Tuesday, 28 February 2017

love this word...passementerie

Bonjour mes belles,

I have just added a pair of vintage French toile de jouy curtains to the shop which have a stunning red passementerie border.

What a lovely word passementerie which is defined as...
Passementerie (/pæsˈmɛntri/, French pronunciation: ​[pɑsmɑ̃tri]) or passementarie is the art of making elaborate trimmings or edgings (in French, passements) of applied braid, gold or silver cord, embroidery, colored silk, or beads for clothing or furnishings.

You will find some lovely examples on this French website.

très bonne semaine à tous, Leeann x


Friday, 24 February 2017

French food Friday...Nutella Cookies

Photo and recipe from here

For those of you that love nutella or are just looking for a new biscuit recipe, here is a simple and yummy recipe.


  • 3.5 tbsp Nutella
  • 50g brown sugar (plus extra to sprinkle on top for added crunch)
  • 50g butter, softened
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 125g self-raising flour


  1. Preheat oven 180'C/Gas mark 4
  2. Mix Nutella, brown sugar and butter together
  3. Add the egg and mix well
  4. Now gradually add the flour and keep mixing
  5. Spoon into small piles on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper which has been greased - space well apart
  6. Bake for 10-15 mintues
 Bon vendredi à tous, Leeann x

Friday, 17 February 2017

French food Friday...Tarte aux pommes

I made this last night and it is one of my favourite desserts. It is one of my "go to" desserts and it never lets me down.

Tarte aux Pommes


  • 1 cup slivered almonds (about 4 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus 1 tablespoon melted butter, for brushing
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon calvados or dark rum
  • Baked Pastry Shell
  • 3 large Golden Delicious apples—peeled, halved, cored and sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F”. In a mini processor, pulse 3/4 cup of the almonds until finely ground. Transfer to a medium bowl. Pulse the remaining 1/4 cup of almonds, until coarsely chopped. Transfer to the bowl, add the granulated sugar, flour and salt and toss gently to combine.
  2. In another bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the 4 tablespoons of butter until creamy. Add the almond mixture and beat until blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the calvados.
  3. Spread the almond filling in the Baked Pastry Shell. Arrange the apple slices on top in concentric circles. Brush the apple slices with the melted butter and sprinkle with the brown sugar.
  4. Bake the tart for 30 minutes, until the filling is set and the apples are browned and tender. Transfer the tart to a rack and let cool slightly. Remove the ring and serve the tart warm or at room temperature.

Make Ahead

The apple tart can be baked one day ahead. Wrap well and let stand at room temperature.

très bon vendredi à tous, Leeann x

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Love vintage sacks...

I love old fabrics, the quality is second to none and they certainly were made to last.

These old post sacks are a la mode at present with people choosing to make cushions, blinds and even bags with them.

They also look fabulous when used to recover chairs like in the photo below that I found on pinterest.

I was lucky enough to find two of these on Sunday at a local antiques fair, one is already sold and I have one remaining.
It is in really good conditions and the fabric is heavy duty as these bags were used as mail sacks by La Poste.

The sacks are printed on both sides which means you have enough fabric to make a couple of cushions or even recover a chair if you wish....

I also purchased a couple of chandeliers which need a bit of work as a few of the crystals need attaching and I am about to get started on this after a nice cup of green tea...

à demain, Leeann x

Friday, 10 February 2017

French food Friday...petits pots de crème au chocolat

recipe and photo from here

Bonjour mes belles,

Sorry this post is a bit late but we hosted a dinner party last night and  I realised that in my haste to serve the dessert I forgot to take a photo. At least I remembered to take a photo at the start of the evening....

Note the recipe says that you can serve with a dollop of creme fraiche, I served out with a couple of raspberries which really compliment the rich, dark chocolate taste. When I mentioned to French Boyfriend that I had forgotten to take a photo, his response was that I would just have to make them again....

You'll need

250 ml (1 cup) pouring cream  
250 ml (1 cup) milk 
 Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean 
 4 egg yolks 80 gm raw caster sugar 
 300 gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped 
 To serve: créme fraîche, Dutch-process cocoa and cigar biscuits (optional)


  • Bring cream, milk and vanilla seeds to the simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, whisk yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale. Add cream mixture and whisk to combine. Return to pan and stir continuously over medium heat until mixture coats a spoon thickly (4-5 minutes). Remove from heat, add chocolate, whisk until smooth and combined, then divide among six 150ml serving jars or glasses. Refrigerate until completely chilled and set (3 hours). Serve topped with a dollop of créme fraîche, dusted with cocoa, with biscuits for dipping.
 bon fin de semaine à tous, Leeann x

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

busy baking...

This morning I thought I would try out a new recipe and then for some reason or another, I ended up making  madeleines, which  are French Boyfriend's favourites.

The new recipe can wait for another day....

If you want to make some madeleines you will find the recipe that I use here

bonne semaine à tous, Leeann x

Friday, 3 February 2017

French food Friday...Salted Caramel Macarons

recipe and photo from here

I tried this recipe last weekend and we were both happy with the way that they turned out. Unfortunately they were all eaten before I remembered that I had not taken a photo.

For those of you that have never made macarons before, I would recommend using a template. You can find one on this website along with lots of helpful tips.

Serves: 20
Preparation time:45 minutes
Cooking time:10 minutes


  • 200 g icing sugar
  • 100 g round almonds
  • 120–125g egg whites (about 3 eggs)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 40 g caster sugar
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 75 g light muscovado or light brown sugar
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 100 ml double cream
  • Half tsp sea salt flakes


  • To make the basic macarons, tip the icing sugar and almonds into the bowl of a food processor and blend for 30 seconds until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
  • Tip the egg whites into a spotlessly clean and dry mixing bowl. Add the salt and, using an electric hand whisk, beat until they will only just hold a stiff peak. Continue to whisk at medium speed while adding the caster sugar a teaspoonful at a time. Mix well between each addition to ensure the sugar is thoroughly incorporated before adding the next spoonful. The mixture should be thick, white and glossy.
  • Using a large metal spoon, fold the ground sugar and almond mixture into the egg whites. The mixture should be thoroughly incorporated and smooth – this can take up to one minute. When it is ready, the mixture drops from the spoon in a smooth molten mass.
  • Using a piping bag fitted with a one centimeter nozzle, pipe rounds of mixture onto two heavy baking sheets, lined with baking parchment. Tap the baking sheets sharply on the work surface to expel any large air bubbles. Leave the macarons to rest for 15 minutes to one hour, until they have ‘set’ and formed a dry shell. They should not be sticky, tacky or wet when tested with your fingertip.
  • Preheat the oven to 170ºC/gas mark 3. Bake the macarons on the middle shelf of the preheated oven, one sheet at a time, for 10 minutes. The tops should be crisp and the bottoms dry. Leave to cool on the baking sheet.
  • To make the salted caramel filling, put the caster sugar and two tablespoons water in a small saucepan over a low heat and let the sugar dissolve completely. Bring to the boil then cook until the syrup turns to an amber coloured caramel. Remove from the heat and add the muscovado sugar, butter and cream. Stir to dissolve then return to the low heat and simmer for three to four minutes, until the caramel has thickened and will coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat, add the salt, pour into a bowl and leave until completely cold and thick.
  • Spread the filling over half the macaron shells and sandwich with the other half.Leave to rest for about 30 minutes before serving.
bon vendredi à tous, Leeann x

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Marvellous moss...

Sorry for the lack of posts but I got side tracked making macarons which came out better than I expected and disappeared quickly.

The next day I went out to gather some moss and ran into some goats that had escaped and followed me down the road as they thought that I may have something to eat in my shopping basket....life is never boring and I was happy to arrive home with moss in my basket and no goats!

I love moss and it is useful to cover plastic pots. I want to make some moss balls and this is on my list of things to do.

Speaking of things to do I am in the process of trying out some new recipes this week and today made some  hokey pokey biscuits which are a New Zealand treat and then made some lemon poppy seed muffins for the first time.

They are very yummy and French Boyfriend  has given them his seal of approval so fingers crossed the guests think the same. 

I had better fly as I have windows to clean. It is sunny and 15 degrees here today so perfect weather for cleaning.

à demain, Leeann x

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