New Eve Party coming up.. Do's and Dont's

Celebrating the New Year is the biggest thing of the year. You meet up with friends and family, and for once you have a reason to drink. Or more like a valuable excuse. Anyways, popping champagne is a MUST.
But celebrating the upcoming year is not an easy thing to do. You have to deal with so many things. The New Year's Party is fun but it also goes along with big expectations, big money, big debauchery, and sometimes...big disappointment.

Here are some tips for you:

* Do eat before, drink water between alcoholic drinks (it is always important to stay hydrated)
* Do plan for midnight, do not pass out before 12:01 (remember it is the MOST important part so go easy on the whiskey for 2mins please)
* Do have a positive attitude, do not expect more than you should, but bring on your happy/party mood
* Do bring your best girlfriends/boyfriends (you will be sure to have a great time)
* Do think about your feet (ladies, it is good to feel 2 inches taller but how long can you handle it?)

* Don't arrive at the usual "cool" time (for once being late is lame)
* Don't let the unexpected ruin the evening (always turn anything negative into positive, you can maybe start your new resolutions right away)
* Don't rely on anyone but yourself (after this great article, you will remember to control yourself, but not everyone will)

British Style.. Gotta love it!

So, unlike most French people, I did not go ski this year after Christmas. I cheated on the mountains to go to London. I have always wanted to go to England, but it never happened before even if it is on a 1h 30mins flight from France... But finally I did it!
I went there for 4 days. It was amazing. Such a great city. So many things to see and to do. Definitely one of my favorite destinations so far. If you have the chance to go to Europe, try to stop by London.

The style is great. Think about Kate Moss. Yes, you know you can't help but love her. No matter what,
British girls absolutely "do not care" about what people think. They wear anything and everything. Some have pink hair. Some have very very short skirts. They just wear whatever they want with a touch of rock and some more classic style.. It is so much fun. I love it. Period.

London girls follow only one rule: "Be brave and have fun"

Kate Moss

Florence Welch

Alexa Chung

This a gold digger!

It is time to shine! Gold is IN for the holiday season!
Don't be scared to appear "too flashy", gold looks good on everyone as opposed to what we usually think.
So why not trying and looking fabulous during the holidays? french little pleasure!

I am backhome in France for the holidays. There is nothing better than being in such a lovely country at this period of the year. It seems like Christmas starts way earlier than anywhere else here ... I already started eating delicious pastries in the morning, eating "foie gras" for lunch, tasting different chocolates for snacktime and drinking champagne during happy hours.. Yes, right now, I am close to heaven. I admit it.
But out of all these delicious treats , my favorite ones are "macarons". These little fancy things are just the best. They taste so good!

The famous macarons place is called "Ladurée", you can find the stores in different places: England, Saudi Arabia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Monaco, Switwerland, Turkey and United States (but only in New York).

Recipe for “macarons au chocolat”

Chocolate filling:
½ cup (125ml) heavy cream
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
4 ounces (120gr) bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
1 tablespoon (15g) butter, cut into small pieces

Macaron Batter:
1 cup (100gr) powdered sugar
½ cup powdered almonds
3 tablespoons (25gr) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 large egg whites
5 tablespoons (65gr) granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350º F (180º C).
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and have a pastry bag with a plain tip (about 1/2-inch, 2 cm) ready.
Grind together the powdered sugar with the almond powder and cocoa so there are no lumps.
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they begin to rise and hold their shape. While whipping, beat in the granulated sugar until very stiff and firm, about 2 minutes.
Carefully fold the dry ingredients, in two batches, into the beaten egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula. When the mixture is just smooth and there are no streaks of egg white, stop folding and scrape the batter into the pastry bag.
Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1-inch (3 cm) circles (about 1 tablespoon each of batter), evenly spaced one-inch (3 cm) apart.
Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top to flatten themacarons, then bake them for 15-18 minutes. Let cool completely then remove from baking sheet.

To make the chocolate filling:
Heat the cream in a small saucepan with the corn syrup. 
When the cream just begins to boil at the edges, remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate. 
Let sit one minute, then stir until smooth. Stir in the pieces of butter. Let cool completely before using.

Spread a bit of batter on the inside of the macarons then sandwich them together.
Let them stand at least one day before serving, to meld the flavors.
Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or freeze. If you freeze them, defrost them in the unopened container, to avoid condensation which will make the macarons soggy.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

You have probably been using the same Christmas decorations for years now... Your tree is fake so it can probably live forever and you think the same way about your ornaments.
But flash news! You can find many ways to see Christmas in a new way this year. It is all about "art craft"; use your imagination and your hands to make your house looks just like you!

Tip: Go on and go to the section "holidays"


Take time to relax and enjoy life

Yes this might sound "cliché" but you have to learn how to keep yourself from letting the little things in life drive your crazy. The improvement in technology changed the world and made it a "fast pace world" which deprives us from appreciating life. We do not have time anymore to enjoy the simple things in life. We are part of a "doing" culture; unlike the Asian cultures we do not know how to be silent, pray, relax and reflect on thoughts. We have the need to always "do" something; if not we feel useless and unproductive.
We need to learn to put things in perspective by making the small daily changes; think about doing one thing at a time. Try to live more in the present moment, let others have the glory at times, and lower your tolerance to stress. You can write down your most stubborn positions and see if your can soften them, learn to trust your intuitions, and live each day as if it might be your last.

With love,

And the love for Bacon continues...

After watching cooking shows for hours during Thanksgiving break (while I was trying to digest... not always so easy)  , I wanted to learn how to be a "cute little chef". On TV, they always make it look so easy, apparently the main ingredient is always love. "Cook with love and passion".  I figured I could handle that, I am full of love... and always ready for good food. Always.

Last night, with my "bacon-lover-boyfriend", we made some  "Bacon Wrapped Scallops" and cooked in the oven some roasted potatoes to go with it. It was fantastic! I will share with you the recipe, so you can be a "cute little chef" or just enjoy the great mix between seafood and bacon. You can't go wrong with that.

Bacon Wrapped Scallops
  • 12 large sea scallops, cut in half 
  • 12 pieces of bacon, cut in half 
  • cayenne pepper 
  • olive oil spray 

  • Cut large scallops in half. Wrap each scallop in half a strip of bacon and secure with a wooden toothpick. (Smaller scallops may be left whole).
  • Spray lightly with olive oil spray.
  • Dust lightly with a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • Place in baking dish and bake at 425°F, turning once for 20 to 30 minutes or until done.

Red lips are... HOT

Let's just start by saying that red lipstick is a universal classic. You have seen celebrities wearing red lips for many seasons and it hasn't gone out of style yet. Why? The answer is simple. As the winter is coming up, your tan is not at its best (except if you are a tanning ban fan of course) and with a pale face, there is nothing better than wearing RED. Your fabulous lips will grad all the attention and you will look stunning. Yet, many women assume that they can't wear it. It is wrong. Very wrong.

Here are some tips:

Rule #1: The paler your face, the better the result-  go light on the makeup for eyes and blush, so you don't end up looking like a clown.

Rule #2: Red lipstick tends to bleed, so fill in lips with lip liner first.

Rule #3: Pick the right color- Apply a red lipstick shade that you like to your top lip only and then look at the color against your natural bottom lip. If the red lipstick is one or two shades darker then you've found the perfect shade for you.

Rule #4: Do not forget to press clean tissue to your lips and get a second coat to make sure color stays long enough.

Give your black coffee a French touch'

In order to start off your day right, you need coffee in the morning but you are tired of drinking the same thing everyday? Black coffee is your only option since you are not working at Starbucks. You maybe own a fancy Expresso machine that gives more options than the simple coffee maker but it is still NOT Starbucks. So here is my solution for you. You should make "café au lait". I know it sounds fancy and really french but honestly it is really easy to make and taste ten times better than simple black coffee.
"Cafe au lait" is simply the combination of dark coffee and heated milk. 

-Make 1 cup of your regular black coffee
-Heat 1 cup of milk (I use non-fat milk but it is up to you)
-Pour the coffee and the milk at the same time in the cup so they can mix well together
-Use a frother to make the milk foamy (see picture below)
-Add 2 sweeteners

Here is your café au lait!
Enjoy, my friends!

Bonne journée!

With love,

Thanksgiving is coming up, what to bring to the party?

The host of the party told you not to bring anything. Of course, if the host is your mother, she loves you very much and seeing you at home is good enough for her. Great. But not every Thanksgiving dinner is going to be  hosted by your creator. You have a girlfriend/boyfriend or eventually you will get one and you will need to attend this kind of event. It will eventually be hosted by the "other family" AND you will need to be loved by the "other family". Or at least accepted and not hated right away.
You know your host has been slaving in the kitchen all day, the idea of bringing "yourself" is not good enough. Everyone enjoys getting gifts in return of their hard work. Everyone.

So here is a list of tips and ideas when answering the question: What should I bring?
  • Booze is the word- do your research, find out what the host likes to drink & change a boring Thanksgiving dinner into a party
  • Fingers food is a must- smelling that turkey for hours make everybody hungry, so help the host and bring appetizers so nobody gets angry-hungry
  • Dish of dessert- you can never have too many dessert, it is simply impossible
  • Flowers- if you know that your host already planned food that could feel the whole neighborhood, just bring flowers, it always works

    The best things in life

            • Making new friends or spending time with old ones   
            • Decorating cupcakes in a fancy way
            • Falling in love
            • Hot shower after spending the day in the rain
            • Laughing for absolutely no reason at all
            • Pick a spot on the world map, pack and go
            • Watching all over again all the Disney movies
            • Shopping like your credit card has no limits
            • And of course... french food!  

    Everyday may not be a good day but there is something good in every day. You just have to look for a way to turn the bad into good. Be positive. Smile. Life will become a lot easier. A lot.

    With love,

    Shake & Shock the World to bring back the Peace

    I'm all about peace, happiness, and everything that goes with it. We live in a crazy world and things do not seem to be getting any better in the future. News on TV and radio shows are making me depressed. Bad economy, war in Iraq, terrorism, crimes... When do we ever hear about people getting richer, healthier, and happier? Not a lot. Unfortunately.

    For centuries, there have been wars about religion, conquest of territory, desire to get more power and the list can go on. Through the years, history has been developed and we have recognized legends who tried to make the world a better place and I do believe that it is very important. Everybody knows Gandhi. Thank God. Well at least I would like to think so.

    I am absolutely loving the new Benetton campaign called "Unhate". Some critics called it shocking and not appropriate but I love the idea behind the concept.
    Benetton's ads showing world leaders kissing each other on the mouth are aiming at shocking AND promoting love all around the world.

    "These are symbolic images with an ironic touch of hope and constructive provocation to promote some thought about the way policies, faith and ideas, even if they are completely opposite and diverse, can lead to dialogue and mediation," said Benetton.

    I could not agree more with Benetton.
    Share your love & promote Peace.

    With love,


    If a wine does not taste great, use it to cook

    Have you ever bought a bottle of wine that did not taste good? or did not meet your expectations?
    It happens to me from time to time; as a "wine lover", I like to branch out and try different wines at different prices; some are winners and some are not. At all.
    It breaks my heart to through away an entire bottle, so I found a solution, use the "not-tasting-so-good-wine" to cook and keep the good one to drink and enjoy.
    Also, when wine is heated, the alcoholic content disappears so only the essence imparting a subtle flavor is left. No worries about getting grandma drunk :)

    You can use wine in 3 different ways: as a marinade, as a cooking liquid or as a flavoring in a finished dish.

    Last night, I made "Poulet au Vin Rouge" (Chicken with red wine), here is the recipe:

    -Chicken breast
    -Red wine

    -Chop onions & start cooking them
    -When the onions are getting brown, add the red wine and the chicken
    -Cook until everything is browned on all sides

    Also, for your side, it is good to make mashed potatoes and green beans. Keep some extra red wine sauce and onions to add on the top of your mashed potatoes, it will be delicious!

    Bon appétit my friends!

    To be American, you have to be a Bacon lover

    After a long week, Friday night is the perfect night to order a pizza or make something different that will taste GREAT, look GREAT and is very EASY to make.
    My boyfriend is a "bacon lover", so if I can make anything that involves bacon, he will love me even more! (hopefully that will work for you as well, ladies )

    Here is the perfect recipe for you : Cheddar Tomato Bacon Toasts

    You will need:
    - 1/2 lb cheese (sauce Ragu cheesy double cheddar sauce) or simple cheddar melt
    - 1/2 tomato (chopped)
    - 2 & 1/2 slices bacon (crisp cooked and crumbled about 1/3 cup)
    -1 loaf loaves (Italian bread each cut into 16 slices each about 16 inches long)

    1) Preheat oven to 350°F
    2) In medium bowl, combine Ragu Cheesy Sauce, tomato and bacon
    3) On baking sheet, arrange bread slices. Evenly top with sauce mixture
    4) Bake 10 minutes or until sauce mixture is bubbling. Serve immediately


    Bienvenue/Welcome to my blog!

    Here I will share with you a little bit of "me" and everything that I like.
    This is going to be a place of thoughts, inspirations, hobbies, cooking recipes, fashion tips... BlaBlaBla!

    "Life with a French twist" is written by a little Frenchie living in the USA since 2007.

    With Love,