After the rain…

Everything looks crisp and fresh …just like in our shop !

Very happy to sell the towels from very talented French artist Valentine Viannay . Designed and printed right here in San Diego on 100% cotton with Eco Water based inks .

Spring cleaning time ! Just back in stock , Made in France , all natural fibers brushes to clean everything around the house : from bottles to decanters , champagne flutes , pots , pans , vegetables , nails …

Fording trivets that adjust …Clever idea that has been approved by French households for decades  ! Bring it home …

All natural soy candles Citrus/Cedarleaf , Cypress Lavender with notes of Juniper-Eucalyptus and my favorite Vetiver/Sage with notes of bergamote .
Love everything about this new botanical line !

This new book from Ines de La Fressange reveals the essence of a Parisian Chic Interior by inviting the reader inside 15 appartments including her own ! Discover all her secrets for creating a poetic and elegant “Maison” through a blend of vintage and contemporary styles

Christian Lacroix fan cards are the kind you will keep if you receive one …and they make a beautiful gift to give !

Rose makes everything taste better ! Champagne , scones , pancakes , ice cream ….

Neon bright towels from Garnier Thiebaut ! We still got a load of the traditional woven towels in …something for everybody !

Half French / half Japanese and happy to bring a little bit of Japan in our boutique with the beautiful clutches made by my friend in Tokyo . She re purposes vintage obi belt and kimonos into beautiful gowns and purses . A whole new shipment to come before Easter !

Crepes fourees au Grand Marnier souffle

What’s best ? A crepe ? or a Grand Marnier Souffle ?

A crepe stuffed with Grand Marnier Souffle !!!! The French favorite Holiday of the Chandeleur is coming up February 2nd ( read more about it on the blog in a previous “recipe “post ) and you are just in time to master the art of crepe making ! Here are some tips from my kitchen .

I served mines with some home made Grand Marnier gelato ( just ad  Grand Marnier to a gelato cream base ) and it was the perfect hot , cold , fluffy and chewy texture …amazing and sure to blow your mind and your guest’s mind !

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This recipe will make 6 small individual crepes .  ( The ones on the photo were big : 11″ diameter and big enough for 2 people )

First you need to make the crepes . I use this shaker now because it is so convenient . No need to weigh anything . Milk , flour and eggs go in the shaker and the batter is done in 2 minutes …bullet proof , even my husband who does not cook is using it ! I flavor the batter with some vanilla and Grand Marnier . We sell the shakers at the shop and the magic crepe pans when we can ship some from France when we go .

Pour straight from the shaker with no lumps because it has a strainer inside . Butter the pan and cook on both sides . Reserve .

Make a pastry cream . This can be done in advance .

250 ml of milk , 3 egg yolks , 50 grams of granulated sugar ( about 3 1/2 Tbs) 15 grams ( 2 small tbsp ) of corn starch . 1/2  vanilla bean .

Mix the egg yolks with sugar and corn starch  . Ad the warm milk infused with the vanilla bean . Return to the pan and cook until it bubble mixing with a wooden spoon all the time ) . The boiling process smooth the pastry cream . Remove from heat and reserve with a plastic wrap covering the cream ( it has to touch the cream or this one will make a “skin”  ) You can keep in refrigerator for a couple of days .

Prepare the souffle batter just before to cook or it won’t rise so well .

Beat with an electric whisk 4 large egg whites with a pinch of salt . When getting firm , ad slowly 2 tbsp of sugar . and continue to beat until firm and shinny .

Incorporate gently the egg white mix into the pastry cream ( the cream cannot be hot , if you just made it . let it cool down at room temperature ) Do not over mix .

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Stuff the crepes while setting them up on parchment paper . img_3523 (large)

Cook 10-12 mns in hot oven 375-400F  until fluffy . Do not open the oven or the souffle will flop .

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Sprinkle with confectioner sugar and serve immediately with the Grand Marnier gelato or home made “creme anglaise ” ( see below )  flavored with Grand Marnier . I made a little hole into the middle of the crepe and spoon a scoop of gelato that melted and worked like the sauce does when you eat a grand Marnier souffle. If you do not want alcohol you can serve this with vanilla gelato and  chocolate sauce .

Basic creme anglaise : It is almost the same principal as the pastry cream with the difference that this one cannot boil or it will curl .

4 egg yolks + 80 grams of sugar + 400 ml of warm milk. return to the pan and cook on low to medium low heat turning constantly with a wooden spoon until it coats the spoon ( this can takes around 10-13 mns ) Ad Grand Marnier to your liking ; I like about 40 ml

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Joyeux Noel !

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Christmas 1995…we were about to embark on this amazing journey ; realize our dream to open this  “Little French Store” AKA Maison en Provence and make San Diego our home .
Every Holiday , it hits us, how incredibly enriching this has been…so much more than we could have ever imagine ! We LOVE what we do and you give it all back to us !

During the Holidays , we get to see everybody ..all the regulars , the one we have not seen for years  the one who only comes at Christmas ..but always come then …It warms our hearts and make this time so special to us . Thanks for being this wonderful big family of clients and friends; for all the joy and support you give us . This is way more than just running a small business …it has been a life changing experience and we look forward to the next years to come …
 
Merry Christmas !
Pascal and Marielle
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Joyeux Noel and thanks for the support this Holiday Season !
Marielle , Alice, Connie and Yvonne
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It’s the Holidays and our favorite time of the year !

It took a village but our little shop has transformed into a glitter wonderland for the Holidays !

These ornaments are US made with real glass glitter from Germany …the sparkle is amazing and they get better with a softer patina look with time  .

Transform a simple package into something special with one of these on top , give your tree a little glam or decorate the house with a unique wreath and deers .

 

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Cute felt ornaments are flying out the door ! IMG_2707 (Large)IMG_2667 (Large)IMG_2664 (Large)IMG_2666 (Large)IMG_2708 (Large)

We sell as well traditional nativity figurines made in Aix en Provence in the South of France . These clay figures and hand made and hand painted . Come check out our set up in person . Kids love this scene that include not only the Holly family but an entire village set in the mid 1800 . We love to share this tradition and the stories behind each figurine …this is our Christmas tradition !

 

Fall and all …

It does not sound real but it is October already and our hydrangeas have turned from blue to rusty reds !

We’ve been busy transforming the shop with all the new things we have been buying all summer long !

We were inspired by our last trip to the Pyrenees and the Basque region of France and Spain ….We loved the food in San Sebastian but we enjoyed the scenery in France much more ….this will have to a post on its own sometimes soon !

Bougies “La Francaise” tapper candles are drip less and come in rich colors perfect for the fall entertaining season ( also in oranges , reds , green , greys , gold ….)

Trendy eggplant and grey table setting ! Amethyst glasses from La Rochere and melamine plates that look so real you can use them indoor anytime !

A myriad of new woven kitchen towels to brighten your kitchen or bring as a hostess gift !

French people BBQ too ! The perfect book for a man who loves meat ….do it French style !

Garnier Thiebaut damask linens trunk show was a success ! We have been using these tablecloths ourselves for over 15 years and they all still look perfect ! Soon we’ll be delivering people’s special orders …being able to order anything out of the catalog is a wonderful thing and our clients took advantage of this opportunity …we ordered even some 144″ long tablecloths that will make a stunning table during the Holidays !

Just a little taste of what’s coming for Christmas ….

New Melamine dishes from Le Cadeaux

 

French toys are the cutest !

Moulin Roty has been our wheelehouse ever since we discovered the brand and were planning to open our shop …they have managed over the years to stay current and old fashioned at the same time ! The attention to details , the choice of materials and the creativity is most amazing !

Wooden toys , pull toys … a real old French tradition . They’re bright  and fun !

When I was a child , back to school also meant after school “gouter” …the best meal of the day …way better than the evening soup ! I loved starting baking at that time , making the most easy “gateau au yaourt ” witch you find in this fun book to enjoy with your kids or grand kids.

 

We had to make an exception with this line from Danemark …We just wanted to play with those circus mice so bad !!

Our Sheep skin flat bears are the softest most amazing toy a kid will grow old with …over the past 18 years that we have been selling these , we sure have made some happy kids !

Laguiole folding knives

Laguiole is a small village in central France and for the longest time , it had been a very isolated rural , harsh environment where they raised cattle , made cheese  and during the long winter months …some utilitarian pocket knifes .

Since then , this tiny village became world famous because of their cutlery , not their cheese ! Unfortunately they had trade marked the cheese and not the knife so many copies are being made all over the world using their decorative bee and name . Don’t be fooled…the price will be forgotten and  the quality will stay .

Before to start selling these  ( 22 years ago ) we decided to drive to Laguiole and get our education on the subject . It was an experience we have never forgotten . From Provence , it took us all day on tiny windy roads . Once we reached the plateau of Aubrac already frosted in November , it looked like landing on the moon !  We went on to visit the forge and meet the different craftsman and have been proud to sell only Authentic Laguiole knives in  our shop ever since ! Hand forged and put together by hand by one single craftsman , each knife is unique.  In a throwaway society, this is an object you will keep for the rest of your life, then leave to your grandchildren.

The carbon steel blade give these knives their edge …super sharp and vintage looking. Extra long solid horn , perfect for the table . His and hers steak knives ! Take them along when out to dinner at a nice restaurant …It’s the new French thing !

This is the Laguiole for the serious meat eater . The hunting knife is bold , rustic and fit perfectly in a man’s hand .

Raw blade keep an even more rustic look to this knife made of Ziricote wood

Elegant and polished in a rare very light and uniform color of horn

Plain handle knives look more like the old ones , no protection bolsters , vintage rivets , cross rivets on the handle in a polished buffalo horn

Carving details are on on the inside as well as on the top

One of a kind Fleur de Lys decoration took the place of the traditional bee . This is how people personalized their knife ; put a shamrock , a horse shoe , a heart…

Of course we also carry carving sets , cheese knives, sommeliers wine openers and steak knives

Traditional rustic wood knives , perfect for hiking and picnics.