Friday, September 5, 2014

Jammy Dodgers and Lemon Curd

Made these Jammy Dodgers and Lemon Curd this morning recipe from Marie at the
English Kitchen the Lemon curd is divine, my biscuits are from a recipe at Morrisons

Then we had a fabulous meal out with our wonderful friends from UK, a perfect day, oh and the weather is beautiful, clear blue sky and so warm, my favourite month here

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Mirabelle Plum Jam

I do like to take a break from the computer at the weekends and this week the Mirabelle plums are so ready
I decided to have a go at jam as there was so many
Here is the easiest recipe I have ever found and it makes the most perfect jam

The Mirabelle is a specialty of the French region of Lorraine, which has an ideal climate and soil composition for the cultivation of this fruit, although we live in the Deux Sevres and it grows so well here.   Indeed, the fruit seems to have been introduced into France in the 15th century . According to legend, however, it was Alexander the Great who first introduced this fruit to Europe.


2kg Mirabelle plums 1kg granulated sugar 

Halve and stone the Mirabelles  then place in a bowl and pour the sugar over the top. Turn the fruit with a spoon to coat in the sugar then cover the bowl and set aside to marinate over night. The following morning, scrape the fruit and sugar (along with any juices released) into large saucepan.   Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 105°C.
Test for the setting point by spooning a little of the jam onto a plate that has been chilled in the fridge. If the jam forms a skin when you move it with your finger then it's reached the setting point. If it does not then you should continue boiling for 5 more minutes and test again.

Ladle the hot jam into jars that have been sterilized and baked in an oven pre-heated to 100°C for 10 minutes. Seal tightly with lids then set aside to cool and store for at least 1 month in a cool, dark, cupboard, to mature before using.

I found that the halved plums were a little big so after the jam had cooked and cooled for a few minutes I got the scissors to them and cut them whilst in the pan into smaller bits.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Lot Valley

Château de Castelnau-Bretenoux

The castle was restored - and lived in - by the 19th century opera-singer Jean Mouliérat

The Dordogne
 Maisy started off with them but changed her mind half way and we had to find a way
down to the river bank to rescue her 


                                              Prehistoric Park, La Cave 

Near Rocamadour  – For the family especially if you are a dinosaur fan. Walk through a forest spread over several hectares (pushchair friendly) and walk back into the past with life size dinosaurs around every corner. A great fun trip with the chance for a photo in a dinosaur’s mouth at the end 

After the park we went and visited a shop full of chocolate where you could taste before buying, chocolate heaven


Figeac Medieval Town

This is in the village of Cornac where we were staying a village of artists, around each corner you would find artwork like this on each building and we were staying next door to an amazing sculpturer this was in the garden next to us
click here

You can see more of what we saw here

Book Recommendations

I have just got back from a lovely week in the Lot Region in France and managed to read a couple of books that I really enjoyed
First one  A Thistle in the Mist by Megan Denby, there are quite a few swear words really rude one but if you can get past this then a fabulous read, this lady has a brilliant imagination

The second one is What the heart keeps by Rosalind Laker

What the Heart Keeps

I found these on a site for free books for kindle but I am afraid they are no longer free but you can find more here at
Happy reading

Monday, June 30, 2014

Today it's Redcurrants

Well the cherries are nearly finished and the Redcurrants are just right for picking

I found a recipe for Redcurrant and Red Onion Relish, but boy does it pong when making it, I think it was the Red Wine Vinegar that made the smell, Maisy came home for lunch and said she could smell it from up the road. managed to get 2 and a bit pots

Then I found another for Redcurrant & Rosemary Chutney, this gave 7 pots and took slightly longer to make, the colour is amazing

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Custard Buttons

Today I made Custard Buttons from Marie's English Kitchen, they are so yummy, although mine did not turn out like a button mine were slightly bigger and I only managed to make 12.

You can see the recipe here  Marie's English Kitchen

Living in France I was unable to get hold of any vegetable fat so I used all butter
and I added Jam to one side of them as well as the cream, I shall certainly be making these again, and again and again

Monday, May 26, 2014

Say it with Words

Brand new Cd from Ooh la la featuring the beautiful artwork of Marie Rayner, to be launched on Create and Craft Monday June 9th 3pm with Kathryn Sturrock as guest presenter

We first met Marie through her love of cooking, she has her own blog called The English Kitchen and all of her recipes are tried and tested by Marie herself, I have to say we have all put a little weight on since finding her.

Then I discovered Marie loved to draw as well, when she sent out a recipe eBook with artwork she had done.  We were so pleased when she agreed to let us use her artwork and the rest is history.

We hope you love it as much as we do, my grand daughter Maisy certainly does this is her card she made for Mother's day in France yesterday, the image is from one of the digi images that she coloured in herself, she decided to put the quote on a separate piece of card just in case.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Experimenting with Marshmallow

Well yesterday I decided to have a break from CD designing and what better way than making Marshmallows
I made a whole batch up and instead of Vanilla I flavoured mine Raspberry, the recipe came from James Martin

These are really sweet so I decided to cut circles out and attach them to biscuits, I spread a little Nutella on top of some and added coconut.   The verdict from the family were yummy

I am thinking of new flavours now for my next batch, these will defiantly be in my Christmas present
hampers I do

                   Photo: Yesterday I made marshmallow, today I added it to little round biscuits, half I spread a little Nutella on and dipped in coconut the other half I left plain as they were Raspberry flavour mallow.     My trusty tasters tried them today and the verdict was yummy, what flavour will be next I wonder, they are def in my Xmas hamper this year I do as pressies.   Don't look too close they are my first attempt  

James Martin's Recipe


For the marshmallows
  • 450g/1lb granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp liquid glucose
  • 9 gelatine sheets, soaked in 140ml/4¾fl oz water
  • 2 free-range egg whites
  • vegetable oil, for greasing
  • 5-6 tbsp icing sugar
  • 5-6 tbsp corn flour         
  • Preparation method

    1. For the marshmallows, place the granulated sugar, glucose and 200ml/7fl oz water into a heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil. Heat until a sugar thermometer shows 127C/260F.
    2. Add the soaked gelatine sheets and water to the hot sugar syrup. Stir the mixture and pour it into a jug.
    3. Place the egg whites into a grease-free bowl and whisk until firm peaks.
    4. Continue to whisk the egg whites, then pour the sugar syrup onto the egg whites, whisking all the time until the whites are shiny.
    5. Add the vanilla extract and continue to whisk for about 5-10 minutes until the mixture is thick enough to hold its shape on a whisk.
    6. Lightly oil a shallow 30cm x 20cm/12in x 8in baking tray. Dust the tray with icing sugar and corn flour.
    7. Pour into tray and  chill in the fridge for at least one hour.   ( I left mine overnight ) 
    8. Remove the marshmallow from the fridge, dust some more icing sugar and corn flour over the work surface. Loosen the edge of the marshmallow then turn out onto the dusted work surface
    9. Cut into squares and roll the marshmallows in the icing sugar and corn flour to coat.                                                                                       

                         Or you can watch him making them here