I know it’s been too long since I’ve last blogged and I’m both ashamed and sorry. I’ve also been told off by several people, so I hope this one makes up for my absence.

The last few months have been extremely busy and believe it or not, I spent all my time writing (not for my blog, obviously!) To escape the stress, I sought refuge in the kitchen, but never long enough to come up with a post.

So now that I’ve submitted all the work for my master’s program, I can officially get back to blogging and most importantly to food.

Last January, I impatiently waited for Aran Goyoaga from Cannelle et Vanille to post the dates for her 2012 workshop. I was lucky enough to get a spot in one of the most coveted food styling and photography workshops out there.

So, as a graduation gift to myself, I joined Aran and nine other wonderful women in the Dordogne Valley in Southwest France for an unforgettable week that consisted of cooking, styling, photographing and eating.

The workshop took place in a tiny village called Beynac, which in my opinion is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to. Famous for its foie gras, or the place where the movie Chocolat was filmed, Beynac is full of cobblestone pathways, medieval castles and cute restaurants with food that’s just perfect for a getaway in the French countryside.

Every day of this wonderfully planned trip was filled with long walks in the lush French countryside, *very* long visits to the market, immaculately styled (and delicious) picnics by the Dordogne River, trips to a walnut grove, ice cream tastings (I tried poppy, daffodil and violet and they were creamy, flowery and delicious), baking sessions and unforgettable meals.

In a nutshell, I spent a week with wonderful company, beautiful surroundings and great food that connected me with people who have become treasured friends.