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Bonne Année everyone, happy New Year. How quickly time flies, I hope you are all well and beginning the new year with a positive outlook and good health. If you have made any New Year resolutions and are able to keep to them, you have more willpower than most.  I do make a few resolutions myself but alas, have frequently failed to keep them over the years. Why do we do it to ourselves?

This year I have vowed, (to myself) to improve my French. I love France but I have a lazy streak when it comes to improving my language skills and rely on my husband to help out which is not good for me. So, this will be my main objective this year and with my love of French cooking, this will be an enjoyable experience – can you detect the positive attitude in there – well, we shall see!

This is the time of year when, after all the Christmas celebrations, we start to think of holidays. The need for a break even if it is a short one finds many yearning to get away for a rest and a change of scenery.

So, if that is how you feel right now, why not take a break in France and help shake off the cobwebs and the winter blues, a little French culture is sure to recharge your batteries and France is so easy to get to nowadays, there really is no excuse to linger.
France is such a large country that there is something for everyone to enjoy and what could be more relaxing than to be doing something you enjoy. If you have never been to France I urge you to take a short break and see for yourself, you will be smitten and you will fall in love with it.

It is the time of year for the French Soldes – the sales! Now does that seem like a good excuse to take a break over the channel? Just imagine browsing the sales in Paris – there are some bargains to be had in these sales, whilst at the same time you can soak up the atmosphere with a hot chocolate and a French pastry, or two. You could be doing this very easily if you wish hard enough.

For those of you who love the beauty of the Alps, it is the ski season and there are many bargain holidays to enjoy. Why not browse the accommodation with www.frenchconnections.co.uk and plan a much needed break to recharge your batteries.
French food is wonderful and this is one of the many benefits of holidaying in France as no matter which region you choose to visit, there will always be an abundance of French specialities to tempt your taste buds. There are many bistros, restaurants and cafes to visit so you will find there is a good choice to suit all pockets yet all with the very best of French cuisine.

If you prefer to have a self catering holiday again, you will find the local food shops and supermarkets supply all your needs but for me, the French markets are the place to buy your everyday food from French cheeses, fresh vegetables including many fresh herbs, fruit, meats and fish. 

This month I have chosen one of our favourite French recipes, an omelette, as it is so very easy and quick to make and can be served at any time of the day. It is a warming and satisfying dish and one that is very good for this time of year when you want something tasty with very little effort.

The word omelette comes from the French lamelle or thin strip because of its shape. It is important to have a good frying pan for cooking them; preferably a heavy bottomed one such as a cast iron pan. They can be served flat or folded, as an entree or dessert depending of course if it is sweet or savoury. 

Omelette aux Croûtons
Serves Six

100g/4oz lardons or streaky bacon cut into small pieces
175g/6oz chopped onions, roughly chopped
4 tablespoons croutons
6 fresh eggs
2oz butter
Salt and black pepper

Prepare your croutons by cutting a couple of slices of bread into small cubes.
Mix the eggs in a bowl with a fork and season with salt and black pepper.
Fry your lardons/bacon in a heavy bottomed pan until crisp then remove and keep warm.
Gently fry the chopped onions in the same pan until golden brown (you may need a little of the butter for this) then remove and keep warm with the lardons.
Fry the cubed bread in the same pan to soak up the flavours, until golden; you now have your croûtons, remove and keep warm.
Put the remaining butter in the pan until it froths and finally, give the eggs another stir and pour them into the pan.
Reduce the heat to low and stir the egg mixture in a sort of figure of eight movement and gently lift the edges as they begin to set to allow the mixture to run underneath.
As the egg mixture sets underneath, yet remains liquid on the surface, spread the onions, lardons and croutons over the surface and cook gently for about half a minute.
You can either fold your omelette over in half or leave it as it is in one round as I have done in the picture.
Slide the omelette on to a warm serving dish or cut it into sections from your pan, as you prefer.
Serve at once.

Bon Appétit