Sunday, December 29, 2013

1 year ago at Xmas

A year ago we were celebrating Xmas in Montreal. The reminiscence is vague but the taste of our dessert is as vivid as it was yesterday. I must admit I nurture a particular relationship with food, specially dessert. However each bite of sweetness is prefaced with a guilty feeling, the forbidden food has been consumed, folks!
Yes, I am overweight : 18 kilos over the average weight for my age, height, bone structure and other factors. This is due to pregnancy, sleep deprivation, emotional stress as now being unemployed or simply because my tastebuds get all excited when tasting sugary heaven. 
Dieting and moderation were and never will be part of my vocabulary. I indulge myself on a regular basis in sugary pastries, chocolate and candies and living in France doesn't help to stop either. I'm not a fan of sugary cereals, fast-food or dip and sauce though. Moreover, having skinny mother and sister who don't miss any opportunity to remind your fat-laden self to stop eating and to set as a healthy example for the kids (who are fitter than anyone in the family). As of yet I live every day as it was the last. 

Xmas dessert from here in Montreal. Chocolate Xmas ball, ok but nothing spectacular

In Paris, we had an exquisite ice cream bûche de Noel from Hugo&Victor (here) : a complexed combination of chocolate and vanilla ice cream with a crispy nuts. This is from far the best ice cream bûche de Noel I have had in my life. Pricy but worth every cent.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Les galeries Lafayette en fête

To get into the Xmas mood, we went downtown to admire the Galerie Lafayette xmas decorations.  It's fantastic !!! Each window display tells a story and features animated figures in a magical world. 
This is worth a visit! As the old saying, a picture is worth a thousand words. So enjoy the pictures and hope to see you in Paris next holidays.  

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

xMaS Tree

This Xmas, I decide to install a new family tradition : doing our own xmas tree and/or decorations (at least our own interpretation of xmas). I must admit it was a hassle : trying to manage the kids and get the job done, specially when painting was involved in the process. 

I forgot to take pictures of the making but here is the result. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

American cinnamon roll vs Breton Kouignette

Maison Georges Larnicol is a wooden luxury candy shop with a self service concept. Translucid bins are filled with mix of chocolate waiting to be eaten. Some creations are weighed at the counter as the kouignette. Or Kouign amann comes from the Breton (language), translating to butter cake.

I bought a plain and chocolate kouignette, a super sticky, crispy and sugary bomb. It is refrigerated and hard to get off the plastic paper. I did manage to mess up the display. 

The salesman told me to warm it in the oven before eating. Not having a portable oven with me and mostly as a sugar addict, I couldn't wait til home, so as soon as I stepped out the store I gulped it. 
(Pause)… (Another bite following another pause)… Well…

I couldn't appreciate the taste to the fullest: way too sugary to my taste (buttery but ok). 

Even though I didn't enjoy the kouignette, I will definitely come back to try some varieties of chocolate and macarons.

Friday, December 13, 2013

pLaYing w/ PiPe cLeaNeRs

Between session of submitting resume, following up and preparing psycho-technical tests, I played with pipe cleaners and the result is astonishing…

into puffy flowers garland

Or into glasses

Friday, December 6, 2013

Sinterklaas is er!

 In the days leading up to December 6th my kiddos were behaving their best. 
Saint Nicholas (the "Dutch Santa Claus"), his horse and Zwarte Piet (Saint Nicholas' helper) have left Spain on a steamboat and were making their way to our house with bags filled with spiced gingerbread biscuits (speculaas in Dutch), clementine and THE gifts (being part of THE infinite list of wanted toys carefully enumerated by our Highness daughter and sent 2 months earlier to make sure the wanted toys arrive safely). As Saint Nicholas only brings gifts to the kiddies who have behaved well in the past year otherwise they get an onion.

On Saint Nicholas' Eve (December 5) we spent the day singing* while making cookies and decoration/signs to make sure Saint Nicholas finds our house. We are not too much careful says our Highness. Before going to bed, they put a carrot in their boots and prepared cookies+a glass of milk in front of the entrance door. However the tradition requires in front of the chimney but we don't have one. Our Highness is always full of surprise, she put an onion for Zwarte Piet because he's a naughty one she said.
The apotheosis is the morning of December 6, the kiddos were over exhilarated and the day was punctuated with period of calm, some "mmmmmmmMMmmmm…" were heard (mouth full of candies) and with period of sugar pumped kids jumping on the couch thanking Saint Nicholas for the super duper gifts and goodies.

*Sinterklaas kapoentje, 
gooi wat in mijn schoentje, 
gooi wat in mijn laarsje, 

Dank u, Sinterklaasje.