Happy holidays to all of you lovely readers!
Thanks for following my little stories over the years (Crème de Citron will be 5 next Summer, can you believe it?!), it is always so lovely knowing people are enjoying my stories and recipes.
As we alternate spending Christmas here in Ireland or in France every other year, this year will be in Dublin. I am even taking over cooking the bird which I am very excited about. And no, it will not be a turkey since I am going to bring my little French touch with my family's favourite: capon! I was able to get it here and I plan to make a stuffing with chestnuts, prosciutto ham, rosemary and brandy.
And since I am not a fan of plum puddings and Christmas cakes (sorry not sorry), I am also making a bûche de Noël (Yule log) with poached pears and white chocolate mousse so I can partake in the dessert cheerfulness.
And since I am also taking a little staycation from work and my computer, I will be back on the blog next year with more delicious recipes, lifestyle and travel stories.
I hope that whatever your plans are this year, you get to enjoy some good realxing times over the holidays, Joyeux Noël!!
I always associate a wintery cosy moment with a lovely hot drink. I do drink a lot of infusions and green teas on a daily basis but sometimes, I just want that special mug of goodness: hot chocolate. I love, love, love chocolate and indulging in a rich and delicious beverage made with it is one of my Winter simple pleasures.
In one of my first jobs in Ireland, I spotted a chocolate shop near where I worked and once I had a taste of the hot chocolate, it almost became my daily stop after finishing work and having to walk in the cold towards the train station.
If I visit a new country or city during Winter months on one of my travels, I like checking out the best places for that wonderful chocolate beverage. So far, the best I tried was in L.A. Burdick on Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts (USA). It was such a heavenly luxurious hot chocolate, I still dream of it every now and then.
At the start of 2016, I decided to not make a list of resolutions. First of all, because I mostly never achieve/finish them year after year (a miracle happens every other year though). Second of all, because the previous year had been tough going with personal challenges and I thought making promises of well-being to myself would be much better.
I used to be a very avid reader, devouring books upon books (fiction and non fiction). Reading transports me somewhere else for a little while and it is a pleasant feeling. I have always had a big imagination so it is not hard for me to visualise the places, characters, scenes, especially when a book is so well written that the descriptions help it even more.
But over the last few years, I noticed a big decline into my reading habits. I blame social media, smartphones and mostly me for not being able to switch off once in a while. So, instead of grabbing a book before bed, I would be scrolling through the different apps on my phone to see what was going on with the world, read blog posts here and there and check out many images to collect for my boards on Pinterest. And yes, let's just say I never had the best of sleep afterwards.
We have now been back nearly two months from our holidays in Florida so it is probably about time I tell you about the rest of our little adventures there.
After spending a couple of days in Tampa and discovering St Petersburg, E. with our friends and I all took a road trip towards Miami and then the Florida Keys where we would spend a few days.
Let's talk about sunny holidays here a little, it will warm us up!
Earlier last month, E. and I had an amazing time in Florida in the company of Rebekah and her husband F. They live in Tampa and we stayed there a little bit before and after taking a road trip down to Miami and the Florida Keys together.
Florida is still very warm in September and it is also quite humid in general, meaning not only some incredibly frizzy hair but also the perfect condition for mosquitoes. Luckily, my mum had sent us an amazing French mosquito repellent spray and it worked wonders. Else, I think we would have been covered in bites.
We spent a fair bit of time relaxing with our friends at their house, cooking delicious things for each other and going food shopping (I love checking out supermarkets when I travel to a different country and I almost get lost every time we visit one in the USA, it is just so big!).
We also did a bit of local exploring in Tampa and St Petersburg together and I thought I would share a few things here.
I am Yolène, a French food and lifestyle photographer based in Dublin, Ireland.