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Easter is a holiday I grew up only celebrating the all-American-commercial type of way. It was a day filled with family and close friends, epic Easter baskets carefully crafted and well thought out by my mom, egg painting and plastic egg filling for the big hunt, Easter candy corn binging and Charlie Brown. One year my sister and I even got Furbies for Easter, which was pretty intense. I have random blurry memories of huge fields in the mountains with tons of kids and someone dressed up in a huge bunny costume. I would wear pastels dresses and Keds and feel so delighted to look under rocks and behind trees for the colorful hidden eggs.

Easter now is something still close to my heart. The tradition part of it has stuck with me, despite having never grown up with the true reason for celebrating Easter (oops). Even when far away from actual family, brunches with girlfriends and now my in-laws have always been added to the agenda. An excuse to whip out all things pastel, treats both savory and sweet, and some good company.

This Easter at the in-laws it was a laid back lunch out in the sunshine, which already was a blessing in itself. It was a weekend of relaxing outside of the city. I had needed some family time. And as you know if you’ve been following my blog for some time, this spot if a paradise in itself. With some beer from the region and epic grub, it was a hearty weekend even topped with a game of Monopoly.

On the gloomiest day in the world this house would still be precious as ever to me, but with the sun rays and colorful camellias, daisies, wisteria and nasturtium, it truly felt like Spring. The only things missing in my book aside from my Colorado family were Jell-O and Brach’s Easter Candy Corn. I hope you all had a magical Easter.

Christmas-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-01Christmas-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-07Christmas-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-06Christmas-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-05 Christmas-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-08 Christmas-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-09 Christmas-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-10         Christmas-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-03Christmas-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-02Christmas-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-04La-buche-de-noel-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-01la-buche-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-FASTChristmas-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-13Christmas-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-14Christmas-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-15Christmas-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-12Christmas-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-11This Christmas was so magical.

We indulged in the traditional French Christmas grub – both savory and sweet – and I shared a bit of my American traditions by making my step dad’s all-star deliciously epic breakfast strata, which I must say was quite impressive (recipe for a breakfast strata à la française coming soon).

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas filled with warmth, loved ones and some champagne.

Birthday-Weekend-De-quelle-planete-es-tu_16This weekend was a very special one. For my birthday, along with Valerie and her man who is in town, we headed to the in-laws fantastically adorable home for a weekend full of delicious grub and surprises. It was cold and foggy most of the weekend, which was the perfect context for making hearty gratins and staying cozy by the fire with a few rounds of Cards Against Humanity and some whisky.

We picked vegetables from the garden and enjoyed the calm of the countryside, even having the chance to visit a neighbor’s farm to see his tractor collection. The fact that he makes his own moonshine and gave me some of his homemade eau-de-vie for my birthday was pretty much a cherry on top.

However, I am clearly the most spoiled person alive, as this birthday weekend didn’t end here…. little did I know that coming back to Paris on Sunday night, there were some snazzy people that I really care about waiting for me at Troll Café to drink a beer together.

It all ended with samosas galore, as the best birthday in the world should. I am still in shock about how fantastic and culturally mixed this day was: a delicious French lunch with the family and surprise local brews, homemade eau-de-vie and tractors with a true campagnard who seemed like he had never met foreigners before, surprise beer extravaganza at Troll Café where they have one of my favorite random beers (Mongozo Banana) and then a bag full of samosas on the house from my favorite Indian restaurant. Does this not sound like a dream? I am the most spoiled person alive.

A special thank you to my dearest honey for planning this, and to all of my dear friends who made this day so magical.

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The-Countryside-Montargis_De-quelle-planète-es-tu-1Going to the countryside to visit the in-laws is one of my favorite things in the world.

When the weather is nice, like in these pictures from a trip in late August, we eat outside and enjoy the nature, feasting on goodies from the perfection of a garden that is out back. Although we just got back from a cozy autumn weekend here- and the berries, tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, etc. are no longer in season- I was daydreaming of the heated summer days and rays at this beautiful home before accepting the change of the seasons. Sidenote, this is also the garden where my father-in-law is growing yummy kale thanks to the seeds that I ordered from The Kale Project.

This particular weekend at the countryside we had some visitors, so it was the perfect opportunity to introduce them to the wonders of kale with a delicious kale salad garnished with mint, lemon and spices. King of salads, as a set designer by trade and passion, Louis’s father’s salads are also a work of art with the most delicious mixture of flavors and colors.

When I say salad, I’d like to point out that I mean any kind of salad. Not even a joke. There truly is a perfected method to the mixtures that this family makes. My favorite have an impeccable homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing with a smidgen of mustard, heaps of spices and new flavors that I discover with every salad. The core ingredients often vary, from what’s in the house or in the garden (like possibly every shade of tomato from yellow to black). The add-ons can be just about anything from nuts to cheese to berries, even a few edible flowers- like nasturtiums- for a peppered flavor.

The art of the salads in the family was passed on to my partner, who wooed me and warned me from the very beginning that I’d fall in love with him when I tried one of his salads that he learned to make from his father. It wasn’t the only reason for which I fell, but boy are they delectable.

An ode to a summer meal of salads. Cheers, folks.