Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A New Year's Reservation...

26/12/2012

Bonjour mes amis!

I hope you had a Wonderful Christmas Day with lots of Family and Friends around!

We are about to head out the door to do some site seeing with our grown children, but I wanted to show you something...

Last week, we went out to dinner to one of our favorite places here in Orleans.  It's a nice little casual place, with excellent/pretty food, at a decent price.  We noticed a brochure propped up on the bar...

Notre Menu Saint Sylvestre

Right away, we got to thinking that perhaps this was their New Year's Eve Special Menu, and Wow, we like this place, maybe we'd like to come back with everyone for a nice meal.

Here's the Menu...


Looks pretty nice, huh?  (I mean, it's not "Chez Stacy"...my friend who has treated us to New Year's Eve dinner in years past, but it will have to do this year!)  There's still a few words on the Menu that we haven't translated yet, but Six Courses...Wow!  Sounds nice.  We made our Reservation for Seven people!  I think we will all enjoy it!  Honestly, we really don't know yet how people celebrate the New Year here in Orleans, but atleast we have a plan now!

Just letting you know...since my children are all here, I'm going to spend time with them, and be a bit spotty with my blogging over the next week.  I'll be back.  (I want to share some Christmas details with you.)  It won't be long.  I hope you, too, enjoy your time away from the usual schedule...

Have a "Jewel" of a day!
Jan

 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!


25/12/2012

Joyeux Noël, mes amis!

I wish you a most Joyous Day, celebrating the Birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!



From our Home here in France to Yours...Merry Christmas!

As always...have a "Jewel" of a day!
Jan

Monday, December 24, 2012

Are Those Soft Peaks I See?

24/12/2012

Bonjour mes amis!

Yesterday, three Special Guests arrived from Texas and Colorado!

Ms. Sapphire and the Diamond Duo!

Me and My Son!


Let the Christmas Fun begin...

I have a very short Story to share with you today, since we're all busy visiting with family and getting ready for celebrations...

The other day, as I finished up all the wrapping, I remembered that I needed to attempt some Homemade Egg Nog.  To my knowledge, the French do not have (or drink) Egg Nog here...do they realize what they are missing?  Anyway, we decided we needed to have it, so I wrote to a close friend of mine who is an excellent cook, and asked if she had a recipe for Egg Nog.  She quickly sent me her "Better Homes and Gardens" Recipe that she's had for years.

So, I gathered my ingredients, cooked the egg yolks, sugar and milk together (forming the custard), and set the pan out on the balcony to cool.  The egg whites were safely stored away in the refrigerator.  When the custard was cooled, I got out my whisk, and began to whisk the egg whites and sugar.  (We do not have a mixer here, so there was no choice but to whisk it by hand!)

After several minutes hours of stirring and whisking, I called in Ms. Emerald to take over...perhaps the mixture was growing, but my hand was tired.  I took over again, and then Dr. J came it to take a turn.  Shortly thereafter, we called in Jewelius.  (Certainly he should help, too, right?)  I took over again, and exclaimed to Ms. Emerald...

Are Those Soft Peaks I See?

That's what I was hoping for anyway.  (The recipe said to mix until soft peaks form...)  Wow!  This was hard work without a mixer.

We were finally satisfied that perhaps there really were soft peaks forming, and we could mix the egg white mixture into the custard, stir it up, and pour it into some bottles for cooling in the frig.

Dr. J bought an interesting Spirit for our Egg Nog...


We are now enjoying our Homemade Egg Nog with our family!  Delicious!



Have a "Jewel" of a day!
Jan

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Perfect Gift!

23/12/2012

Bonjour mes amis!

In just two days, we will celebrate Jesus' Birth!  His coming to this earth over 2000 years ago, is the greatest gift anyone could ever receive...the Perfect Gift.  He was born to die...and He did it willingly...because of His Love for His People...you and me!


The Perfect Gift...

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have Eternal Life."  John 3:16


It is only because of Christ's perfect life and death that we can receive this perfect gift of Eternal Life!  Give all Thanks and Praise to Him, and give your Life to Him!  He is Worthy!


Have a blessed day!
Jan

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Friday Night Family Christmas Fun!


22/12/2012

Bonjour mes amis!

How often do we take the time to do something altogether as a family?  Another gift of Christmas...time together to do something fun!

Last night, Ms. Emerald and I made a plan to bake Sugar Cookies!  I had found (what looked like) a fabulous recipe, and so, while Ms. Emerald was wrapping some presents, I put together the dough and got it into the frig for baking after dinner.

We got busy right after the dishes were done...making more dirty dishes of course!

First Ms. Emerald put on some Christmas Carols for us, and then we started cutting out our cookies!



We don't usually make Sugar Cookies in the U.S., so this was especially fun, and the recipe worked out perfectly!

I made some frosting, and Ms. Emerald tinted it...perfectly!


...and the Cookies came out of the Oven, cooled and were ready for us to really have fun!




 Then, the guys wanted in on the action...first Jewelius...


Then, Dr. J joined in...


Look at these beauties!  We're trying to save them until the rest of the family arrives on Sunday.  I mean, we already ate half a pan of Fudge, so it's the least we can do...


What a successful Friday night of Christmas Fun!


What do you do as a family for Christmas Fun?  I'm also impatiently waiting to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" when we're all together...

 Have a "Jewel" of a day!
Jan


Friday, December 21, 2012

A Little Bit of Christmas...doll it up!

21/12/2012

Bonjour mes amis!

I hope you are enjoying your time anticipating Christmas!

I know Jewelius is enjoying the arrival of his sister, Ms. Emerald.  They are laughing a lot, playing computer games, and Jewelius even took his sister to the Boulangerie the day before yesterday.  Look what they came home with for our Dessert!!!


A log of Chocolate Mousse!

Now that's a Yule Log!!!

Today I thought I'd show you some bits of Christmas in our Apartment...

The sofa pillows got dolled up!

Yup!  All dolled up!

The Stockings are hung...

The tree's getting dolled up, too!
 Yesterday we bought a nice little Poinsettia, because...


I received this beautiful soup tureen from a friend here (Michele) and it begged me to doll it up!!!  (There's a lovely cover to go with it, too!)

Well, back to the Wrapping and Baking and Planning...
 

Have a "Jewel" of a day...and go doll something up!
Jan

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Orléans Centre!

20/12/2012

Bonjour mes amis!

I'm going to backtrack just a little bit...I know I've delved into Christmas of late, but I still have so many places in France and even, Germany and Switzerland, to show you, so please indulge me and let's take a look at some more good stuff!

I'm just going to show you a few pictures from Orléans Centre today.  We did do a couple touristy things here with my parents, and then, finally had to say good-bye, with one final special dinner out at a Restaurant (yes, there will be a couple pictures of pretty food in this blog...you know me so well by now)!

First, we went to the Joan of Arc Museum.  For some strange reason, I forgot to take a picture outside, so I'll just show you a picture of a tapestry of her, which is actually located in the big Cathedral.  The Museum had a multimedia presentation of Joan of Arc's life, and we were able to listen in English!  Orléans is progressing some in providing tourist information in English as well as French!


 Then, here's a shot of my Mom in the city by a pot of pretty mums last month!


Next, we went to a Museum about Charles Peguy.  He was a noted French poet, essayist, and editor, born in Orléans. His two main philosophies were socialism and nationalism.  Our real reason for going to this Museum was, that the ticket was included with the purchase of our Joan of Arc Museum ticket...we enjoyed it nonetheless...


In the Courtyard of the Museum...

I just love the little courtyards in France!

This is Charles Peguy!

Isn't this a neat book press?  I love looking at old things...
One of the other things I really wanted to do with my parents, was to take them to a Patisserie for a "Café Gourmand".  We finally went, and had fun!  You get your usual small cup of coffee, along with sample sizes of some of the desserts...awesome, and very French!


...and then, we just walked around a bit and enjoyed the views...



For dinner on my parent's last night in Orléans, we went to a Restaurant called, "Le Tonnelier".  The food was real pretty!





So sad to say "good-bye"!  We enjoyed their visit so much...and are hoping for more visitors to our home here in Orléans Centre!

P.S.  Doesn't my Mom look really pretty in her new scarf she bought in Paris???

Have a "Jewel" of a Day!
Jan

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Bienvenue en France Les Filles!

 19/12/2012

Bonjour mes amis!

We have a couple of sweet girls (Les Filles) here this week...one being my daughter, Ms. Emerald, and her dear friend from Dallas, Becky!  Their first day here, they were sleepy, so we made sure they had their first "Pain au Chocolat" and then sent them to bed!


 Then, we got busy.  They wanted to see Orléans!

Dr. J really wanted pizza that night, so we ate pizza out at a small place fairly close to home.

Three Cheese - Love the Goat Cheese on Pizza!



From there, we wandered down to the Quick (McDonald's competitor in France...) for some ice cream...yes, that's Tony Parker advertising that hamburger behind Jewelius!


DON'T ASK ME WHY WE GOT ICE CREAM, IT WAS FREEZING OUT!!!

(Notice these "high class" establishments we're taking these girls to... )

Then, we walked through the Mall, since young girls always like the Mall...of course, the stores were all closed...after hours....but we got to see the decorations, and the girls scoped out where they want me to take them!




I quite like the Chandelier decorations...so French!



...and just outside the Mall...




I've shown you the Statue of Joan of Arc before...during the day...

Recently, I had lunch with an American woman named, Beth, here, and since this is a good meeting point (everyone knows "Place de Martroi", where the Joan of Arc Statue is!) we met here.  I found it comical that when Beth confirmed our Rendezvous, she referred to it as "Joanie on the Pony"!  Haha!

Orléans is all dressed up for Christmas...ie. Noël!!!


Not quite Marshall Fields, but festive anyway!


We had a nice little walk in the brisk air, but must go back when the Christmas Market is open...we wandered the streets too late!  Also, there's a Ferris Wheel right by the River, and a Park decorated in Lights!  Must go back...soon!

Hope you enjoyed our little neck of the woods at this time of the year!  There will be more to come...

Have a "Jewel" of a day!
Jan


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