Christmas in Marseilles

On Christmas Eve, the entire Arnoux-Decamps family gathers around a huge tree with more presents than I have ever seen for a huge family celebration. I was so excited to be able to join the party, having heard Charlotte talk about her Christmas traditions for so many years.

After popping a bottle of champagne, the madness ensues with some opening gifts slowly one at a time, and other tearing off the paper to get a peak at their haul. Even I got some presents!

Not even all the loot yet:

Charlotte got a hat!

My Chanukah inspired gift: 

The meal, of course, was amazing. It was actually quite similar to a Thanksgiving meal, with turkey, string beans, roasted chestnuts, cranberry sauce and lots and lots of wine…

The foie gras: 

The food: 

Enjoying the meal: 

In Provence, there is a tradition to have 13 desserts at the Christmas table. There was a huge plate full of different types of nuts and fruits in addition to two ice cream cakes and a brown butter pumpkin cake made by yours truly. Everyone thought that my cake was store bought as they weren’t used to cakes like that 🙂

The nuts and fruits:Champagne!It was a lovely evening had by all and I am so thankful that I was get to join in on the celebration!

And then there was none…

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Thanksgiving Recipes

It’s that time of year again, perhaps my favorite time of year, THANKSGIVING! I myself have been planning what I’m going to make for Thanksgiving dessert probably since I left the table last year 😉 This year I’m headed upstate to my uncle’s house where we’re having big ol’ family get together. I’d say about 20 of us will be in and out of the house throughout the course of the weekend, including my roommate, a friend from elementary school and of course all the cousins, uncles, aunts and Poppa.

Now, most Thanksgiving family reunions are not complete without copious amounts of food and my family is no exception. There is always something to eat during a family event of mine, no matter the time of day. The items that we will have on the dinner table are too many to count, but all I know for sure right now is that I’ll be making an epic menu for dessert. Just a few ideas that have popped into my head so far are pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin flan, pecan shortbread and cranberry upside down cake. I’ll probably have to narrow down my choices a bit so I don’t spend all my time baking, but then again, I don’t think I’d mind 😉 I’ll be sure to update once I’ve made up my mind!

Here are just a few recipe ideas that can accompany any Thanksgiving weekend celebration:

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies – A fun treat for kids, adults and everyone in between.

Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies –  A classic cookie with a pumpkin twist.

Pumpkin Muffins – Perfect breakfast for a cool fall day.

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes – Turning pie into cake!