Chevreuse, France All Dressed Up For Christmas


The Christmas decorations are out in Chevreuse, a small town near Paris.

The baker has some of the grandest Christmas decorations around!

The baker has some of the grandest Christmas decorations around!

Even their window display screams festivity

Even their window display screams festivity

Can't remember where this is, but I like

Can’t remember where this is, but I like

And this.... Is the funeral store: caskets, funeral services, etc.

And this…. Is the funeral store: caskets, funeral services, etc.

Check out these hens at the butcher's!

Check out these hens at the butcher’s!

And Santa Clause is scrambling up not 1, but 2 windows.

And Santa Clause is scrambling up not 1, but 2 windows.

Santa seems to have a real thing for windows now.

Santa seems to have a real thing for windows now.

How cute is this?!

How cute is this?!

'tis the season for wreaths!

’tis the season for wreaths!

I’ll try to snap a few shots of the decorations in Versailles before I head out πŸ˜‰

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Strolling Paris: The Champs Elysees Christmas Market & Jardins Des Tuileries


Here’s the 2nd set of photos from my stroll around Paris Friday. I wandered the Christmas Market at the Champs Elysees and then lounged the Seine until I found the Jardins des Tuileries.

The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower

And another, just because it was so picturesque.

And another, just because it was so picturesque.

For New Year's, some of the bigger boats on the Seine throw huge parties!

For New Year’s, some of the bigger boats on the Seine throw huge parties!

Paris' Grande Roue, seen from the Seine

Paris’ Grande Roue, seen from the Seine

So I took a lot of photos of the Eiffel Tower...

So I took a lot of photos of the Eiffel Tower…

The Jardins des Tuileries, favorite summer hang out of Parisiens.

The Jardins des Tuileries, favorite summer hang out of Parisiens.

Now let's add the Grande Roue and Eiffel Tower!

Now let’s add the Grande Roue and Eiffel Tower!

The Louvre Pyramid - we took a nice, long stroll!

The Louvre Pyramid – we took a nice, long stroll!

A church we found right around the corner from the Louvre, and our last stop for the day.

A church we found right around the corner from the Louvre, and our last stop for the day.

Stay tuned for more photos of France, coming soon!

1st Day Back In Paris: The Champs Elysees


After a groggy first day doing my best not to fall asleep at my grandparents’ in Versailles after the airport yesterday, I’m now out and about! First stop: Les Champs Elysees.

First, one last glance at the Golden Gate Bridge from the airplane.

First, one last glance at the Golden Gate Bridge from the airplane

Each year, there is a Christmas market at the Champs Elysees.

Each year, there is a Christmas market at the Champs Elysees.

Christmas market at the Champs Elysees

Christmas market at the Champs Elysees

Christmas market at the Champs Elysees

Christmas market at the Champs Elysees

Christmas market at the Champs Elysees

There's a great, big ice skating rink smack dab in the center of the Christmas Market!

There’s a great, big ice skating rink smack dab in the center of the Christmas Market!

Nice, big skating rink at the Champs Elysees

Paris' Grande Roue

Paris’ Grande Roue

Christmas market at the Champs Elysees

Yum! A court just for yummy Christmas specialties?

Crazy slide! Not so scenic, but just hilarious.

Crazy slide! Not so scenic, but just hilarious.

I'm pretty sure that's a real boar...

I’m pretty sure that’s a real boar…

I had a music box just like this one growing up!

I had a music box just like this one growing up!

We were supposed to see the Hokusai exhibit at the Grand Palais, but the line was so long  we strolled by the Seine and through the Jardins des Tuileries instead. Moro photos coming tomorrow!

We were supposed to see the Hokusai exhibit at the Grand Palais, but the line was so long we strolled by the Seine and through the Jardins des Tuileries instead. Moro photos coming tomorrow!

Lastly, my stand-in model and cuddle buddy while Phelps sand Turkey stay home in California.

Lastly, my stand-in model and cuddle buddy while Phelps sand Turkey stay home in California.

Little Trip Down to SLO


I took a quaint little last minute trip to SLO for a concert Thanksgiving weekend and got to try out my new camera πŸ˜€ (oh, Black Friday… so many great deals!) So here are my first shots with the Alpha 6000 (excepting the MANY shots of Phelps the cat).

We stayed at the famous and adorable Apple Farm Inn.

The Apple Farm Inn

Christmas decorations at The Apple Farm Inn

Christmas decorations at The Apple Farm Inn

Christmas decorations at The Apple Farm Inn

Christmas decorations at The Apple Farm Inn

Christmas decorations at The Apple Farm Inn

Christmas decorations at The Apple Farm Inn

Christmas decorations at The Apple Farm Inn

And look what I discovered the next day!

La Fromagerie Sophie

La Fromagerie Sophie

La Fromagerie Sophie

I got some delicious cheese from there πŸ™‚

Hmmm

Took a pit stop from Thanksgiving traffic to take some photos of road-side llamas for Anthony and Davide.

Llamas!

Llamas!

And that’s all for now, folks!

Thanksgiving Leftover Cupcakes: Honey Cornbread w/Cranberry Icing


I’ve been mulling over this idea for a recipe composed of leftovers from Thanksgiving and got the perfect excuse (and crowd to beta test!) when the lovely Ellie M. invited me to her co-op’s Friendsgiving shindig last Monday πŸ™‚

The recipe is quite easy! I followed this recipe for honey cornbread muffins from the Food Network for the “cupcake” part, then gathered the following leftovers from Thanksgiving with my family and friends this November:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Stuffing
  • Turkey gravy
  • Cranberry Sauce

I also bought:

  • Berry cream cheese for the frosting (regular cream cheese should work too)
  • Cupcake liners
  • A cupcake pan (a little Google research revealed some neat, but not so pretty alternatives, so I figured I might as well)

The Steps

  1. Follow Honey Cornbread Muffin recipe found here to make the cupcakes. I was surprised that the recipe called to put all of the batter into 12 cups and there was enough to make most overflow, so I’d recommend filling each cup almost to the brim so nothing oozes all over your pan or oven during baking.
  2. While the cupcakes are baking, grab a bowl and mix mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy. I would start with a small batch as you will want to play around with adding more of each ingredient until you reach the proportion you like best πŸ™‚
  3. Once the cupcakes are ready, use a thick knife to make a large hole in each one. I only made mine 2 inches in diameter and found that filling about half of the cupcakes would probably have been better, so don’t be afraid to make the holes pretty big.
  4. You might want to let them cool a little before you use a spoon to drop dollops of your mashed potato-gravy-stuffing mixture into the hole you poked into each cupcake.
  5. Lastly, mix your cream cheese with left over cranberry sauce, and frost your cupcakes (helper elves optional).
Yay, elves!

Yay, elves!

Lastly, Take a photo and chow down!

Yum!

Feel free to share some of your favorite holiday recipes in the comments πŸ™‚