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.
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.
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,elleest magnifique!
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.
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!
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
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.
Special equipment: parchment paper; a gallon-size sealable plastic bag (not pleated)
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.
Carefully peel cookies from parchment (they will be
fragile). Sandwich a thin layer of ganache (about 1/2 teaspoon) between
flat sides of cookies.
Filled macaroons keep in an airtight container at room temperature 3 days.
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.
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.
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
This weeks recipe is a favourite of mine and I think that these would make fabulous Christmas gifts....
Chocolate Chip Madeleines
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
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.
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.
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.
Bonjour mes belles, Aujourd'huij'ai beaucoupde 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....
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!