Thursday, 31 July 2014

French Food Friday...Pommes Anna

photo and recipe from here

Bonjour mes belles,
I am not sure about you but I love potatoes and this recipe is a firm favourite  of ours.

Pommes Anna

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour

You will need
500g large potatoes
40g butter
250g onions, peeled and thinly sliced
75g beef dripping
125g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5. Peel and thinly slice the potatoes on a mandolin, or the slicer on the side of a cheese grater. Melt the butter in a pan and gently cook the onions over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until they soften.
2. Heat half of the dripping in a heavy-based frying pan (preferably ovenproof and ideally non-stick). Remove from the heat and arrange a layer of the sliced potatoes in the pan, then build up layers of onions, cheese and potatoes, seasoning them and finishing with a layer of potatoes.
3. Return the pan to a medium heat and fry until the bottom layer begins to colour. Put the rest of the dripping on
top of the potatoes then put the pan into the oven. (If your frying pan isn't ovenproof, then slide the potato cake on to a baking tray.)
4. Bake for 45 minutes until golden brown, increasing the temperature to 220oC/425oF/gas mark 7, for the last 10 minutes to brown the top. Loosen the sides of the cake with a palette knife
and carefully invert on to a warm plate to serve.
....bon appetit à tous, Leeann x

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

ivy love...

Bonjour mes belles,

I hope that you are having a fabulous week. Our is turning out to be a lovely sunny one and there was even a marriage in the village church this morning, love is in the air.

Speaking of love, we have a fabulous new florist in the village who has arrived from Paris, the owner is called Frederic and name of the shop is C A B I NET  P O U R P R E .

I did not have my camera when I visited this morning to buy another of the lovely ivy plants that you see above, but will try and takes some photos on my next visit.

à demain, Leeann x

Monday, 28 July 2014

week-end tresor....

Bonjour mes belles,

I hope that you had a nice week-end.

Ours was a busy one which started with the Tour de France passing through our village on Friday afternoon and it finished yesterday with a visit to a local antique fair where I bought this fabulous buste of Jesus Christ which now has pride of place in French Boyfriend's antique shop.

It is very heavy hence Guy was not impressed, as it was he, that had the responsibility of carrying him to the car where he was carefully wrapped in an antique sheet.

Unfortunately there was not a lot of treasure to be had and I am hoping that August results in lots of fabulous objects as we are running a bit low on stock......

très bonne semaine à tous, Leeann x

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Friday, 25 July 2014

French Food Friday...Lemon Madeleines

recipe and photo from here

Bonjour mes belles,

Just when you thought it was safe to put the madeleine tins away, here is another yummy madeleine recipe courtesy of my favourite New Zealand decorating magazine, NZ House & Garden.

Lemon Madeleines

1 egg
1/4 cup caster sugar
65g self-raising flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
65g butter, melted and cooled Heat oven to 220°C.

Grease madeleine pans with butter then dust them with a little flour.
Beat egg and caster sugar together until mixture is thick and pale. Sift over half the flour and the baking powder then fold in with lemon zest and juice. Drizzle over half the butter and fold in gently.
Repeat with remaining flour and melted butter. Spoon mixture into prepared pans, filling to the top.
Bake 8-10 minutes until golden.

Leave to cool for a few minutes then turn madeleines out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Serve dusted with icing sugar, with a dollop of cream on the side. Makes about 8 (recipe can be doubled).

....bon appetit à tous, Leeann

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

finally finished...

Bonjour mes belles,

Here it is......the finished product! After what seems like weeks of work, it is finally finished and would not have been possible if I did not have a helping hand from my fabulous and very patient upholstery teacher, Debra at Couture d'ameublement.

French Boyfriend has decided that it would make for a fabulous birthday present as it is his birthday in September so I am now looking for a Louis XV style desk to go with it.

The upholstery classes resume in September so I am now deciding which project I should tackle next....

très bonne semaine à tous, Leeann x

Friday, 18 July 2014

French Food Friday...Croissant Croque Monsieur

recipe and photo from here

Bonjour mes belles,

Excusez-moi for the lateness of the post but it has been a very busy morning as I have been busy with my upholstery lessons. As soon as it is finished I will share a photo with you and it is not far off, I am happy to say.

This week's recipe comes from my favourite food blog owned by a fellow kiwi and is a great way to use up left over croissants.

Croissant Croque Monsieur

4 croissants
8 slices good quality ham
2/3 cup grated gruyere cheese

Béchamel Sauce:
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp plain flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
You can make the Béchamel Sauce either on the stove top, or in the microwave. The method is very similar. On the stove top, heat the butter in a saucepan over a gentle heat until just melted. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon. Add  the milk in three lots, stirring continuously, until well incorporated. Keep stirring while cooking over the heat until the sauce is thickened and smooth. If it misbehaves, just whisk it with a wire whisk until smooth - it should finish thick and silky. Add the Parmesan, nutmeg and dijon and stir to combine. Yum. Leave to cool. (Left over Béchamel Sauce can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days). Preheat oven to 200˚C (400˚F) and get out an oven tray.

Slice the croissants in half and spread each bottom half with 2 tablespoons of Béchamel Sauce and 2 pieces of ham. Top with croissant 'lid', and spread with 1-2 more tablespoons of Béchamel Sauce on each. Sprinkle with gruyere cheese and pop in the oven until golden and bubbling, about 15 minutes. Great with strong hot coffee in the morning, or a glass of red and salad for lunch and dinner - the ultimate comfort food!
bon appetit à tous, Leeann x