Renovating in France


Hello Dear Reader,

After a week of on and off rain, it’s been great to throw open every door and window and enjoy the sunshine. Above is the view of our open plan living area. My thrifted sofa is covered in blankets as the dogs have commandeered it for themselves. The board is across the bottom of the Stairs to stop the dogs going up.

In between the showers yesterday, I laundered and dried all the towels and bedding and today did the same with our clothes.

Whilst I’ve got on with fussing the dogs, cooking and laundry, Dearly Beloved has made a start on the dividing wall. 

He’d done a lot more by the end of the day but here’s the start. The top floor use to be a self contained studio apartment but it’ll be two separate bedrooms when he’s finished. He does the building and I do the insulation and painting. The garden fence has served as balustrade around the stairs so we didn’t fall down them. They will of course be replaced!

I added the photo below, later in the day.


I made homity pie for supper and tomorrow’s lunch. We’ll eat it with salad. We are still eating at home, I really enjoy having time to cook and amble to the local shop just for a bunch of parsley if I didn’t have any.

To make it, I rolled out gluten free pastry (supermarket ready made!) 

Inside.

1 large tin a new potatoes – roughly chopped – 800g of cooked potatoes 

2 onions and 8 cloves of garlic – chopped and gently sautéed in some olive oil until soft. Don’t cook garlic on a high heat, it’ll burn.

6 florets of broccoli, gently steamed – you could use leeks or spinach, I had half a head of broccoli left.

200g of grated emmental or mature cheddar

Salt and pepper

Handful of chopped parsley

200ml of double cream (or the nearest I could get here in France – crème de Normandie- Entière )

Toss the lot together and pour into the pastry case. 

Bake at 180/200 for 40 minutes. It’s creamy, cheesy and loaded with garlic. O

I use a heavy metal deep quiche dish so I don’t blind bake.

Another day in thrifty homemade France.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx

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Not quite eggs Florentine.

        
Hello Dear Reader,
I always know when I’m not at my best as I crave dark green veggies……I must need a boost of iron. Eggs Florentine is usually a couple of toasted muffins, wilted spinach and Hollandaise sauce. Mine’s a bit different. No muffins for me as I’ve never seen gluten free and never can be bothered to go out and find any just for me. DB had his on toasted muffins but it could have gone onto a halved baked potato but I didn’t fancy that either….,so I just went without.
Here’s what I did.
Melt a spoon of butter in a pan.
Add – six sliced mushrooms and sauté.
Wash spinach and squeeze the water out.
Add to the mushrooms and butter, cover with a lid and cook very gently until wilted.
Poach two eggs.
Finely grate a small amount of strong cheddar.
Arrange the spinach and mushrooms on a plate
Sprinkle with grated cheese.
Layer the poached eggs on top and I added a sliced tomato.
All very healthy, meat free (as we aim for two or three meatless days) and cheap too.
I’m off to put my feet up…..no idea why I feel so tired….perhaps age is catching up with me!
Until tomorrow,
Love Froogs xxxx

Baking for Macmillan Coffee Morning

                      
Hello Dear Reader,
I’m going to a Coffee Morning on Friday to raise money for Macmillan. I’m going to take gluten free cake, so I can buy some back and enjoy a coffee and slice of cake with everyone else. It will be a knickers to calorie counting day. I’m practising a few recipes first as I’ve not had a lot of success with gluten free cakes in the past. 
                      
I also thought I would share the cake carriers I found in Poundland; they stack away easily and are great when you want to transport cake to a social occasion and at a quid each, they are a bargain.
                     
Here’s my recipe
Preheat oven to 180. Line a 10″ cake tin.
8oz of each of the following: eggs (2oz for a large), plain gluten free flour, butter and caster sugar.
2 level teaspoons of gluten free baking powder, zest of one lemon, two tablespoons of sunflower oil, juice of half a lemon.
For the topping, juice of one and a half lemons and three tablespoons of caster sugar.
Cream the butter and sugar together.
Add the flour, baking powder and eggs and beat together. Beat in the lemon juice, zest and sunflower oil. Gluten free cake can have a grainy texture, the oil helps moisten. 
Bake for 45 minutes. 
Topping – place the lemon juice and sugar in a mug and heat in the microwave on full power for one minute. Stir well and spoon onto the top of the cake. The most difficult part is leaving it to cool so you can eat it.
Over to you, if you were off to a coffee morning, which cake would have you donate generously? I want to make popular cakes to help boost the funds of Macmillan.
Until tomorrow,
Love Froogs xxxxx