Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Sunday, 28 June 2015

stories so far: Saturday night at the movies

Rose was always there early. She would walk the hour it took her from home whatever the weather. It was the start of her weekly ritual. It helped her clear her mind of her daily life and her never ending 'to do' list and responsibilities. Saturday was her night off and her treat to herself.

She had found the place by accident about 5 years ago, when she had first moved to London. The big city lights and noise were too much for her times and only echoed the constant clatter that went on inside her. It would never have been her choice ordinarily but the care and regular treatments her husband needed were only available in the city hospital. The cinema was tucked into a little side street, not far from Leicester Square. The noise of the hen parties, tourists and pigeons seemed like a million miles away. Inside it was dead silent.

Rose had initially worried about going to the cinema or her own. What would people think? Would people stare at her? But she had stopped caring about that a long time ago. Worrying about what others thought of her felt decadent now and something she was unable to comprehend. Of course no one would stare or notice her. She was invisible, or at least felt that way.

As the whir of the projector started up Rose settled down into her worn velvet chair with her cup of tea and slice of homemade cake that she had bought from the bar before the show. There were no buckets of popcorn and gallons of icy sweet fizz. It was like stepping back in time. She savoured her first mouthful of strong sweet tea – the first one of the week that someone other than herself had made. It was those little things she missed.

As the opening credits rolled onto the screen everything outside was safely locked away. She was cocooned. The thick, soundproofed doors and darkness kept everything out.
It didn't matter what film was showing. Rose needed these moments and this time to herself. A chance to feel free and float off into another space. In this place the world outside stopped and she could start to breath again.

After the film ended Rose stepped back out into the dark evening and started the long walk home. Same time next week...

stories so far, flash fiction, short story, story writing, writing group,




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Nikki Young Writes


Prose for Thought

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

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We love to cook and create new recipes here at De Tout Coeur Limousin - using fresh, local & seasonal produce. From French classics with a twist to Middle Eastern inspired mezze platters - we love to explore spices and flavours from around the world. Most important though is to cook with love and share good food with friends old and new.

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Monday, 22 June 2015

smoky charred aubergine, pepper & tequila salsa

mexican food, chilli, tequila recipe, aubergine
smoky charred aubergine, pepper & tequila salsa
charred, roast veg, recipe, aubergine, pepper, sauce, salsa, fresh, olive oil,
smoky charred aubergine, pepper & tequila salsa

My Mexican BBQ inspired Summer salsa - made with smoky charred roast aubergine, peppers and tomato - finished with the fresh zesty taste of lime, chillies, shallot vinegar and of course a little splash of tequila. I served this as an accompaniment to a garlic roast chicken and cous cous for lunch, but it would be a great side dish for BBQ roast meats and vegetables or as a dip with tortilla chips. I am looking forward to trying this salsa with fish too -simply grilled or barbecued with a spoonful or 2 of this to go with it. Sounds good to me! I hope you give this recipe a go and let me know what you think. Bon appetit! 

tips:
  • you get a great smoky flavour from cooking the vegetables over a charcoal BBQ but you could roast them in a hot oven or over a gas hob flame instead - make sure you cook them until completely soft and charred on the outside. 
  • the tequila can be omitted if not wanted or liked - you could substitute with vodka instead for a 'Bloody Mary' inspired salsa.  
  • great for spicing up simply cooked meat, fish or vegetables
  • I cooked the vegetables for this on the BBQ in the residual heat after we had cooked our dinner. I then cooled and stored the vegetables in an airtight container in the fridge ready to use the next day. 

recipe by: Ema at De Tout Coeur Limousin

preparation/cooking time: 45 - 60 minutes

makes about 750ml salsa

ingredients
1 large aubergine
2 red bell peppers
2 tomatoes
1 small onion - peeled and roughly chopped
zest & juice of 1 lime
2 garlic cloves
2 fresh chillies (or to taste) 
1 small bunch marjoram/oregano/coriander 
3 tbsp shallot/red wine vinegar
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp tequila
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste) 

method
  1. preheat the BBQ or oven 
  2. rub oil and salt into the aubergine, peppers and tomatoes and place on the BBQ grill (or in a roasting tin in the oven). Turn occasionally to ensure an even cook on all sides. It's done when the skin in slightly charred and the vegetables are soft and cooked through. 
  3. leave to cool then peel the peppers and tomatoes, remove the green stalk from the aubergine. Don't worry if you can't remove all the skin it all adds to the smoky flavour you are looking for. 
  4. put the cooked/peeled vegetables into a food processor/blender with all the other ingredients and blend until well mixed. I like to leave it a bit chunky rather than completely smooth - but that's up to you. Check for seasoning.
  5. Ready to serve immediately. Keeps for a few days stored in an air tight container in the fridge 

smoky charred aubergine, pepper & tequila salsa
smoky charred aubergine, pepper & tequila salsa


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Thursday, 18 June 2015

rhubarb & elderflower compote

elderflower, rhubarb, compote, recipes, seasonal cooking, summer fruit,
rhubarb & elderflower compote
elderflower, rhubarb, compote, recipes, seasonal cooking, summer fruit,
elderflower & rhubarb compote - good with vanilla ice cream or on freshly baked croissants 
A quick and easy rhubarb and elderflower compote recipe. This seasonal Summer recipe is ready in less than 30 minutes and great served over a good vanilla ice cream or Greek yogurt for a simple dessert. I have also added it to my homemade frozen yogurt - recipe to follow soon... It makes a low sugar alternative to jam too and would be lovely with a freshly baked croissant or brioche for breakfast. 

I love using local and seasonal produce in my cooking and recipes. The elderflower cordial was made with our own elderflowers which are in full blossom at the moment. You can of course use a shop-bought elderflower cordial in this recipe - or make your own using my easy to follow recipe here (leaving out the fresh mint). I also used a local Limousin honey in my recipe too - which was made just down the road from us here. I have heard that eating a teaspoon of local honey a day helps those who suffer from hayfever - I do and am more than willing to give this a go if it relieves the sneezing and sore eyes!


The fragrant elderflower complements the sharp and flowery rhubarb flavour well. Rose flower water or rose syrup is another good partner to rhubarb which you could use in this recipe instead of the elderflower cordial. 


Let me know how you get on - and if you have any good rhubarb recipes too. Say bonjour and leave your comments below - I look forward to hearing from you. 


makes about 1 litre of rhubarb & elderflower compote


recipe author: Ema at De Tout Coeur Limousin


preparation time: 5 minutes

cooking time: 15-20 minutes 

ingredients:

1 kg rhubarb roughly chopped
3/4 cup of elderflower cordial
2 tbsp honey

method:

add all the ingredients to a large saucepan, bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the rhubarb has softened and reduced. Leave to cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge. 


Thanks for stopping by. You can say bonjour and connect with us on FacebookTwitterInstagram & Bloglovin too and sign up to our newsletter hereWe look forward to welcoming you soon at De Tout Coeur Limousin.  


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Welcome to De Tout Coeur Limousin
recipes. baking, cooking, de tout coeur limousin, home cooking, French food, markets,

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rhubarb & elderflower compote on Punk Domestics


Gluten Free Fridays

Monday, 15 June 2015

slow cooked beef in red wine

beef, recipes, tomatoes, red wine, France, cooking
slow cooked beef in red wine - good served with garlic roast tomatoes
Slow cooked beef in red wine - one my favourite beef recipes - so easy to put together and just leave to gently simmer away on a low heat until the beef is deliciously soft and tender. Great as a make ahead dinner party dish and when you are cooking for groups. I like to serve this with dauphinoise potatoes or soft polenta and slow roast tomatoes with garlic. The Limousin region is famed for the quality of its beef - and I would have to agree. Grass fed and free-range, the herds of Limousin cows are a common site in the area grazing on the open pastures. I hope you enjoy my recipe - let me know how you get on & bon appetit! 

preparation time: 10-15 minutes 

cooking time: 5-8 hours
NB: these are approximate cooking times - it's done when the beef is tender. The longer the better in my opinion as this allows the flavours to develop and the beef to get nice and soft.  

serves 6


ingredients:

1 kg beef steak 
2 large onions - chopped
2 cloves garlic - crushed
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp rosemary & thyme finely chopped
1 tbsp flour
1 bottle full bodied red wine
a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce
chopped fresh parsley to finish
salt & pepper to taste
oil

method:
  1. season the steak with salt and pepper, heat the oil in a large frying pan and brown the steak for a few minutes on both sides. 
  2. remove the steak from the pan and put it in your roasting pan/slow cooker.
  3. add the chopped onions, garlic, bay leaves, rosemary and thyme to the frying pan and fry until softened and caramelized
  4. add the flour to the onions and cook out for a few more minutes.
  5. to deglaze the pan add about half the bottle of red wine and bring to the boil - ensuring you get all the crispy bits of beef and onion from the bottom of the pan into the sauce.
  6. pour this into your roasting pan/slow cooker, add the rest of the bottle of wine, Worcestershire sauce, cover and cook on a low heat for 5-8 hours (or until the beef is tender) 
  7. if you want a thicker sauce - ladle some off and boil over a high heat until reduced. 
  8. sprinkle over the chopped fresh parsley and serve with your accompaniment of choice.
  9. bon appetit
cooking tips:
  • use your beef cut of choice - I have made this recipe successfully with sirloin, rump, bavette as well as brisket & other stewing cuts - the slow cooking tenderises the tougher, stewing cuts of beef. I always prefer to use a cut of beef with a good marbling of fat through it as I think it adds flavour and tenderness.
  • you can cook this recipe in the slow cooker, on the hob or in the oven - the key is low & slow - to tenderise the meat and allow all the flavours to mix and develop. It's even better if you cook it the day before and heat it up thoroughly the day after when you want to serve it. 
  • don't rush frying the onions - the caramelization adds a real depth of flavour to the final dish. 
  • this recipe is delicious with sauteed wild/forest mushrooms added to the beef about 30 minutes before the end of cooking.  
  • I like to serve this with dauphinoise potatoes or soft polenta but it would be lovely with buttered tagliatelle or rice too.   

Thanks for stopping by. You can say bonjour and connect with us on FacebookTwitterInstagram & Bloglovin too and sign up to our newsletter hereWe look forward to welcoming you soon at De Tout Coeur Limousin.  



retreat, France, travel, Creuse, singing, wellbeing, wellness, from the heart, countryside, nature,
Welcome to De Tout Coeur Limousin
recipes. baking, cooking, de tout coeur limousin, home cooking, French food, markets,

For more of my recipes click here



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farmersgirl kitchen #slowcookedchallenge