Friday, 31 July 2015

French Food Friday...Creamy Rice Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce

photo and recipe from here

Continuing with the caramel theme, here a great dessert recipe for those of you that also love caramel.
Creamy Rice Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce

For 6 people:

For Creamy Rice Pudding:. 1 liter of whole milk at room temperature
. 1 fresh vanilla bean cut in half to get the grains.
. 80g brown sugar
. 125g white round rice or Arborio rice (risotto rice)

For Salted butter caramel sauce (optional):. 150 gr sugar
. 200gr whipping cream
. 80 gr Butter
. a pinch of sea salt

For Creamy Rice Pudding:In a large saucepan ... (milk could overflow so a large pot is necessary)
Mix the ingredients in the order listed above with a wooden spoon.
Put the lid on, leaving slightly open. (1cm)
Turn on the smallest ring of your stove and cook at a high temperature for 10 minutes.
Then lower the flame to the minimum and count another 20 minutes of cooking. Turn off the gas completely and cover the pot with the lid.
Let it finish cooking until completely cooled, stirring from time to time to stop cooking.
For Salted butter caramel sauce (optional):
Make a caramel with the sugar, add the cream all at once off the stove.
Be careful adding all at once as it may cause splashes.
Bring to the boil again and add the butter off the stove, beating well.
Cool and store in a glass jar in the fridge.
It can keep for 5 to 7 days and use it on pancakes, with yogurt or toast ....

Tips:Do not rinse the rice, it will withdraw all its softness ...
Do not boil water the first time....
The round rice is heavily starched, that's what gives it its incomparable softness. Use round rice or Arborio rice but not other rice, to increase softness.

très bon vendredi à tous, Leeann x

Thursday, 30 July 2015

feeling naughty...

photo from here

I was talking to our guests about macarons  and how delicious they are. I am particularly fond of the caramel à la fleur de sel ones made by Ladurée.

Afterwards I was feeling a bit hungry so just happened upon the fabulous Ladurée website and there I found all of my favourites and that they could be delivered within 48 hours.

48 hours seems like a very long time to wait....

à demain, Leeann x

Monday, 27 July 2015

say hello/dit bonjour...

Bonjour mes belles,

I hope that you had a fabulous weekend. Ours involved a visit to a fabulous manoir in the country where French Boyfriend provided estimations on some of the contents and at the same time, reserved a few fabulous items for the shop.

Whilst we was there I bought a couple of Louis XVI style chairs which I plan to recover in Autumn. I have put them in the grenier out of the way for now.

Speaking of recovering, I have started work on the chair that I bought on the 14th and this chair is an antique as opposed to a copy. I love the quality of the wood and the workmanship in general, they certainly do not make things like they used to.

After a few hours of removing old tacks and dusty old fabric, this is how she looks...she is fabulous and very French.

This is the fabric that I have chosen but I am not sure that I have enough for the double piping so I am going to order another metre this morning.

Wishing you all une semaine fabuleuse......Leeann x

Friday, 24 July 2015

French Food Friday...Soufflé au Chocolat

recipe and photo from here

It has been a bit of a sad week for me and I am in the mood for some chocolate.

I prefer this delicate soufflé to the more traditional flour version as it is light and fluffy and testes heavenly. As for French Boyfriend, he likes anything sweet, he is French after all.
Flourless Chocolate Soufflé (Soufflé au Chocolat)
serves 3-4


3 tbsp. milk
5 12 tbsp. sugar, plus additional for dusting soufflé dish
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 egg yolks
3 egg whites
Confectioners' sugar


Preheat oven to 375°. Place milk and 4 tbsp. sugar in a small saucepan and stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves, about 45 seconds. Stir in chocolate and cook until melted, 1–2 minutes.
Transfer to a nonreactive bowl (glass or stainless steel), cool for 5 minutes, then beat in egg yolks.
Beat egg whites in a nonreactive bowl until foamy, then sprinkle in remaining sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.
Butter a small soufflé dish (2 12" deep, 6'' diameter; soufflé will not rise in a larger dish) or three to four smaller ramekins, then lightly dust with sugar. Gently mix one-third of the egg whites into chocolate mixture, then fold in remaining whites, one-third at a time. Do not overmix. Spoon batter into dish.
Make sure oven rack is low enough to allow soufflé room to rise as much as 2'' above the dish. Bake until puffed, about 25 minutes. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve immediately. (Soufflé will begin to deflate after about 2 minutes.)
très bon vendredi à tous, Leeann x

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

time for some zebra...

photo from here
Bonjour from a still sunny SW France,
Despite the heat, I am in the mood for some zebra. I have decided to recover the antique Louis XVI chair that I purchased recently in some faux zebra fabric. I ordered the fabric last night but now am hoping that I have ordered enough...
The chair is for the bedroom in Maison No. 26 as it needs a bit of a wow type chair and I feel that I have enough taupe in the bedroom.
photo from here
I love the fact that zebra works in both classic and contemporary setting and the photo above is the one that said okay let's do it.
French Boyfriend was not sure when I mentioned the idea to him but after seeing the photo he said "okay".
I cannot wait to start work...
très bonne semaine à tous, Leeann x

Saturday, 18 July 2015

bonjour le week-end...

Bonjour mes belles,

It is going to be sunny and warm here this week-end and there are lots of events on this weekend.

For wine lovers there is a wine fair in the nearby village of sigoules, those of you that love shopping there is a basket fair taking place in the charming medieval village of Issigeac and lots of vide greniers and brocantes for the antique lovers out there.

As we are stocked up on wine, already have a basket or 6, we will be visiting a few of the brocantes hoping to find some tresors....

bon week-end à tous, Leeann x

Friday, 17 July 2015

French Food Friday...Raspberry Clafoutis

photo and recipe from here

I am not sure about you but I love raspberries and if there is a choice between raspberries and strawberries, I would pick raspberries. They are my weakness and I have been known to eat all in one sitting hence they do not hang around long  chez nous.

Not sure I am that keen on the actual word raspberry, I prefer the French version Frambroise as it is a lovely word. Most things do sound better in French, just don't tell the Frennch that otherwise they will get big headed. Let's keep it a secret entre nous.

This is a lovely dessert and one that I like to make for dinner parties.

Raspberry Clafoutis


1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 pints raspberries (3 cups)
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 9-inch gratin dish. In a bowl, whisk the flour, sugar and a pinch of salt. Whisk in the eggs, butter and lemon zest until smooth. Add the milk and whisk until light and very smooth, about 3 minutes. Pour the batter into the gratin dish and top with the raspberries.
  2. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the clafoutis is set and golden. Let cool slightly. Dust with confectioners' sugar, cut into wedges and serve.
très bonne fin de semaine, Leeann x

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Party time...

Bonjour mes belles,

This post is a bit later than I anticipated as we spent the first couple of hours searching for treasures at a couple of local vide greniers. In the middle of one vide grenier was a local man selling lots of peaches, apricots, nectarines and melons. Fortunately I had my shopping basket with me so retuned with a car full of delicious local stone fruit.

I was lucky enough to find a Louis xvi chair which is the real thing and not a copy so my plan is to recover this and use it in the bedroom at Maison No.26.

Apologies for the lack of photos but it is going to be another busy one for us with guests arriving this afternoon and then tonight we are hosting an intimate dinner party for friends then we will stroll down to the river to watch the firework display.

Weather here is lovely and sunny, perfect for today's celebrations.

Bon 14 juillet à tous, Leeann x

Friday, 10 July 2015

French Food Friday...cake aux olives et jambon

photo and recipe from here

Bonjour mes belles,

One of the things that I first noticed when I came to France was that the French like to make savoury type cakes and serve them with drinks.

There are various types and most look like they are made using a loaf tin with some contained smoked salmon and others olives etc.

This is a recipe that I stumbled across on a fabulous blog about living tastefully.

  adapted recipe from PARIS BOULANGERIE PATISSERIE by Linda Dannenberg

• 2 cups, less 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 cup dry white wine
• 1/2 cup dry vermouth
• 4 large eggs, beaten
• 7/8 cup mild-flavored olive oil
• 1 1/2 cups finely diced cooked ham
• 1 1/2 cups grated Gruyère cheese
• 1 1/4 cups green olives, pitted and chopped coarse

1.  Sift the flour with the baking powder into a large mixing bowl.  Make a well in the center; add the wine, vermouth, and eggs.  Mix gently just until combined.  Add the olive oil, a little at a time, mixing until the batter is smooth.  Add the ham, cheese and olives, and using a rubber spatula, mix just until incorporated.
2.  Grease an 8-inch-by-4-inch loaf pan; pour in the batter.  Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a skewer inserted to the bottom of the cake comes out clean.  I found I needed to bake my cake much longer than the recipe specified. The original recipe calls for 55 minutes.  I baked my cake for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours. It's a dense cake. If browning too much towards the end of baking, cover with foil.
3.  Cool on a wire rack; then invert onto the rack and cool completely.  If desired, slice the loaf and broil the slices briefly to toast.
très bon vendredi à tous, Leeann x

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

in the mood for purple...

photo from here

I am loving this photo and I in the mood for some purple.

A touch of this fabulous colour will be perfect for the coming cooler months....

à demain, Leeann x

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

a day for reflection...

I was doing some ironing in one of our apartments this morning and thought that I would watch the news.

The BBC were reporting on the memorial events taking place in London commemorating the 10th anniversary of 7/7.

I cannot believe it has been 10 years already and I, along with most others working in London on that horrible day, will never forget the shocking attacks that took place that day.

My thoughts are with those that have been effected in one way or another, by the atrocities that took place 10 years ago today.

Leeann x

Saturday, 4 July 2015

a recipe for a bon week-end...

photo and recipe from here

Bonjour mes belles,

It is still warm here but should start cooling down by mid next week.

Thanks to the lovely Louise for posting this recipe on facebook.

I thought that it was too good not to share and is a recipe I am sure my Mum would love. She used to make us the most fabulous ice cream sodas when we were little and as a lover of champagne, I am sure she would love this particular recipe.

This recipe is an elegant take on the ice cream soda, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a handful of raspberries floating in a glass of champagne....very yummy!

très bon week-end à tous, Leeann x

Friday, 3 July 2015

French food Friday...Griotte cherry clafoutis

recipe and photo from here

Bonjour mes belles,

The heat wave continues across France so I am trying to keep oven use to a minimum. Clafoutis is a favourite of mine and is one of the first things that I made in my French kitchen in the nearby village of Castillonnes.

Clafoutis is a classic French dessert originating from the South West Limousin region, and it is somewhere between a cake and a flan.

This clafoutis recipe from Pascal Aussignac features a great combination of sweet and sour flavours, thanks to the tart griotte cherries, but you can substitute other cherries or seasonal fruit if you wish.



  • 600g of griotte cherries
  • 105g of ground almonds
  • 150g of caster sugar
  • 15g of flour
  • 375g of double cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 5 egg yolks

To plate

  • icing sugar for dusting
Lightly toast the ground almonds under the grill
  • 105g of ground almonds
Sift the sugar, almonds and flour into a bowl
  • 150g of caster sugar
  • 15g of flour
Mix the dry ingredients together with the cream, whole eggs and egg yolks. Blend this mixture together carefully, avoiding the formation of any lumps
  • 375g of double cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 5 egg yolks
Leave to set overnight in the fridge before using to ensure a better texture.      
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Butter your mould for the clafoutis, pour the set mixture halfway into the mould and scatter the fresh cherries on top
  • 600g of griotte cherries
Place the mould into the oven and cook for approximately 20 minutes or until golden on top. Dust with icing sugar and serve
  • icing sugar for dusting

très bon vendredi à tous, Leeann x

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