Monday, 30 May 2016

daily bread...

Bonjour mes belles,

What is more french than a boulangerie? In our smallish village we have three and today I am sharing some photos of our favorite one...

It has nothing to do with the colour of the bread racks but ironically they are the same colour as the shutters on our house....

For those of you that follow me on Facebook, this is the same boulangerie that I shared the videos of how to make pain au chocolat and croissants.

Work beckons, have a semaine fabuleuse, Leeann x

Friday, 27 May 2016

vendredi fleurs...

Too beautiful not too share, merci encore to lovely Kayo for les belles fleurs.

Note to a house with a garden!

bon fin de semaine à tous, Leeann x

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

a day out...

Yesterday we had a day out and what a fabulous day it was. We visited the water lily gardens that inspired Claude Monet to purchase some plants and go on to paint his famous water lily paintings. 

We are lucky that the gardens are only a 45 minute drive away and May is the perfect month to visit as this is the month when they start to bloom... 
 Such a beautiful and tranquil place, it is as if you are magically transported to another world.

The gardens are classified as they are an important part of France's history. You can read  about that history here.

The gardens also contain a lovely lake and a rose covered walk way which was heavenly as all of the roses were in bloom.

I could have spent the day here just wandering around and taking photos. Unfortunately I took so many photos of the  water lilies that my phone battery ran flat which meant that I could not take photos of our lunch at a nearby restaurant.

 Note it is possible to eat at the gardens and our guests ate there yesterday and were most impressed. We will leave this for our next visit as we chose to eat in a restaurant in a nearby village that is normally always full so jumped at the chance to get a table at just short notice.

A fabulous day out and a must do if you are ever in the area....

The photo above is one of my favourites and the flower is such a fabulous colour.

You can see why my phone battery ran flat as everywhere you looked there were so many beautiful flowers...

à demain, Leeann x

Monday, 23 May 2016

bonne semaine à tous...

As I write this, we have sunshine streaming through the window,  I cannot think a nicer way to start a brand new week.

Today's photos was taken last Friday, in the garden of a chateau, which is only a couple of minutes drive from us.

The garden is open to the public in the summer months and is fabulous and VERY French. Speaking of chateaux, did you know that the Dordogne has 1,001 chateaux?

bonne semaine à tous, Leeann x

Friday, 20 May 2016

French Food Friday...Bordeaux Cannelés

recipe and photo from here

As I write this, I am about to get my Cannelés mixture out of the fridge and attempt at making some more. 

For those of you that want to give them a try, here is the recipe that I am using...


500 mls milk
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
25 g butter (diced)
200g (1 cup)sugar
100g (1 cup) plain flour
3 tbs rum
1 vanilla pod


The day before
Split the vanilla pod lengthways, scrape the seeds out and put everything (seeds and pod) into a saucepan with the milk and butter
Heat it until it simmers and then remove from the heat and let it cool down a bit
In a bowl whisk the eggs and egg yolks together with the sugar, add the flour and mix
Strain the milk into the egg mixture and stir until the batter looks almost like crêpe batter
Let it cool completely and add the rum to the mixture
Refrigerate the batter for at least 24 hours (be patient!)
The day you want to bake the cannelés, stir the batter and fill the moulds to 3/4.


Preheat the oven to 240C
Bake for 15 minutes at 240C, lower the heat to 180C and bake for another 40 to 60 minutes depending if you like them golden or very dark.
Take the silicon moulds out of the oven, leave them for about 10 min and then take off the cannelés from the moulds, leave them to cool down completely on cooling a rack.

             bon vendredi à tous, Leeann x

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Cannelés, Cannelés, Cannelés...

Bonjour mes belles,

Yesterday was the day to make mini Cannelés. Not as hard as you would expect but it is a matter of getting the cooking time right and a couple of minutes makes all the difference as I found out.

End result 60 minutes is simply too much, 30 minutes is not enough and around 45 minutes is perfect but a lot depends on what size mould you have, type of oven and if you like them well done or just cooked.I will share the recipe with you on Friday so that you can have a try....

à plus, Leeann x

Monday, 16 May 2016

a favourite book based in France...

Today I am linking up to An Accidental blog written  by the fabulous Paulita who is busy planning a move to SW France.

One of my favorite books based in France It is called La Belle Season and is written by Patricia Atkinson who I have mentioned before as being a very inspiring woman who despite the odds took over a local vineyard and went on to make some of the best wine in our area.

It is a remarkable book and a must for any woman contemplating a move to France.

You can read more about the book here.

This post is a bit shorter than I would have liked but I have not yet started dinner and French Boyfriend will be arriving any minute so I must love you and leave you...

à demain, Leeann x

Friday, 13 May 2016

French food Friday...Hot chocolate soufflé

recipe and photo from here

This week's recipe is an easy one, well easy for those of you that love making soufflés...

Hot chocolate soufflé

serves: 6
preparation time: 15 mins
cooking time:  10 mins


  • Unsalted butter, for greasing
  • 125 g dark chocolate, rouhly chopped
  • 2 tsp dark rum (optional)
  • 2 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 4 eggs, separated, plus 2 egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • Icing sugar, for dusting 


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6 and grease six ramekin dishes. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the surface of the water does not touch the bowl. Stir in the rum, if using. Remove from the heat and add the crème fraîche, then the egg yolks.
  • In a large, clean, dry bowl, whisk all the egg whites and the salt to soft peaks. Fold one-quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remaining whites.
  • Fill the prepared ramekins to the top with the mixture, then clean the rims using your finger and thumb. Place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until nicely risen. Dust with icing sugar and serve immediately. For a delicious party trick, serve your soufflés with an ice-cream drop.
  • Before you make the soufflés, scoop out six balls of good-quality vanilla ice cream and place on a freezer-proof plate. Keep in the freezer until ready to serve. When serving the soufflés at the table, drop an ice-cream ball into each soufflé.
 très bon vendredi à tous, Leeann x

Thursday, 12 May 2016

coquelicots partout...

It is that time of the year in the Dordogne, it is as if by magic, lots of lovely poppies have sprung from nowhere.

They are called coquelicots in French hence the title of my post "poppies everywhere".

They have a free spirit feel to them and I love how they appear in fields, on the side of the road, everywhere and anywhere.

Everywhere and anywhere....pourquoi pas? 

à demain, Leeann x

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Bonjour or should I say здороваться...

photo from here

Bonjour or should I say здороваться...

I happened to glance at my blog statistics and cannot believe that after the USA, Russia is where many of my blog readers come from.

When I visited Russia I loved it and we have been watching a behind the scenes DVD  filmed in the fabulous Hermitage museum.

As many of you know I used to have another house in a very charming village 18kms from where we current live which was sold to a young Russian couple called Julia & Alexander. 

It is fabulous place to stay and Alex is a cordon bleu chef  so you can be assured that the food is fabulous. For more details please visit their website here.

à demain mes belles, Leeann x


Monday, 9 May 2016

glamping...oui ou non?

photo from here

I smiled when I saw this photo this morning in Figaro as last week I gave French Boyfriend a rug like this to sell in his shop. I purchased it whilst living in Dubai and used it on our roof terrace for moroccan style dinner parties. Dubai is a shoppers paradise, especially when it comes to "arabian nights" style decorating.

That said France is fabulous for French items so each country has it's own pluses and minuses when it come to furnishing a home.

This photo is part of a feature on glamping, something that I have yet to try. Glamping appears to be all the rage at present and I think that people are looking to try something different and camping has been popular with those looking to embrace the outdoors.

I tried camping in NZ once and found the tent hot and the blow up mattress not very comfortable but since then it is possible to have all kinds of versions of tents in all sizes and often come complete with "proper" beds.

So it is over to you, have you tried it and did you like it?

très bonne semaine à toute et tous, Leeann x

Friday, 6 May 2016

French Food Friday...Raspberry and Lemon Curd Madeleines

recipe and photo from here

Bonjour mes belles,

I bought some frozen raspberries to make some raspberry friands which went down  a treat and now I have half a bag to use up. 
As you all know I am a huge fan of Rachel Khoo who cooks up a storm in her small but perfectly arranged, Parisian kitchen. Hence when I saw this recipe I knew that it was written for me.

Raspberry and Lemon Curd Madeleines


For the madeleines

  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 130g/4½oz sugar
  • 200g/7oz plain flour
  • 10g/¼oz baking powder
  • 1 unwaxed lemon, finely grated zest only
  • 20g/¾oz honey
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 200g/7oz butter, melted and cooled
  • punnet of raspberries
  • icing sugar, for dusting

For the lemon curd

  • 1 unwaxed lemon, finely grated zest and juice only
  • pinch of salt
  • 40g/1½oz sugar
  • 45g/1¾oz butter
  • 2 free-range egg yolks

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

cinema paradiso...

Last night we watched cinema paradiso, which I loved and could not believe that I have not seen this before now.

You cn read about the film here.

Have a fabulous week, Leeann x

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Gluten free

Gluten free raspberry and lemon muffins Bonjour mes belles, I cannot believe it has been over a week since my last post. I have b...