Monday, 24 October 2016

A fabulous place to stay...

Bonjour mes belles,

I was hoping to post whilst we were away but we had a few techinal issues, no wifi in the gite that we rented plus the fact that my phone died. End result a fabulous holiday in lovely Normandy.

On the way to Normandy we stayed in a fabulous hotel which was not far from Villandry. 

This is the view from the breakfast room. Would you believe that we slept  in and arrived a minute before they started clearing away breakfast. 
A lesson for next time is to take note what time breakfast is served. The night before we had a fabulous dinner, we were impressed by the quality of the  food and the service was excellent. 

We both had cherry soufles to finish which were heavenly and I am keen to try making these at home.

The wine list was one of the largest that I have ever come across and I loved that you could choose armagnac by the year.

You can find more details about the hotel here.

I am off to continue with the unpacking, not a task that I enjoy. 

très bonne semaine à tous, Leeann x

Monday, 10 October 2016

bonne semaine à tous...

In typical French Boyfriend fashion, FB appears mid morning on samedi with a lot of vegetables and I mean a LOT. End result we will be eating vegetables for most of the foreseeable future.

Among the sea of vegetables, was this beauty, which I feel is too lovely to eat...and lovely enough to take a photo of.

très bonne semaine à tous, Leeann x

Friday, 7 October 2016

French Food Friday...Purée de pois cassés aux pommes de terre et aux lardons

                          photo from here

 Rebonjour mes belles,

I found some split peas whilst cleaning out one of the kitchen cupboards that French Boyfriend purchased some months back.
FB advised that these are good with eaten with French sausages so I had a quick search on the internet and found this recipe. 

I was a little aprehensive at first but once the mixture was in the food processor, my confidence returned and FB was happy with the result. It works well with French sausages but if you do not have these, it would also work well with strong tasting non French sausages.

The recipe appears in French with my English version below.
Temps de préparation : 200 minutes
Temps de cuisson : 45 minutes
Ingrédients (pour 6 personnes) : - 500 g de pois cassés
- 6 pommes de terre
- 200 g de lardons fumés
- 2 oignons
- 4 gousses d'ail
- 2 feuilles de laurier
- 1 pincée de sel
- 1 pincée de poivre
- 15 cl lait
- 1 noix de beurre

Préparation de la recette :

Rincer à grande eau les pois cassés puis les laisser tremper 2-3 h.
Dans une casserole, faire revenir les lardons avec une noisette de beurre et les oignons.
Ajouter les pois cassés avec 4 fois leur volume d'eau, les gousses d'ail pelées et coupées en deux, les feuilles de laurier, les pommes de terre épluchées et coupées en gros morceaux.
Laisser mijoter à feu doux pendant 45 min.
Égoutter, récupérer les morceaux de pomme de terre et les passer au moulin à légumes. Mélanger avec le lait chaud.
Jeter les feuilles de laurier.
Mixer les pois cassés avec une belle noisette de beurre puis incorporer la purée de pomme de terre.
Rectifier l’assaisonnement si besoin.

Preparation time : 200 minutes
Cooking time : 45 minutes
Ingrédients (pour 6 personnes) : - 
500 g split poeas
- 6 potatoes (peeled and cut into large chunks)
- 200 g smoked bacon
- 2 onions
- 4 cloves garlic (peeled and chopped in half)
- 2 laurel leaves
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch pepper
- 150 mls milk
- 1 knob of butter

Préparation :

Rinse the split peas and leave to soak for  2-3 h.
Place the bacon and onion in a pot and fry with the knob of butter until cooked.
Add the split peas together with 4 times their volume in water -  2 litres.

Add the cloves of garlic, laurel leaves and potatoes.
Simmer for  45 min.
Drain, remove the potatoes and laurel leaves? Blend in a food porocessor  until smooth.

Do the same with the potatoes and milk, then combine both mixtures and blend together,
Taste and add additional seasoning if required.

Serve with sausages.

Note by the time I thought to take a photo, it was too late as we had eaten all of it. It really is delicious...

bon vendredi à tous, Leeann x

Thursday, 6 October 2016

C'est jeudi, jour du marché.

Bonjour mes belles,

Thursday morning is market day in the village and it has been for the past 600 years or so.
One hopes that this continues for the next 600  years. When we visited New Zealand earlier in the year, my sister took me to a local market but for me it lacked something.

Perhaps it was the friendly banter between the sellers or simply the way in which the French take the time to arrange their produce. I think that it is something that is hard to copy and the French are born into this way of life, hence they do not know any different and for them is normal.

For me this morning, it is if I was seeing the market for the first time, despite having lived here for 9 years it has not lost any of it's magic. 

It has been a very busy 6 months for us and we are looking forward to slowing down and taking time to enjoy life in this fabulous country.

How stunning do these lettuces look, I love the contrast of the colours...

A shopping basket is a must and the French are finally stopping plastic bags and adopting brown paper versions instead. I think everything tastes and looks much nicer when in paper bags...

Lots of lovely cheese, I can notg imagine France "sans fromage"...

Autumn really is the most lovely time of the year to be in France, the days are still warm and the mornings crisp.
I just had to take a photo of the purple cauliflower, it looks too good to eat.

à demain, Leeann x

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

lovely to meet you...

For the last couple of nights we have had two lovely ladies staying from America. One of whom is a follower of this blog, hence she knew a lot about us before actually meeting us in person.

We hope that you both enjoy the rest of your adventures in France and look forward to hearing your tales...

October is a lovely month to be visiting France and we are being blessed with beaucoup de soleil, long may it continue.

très belle semaine à tous, Leeann x

Friday, 30 September 2016

Friday flowers...

I could not resist buying these beauties from the market yesterday morning.  They really brighten up the dining room and I love how dainty they are...

très bon vendredi à tous, Leeann x 

Monday, 26 September 2016

Sunday Tresors..

Bonjour mes belles,

The weekend was a very busy one and I adored every minute of it. French Boyfriend spent yesterday morning hunting for trésors and I felt a little sad as I could not go with him.

I was very happy when he returned and asked if I wanted to go with him. Unfortunately the sky had clouded over and it started to rain.

A shower was not going to put me off and I was itching to buy something. My father always says that money burns a hole in my pocket and in this instance he was right.

It was lovely to catch up with the other dealers, many of whom I had not seen for a good month or so. One particular couple, are like kindred spirits we share the same taste so I was more than happy to spend most of my time at their fabulous stand.

I am always tempted to buy at their stand and yesterday was no exception and I returned with some lovely silver cutlery, most of which had never been used.

The first item I purchased was a set of fromage knives which will also look good on the breakfast table. They were still in their original box and each was individually wrapped...

Next I bought some matching forks, bigger knives and spoons and some fabulous crystal glasses.

A girl can never have too many glasses or monogrammed napkins. Merci encore to the lovely Marie France, who tucked the monogrammed napkin into my hand bag as a gift and that was before I had purchased anything.

It is moments like these, that make life that little bit extra special. Talking of special, I had better go as duty calls...

Have a fabulous week,Leeann x