Saturday, 4 July 2015

a recipe for a bon week-end...

photo and recipe from here

Bonjour mes belles,

It is still warm here but should start cooling down by mid next week.

Thanks to the lovely Louise for posting this recipe on facebook.

I thought that it was too good not to share and is a recipe I am sure my Mum would love. She used to make us the most fabulous ice cream sodas when we were little and as a lover of champagne, I am sure she would love this particular recipe.

This recipe is an elegant take on the ice cream soda, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a handful of raspberries floating in a glass of champagne....very yummy!

très bon week-end à tous, Leeann x

Friday, 3 July 2015

French food Friday...Griotte cherry clafoutis

recipe and photo from here

Bonjour mes belles,

The heat wave continues across France so I am trying to keep oven use to a minimum. Clafoutis is a favourite of mine and is one of the first things that I made in my French kitchen in the nearby village of Castillonnes.

Clafoutis is a classic French dessert originating from the South West Limousin region, and it is somewhere between a cake and a flan.

This clafoutis recipe from Pascal Aussignac features a great combination of sweet and sour flavours, thanks to the tart griotte cherries, but you can substitute other cherries or seasonal fruit if you wish.



  • 600g of griotte cherries
  • 105g of ground almonds
  • 150g of caster sugar
  • 15g of flour
  • 375g of double cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 5 egg yolks

To plate

  • icing sugar for dusting
Lightly toast the ground almonds under the grill
  • 105g of ground almonds
Sift the sugar, almonds and flour into a bowl
  • 150g of caster sugar
  • 15g of flour
Mix the dry ingredients together with the cream, whole eggs and egg yolks. Blend this mixture together carefully, avoiding the formation of any lumps
  • 375g of double cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 5 egg yolks
Leave to set overnight in the fridge before using to ensure a better texture.      
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Butter your mould for the clafoutis, pour the set mixture halfway into the mould and scatter the fresh cherries on top
  • 600g of griotte cherries
Place the mould into the oven and cook for approximately 20 minutes or until golden on top. Dust with icing sugar and serve
  • icing sugar for dusting

très bon vendredi à tous, Leeann x

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

a hot one...

Bonjour mes belles,

This week many parts of France are preparing for a heat wave which will see temperatures in the early 40's and it is expected to last for a week or so.

France has never experienced temperatures like this in the 100 years that they have been recording weather patterns and some put this down to global warning.

As I write this the locals are busy doing everything they need to do before the temperatures start to rise during the course of the day, reaching a high of 41 today.

A good day to stay somewhere cool, underground caves spring to mind but I have a feeling that many will be thinking the same thing.


Lascaux is famous for its cave painting which are 17,000 years old and were discovered by four teenage boys in 1940. You can read more about the caves here.

It takes an hour and half to drive there from our house and it is one of the top 10 things to do when visiting the Dordogne.

très bonne semaine à tous, Leeann x


Saturday, 27 June 2015

bon week-end...

where ever you are, what ever you are doing, I hope you have a fabulous weekend...Leeann x

Friday, 26 June 2015

French food Friday...Madeleines With Almonds and Apricot Glaze

photo and recipe from here
 Bonjour mes belles,

As you know I love making madeleines and am always on the lookout for a new recipe to try hence this one was right up my alley.

Yield:Makes 16 madeleines
Active time:20 minutes
Total time:1 hour 40 minutes
Special equipment:  madeleine tin



  • For the Madeleines:
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (3.17 ounces or 90 grams) unsalted butter, cubed, plus more for greasing
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (3.5 ounces or 100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon (3.17 ounces or 90 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons shaved almonds
  • For the Glaze:
  • 3 tablespoons apricot jam
  • 1 tablespoon water


1. For the Madeleines: Heat the butter in a heavy-bottomed and preferably light-colored saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until foaming subsides and butter starts to smell nutty and milk solids are a deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Pour brown butter into a heatproof container and set aside to cool.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk 1 egg with the sugar until foamy. Add flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk until incorporated. Whisk in the remaining egg until the batter looks smooth. Add milk to the cooled (but still melted) brown butter and drizzle the mixture into the batter, whisking continuously.
Whisk in the vanilla and almond extracts. Set the batter aside for 50 minutes at room temperature, then refrigerate for 10 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 390°F and adjust oven rack to middle position. Butter a madeleine pan and pour the batter among the molds, filling them almost to the top. (There’s no need to smooth the batter, as it will even out as it bakes.) Sprinkle the shaved almonds on top. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, 9 to 11 minutes.

4. Remove madeleines from the oven and immediately invert the hot pan over a cool baking sheet or a wire rack, gently rapping the pan to dislodge the madeleines. (Waiting for the madeleines to cool even slightly will make it difficult to remove them from the pan.) Set the madeleines aside to cool slightly.

5. For the Glaze: Combine jam and water in a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the jam loosens and melts into the water. Remove from the heat. Using a pastry brush, brush the shell-side of the madeleines with the glaze.

6.Serve warm or at room temperature. Madeleines taste best on the day they’re made, but you can keep them, stored in an airtight container, for up to 2 days.
très bon vendredi à tous, Leeann

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

our holiday in 18 photos...

This was the first thing that we saw when we arrived, the sea air smelt fabulous...

How could you not fall in love with the stunning ile de re...

Nothing nicer than having lunch overlooking these beauties.....

There were roses everywhere, I think that the sea air agrees with them....

Lots of lovely shops....

There were seas of poppies everywhere, I can see why a lot of artists base themselves here, it is an inspiring place...

Unpoilt beaches, reminds me a bit of New Zealand....

Even the publicity is chic....

I fell head over heels with Chateau Oleron....

So colourful and full of character...

La Rochelle was lovely as always and we enjoyed the cycle tracks along the coast....


Then we stumbled across a magic place where we found that a fellow kiwi had left his mark...

Such a fabulous surprise,  a real secret place....

Loved the detail and the owners of the hotel where we stayed did not know that this fabulous work of art existed...

 It took 4 years to complete and it really is monumental.

Hope you enjoyed our snaps, it really was a fabulous break and I cannot wait to go back later in the year.

Leeann x

Monday, 22 June 2015

Bonjour été..

Summer has officially arrived which sounds a little odd to me, having just coming back from a week's holiday by the coast.

Such a fabulous and very relaxing break, it was exactly what we needed. So for those of you planning a trip to France, you must add La Rochelle and Ile de Re to your list of places to visit.

Loved the laid back attitude of the locals, the fabulous food, miles of cycling tracks and the sea air.

I hope to have time to share some of our holiday snaps with you later in the week....

très bonne semaine à tous, Leeann