A Chateau in ruins revisited


All good things must come to an end and so it was that our idyllic Christmas, complete with all our children was over. But we resisted and fought bravely right to the end, making the most of every moment until there was nothing left to say but goodbyes and love yous and till we meet again. Gunnhildur and Þórir (Icelandic spelling – did you know that our name is Thorisson because my father in law’s name is Thorir (Þórir) – Icelandic people take their last name from the first name of their father) left us on Monday after two weeks of pure family bliss. 12 days spent eating and playing and trying to construct a house for some of the dogs. We all felt so happy during those precious days – if I was asked, what is happiness, I would say family. Then, of course, I would start thinking about food.



On our last day Oddur, my husband, wanted to take us all to a château in ruins we found two falls ago, one of the most beautiful, lyrical, tragic buildings I have ever seen. It has special meaning to Manger because our emblem, the wreath with the Fox Terrier and figs that is just above this text was inspired by a rosette in the ceiling of that very château. Just over a year ago I sent a photo of it to my favorite illustrator in the world, Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Co., and she came up with this marvellous logo that I somehow know will follow me for the rest of my days.
We all had boots on, except my husband who had lent his to his eldest son. The earth was particularly muddy and wet, the sun came out and for a brief moment I think the cows were trying to share the moment by dancing around us. Oddur wanted to take a picture of me with my “bump” so he was a bit demanding as he often is. We chased the fickle December light, found the room with the wreath, took some pictures, had some fun. That night we had pizza night with limitless creativity and a few dubious results and the next day it was farewell at the airport.




Our last meal was a very hurried Vietnamese phở at an Asian supermarket near the airport. It is the Thorisson way to almost miss a plane. Almost. An idea had been brewing in my head. My new year’s craving was lobster and I wanted to have it with an Asian sauce. So I needed ingredients, spices, some cooking wine. I can’t think of a more auspicious meal to start the new year, noodles – symbolic in Chinese culture for a long life, lobster, the most regal meal of all. All those spices and tastes. It was a perfect way to resurrect our holiday after the older kids had left. We had a beautiful lunch on the 31st. It started with a chicken broth. So purifying after all the festivities, lots of taste and goodness, so simple but yet slightly complex. The tapioca pearls, all those flavors. I can’t wait to have it again. It’s a bouillon very much inspired by all those visits to Le Comptoir du Relais in our Paris days. Yves Cambdeborde makes the most amazing chicken bouillon – this is my simplified version, sans foie gras, it wasn’t needed this time.




It was a late lunch but we had more eating to do, a tournedos Rossini with a nice bottle of Rauzan-Ségla, a gift from my lovely literary agent, Berta Treitl, who came for a visit recently. A woman in my state can’t have much, but I had a sip or two.
As I am expecting I need to think about flexible clothes. Back from the boxes in the attic are the big sweaters, the roomy dresses. I’ve been thinking about what to wear for the coming weeks. Going through all the clothes that might fit me in a few weeks is like going through a corridor of memories – I just never thought I’d be walking through here again.




I stumbled upon a dress that I haven’t worn so much lately. It’s a 10-year-old Missoni dress I wore the night I met my husband. It was how we met. He simply walked up to me and said, “Is that a Missoni dress?”. Suave? Strange? Here we are several kids and thousands of dinners and lunches later.
As I am writing this I feel a bit emotional. It has been the most remarkable year. I started Manger with no particular agenda. I love to cook and being a bit isolated in the countryside I wanted to share my recipes with old friends and maybe make some new ones. This last year has seen me complete my book with a wonderful editor at Clarkson Potter. I have done a TV show with Cuisine+ here in France. Met incredible and generous people from across the world, some of them have stayed with us at our home, others have been virtual friends. I just want you all to know how grateful I am that we’ve met, one way or the other … Here’s to the days ahead.


Chicken bouillon with tapioca pearls and mint
(adapted from Yves Camdeborde’s recipes)

Serves 4
1.5 kg/ approx 3.3 pounds chicken wings
3 medium carrots, chopped
1 leek, chopped
1 onion, peeled & halved
1 celery branch, chopped
5 thin slices of fresh ginger
1 bay leaf
A sprig of thyme
4 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 anis star
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon black pepper corns
150 g tapioca pearls
A bunch of fresh mint leaves, slice finely
Coarse sea-salt

Place the chicken wings in a large pot. Pour enough water to cover the wings, adding about 350 ml/ 1 ½ cup more . Bring to a boil, remove any scum on the surface and add all the vegetables, herbs and spices. Season with salt and cover with a lid. Simmer gently for 1h and 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, take out 6/7 chicken wings and set aside to cool. Continue to simmer the bouillon.
Heat a small saucepan and bring lightly salted water to a boil. Add the tapioca pearls and cook according to package instructions, about 15 minutes, or until the pearls are translucent. Drain pearls and set aside in a bowl of cold water to prevent them from sticking.
Drain soup through a sieve.
Slice fine slivers from the chicken wings and place them in the serving bowls. Add about a tablespoon (or two) of tapioca pearls on top. Finely dice a few carrots (optional) and scatter in bowl. Season the bouillon if necessary, and spoon a few ladles in the serving bowls. Sprinkle with mint leaves just before serving.


Lobster with e-fu noodles

(serves 4)

2 lobsters, each 450 to 680g/ 1 to 1½ pounds – chopped into approx. 8 pieces each (you can ask your fish monger to prepare this for you if you prefer) – crack the claws slightly.
8 stalks scallions, chopped
Ginger, about 20 fine thumb-sized fine slices
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ teaspoon white ground pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 chilli, finely sliced (or two if you like it hot!)
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
250 ml/ 1 cup water mixed with 2 tablespoons cornstarch
Cooking oil, for frying

Serve with 500 g/ approx 18 ounces e-fu noodles/ Yee Mien (flat Cantonese egg noodles sold at Asian supermarkets)

Prepare the noodles:
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the e-fu noodles/yee mien for 3 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.

Cook the lobster:
Rinse lobster under cold running water and pat dry with kitchen towel.
Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large wok (or big deep skillet) on a medium heat. Add the sliced ginger and fry until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, half of the scallions and continue to fry for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Increase the heat to high and add the lobster pieces, and stir until the shells starts turning bright red/orange.
Add the soy sauce, lobster sauce, wine vinegar, white pepper, chilli, sugar and continue to stir for 3 minutes. Pour the corn starch/ water mixture in the wok/skillet. Continue to stir until the sauce thickens and starts bubbling. Add the Shaoxing wine, stir and cover with a lid for 3 minutes. Lower heat to medium. Lift the lid, stirring continuously so the lobster is entirely coated with the sauce. Test to see if the lobster is cooked, then sprinkle the rest of the scallions, reserving a tablespoon for the serving dish. Season with salt if necessary.
Prepare the noodles on a large serving plate, place the lobster on top and pour the sauce all over. Scatter more scallions on top. Serve immediately.


Chocolate meringues kisses with toasted almonds and apricot cream

(makes 7 to 10 small meringues, depending on size)

3 egg whites
150 g/ ¾ cup sugar (preferably extra-fine/ caster sugar)
A pinch of cream of tartar
A few drops of vanilla extract
To garnish:
200 g/ 7 ounces black/dark chocolate, melted au bain-marie
90 g/ 3 ounces almond slivers/amandes effilées
1 tsp granulated sugar
10 dried apricots, finely diced – 6 for the cream, and 4 for the meringue topping
180 ml 3/4 cup heavy cream, for whipping
2 teaspoon of icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 140°C/ 280° F

In a large glass bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric beater on a medium speed. When the mixture starts frothing, increase the speed to high. Incorporate little by little the sugar, vanilla extract and the cream of tartar, until the egg whites are glossy and form stiff peaks.
Spoon small to medium-sized meringues onto a parchment lined baking tray. Transfer to the preheated oven and cook for 55 minutes in the centre level of the oven.
Before taking them out, switch the oven off and leave the door slightly open for 10 minutes. They will cool down slowly and this will prevent them from cracking. Place them on a pastry rack and leave to cool completely.
Heat a sauté pan and roast the almond slivers, shaking the pan occasionally to avoid burning. Sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar and continue to roast for a couple of minutes more. The almond slivers are ready when they are golden. Take off the heat and set aside to cool.
Break the chocolate into small pieces, place in a heatproof bowl and melt au bain-marie (over a pan of simmering hot water). Set aside.
Whip the cream and icing sugar till stiff, then fold in 6 finely diced apricot.
Place the meringues on a parchment paper covered surface. Take a teaspoon or two (depending on meringue size) and pour over the tip of the meringue. Let it drip casually, then sprinkle the diced apricots and toasted almonds. The chocolate will set within 10 minutes.
Serve meringues with the apricot whipped cream on the side.


209 thoughts on “A Chateau in ruins revisited

  1. WOW. Mimi, there is so much beauty in a ruin…the history, the mystery of it all makes us who are dreamers just fall in love not with what it once was, but what is is now. Glorious photography (tell your husband!) and your family is precious. Bonne année! Anita

  2. Waxing nostalgic – alone in the home after festivities and grown children and a feast for 40 (all family). Thinking the lobster would suit husband and I very well. It is the most resplendent meal. Chicken broth is my blood. And the chateaux – thinking of the memories those walls have. Would like to write them all down and concoct a tale.

    1. Doesn’t it feel ‘oh so quiet’? it’s always a bit strange at first but then I just look forward to our next encounter 🙂 Lobster really is a perfect meal, in every way! Happy new year! Mimi x

  3. I was so excited when this post popped into my inbox! As always, beautifully written with lovely pictures. I am so happy you enjoyed your holiday together as a family and a thousand congratulations to you and your husband for the coming “seventh one!”

  4. Ah how amazing! I love exploring ruins, it feels so mischievous. Amazing photos as always. I keep telling my fiancé we have to make a trip to your part of France this summer (I live in Cannes). Happy New Year, I wish you and your family all the best this year!

  5. Such a wonderful posting. Another year and wonderful reflection and anticipation of more delicious food, babies, large and small, and discovery of another ruin perhaps! Happy New Year Mimi


  6. Oh and I almost forgot… Congratulations on your pregnancy! That is so exciting to hear. It looks like you have a lot to look forward to this year 🙂


  7. Bonjour Mimi,

    Your mendiants with pomegranate were a huge success with friends and family. An explosion of sweet juice as one bited into them. Thank you and looking forward to more scrumptious recipes and stories.
    Bonne et heureuse année 2014!

  8. Aw- love the story of how you and your husband met- shows fine taste I think! Lovely post as usual- Happy New Year to you and your family 🙂 xx

  9. Bonne Annee Nouvelle and felicitations on the coming bebe!
    I am always so happy to get your posts and just adore your stories and photos! Much health and happiness to all of you.

  10. I guess you had your 12 days of Christmas with all the chidren 🙂

    The chateau seems soooooooo romantic!
    Next summer holidays, Marco and I will be driving through France (he was born in Bourges and that’s one of our stops) so I have been sharing your blog posts with him. He just fell in love with your dogs and he was asking me if we could get one :p

    As for the clothing, pregnant women all have the same problem: what to wear! My cousin is 6-months pregnant and still complaining about it (I’m guessing it’ll become worse, lol). You look lovely in all the brilliant photos, so no worries on that area!

    Merry 2014 🙂

    1. So happy to hear you will be touring France with your husband! Now that’s an exciting start to the new year! 🙂 My husband will be extra happy to hear he wants a dog too 🙂 Wishing you all the very best this year! Mimi x

    1. Bonjour Rebecca! Happy new year to you! The book will be launched October 28th this year in the USA. I don’t have the dates for other countries yet, but I will sure give updates as soon as I can! Thank you! Mimix

  11. I have been following your blog for quite a while now, but this is the first time I have come forward to communicate. To be honest, I have been a little sacred of commenting and attempting to communicate. Your content is my primary source of inspiration, and yours was the first blog I ever started to regularly follow. Between your writing and your husband’s photos, every piece is a work of art. I love reading your posts, because they focus on the connection between food and community, family, and art.

    1. Oh Alana, I am so very touched by your generous and kind words! Oddur and I are always amazed by everyone’s kindness. We just love what we do, sharing our family life (and our kitchen adventures :)!) Thank you for saying hi! Wishing you an amazing new year! Mimi x

  12. Congratulations on your new baby. Children are such a blessing. I love reading your blog and delicious recipes. Thank you

  13. I’m from the Sud Ouest but live in the US; I truly cherish the day I found out about your blog, it’s been a wonderful gift to my food cravings. Congratulations on everything, and Happy New Year. Thank you for bringing us all (that is, all the people to whom I sent the link to your blog) so much joy!

  14. Congratulations on your new baby! What a beautiful thing to celebrate with all of your children home for Christmas. Amazing photography and recipes as always. Your cooking and love of your family is such an inspiration. Happy New Year!

  15. Happy New Year to you and your whole family! It’s so nice to read another enchanting story from you…you have the most beautiful family. When I see photos like these of all of your children, it reminds me of scenes from The Sound of Music. (and I mean that as the highest compliment.)
    And thank you for your beautiful stories and all the time and effort you put into this lovely blog. ♥

      1. You guys are like the song in Donkey Skin “what shall we do with so much love? we’ll have lots of children and live happily ever after..”
        Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2014 from across the ocean

  16. Congratulations Mimi!! How wonderful to be having a new baby. I do hope to read more about your journey through pregnancy, cravings, and home remedies. Your blog is such a wonder, every time I read it I feel like I’m being transported to the French countryside and made a warm and welcome guest. Thank you and congratulations again!

    1. Thank you! Wishing you a very happy new year! We are so happy with the arrival of the new baby – and will certainly share some anecdotes! Thank you so much for being so kind with your words regarding the blog, I am always touched. Bonne soirée! Mimi x

  17. Happy New Year to you and your family Mimi! Here on a cold Canadian winter day, your latest post is so warm, wonderful and amazing. Your husband’s pictures are so ethereal and gorgeous. I would very much love to get your book when it become available here and as always, keep it coming because I love to read your blog. xo

    1. Happy new year Mel! Sending you warmth and light from Médoc! Thanks so much for your kind words, we are all so excited about the book (coming out this Fall!). Best, Mimi x

  18. Mimi,
    I am so happy that you have had such a blessed year! I too am looking back and realizing my little online journal has connected me with the most lovely and passionate people (including you!) I am so happy to have met you through Manger. Let this year be even more blessed and filled with even more happy moments! Here’s to the future…

    1. Yes, here’s to the future! I loved seeing your touching photo on IG, you looked so happy and serene – the story of you marrying your best-friend was so beautiful 🙂 Wishing you all the very best this year, and who knows, perhaps we’ll even get to meet in person one day soon! Mimi x

  19. Thank you for the stories, the photographs, the recipes and the inspiration. You emanate thankfulness and Joie de vivre. Congratulations on your wonderful news of new life!

  20. Good to see you finally went to bed at 12:39 AM!
    Guess what we did on NEW YEARS EVE?Watched THE SOUND OF MUSIC!Thought of you the whole way through……THAT CHATEAU has your name written all over it!Especially, since you had the inspiration for your CREST!Your husbands children are so gorgeous……..I can imagine how the entire family felt!When will you give us the due date for the piccolo bambino?As far as clothes etc…….NO WORRIES there you will look FANTASTIC in any garmet!Even a sack for potatoes would look SMASHING on YOU.Thank you for starting this beautiful blog and sharing it.As you can see we all ENJOY every part of it!HAPPY HAPPY NEW YEAR!XOXOXO…..your contessa

    1. Bonjour Contessa! I know, I know, I somehow always post too late and end up going to bed even later – but how can I resist answering these wonderful comments 🙂 ? Happy new year my lovely, you only deserve the best! Baby is due towards the end of May. Gaïa was 2 weeks overdue, so hopefully this baby will come safe and sound right on time! Bonne soirée! Lots of love, Mimi x

  21. Hi!
    Reading your post now I felt was time to say how much I enjoy reading Manger. And these words one I felt emotional too. I live in Porto Alegre, a city in very South of Brazil.
    Special 2014 for you and your loved ones and thanks for filling with your joy.

    Best regards,

  22. Bonjour Mimi,
    So many delicious recipes to tempt the palate today.
    I feel I must have your e-fu noodles for dinner tonight. Will have to substitute lobster (no substitute really) for prawns but I think it will work quite nicely.
    Don’t you think the world is a much better place after a bowl of Pho???…..it’s.the ultimate pancea.
    Bon Weekend Mimi 🙂
    Anita xx

    1. I hope you enjoyed the dish Anita, how was it with prawns? Wishing you a wonderful start of the new year – I can’t wait to try a few of your recipes! Bisous, Mimix

  23. Yes, yes . . . I second la Contessa’s wish to know when the newest Thorisson is due to arrive. 😀 So exciting! ! !

    Those chocolate meringe kisses look so very delicious!

  24. Tapioca pearls in a chicken boullion–wow you are an inspiration! I could sit and watch you do your kitchen magic all day long! Thank you…I have been more adventurous in the kitchen thanks to Manger. You look stunning in the Missoni!

    1. Merci! I am delighted to hear you enjoy our little kitche adventures! The tapioca pearls were inspired by Yves Camdeborde, who loves using them in his soup/potages/bouillons! Wonderful food memories 🙂 the kids loved this bouillon, and the pearls certainly make it extra special! Here in France, these pearls are called ‘perle du Japon’ (Japanese pearls). Bonne année, Mimi x

  25. Dear Mimi – your Christmas/New Year postings have been so lovely and have brought a tear to my eye! I wish you and your family a very happy & healthy 2014. By the way, I visited Bordeaux and environs this year for the first time because of your blog. A long way from Australia but worth it, x

  26. What a beautiful post and photos. I feel your emotions. A new baby is really one of the most amazing miracles in the world. Congratulations to the whole family. The baby of my entourage of six is now six months and everyone loves him so. Good luck with everyone.

  27. Dear Mimi,
    Sincerest congratulations on your expanding family and wonderful Christmas season!
    Please let me say that I adore your blog – your words, the recipes, Oddur’s photographs and the overall aesthetic. As a long time Francophile I am looking forward very much to purchasing your book and following all the new adventures in food and life 2014 will bring to you.

    1. Thank you so much Julia – I am so touched by your kindness! I just can’t wait for the book to come out 🙂 Wishing you a beautiful new year, may all your dreams come true! Mimix

  28. What a gorgeous place! Perfect for taking pictures and dreaming…

    The soup, noodles and meringue kisses look really delicious.

    Happy New Year! Looking forward to reading you in 2014.



  29. Hi Mimi

    That chateau sounds like it might have your name on it… I do hope so! Is this the same Missoni dress you are wearing in the photos? Wow! You look gorgeous! But we all expected that! I’m very much in a broth eating mood these last few days and needing it to be a bit of a pick-me-up so your one sounds perfect and a bit unusual (for me at least) with the tapioca involved. I’m going to try it out for sure this week. Bonne annee to you and your lovely family and thank you for the inspiration x

    1. Bonsoir Mary! Oh I wish my name was on that château! It actually belongs to a friend’s uncle – imagine how amazed we were when we discovered that! Yes, the dress I am wearing is the same one I wore the night I met my husband – it’s warm and filled with beautiful memories 🙂 I can’t wait for you to try the broth, it is so delicious, the different spices make it extra special. Bonne année to you! Mimi x

  30. Wishing you a magical New Year Mimi, although not sure how much more magical your life can be….I am always so utterly uplifted and inspired by your posts here! I did not realise you were pregnant, although when I saw the opening shot on this post, I wondered….just a certain je ne sais pas about your look and gate. Many, many congratulations to you all…what a wonderful gift to look forward to…when are you due? Boy/Girl..or maybe you don’t find out. Thank you for sharing your dalliances with food, family, life with us…perhaps our paths will cross in 2014. Imen xx

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Imen! I am due end May! So excited to start the summer with a new member in the family 🙂 Wishing you a very happy new year! Mimi x

  31. Another beautiful post Mimi. It’s a stormy grey day here in Bonnie Scotland, but you have just brightened my day with your joyous sharing of family time. We broke with tradition this year and had lobster for Christmas dinner!
    Many congratulations on your 7th wonder, and I wish you and your family much love, joy and great health for 2014 :-)) xx

    1. Oh how lovely to hear from you in Scotland! My husband and I would love to visit one of these days! 🙂 Thank you so much for your kind wishes! Bonne année, Mimi x

  32. Gazing at the compelling and wonderful photos by your husband, especially those offering family, I realize an obvious priority that should touch our lives and that is enjoying time spent with family! Mimi,wishing you a happy, healthy,New Year with your family and congratulations on the member on the way!

  33. mmm, i love the plates used for the chocolate kisses. This blueprint is really nice. great picture and very nice post

  34. Dear Mimi, I found your blog only relatively recently, but I’ve become an addict. Addict to the beauty of it – the pictures, your writing style, the food. Such loveliness emanates from everything you do. Thank you for inspiring me and for making my days here in Vienna a little less gloomy during the winter. Wishing you much happiness and good magic in the coming year. And a big “yay!” to Missoni dresses! 🙂

    1. Thank you – I am so glad you enjoy the blog – a big and warm welcome to our little corner of the world! Happy new year! I hope you will enjoy the recipes. 🙂 Mimi x

  35. A gorgeous and lovely post to bring in the New Year! & Congratulations!!! I love big families. You are such a beautiful and amazing mama! Happy New Year Mimi!


    1. Hello there! No, it is not typical. We first discovered this château by luck a while back, when we went on a long forest walk. Luckily, we found out it belonged to the uncle of our very good friends, so now we know who’s house we are trespassing on 🙂 ! Bonne année, Mimi x

  36. I am the one that had written you a message on Facebook for advice and I am so excited that we are both having another little one next year since I look to you for so much inspiration! Beautiful post. To a happy new year filled with healthy babies!

  37. Mimi –

    Mimi –
    I have often wondered how you came up with your pretty emblem so it was fun to read the history behind it. I also LOVE how you share your special memories like what you were wearing when you met your husband or special times you two share. Congratulations to you and Oddur!

    1. Merci Ann! Yes, the emblem is the origin of our logo, gracefully iluustrated by Anna Bond (she’s such a wonder!). Thank you so much for your kind words, wishing you a happy new year! Mimi x

  38. MImi, another gorgeous post. How I love them! An extra treat is the inclusion of a recipe from Le Comptoir, one of my favorite Paris spots. Reading through the archives I was also delighted to find a recipe from L’Ami-Jean. This is the food I love most–French, simple but layered with flavors and comforting. Merci.

    1. Hello Casey,

      Thanks for all your kind words 🙂 So happy you found 2 recipes that remind you of good times in Paris 🙂
      Happy new year! Mimi x
      ps: I did the autocorrect for you 😉

  39. Oh my goodness!!!!! I am so so happy for you and your family. What a lucky sweet child to be born in such a warm and beautiful family full of talent. Oh my! I’m so happy for you I just HAVE to make you something special in Chinese watercolor! May your days continue to be filled with joy and greatness. The New Year looks all the brighter and tastier! Can’t wait for your book!

  40. I chanced upon your blog sometime ago and I really look forward to new posts from you. It’s a very tastefully done blog. The pictures and written words really complement each other. Congratulations on the Impending arrival of your baby and your cook book. Wishing you the best and may this be a truly special year for you and your family.Warm regards from Bangalore, India

  41. Hi Mimi! Bonne année!

    I’ve been reading your wonderful blog for a while now, trying out as many recipes as I’m able to in my tiny student studio.

    You’re a true inspiration for so many reasons I can’t list them all in a few lines!

    But what really wanted to say is how lucky are your children to be raised this way. Right now they’re kids, carefreely living their kids’ lives, as they shoudl be. But I think it’s especially in your adult life, looking back at the years behind you, that you actually realize vividly how much you owe your parents and how lucky you were to be raised in a double culture, with a passion for food, nature, and to value the moments spend as a family.

    That’s how I feel to my parents today. I actually told my mother to watch you on Cuisine TV because your cooking reminded me of hers but she said your life was way too perfect! I told her our life was just as perfect as yours looks on the pictures.

    Thanks for what you do, and congratulations for the future lucky baby!

    1. Bonsoir Emelie! Thank you for your touching comment – your words mean so much to me! My husband and I have always shared the dream to raise a family, to all be as close as possible, hardly ever apart. I am always so grateful to be able to live that way, to have taken the scenic route in life (not always the easiest!), because it’s all worth it! We are united, bonded, our strength will live on in our children’s memories, hopefully 🙂 I am so flattered to hear that my cooking reminds you of your mothers 🙂 And please tell her our life is certainly not perfect – we just live a passionate life, our house is filled with kids, action, food, dogs and always a dash of madness:) Bonne année! I hope you will enjoy the recipes! Merci! Mimi x

  42. Dearest Mimi,
    Just wanted to let you know how grateful I am to have discovered your incredible blog (via Smitten Kitchen)…you inspire me with your photos, your words and most of all your life! I always look forward to reading your latest and greatest post! I also wanted to wish you and your family a warmest congratulations on the newest member arriving soon….all I can say is, what a lucky little soul to be born into a family as wonderful as yours! Cheers to you and Happy New Year!

    1. Thank you for such a sweet comment Ana – I am so very touched. It is such a blessing to have a little baby coming our way – we are all so excited 🙂 Merci for your kindness – I hope this new year will bring you peace, love and joy! Mimi x

  43. Dear Mimi,

    What a wonderful year! Reading your post made me so nostalgic…Here’s to an amazing 2014 with a new baby and a new book!


    PS – Those chocolate meringue are calling my name.

    1. Happy new year Berta! We opened your lovely bottle of Rauzan-Ségla – it was absolutely divine! Wishing you a smashing new year, so grateful to have met you, to work with you and most of all to be your friend! Bonne année! Love from all of us! Mimi x

  44. Bonjour Mimi, and xin nian kuai le!
    I have been following your blog for some time now, and this is my first time leaving a comment. I just wanted to say thank you for the beautiful recipes, photos, and writing that you and your husband share with us. It is always a wonderful bright spot in my day to see that you have a new post, and I am always inspired by the experience you create for us. Merci beaucoup (and now, you have the full extent of my French ability!), and wishing you and your family the best in 2014!

  45. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes and life with us. I read many blogs but yours gives me fresh joy every single time a new post pops into my blog feed. I read each sentence in full (rare for my flitting eyes) and come back time and time again for culinary inspiration.

    Thank you.

    Maddy x

  46. Mimi! Congratulations on the new blessing that has been bestowed upon you and your family. I always love to find inspiration and encouragement from fellow mothers of large families (I am a mother of four) and I am wonderfully inspired to see the love and experiences you share with your family 😉 As for a recommendation of comfortable, yet sophisticated and feminine pregnancy wear, I just love the maternity clothing company; ‘HATCH.’ The pieces are also quite wonderful for the post-baby stage after delivery.
    Will you find out the sex of the new baby? Best wishes!

    1. Thank you Marissa! Happy new year to you and your big family too 🙂 I will check on the clothing line Hatch, sounds interesting 🙂 No news on baby’s sex yet… sson! Mimi x

  47. Mimi,
    Lovely memories and photos – and of course fabulous recipes. Fantastic.
    I am glad to hear your holiday was lovely and filled with family and good food!
    I also enjoyed learning a bit more about Icelandic culture and heritage. Thank you for sharing.
    Warm wishes,

  48. Mimi, it has been such a pleasure to find you and Oddur’s lovely blog. Thank you for sharing your love for food, your very special home and family and Oddur’s gorgeous photography. You both seem to capture the moody beauty of the Medoc!

    Blessings to your whole family near and far (saying goodbye to the older children much be wrenching) and your new little gift!

  49. My dear Mimi! Absolutely enchanting! I have never enjoyed a more precious writing, not just of your sharing of food, but of your description of the chateau. I am a hopeless, romantic Francophile and my mind dreams of such abandoned places in which to ponder the lives that once lived within it’s vibrant walls. Merci, merci, merci!

  50. Mimi, your posts are a treasure! I happened upon them accidentally, and have enjoyed each and every comment, photograph and wonderful recipe. I look forward to your book with much anticipation! Thank you for sharing and may 2014 bring you and your family much joy!

  51. Bonjour Mimi, drinking my oolong tea and reading your blog in the morning is a must and a great pleasure. I feel I am sitting with an amazing friend, a wonderful, beautiful mom and wife, it makes so happy and feel so peaceful. It has been wonderful knowing you dearest Mimi. Thank you for the beautiful photos and delicious recipes. Wishing you and your lovely family a blessed and wonderful New Year in all aspects. Hugs and kisses Rowaida

    1. Thank you for your sweet and kind words, Rowaida! It is always a pleasure to hear from you – I too feel like we have been friends since the beginning of Manger – I am so grateful we met through this blog 🙂 All the best for the new year à toute la famille! Mimi x

  52. I wrote a paper on Missoni in my first textiles class in college – I love the family and they way they work and of course, their prints. How funny that your husband recognized and knew of fashion! It was meant to be. Happy New Year!!

    PS Is the chateau simply open to the public? Pardon my ignorance, but in the US something like that would already be torn down or at least marked condemned and roped off. I think it is wonderful that something so old still exists and the beauty lies also partly in its’ decay.

    1. Bonjour! I have always been in love with Missoni prints, ever since I was a child 🙂 The colours, the knit, the prints, it’s all in my element! To answer your question, the château is not open to the public, it is actually owned by the uncle of our friend (um, we only found out later !). There are parts of Médoc that are still raw and untouched, where you can still find ruins here and there! Of course, we always try and locate someone so we don’t feel like total trespassers! Happy new year! Mimi x

  53. dear mimi, i am reading your blog for so long already and it had been so much inspiration. my chef husband loves the blog too and some of the recipes have made into our monthly studio dinners. so, with that said, I just wanted to thank you for all that beauty and the dishes, we’ve enjoyed. to a very happy 2014!

    1. Your chef husband likes it too? Oh, thank you for the compliment – you made my day 🙂 I do hope you will try the chicken broth recipe, it is so satisfying! Thank you for sharing your generous thoughts. Wishing you a very happy new year! Mimi x

  54. Dear Mimi, I wish you an amazing 2014 with love, joy and happiness. Tonight we will cook your wonderful recipe °Vendanges sausages/ Harvest sausages° … next I will report ! smile Wiebke

  55. Bonsoir,

    Je suis désolé mais je m’exprimerais en français ayant trop peur d’assassiner l’anglais (j’ai pu remarquer que vous compreniez très bien le français (heureusement pour moi)).
    Quel plaisir que d’avoir découvert votre site : les photos dégagent une très belle ambiance, les recettes donnent envie. D’ailleurs puis-je me permettre de vous demander d’où provient ce manteaux que vous portez pour ce post ? En effet, il n’y a pas que les photos et les recettes qui sont élégantes 😉

    Je vous souhaite une très belle année et pleins de bonheur pour cette année

    1. Bonsoir Anna! Je vous souhaite une très bonne année! Et merci pour vos compliments, je suis très flattée 🙂 Je suis si heureuse de savoir que vous appréciez le blog – mon mari et moi sommes très passionés par notre jolie région, le Médoc, et des ses bons produits du terroir. Pour répondre à votre question, mon manteau vient de la créatrice Française Laurence Doligé – j’adore ses créations 🙂 J’espère que vous allez essayer une ou deux petites recettes? Merci pour votre visite! Mimi x

    2. Merci de mettre le temps de répondre à tous les commentaires (délicate attention)

      Ne vous inquiétez pas ma liste de course est prête pour le jour de marché afin de tenter ce bouillon et les “Butternut pancakes with crispy sage beurre noisette”

      En vous souhaitant une bonne journée

  56. so happy and touched by this sharing of your wonderful news. Congratulations and every best wish for your newest beautiful little one

  57. You never fail to disappoint, Mimi. I’m nursing a cold, and feeling quite exhausted after the holiday celebrations. Your chicken bouillon sounds like the perfect pick-me-up! Wishing you and your family a very happy, healthy new year!

    1. Bonne année Zelda! Moi aussi je suis très enrhumée (I have a cold too!)! I think I will make the bouillon again tomorrow – perfect cold/soothing remedy. Today is the Epiphanie in France, we celebrate by eating a galette des Rois 🙂 We’ve been eating non-stop! Take care and I hope you’ll get better soon! Mimi x

      1. Thanks. Hope you feel better soon, too. I had a big bowl of chicken bouillon for supper tonight, and it was very comforting. Might try it with some dried shiitake mushrooms tomorrow. X

  58. Chère Mimi, le hasard faisant parfois bien les choses, je découvre quasi simultanément votre blog et votre émission… Un véritable enchantement dont je ne saurais assez vous remercier! Grâce, gourmandise et raffinement, décidément vous êtes une fée! Félicitations pour l’heureux événement à venir.
    PS: Est-il possible de trouver les recettes de vos émissions en français?

    1. Bonsoir Isabelle! Quel plaisir de vous accueillir ici! Très heureuse de partager mon petit coin dans le Médoc avec vous 🙂 Vous pouvez trouvez les recettes des émissions sur le site de Cuisine+, et si vous ne trouvez pas certaines d’entre elles, n’hésitez pas à me les demander! Je vous souhaite une excellente année! Mimi x

      1. Merci chère Mimi pour votre prompte réponse! Je ne trouve pas les recettes sur le site, mais je vais encore chercher 🙂 Je vous souhaite aussi une merveilleuse année ainsi qu’à toute votre famille!

  59. Hello Mimi, Wishing you, Oddur and your beautiful family a New Year filled with joy and harmony. May your source of happiness continue to grow in love and unity.
    We celebrate the 12 days, so today I shall cap it all off with everything I enjoy…kisses,almonds and apricots.

    I once read, “Architecture, good architecture, is rare enough; there is no need to create artificial schisms.” This is why I love your gateway that you have created, it rare for all of the right reasons.
    P.S. you look radiant! and thank you Oddur for all that you do silently.

    1. Happy new year to you Gee Gee! Thank you so muchf or your kind words – I feel as I am starting the new year ‘tout en douceur’ (all in softness & kindness) – what a fresh new start! Best, Mimi x

  60. Happy new year! Manger is one of my favorite places on the internets–full of magic, beauty, love and good food. Congratulations on the upcoming baby and book!

  61. felicidades Mimi por su nuevo hijome enta este blogg y espero impaciente la publicacion en España de su libro

  62. We had your chicken with Calvados for Christmas for those who did not want the beef, but everyone loved it and very little beef was eaten. Congratulations on your pregnancy. Our visit to the Medoc next summer will be shorter as we have to return to South Carolina for the expected birth of a new grandchild the end of July. Your posts help me make it through the year until I can return to the Medoc.
    Thank you, Carl

  63. Bonjour Mimi,

    Je vous suis depuis longtemps et votre émission depuis peu. J’attends avec impatience chaque nouveau post et n’ayant vécu que dans des grandes villes la vie à la campagne m’a toujours fait rêver. J’en profite pour vous demander où vous avez trouvé les deux grands saladiers (vert et rouge) que vous utilisez dans votre émission ? Ils me semblent très pratiques. Est-ce que c’est de la céramique ?
    Merci beaucoup. Et Félicitations pour la bonne nouvelle !

    1. Bonsoir Eléonore! Merci, je suis heureuse de savoir que vous avez suivi l’émission aussi! J’espère qu’elle vous plait 🙂 Les saladiers sont en céramique, très pratiques! Ils viennent d’une brocante Médocaine, il y a des années… Je vous souhaite une bonne année! Mimi x

  64. Chere Mimi,

    I don’t usually leave comments on blogs, not being a blogger myself, but just wanted to let you know how much I love yours. I’ve been sporadically reading it over the last couple years and it has become my go to for the French recipes of my childhood. The pictures are stunning, your writing is lovely and heartfelt and the recipes never fail.
    Your blog strikes quite a cord with me due to our similar histories; my father is French, my mother is American and though I was born in Pau, my siblings and I grew up over five continents and nine countries. All four of us were born in a different country! My mother is a fantastic cook who mastered French cooking after meeting my father and used our many moves to educate herself and us on many different type of cuisines. A true Pauloise, my favorite is still French and I am always simultaneously inspired and filled with nostalgia reading your recipes! I was overjoyed when I found creme de marons in Glasgow, my latest home, and even happier to find your creme de marons cake- my mother made is for almost all our birthdays and it’s a family favorite. I will definitely be copying down her recipe when I go home in a month and would love to let you know how the two compare.
    Congratulations on expanding your family! I’m sure the latest will be just as lovely as your other children.
    Felicitations and thank your for the continuous inspiration- will definitely have to move back to France someday soon and take advantage of the marcher and beautiful produce.

    1. Thank you for such a heartfelt comment – I am touched! It is so inspiring to hear your background, as well as your family’s – I can just imagine all the travelling stories 🙂 I am such a huge fan of crème de marron, and I am overjoyed to hear you are one too. It’s such a treat 🙂 I hope you will enjoy my crème de marron cake – it is best eaten when it has set for a few hours. Wishing you a very happy new year! Mimi x

  65. Everything is just so wonderful and divine.This meal is superb and perfect.You’re now inspired me.Thank you for taking the time to share your life.I whis you every kind of happiness.

  66. I very rarely comment, but think this is the right post to tell you that I always read you and that I truly enjoy reading your blog, and looking at it. You have done an incredible job and deserve all the great things that have happened to you this past year!

  67. Congratulations on your sweet new addition to your family. What a blessing! I really love your blog, and our lives couldn’t be more different. I live in the United States in the state of Missouri. I love reading about your life in France and really enjoy your cooking. I have a silly question for you. You said your last name comes from your father-in-law’s first name. I wonder, do your children have the same last name you do, or is their last name from your husband’s first name?? Will your book be available in the US?? Blessings to you from Missouri!

    1. Bonsoir Robbin! Thank you for your kind wishes! It’s lovely to be able to share our lives across the continent 🙂 To answer your question, my children’s last name are derived from my husband’s name, just like my husband”s name comes from his father. And yes, the book will be available in the US, launched on October 28th this year! Can’t wait! Best, Mimi x

  68. Mimi, First congrads on your new addition. How exciting!!! I only have 1 little man (who is now 11) and I wish so much that I could have had more children, (double digits) but it is what it is.

    I truly love all of your recipes, but could you please add some vegetarian stuff? My guy is so sensitive to all creatures that he gets so upset if I even mention the word Chicken. Plus if I even cook any type of fowl, he thinks I am cooking his “pets”.(rooster and hens) Thanks.

    1. Hi Debra! Thanks so much for your kind wishes! My daugher Mia is also 11 🙂 Will try and post more veggie meals then – it’s a pleasure to share more recipes 🙂 Thanks! Mimi x

  69. I have just discovered your blog. You write so beautifully and the photos are so gorgeous it feels like a beautiful French fairytale. I feel like I have just gone on a mini-holiday reading through the last few months’ posts.

  70. Beautiful post. I’ve wanted to stumble on an abandoned mansion, but then I wondered if it would be creepy.
    What would happen if the airplane was caught on time?

  71. I came here by way of A Beautiful Mess, just to take a quick look, not planning to leave a comment – and then I saw the chateau. I swear you must have found the lost estate in Alain-Fournier’s Le Grande Meaulnes! If you haven’t already read it, please do… it’s lovely.

  72. What a breath taking blog Mimi! So glad I found you. the Lobster with e-fu noodles is now at the top of my list to make. What is your preferred method of testing the doneness of the lobster? I have never cooked lobster in a wok before. Many thanks!

  73. I just stumbled across your delightful blog, it’s beautiful. The chocolate meringue kisses look absolutely amazing, I must try them.

  74. What beautiful photos – the combination of food and the old chateau is fantastic. I love exploring old ruins. I’m so excited to have discovered your blog and am looking forward to following you in the new year and exploring your posts and recipes from the past year. I visit my husband’s family usually once or twice a year near Bergerac but as we live in Hanoi it is will be such a pleasure to see that part of the world through your blog more often!

  75. Bonjour and Happy New Year, Miss Mimi,my favorite part of this post was kids and dogs and where you described going through boxes for “flexible” clothes ,it’s lovely and refreshing .

  76. Mimi, you are really an inspiration. You as a person and your passion for cooking were inspiring me, who is or better said was, a non cooking person to become really interessted in food and starting to cook! Your posts are heartwarming.

  77. Mimi, I just LOVE your blog. It is truly so beautifully written. You have made many connections through your writing. And your recipes are a bonus. It is so refreshing to read your blog. I just love it. And I always wondered about your name. Now I know that too. That is one of the things I love. You share so much. Thankyou.

  78. Good news! Hello Mimi, we follow your blog with enthusiasm. Now we seem to be walking on a cloud: We bought an old house just around the corner from your house – and are renovating it at the moment! We love tte village – there was just a bristro missing. We are thrilled to have you as our neighbors. And of course we are excited about your plans. Our dog Ari is looking foreward to meet your crowd. See you soon,
    Franziska & Dario

  79. I made the lobster dish. And as ll your recipes – it didn’t disappoint! It was delicious! Will definitely be making it again! It was such a pleasure to meet you in NY. Well worth the 3 hr drive :-).

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