Friday, 11 August 2017

French food Friday - Nutella Chocolate Pots with Crème Fraîche and Sea Salt

recipe and photo from here

Bonjour from a sunny SW France,

Sorry for the lack of posts but I have been busy looking after our guests and baking and since we have a lot of young guests staying, most of my baking includes either nutella or chocolate.

I needed to make a quick dessert and this is the recipe that I used...and yes, it includes nutella.

Nutella Chocolate Pots with Crème Fraîche and Sea Salt

Makes 10 "pots" (use ramekins or small drinking glasses) that are about 3/8 cup each.

1 pound bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3/8 cup Nutella (or Nocciolata spread)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract
2 eggs
crème fraîche
Maldon sea salt

Place chocolate and salt in bowl of a food processor. Pulverize until it's almost as fine as powder.

Pour cream and milk into a medium-sized pot. Heat until it's just under the boil. Turn off the heat. Pour into a pitcher. Carefully pour hot cream/milk down the food processor tube onto the pulverized chocolate. Add Nutella. Let sit for 1 minute. Process for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides. Add vanilla extract and eggs. Process for another 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides. Pulse a few times. Make sure it's smooth. Pour mixture into a pitcher. Pour into 10 small pots (ramekins or small drinking glasses). Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. 

Take out of the fridge about 30 minutes before serving. Top with a teaspoon of crème fraîche and a pinch of Maldon sea salt.
bon vendredi à tous, Leeann x

Friday, 4 August 2017

French Food Friday - Nutella and Banana Muffins

Bonjour mes belles,

What a week! This week Maison No.20 turned 8 years old and I was not sure what kind of birthday cake I would make to mark the occasion.

I mentioned to our guests that I was keen to try out a nutella and banana muffin recipe. Our young and adorable Irish guest thought that this would be a good idea....end result I made them and our guests loved them.

I hope that you do too.

Nutella and Banana Muffins

230 grams (1 3/4 cups) self raising flour
150 grams (3/4 cup) granulated white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 large free range eggs, lightly beaten
113 grams (1/2 cup) melted unsalted butter
3 large very ripe bananas, mashed

1 banana for decoration (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tbsp Nutella, at room temp

1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C or 350F. Line your muffin tins with paper liners. 

2.In one bowl combine your flour, sugar & salt. 
3. In another combine your eggs, butter, mashed bananas & vanilla.
4. Tip one into the other and gently fold together. Note the  batter should be mixed, but look a bit lumpy. 
5. Divide your mixture between your cases, each one should be just about half full. 
6. Take a teaspoon of slightly warm Nutella and pop a blob  onto the centre of each muffin. Use a cocktail stick or skewer to swirl the Nutella into the muffin without turning the whole thing chocolatey.Repeat with each muffin.
7. Slice a banana and place a slice on top of each muffin. This is optional and purely for decoration purposes.
8. Place the muffins onto the middle shelf of your oven and bake for 20-25 mins, when they’re done you should be able to stick a skewer into the centre and have it come out clean. 

bon vendredi à tous, Leeann x

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Bonjour août

So happy that the month of août has arrived.I have a feeling it is going to be a fabulous month....

amicalement, Leeann x

Monday, 31 July 2017

Sunday Brocante

Bonjour mes belles,

I cannot believe that it is the last day of July already and I am looking forward to starting a fabulous new month tomorrow.

The brocante was  not as good as previous years but I purchased a couple of items for my shop which I will try and photograph later today.

The problem with the brocantes as it depends on a lot of factors: weather, if there are other brocantes taking place on the same day  and if the dealers have found some stock to sell.

It is a bit like lotto and sometimes you find the most fabulous items in the unlikeliest places..... 

The brocante was held in the park at the back of the village and the ambiance as not as nice as the park of the chateau or the park down by the river. I think that the location is important as if the site is not that attractive, it does not add a lot of value to the items on offer.

French boyfriend and I once had a stand in a park in the fabulous village of Brantome and we were given a great spot opposite a fabulous statue. It was the first time that I had ever spent a day at an antiques fair selling things and it was far more tiring that I thought that it would be.

Yesterday this stand selling linen and hats caught my eye, it really was a lovely stand.

I had better fly as work is calling, belle semaine à tous......

Leeann x

Saturday, 29 July 2017

bon week-end à tous

Where ever you are, what ever you are doing, here's wishing you a fabulous weekend.

I am hoping to do a bit of shopping at the brocante that is taking place in our village tomorrow as we are running low on stock. 

très bon week-end à tous, Leeann x

Friday, 28 July 2017

French food Friday -Salade de betteraves et carottes

Bonjour mes belles,

We have a house full of vegetables at present and I am looking for recipes that call for lots of vegetables.

Today is beetroot day or as it is called in French betterave. Whilst French Boyfriend was busy in the shop this morning, I made some pita bread and prepared a salad made with beetroot and carrots.

It is delicious and I served it in the pita bread with a couple of lettuce leaves. I was planning to serve it with tomato but it worked well without so I left it out.

Peel and grate a large raw beetroot and two large carrots (aim for roughly equal quantities of the two).

Mix 2tbsp olive oil, 1tbsp sesame oil and 1tbsp lemon juice plus a fat pinch of salt. Mix with the carrot and beetroot, then sprinkle generously with pumpkin and sesame seeds. 

très bon fin de semaine à tous, Leeann x

Monday, 24 July 2017

Sunday finds...

I have just added a few of these fabulous French agricultural medals to our etsy shop and I hope to finish creating the listings for the remaining medals tomorrow....

à demain, Leeann x

Sunday, 23 July 2017

French food Friday - Smoked Salmon Omlette

photo and recipe from here

Sorry that this post is a bit late but it was a busy week and I am just starting to catch up with chores that did not get done during the week.
I do not know about you but I love an omlette and French Boyfriend makes the best omlettes that I have ever eaten.
If you like smoked salmon then I am sure that you will like this recipe which is a Raymond Blanc recipe and a favourite of mine.

Smoked Salmon Omlette


3 medium organic/free range eggs
1 pinch Sea salt
1 pinch Freshly ground black pepper
5g Unsalted butter, plus a little extra melted butter to serve
30g Smoked salmon slices
2 sprigs chives, finely chopped to serve


In a large bowl, gently beat the eggs together using a fork with a pinch each of salt and pepper.

In the omelette pan, heat the butter until it begins to foam. Pour in the egg mixture and cook undisturbed for a few seconds, allowing the omelette to set lightly before stirring the set part in towards the centre. Repeat this motion 4 or 5 times until the omelette has formed but is still soft and creamy in the centre. This way you will achieve the perfect texture.

Scatter the pieces of salmon in the middle of the omelette and then fold the sides towards the centre. Turn the omelette out onto a warmed plate, brush with a little melted butter and sprinkle with snipped chives to serve.  

bon appetit à tous, Leeann x

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Rosewater and it's benefits

 photo from here

Bonjour mes belles,

I purchased a bottle of rosewater the other day and I was intending to use it for cooking.

Searched on google (what would we do without it) and found that it is great for skin and hair.
Apparently the usage of rosewater dates back to early Egypt, when Cleopatra  used the natural product in her skincare regime. If it is good enough for Cleopatra, it is good enough for me.

I found these tips in this fabulous article which also tells you how to use rosewater.

10 Rosewater Benefits

1. Rosewater helps maintain the skin's pH balance, and also controls excess oil.

2. "Rose water has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the redness of irritated skin, get rid of acne, dermatitis and eczema. It is a great cleanser and aids in removing oil and dirt accumulated in clogged pores", says Dr. Deepali Bhardwaj, Skincare Expert.

3. Rose water helps hydrate, revitalise and moisturise the skin giving it with that refreshed look.

4. Due to its antibacterial properties, rose water also aids in healing scars, cuts and wounds.

5. The antioxidant properties of rose water help to strengthen skin cells and regenerate skin tissues.

6. Due to the astringent like properties it possesses, rose water helps clean pores and tone the skin. Applying rose water after steaming tightens capillaries, reduces redness and blotchiness.

7. The aroma of roses is said to be a powerful mood enhancer. It rids you of feelings of anxiety and promotes emotional well-being, thereby making you feel more relaxed.

8. The nourishing and moisturising properties of rose water enhance the quality of hair. It is known to treat mild scalp inflammations and get rid of dandruff. Rosewater works wonders as a natural conditioner and revitaliseshair growth.

9. The scent of rose water on your pillow also helps you sleep better after a long day, making you wake up refreshed.

10. It also helps aging skin, keeping fine lines and wrinkles at bay.
I am now off to look for a recipe that uses rose water....
à demain, Leeann x

Friday, 14 July 2017

Happy Bastille Day

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité
Happy Bastille day....bon 14 juillet la France!

Leeann x
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité

French food Friday - Chocolate Cupcakes

 recipe from here
Bonjour mes belles,

This is not a French recipe but I served them up yesterday as our village hosted stage 11 and I wanted to make something Tour de France inspired so popped a red bike on top of each.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting.
Serves: 12
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon espresso powder
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup boiling water
  1. Preheat oven to 325º F.
  2. Place cupcake liners in muffin tin. Spray lightly with cooking spray.
  3. Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
  4. Add milk, vegetable oil, egg, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.
  5. Evenly distribute cake batter. Each cupcake liner should be about ½ full.
  6. Place in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes
  7. Remove from the oven and allow the cupcakes to cool completely.
  8. Prepare Buttercream Frosting according to instructions.
bon vendredi à tous, Leeann x

French food Friday - Nutella Chocolate Pots with Crème Fraîche and Sea Salt

  recipe and photo from here Bonjour from a sunny SW France, Sorry for the lack of posts but I have been busy looking after our guest...