Where there’s love… – Là où il y a de l’amour…

(En Français plus bas)IMG_8530

I was just telling my friend Elizabeth (do check out her great art work here) what a hard time I was having writing this post about our Christmas here in Bordeaux. It’s just that there were so many pictures to sort through; I just didn’t know where to start… So I’ll just post a few and hope they translate how sweet it all felt…IMG_9151

We had the main event at my house on Saturday so the whole family could attend. Then brunch at my sister’s on Sunday and lunch at my Brother’s on the 25th. I had to feed 31 people on Saturday! So my sister’s Christmas presents to me were a lovely cashmere sweater (I do hate that word) and her housekeeper’s help so we could keep the kitchen in good order. I could have done without the sweater, but I must say that the Natacha’s help felt like sweet luxury… I only had 60 plates and the poor lady had to wash a set in between each course…IMG_8665

I had the tallest tree in town and the kids loved it. When I bought the tree, I got down on all fours to check it out. The salesman asked what the hell I was doing. I told him I needed to see what it would look like in my 2 to 7 year old nephews eyes… Not all the kids (9 of them) are in the pictures. Some of the parents don’t want their pictures posted on the net, which I understand completely. The others were only there on Saturday and I didn’t get to take all the shots I wanted…IMG_9046

The menu was a success! I should say menus plural. I will share my brother’s recipe for cured duck breast sometime next week. THAT was INCREDIBLE. It is very easy to make and never fails to impress guests!IMG_8056

So Saturday we had shrimp tempura and foie gras with the apéritif, gravlax with dill sauce and warm potatoes as an appetizer and calamari “à l’Américaine” as a main course followed by lots af cheese and cake. For brunch the next day we had shrimp, avocado and pink grapefruit salad followed by the most tender beef filet roast I’ve ever had. Then on Wednesday, my brother made the most exquisite terrine of foie gras followed by a truck load of “langoustines” in Cognac and tomato sauce + lots of cheese and cake…

So I think it went so well and the kids had such a great time that we might just have Christmas again next year! :0)

I hope you all had a magical time as well!!!!! I already know that Elizabeth, Chef Mimi and Mimi T did :0)IMG_8116

Je disais à mon amie Elizabeth (allez visiter son site de photographie en cliquant ici) tout le mal que j’avais à écrire cet article sur notre Noël ici à Bordeaux. C’est juste qu’il y avait tellement de photos à trier, je ne savais pas par où commencer … Je vais donc inclure certaines de mes photos préférées en espérant qu’elles traduisent au mieux l’atmosphère des festivités…IMG_8280

Le Noël principal a eu lieu chez moi samedi soir pour permettre à toute la famille d’être présente. Puis brunch chez ma sœur le dimanche et déjeuner chez mon frère le 25. Je devais nourrir 31 personnes samedi. La tête m’en tournait. Ma soeur à donc décidé qu’en plus d’un pull en cashmere, elle m’offrirait les services de sa femme de ménage pour faire en sorte que ma cuisine ne tourne pas en champ de bataille…  J’aurais pu faire sans le cashmere, mais je dois avouer que l’aide de Natacha en cuisine m’à sauvé la vie! D’autant que je n’avais que 60 assiettes et qu’il fallait en nettoyer un jeux entre chaque plat :0)IMG_8882

J’avais acheté le plus grand sapin possible et les enfants l’ont adoré. Quand j’ai acheté l’arbre, je me suis mis à quatre pattes pour le regarder. Le vendeur a demandé ce qu’il me prenait. Je lui ai dit que j’avais besoin de voir de quoi il aurait l’air dans les yeux de mes petits neveux… Tous les enfants (9 en tout) n’apparaissent pas dans les photos. Certains parents ne souhaitent pas que leurs photos soient publiées sur le net, ce que je comprends parfaitement. Les autres n’étaient là que le samedi alors que j’étais trop occupé pour prendre toutes les photos que j’aurais voulu…

Le menu fut un succès! Je devrais plutôt dire LES menus. Je vous donnerai la recette du magret de canard séché de mon frère la semaine prochaine. 

Samedi nous avons eu des beignets de crevettes et du foie gras à l’apéritif, gravlax avec sauce à l’aneth et pommes de terre en entrée, et calamars “à l’ Américaine ” en guise de plat principal suivi par beaucoup de fromage et de gâteaux. Pour le brunch du lendemain nous avions une salade de crevettes, avocat et pamplemousse rose suivie par le rôti le plus tendre que j’ai jamais mangé, accompagné de pommes de terre grenaille et de cèpes. Puis le mercredi, mon frère a servi la meilleure terrine de foie gras qu’il ait jamais faite suivie d’un énorme plat de langoustines à l’Américaine.

Noël fut donc un tel succès que nous avons décidé de le fêter à nouveau l’année prochaine :0)

J’espère que vous avez, vous aussi, passé d’excellentes fêtes de Noël!!!


69 Comments Add yours

  1. Wonderful photos. Thanks for virtually having me over. Buon Anno!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I hope you had a great holiday season Tom. Did you have the kids with you or did you go to the States?

      1. Stephane — My daughter in Rome, hubby and grand baby Maddie came up to Vicenza for Xmas. We ate sinfully. Buon Anno, mom ami!

        1. My French Heaven says:

          I’m glad! Bonne Année!

  2. Stephen…the lovely attraction to your blog is how you show the fine details like NO other my friend. It is what separates you from the pack. How divine for your sister to gift her help for the day…what a blessing that would be. happy 2014.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You are so very kind! I will try to take everything up a notch in 2014. This blog means so much to me and photography keeps me sane… Happy 2014 to you my very sweet and talented friend!

  3. Thank you for sharing your Christmas with the most beautiful photographs. They capture something really wonderful. Wishing you a Happy New Year.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Happy New Year Maria!!!

  4. Joyeux Noël Stephane! We are back in Australia with all our family this time, which has been wonderful. Please wish your mum a very happy birthday too (and if it’s in a few days, her and I might actually share a birthday 😉 )

    1. My French Heaven says:

      It must be so warm and sunny over there. My mom’s birthday is on January 4th 😉

  5. backpackbee says:

    I am new to reading your blog, however I instantly found myself intrigued with each new posting…wanting to read more and more. Your photos are incredible! Thank you for sharing! Cheers to the New Year.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you so much Sarah! Please come back often 😉

      1. backpackbee says:

        Thank you, I look forward to!

  6. Reblogged this on Elizabeth Thomas Photography of Cape Cod and commented:
    A Christmas to Remember… you must visit My French Heaven on a regular basis!

  7. Absolutely magnificent. All the photos are fabulous. The food looked amazing and the simply gorgeous. I think I saw your brother who looks much like you. Your sister is so pretty and your mother is timeless!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you so much darling!!

  8. chef mimi says:

    Beautiful photos! Fabulous menus! Who is the gorgeous redhead ?

    1. My French Heaven says:

      That’s my mom. She is turning 83 in a few days… I will show you pictures of her when she was young. She was beautiful… I must say I had a thought for you on Christmas day. I was picturing you showing your litle handout to your loved ones with a big smile on your face 🙂

  9. Luffy Moogan says:

    Beautiful images, dear Stephane, as usual! Our Christmas was peaceful and perfect, only 4 of us, immediate family, with Gosset champagne, oysters, boudin noir and scallops, a roast goose with red cabbage and roasted shallots, then the bizarre English Christmas pudding thing 🙂 It had to be done. I am happy that you had a fantastic day 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Your menu sounds AMAZING Luffy!! And the famous English Christmas pudding… what a treat! I wish you all the best for the year to come and hope we’ll get to meet in real life sometime… 😉

      1. Luffy Moogan says:

        I’m sure that we will, Stephane. we’re really not so far away from each other. I wish you a fabulous 2014, filled with positive people, love and great experiences 🙂

  10. talkavino says:

    Beautiful pictures, Stéphane! Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you so much! Happy New Year to you too my friend!

  11. Vicki (from Victoria A Photography) says:

    Such exquisite images. Elegance, tradition, Family & lots of Fun (by the looks of it).

    1. My French Heaven says:

      We had a lot of fun Vicki. I hope you did too! Happy new year to you if I don’t get to “talk” to you in the few days to come… 😉

  12. De bien jolis moments habilement shootés ! Belle fin d’année 😉

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Merci! A vous aussi!! 🙂

  13. elsonsequeira says:

    Merry CHristmas to you Stephane!! Im sure it was the best Christmas with , fun, family and food 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Merry Christmas dear friend! I’m not sure if you celebrate Christmas or not, but I hope you are having a great holiday season and I wish you and your family all the very best for the year to come. It’s going to be a good one for foodies like us. I can feel it in my gut (Ha Ha: in my gut. Get it?) I’m being silly now… All the very best of health and lots of love and kindnest all around you in 2014 my friend 🙂

      1. elsonsequeira says:

        Thanks so much Stephane 🙂 I do celebrate Christmas and yes the holiday season is great. Yes, I do hope 2014 brings in lots of food, fun, cheer and health to you and your family.

        One more thing, can you please help me with a ratatouille recipe please?

        1. My French Heaven says:

          You’ll need eggplants, zucchini, ripe tomatoes, one onion, 3 cloves of garlic, green and red peppers, salt pepper and thyme. Roughly a pound of each (pound and a half for the tomatoes). Color each vegetable seperately in a pan with olive oil. Then put them all together in a pot and let it all cook for about 45 minutes on low heat with a litle water. It’s delicious and really healthy!

          1. elsonsequeira says:

            THanks my dear friend and a happy 2014 🙂

  14. Your pictures truly capture the essence of Christmas, Stephanie. Well done and Happy New Year! xx

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Happy New Year dear Maggie! I hope you guys are doing great! The views from your house over the ocean must be stunning these days… Do you have snow already? My Norwegian Niece (she’s the very blond girl in the pictures) said that my gravlax was delicious. I felt I couldn’t have gotten a better compliment 🙂 Give my best to all the Myklebusts I know 😉

  15. Beautiful photos, Stephane, but being with family and friends is even more so. Many blessings in 2014.


    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Janet! All the very best to you and yours for 2014! I feel really good about this one… 😉

  16. Treedson says:

    Merry Christmas, Beautiful post and I had enjoyed every picture.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Andrew! Merry Christmas to you and a happy New Year!

  17. pinkagendist says:

    So… the first black & white picture… he looks just like Amaury Vassili 😀

  18. lolarugula says:

    Stephane, you’ve outdone yourself with these photos! I’m happy to hear you and your family enjoyed the holidays and wish you much love and success in 2014. I absolutely cannot wait to read more on the cured duck breast! My very best to you!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      My dear dear Lesley, thank you so much for your blessings. I am so glad we got to connect this year through our love of good food and photography. I wish you much love for 2014 as well. In my book, that is all that really matters in the end…

      1. lolarugula says:

        I am so glad we’ve connected, too and agree with you: love is all that really matters.

  19. So happy for you Stéphane that your Christmas celebrations were so magical (for one and all)! Such beautiful, expressive photos of your family and of all the detail you went to, to make this a special evening! A slightly belated Joyeux Noël to you and wishing you much happiness in the year to come. Margot

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you so much Margot. This means a lot coming from you!! I wish you and yours all the best for 2014. May it be filled with great food and experiences, but mostly love and continued good health. 😉

  20. Sounds like you had a wonderful time. And to cook for 31 people! I’d need a nap. I’ve wondered about the word sweater and jumper for that matter. I’ll have to look that up. Lovely photos as usual. 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Sweater is the American word for jumper 😉 I like jumper better 🙂 I hope you guys are having a great time this holiday season. I wish you and your family all the very best for the year to come. Thanks for your readership and friendship!! 🙂

      1. Yes I know which is American and which is English. 😊 But I’m curious how each word came about for this garment. I get sneakers and trainers, those make sense! We are enjoying the holidays with the kids. The big plan this weekend is to play games. Love it!

  21. that photo with the spoons is just enthralling me. And now that I work in a meat department in a truly huge American supermarket, I have access to the ingredients to make such things like the cured duck breast….

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You will love how easy that recipe is. I need to wait a week or two for the breast I’ve seasonned to be camera ready. I will share just as soon as it is 😉

  22. saucygander says:

    Gorgeous photos! I love that you checked out the Christmas tree from a child’s height! And look forward to the cured duck breast recipe.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks! The duck breast is in the fridge, covered in salt right now. I need to wait a week or two for it to be photo ready 😉 🙂

  23. cathynd95 says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! !

    1. My French Heaven says:

      The same to you dear Cathy! Mostly good health and lots of love around you!!

  24. A beautiful Christmas with no shortage of amazing food, great family and friends and beautiful adornment. Happy holidays and a lovely new year to you and yours. Warm regards, Shanna PS Is the cheese in the last photo Epoisse? It looks fabulous. Of course I focus in on the cheese, haha.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Hello dear Shanna. Thanks for your kind words and blessings. I wish you and your family all the very best for 2014. Somehow I feel it’s going to be a great year… The cheese is Camembert; very runny Camembert 😉 🙂

      1. Oh, thank you for such a warm comment. It is heart-warming. The cheese looks ripened and at room temperature – yes, yes, yes, please! Take good care. Warm regards, Shanna

        1. My French Heaven says:


  25. michela64 says:

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful family and your happiness through food! God bless you all.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      All the very best to you and your family Michela! Thank you so much for your loyal readership and lovely comments this past year. It means a lot to me 😉 🙂

      1. michela64 says:

        You are the best, Stephan, I told you!!
        Your blog is so chic and light, elegant, intelligent and I am very happy to meet your family and share part of your life.
        Hope we could mmet one day, maybe in my husband restaurant – pizzeria in Pistoia since 1963? would be nice to taste some of my cusine here!
        Good luck and take care,

        1. My French Heaven says:

          I would absolutely love that Miky! Florence is one of my favorite cities in Italy and Pistoia is so close. I am due for an Italian holiday, so I hope to meet you someday soon! 😉

  26. scolgin says:

    Lovely. I wanted to see the shrimp tempura and foie gras, though! 😉

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I will post the tempura recipe soon. As for the foie gras, I will share my brother’s recipe sometime this Spring. It’s just that I don’t get to do it that often 😉 Happy New Year Sean!

  27. Lovely post….Happy New Year:)

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Happy New Year Roger!!

  28. Lovely, Stephane. Absolutely lovely! Thank you for sharing so much beauty. Wishing you a wonderfully blessed New Year!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Tamara! I wish you all the best for 2014 but mostly good health and lots of love!

  29. What a lovely showcase, for a moment I felt as though I was there! Stunning photographs and your menu was astounding!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you so much! I hope you had a great Christmas as well!

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