Joyful Living

2021 Blog Year in Review

Bonjour! I'm sharing this a week later than intended, but I was making rather merry at home last week while on staycation with L'Husband and Le Chien. Better late than never, right? Le wink. Ma famille, November 2021 Something about the end of the year makes me nostalgic, from that back-to-school feeling that starts in… Continue reading 2021 Blog Year in Review

Food, Joyful Living

A Cozy Hygge Night

Bonjour! We're officially in the throes of the holiday season, which has me hankering to decorate, bake, make chili, and wrap gifts. The holidays are a festive time but also a portent of the gray, cold winter to come (at least in the Midwest of the United States), which has me planning ahead to make… Continue reading A Cozy Hygge Night

Food

Easy Holiday Appetizer: Honey Goat Cheese and Fancy Crackers

Bonjour! As the holidays approach, I get Very Excited about the coming season of gift-giving, decorating, and extra treats (edible and otherwise). And, as per usual, I am limiting les excursions out and about due to the persistence of the pandemic and my own (mild to moderate) reentry anxiety (vaccine booster notwithstanding). So entertaining à… Continue reading Easy Holiday Appetizer: Honey Goat Cheese and Fancy Crackers

Food

Halloween “Dirt Cup” Dessert

Bonjour! As I posted recently, I love to decorate my house, especially for the holidays. Just in time for Halloween, today's post shares a simple and tasty dessert inspired by the spookiest season. Hold on to your hats, because this dessert is easy, it's sweet, and it's fun! Les Ingrédients 1 box chocolate pudding mix1… Continue reading Halloween “Dirt Cup” Dessert

Food, Travel

German Breakfast Box

Guten Tag! It’s time for another German takeover (the good kind… too soon?) here at Joie de Vivre. Thanks to a long-standing friendship with one of meine Lieblingsfreundin, Christiane, I love German food and culture, including a Brotzeit spread for dinner and making my own Orangina. And since I'm not travelling much (i.e., at all… Continue reading German Breakfast Box

Food

Pancakes by the Lake

Bonjour! As summer winds down and I settle in to my new home and work routine, I'm trying to take quiet moments for simple pleasures where I can find them. I love being outside in nature, especially by the water (how I miss Lake Champlain in Vermont!), so when my aunt invited L'Husband et moi… Continue reading Pancakes by the Lake

Food

International Food Finds at Walmart

Bonjour! I love to travel in Europe and look forward to doing so one day … in the far and distant future (though I did fly recently, le yikes!). Travel opens the mind, changes the routine, and introduces new ideas and ways of doing things. And the food! In the meantime, I enjoy incorporating what… Continue reading International Food Finds at Walmart

Food, Travel

Beach Campfire Picnic

Bonjour! It’s starting to feel like spring in Vermont, and I’m eagerly anticipating warmer weather, more sunshine, and a visit to le lac (and my COVID-19 vaccine). Today's post shares some pictures from a campfire picnic on the shores of Lake Champlain in South Hero, Vermont, a fun way to get outside with family and… Continue reading Beach Campfire Picnic

Food

Irish Soda Quick Bread

Bonjour! It's been awhile since I baked, and I'm ready to get back in the kitchen and have some fun. As St. Patrick's Day approaches, I'm feeling inspired to try my hand at Irish soda bread. I tried this traditional in Ireland when I visited in 2017 (and met Winnie!). The bread should pair nicely… Continue reading Irish Soda Quick Bread

Food

Christmas Chili

Bonjour! Happy Festivus! The holidays season is upon us. My family celebrates Christmas, and every year we kick off the celebration the day after Thanksgiving by making a big batch of chili and watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. ("Don't throw me down, Clark!") Today's post shares my secret family recipe for chili, a dish I… Continue reading Christmas Chili

Food

Halloween Candy Bark

Bonjour! As summer slides into fall, leaves change color, and Halloween approaches, I start to anticipate all the fun planning, decorating, baking, and gift wrapping I get to do in the coming months. Not only is Halloween the official kickoff of the holiday saison, it's a great excuse to eat lots of candy corn and… Continue reading Halloween Candy Bark

Food

A Day Without Gluten

Bonjour! One way I try to manage inflammation in my gut, due to IBS, and skin, due to rosacea, is through a low-gluten or gluten-free diet. Based on the results of a blood test, I do not have celiac disease, so I can eat some gluten. But because I frequently experience stomach upset or hot… Continue reading A Day Without Gluten

Food

Brownie Muffins

Bonjour! Sometimes, one just feels like baking and eating an entire try of brownies, perhaps when it's gray and chilly and blustery. Perhaps when the United States is mere weeks away from a contentious presidential election. Perhaps when the coronavirus pandemic, voter suppression, census shenanigans, and Supreme Court tomfoolery crush our souls (le sigh). I… Continue reading Brownie Muffins

Food

Greek Green Beans

Bonjour! As the weather turns chilly, gray, and rainy, the scarves and wool socks come out. Le Chien resists wearing his coat and attempts to flee when he sees it (le sigh). And I start I to crave comfort food, which for me tends toward warm or carby delights like biscuits. Or meatloaf. Or chili.… Continue reading Greek Green Beans

Food

Slow Cooker Applesauce with Secret Ingredient

Bonjour! Happy October! Fall has officially arrived in Vermont, which means it's time to make an annual batch of applesauce, mmm. Today's post shares how I simplify what can be a laborious (peeling, coring, chopping so many apples. So. Many. Apples.) and time-consuming (simmering the sauce for hours on the stove) process. My secret weapons?… Continue reading Slow Cooker Applesauce with Secret Ingredient

Food

Le French Picnic

Bonjour! My love for French language and culture often inspires me to create a taste of France chez moi. I was lucky about to visit Paris in 2006, after I graduated from the University of Alabama, and still dream of visiting again one day (le sigh). In the meantime, I find ways to recreate elements… Continue reading Le French Picnic

Food

Easy Summer Mocktail

Bonjour! This is an easy, breezy post on what will hopefully be an easy, breezy summer Thursday. It’s been a long summer in the middle of a very long year, and we all need a little break. What better to accompany a break from work or chores or news or pandemic worries (le sigh) than… Continue reading Easy Summer Mocktail

Food

How to Make Orangina at Home

Bonjour! One thing I do to increase joy in my daily life is try to elevate everyday items and activities. I use fun napkins at mealtimes; I bring daffodils (a happy surprise at the new house) from the garden into the home; I light a candle on my desk and use a pretty teacup when… Continue reading How to Make Orangina at Home

Food

Slow Cooker Applesauce with Secret Ingredient

"I took your idea and I made it better." - Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation Salut! For a recent Oktoberfest shindig with Ma Famille, I decided to experiment with a new applesauce recipe. I've made applesauce in a Dutch oven on the stove, but never before in the slow cooker, and never before with a… Continue reading Slow Cooker Applesauce with Secret Ingredient

Food

Chicken Power Salad

"I stand behind my decision to avoid salad and other disgusting things." - Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation Salut! I recently wrote about my experience with IBS and experimenting with a low-FODMAP diet. Planning a day's worth of FODMAP-friendly meals can be challenging, and I tend to eat the same things over and over (and… Continue reading Chicken Power Salad