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The Les Trois Chenes Recipe Book

Updated on January 1, 2014

How to Cook Seasonal Dishes - Recipes from the Les Trois Chenes Guest House

I'm an enthusastic cook and gardener and when we moved out into rural Limousin, I was delighted to embrace the rural lifestyle and local recipes. I have quite a collection of recipes now and the next step is to bring them together into one book.

Part of the fun of living in the country is being able to grow your own organic fruit and vegetables, to buy locally produced food and to cook seasonally, so having thought long and hard about how to arrange my new 'book', I've decided on seasons first and foremost. Of course we have freezers and supermarkets here like anywhere else and many dishes lend themselves to all year cooking with seasonal options, so I've created a section for them too on the first page.

Sometimes I write about growing food, food in general, or the history of food, so these articles are also included. The beauty of an on line book is that it is easy to add to it as the fancy takes you. This online cookery book will, hopefully, grow and grow.

Read more about our lives and painting holidays, our Bed and Breakfast, and our self-catering holiday cottage Les Trois Chenes on our web site

And for still more Cookbooks Read more about our lives and painting holidays, our Bed and Breakfast, and our self-catering holiday cottage 1001 Cookbooks to Find the Best Recipes My Recipe book is the 101th!

Any Time Recipes

In the following pages you'll find our seasonal recipes for the spring, summer, autumn and winter along with a section on food and gardening topics, but many recipes are all-the-year-round treats.

Easy One Pot Fish Dish

This is an all the year round dish but is great with spring vegetables

Easy, Chicken Tajine Recipe

Quick and Easy Sweet or Savoury French Toast

Fat Rat Birthday or Halloween Cake Recipe A quick and easy no-bake cake. of course you could adapt the shape - how about a Fat Cat Cake?

Stale Bread Recipes A Collection of delicious recipes to use up your old bread.

Seasonal Food Recipe Ideas - How to cook with the seasons

Make the most of fresh, locally grown, seasonal food. This is the way to go in the future. Support local producers, cut down travel time, minimize the carbon footprint of your food by cooking with fruit and vegetables that are in season.

True Food: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure
True Food: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure

Seasonal cooking is the way of the future as food costs soar and many people have to cut back on expensive imported food.


Irmik Helvasi

An easy and exotic Turkish dessert

This is my husband's version of the dessert Irmik Helvasi that he remembers so fondly from his childhood in Turkey andone that he often makes for our family - we love it! A great favourite with our friends and our Bed and Breakfast guests, we're often asked to bring it along to other people's dinners and parties. Based on semolina, (incredibly!), it's not expensive and is one of those store cupboard puddings that you can make at the drop of a hat. Like all my recipes, it's quick and easy to make (I guess about ten minutes), foolproof, uses only a few simple ingredients and tastes delicious.

Find the full recipe here: Quick and Easy Exotic Turkish Dessert Recipe Irmik Helvasi

Queen of Puddings

Having lived in our Bed and Breakfast in Limousin, France for seven years now, I'm only too aware of the pride the French have in their their cuisine - sometimes to the exclusion of all other culinary traditions, but even they concede that the British are great when it comes to making puddings. I think that the old-fashioned puds are often amongst the best and this is definately one of The Great British Puddings!

This is a year round pudding, but I've put it in winter because it is one of those great comfort foods, lovely served hot or cold. Queen of Puddings is not only easy, but delicous, economical and a weapon in the fight against waste. What more could you want?

Find the full recipe here: Queen of Puddings

Moist Almond and Orange Cake: A Gluten Free Recipe

This is no melt-in-the-mouth, fluffy, temperamental cake! This is a moist, satisfying cake with a deliciously fresh orange tang. It's light, fat free and gluten free - perfect for people with special dietary requirements. I make this cake because I love it, but also we do occasionally have guests at Les Trois Chenes who can't tolerate gluten or who would like a low fat meal and so this cake makes a perfect dessert for those occasions.

Find the full recipe here: Moist Almond and Orange Cake: A Gluten Free Recipe

An easy, no-fuss gooey, gooey chocolate cake

Ditch the diet! The real secret of good health is that a little of what you fancy does you good, and are you going to fancy this gorgeous, gooey French chocolate cake! Although it's ridiculously easy and totally reliable, it is a treat cake and ideal for special occasions or surprise guests.

Find the full recipe here: Best Chocolate Cake Recipe Ever for a Wickedly Moist French Dessert

Wild Herb (or Weed) Soup

Don't you think it's a waste to pull out all those weeds and to put them at best onto the compost heap and at worst into the bin to add to all that trash and landfill that is so damaging? The waste is even worse when you know that these greens are free, nutritious, slimming and delicious. Who wouldn't want to make them into a great, tasty soup to add to your weight-loss diet menu?

Weed Soup Recipe

Nettle Soup Recipe

Nettles are weeds and grow plentifully, so you'll have no trouble gathering your free greens for this nettle soup. Poor people have long used nettles in cooking, and it's a traditional soup in the Limousin region of France. Highly nutritious, especially high in folic acid, they make a tasty, dark green soup or green vegetable. You need a pair of washing up gloves to gather them without being stung.

Find the full recipe here Nettle Soup Recipe

More spring recipes

I'm going to concentrate on some egg and Easter recipes this year, so watch this space!

Decorated eggs. Photo by Permission of Luba Petrusha

Spring Recipes from Amazon - Don't miss all those spring tastes

Flower Fritters

It was early June when my friend Sue came bursting into my kitchen with her arms full of what we call acacia flowers, (they are really from the Robinia family though) and I soon found out that they were not for decoration, but for eating! She'd been for lunch with a lady who had fried the flower racemes of the Black Locust tree in batter and produced them as an unusual nibble or starter dish. So we set to work on the flowers and made them into lovely, perfumed snacks. It also works well with Elderflower blossoms as well.

Find the full recipe here: Flower Fritters

Want to know which other flowers you can eat? Have a look at Flowers are vegetables too

Sugared flowers

Many flowers are edible, although few are eaten now. You might use nasturiums in a salad, or have heard of sugared violets, but there are many other flowers that can be eaten and they make pretty, edible additions to your table.

Sugared flowers are easy to make, if a little fiddly, and can be kept for some time before use. They are super for wedding cake decorations and decorations for desserts, puddings and salads.

How to make Sugared Flowers

Wild Mushroom Soup

It's the end of October, Halloween, All Saints Day, (or Toussaint) and the weather here in France is warm and wet - perfect for mushrooms! We collect kilos of them in a good year and make them into soup.

Find the full recipe here Wild Mushroom Soup

Wild Mushroom Tart

This is an easy, filling main course tart suitable for vegans and vegetarians. I was in a bit of a rush, (my recipes are real life and not 'staged' for the camera!) so the decoration could perhaps do with a little more care and attention but the tart itself is a real winner and one of my all time favourites. (I need to improve presentation though next time. I'm always in a hurry, and hate giving the off-cut pastry to the dog so I just popped it on top!)

Find the full recipe here Wild Mushroom Tart

Bread and Butter Pudding with a Christmas Limousin Twist

Whether you're saving the world or saving your money you will just adore this frugal but delicious bread pudding, (or, as we used to call it bread and butter pudding). This is one of the best know and most traditional of stale bread recipes. Transform your old bread into a delicious dessert with this budget-friendly frugal recipe. All you need in addition to your stale bread is a couple of eggs, milk, butter, dried fruit, a pinch of spice and a bit of sugar. Save money and stop waste with this budget-friendly frugal recipe.

Bread and Butter Pudding Recipe

Medlar Cheese or Jelly

Medlars are ripe in November and make a wonderful spread.

Find the full recipe here: Medlar Cheese or Jelly

What are Medlars?

Medlars are trees bearing round, golden fruits are very decorative with their five large, star-shaped caylyx at the end. In recent years, unfortunately, they seem to have gone our of fashion, in Britain at least, however I'm pleased that now they're enjoying a well deserved revival. The trees are small, attractively shaped and bear beautiful creamy white flowers. They are tough,hardy, healthy and produce a heavy crop of small, golden fruits that are harvested when most other fruits have finished. What could be more deserving of a place in your garden and kitchen?

Find the full article here: What is a Medlar

The Autumn Fruit and Vegetable Garden

Autumn is famously 'the season of mist and mellow fruitfulness', and here are a few observations on the Les Trois Chenes garden in this season. Lots of nice pictures.

Find the full article here: The Autumn Fruit and Vegetable Garden

Grow Your Own Food - The best gardening book of all time

An excellent, concise, cheap, easy to use book with first class information and apparently, at one time at least, it was the world's best selling booK. This is a manual and not a coffee table book. If you buy one vegetable gardening book, this is it!

The Vegetable & Herb Expert
The Vegetable & Herb Expert

Cheap, easy, informative, quick to use. A real garden pal.


How to Grow Medlars

Medlars are an unusual fruit and a small, pretty tree that fruits in November. Why wouldn't you want to grow one in your garden?

Find the full article here: How to Grow Medlars

I Hope This Lens Will Blossom Over Time!

Thank you for dropping by and I do hope you've enjoyed this lens. If you try any of the recipes I'ld love to know what you think, or let me know your favourite recipes. Please leave any comments in the guest book below.

The Cheese Course at Les Trois Chenes

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    • microfarmproject profile image


      7 years ago

      So many recipes, I don't know where to being! Thank you for this lovely lens. I will be referring to it in the future, I am sure!

    • BLouw profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Walton 

      7 years ago from France

      @Virginia Allain: Thanks for these kind words, vallain. I'd love to do a make-over - or how about a life-swap? A change is as good as a rest!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      7 years ago from Central Florida

      I envy your life. Lovely surroundings, close to nature and such wonderful food you prepare. I need you to come give my life a make-over.

    • BLouw profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Walton 

      7 years ago from France

      @Brandi Bush: Please do come and see us mammabush! Limousin is lovely, especially now in the spring!

    • Brandi Bush profile image


      7 years ago from Maryland

      Wow, your menu looks delicious...and so beautiful! I would love to come for a visit! :)

    • BLouw profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Walton 

      7 years ago from France

      @joykennel: Thank you for these kind words of encouragement, Joy. Always nice to have a few achievable recipes to hand.

    • BLouw profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Walton 

      7 years ago from France

      @sukkran trichy: Do let me know how they work out, sukkran.

    • BLouw profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Walton 

      7 years ago from France

      @TheArtLibrarian: Thanks for visiting TheArtLibrarian.

    • joykennel profile image


      7 years ago

      Beautiful--informative--engaging--delicious--lovely lens!!!!!

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 

      7 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      love your seasonal dishes recipes. bookmarked this page for my future use. thanks

    • TheArtLibrarian profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice photos and recipes -- thanks!

    • BLouw profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Walton 

      7 years ago from France

      @TonyPayne: Poddys, thanks for the blessing! I cook at random but it's nice to learn the local recipes as I always find that the local food and ingrediants are the easiest to produce in a given location.

    • BLouw profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Walton 

      7 years ago from France

      @BrianRS: Hi Brian. Yes, they make great cakes here too. My neighbour gave me a pear cake which was heavenly. I just don't have time to write them all up! As for our pud shapes, I suppose little and not very often is the trick. Get out on some nice, brisk walks in the wonderful French countryside.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      These look lovely - bet they taste it, too! :)

    • BLouw profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Walton 

      7 years ago from France

      @JoshK47: Thank you for leaving a message, SaintFrantic and JoshK47. Pleased that you enjoyed them.

    • BLouw profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Walton 

      7 years ago from France

      @Paul Ward: Many thanks Paul.

    • BLouw profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Walton 

      7 years ago from France

      @anonymous: Thanks your kind words, SereneSea. That's the atmosphere I'd like to provide here.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      7 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Excellent recipes, now I am fancying some of these. I think it's great what you have taken and introduced into the Limousin area. Nicely done, blessed.

    • BrianRS profile image

      Brian Stephens 

      7 years ago from France

      I have to agree that the English are very good at making puddings, might be a clue as to why a significant proportion of the population are starting to look like puddings, but in our area of France English cakes are also highly regarded. My weakness are the French cheeses however and they are probably the reason I am not such a slim Jim myself. Nice range of culinary suggestions here and not all of French origin :-)

    • SaintFrantic profile image


      7 years ago

      Great recipes.I love mushroom soup.Thanks for sharing

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Yummy and tasty recipes, that just reminds me the warm hospitality of country and farmhouse. Love country living and the simplicity of country folks.

    • BLouw profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Walton 

      7 years ago from France

      @Paul Ward: Many thanks for dropping by Paul. Your support is much appreciated.

    • Paul Ward profile image


      8 years ago from Liverpool, England

      Some excellent recipes - nicely done lens.

    • BLouw profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Walton 

      8 years ago from France

      @MariaMontgomery: Many thanks Mia-Mia for your kind words. Do let me know if they work out for you.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image


      8 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      This is a great lens. I can't wait to try some of your recipes, and add them to mine. I have bookmarked this one.


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