How to make a berry clafoutis.

How to make a berry clafoutis.


Clafoutis is a light and quick dessert to make that I love.

A clafoutis is a cake made with chopped cherries and covered with a custard-like mixture. It is also often made with plums.

I let my creativity go and used berries. For this recipe, I used frozen fruit.

Berry’s Clafoutis


  • 2 cups of fresh berries: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries or cherries
  •  4 eggs
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup sugar + ½ teaspoon sugar (to sprinkle on top before baking)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Step 1

Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place fruit in the bottom of a buttered pie plate or quiche plate.

Beat eggs with sugar.

Step 2

Alternate adding milk and flour to make a lump-free batter.

Add vanilla.

Pour batter over the fruit.

Step 3

Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of sugar on top.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 to 40 minutes.


For the one with sweeter teeth, you can serve it with maple syrup and ice cream.

In this picture, it’s a blueberry almond version. I replaced the vanilla with almond essence and put sliced almonds on top.

Clafoutis fruits amandes (crédit photo Phrenssynnes)

Do you want to improve your diet?


You are not alone. I’m here to help you. Read these articles and you’ll discover easy recipes tested by an experienced mom!



Clafoutis version fraises et bleuets (crédit photo Phrenssynnes)


Here is a strawberry and blueberry version.

Bon appétit!

That is a classic cherry clafoutis.

Clafoutis is a typical dessert from the Limousin region in France. It can be like flan, as it contains similar ingredients, i.e. eggs, milk and sugar. But, the recipe for the dough of clafoutis differs from that of flan, as it has flour.

It can also resemble far breton, but the recipe is also different.

Clafoutis aux cerises (crédit photo Phrenssynnes)


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5 things to do in February [2023]

5 things to do in February [2023]


February is a month when you may be experiencing a drop in energy. You are feeling the weariness of winter, the holiday season is over, and you are dreaming of spring. A few activities chase away the blues and spice up your winter.

1- Listen to the Superbowl

You’re not a football fan, but that’s okay. It’s a time to party, cook or do something with friends.
Listen to this short video of Tom Brady, a famous quarterback who broke several records. It may convince you to watch the game. He is so handsome. Unfortunately, his team will not be participating in the Superbowl in 2023.
Cook Sloppy Joe’s, ribs or chicken wings and the traditional Superbowl night chilli.
We eat in the living room in front of the TV! And drink beer. Yes!
Cheers! Your lovers will love it.

2-Hiking in february

Come on, let’s put aside our computers, tablets and cell phones and go play outside.
If you’re lucky enough like me to live in a northern country, look for a place where you can go hiking in the woods. You take ski poles with you and can say that you enjoy a new sport: Nordic walking!
Good for your health and morale. You will feel invigorated afterwards.
Randonnée d'hiver (crédit photo Phrenssynnes)
Coin confort Hygge pour l'hiver (crédit photo Phrenssynnes)

3- Practicing hygge in february

Here is the definition from Wikipedia:
“Hygge (pronounced [y.ɡœ]) is a word of Danish and Norwegian origins referring to a sense of well-being, a cheerful mood, and a warm, intimate atmosphere. Hygge is a positive state of mind provided by a moment that is considered comforting, pleasant and friendly.”
This term is Danish and is hard to translate into other languages.
We could say that in Quebec, we call it cocooning.
For the Danes, it is not only a state of mind, a simple evening with friends. That is a way of life. They decorate their homes with that philosophy and arrange their life and meals.
Here are some links to help you discover it:

4-The sister-in-law’s trick for february

During the week, when we go to work, we are not always very motivated. And in February, at the end of the winter, we are often a little blasé. A trick from my sister-in-law (another one, not the one quoted in Christmas Sweets and Holiday Magic).
You may only be able to use this trick next year but try to remember it. When you go shopping, in the fall, for your winter clothes, plan a piece that you will reserve. Yes, you got it right, you won’t wear it at all from winter.
And in February, when you’re having a little melancholy attack or at the time of your choice, you do it. You’ll pull out your jacket, scarf, shirt or vest that you’ve been saving. It will be your sunshine of the day. Try it on, and let me know how it goes.

5- Quebec City Carnival

You are welcome to visit us in Quebec City! In February, it’s the Quebec Winter Carnival. There are many activities. Family, outdoors, music, nightlife, and epicureans are the different themes of these activities.
Bring warm clothes because, in Quebec City, it’s freezing. You must dress like an onion, that is to note, with several layers. For those who live far away, have you ever walked in the snow when it is polar cold? The snow makes noise under our steps.
Le Bonhomme Carnaval de Québec (Capture écran de Phrenssynnes)
And, if it’s cold enough, you will have to feel your nostrils sticking together! Ah! Ah! I don’t wish you that.
Here is the link for the Quebec carnival:
If the Carnival didn’t exist, we would have to invent it.
I wish you a good month of February. What were your favourites activities?
How to Hate Spring, the Season That Everyone Loves

How to Hate Spring, the Season That Everyone Loves

My Two Springtimes


Here in Quebec, we have two springs. The first is ugly and sad. Here are some pictures of the early spring in our area.

Mosaïque (crédit photo Phrenssynnes)

As you can see, the beautiful snow of Christmas, white, flaky and romantic as one could wish, becomes a horror at the end of March and April. Winter is black, white, long, and icy. Seasons in-between are almost as painful. That’s what makes us such fantastic people!

Here is why

First, we have an incredible sense of humour. The comedy industry is thriving in Quebec. Well, at least before the pandemic. 

This ability has developed into a keen talent for self-deprecation. 

Denmark has a reputation for Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) and Quebec for Ah! Ah !

Bon vivant

The other thing that defines us is our epicurean side.

Often in Quebec, the second spring appears by magic. 


One morning, we wake up, and the heat and the sun burst. Spring emerges with daisies, daffodils, bright sunshine, and birds chirping. 

The typical Quebecois gets out from his hibernation, wakes up like Mother Nature, and goes crazy.


He takes out the barbecue, starts the pool, mows the lawn, drinks beer or wine in a terrace café, rides his bike or convertible, and plants flowers. The Quebecois want to do everything. He must enjoy every drop of this radiant and rare sunshine.

Which picture is the most beautiful?


The third feature is that we have strong morale.

You know the principle of mental toughness. We must get through these temperatures. Learn to look at life positively and focus on beautiful things.

That’s what I want to show you in these photos.

We learn to reframe.

Tulipe et cuisine (crédit photo Phrenssynnes)
Tulipes (crédit photo Phrenssynnes)

Justin Cox has posted a newsletter asking how we will beat the summer heat. He lives in Orlando, Florida and has to resign staying in his air-conditioned home to protect himself from the heat wave.

In Quebec, it’s the opposite

Summer is the season when we enjoy the outdoors. Winter is so cold here, so it obliges us to stay in our warm homes. My husband and I are avid downhill skiers, cross-country skiers and Nordic walkers, yet we have to limit our outdoor activities because of the cold. When the thermometer reads minus thirty Celsius outsides, we appreciate the warmth of our fireplace.

From May to September, however, even when we finished our sports training, we spent as much time as possible outside. We read and eat in our garden when the weather permits.

Our experience is the opposite of Justin Cox’s. We stay cooped up in the winter and outside in the summer. Even though we both live in the northern hemisphere, we live thousands of miles away.

My answer

In answer to Mr. Cox’s question, I plan to

  • bike
  • picnic
  • barbecue
  • run
  • swim
  • canoe 
  • gardening

As for all Quebecois, summer represents to me the joy of living and the time of festivities. After the long winter months, we want to make the most of this heat, which, I must admit, is not as overwhelming as in Florida. And we visit the Sunshine State in our first spring!

Final thoughts

The moral of this story is that no matter where you live in the world, the most important thing is to have sunshine in your heart. And regardless of the season!

What about you? How do you experience spring or summer?



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Three Original and Unexpected Ways to Help The Planet

Three Original and Unexpected Ways to Help The Planet

Inflation and climate change

You don’t have to be an economist to see inflation all around you. All costs have gone up, groceries, gasoline, clothing and other good.

In addition, we can see the effects of climate change in our daily lives. For the past few years, temperature variations have surprised us. Storms are multiplying in virulence, and the melting of the ice at the North Pole is in the news.

We must not let ourselves be overwhelmed by discouragement.

My sister, an eco-responsibility fanatic, tells me that every gesture counts.

These reasons motivate me to rack my brain to spend less and try not to waste. We can take the example of the habits of our parents and grandparents who lived during the war. Out of necessity, they developed ways to save.

I hope to inspire you with these three small actions out of the ordinary.

Rouge à lèvres (crédit photo Phrenssynnes)

Saving money to help the planet

Those who follow my blog know that I am a lipstick fanatic. It’s my go-to for moisturizing my lips and looking less tired. A brush designed to apply this makeup product allows you to use a smaller amount. You can also go to the bottom of the tube to use the whole stick.

Bâton et pinceau (crédit photo Phrenssynnes)
Teapot in the garden (credit photo Phrenssynnes)

Recycle to help the planet

I always end up breaking the lids off my teapots. Instead of getting rid of them, I try to find a way to recover them. Here is my latest find.

I made a bird feeder out of this teapot. A good ball of absorbent cotton in the spout keeps the seeds from falling. I used a clip in the handle and hung it on a hook.

And it works, I saw birds pecking at the offered seeds, but I have yet to catch a photo of them in action.

Another example of recovery comes from my mother-in-law.

Recycle a plastic net by placing several solid soap scraps inside. We tie the whole with a clasp of a bread bag. And we can wash our hands with this new soap that allows us to use the small pieces of soap easily.

Savonnier (crédit photo Phrenssynnes)

Utilize to help the planet

I find that tomato paste wins the worst food waste contest. Recipes that use this ingredient only require a small amount. We’re stuck with leftovers even if we buy the smallest can. Here is my list of dish ideas that include tomato paste. Plan several recipes that contain it in the same week. 

 -Beef bourguignon

– Spaghetti sauce

Thai Turkey Meatballs 

Veal Sauté with Olives

– Turkey Osso Bucco

Portuguese Pork Stir-Fry


Another trick is to use tomato paste tubes because they contain less than cans.

Final thoughts

Do you find these ideas irrelevant or insignificant? Tell yourself that if we try to apply this to all our daily habits, it will eventually count. Having this reflex for each of our actions must be developed.

Planning and organization is another secret to recycling, saving and avoiding waste.

Do you miss motivation? Imagine if the lack of supply’s products increases, perhaps we will find it difficult to obtain essential goods.

Let’s face it! How catastrophic a shortage of lipstick would be in our lives! Ah! Ah!

I invite you to share your ideas and healthy habits in the comments. Together, we can change the disposable culture and help the planet.

© Phrenssynnes

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How to Host Holiday Parties Like a Pro While Having Fun

How to Host Holiday Parties Like a Pro While Having Fun

Planning for the holiday  The secret to stress-free entertaining is planning. The best way to do this is to make a comprehensive list of things to do and schedule them on your calendar.  You’ll also want to check the hours of operation of the businesses where you’ve...

Tim Denning, Millennials and Baby-Boomers

Tim Denning, Millennials and Baby-Boomers

Tim Denning and the Millennials I recently read an article by Tim Denning on, and I suggest you read it. This text is a response to his writings. As an introduction, I would like to say that I am a baby boomer. And I love avocado toast! Raw Fish and...

Road Trip Lovers Here Is the Destination You Should Visit.

Road Trip Lovers Here Is the Destination You Should Visit.

Lenox, Massachusetts

Are you familiar with the town of Lenox, Massachusetts?

New England is not just about Old Orchard Beach or Ogunquit.

My husband and I visited Lenox a few years ago and went back recently. And this time with Brittany Brexit because it is a good area for a convertible road trip.

I suggest the town of Lenox as a place to stay. This little town is halfway between Albany, New York and Springfield, Massachusetts. We went there in the fall, but it is a great vacation destination to discover in the summer. It is about a five-hour drive from Montreal and three-hour from New York. If you are driving from the Big Apple, route number 7 is delightful.

Hiking activities

This area is a paradise for those who love to walk in the mountains.
Appalachian Trail
You can hike a portion of the famous Appalachian Trail, an approximately 3500 km long hiking trail between Maine and Georgia.

Kennedy Park

Lenox, un bel endroit (crédit photo Phrenssynnes)

Kennedy Park is a forest owned by the city of Lenox. There is approximately 24 km of groomed trails, a place for walking or picnicking.

Olivia’s Overlook

You can also hike at Olivia’s Overlook. You will enjoy the view with the stimulating hike.

ViewOlivia's Overlook (credit photo Phrenssynnes)

Massachusett Audubon’s Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary

This place is quite an easy walk. However, it is an extraordinary place to observe the fauna. We saw deer and birds. You may see beavers if you are lucky. Even though we only saw their houses. I was also impressed by the trees eaten by the beavers.

Cultural visit In Lenox, Massachusetts


We loved the Lenox area for its rich history and culture.

Herman Melville house

Herman Melville, the author of Moby Dick, lived in the town of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, from 1850 to 1863. It is about a ten-minute drive north of Lenox. Make sure you wear good shoes because you can walk on the same trails that Melville walked on during that time!

Edith Wharton

In Lenox, you can visit The Mount, the home of Edith Wharton, the 19th-century American writer. She lived there for about a decade; the house is glorious. She wrote Ethan Frome in this magnificent mansion. Henry James visited her in the early 1900s.

I love to read, before my travel, novels set in the places I am visiting.
Here you have two suggestions for reading before your trip if you would like to do the same as me.


Tanglewood is the summer concert hall of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Before you leave home, check the schedule at Tanglewood, as you may see a performance there by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, which performs there during the summer.

assiette et livre de Rockwell(crédit photo Phrenssynnes)

Norman Rockwell

Do you like Norman Rockwell? You will recognize his style in the photos of these souvenirs I brought back. Do not hesitate to explore his museum in nearby Stockbridge. As you see his studio while visiting, you will understand why this artist chose this location to create. Nature is so beautiful.

Botanical Garden

In Stockbridge, a bit further north, you may visit the Berkshire Botanical Garden. We did not stop by, but the garden is open from the first of May until the end of October.

Ventfort Hall

Another place not to be missed to complete your stay is Ventfort Hall. It is an extraordinary Jacobethan-style mansion built for the sister of J. P. Morgan, an American banker and financier who died in 1913.

VentfortHall (crédit photo Phrenssynnes)

The Berkshire region is a good destination if you are like me and love literature, hiking and road trips.

Have you ever been there? 



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Maximizing the Power of Food With a Quick and Easy Tip

Maximizing the Power of Food With a Quick and Easy Tip

The power of Food

I use the power of food and it is no secret. Healthy eating is a subject that is close to my heart. Several years ago, I had some health problems. I have been following my doctor’s recommendations religiously ever since. Yet, I try to do everything to help myself get better. That’s why I’m always looking for ways to improve my well-being.

I am not a dietitian. Nor a doctor, but I have studied health science. I can understand more about it than someone who has a degree in finance.

This article is an informative and educational document. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. I did not make the specialists mentioned aware of this project before publication. I received no compensation or benefits for writing this column.

I have been seeing a trend in medicine for some time. There is a lot of talk about inflammation and the microbiome.

What is inflammation?

Inflammation is a reaction of the body caused by an agent that can be a virus, a bacterium, a trauma, a mosquito bite, etc.

Let me give you an example. You have a minor accident: you fall on your knee. You have a bleeding wound. A few hours later, there is swelling on your knee. It is red, hot and painful. It is inflammation. It’s part of the healing process, like the scab that forms on the wound.

When the inflammation is inside your body, you can’t see the redness or the swelling. But you can feel it as well as pain and heat. When the inflammation is heavy, you will be sick. But if it’s not severe, you may feel it more or less. And if it is persistent, you will get used to it and tolerate it.

From my reading, I comprehend that an unhealthy diet can create and promote mild and persistent inflammation. We then say it is chronic. That’s what the medical research says. And doctors remind us of this all the time.

Healing with the power of food

Now you have an idea of inflammation. Let’s talk about healing.

I go back to the knee, for example.

You disinfect the wound and put on a bandage. If it’s too unpleasant, you take Tylenol for the pain. You know that in a few days, your knee will be fine. You understand it was not the bandage or the Tylenol that worked to rebuild the skin broken in the accident! Nor to remove the swelling and redness.

That is an obvious fact that we often forget. It is the medication that restores. It helps, but our human body is fantastic and does all the work.

There is nothing more frustrating than a doctor who says: “It will heal itself!” Yet, it is a great truth!

Mark Hyman

I’ve already told you about Dr. Mark Hyman. You can read my article here.

I discovered other doctors who value the same interest in alimentation with some variations.

Will Bulsiewicz

Dr. Will Bulsiewicz is a young gastroenterologist from Charleston, North Carolina. He recommends a vegan diet, which means no animal products. That is even more restrictive than vegetarianism, where you don’t eat meat, fish or poultry. Since graduating from university, he has been passionate about the gut microbiome. It is the quantity and quality of bacteria that populate our digestive system. The gastroenterology world studied the microbiome more than ever.


Fiber fueled (credit photo Phrenssynnes)

And they are discovering more and more the importance it has on our health. I read the book Dr. Bulsiewicz published: Fiber fueled. A book that my daughter loaned to me.

Brooke Goldner

Dr. Brooke Goldner, M.D., reveals a personal and professional experience. She graduated in medicine from Temple University in Philadelphia. At the age of sixteen, she began suffering from lupus. Now, her blood tests have shown that her disease is gone. And that’s thanks to the diet she developed with her husband, Thomas Tadlock. He has a master’s degree in “Exercise Science and health promotion.” He is a professional trainer.

Jacqueline Lagacé's book (credit photo Phrenssynnes)

Jacqueline Lagacé

Jacqueline Lagacé is the author of several books about “hypo-toxic” eating. She has an impressive CV. Mrs. Lagacé has a Ph.D. in virology and post-doctoral studies in immunology and bacteriology. She has been a professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Montreal and a researcher. Doctor Lagacé brings a wealth of knowledge from her professional and personal experience. She has rheumatoid arthritis.

These four specialists all state that mild, chronic inflammation makes us suffer. That causes inflammatory problems, such as osteoarthritis, asthma, allergies, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, etc.

Lifestyle and the power of food

They say that it is our lifestyle that can cause this inflammation. Some people may be more fragile than others. It can reflect in different ways, depending on our genetic heritage. These professionals focus on excellent nutrition to improve our condition. According to them, changing our diet is a big part of the key to success for our well-being.

That does not replace the medication prescribed by your doctor. I recommend you do as I did and follow your doctor’s advice.

Focusing on a good lifestyle is a way to take charge of our lives. We have to take responsibility for our health and be a part of its management. The body has a natural healing system. We need to help it.

Inflammation and flooding

Let’s take an example. An optometrist’s office gets flooded. After the floods pass, everything will be out of place, messy, dirty and littered. The office will no longer be functional. They need to do an enormous amount of work to clean everything up and put it back in good condition.

The flood is the inflammation, and the clean-up is the healing process.

But if there is only a slight but constant water infiltration. If it’s not in a central place in the room, maybe nobody will notice. And it could be neglected. You understand that this will degenerate and create damage.

You understood my metaphor. The body is the optometrist’s office, and the flooding or infiltration is the inflammation. The healing process is cleaning.

Final thought

Industrial food and junked food creates mild and chronic inflammation. The professionals mentioned above have many scientific references on this subject. The healing mechanism needs good nutrients to work.

A quick and easy way to improve is to consume healthy smoothies. I’m not saying that eating large amounts of spinach will relieve all your ailments. But it’s a small step for you and a big step for your health!

The power of food in Smoothie


Spinach or kale

Fruit: banana, mango, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, apple, etc. It can be frozen fruit.

Two tablespoons of chia or ground flaxseeds or shelled hemp seeds

Soft silken tofu (optional)


Fill your blender container with approximately 50–75% spinach or kale and 50–25% fruit. Grind everything in a blender to the desired texture. If it’s too thick, add water. For the tofu, I use half a package.

No, I don’t put dairy, ice cream or sugar. Not even maple syrup and no honey either.

This photo shows a smoothie made with soft silken tofu, banana, spinach, mango, chia, and lime juice. I prefer my smoothie to be thick. I can eat it with a spoon like a yogurt.

It’s a treat to enjoy for breakfast or as a snack.

You’ll understand that spinach or kale gives the final product a green colour. And, if you use red or purple fruit, such as blackberries, the whole thing takes on an unappealing hue. But, I guarantee you that my husband has tested and approved its different variations! The fruity taste takes over.

That will help your system. It can use a little boost!

Bon appétit!

Green tofu smoothie (credit photo Phrenssynnes)
The “Behind the blogger challenge” 4 things you can learn about Phrenssynnes: What’s in it for you?

The “Behind the blogger challenge” 4 things you can learn about Phrenssynnes: What’s in it for you?

Rachel from Jasperden’s Health asked me to participate in the “Behind the Blogger” challenge. I accepted because the benefit to my readers will be to discover other attractive blogs. Olivia Lucie Blake is the one who started this challenge. I invite you to visit these other blogs to discover all sorts of interesting things.

Behind the Blogger challenge

To respect the challenge’s rules, I should present four facts that my audience does not know about me and invite other bloggers to participate.

You may wonder why I agreed to write about such a light topic when the planet is burning with another wave of Covid. Again.

I find this topic too narcissistic but I did it anyway.

I know you don’t give a shit about the colour of my lipsticks or my opinion on cinnamon.

But sometimes, in difficult times, it’s good for our mental health to take our minds off things. Talk about some unimportant subjects and have fun.

Bla Bla Bla


Without further ado, here are some fun facts about me.  I’m sure this will spark some heated discussions in your homes. Ah! Ah! Trying to be ironic, here.

My friends and family often tease me. I have chosen to reveal to you these little things. I will be at your mercy and, you can make fun of me too. It’s alright since I have a good sense of self-mockery.

The shy girl

I am a shy and introverted person. I am more comfortable with my computer and books than with people. I have trouble speaking in public.

It makes me suffer from the impostor syndrome and the purpose of this blog is to help me correct that.

Lhom, my husband, teases me about it. He doesn’t believe or understand my struggle to go to a simple cocktail party. And my sister tells me that a glass or two of merlot cures everything.

I hate going to the dentist

When I was a kid, my dentist would not anesthetize me before practicing a teeth reparation. He would tell me: “If it hurts, scream.” Guess what I did?

He learned when he was in the army, so he worked fast.  I wasn’t as brave as a soldier.

Now, I brush and floss my teeth like a maniac. So, I don’t need to have dental work done.

I am sure that I am not alone.


I execrate cinnamon in apple pie. It has become an inside joke in the family. But maybe my readers have guessed that because there is never cinnamon in my recipes.

Contrary to what many people think, my opinion is that apples and cinnamon do not taste good together. I can detect the slightest bit of cinnamon in a pie.

However, I love cinnamon buns.

The lipsticks

I love lipstick. I have the dull complexion of people with blond chestnut hair. I have to brighten my face with colour on my lips. Otherwise, I looked tired.

I like their poetic names: Love that red, Certainly red, Cherries on snow, Gentlemen prefer pink.

I always carry at least two lipsticks in my purse, in case of emergency.

Lipsticks collection

I would like to challenge:

Isabelle from Les chroniques d’une jardinière ordinaire.

Josée from Des mots et des images 

Helena from Helena my beauty over blog

Christine from Des roulettes sous les pieds

It would be fascinating to have them participate because Josée and Isabelle are from Quebec, Helena lives in Finland and Christine in France.

If you want to read more about Brittany's Brexit adventures

Brittany Brexit et le fleuve Saint-Laurent

This challenge is popular in blogs from the UK. I would love this challenge to go around the world and introduce you to blogs from many countries. That would be fun.

Here are some questions to have a serious discussion with your loved ones this weekend. I see you, around a coffee, or with an aperitif in hand, discussing fervently!
Does your lipstick have a romantic name? How do you feel at the dentist’s? For or against cinnamon?

Thank you for your time and for reading. Don’t hesitate to leave me a note, I love reading your comments.



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How to Host Holiday Parties Like a Pro While Having Fun

How to Host Holiday Parties Like a Pro While Having Fun

Planning for the holiday

 The secret to stress-free entertaining is planning. The best way to do this is to make a comprehensive list of things to do and schedule them on your calendar.

 You’ll also want to check the hours of operation of the businesses where you’ve ordered.

 Have someone other than you do last-minute shopping if possible. It would be disappointing to hit your nose on the door at the baker who made your yule log.

 Mark your schedule for when to take certain things out of the freezer.

 Confirm arrival times with your guests.


 Ask for and accept aid


 For the holidays, the key to having fun is working together as a team. Tell the kids that they are to be the elves who help mom!

 And if the sister-in-law offers to bring dessert, we’ll accept! But remember to stay in control of your kitchen. If the room turns into a mess and that gives you more work to do, we’re no better off.


 Have a strategic plan


 When setting the menu, don’t forget your budget. How many guests will you host? Is anyone have food allergies? Simplicity is an important key. It’s possible to have a festive, easy prep, ahead-of-time dish. Try to cook everything, or almost, before the day of the party. Putting colour to a plate will give a Christmassy look. Add touch with basilic leaves, cherry tomato, cranberry, olive. Green and red are holiday colours.

 Check your cooking times to ensure no temperature conflicts and only one oven!

 If you’re entertaining a smaller number of people, you can have a more elaborate meal. Yet, save the gastronomic experiments that need impressive skill for another time. You want to make great memories. You don’t desire family and friends to remember for years how you messed up this recipe on Christmas Eve 2021.



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 For a large group, consider having a simmered dish. Or plan a meal that doesn’t need too much last-minute manipulation.

 You’ll also want to get all the dishes and serving utensils out in advance. Climbing on a chair to rummage through the top of your cabinets in your sexy little dress is not ideal. And it will avoid the nasty comments from those who are starting to get tipsy!


 Divide the tasks between the elves


 On the morning of the big day, make the cooking schedule for each food as detailed as possible. We want everything to be in sync.

 Place cold drinks in the refrigerator and prepare ice cubes.

 We plan to put more toilet paper in the bathroom.

 We decide who will shovel the entrance so we can be welcoming.

Click here to read more Phrenssynnes’s articles

 Look or feel like a pro for the holiday!


 You will also plan in the program a moment to shower, to make yourselves beautiful and to rest a little to be dazzling!



Thank you for your reading and I wish you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.



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How a Culinary Legacy Was Born From a Simple Recipe

How a Culinary Legacy Was Born From a Simple Recipe

Invented by a Busy Mom

A plate of salmon spaghetti
Credit photo by author

The Story

The story happened when my two daughters, Juny and Kit4, were young teenagers. Now old enough to leave them home alone, my husband and I had gone on a short trip. The overprotective mother in me was a bit panicked when our princesses called the first night. Quickly reassured about the purpose of their call, I burst out laughing. They were looking for a recipe. Spaghetti with salmon, the one I had been cooking for them since they were little.

“We’ve been digging around, Mom,” one of them said.

I laughed because this famous secret was buried deep in my head. One day, I invented it in panic. I made this dish from the only cans left in the pantry! As any working mother can be, I was stuck and couldn’t go to the grocery store.
In the end, this sauce wasn’t so disagreeable. It had saved my life many times!

A Culinary Legacy

I then remembered the story of a friend of mine. She told me her mother had died suddenly at a young age. She had taken her recipe for macaroni salad to her grave. My friend and her sisters experimented, in vain, for several years to reproduce the same old taste. I realized the importance of writing down all my recipes to pass on to my children.
I’m sure you remember a recipe your mother used to cook for you as a child.

Quick and Easy Version

I will show you how to make this delicious salmon spaghetti in no time!
My sister often says, “Why make it simple when you can make it complicated?”
There is a more sophisticated way to cook it. Yes, sometimes it’s fun to try something more elaborate. In the future, I will reveal the other version.

The Recipe

Credit photo by the author

In the salmon, you will notice some bones. Smash them and mix them with the salmon meat. It is full of calcium. Excellent for your health.

Credit photo by author

Spaghetti With Salmon


One commercial cream of celery soup ±284 ml
½ can of milk (use the can of cream of celery)
One can of salmon 213 g
One green onion, chopped
½ stalk of celery, chopped
Spaghetti for four portions cooked
One tablespoon of olive oil
One hard-boiled egg
Salt and pepper to taste
Reserve a few pieces of green onion for final decoration.

Here are the ingredients you need. You always have commercial cream of celery, canned salmon, pasta in the pantry.
That’s the basis for this recipe.
The egg is for the final topping. If we have some onion and celery left over for extra flavour, that’s fine but not essential.

The Steps

Fry the green onion and celery in olive oil for 2 to 5 minutes.
Mash the salmon and add it.
Add the can of cream of celery.
Add ½ can of milk.
Mix well until simmering.
Pour over pasta. Garnish with green onion and sliced egg.

That’s it! Bon appétit!

Final Thought

Dear parents, always write down your favourite recipes, it is treasures of family memories.


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Tim Denning, Millennials and Baby-Boomers

Tim Denning, Millennials and Baby-Boomers

Tim Denning and the Millennials

I recently read an article by Tim Denning on, and I suggest you read it. This text is a response to his writings.

As an introduction, I would like to say that I am a baby boomer. And I love avocado toast!

Raw Fish and Baby-Boomers

If someone had told me forty years ago that I would eat raw fish one day and that I would like it, I would have said: over my dead body! Yet today, I eat and love sushi.

Macaroni and cheese from Phrenssynnes

Macaroni and cheese from Phrenssynnes

I present you a macaroni and cheese recipe. There must be about 10 million different versions of this comforting recipe but I’m sharing mine with you anyway.

When you need comfort food, there’s nothing more satisfying than macaroni and cheese.

Macaroni and cheese from Phrenssynnes

Florence Foster Jenkins, a Unique Artist Who Touched Me Literally

Florence Foster Jenkins, a Unique Artist Who Touched Me Literally

How a bad singer got me out of my writing block

These days, I have difficulty finding inspiration, so I decided to listen to a movie. Some people will say it’s procrastination, but consuming culture makes me feel like writing. A muse tickles my fingers when I visit a museum, read a novel or listen to good music. And Ankit Singh suggests just that in his article on How to write when you don’t feel like it at all.

I settled down that morning to watch the movie: Florence Foster Jenkins with Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant. I sat in my living room, but instead of having a dish full of popcorn, I had a notebook and a pencil with me. In case a muse visits me while viewing.

You know, from reading my article on Michelle Obama’s book Becoming, I’m not a musician. I like music, but I don’t understand it from a technical point of view. Despite this, I can attest that Florence Foster Jenkins was singing in an abominable way.

Who is Florence Foster Jenkins

I did some research on this singer. She would probably have inspired Hergé for his character of Bianca Castafiore. On Wikipedia, you can even hear an excerpt of her singing through a sound clip!

According to the same site, Florence Foster Jenkins “is an American socialite and amateur soprano who became known, and mocked, for her flamboyant performance costumes and notably poor singing ability.”

The picture with Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant reveals that Florence contracted syphilis, at the age of eighteen, from her husband during their honeymoon. She lived to be seventy-six. In the movie, a doctor who had examined her remarked that he had never seen this, someone who had survived this disease for more than fifty years.

A rich and generous woman

Florence was a rich heiress who had no children. After her divorce, she had a platonic relationship with her agent, St-Clair Bayfield, who protected her from bad reviews throughout her career.

She would have liked to be a pianist, but her illness prevented her from doing so. She had a scar on her left hand with damaged nerves.

At the end of her life, she sang in front of a packed public room at Carnegie Hall. This happened in 1944 and she had offered a thousand free tickets to soldiers of the Second World War. She entertained them, but maybe not in the way she wanted. They believed in comedy.

Carnegie Hall 2021 photo credit Kit4
Carnegie Hall 2021 photo credit Kit4

This movie raises questions

In any case, she did not suffer from imposter syndrome!

How do we define success?

By being rich, can you afford anything, including a performance at Carnegie Hall?

Can we live our artistic fantasies if we are our own patrons?

Is deluding yourself good for your health?

Or is it more the practice of art that helps to survive a serious illness?

Final thought

Her career is a striking example of the superficial values that prevailed in some groups of rich New York society at the time. To some extent, with her knowledge of musical art, Foster Jenkins had to understand that she was not the best soprano in the world. Her love of singing makes her perseverate and certainly the pleasure she took from this activity.

She demonstrated courage and generosity as she walked up to Carnegie Hall.

Mrs. Foster Jenkins despite her lack of talent was unique. She sang for about thirty years. Two films were made about her story. Her deep humanity moves us. And that’s why we’re still talking about her today.

I can tell you that listening to this movie touched me and I admire this bad soprano for her courage and unbeatable perseverance.

On her deathbed, she said: “It will be possible to say of me that I did not know how to sing, but it will never be possible to say that I did not sing.”

Is it Florence Foster Jenkins or Meryl Streep’s performance that managed to untie my fingers?

But my page is no longer blank.


P.S. If you want to read more about Phrenssynnes and culture, click here.


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How to write a love letter in 5 easy steps

How to write a love letter in 5 easy steps

The love letter

How to express your feelings towards your lover, whether on Valentine’s Day or any other time of year? May I suggest the love letter? What could be more romantic than giving a passionate handwritten missive? It will be more ardent than a text message.

Since I am a woman, I write this article for the female gender, but the advice can apply to men.

Are you petrified in front of the blank page? Is your pencil paralyzed in front of that card with hearts on it? Follow these five easy steps, and you will charm your lover. Maybe you will even bring tears to his eyes.

1-Make a draft

Take a sheet of paper to make a draft and perform a brainstorming session. Never write directly on your card or the sheet of paper on which you will transcribe your ultimate message.


Write everything you like about him. Remember why or how you fell in love?

List all his qualities. Apart from leaving his smelly socks lying around, he must have good attributes.

Find quotations or love poems. Even if it has quotes marks and you cite the author, it will stir up emotions. He will appreciate that these words evoke your love story.

Link for some famous love letter.

Link to some love poem.

Remind him of a humorous moment from your romantic history.

Tell him what you appreciate about his body.


3-Make Rhymes

Continue in draft mode and choose some words from your brainstorming inventory. Prepare a list of nouns that end with the same sound, regardless of their meaning. Let go, even if some words are unrelated. It can give you new ideas.


Continue in draft mode and put ideas together. Classify them. Do not hesitate and select intense words. Let all your love spill out onto the sheet of paper.


Select a card or simply a beautiful sheet of paper and transcribe it with your best handwriting. Always end with I love you or love. You sign with your naughty nickname. Create one if he did not give you one.

The complete package

You can scent your envelope or put a red or pink lip print on it. You can send it in the mail. That is always pleasant to receive something other than bills.

Do you prefer the option of hand-delivering it after you have made yourself beautiful? You will get to see the emotion on his face when he reads your words!

Let’s go, you can do it!

Subscribe to receive my latest publication. You will find it in your email Saturday morning so you can read it while sipping your coffee.



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Your Music and People: Creative and Considerate Fame

Your Music and People: Creative and Considerate Fame

Derek Sivers

In 2020, I had the privilege of reviewing the French translation of Derek Sivers’ book. I will tell you, at the outset, that my compensation was to have a free electronic copy. Which I was hoping for… because I found it very interesting.

Remember, I already told you about him: What is a “Now page”?

I discovered this person in Tim Ferriss’ book “Tribe of mentors”. Derek Sivers is one of these mentors.

One day, I subscribed to Mr. Sivers’ email list as I often do for my favourite blogs. And, surprise, he wrote me back! This is his very special way of determining whether you are a robot. At first, I thought HE was the robot! I didn’t know it at that time, but he makes it a point to answer all his emails.

Chat with Derek Sivers

We exchanged a few times. One day, he asked me to take part in the revision of the translation of his book. 

His request honoured me but I had to hesitate. As an optometrist, I was off work because of the pandemic. Little did I know that the lockdown would be so long in Quebec.

When I commit to something, I want to make sure I finish it. And in this case, I wanted to be sure I could finish the job. But Derek knew how many pages his book was.


Votre musique et les gens de Derek Sivers(crédit photo Phrenssynnes)

The book Your Music and the People

So, he sent me the work to do. Only to discover that his writing style is very succinct. His writing process seems quite laborious, but it results in an incredible outcome.

Not a word too many.

 I love the subtitle: Success with tact and creativity.


It’s inspiring and reflects Sivers’s philosophy.

This is not the sort of book I read at “my age”. To be honest, without giving away the state secret that it is, I can tell I’m old enough to lie about my kids’ ages!

Despite this, I learned from this book. The tips in Derek Sivers’ book have helped me with my blog.

Also, all these principles are consistent with my personal and professional life experience.

I found Derek Sivers’ book to be a good read. Our society, indeed our world, needs leaders who value tact over intimidation. Don’t you agree with everything we see on social media these days?

Divided into eleven chapters, it talks about delicacy, people, and the business world. Important things, like resourcefulness and instinct. It de-dramatizes marketing, business and profitability for those who are allergic to it.



We desperately need certainty, so we want someone to tell us what will happen. But that’s impossible. No one can know. […] Instead, forget about predictions, and focus on what doesn’t change. We know that there will always be gravity and that the water will always be wet: some things always stay the same.

Derek Sivers.

I’m the type of person who often borrows books from the library, but there are some I buy. Those are the ones I want to look at again if I like them. Your Music and People is one of those.

If you want to discover the secrets of success, Your Music and People is a must-read book. This volume is for you, even if you are not a musician or an artist. Read it, especially if you are a young entrepreneur or starting out in your career.

The book is available on Derek Sivers’ blog (

What about you? Did you know this author? I look forward to your comments.


P.S. The author and publishers mentioned were not made aware of this project before publication.

Who the hell is Brittany Brexit?

Who the hell is Brittany Brexit?

Red, shiny and very British, I am Phrenssynnes’ gleaming mini-Cooper.  I was conceived in Oxford, United Kingdom. Yes, my dear, in 2016 at the same time as Phrenssynnes was visiting the famous university.  Bloody hell! We could have met! She had to wait until the day of the Brexit vote for my great Atlantic crossing to end and for her to finally lay eyes on me.

Mini Cooper

Brittany Brexit et le fleuve Saint-Laurent
Brittany Brexit et le fleuve Saint-Laurent

Now you know where my name comes from. I will take you to the beautiful places that Phrenssynnes and Lhom have shown me since I arrived in America. Click here, to read more about our adventures.

See you soon.

Brittany Brexit


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Phrenssynnes’s Homemade Granola

Phrenssynnes’s Homemade Granola

Phrenssynnes’s Homemade Granola

Here’s a recipe for healthy and delicious crunchy granola.


about 8

Ready In:

25 minutes

Good For:

Snack or breakfast


About this Recipe

By: Phrenssynnes

Make this easy recipe for your loved one. Look at the ingredients in this homemade granola and, you’ll know it’s good for your health.
Well, this is not Ricardo’s granola recipe! My recipe has less sugar and more protein because there are only three tablespoons of honey. And it contains more protein because of the nuts and coral lentils.

Pot de granola


2 ¼ cups of oatmeal

¼ cup of dried and rinsed coral lentils

¾ cup of water

¼ cup of coconut, slivered almonds, raisins, dried cranberries, dried goji berries (optional), chia seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds

½ cup of chopped walnuts and chopped pecans

1 tbsp of coconut oil, melted

3 tbsp of honey

Gros plan sur le granola
Granola sortant du four

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C or 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Step 2

In a large microwave-safe bowl, place the lentils and mix them with the water. Cook for about 5 minutes so that the lentils absorb the water and burst. Drain.

Step 3

Mix all ingredients except honey. Spread on the baking sheet.

Step 4

Bake for 15 minutes. Add honey and stir. Return to the oven for another 5 minutes.

Step 5

It’s ready!

Serve with milk or yogurt and berries. Delicious!

Here is another version.

In this variation, I replaced the pecans with Brazil nuts. After taking them out of the oven, I added about three tablespoons of wheat germ and shelled hemp seeds.

Autre version de granola


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Edith Wharton, who the hell is Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton, who the hell is Edith Wharton

I chose to talk to you about Edith Wharton because I like to read the works of American women novelists.  I discovered her in this book offered by my sister or my parents during one of my birthdays.

Who is Edith Wharton?

First of all, she was born in New York in 1862 and died in France at the age of seventy-five. Her family belonged to the New York high society; her maiden name is Edith Newbold Jones. She spent a large part of her childhood in Europe.