Archive for December, 2014

3 Romantic French Destinations (Besides Paris!)

Posted on December 26th, 2014 by Dusty Fox in Uncategorized | No Comments »

For many people around the world, there’s no greater city for romance than Paris. Spending your mornings in chic cafes and afternoons strolling through cobblestone streets, or perhaps visiting the Eiffel Tower and shopping at flagship stores of luxury brands. Whatever your definition of romance is, chances are quite good that you’ll find it while vacationing in Paris.

But the notion that you’ll only find romantic settings in Paris while vacationing in France couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, as you get a bit of distance between you and the hustle of the big city, you’ll find more opportunities to spend quality time with your partner. Here are a few top picks to consider if you want to get away from it all and rekindle the flame with the one you love:

Annecy [Photo Credit: Creative Commons 2.0, Sergio]

Annecy [Photo Credit: Creative Commons 2.0, Sergio]


Located in eastern France, Annecy is a sizable city that’s just beyond popular destination Geneva. Thanks to the canals that run through the city, some refer to this place as “Little Venice.” Centuries-old buildings line the canals, with sweet terraces overlooking all that happens down below. The Palais de l’Isle is a famous castle that was built among the canals in the 1100s. It’s certainly worth a visit while taking a scenic boat ride through this charming city. Naturally, you’ll want to take a stroll over Pont des Amours, or “Lovers Bridge” while exploring the area.

Eguisheim [Photo Credit: GNU Free Documentation]

Eguisheim [Photo Credit: Creative Commons 3.0, Wikipedia user Mschlindwein]


If you’re looking for a picturesque town that feels as if it belongs in a fairytale, be sure to pay a visit to Eguisheim. This colorful town has a unique circular layout that makes exploration by foot fun and unique. It’s part of the famous Alsace Wine Route, which means there is no shortage of wine bars and wine cellars to visit. A word to the wise–expand your tasting horizons beyond the wines you usually drink. Ask the sommelier what recommendations they have and don’t miss your chance to try some unique varietals here that you’re unlikely to find back home.

Rochefort-en-Terre [Photo Credit: Creative Commons 3.0, Selbymay]

Rochefort-en-Terre [Photo Credit: Creative Commons 3.0, Selbymay]


This quaint town is the perfect destination for those who like to wander and take in local life at a leisurely pace. Architecture aficionados will find plenty to admire with ages-old homes and shops lining the streets. Leave your worries and need for speed at home. In Roche-en-Terre you can spend your time browsing antiques, visiting farmers markets, and eating local fare that will warm the soul.

Truth be told, Annecy, Eguisheim, and Rochefort-en-Terre are just 3 of many smaller cities and towns where you can enjoy European charm in a less rushed or crowded setting than you may in Paris. If you’re planning a trip to France with your partner, be sure to do some research and find a special getaway for the two of you, in addition to visiting all the must-see attractions Paris is known for. And, of course, don’t forget to learn some French before you go so that you’ll be able to make the most of your visit. Contact us to inquire about learning opportunities near you and you’ll be speaking the language of love in no time!


Tasty Ideas for a Mouthwatering Bûche de Noël

Posted on December 10th, 2014 by Dusty Fox in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Every culture has its own tasty holiday traditions. In France, one of the most recognized culinary traditions is the bûche de Noël, or what we often refer to as a yule log in the United States. This decadent treat is just as much about the presentation as it is the flavor, though the most diehard fans will argue that the tastebuds rule when it comes to judging the ranking of any bûche de Noël.

Most traditionally, the recipe for a classic bûche de Noël is quite simple. It’s a blend of sponge cake and filling, all rolled up and covered with a glaze or frosting. To accomplish what could seem like an intimidating end product, bûche de Noël experts follow a series of just several basic steps. First, an airy sponge cake is baked in a shallow, oversized pan. After a cooling period, a generous portion of chocolate buttercream frosting is applied, then it is gently rolled up into a giant roll. Finally, it is topped with more chocolate buttercream frosting and garnished with shaved chocolate or other decorative toppings.

Buche de Noel [Photo Credit: Creative Commons 3.0,, Visitor7]

Buche de Noel [Photo Credit: Creative Commons 3.0, Visitor7]

While this classic approach to bûche de Noël is guaranteed to be a hit among guests, if you’re thinking of whipping up a French-inspired treat for your friends and family, why not try something a little more unique? Here are 7 more combinations beyond the simple vanilla sponge cake-chocolate buttercream combo for an even more exciting bûche de Noël this Christmas:

Raspberry-Dark Chocolate: Add a few drops of raspberry flavoring to a dark chocolate sponge cake recipe, use a bitter chocolate frosting, and decorate with fresh raspberries.

Toffee-Almond: Use almond extract to enhance the flavor of a basic chocolate cake recipe and a smooth chocolate buttercream frosting mixed with toffee candy bar pieces, then, just before serving, coat the entire creation in almond slivers.

Lemon-Vanilla: Complement a simple vanilla sponge cake with a lemon-infused buttercream frosting and decorate the roll with fresh lemon zest. Create a border around the dessert using vanilla wafer cookies for added glam.

White Chocolate-Raspberry: Start with a basic sponge cake recipe and add raspberry flavoring for a subtle flavor enhancement. Use white chocolate buttercream frosting for the roll and as an outer layer, then decorate with white chocolate shavings and fresh raspberries.

Chocolate Ganache-Espresso: Find a sponge cake recipe that incorporates brewed espresso and pair that with an airy chocolate ganache filling. You can decorate this delicious bûche de Noël with chocolate covered espresso beans–the coffee lovers in the group will love it!

Dark Chocolate-Peppermint: Bake a dark chocolate sponge cake for your base, then add peppermint extract to your frosting for a peppermint patty-inspired combination that’s just perfect for winter.

Peanut Butter-Chocolate: Give your standard chocolate sponge cake a major flavor boost by topping it with a whipped peanut butter frosting. This flavor combination is a guaranteed hit for just about everyone, including kids, who love the peanut butter cup combo!

Buche de Noel [Photo Credit: Creative Commons 2.0, Kelly Sue DeConnick]

Buche de Noel [Photo Credit: Creative Commons 2.0, Kelly Sue DeConnick]

Whether you have French heritage, have French in-laws, or are just in love with French culture, there are plenty of reasons to take up the language. If you’ve made a resolution to learn French in 2015, be sure to contact us at Easy French. Our experienced teachers are ready to help you succeed!