Tuesday, 1 September 2015

bonjour septembre...



I took this photo the 1st of  September last year, whilst we were taking a break in the lovely Auvergne area.

For me it sums up September, the summer holidays are over and the whole of France goes back to work.

For us it is the opposite, the summer tourist rush is over and things move at a gentler, more enjoyable pace.

It is one of my favourite months to be in France and I am planning on enjoying every minute of it....

très bonne semaine à tous, Leeann x

Friday, 28 August 2015

French Food Friday...Figues farcies à la mousse de jambon


recipe and photo from here



Bonjour mes belles,

I have been promised some fresh figs from a friend who advises that she has a surplus so I am planning to use some of them with this recipe and if there is any left over, French Boyfriend is going to make some fig jam.

Figues farcies à la mousse de jambon

You’ll need :
  • 8 medium figs just ripe
  • 60g Fromage blanc (or cream cheese)
  • 100g jambon de parma
  • 1dl (2/5 cup) heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp honey vinegar (or mild vinegar and a touch of honey)
  • Ground pepper
Wash and dry the figs, slice in cross at top (see photo), then set aside.  Grind ham and mix in a bowl with fromage blanc and vinegar. Whip the cream until firm then incorporate into ham mix. Fill each fig from top with spoonful of mouse. Chill until ready to serve.


très bon vendredi à tous, Leeann x

Thursday, 27 August 2015

feeling frivolous...


photo from here

It has been a busy few days and we have been blessed with fabulous guests from all over the world and French Boyfriend has been busy in the shop.

Today I have a bit of "me" time so I am feeling frivolous.....what a fabulous word this is and one that I feel I should use more often.
When I saw this chair, I thought it's frivolous and I adore it.

Anyone else in the mood for feeling frivolous?

à demain mes belles, Leeann x

Monday, 24 August 2015

fabulous and very French..



Yesterday I looked out of the window of Maison No.26 and look what I found a fabulous 2CV, painted in light pink and gray.

Fabulous and very French.....my favourite French car!

très bonne semaine à tous, Leeann x

Saturday, 22 August 2015

yum, yum...

 
 
A thick slice of home made organic sunflower seed bread with a lashing of French butter and raspberry jam is a yummy way to start the day.....after all a girl cannot live on croissants alone.
 
très bon week-end à tous, Leeann x

Friday, 21 August 2015

French Food Friday...Chicken Fricassée


recipe and photo from here

Bonjour mes belles,

I am not sure what happened to the days between Monday when I last posted an entry on my blog and today...but I am hoping that next week is one that moves at a slower pace.

The weather here is fabulous at present, sunny and not too hot so our guests are making the best of it.

Tomorrow wine is on the agenda as one set of guests are visiting St Emilion and the other group are going on a wine tour. We are surrounded in wine , so many varieties are grown here it is the perfect place to visit if you are a red, white or rosé wine lover.

This week's recipe comes from my favourite cookbook;  Foolproof French Cookery by Raymond Blanc, published by BBC Books.

Chicken Fricassee
 
INGREDIENTS
 
For the chicken fricassee
 4  Organic or free range chicken drumsticks 
 5 tbsp     Good-quality red wine vinegar 
 15g  Unsalted butter 
 100ml   Dry white wine 
 4  Garlic cloves, peeled but left whole 
 1   Ripe medium tomato, finely chopped 
 2  Sprigs of fresh tarragon, chopped 
 1 tbsp   Olive oil 
 1 tbsp   Fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped 
 1 pinch   Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 
 
For the sautéed potatoes
 4   Medium potatoes, such as Desiree, Maris Piper or King Edward, peeled (if organic, leave the skins on) and cut into 2cm dice 
 10g   Unsalted butter 
 2 tbsp   Olive oil 
 1   Small handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped 
 ½   Shallot, finely chopped 
 1 pinch   Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 
 
METHOD
Browning the chicken
Pre-heat the oven to 150˚C/300˚/Gas Mark 2. On a high heat, in a large casserole, fry the chicken pieces in the olive oil for 5 minutes, until golden brown. Season with 4 piches of salt and 2 pinches of pepper.
 
Glazing the chicken
Spoon out the fat from the casserole. Add the vinegar and butter and boil for 10 seconds, until the vinegar has reduced. Stir to coat the chicken pieces in the reduced vinegar and butter.
 
Baking the chicken
Add the white wine, bring to the boil for a few seconds, then add the garlic, tomato and tarragon. Cover the casserole, transfer to the oven and cook for 30 minutes (the liquid should not boil but should cook at avery low simmer, with just one or two bubbles barely breaking the surface). The chicken will be juicy and tender.
 
Sautéeing the potatoes
On a high heat, in a large frying pan, fry the diced potatoes in the olive oil for 12-15 minsutes, stirring frequently. Until golden brown and tender.  Season with 4 pinches of sea salt and 2 pinches of pepper. Reduce the heat and add the butter, being careful not to let it burn.  Finally, stir in the parsley and shallot. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
 
Finishing the chicken and serving
Remove the chicken from the oven. Taste and correct the seasoning if required. Skim any fat from the surface. Arrange the chicken pieces and sautéed potatoe on a large platter or 4 serving plates and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve the cooking juices separately.

très bon vendredi à tous, Leeann

Monday, 17 August 2015

perfectly camouflaged...

 


Yesterday French Boyfriend called to come quickly, this is what we found delicately perched on our front door.

Note there is normally a door knocker hanging where the papillon de nuit has chosen to hang but I got annoyed with people that loved to knock loudly when we have guests so I removed it. We have identified it, it is a Sphinx du Troène

End result peace and quiet for our guests and it is now a resting place for lovely papillons des nuits that wish to come and stay....


What a fabulous loving creature it is, much nicer to look at than a piece of metal any day....

très bonne semaine à tous, Leeann x