Wednesday, 3 September 2014

missing Najac...



Bonjour from a sunny Eymet,

I woke up this morning missing Najac and the lovely Chateau that we stayed in, situated in the nearby village of Lunac.

Bit of a contrast having to get up and prepare breakfast for guests as opposed to getting up out of a fabulous medieval bedroom...
 

and descending the fabulous well worn stone stairs to a stunning room where you are waited on.....



The views were amazing as the chateau sits high on the hill and this is the view that greeted me every morning when I opened the shutters....

Merci encore to the adorable Michel & Marie-Chantal, we really enjoyed our stay and hope to return later in the year.

Note the chateau is for sale should any of you  be looking to buy one.  You will find more details on the chateau here.

I am off to do some work but will be back later to share some photos of the magical village of Najac with you.....


à plus tard, Leeann x

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

a fabulous couple of days...



Bonjour mes belles,

We have just come back from spending a couple of days away and visited the fabulous village of  Saint-Cirq-Lapopie which is situated in the Lot department and is about an hour and half's drive from us. It is a member of the Les Plus Beaux Villages de France and really is a stunning village to visit as it is perched high on the hill and lot river flows below.


From here we then drove to our destination, which was a medieval chateau situated near the magical village of Najac.

Tomorrow I will share some photos of Najac and the chateau where we stayed....

Back to unpacking my suitcase I go, I do not like this part as it means that the vacance has well and truly come to an end.

à demain, Leeann x

Friday, 29 August 2014

French Food Friday...Individual plum tartes tatin


photo and recipe from here


Bonjour mes belles,

Apologies for the lack of posts this week, it has been another busy week.

I am happy that August is coming to a close as it is always a hectic month for us and I cannot wait for September when things return to normal.

It is the start of the harvest season here in SW France and it is a nice time to be here as there really is an abundance of fruit available locally.

I love plums and am always on the lookout for a new recipe and this is exactly the recipe that I was looking for. A simple but chic dessert.....

Individual Plum Tartes Tatin


Makes: 12
Preparation time:  25 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

You will need
100g sugar
50g tbsp butter
6 ripe plums
60g golden marzipan
Plain flour, for dusting
375g all-butter puff pastry (thawed if frozen)
Custard or whipped cream, to serve
 
Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4. Put the sugar and butter in a small saucepan and warm over gentle heat, until the sugar dissolves and then allow it to caramelize and turn golden brown, taking care that it does not burn. Remove from the heat immediately and put a spoonful of caramel into each hole of a greased 12-hole muffin pan.
2. Cut the plums in half, and remove the stones. Place one plum half, cut-side up, in each hole of the pan. Break the marzipan into 12 pieces of equal size and roll them into balls. Place one ball into each plum, where the stone was.
3. On a flour-dusted surface, roll the pastry out to a thickness of three millimetres. Stamp out 12 rounds with a round nine-centimetre cutter. Cover each plum with a pastry round, pressing the pastry tightly into the holes. Bake the tarts in the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until the pastry is crisp and the plums are soft. Remove from the oven, leave to cool for a few minutes, then remove each tatin with a spoon and invert. Serve the tatins warm or cold with cream or custard.
 
...bon appetit à tous, Leeann x

Monday, 25 August 2014

bonjour d'Eymet




Bonjour mes belles,

I could not resist taking a photo of this fabulous 2CV that was parked outside of the old chateau in our village.

Today was a fabulous day, nice and sunny and perfect for commencing work on our new project which involving knocking down walls and removing an existing bathroom.

The difference was that it did not involve me and I for one was happy as it meant that I could concentrate on looking after our guests.

Very satisfying to finally start work on OUR new baby as it has been a long time in the making....
 
We have just opened a nice cold bottle of champagne, la vie en France est pas mal....
 
très bonne semaine à toutes et tous !  Leeann x

Friday, 22 August 2014

French Food Friday...Hot chocolate soufflé


recipe and photo from here


Bonjour mes belles,

I am not sure about you but I am in the mood for some chocolate.
Here is the just the thing to kick off the weekend...

Hot chocolate soufflé


Serves: 6
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes


You will need
Unsalted butter, for greasing
125g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
2 tsp dark rum (optional)
2 tbsp crème fraîche
4 eggs, separated, plus 2 egg whites
Pinch of salt
Icing sugar, for dusting
 
Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6 and grease six ramekin dishes. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the surface of the water does not touch the bowl. Stir in the rum, if using. Remove from the heat and add the crème fraîche, then the egg yolks.
2. In a large, clean, dry bowl, whisk all the egg whites and the salt to soft peaks. Fold one-quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remaining whites.
3. Fill the prepared ramekins to the top with the mixture, then clean the rims using your finger and thumb. Place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until nicely risen. Dust with icing sugar and serve immediately.
TIP
For a delicious party trick, serve your soufflés with an ice-cream drop. Before you make the soufflés, scoop out six balls of good-quality vanilla ice cream and place on a freezer-proof plate.
Keep in the freezer until ready to serve. When serving the soufflés at the table, drop an ice-cream ball into each soufflé.
Recipe: Chocolat by Eric Lanlard for Taste of London
 
....bon appetit à tous, Leeann

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

bonne semaine à tous....

 
Bonjour mes belles,

It is a lovely sunny morning here in SW France and the forecast is for lots more to come. The mornings are cool so perfect for an early morning country walk and the afternoons warm and sunny....perfect for sight seeing.

I am hoping to do a bit of sight seeing myself when we take a couple of days off in September as we are off to stay in a fabulous medieval chateau, which just happens to be for sale.....just need to win the lotto between now and then.


Passez une très bonne semaine, Leeann x

Saturday, 16 August 2014

nice day for a wedding...

 
 
Bonjour mes belles,
 
What a fabulous surprise it was this morning to be greeted by lots of lovely paper lanterns swaying in the breeze, in front of the village church and chateau.


 
 
It is as if, a magic wand was waved and this is the result. All that is missing is the magic fairy dust....
 


très bon week-end  à tous, Leeann x