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Showing posts from April, 2016

French Food Friday...Saint Emilion au Chocolat

photo and recipe from here
I am not sure what happened to the days between Monday and today and only hope that next week moves at a slower pace...

St-Emilion is a medieval town near Bordeaux and is a 45 minute drive from where we live. The town  is  famous for its macarons. They are more rustic than their modern Parisian counterparts, consisting of a single almond biscuit without ganache. The town’s legendary Macarons Nadia Fermigier shop inherited the closely guarded 17-century recipe of the local Ursuline nuns, which has been handed down through the generations. This classic dessert from the region layers the macarons with chocolate mousse, which was once only a specialty of French restaurants.

Makes 4-6
butter 125g
sugar 125g
milk 1 teacup
egg 1
chocolate 250g
macaroons 12–16
rum or brandy a little
Cream the butter and the sugar until they are well amalgamated. Scald the milk and let it cool, then mix it with the yolk of the egg.
Melt the chocolate over the fire, with a very little water, then…

my latest finds...

Bonjour mes belles,
Yesterday morning we got up  early and headed for a couple of vide- greniers that were taking place. April marks the start of the vide-grenier "season" and would you believe that there are 52 vide-greniers taking place in our region next Sunday? It is impossible to visit all so it is a matter of selecting the ones that you think are going to be best based on previous years and hoping that you find some fabulous trésors.
At the first one that we visited yesterday we did not find a lot so headed to the next one which was only 10kms away.
I found this fabulous chair which is going to be my next project, it has no seat so I will need to create one and then have to find some fabric. It is an antique music chair and I think that it is perfect for a bathroom.

I love the patine that it has accumulated with age and my plan is to leave the paintwork as is apart from giving it a gentle clean....

One of my other finds, is this fabulous fronton. My plan is to paint it and e…

French Food Friday...Orange Blossom Madeleines

recipe and photo from here

Bonjour mes belles,

Yesterday I made my normal madeleine recipe which French Boyfriend adores but today I am in the mood for a change and I have a bottle of orange blossom water in the cupboard that I have not used in a while.
Orange Blossom Madeleines

Makes: 2 1/2-dozen regular, or 7 1/2-dozen mini madeleines

•2/3 cup sugar
•3 large eggs (preferably at room temperature)
•1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
•1 1/2 teaspoons orange blossom water
•1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
•10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
•powdered sugar, for garnish.

1.Place the sugar, eggs, and salt in a mixing bowl and whip on medium-high speed until very pale and thick.  Stir in the orange blossom water.  Add the flour and melted butter alternately, folding gently so the batter loses as little volume as possible.  Refrigerate the batter (covered), for 45 minutes or until thickened.

2.Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease a madeleine pan generously, and li…

dreaming of far away places...

photo from here
I blame French television as they seem to be obsessed with Egypt at present. Last night we watched Tut starring Ben Kingsley  and as a result I have been thinking about Egypt.

I last visited Egypt 10 years ago whilst living in Dubai and loved both Cairo and Alexandria.

Alexandria was full of French antiques and I purchased a fabulous chandelier whilst shopping as one does...

Unfortunately I did not have time to visit Luxor but I am planning to do so on my next visit along with a cruise on the Nile.

French boyfriend still needs convincing but I am sure that after watching a few more programs he will want to visit...

Back to dreaming I go, Leeann x

H&M Home...

I am loving the H&M home range as they have some fabulous items for the house and they are well priced.
Last week I ordered 3 of these coloured glass vases and love the idea of coloured glass.
I also ordered a set of small clear glass vases which are perfect for displaying single flowers.

Spring is in the air and there is nothing nicer than having lovely fresh flowers in the house. I am now off to do some spring cleaning as we have lots of lovely sunshine today and there is a slight breeze in the air.

Bon lundi et très bonne semaine à tous, Leeann x

vendredi fleurs...

Bonjour mes belles,

Merci à Kayo, my gorgeous Japanese friend for these beauties.
The lilacs smell amazing and I have placed them in the hall. Makes me wish I had a jardin...

Wishing you  all a vendredi fabuleuse, Leeann x

Look what I found...

....a fabulous vintage sunburst mirror.  The problem is that I am thinking of having a group of them above the sofa, hence I now need to find a few more....

photo from here

I am not sure whether finding the mirror was a good thing as I have a feeling that the few extra that I need will be costly but fingers crossed I find some at a good price.

Off hunting I must go.....
à demain, Leeann x

french food friday - Raspberry Frangipane Tart

photo and recipe from here

Bonjour à tous,

Raspberries  are a favorite of mine and it is raspberry season here in SW France. Note if you cannot get fresh raspberries, frozen will be fine.

Raspberry Frangipane Tart
Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 30 mins Total time: 55 mins Serves: 8-10

Ingredients for the pastry 200g flour50g icing sugar125g cold butter, diced1 egg yolk3-4 tablespoons ice waterfor the filling 150g butter, room temperature150g caster sugar2ml almond essence2 eggs + 1 egg yolk150g ground almonds50g flour200g raspberries5 tablespoons raspberry preserves/jam

Instructions To make the pastry, combine the flour, icing sugar and butter in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles chunky breadcrumbs.Add the egg yolk and with the motor running, add the ice water, spoon by spoon until the pastry comes together and forms a ball.Remove from the processor and wrap in cling film. Place in the fridge and allow to chill for 30 minutes.Pre-heat the oven to 180°c.When the pastry has chil…

my favourites...

Bonjour mes belles,

The weather here has been fabulous and we have sunshine again today. I am slowly slipping back into my French life and it is though we have never been away and yet as a result of the holiday I feel that I appreciate things that I previously took for granted.

On Saturday afternoon there was a gentle tap on the front door of our petite maison where I was busy spring cleaning. It was our lovely French neighbor with a stunning bunch of peonies. She said that she remembered that I loved them and these were from her garden.

Such a lovely gesture  and I was happy that I had been busy baking in the morning so was able to give her some home made cakes and also some chocolates that I had bought for her whilst in New Zealand.

It is moments like this that I treasure and  make life that little bit extra special....

Talking of special, yesterday morning was spent hunting for antiques and catching up with fellow dealers. French Boyfriend loved telling everyone about our trip to New Z…

French Food Friday...french almond cake

recipe and photo from here
Bonjour mes belles,
I am in the mood for baking and blame our holiday in New Zealand as afternoon tea is currently all the rage there. I have never seen so making cakes in my life and that is saying something as the French are known for their cakes...
I love this recipe as it is quick and perfect when you need a cake in a hurry!

French Almond Cake

An incredibly delicious cake and it's incredibly easy! One-bowl, no-mixer, just-a -few-minutes-to-throw together!
Author: Chris Scheuer Recipe type: Dessert Cuisine: French Ingredients ¾ cup plain yogurt or Greek yogurt1½ cups granulated sugar4 large eggs1½ cups all purpose flour¾ cup almond flour (meal)3 teaspoons baking powder¾ teaspoon salt1 teaspoon almond extract2 teaspoons vanilla¾ cup sunflower oil, grape seed or canola oilFor the glaze:1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest3 tablespoons fresh orange juice1 teaspoon vanilla extract½ teaspoon almond extract¾ cup powdered sugar plus more for sprinkling, if desired½ cu…