Thursday, 31 May 2012

Market day...



It is market day and the sun is shining here in SW France.

One of the many things that  I adore about living in France, is that for the last 600 years or so there has been a weekly market in most villages in France.

vive le Marché....Leeann x

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

A little bit of shopping....

Fabulous photo from here


Is there such a thing as a little bit of shopping?

I am not sure especially when it comes to shopping on the net. It started with buying a pair of boho sandals direct from one of my favourite shops in India and ended up with buying some makeup from Bourjois here in France.

I just wish that it only took as long for the delivery as it does to order the items.

.......Bonne journée à tous, Leeann x





Monday, 28 May 2012

je suis fatiguée...


photo from the fabulous Rodney Smith

I am tired or in French je suis fatiguée.....the last few days have  been busy and hot so I am looking forward to a bit of calmness if such a thing exists!

Belle semaine à tous! Leeann x

Sunday, 27 May 2012

bon dimanche à tous...






Bonjour from a very hot and sunny SW France,

Hope that you are all having or had a fabulous Sunday. After I finished serving breakfast at Maison No. 20 I quickly rushed to the main road which is lined with hundreds of stalls as Eymet is hosting a Brocante/Vide Grenier today.

Despite being a few hours behing the professional treasure hunters, I manged to find a few treasures including a fabulous large Napoleon III mirror along with these antique baguette baskets.



 I am off out again now as I need to take FBF his lunch and have to stop at a few stands on the way...
bon dimanche à tous, Leeann x

Friday, 25 May 2012

French Food Friday...Mousse aux Fraises

 

At yesterday's market there was an abundance of strawberries or as they are called in French fraises hence today's recipe uses lots of strawberries.... 

Mousse aux Fraises


INGREDIENTS:
  • 500 grams/1 pound strawberries, plus 6 small ones for decoration if you wish
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 4 egg whites
  • pinch of salt
METHOD:
1. In a blender or food processor, puree berries with lemon juice and sugar.
2.In a mixing bowl beat cream until it is stiff. Gradually and gently mix the whipped cream with the berries.
3.In another mixing bowl beat egg whites with salt until stiff. Mix one cup of egg whites into berry and cream mixture, and then gently fold this back into egg whites.
4.Pour the mousse into individual serving dishes and decorate with a strawberry. Refrigerate for at least two hours.
Makes 6 servings.

             .....bon appétit à tous, Leeann x

Thursday, 24 May 2012

a good idea...

photo from here

Place interesting items in old bottles, it makes for an interesting display. 

......à demain mes belles, Leeann x

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

painting results...



Bonjour from a sunnier SW France,

As promised here are a couple of the items that I painted over the weekend. The first is a pair of vintage candelabras which I have displayed on the mantle piece in the fab french showroom.




The next item I painted was this old clock which was a very bright gold colour before relooking...



I also painted  an old mirror which you can see the top part of in this photo....




And now it is back to painting that I must go.....

Bon courage à tous, Leeann x

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Love this colour...

photo from here

Blue is one of my favourite colours...... is it one of yours?

As you know I have fallen in love with a lovely grey-blue colour and painted a few more items at the weekend including an antique mirror, clock and some candelabras.

I will take some photos later today and that the camera talks to my new laptop which I am quickly developing a love/hate affair with; love the look of it but hate the layout of the French keyboard!

a demain mes amies, Leeann x 

Monday, 21 May 2012

Computer died...



It started with my laptop making funny noises and ended with it stopping totally.

In one way it is totally liberating and in another frightening when all of your business is done using the internet.

We raced out this morning to buy a new laptop and I am now trying to use a French keyboard......all the letters are in different places so I have a feeling it is going to be a steep learning curve.

It is like learning to walk all over again but there is one positive.....my new laptop is white and it looks fabulous in my all white bedroom!

Bonne semaine à tous, Leeann x

Friday, 18 May 2012

French food Friday...petit pots de creme au cafe

{photo from here}


This week's recipe involves one of my favourite ingredients..cafe!


Ingredients:
4 eggs
3 tb Sugar
2 cups milk
1 tb Kahlua
3 tb Strong-brewed coffee
1 tb Extra-fine instant coffee


Method:

Preheat oven to 275. Place eggs, sugar, and coffees in a large mixing bowl. Mix well. Add the Kahlua and milk. Fill 4 custard cups with the mixture. Place in a deep baking pan filled with 1 inch hot water. Bake in oven for 45 min. or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Bon appetit et tres bon vendredi a tous....Leeann x

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Beaucoup de roses...


Just sanpped this photo, the village appears to be covered in lots
of lovely roses at present - there are lovely blooms everywhere.

Je vous souhaite une bonne soirée, une bonne nuit....

Bisous à demain, Leeann x

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

simple yet chic...




Love this bathroom. So simple yet so chic......

Leeann x

Monday, 14 May 2012

Finally finished....


Yes girls and boys, it is true. I finally finished painting the dresser.

I am in love with the colour and plan on painting a few other objects with the same blue grey colour.


 
I am happy with the result and have a few other changes planned for this apartment. The bed that you can see in the photo is being replaced with a larger brand new mattress and base and I am planning on having a ciel de lit above the bed.

My idea is to make the apartment more cosy and like a love nest as it is on the top floor of Maison No. 20 and gets a great view of the surrounding rooftops and is also lovely and light.


As you can see from the photo it is large hence took a lot longer than I thout it would and I have JUST finished painting the legs hence the pieces of  cardboard that you can see.

The carpet is also new and was laid on Saturday. I loved the wooden floorboards but they were not practical from a noise point of view hence I picked a taupe colour carpet which really does make the room more cosy as well as less noisy.....



The same carpet has also been laid in the entrance of the apartment which doubles as a sleeping area for a young child as it is directly outside the door of the bedroom.

I am off to start le dîner. Tonight we are having salade niçoise...yum!    a demain, Leeann x

Sunday, 13 May 2012

All dressed up....

.......and nowhere to go! This beautiful vintage doll is one of four that I found this morning. She comes complete with original box as do the other 3 dolls, and each one has their specific details written on the back of the box. On the back of this one is "Style Renaissance 1880".


The 2nd is the gorgeous "Style 1760 Marquisette Louis XV".



The third is the "Style 1476 Moyen Age" which is a stark contrast to the dolls of the later ages, as shown above.




The 4th is much more modern in style as you can tell from the photo.....I think that you all know what type of doll she is.....



Other treasures include lots of beautiful butterfly collections, candelabras and even a buste made from wax. Unfortunately the butterfly collections are a little dusty so I am off to start cleaning....

a demain mes belles, Leeann x

Friday, 11 May 2012

French Food Friday...Pain Perdue with Warm Raspberries & Strawberries

pain perdu

This week's recipe comes from one of my favourite French chefs, Raymond Blanc.
Pain perdu means ‘lost bread’ (in England it is often known as French toast), and this recipe was devised as a means of using up leftover bread. The red fruits can be replaced by apples or peaches, in which case you will need to increase the cooking time by up to 5 minutes for apples or 3 minutes for peaches.
Serves 4
2 large eggs
50g (2oz) caster sugar
100ml (3½fl oz) full-fat milk
2 tsp rum or cognac (optional)
a few drops of best quality vanilla extract (optional)
4 slices of bread, cut 2cm (¾in) thick, crusts removed, cut in half
40g (1½oz) unsalted butter
shredded fresh mint, to decorate

for the warm raspberries and strawberries
2 tbsp water
50g (2oz) caster sugar
25g (1oz) chilled unsalted butter, diced
100g (4oz) strawberries, cut in half (or quartered if large)
100g (4oz) raspberries
2 tsp kirsch or cognac
 
Step One
In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Gradually mix in the milk and the rum or cognac and vanilla extract, if using. Place the slices of bread in a large dish and pour over the egg mixture. Allow the bread to soak for 4–5 minutes, then turn the slices over and soak for a further 4–5 minutes to ensure that all the liquid is absorbed.Carefully lift the bread from the dish with a fish slice and place on a baking sheet. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/gas 2.
Step Two
On a medium heat, in a large frying pan, melt half the 40g (1½oz) butter.When it is foaming, add two bread slices and fry for 2 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and set aside. Clean the pan, return it to the heat, melt the remaining butter and cook the remaining bread. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes.
Step Three
To prepare the fruit, put the water in a medium frying pan and scatter the sugar over it in an even layer. Let the sugar absorb the water for a few minutes, then place the pan on a medium heat and leave, without stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and formed a syrup. Simmer until the syrup turns into a very pale blond caramel.
Step Four
Stir the diced butter into the caramel,addthe strawberries and raspberries,then the kirsch or cognac,and cook for 30 seconds to soften the fruit and create delicious juices. To serve, remove the hot slices of bread from the oven and place on four plates. Spoon the warm strawberries and raspberries over the bread and spoon the red fruit syrup around, then decorate with a little shredded mint.
 
.......Bon appeitit a tous, Leeann
 
p.s. I am still painting the dresser!
 

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

today's motto...


{image from Farrow & Ball}

Has been exactly this, hence the reason why this post is so late.

I have been busy keeping calm and decorating......let's just say that I spent a lot of time painting an antique dressing table and decided after numerous coats of paints that I did not like it in the white shade that I had painted it and have spent the last couple of hours painting a fabulous grey blue colour.

You will see the finished result tomorrow...

je viens te souhaiter une tres agreable soiree, Leeann x

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

a touch of rouge...


{photo from here}

...makes all the difference, well at least, I think it does.

Love the addition of the red lamp shades and the cushions/throw.  It certainly brightens a grey morning in SW France.

a demain, Leeann x  

Monday, 7 May 2012

Saturday, 5 May 2012

bon week-end a tous...


{photo from Pierre Herme}

Sending you something sweet for the weekend.....

Bon weekend a tous, Leeann x

p.s. I am still painting the armoire!

Friday, 4 May 2012

French food Friday...Braised Basque Chicken with Tomatoes and Paprika




Today's recipe is a recipe that I adore, we live not far from the Basque district and this is a local favourite, for those of you that do not like cooking - you can find it already made at our village supermarket...

Braised Basque Chicken with Tomatoes and Paprika

Ingredients


Serves 4 to 6.
  • 120 grams/4 ounces Spanish chorizo, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1.4 kilos/3 pounds chicken thighs and breasts
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch thick strips
  • 2 small red onions, sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3/4 cup dry sherry
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (or diced plum tomatoes)
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Handful fresh basil, thinly sliced, for garnish
  1. Adjust the oven rack to the bottom-third position and preheat the oven to 350°F. Meanwhile, set a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat and add the chorizo. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chorizo has rendered some fat and is starting to brown. Remove chorizo with a slotted spoon and drain on some paper towels.
  2. Season the thighs and breasts with salt and pepper on both sides. Add the chicken pieces to the skillet and brown on both sides, about ten minutes total. Remove the chicken pieces and set aside.
  3. Remove all but two tablespoons of fat in the skillet. Add the bell peppers, onions, garlic, and thyme. Season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, about five minutes. Add the sherry, tomatoes, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Stir well to dislodge any browned bits and simmer for one minute.
  4. Nestle the thighs in the skillet (you'll add the breasts later) and add the cooked chorizo. Cover the skillet and place in the oven. Cook for 15 minutes, and then remove the skillet, flip the thighs, and add the breast pieces. Cover again and return to the oven. Cook until the chicken pieces are completely cooked, ten to fifteen minutes. If needed, season with more salt and pepper. Garnish with basil. Serve.
......bon appetit a tous, Leeann x

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Busy painting...



bonjour from a still sunny SW France.....

Started painting an armoire for my bedroom today with the fabulous Annie Sloan chalk paints.

I really enjoy using Annie's paints as they are super easy to apply and I love the texture but I wish that the armoire that I have chosen was not quite so large...

I promise to show you the end result but think that it is going to take me a while as I am painting a la francaise.....lentement!

amicalement, Leeann x

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Proof...


...that we get sunshine here in SW France. After 15 days of rain I was starting to lose faith.....

a demain mes amies, Leeann x

p.s. we found the vintage bisto table and chairs this morning amongst other things.....