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Showing posts from December, 2011

Bonne année...

{photo from here}
Wishing you all a "Bonne année 2012", I hope that it is a year filled with love and happiness.
Amicalement, Leeann x

French Food Friday...Kir Royale Cocktail

My favourite champagne cocktail..... Kir Royale not only is it deliciously sophisticated, it is also simple to prepare. Cassis is the main flavour in these classic French cocktail recipes.

The drink known as Kir is produced when white wine and crème de cassis – a luscious French fruit liqueur made from blackcurrant berries. Create a Kir Royal, or Royale, by substituting Champagne for white wine creates. Both cocktails have a pleasant level of sweetness and a lovely hue.

History of Kir Cocktail Recipe
This concoction of white wine and cassis was known as blanc-cassis before Dijon mayor Felix Kir (1876-1968) gave his name to the well-liked drink. Kir was a fan of blanc-cassis and not afraid to show it. He often appeared in public holding his favourite French cocktail.

As Dijon is in the Burgundy region of France, and Burgundy produces both the white wine and the cassis that must be used to make the drink authentic, Kir’s habit could be seen as patriotic. His association thus established, K…

Fancy French chickens....

Bonjour from a chilly but sunny SW France.

I spent Christmas day with the beautiful creatures that you see above and in the photos that appear below. They belong to French Boyfriend's frere and "belle soeur". Note "belle soeur" is an expression used for sisiter in law and translates literally to beautiful sister.

When I first came to France and heard this expression I thought that it was sweet that everyone caled their sister beautiful and their brother handsome "beau".

Lunch was an amazing affair that started arround midday and finished at 7pm, what a fabulous feast that it was. Champagne started the afternoon off nicely followed by platters laden with french oysters and foie gras. The "piece de resistance" was the "Chapon" which also arrived on an even larger platter.
It is a male chicken which has had its private parts removed and as a result grows larger than normal. Enough said.....

It was delicious and came served with a type of …

Amost too good to eat...

{photo from here}

This "bûche Un Noël à la campagne", is courtesy of Pierre Hermé. The series is limited to 200 cakes only and it will feed 10/12 people depending on how hungry you are and it cost 90 euros.

I adore it but think that it would be a shame to cut it......

Joyeuses fetes a tous........Leeann x

Joyeux Noel.....

Dear Fabulously French readers,

Wishing you a very "jOYEUX nOEL". Merci beaucoup for all your comments and continued reading over the past 12 months.
I am also hugely thankful to all the creative, generous bloggers who continually inspire me with amazing ideas, I would be lost without you.
Amicalement, Leeann x

French Food Friday...Saint-jacques à l'huile d'olive vanillée

{photo and recipe from here}

Saint-jacques à l'huile d'olive vanillée

Note the recipe appears firstly in French and the English version is below the French version.
Coquilles Saint-Jacques
200 g de celeri-rave
60 g de oeufs de lump
3 gousses de vanille
10 cl de crème fleurette
1 noix de beurre
10 cl d’huile d’olive
1 grain de café
fleur de sel, poivre

Fendre en deux les gousses de vanille et les gratter. Mettre les graines et les fibres dans une petite casserole. Ajouter l’huile d’olive et le grain de café (le grain sert d’exhausteur de goûtpour la vanille). Faire chauffer sans bouillir. Laisser refroidir et recommencer trois fois. Laisser au frais une journée dans un bol filmé.
Chauffer dans une poêle 1 cuillerée à soupe d’huile d’olive, y mettre les saint-jacques salées (mais pas poivrées, car le poivre altère leurs qualités). Les colorer sur la première face, ajouter quelques noisettes de beurre pour bien les faire colorer. Retourner pour colorer l’autre face.
Tailler …

Bien sur, c'est Ladurée!

All I want for one of these fabulous cakes from Ladurée.

Three balls made ​​of a soft sponge with dark chocolate, a creamy pear and chestnut mousse.

Et ça, c’est vraiment Noël !

Hope that you are enjoying the time you have left, before the big day arrives.....Leeann x

Fabulous window display cont.....

As promised here are the photos that we took of the window display in a "Blanchisserie" in Bergerac, behind the cathedral. A blanchisserie is a place where you take your washing and they wash and iron it for you.

The first photo is a photo of the whole window...there are even cupcakes that move up and down.

Love the attention to detail and imagine that this took a lot of time to set up.

So many gorgeous characters, all of which make Christmas complete.

Unfortunately Barbie is headless in this shot, but you can catch a glimpse in the earlier photo.

This one is my favourite and I think that when the doors close, they all come alive - think of the mischief that they must get up to.....

And with less than a week to go, I think that these three gentlemen who are in the window of the neighbouring hairdresser, are busy preparing....

Je vous souhaite une semaine fabuleuse...........Leeann x

A bit of fun..Chanel Video

A bit of fun from on the photo.

A demain mes amies, Leeann x

Christmas window display sneak peak

Hope that you are having a great weekend and enjoying your last minute Christmas preparations as it is not long to go now.

I took this photo in Bergerac and it is part of a Christmas window display, I plan to show you the rest of the display tomorrow.

Amicalement from a colder and getting colder by the day, SW France

Leeann x
p.s for those of you that live locally we will be open all day tomorrow as it is the marche de noel in Eymet.

French Food Friday....Gingerbread?!

These are technically not French but I am including this recipe as I make them in France and give them to French friends as gifts at Christmas time. For me there is nothing nicer than the smell of freshly baked gingerbread wafting through the house.

3 cups (390 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar
1 large egg
2/3 cup (160 ml) unsulphured molasses/Dark Treacle (To prevent molasses from sticking to the measuring cup, first spray the cup with a non stick vegetable spray.)

2 cups (230 grams) confectioners sugar (icing or powdered sugar), sifted
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons milk or light cream

1. In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and spices.

Christmas love is...

...being in the kitchen
red velvet reindeers,
pretty fairy lights,
carols playing,
red candles flickering on the dining table,
mulled wine simmering on the stove,
gingerbread biscuits cooking in the oven,
and FBF waiting patiently for biscuits to cook.......
all reasons why I adore Christmas!

Leeann x

p.s. I will be sharing the recipe on Friday.

Good Food and Shopping for Antiques...

{photo from here}

We spent Sunday in Bordeaux as it was the last day of the Antiques fair and also the marche aux puces/flea market.
On of my favourite places to find treasure is the Passage du St Michel which is home to a range of different antique dealers.
On the ground floor is a fabulous restaurant where both the food and the decor are "vraiment super".

{photo from Le Passage St Michel Brasserie Website}
We ordered the plat du jour which was 1/2 a roast chicken with mashed potato and it was the best that I have eaten.
So if you are ever in Bordeaux and you want to hunt for treasure and afterwards eat at a restaurant amongst the treasures, you know where to go but do not tell anyone that I told you....

A demain mes amies, Leeann x

Christmas market photo...

I just wanted to say mille mercis to everybody that stopped by my stand at the Christmas market on Saturday, it was great to see you all.

A reminder of our opening hours this week, Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning 10-13h and on Sunday 10-17h as it is the Marche de Noel in Eymet.

Hope that you are all enjoying the festive season even though it is abnormally warm for December. Note Meto had advised that they may send snow next week, I hope so....

Leeann x

Christmas Concert...

A big merci beaucoup to Julie and Joel for organising a great marche de noel complete with Christmas Workshop and carol concert for the children.

It was a lot of fun and I think that the photo speaks for itself. I think that we almost enjoyed it as much as the children did, it makes me wish I was a child again.

Bon week-end a tous......Leeann x

French Food Friday......Thirteen desserts

Thirteen Desserts......

Les treize desserts de Noel is a Christmas time must for every home in Provence. Be creative and lay these thirteen ingredients out in an appetizing spread for your guests to pick at after your meal.

• Raisins
• Dried figs
• Almonds
• Hazelnuts
• Dates
• Apples
• Pears
• Oranges
• Dark nougat
• Light nougat
• Marzipan
• Brioche
• Fortified wine

Lay these thirteen desserts out on a table from Christmas Eve to December 27, in the Provencal tradition.

The thirteen treats stand in for Christ and his 12 apostles. The first four on the list represent the mendicant monastic orders: Dominicans, Franciscans, Carmelites, and Augustines, respectively.

The dates represent the safe journey from the east. The two types of nougat, which you can substitute white and dark fudge for, represent good and evil. The fortified wine represents Christ himself. According to Provencal tradition, you must sample each of the thirteen desserts if you hope to experience good luck in the coming yea…

New life for old cake tins...

{Photo Jeanne d'Arc Living}

I do not know about you, but I have a lot of old cake tins that are a little on the well used side but I do not want to throw them away.

Love this idea of using old cake tins as decorations.....merci beaucoup Jeanne d'Arc Living for the inspiration.

A demain mes belles, Leeann x

It is beginning to feel...

{maison No. 20 front door}

......a lot like Christmas. The Christmas lights have started appearing in the village and more are going up this morning.

We have started decorating at Maison No. 20 and the house even smells like Christmas. We are using lots of fresh greenery which we cut yesterday afternoon.

This afternoon a delivery of Christmas items that I have ordered from England will be arriving - most of the items are edible and are items that the French adore such as English Christmas cake and lots of mini Christmas pies.
All we need now is snow......... is it feeling like Christmas where you are? Back to preparing for this weeks Marche de Noel I go - I have lots of hearts to fill with lavander.

A tres bientot, Leeann x

Love at first sight...

Bonjour mes belles,
I hope that you had a nice weekend. Ours was another busy one which included having a stand at a local Christmas Market on Saturday and a little treasure hunting yesterday.
When we woke up yesterday it was raining so we thought that it was not worth going to a local vide grenier. Three hours later the rain had stopped so altough it was later than we intended, off we went on our mission.
As normal, we tend to lose each other as FBF stops to chat to the other dealers and I put my head down, passing each that I know with a quick Bonjour only.
As fate would have it yesterday, at the end of a long road standing alone and dirty was a girandole lamp of very large portions. Although the frame is not that old, all of the crystals that adorn her are and as you know I love crystals and find anything with crystal hard to resist.
With FBF no where to be seen nor the vendor, I stood gazing at the object of my desire, unsure what I should do next. I asked the vendor opposite where the…

French Food Friday...Boules de Neige

This month we will be focusing on recipes for Noel and I am kicking off December with a recipe for snow balls or boules de neige as they are called in French....

3 eggs
450grams flour
150 grams sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp Oil

For decorating:
500g coconut flakes
Jam - apricot or strawberry - whichever you prefer
1 soup spoon Orange Water/Fleur d'oranger

1. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
2. In a bowl whisk the eggs with the sugar. Add the oil, baking powder and flour and mix until smooth.
3. Form into balls 3cms in diameter and place on a tray lined with baking paper.
4. Place the tray in the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes.
5. In a pot heat the jam with the ortange water. Leave the balls to cool a little until just warm then place in the jam mixture, then roll in the coconut.

Note these make for a great gift either displayed as is or in paper/foil cases.

Bon appétit et a tres bon vendredi a tous....Leeann x

perfect stocking filler...Paris pocket diary

These wee tresors arrived this morning. They are pocket diaries and have a vintage map on the fromt of them and have a black elastic closure. I think that they are the perfect stocking fillers and I have put one aside to put in French Boyfriends wee stocking.Note the "wee" part as he has already had some of his presents in advance as one was too big to hide and the other necessary as he was wondering barefoot in the kitchen which was fine in the summer but not so good when it is only a few degrees in the morning. Hence he now has slippers to match last years Christmas present - nice gray coloured robe.

You can find more details on the diaries here.

And for those of you seraching for quality robes and slippers, I bought FBF's online at M&S, an English store that recently reopened it's doors in Paris and now offers an online store in French.

A demain mes belles, Leeann x