Friday, 22 May 2015

French Food Friday...Roquefort salad with warm croutons & lardons

photo and recipe from here

Bonjour mes belles,

After a morning of rushing around, I managed to fit in a quick visit to the bibliothèque this afternoon where I found a Jamie Oliver cook book. 
It is fabulous and full of recipes from Morocco, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Greece and France.
Not only is it full of fabulous recipes but the photos taken in each country are stunning so even if you do not like cooking, you will love looking at the photos.

 Roquefort salad with warm croutons & lardons

Serves 4
  • olive oil
  • 250 g piece higher-welfare smoked bacon, rind removed
  • 2 thick slices sourdough bread, cut into 1cm pieces
  • 4 large handfuls lamb's lettuce, watercress or rocket, washed and spun dry
  • 2 large handfuls radicchio, washed and spun dry
  • 1 large handful shelled walnut halves, sliced
  • 1 bunch fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 100 g Roquefort cheese
  • For the dressing

  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Put a large frying pan on a high heat, and once hot, add a good couple of lugs of olive oil. Cut your bacon into thick 1cm lardons (have a look at the picture – that's roughly the size your croutons and bacon should be), and add to the pan. Fry, stirring occasionally, for around 3 minutes, or until you've got a good bit of colour on the bacon and a lot of the fat has rendered out. Turn the heat down a little and add your bread to the pan, making sure you spread the croutons out so they take on some colour. Fry for another 3 minutes, or until they've sucked up all the wonderful flavour and are lovely, crisp and golden.

Put the extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and a good pinch of salt and pepper into a clean jam jar. Put the lid on and give it a shake, then have a taste and make sure you've got the balance right. You want it to be slightly too acidic at this stage, as you'll get quite a bit of saltiness from the bacon and French dressings tend to be quite sharp.

Once your dressing is made, get everyone around the table so they're ready to tuck in as soon as the salad is ready. Put your salad leaves on a big platter, tear in the radicchio, then pour over that wonderful, thick dressing. Scatter over most of your walnuts and chives and all the croutons and lardons. Quickly mix it all up with your clean hands so that every single leaf is coated.

Use the tip of a knife to crumble off little nuggets of Roquefort and let them fall straight on to your salad. Finish by scattering over the rest of the walnuts and chives from a height, and tuck in.
bon appetit à tous, Leeann x 

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

In the mood to decorate...

Bonsoir mes belles,

Our latest project is nearing completion and I am in the mood to decorate.

I am looking forward to hanging mirrors and putting up curtains...

This weekend we have a grand vide-grenier taking place in our village on Sunday.

French Boyfriend is having a stand as per normal whereas I will spend the morning hunting for treasure.

très bonne semaine à tous, Leeann x

Friday, 15 May 2015

vendredi fleurs...

Bonjour mes belles,

What a lovely surprise for me this morning when I walked into one of our apartments this morning to carry out my "maid" duties.

Looking fabulous were these 3 lovely peonies basking in the Spring sunshine...

My favourite flowers and it looks like they are also a favourite of  our lovely Japanese guest that we have staying with us.

bonne fin de semaine à tous, Leeann x

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

a little bit busy...

Bonjour mes belles,

You will have to excuse the lack of posts but it is a bit hectic here as we are trying to get our latest project finished as we have a deadline that is fast approaching.

Five metre ceiling and walls may look fabulous but they are not the easiest when it comes to installing light fittings and  I have my fingers crossed that the curtain rail goes up without a hitch...

Wishing you all a très bonne semaine, hope that it is a fabulous one....Leeann x

Friday, 8 May 2015

French Food Friday...Hollandaise sauce

photo and recipe from here
Bonjour mes belles,
There is an abundance of asparagus at the moment, everywhere we go we see asparagus or asperges as it is called in French.
We normally eat the tips with vinaigrette and use the rest to make an omelette. As a change this week I made a hollandaise sauce which was very yummy...a bit tricky but well worth the effort.


 Hollandaise sauce 


  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 2 eggs, yolks only
  • 125g/4oz butter
  • lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste

Preparation method

  1. Put the vinegar in a small pan with the peppercorns and bay leaf. Reduce the vinegar over a high heat until there is only 1 tbsp left. Strain the peppercorns and the bay leaf from this reduction.
  2. Put the egg yolks in a food processor with the vinegar reduction.
  3. Gently melt the butter so that the butter solids fall to the bottom of the saucepan.
  4. Turn the food processor on and slowly pour the butter on to the egg yolks with the motor still running. The sauce will start to thicken. When only the butter solids are left, stop.
  5. If the sauce is too thick, add a little hot water.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper and a little lemon juice.
très bon fin de semaine à tous, Leeann x

Monday, 4 May 2015


photo from here
Bonsoir mes belles,
It has been a very busy weekend and the week is set to be much of the same. We visited 5 vide greniers over the long weekend which were disappointing mainly due to the weather which meant a lot of sellers did not fancy getting out of bed to setup a stand as the weather forecast was predicting rain for most of the week-end. Friday we got drenched and we returned empty handed.
Yesterday luck was on my side and I picked up a couple of vintage club arm chairs which are similar to the ones that you see in the above photo. Unfortunately mine are in not as good a condition and I think that I may end up recovered the cushions and hope to save the rest.
I have not had a chance to take a photo as we have been busy with guests coming and going but hope to take a photo tomorrow.
Very exciting for me as I have been searching for a long time and they are expensive as everyone wants them as they are fashionable both here in France and abroad.
I saw them and paid quickly as there were three dealers behind me and told the seller that I would be back to collect.
When I returned there was quite a crowd of dealers admiring them so I am feeling blessed that I appeared just as the seller was setting up his stand...
Fingers crossed that I find more treasure this weekend coming....
très bonne semaine a tous,
Leeann - a very tired but happy kiwi living in la belle France xx

Friday, 1 May 2015

Joyeux Premier Mai...

Je vous envoie ce petit brin de muguet pour qu'il vous porte Bonheur...

I am sending you a piece of lily of the valley to bring you happiness...

amicalement, Leeann x