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A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse: A Cookbook

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With beguiling recipes and sumptuous photography, A Kitchen in France transports readers to the French countryside and marks the debut of a captivating new voice in cooking.   When Mimi Thorisson and her family moved from Paris to a small town in out-of-the-way Médoc, she did not quite know what was in store for them. She found wonderful ingredients—from local farmers and th With beguiling recipes and sumptuous photography, A Kitchen in France transports readers to the French countryside and marks the debut of a captivating new voice in cooking.   When Mimi Thorisson and her family moved from Paris to a small town in out-of-the-way Médoc, she did not quite know what was in store for them. She found wonderful ingredients—from local farmers and the neighboring woods—and, most important, time to cook. Her cookbook chronicles the family’s seasonal meals and life in an old farmhouse, all photographed by her husband, Oddur. Mimi’s convivial recipes—such as Roast Chicken with Herbs and Crème Fraîche, Cèpe and Parsley Tartlets, Winter Vegetable Cocotte, Apple Tart with Orange Flower Water, and Salted Butter Crème Caramel—will bring the warmth of rural France into your home.


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With beguiling recipes and sumptuous photography, A Kitchen in France transports readers to the French countryside and marks the debut of a captivating new voice in cooking.   When Mimi Thorisson and her family moved from Paris to a small town in out-of-the-way Médoc, she did not quite know what was in store for them. She found wonderful ingredients—from local farmers and th With beguiling recipes and sumptuous photography, A Kitchen in France transports readers to the French countryside and marks the debut of a captivating new voice in cooking.   When Mimi Thorisson and her family moved from Paris to a small town in out-of-the-way Médoc, she did not quite know what was in store for them. She found wonderful ingredients—from local farmers and the neighboring woods—and, most important, time to cook. Her cookbook chronicles the family’s seasonal meals and life in an old farmhouse, all photographed by her husband, Oddur. Mimi’s convivial recipes—such as Roast Chicken with Herbs and Crème Fraîche, Cèpe and Parsley Tartlets, Winter Vegetable Cocotte, Apple Tart with Orange Flower Water, and Salted Butter Crème Caramel—will bring the warmth of rural France into your home.

30 review for A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse: A Cookbook

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    This book just could not be more gorgeous- I couldn't leave it behind in the bookstore just based on that. And beyond that it has many seasonal-based, relatively healthy, real-food recipes, arranged in a cycle from spring to winter. Even my picky eater husband couldn't wait to try half the book- we've just started trying them, so I'll update when we've done more, but so far all the steps are easy, very few ingredients required for the ones I've tried. Somewhat time intensive, and not all the rec This book just could not be more gorgeous- I couldn't leave it behind in the bookstore just based on that. And beyond that it has many seasonal-based, relatively healthy, real-food recipes, arranged in a cycle from spring to winter. Even my picky eater husband couldn't wait to try half the book- we've just started trying them, so I'll update when we've done more, but so far all the steps are easy, very few ingredients required for the ones I've tried. Somewhat time intensive, and not all the recipes have readily accessible ingredients, but most do. And again, it's gorgeous and more than worth buying for the photographs alone. Do not regret this at all.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nora St Laurent

    I’m thankful for the review copy of a book that is as much fun to look at and read as it is to make the yummy recipes inside. Here is the book trailer that introduces you to Mimi and her cooking adventures. The author says, “Ever since I was a little girl I have been deeply passionate about food. My childhood was largely spent scurrying between the restaurants of Hong Kong, where I grew up, and the bistros of Paris and the south of France where we spent our holidays at my French grandmother’s. Fo I’m thankful for the review copy of a book that is as much fun to look at and read as it is to make the yummy recipes inside. Here is the book trailer that introduces you to Mimi and her cooking adventures. The author says, “Ever since I was a little girl I have been deeply passionate about food. My childhood was largely spent scurrying between the restaurants of Hong Kong, where I grew up, and the bistros of Paris and the south of France where we spent our holidays at my French grandmother’s. Food was constantly on my mind, I’m the girl who was always happiest at the table. After a life full of adventure and travel, a career in fashion, media and television, I settled down in Paris with Oddur, my Icelandic photographer husband…. A big family needs a lot of space (she has five children, two older step children)….. we went looking for a bigger place to live, and found one … in Médoc. Moving to the country was not planned at all, but we took the leap and it’s been some sort of fairytale ever since – you should try it! I’ve been doing a lot of cooking in these last four years, to glowing reviews (my family are very kind) and around 2 years ago I felt the need to share my culinary experiences with some friends and perhaps a few others. So Manger was born and while the rest may not be history it’s my story and my family’s….” After a career in T.V. and having lived in Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Reykjavik and Paris, she has settled down in a farm house in Medoc where she adjusted to not having a hair dresser down stairs, no bakery on the corner but she did have a fireplace in every room of her farm house, and thousands of roses climbing up the wall and decorating on side of the house. She became more aware of season changes and the pleasure each season brought. She grows her own vegetables and fruit. She started to eat the fruits and veggies highlighted by the season in which they shined. This cookbook, “chronicles the family’s seasonal meals and life in an old farmhouse with beautifully photographed by her husband, Oddur.” I made the Butternut Gratin. My family and I loved it. It was simple with easy to find ingredients, it was flavorful and everyone was delighted by the taste. I like the stories behind the recipe the author shares before the actual recipe instructions start. Her directions are easy to follow and most of the ingredients are easy to find. This is a book about French cooking and several of the recipes call for ingredients that will have you looking in places you don’t normally shop. I found some pastries and desserts require more time to create than I have time for during the week. I plan on making some of them for the weekend when I have more time to cook and my family has more time to enjoy the fruit of my labor. I loved the beautiful camera shots of Mimi, her family and Medoc France. I haven’t been there but it looks like a great get away. I felt like I've experienced a little bit of the country side through this book and the video’s I've included in this review. This author has a cooking show filmed in France. I found a youtube video of the show in French and one in English. This gives you a sample of how easily she moves around in the kitchen and how simples some of recipes are to make. This book is an experience you won’t want to miss. I received a free copy of this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to give a positive review, and if you read my blog, you know I'm a tell-it-like it is kind of girl. I mean what I say and say what I mean, that holds true for my review. Nora St Laurent TBCN Where Book Fun Begins www.bookfun.org The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com

  3. 5 out of 5

    Relyn

    Some people think it's odd that I love to read cookbooks when I don't cook. But, a great cookbook is so much more than recipes. This book was a gorgeous photography book, a photo-styling primer, a reminder that food is an important part of living well, and a collection of excellent mini-essays on the art of living well. I loved this book! Some people think it's odd that I love to read cookbooks when I don't cook. But, a great cookbook is so much more than recipes. This book was a gorgeous photography book, a photo-styling primer, a reminder that food is an important part of living well, and a collection of excellent mini-essays on the art of living well. I loved this book!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Susan O'brien

    Beautiful photographs. I have the butternut gratin in the oven at this very moment and it smells wonderful. Alas, there are too many recipes that I would not attempt but it is a gorgeous book. (And let me just say that the butternut gratin was probably the best winter squash dish that I ever had.)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Onceinabluemoon

    Loved this book, not only is she stunningly beautiful, but adore her lifestyle with a parcel of kids and dogs in the country making scrumptious satisfying meals. A beautiful glimpse into her kitchen life.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Janel Gradowski

    This is a gorgeous book for food lovers. A cookbook that can be read like a novel but it is also filled with photos of food and scenes from life in the French countryside. Ms. Thorisson writes the blog, Manger. Her husband, Oddur, is a photographer and he took most of the photos for the book. It’s a coffee table book because of the size and beautiful photography, but also a cookbook that will be referenced many times over the course of a year because of the recipes. The recipes are organized by s This is a gorgeous book for food lovers. A cookbook that can be read like a novel but it is also filled with photos of food and scenes from life in the French countryside. Ms. Thorisson writes the blog, Manger. Her husband, Oddur, is a photographer and he took most of the photos for the book. It’s a coffee table book because of the size and beautiful photography, but also a cookbook that will be referenced many times over the course of a year because of the recipes. The recipes are organized by season featuring the culinary bounty that is found in the markets or foraged from the land around the Thorisson’s house in the Medoc region of France. Some of the recipes that caught my eye are Chou Farci – Savoy cabbage stuffed with a savory pork filling, Lyonnaise Sausage Roll – brioche baked with sausage inside, and Apple Tart with Orange Flower Water – a simple dessert with the unexpected addition of the orange flower water. For the most part the recipes are simple and straight-forward everyday meals from the kitchen of a busy mom often with seven children afoot to feed. A few ingredients, like squab, pork cheeks or cepes, may not be so easily accessible for some cooks in the U.S., but there are plenty of other dishes to try with more readily available meats and produce. I enjoyed the writing in this book as much as the recipes and photographs. It was a literary vacation to rural France. The Thorisson family moved from Paris to the countryside. While the lifestyle change was welcome, their growing family needed more space than what a Paris apartment could offer, it did take some time to get used to and Ms. Thorisson talks about how it feels to be a city girl in the country. Her writing style is chatty and conversational, like sitting down with a friend. Overall it is a very enjoyable book, especially if you are interested in France or French cooking. I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    i had expected to dislike this book because it's one of those so perfect life cookbooks, but it was so beautiful, I had to open it up ... and i found i really enjoyed it. her recipes are appealing and not overly complicated. the photography is gorgeous. So is mimi thorisson, but in a way that isn't off-putting or overly jealousy-inducing. But i have to say that at a certain point in flipping through this book, i started actually to feel sorry for her. There she is, in this brooding Gothic manor i had expected to dislike this book because it's one of those so perfect life cookbooks, but it was so beautiful, I had to open it up ... and i found i really enjoyed it. her recipes are appealing and not overly complicated. the photography is gorgeous. So is mimi thorisson, but in a way that isn't off-putting or overly jealousy-inducing. But i have to say that at a certain point in flipping through this book, i started actually to feel sorry for her. There she is, in this brooding Gothic manor in the middle of rural france with her brooding scandinavian husband (who photographed the book) and their five children and his two children from a prior relationship and their 12 dogs ... And there's something overly sexualized about the way she's photographed. I found it a little creepy,especially when i read her dedication at the end, where she says something like "this book is dedicated to my husband, who makes me and the children always be our best, even when we don't want to be ..." It's still a super beautiful book, though, so read and enjoy it ...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Katrina Roets

    A Kitchen in France could almost be a coffee table book. It's filled with beautiful photos that were taken by the author's husband. The recipes are all straight forward and easy to follow. I was really concerned because I've heard that French cooking can be quite complicated, but I didn't find a single one that I couldn't pull off as a home cook. In a lot of ways, Mimi's storytelling gives you access to a part of life that few of us will ever get to experience. After all, how many of us have 7 c A Kitchen in France could almost be a coffee table book. It's filled with beautiful photos that were taken by the author's husband. The recipes are all straight forward and easy to follow. I was really concerned because I've heard that French cooking can be quite complicated, but I didn't find a single one that I couldn't pull off as a home cook. In a lot of ways, Mimi's storytelling gives you access to a part of life that few of us will ever get to experience. After all, how many of us have 7 children, a whole bunch of terriers and live in France? Not I and I for one, don't really want to. However, reading her stories about their lives made me smile and it encouraged me to find my own passions and to follow them instead of living in any sort of envy for what other people do or have in their lives.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    This cookbook is very rich is taste, flavors and probably your pocket. I have always been fascinated with french cuisine, but I didn't know what I was getting into when I read this one. The book is beautifully illustrated with gorgeous photos of the countryside, food and the family. However, most of these recipes seem very rich, as in the flavors. As I started to go through this, I was suddenly hit with the realization that most of these ingredients I would have to purchase at specialty stores o This cookbook is very rich is taste, flavors and probably your pocket. I have always been fascinated with french cuisine, but I didn't know what I was getting into when I read this one. The book is beautifully illustrated with gorgeous photos of the countryside, food and the family. However, most of these recipes seem very rich, as in the flavors. As I started to go through this, I was suddenly hit with the realization that most of these ingredients I would have to purchase at specialty stores or online. Living in the country with no specialty stores around, I am at a loss. But, most of these recipes do look wonderful, and I even found a recipe for Duck Confit, which I have been looking for. Hopefully I will get to try some of these wonderful recipes soon.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tatiana Morari

    Loved the book, even though the recipes are a bit too complicated for a beginner in cooking like me. But definitely when I will get the hang in the kitchen I will try little by little the recipes. I think that the beauty of this book is provided by the stories that Mimi shares of all recipes and the way they got to her. Now I am switching to reading her blog. Great Job Mimi

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    These people are perfect, except for having a ridiculous number of dogs, but otherwise perfect. Possibly they are a superior race of aliens that really like cooking and taking perfect self-portaits of their perfectness...and dogs. The food looks good, too.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    Beautiful book full of lovely photographs and quaint stories. I'm sure I'll never make a single one of the recipes, but everything sounds delicious. The author reminds me of a French Nigella. Beautiful book full of lovely photographs and quaint stories. I'm sure I'll never make a single one of the recipes, but everything sounds delicious. The author reminds me of a French Nigella.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Diana Garcia

    Lovely, but outrageously aspirational lifestyle porn for even the most privileged. I'll keep it for perusal, but doubt I will cook more than one or two recipes from it. Lovely, but outrageously aspirational lifestyle porn for even the most privileged. I'll keep it for perusal, but doubt I will cook more than one or two recipes from it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    I keep coming back to this cookbook. Vol au vent, garbure des Pyrenees, various gratins

  15. 5 out of 5

    Meghan

    This is the most beautifully photographed, one-dimensional, fantasy cookbook I have ever read. I LOVE reading about French home/country cooking and there are some truly understated books out there (In a French Kitchen, A Life in Provence, Bringing up Bebe) do a beautiful job of describing how in love French people are with food THAT DO NOT HAVE A SINGLE PICTURE. This book is the opposite. The love of food is there, I will give it that, but is completely overshadowed by a series of dark photograph This is the most beautifully photographed, one-dimensional, fantasy cookbook I have ever read. I LOVE reading about French home/country cooking and there are some truly understated books out there (In a French Kitchen, A Life in Provence, Bringing up Bebe) do a beautiful job of describing how in love French people are with food THAT DO NOT HAVE A SINGLE PICTURE. This book is the opposite. The love of food is there, I will give it that, but is completely overshadowed by a series of dark photographs depicting a beautiful woman, benignly smiling, as if she is a doll who has been posed in a very rustic luxe dollhouse, holding a basket of root vegetables. The book depicts a world where you can't really imagining anyone having -too- good of a time. Surely there are no iPhones or even screens in this world. I challenge you to look at these pictures and imagine these people doing anything but smiling, closed-lipped, as they bend over a roasted guinea hen. It's impossible. The photos are beautiful. I do like the contrast and the palette and the beautiful lighting... I just wish that the photos weren't all the same. And that maybe, just once, we could see this woman laugh.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    This is a fairly short cookbook at only 159 pages, and with so many beautiful photographs there is not much room for many recipes. That being said, the recipes that ARE here look amazing. I love that they are organized seasonally, since that fits my desire to eat only things that are currently in season. There are a few ingredients that I think most Americans might have some difficulty locating, but not many - especially if you have a well stocked gourmet grocery in your area. Still, the emphasi This is a fairly short cookbook at only 159 pages, and with so many beautiful photographs there is not much room for many recipes. That being said, the recipes that ARE here look amazing. I love that they are organized seasonally, since that fits my desire to eat only things that are currently in season. There are a few ingredients that I think most Americans might have some difficulty locating, but not many - especially if you have a well stocked gourmet grocery in your area. Still, the emphasis is on nice cuts of meats and seasonal produce, so you shouldn't have too much trouble tracking down what you need. None of the recipes seem too fussy, either, so while i would probably relegate most of them to weekend cooking, many would be easy enough for a typical weeknight. I should state again - the photos are spectacular.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Marcella

    Tempting Recipes This is a very personalized cookbook filled with outstandingly tempting recipes. Very simple, fresh ingredients, along with a healthy family lifestyle. Highly recommended.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Hunsberger

    Beautiful but nothing I would every cook. Too complex.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Wire

    This is an excellent cookbook with simple, gorgeous recipes that are not over complicated. Perfect for a home cook with refined taste.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    If we move to France, I need to get better at cozying up to the butter dish + cream pitcher, because I've bookmarked all but maybe five of Mimi's recettes... If we move to France, I need to get better at cozying up to the butter dish + cream pitcher, because I've bookmarked all but maybe five of Mimi's recettes...

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tyler

    Of all the recipes, my favorites are the Hong Kong Lunar New Year ones!!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    Better serves as a book for the coffee table than a recipe book. Her husband is a stunning photographer and curates an idyllic French country life.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    Well-organized and purposeful...the care in food preparation is helpful info. I think I might be used to more layers of flavour and I don't like truffles so that knocked out a few recipes! Well-organized and purposeful...the care in food preparation is helpful info. I think I might be used to more layers of flavour and I don't like truffles so that knocked out a few recipes!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Claudia

    Beautiful photos, interesting stories, and succulent recipes - highly recommended!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Trish

    Lots of great recipes in this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cyllansy

    Recipes from the old worlds of France and Italy with a modern twist!

  27. 4 out of 5

    S.J. Francis

    5 out of 5 stars for A Kitchen in France A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse Mimi Thorisson: From Publisher: With beguiling recipes and sumptuous photography, A Kitchen in France transports readers to the French countryside and marks the debut of a captivating new voice in cooking. When Mimi Thorisson and her family moved from Paris to a small town in out-of-the-way Médoc, she did not quite know what was in store for them. She found wonderful ingredients—from local farmers and the neighboring woods 5 out of 5 stars for A Kitchen in France A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse Mimi Thorisson: From Publisher: With beguiling recipes and sumptuous photography, A Kitchen in France transports readers to the French countryside and marks the debut of a captivating new voice in cooking. When Mimi Thorisson and her family moved from Paris to a small town in out-of-the-way Médoc, she did not quite know what was in store for them. She found wonderful ingredients—from local farmers and the neighboring woods—and, most important, time to cook. Her cookbook chronicles the family’s seasonal meals and life in an old farmhouse, all photographed by her husband, Oddur. Mimi’s convivial recipes—such as Roast Chicken with Herbs and Crème Fraîche, Cèpe and Parsley Tartlets, Winter Vegetable Cocotte, Apple Tart with Orange Flower Water, and Salted Butter Crème Caramel—will bring the warmth of rural France into your home. About the Author: MIMI THORISSON is the author of Manger, a blog devoted to French cooking that was named Saveur’s Best Regional Food Blog in April 2013. After a career in television and having lived in Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Reykjavik, and Paris, she settled with her photographer husband, their five young children, her two older stepchildren, and the family’s fourteen dogs in a farmhouse in Médoc. She is the star of the cooking shows La Table de Mimi and the upcoming Les Desserts de Mimi, both on Canal+ in France. “When Mimi Thorisson, the author of this book and her family moved from Paris to a small town in out-of-the-way Medoc, she did not quite know what was in store for them.” What she experienced is this cookbook. Having a French background myself, and having visited this wonderful country of known for its beauty, culture, food and history, more than once, I’m always interested when I find a new book on French cooking. When I saw this one, I knew I had to get it. It intrigued me. When I received it, I wasn’t prepared for the sheer size of it. It is a big, heavy book and at 304pgs beautiful photography, many of them are of the prepared dishes. Some are of the author shopping of preparing the dishes. Some of the photos are delicious enough to eat right off the page. The chapters are broken down into the four seasons and the recipes are set off into seasonal cooking. Mimi has the background to write this book. At the urging of her friends and family, before she left Paris, she began a food blog which contained recipes for French home cooking in English. Being half-Chinese and half French, she grew up in Hong Kong. Her mother is French. She spent her holidays in Paris or in the south of France with her mother’s family. There with them, she was introduced to French cooking. Her maternal grandmother and aunt were terrific cooks, and “every day meant a feast.” The recipes are many and varied from the starters to the main course and ending with dessert. There are soups, and meats with chicken, duck, and lamb, fish and the list goes on. There are dishes for the vegetarian and vegan or those that can easily be modified. Some are easy while others are time consuming. Overall, there isn’t any recipe in this book that can’t be made by anyone, even someone that never cooked before. Some of the recipes call for a dozen items or more, while some call for half that. Her recipes are clear and easy to follow. You can tell that she wrote it with the reader in mind. Ready to get your mouth watering and follow it up with a meal that will have your taste buds applauding and you stomach yelling that it’s fantastic, but please I can’t handle anymore. Then grab a copy of this book for yourself or as a gift for someone you know. It is sure to be enjoyed by readers, cooks, and diners alike. Take a trip through the French countryside without leaving the comfort of your home. You’ll be glad you did. This is the first trip I didn’t have to pay for and I loved it! FTC Disclaimer: I received this book at no charge in exchange for an honest and fair review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    MrsK Books

    Wonderfully formatted, enticing culinary discoveries, with delightful personal stories. This cook book not only provides do-able French recipes, it offers a friendship with a mother who has a "huge kitchen where I can make all my culinary fantasies come true." Mimi shares easy to follow directions combined with seasonal favorites. Her passion for ingredients will take you to the markets, (just like her grandmother did with her), where you can "fuss over the freshest vegetables." Her husband's p Wonderfully formatted, enticing culinary discoveries, with delightful personal stories. This cook book not only provides do-able French recipes, it offers a friendship with a mother who has a "huge kitchen where I can make all my culinary fantasies come true." Mimi shares easy to follow directions combined with seasonal favorites. Her passion for ingredients will take you to the markets, (just like her grandmother did with her), where you can "fuss over the freshest vegetables." Her husband's photographs brings the culinary delights to life with such intensity your senses begin to sniff and taste each offering as if you were standing next to him as he was creating the shoot. "Never have I been so aware of the changing of the seasons, the different pleasures that each of them has to offer." Mimi's seasonal awareness has blessed me with the same "eye-opening" passion for each of our seasonal goodness. Such an unexpected experience from a cook book! "Seasonal cooking is one of life's greatest joys: it may present a challenge, but the rewards are ample. Most of the year, nature fills my pantry with an abundance of ingredients, empowering me in the kitchen, making me feel invincible at the stove. But spring is a tricky period. From a culinary perspective, nature hasn't started giving. Fruits are still little flowers and the strawberries of May seem an eternity away. The big hearty stews of winter that felt so comforting at Christmas are now clashing with my impatient heart..." For my family, the following are the meals that tempted our taste buds: Roast Asparagus with Chervil: Asparagus, prosciutto, a drizzling of olive oil and parmesan shavings (pg. 36) Chou Farci: a braised cabbage stuffed pot-pie of goodness (pg. 39) Roast Chicken with Creme Fraiche and Herbs: the taste of France, tendered to perfection (pg. 46) Mimi's Couscous: lamb meatballs, chicken wings, simmered in a stew of tomatoes, parsnips, zucchini, and chickpeas (pg. 126) Chilled White Peaches in White Wine Syrup: refreshing sweetness on a hot summer day (pg. 148) Pumpkin Soup: warm fall flavor served with a dollop of cream for comfort on a fall evening (pg. 157) Harvest Soup: beef, cabbage, veggies bubbling on the stove and served with a crisp baguette and red wine (pg. 158) Butternut Gratin: squash, bread crumbs, cream, cream cheese and chives (pg. 195) Winter Vegetable Cocotte: pumpkin, bacon, veggies, roasted chestnuts and artichokes as a full meal favorite (pg. 241) Whether it's the "endless offerings" of Autumn... or the "pure bliss" of "eating outside under the shade of a tree, with everybody who matters around me (you)..." This cook book will become a favored "go to" during every season, MrsK http://mrskbookstogo.blogspot.com/

  29. 5 out of 5

    Claire Talbot

    First, let me say that "A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse" by Mimi Thorisson, is a visual pleasure. Mimi's husband is a photographer, and the stylish photos reflect a level of professional sophistication. In her introduction, Mimi states she wants to introduce people to the region of France where she lives, and "encourage people to take risks and to follow their dreams, whether that means picking up and moving to an old farmhouse in the French countryside or simply trying a First, let me say that "A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse" by Mimi Thorisson, is a visual pleasure. Mimi's husband is a photographer, and the stylish photos reflect a level of professional sophistication. In her introduction, Mimi states she wants to introduce people to the region of France where she lives, and "encourage people to take risks and to follow their dreams, whether that means picking up and moving to an old farmhouse in the French countryside or simply trying a new recipe for dinner." I definately fall into the latter category, although dreaming of visiting France is something I do frequently. Mimi is the creator of the award winning food blog Manager, and has shows on French television. Her mantras in the book are ingredients are important, and waiting for fresh, seasonal foods. She believes eating in cycles breeds anticipation and gratefulness, and I happen to agree. Although unlike Mimi, I buy tomatoes year round, and do not enjoy them only when I grow them myself. The book is divided into seasons, and recipes fall into their seasonal categories. Mimi begins with Spring, and one of her favorite recipes of Fava bean soup. I thought the onion tart on page 30 looked really appealing, and may be brave enough to try the recipe. Some of the other recipes I may actually try are Bugnes with orange flower waters, coffee cream puffs, pumpkin soup, and butternut gratin. Things like calves liver, fois gras, escargot, or quail grilled over grapevines are a bit beyond my appetite or capabilities. Overall, this is a gorgeous book for serious cooks to savor and enjoy. Although I enjoyed looking at it, I probably will not be trying many of the recipes. I received this book from Blogging For Books for my review.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    I bought this book when it first came out, and to my shame it has sat on my bookshelf unopened, save for the occasional flick to admire the beautiful photography. In an effort to try something new for dinner this week I took it down and started reading. What a revelation! Thorisson is a wonderful writer, poetic almost in her description of food but also practical when it comes to discussing the realities we all face in the kitchen. This is a book filled with hearty, family food with lashings of F I bought this book when it first came out, and to my shame it has sat on my bookshelf unopened, save for the occasional flick to admire the beautiful photography. In an effort to try something new for dinner this week I took it down and started reading. What a revelation! Thorisson is a wonderful writer, poetic almost in her description of food but also practical when it comes to discussing the realities we all face in the kitchen. This is a book filled with hearty, family food with lashings of French charm. The focus on seasonality takes on new meaning in Thorisson's Medoc, inspiring me to take more notice. The descriptions of her still life worthy kitchen table are too good to resist (so much so I felt compelled to store some lovely striped eggplant in a bowl on my sideboard rather than the fridge). I have added many recipes to my menu for the week - roasted asparagus to go with grilled meat, a vegetable tian that is both pretty and impressively simple, a golden onion tart and a roast chicken covered with herby creme fraiche for a twist on the classic Sunday roast. There are many other dishes sure to tempt, and luckily we seem to share the same sweet tooth. I'm very keen to try my hand at caneles, peach and cherry papillotes to make the most of sometimes subpar summer fruits, and the classic cherry clafoutis looks divine. I'll be eagerly awaiting to cooler months to try harvest soup and beef cheek stew, and I'll be attempting to get my hands on some grapevines to grill over in what I'm guessing will prove to be another revelation in French cooking. It must be said that Thorisson lives an idyllic life in the French countryside, guided by the thrills of the seasons. But thanks to her writing, both book and blog, we can share in a little of the magic.

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