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Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life—learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
+ Robert Fulghum

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Winter Fun

Mimi’s Mendiants


During our Christmas break, I had time to read through the latest stack of magazines from Great-Grandma Too-Too: Victoria, Country Living, Martha Stewart Living, Every Day with Rachael Ray, and Bon Appétit.

There were lots of great articles, but my favorite was a feature on food blogger, Mimi Thorisson. I was intrigued by the idea of a mother of four (six when her step-children are with her) and owner of fourteen dogs having time to come up with such amazing recipes that I went to check out her blog. And I’m so glad I did!

Mimi shared a recipe for mendiants and I think I will never be without them again. Mendiants are dark chocolate drops studded with nuts and bits of dried fruit. Simple to make, delicious, beautiful, and good for you!

I looked up mendiants and learned that they got their name because the nuts and dried fruits represent the robe colors of the four monastic orders, or mendicants, of the church: raisin for the Dominicans, hazelnut for the Augustinians, fig for the Franciscans, and almond for the Carmelites. The friars lived on charitable offerings, hence the name “mendiants,” or “beggar” in French.

The mendiants are so easy to make. Just chop up and melt in a double-boiler whatever dark chocolate you have on hand; I used a package of bittersweet Ghirardelli chocolate chips. Drop the chocolate by spoonfuls onto parchment paper and shape into round disks. And then gently press nuts, dried fruits, bits of crystallized ginger, and anything else you like on the chocolate disks. Mimi made some with pomegranate seeds and coconut that looked amazing. Lexie had the brilliant idea of sprinkling a little sea salt on the mendiants.

So give yourself a treat and make some mendiants and then eat a few while perusing Mimi’s blog, Manger. Her husband is a photographer, so the photos of their family and dogs and food and the French countryside are stunning. Also, I’m interested to see how Mimi, who has a French mother and a Chinese father, incorporates her Chinese heritage into life in France. I’m always looking for ways to do more of that around here.

Bon appétit!


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