Monday, 12 October 2015

belle semaine à tous...

Bonjour mes belles,

I hope that you had a fabulous weekend, our was a lovely sunny one which enabled us to get out and about. We even managed a bit of sight seeing in between hunting for antiques which I will tell you more about later in the week.

On Saturday we took some photos on the way back from our picnic lunch.

The vines are looking fabulous at this time of the year....

You can see why Autumn is my favourite time of the year...the colours are stunning and the weather is perfect, not too hot and not too cold.

Rows and rows of vines everywhere you look....

French Boyfriend commented that the rouge colour of the leaves is very similar to the colour of the wine produced by the grapes that come from these particular vines. Nature at her finest!

I had better go as it is the magic hour here at France, lunch time and FB is about to serve...I do love a man who cooks.

belle semaine à tous, Leeann x

Friday, 9 October 2015

french food Friday...Cheese-topped Dauphinois Potatoes

photo and recipe from here
Bonjour mes belles,
I hope that you have had a fabulous week. Ours has been a fun one with French Boyfriend selling up a storm in the boutique whilst I have been spending the week shopping. Shopping is one of my preferred past times and I am enjoying shopping for me as opposed to shopping for bathroom fittings, kitchen etc.
Unfortunately French Boyfriend is not an enthusiastic as moi when it comes to shopping hence I am developing a more speedy approach.
Enough about shopping, let's get down to business. As you know food is taken very seriously in France and a lot of the day is talking about food.   
It is getting cooler here in SW France and Autumn has arrived. Autumn provides the perfect excuse to spend more time in the kitchen and it is my favourite time of the year.
This week's recipe is a favourite as it involves cheese and potatoes and is very yummy...

Cheese-topped Dauphinois Potatoes


  • 750 g King Edward potatoes or other floury potatoes
  • 150ml chicken stock               
  • 100 ml double cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Knob of butter

  • Preheat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7. Peel the potatoes and rinse under cold water, then dry and slice very thinly by hand or with the slicer attachment on a processor. Put the stock into a large jug and mix with the cream.
  • Arrange a layer of potato over the base of the tin, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then pour over a little of the stock mixture. Continue in the same way until the potato and liquid are used up. Dot the butter over the top and cover tightly with foil.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until soft around the edges but still firm in the middle. Remove the foil and cook for a further 25–-30 minutes or until golden and tender. Leave to cool, then chill – overnight is best.
  • Choose a lipped board or tray that’s bigger than the roasting tin (so it will catch any juices) and place on a worktop. Carefully tip the roasting tin upside down on to it and remove the paper. Cut the potatoes into even-sized servings, arrange on a greased or paper-lined baking sheet, and sprinkle the cheese on top.
  • Reheat in an oven preheated to 200C/gas mark 6 for 25-30 minutes or until golden and piping hot.

très bon vendredi à tous, Leeann x

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

simple mais chic...

photo from here

Simple but oh so chic....I adore everything in this fabulous photo.

à demain, Leeann x

Monday, 5 October 2015

never say never

photo from here

Five minutes ago, I was thinking I am going to take a break from renovating for the next 6 months and then I saw this photo....I just need to convince French Boyfriend that it is a good idea.

Think that it may take more than a sexy dress and a bottle of champagne but I will try my best....

très bonne semaine à tous, Leeann x 

Thursday, 1 October 2015

French food Friday...Chocolate marquise with lime and coconut sorbet

photo and recipe from here

First of all I would like to say Happy Birthday to my darling Dad in NZ, miss you lots and hope you have a lovely day.

At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people

You'll need

8 egg yolks 
180 gm caster sugar 
250 gm butter, coarsely chopped 
200 gm dark chocolate (60% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped 
80 gm Dutch-process cocoa, sieved, plus extra for dusting 
600 ml pouring cream, whisked to soft peaks                                       
Lime and coconut sorbet 
100 gm white sugar
25 gm liquid glucose 
200 ml coconut cream 
50 ml lime juice                                       
Chocolate biscuits 
110 gm (½ cup) caster sugar 
60 gm softened butter 
1 egg 
80 gm dark chocolate (60% cocoa solids), melted 
150 gm plain flour 
 Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean


    • For lime and coconut sorbet, combine sugar, glucose and 100ml water in a small saucepan over low heat, stir to dissolve sugar, bring to the simmer, then set aside to cool. Stir in remaining ingredients and refrigerate until flavours develop (overnight). Churn in an ice-cream machine, then freeze.
    • Whisk yolks and sugar in an electric mixer until pale and fluffy (4-5 minutes), transfer to a heatproof bowl and whisk over a saucepan of simmering water until warm and thick (3-4 minutes). Meanwhile, melt butter and chocolate in a separate heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, add cocoa and stir to combine. Fold one-third of yolk mixture into chocolate mixture to combine, fold in remaining yolk mixture and set aside to cool (8-10 minutes; mixture may become a little grainy). Fold in cream in batches until just combined. Pour into ten 180ml dariole moulds and refrigerate until firm (4 hours).
    • Meanwhile, for chocolate biscuits, beat sugar and butter in an electric mixer until pale (2-3 minutes), add egg and beat to combine. Stir in chocolate, then flour and vanilla, place on a sheet of plastic wrap, roll into a 4cm-diameter cylinder and chill until firm (1 hour). Remove plastic wrap, slice into 5mm rounds and place on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Bake until crisp (10-12 minutes), cool, crumble coarsely and set aside.
    • Dip chocolate moulds in hot water, loosen with a knife, invert onto serving plates, scatter with chocolate biscuit crumbs, dust with cocoa and serve with lime and coconut sorbet.
bon appetit à tous, Leeann x

a smile...

photo and words from here
A smile makes you master of yourself.

- Thich Nhat Hanh, in “Moments of Mindfulness”.
(Image: Claudia Tremblay)
I just had to share this with you. This comes from Thich Nhat Hanh who established the thriving budhist community, not far from where we live.
You can find more information about the community here.
très belle journée à tous, Leeann x

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

my latest find...

Wow it is the last day in September, what happened to the other 29 days?  Let's hope that October moves at a slower pace.

On Sunday French Boyfriend and I went hunting for tresors and I managed to find a couple of beauties. One is in perfect condition and the other has "wobbly" arms and French Boyfriend is now in the process of putting her right.

I was lucky to purchase them as a couple of French laddies arrived at the same time and I did not want to get into a bidding war. Due to the problem with the arms, which FB pointed out was an issue, the others started to réfléchirai and I did the deal.

Once the deal was done, I decided to it may be a bit dangerous to leave them in case someone came along and offered the seller more money that what I had paid so we decided to carry them to a street corner and that I would wait while FB went off to search for the car.

Got tired of standing to decided to sit in one and got tired of waiting as everyone that passed liked to stop and chat about them. Thankfully FB finally appeared and we loaded them into the car.

I was not sure where I was going to put them and teased FB that I may need to buy a house to put them in. Maison No.26 came to mind and I think that they will add a lovely splash of colour for winter.

Just need a couple of matching cushions for the bed now....

à demain, Leeann x