Thursday, January 1, 2015

A New Year~

During the holidays..
I read ..a lot..
Cookbooks:)  and fiction..
Baking Chez Moi... Dorie Greenspan...   My French Kitchen ... Mimi Thorisson
China Dolls..Lisa See..Still Life  With Bread Crumbs..Anna Quindlen~

I love perusing cookbooks and thinking what I would like to try next..and I love getting lost in books..fiction..non fiction..thrillers..biographies..poetry etc..
Reading How The Light Gets In..Louise Penny..
Penny at Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen recommended Louise Penny..I have read one..and will figure out which one..but Gamache is her style of writing..this one is in QC..Montréal is featured and I was hooked at the first few pages..
Her prologue is so sincere.. that the prologue itself is worth the read.
How The Light Gets In are lyrics from a Leonard Cohen song..she approached him to be able to use these words and asked about the fee..
He said FREE.
A Free Fee from a great artist/composer/person.
Imagine that..and not at his most financially rich moments.
J'aime beaucoup beaucoup ce genre d'histoire.
During the holidays..
someone did something a little similar for me.
No relation..nothing.
A Free Fee out of caring  .

We had unusually mild wet weather..which caused most of the snow to quite literally disappear ,which is rare for Qué postal service lady told me it was the first time in 74 years it left no snow for snowshoeing or xcountry skiing..
It did start to chill up around the 29th..frigid.
But still no snow~
So reading took centre stage..
And baking bread of course..
and I have no idea what happens to me in between Christmas and New Years...I always feel like organizing..and with this weather? I positively felt like Spring cleaning..Our bedroom got a top to bottom everything..mattress..sheets ..pillow covers..cases..pillows..floors..curtains..were dusted washed pressed within an inch of their lives..
I still hang on to those pillowcases..I must have cross stitched them 20 years ago..
They have stayed so nice!

It looks and smells and feels so good.April in December.
A new desktop calendar is out..the same one I get every year.One year I did not have one..and the year was not the's so handy beside the phone..and I love the quotes.

Looking forward to the new Season Of Downton...

Nevertheless.. during the holidays..everything felt Christmasey at our daughter's for Christmas eve..
We had quite a little feast..We were all there..Caroline..Frédérick,Mylène..Alain ..Jacques and I..the 4 Alphabet boys and Giulianna and Adamo.
I brought an appetizer and a salad..
My appetizer was lovely and disappeared..
I made a beautiful Pomegranate cheeseball..
You can find the keeper recipe here..
Chris and Scott shared it at their CafeSucreFarineBlog:)
I knew it would be delicious on it's own..but I had just just made their Sriracha pepper jelly:)
So I brought some along and served it w/ the crackers and cheeseball..

I also was in charge of the salad..and brought this magnificence..
So so pretty and delicious..pomegranates..and cranberries and pistachios just sing We wish you a merryChristmas to me..
Keeper too.
Thank you so much ..for these wonderful ..festive..beautiful dishes..

My daughters had made great desserts..and Mylène an app we love .little curry olive bites,,good....and my son-in-law had once again outdone  himself w/ melt in yout mouth lamb..Jerusalem artichoke chips served on the smoothest mashed potatoes..caramelized tri color roasted carrots and gorgeous asparagus.

Christmas morning was carb fare I would say..with Bagels and smoked salmon and cream cheese..and these fantastic scones..

You know what I did?
I made them..and before adding the egg wash/sugar..I FROZE them.Baked them frozen after adding the wash..and then added the OJ sugar glaze.
They rose high and flaky and between you and I..looked even better than the ones in Ina's recipe:)
Just remember when baking frozen scones you will have to adjust the time and check..don't be dismayed it they seem unsightly at one point..keep baking until they look puffy..flakey..and gorgeous.
The oj glaze on top..yum.

Jacques made his pecan praline bacon..from Epicurious.. we had maple syrup muffins.. croissants..cretons..mimosas..etc..
The boys opened their gifts..the adults too.
I would say the hits of breakfast was the bacon and the scones:)
New Year's Eve was my kind of party..
We had the boys for a sleepover.

And in a heartbeat..Christmas and New Year's  came and went~

May 2015 comfort you.


Did I mention Downton?:)
I love that Mr. Bates.


  1. Happy New Year, Monique! Sounds like you had a wonderful time of celebration. Everything sounds delicious. It has been quiet here, family left for VT to ski the 26th, and won't be back till Sat. We haven't had any snow here, and I am thankful for that, it makes life for Mike so much more difficult.
    A blessed 2015 to you and yours!

    1. Easier on J and I too!
      It has just started to snow..the boys just left..they did my hair..gotta love little boys that like playing hairdresser.
      We watched Miracle on 34 th St..they stayed up till midnight..
      I would only stay up for them😍
      Let's make a deal and have a great Nea Year,

  2. What a nice recap of your lovely holiday! I'm looking forward to Downton! I am, however, warning Julian Fellows (and this time I mean it) that he'd better let something really nice happen for Lady Edith. Otherwise, I'm done with Downton (maybe)!! Best wishes for 2015!


    1. I still miss Michael and Sybill..I agree with you..I want Edith so happy too!
      Thank you and you too!

  3. Monique, you do know how to live it up. I love scones the higher the better. And I can't wait for Downton this Sunday. Just love the scenery and storylines. I am reading All The Light We Cannot See; I am enjoying it and glad to find a book of fiction that I enjoy. Just finished a little book from 1892 - Longfellow's Evangeline. I did not know the story of the Acadians. I saw the word susurrus used which I had not seen before and remembered reading the word in the Outlander series. Hope the new year brings peace.

  4. Happy new good health...lots of love joy and Ria...!!

  5. Great word! Whipering..had to look it up..
    I put Want To Read on my Goodreads with your All The Light You Cannot see.
    Winter..reading months:)

  6. Que de douces photos pour commencer cette année ~
    Bonheur et santé ~
    Bonne soirée

  7. It sounds like you had a very delicious feast! yum, and lots of good reading, i had a hard time finding anything good to read over the holidays, sometimes some books just aren't engaging you know? Oh and i just love the photos of your grandsons by the christmas tree on the side of your blog.
    Happy new year to you :)

    1. I am always searching for that best book read.
      I am liberal with compliments to people etc..and am sincere..but it takes a lot for me to give a book 5 stars..the last one was that book I kept talking about..The Art Of Hearing Heartbeats..for some reason..that is the only one that has done it for me in 2 years!
      I like to be engaged from the get go..and it is a rare occurrence..Sarah's Key was one..The Book Thief..
      Looking forward to sharing 2015 with you and your creative endeanvpurs...

  8. Sounds like you had a warm & wonderful (& as always, beautiful) Christmas time! Yes, I know what you mean about "spring cleaning" in January. Clearing, make room for the new. I JUST got a Louise Penny book from my library yesterday, recommended by a friend because it takes place in Quebec City. She loved the audio version. Leonard Cohen, je l'adore!! Have you listened "Popular Problems"? "You Got Me Singing", Oh oh oh!! So beautiful, it touches my heart deeply...Our next trip to Quebec will probably not be until May, when the snow in the mountains melts & clears the roads...Bonne Année!

  9. My dear Monique, happy new year to you and to your lovely family! May all your wishes come true in new year, be happy and loved! Thank you for your friendship, although we only know each other via internet, but I cherish our connection very much.!!



    P.S. What is a name of the stand for a jello? And where did you get one? I need one for sure-))

    1. Ah..I see I was responding to Rita while you were typing..😄
      I got this at Amazon maybe 4 years ago..I am certain it is still available..
      I will go check..
      It is called the Norpro Jelly Strainer and I give it 5 stars.

      I should get replacement bags..jellies..are clear and gorgeous with this.
      Happy New year dear Yelena.

  10. We are in a squall storm right now..not much accumulation..but the green is gone..
    I will Google her books as I read one that was almost solely in QC also..
    I will listen to Popular Problems..and You Got Me Singing...thank I will enjoy...
    A new year..a fresh slate..always quite hopeful..

  11. It sounds like your weather is exactly like ours. No snow, was unusually mild but now frigid with snow in the forecast for the weekend. I just posted a dessert recipe from Mimi's book! I'm so glad you got it. I really want Dorie's also. She also has such wonderful desserts. Spring cleaning :-) I still have to take down Christmas but I really don't want to. Christmas may remain here for another week if I get my wish. I was ill for a few days earlier in the week and didn't get to enjoy them much. Your embroidered linens look just like new. Off to check out your links :) Happy New Year, Dear Monique!

    1. Our Christmas decorations stay until after Epiphany..kind of old fashioned for that..
      Susan I am sorry you were ill..
      Very sorry.
      The books were thoughtful gifts..I am going to check your post tout de suite.
      Happy New Year

  12. Happy New year dear Monique!
    I love thisbook because I love Mimi!
    All look amazing!

  13. Oh! Now I'm brave enough to try freezing with those scones! Your Christmas and New Year sound absolutely perfect!

    1. I am happy I tried!
      I practiced baking..freezing..then re warming..and straight out freezing raw.
      Preferred the latter.
      Hope you try Nellie.

  14. Oh, the food, Nana! And a properly festive holiday season - I am filing this away for next Christmas season. A lonely Christmas here, with the grands moved away and less family - and I promised myself next Christmas will be full of scents and tastes and joy and people, somehow. And those books, and your photographs just bring light into the chilly early morning here. Happy New Year, Nana!

    1. I thought of you many times..A big change..I hope you can maybe go to them next Christmas?
      That would be grand.
      I know you ike scones as much as I do..yours are favored here:)

    2. We shall see, Nana. Sorting through my endless STUFF, getting ready for a move, I think. Isn't it amazing how much clutter we have? But each tiny letter, each photograph, each memory, brings so many memories. Which, of course, our darling children and grandchildren could care less about - so toss it is.

  15. Such a lovely post, Monique. Sounds like a marvelous holiday week. You are so all goes so fast, doesn't it? Young children fill Christmas with joy. How fortunate you are to have them close.
    I did not get Dorie or Mimi's books, but my daughter got Prune...just about the most unusual cookbook I've ever seen. I adore her restaurant.
    Happy New Year to you and your lovely family!

  16. I'll have to look up Prune.. It is unknown to me..Yes the children..are my joy ..
    I think because they are our whole social circle too:)

    All the best Barbara!

  17. Gawd I miss Downton Abbey!!
    Paris is Not Everything.
    Love this post and yr stitched pillows.
    Is there anything you can't do?

  18. Beaucoup beaucoup!! about a desktop PB calendar? You surely have enough photos and data:)

  19. So much here to contemplate. So glad you are enjoying the Louise Penny books. The characters are so well drawn. Gamache reminds me if Mr. Bates in a way. His core is solid and he feels deeply. Thanks for the link back. Can hardly wait for the new season of Downton. It sounds like your family had a wonderful holiday. I have taken a break from blogging, but we are home now and I am anxious to get back to it. May your new year be memorable and joyous Monique.

    1. You are soo busy! I had read about your plans..I had read one..I searcehd ..and found..
      I have another on hold..
      Thanks for bringing me back:)

  20. M ~ I adore the photos of the Grands with their Christmas lights. So so sweet! Happy New Year! I love that Leonard Cohen quote and will definitely check out the Penny books. The Christmas tree is still up and we are savoring it for one more weekend.

    1. We are too..:) I like seeing it up..and we are expecting a storm of snow tonight with rain tomorrow..up and down!
      I had kept a small string out waiting for an op..It happened Xmas morn..the moms and dads too..except Fred I think:)

  21. Monique, Love the New Year's Post! You've always inspired me with delicious recipes, wonderful books, creative drawings and of course, sharing your stories of your family. Looking forward to more inspirational posts in the new year, 2015!!

    1. You too Jody..

      I hope this year is a wonderful as last year for you:)

  22. Monique, what a treat to read a post from you this morning. I have adored all of the photos and picked up a few new reads, printed a recipe for some fabulous scones and just delighted in all that was your holiday season. Thank you so much for all that you share! I was so happy to finally be able to put up my Susan Branch Calendar and break open my ME desk calendar. So lovely. That is always a great start to my year! I wish for you and J, the girls and their husbands and your alphabet boys all the best that 2015 has to offer you! xxoo

    1. Me too Marie..

      The reason I have had the calendar so soon the last 2 your thoughtful tip to order on Amazon.I will never not have it now:)
      Thank YOU for everything you share! I already Pinned your dessert ths morning!

  23. PS - I just adore your embroidered pillow slips, but then again I love all that you do. xx

    1. They are so old..thankfully they are aging better than I am:)
      Thank you:)

  24. Happy New Year Monique! Cheese balls must have made a come back. We had the inlaws and Sabine made a cheese ball with cream cheese, sharp cheddar, I think blue cheese and some worsteshire sauce. It was then dipped in chopped nuts. Your is so pretty with the pomegranates. I can't say I went through a cleaning frenzy like you but I was at the laundromat washing slipcovers. I think we have the house all decorated and our clock goes off to get life back to normal. I potted up some bulbs for forcing that should have been done a while ago. We will see how this goes. All the cookies made were a big hit witth everyone. Think I will get into some reading too. Again Happy and Healthy New Year to you, your family and everyone.

    1. You too~
      Laundromat..great idea for heavier items..great idea..!
      I forgot to buy hyacinths:( I looked and only saw some at one store and thought..I would wait..well I my vases will be bubless..Till next year:)

    2. Our supermarkets have them in vase and in bud along with pots of primroses (seems a bit early for all this and none of the primroses had any scent). I guess you could splurge if you want to smell spring along with all your freshly laundered bed linens.

    3. I noticed at your Trader Joe's they had lovely flowers etc..
      I do believe one can splurge on little fliers in their pots:-)

  25. I haven't read any Louise Penny?! What do you recommend I read? I can't wait for January 5th to get here!!!

    1. Louise Penny is great..her main character is Inspector Gamache..I think there are 9 or 10 in the series and apparently preferable to start with the first..but I didn' t..luckily I had read another so the characters were not unknown to me..
      Have you read Cara Black?Murder in Le Marais?
      I am kind of bad with books and forget them quickly..
      Did you read The Art Of Hearing Heartbeats?
      Loved that one..
      Child 44 was good..I like different styles..
      You read much more than I do..I actually went through a lot of your posts yesterday looking for your book choices and was able to put one on hold:-) Hoping to read more this year!

  26. Everything so beautiful as always! I wish you the most happy and healthy 2015!
    Bisous xoxoxoxo

    1. And you know I wish you the very same and more:-)

  27. It sounds like you had the perfect Christmas and New Years imaginable, shared with close family and good friends. Everything you do has a magical feel to it Monique. Sending big happy new year wishes your way to you and Jacques and your family. And we love Downtown Abbey and Mrs. Bates as well :)

  28. Bonjour ma chère Nana,
    En toute simplicité, je viens te faire de gros bisous pour te souhaiter plein de bonnes choses à l'occasion de cette nouvelle année 2015.
    C'est toujours un véritable régal que d'entrouvrir ta porte... Je me réjouis à chaque fois.

  29. Bonne Année ! Just discovered your blog ! Nice and so familiar since I live in Qc too !

  30. Christmas is such a wonderful time to spend baking.

  31. I love reading too, but mainly cookbooks these days. :) I love your selections and can't wait to get my hands on some of them. Hope you had a nice holiday celebration.