in their beautiful 19th century "mas". The village where you will be staying is famous for its rosé wine, being the first in France. It is located within 15 minutes from Avignon in the middle of the vineyards and is the perfect escape for a short break.
 
 
April 2011 News Beautiful Barolos Beautiful Barolos
   
Piedmont, Italy - 5 nights
Available October - Sunday to Friday

Enjoy a six day gourmet wine tour where you will sample Piedmont's culinary delights: white truffles, mountain cheeses, and, best of all Piedmont's stunning array of wines, with Barolo and Barbaresco at the top of the list

Read more: Beautiful Barolos

 

 

 Client Testimonial 

"WINE AND GASTRONOMY IN SEVILLE"  

Aug 2013 News - Client Remark Sevilla  

"We took two tours from Sevilla organized by Active Gourmet Holidays with a local tour guide. The tour guide has been in the Sevilla area for around 25 years and his personal relationships with farmers, winery owners, restauranteurs and others led to amazing, up-close-and-personal experiences with local people and sites that could never be had on your own."

 

Steve and Heidi B., Edina, Minnesota 

 RECIPE OF THE MONTH

 Chicken and Sage

("Bountiful Greece" Program
 

INGREDIENTS

1 medium chicken

1 large onion, chopped

1/2 cup olive oil

2 cups of good dry white wine

1 lemon juiced

2 sprigs of sage

Salt & pepper

 

August 2013 News Recipe - Bountiful Greece

METHOD:

 

Wash the chicken and cut into pieces.

Sauté in olive oil to seal the juices and once browned add the onion.

Wait until the onion gets a bit transparent and then add the wine.

Season with salt & pepper, add some water and boil until cooked, about 1 hour.

Pour in the lemon and sage and cook for 5 more minutes and remove from fire. 

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Contact Information
Active Gourmet Holidays
Jo-Ann Gaidosz
Phone: 1.203.732.0771
Fax: 1.203.734.6903
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.activegourmetholidays.com
Skype: active.gourmet.holidays 
July 2013
July News from Active Gourmet Holidays
ISN'T IT TIME TO TREAT YOURSELF TO A CULINARY ESCAPE? July 2013


 Active Gourmet Holidays

Greetings from Active Gourmet Holidays!

Active Gourmet Holidays brings you another great new cycling and cooking tour in Portugal called "Biking and Cooking in Portugal" along with a delicious recipe featuring summer vegetables in Provence. We also highlight our very popular "Cooking Provencal Style".

 

*If you are interested in a "Yoga and Organic Cooking" tour in Tuscany in October please email us for information.

Active Gourmet Holidays is now on Facebook! Click here to LIKE US and please share photos of your trip!  

www.facebook.com/ActiveGourmetHolidays  

For more information on specific tours or pricing, please email Jo-Ann Gaidosz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website at www.activegourmetholidays.com.

 

ATTENTION: Please make sure to hit the "Click Here" button above if you are not seeing the entire newsletter with the featured monthly recipe at the bottom!  

 

To ensure delivery of your Active Gourmet Holidays emails, be sure to add This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to your Address Book or "Known Senders" list!

 
July 2013 News - Biking and Cooking Portugal
NEW! Biking and Cooking in Portugal
Alentejo, Portugal - 7 nights

Available September to May

Delight yourself with the picturesque landscapes of Alentejo, the immense cork and olive tree meadows and the rows of traditional whitewashed houses. Stop off at a vineyard, taste the Alentejo world renowned nectar and visit the wine cellars. This guided tour is for those looking for gastronomy, cycling, exploration and the discovery of this beautiful part of Portugal.

  

Read more: Cooking and Biking in Portugal     

 

July News - Sevilla and Beyond NEW! Sevilla and Beyond
Sevilla, Spain - 2 or 5 nights  
Available year round 
 
 
The city of Seville is renowned for its fascinating history and wealth of beautiful buildings, but most of all for its fine culinary traditions which are strongly influenced by its Moorish past. We offer you two options: a short two night break which wiill immerse you in the colors, flavors and textures of Andalusian cuisine or a five night tour, which will help you discover the astonishing array of places to eat and drink in this wonderful region as the two night tour, but taking you beyond Seville, into Aracena, Jerez, Cadiz, Grazalema and Arcos. Both options feature a hands-on cooking class with a professional chef.
 
 
July News Cooking Provéncal Style
 
Cooking Provençal Style
  
Provence, France - 2, 3 or 5 nights
Available February to November 

Learn to cook modern Provençal cuisine in France while staying at a beautiful 5 star hotel with a gorgeous spa. The chef will take you to the local market and introduce you to all of the fresh seasonal produce of Provence. Then back to the chateau for your cooking classes which will either take place outdoors in the exquisite vegetable garden or indoors in an ancient wine cellar, depending on weather and season. An outstanding culinary experience awaits you!

Read more: Cooking Provencal Style

 

 

 Client Testimonial 

"COOKING PROVENCAL STYLE"  

Client Remark - Bill and Paula - Provence
 

"Hi JoAnn, had a great first day of cooking school. Dinner last night was exceptional!! Preparing fresh ingredients under the blue skies of Provence is the ultimate cooking experience."

 

Bill and Paula, Austin, Texas 

 RECIPE OF THE MONTH

 "Légumes d'été Poilés au Cumin" - Summer Vegetables with Cumin

("Cooking in Provence" Program
 

INGREDIENTS: (For 6-8 persons)

3 zucchini sliced thinly lengthwise
1 large or 2-3 small eggplant sliced thinly lengthwise
3 tomatoes sliced thinly across in full rounds

1 tablespoon olive oil

Sea salt to sprinkle on top

1 teaspoon of cumin

2 tablespoons of pureed garlic with lemon juice*

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

July 2013 News - Cooking in Provence Recipe  

Heat a large frying pan, or a flat grill. Brush with just the slightest amount of olive oil, and lay on the zucchini. Let brown one side and then flip for the other. Continue with the eggplant and the tomatoes. There is no need to add more olive oil between the batches.

Mix together the puréed garlic and the cumin, with the mustard, forming a thin paste. When all are done, arrange nicely on a large platter, spread a bit of the puréed garlic on them and sprinkle with salt and cumin. Alternatively, you can build them in stacks, layering the paste between each vegetable, and drizzle a bit of mild olive oil over the stack before serving.

*To purée the garlic: take at least 4 large garlic cloves : on a small plate, squeeze the lemon juice, sprinkle the pinch of fine salt, take a sharp pronged fork and place the prongs flat on the plate, take a peeled garlic clove (the larger the easier to handle) and scrape it back and forth on the tips of the prongs. You will produce a fine purée that will be lightly cured by the acid of the lemon juice, ideal for cold sauces and salad dressings.  

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Active Gourmet Holidays
Jo-Ann Gaidosz
Phone: 1.203.732.0771
Fax: 1.203.734.6903
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.activegourmetholidays.com
Skype: active.gourmet.holidays 

June 2013
June News from Active Gourmet Holidays
 NEW ACTIVE AND FOODIE TOURS IN FRANCE AND PORTUGAL! June 2013


 Active Gourmet Holidays

Greetings from Active Gourmet Holidays!

Active Gourmet Holidays has listened to its clients bringing you a great new cycling and cooking tour in Portugal called "Alentejo Cycling and Cooking in Style" along with a delicious recipe featuring codfish. We also highlight a new and improved "Active Foodie in Provence" tour featuring cooking lessons, foodie visits, hiking and much more. And how about the sought after truffle? Consider our "Truffles, Wine & Cooking" tour in Le Marche, Italy.

 

Active Gourmet Holidays is now on Facebook! Click here to LIKE US and please share photos of your trip!  

www.facebook.com/ActiveGourmetHolidays  

For more information on specific tours or pricing, please email Jo-Ann Gaidosz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website at www.activegourmetholidays.com.

 

ATTENTION: Please make sure to hit the "Click Here" button above if you are not seeing the entire newsletter with the featured monthly recipe at the bottom!  

 

To ensure delivery of your Active Gourmet Holidays emails, be sure to add This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to your Address Book or "Known Senders" list!

 
June 2013 News - Alentejo Cycling and Cooking NEW! Alentejo Cycling and Cooking in Style
Alentejo, Portugal - 7 nights

Available September to May

If you are passionate about traveling and cycling, then this combination tour of cooking, gastronomy and biking in Portugal is the perfect tour for you. On the other hand, if you are interested in mountain trails, shrink-wrapped sandwiches, souvenir shops or waiting in line to see monuments, you should probably look elsewhere. Benefit from the knowledge of your guides as they know and love Portugal and the Alentejo. Each and every ride leads you to something new such as a birdsong in the distance or the way the light crosses the pine trees at dusk.

  

Read more: Alentejo Cycling and Cooking in Style     

 

June 2013 News - Active Foodie NEW! The Active Foodie in Provence
Provence, France - 6 nights  
Available year round 
 
 
Are you an active person who loves food and treasures good wine? This program combines discovery, hiking, cooking and great cuisine all the while staying in a beautiful guest house in the heart of Provence. You will learn to prepare authentic and delicious Provençal cuisine, along with getting to know the Luberon area through a guided tour. You will also learn about olive oil, truffles and wine - just some of the many delicacies of this region. You may choose this program with or without transfers and transporation included.
 
 

June 2013 News - Truffles Wine and Cooking Le MarcheTruffles, Wine & Cooking in Le Marche
 
Le Marche, Italy - 7 nights
Available March to June, September to November - Saturday to Saturday

Discover the secret of Italy. When you visit Le Marche you will inevitably be struck by the wonderful bucolic landscape, the rich cultural heritage, the historic architecture and the quality of the local produce. But we would like to help you get under Le Marche's skin, meeting local artisans and experiencing the true rural life. Stay in a beautiful country home in a quiet setting, go on a truffle hunt, take cooking classes and get to know this region like a local. 

Read more: Truffles, Wine & Cooking in Le Marche

 

 

 Client Testimonial 

"FLORENTINE ESCAPE"  

June 2013 News - Client Remark Photo
 

"The trip was amazing. The Relais outside of Florence was beautiful....the son of the owners was our Chianti tour guide and he is a delightful young man...the cooking class with Momma was so fun and we have actually prepared some of the dishes for family and friends since our return home. Thank you for all of your help in making this dream come true." 

Coco W., Portland, Texas 

 RECIPE OF THE MONTH

CRISPY CODFISH WITH COLLARD SPROUTS AND BACON 

 

INGREDIENTS:

·       1.8 lb of dry and desalted codfish

·       1.4 lb of fried straw potatoes

·       2 medium size onions

·       6 eggs

·       6 garlic cloves

·       Salt, pepper and laurel

·       Olive oil

·       Fillo pastry (4 sheets)

·       .6 lb of clarified butter

·       Parsley

Slightly boil the cod fish, clean it and shred it. Put aside.

In a high pan, put olive oil until the bottom is covered. Warm it up and let the chopped onions fry. 

Add the garlic, the laurel and the previously prepared codfish. Let the codfish absorb some of the olive oil at a low temperature, and add the potatoes blending everything. Add the eggs and blend them with the previous preparation, just blend it very well and use salt and pepper. Put it aside for later. 

June 2013 Recipe Photo - Alentejo Cooking Cycling Tour  

Brush the Fillo pastry sheets with clarified butter, and put some parsley leaves on them. Fold them in half in order to keep the leaves inside the pastry. Fill in with codfish mixture and roll them tight. Brush the rolls with clarified butter and cook them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes - until the pastry is golden.

Serve with boiled collard sprouts (and slightly fried with very small pieces of bacon and garlic) as seen in the picture. You can powder with chopped parsley and add a spoon of apple sauce (not mandatory)

Enjoy.

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Active Gourmet Holidays
Jo-Ann Gaidosz
Phone: 1.203.732.0771
Fax: 1.203.734.6903
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.activegourmetholidays.com
Skype: active.gourmet.holidays 
May 2013
May News from Active Gourmet Holidays
 MAKE YOUR CULINARY TRAVEL PLANS NOW - LIFE IS SHORT! May 2013


 Active Gourmet Holidays

Greetings from Active Gourmet Holidays!

Active Gourmet Holidays brings you a great new tour called "The Essence of Greece" along with a delicious recipe featuring eggplant. We also are highlighting "La Rioja Wine Festival" and "Cooking and Biking/Walking in Bordeaux". 

  

Active Gourmet Holidays is now on Facebook! Click here to LIKE US and please share photos of your trip!  

www.facebook.com/ActiveGourmetHolidays  

For more information on specific tours or pricing, please email Jo-Ann Gaidosz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website at www.activegourmetholidays.com.

ATTENTION: Please make sure to hit the "Click Here" button above if you are not seeing the entire newsletter with the featured monthly recipeat the bottom!  

To ensure delivery of your Active Gourmet Holidays emails, be sure to add This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to your Address Book or "Known Senders" list!

May 2013 News La RiojaLa Rioja Wine Festival
Rioja, Spain - 4 nights

Available April to October/November to March upon request

Welcome to La Rioja, an internationally famous region for its acclaimed wines and gastronomy. Join us for an outstanding gourmet wine vacation, tailor-made for groups or individuals who would like to enjoy excellent wine and amazing food. Visit La Rioja, one of the most famous and prestigious wine-producing areas in the world. Choose the fixed departure date for the actual Rioja Wine Festival which takes place annually in September or choose any other dates year round.

Read more: La Rioja Wine Festival     



May 2014 News BordeauxCooking and Biking/Walking in Bordeaux
Bordeaux, France - 6 nights  
Available year round Saturday to Friday
 
 
Enjoy an active culinary vacation in the southwest corner of France between Bordeaux and St. Emilion. You will stay at a comfortable renovated 18th century country home and will get acquainted with all that is French. We will customize your week for you - whether it be enjoying cooking lessons in French homes, market and artisan food producer visits, vineyards and wine tastings, antiquing, garden visits or walking and biking, the "Entre Deux Mers" region offers all this and much more. 
 


May 2013 News - Essence of GreeceNEW!
 - The Essence of Greece
 
Poros Island, Greece - 7 nights
Available April to October - Saturday to Saturday

This week long culinary tour of Greece features fabulous food and excellent wines, colorful open-air markets bursting with gorgeous local products and four unique hands-on cooking classes that explore the healthiest and most delicious food in the world in one of the world's most captivating destinations. Nothing can bring you closer to the essence of Greece than this fantastic hands-on cooking vacation. This culinary tour takes you way beyond the usual tourist experience to get to know the real Greece - tasting, smelling, seeing, touching and learning how to create delicious, authentic Greek dishes yourself. 

Read more: The Essence of Greece

 

 Client Testimonial 

"LOS PUEBLOS BLANCOS IN ANDALUSIA"  

May 2013 News - Client Remark Photo - Los Pueblos Blancos
  

"Dear Jo-Ann - We had a great time. Rashida was warm, welcoming and went out of her way to accommodate us. She couldn't have done anything better.  

Bonnie L., Larchmont, New York 

 RECIPE OF THE MONTH

PAPOUTSAKIA ("LITTLE SHOES") 

("The Essence of Greece" Program
 

Time preparation: 45 mins

Ingredients:

·       6 fairly small eggplants (6-7 inches long each)

·       1/2 pound ground beef

·       2 cloves of garlic, minced (if garlic is a problem, substitute with 2-3 scallions)

·       1 medium onion, finely chopped or grated

·       1/2 cup of chopped fresh parsley

·       2 cups (4-5 medium) of ripe peeled, cored tomatoes, very finely chopped (or canned or ripe roma tomatoes)

·       5-10 tablespoons of olive oil

·       1 cup of grated kefalotyri cheese (or pecorino or parmesan)

·       12 very thin slices of tomato

·       salt

·       pepper

·       1 cup of basic béchamel (see below)

Preparation:

Wash and dry the eggplants, trim off stems, and cut in half, lengthwise. With a small knife or spoon, scoop out the pulp of the egglant, leaving a shell about 1/8 inch thick. Take care not to break through the skin of the eggplant. 


Note: If you haven't done this before, take your time. The pulp will be chopped up and used in the filling, so it can come out a piece at a time.

·       Using a spoon: scoop out seeds from the center and discard. Start at the center of the eggplant half and work your way outward.

·       Using a knife: remove and discard seeds, then carefully slice around the edge, leaving a small layer of pulp next to the skin; continue to cut, moving in toward the center.

Chop the pulp and set it aside.
Preheat large frying pan (with cover) on low heat. 

When the frying pan has preheated, increase the heat and sauté the onions (both types if you're using scallions instead of garlic) in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, using the frying pan that has the cover. When the onions soften and turn translucent (without browning), add the chopped eggplant pulp and stir for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the ground beef and sauté until it starts to brown. Stir in tomatoes, parsley, garlic, pinches of salt and pepper (to taste), and reduce heat. Simmer covered for 20 minutes or until the sauce melds and the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat, and set aside.

Make the béchamel sauce:

·       2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

·       2 tablespoons of butter

·       1 cup slightly warm whole milk

·       salt

·       pepper

·       grated nutmeg

·       1 or 2 egg yolks

Preparation: 

In a saucepan, melt the butter on low heat. As soon as it starts to bubble (not brown) add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until there are no lumps. Add the milk slowly, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the sauce begins to thicken - creamy without being too thick (it will thicken further after removing from the heat). Remove from the heat and stir in salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Allow the sauce to cool for a few minutes before stirring in the egg yolk until well blended.

May News 2013 Recipe Photo - Poros Island

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). 

Preheat second frying pan over low heat. Increase heat when ready to sauté the eggplant.


Lightly sauté the eggplant halves in olive oil in the second frying pan. Start with a little oil (3 tablespoons) but have more at hand since eggplant absorbs a lot of oil and the pan could dry out. This step is simply to soften the eggplant a bit, so sauté quickly on both sides, remove, and drain on a rack (do not wipe off the oil). 

Place the eggplant halves on the bottom of a baking or roasting pan. Sprinkle some of the cheese to cover the bottom of the well in the eggplant, then spoon in the filling to the top of the side rims. Spoon over the béchamel sauce (about 1 tablespoon for each piece), and place a slice of tomato on top. When all the eggplants are finished, sprinkle the remaining grated cheese over the top. 

Cook on the lowest oven rack setting until the béchamel is browned, the cheese on top is browned, and the eggplants are soft, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. 


Remove the eggplants from the pan with a spatula and serve warm.

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Contact Information
Active Gourmet Holidays
Jo-Ann Gaidosz
Phone: 1.203.732.0771
Fax: 1.203.734.6903
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.activegourmetholidays.com
Skype: active.gourmet.holidays 
April 2013
April News from Active Gourmet Holidays
 SPRING IS IN THE AIR! April 2013


 Active Gourmet Holidays

Greetings from Active Gourmet Holidays!

Active Gourmet Holidays brings you a great new tour called "Authentic Marrakech" along with a delicious tajine recipe. We also highlight "Culinary Sicily" and "The Legacy of Al Andalus". 

  

Active Gourmet Holidays is now on Facebook! Click here to LIKE US and please share photos of your trip!  

www.facebook.com/ActiveGourmetHolidays  

For more information on specific tours or pricing, please email Jo-Ann Gaidosz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website at www.activegourmetholidays.com.

ATTENTION: Please make sure to hit the "Click Here" button above if you are not seeing the entire newsletter with the featured monthly recipeat the bottom!  

To ensure delivery of your Active Gourmet Holidays emails, be sure to add This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to your Address Book or "Known Senders" list!

Culinary SicilyApril 2103 News Culinary Sicily
Sicily, Italy - 7 nights

Available year round (excluding August)

Discover the secrets of Sicily with this unforgettable seven night experience. Stay in three different accommodations while immersing yourself in the tastes and flavors of this very special land. Take hands-on cooking classes with chefs, including the famous Eleanora Consoli, visit areas of interest including The Valley of the Temples and enjoy the culinary side of Sicily!

Read more: Culinary Sicily     


April 2013 News Legacy of al AndalusThe Legacy of Al Andalus
Andalusia, Spain - 7 nights  
Available year round 
 
 
The Legacy of Al Andalus will enable you to discover and explore the abundant history and culture of three of the most enchanting cities in the region, Seville, Granada and Córdoba - especially in its exceptional food and wine. In Andalusia, life is lived to the fullest and eating and drinking are taken very seriously. This holiday offers you unrivalled gastronomy, incredible wines, food and cultural visits.

 


April 2013 News - Authentic MarrakechNEW! - Authentic Marrakech
 
Marrakech, Morocco - 7 nights
Available year round - Saturday to Saturday

For an authentic look into Moroccan life, take a look at this tour! You will stay in a beautifully furnished riad (an authentic Moroccan home) and take hands on cooking classes in a well designed spacious kitchen where each student has his/her own prep space. Your host has a vivacious personality and will teach you a variety of delicious Moroccan dishes. You will also experience a trip to the market to buy your ingredients, but not before learning a bit of Arabic so you can converse with the locals! Your hosts are very generous and will do their best to immerse you in the customs, foods and flavors of this magical city.

Read more: Authentic Marrakech

 

 Client Testimonial 

"MILANO COOKING"  

April 2013 News - Client Remark
  

"Dear Jo-Ann: We just came back. let me tell you that everything was perfect, the cooking classes were fantastic, very professional, we loved them. The city tour and food guide was very nice and took us everywhere, so I want to thank you for what you did for me. I'm sending you some pictures. Thanks and I will contact you in the future.  Isabel C., Houston, Texas 

 RECIPE OF THE MONTH

BERBER TAJINE 

("Authentic Marrakech" Program
 

TOMATO  JAM

1 tablespoon sweet red paprika (not the dark or Hungarian one, it will be too bitter)

1 tablespoon cumin

3 star anise left whole for removing before serving

Tiny piece of mace crunched up

4 tablespoons sugar

A scatter of coriander seeds

Generous teaspoon of lemon anise seeds, ground in your hands until you can smell the aroma 
1 head of pink garlic flattened and peeled and roughly chopped 

1 large red onion - sliced into fine rings and then chopped

Cover the bottom of the sauce pan with olive oil..if you can't find Moroccan, then use Spanish

5 tomatoes peeled with a vegetable peeler then finely chopped - it helps to make a little incision with a sharp knife to have a 'beginning' for your peeler. We never boil the water as it stews the tomatoes and doesn't let the flavors release slowly.

Put all the ingredients, except for the tomatoes into the saucepan, over a diffuser and caramelize down, until everything begins to stick to the side of the saucepan but not the bottom. This will take around 20 minutes to half an hour. 

Add the chopped tomatoes and continue to cook down over the diffuser until it is quite reduced. This divine dish freezes wonderfully or keeps for a couple of days in the fridge, before it begins to separate.

  April 2013 Recipe Photo

KEFTA  BALLS

½ lb twice minced beef or lamb. This is important as the meat holds together nicely

1 tablespoon cumin

Handful of finely chopped coriander

4 garlic cloves finely chopped

Juice of a fat lemon

Mix all the ingredients together and roll into balls the size of big marbles

Place your tajine on its diffuser, on top of the stove over a gentle heat.

Add about 1/3 cup of boiling water to your tajine.

Fill the base of your tajine up to the first 'rim', with tomato jam, remembering to take out the star anise

Warm the tomato jam and add the kefta balls in a circle, pushing them down into the jam but not hitting the bottom.

Simmer for about 15 minutes

Break 4 eggs close to the sides and when the whites begin to turn white, fork the yolks dragging them across the top. Be careful not to dig up the jam when doing this.

Place the lid on the tajine and leave for about 5 minutes still on the diffuser over a low, low heat. If the tajine is by now too full, use a big saucepan lid that sits beyond the edge of the tajine, instead of the tajine top which will sink into its place and also sink into what is now, a bit too much!

When cooked, add coriander and sweet red paprika floats. It's divine to eat traditionally, from the tajine, with bread, rather than a fork.

Makes a fabulous Sunday Brunch.

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Contact Information
Active Gourmet Holidays
Jo-Ann Gaidosz
Phone: 1.203.732.0771
Fax: 1.203.734.6903
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.activegourmetholidays.com
Skype: active.gourmet.holidays 
March 2013
March News from Active Gourmet Holidays
 YOGA, HIKING AND COOKING IN TUSCANY! March 2013


 Active Gourmet Holidays

Greetings from Active Gourmet Holidays!

Active Gourmet Holidays brings you 3 brand new tours this month. You spoke and we listened so we have added a "Cooking, Hiking and Yoga" tour in Tuscany. In addition, take a look at "Catalan Tastes" on the France/Spain border and "The Best of Barcelona" for those who want to visit one of the most fascinating cities in the world.  

 

The recipe for March features a stuffed pepper recipe from French Catalonia.

  

Active Gourmet Holidays is now on Facebook! Click here to LIKE US and please share photos of your trip!  

www.facebook.com/ActiveGourmetHolidays  

For more information on specific tours or pricing, please email Jo-Ann Gaidosz atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website at www.activegourmetholidays.com.

ATTENTION: Please make sure to hit the "Click Here" button above if you are not seeing the entire newsletter with the featured monthly recipe at the bottom!  

To ensure delivery of your Active Gourmet Holidays emails, be sure to add This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to your Address Book or "Known Senders" list!

March 2013 News - Ck, Hike, Yoga Tuscany
NEW! - Cooking, Hiking and Yoga in Tuscany
Tuscany, Italy - 4 or 7 nights

Available March to November

If you are looking for breathtaking views of the Tuscan hillside, a tranquil environment in which to relax and "take it all in", a traditional Tuscan property with beautifully decorated rooms, yoga, hiking and cooking classes - look no further! This program features hands on cooking classes with an entertaining and professional chef, daily morning yoga classes with a certified instructor, wine tours led by a young, professional English speaking sommelier and guided hikes with picnic lunches. Choose from a 4 or 7 night itinerary with or without yoga. This tour has it all!

Read more: Cooking, Hiking and Yoga in Tuscany     


March 2013 News - Catalan Tastes
NEW! - Catalan Tastes
France/Spain border - 6 nights  
Available March-May, August-October 
 
 
Enjoy a food and wine experience like no other in the south of France close to the border of Spain. This is the best of Catalonia and it awaits you for a six night escape into this interesting and gourmet haven in France. Your experience will include market visits, communal preparation of meals, master classes with chefs, visits to local food producers, lunch and tastings at vineyards. This largely undiscovered area of France and Spain in the heart of the Mediterranean Pyreenes awaits those who love to eat and has a passion for great food!

 


March 2013 Best of Barcelona
NEW! - The Best of Barcelona
 
Barcelona, Spain - 3 nights 
Available year round 

You have heard about Barcelona for years so why not put it on your list of travel destinations? This tour is the perfect way to see and taste all that is Barcelona in just a few short days. It is a combination of gastronomy, wine and architecture and after the tour you will have gained a comprehensive view of what Barcelona is all about: great gastronomy, diverse history and unique architecture and design. Your English/Spanish speaking guide is a local expert in these three areas and is anxious to share the highlights of this spectacular city in Spain. 

 Client Testimonial 

"SICILIAN FLAVOURS"  

March 2013_Sicilian Flavours_remark
  

"Jo-Ann, Sicily was better than I even anticipated, really! We three had such a wonderful, wonderful time!
 
The transfer service and drivers were absolutely great - absolutely! They were so very friendly and cordial!!!, always punctual (early, most of the time!!!), informative and just a great addition for our first visit to Sicily. We had never traveled in this style before; it was the best!
 
Every single place we stayed was unique and really gave us a wide variety of exposures. It was soooo fun and delicious! We wouldn't trade this trip for the world:-)  It was wonderful and we thank you beyond words for helping us discover Sicily...can't say enough good about our trip!."

   
Nancy F., Manitoba, Canada
 
 RECIPE OF THE MONTH

PIQUILLOS FARCIS AU BACALAO

("Catalan Tastes" Program
 
 

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes 

 

Ingredients

2 jars piquillo red peppers

5 small green peppers, (padron)

½ lb Salt cod (bacalao) soaked for 24hrs with at least 3 changes of water

1lb potatoes

2 cloves garlic crushed

Bay leaf

1/4lb grated Manchego cheese

Olive oïl

Pepper

2 teaspoons fresh chopped parsley

March 2013 News Recipe Photo_catalan  

Method

 

Peel and boil the potatoes together with the garlic. Mash and set aside to cool. Preheat oven to 400F.

Poach the salt cod with a bay leaf and pepper for 10 minutes, drain and remove flakes of fish discarding the skin and any bones.

Mix the cooked fish and the mashed potato together and add a dash of olive oïl and season to taste.

Drain the piquillo peppers and stuff with the potato and fish mash. Arrange in a single layer in an oven proof dish.

Cover with grated cheese and a drizzle of olive oïl.

Oil the small green peppers and scatter on top.

Bake in the oven for 20- 25 minutes at 400F and serve hot with sourdough bread - Bon appetit!

  
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Contact Information
Active Gourmet Holidays
Jo-Ann Gaidosz
Phone: 1.203.732.0771
Fax: 1.203.734.6903
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.activegourmetholidays.com
Skype: active.gourmet.holidays 
February 2013
February News from Active Gourmet Holidays
 SPAIN: CATALONIA AND RIOJA -  FRANCE: THE LANGUEDOC February 2013


 Active Gourmet Holidays

Greetings from Active Gourmet Holidays!

The New Year has begun! How far have you gotten in planning that culinary getaway? Check out some savory tours below in Spain and France along with a wonderful recipe from the Languedoc region of France.  

  

Active Gourmet Holidays is now on Facebook! Click here to LIKE US and please share photos of your trip!  

www.facebook.com/ActiveGourmetHolidays  

For more information on specific tours or pricing, please email Jo-Ann Gaidosz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website at www.activegourmetholidays.com.

ATTENTION: Please make sure to hit the "Click Here" button above if you are not seeing the entire newsletter with the featured monthly recipeat the bottom!  

To ensure delivery of your Active Gourmet Holidays emails, be sure to add This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to your Address Book or "Known Senders" list!

Jan 2011 News Secret Spain Program PhotoSecret Spain
Barcelona/Penedés, Spain - 6 nights

Available year round

What better place to indulge in a culinary vacation than Catalonia, Spain? This private tour exclusively designed for Active Gourmet Holidays, combines lovely 4 star accommodations, inside "foodie" visits including cheese tastings and vineyard visits, fun cooking classes with talented chefs and of course, incredible meals and superb wine, all the while enjoying the architecture of Barcelona and the countryside of the Penedés region. For those looking for a true gourmand experience this tour is for you!   

Read more: Secret Spain    


Feb 2013 News Gourmet LanguedocGourmet Languedoc
Languedoc, France - 5 nights  
Available year round 
 
 
Welcome to the Languedoc region of France! Here you will learn about this lesser known part of France and be surprised at all it has to offer. You will participate in hands-on cooking lessons with a professional chef who will take you to the famous local market to shop for your ingredients. You will be guided through ancient villages such as Minerve, you will visit a goat cheese farm, olive producer and of course, taste fine wines from the area, all the while staying in a beautifully renovated home.
 
 

May 2011 News La Rioja Wine FestivalLa Rioja Wine Festival
Rioja, Spain - 4 nights 
Available year round upon request

Welcome to La Rioja, an internationally famous region for its acclaimed wines and gastronomy. Join us for an outstanding gourmet wine vacation, tailor-made for groups or individuals who would like to enjoy excellent wine and amazing food. Visit La Rioja, one of the most famous and prestigious wine-producing areas in the world. Choose the fixed departure date for the actual Rioja Wine Festival which takes place annually in September or choose any other dates year round.

 Client Testimonial 

"COOKING SORRENTO STYLE"  

  

"Jo-Ann, We had a wonderful time at the cooking program.  We learned some surprisingly easy recipes.  

 We would definitely recommend the program to any of our friends looking for a cooking experience."
   
Marykay D., Pennsylvania
 

 RECIPE OF THE MONTH

CASSOULET

("Gourmet Languedoc" Program) 

Cassoulet is a traditional peasant dish originating in the south of France (supposedly Castelnaudry, but some say Carcassonne or Toulouse). The dish is named after its traditional cooking vessel, the cassole, which is a large earthenware dish. There are many variations, but all contain beans and meat, most commonly duck or goose and sausages. Here is a modern take on the Cassoulet recipe.

Feb 2013 Recipe Photo  

Ingredients

500g (1 lb.) dried lingot beans

3 confit of duck legs 

200g (8 oz.) confit of Pork or smoked bacon, cut in to lardoons (small cubes)

50g duck/goose fat (2 oz.)

200 g (8 oz.) Gesiers of duck

300g (12 oz.) Toulouse sausage

2 onions sliced and chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

800g (2 lbs.) tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped (canned plum tomatoes are better than under ripe fresh ones)

1 tablespoon tomato purée

1 tablespoon Harisa

1 teaspoon fresh thyme (chopped)

60g (3 oz.) dried breadcrumbs

25g  (1 oz.) chopped parsley

100ml (1/2 cup) white wine 

100ml (1/2 cup) chicken stock 

Salt and pepper

Method

 

1)    Soak beans overnight in cold water.

2)    Put beans in to a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt, and continue to cook for another hour until "al dente".

3)    Cut sausage into 20 mm (3/4 inch) pieces, place in a frying pan with the pork (or bacon) and the duck fat. Fry until nicely browned. Set aside the meat.

4)    In the same frying pan, sweat the garlic and onion in the residue fat.

5)    Gently heat the confit and the gesiers in the oven for 15 minutes. Poor off the fat and remove skin and bones. Set aside.

6)    Place tomatoes, onions, garlic, tomato purée, Harisa (chilli purée), thyme, stock and white wine in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.

7)    Drain the beans and place in a large dish. Add all other ingredients, except breadcrumbs and parsley and stir well. Adjust seasoning to taste. Place the mixture in a large earthenware dish, or smaller individual dishes.

8)    Mix breadcrumbs and parsley, and sprinkle over the top. Bake for 30 minutes until bubbling and crispy on top.

 
  
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Contact Information
Active Gourmet Holidays
Jo-Ann Gaidosz
Phone: 1.203.732.0771
Fax: 1.203.734.6903
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.activegourmetholidays.com
Skype: active.gourmet.holidays 
January 2013
January News from Active Gourmet Holidays
MAKE A CULINARY TRIP YOUR NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION! January 2013


 Active Gourmet Holidays

Greetings from Active Gourmet Holidays!

Happy New Year! Why not plan that trip of a lifetime that you have been talking about? Check out some great tours below along with a wonderful recipe from Italy.  

  

Active Gourmet Holidays is now on Facebook! Click here to LIKE US and please share photos of your trip!  

www.facebook.com/ActiveGourmetHolidays  

For more information on specific tours or pricing, please email Jo-Ann Gaidosz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website at www.activegourmetholidays.com.

ATTENTION: Please make sure to hit the "Click Here" button above if you are not seeing the entire newsletter with the featured monthly recipe at the bottom!  

To ensure delivery of your Active Gourmet Holidays emails, be sure to add This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to your Address Book or "Known Senders" list!

March 2011 News Program Photo DordogneCooking in the Dordogne
Southwest France - 5 or 7 nights

Available mid April to October - Monday to Monday

Join us in Southwest France for a five or seven night total immersion in the French lifestyle. Pick up a straw basket and each morning you will visit a different traditional market with your hostess and chef who will teach you how to select the best produce. In France gastronomy and life pair with market visits which are a a vital event held on the main square of the town.

Read more: Cooking in the Dordogne  


Jan 2013 Immersion LanguedocImmersion into the Languedoc
Languedoc, France - 4 or 6 nights  Available year round (excluding July and August) - Sunday to Saturday
 
 
Join a native Languedocienne on a culinary journey in this little known corner of southern France, nestled between the Camargue region to the east and the French Catalonian Pyrenees to the southwest. You will discover this singular historic region rich in traditions, art, architecture and culture and meet some remarkable personalities and spirited characters, from local chefs and winemakers to artists and artisans, all of whom are passionate about their craft and their land.
 
 

 Client Testimonial 

"TASTES OF A ROMAN HOLIDAY"  

Jan 2013 Client Remark Photo  

"Jo-Ann was referred to me by our Italian Host saying she would meet all our needs and answer all our questions. In the process we decided to get more women to go with us and Jo-Ann buckled up and took charge. How she did it I will never know but I will be forever grateful. Our stay in the Roman Country side was just a wonderful experience. They attended to our every need and most of our wants. The accommodations were as Jo-Ann said they would be, exquisite! She didn't quit until she was sure we were in the air and was the first one to check on us when we returned. We all agreed that this would be a trip that would be hard to beat."

 

Marge C., Springfield, MO

 

 

 RECIPE OF THE MONTH

Zuppa di fagioli con pasta fresca

(Bean Soup with Fresh Hand Made Pasta)

("Cooking in an Umbrian Home" Program) 

Ingredients for 4 persons

For the pasta:

3 eggs

300 g of plain flour

Try to get Tipo 'OO' flour - this is a very finely sieved flour which is normally used for making egg pasta or cakes. In Italy it's called "farina di grano tenero", which means 'tender' or 'soft' flour.

 

For the bean soup:

  • 150 g  of beans (cannellini or borlotti)
  • 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 3 ribs of celery
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Rosemary
  • 2 tbs of tomato paste
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • grated Parmigiano cheese for serving

Jan 2013 Recipe Photo - Umbria 

Prepare the hand made pasta:

Place the flour on a board or in a bowl. Make a well in the center and crack the eggs into it. Beat the eggs with a fork until smooth. Using the tips of your fingers, mix the eggs with the flour, incorporating a little at a time, until everything is combined.

Put it in the fridge to rest for at least half an hour before you use it.

Roll the dough with the rolling pin, dusting the board from time to time with some flour.

Then cut it in lozenge (diamond shaped). Now they are ready to be cooked in the bean soup.

Prepare the bean soup:

The night before, soak the beans in cold water so that the next day you will find them completely hydrated and ready to be cooked. Drain them and put in fresh cold water with half an onion, 1 celery rib and 1 carrot, gently let them boil until tender. Add - only now! - some salt.

Drain them, but keep the water!

Sautè in a pan with 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, 4 garlic cloves, 2 diced carrots, half chopped onion, 2 ribs of celery and 4 rosemary stems. If you like you can add some pancetta (bacon). Let cook for 4-5-minutes at medium heat.

Add the drained beans, 1 tablespoon of tomato paste and 2 - 3 liters (about 8-12 cups) of the water. There must be enough liquid to cook the fresh egg pasta you are going to add! Let the pasta cook for 3-4 minutes (depending on its thickness).

Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, grated parmigiano cheese and freshly ground black pepper.

 
  
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Active Gourmet Holidays
Jo-Ann Gaidosz
Phone: 1.203.732.0771
Fax: 1.203.734.6903
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Website: www.activegourmetholidays.com
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COOKING IN THE DORDOGNE

"It was an absolutely marvelous week. The accommodations were superb. I loved the course, the host, and the Chambre d'Hote which is a lovely country house equipped with everything one could possibly need. I was incredibly pleased to when dealing with AGH. All in all, a fantastic experience that I hope to be able to repeat, perhaps in Italy next time." Anita D., Encinitas, California

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