All-American Chocolate Cookies.

American Chocolate Cookies with peanut butter.

Ingredients to makes about 12 cookies

300g good quality plain chocolate
optional-add 100g milk chocolate
100g light muscovado sugar
85g butter, at room temperature
100g crunchy peanut butter
1 medium egg
half a teaspoon vanilla extract
100g self-raising flour
 

Method

1. Heat the oven to 180C/fan or gas mark 4
2. Chop 200g of the plain chocolate into a bowl. Melt in the microwave on medium power for about one or two minutes.
3. Stir the chocolate until completely melted then tip in the sugar, butter, peanut butter, egg and vanilla. Beat until well mixed then stir in the self-raising flour
4. The mixture will feel quite soft and drop easily from the spoon when shaken.
5. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto paper lined baking sheets leaving room for the cookies to spread.
6. Sprinkle the remaining broken bits of chocolate onto the top of the cookies.
7. Bake for about 10 to 12 mins until the cookies are darker around the edges. They will be softer in the middle and crunchy on the outside. Cook for a few minutes longer for a crisper cookie.
8. Leave the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about five minutes then transfer to a wire cooling rack.
 

They will keep for about 4 or 5 days in an airtight tin.
 

Enjoy, they are very yummy.
 
 

Event:-the Daglan Spring Flower Festival will be held on the 17th March.
 
 

Advertisements

Spring is in the air.

Spring is here,
in the air,
you can smell it coming
on the breeze.

It seems a little early but we have seen good signs that spring is just around the corner. It has been a strange February with below freezing temperatures when I get up in the mornings to feed the stray cats (have four now). However, during the course of the morning the temperature rises to 19 or 20C. So a thick sweater is wise in the morning and a light top in the afternoon. It is great getting outside to enjoy the scenery once more.

The first sign of Spring for us is always when the flower lady arrives back in Daglan for the Sunday market,


 

with her gorgeous array of colours.


 
Daffodowndilly by A.A Milne

She wore her yellow sun-bonnet,
She wore her greenest gown;
She turned to the south wind,
and curtsied up and down.
She turned to the sunlight and shook her yellow head,
and whispered to her neighbour:
“Winter is dead”.
 

Still quite deep and very fast flowing, the River Ceou so sparkling clean for wild life.


 

A gorgeous display of spring flowers in our neighbours garden.


 

Coccus, with their heads turned towards the sun


 

New for spring. Book selves have been placed into the old bus shelter. So that now we have two book exchanges. The other book swap is next to the Marie.


 
 

Events :
My favourite Festival in Sarlat will be held on 16th and 17th March.

Visit this marvelous event to watch and sample the Master Chocolatiers creations.


 
 

Demolition.

In France it is possible that the Marie can step in if a property is in a state of disarray (falling down). This happens more than people realise across the country. Due to the inheritance laws which date back to the Napoleon Years, on the death of the property owner the property must be divided equally between the children. So it is always a good idea to talk to your Notiare when buying a property who will give you advice on property inheritance.

For example should you want to leave the property to your wife or husband after your death it would still go to the children unless your wish is documented. Our Notiare studied our will and wishes regarding the the property which was to go to the surviving husband or wife and then on to the children after the survivors death, the principles of which were documented. In short always ask.

Splitting the property between children seems like a good idea until there is disagreement, say two want to sell and one does not. Until they reach an agreement the property is in limbo, the property just stays off the market for years, becomes derelict and in many cases starts to fall down. Which is what happened to the property close to us.

The Marie had to step in after the roof and the walls started to fall and crumble.
 

The colour of the stone is gorgeous.
 

It is now a nice area now that just needs a few plants, tables and chairs.

You can make out where the windows used to be and the outline of a doorway. I do hope that it is kept just like this it tells such a lot about the history of the house.
 
 

Event:-Sarlat Goose Festival 2nd and 3rd March. Not good for vegetarians so I am staying away.
 
 

Not long until July! Part Two

To complete my Embroidery blog I will describe some of the stitches I have used in my embroidery work and explain why I picked them..

There are numerous embroidery stitches that are ideal to use on light fabric. It all depends on what you are trying to create. So I think that the best option is to focus on four basic stitches so that you can try them, once practised you can move onto something more elaborate.

Running stitch, back stitch, cross stitch and satin stitch.

The Running Stitch is a simple stitch very much like a tacking stitch which I use to reduce fraying around the edge of the fabric. However the running stitch has smaller stitches.
 

Back Stitch on a white pillow case.

A stronger stitch than the running stitch but similar. Used for creating a solid line. One thread or two of embroidery silk are used depending on the thickness of the line you are embroidering. Start as for a running stitch but make the sequential stitches by passing the needle back into the end of the previous stitch.
 

Cross Stitch.

This stitch can be used to completely fill an area. Bare in mind that small cross stitch like the above takes time. This particular picture took me about two months to create, working two or three hours a day.

The stitch is excellent for canvas material where the weave can easily be counted and worked over an even number of threads for each stitch. When making cross stitch to fill the design, work the first slanting stitch for the full length, then work back completing the crosses.
 

Satin Stitch on leaves on a cushion.

Again can be used to fill an area. It is worked from left to right, therefore allowing a more flat surface than the cross stitch. Lines of running stitch could be worked inside the outline first to give a raised effect.
 

Have fun and be creative.