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Our shop - latest finds

I am finally getting around to updating our online shop.

Just listed is this set of 8 fabulous monogrammed napkins. We use ours a lot and they add a touch of French chic to any table setting.

Also listed today is this stunning pair of tole wall mounted candle holders.


Please visit our shop for further details.


amicalement from a very hot SW France, Leeann
Recent posts

Recommended reading - Con Kabir

Con Kabir by Vinod Gairola was among the best selected crime mystery thrillers at Paris salon du livre held earlier this year in March.
‌The book is a mix of global politics and conspiracy theories with a unique twist of cons. Yes you read it right, cons. The story telling of this book, is unique in its way. The way story builds up keeping part of it reserved for the last builds the curiosity to finish it fast.

In brief....
A messiah will be born to fight evil that will find and destroy the rich, greedy and vain. He will gain your confidence long enough to get his hands on your money and make you believe he is an old friend that you have not seen in years. A rampant con game is being registered in the country, targeting mainly NRIs (Non resident Indians). They have been conned by different con men either by a tourist guide, a real estate agent. The scams range from street cons, business cons, internet cons and some home improvement cons. The twist in this con game happens when ACP Malik …

French food Friday - Verrines Filled With Duck Confit, Ceps & Crushed Peas

When I saw this recipe, I thought this is perfect for me  to cook for  French Boyfriend as it is a bit different to plain duck confit which we eat quite a lot of.

 Verrines Filled With Duck Confit, Ceps & Crushed Peas
Serves: 6

IngredientsGlass verrines are very fashionable in France, but you can also use individual soufflé dishes or cocottes. The duck and peas can be prepared ahead, making this a wonderfully easy dinner-party dish. Tinned confit duck legs (cuisses de canard) can be bought online (for example, from www.confitdirect.co.uk or www.gasconline.com), and from some delicatessens and specialist butchers.

FOR THE DUCK: 
25g dried ceps2 tablespoons duck fat (spooned from the tin of confit)1 onion, peeled and finely chopped2 sticks celery, finely chopped1 garlic clove, crushed2 tablespoons plain flour1 teaspoon tomato purée1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary3 legs of confit of duckSalt and freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE PEAS:
25g butter4 spring onions, whiteparts only,…

French Food Friday - Raymond Blanc"s Pan-fried Fillet of Sea Bream with Ratatouille and Tomato Coulis

photo and recipe from here Apologies that this post is three days late but I am playing catch up as late is better than never... Entre nous the last time that we had fish, French boyfriend overcooked it and I made my thoughts known. Not one of my best moves and I think that he sulked for at least a week and I wished that I had not said anything at all. If I had to pick one cookbook, I think it would be Raymond Blanc's Foolproof French cookery as it is one of those cookbooks that I turn to time and time again. I made this particular dish for FB on Saturday night and he loved it, so much so that we are having at again tonight as I have enough  Ratatouille left over and FB is off to buy us some lovely fresh sea bream or as it is called here, dorade.
Pan-fried Fillet of Sea Bream with Ratatouille and Tomato Coulis Total time: 30 to 60 minutes Preheat oven to 200°C. (400°F.)
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Average Raymond's note All the clean, fresh flavors …

Market Day

Today was market day in our village and what a beautiful day it was. We had beautiful blue sky and it was great to see a lot of "new" items on the vendor's stands.

One of the things that I really appreciate about living in SW France is the abundance of local produce being sold at the local markets.

This morning there were lots of lovely mushrooms.... 

Love the taste of them which is very distinct and quite woody, if that makes sense.

I also had a quick stop at our flower man's stall and could not resist buying a lovely bouquet of these colorful dahlias which I have mixed with some branches of eucalyptus and placed in our dining room.


Speaking of food, it is also dinner time and I need to start preparing before French Boyfriend arrives home from work....

à demain mes belles, Leeann x

Apple festival

Bonjour mes belles,

Yesterday our guests had to leave at 7h30 as they had an early flight, which meant that we were able to hunt for some stock for the shop and attend an apple festival that was taking place in a charming village in the lot et Garonne, not far from where we live.


Needless to say, we ended up buying quite a lot of items while we were there.

I always think that French bread looks better in a basket....


We purchased some of this fabulous purple garlic but I am now wishing that we had bought more as it will not last long chez nous.

French Boyfriend bought me some of these fabulous gourds which really do scream Autumn and I have displayed them in a medicis vasque.
 Now that the courgette season is almost over I have a feeling that I will be using a lot of these beauties, great for soup or tagines.

 To me  these eschalottes are saying Boeuf Bourguignon, and now the weather has cooled down I may just have to make some....

 FB loves this shot as it is like a painting, to me it …

French food Friday - Chocolate, prune & brandy fondants

photo and  recipe from here
Bonjour mes belles,
I purchased French Boyfriend a fabulous bottle of armagnac for his birthday and used some to cook him a birthday dessert which went down a treat. 
This got me thinking that perhaps I should try and use more recipes that have armagnac in them as he obviously likes them and it comes from a part of France, that is not that far from where we live.
As I write this I am chomping on a prune, which as you know are rated as the best in the world and I love them. Agen is the prune capital and there are many prune producers not far from us.
Unfortunately the chocolate is not grown locally but the rest are local ingredients... 
Chocolate, prune and brandy fondants Ingredients 100g prunes, roughly chopped40ml brandyA little cocoa powder for dusting150g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces150g unsalted butter, diced, plus extra for greasing3 large eggs75g caster sugar35g plain flour Method Soak the prunes in the brandy in a small bowl for at least 2 hour…