Paris visit

                                       We enjoyed our Silver Wedding Anniversary trip to Paris.

       Didn't want to go to museums this time and I wanted to visit the big department stores in the Boulevard  Hausseman. This is the Galeries Lafayette. A fantastic dome.

It's such a beautiful building.

We went to the basement Food Hall and wow - what a feast for the eyes. These are a few of the delicious cakes on offer.

 Some hams and sausages.

And of course, the famous Poilane bread.

We went on a tour of the area around our hotel with our friend's son, who lives in Paris. In one of the lovely glass topped arcades I found this shop selling biscuits - can't remember its name!

 This is the famous Fauchon shop in the Place de Madeleine. They sell macarons and I bought some to try - delicious!

For our Anniversary dinner we went back to a lovely restaurant we'd found on our honeymoon. It's called 'Julien' and now belongs to the famous 'Brasserie Flo'chain.

It's Art Deco style inside, amd is now a listed building.

Here we are enjoying our meal.

Altogether a very happy time.


Apple and blueberry cake

This is a recipe from my friend Annick.
I bought some frozen blueberries last week and made some muffins with them, but had half a bag left. What to do with them? This cake was the answer.
You can serve it warm, with creme fraiche or cream as a dessert, or cold with a cuppa.

Here's the recipe:
225g sr flour
1/2 spn salt
125g butter or margarine
175g granulated sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
2 large eating apples, cored and sliced
125g blueberries
icing sugar

Preheat oven 190C/170C fan/gas5
Grease and line a 20cm cake tin.
Put the flour in a bowl with the salt; add the butter or marg and rub it in.
Add 125g of the sugar and the eggs and mix together.
Spread half of this mixture into your tin - I found this very difficult until I used a flat spatula.
Layer the apples and blueberries on top and sprinkle with the rest of the sugar.
Spoon in the rest of the mixture.
Bake for about 45 mins [ my oven isn't very reliable and it took 40 mins]
Cool in the tin for 10 mins then put on a wire rack to cool.
Sieve some icing sugar over the top.

I have to say that this isn't the most attractive looking cake you'll ever make, but it's certainly delicious.
We ate ours with a cuppa.


Sultana and cranberry teabread

We love teabreads and have a slice with a cuppa in the afternoon. Very British!
This one is very moist and moreish. Try it!

225g dried cranberries
225g sultanas
350ml black tea [warm]

preheat oven 160C/gas 3/325F
soak the fruit in the tea for about an hour [I used earl grey tea and it was a lovely flavour]
then add
250g wholemeal flour with 1 tspn baking powder added to it
 2 tbspn brown or muscovado sugar
25g melted butter
1 beaten egg
mix it all together with a spoon
grease a 2lb cake tin and pour in the cake mixture and level the top
bake for about an hour; cover the cake with foil for the first half hour then take it off
test to see if it's cooked and if not, give it another 5-10 mins and then check again
let the cake rest in the tin for 15 mins, then cool on a wire rack
eat it with some nice butter!

you can use any dried fruit that you have; I didn't have enough cranberries, so chopped up a few dried apricots to make up the weight
you can also try experimenting with different teas to see which you like best

Gratin de choux-fleur

 I was given a medium sized cauliflower and as it's not my favourite vegetable, struggled to know what to do with it. Have kept a few Fr...