Friday, 28 October 2016

French Food Friday... Clafoutis aux pommes a la normande

photo and recipe from here

Bonjour mes belles,

I was hoping to share some photos of Normandy with you but it has been a busy week and there still seems to be a million things that need to be done.

Next week will hopefully be a less busy week  and I will hopefgully share some photos of the trip with you.

As a result of our recent trip, I am in love with all things from Normandy including the calvados which French Boyfriend loves to cook with. I am planning of stealing some to make this fabulous dessert recipe...

For the apples:
  • 3 apples, peeled and cut in eighths
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Calvados or other brandy or rum
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
For the batter:
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium skillet on medium heat. Add the apples, 2 tablespoons of sugar, Calvados and cinnamon and cook for 5 minutes, stirring to coat the apples.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs with 1/2 cup sugar until blended. Sift the flour on top of this and then whisk until blended. Whisk in the melted butter and finally the milk and salt to make a smooth batter.
Place the apples in a greased 1-1/2 quart baking dish. Pour the batter on top. Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees F. Serve warm.
Makes 6 servings. 

bon vendredi à tous, Leeann x

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Back to normal..

Normally this cafe would be jam packed with people but it is Autumn and many of the tourists have gone. I cannot think of a nicer time to be in France. Lovely sunny days and cosy, cool nights...what more could a girl ask for?

à demain, Leeann x

Monday, 24 October 2016

A fabulous place to stay...

Bonjour mes belles,

I was hoping to post whilst we were away but we had a few techinal issues, no wifi in the gite that we rented plus the fact that my phone died. End result a fabulous holiday in lovely Normandy.

On the way to Normandy we stayed in a fabulous hotel which was not far from Villandry. 

This is the view from the breakfast room. Would you believe that we slept  in and arrived a minute before they started clearing away breakfast. 
A lesson for next time is to take note what time breakfast is served. The night before we had a fabulous dinner, we were impressed by the quality of the  food and the service was excellent. 

We both had cherry soufles to finish which were heavenly and I am keen to try making these at home.

The wine list was one of the largest that I have ever come across and I loved that you could choose armagnac by the year.

You can find more details about the hotel here.

I am off to continue with the unpacking, not a task that I enjoy. 

très bonne semaine à tous, Leeann x

Monday, 10 October 2016

bonne semaine à tous...

In typical French Boyfriend fashion, FB appears mid morning on samedi with a lot of vegetables and I mean a LOT. End result we will be eating vegetables for most of the foreseeable future.

Among the sea of vegetables, was this beauty, which I feel is too lovely to eat...and lovely enough to take a photo of.

très bonne semaine à tous, Leeann x

Friday, 7 October 2016

French Food Friday...Purée de pois cassés aux pommes de terre et aux lardons

                          photo from here

 Rebonjour mes belles,

I found some split peas whilst cleaning out one of the kitchen cupboards that French Boyfriend purchased some months back.
FB advised that these are good with eaten with French sausages so I had a quick search on the internet and found this recipe. 

I was a little aprehensive at first but once the mixture was in the food processor, my confidence returned and FB was happy with the result. It works well with French sausages but if you do not have these, it would also work well with strong tasting non French sausages.

The recipe appears in French with my English version below.
Temps de préparation : 200 minutes
Temps de cuisson : 45 minutes
Ingrédients (pour 6 personnes) : - 500 g de pois cassés
- 6 pommes de terre
- 200 g de lardons fumés
- 2 oignons
- 4 gousses d'ail
- 2 feuilles de laurier
- 1 pincée de sel
- 1 pincée de poivre
- 15 cl lait
- 1 noix de beurre

Préparation de la recette :

Rincer à grande eau les pois cassés puis les laisser tremper 2-3 h.
Dans une casserole, faire revenir les lardons avec une noisette de beurre et les oignons.
Ajouter les pois cassés avec 4 fois leur volume d'eau, les gousses d'ail pelées et coupées en deux, les feuilles de laurier, les pommes de terre épluchées et coupées en gros morceaux.
Laisser mijoter à feu doux pendant 45 min.
Égoutter, récupérer les morceaux de pomme de terre et les passer au moulin à légumes. Mélanger avec le lait chaud.
Jeter les feuilles de laurier.
Mixer les pois cassés avec une belle noisette de beurre puis incorporer la purée de pomme de terre.
Rectifier l’assaisonnement si besoin.

Preparation time : 200 minutes
Cooking time : 45 minutes
Ingrédients (pour 6 personnes) : - 
500 g split poeas
- 6 potatoes (peeled and cut into large chunks)
- 200 g smoked bacon
- 2 onions
- 4 cloves garlic (peeled and chopped in half)
- 2 laurel leaves
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch pepper
- 150 mls milk
- 1 knob of butter

Préparation :

Rinse the split peas and leave to soak for  2-3 h.
Place the bacon and onion in a pot and fry with the knob of butter until cooked.
Add the split peas together with 4 times their volume in water -  2 litres.

Add the cloves of garlic, laurel leaves and potatoes.
Simmer for  45 min.
Drain, remove the potatoes and laurel leaves? Blend in a food porocessor  until smooth.

Do the same with the potatoes and milk, then combine both mixtures and blend together,
Taste and add additional seasoning if required.

Serve with sausages.

Note by the time I thought to take a photo, it was too late as we had eaten all of it. It really is delicious...

bon vendredi à tous, Leeann x

Thursday, 6 October 2016

C'est jeudi, jour du marché.

Bonjour mes belles,

Thursday morning is market day in the village and it has been for the past 600 years or so.
One hopes that this continues for the next 600  years. When we visited New Zealand earlier in the year, my sister took me to a local market but for me it lacked something.

Perhaps it was the friendly banter between the sellers or simply the way in which the French take the time to arrange their produce. I think that it is something that is hard to copy and the French are born into this way of life, hence they do not know any different and for them is normal.

For me this morning, it is if I was seeing the market for the first time, despite having lived here for 9 years it has not lost any of it's magic. 

It has been a very busy 6 months for us and we are looking forward to slowing down and taking time to enjoy life in this fabulous country.

How stunning do these lettuces look, I love the contrast of the colours...

A shopping basket is a must and the French are finally stopping plastic bags and adopting brown paper versions instead. I think everything tastes and looks much nicer when in paper bags...

Lots of lovely cheese, I can notg imagine France "sans fromage"...

Autumn really is the most lovely time of the year to be in France, the days are still warm and the mornings crisp.
I just had to take a photo of the purple cauliflower, it looks too good to eat.

à demain, Leeann x

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

lovely to meet you...

For the last couple of nights we have had two lovely ladies staying from America. One of whom is a follower of this blog, hence she knew a lot about us before actually meeting us in person.

We hope that you both enjoy the rest of your adventures in France and look forward to hearing your tales...

October is a lovely month to be visiting France and we are being blessed with beaucoup de soleil, long may it continue.

très belle semaine à tous, Leeann x

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