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Showing posts from October, 2014

French food Friday...Ratatouille

photo and recipe from here Bonjour mes belles, Today's recipe is a twist on a classic recipe that I make on a regular basis as I find the Ratatouille goes with most things including chicken, fish, pasta and it is a favourite of French Boyfriend's. Ratatouille
You'll need
5 red capsicum 
70 ml olive oil  4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 
1 onion, finely chopped 
1 litre (4 cups) passata 
800 gm eggplant (about 2), cut widthways into 5mm-thick slices 
400 gm green zucchini, cut widthways into 5mm-thick slices 
8 anchovy fillets, thinly sliced 
6 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced horizontally 
 140 gm (2 cups) fresh coarse breadcrumbs 
100 gm finely grated Gruyère 
2 tsp thyme leaves 
To serve: green salad 


Preheat oven to 180C. Place capsicum in a roasting pan, drizzle with 2 tsp olive oil and roast until skin is blistered (10-15 minutes). Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and cool. When cool, peel and remove seeds (discarding peel and seeds), thinly slice lengthways and…

l'automne une belle saison...

Bonjour belles,

Sorry for the lack of post yesterday but Mondays have a habit of disappearing quickly as I have my upholstery lesson in the morning and the rest of the day is spent playing catch up...

Sunday was spent hunting for treasure and although we did not find a lot for the boutique we have an address which could result in some interesting items, fingers crossed!

On the way back of the marche aux puces I stopped to snap a couple of photos to share with you.

The leaves on the grape vines are finally starting to change colour and they remind me why I especially love l'automne in SW France.

It was only when I posted this particular photo on my fabulously French page on facebook that I realised this pigonier has a fabulous smiley face...
  Not only do I love the Autumn colours, I love the smell of the leaves, the earth and the light is amazing at this time of the year....

As I sit writing this post, I can see my neighbour, who is in his 80's hard at work sanding down his fron…

French Food Friday...Spiced Apple Tarte Tatin

photo and recipe from here

Bonjour mes belles,

The last couple of days have been a bit chilly so I can think of nothing nicer than a piece of tarte tatin accompanied by a scoop or vanilla ice-cream.

I love spiced apple and this has a nice mix of spices which I feel give it a nice kick.

Serves: 6
Preparation time:  25 minutes
Cooking time:  35 minutes

You will need 2kg apples 

Juice of 2 freshly squeezed lemons 

125g unsalted butter, slightly softened 

125g caster sugar 

20 cloves, crushed 

1 nutmeg, finely grated 

200g puff pastry Method
1. Smear the butter over the base and sides of a cold pan and sprinkle over the sugar. Give the pan a shake to even it out, then sprinkle over the cloves and nutmeg.
2. Roll out the puff pastry into a disc, about two centimetres wider than the rim of the pan, and leave to rest in the fridge on greaseproof paper.
3. In a bowl, roll the apple halves in the lemon juice and two tablespoons of water. Shake off any excess juice, and arrange the p…

mezzanine inspiration...

photo from here
Bonjour mes belles,

I woke up at 3:05 this morning and for some reason or another, wondered whether or not I had forgotten to include  a place for the wifi box on the plan for the electrician. This will be my first task of the day....after thinking about various bits and pieces I managed to get back to sleep and woke up at a more normal time of 7am.

Monday and Tuesday disappeared before I knew it as I have started the other chair and have been busy working on the electrical plan for our new project.

The first edition was less stressful as I thought that I had it under control but this was before I decided to change the layout on the first and second floors which has meant a total redesign and I am now hoping that I have not forgotten anything.

We are having a mezzanine floor in the new project and although it will look great when finished it has resulted in  quite a lot of extra work.

When I see photos such as this one, it reminds me that all the extra work (and expense) wi…

French Food Friday...Muffin Tin Apple Pies

recipe and photo from here
Bonjour mes belles,

As you know I love making muffins and when I stumbled across this recipe, I thought this is a perfect one for me.

Muffin Tin Apple Pies
Makes 6 pies in a Texas muffin pan 
Pastry dough
2½ cups flour1 tsp. salt2 Tbsp. brown sugar2 sticks frozen butter (1 cup)10 Tbsp. ice-cold waterFilling
6 large Granny Smith apples1 Tbsp. butter, plus more for greasing1 tsp. cinnamon2 Tbsp. maple sugar (or brown sugar)1 egg, beatenCoarse sugar, for sprinklingIn a food processor, pulse the flour, salt and brown sugar several times. Cut the frozen butter into 8 pieces, add it to the flour mixture, and pulse until the butter is combined and the mixture is the consistency of coarse bread crumbs.
With the food processor on low, add the water 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together. 
Place the dough on a floured surface, knead a few times and form it into a ball. Cut the dough in half, flatten it into two disks, wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate f…

just about there...

Bonjour mes belles,

I am loving today's date....14/10/14, it has a lovely ring to it and I only noticed it when I went to write some cheques this morning.

Today I am feeling happy as the chair is also finished, just have to cover the underneath part with a piece of calico.

After I took this photo I realised that there was a thread that needs snipping off so you are seeing it in it's "raw" state.

Ironically I have decided to keep them for me and have them in our bedroom. I do not have space at present but will do so once I have enlarged my dressing room in a month or so.

I use the word ironic as I had used the fabric as a quilt cover but decided it was a bit flowery so into a cupboard it went.

When I started the chair I thought that it would be perfect for our new project but that has gone out the window as the space now needs larger chairs as it has a very high ceiling....long story and I will not bore you with the gory details now. 

End result the fabric will be back whe…

French Food Friday...Apple Galettes with Whiskey Salted Caramel Sauce

photo and recipe from here
Bonjour mes belles,

I hope that you have had a fabulous week, I do not know about you but I am really looking forward to the weekend.

As yet we do not have a lot planned and that is the part that I am looking forward to the most.

This week's recipe involves apples and my favourite caramel with some whiskey which French Boyfriend is rather fond of. To get his utmost attention anything to do with food works a treat, as they say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach and this is most certainly true in his case...
Apple Galettes with Whiskey Salted Caramel Sauce Prep Time: 35 minutes Cook Time: 35 minutes Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes Yield: Four 5-inch galettes, or 1 large galette A very flakey all butter pie crust, filled with spiced apples, and finished with a salty and sweet Whiskey salted caramel sauce. Ingredients Pie Crust 1 1/4 cups (157g) all-purpose flour 1/2 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon salt 8 tablespoons (1 stick or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, v…

Autumn is on the way....

Bonjour from a still warm SW France,

Today we have a high of 27 degrees which is not bad considering we are in October and it is quite humid.   We are making the best of the warm weather as it is set to cool down a bit next week.

As a result of the warmer than normal temperatures, many of the trees still have most of their leaves so I was happy to see some of the trees at the nearby  Chateau de Bridoire have started to shed their leaves...

 I have decided to make the best of the warm weather as the winter's are long in this part of France and no doubt will be moaning about how cold it is in the weeks to come.

amicalement, Leeann x  p.s. The chair is coming on, I have finished the arms today and removed all of the decorative tacks from the other one, so feel like I am making progress.

new project...

Bonjour mes belles,

This is my latest upholstery project. She is one of a pair, you can just make out the other on the right hand side of the photo.

The frame has been painted using Annie Sloan chalk paint in "old white" and has been distressed to give it a slightly worn look.

The springs have gone in both chairs and this is the part that I find the most difficult and time consuming to complete.
The other time consuming task is the removal of the decorative tacks and I still have half of which to remove on the 2nd chair.

As you know I have a lover of neutrals but have decided to go for a  feminine fabric as the chairs are bound for our new project, where  I am planning on having a "girly" corner in the bedroom.

The bedroom is large and long which means that I have a nice space to play with.

In this photo you can see the base of the chair which has yet to be finished and it has a lovely feather filled cushion which sits on top of the base.

I cannot wait until my next less…

French Food Friday...Strawberries in Champagne with crème Chantilly

photo and recipe from here  Bonjour mes belles,

I hope that you have had a fabulous week. Ours has been a lovely sunny one and we have another sunny, warm week to come.
This week's recipe involves two of my favourite ingredients; strawberries and champagne.

Strawberries in Champagne with crème Chantilly
500 gmstrawberries (about 2 punnets), hulled and thinly sliced
100 mlChampagne or sparkling wine
Juiceof ½ orange
1-2 tbsppure icing sugar, or to taste, sieved

To serve:freeze-dried raspberries and shop-bought sablés or wafer biscuitsCrème Chantilly250 mlthickened cream30 gmpure icing sugar, sievedScrapedseeds of 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
MethodCombine strawberries, wine, orange juice and icing sugar in a bowl and mix well, then refrigerate to macerate (15 minutes). For crème Chantilly, whisk ingredients in a bowl until soft peaks form, then refrigerate until required. To serve, divide strawberry mixture among chilled glasses, spoon crème Chantilly on top, sca…