Bonnes fêtes from the Feess Family

We weren’t able to make it back to Missouri again this year, so we continued our tradition of eating Chinese/Vietnamese. The only good place I could find that served pho was closed, so we headed to Full Kee Chinese Restaurant. It was packed! We waited at least an hour for our food! They said Christmas day is the busiest day of the year for them. Who knew!?

For Christmas this year James gave me a sampler set of Kusmi tea and I love it! The St. Petersburg blend instantly reminds me of our little Paris apartment and Prince Vladimir is a new favorite as well. Can’t wait to try the others! (Aren’t those tins adorable?)

Assortiment Les Russes

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Our first homemade buche de Noel

When we lived in Paris we opted for ice cream bûche de Noël from Picard. Not necessarily traditional, but soooo yummy! This year we decided we’d bring a little of the tradition back and try our hand at making the homemade cake version.

I searched online and finally settled on this recipe, basically because it calls for a cream cheese filling instead of whipped cream. Oui! The cake isn’t all that hard to make, just a little time consuming. Do make sure to generously grease the pan and the waxed paper. I thought I’d gone a little overboard, and it actually could’ve used more!

For the filling, I would recommend a thick layer and going almost all the way to the edge. We left the suggested 1 inch and it seemed like a bit much. The cake itself isn’t that sweet (or moist) so I feel like having more of the filling really helps.

James and I made the cake together one morning, but he gets all of the decorating credit! Isn’t it amazing! He cut off a couple inches of one end to make the little stump and then used more cream cheese icing to cover the entire cake. He sprinkled on some powdered sugar and green sprinkles, and voila, parfait!

Ice skating at the Grand Palais

Every year Paris sets up a number of ice skating rinks around the city (last year we went to the one at the Hotel de Ville), but this year there was an extra-special one at the Grand Palais.

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The patinoire is set up underneath the glass ceiling of the Grand Palais and to make it super cool, they add lights and music during the evening skate time (8pm to 2am). At first we tried to go during the evening, but the wait was over 3 hours! We decided to go back the next morning, but still ended up waiting around 2 hours before we were actually on the ice.

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It’s quite a bit more expensive than your other options with ticket prices being 12€ (6€ for kids) during the day and 20€ at night. You are able to reserve tickets online and skip part of the line, but everything was sold out really quickly. Also, it isn’t open as long as the other ones around Paris and closed on January 6th. Boo! It was a huge success, so I’m betting they’ll do have it again.

(PS: How cool are the orange skates?? Ha!)

Noël à Paris: le retour

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We’re super excited to have been able to celebrate another Christmas season in Paris (even though we miss our families terribly)! This year was even better than last year because we had our little Henry Pooper with us.

On Christmas Eve we watched Christmas movies for a while and then went out to the Christmas market at La Defense. It’s definitely one of the biggest/nicest in Paris, but since we’d already done all of our Christmas shopping we just got some hot wine and snacks. Yum!

We went to midnight mass at Saint Ambroise and then got up early (well…9am) Christmas morning to open our present to each other and eat pancakes.

James gave me this gorgeous robe from Princesse Tam Tam. I plan on wearing it the rest of winter.

I gave James a bunch of smaller gifts: a vintage TinTin comic book, this funny fish soap dish, and a Paris Saint Germain t-shirt.

We found Henry a fun Santa squeeky ball, but it’s too big for his little mouth. Le pauvre!

For our bûche de Noël this year, James picked up a couple fancy ones from a bakery near his work. My favorite was the chocolate, yum!

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We went back to Pho 14 for our traditional Christmas dinner and it didn’t disappoint! There was a little bit of a line this time, but we probably didn’t have to wait more than 15 minutes.

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We hope everyone had a joyeux Noël!