Saturday, March 22, 2014


Here at Chateau Perroterie spring has well and truly sprung, in the 8 years we have lived here, I have never known such a mild winter, ok yes a wet one too, but nature has been awake for more than a month. The bees and butterflies are prolific, and to oblige them, plants and herbs especially the rosemary has flowered early, the noise underneath the plum trees is frantic with happy bees. 
Angel wings 1st rose of 2014

So in the kitchen I have thrown off the shackles of heavier dishes like roasts and casseroles in favour of lighter crunchy meals. I made my favourite salad yesterday its called Perigordian salad and is so delicious and very satisfying. Typically it has a base of green salad leaves, tossed in a walnut and honey dressing, I lightly sauté smoked lardons then I remove them and scatter them on top of the salad, next the duck geziers, add to the same pan to absorb the lovely smokey juices and oils from the bacon, add some garlic to taste (I like a lot) and a little olive oil, sauté for 5 minutes, theses too get tossed onto the salad, along with walnuts or pine nuts which ever you have to hand. I add thinly sliced red onion, little canapé toasts with foie gras for decadence. This pretty much is the lot, but I had some left over roasted chicken and some jambon sec in the fridge so I added them to, I have in the past added thin batons of a crunchy apple for sweetness, its one of those salads which you can have fun with. Final tip use chicken livers if you can't get geziers. 
Perigordian salad

Enjoy the lovely spring weather, next weekend the clocks "spring" forward and we have longer days, make life lighter in your kitchens and and look forward to wonderful vegetables like asparagus which are about to come onto our supermarket shelves.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day, my daughter reminded me recently on her amazing awakened living community space that its also "Give a book day"

If you weren't aware of this please check it out HERE I love that it fall on valentines day. In my little town of Duras, the mayor organised a corner under the covered market place. The idea is you bring a book, in my case sometimes French, sometimes English which anyone can take away & read. Then hopefully returning the book or replacing it with another. So far its working really well and the cupboard is always more than 3/4 full. So give a book today rather than the predictable box of chocolates.
Great read & based around our area in France.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The weather is wet and windy here, but we are warm and cosy indoors our log fire is blazing. My thoughts are firmly with our loved ones in the UK, and I realise how lucky we are. 

Its the perfect conditions for John & I to press on with our writing, no outside jobs needing our attention, then the phone rings, and a friend calls, her husband is ill and feeling very low, so what does a good friend do? well its a no brainer, you put your apron on and bake a lovely cake, then waterproof coats on the cake fully protected, we head off in the car. The smiles that greet us as we turn up on our friends doorstep says it all. A couple of hours spent enjoying tea and cake and a good chat, this is the best medicine I know.

So keep safe everyone, keep dry, and before you know it, the sunshine will come back and this will all be a soggy memory.
Yummy sponge

Saturday, January 11, 2014


We are now in the second week of our New Year, where does the time go? we have been reminiscing about our lovely family Christmas and this photo epitomised the most delicious Christmas day breakfast all sitting around the kitchen table no fuss no frills just great food. Our son knocked up this in hardly any time, he couldn't remember which celebrity chef he'd seen doing creating this on the telly, so apologises for not giving credit to them.

You need stale butter croissants 2-3 days old, one per person,  slice them into 5 or 6 slices then in a large frying pan which you need to heat till its really hot no oil fat needed the butter in the croissants is all you need, the butter slowly comes from the pastry slices and caramelises. Remove from the pan and keep warm, lightly whisk 2 eggs per person in a bowl season, scramble in the used frying pan add smoked salmon to the eggs or add to the plates at the end, which is what my son did. We of course enjoyed it all the more with a glass or two of bucks fizz. Try this next time you have any spare croissants. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014


A very happy new year to all our lovely clients, I am sitting here in my cozy kitchen contemplating what 2014 may bring, and it made me focus on what is important and what really isn't. So here I have put together my wishes for you all.

I hope you appreciate what you have & not worry about what you don't have.
I hope you count your blessings regularly throughout your day.
I hope you find moments of contentment in each & every day.
I hope you have dreams which will challenge you.
I hope you enjoy the gifts which each day brings you.
I hope you find time to stop and breath deeply.
I hope you take time to feel grateful in your day.
I hope you appreciate your health and celebrate being alive.
I hope you invest in the now.
I hope you resist the opportunity to be judge-mental.
I hope you are kind to yourself.
I hope you learn a new thing every day.
I hope you make good choices.
I hope you notice the beauty in your life starting with yourself.
I hope you seize every opportunity that comes knocking at your door.
I hope you find moments of peace in your day.
I hope you have quality time with loved ones
I hope you take time out to relax in your day.
I hope you have moments where you see how special you are.
I hope you know you are timeless.
I hope you understand how awesome you are.
I hope you value yourself.
I hope you use your words kindly.

Finally I hope you have many many GOOD MOMENTS in 2014.
Love and best wishes, Karen & John xxxx

Saturday, October 5, 2013


Phew! what a busy end to our 2013 season, we went out with a bang, a lovely group of 19 lively Yogis have been staying. They certainly understood the meaning of enjoyment, a perfect blend of Yoga sessions, relaxing meals together, walking, swimming, drinking, snoozing, need I say any more!

Its been an action packed year with lots of great people, some new, many returning for a second or third visit, we must be doing something right. The enquiries and bookings are coming thick and fast, I have a feeling we will be in for another busy year, and I can't wait to see many of you again, however not before a well earned rest. John and I are off to UK soon see all our loved ones, then its back to our winter job, writing. We have two books to finish, fingers crossed we can achieve our goals by next spring.

Who's for dinner?

Drinks on the terrace.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


I love all things kitchenalia, if there is such a word! Give me a gadget and I am in heaven, my family know that when it comes to buying me a gift it's easy, just browse around a kitchen shop and you are bound to find a little "gizmo" which will entertain me for hours.

This week I was very kindly given a gift all the way from Sweden, an ancient waffle cookie iron for making Strouvor! Now it's fair to say I very nearly consigned this little metal contraption as a kitchen decor destined to be hung or nailed to a wooden beam, and very nice it would have looked, but after time to reflect and a good old search on the Internet, I discovered a lovely short video on the correct way to use this implement. I had a recipe for a rich sweet batter, and the knowledge as to how to prepare my little iron, so I challenged myself to a cook off. The weather was 35 degrees and much too hot for cooking but I wouldn't be put off, and I am glad to say that after a very enjoyable 20 minutes, yes start to finish that's all it took me, I had made almost 50 light fluffy cookies. A quick dredge with icing sugar and they were ready to eat, perfect with either tea or coffee.

The lovely Glynnie (the gift bearer) decided she wanted to host a Swedish evening, we enjoyed Gravalax, Reindeer which was a first for me, tasted a little like pressed tongue, very good, there were many other delicacies, it was so nice to eat a different cuisine as nice as French food can be, a change is always a refreshing change.
Outdoors in 33 degrees heat!

Swedish Buffet

My plate of delicacies