Sunday, January 20, 2013

Whose Favorites?

While I was photographing in Jean-Luc’s shop just a few weeks ago, a trio of women came in, looking for Christmas gifts. He offered a few suggestions, and subtly inquired as to the tastes of the recipients.  In typical French fashion, one of the women wryly yet humorously stated that she could absolutely not give a Christmas gift that she herself would not completely love, no matter for whom the gift was intended or what their tastes were. 

My Sis is turning 50, and so tonight we had a little intimate family dinner.  Coquilles Saint Jacques and a nice baguette to sop up all the sauce, which my parents had for New Year’s Eve and once a week since then, including last night for dinner, tasted just as good tonight.  I do believe this is the new family favorite.  Tender little salad from the Saturday market and swordfish, along with a celery root and potato gratinee…and of course a bottle of Perrier Jouet Champagne and two dozen perfect white roses wrapped in brown kraft paper and tied with satin ribbon, which went perfectly with the camellia-topped cake~


A four layer seven inch white layer cake I made very late last night with Italian-meringue-style buttercream was the perfect ending to the meal, here is the last slice as its height is ready to make it fall~


It was not until after the meal, at which every morsel was eaten, that I thought back to the Christmas shoppers in Beaune.  Oh wait, I think Sis’ favorite is Red Velvet cake.  Come to think of it, that’s the cake she often brings me on my birthday, though it’s not my favorite.  And she has never even had Coquilles Saint Jacques, but thankfully she though it was all divine, as her Francophile hubs nodded that it was A+.  White roses?  My taste. The Champagne?  My favorite marque as well, but it’s all in good taste, isn’t it?  Can you go wrong with the classics, no matter whose party it is?  She loved the meal, she loved the evening, so I’ll call it a success.

Sis and family are heading to Africa for a safari this summer, and we spent much of the evening discussing their travel as I am really interested in their voyage.  I kept mum on my plans, which no one asked about but which I booked today…..Paris in the springtime, Easter, in fact.  Beaune in May/June and I’m thinking of Marrakech in the fall.  So many good things are in the works this year!  And for now, it’s still January, so Happy Birthday to my big Sis; She pronounced the meal and the evening perfect, and so it was~


  1. The dinner sounds perfect and I adore Coquilles Saint Jacques. Have you ever had Saint Hillaire sparkling wine? It was being made by French monks 100 years before Dom Perignon and is fabulous for "open a bottled because it's Tuesday". Dave and I loved the stuff; I still do -smile-.
    Marrakech is another place I love; Dave and I went to Morocco three times and, had we been younger, would have moved there...for a season in life.

  2. This looks like a labor of love. Just beautiful.

  3. I love all your fact you could say I am there enjoying it all. Happy Birthday to your big sis, bet she loved everything. xx

  4. How wonderfully is everything you cook and write about...Have you seen the WSJ article on Burgundy (Beaune) and the restaurant reviews? EMAIL ME

  5. Delicious as is everything you cook and write about...Have you seen the WSJ article about Burgundy & Beaune...let me know, if not and I will forward it to you...EMAIL ME...PS where is Jean Luc's shop???

  6. What a lovely evening and what a lovely trip you have planned! Such a lovely delight to read your blog!! New Follower!

  7. Andrea a fabulous feast for your sister's birthday!
    Who would not love it!! You are truly wonderful to your family!
    I would be so thrilled to travel to Paris in the Spring!

    2013 Artists Series

  8. Yes! Those are wonderful travel plans! What a fabulous dinner for sis!

  9. I loved the party...such pretty pictures, you covered all the bases of a lovely dinner! I had to smile at the prep description..."A four layer seven inch white layer cake I made very late last night with Italian-meringue-style buttercream" hmmm, I would have required daytime....and lots of it!

  10. What a marvellous celebration for your sister's 50th birthday. It's truly special these days to even get a home baked cake. Our family favorite birthday cake I must say is Red Velvet but it depends on who's making the frosting! Your New Year sounds like it is going to be a good one and so rightly deserved. xx

  11. My mouth is watering over your Sister's birthday menu. As always your table is thoughtfully and beautifully styled - such talent. Looking forward to hearing about your French adventures. I'll be there with the 3 of you in spirit. Bisous