Sunday, 22 May 2016

frozen raspberry, mint & vodka cocktail

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My frozen raspberry, mint and vodka cocktail is a refreshing spring and summer cooler, and just as good without the vodka too as an alcohol free alternative. I already have an abundance of fresh mint in the garden, and can't wait until the raspberries start popping up in the garden too so I can make this more often. Just the thing to serve as an aperitif or at spring BBQs and picnics (or after a hard days work in the garden). 

This is delicious made with any soft berry, and I am looking forward to trying it with blackberries in the autumn too. 


frozen raspberry, mint & vodka cocktail

ingredients:
mint syrup
1 large bunch of mint roughly chopped 
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

makes enough syrup for several more cocktails. It's also good for sweetening hot or iced teas, pouring over ice cream or as a mint cordial mixed with still or sparkling water. 

frozen raspberry, vodka and mint cocktail makes enough for 2 long drinks
(using 50ml measure)
2 cups raspberries (leave out a few to garnish if you like)
2 measures vodka 
2 measures mint syrup
2 measures lime/lemon juice
mint leaves to garnish
1 cup ice

to make the mint syrup add all the ingredients to a pan and bring to the boil for about 5 minutes to thicken slightly. Leave to cool completely, then strain through a sieve. 

to make the cocktail add all the ingredients into a blender, mix well and serve garnished with a sprig of mint and a few raspberries. 



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Say bonjour & visit us at De Tout Coeur Limousin. Creative & wellbeing retreats, holidays & workshops in the heart of rural Limousin, SW France


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Saturday, 21 May 2016

Sing from the Heart singing workshop performance night May 2016 at De Tout Coeur Limousin

A wonderful evening of singing from the heart, and sharing good food and wine with friends. A lovely way to end our group singing workshop course by showcasing the group songs we had been learning over the previous few months. An eclectic mix of songs including; Royals by Lorde, One Day Like This by Elbow, Love the One You're With by Stephen Stills and You've Got to Hide Your Love Away by The Beatles. 

Everyone that wanted to also had the opportunity to perform a solo song - facing their fears and anxieties and just going for it. Great singing, full of energy and enthusiasm. It is always inspiring and a joy to share these moments with others. Another great mix of musical styles including performances of both classic and and more modern songs by David Bowie, Cilla Black, Buddy Holly, Joan Baez, Laura Marling, The Corrs, Mary Black and Bette Midler. 


A big thank you to the supportive audience too, it's really appreciated. We l
ook forward to seeing you all next time...

Get in touch and join our mailing list to keep up to date with our upcoming singing workshops, singing holidays and retreats here at De Tout Coeur Limousin. 

Sing from the Heart singing workshop performance night at De Tout Coeur Limousin 20 May 2016

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the Sing from the Heart workshop group performing (photo credit: S. Gee)
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Anja with a beautiful Bette Midler song
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Doug at the Sing from the Heart performance night 
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Eve singing Silver Dagger by Joan Baez
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Eve, Jackie, Fran and Derek singing a Buddy Holly number
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Fran and Derek singing The Beatles
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Jane singing the Cilla Black classic - To Sir With Love
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Steve and Chris at the performance night - De Tout Coeur Limousin 
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Sing from the Heart singing workshops in the Limousin - Phlye, Julia and Peter 

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why should you sing? The joys and benefits of singing

Upcoming singing workshops, holidays and retreats at De Tout Coeur Limousin, SW France 

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Sing from the Heart singing holiday SW France 2016
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Singing lessons at De Tout Coeur Limousin


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Say bonjour & visit us at De Tout Coeur Limousin. Creative & wellbeing retreats, holidays & workshops in the heart of rural Limousin, SW France



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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Sunday, 15 May 2016

Caramel semolina cake (gâteau de semoule au caramel) with lemongrass & star anise

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Caramel semolina cake (gâteau de semoule au caramel) with lemongrass & star anise 


Inspired by the French classic dessert gâteau de semoule au caramel, a milk and semolina based pudding cake with a layer of dark caramel sauce. My recipe for caramel semolina cake is flavoured with lemongrass and star anise by gently infusing the spices in the milk as it comes up to the boil.

I love trying out and testing new recipes at home here at De Tout Coeur Limousin. It's creative, a great way to relax and there's usually something good to eat as a result of it too! 

A really quick, economical and easy to make dessert, just make sure you keep stirring the semolina when it comes to the boil to avoid lumps. A good recipe to prepare and make ahead too. Bon appetit! 


Caramel semolina cake (gâteau de semoule au caramel) with lemongrass & star anise 


ingredients:
125g fine semolina
125g caster sugar
1 litre milk 
1 lemongrass stalk roughly chopped 
1 star anise
1 tsp mild flavoured/vegetable oil

for the caramel sauce:
6 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp water

method:

lightly oil a 9 inch/23 cm shallow glass/heatproof dish.

to make the caramel sauce gently heat up the sugar and water and simmer until a golden brown caramel colour. Watch carefully, but don't stir the mixture to avoid the sugar crystallizing. When the caramel sauce is ready pour it carefully into the oiled serving dish

bring the milk to the boil with the sugar, star anise and lemongrass stalk and simmer for a few minutes before taking off the heat and sieving out the lemongrass and star anise.

bring the milk back up to a gentle boil and add the semolina stirring/whisking constantly for 6-7 minutes until the semolina is cooked and thickened up.

pour into your dish, on top of the caramel, smooth the top and leave to cool for at least 4 hours or overnight in the fridge. 

to serve turn out the semolina cake using a plate held over the top of the dish. Serve in slices with spoonfuls of the caramel sauce and maybe some creme fraiche on the side.  



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Say bonjour & visit us at De Tout Coeur Limousin. Creative & wellbeing retreats, holidays & workshops in the heart of rural Limousin, SW France


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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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Lou Messugo

Friday, 13 May 2016

Why should you sing? The benefits and joys of singing, whatever your age

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sing from the heart singing holidays, workshops and retreats SW France


Why should you sing? The benefits and joys of singing, whatever your age 

When you sing, musical vibrations move through you, altering your physical and emotional landscape. Group singing, for those who have done it, is the most exhilarating and transformative of all. It takes something incredibly intimate, a sound that begins inside you, shares it with a roomful of people and it comes back as something even more thrilling: harmony. So it’s not surprising that group singing is on the rise.  

credit: singing changes your brain


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singing workshop at De Tout Coeur Limousin - with Peter Evans

think you can't sing? 


We recently hosted an open day and garden party here at De Tout Coeur Limousin. A good excuse for a sing song and to spend the day with friends and new faces too. It was a beautiful sunny day, and after a delicious picnic lunch in the garden we ran a mini taster group singing workshop. There were several exclamations of 'I can't sing' and 'I'm tone deaf' and looks of slight panic on a few faces, but after a gentle introduction, some breathing exercises and warm ups we were all ready to sing. Within the space of less than 1 hour we had a group singing in harmony and with joy, and overcoming any initial fears and worries they had. They were safe, no one laughed at them or told them they couldn't sing or singled them out. Everyone's voice was welcomed and encouraged. A highlight of the day.

a few words from Peter - co-director and resident singing teacher and vocal coach here at De Tout Coeur Limousin:

Bonjour to one and all!

One of the nicest things for me so far this spring has been my re-discovery of the joys of teaching small people.  

When we left the UK 2 & ½ years ago, I hadn't taught children for 3 or 4 years since becoming somewhat worn out with the full-on-ness of teaching in drama schools, & I didn't envisage starting again once we were in France.

But the Universe sent me a couple of messages. A friend of Ema's asked if I would like to teach 4 of her 5 kids, all 6 or under, along with some of her friends children. A local school headteacher also asked if I could teach an after-school activity, using English songs to help the 6 – 11 year olds with their language skills in a fun way.

I was nervous and slightly concerned that I might have forgotten how to teach children, but I needn't have worried (usually the case). I loved it, the kids loved it and so did the mums & dads. 

What I had forgotten was what a wonderful thing it is to sing surrounded by shining, happy no-inhibition filled petit beings giving singing full wellie!

Since then we have done several more 'Sing-along' sessions with the little ones & started teaching at the school too. It was also the first time I've taught a group whose first language is different to mine, but also very enjoyable and hugely satisfying.

Coming up this summer is our residential Sing from the Heart singing holiday 30 July - 6 August. Summer will be bursting into life all around us, & we'll have a group of adults using the week to find the same spontaneity and joie de vivre that comes so naturally to children, but takes, perhaps, a little more conscious bravery to fully let go into when you're an adult.

But that's our love & passion here at De Tout Coeur Limousin; to help people give themselves permission to relax into their creativity & joy... as well as enjoy the gorgeous countryside here at the Lac De Vassiviere, share good food and many songs too. 

To paraphrase a well known advert, this summer, could it be you?


We look forward to singing with you soon. 



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Join us and Sing from the Heart - singing lessons, workshops, holidays and retreats for all abilities

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sing from the heart singing holiday SW France 30 July - 6 August


creative, wellbeing, retreats, de tout coeur limousin, Limousin, France, holidays, group holidays, singing holidays, art holidays, photography holidays, France, tourism, travel, rural France, accommodation in SW France, accommodation in the Limousin,


Say bonjour & visit us at De Tout Coeur Limousin. Creative & wellbeing retreats, holidays & workshops in the heart of rural Limousin, SW France



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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