Sunday, 27 April 2014

Vintage Homes and a Vintage Recipe swap

I have just had lunch with some people from church - I was preaching and they invited me to stay and have lunch with them. It was delicious - melon (first of the season!) with port, lamb with pearl barley and spring vegetables, cheese and a wonderful chocolate mousse with strawberries and blueberries. They live in a stunning house in Riom, not far from Clermont Ferrand (where church is) - dating back to before the 1800s, it has been beautifully restored, and has amazing antiques, and salons with rococo mirrors and paintings round the door. It used to have an internal courtyard that has been roofed in, and so has a balcony inside the house. Oh! It was glorious! It made me want to do amazing things with our "vintage" house - which was probably built around 1850. Our furnishings within are not vintage, or antique...They're mostly from Ikea!

Neither Mr FD nor I are DIY-ers, but hopefully, as we amass a little capital, now Mr FD is working, we may be able to start to do things (or rather, get people in to do things!) to the house. It is much more modest than Peter & Caroline's delightful house, but it still has the potential to be lovely & elegant. Mind you, we'd then have to keep it tidy so pehaps we'll stay off the "elegant" and just go for "comfortable and welcoming"!

 Still on the theme of vintage, I recently took part in a Vintage Recipe Swap organised by Tarryn at Butter and Buntings
The idea was to send a favourite recipe, plus something handmade and/or vintage-y to our partner.
My swap partner was Hazel over at Cupcakery who makes the most delicious looking cakes. I was a bit over-awed by the fabulousness of her cakes and wondered what recipe to send. I finally chose something that is known here as "Nicole's Yoghurty Thingies" - after the main ingredient and after Nicole who was a French penfriend who gave me the recipe... However, I'm sure Hazel, should she make them, will make them into something more elegant than "thingies"!!

I also sent some handmade cards, with a slight cupcake theme:

and a little "vintage-y" pot

On the lid it reads "Within you see what pleases me" - and inside there is a mirror! I don't think it is very old, but it is quite cute!

Hazel sent me a fabulous vintage tablecloth:

It's yellow and orange, which matches our kitchen beautifully, but there's no table in the kitchen, so it's in the purple dining room instead! We're not too worried about colours matching here in Dormouse Towers!

And here is Bib showing her approval!

In the interests of truth, I must point out that while the front bowl is laden wth healthy apples the second bowl is full to overflowing of various types of chocolate and boiled sweets brought back from England!

She also sent me a copy of her family favourite recipe for lavender shortcake, plus a pack of lavender. I love shortcake, but have never had it flavoured with lavender so I look forward to trying the recipe...It is on my ever-growing list of things to do over the next couple of bank holidays (1st and 8th May are bank holidays here in France) I shall let you know how I get on.

I can definitively guarantee that mine won't look anything like as pretty as these!

Thank you Hazel for my lovely gifts, and to Tarryn for organising the swap. I hope you like the goodies I sent you, Hazel!

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Another week passes - only 8 months to Christmas!!

Hello dear Peeps!

I notice that I've lost a Follower...I wonder who it was, and why they left me. Maybe I'm not posting enough for them - I would like to post more often but somehow time runs away with me and before I know it, it's the weekend again! I don't know how Ange -and others - manage to post every day! I wouldn't have enough interesting things to say.

This week I have been eating far too much chocolate, I'm afraid! We brought lots of goodies back from the UK too, so there have been thick slices of Soreen malt loaf consumed
and various chocolates, including Walnut Whips...and white chocolate covered shortcakes. Oh dear, Fat Dormouse, oh dear!!

Menu plans for this week look like this:

I'd planned Hairy Dieters' meatloaf but forgot to buy the ingredients...having spent this morning gardening (well, balcony-ing!) my back hurts and I can't be bothered going out to buy what's needed!! So we'll have a pasta bake, using up stuff I have lying around. I'l have to make trhe meatloaf sometime though, as I've planned other meals around its frozen remains next month!

Pork chops with oven roasted ratatouille & baked potato

semi fasting
Ratatouille with pasta  - using up the left over rat from yesterday. 

Tasty fish parcels, potato wedges, green beans
I'm using sea bass, rather than cod, but otherwise it's all the same!  This is a recipe from my Woman 500 Calorie Diet recipe book .


Meat  pasta sauce & pasta is planned - or maybe not...rather a lot of pasta this week. I'm not teaching this Wednesday, as it's school holidays, so maybe I'll make the aforementioned meatloaf today and we'll have it, as planned , with oven chips and baked beans.

Again, not teaching - it's a bank holiday. There's rather a lot of them in May, unfortunately! Still, it gives me a chance to get my bills and accounts up-to-date...Hopefully the plant man will be in the market today, so I can buy some plants to fill my planters.
Anyway, food:
Cassoulet & green salad
The cassoulet is in the freezer - I don't know how well it will have survived being frozen, as I've never frozen cassoulet before. We will see, as they say!

(semi fasting)
Ham, baked potato, salad.
I brought a ham back from the UK and boiled and baked it last Sunday. Sliced and frozen, it will be providing us with several meals in the months to come. This being one of them! I'm late-ish home from teaching, so Mr FD will be in charge of baking the potatoes and prepping the salad.

Spinach & cheese soufflĂ© omelette, (but without the cream!) wedges, salad 


Thank you Jean, Pompom and Kezzie for your comments: I hope that you have no problems getting the app and that you find it useful.

Here is another LOLcats picture:

I'm preaching tomorrow, so it seemed appropriate!

I hope to post tomorrow, if only to tell you about my lovely swap gift that I received just before Easter...that's the plan, anyway. We'll see if everything goes according to it later!