Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Pray for Istanbul

To think that my morning started as normal...I got dressed and headed for the boulangerie without a care in the world.  

Once back in the house I turned on my computer and in a second I went from feeling happy to sad and sickened as I read about last nights attack in Istanbul. 

I lived and worked in Istanbul for a year and it was one of the most fabulous years of my life.

It was a year that changed my life in many ways and I will never forget the time that I spent there.

Praying for Istanbul, my heart is with you.


Monday, 27 June 2016

Just had to buy her...

 Bonjour mes belles,

Yesterday the weather was fabulous, sunny but not too hot so perfect for hunting for antiques.

French boyfriend found lots of goodies for the shop and I  came home with another mannequin. 

When I saw her, I just had to have her. As you know  I adore mannequins and nowdays you do not see that many of them on the local antique markets.

The fabric is in good condition as is the stand. Not sure where I will put her but I am sure that I will find a home for her somewhere in the house. 

I purchased her from a friend of French Boyfriends who is an antiques dealer who FB has known since he was a child. Here are some photos of his stand....

and a photo of my lovely mannequin before I adopted her....

Have a  fabulous week, Leeann x

Friday, 24 June 2016

French Food Friday...Smoked Salmon, Spinach, and Zucchini Tart

photo and recipe from here

Gifts from our lovely French neighbour consist of a couple of courgettes and some more eggs direct from her farm.

Normally I make friands when I have an over supply of eggs but this week I am in the mood for something savoury.

Hence this recipe is most appealing....

Smoked Salmon, Spinach, and Zucchini Tart
Makes an 11-inch (28 cm) tart
You need:
  • Pâte brisée (Tart dough) of your choice (mine is a new crust recipe from the new book); use this recipe for reference if you don’t have a favorite
  • 3 1/2 ounces (100 g) spinach leaves
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 7 ounces (200 g) smoked salmon
  • 3 1/2 ounces (100 g) zucchini, finely sliced
  • 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C) and garnish a mold with the crust. Make small holes at the bottom and place in the fridge while you prepare the topping.
  • Blanch the spinach in salted water for 1 minute. Drain and set aside.
  • In a bowl, beat the eggs with the heavy cream and fresh herbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste (remember the smoked salmon will bring some salt).
  • Add 3/4 of the smoked salmon at the bottom of the tart.
  • Arrange the slices of zucchini and spinach on top.
  • Pour the egg batter over and add the rest of the smoked salmon (it’s nice when its color peaks through the flan).
  • Add chopped parsley and bake the tart for 40 minutes. Remove and let cool for a few minutes before slicing. Serve with a generous salad on the side.
bon appetit à tous, Leeann

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

week-end tresors...

For those of you not on facebook or instagram, here are a couple of photos of some of the items that I found at the weekend.  As most of you already know I love old plates so when I saw these beauties, I knew I just had to have them. Perfect for cake...
 Next up is this antique candle holder which I am thinking about mounting on an old mirror, I cannot take credit for the mirror idea as it was French Boyfriend that suggested this.

Last is these curtain holders which I adore and already have a pair put aside for a future project.

I love hunting for tresor and my attic is slowly filling up...

à très bientot, Leeann x

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Happy Summer Solstice!

Happy Summer solistice to those of you in the same hemisphere and happy Winter solistice to those of you in the southern hemisphere.

à demain, Leeann x

Friday, 17 June 2016

French Food Friday...Cherry and Kirsch Jam

recipe from here
Bonjour mes belles,

It is cherry season here in France and the markets appear to be overflowing with them at present.

Time to make some jam and this is a recipe that I like and I also like the fact that this recipe comes from New Zealand, must be the kiwi in me. I also need to hide the Kirsch as French Boyfriend has a habit of breaking into the cabinet where I hide my the alcohol that I use for cooking and having a sneaky tipple when I am not looking.

 Cherry and Kirsch Jam
  • Ingredients (makes 3-4 jars)
  • 1.2 kg cherries, stones removed – reserve 6-7 stones
  • Juice of 3 lemons, reserve the pips
  • 2 apples
  • 400ml water
  • 800g white sugar (I used jam sugar)
  • 2 tbsps kirsch


Wash the apples and roughly cut them into pieces, skin, core and all. Place in a pot and add the water. Bring to the boil and cook for about 20 minutes or until the apples are soft. Tip in a sieve placed over a bowl. Press with a spatula to get out all the juice. There should be about 200ml liquid.
Tie the reserved cherry stones and lemon pips into a small piece of gauze. Put the lemon juice, 200ml liquid from the apples and the sugar into a pot. Dissolve the sugar and bring to the boil. Gently boil for 4-5 minutes. Add the cherries and gauze packet and bring back to the boil for a minute. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. At this stage add a good splash of kirsch if you like extra (additional to the above). Skim if necessary. Remove from the heat, cover and leave to macerate at room temperature for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Return to the heat and boil until the jam sets when tested – mine took about 60 minutes although the original recipe estimated 25-30 minutes. Finally add in 2tbsps kirsch and remove from the heat. Pour into sterilised jars and cool.

bonne fin de semaine à tous, Leeann x

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Market day...

I am not sure why but food and produce always appears to taste nicer when purchased from the local markets as opposed to a shop....

This could be a result of the whole experience when purchasing at a local market as it is always nice to have a chat about what you are buying before you purchase it...

The French take a lot of pride in the way that their food and produce are displayed and they make it look so easy but then they have had a lot of practice at this as the markets have been operating in our region for over 600 years...

Today it is our market day so I am off to do some shopping or as the French say faire les courses. Note the French have adopted the word "shopping" which makes me smile when I hear it.

à demain, Leeann x

Monday, 13 June 2016

Frenchy chanson to start a new week..

photo from here

I love this song and I think that it is the perfect chanson to start a brand new week with....

très belle semaine à tous, Leeann x

Friday, 10 June 2016

French food Friday...Strawberry and Almond Friands

Bonjour mes belles,

Just went to take a photo of my friands and it appears that French  Boyfriend liked them as all that is left is these two hence the photo is of two friands.

I decided to use whole strawberries and  I think that this may have been an error on my part as they may have looked more attractive with sliced strawberries. Note they still tasted very yummy but I prefer the raspberry ones.

Strawberry and Almond Friands

375 ml (1 ½ C) icing sugar
125 ml ( ½ C) cake flour
6 egg whites
185 g butter, melted
315 ml (1 ¼ C) ground almonds
150 g fresh strawberries, washed and thinly sliced

Sift together the icing sugar and the cake flour.
Place the egg whites in a clean medium bowl. Whisk lightly.
Add the melted butter, sifted dry ingredients and the ground almonds. Stir lightly until the mixture is combined.
Spoon the mixture into a friand baking pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.
Arrange the sliced strawberries on top of the friand mixture.
Bake in an oven preheated to 180°C for 20 minutes or until the friands are well risen and lightly golden.
Leave to stand in the pan for five minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
If desired, dust with icing sugar before serving.

bon appétit à tous, Leeann x

Thursday, 9 June 2016

fresh from the market...

French boyfriend has just returned from the market with these beauties.
There is nothing  nicer than les fraises du Périgord, they are delicious and I already have a recipe in mind which I will share with you tomorrow.

à vendredi, Leeann x

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

sugar and spice...

Popped into one of our favorite patisseries on Sunday and the choice is second to none, as you can see from the photos...

Why make it when you can buy it?

I ended up choosing the tarte aux fraises which was very yummy  and it tasted as good as it looked.

amicalement from a very warm SW France, Leeann x

Monday, 6 June 2016

Behind the door...The Ritz Paris

photo from here

Bonjour mes belles,

I feel the need to escape "reality" and this movie created by the Ritz Paris is exactly what I needed.....dreaming of Paris!

très bonne semaine à tous, Leeann x

Friday, 3 June 2016

French Food Friday...Flan Parisien

photo and recipe from here

This week's recipe is a favorite of mine and something that I often buy when we stop at a boulangerie.

French Boyfriend is not a fan but for those of you that like a custard type flan, you will love this...

For the pate brisee:
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • For the flan patissier:
  • 3  cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean (seeds only)
  • apricot jam for glazing (optional)
    • For the pate brisee:
    • Sift the flour in a large bowl.
    • In another bowk, mix the butter with a spatula to a creamy consistency. Add the salt, sugar and egg yolk and mix well. Add the milk and mix.
    • Add the flour to the butter mixture and mix with your hands until you obtain a dough with smooth consistency.
    • Wrap it in cling wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
    • For the flan Parisien:
    • Butter an 8-inch wide & 1 1/4-inch tall pie dish.
    • Roll out the pate brisee and line the pie dish. Refrigerate until ready to use.
    • Preheat oven to 350’F
    • Combine the milk, water and vanilla in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, the sugar and the cornstarch. Add the mixture to the hot milk in a steady stream while whisking. Keep whisking until the mixture thickens and starts to boil. Remove from the heat.
    • Let the custard cool for 10 minutes before pouring it in the pie dish.
    • Bake for 1 hour, until set and brown on top. Cool and refrigerate overnight. Glaze with apricot jam.

    bon appétit, Leeann x

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