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Showing posts from February, 2016

Bonjour from a very warm Auckland in NZ

Bonjour from a very warm Auckland,

As you know we are in New Zealand visiting family and it is a bit of a culture shock.

We have come from a small medieval village where it is very cold to a fabulous modern house in a very warm Auckland that is situated by the sea.

The first "shock" is that there are kiwi accents everywhere which is odd for me having spent almost 25 years away from New Zealand. The second is that everyone is super friendly which is quite a contrast to France where the people are reserved and less smiley. 

It is rather an odd feeling being a tourist in the country that you were born in and I am slowly getting used to the feeling. 

That said, we feel at home as there is an antique shop not far from where we are staying that sells lots of lovely French items, there are many french objects in the house where we are staying and we have also found French food in the local supermarket. 

We ran into a French family at the ferry terminal which we found amusing as the paren…

French Food Friday...Salted Caramel Banana Muffins

recipe and photo from here Bonjour mes belles,
Sorry for the lack of posts this week but we spent most of the week travelling to New Zealand.
This weeks recipe is half French/half kiwi as New Zealanders are known for their love of muffins and you will find them in many patisseries in France.  Salted Caramel Banana Muffins RecipeServings:makes 12 regularly-sized muffinsIngredientsSalted Caramel Sauce1 cupgranulated sugar 1/4 cupheavy cream 2 tspfleur de sel(fine sea salt) Muffins1 stickbutter, softened 1 cupgranulated sugar 2 largeeggs, at room temperature 1/2 tspvanilla extract 2 cups smashedbanana(about 4 medium-size bananas) 1 cup plus 1 tbspall-purpose flour 1 tspbaking soda 1 tspkosher salt Salted caramel sauce DirectionsFor the salted caramel sauce:
Add sugar to a medium nonstick saucepan and place over medium heat. Allow the sugar to slowly melt, without stirring, until it begins to bubble. When bubbling, keep a close eye on the pot and remove from heat as soon as it turns golden.

French Food Friday...Cranberry, coconut and white chocolate friands

Recipe and photo from here
Bonjour mes belles,

It is time to get out your friand pan or if you do not have one, a muffin pan will do.

As you know I love cranberries and this recipe is one that I am sure fellow cranberry lovers will enjoy....

Cranberry, coconut and white chocolate friands

Makes about 10
13/4 cups almond meal, sifted
1/4 cup icing sugar
3/4 cup plain flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder, sifted
140g melted butter
5 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 cup cranberries (frozen is fine or dried will do)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 tbsp white chocolate bites

In your mixing bowl, beat together the almond meal, icing sugar, plain flour, baking powder and butter. Then add the egg whites and beat until a smooth batter. Fold in the berries, coconut and chocolate. Spoon into greased and lined friand tins to three-quarters. Muffin tins can also be used. Bake at 180C for about 25 minutes. Dust lightly with icing sugar.

très bon vendredi à tous, Leeann x

In the mood to shop, shop, shop..

photo from here
Bonjour from a very sunny SW France,

I have just about finished all my cleaning duties, after which, I am planning on doing some serious shopping.
French Boyfriend has had a run on antique French chandeliers and as none left in the shop. I have decided that I would like another one as I am in the mood to decorate.

I can think of nothing nicer than spending an afternoon shopping for chandeliers....

à très bientôt, Leeann x

Joyeuse St Valentin...

Bonjour, et joyeuse Saint-Valentin à tous...
amicalement, Leeann x

French Food Friday...Lychee champagne cocktail

photo and recipe from here
Lychees are not French but the champagne is and  I will be making these for our romantic candlelit dinner on Saint Valentine's day.....

Lychee champagne cocktail Ingredients 425g canned lychees in syrup Champagne


Blend 425g canned lychees in syrup until smooth. Transfer to a plastic container and freeze until solid. Scoop the frozen lychee into Champagne flutes and top with Champagne or sparkling wine.

très bonne fin de semaine à tous, Leeann x

it's mardi gras time...

Today marks the start of the mardi-gras across France....

The origins of Mardi Gras can be traced to medieval Europe, passing through Rome and Venice in the 17th and 18th centuries to the French House of the Bourbons. From here, the traditional revelry of "Boeuf Gras," or fatted calf, followed France to her colonies.

Mardi-Gras (literally “Fat Tuesday”) is originally a catholic event which marks the end of the “week of the seven fat days” which were known as “jours charnels” (meaning carnival) in the old days. Before Ash Wednesday, the start of the fasting period of Lent, people celebrated in many diverse ways as it was their last chance until Easter to eat meat.
The word “carnival” derives from the Latin “carnelevare” meaning “to take out the meat”. Indeed, meat was banished from the table during the whole period of Lent, as was sugar, ingredients containing fat, eggs and dairy products. If in Europe, the religious observance of Lent is followed by a rather small group of peop…

bon week-end...

Bonjour from a very sunny SW France,

Just stopping by to wish you all a très bon week-end...

amicalement, Leeann x

French Food Friday...Chocolate and Cointreau self-saucing puddings

photo and recipe from here

Bonjour mes belles,

I have not made a self saucing pudding in quite some time and  I think that these may be perfect for a romantique dîner pour deux.
Yesterday I realised  that valentine's day is a week away so I am starting to think about what I am going to make. French Boyfriend prefers eating chez nous as opposed to eating in a restaurant which I am not sure is a good or a bad thing....

Chocolate and Cointreau self-saucing puddings

100g of unsalted butter, softened plus extra for greasing 150g of caster sugar 2 free-range eggs 2 oranges, zested and juiced 175g of plain flour 2 tsp baking powder 2 tbsp of cocoa powder Sauce6 tbsp of cocoa powder 100g of soft brown sugar 400ml of water, boiling 30ml of Cointreau To plate1 tub of vanilla ice cream
1. Preheat t…

the secret ingredient...

Today is market day in our village and I could not resist buying a bouquet of mimosa.

It has the most stunning fragrance and as I write this, the parfum is wafting from the hall into our kitchen.

Did you know that it is one of the "secret ingredients" used to make chanel no.5?

It is all thanks to Australia as the mimosa tree arrived in France from Australia in the mid-19th century as a decorative plant for gardens and still forms a luxurious forest on the Tanneron hills west of Grasse. 

You can read more about the fabulous mimosa plant here.

à plus tard, Leeann x

simply adorable...

Today I am busy giving French Boyfriend a hand in the boutique, every time that I visit it changes and a lot of the stock disappears before I get to see it.

 I just had to share this photo with you, the two girls are adorable in this photo and I would love to know all about them. If only they could speak......

à demain, Leeann x

Bonjour fevrier...

Bonjour mes belles,
A brand new month to play with, how very exciting. I have decided that this month is the month to reorganize and get rid of any items that are sitting around.
Speaking of reorganizing, how do you like my new dressing table?
I was en route to my bank when I stopped at our friend's depot de vente.  Popped in for a quick look and came out with this dressing table.
I applied a couple of coats of Annie Sloan Old White chalk paint and all is required now is to sand the edges a bit and then apply some wax.
The small drawers are the perfect place to store makeup and I have the large drawer under the table, which will no doubt come in very handy should I need additional space.

Back to the reorganizing I go, I have piles of magazines everywhere  so these are next on my "hit list".

Bon début de semaine à vous tous, Leeann x