Monday, 31 December 2012

bonne annee...



May all your dreams come true in 2013...

J'espère que tous vos rêves se réalisent en 2013...

amicalement, Leeann x

Friday, 28 December 2012

French Food Friday...Pastis frappé snow




recipe and photo from here



Bonjour mes belles,

In view of the fact that the French adore Pastis and we have a big party night ahead of us, this weeks recipe is a cocktail....Pastis frappé snow.

MAKES 2

60ml / 4 tbsp pastis for example Pernod or Ricard
about 36 ice cubes
Angostura bitters optional

FINISHING TOUCHES
small mint leaves (optional)
thin straws to serve


★ An hour in advance, pop the bottle of Pernod or Ricard and two margarita or large martini glasses, about 250ml / 9fl oz capacity each, into the freezer.
★ It is easiest to whiz the ice cubes for one frappé at a time. So for each serving whiz about 18 ice cubes in a food processor until you have a mass of fine snow-like crystals. Mound these into one of the glasses and drizzle over the pastis. You can also shake over a couple of drops of Angostura bitters and give the top a little twizzle. Scatter over tiny mint leaves, if wished, and serve with a fine straw. Sip from the base of the glass as the ‘snow’ melts. 


Santé!

  Leeann x

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

French love affair...

photo from here
 
One of the things that I first noticed when I moved to France, is the number of cake and chocolate shops. 

They are everywhere and I think that the French make some of the best cakes in the world and not only do they taste as good as they look but they come carefully wrapped in fabulous boxes and often tied with lovely ribbon hence they make great gifts.

For more lovely French Christmas cakes/bûche de Noël, please click here.

amicalement, Leeann

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Joyeuses fetes...

photo taken by me, in Bergerac, December 2012


Dear Fabulously French readers,
Wishing you a very "jOYEUX nOEL". Merci beaucoup for all your lovely comments and continued reading over the past 12 months.


Amicalement, Leeann x

Friday, 21 December 2012

French Food Friday...Orangettes au chocolat


 

photo and recipe from here 

I love the combination of orange and chocolate and since we have a lot of oranges at our house this week, we are making orangettes au chocolat.
 
Note the original version of the recipe appears first and the english version below....

 
Temps de préparation : La veille : 30 min Le jour même : 1 heure
Temps de cuisson : 45 minutes
Pour 6 personnes

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 belles oranges non traitées
  • 600 g de sucre fin
  • 80 cl d'eau
  • 2 cl de jus de citron
  • 230 g de chocolat noir

PREPARATION

- Rincez les oranges sous l'eau.
- Découpez chaque fruit en deux et glissez un couteau à lame souple entre la chair et la peau afin de récupérer les peaux d'oranges.
- Recouvrez-les d'eau citronnée pendant 5 minutes.
- Portez le tout à ébullition et laissez cuire 10 minutes à petits bouillons.
- Égouttez les oranges en conservant l'eau de cuisson.
- Ajoutez 300 grammes de sucre dans l'eau parfumée.
- Portez à ébullition.
- Pendant ce temps, grattez l'intérieur des peaux d'orange et enlevez toute la partie blanche.
- Découpez chaque peau en bâtonnets de taille régulière et disposez-les dans une boîte en plastique.
- Versez le sirop bouilli sur ces bâtonnets.
- Laisser macérer le tout une journée.
- Égouttez les oranges à nouveau en conservant le sirop.
- Mélangez 75 grammes de sucre au sirop et portez à ébullition. Puis versez sur les orangettes et égouttez.
- Répétez cette opération quatre fois.
- Égouttez les bâtonnets d'orange sur une grille.
- Faites fondre le chocolat au bain-marie. Trempez les orangettes dans le chocolat fondu en laissant 1 cm d'orange confite apparent.
- Faites durcir sur une grille.
- Conservez au frais mais pas au réfrigérateur.
- Vous pouvez procéder de la même façon avec des pamplemousses, des mandarines ou des citrons doux.

English version.......

Preparation time: The day before: 30 min same day: 1 hour
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Serves: 6 people
 
INGREDIENTS

     8 beautiful untreated oranges
     600 g fine sugar
     80 cl of water
     2 cl of lemon juice
     230 g of dark chocolate

PREPARATION

- Rinse the oranges in water.

- Cut each fruit in half and slide a knife between the flesh and smooth skin to recover the skin of oranges.

- Cover with water and lemon juice for 5 minutes.

- Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes on low heat.

- Drain oranges keeping the cooking water.

- Add 300 grams of sugar in scented water.

- Bring to the boil.

- Meanwhile, scrape the inside of the orange peel and remove all the white portion.

- Cut each skin into regular size sticks  and place them in a plastic box.

- Pour the boiled syrup on the sticks.

- Marinate all day.

- Drain the oranges again keeping the syrup.

- Mix 75 grams of sugar syrup and bring to a boil. Then pour on orangettes and drain.

- Repeat this four times.

- Drain the orange sticks on a baking rack
- Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie. Dip in melted chocolate orangettes leaving 1 cm candied orange exposed.

- Harden on a baking rack.

- Store in a cool place but do not refrigerate.

- You can do the same with grapefruit, mandarins or sweet lemons ..

......bon vendredi à tous, Leeann x

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Look who arrived yesterday.....



Bonjour mes amies,

Look who finally arrived yesterday. I adore Marie Antoinette and have been searching for an antique buste for a long time but could not find one.

So when I found this replica, I thought why not buy a new one. Alas that it is not the end of the story as the first one arrived broken hence I had to wait while a replacement was made.


She is stunning and I think well worth the wait........mille mercis Fabien Je l'adore, elle est magnifique!

à demain, Leeann x


 

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

a touch of rouge....


photo from here

Bonjour mes belles,

I hope that you are having a good week. I am slowly working my way through my list of things to do before the big day. 

I ordered the table cloth that you see in the photo above along with a couple of table runners and some napkins incase I get cold feet at the last minute and feel it is too red and resort to a taupe tablecloth with red table runners.

As normal French Boyfriend is his laid back self telling me not to worry, it is just another day and if the shops run out of food we can always have roast chicken......

Hence I feel the need to do some shopping sooner rather than later. That said it is market day tomorrow so I am sure that we can get most of what we need at the market tomorrow.


à tres bientot, Leeann x

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

it is beginning to feel...






.......a lot like Christmas. The Marche de Noel starts today in Bergerac and for me that it is the signal that Christmas is on the way.

One week to go and still lots to do.......I have better get moving. 

à demain mes belles, Leeann x


Monday, 17 December 2012

new arrivals at Fabulously French...



Bonjour mes belles,

Today it feels more like Spring here as we have rain one minute then sunshine the next and it is not cold hence the Spring feeling.

In between Christmas tasks I am updating the shop with some new treasures which include this fabulous set of 3 books which date back to 1843 and are about the 1688 revolution in England.

 
They really are decorative and would look fabulous placed on a desk or dressing table.

Next up is this fabulous antique metis sheet with a very large monogramme, initials C P.


We have also received a lot of vintage roasries....





you will find details by clicking here or by clicking on the objects of devotion page.

I also have a lot of antique documents in stock so am off to start photographing these now.

....bonne journée à tous, Leeann 

p.s. French boyfriend is convinced that the world is ending on Friday and I am not sure that I want to go to Bugarach to wait on top of the mountain for the aliens to come and rescue us!




Sunday, 16 December 2012

Gingerbread lanterns...




recipe and photo from here


Bonsoir mes belles,

I have been busy making gingerbread, the mixture is now resting in the fridge and the plan is to start making biscuits tomorrow. For anyone that wants a change, I found a recipe for gingerbread lanterns......

Makes 4 lanterns
  • with extra for small cookies
  • 250g • 9oz brown sugar
  • 250g • 9oz treacle
  • 140g • 4¾ oz unsalted butter
  • 500g • 18oz plain flour
  • zest of 1 orange, finely grated
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of salt
ICING
  • 250g • 9oz icing sugar
  • 1 medium egg white

★ Place a pot with the brown sugar, treacle and butter on a medium heat. Stir occasionally until the butter has melted. Leave to cool completely.
★ In a separate bowl stir together the remaining ingredients. Stir in the melted butter mixture. Use your hand to form the dough into a ball. Leave to chill for 5 minutes.
★ Preheat the oven to 160C fan (180C/gas 4). Quarter the dough and roll out each piece between two sheets of baking paper to 3mm • ⅛ in thick. From each piece cut out 5 x 10cm • 4in squares. In the middle of the squares stamp out a small star or heart with a 3cm • 1¼ in cookie cutter (see tip).
★ Place the squares on baking paper-lined trays and bake for 12 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack – they will firm up.
★ Whisk together the icing sugar and egg white until thick enough to make a good ‘cement’. Pour into a piping bag (or use a freezer bag and snip off a small corner).
★ Place one gingerbread square flat on a work surface. Pipe icing along each edge and stick a square on each of the sides. Pipe icing along the sides to join the squares together. Leave to dry then put a tealight in the middle.
TIP Reroll the leftover dough and cut out small cookies. Poke a hole in the top with a wooden skewer (if you wish to hang the biscuits up). Bake for 8 minutes.  


...amicalement, Leeann

Saturday, 15 December 2012

a sad day...


Today I would ask that we all take time to remember the children, all over the world, who die needlessly ..from Africa, to Syria, to America...
Our prayers and thoughts are with all those affected by the horrible and unbelievable act, that took place in Connecticut yesterday.
Leeann x 
 

bon week-end à tous....

photo from here

Bonjour from a sunny SW France,

After what seems like an eternity of wet, grey days the sun has returned and I hope that she stays for a while.

I am off to cut some branches to decorate the house with....

bon week-end à tous, Leeann x


Friday, 14 December 2012

French Food Friday...Raspberry Chocolate Macarons




photo and recipe from here


This weeks recipe is a favourite of mine and I hope that you enjoy making them as much as you do eating them....


INGREDIENTS.....


For macarons
  • 6 oz sliced blanched almonds (not slivered; 2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Red or pink food coloring

For chocolate raspberry ganache
  • 3 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (60 to 64% cacao), finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/16 teaspoon raspberry extract (preferably McCormick brand)

  • Special equipment: parchment paper; a gallon-size sealable plastic bag (not pleated)

Make macarons:
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Pulse almonds with 1/2 cup confectioners sugar in a food processor until very finely ground, 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a bowl. Sift in remaining cup confectioners sugar, stirring to combine.
Beat egg whites with salt in another bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until they just hold soft peaks. Add granulated sugar, a little at a time, beating, then increase speed to high and continue to beat until whites just hold stiff, glossy peaks. Add drops of food coloring to reach desired shade and mix at low speed until evenly combined. Stir almond mixture into meringue with a rubber spatula until completely incorporated. (Meringue will deflate.)
Spoon batter into bag, pressing out excess air, and snip off 1 corner of plastic bag to create a 1/4-inch opening. Twist bag firmly just above batter, then pipe peaked mounds of batter (the size of a chocolate kiss) onto lined sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart. Let cookies stand, uncovered, at room temperature until tops are no longer sticky and a light crust forms, 20 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 300°F.
Bake cookies, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until crisp and edges are just slightly darker, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely on sheets on racks, about 30 minutes.
 
Make ganache while macarons bake:
Melt chocolate with cream in a metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water or in top of a double boiler, stirring until smooth. (Bowl should not touch water.) Remove bowl from heat, then add butter and raspberry extract, stirring until butter is melted. Let stand at room temperature until cooled completely and slightly thickened.
 
Assemble cookies:
Carefully peel cookies from parchment (they will be fragile). Sandwich a thin layer of ganache (about 1/2 teaspoon) between flat sides of cookies.
 
Cooks' note: Filled macaroons keep in an airtight container at room temperature 3 days. 

....bon appetit à tous, Leeann x


Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Twinkling lights... a few photos



Bonjour from a chilly SW France,

I hope you are having a good week, ours in turning out to be a good one but no snow yet. It would need to warm up in order to snow.

Last night we headed into Bergerac to do some shopping and I managed to snap a couple of photos in between shopping.

We even bumped into Santa while we were there......


the first time he was his reindeer and the second time, he was reading a book.....Pere Noel is certainly a laid back fellow in SW France! 




Loved the wing style lights, they are my favourites as you know from last years photos.



As we were leaving I snapped this photo of the lovely lights decorating the old bridge that leads into Bergerac, they really do take my breath away each year that I see them.




I am in the process of washing a lot of the treasures that I found at the weekend so it is back to work that I go.

à demain, Leeann x 



Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Belle de jour...





all photos from here

Bonjour mes belles,

I just had to share these photos from Figaro Madame with you. They really are stunning......

I adore the furniture, the fabulous clothes and how long are the model's legs......they go on forever....




 The 40/50's era is very fashionable at present...

The fur coat is gorgeous as is the fabulous wood paneling......


Hope that you enjoyed the photos, I am off to do some work,

Leeann x

Monday, 10 December 2012

making a list...





fabulous photo from here

Bonjour mes belles,

I hope that all had a fabulous weekend. I think that ours was the best so far, yesterday was spent tresure hunting on a sunny but chilly day and Saturday was the highlight of my year.

We had a stall at a local Christmas fair where trade was brisk with young female shoppers.....little girls love to shop and I love seeing their outfits, boots, skinny jeans, fabulous coloured jumpers and one even wore a tutu over the jeans....fashionably hip!

The day finished with a concert and mulled wine served with mince pies.......fabulous and I do not have many of the mulled wine spices left in stock.

As most of you know I adore making gingerbread cookies almost as much as French Boyfriend loves eating it so when I saw these fabulous trees made from gingerbread cookies on one of my favourite blogs I thought this is something that I would like to try hence I have started a list of all theh things that I need to do this week and making trees like these is on my list.

Have you started making a list, dites-moi.... 

amicalement, Leeann x
 


Sunday, 9 December 2012

Christmas Post Dates...


Bonjour mes belles,

I hope that you are all having or had a wonderful Sunday. Ours was a busy one as we were out treasure hunting this morning and returned with lots of love goodies which I will try and photograph this coming week.

Deadlines for Christmas orders are as follows:

Asia-Pacific/America/Canada Monday 10 December
Europe                      Friday 14 December 


...bonne journée à tous, Leeann x

Friday, 7 December 2012

French food Friday...Chocolate Chip Madeleines

recipe and photo from here

Bonjour mes belles,

This weeks recipe is a favourite of mine and I think that these would make fabulous Christmas gifts....

Chocolate Chip Madeleines

Makes 16-18 
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 85g (3 ¼ oz)  golden caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • a pinch of fine sea salt
  • 100g (3 ½ oz) plain flour
  • 1 level tsp baking powder
  • 75g (3oz) unsalted butter melted
  • 75g (3oz) dark chocolate chips
  • unsalted butter for the moulds
  • icing sugar for dusting optional


  1. For the perfectly turned out madeleine, silicone moulds work well. You will need two standard nine-hole madeleine moulds, or alternatively use fairy cake tins if you wish.
  2. Whisk the eggs with the sugar, honey, vanilla and salt in a large bowl for 5-8 minutes until very pale and at least doubled in volume, using an electric whisk. Sift over and fold in the flour and baking powder, then the melted butter and chocolate chips. Cover and chill for an hour or two, or overnight. 
  3. Preheat the oven to 240C/220C fan/gas 9. Butter 16-18 fairy cake or silicone madeleine moulds. Give the chilled mixture a good stir and fill the moulds by three quarters with a heaped teaspoon.  (Cook’s note: placing the chilled batter in a very hot oven, then progressively reducing the temperature, helps create the typical domed top of the madeleines).
Place the cakes in the oven, immediately turn the temperature down to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 and bake for 4 minutes (in which time a dip will form initially in the centre of the cakes). Now turn the oven down to 190C/170C fan/gas 5 and continue baking for another 3-5 minutes until domed and risen in the centre, the mixture is set and the edge of each cake is golden. Run a knife around the edge of each one. These are lovely eaten slightly warm, but good for a couple of days thereafter if stored in an airtight container. Dust with icing sugar before serving if wished. 

...trés bon vendredi à tous, Leeann x


Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

beaucoup de travail...


Bonjour mes belles,

Aujourd'hui j'ai beaucoup de travail à faire....and that work includes preparing for a local Christmas market where we are going to be having a stand.

First task today is to stamp joyueux noel on lots of lovely lacy doilies which are then going to be stuck onto gift bags. 

I must admit it is a task that I enjoy as it takes me back to when I was a child, I adored playing with stamps then and I still do today, many years and countries later. Back to work? I must go....

Bonne courage à tous, Leeann x

Monday, 3 December 2012

simply chic.....

photo from here

Bonsoir mes belles,

It has been another busy Monday with most of the day being spent wrapping Fabulously French orders and thern taking therm to the Post Office where the lovely ladies have covered them in beautiful stamps.....merci encore to my gorgeous elves.

I cannot believe that it is the 3rd of December, where did the 1st and the 2nd go? I just hope that the rest of the month does not whizz past in the same fashion.

I am about to start decorating my kitchen and think something along the lines of the photo above would  be perfect.........stunning without too much bling!

à demain, Leeann x


Saturday, 1 December 2012

the count down has begun...

photo from here
 
I do not know about you but I am happy to say au revoir to November and say Bonjour to December, my favourite month of the year.
 
I have already started baking for Christmas and my plan is to spend cold days baking whilst listening and singing all to Christmas carols.
 
It is cold here today and the forecast is for another chilly day tomorrow so you know where to find me.....
 
 
Trés bon week-end à tous, Leeann x