Hello Sweet 16!



Happy New Year my friends !!

Gosh. January 3rd already.

Only 356 shopping days left ’til Christmas.

353 if you don’t wish to procrastinate.

We had a lovely, low-key holiday season. It was the first time in two decades we were not in the same house for Christmas, so it seemed sort of fitting that our decorations remained boxed away, at least this year, as the holidays took on a different face for us.

Both our boys were home and naturally, that’s the very best present of all.  Older son cooked up a storm again, including many special dishes for his younger brother, who is now vegan.  A vegan.  Whatever you say. He’s not eating it.




His wonderful older brother even made all the stocks for the soup, stuffing and au jus, vegetarian and meat based.

It was cray cray.




I bet you can smell this.



Roasting cauliflower & red grapes in olive oil




His yorkshire puddings were contest worthy

Yorkshire Pudding Recipe


Vegetarians look away…




As was the prime rib, which he allowed to sit in the fridge overnight uncovered to dry out (who knew?), slow roasted for several hours at a very low heat,  removed from the oven while he raised the temperature to 450,  then blasted it for 20 minutes.




Another big hit was the freshly whipped horseradish cream from Thomas Keller’s “Ad Hoc” cookbook, recipe below. The sherry vinegar is a great add.

Best horseradish ever. and not too hot.


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making meringue mushrooms




A Buche de Noel, again from scratch (with mom helping decorate 🙂  )

Yes, I AM a proud mum  (with apologies to those who’ve already seen a few of these pics on my Instagram)


And a word or two about the NEW YEAR…

I gather from the “zeitgeist” that using the term “Resolutions” when referring to the vast list of things you aspire to do, change, improve, accomplish etc. in the New Year is no longer en vogue.  It’s now more acceptable to use “Intentions” instead.  Which is just fine with me if that’s magically more effective than ‘resolutions’.

As always, I have the best of ‘Intentions’ for this year.  I won’t bore you with my list (read; I haven’t compiled it yet!) but so many of my, um, intentions remain a constant I should just recycle the list.  You’d think I’d get more imaginative.  But STOP IT!  One of my intentions is to cease & desist chastising myself about my epic fails.

In truth, I have a @#$%*^&* load of intentions I’d like to assign the entire planet.  Here are just two:

Can we be DONE with the entire family whose name starts with a “K” ?? please???

Could we also stop with overusing the words “like”, “journey” and “reached out”??  Couldn’t we just say I “called” —–  again? It’s actually easier.

OK,  one more; May we please insist products, be they food, clothing, fricking electrical appliances, give at least some sort of proof or explanation before they’re allowed to bandy about the terms “locally sourced” “sustainable” , “environmentally friendly” et al.?   I just don’t believe for a second that even 1/2 the products making these claims would hold up under scrutiny. We need Sustainability Squads.  Just saying…

Maybe I’m just grumpy because I’ve bailed on a few Intentions already and we’re only 3 days into January.


This one intention here?  This is a good one.  And the ONE, if no other, I intend to keep up.


Pure & simple. In whatever form it may be (hopefully not a treadmill, interpretive dance or Zoomba)

Everything is tight under the arms all of a sudden.  WTF??

I’m talking about “Sleevage” ladies.  The worst.


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Once again, Happy New Year to all you lovely, wonderfully faithful Slim Paley readers!  You’re THE BEST, really.

May 2016 bring you happiness, lots of fun and the good health to enjoy all your blessings.


Off to watch “Downton”!!

xoxo SP


Box of “365 Gathered Thoughts” from “Upstairs at Pierre LaFond”  Montecito, CA.


Image of exercising ladies via Google.



  1. Dear Slim, wow your Holidays sound wonderful if your delicious dishes are any indication! I wish you all the best in the New Year! Loved Downton and look forward to an adventurous 2016!
    The Arts by Karena
    The India Hicks Collection!

  2. Happy New Year!! What a treat to have a son who likes to cook..and what talent! A real gift to a mother. Hope you enjoyed the boys and your break. As you, I have many ‘intentions’ and number one is exercise… It’s day three and I haven’t yet. Sick of the obsession with the K people too. Hoping the planet gets a little smarter this year.. It’s frightening the adoration of fools right now. Enjoy Downton! Nice way to cushion the blow of holiday ending! Kim

  3. I love you Slim. I agree with you on every count and am increasingly impressed with both of your boys too! See you on the walking path soon I hope! Happy New Year!

  4. Amen, Slim…..AMEN!
    So tired of that entire “K” family.
    You would think that they had invented the wheel.
    Trashy, tacky, tasteless!

  5. Exercise more is my number one commitment for 2016. What’s up with skin changing etc – we need to put a stop to this.
    Your holiday sounded like perfection.

  6. Happy Happy New Year! We have lived to see another year come!
    Hope you get settled in your new abode so we can see some pics someday! or not? Know you are a professional designer so it should look amazing–smart choice to keep the old memories from yesterday tucked away this year..you have each other and that is all that really matters.
    Best wishes in this new year and lucky us get to snoop er…..peek into it with you to add spice to ours!!

  7. I am sure you know it…… but you have a chef on your hands……do send him to the nearest really great chef you know! IMMEDIATELY!!!! (why am I suggesting this to someone who already knows? I guess I can’t help myself!!)
    Also! God bless your vegan son! My “son” (not my real son; just the one I have loved since infancy and who spent oodles of time at our house growing up; is not only a vegan; but was honored by PETA! I was invited! (a peak experience, I can tell you! Paul McCartney close up for over an hour….singing…..I almost died right there!)

    Vegan is the wave of the future! I am working on it! (thank God we have pet chickens….so eggs are okay! They are truly happy chickens! )



    ps when we moved up here 18 years ago from Pasadena…..the Christmas decorations stayed in boxes for awhile….then were given to adult children….life moves on! Now they are gone some Christmases..with grandchildren…so we flee! Palm Springs this year! to a place I started going at 3! (65 years ago!!) Smoke Tree Ranch!

  8. Lovely post – and great dishes.

    I am in sympathy with you regarding the upper arms. Nothing worse than having garments feel tight in the arms. We have an expression here ‘my arms have turned’ which usually signals the end of the sleeveless shift, and is the point of no return. I am all for fighting this with whatever exercise necessary. It is possible to have arms on display – Jane Fonda did at 60 and so did Dame Margot Fonteyn!

  9. Oh your son’s culinary talents bring out my mothering match making once again! My daughter is in NYC too! They’d kill us.

  10. I LOVE you Slimmy!!! So….the Sugarboo design (365 days) in your first pic. (Great, great gift btw) Rebecca Puig is the amazing and inspiring girl who started this Atlanta based company. She is a dear friend of mine and just oozes creativity from every vein in her body. I SO hope you will come to Round Top in the spring so we can finally meet!!!! Happy New Year to you and yours. oh, and the food…my goodness! xoxo kb

  11. You dinner looks divine!! I can wait to try The Horseradish cream and the roasted cauliflower and red grapes. Six friends and I are trying not to have refined sugar for the month of January. Then I was invited to a local James Beard Award winning restaurant, we were supposed to go on Dec. 30, but my dinner date was not feeling well. He asked if we could reschedule for January 2nd. I had a cocktail, a glass of wine with my dinner and a dessert. On Janauary 3rd I went back on my program, perhaps I will add another day to make up for the additional sugar. Intention or Intention Thinking, I had a lovely evening and we live in a world where “situations alter cases” as my mother would say. Happy 2016 to you and your family.

  12. Happy New Year Slim–lovely food–we’re going to go heavier on veggies this year==but not all the way as your son has elected. And oh my, where did that extra 5 pounds come from–it has got to be gone gone gone. Too many parties, beverages and sweets for 6 weeks appear to have sent me down a very dangerous lane. Yikes My intention is quite firm–those 5 pounds + 3 more have got to go–so keep us up to date on your progress. Once again, happy new year–I wish you the best of health, love and accomplishment of your intentions.

    • Exactly the amount I’m shooting to lose as well Robyn- 5-8lbs. 5 Would be good, 7-8 would be great, as well as give me a little wiggle room to cheat a couple of times a week.

  13. So funny about the term “reach out”…a supervisor uses it all the time, and yes, just for making a call to someone. It has grated on my every nerve for a year and a half (as long as I’ve held that position). Tip: I use the Bose noise-cancelling earbuds often when I am at the office – helps to keep focus when in a cubicle-world. Do you think I’ll offend if i use them in our “team meetings”? (another loathsome term….how about just “meeting”?) Ha! Luckily I am out and about most of the day…now, in Sweet Sixteen maybe an “intention” will be to minimize my office appearances! Thanks Slim, and Happy New Year to you….

        • Also, those crazy college kids are still saying:
          “moving forward”

          By the way, I love the opening photo of Silver vase with those roses, with the Gathered cards of special quotes. I love that table, I did mine like that, but yours look so much better. Your decorations inspire my decorating, Slim! Always, I enjoy looking at them. BRAVA!

  14. 2015 was an interesting year for me and the gentleman I live with. We downsized from a big old house to a little cottage. Wonderful! My intention for 2016 is to be contented.
    Always a pleasure visiting here.
    Happy New Year!

  15. Mama-mia, Did you have Daisy help from Downton?
    Brava! To chef, and I am sure it was delish.

    it’s is all about the beef, bout the beef, ’bout the beef…no wrinkles 🙂
    Happy New Year to the Millers!

  16. You know, a side of “intentional” sofa assisted arm rolls & leg lifts during commercial breaks will keep your New Year “intentions” in tact. Happy New Year’s to you!

  17. Thank you, needed to hear this. I am the same age as you, and have two boys, the same age as your sons. I am over the moon happy with being able to spend time with them as adults. This is the great gift that I really never knew how great it could be. This year I will simplify, in all areas. I find myself getting too distracted by so many choices.

    • Happy New Year Kathy!
      How ironic that, given all the distractions we have nowadays, simplifying is actually quite difficult – or does it just seem that way to me?!

  18. I love the list of words you’d like banned. I have a long list myself. Do let me know if you find an exercise to help reduce sleevage. I have it too. So gross. Happy New Year!

  19. YES!
    YOU MUST BE VERY PROUD.That YORKSHIRE PUDDING is making my mouth water.

  20. I have followed you for quite some time now, Slim, but this is my favorite holiday post. I love the simplicity, and the love that your son poured into nurturing everyone with his artful cooking. Thank you for the recipe. Prime rib is an annual tradition in our family. As for intentions… For me, it is to find the kindness and goodness that is within and without everyday. I.e., “Find the good and praise it.” Extend that kindness to myself and others in our human imperfection. Continue with yoga, swims, and walks. And, DARE to put my creative projects out into the world.

    • Thank you syl.
      Wonderful intentions, I’m going to steal all of them and wish us the very best of luck in keeping them all up!!

  21. Thanks Slim. Love hearing and seeing the pics of the magnificent feast. All the more so, as it was made with loving hands that breathe the dna of you and your hubby. I wish you a glorious 2016. I “intend” for it to be a year of significant growth.

  22. So glad to see you surface! It seems like your posts are not as frequent. Well , I will try roasting grapes and cauliflower today, and love all the Christmas images you conjure up . I’m leaving in a couple of weeks on a cruise and after trying on dresses decided to pick up something to cover the arms. Richard Simmons dancing to the oldies DVD was on my list of potential workout 2016 ideas… And then I glanced at a Fitbit at Nordstroms a few days ago. I think I heard it calling my name. Anyway , and was anyone other than me wondering about the sex life of Carson and Mrs.. Hughes???

    • Happy New Year Barbara
      Firstly, with ” It seems like your posts are not as frequent” you win my understatement of the year award!
      Secondly, I think the more interesting question is; Were you wondering about the sex life of Carson & Mrs. Hughes BEFORE they introduced it into the story line??! 😉

  23. Happy New Year’s to you too, Slim! Your son sounds like my late dad. He did ALL of the cooking in the house. As for that other vegan son of yours, make sure he gets enough protein! 🙂

  24. ………your chef & vegan sons, would get along foodishishly with my dietetic-nutrition foodie girl daughter, too bad your boys are spoken for…….do you have “intentions” on still painting that hanging light fixture?……Happy New Year Slim one….I have “intentions” to work on my kegels, wenis and waddle in no particular order 😉

  25. GeenYUSS!

    Slim you are a genius.

    Thank you for this lovely post. Fabulously uplifting.

    Cheers to happy, healthy & fulfilling 2016🎉🎉🐾🍾

  26. Slim, your Prime Rib & Yorkshire Pudding Christmas Dinner is exactly what we eat every year. I too cook with my oldest son and we always include fresh made horseradish with whipped cream. Thanks for Thomas Keller’s recipe which I will try next year, as I think the addition of the sherry vinegar and salt & pepper will give it extra goodness. Wishing you a wonderful new year.

  27. Another friendly chat from our pal Slim. Haven’t met you, but I feel like we’re old friends. Sweet ’16 to you and yours. PS The pix were so yummy! Lucky you!

  28. A man who can make Yorkshire pudding , now that’s impressive ! cheers to a good fun healthy new year chasing adventures catching rainbows & following your hearts desire !

  29. Slim,
    Happy 2016 to you. I’ve set goals…I will fail miserably on accomplishing these just as I do when they are titled resolutions or intentions. 🙂
    I cracked up at the comments about overuse of the words journey and what not.
    The best part of this post—that your son loves to cook. Isn’t that the best? Our two sons both love to cook and the oldest left me in the dust skill-wise sometime ago. It ensures we’ll have someone to prepare good food for us when we’re feeble and unable (disinterested) in cooking!

  30. We can all use a bit more exercise, so my doc tells me. We are in good company. I will try a bit harder to be consistent with my exercise routine. It is the consistency that kills me! If I can achieve a 20% improvement, I’ll be happy. Your son’s cooking is outstanding. Very impressive. Everything looks delicious. So nice that you had both sons home for the holiday. Happy 2016! Susan

  31. Your son really nailed the Buche de Noel. I know because I made one for the first time ever this Christmas and it was a long process! But it turned out pretty as a picture and everyone “ooh-ed and ahhh-ed” as they ate. I did chocolate filling with chocolate sponge cake rather than white filling. And I skipped the mushrooms and did snow with sprigs of evergreen (easier..okay I got lazy there).
    I am glad to see you heap praise on your chef son because us cooks really bust it for all you non-cooking family members!! 🙂 One thing that always gets me is the family starts eating before I even sit down at the table after hauling all the goodies to the table. How to fix?
    Hoppy Newt Yard

    • “One thing that always gets me is the family starts eating before I even sit down at the table after hauling all the goodies to the table”
      This is definitely NOT acceptable!! After you’ve worked so hard all day! (unless you’ve said ‘please start’, but hey, even then, they should still wait for you!)

  32. I am always happy when I see there is a new Slim post up. Hey ~ keeping a {wonderful} blog going is a huge life accomplishment and you have checked that off the list for many years in great style. Take that all other “intentions”! Always love getting updates on your boys, and this cooking gig is gratifying {and delicious} to watch. So sweet that he is looking out for his brother. {And the “uniform roll” to that Buche de Noel would THRILL Mary Berry and even that grouchy Paul Hollywood of “The Great British Bake Off”. Have you seen it? Charming!} Wishing you a year of family/friend fun, travel, blessings and lots of blogging! I’ll be reading! xo

    • Thank you so much Phyllis, and the same to you!
      As a matter of fact, my son and his girlfriend also rec. “The Great British Bake Off” to us, so we are going to check it out on Netflix.

  33. Pure Extasy over that meal Slim ! I do want your Yorkshire Pud recipe please – mine do NOT look so perfect ~ Care to share ? Luv the exercising gals too ~ I decided/intend to go into fitness this year instead of work in an office so that was a great note telling me my decision was right ~ TYVM

  34. The best of 2016 to you and yours, Slim!
    I love and and appreciate your posts, thank you for sharing.

  35. Can’t get your blog please help. I am receiving your Instagram post & have read everything in archives, really love your writing!

    • Thank you, and I’m so sorry Dana, but I have no control over the subscriptions. All I can suggest is to try unsubscribing, and then subscribing back in. I wish I could be of more help.

  36. Slim you make everything better with your posts. You fill a soul with insight, warmth, laughter! You have the perfect balance of “is she for real?, yes she is real, i really love her, & in a not-real world would love you as a friend!” Your eye into detail is recorded to perfection in your photography. Welcoming your 2016 Episodes. Downton has competition!

  37. Slim, a belated Happy New Year! Your son’s dinner sounded and looked amazing. Following his talented mother! Thanks for the tip on Chef’s Table – amazing series. Now need to fly around the world to enjoy all the meals.

    You’re a powerful woman – let’s start the eliminate the K’s from our culture movement!

    Syl – am writing down “Find the Good and Praise it”.

    While we clear up the culture of starting ones ‘career???’ – media launch? Whatever the K’s do from sex tapes would love to get rid of ‘having a dialogue and circling back’

    Amazing group of commenters here – Happy New Year to all!

Would love to hear from you!