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Showing posts from August, 2014

French Food Friday...Individual plum tartes tatin

photo and recipe from here

Bonjour mes belles,

Apologies for the lack of posts this week, it has been another busy week.

I am happy that August is coming to a close as it is always a hectic month for us and I cannot wait for September when things return to normal.

It is the start of the harvest season here in SW France and it is a nice time to be here as there really is an abundance of fruit available locally.

I love plums and am always on the lookout for a new recipe and this is exactly the recipe that I was looking for. A simple but chic dessert.....

Individual Plum Tartes Tatin
Preparation time:  25 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
You will need
100g sugar
50g tbsp butter
6 ripe plums
60g golden marzipan
Plain flour, for dusting
375g all-butter puff pastry (thawed if frozen)
Custard or whipped cream, to serve Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4. Put the sugar and butter in a small saucepan and warm over gentle heat, until the sugar dissolves and then allow it to carameliz…

bonjour d'Eymet

Bonjour mes belles,

I could not resist taking a photo of this fabulous 2CV that was parked outside of the old chateau in our village.

Today was a fabulous day, nice and sunny and perfect for commencing work on our new project which involving knocking down walls and removing an existing bathroom.

The difference was that it did not involve me and I for one was happy as it meant that I could concentrate on looking after our guests.

Very satisfying to finally start work on OUR new baby as it has been a long time in the making.... We have just opened a nice cold bottle of champagne, la vie en France est pas mal.... très bonne semaine à toutes et tous !  Leeann x

French Food Friday...Hot chocolate soufflé

recipe and photo from here

Bonjour mes belles,

I am not sure about you but I am in the mood for some chocolate.
Here is the just the thing to kick off the weekend...

Hot chocolate soufflé

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

You will need
Unsalted butter, for greasing
125g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
2 tsp dark rum (optional)
2 tbsp crème fraîche
4 eggs, separated, plus 2 egg whites
Pinch of salt
Icing sugar, for dusting Method
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6 and grease six ramekin dishes. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the surface of the water does not touch the bowl. Stir in the rum, if using. Remove from the heat and add the crème fraîche, then the egg yolks.
2. In a large, clean, dry bowl, whisk all the egg whites and the salt to soft peaks. Fold one-quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remaining whites.
3. Fill the prepared ramekins to the…

bonne semaine à tous....

Bonjour mes belles,

It is a lovely sunny morning here in SW France and the forecast is for lots more to come. The mornings are cool so perfect for an early morning country walk and the afternoons warm and sunny....perfect for sight seeing.

I am hoping to do a bit of sight seeing myself when we take a couple of days off in September as we are off to stay in a fabulous medieval chateau, which just happens to be for sale.....just need to win the lotto between now and then.

Passez une très bonne semaine, Leeann x

nice day for a wedding...

Bonjour mes belles, What a fabulous surprise it was this morning to be greeted by lots of lovely paper lanterns swaying in the breeze, in front of the village church and chateau. 
It is as if, a magic wand was waved and this is the result. All that is missing is the magic fairy dust....

très bon week-end  à tous, Leeann x

French Fooid Friday...Crèmes brûlées aux nectarines blanches

recipe and photo from
Bonjour mes belles,

It is nectarine season here in SW France and we have an abundance of fruit as per normal so this recipe is going to come in handy this weekend as I am in the mood to cook.

I think that French Boyfriend will be needing a sugar fix as he is having a stand today at our village brocante and it is always a long day, fingers crossed that it will not be a scorcher like last year.

Receipe appears in French and then in English...

Crèmes Brûlées aux Nectarines Blanches

Couverts : 4 personnesTemps : Préparation : 15min / Cuisson : 40min / Repos : 4hDifficulté : Très facileCalories : 605 par personne Saison : ÉtéOrigine : Europe, France
Ingrédients2   nectarines blanches4 œufs 4 jaunes d'œufs 50 cl de lait 20 cl de crème liquide 130 g de sucre en poudre 40 g de cassonade 20 g de pignons de pin RecettePréchauffez le four à 150° (thermostat 5/6). Faites chauffer le lait avec les pignons de pin puis ajoutez la crème. Dans un saladier, fouettez les œufs en…

I like a bit of leopard now and then....

photo from here   Bonjour mes belles,

There is something about Monday's in France that I am learning to love. When I first arrived, they used to frustrate me as it always seemed that the shop I wanted so desperately to visit, was closed.

Fast forward 7 years and I have got used to shops being closed on Mondays and now use Monday as a "cleanup" from the weekend.

Monday mornings seem sleepy as if to say "go slowly, take a deep breath"....pace yourself.

This morning is a good example, guests are all still sleeping and I am using the time to work on some decoration ideas for our new project.

One of my favourite places to search for inspiration is pinterest and it is there that I found the fabulous photo of the leopard print chair.  Not sure that it really goes with my grey/white/rocaille style theme but it made me smile when I saw it.

Every girl needs a little bit of leopard and I have some French Sole pumps that have a touch of leopard plus a couple of other items that…

French Food Friday...

photo from here  Bonjour mes belles,

I cannot believe that it is already Friday! It has been a busy but productive week and I am looking forward to the week-end as we have a medieval festival taking place in the village on Saturday and it is one of my favourite events of the year.

This week's recipe is one that I have posted before and I am posting again as it appears to be one that you all like.

Nothing beats a good baguette   apart from a good croissant, that is....

Makes: 4
Preparation time: 45 minutes plus rising time
Cooking time: 15 minutes

You will need:
600g all-purpose white wheat flour
400g water
1 ½ tsp instant yeast, 2 tsp dry yeast, or ¾ cake fresh yeast
1 tbsp salt

1. Make a pre-dough on the first day. In a bowl, mix 200g of the flour, 200g of the water and half a teaspoon of the instant yeast (or ¾ teaspoon of the dry yeast or ¼ cake of the fresh yeast). Cover with a clingfilm and allow to rest for 12 to 24 hours.
2. If you are using instant or fresh yeast, p…

bonne journée à tous....

Bonjour à toutes et tous,

je vous souhaite une très bonne journée.....

Leeann x

Latest find - 1825 Toile de Jouy

Bonjour from a very sunny SW France,

I hope you had a fabulous weekend. Our was a magical one, which involved dinner at my favourite restaurant on Saturday night. There is nothing nicer than sitting on a terrace near the water, watching clouds darken in preparation for a storm, that fortunately for us, arrived soon after we left the restaurant.

Sunday morning was an early start as there were a couple of vide-greniers taking place plus an antiques show in the nearby village of Issigeac.

I found this fabulous piece of antique toile de jouy. Wonderfully rare and beautiful, this antique French toile textile is a pattern attributed to Normandy and called " Marie Stuart reine d' Ecosse " Marie Stuart Queen of Scottland. This toile has the most wonderful scene of her excape from Lock Leven castle . This toile was printed in the first quarter of the 19th century, c1800-1825.

It has a few small holes and marks but in general is an very good condition for it's age and the colour i…