Tradition...the French way.

Lean In... The Frog is cooking his famed lobster tails in a cognac sauce on x-mas eve.

The recipe is simple. Heat olive oil, a tablespoon of garlic, and shallots in a skillet. Add the tails. Pour half a cup of cognac. Light a match. Flambé! Place lid or a towel to extinguish the fire. Ooh-la-la. La-la. Add 3/4's cup of wine, a tablespoon of concentrated tomato, a can (or two) of crushed tomatoes, a pinch of salt (fleur de sel), pepper, and herbs de Provence, and yum! Simmer for 45 minutes. Serve with rice. Garnish with parsley. Or sage. Rosemary or Thyme.

Nom. Nom. Nom.

Sugar cookies are an American tradition...

especially when they are made from the heart, (Note the French and Italian flags...)

New Years was excellent! Spent with good friends...

Though, I'm still trying to embrace this whole "hugging" thing. Yes, I give awkward hugs. I'll get there one day. I will. * a resolution?

The Italian side of my family gets me. Give me cheese. Give me frogs.

Originating in Provence, the planting of grains de blé (wheat seeds) or lentilles (lentils) on December 4th on wet cotton balls is a tradition in the south of France.

Seeds that grow tall and strong by the 2nd of February are said to represent a good year ahead. I was a little late this year -- I planted my lentils on December 17th-- but my little seedlings are thriving. If you have some cotton balls or make-up pads and a bag of lentils, have a go at it! You have until February 2nd (another French tradition called Le Chandeleur, or all you can eat crepe day) to see what the New Year will bring! (Remember to lightly water your sprouts daily!) 

p.s. Note the new tiles! The Frog was tired of food splattered walls...

Still need to grout....

Finally, les galettes des rois! Here's the 411, brought to you by Wikipedia...

"Tradition holds that the cake is “to draw the kings” to the Epiphany. A figurine, la fève, which can represent anything from a car to a cartoon character, is hidden in the cake and the person who finds the trinket in their slice becomes king for the day and will have to offer the next cake. Originally, la fève was literally a broad bean (fève), but it was replaced in 1870 by a variety of figurines out of porcelain or—more recently—plastic. These figurines have become popular collectibles and can often be bought separately. Individual bakeries may offer a specialized line of fèves depicting diverse themes from great works of art to classic movie stars and popular cartoon characters. The cakes are usually sold in special bags, some of which can be used to heat the cake in a microwave without ruining the crispness of the cake. A paper crown is included with the cake to crown the "king" who finds the fève in their piece of cake. To ensure a random distribution of the cake shares, it is traditional for the youngest person to place themselves under the table and name the recipient of the share which is indicated by the person in charge of the service."

Yep, our fève was Minnie Mouse. Um, last time I checked she hasn't been sainted.

In other news, I went skiing. I'm now a blue-- not a green-- skier. Hooray?

Happy New Year!


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