Merry Christmas

This entry is simply to affirm that my blog has NOT gone into the abyss of lost and forgotten blogs. I have had so very much to say and write about these past couple of months, but with no time to do so.

After returning from our French “sabbatical”, as I like to call it, (which was very much enjoyed and needed!), I entered into a new life and started to make the needed adjustments. My youngest was at college and no longer in the home. A new focus was now on breathing air into our business that had been slightly neglected the previous months, planning a December wedding for my eldest daughter, and starting to live our new life together. In fact, this was what my blog entries were going to be about…Then the business got busy, the wedding planning picked up momentum, and the holiday preparations were upon me. I know. Excuses.

Which brings me to a question: How DO these bloggers live their lives so fully with crafts, cooking, travel and kids and STILL have time to write about it at the end of the day? It MUST be about what my husband harps on me about all the time-TIME MANAGEMENT. This, my friends, will be one of my new year’s resolutions. I shall be better at time management. I shall be efficient and GET THINGS DONE!

But in the meantime, I will savor the moments of the next couple of weeks. I will spend time in the kitchen with my daughters baking cookies and making our appetizers for Christmas. I will steam my old wedding veil for my daughter’s wedding day. I will thoughtfully pack boxes with my daughter, as she prepares to move into her new life. I will listen intently to my youngest daughter as she speaks of her exciting new college life. I will put the holiday sweaters on the dogs and giggle with the family. I will take walks with my husband in the brisk evenings hoping to see deer. I will even eat some fudge and drink some wine-without the guilt.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

“Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.” -Bil Keane, Family Circus cartoonist

Chocolate Hazelnut Apple Cookie Tart

chocolate hazelnut apple cookie tart

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. nuts-74362

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…)

Halloween Costume Memories

Halloween

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…)

A Delicious Beet Recipe-Bringing Veggies Back

beets

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…)