Saturday, July 31, 2010

Clafoutis... Apricot or Peach or Cherry.....



One of my favourite french desserts is Clafoutis
Originating from the Limousin region in france
it was originally made using cherries with the pips still intact
which was supposed to impart a richer flavour.
I'm sure if I ate it this way I'd end up with a trip to the dentist!!!
...................................
The pic above is of an individual apricot clafoutis
served at a long lunch in Provence last year
C'est delicioux!!




The recipes were originally designed to use fruit in season
topped with a pancake type batter
and served with fresh farm creme
..................................................
.. Peach clafoutis made with freshly picked peaches from my garden
is a taste to the culinary senses!
Miam! Miam!

What is your favourite clafoutis?
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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pretty picture views...


I love the little postcard views in Provence.

Just walking around the hill- top villages
there are
gorgeous little photo shots like the one above
taken in "Crillion le Brave"


After a scrummy cafe creme and petit patisserie
it was time to enjoy the panorama
and look forward to our walk back down the hill
Easier going down than coming up !!

I wonder how old the ruins in this photo are ??
I'm sure a bit older than me
images me
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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Gustave Caillebotte...


Whilst visiting "Pere Lachaise Cimetiere"
I came across this lovely family site
belonging to the Caillebotte family



Gustave Caillebotte - self portrait
he was born into an upper-class Parisian family
and alligned himself to the "French Impressionist Movement"

wasn't he handsome !!



"Woman at dressing Table"
I particularly like this painting because of it's
lovely soft colourings.


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Friday, July 23, 2010

Provence -a profusion of flavours


Any -one for cheese ??
I love the profusion of colours,flavours and ambiance at the
beautiful village markets in Provence


the stall holders are all very proud of their produce
oils-cheeses-vegetables-fruits-breads,pastries
& as you can see at this stall, lovely pottery bowls
ideal for olives or dipping sauces


Poulet -Roti eaten with chunks of crusty bread
dipped in locally pressed olive oil
& served with a crisp green salad
ends a beautiful morning shopping in
the village square.

images me
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Beach Clubs & Rhubarb ice-cream


Strolling along La Croisette, Cannes' most famous boulevard
I was curious, as to how the different beach clubs operated.
upon enquiry I found out that it works some-thing like this.
one pays an amount of money mainly depending on where the
lounge chair of choice or availability is situated.
Front row - most expensive
Back row - least expensive
Beach clubs with a pier - as above - are more expensive
towels are usually provided and each club has it's own restaurant/drinks bar
at the back .
This begs the question - would I pay money to use one of these facilities
and the simple answer is YES !!
for a day out at the beach taken in relative comfort !!
and a nice little water bath to wash the sand of my tootsies
I would part with my hard earned cash.
What about you ??


A quaint little island lies just off shore and children were having a ball
swimming out to it and then yelling back to their Mum's on the shore.
venez! venez!


Sandwiched in between Christian Dior and Bruno,
on La Croisette
is a petit ice-creamery, selling the most delicious selection of home-made ice-creams
I chose my favourite Rhubarb
and then wandered over to pull up one of those vibrant Matisse- blue chairs
the perfect spot to while away a sunny afternoon
looking out onto Plage Martinez
and watching the beautiful people do what they do best
Enjoying "LesVacances"
C'est la vie !!

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Vineyards at Montmatre


Ambling around the back streets of Montmatre - I came across
this beautiful little vine-yard "Clos Montmatre"
apparently it's Paris' only working vineyard and each year they hold
"La fete des vendages"
where bottles of vine are auctioned off for charity.


peeking through the fencing into the vineyard !!

Right behind me was "Le Lapin Agile" ( the nimble rabbit)
the cabaret frequented and painted by artists such as Renoir, Utrillo and Picasso

Below is my favourite, by Maurice Utrillo
I hope you like it !


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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Vincent's Sunflowers...


The beautiful French name for sunflowers is "tournesol"
because their faces turn to follow the sun.
I was reminded last night as I watched le Tour de France -
passing by Haut- Provence
how lovely to see a field of beautiful sunflowers
dancing in the breeze.



No wonder Vincent-Van-Gogh loved to paint these elegant creatures
The photo above was taken looking through the window of Vincent's
bedroom window at the asylum "St Paul de Mausole"
near St Remy de Provence, where Vincent voluntary confined himself
for about 1 year.
This time proved to be his most creative.



Vincent's room is just right of centre
on the top level.



"Starry starry night, paint your palette blue & grey
look out on a summer's day with eyes that know
the darkness in my soul
Shadows on the hills, sketch the trees and daffodils
Catch the breeze and winter chills
in colours on the snowy linen land.

Now I understand what you tried to say to me
How you suffered for your sanity
How you tried to set them free
They would not listen they did not know how,
perhaps they'll listen now"

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Rue Montorgueil...


Another of my favourite market streets in Paris
is this fabulous pedestrian- only street, devoted almost entirely to the basic instincts
of hunger & thirst
definitely my sort of street!


How beautifully are les fruit & les legumes arranged
little wonder that I was gently reprimanded for
touching the tomatoes!

Non Non Madame! - ne toucher pas le tomate, s'il vous plait.
I learnt my lesson quickly & did not repeat offend.
I found the same rules didn't apply when buying
at the street markets
every-one was prodding & checking the produce
to ensure they purchased the very best. !!


Moules et Frites - Mussels & Chips
very tasty !!

images me
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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"La Fete Nationale...

Juillet 14th is the day France commemorates the storming
of the Bastille - & the start of the french revolution

This beautiful tower is the perfect backdrop for the amazing fire-work display
held every Bastille Day.
I would love to be standing on "Le Pont Neuf"
looking up-stream to see this amazing spectacle


Viva La France !!

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Monet's Jardin....Giverny


Monet's beautiful garden in the quaint little village of Giverny - is an absolute delight.
The garden has been re-created to replicate as close as possible - how it looked, when Monet lived and painted here - I can fully understand why he loved to paint at Giverny- especially the Japanese water-garden with it's ever changing
moods & reflections.
When I visited, the central alley was almost completely covered with nastursians


The water-lillies weren't in flower but even so the -garden was a delight
I noticed several artists had set up their easel - it reminded me of that exquisite little childrens book "Linea in Monet's Garden" where Mr Bloom & Linea
journey out to spend the day at La maison rose !!

images...me
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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Rue Cler...in the 7th


Rue Cler in the 7th arrondissment is a fab foodie street which still has it's original cobblestoned street.
Patisseries-boucheries & chocolate shops abound
- it is on this street that I first tasted that fabulous creamy blue cheese "St Agur"- which comes from the mountainous Auvergne region - eaten with a crisp juicy slice of pear it is truly one of life's taste sensations !!





A lot of people seemed to use these Velo for getting around the 7th - apparently they were introduced into the City by the current Mayor ( Bertrand Delanoe) - to try and minimalise the congestion of traffic.
I really hope it's working, because Paris is a very walkable and cycle friendly city.

images me
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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

cafe creme ... on the left bank


Cafe creme if the ultimate french indulgence !
especially sitting in "Le Petit Pont Cafe"looking out onto Notre Dame cathederal
it's the perfect spot to people watch & I simply love those beautiful cups - they came in all colour combinations - but my favourite is the orange and mint green
and how cutsie are those petite jugs !!

images me
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Sunday, July 4, 2010

La Plus Belle ...


our lovely terrace where we dined each day
- looking out onto Mont Ventoux
& the lovely surrounding hill-top villages of
"La Barroux & Crillion le Brave"



Yes ! we walked every-where- all 5 of us
- through pretty vine-yards & along quaint & windy tracks
the higher we went the more spectacular the views



At the bottom of the stairs,
the yellow door leads onto the terrace of the beautiful rustic 3 story villa.
1 minute walk from the top of the stairs was our local boulangerie
freshly baked croissants for "le-petit-dejeuner"
Scrummo!!


images me

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