Friday, 9 December 2016

festive food Friday...


So sorry for not getting around to posting the photos of the items that I found on Sunday but it has been a hectic week. 

I will try and photograph the items over the course of the weekend.

I spent yesterday trying out various recipes for Linzer cookies and I now have a recipe that I am happy with. I ended up using a mixture of this recipe and this one.

Linzer Cookies

 Ingredients

1 cup (150 grams) ground almonds
2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 
1/2 teaspoon salt
Zest (outer yellow skin) of one small lemon
1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon (5 grams) pure vanilla extract
3 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon anise seeds, ground in a spice grinder
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander 
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
3/4 cup seedless raspberry preserves

Method

  1. In a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter with the granulated sugar at medium speed until creamy. Add the egg yolks and lemon zest and beat until smooth. In a food processor, combine the hazelnuts with the bread flour and process until the nuts are finely ground. Add the cinnamon and cloves and pulse to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and beat on low speed until smooth. Pat the dough into 2 disks, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350° and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Working in batches if necessary, roll out the dough 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Using a 2-inch round cutter, stamp out cookies as close together as possible. Using a small decorative cookie cutter, stamp out the centers of half of the cookies. Transfer the whole cookies to 1 prepared baking sheet and the cut-out cookies to another.
  3. Bake the cookies in the upper and middle thirds of the oven for about 15 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Let cool on the baking sheets. Meanwhile, refrigerate the scraps until chilled, then reroll, stamp out more cookies and bake.
  4. Dust the tops of the cut-out cookies with confectioners' sugar. In a small bowl, whisk the raspberry preserves with the ground anise and coriander. Spoon the preserves onto the whole cookies, cover with the sugar-dusted cookies and serve.

Make Ahead

The cookies can be kept in an airtight container for 5 days or frozen for 1 month. Redust with confectioners' sugar.

bon vendredi à tous, Leeann x

Monday, 5 December 2016

who are you my beauty...




Who are you my beauty and where do you come from? 
I just wish that she could talk as it is going to be like looking for a needle in a haystack as far as trying to find out where she comes from.

I found her yesterday morning at a local brocante and I am now obsessed with trying to find out a bit about her. The seller that I purchased her from did not have any details about her or the other smaller piece which also has her as the main feature.



A mermaid with wings but I do not think that she is just a mermaid. A magical and mystical creature who has me under her spell...


The wall light is monumntal and weighs well over 10 kilos hence she would be be best fixed to a piece of wood before attaching to a wall....le coup de foudre and I have no idea what I am going to do with them. 

I will be back later with photos of some of the other objects that I found yesterday.

à plus tard, Leeann x

Friday, 2 December 2016

French food Friday...Café liégeois


recipe and photo from here

Bonjour  from a chilly SW France,

This week's recipe is an easy one and also a very popular dessert in France.

Café liégeois


Preparation time : 20 minutes (+ 5 minutes in the freezer)
Serves: 6   

 Ingredients


Method


1. Beat the cream into whipped cream. When it is firm, add the icing sugar while beating.
2. Put the whipped cream in a pastry bag with a nozzle. Store in the fridge.
3. Prepare 6 scoops of coffee ice cream in a plate and keep in the freezer.
4. Before serving, pour the coffee in tall cups. Add one coffee ice cram scoop, then a cinnamon biscuit. Garnish with whipped cream and sprinkle cocoa powder. Serve immediately.

bonne fin de semaine à tous, Leeann x


Wednesday, 30 November 2016

The brocante bug..


I think that the brocante is one of those things where you either love it or hate it, there is nothing in between. It rerminds me of when we moved to India and people said the same thing about Mumbai.
It was one of the best years of my life and I learnt a lot from living and working in India. We lived in the Taj Mahal hotel and it was there that I came to appreciate the work and love that goes into running a hotel.

Back to the brocante bug...French Boyfriend & I spent Sunday in beautiful Bordeaux. There were antiques partout as there was the weekly flea market taking place along with the  Antiques fair that takes place twice a year at the Place des Quinconces, which is one of the largest city squares in Europe (approximately 31 acres or 126,000 m²)

The weather was fabulous, not a cloud in the sky. There was over 200 stands and it is a great place for anyone looking to buy good quality antiques or vintage objects.

 Whilst in Bordeaux I stopped at my favorite shop to buy some of my favorites...half of which, managed to survive the trip home.

 
Bordeaux was recently voted the place to be and it really was buzzing on Sunday.

We are both looking forward to returning to this fabulous city to carry out another of our favourite past times, "shopping". 
This is a word that the French love to use and it makes me smile when I hear it mixed in with French.

à demain, Leeann x


Friday, 25 November 2016

French food Friday...chutney de figue



recipe from here

Bonjour mes belles,

I defrosted a large quantity of figs and realised that I would have to do something quickly but what, I asked myself. I am not a huge fan of fig jam but I love fig confit. The trouble is that we eat a lot of fig confit and I feel like a change so I decided that I would try and make chutney.
Yesterday I made a batch using the recipe below which has rasins and onions in and it has turned out okay.
I have another couple of kilos of figs that are taking up a lot of space in the congélateur so I am thinking about making a port and fig chutney which we could eat with cheese or pork. It may even make for an unusual gift for our French friends depending on how it turns out.

Here is the recipe that I used yesterday and once I have tried the other one, I will let you know. Note you can use dried figs if you do not have fresh ones.

Fig Chutney

brown sugar: a generous cup (250g)
figs: 8 large (about 2 1/2 pounds / 1kg)
malt vinegar: 2/3 cup (150ml)
cider vinegar: 2/3 cup (150ml)
onions: 9 ounces (250g), chopped
golden raisins: 9 ounces (250g)
salt: 1 teaspoon
allspice: 1 teaspoon
black peppercorns: half a teaspoon, cracked
coriander seeds: 1 teaspoon


Warm the sugar in a bowl in a low oven. Coarsely chop the figs, removing any tough stems as you go, then put them in a large stainless steel or enameled saucepan. Add the vinegars, onions, raisins, salt, allspice, cracked peppercorns, and coriander seeds, then bring to a boil. Simmer for thirty minutes, until the onions and fruit are soft.
Stir in the sugar. Bring slowly to a boil, then turn the heat down so that the chutney bubbles gently. Cook for ten to fifteen minutes, with the occasional stir to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan, until the mixture is thick and jamlike. Bottle in sterilized jars while hot and seal.
Makes a couple of jars. Note when I made it yesterday I had 6 jam jars worth so it depends on the size of jars that you are planning on using.

bon vendredi à tous, Leeann x

Monday, 21 November 2016

The hunt is on...


Bonjour mes belles,

I hope that you all had a fabulous weekend. Yesterday was lovely and sunny and a perfect day to be hunting for tresors.  The Dordogne was looking particularly splendid yesterday, basking in the lovely sunshine.

As you know Autumn is one of my favorite seasons and you will understand why after looking at these photos.


A lovely day for a walk along the river or in our case, a browse in one of our favourite antique warehouses...
The shop is overflowing with treasures and you never know what you may find...
Looking at all of these fabulous garden objects makes me wish we had a garden. 


Inside the warehouse is literally overflowing with treasures and I love the fact that you never know what you are going to stumble across as you move between the aisles of furniture. 
 

Arranging objects is an art form and one that the French Antique dealers do well and have been doing for a very long time.
I love this sign and forgot to ask how much it was but I will ask when we return at the end of the week.


So many tresors and unfortunately we did not have a lot of time to spend here but our next visit will be a more leisurely one as we will have more time and space in the car...

Excellent lundi et merveilleuse semaine à vous tous Leeann x


Saturday, 19 November 2016

French food Friday...Linzele



 recipe and photo from here

Bonjour mes belles,

Sorry for the lateness of this post but I hope the delay is worth it. I am not sure about you but I have started to prepare for Christmas. This recipe was recommened by a friend who lives in Alsace as these biscuits are a speciality in this part of France.




Linzele ou boules de Linze

 
For 25 biscuits

Ingredients
- 250g of flour 
- 75 g of sugar 
- 125 g ground almonds
- 125 g of butter 
- 1 beaten egg
- 1 tsp baking powder 
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon of  cocoa powder 
- 75g of raspberry jam

MethodIn a bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon and ground almonds. 
Mix well and make a well.In the middle, pour the soft butter and the beaten egg mixture. Mix well until a ball is formed. 
Wrap the dough in cling film and leave it in the refrigerator for 2 hours.Preheat your oven to 180°C. 
Remove the dough from the fridge and form balls of about 20g. 
Place on a baking sheet lined with a sheet of baking paper.
Flatten balls with your finger forming a hollow. Garnish with a little raspberry jam.
Bake and cook for 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.You can store them in a metal box.

très bon week-end à tous, Leeann x