Monday, February 27, 2012


Sorry about the lack of posts the last week. i flew over the the UK to visit my family. Sadly my granny Rose died while I was there so it was a very bittersweet trip. She had been ill a very long time so it came as no surprise but still a sad sad week. I'm home again now and so back to blogging :)

Monday, February 13, 2012


Started doing some spring cleaning today and found that no one is finishing off the christmas chocolates. Entirely my fault as it was me who filled the house with chocolate coins etc. So instead of throwing then out i baked some cookies... Heres the recipe 

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups (12 oz) all-purpose flour *If at all possible, please weigh the flour
  • 3/4 tsp. smallcoarse sea salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 1/4 cups  chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 360 degrees. 
  2. Cream butter and the sugars until it is nice and fluffy. Add both eggs and vanilla and beat for an additional 2 minutes. Add baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour until cookie batter is fully mixed into a dough. Finally add chocolate chips until well distributed. The cookie dough should be somewhat thick. Drop about 2 tablespoons of dough or use a medium cookie scoop and plop the batter onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Bake for 12-14 minutes until the edges are nice and golden brown. Remove from heat and allow the cookies to stay on the cookie sheet for an additional 2 minutes. Pick up the baking paper with the cookies still on top and transfer to a cool non-porous surface. Allow the cookies to cool on the paper for at least 3 minutes before serving :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Made these for my boyfriends god daughter for her christening. not the best in the world or even close but I still thought they were cute :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Button flowers

Thought Id show you these real quick. Made a heap of them to adorn things with but now have no idea way to do with them.

Looks like I will be making more headbands as the sewing machine just came back from the shop :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

For the scrap book

My parents recently moved back to the UK and mum left with me all the scrap books she made for me as a baby. Im doing the same for Evie and thought that little ink feet would look great.

I also want to do something with them to put on the awl but so far Ive had no inspiration.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Homemade gift tags

My mum lives for sending presents to people and she's the best present buyer in the world. Something that has passed to me. I myself prefer to make presents. The most exciting part is watching people open them.

These I made for my mum for her birthday. Very simple to make.

Find online some clip art or pictures that you like and stick then to some card. Then cut out and hole punch.


A little about my work

When I was 18 my family moved from the uk to the South of France as my father is a yacht captain. I followed in his career choice and became a stewardess and after a short time a chief stewardess which basically means I run the interior of the vessel and act as the personal assistant to the owner or guests.

This yacht pictured above is one I have the great chance of assisting with the build and helped the interior designers Versace set everything up on the inside.

Ive travelled a lot of the world doing this and have the most amazing memories.

Now I have a family its not so easy to pick up and leave for foreign shores so I choose smaller boats which stay in France.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Gold Leaf Macaroons

Had to show you these real quick. When we went for our little mountain holiday in Megeve I came across these in a shop window. They are french macaroons  with a gold leafed top! I can't even imagine what the price of these might be. But its inspired me to try and make some of my own. Perhaps with out the gold leaf :)

Homemade Limoncello (with oranges)

This has to be the most simple liquor recipe there is. In France its illegal to brew your own alcohol so they don't sell it in shops but you can however pick it up from certain chemists although its very regulated and can prove hard to find. However, we live next to the french border of italy so we popped over for the day to get some lemon trees and pieced up a bottle.

You will need

6 think skinned lemons (not waxy)
a litre of 95 prof alcohol
1kg of white granulated sugar
1ltr water

very simply peel all the skin off the lemons trying not to get much pith. Then put into a sealed large jar. and add the alcohol. Leave for four weeks.

Then you make sugar syrup from the water and sugar and add that. Bottle and freeze.

It lasts forever and is a great thing to show off to guests with :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

My New Quilting Project

I noticed its been a while since Ive put up a crafty post so here it is.

Evies 14 months old now and we have very generous family ad friends let alone myself who loves to shop so we have a years worth of beautiful girlie clothes that no longer fit. Some of them are so precious that i have boxed them up in case we have a second little girl one day but that still leaves me with a good few boxes. Stained ones to the bin or made into rags, uninteresting ones to the red cross and the pretty ones Im making into a single bed sized blanket for Evie when she's older.

Heres what I have started so far. A fair way to go yet but I have a sewing machine now instead of doing it by hand so things are a lot quicker than before although I must say I prefer the look of hand sewed ones.

Fig Chutney

As an english woman in france, Ive had to work quite hard to get rid the pre conceived ideas of English cooking that the French think that we do. Being the center of the culinary world (so thy think) they are very skeptical about eating foreign foods and of course.. how can an english girl cook something they might like?

Well, this is one of the recipes that have wowed them. I eat chutneys and sauces withe every thing. Mint sauce with lamb, red current with chicken. They think Im mad. So when I made this fig chutney they were very cautious to try but now my in laws have finished the last of the jars from last season and are desperate for me to make more. I even had to translate the recipe for a friend of theirs as she told me after trying mine she went out to buy some and couldn't find anything that compared. So here it is. Great with cheese, cold meats and pates.

13 fresh figs (mine from garden)
150ml balsamic vinegar
100 red wine vinegar
300g soft brown sugar
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 red onions
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tbs olive oil

peel and thinly slice the red onion and quarter the figs.
sweat the onions in the oil and then brown until slightly caramelized
Add all ingredients except the figs and season with a little salt and pepper, bring to the boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and leave simmering for 30 minutes
Once the liquid looks like a syrup consistency add the figs and cook for a further 15-20 minutes storing occasionally.
then simply pour while hot into sterilized jars, turn upside down to seal and then leave to cool.

Very was recipe that doesn't fail to impress. Can be kept for upto six months.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Dries Herbs

Something I love is cooking. Especially from scratch and using some of my own home grown ingredients. 

Herbs and plants can only be used at certain times of the year but one great cheat is to dry them so that you can have them all year round. The method is much cheaper than buying pre dried packets from the supermarket. 

Its easy too. Just choose what you want to lay out onto baking paper. Either leave somewhere warm to dry for a week or do which I prefer which is to place in an oven on a very low heat. 

Put into jars and there you have it. Garden herbs all year round :)

Cassi Update

Last year I posted about our baby goose called Cassi. I figured I would give an update about how she is and to show you how much she has grown.

The person who told us to get a goose had told us that they were clean animals, this we found to be very untrue haha! She is a complete mess! We have a pool she likes very much and spends the summer around and in it which means lots of brown mess for us to wash away every morning.
Saying that though she is lovely and so we don't really mind. As yo can see she has grown very big now and very beautiful.

Its winter which doesn't bother her at all but she hangs around by the front door hoping for snacks to be passed out to her.

One worry is that she's a little lonely as she is always where we are so I think we will be buying a new little friend for her this spring :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Winter Treat for the Skin

So as I said a few posts before Im starting to get into a better skin routine now I have more time on my hands. We went up to the mountains last week and when I came home I felt that my skin was so dry from the cold and sun.

I decided to try a DIY face pack.

Heres what you will need

  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of oats
  • 2 tablespoons or organic yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoons honey 
(I am using solid honey found at a local farmers market but runny honey would work better)

Very simple, mix all the ingredients in a bowl and apply to your face. I left it on for ten minutes then washes it off with a warm flannel. Honestly, I loved it. I finished it all off buy using the Argan oil as a moisturizer :)

Orange slice Decorations

I used a lot of these for christmas this year because I wanted to achieve a very organic feel. I strung them up and hung them on the christmas tree. The thing is they last for ages.

However christmas is over now and i sadly wasn't blogging during that time so instead I'm showing you these. I always like to put things in my hurricane lamps whatever the season brings. These orange slices still look beautiful and they last for months.

Really simple to do. Slice as thinly as you can or use a mandolin. Try to find seedless oranges because the pips ruin everything.
Then place in the oven on a rack on a very low heat and leave to dry out for an hour or so. Don't leave them in too long as they will go dark and the light doesn't go through them as well.

Then they are done :)

Bitter Orange Marmalade

Ive been getting busy this week starting all kinds of new projects. I went up to the pool area in the garden last week which doesn't get used much because of the cold and noticed an abundance of fruit on the citrus trees. There are not a great deal of things you can use bitter oranges for but marmalade is one of them.

Here is the recipe I have used.

   4 to 5 medium sized oranges
   1 lemon, zest finely grated and juiced
   6 cups water
   3 pounds plus 12 ounces sugar
   Special Equipment: 10 (8-ounce) canning jars with rings and lids, funnel, tongs, ladle, and 12-quart pot

Wash the oranges and lemon thoroughly. Cut the oranges into 1/8-inch slices using a mandolin, removing the seeds as you go. Stack the orange slices and cut them into quarters. Place the oranges into an 8-quart stainless steel pot. Add the lemon zest and juice and the water to the pot, set over high heat and bring to a boil, approximately 10 minutes. Once boiling, reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for 40 minutes or until the fruit is very soft.
While the fruit is cooking, fill a large pot (at least 12-quart) 3/4 full with water, set over high heat and bring to a boil. Place 10 (8-ounce) jars and rings, canning funnel, ladle, and tongs into the boiling water and make sure the water covers the jars by at least an inch. Boil for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the lids and leave everything in the pot until the marmalade is ready.
Meanwhile, place a small plate in the freezer. Increase the heat under the orange mixture to return to full boil. Add the sugar and stir the mixture continually, until it reaches 222 to 223 degrees F on a sugar thermometer, and darkens in color, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. You may need to adjust the heat in order to prevent boil over. Test the readiness of the marmalade by placing a teaspoon of the mixture onto the chilled plate and allowing it to sit for 30 seconds. Tilt the plate. The mixture should be a soft gel that moves slightly. If mixture is thin and runs easily, it is not ready.
Remove jars from the water and drain on a clean towel. Place a funnel onto the top of 1 of the jars and ladle in the marmalade just to below the bottom of the threads of the jar. Repeat until all of the mixture has been used. The amount of marmalade may vary by 1 to 2 jars. Wipe the rims and threads of the jars with a moist paper towel and top each with a lid. Place a ring on each jar and tighten.
Return the jars to the pot with boiling water, being certain that they don't touch the bottom of the pot or each other. (If you don't have a jar rack, try a round rack, or metal mesh basket. Even a folded kitchen towel on the pot bottom will do in a pinch.) Add additional water if necessary to cover the jars by at least an inch. Boil for 10 minutes. Using canning tongs, carefully remove the jars from the water, place in a cool dry place and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 24 hours before opening. Once open, store in the refrigerator. Unopened marmalade will last for up to 6 months.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The snow has arrived!!!

It snows once a year here on the cote d'azur but very rarely does it snow much or settle. 

I love the snow, especially when I all wrapped up warm inside with hot ribena and a snugly blanket :)

Pancake Day!!

Pancake day is today here in France! I love them! I personally prefer the american thick pancakes but as we are in europe and the tradition is the thin crepe style ones Im going to give you a recipe for those.

We visited the grand Marnier creperie a week ago while on holiday and ate ours washed down with cider which is also tradition in France, Yummm :)


First of all sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl with the sieve held high above the bowl so the flour gets an airing. Now make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it. Then begin whisking the eggs – any sort of whisk or even a fork will do – incorporating any bits of flour from around the edge of the bowl as you do so.

Next, gradually add small quantities of the milk and water mixture, still whisking (don't worry about any lumps as they will eventually disappear as you whisk). When all the liquid has been added, use a rubber spatula to scrape any elusive bits of flour from around the edge into the centre, then whisk once more until the batter is smooth, with the consistency of thin cream. Now melt the butter in the pan. Spoon 2 tablespoons of it into the batter and whisk it in, then pour the rest into a bowl and use it when needed to lubricate the pan, using a wodge of kitchen paper to smear it round.

Now get the pan really hot, then turn the heat down to medium and, to start with, do a test pancake to see if you're using the correct amount of batter. I find 2 tablespoons about right for a 7 inch (18 cm) pan and 3 tablespoons for an 8 inch (20 cm) pan. It's also helpful if you spoon the batter into a ladle so it can be poured into the hot pan in one go. As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, tip it around from side to side to get the base evenly coated with batter. It should take only half a minute or so to cook; you can lift the edge with a palette knife to see if it's tinged gold as it should be. Flip the pancake over with a pan slice or palette knife – the other side will need a few seconds only – then simply slide it out of the pan on to a plate.

Stack the pancakes as you make them between sheets of greaseproof paper on a plate fitted over simmering water, to keep them warm while you make the rest.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Argan Oil - Liquid gold

I read a fair few different blogs and one thing that always pops up is the use of Argan oil.

Argan oil is mainly produced in morocco as mostly its only found there. Its only very recently that people have started raving about its properties.

Im not one to believe the hype as these kind of things are usually just very good PR but as I have heard everyone talking about it I'm giving it a try.

Its very expensive to but especially the oil specifically used for beauty. Thankfully my parents in law go to morocco  twice a year and buy whatever the locals tell them to so to my delight my mother in law has a massive container of it!

So we shall see how it goes and I shall report back