Saturday, 30 June 2012

bon week-end à tous....




Bonjour from a hot and sunny SW France,

Looks like today is going to be another scorcher, the weather could not be more perfect for the Afrolatin music festival that is taking place here in Eymet, this weekend.

The 1st of July marks the start of the season here and there is a lot of activities taking place including the weekly night market, art exhibitions, medieval banquet, oyster and white wine fair and a whole host of other activities.

Changing the subject a little, I do not know about you but I adore Hydrangeas or Hortensias as they are called here in France.

They are so different to other flowers and I find them calming when ever I have them in the house.

I found the perfect vase for them; a vintage champagne bucket and I love the idea that when I am not using it as a vase I can revert back to putting champagne in it hence it is a useful object....


Bon week-end à tous, Leeann x




Friday, 29 June 2012

French Food Friday...Charentais Frappé




It is melon season here in SW France and we have lots of melons growing in nearby Charante, available at both the local markets and supermarkets.
I adore it and we normally eat with Bayonne ham but as it is very hot again today (38 degrees) so I made a nice cold frappé with a melon and some vanilla yoghurt.....very yummy!

 Charentais Frappé

Ingredients
1  Charentais or cantaloupe  melon
1 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom*


Method
1. Peel and seed melon. Chop into large chunks. Place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes (don’t freeze completely).
2. Place the yogurt in a blender. Place the chilled melon chunks on top of the yogurt. Add lemon juice and cardamom.
3. Blend until frothy. Chill until ready to serve.
*Cardamom adds an exotic note, but you can use cinnamon, or a dash of nutmeg instead.

Santé à tous........Leeann x

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

love this mix...



This photo is my idea of perfection but with a few magazines scattered around the place.....love the sofas and think that the sparkly chandelier contrasting against the rustic beam looks fabulous and very French.

Note this photo along with many others that you will find here was taken in the Dordogne, the same region that we live in.

à tres bientot, Leeann x

p.s. still hot and sunny here!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

just arrived.....


Love these vintage madeleine tins that have just arrived at fabulously french and think that they would look great displayed on a kitchen wall.

a little bit of history on madeleines....

18th Century Madeleines are always associated with the little French town of Commercy, whose bakers were said to have once, long ago, paid a "very large sum" for the recipe and sold the little cakes packed in oval boxes as a specialty in the area. Nuns in eighteenth-century France frequently supported themselves and their schools by making and selling a particular sweet.

Commercy once had a convent dedicated to St. Mary Magdelen. Historians thing that the nuns, probably when all the convents and monasteries of France were abolished during the French Revolution, sold their recipe to the bakers.

According to another story or legend, during the 18th century in the French town of Commercy, in the region of Lorraine, a young servant girl name Madeleine made them for Stanislas Leszczynska, the deposed king of Poland when he was exiled to Lorraine. This started the fashion for madeleines' (as they were named by the Leszczynska). They became popular in Versailles by his daughter Marie, who was married to Louis XV (1710–1774).

cordialement from a very warm SW France, Leeann x

Monday, 25 June 2012

La Belle France..a few photos



Yesterday we went to Monpazier, the lovely village featured a couple of days ago on my blog, as we had to deliver some Fabulously French items for my lovely Australian client, who has recently bought and restored a lovely house near the village.

Whilst we were there, I thought that I would take a few photos......

The first thing that I snapped was this lovely hollyhook sunning herself....


Followed by a photo of the village marie (town hall).....



I could not resisting snapping a photo of the odd sign....




Baskets is big business in France as you can tell from this photo.....



As is wine, the area in which we are lucky enough to call home makes some of the best in France....





Lots of lovely flowers everywhere, I adore walking around looking at the lovely windows...



And after looking at all these lovely vines, I want to plant one by my garage, aren't they gorgeous...



Love this photo as it is the calm before the storm, as I took the photo at around 6pm, before all the people arrived for dinner....




It really is a stunning village and I thoughly enjoyed the precious few hours that I spent as a tourist and am looking forward to going back soon.

I hope that you enjoyed the photos, as much as I enjoyed taking them.

Bonne semaine à tous, Leeann x

Saturday, 23 June 2012

bon week-end à tous....


I am loving the bouquet that FBF bought from M. Fleurs aka our flowerman, as it has such a lovely mixture of fresh cut flowers.

Lovely and bright just like the weather at present....long may it continue as we have a lot of things happening here in the village which all kick off next week.

The weekly night market recommences next Tuesday and next weekend we have the afrolatine music festival so lets hope the sunshine continues.

 Mes amis(es) je vous souhaite à toutes et à tous un très agréable Week-end!!!Leeann x


Friday, 22 June 2012

French Food Friday...Apricot-Almond Clafouti



Originally from the Limousin region of France, clafouti is sort of a cross between a flan and a fruit-filled pancake. This one embraces apricots instead of the traditional cherries, but any fruit can be used, including apples, pears, peaches and plums.
It will puff up dramatically during baking, then collapse; let it cool slightly before serving so you can truly enjoy the flavors.
Leftovers make a delicious breakfast treat.

Ingredients
  • 1 pound(s) fresh apricots, (about 8 medium), pitted and cut into wedges
  • 1/4 cup(s) almond liqueur, such as amaretto, or  orange juice  
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 sugar, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 cup(s) low-fat milk
  • 2/3 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) almond extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon(s) sliced almonds
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Directions
  1. Combine apricots and almond liqueur (or orange juice) in a large owl. Grate 2 teaspoons zest from the lemon and set aside. Juice the lemon and stir 2 teaspoons of the juice into the apricots. Let stand for at least 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 10-inch round baking dish, such as a ceramic quiche dish, or oval casserole with cooking spray. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar evenly over the bottom. Drain the apricots (reserving syrup) and arrange in the baking dish.
  3. Combine eggs, egg white and the remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until pale yellow. Add milk, flour, almond extract, salt, the reserved lemon zest and the reserved syrup; beat well to blend. Pour the batter over the apricots; sprinkle with almonds.
  4.  Bake the clafouti until puffed and golden, 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool for about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and serve warm.
Bon appetit à tous, Leeann x

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Picture perfect...


Love the contrast of the blue against the creamy coloured stone building.

One of the reasons why the village of Monpazier,  in which this particular building is situated, has been voted one of the most beautiful in France.

Bonne journée à tous!!! Leeann x

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Just arrived...


Made in France......set of 3 fabulous tea towels.

Please click here for further details....

Leeann x

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

J'adore pinterest

photo from here


Love this photo and plan on putting it along with the others that go with it on pinterest......what a fabulous idea pinterest is, a girl could certainly get hooked on it :-)


à demain mes amies, Leeann x

Monday, 18 June 2012

new arrivals...




I am not sure where the day has disappeared to and I am still in the process of photographing new stock and updating the shop.  Here are some of the new arrivals.....





First up is this fabulous antique rosary which has lovely ruby coloured glass beads which are heavier than the beads that you normally see on rosaries in France.

Note although it is old it has never been worn as both therosaries that have just arrived come from a local antiqueu dealers private collection.  The other rosary has a cross which has the fleur de lys on every point of the cross and the beads are a lovely lilac colour.


Both the rosaries are stunning and are the nicest that I have come across for a long time.



Also new in are some antique napkins which are unique in the fact that they have never been used and come direct from an amoire which had been closed for many years.



Other items include a fabulous pair of antique louis XVI style wall lights and a very large antique mirror.

Well that is it for me and it is back to work I go...

Tres bonne semaine à tous, Leeann x
 

Sunday, 17 June 2012

something for me...




When I saw it, I wanted it! Hence I bought it not knowing that it was inspired by John Galliano's famous "gaucho" collection.

According to the advertising.....this Lip makeup palette combines the most glamorous shades of Dior's lipsticks to a luxurious Couture clutch. 
Its more than an elegant collector's palette, it is an essential accessory.

I like to think of it as a cadeau pour moi....

A demain mes belles, Leeann x

p.s. managed to find a few tresors today, will reveal all tomorrow! 

 

Saturday, 16 June 2012

bon week-end à tous...



......bon week-end à tous, bisous Leeann


Friday, 15 June 2012

vendredi fleurs...



Photo from the very fabulous karl.com


This week French Food Friday is taking a wee break hence the lovely  photo that appears above.....merci to the fabulous Karl Lagerfield.

....bon vendredi à tous et toutes, Leeann x

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

large and very french...



These antique french baguette baskets date back to the early 1900's.
They have their original,slightly worn, hand stitched, linen liner.
The liner has a very thin blue stripe running just below the top edge of the basket.
The basket and linen are in good condition and would look lovely lined with a tea towel and filled with your favorite bread or alternatively filled with lots of lavender.
They really are  fabulously french  and will add a touch of  farmhouse charm to your kitchen or room.
Approximate Measurements
26" long
3 1/2 " tall
6" wide
 
Please click here for further details.
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

I'm living my memoir, I don't need to write it...

Photo from karl.com

I'm living my memoir, I don't need to write it.


Karl Lagerfield


Think that I will get this quote framed as I adore it!..Leeann x

Monday, 11 June 2012

Monday Morning Dreaming...



Bonjour mes belles,

I hope that you had a fabulous weekend. Unfortunately it rained most of the day yesterday which meant that most of the vide greniers were cancelled hence no treasure hunting for us.

Yesterday I stumbled across this gorgeous apartment which is for sale in Isle sur la Sorgue which is the 2nd best place to hunt for antiques outside of Paris.



It even has an outdoor area, perfect for enjoying a glass of wine after a hard day's treasure hunting.....






Love, love the bedroom area and wish that mine looked as tidy as this today, perhaps mine would if I removed the piles of interior decoration magazines that appear to be growing by the day.

It would make the perfect weekend pad for us but at 860,000 euros, it is out of our price range but a girl can dream can't she?

If you want to see more photos of the apartment plus lots of other lovely properties in the Provence area, click here

Alas that it is dreaming over for today and it is back to work for me.

je vous souhaite une semaine fabuleuse...Leeann x

Saturday, 9 June 2012

bon week-end à tous...


Wishing you all a fabulous week-end....

Leeann x

Friday, 8 June 2012

French Food Friday...Tarte Aux Abricots


This week  there were a lot of apricots being sold on the market so I thought that this recipe was most appropriate.....

Tarte Aux Abricots


Pastry

    75 g cold unsalted butter
    175 g plain flour, sieved
    zest of a lemon
    1 tablespoon caster sugar
    1 egg
    splash cold water

The Filling

    650 g fresh apricots, not too ripe
    2 tablespoons soft light brown sugar
    6 tablespoons ground almonds
    2 large free-range eggs
    50 g caster sugar
    1 vanilla pod
    200 ml double cream or 200 ml whipping cream

Glaze

    5 tablespoons apricot jam

To Finish

    icing sugar
    fresh edible flower
    creme fraiche or cream

Directions:
 1       Heat oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas Mark 6. To make the pastry place the cold butter into a food processor with the sieved flour and lemon zest. Blitz until the mixture becomes the texture of breadcrumbs.
   
 2   Whisk the sugar into the egg then pour into the machine with a splash of water. Blitz just long enough for the mixture to form a ball. Remove with your hands and ensure you have a nice firm ball by moulding with your hands. Wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge for at least an hour.
  
    3   Meanwhile halve and stone your apricots then place on a baking tray cut side up. Sprinkle all over with the light brown sugar then bake them in the oven for 15-20 minutes until they are soft to the point of a knife but not falling apart.

    4    Roll out and line a 25cm loose-bottomed tart tin with the pastry. Chill again for ideally an hour but a minimum of 30 minutes.

    5    Once rested prick all over the base with a fork then line with parchment paper and follow with baking beans. Bake blind for 15-20 minutes until the base is just beginning to crisp but has not browned. Remove the beans and allow to cool.

    6    Sprinkle the ground almonds all over the base then top with a layer of apricots. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy. Remove the vanilla seeds from the pod and whisk into the egg mixture along with the double cream or whipping cream.

    7    Place the tart onto a baking tray then carefully pour over the custard mixture. Place in the oven for 15 minutes then lower the heat to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4 for a further 15-20 minutes when the custard should be set and a lovely golden colour.

    8    For the Glaze: Warm the jam and allow to cool just above room temperature and then pour or spoon it over the tart.

    9    Allow to cool before slicing and serving with crème fraîche and  plenty of icing sugar.

........bon appetit à tous, Leeann x

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

better than diamonds?



When I said jokingly to French Boyfriend, I wanted something sparkly......I thought that he may head to the jewellers and return with something containing a diamond. 

But no, he returned with the beauty that you see in the photo above and boy does she sparkle!

The story does not end there as once she was in position, hanging above dining table, I realised that I needed a mirror in which to reflect those lovely crystals.... think that you can guess the rest of the story.

None of the mirrors that we had in stock were right for the space and I bought a new but shabby looking mirror which arrived today but we now  need to find someone to help us mount it on the wall - hence French Boyfriend is probably wishing that he went to the jewellery shop...........

à demain mes amies, Leeann x

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Queen of our hearts....


Photo from here

To our lovely Queen, 

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  

We could not have wished for a better or more loyal Queen.

Signed a very Proud Kiwi x

p.s. Hope that Prince Philip gets better soon.

Monday, 4 June 2012

love this idea...



Bonjour,

I hope that you had a nice weekend. Ours, as per normal, disappeared in lightening fashion and I feel like I am cleaning up the debris...so much to do and the days do not seem long enough.

I am keen on the idea of relooking old furniture and the photo that you see above is a good example of this. Love the repainted Napoleon III mirrors and the buffet looks gorgeous and so much lighter minus it's top half.

Fabulous and very French.....Leeann x


Saturday, 2 June 2012

A must see....Dior Filmed at Versailles

Fabulous photo from dior.com


I hope that you are all having a fabulous weekend. All I could say after watching the latest Dior Film was WOW, WOW, WOW!

To view click here.

Je vous souhaite un week-end fabuleux, Leeann x

Friday, 1 June 2012

French Food Friday...strawberries with Cointreau

As usual, we have an abundance of strawberries at our house, hence this week's recipe uses strawberries and this is a recipe that I used last night.....

 

Ingredients

  • 500g strawberries, hulled halved or quartered, depending on size         
  • 3  tbsp Cointreau
  • zest 1 orange
  • 4 tbsp icing sugar
  • mint leaves, roughly torn, to serve

Method

  1. Tip the strawberries into a large bowl. Splash over the Cointreau, add the orange zest and sift in the icing sugar, then give everything a really good mix. Cover, then leave for 1 hr or more for the juices to become syrupy and the strawberries to soak up some of the alcohol.
  2. To serve, scatter the mint leaves over the strawberries and give them one more good stir, then spoon into individual glass dishes.

Bon appetit à tous, Leeann x