Francophile Fabric …

I decided against the baking route today – there will be more of that this weekend – and instead focussed on sewing. I found some lovely ‘francophile’ fabric yesterday and have used a small amount to make a ‘wall hanging desk tidy’ – as you do !! I’ll nip in to work tomorrow to make sure it works but it should end up with various pens, rulers, pencils, glue sticks, stickers, post-it notes etc inside:



The backing material is lovely linen and I really like the quirky style of the French inspired fabric.

Some of the stitching wouldn’t pass close inspection and the pockets are not all completely level however, I am really pleased with the end result and my desk should be a lot tidier for it.


Madelaines …

We’ve just returned from a wonderful holiday in France, to make that holiday feeling last just a little bit longer I made some madelaines – any excuse !
The recipe was from Rachel Khoo’s ‘Little Paris Kitchen’ and included the addition of a raspberry into each madelaine plus some home made lemon curd once the cakes had been removed from the oven:


It took several attempts to get the quantity of batter right – I kept putting way too much in and the cakes overflowed their moulds – I got it just about right in the end though.

These tasted lovely and light, still warm from the oven.
I wonder what I can cook tomorrow to extend that holiday feeling !

A Doodle Day …

According to Wikipedia, a ‘Triskelion’ is a ‘motif consisting of 3 interlocking spirals or three bent human legs’. It is a symbol that has been adopted by many civilisations over the past several thousand years, we however saw it seemingly everywhere, in Brittany, France.

Last week, I decided to use this symbol as the basis for a ‘zen doodle’ painting. This painting has taken longer than any other that I have done over the past 2 years and yet by working on it for an hour or so each day, I’ve been able to take my time and enjoy each aspect of the painting. It is by no means perfect, however I am pleased with my first serious attempt at this type of art:


Beautiful Brittany, Fabulous Food …

We have just arrived home after an incredible week in Brittany, Northern France. I’ve got lots of ideas for paintings, I hope to start one tomorrow. For today though, I was happy to be in my kitchen, trying to recreate some of the delicious dishes we enjoyed in France. Judging by the number of times my boys said ‘Mum, you have to make this when we get home,’ I’m going to be kept busy for quite a while!
Today, I tried to remember all of the flavours that were contained in a ‘Salade Gastonnaise’. I ate this on Monday, sitting at a table overlooking the beautiful harbour of Sainte Gustain, the port of Auray. The ingredients were (as far as I can remember): balsamic roasted tomatoes, croutons, finely sliced raw mushrooms, lettuce, parmesan cheese, air dried beef, a poached egg and boiled new potatoes:


Everything was drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil – whilst it didn’t taste exactly the same as my salad on monday, it was still delicious.

Pancakes are a firm favourite in our household and Brittany being the home of the crepe (I can’t find the symbols on my ipad, I knew I should have typed this on my laptop! Apologies for the lack of French accent on the word ‘crepe’), we had to try some whilst we were there. The recipe I used tonight is one that is printed on my Brittany tea towel:


It’s made plenty of batter which will last us a few days. The batter was sweet and for our fillings we used some of the salted caramel (on the left) and orange caramel (on the right), which I bought from the market in Auray:


Needless to say, they were incredibly sticky and unbelievably yummy!