Here’s to the days ahead


To feast on fine delicacies, drink champagne and be merry – that’s how I want my end of year dinner to be. New year’s eve is the perfect time to shine, looking back on the year, starting a new fresh one with a few good (I hope!) resolutions.



I especially love week-end family lunches. Everyone’s appetite is more enthusiastic, spending hours at the table if we want. These days, every meal is an occasion, calling for more refined treats. Chestnuts, guinea fowl, morel mushrooms, eggs, rosemary, shallots, apples, prunes, armagnac and a dash of black truffles – those were the ingredients I used for yesterday’s déjeuner. So simply festive! All the colours and scents were delightful, I enjoyed every moment cooking the meal, with Gertrude by my side. I love using armagnac in the kitchen, or any good brandy, as it really enhances all the flavors, adding depth exactly where it is needed. Pure palate-warming satisfaction.




This year, my greatest joy has been sharing my ‘cooking’ life with you. Sharing the recipes, beautiful Médoc, family stories, my husband’s photography (and the dogs of course!) brings me so much happiness, enthusiasm and fun. Through this journey I have met such amazing, kind, generous, talented, touching and inspiring people. And all of these people are you! So thank you for being there!

2013 will definitely be an exciting year. So much more to share, so many meals to cook as the seasons unfold. I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Wishing you a beautiful, healthy and bright new year! Mimix




Chestnuts pancakes: (serves 4)
150 g/ 1 cup and 1/4 chestnut flour (sifted)
1 egg
50 ml/ 1/4 cup milk
1 tbsp crème fraîche or sour cream
50 ml/ 1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 pinch of salt
2 shallots, finely sliced
Butter, for frying


To garnish:
350 g/ 3/4 pounds morel mushrooms
4 eggs, poached
Chives (finely chopped)
1 black truffle (shavings – optional. You could use parmesan shavings as an alternative)

The pancakes:
Fry shallots in 1 tsp butter or olive oil in a frying pan until golden. Set aside. In a bowl, mix sifted chestnut flour, baking powder, 1 egg, milk, water, crème fraîche (or sour cream) and salt. Mix well and leave to rest for 30 minutes. In a frying pan, melt 2 tsp butter and pour batter to make individual pancakes, sprinkling a few shallots on each one. Fry approx 1 minute on each side. Set aside and keep warm. (you can make 4 pancakes or a few smaller ones, like I did (see photos). I used a medium-sized cooking ring to shape perfect round pancakes)

The mushrooms:
In a hot pan, fry the morel mushrooms ‘bare’ to dry them out for a 2-3 minutes, then add 1 tsp butter, salt and black pepper and continue frying for 2-3 more minutes. Set aside.

Poached eggs:
In a shallow pan of boiling water, add 2 tsp of vinegar. Prepare your eggs by breaking them into little cups/pots so it’s easier to pour into the boiling water. When the water is boiling, pour in the eggs in different areas (maximum four at a time – or the water temperature will get cooler). Leave them alone, cover with a lid for 3 minutes, then check if they need a bit of ‘pushing and shoving’ to make their form rounder. You can use a large slotted spoon for this. Depending on how well you like your eggs cooked, 3 minutes should complete the task. When ready spoon each egg at a time onto a plate. Set aside.

To assemble:
Place chestnut pancakes on a plate, add the poached egg, a few mushrooms to garnish, finely chopped chives, coarse sea salt and black pepper. Add a few shaving of black truffles (optional).


Roast guinea fowl with chestnuts (serves 4)
1.5 kg/ 3 pounds guinea fowl
A bunch of rosemary
1 lemon (cut in quarters)
Olive oil (to coat the bird)
3 large cloves of garlic
450 g/ 3/4 pounds pre-cooked chestnuts
12-15 pearl onions
Coarse salt and black pepper
240 ml/ 1 cup chicken stock
80 ml/ 1/3 cup armagnac (or any good brandy)

Preheat oven 200°C/ 400°F

Take out the guinea fowl from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Rub the bird generously with olive oil. Season with coarse salt and black pepper inside/out. Place the 3 garlic cloves, quartered lemon and rosemary in the cavity. Place the bird on the roasting pan. Cook in a preheated oven 200°C/ 400°F for 1 hour and 15 minutes. If the top gets too brown, cover loosely with foil. 25-30 minutes before the end, add the chestnuts and pearl onions to the pan.
Take the bird out of the oven, set aside on a plate, cover loosely with an aluminium sheet; place the roasting pan (with the chestnuts and onions) on the stove on a high heat. Add half a glass of chicken stock and 60 ml armagnac, reduce for approx. 5 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper. Place guinea fowl on a serving dish along with the gravy and chestnuts. Serve immediately with roast potatoes.


Roast potatoes:
Preheat oven 180°C/350°F
900 g/ 2 pounds roasting potatoes, quartered and peeled if necessary
Sprigs of thyme
Coarse sea salt
60 ml/ 1/4 cup olive oil
Rinse potatoes, slice them in half or quarters depending on size. Place in roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil, sprigs of thyme and coarse sea salt. Mix well and bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour (give the potatoes a good stir halfway) until golden.


Tourtière with apples, prunes & armagnac (serves 6)

Preheat oven 180°C/ 350°F

5 large apples (I used golden apples)
20 pitted prunes
120 ml/ 1/2 cup armagnac + a dew dashes tro sprinkle on filo pastry
250 g/ 1 cup and 1/4 granulated sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp orange blossom water (optional)
120 g/ 1/2 cup butter (melted)
3 tbsp butter – for the caramelized apples
Approx 10 sheets filo pastry

Note: Use a shallow pie/tart pan, approx 26-27 cm – 10-11 inches diameter.

Soak the prunes in 80 ml armagnac – reserve the rest for later. Set aside. Peel the apples and dice them into cubes.
In a frying pan, melt 150 g sugar. Add 3 tbsp butter when the sugar has melted. Add the apples, fry for 5 minutes, then add the prunes (drain them first). Add orange blossom water and cinnamon. Continue frying for 3 more minutes. Add the remaining armagnac and reduce for 2 minutes on a high heat. Set aside and leave to cool on a plate.

Melt 120 g butter. With a pastry brush, butter each filo sheet generously. Spread 4-5 sheets of filo in a tart pan, sprinkling sugar and armagnac on each sheet. Place the apple prune mixture all over. Cover with 4-5 buttered sheets, sprinkling sugar and armagnac on each sheet. Trim off any excess pastry sheet and sprinkle trimmings on top of the ‘tourtière’. You can either arrange trimmings to form a shape of a flower, or create a wavy top (trimmings should be cut into large finger-sized rectangles). Sprinkle with butter and sugar and bake for 25 minutes until top is golden and crispy.

Serve warm with vanilla ice-cream, crème fraîche, or simply on its own!


39 thoughts on “Here’s to the days ahead

  1. What a beautiful meal! I will try the Chestnut pancakes tonight.
    I really enjoy the richness of your presentation and the authentic home made beauty of the recipes.

  2. Merci ma belle Mimi, for what you have brought to my home across the ocean. Elegance, beauty and fabulous food. Here’s to 2013. xox

  3. Dear Mimi,

    Thank you for inspiring me every day in my kitchen, and preventing me from becoming lazy (every meal should be a feast!).

    I wish you and your family a very happy and creative new year and I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us for next year.


    PS: you look exactly like the last James Bond girl Bérenice Marlohe you know 😉

    1. Thank you my dear! So happy to be able to inspire through ma cuisine – it is such a pleasure to hear from you. Wishing you a very happy new year! Mimix ps: and thank you for making my day! 🙂

  4. OK, I must know…what is your photo technique? You have a way with lighting. It’s why I follow your blog 🙂 Do you do a lot oh photoshop work or st your camera settings to acheive such rich shadows and highlights?

    1. Hello Amber! Thanks for visiting! As this is a techinical question, I am going to hand it over to Oddur, my husband, as he is my exclusive photographer 🙂

      Hi, thanks for the compliment … it is a compliment, right? I think it was Helmut Newton who said “There is only one source of light, the sun” (in the absence of the sun he used a single light). That is what we do here, use the sun. In the absence of it we simply do no shoot. In other words we use only existing light. Manger is all about food, the seasons, what the region has to offer. The light reflects the seasons, in winter the shadows coming through our windows are longer and harder, creating more contrast. If a meal is cooked on a rainy day the light will reflect it, being sometimes flat and dull. I have always loved light creeping through windows, burning brightly on the windowsill but also reaching the darkest corners. We are not too serious with equipment, I have used everything from a simple Iphone but lately most things have been shot on a Canon EOS5D. I tend to shoot raw files and when they are converted they tend to be a bit flat. I use photoshop to pick up the contrast a bit and do some color corrections. There is no retouching, and with the way my wife cooks there is no need. That is a compliment by the way Mimi. Hope this helps, O

      1. I absolutely love the cool, blue light of winter, and the stark shadows it creates! You are one of the few websites who doesn’t try to over-light the food – and I really appreciate the realism in that. The photos have an air of mystery about them, and something so tangible. Can’t wait to see what the new years brings on Manger!

  5. What stunning images! Thank you for sharing your recipes and life in Medoc with us. Happy New Year to you and your family!

  6. Mimi,
    your dinner looks unbelivable decicous- really great. I smell the food via worldwide web – really! ! !
    I am very happy to found your blog it is always very nice for me to look at you and your familiy and … your dishes.
    All the best to you.

    Could you tell me where you bought your bracelet? I am looking for such a bracelet since several years?
    perhaps you would be so kind to tell me.

    1. Bonjour Susanne! Thank you so much for your sweet comments – it is such a pleasure to share my kitchen’s treats! Regarding the bracelet, it was bought in an antique jewelry store in Bordeaux that has sadly closed down last year. Wishing you a very happy new year! Mimix

  7. Another inspiring entry! One of my resolutions for 2013, inspired by your blog, is to serve a lovely, relaxed lunch at least once a weekend for my family. On seeing these last pictures, I may also add “try to have my 6 year old son wear more bow ties” to the resolution list! 🙂

  8. Happy New Year to you! What a lovely evening of pictures with your family. I hope it doesn’t sound weird to say that you look absolutely stunning in your dress, it’s sooo pretty! Your children look adorable all dressed up too. I am looking forward to another year of recipes, stories, and pictures from Medoc. Blessings to you and your family from Virginia, USA.

  9. Happy New Year! I discovered your website a few months ago and I simply love your beautiful, whole-hearted approach to food, your family, life, and dogs!

    I’ve tried quite a few of your recipes in the past month and they are divine. In fact, we are making your beef stroganoff this New Year’s evening!

    I am also looking forward to another wonderful year of recipes and stories from Medoc. Wishing you and your family all the best from Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

  10. Happy New Year from the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Australia!!!
    As a lover of all things French (Have been fortunate enough to have visited France many times) I would like to tell you just how much I enjoy reading your website. It’s such a feast for the eyes and senses. I can visualise myself back in the Medoc region driving through the countryside with my son who has a great appreciation of French wine and food. Makes me want to head straight to the airport and book a flight. I have made some of your delicious meals and received compliments – so merci madam!
    My question is have you published a book of your wonderful food and if so how can I purchase it? Continued success to you and your family.

    1. Bonsoir Tanya! Thank you so much for your lovely comment. It always brings such a smile to my face to read such great reviews! Merci! I haven’t published a book yet, but I am just starting to work on it, so I will let you know when and where to get it! Happy new year to you! Mimix

  11. Greeting from Santa Barbara, California!
    I just sent your web address to my closest friends as a New Year’s Day gift. It is by far the most visually stunning site I have seen! I have very much enjoyed your wonderful recipes and incorporating your lovely decor into my own home.

  12. Mimi,

    I read this blog every day- your appreciation for life and beauty and grace are a source of inspiration to me. Thank you for all the happiness you send out into the world!


  13. Thanks for this post. I have been looking for a festive way to cook guinea fowl. The tourtière looks a lot like croustade, which I have never been brave enough to attempt making, but I will have a go at yours, it looks so delicious. Happy new year to you and your family, Mimi!

  14. Stunning photos and delicious recipes, as usual. One question – you mention adding beer to the chestnut pancakes in the instructions, but I don’t see it on the ingredient list. How much do you add, and what type? Thanks! Happy new year!

    1. Hi Tess! Sorry for the little typo mistake. I was going to add beer as I use it sometimes to my recipe, but I decided to simply stick to baking powder to make the recipe simpler (I just updated and corrected the recipe). You can add beer if you would like, just a light blond beer, about 30ml, not more. That would be a substitute for the baking powder. Enjoy and happy new year Mimix

      1. Oh great, thank you! That makes perfect sense. Both versions sound delicious. The pancakes look so lovely, as does everything on your site!

  15. And thank you for sharing your beautiful recipes and fragments of your beautiful family.

    All the best in 2013! Looking forward to cooking more of your gorgeous recipes.

  16. Beautiful! The pictures are very nice as well. What camera do you use?

    Thank you for sharing your ideas and recipes!

  17. Love love love! I salut you Mimi. Everything looks amazing, delicious food and recipes. Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family, May this year brings you all good health, happiness, peace, success and prosperity.
    PS you look so beautiful, love your dress and accessories.

    Best wishes xo

  18. I’ve just discovered your site a couple days ago, and have been cooking since! I am an avid cook, but have been lacking inspiration these past weeks – thank you for brining it back!

    On a side note: I’ve been looking for a dress exactly like the one you’re wearing in this post.. any chance you’d accept to give away your secret? 🙂

    Many thanks for brining back cooking dreams!

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