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

Thursday, 17 July 2014

merci mon amour....

 
 
Bonjour mes belles,
 
What an unexpected surprise it was when French Boyfriend arrived to have lunch with me today and without saying anything gave me this stunning bouquet of flowers.
 
Hence today I am feeling blessed and thankful.....



so merci to the lovely Guy and merci to my guardian angel who sent me Guy in the first place.....I am very grateful even if somedays I forget to show it.....

Leeann x

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

my two favourite things...

photo from here

Bonjour mes belles,

I hope that you are having a nice week.  On Monday we sold the last mannequin that we currently have in stock and since then, everywhere that I have looked, I have seen mannequins on the internet.

I particularly loved this one and think that she looks stunning with her lovely flowers.......;end result I am hunting for more for the shop.

à demain, Leeann x

Sunday, 13 July 2014


photo from here

Bonjour mes belles,

France is getting ready to party as tomorrow is la Fete Nationale or as it is known in English speaking countries, Bastille day

The French National Day commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution with the Storming of the Bastille on the 14 July 1789, as well as the Fête de la Fédération on the 14 July 1790.

Celebrations are held all over France. The oldest and largest regular military parade in Europe is held on the morning of 14 July, on the Champs-Élysées avenue in Paris in front of the President of the Republic, French officials and foreign guests.

Je vous souhaite à tous et à toutes un très bon dimanche , je vous envoies plein de soleil, Leeann x

Friday, 11 July 2014

French Food Friday...Strawberry Rhubarb & Tarragon Tarte Tartin


recipe and photo from here


Bonjour mes belles,

I cannot believe how useful pinterest is, not only is it great for sharing ideas re travelling, decorating, clothing etc. it is also a great place to find new recipes.

I am not sure about you, but I for one, would be lost without it and do not know how I managed before I started using it.

Merci to the lovely Eva, a girl from Oregon, for this fabulous recipe which French Boyfriend simply adores. You can find more of her fabulous recipes here.

Strawberry  Rhubarb  &  Tarragon  Tarte  Tartin

 

Crust

2 and 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoons sugar

1 cup butter, cold and hard

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

5-8 tablespoons water, cold



Strawberry Rhubarb & Tarragon Filling

3 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon water

12 large strawberries, halved with caps removed

1 and 1/3 generous cups rhubarb cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons sugar

pinch cinnamon

1 and 1/4 teaspoons fresh tarragon, finely chopped

Begin by preparing the crust. In a large bowl combine all of the dry ingredients. Grate the butter on the largest hole setting of your grater over the bowl, mixing to coat the butter shards in the flour mixture every 10 seconds or so. Add the cider vinegar and 5 tablespoons of water and mix the dough. If it stays in a clump when you squeeze it in your hand, it has enough water, if it falls apart, add more water until it stays together. Shape the dough into a ball and roll it out into a 1/2 inch thick disc. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. To make the filling, heat the sugar, butter, and water in a roughly 8-inch skillet over medium heat for 8 minutes, or until the sugar has caramelized and the mixture is bubbling. Add the strawberries and rhubarb and sprinkle the remaining sugar over the top. Simmer for 20-30 minutes over medium-low heat. Remove from the stovetop and stir in 1 teaspoon of the tarragon, then sprinkle with the cinnamon. Place the crust over the skillet, quickly tucking it down into the pan around the edges of the filling. Cut three 1-inch slits in the top to allow heat to escape before placing it in the oven.

Bake for 20-25 minutes of until the top of the crust is golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes before attempting to flip the pan over onto the serving plate. Once flipped, gently remove the pan to display the filling inside. Sprinkle with the remaining tarragon and allow the tart tartin to continue to cool for 30 minutes before serving.


...bon appetit à tous, Leeann x