Friday, 30 August 2013

French Food Friday...Crustless Leek and Gruyère Quiche


recipe and photo from here
 
Bonjour mes belles,

For those of you that like quiche but would like a lighter option, here is a quiche recipe sans the crust....

Crustless Leek and Gruyère Quiche

  • 1 pound(s) (about 3 medium) leeks
  • 1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) pepper
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cup(s) whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon(s) cornstarch
  • 4 ounce(s) Gruyère cheese, shredded (1 cup) 


Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 10-inch quiche dish or 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie plate. Cut off roots and trim dark green tops from leeks. Discard any tough outer leaves. Cut each leek lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide slices. Rinse leeks thoroughly in large bowl of cold water, swishing to remove sand. With hands, transfer leeks to colander to drain, leaving sand in bottom of bowl. Repeat process, changing water several times, until all sand is removed. Shake colander several times to remove excess water from leeks.
  2. In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil on medium 1 minute. Add leeks and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cook 12 to 14 minutes or until leeks are tender and browned, stirring frequently. Transfer leeks to prepared quiche dish and spread evenly.
  3. Meanwhile, in bowl, with wire whisk, beat eggs, milk, cornstarch, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper until well blended.
  4. Pour egg mixture over leeks in dish. Sprinkle with Gruyère. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes.

...bon appetite à tous, Leeann x

Monday, 26 August 2013

week-end tresors...


Bonjour from a cooler SW France,

For the first time in what seems like a very long time, we saw some rain yesterday and fortunately for us, it arrived in the afternoon so we were able to  do some treasure hunting in the morning.

First find was this lovely vintage goblet from Lourdes. It is made from pewter and has three images from lourdes on it...



You will find it here.


Next up was this antique French Old Paris (Porcelaine de paris or Vieux Paris) porcelain statue which depicts the Virgin Mary.



 
Typical of the tradition of Old Paris porcelain, gillded lines highlight the curves of the statue.


The interior of the statue features a stamped number.  It is in very good condition with the exception of some loss of the gilded highlighting and she has lost a small part oif her hand on the right hand side which is not noticeable unless you look closely.
Date: circa 1880. You will find her here.

From the same seller, was this vintage holy water font which is a souvenir from lourdes and has marked on it "sir de Lourdes" which translates to souvenir from Lourdes.

You can find more details here.

The final find of the day was this fabulous hand wall light which comes from a house in Paris and is the last thing that you expect to find in country France. It is very decoative and would look fabulous in a hall or a powder room.


Think that about covers all of yesterdays tresors, back to work I must go.

Je vous souhaite un bon début de semaine et un tout doux Lundi, Leeann x

Saturday, 24 August 2013

bon week-end....


photo from here

I just wanted to drop by and say très bon week-end à tous,

Leeann x

Friday, 23 August 2013

French Food Friday...Sweet Wine Sabayon with Berries



recipe and photo from here 

Bonjour mes belles,

This week's recipe is a nice easy one and one that I use when I am running short of time......
 


Sweet Wine Sabayon with Berries


4 large eggs, at room temperature 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar 3/4 cup sweet wine, such as Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, at room temperature 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest 2 cups mixed fresh berries Mint sprigs, for garnish


  1. Pour 2 inches of water into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Prepare an ice water bath in a medium bowl. Place 4 large wine glasses in the freezer to chill.
  2. Crack the egg yolks into a large stainless steel bowl. Add the sugar and whisk until pale and slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and orange zest. Set the bowl over the boiling water and whisk constantly over moderately low heat until the sabayon is thick and has doubled in volume, about 8 minutes. Immediately set the bowl in the ice water bath and let cool, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
  3. Spoon the cold sabayon into the chilled wineglasses and top with the mixed berries. Garnish the sabayon with the mint sprigs and serve. 
  ....bon appetit à tous, Leeann x

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

busy, busy, busy...


Bonjour mes belles,

I cannot believe that it is already mercredi, I hope that the rest of the week goes at a more gentler pace.....

This morning has been spent rearranging my boutique which has been neglected but will be back to normal come September with lots of lovely arrivals for the forthcoming festive season.

I had some lavender in the boutique which was taking some some space in a vase that I needed to put some other items in, it now has a new home in the entrance of Maison No. 20 and the hall smells lovely and reminds me of being in Provence. 



A private collection of antique rosaries arrived this morning so I  have been busy taking photos so that I can start putting them on the shop, they really are stunning and a joy to photograph.


You will find details for this one here and more will be listed during the afternoon.

 I had better get back to work, I have not forgotten about the photo of the wasp waisted mannequin, she is waiting patiently to have her photo taken. 

Also merci to all of you that inquired about the fabulous 1930"s vintage knife rests, they are sold and now on their way to their new home in Australia.


à très bientot, Leeann x

Monday, 19 August 2013

latest finds...



Bonjour mes amies,

What a fabulous week-end it was, with everything happening at the same time.

We kicked off the week-end with a dinner party with friends from Antibes and FB did our region proud serving duck, foie gras along with some fabulous local wines.

The weekend ended with FB purchasing an 18th century couch last night, which was far too big to fit inside the car and as a result had to be strapped to the roof rack. You can imagine the looks that we got from locals especially in one particular village where there was a fete taking place and we were obliged to drive through it!

As promised here are some photos of the objects that I found on Thursday.

First up is this lovely mannequin which is now at home in one of our apartments at Maison No.20





Next up is this French clock which is very decorative and is in perfect working order.




Love the detail on this, the couple are so charming.

 
You can details here.

Next up was 20 of these vintage French Madeleine tins which are great for making madeleines or using as candle holders.



There are two sets of 6 and 1 set of 8 available.



You will find them here.

Looking very at home is this lovely deer's head, not everyone's cup of tea I know, but they always sell well.


Other treasures included an antique print of a hot air balloon over Versailles which is now hanging in one of the bedrooms in apartment deux. Note this is not the best of photos but at least it gives you an idea of what it looks like.



FB mentioned that the stand opposite him was selling some pearl necklaces which would be perfect for the deers head alias Madame Biche so I raced across to take a look.

I found a couple that are perfect for her and at the same time bought these.....





For those of you that do not know what these are, they are knife rests or porte couteau in French as the French do not change knifes between courses so these are useful for dinner parties or when FB's mother comes for lunch.

My favourite find of the day was a wasp waisted mannequin but she is at FB's so will take a photo later in the day. Needless to sday I was very happy with this find as I have waited 6 years to find one!

très bonne semaine à tous, Leeann x



Friday, 16 August 2013

French Food Friday...Mocha Pots de Crème


 recipe and photo from here

Bonjour mes belles,

With yesterday being a public holiday in France and our village holding a vide-grenier, which normally only take place on Sundays, has resulted in a very disorientated "moi".

I found a few treasures, including a couple of fabulous antique mannequins, I promise to reveal details over the next day or so.

Love the word "mocha" and as a lover of both chocolate and cafe, this recipe really appeals to me and hope that you like it as much as I do....

 

Mocha Pots de Crème



 Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup(s) heavy cream 
  • 3 tablespoon(s) sugar
  • 45 grams unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) instant espresso powder
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream, for garnish
  • Chocolate shavings (optional), for garnish

Directions
  1. Heat oven to 300 degrees F. Put on a kettle of water to boil. In a medium saucepan, bring cream and sugar to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; add chocolate and espresso powder. Let stand 1 minute; stir until chocolate melts and coffee dissolves. Whisk in yolks and vanilla until mixture is blended and smooth.
  2. Pour chocolate mixture into 2 (6-ounce) heart-shaped or round ramekins or custard cups. Place ramekins in an 8-inch-square baking pan. Pour hot water into pan so that it comes halfway up sides of ramekins.
  3. Bake 25 minutes or until almost set in centers. Remove ramekins to a wire rack; cool slightly. Serve warm and soft, or refrigerate up to 1 day. Garnish with dollops of whipped cream and chocolate shavings, if desired.
  
 ...bon appetit à tous, Leeann x
 

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

merci Coco...

 

Coco Chanel was a head-strong French woman who definitely marched to the beat of her own drum, and her legacy continues to inspire us as do her fabulous quotes.



This particular quote made me smile......


Others include:


If you were born without wings, do nothing to prevent them from growing....

My life didn’t please me, so I created my life.

Great loves too must be endured.

How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone.


My life didn't please me, so I created my life

Since everything is in our heads, we had better not lose them....

The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.

There are people who have money and people who are rich....

 A woman has the age she deserves...


The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.

A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.

 You live but once; you might as well be amusing.

Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.

You can be gorgeous at thirty, charming at forty, and irresistible for the rest of your life.

 

Mademoiselle Chanel, your legacy lives on and merci for continuing to inspire women, young and old all over the world. 

amicalement, Leeann x

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

makes me happy...


Bonsoir mes belles,

Last time that we spoke I was off to buy flowers. Unfortunately it was a lot hotter than what I thought it would be and standing in a hot house when it is 35 degrees inside and close to 50 degrees in the hot house is not French Boyfriend's idea of fun.....especially when Kiwi girlfriend cannot make up her mind as to which orchid she wants, one with buds or un avec plus de fleurs.



This morning was a busy one in the shop in Castillonnes and we are now preparing for the vide grenier that is taking place here in Eymet this Thursday followed by the Brocante in Castillonnes this Saturday. Unfortunately I will be busy looking after guests so it is FB that will be looking after the stand on Thursday and then our shop on Saturday.

I did not have a chance to take a photo of the buffet this morning but will do so the next time that I am in the shop, it really is an unusual piece but you will have to take my word for it.

I just walked into my bedroom and had to smile when I saw the orchid that I finally chose yesterday next to one of the words that I have displayed on my bedroom wall...."bonheur" happiness....most appropriate as when I look at my lovely plant I feel happy.

What flowers make you happy, dites moi...

très bonne semaine à toutes et tous, Leeann x 


Monday, 12 August 2013

week-end tresors...

photo from here

Bonjour from a very sunny SW France,

I hope that you all had a fabulous weekend and that you found time to relax....

Yesterday we managed to get out for a spot of treasure hunting albeit there was not a lot of treasure to be had.

I bought a fabulous buffet which we delivered to our shop and I have not had a chance to photograph it but will do so tomorrow as the shop is open tomorrow. It really is a lovely piece and you could even use it has a shop counter if you wanted to.

Other treasures included two stunning baguette baskets very similar to those shown in the photo above. You will find more details here.








A fabulous morroccan style platter which would be perfect for serving tea etc.



 A close up of the gorgeous detail.......


 
A favourite find was this whiter than white damsk table cloth which is immaculate and it is rare to find one like this, the monogramme is stunning as is the detail on the table cloth.




It measures 220 cms x 150 cms and is perfect for a rectangular shaped table. You will find details here.

I am off to buy some flowers.....

à très bientot, Leeann x




 



Saturday, 10 August 2013

bon week-end à tous..

Ⓒ Terry Richarson

Just wanted to say "très bon week-end à tous".

Leeann x

Friday, 9 August 2013

French Food Friday...Pear tarte Tatin

 

 photo and recipe from here

Bonjour from a cooler SW France,

The last few weeks have been hot and the last thing that I have felt like doing us using the oven more than is absolutely necessary.

We have had a storm which has brought a cooler change so I am in the mood for using the oven and this recipe is a favourite of both mine and FB..

Pear Tarte Tatin

Ingredients

  • 8 pears
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 2 star anise
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1 large cinnamon stick
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 500g block all-butter puff pastry


Method

  1. Core the pears, then peel as neatly as possible and halve. If you like, they can be prepared up to a day ahead and kept in the fridge, uncovered, so that they dry out.
  2. Tip the sugar, butter, star anise, cardamom and cinnamon into an ovenproof frying pan, about 20cm wide, and place over a high heat until bubbling. Shake the pan and stir the buttery sauce until it separates and the sugar caramelises to a toffee colour.
  3. Lay the pears in the pan, then cook in the sauce for 10-12 mins, tossing occasionally, until completely caramelised. Don’t worry about them burning – they won’t – but you want to caramelise them as much as possible. Splash in the brandy and let it flambé, then set the pears aside.
  4. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Roll the pastry out to the thickness of a £1 coin. Using a plate slightly larger than the top of the pan, cut out a circle, then press the edges of the circle of pastry to thin them out.
  5. When the pears have cooled slightly, arrange them in the pan, cut side up, in a floral shape, with the pears around the edge pointing inwards. Rest the cinnamon stick on the top in the centre, with the cardamom pods scattered around.
  6. Drape the pastry over the pears, then tuck the edges down the pan sides and under the fruit (see Gordon’s guide). Pierce the pastry a few times, then bake for 15 mins. If a lot of juice bubbles up the side of the pan, pour it off at this stage (see guide). Reduce oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 and bake for 15 mins more until the pastry is golden. Leave the tart to stand for 10 mins, then invert it carefully onto a serving dish.
 bon appetit à tous, Leeann

Thursday, 8 August 2013

une bonne idée...

photo from here

Bonjour mes belles,

What a  bonne idée this is. Not only is it practical, it also looks fabulous.....

à demain, Leeann x

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

week-end tresors..and baby bird update


Bonjour à tous,

Apologies for the lack of post yesterday, I had great intentions for writing my post but got side tracked with looking after guests together with looking after baby bird. I have decided to call him "Edmund" after Sir Edmund Hillary the famous NZ mountaineer as despite being very young he loves to try and climb where ever he can. The first night I thought it was a good idea to put him in a vintage bird cage but as this was larger and he tiny, it was a dangerous place and he managed to get himself stuck in a variety of places.

End result Edmund is living in a cardboard box on a vintage table napkin and still likes to climb the folds before settling in the middle. 

He appears to be okay but it is early days yet and I still have yet to find an association that can take and look after him better than we can as we are not qualified but are trying to do the best that we can.

A few days ago we have an adult hirondelle dead on the footpath which we now believe was his mother and think that the nest may have been destroyed, end result an orphaned wee baby hirondelle.   

Weekend tresors were a bit on the sparse side and I have not yet had a chance to photograph all the items but will share a couple that I have photographed with you now.

The first treasure of the day was this blog, which despite missing a piece, I adore and have it displayed in our kitchen........



The last tresor was one that we both spotted in the morning but neither of us purchased eraly Sunday morning. later in teh day I mentioned to French Boyfriend that I spotted an item that had taken my fancy but did not purchase it. We decided to return to the brocante and I quickly rushed to the vendors stand, where he was in the process of packing up. Much to my delight, object of desire was still there and I felt that it was sad to leave "him" there.

He is not at all French but as a kiwi I felt drawn to him despite him being on the skinny side as I explained to the vendor he was more French than All Black, who agreed but replied that as a kiwi he was meant for me.

We think that he was carved in Africa but that is as far as it goes. End result he is standing in kitchen and I have no idea what I will do with him....seems to be the theme of my week so far, baby bird plus lonely looking rugby player....


très bonne  journée à tous, Leeann x

Monday, 5 August 2013

arrived today...



Bonjour mes belles,

My wee boutique  is full of boxes as the first of the Fabulously French Christmas candles order has arrived along with a few other items. Result my petite boutique is full of boxes and to top matters off, French Boyfriend has arrived with a baby bird that he found on the footpath and cannot find the nest.....so I have spent the last hour or so making a makeshift nest for him/her whilst French Boyfriend tries to find a real nest in the village.

There is never a dull moment at our house as you can well imagine.

I thought that I would share a photo of  a set of canvas wall art that has arrived......


 
We only have one set and I think that they would look great in a kitchen. the colour is taupe and as you all know by now, this is a favourite colour of mine.

You can see a close up of the detail here....

Back to baby bird minding I must go, I just hope that FB finds a nest quickly as we are not really equipped to look after these sorts of emergencies......

très bonne semaine à toutes et tous, Leeann x

p.s. found a few treasures yesterday, will reveal all tomorrow!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

très bon week-end à tous....



Bonjour from a festive SW France,

It is that time of the year with the holiday season in full swing and the biggest decision required  is where to go and what to do......so many thngs  to choose from.

The medieval festival is taking place in Eymet today and tomorrow. It finishes with a fabulous medieval banquet in the square with entertainment including a fire show.....

très bon week-end à tous, Leeann x



French Food Friday - Lemon and blueberry madeleines.

recipe and photo from here Bonjour mes belles, It is time to get your madeleine tins out as I have found a fabulous and very yummy ...