Hazelnuts are something that I have grown to truly appreciate. While they used to be the round, slightly bitter little nut with a thin paper skin that I would try to avoid in the mixed nuts bowl, they have now become a delicious snack and ingredient that I try to use whenever possible. For many years, my knowledge of the hazelnut was a coffee creamer flavor or a sweet smelling housewarming candle. No longer.
I have since married a French man who adores the noisette and have visited Europe on several occasions to find that the hazelnut or filbert is a much loved ingredient that is used in all sorts of ways from cooking to baking. (more…)
Autumn is no doubt one of the best times of year. There are crafts with the kids, making leaf piles and jumping in, corn mazes, carving pumpkins, and hot apple cider with cinnamon sticks. Then there’s the making fun goodies for the class fall parties and the hunt for costumes for that deliciously fun holiday, Halloween. All of my such wonderful memories are very well preserved and documented in scrapbooks that are now gathering dust.
My two wonderful daughters with whom all these memories were made are now 18 and 22- one in college and the other getting married in a couple of months. Interestingly, even though they don’t thumb through the old scrapbooks, they remember in detail each costume they wore and the process of coming to the decision of what they wanted to be for Halloween that year. And I remember taking their vision and creating a costume on a shoestring budget. (more…)
After spending a month of pure gluttony in France, eating everything from unlimited loaves of crusty French bread to rounds of fresh goat cheese, I am back home and facing the consequences. I refuse to get on the scale, but I know by the utter snugness of my pants and my inability to button certain shirts that the pounds are ever present. I need to do some damage control before the holidays and my eldest daughter’s wedding arrives.
I knew that this was my fate before leaving France, so I thought ahead and purchased a French food magazine with loads of vegetable recipes that were rapide and facile-quick and easy. Right up my alley. I decided that instead of bringing the delicious tradition of eating cheese and bread home with me, I would bring home another and more healthy French tradition…eating a lot of fruits and vegetables. The French use a huge variety in their cooking and the presentation is always beautiful. The health benefits are just as important as maintaining a healthy weight. (more…)
Fresh sheets and fluffed up pillows were placed on the bed. The vacuuming and dusting was completed. Halloween and fall décor was placed throughout the house. Cookies were baked and shelves stocked with some favorite food items. My schedule was freed up for the next couple of days. Sounds like some special company was coming for the weekend? Well, yes, sort of…it was my daughter’s first visit home since leaving for college and I was hyped.
It had been 2 full months since we moved her into the dorms and I’ve missed her. I mean, really missed her. I had quite a bit of anxiety, as I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I’ve been reading about all sorts of “college changes” and almost foreboding warnings about the first visit home from your college student. Was I going to be prepared for who’s going to walk through the door?
Warning #1: “Your child may not want to share his/her new life with you and this should be respected”. Oh, dear. I’m not good about this one. I tend to take on the role of an interrogator when it comes to people, but I will exert some self control. (more…)