Friday, 30 December 2016

French Food Friday...

recipe and photo from here

On Christmas day we had tiramisu as a dessert. Although it is Italian, I think the French love it as much as the Italians. 
Note any plain type of biscuits will do, you could even use chocolate biscuits it is really up to you.
The French tend to use speculoos but the recipe works with most biscuits.

I love the way that the French use a lot of glasses to serve desserts, our hostess did the same on Christmas day and they really looked the part.

Ingredients (for 8 people):

- 500 g mascarpone- 5 eggs- 100 g caster sugar- 200 g Italian biscuits "Pavesini"- 300 mls of very warm coffee- 30 g of unsweetened cocoa powder

Break the eggs, separate the whites from the yolks in two bowls. Add the sugar to the yolks and whisk until the mixture whitens and forms ribbons when the whisk is lifted, then cmbine with the mascarpone. 

Whisk egg whites with a pinch of salt.Carefully mix the mascarpone mixture and the egg whites together  with a spatula, mixing from the bottom up.
In a dish, put a layer of biscuits, then a layer of the mascarpone mixture. Then another layer of biscuits, and finish with a layer of mascarpone. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.Just before serving, sprinkle with sifted cocoa.

très bonne fin d'année, Leeann x

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

fabulously festive...

Bonjour from a chilly SW France,

We spent Christmas day with our French friends and what a fabulous day it was. Champagne flowed as did the conversation and there were presents galore.

There was even a creche which was missing a certain baby....

French boyfriend did very well when it came to wrapping my present....
and all I need to do now is decide on where to hang it....

Enjoy the last few days of 2016...

à très bientot, Leeann x

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Joyeux Noël à tous...

Wishing you all and your loved ones a Joyeux Noël...

amicalement, Leeann x

Friday, 23 December 2016

French food Friday...Champagne cocktail

photo and recipe from here

I think that when today is over, this is exactly the way we are going to finish the day. It is all go here and there is still a lot left to do before the big day arrives.

bottle of chilled champagne
frozen raspberries

It does not get much easier than this.Place a frozen raspberry in a champagne glass and top with champagne...

A votre santé ! Leeann x

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

The count down has started...

Not many sleeps to go now and I am sure that the week is going to pass quickly.  It is chilly here but no snow yet...

Wishing you all a fabulous week, Leeann x

Friday, 16 December 2016

French Food Friday...French Almond Cake

recipe and photo from here

Bonjour mes belles,

I need to whip up a quick gateau and this recipe is one of my favourites when I do not have a lot of time.

French Almond Cake
An incredibly delicious cake and it's incredibly easy! One-bowl, no-mixer, just-a -few-minutes-to-throw together!
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: French
  • ¾ cup plain yogurt or Greek yogurt
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup almond flour (meal)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ¾ cup sunflower oil, grape seed or canola oil
  • For the glaze:
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar plus more for sprinkling, if desired
  • ½ cups sliced almonds
  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F (175˚C). Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with baking spray, rub inside surface of pan with a paper towel to cover evenly with the spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper and spray parchment paper lightly. Set aside.
  2. Place almonds in a small baking pan. Spread to a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes or until just beginning to turn pale golden brown, stirring every 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  3. Combine the orange juice, powdered sugar and extracts in a small bowl for the glaze. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Cover and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, sugar, and eggs, stirring until well blended.
  5. Add the all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, salt and extracts, mixing to just combine.
  6. Add the oil and stir well. Don't worry, at first it will seem to separate, but keep stirring till smooth. This might take 2-3 minutes.
  7. Pour the batter into prepared pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the cake feels springy to the touch in the center and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cover loosely with foil if getting too brown near the end and cake is still not done. Be careful not to over bake. Cool cake on a wire rack for 10 minutes; then turn it out of the pan onto the rack.
  8. While cake is still warm, using a pastry brush, gently pat the glaze all over the cake. Just keep going over the cake till the glaze is gone. Some of it will drip off, but most of it will soak in. Sprinkle almonds over top of cake while glaze is wet and pat gently. Allow cake to cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired and serve.
très bon vendredi à tous, Leeann x

Monday, 12 December 2016

Brocante finds...

Bonjour mes belles,

I hope you had a fabulous weekend.Ours was a busy but productive one which finished with a cosy night in. We watched la belle et la bete film (beauty and the beast) which I adored.Loved everything about this film, it really was a visual feast and I loved the details in the set design.
 As promised here are some photos of the tresors that I found last weekend. First up is an antique framed print which is 18th century and French Boyfriend could not believe that I found this and this is much more his style than mine. I tend to pick things because I like them whereas he picks his based on age and history.

Next up is a vintage tin, which I picked because I liked the romantic scene on the lid.

Not really sure why I bought these louis XVI style wall lights but they appealed to me and appeared to be calling my name. Perhaps for our next project, we will have to wait and see....

Another purchase was these antique monogrammed napkins which are immaculate and I am now wishing that I purchased more for this particular seller as she had some beautiful linen on offer and all was immaculate which saves me the time of soaking, removing marks then washing and ironing.

Wishing you all a fabulous and productive week,  Leeann x

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


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


  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   



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

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