Eggs, Beans & my Birthday


The sails go round with a heavy swing

As the wild wind plays on the hill;

And the corn is crushed, and the flour is ground

Right merrily at the mill.

March 30th, Birthday Book for Children , Kate Greenaway

I couldn’t resist sharing this extract from Kate Greenaway’s ‘Birthday book for children’.  It’s impossible not to flick through the wonderfully illustrated pages filled with delightful writing for each birthday of the year.  Her work is a gentle reminder to keep our inner child awake forever.

This week-end has been all about Easter, eggs and my birthday.  I consider myself lucky to have an ‘all-in-one’ theme during this long Easter week-end.  Pretty pastel-colored eggs, chocolate, bunnies and cherry blossoms are such inspiration and joy.  I have the most delightful tradition on my birthday every year, to sit under my favorite tree and make a wish.  Nothing beats the intense feeling of looking up through the dreamy branches of pink petals under the early spring sun.  A magical moment.


We decided to combine Easter and my birthday lunch on Saturday.  Symbolic food adorned the table, from the potage aux primeurs, a simple yet beautiful soup dedicated to spring.  Eggs in cocotte with foie gras, bread-crumbed milk-fed lamb with roast potatoes for the main course.  For my birthday cake, I got to choose.  It’s all about getting what you want, right?  So I decided to make a Tropézienne tart.  Brioche, gently perfumed with orange blossom water with a beautiful vanilla custard and Chantilly cream in the middle.  In 1955, Alexandre Micka, a boulanger and pâtissier in St Tropez,  was hired to cater all the meals for Roger Vadim and his crew when they shot the movie ‘Et dieu créa la femme’ (When God created woman’) with Brigitte Bardot.  He once made a tart, inspired from his native Polish roots.  Everyone loved it so much, especially Brigitte Bardot, so they decided to call it ‘La tarte Tropézienne’.  There are quite a few versions, and this is the one I like most, so I hope you will enjoy it.



We organized an Easter hunt in the garden, hiding eggs and chocolate bunnies everywhere, especially on the blossoming trees to make it extra difficult for the kids.  It was so much fun to see our littlest Gaïa Johanna egg-hunting.  This is her first ‘real’ hunt for eggs, you should have seen the look on her face when she found a chocolate bunny hidden in the tree!  Chocolate is her favorite thing, she calls it ‘colo’.  Now she thinks there is ‘colo’ in the garden everyday, everywhere.



To complete the chocolate theme, my husband surprised me with a gorgeous Smooth Fox Terrier puppy he brought back from England. She’s from our favorite Smooth breeders, Jenny and Roger of Glendraterra, our second one from them. Her name is Glendraterra Jean Genie after the Bowie song, she even likes his new album and so do I.  She’s a striking brunette, refined and elegant as only a Smooth Fox Terrier can be.  I am overwhelmed by her beauty and grace.



Potage aux primeurs (spring soup)


2 leeks, white part only, cut in julienne strips
150 g/ 1 cup green peas (preferably fresh peas, but frozen are fine too)
150 g/ 1 cup fava beans (shelled)
1 large carrot, cut in julienne strips
2 turnips, diced finely
2 litres/ 2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
A handful of celery leaves, chopped
A handful of parsley, chopped (to be sprinkled on soup when served)
Salt and black pepper, for seasoning
4 egg yolks

For the croutons:
Half a stale baguette/ small country bread
Olive oil
1 garlic clove

Slice stale bread into small cubes.  Place in a bowl, add the ground garlic, salt and drizzle with olive oil.  Mix well.  Place on a baking tray (lined with parchment paper) and place in pre-heated oven (350° on grill mode for minutes.

For the soup:
Wash all vegetables, slice and chop according to ingredients list.  In a large pot, bring the stock to a boil and add all the vegetables.  Turn the heat down and leave to simmer for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

Whisk egg yolks in a small bowl, add a few tablespoons of  the soup to blend.  Take soup off the heat and add the egg yolks, making sure to whisk continuously to avoid any egg curdling.

Spoon soup into bowls, season with salt and pepper to your taste, sprinkle a few parsley leaves and croutons.  Serve immediately.


Eggs in cocotte with foie gras

3/4 cups full cream (200 ml)
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
clove garlic
teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg
tablespoon salted butter
A dash of piment d’Espellete (optional)
6 small chunks of foie gras (optional)
Coarse salt and black pepper
A few slices of toasted baguette bread (or any bread you like)

Preheat oven to 180°C/ 350°F.

Prepare 4 individual ramekins.

In a saucepan, bring the cream to a soft boil, simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and mix well. Set aside.

Rub garlic in the base of each cocotte (keep remaining garlic for the bread). Pour the hot cream evenly into each cocotte, and break the eggs in one by one into the cream. Place a sprig of thyme, add black pepper, a dot of butter and cook uncovered in a preheated oven for approximately 5 minutes.  Put in a slice of foie gras on top of each egg and bake for 2-3 more minutes.  The eggs should not be overcooked and slightly runny.  (note: If you do not use foie gras, bake the eggs in cocotte for 7-8 minutes)

Rub toasted baguette bread with the remaining garlic clove. Sprinkle each cocotte with piment d’Espelette (optional).  Serve with eggs immediately.


Roast bread-crumbed lamb with potatoes, garlic and parsley

1 milk-fed lamb shoulder – approx. 1 kg/ 2-2.5 pounds (épaule d’agneau de lait)
½ cup olive oil
5 slices of stale bread (for breadcrumbs)
850 g/ 1 & ½ pounds potatoes (peeled and sliced in rondelles)
9 cloves garlic (keep 4 for the lamb, and 5 sliced for seasoning)
80 ml/ 1/3 cup good-quality beef or vegetable stock
A large bunch of parsley
60 g/ 1/4 cup unsalted butter
Salt and black pepper, for seasoning

Preheat oven to 210°C/410°F

Rub meat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Coat lamb with the breadcrumbs and place in a large roasting pan. Dot lamb with butter and place in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.

Remove lamb from roasting pan and set aside on a large plate.  Cover loosely with aluminium foil.  Add potatoes and garlic cloves to the roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil and cook in the oven for 15 minutes.  Return lamb to the roasting pan (place on top of potatoes), pour in the stock,  and cook for a further 25-30 minutes (or until lamb is cooked to your taste).  You can cover lamb with a piece of foil to avoid the breadcrumbs to burn.

Chop garlic and parsley finely and sauté in a little olive oil for 3 minutes on a medium heat.

Place potatoes and lamb on a large serving plate.  Sprinkle garlic and parsley on top of lamb.  Serve immediately with flageolets beans.


Tropézienne tart

300 g/ 2 & ½ cups plain flour, sifted
25/ 2 tbsp granulated sugar
3 eggs
120 g/ ½ cup unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
50 ml/ 3 & ½ tbsp lukewarm full-cream milk
12 g fresh yeast (levure boulangère)
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp orange blossom water
A good handful of small sugar grains (to sprinkle on brioche)
A dash of icing/confectioner’s sugar (to sprinkle on tart just before serving)

For the eggwash:
1 egg yolk
1 tsp water

Mix both ingredients together in a small bowl.

For the brioche:
Dissolve the yeast in a small bowl the lukewarm milk. Set aside for 5-10 minutes or until it turns frothy. In a large bowl, mix sifted flour, salt, sugar, yeast and butter. Add eggs, orange blossom water and mix well with a big wooden spoon. Start kneading until you get a smooth ball-shaped dough, about 8-10 minutes. Cover bowl with a cloth and leave to rise in a warm room/environment for 2 hours.

Start kneading the dough on a non floured surface, just to get rid of a few trapped air bubbles, about 1-2 minutes. Line the brioche mould generously with butter and place the dough inside. Cover with a cloth and leave to rise again for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F. With the help of a brush, glaze the surface of the brioche with the egg yolk. Sprinkle with sugar grains all over and bake brioche for 30 minutes. If the top starts to brown too much, place a sheet of parchment paper to protect.  Set aside, unmould after 10 minutes and leave to cool on a pastry rack.

For the crème patissière (vanilla custard cream)
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
400 ml/ 1 & ¾ cup full-cream milk
200 g/ 1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
60 g/ ½ cup corn starch (maïzena)
160 g/ 2/3 cup unsalted butter
1 tbsp orange blossom water
180 ml/ ¾ cup  whipping cream

In a saucepan, bring the milk to soft boil with the vanilla seeds and sugar.  In another bowl, whisk the eggs with the corn starch.  Pour the milk into the egg/corn starch bowl, whisk continuously.  Return mixture to saucepan and stir on a low heat until the cream thickens (it should have a thick cream consistency).  Set aside.  Add half of the butter and stir until blended.  Pour cream in a bowl, cover and set aside until completely cooled.  When cooled, whisk until it becomes smooth, add the rest of the butter and continue to whisk until the cream becomes fluffy and light. Prepare the whipped cream and combine to the vanilla custard cream.

Carefully slice brioche in half horizontally. Smooth cream mixture over bottom layer, and place second layer on top. Make sure to refrigerate for 1 hour.  Just before serving, sprinkle the cake with icing sugar.


118 thoughts on “Eggs, Beans & my Birthday

  1. What a glorious week-end. I’m saving this entire post–will try out the recipes and savor them. Your new puppy is so beautiful–her eyes say it all. I think that she will grow up to be a very noble girl. Thank you for sharing your joyous week-end.


  2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN.Love the trees,the egg hunt,the pink dishes and of course the food!Your gift from your husband is so special…….lucky you!XXX

  3. Happy Birthday, Mimi!
    Wish you colorful and plenty of joy year.
    Cannot stop reading your blog. It’s not only about recipes and beautiful photos, but it’s also about this almost fairy tails way of writing.
    Thank you for inspiration

    1. Thank you Tanya! Your kind words are so touching and encouraging – merci for your kindness. I hope you will try a few recipes, especially the oeufs en cocotte! I am making it again tonight. Best, Mimix

  4. Happy Birthday! I loved your blog today, as always. Adorable new puppy! Tarte Tropézienne is one of my favorites – very happy to have your recipe. I’m jealous of your flowering trees – there is hardly a sign of Paris cherry trees blossoming these days.

    1. Thank you Jennifer! Tarte Tropézienne has all the elements I love about cake – simplicity at its best! I will be in Paris later this week, so I hope I will bring a bit of spring magic from Médoc! Mimix

  5. wishing you a very happy birthday Mimi,It’s always a joy reading your blog and posts,keep up the good work and the food you cook looks so tasty.

  6. the next time I’m feeling adventurous I’m going to have to try making the tropézienne! I greatly enjoyed eating the real thing when I visited St-Tropez during my summer in the south of France – hopefully I can make it turn out just as tasty!

  7. My birthday was this past weekend as well. A very happy birthday to you! This looks wonderful and I love your new pup. I’ve never heard of that breed before, but she’s adorable.

  8. Happy happy birthday Mimi and bonne anniversaire! Hope your birthday weekend is filled with love and joy and that the coming year brings everything your heart desires and more. Love your blog. x

  9. Joyeux Anniversaire Mimi! I have spend many delightful hours gazing at the wonderful pictures on your website. I spent my childhood in France – though not in the countryside – which makes your stories and recipes doubly enjoyable. Many thanks for sharing your life with us.

  10. What a lovely post! My birthday was the 23rd and I share your love of standing under a blossoming tree. I’m saving these recipes and look forward to trying them….maybe for guests this weekend, at least the dessert…yum! I love you site!

  11. Happy Birthday!
    The meal looks amazing and perfect for spring. The Easter Egg hunt with the treasures hidden in the blossoms of that amazing tree makes a beautiful image.

  12. Happy Birthday Mimi! The picture with you under the cherry blossom is no nice! I follow your blog since some weeks and always enjoy it to look at your pics and read your blog. You inspired me to start my own blog and I would be happy when you visit me:
    But I’m sorry it’s only in German until now. Have a nice evening!

  13. Dear Mimi, your blog is not only very beautiful, but completely inspirational to me, the photos, sentiments and recipes…perfection. Your little puppy is a treasure! N.xo

  14. Première visite gourmande sur votre joli blog découvert il y a peu. Je me régale de vos photos et de votre univers culinaire. C’est toujours agréable de voir des recettes de mon pays si bien réalisées. A mon tour de vous souhaiter un joyeux anniversaire Mimi ! Au plaisir de vous relire très bientôt. Belle soirée à vous.

    1. Bonsoir Corinne! Heureuse de vous rencontrer à travers mon blog – j’espère que vous aurez l’occasion d’essayer quelques recettes. Je suis si heureuse de partager mon univers dans le Médoc avec vous. Merci pour votre visite! Bonne soirée, Mimix

  15. Your photos are so beautiful. The cherry tree makes me yearn for spring to hurry up! We are still under snow…… I have to ask-do you eat all that food? Because you are so slim I can’t imagine you have more than one bite!

    1. Bonsoir Heather! Thanks for the sweet comment – my husband is the talented photographer behind these lovely photos. I can imagine you must be yearning for blossoming trees, it’s a matter of time! Regarding your question… I can’t think of a better way to answer than by saying ‘je suis une gourmande’ (I am a gourmande)!. I have always loved and enjoyed good meals since I was a child, and my husband says I am the only woman he knows who’s appetite is as big as his (and he’s a big eater)! Wishing you a beautiful spring filled with flowers! Mimix

      1. Well that’s all the more impressive that you stay so slim and beautiful! I enjoy your blog so much, please keep providing such lovely inspiration.

  16. Bonne Anniversaire Mimi. I’m so glad you had the birthday you wanted. Your lunch… synonymous with Easter but a celebration meal too…..and to sit under a blossom tree and watch the children fossick for their eggs….a sheer delight . To complete your day, all you needed was BB top show up and share your Tropezienne Tart !!!! Anita xx

    1. Bonsoir Anita! Comment allez-vous? Sounds like you had a busy Easter! We had a lovely Easter & birthday week-end – enjoying quiet family days indulging in chocolate eggs and bunnies. Merci Anita! Je vous embrasse! Mimix

  17. How lovely to spend Easter and a birthday as one this year, Mimi… Many happy returns… and I am sure you had the most wonderful time… your new puppy looks adorable… Jean Jeannie has landed in heaven and will know it very shortly… 🙂
    As always, thank you for the fab recipes… xv

    1. Merci Vicki! I enjoyed seeing your lovely holiday photos in Venice – oh la la – quel bonheur! Have a lovely week! Mimix ps: you have inspired me to buy a new tulle skirt! Merci!

  18. Bon anniversaire, Madame! Votre maison, recettes et VIE sont des inspirations. Je te souhaite une bonne semaine remplie d’amitiés! Anita

  19. Heureux anniversaire Mimi! What an incredibly beautiful Easter week-end for you and your loved ones! Thank you so much for sharing your pictures and recipes. (The birthday present is perfect and adorable!) A bientôt!

  20. Bon Anniversaire, Mimi!
    Beaucoup de stante!

    I wish all things that you call happiness be yours now and in the years ahead!

    What lovely post!

  21. Feliz Cumpleaños Mimi! I am such a fan of your blog. Im a nutritionist and a food lover just like you. You inspire me in a lot of ways… keeping the family together, being beautiful and enjoy life as you do. thank you for all that!! Hopefully one day i can have my own blog and share all the beautiful side of México. And be sure you Will be my inspiration!!
    Un beso!!!

    1. Muchas gracias! I can’t wait to hear from you and your ‘new’ blog – the food and beauty of México must be so inspirational! A bientôt! Besos from Médoc, Mimix

  22. What a lovely and festive meal! I love your tradition of making a birthday wish from under the tree – so sweet. I’m new to your blog, and quite delighted to explore the French countryside through your eyes! Happy Birthday to you!

    1. Thank you Carol! I was honoured to share a glimpse of Médoc through the Mr. Porter video. Welcome to my cooking blog – I hope you will get a chance to try a few recipes – enjoy! Mimix

    1. Bonjour irina! Thank you for your wishes! Gaïa Johanna is one happy little bunny! Have a lovely week! Mimix ps: I did not get a chance to see your basque cake – couldn’t see it on your FB page. I also went on your site (love that Mossdale sweater and your son sure is handsome!). I saw amazing moon cakes! You are so talented! Amazing! Next time I visit HK we will have to meet 🙂

  23. Happy birthday Mimi, and thank you for the lovely recipes. I always have loved a good crusted lamb and, since my partner is coming to our home in Vancouver from our home in England in a month, I’ll save the recipe and make it for him. (Wonder if he will bring me a beautiful puppy? Lol…probably not.)

    1. Bonjour Veronica! Thanks so much for dropping by – we really enjoyed the lamb, especially with teh parsley and garlic garnishings. I hope you will enjoy the recipe (and perhaps get a new puppy?) 🙂 Mimix

  24. Thank you Mimi for such a great blog. My wife and I stayed in France and were married in France and love reading your stairs of a place we care for….. Also happy birthday, such a talent

  25. Happy Birthday! Such a lovely post filled with delicious food:) The lamb looks wonderful! Your Easter egg hunt looks like it was lots of fun. How fun that your husband brought you a new Terrier! What a cute pup!! We have TWO English Springers. They are like my children:)


  26. Lovely, lovely post as always, Mimi! I am definitely going to have to try the soup and tart recipes!

    Happy Birthday! ! ! 🙂 Your new puppy is quite adorable!

  27. Muchas felicidades, Mimi, and congratulations on your one year anniversary! You have done an excellent job with your blog. Un abrazo y un tirón de orejas.

  28. A very Happy Birthday to You! Looks like a glorious weekend! Your spring is in full bloom…we are still waiting for ours even if we are enjoying the bright sun and the white banks of snow. 🙂 The food looks absolutely delicious!

  29. Happy birthday! My birthday normally falls around Easter too – it’s such a magical time of year isn’t it? Beautiful, beautiful photography…what a talent. Have a wonderful year. Cheers, Zoe

  30. You make each meal a joyous occasion both from a visual point and I as a result can actually take myself to your table and taste every bite. Thank you for the experience Hugs Karyn

  31. Happy birthday Mimi! Wishing you a year filed with joy and sweet memories with your beautiful family! Such a lovely post…as always! Am going to make all of them!
    Made your beef stroganoff for my husband on Valentine’s day and he loved it 🙂
    I Love your blog and check it everyday for your beautiful photos and delicious recipes and get inspired every time 🙂 xo

  32. Joyeux anniversaire … et plus encore!
    Que cette année soit remplie de beauté et d’inspiration et de bonheur pour vous et votre famille … autant et même plus que ce que vous nous donnez, vos lecteurs!

  33. Happy Birthday! Beautiful spring pictures—I love it when the trees bloom. Adorable puppy! How many dogs do you have now?

  34. Bonjour mimi! Joyeux anniversaire!!! Your dress is so beautiful n cheerful, where did you get it from???
    Thank you, doreen

    1. Yes, I do agree that Polish food is most fascinating. As my grandfather was Polish, I feel a certain connection to the food culture. Thanks for the recipes recommendation – I will definitely check it out! Have a lovely day. Mimix

      1. wow! so cool with Polish heritage! I am looking forward to my trip there this summer! can not wait!

  35. Happiest of birthdays, Mimi. I know I am late, but I do believe that birthdays should be celebrated for days and days. Your tart looks like the most delicious way to celebrate. Thanks for sharing.

  36. Happy Birthday! And thank you for sharing your many traditions and letting us in to your life for brief moments! I love your birthday tradition of sitting under your favorite tree to make a wish ~ Does it work?!
    You are ever-inspiring.

  37. Happy belated birthday and Easter Mimi. It looks like a beautiful celebration and feast! Your blog is looking gorgeous too. Have a wonderful start to spring with your new little puppy 🙂 xx

  38. Wishing you a belated happy birthday, Mimi. Wow, this all looks so delicious! And what an adorable puppy!

  39. Happy Birthday (for the other day) Mimi. Your blog is a new fave of mine. May I ask where you got your beautiful dress from that you’re wearing? I love it.

    1. Thank you Charlotte! Thanks so much for your kind words 🙂 The dress worn on this post is from Marc Jacobs (bought some time ago). Have a lovely day, Mimix

  40. Happy Birthday Mimi!
    I’ve been following and really enjoying your blog for quite some time now, but it’s the first time I comment, since I celebrated my birthday on the 30th of March too !!! May all your wishes come true !

  41. What a wonderful fairy tale life you are living. I wonder what goes on behind the scenes you draw. Raising 4 children and 2 teenagers, 17 dogs, shopping, cooking, organizing. It does not feel real. How many people do you have helping you each day? Who cleans up the poop from 17 dogs? Who does all that laundry? When do you have time for your children?
    You must be “Superwoman”!!
    What is your secret??

    1. Hi Gina. Thanks for dropping by! It might come as a surprise to you, but I don’t have anyone helping me apart from a wonderful cleaning lady who comes once a week. I don’t have a nanny, au-pair or any other help. One good thing is that my husband and I work as a team, whether it’s at home or on the blog. He takes care of all the dogs, cooks for all of us when I feel like taking a break, and helps a great deal with everything else. I am very organized when it comes to house rules. The kids help on daily chores. I involve them in my cooking, which is great for their education as well as spending quality time together. When they are at school, I have the entire day to write, cook, and shop for groceries. I don’t think there’s a secret behind it all – it’s all about being organized and loving what you do. Mimix

  42. Happy birthday! I love the photo of you under the tree, a family full of joy…simply enjoying beautiful life! I will make the cake this weekend, can’t wait!

    1. Merci beaucoup Jess! I hope you will enjoy the cake. Make sure to make the make the cream filling well in advance so it has ample time to cool. Have a lovely day, Mimix

  43. A happy belated birthday. I’ve just discovered your blog and I am smitten! The writing, the photography, the content… everything is perfect!

  44. Pingback: in season: peas |
  45. Happy birthday!..
    I celebrate my birthday on the 30th of March too !
    Today I found your blog ..this is a gift for me ..thank u.
    I start writing my recipes two months ago and I hope until December my website will be ready.Sending my love from beautiful Greece.

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