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Showing posts from March, 2015

French Food Friday...Chicken liver & pineau pâté

photo and recipe from here
Bonjour mes belles,

We have had a couple of dinner parties this week and this is a recipe that always goes down well with our guests.
A rich, sweet pâté recipe using pineau - a sherry-like aperitif  that is made in nearby départements of Charente and the Charente-Maritime.
It is popular within the region of production, it is less well known in other regions of France and somewhat uncommon abroad.
It is a fortified wine  made from a blend of lightly fermented grape must and Cognac eau-de-vie. If you use sherry, you will end up with the same result.
Chicken liver & pineau pâté
Serves 6-8 as a starter
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins + chilling time


500g chicken livers100g butter100g unsmoked lardons or chopped streaky bacon1 garlic clove, crushed or finely chopped1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp dried5 tbsp pineau or sherryherb sprigs to garnish, rosemary, thyme or baytoasted brioche or raisin bread and cornichons, to serve
Method Rinse th…

a fabulous mix...

photo from here Bonjour mes belles, I hope that you had a fabulous weekend. I just stumbled across this photo and felt that I had to share it with you. Love the mix of old and new and think that the two matching French chandeliers are the perfect finishing touch. très bonne semaine à tous, Leeann x   

bon week-end...

Where ever you are, what ever you are doing, wishing you a très bon week-end à tous.... Leeann x

French food Friday...Reynaud's Black and White Layer Cake

photo and recipe from here Bpnjour mes belles,

I hope that you are having a fabulous week. I am in the mood for some chocolate and this week's recipe comes from one of my favourite chocolate recipe books written by Joanne Harris who is the author of the bestseller Chocolat.
Reynaud's black-and-white layer cake
Purists – like Mayor Reynaud in Chocolat (played by Alfred Molina in the film), who tries to force the free-spirited Vianne out of his village – believe white chocolate doesn’t count as chocolate at all. This means you can enjoy this layer cake with only half the guilt.

Serves 8–12

For the ganache
500ml (18fl oz) double cream
500g (1lb 2oz) white chocolate, broken into small pieces

For the cake
Butter, for greasing
190g (7oz) self-raising flour
40g (1½oz) cocoa powder
200g (7oz) soft butter, cut into small cubes
200g (7oz) golden syrup
1tsp baking powder
4 eggs, beaten
125g (4½oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces
50ml (2fl oz) shot of strong espresso

To make the ganache, heat the cream i…

a fabulous combination...

photo from here

I am not sure about you but I love the idea of mixing old with new and this is what we are doing on our latest project.

This photo is a fabulous example of how you can mix the two styles.

By doing this instead of having everything the same; all old items or all new items you create the "wow" factor as it is not expected.

Yesterday another of my chandelier purchases arrived, all I have to do now is decide where to put it.....bathroom, bedroom or lounge.

As you know I am addicted to chandeliers but I am sure that there are much worse addictions to have...although French Boyfriend may think otherwise.

The conversation normally goes along the lines of, "How much did you pay? Does it work?" and you can guess the rest.

I need a light for the stairwell and unfortunately the ceiling is VERY high so I need something that hangs low so that I can change the light bulb/s.

On that note I will leave you, à très bientôt, Leeann x

busy getting dirty...

Bonjour mes belles,

What have I have doing? One must ask and it is a question that I ask myself daily.

Yesterday I spent 4 hours cleaning this stone wall. Each piece of stone was black and had to be individually cleaned. A very dirty job and I was pleased when I had finished.

Whilst  I was doing it  I could hear my  father telling me that anything that boys can do, we girls can also do.  Merci to my darling Dad as it was this that got me through this task and the kiwi in me that refuses to give up when things get tough.

Not a huge restoration project by any means, but it has had it's moments and I will be happy when it is finished and I am at the hanging chandelier stage....

Tomorrow the wall is being pointed which means that it will look cleaner with the surface of the stones being left as highlights, if that makes any sense. I will post a photo when it is finished.

We found this wall when we  gained access to the attic and it now has a new life as a feature wall, on the mezzanine floo…

Fabulous and very French...Gemma Bovery Film

Bonjour à tous, I hope that you had a fabulous weekend. Mine was spent up a scaffolding tower painting, 6 metre high walls are no fun to paint as I am finding out. I was perched on the tower whilst French Boyfriend was moving me around, not an east apparatus to move and I am not a fan of heights but the base coat is done with  two additional coats to go.  We watched the Gemma Bovery film samedi soir and we both really enjoyed it. I first read about it on the alliance française film festival website which had this to say about the film... When an English couple named Gemma and Charles Bovery move into a small Normandy town, Martin Joubert, the baker and resident Flaubert fan, can’t believe it. Here are two real life figures who seem to be replicating the behaviour of his favourite fictional characters right before his eyes.

This charming retelling of the classic Madame Bovary story is a visual feast, from the picturesque countryside to the so-good-you-can-almost-taste-it patisserie. Gemma A…

french food friday...Pesuure Cooker - Pears Poached in White Wine, Lemon, Cinnamon & Star Anise

recipe and photo from here Bonjour mes belles,

This recipe is for those of you that have a pressure cooker, a fabulous gadget that I would be lost without. The French seem to use theirs for everything....
Pears poached in White Wine, Lemon, Cinnamon & Star Anise
Special equipment: Pressure Cooker.
Pressure cooker setting: 1
Ingredients Required6 Pears, firm but ripe, peeled 200g Sugar, caster 400ml Water, cold 400ml White wine, dry chardonnay 1 Vanilla pod split in half 5 Lemon, slices, 2-3mm, rind on 2 Cinnamon sticks����…

fabulous and very French...

photo from here
Bonjour mes belles,

I am in need of some fabulous eye candy as I appear to have a hand permanently attached to a paint roller. On a positive note I am happy to say that after a few hundred metres and 3 or 4 coats, you certainly get the hang of it.

Unfortunately I am not the most patient of people and all I want to do is start hanging things on the wall and place furniture but we have a few weeks to go before we are at that stage.

Some things in life are worth waiting finding another chandelier or two! Dreams are free and the more time I spend painting, the more money I have to spend on fabulous items, the power of positive thinking but boy am I getting sick of painting.

Anyone want to come and lend a hand? I could pay you with champagne....

à demain, Leeann x

a petit tour with photos...

Bonjour mes belles,

Yesterday was a lovely sunny day so after déjeuner, we jumped in the car and visited a couple of neighbouring villages. I have already posted these photos on facebook but these are for those of you that do not use facebook.

First up was Issigeac, a very charming medieval village not far from Eymet...

Issigeac is known for its busy market, held on a Sunday morning hence it is always lovely and calm in the afternoon, perfect for exploring this fascinating village. 
What makes it particularly charming is the face that it has not been over restored and you can still find houses that have been closed for many a year and have an allure that you do not find in restored houses. 
This building is no longer a hotel but I love the fact that the old lettering still remains...
The village contains a mixture of building styles from the 14th through to the 20th century which adds to it's charm and there are many fine examples of 14th century buildings that have been painstakingly…

french food Friday...Chocolate Almond Souffle

photo and recipe from here
Bonjour mes belles,

I am not sure what happened to the days between Monday and today as I cannot believe that it is already Friday.

As a result of a very busy week, I am in need of a chocolate fix and think that this will do nicely...

Chocolate Almond Souffle
Prep time: 30 mins Cook time: 35 mins Total time: 1 hour 5 mins Author: Blahnik Baker Yield: 8-10 servings INGREDIENTS 7 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, chopped (I used Ghirardelli)⅓ cup strong coffee⅓ cup all-purpose flour2 cups milk3 tablespoons unsalted butter4 egg yolks1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract¼ teaspoon almond extract½ cup pulverized toasted almonds, or almond meal.6 egg whites⅛ teaspoon salt½ cup granulated sugarPowdered sugar (for serving)Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for serving DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.In a medium heatproof bowl, combine the chocolate and coffee. Set the bowl over a simmering pot of water for at least 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and let the chocolate rest …

bonjour mars..

Bonjour mes belles,

I am happy to say au revoir to February as it was a cold and wet one for us.

March is a much nicer month as the days are warmer and sunnier, flowers start appearing everywhere and the villages become alive again.

In terms of antique fairs there have not been a lot over the past month or so and understandably so, as who wants to freeze to death whilst trying to sell your wares. Hence March sees the start of the antique season and I am so looking forward to hunting for tresors.

Fingers crossed it is a good month for finding tresors...

très bon semaine à tous, Leeann x