Friday, 29 March 2013

Joyeuses Pâques...


Wishing you all a very Happy Easter.
Je vous souhaite à tous un très Joyeuses Pâques.

Leeann x

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

I love chocolate...



......and France is a country that is full of chocolate shops, hence this is indeed a match made in heaven!

Leeann x

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

latest finds...


Bonjour from a very sunny SW France,

As promised here are some photos of a few of the items that we bought at the weekend.

First up was a bag containing some lovely religious curiosities including this lovely antique "carnivet" which contains a religious expression on the back of it.


Love the paper lace detail, it really is a stunning object and I think would look great framed.





Front side

Reverse



Another purchase, was this fabulous book, which dates back to the 1880's and contains engravings of funiture designs relating to that period.



The engravings are stunning and I think that they would look greated framed and then grouped in sets of 4 or 6.








So many fabulous designs and far too fabulous to rest hidden away in a book....




There is also a wedding certificate which dates back to 1633 and is for someone of high birth or rank; someone  noblesse.



 
There is a jewellery box and a couple of brooches...










And last of all, a rather practical object, an antique French chopping board.....




Well I think that is pretty much all the tresaures apart from the extra large chandelier and wall lights which we have yet to photograph...

trés bonne journée à tous, Leeann  



Monday, 25 March 2013

monogramme love...





Bonjour mes belles,

This post is a little later than normal but as normal, it has been a busy Monday.

Yesterday was a  fabulous day here with lots of lovely sunshine. 

We visited a friend who has a lovely antiques shop and returned with a few tresors including the fabulous sheet with extra large monogramme as shown above, an enormous chandelier with matching wall lights, vintage prayer cards which I use when packaging vintage rosaries and a book containing the most fabulous and very Napoleon III furniture designs.
I am planning on taking some photos and showing you tomorrow....

à demain, Leeann x 

Saturday, 23 March 2013

bon week-end à tous...


Bonjour mes belles,

Just wanted to wish you a trés bon week-end à tous.....


Leeann x

Friday, 22 March 2013

French Food Friday...Raymond Blanc's Blackcurrant Charlotte

 

 photo and recipe from here


Bonjour mes belles,

This week's recipe is inspired by the lovely maman de Felicity who served boudoirs or ladies fingers bicuits with tea this afternoon, in the dining room of their "fairytale like" chateau.

I cannot think of a nicer place to enjoy a good cup of tea...

Raymond Blanc's Blackcurrant Charlotte

Many great chefs have created recipes especially for beautiful women, noble kings and queens, and other heads of state. The renowned French chef Carême devised this dessert to honour Queen Charlotte (1744–1818), wife of George III.


Makes: 2
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
You will need:
For the sponge:
4 medium eggs, separated
2 tsp lemon juice
80g caster sugar
80g plain flour, sifted
40g icing sugar, sifted, for dusting
For moistening the sponge:
60g caster sugar
140ml water
4 tsp kirsch or eau-de-vie

For the mousse:
1.5kg blackcurrants
100g caster sugar
1 tbsp water
4 sheets leaf gelatine
600ml prepared sabayon
For the sabayon:
4 medium egg yolks
50g caster sugar
125ml Muscat or other sweet dessert wine
1 tbsp lemon juice, or to taste
150ml whipping cream
For the blackcurrant glaze:
2 sheets leaf gelatine
250g blackcurrants
40g caster sugar
100ml water

Method:
1. For the sabayon: In a large heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks, caster sugar, wine and lemon juice together for one minute. Stand the bowl over a bain-marie of barely simmering water, making sure it is not touching the water, and whisk for seven to eight minutes until it reaches 78°C, resulting in a light fluffy sabayon.

2. Remove the bowl from the heat and place over a larger bowl of crushed ice. Continue to whisk until the sabayon is cold. In another bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks and then fold into the cold sabayon. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.This sabayon can be poured onto any fruits, warm or cold. It can also be frozen.

3. For the sponge, preheat the oven to 190ºC/gas mark 5. Line a baking tray, about 30 x 40 centimetres, with greaseproof paper. On the paper, draw two 14 centimetres circles (for the bases) and a 10 x 25 centimetres oblong (for the sides), then turn the paper over.

4. Using an electric mixer on full power, whisk the egg whites with the lemon juice and half the caster sugar to form soft peaks. Gradually whisk in the rest of the caster sugar and continue to beat until firm. Turn the speed to low, add the egg yolks and carry on beating until well mixed in. Remove the bowl from the machine then, using a spatula, gently fold in the sifted flour; do not over-mix.

5. To pipe the sponge: put the sponge mixture into a piping bag fitted with the 8 millimetres nozzle and pipe a continuous line of adjoining sponge fingers onto the paperlined tray, side by side, from one end of the stencilled oblong to the other, making sure you go right to the edges. Pipe the remaining mixture over the stencilled discs, to make two 14 centimetre sponge rounds

6. Dust the sponge with icing sugar, leave for five minutes and then dust again. Bake in the oven for eight to ten minutes until cooked and lightly coloured. Leave to rest for fifteen minutes, then peel away the paper.

....bon appetit à tous, Leeann x

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

bienvenue le printemps....


photo from here

Bonjour mes belles,

We spent a lovely morning shopping in sunny Bergerac only to return to a very Spring-like Eymet, where we have had sunshine followed by hail stones and it is currently raining and a bit windy.... bienvenue le printemps!!!
.
à demain, Leeann x

Monday, 18 March 2013

Brand new week...





Bonjour mes belles,

I hope that you all had a fabulous weekend. The sun is shining through my kitchen window as I write this post and I feel like Spring has returned again. Note I use the word "returned" as it was Springlike for a week and then we had a blast of coldness which was a shock for all....people, animals, plants etc.

Hence this morning's title as I feel that it is indeed a new week and I am planning to attack this particular week as we have a lot to do before the "season" starts in two weeks time.

The fabulously french shop has been updated with a few new finds including this fabulous hanging latern style light fitting and more treasures will be added during the course of the day.




And it is on that note, I must go.

....trés bonne semaine à tous, Leeann x

Friday, 15 March 2013

Latest find...



Bonsoir mes belles,

This afternoon I nipped out to get some bread  and this is what I returned with....

For me it is fabulously french. The frame and the photo date back to 1910 and I love the horn and bow detail on top of the frame. What makes this fabulous object is the wonderful photo of the gorgeous wee girl with the extra large bow in her hair and her fabulous dolly standing on the napoleon III foot stool.

I only wish that I knew her name. You will find her here.


...trés bon week-end à tous, Leeann x

french food friday....chocolate hot pot






photo and recipe from here

Bonjour à tous,

In view of the fact that it is still chilly here, today's recipe is a hot one but cooled down when served with lovely cooling melt in the mouth ice cream....



Makes: 10 Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus 1 hour cooling time Cooking time: 12 minutes
You will need
255g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
255g butter
4 eggs
4 egg yolks
125g caster sugar

Method
1. Roughly chop the chocolate and butter and place the pieces in a bowl.

2. Slowly melt the chocolate and butter in the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure they do not get too hot. Remove the bowl from the pan, and stir the chocolate and butter together well with a spatula. Allow to cool slightly, but keep warm.

3. Put the eggs and egg yolks into a separate bowl and whisk slowly with an electric mixer. Add the sugar gradually, a few spoonfuls at a time (this will help aerate the eggs), and continue whisking until the mixture turns pale yellow and holds a ribbon trail when the mixer is lifted.

4. Using the spatula, gently fold the melted chocolate and butter into the egg mixture (taking care not to collapse the aerated eggs). Transfer to a container, cover and leave to relax in the fridge for an hour (or up to three days).

5. When you are ready to bake the hot pots, preheat the oven to 210°C/410°F/gas mark 6 ½.

6. Spoon the mixture into 10 small ovenproof pots, coffee cups or medium-sized ramekins placed on a baking tray. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the centres are warm. Serve with good-quality vanilla ice cream – the combination of hot and cold takes this dessert to another level.

...bon appetit à tous, Leeann

Thursday, 14 March 2013

a practical find..





Bonjour mes belles,

The snow has disappeared and things are returning to normal here in SW France, unlike the North here there is still a lot of ice and snow.

Last weekend I found this old printers tray and thought that it would be perfect for storing my religious tresors. 

The only issue that I have with it is that if I display it on the wall everything will tip out of it so think that I may need to cover it wth a piece of glass. Any hints or tips on how to hang one of these, would be appreciated.




What fabulous items these are, I just wish that I bought a few more......
                                                               
                       à demain, Leeann x

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

18 degrees one day and....




...snow the next day. This is what we saw when we looked out the window this morning!

amicalement, Leeann x

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

fabulous and VERY French...




Bonjour mes belles,

We had a lovely heat wave at the weekend which has been replaced with a bit of chilliness which has caused havoc in the North of France with lots of snow and ice, hence it is back to cosy jumpers for us. 

Today I am day dreaming of  rides through the lovely countryside in a lovely old 2CV with the top down and picnics by the riverside.....

à demain, Leeann x

Saturday, 9 March 2013

a fabulous idea...


photo from here
Bonjour à tous,

We often come across fire plates such as these which have been taken out of old houses along with the fire surround.

They make a great splash back as you can see in the photo above...
 
Je vous souhaitons un excellent week-end !

Leeann x

Friday, 8 March 2013

French Food Friday...Trish Deseine’s Triple Chocolate Slab


Photo and recipe from here


Bonjour mes belles,

In honour of it being OUR day i.e. International Woman's day, I think that some chocolate is in order so today's recipe was created by the fabulous and very French Trish Deseine, one of my favourite French female chefs...

Trish Deseine’s Triple Chocolate Slab

Serves: 8-10
Preparation time: 5-6 hours (includes cooling and refrigeration time)
Cooking time: 30 minutes (three sessions of 10 minutes each)


You will need
250g dark chocolate
275g milk chocolate
300g white chocolate
500ml single cream

Method
1. Line a one-litre loaf tin lined with clingfilm.

2. Break the dark chocolate into pieces and place in a bowl, plus 200ml cream (cold). Sit the chocolate over barely simmering water (the bowl should not touch the water).

3. Heat for two to three minutes, remove and stir, until melted. Return to the heat if not. Pour into the lined loaf tin and allow to cool, then place in the fridge for around an hour and a half, or until set. Each layer needs to set before you can start on the next.

4. Repeat for the other layers, using 200ml cream with the milk chocolate and just 100ml with the white. Layer two is made by pouring the cooled, melted chocolate on to the chilled and set first layer. After the second layer has chilled and set in the fridge, layer three can be poured on as above. Once the final layer has chilled and set, it’s ready to serve.

5. You’ll be making the three layers in the same tin one at a time and chilling them as you go along.

trés belle journée à tous, Leeann x

Thursday, 7 March 2013

journéé internationale de la femme!

photo from here

Bonjour from a sunny SW France,

Just a reminder that tomorrow is International Woman's Day/Journée Internationale de la Femme  so do not forget to give yourself a pat on the back for being a wonderful woman and let them hear you ROAR!

Leeann x


Wednesday, 6 March 2013

1800's documents....new arrival


There is something about very old documents that makes  them very special. Perhaps it is the way in which they are so carefully written, the hand writing is so beautiful and it is rare to find anything that is hand written now days.....




They lend themselves to a number of uses, I use mine when photographing stock for fabulously french but think that they look fabulous when framed and displayed on a wall, as shown in the photo below.







I have a number of these to photograph and list, you will find details of the ones that I have listed to-date here, here and here.

à trés bientot, Leeann x

Look what I found...


Bonjour à tous,

Yesterday was another busy day as we were rushing all over the place and we had winds of 85 kms per hour hence it was rather windy to say the least.

On Sunday we went to 2 vide greniers and 1 flea market. At the 2nd vide grenier, we spotted a a vendor selling a naturalised bird and we asked if he, by chance had a naturalised owl as I was looking for one to put in the new boutique.

To our amazement he said yes he did have one, infact he had two that he was willing to sell so we took his number and yesterday we went to see him and his tresors.

End result.......he is now guarding the boutique and I adore him. I only wish that you could see the back as his feathers are magnificent but I daren't move him as he is rather fragile but will take some more photos when he is residing in the new boutique.

 

Unfortunately there were not a lot of tresors to be had at the weekend apart from a fabulous light fitting, one that I have spent 4 years searching for and ironically it was an antique dealer that we know well so could negotiate on the asking price without insulting him.

I will show you a photo once I have hang it as it is bound for the apartment on the 2nd floor.


à demain, Leeann x


Monday, 4 March 2013

inspiring...

photo from here

How inspiring is this photo? For me VERY inspiring and it is just what I need to push start my week....

trés bonne semaine à tous, Leeann x

Friday, 1 March 2013

vendredi fleurs....



Bonjour from a spring-like SW France,

This week we are taking a break from French Food, but I may post a recipe over the course of the weekend just to keep you on your toes.

I adore flowers and would loved to have been a florist, being surrounded in flowers all day would be a dream come true and my dream business would be to have an antiques shop/salon du thé/florist so if there are any florists that want to come and live in France, you know where I am.....


There is a certain something about tulips as I love the way they appear to dance in water, turning every which way and these lovely red ones certainly give a dash of colour to my kitchen.

Très bonne fin de semaine, Leeann x