Oh man... (French Fridays with Dorie: Chicken, apples and cream à la Normande)

We've been friends for a while, right?

I've let you all see some of my kitchen disasters.

I've admitted that sometimes - just sometimes - I am not always gracious or perfect.

In light of this open door policy that we seem to have developed, I am going to bravely show you a picture of my Christmas tree in all of its plain old totally unphotoshopped glory (after the jump...)

"What tree?" you might ask.


That's kind of the problem.

Clearly I need a Christmas intervention.

It's December 13th and my tree corner is currently being used to "temporarily" house summer clothes that have to be put into storage. (And no, those shopping bags do not contain Christmas presents).


If you know anyone that performs Christmas intervention services, please send them my way before my family performs their own intervention. It would be a charitable act.

This is real stuff.

Real stuff.

Fortunately, I can walk away from what isn't there and write about chicken.

Chicken sauteed with onion and apple.

Hanging out in a warm batch of Calvados and cream.

Green beans were roasted with some olive oil and tangerine fig balsamic vinegar - with a healthy sprinkle of sea salt.

Just because.

P.S. The Christmas spirit is slowly seeping into me. All of the gorgeous Christmas cards from "Doristas" far and wide have been popping into my mailbox and bringing a huge smile to my face. Participation in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap has added another nudge in the right direction. I am still fighting the tree. There is hope for me yet.

Peace out.

This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie. The recipe for Chicken, apples and cream a la normande can be found here.


  1. Hi Cher....your dish looks mouthwatering...I have been too busy with work and not able to participate in FFWD for the time being. Just looking at yours would be enough for the time being :) Btw, I have this free magazine subscription giveaways contest. Do drop by and try your luck :)


  2. I'm late with this week's dish. Again. I plan to work it in this weekend. Can't really wrap my head around how all these ingredients come together, but I'll trust that they do.

    Sorry you're feeling un-Christmasy. Bummer. If you're looking to refresh your carol catalogue, my favorite christmas album of the moment is A Very She & Him Christmas. Apparently Zooey Deschanel (from Elf) has a band. Anyway, girl can sing, and does a really good job with Christmas songs.

  3. I like that you´re getting your xmas spirit, I completely lack one, except maybe for those few last days when I decide I will celebrate after all. Tree intervention, you could start a trend here... Wonderful chicken by the way!

  4. I'm in the no Christmas spirit camp this year too. We are getting together with the inlaws this weekend though and maybe seeing nieces and nephews will get me out of my funk. The Christmas card exchange does help too though - I got like 6 cards yesterday! Fun! So did you like this dish? I"m thinking that you did, but you didn't really say - it was a winner for us for sure.

  5. I don't know which is worse... having your tree sitting on a corner or being as fanatic about it to buy all-purpose cleaner that smells like Christmas (some truly unholy combination of spruce and spices - I blame the lady in front of me in the line for ).

    I second Eileen's recommendation for the She & Him holiday album. There's also a quirky new compilation ("Holidays Rule") along the same line, although Harry Connick Jr's "When my Heart Finds Christmas" never fails to get me in the mood.

  6. Well, you are invited to my house. Bring your family and we'll double the Christmas spirit. I've got the indoor and outdoor decorating done, we all watch a Christmas movie every night and then read a story, we have the music going all day, and we're getting fat on cookies and treats. Started a day or two before Thanksgiving here. The economy is so bad here in AZ...seems to be no end...so we've had to figure out Christmas without the store. Last year we didn't do very well, but this year we are enjoying the whole season. We've been forced to simplify and it's working. Go eat some good dark chocolate, tell your girls to put up the tree, turn on your favorite Christmas music, forget the cut-out frosted sugar cookies, say "no" to extras, and relax for at least 5 minutes. We're having Christmas dinner and stockings at my house, 5 o'clock; I have extra stockings for you...we have wireless internet with no passwords so you can keep up on your blogging. I'll check in with you in a few days and see how you are doing. Merry Christmas!!!

    1. You sound like the intervenion I need.
      Runner Girl comes home this week and I am sure she and her sister will gang up on me and force me into the mood...

  7. Cher I am not really "into" Christmas either - we travel every year to escape it - but the lovely cards from all the Doristas has made me truly grateful for this wonderful group of people I am getting to know. Sending you holiday hugs xo

  8. I'm having trouble getting it together this year as well. We already agreed that we are not going to do a tree because we are flying to the US to spend Christmas with my family. We did buy a wreath two weeks ago so that we would at least have a modicum of holiday spirit, but we can't seem to find the time to hang it up and it is still lying on a bench in the hallway. So, if you happen to find someone who does Christmas interventions, you might need to send him my way once he's gotten your tree whipped into shape.

  9. I just got into the Christmas spirit which was hard after the hurricane and now the shooting in Newtown (15 minutes from my town) has brought me down in a big way. This season has been all off, but your dish looks great and I would love to try tangerine fig balsamic vinegar
    on any vegetable.

  10. It will all come together in the end, I'm sure! All the Dorista cards are definitely uplifting. I'm going to a cookie swap on Sunday that also benefits Cookies for Kids' Cancer, with hundreds of strangers. Should be fun! Have a good week.

  11. We just barely put our ornaments on our tree last night, Cher, so I hear you. Still need to do some final trimming. I am sure your dish was just as delicious without the mushrooms. I feel the same way about all the cards that are coming in - it definitely helps with the Christmas spirit. Have a great weekend and good luck with the tree!

  12. I want to know what Cher looks like because the day I made this found me at the market picking out green beans next to a lady who said she was making green beans with balsamic!

    And about Christmas ... it's a mere 11 days away and I have purchased ONE gift. ONE! I choose not to stress. :)

  13. Well, the Christmas spirit might not be a-visiting, but it's good that it hasn't distracted you from Dorie! Your chicken looks fabulous! As for Christmas, there's time yet. No need to rush it! If it makes you feel better, my mother reports that she's given up completely on decorations. With no one coming to visit for Christmas, she doesn't see the point. She's still excited for visiting family herself though! It all about what you can do, not what you should do. ;)

  14. I'm glad to know that someone else isn't fully into the holiday swing yet, either. Although, you were organized enough to get your cards out early enough that it was the first one I got! Thanks for the lovely note. I love the sound of those green beans, they must have been perfect with the chicken.

  15. At least your piles of unused clothes are neat - my spare room looks like a jumble sale at the end of the sale day. Loved this chicken - would make it again.

  16. I don't have a Christmas tree either :( My husband promised me that he will decorate our tree before I arrive in Zagreb next Friday...lets see... for now I have all the Doristas Xmas cards coming in my mailbox and lift my spirit a bit :) Your card was the first one I received!!! Happy holidays I'm sure you will get you xmas mojo back soon :) :)

  17. Cher, I planned a holiday party for some friends, and that pushed me into getting my house decorated. I usually enjoy Christmas…and the feeling that comes with it…but the shooting in Newtown has really brought me down…20 little angels!
    Your dish looks delicious, I wish I could say I loved it but I didn’t…it fell flat. Enjoy your girls, it will put you into the spirt!

  18. I waited until after the week-end in hopes that you would have your tree up and change the picture!!! Unfortunately my Christmas spirit as well as all Americans (and, others, I know) took a dip this week-end. Absorbing the elementary school disaster is an impossible chore. So that event probably didn't help energize you to turn festive. It will be comforting to have both the girls home for the holidays. Keep cooking and baking, let the kids decorate the tree (that's what Melissa does so the top third of the tree has no decorations on it - it used to be the top half but they've gotten taller) and let the good times roll. A little spiked eggnog might help. Your chicken looked delicious.

  19. Cher, your Norman chicken with the roasted green beans does look delicious and it looks like you really enjoyed this recipe. We have not bought our Christmas tree either, it is raining here, I still have not bought all the gifts and no snow in sight but there are still a few days to go...


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