Last week in America


Where do I begin

It all started with an email from Rica Allannic, my editor. I received it on an otherwise unremarkable Tuesday afternoon in early February. It was short and to the point. Would I be up for a quick trip to New York city, to go over my manuscript and do some publicity for my upcoming book – before my bump got to big to travel? A better question might have been “Is anyone ever not up for a trip to New York, with or without a bump?” Wheels were set in motion, my in-laws were lined up as dog- and babysitters, a strategy was outlined to keep them all from harm in our absence. Moments later, it seemed, I was standing in the very impressive lobby of Random House on Broadway. Every single person at Clarkson Potter is an absolute delight and I must admit it was a kick for me to be discussing my book with a view of New York at my feet. The next few days were a blur of yellow cabs that drive far too fast (I am one of those pregnant ladies who’s not good in cars – read nausea) and more impressive lobbies, freezing cold but warm receptions, great food and sadly for me, hardly any wine. I loved every minute. It was one of those trips where everything happens so fast that when you come home you have to ask yourself  “did that actually happen?”




Virtual friends, old friends and mixed fortunes

On our first night in NY we had an old friend for dinner (I just had to write that). We met up at a local Chinese place, had noodles and dim sum and, this being America, three fortune cookies to round up the meal. My friend Thao and I got some words of “wisdom” but Oddur got this: “Everyone agrees that you are the best”. We left our fortunes on the table, he put his carefully in the breast pocket of his coat. Talking of “everyone” there were so many people I wanted to meet. Since I started Manger I’ve made great friends from the “monde” of blogs and social networks, modern-day pen pals. Some have already visited us in the French countryside, others have remained virtual friends. But I feel like I know them all intimately, I know what they had for lunch and what it looked like, what toys their kids like to play with … and in some cases what their beds look like after they’ve slept in them (or what they want people to believe that their beds look like when they’ve slept in them). In this brave new world we all have a curated version of one another, now was the time to get real.





The trip in Food

We had a shortlist of around 10 restaurants we wanted to try but most of them didn’t manage the final cut. Largely our food-fate was not in our own hands. And frankly, this trip, all roads led to Estela. We had five dinners in NY, one at our editor’s house and four in restaurants. Two of those were at Estela. It seems that all of NY, or at least our friends, are in love with Estela and these are folks that know what they’re talking about when it comes to restaurants. It’s easy to understand why they like it. It’s a bar-restaurant with amazing cocktails (I’m told), simple decor and simply delicious food that’s fit for sharing. I liked everything I had there and loved some of it. I loved the beef tartare with sunchoke (that I wasn’t supposed to have), the ricotta dumplings, the mussels and salted cod. Oddur loved the chicken hearts. Over lunch, earlier in the week he had mentioned Estela to Pam, the publisher of Clarkson Potter and she confessed that she goes to Estela often and even makes a version of their endive salad at home. Needless to say I managed to get the recipe from her. Another lovely dinner was at a brand new place called Navy, whose chef, Camille, is another virtual acquaintance. A beautiful, small, dimly lit place with lovely food and a hat wearing English chap called Neil who makes great coffee. Which brings me to our finest meal of the trip, unsurprisingly the one meal we had at someone’s house. Aren’t those always the best? We did have high hopes, Rica, a top editor that specializes in cookbooks (who used to work in the kitchen of Daniel Boulud – that’s how she met her beau) and her French chef husband, Cyrille. Who wouldn’t want to be invited to a dinner like that. Like the hosts themselves the dinner was a French-American mix. Local ingredients with a French touch. American wine and cheeses – and without wanting to sound prejudice (wine&cheese are of course national treasures of France) – both surprisingly good, awesome in fact. We had Nantucket scallops with a cauliflower mash, so good that I just had to share the recipe with you. Mr and Mrs didn’t quite see eye to eye on the gremolata and for a while it looked like there would be two versions – in the end they agreed on what tasted heavenly to me. I knew American beef could be good, just not this good. Dinner with friends, that’s what life is about.

So much fun meeting Nicole Franzen, Grace Bonney and Julia Turshen
So much fun meeting Nicole Franzen, Grace Bonney and Julia Turshen



The French Connection

Being a mixed breed myself I am always fascinated by the merging of cultures. There is an old ad from the French fashion designer Pierre Cardin that used to run in GQ. I don’t remember it myself but Oddur brought it to my attention recently, the copy reads: “The mystique of France, the energy of America”. On one hand kind of silly and stereotypical, on the other, a little bit true. Towards the end of our meal at Rica’s they mentioned that they were all planning to get up early (and not to get rid of us I might add). Cyrille, a chef, painter and keen triathlete had some exercising to do as did Rica. Adrian, their adorable son (and my future son-in-law) swims five times a week. I may be generalizing but there is a sense of keenness and enthusiasm about Americans that I love but it has it’s downsides too. Every restaurant is either empty or has a queue, a restaurant that was hot on my last visit can now be found in oblivion. Luckily many of the new restaurants are as good or better than the ones they replaced – New Yorkers know how to come up with good concepts. France has long provided the recipes, but America had their own ideas. While American chefs have imported French knowledge and technique, interned at French bakeries to learn the tricks of the trade, it’s the American sense of enterprise that has helped young French chefs break out of the old hierarchies and establish their own successful bistros. A great example of this sort of cooperation of cultures is Spring in Paris, a wildly successful restaurant run by an American in Paris. So I guess Pierre Cardin was right. One of the best things I tasted in NY was a cheese called “Triple Cream”, a French tasting cheese with and American “selling” name.

Outside Reynard at Wythe hotel
Outside Reynard at Wythe hotel


Regrets I have a few

I have never had a disappointing trip to NY and neither a trip that left me completely fulfilled. There is just too much to do, no list can be completed, there are always boxes left to tick. No matter how many food trucks I try, lobster rolls I sample or cronuts I eat there is always a dozen things left on my list, people I didn’t meet or restaurants I missed out on. This trip my biggest regret was not to have time to visit my beloved Spotted pig, a source of so many happy moments in the past. 6 days in NY seem like an eternity and an instant at the same time. So little time, so much to do. After our final bumpy yellow cab ride to the airport (one that I almost didn’t survive), Oddur reached for his wallet and when he pulled it out his cherished Chinese fortune flew out of his pocket and into the evening air. I guess it was only valid for a week.

Craig Robinson, Brooklyn
Craig Robinson, Brooklyn



Back home

When you sit at a table outside, surrounded by children and puppies, when the temperature is 30 degrees higher (celsius) than it was in NY and the sun caresses your bare feet, you want nothing more. But then after a while, you want a lobster roll. My way. That’s how I am, the stove beats the chair in the sun and soon I had buns in the oven. I’ve been revisiting NY with my mouth since we came back, we’ve had those heavenly scallops three times, a lobster roll twice. The pears are inspired from pancakes that Jenny, our book designer, ordered at Reynard in Brooklyn. I once read a piece from Jeffrey Steingarten on Chinese restaurants in America, at the end of it he said “Now all I have are memories”. Well, I have the memories … but I also have my own versions.

ps: Thank you everyone for the great tips you gave me for my NYC trip – they are all in my notebook for next trip!


Estela style Endive salad (courtesy of Pam Krauss) 

(serves 4)

3 heads of endive, separated into leaves
Juice of 1 orange
3 anchovies
50 g/ 1/3 cup roasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 & 1/2 tablespoons champagne vinegar (I used Xérès vinegar)
3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
50 g/ 1/3 cup Ubriaco Rosso cheese (I used Tomme de Savoie cheese), cut into tiny cubes
Coarse sea-salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mash up the anchovies in a salad bowl with a little salt and pepper. Squeeze the orange and pour juice into the bowl. Add the vinegar, then the olive and mix well. Finally, add the walnuts and cheese. Scatter the endive leaves on top. Serve immediately.


Lobster roll

Who doesn’t crave a great lobster roll? This is my Frenchie version, light and tangy, creamy with crème fraîche, and I decided not to add mayonnaise. Instead of a classic bread bun, I made pain au lait (milk bread), a typical bun sold at the boulangerie, very popular with my kids especially for the ‘goûter’ (after school) tea time hour – they love to add a small bar of black chocolate inside. It’s a rich bun that I love serving with savory fillings too.

(serves 6)

Flesh of 2 cooked lobsters (approximately 450g/ 1 pound each)
1 small head of sucrine lettuce (or iceberg)
A large handful of small pink radishes, sliced finely
A few sprigs of fresh chives, chopped finely
A bun of fresh chervil, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 branches of celery, finely chopped
1/3 cup chopped scallions
3-4 tablespoons crème fraîche (or more if you prefer!)
¼ teaspoon piment d’espelette

Bring a large pot of salted boiling water, add ½ cup white wine, 2 bay leaves, a few sprigs of thyme and a few black pepper corns. Cook the lobsters for approximately 15 minutes. Drain and leave to cool completely. Remove meat from lobsters.
Slice lobster flesh coarsely, place into a bowl. Gradually add all the ingredients together, except for the sucrine/iceberg lettuce and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.

Pain au lait - milk buns

For the pain au lait buns

Note: For a slightly sweeter touch, add 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar to the dough.

300 g/ 2 & ½ cups plain flour
15 g/ ½ ounce fresh yeast
3 & 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream (crème liquide entière)
120 ml/ ½ cup milk, lukewarm
80 g/ 1/3 cup butter, softened at room temperature
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon milk for the eggwash

In a large bowl, mix the yeast with a few tablespoons of the milk and leave for a few minutes until completely dissolved.
Gradually add the flour, sugar, salt, cream and butter. Start kneading in the bowl and transfer to a floured surface. Knead for at least 10 minutes, until the dough is soft. Shape into a large ball and place in the bowl. Cover with a clean kitchen cloth and place in a warm environment to rise for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Shape into small oval balls, approximately the size of a large lemon, and place on a parchment paper lined baking tray. Leave at least 4 cm/ 1.5 inches space in-between. Cover with a kitchen cloth and leave to rise for another 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350 F. Brush the rolls with the eggwash and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until well risen and golden brown.

To serve

Half-slice the buns, place sucrine lettuce in the bun and top with the lobster filling. Scatter with more lettuce and sprinkle a dash of piment d’espellette.


Pan-seared scallops & capers with cauliflower mash à la Cyrille & Rica
(serves 4)

1 head of cauliflower, broken into pieces
3 tablespoons salted butter (for the cauliflower)
Zest of 1 organic lemon
80 ml/ 1/3 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons brined capers
Fresh large scallops (about 5 to 6 per person)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Coarse sea-salt and freshly ground black pepper

The original recipe called for peeled kumquats, but as I couldn’t find any I used lemon zest instead.

For the cauliflower mash
Break the cauliflower into florets. Blanch the florets in a pot of salted boiling water for approximately 10 minutes, or until cauliflower is fork tender. Try not to overcook as the mash will be too gelatinous. Drain and purée with a stick blender, adding a few tablespoons of butter (adapt to your taste) and season accordingly. Set aside.

For the scallops
Rinse the scallops and pat dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. Heat butter (cut into cubes) in a large sauté pan on a high heat. When the butter starts to foam, stir constantly until the color turns light brown. This is when your ‘beurre noisette’ is ready for cooking. Add the scallops and sauté about for 3 minutes, until cooked. Add the capers in the end and set aside.
In a small pan, heat 80 ml/ 1/3 cup chicken stock and bring to a soft boil. Add 2 tablespoons white wine, season with salt and pepper. Reduce on a high heat for 3 minutes, lower heat and add 2 tablespoons butter. Sprinkle with ¾ of the lemon zest.

To serve
Place the cauliflower purée in a serving dish, place the scallops with the capers along with a generous drizzle of the sauce. Drizzle with the chicken gravy and sprinkle with the lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.


Pecan and pears with maple syrup whipped cream
(Serves 6)

A very simple dessert bursting with all the right flavors. This recipe is inspired from the delicious pear and pecan pancakes my friend Jenny ordered at Reynard at the Wythe hotel in Brooklyn. I ordered a pastrami sandwich, but couldn’t help picking on her plate. So please do not hesitate to serve pancakes with this recipe!

180 ml/ ¾ cup heavy cream
230 gr/ 8 ounces mascarpone
160 ml/ 2/3 cup maple syrup
4 to 5 William pears, sliced
2-3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
50 g/ 1/3 cup pecan nuts

Place the pecan nuts on a parchment paper lined baking tray, and sprinkle the sugar all over. Roast for 3-4 minutes on the grill/ broiler setting, or until nuts are slightly golden. Set aside to cool.
Whisk the heavy cream until thick, add the mascarpone and continue to whisk until thick, slowly adding the maple syrup.
Slice the pear and melt the butter in a large sauté pan on a medium heat. Sauté pears until golden on both sides.
Place the pears on a serving plate, scatter pecan nuts on top and serve with maple cream.


145 thoughts on “Last week in America

  1. Love reading your posts! I somehow manage to be whisked away into a dream world, which right now made me relax and enjoy the moment. I’ve lived in NYC for four years, and you make it sound so romantic and lovely that I want to return! 😉 Life is all about food and great moments with family and friends. Again, thank you for sharing your stories and great recipes.. they all look divine! xo Debra

    1. Thanks Debra! The trip was such concentrated fun – I just wish there were more hours in a day so I could do more 🙂 I love NYC, can’t wait to go back! Mimix

  2. So glad you had a wonderful time in New York. But I know you were equally as happy to be back home with your family. The food looks delicious, especially the lobster rolls. I’ve never tasted lobster before but these are really tempting. Have a wonderful week Mimi and thanks for the photos of your trip.

    1. Bonjour Sandy! Thanks for dropping by! NYC was so much fun, really exciting and most of all I loved meeting everyone! And please please do try the lobster rolls, they are so good and irresistible! 🙂 Enjoy! Mimix

  3. Mimi
    My virtual pen pal! Sorry I missed you in the city last week. We were at the Union Square Market & Gramercy Tavern. Estela is great and always packed, And I only just read about Navy on Sullivan Street this morning will have to try it! Glad you had such a nice trip. Maybe I’ll see you in Paris in Sept.


    1. Hi Stacey! Yes, I know, so sad to have missed you, if only there was more time! Love the Union Square market, enjoyed seeing different local produce. I will be back in the fall, and who knows, we can always meet in Paris! 🙂 Mimi x

  4. I was enjoying reading every word, every recipe, your flash impressions of my American world, and your unique version of a lobster roll, and then your last photo with that precious puppy stole the show. I had to get a closer look and so glad I did because right there on the table I could see pages from your book. What an exciting peek !! It’s going to be wonderful, I can see that !!! Thanks for the little glimpse, it should make the waiting a tiny bit easier 🙂

    1. Thank Linny! I am so happy to hear you enjoyed the post 🙂 I truly enjoyed the lobster roll, and if you are not in the mood to make the lobster, you should try the rolls (pain au lait), they are delicious at anytime of the day! I would love to share more of the book, I guess teeny peeks here & there is the best I can do for now :)! Mimi x

  5. So glad you’re back Mimi. Love your tales of travel to the Big Apple and I can’t wait to try some of the recipes you’ve posted. I’m so glad the weather has improved. It’s been 18 degrees here in London a couple of days recently, not quite the 30 degrees more than you experienced in NYC I’m sure but still, Spring has sprung. Now, to re-read that scallop recipe…Hope you’re keeping well by the way x

    1. Bonjour Mary! Oh that scallops recipe is so delicious we had it 3 times in the last week! So simple, so good, I highly recommend it. I think I will stay put until baby arrives, which means more cooking and cravings 🙂 Enjoy the scallops, would love to hear your feedback 🙂 best Mimi x

  6. I ditto Linny Park’s comment about the final photo and I also love the evidence of a vist to Mast Brothers Chocolate visible on the table. I was in New York the same week and had different tasting adventures but wonderful ones also. You are right … so little time…always so much to do!!

    1. Oh la la you have a very good eye! 🙂 I really enjoyed the Mast Brothers chocolate, there’s hardly any left 🙁 Did you go there too? I can’t wait to go back and continue what I started 🙂 Best, Mimi x

  7. I’m glad you had so much fun here in the U.S. I’m a faithful Floridian reader of yours. 😉 For the buns (that I am craving with chocolate now, like your children, haha, it must be the wee one in my belly) could I use active dry yeast instead of fresh? Or would the results be very different? Thank you!

    1. Bonjour Amanda! Hope your pregnancy is going well! Yes, you can definitely use active dry yeast, dissolve it just like in the recipe. Enjoy – I just love these little buns! Mimi x

  8. Ooh what a lovely recap – thank you! I am eagerly awaiting your book now, the snippets thus far look wonderful. You made me laugh with the ‘and then you want a lobster roll’ and the scallops sound amazing – will have to try asap also the milk rolls but for chocolate not lobster! They were my tea time snack growing up, you make me nostalgic!! I’ll have to try them for my daughter. Thank you again for the lovely pics and words as always. Lili

    1. Hello Phillipa! I knew I would touch a nerve with the pain au lait & chocolate! 🙂 Pure blissful childhood memories, right? The little pains are just right and moelleux – enjoy! Best, Mimi x

      1. The scallops were divine! I absolutely love cauliflower and this mash was delicious, I almost preferred it to the scallops and the two together plus the sauce was so delicious. I thought it would all taste very buttery but it was light. We sometimes do garlic, parsley, butter scallops with mashed potato which is nice but very rich and heavy (maybe boiled new potatoes would be better) but really your recipe I could have over and over thank you!! I wasn’t sure if I should use the sauce of the scallops as well as the chicken stock sauce – the scallops sauce was quite brown so in the end I just scooped the scallops and capers out and served only with the other sauce. Thank you for this heavenly recipe!!

  9. Quel aventure Mimi! Combien des souvenirs…Il y a quelque chose que m’intrigue. Comment tu as fais pour ramener le soleil à New York? Il est rentré dans ta valise? Les derniers nouvelles c’était à NY avait des températures négatifs à -20! Et voilà qu’on te voit avec ta petite robe, un grand soleil et des fleurs partout! Tu est trop fort! C’est drôle moi aussi j’ai fait de buns mais aux pommes. Je va essayer ta recette. Bienvenue en France à nouveau 🙂

    1. Merci Eva! Il a fait très très froid pendant la semaine, -10°C, mais heureusement, nous avons eu un week-end formidable et ensoleillé. J’ai pu en profité pour visiter le marché à Union Square. C’était absolument charmant 🙂 J’espère que vous allez aimer la recette des petits pains au lait – les enfants adorent, surtout quand ils sortent du four! Mimi x

  10. Hi Mimi, thank you for the wonderful and exciting news and adventures you had while in New York, I Love NY!
    Again I can’t to receive your book later this year. Best wishes and great success.
    Thank you, thank you, for the lobster rolls recipe, I love to dine in Burger and Lobster in London every week, now I will make it at home.
    The photos are amazing and recipes are delicious.
    Best wishes xoxo

    1. Merci Rowaida! Enjoy the lobster roll recipe, inspired from NY and frenchified by me 🙂 I made a creamy lighter version without mayonnaise, but the combination of mustard and crème fraîche works beautifully together. Loved them, especially with the pain au lait buns! Will have to try Burger & Lobster in London, sounds like my kind of family place 🙂 Mimi x

  11. Hi Mimi,

    Love your posts – these scallops will be on my dinner table this week:)

    Travelling to Paris for the first time this Spring, will be reading back through your blog for a few tasty recommendations!

  12. Mimi–My sister and I adore The Spotted Pig too! The gnudi is phenomenal! I am glad you enjoy it as well, and I hope during your next visit that you can indulge in another delicious meal there! Enjoy France for me!

  13. Hello Mimi,
    Welcome back!
    It looks like you had a wonderful time. As always love your posts. I cannot wait for your book- I know it will be a best seller! Take care- make sure you get your rest!

  14. I would have loved to have run into your at the Union Square market! I am so happy your trip to New York was magical and that you were able to eat delicious food. Your story reminds me of when Julia Child came to New York 🙂 That cauliflower mash sounds delightful too.

    1. Oh, I wish I bumped into you! I will have to do a little gathering for my next trip – that’s a date! Perhaps in the fall? A cookbook launch party? It would be my greatest pleasure to meet everyone! A bientôt, Mimi x

      1. That would be such a delight! Marking my calendar 🙂 My soon to be husband and I are coming to France and Italy for our honeymoon and if we had time I would have loved to explore Medoc:) It is on my list for next time.

  15. oh the scallops and cauliflower mash look divine with the brown butter sauce and lemon. I have to laugh at your story of the crazy taxi rides. I would be the same… nervous in the back seat! So nice to have you in the USA. Come for a visit to California!!

    1. Merci Sarah, enjoy the recipes! I would love to come and visit California – I think I will! I am hoping to organize a nice little tour in the fall – I will certainly let you know! Best, Mimi x

  16. Such a gorgeous blog. The images are amazing and the recipes fantastic. Recently made the butter chicken for my wife and daughters. Turns out the best Indian food in OC CA is from my kitchen. It’s all lovely. Food for the eyes and belly. When does your book come out?

    1. Well thank you Errol – I am so happy to hear! The butter chicken is a real winner in my household – better than any take-away! 🙂 The book is coming out October 28th – here’s a sneek peek on pre-sale here on amazon or barnes & noble . And yes, would love to visit SF or LA – will definitely let you know! Best, Mimi x

      1. Hmm, CA and LA sound like a great idea! Especially if you knew someone who lived there….

        : )

        I loved reading about your trip and seeing the gorgeous photos. Am so glad to hear you’re feeling well!

  17. Bonjour Mimi! I am so glad you and your husband had a wonderful trip! I do hope that you get a chance to do a book tour here in America when your book is published and after your precious babe arrives. xo, dana

      1. Bonjour Mimi! I was going back through your old posts, as I often do when I need a break from working, and I found this comment. It’s absolutely amazing that exactly one year from the date of writing this that I met you all! 🙂 Totally amazing! God’s mysterious ways! 😉 I hope you all are doing absolutely fantastic…now back to my reading and recipe finding! xo, Dana

  18. I just went through this twice and the pics are fantastic. Makes me want to go to NY too. Glad you had a wonderful trip and hope you are taking care of yourself and not running around too much Mimi!! xx

  19. I totally agree that there’s never enough time to do and see everything you want to do in NYC! Still, it looks like a great trip – I love your market photos especially.

  20. “On our first night in NY we had an old friend for dinner . . .” LOL. Little things like that make your site even more endearing. As always, a beautiful post!

  21. How poignant the moment the fortune flew out into the world on your last cab ride! But of course now the entire world will know that Oddur is “the best”, lol…

  22. Always sure to find beauty and inspiration in your posts but this one particularly makes me dream. Of course New York always brings enthusiasm but you really know how to bring the magic.

  23. I too love New York and never have enough time to see and do all that there is to do. It sounds like your trip was successful. My thoughts were with you because of the cold weather we have had to endure this winter. Can hardly wait for your book to come out!

  24. Hi Mimi, the shot “Grass for pets” – is the best:)
    But Oddur you know that behind every great man stands a fantastic women. Kisses to you! Aileen

    1. Hello Aileen! Yes, isn’t that cute to see’grass for pets’? I just love visiting foreign markets – I nibbled on cider donuts and pretzels, and admired the different varieties of local produce. Cheers! Mimix

  25. OH,how WONDERFUL for YOU and your gorgeous husband to escape to New York.I so enjoyed the Instagram pics.especially the comment from one of your admirers who walked by as a photo was being taken of YOU!Did she not say HELLO MIMI!!!Have to say I am jealous would have loved to have met you and ODDUR.Now, the MOTHER in me is coming out!I do believe your due in MAY……I do believe you took a risk being on that plane!So, I am scolding YOU just a little bit!!!Good grief you could have had an AMERICAN child!!!All my LOVE and MORE……..YOU are a GEM and I canNOT wait to see the cookbook!You will have to sign mine………how we manage that is yet to be determined!!XOXOXO

    1. Bonjour! So lovely to hear from you! I was a little ‘just’ with the travelling cut-off date, but still respected the timeline as I am due end May. I am very touched to see your maternal side 🙂 No worries, I am now planning to stay safe and sound, perhaps one more trip to Paris (by train) next month. No more planes! I will definitely sign your cookbook, because we will definitely meet! A US trip this fall is called for! Mimi x

  26. There’s a saying in Greek about throwing a black rock behind you when you are in an ideal place and somehow it will magically lure you back one day. (something I always do when I visit the motherland) Maybe Oddur’s fortune flying away was your black rock. Happy Nesting.

  27. Bonjour Mimi,
    How lovely your trip to New York. Don’t you love it when someone cooks for you? They try so hard knowing that you love to cook too and make the meal as special as they possibly can in fact…….,,,awesome!!! Bonne journee chere Mimi x x Anita

  28. Welcome! What a fantastic trip to NY, Mimi I loved your story and how the city is left with your note of fortune to ask you to return.
    I love the rich menu you’ve prepared (and in fact I will attempt to prove). The next Christmas my mother as a gift have the book you are preparing. A big hug from BCN.

    1. Bonjour Yasmina! Thank you! This trip was so inspiring is many ways, I just had to share some recipes/ cravings! It was funny how that note just flew away as we left the taxi at the airport – it was a sign to come back soon 🙂 I do believe in signs! I am so touched by your Christmas gift to your mother, please let me know if I can attach a little note for her I would be delighted 🙂 Best, Mimi x

      1. That detail, I love it that way. I really appreciate it and I will consider your offer when the time comes. A hug.

    1. This salad was so popular during our trip – it came up during table conversations, praised during our dinners at Estela. It’s one special indeed 🙂 I hope you will enjoy it as much as we do! I made it again last night. Best, mimi x

  29. Very nice trip and pictures and food.
    The good think of our memories are, they will be delicious for ever.

    Inspiring like always. Thank you.

  30. Looks like a fantastic trip. I went to New York last April and I’m already eager to go back. Great lobster roll recipe too, they were probably my favourite things to eat in New York

  31. Your post just made the butterflies tickle in my tummy. In less than a month, America will be calling. This time I will be visiting Detroit and Minneapolis. Spring will hopefully have arrived. My little one, Hugo, will be accompanying. Loved your stories of your trip and Oddur’s photographs. Enjoyable as always.

  32. What a great reportage!!! I would love to visit NY and some other place in the USa like S. Francisco. I wondered how you could be able to fly and doing the trip being pregnant. Since I am pregnant myself I avoided to fly. I did a trip by car from North Spain to North of Italy in my sport car and it was very uncomfortable. After that trip I got rid off of the car… With a baby there is no point owing it 🙂 I loved the recipes and I am very curious to try these famous lobster rolls!!! 🙂

    1. Bonjour Daniela! NYC was such an exciting trip! As for flying, I have always been very active during my pregnancies (and very grateful that all my pregnancies went by so smoothly), so I don’t find it difficult. I actually find driving more uncomfortable, so I avoid long car trips – all those bumps are not pleasant! My due date is towards the end of May, so no more flying for me! I am happy to stay safe and sound at home. Enjoy the lobster rolls (and the pain au lait!). Best, Mimi x

  33. Beautiful post! It was wonderful to see New York through Oddur’s lens and your beautiful writing 🙂 It looks like you had a delicious time!

    I like you am drawn to people and places with cultural combinations – although my background may be the opposite of your story being born in Iceland & growing up on a bohemian sheep farm in the NY countryside (now living in NYC). I have always thought that having to meld different cultures in one’s own personal identity makes a person a bit more sensitive and curious to the cultural characteristics of others!

    Your recipes & stories are always so evocative and beautiful (and the photographs are the always amazing)- they sometimes make me nostalgic of my own childhood memories :). Next time you are in NY – if you are ever interested in visiting a farm in the Catskills countryside you would be most welcome :)!

    Thanks for cheering up my morning with a lobster roll recipe!

    1. Thank you Melkorka! How lovely to live in a farm in the NY countryside. oddur and I really wanted to tour around NY, and had a few farms on our list to visit, but I am saving it for our next trip 🙂 Will let you knwow when we’re around next time – it’s always lovely to meet a ‘fellow’ Icelander 🙂

    1. Thank you Kasey! My husband uses a Canon, it’s very practical and he is happy with teh quality. He is a big Leica fan though, and used it a lot when we first met… years ago. Mimi x

  34. Mimi, Your blog always inspires me to live a more simple life and to add beautifully prepared food to my table at home. I have pre-ordered your book for myself and my daughters who are also inspired by your lifestyle. Our very best wishes to you with the balance of your pregnancy and may you have a smooth, easy delivery. Cheers!

  35. I couldn’t help smiling when I read that your children eat the milk buns with a bar of dark choc inside. That was my favorite snack for school, seriously. My mum was not fond of buying Nutella nor Tulicreme (another creamy choc spread) and so she used to pack my lunck box with a milk bun and dark choc bar. Suddenly, I really feel like eating that again 🙂
    Will definitely try the endives salad, the lobster roll and the pears, it all sounds sooo divine!

    1. Bonjour! Aren’t those childhood snacks the best! We love sticking in the chocolate bar when the buns are still hot, you can imagine the rest! 🙂 Enjoy th erecipes! Mimi x

  36. What a fun trip, Mimi! My family and I live in a small town in central Florida; taking trips to New York City gives me, too, that feeling of being at once contented and incomplete–such a strange and beautiful thing.

    I can’t wait to try the endive salad!

    P.S. Your husband’s fortune flying out the window gave me a laugh:)


  37. Sounds like you had a whale of a time! Beautiful images, and I love how you have juxtaposed shots of NY with scenes from your French kitchen. That cauliflower mash sounds deliciously simple, will definitely be making it. When will the book be available in the UK, I can’t wait to get my hands on it?

    1. Bonjour Zelda! Thank you so much for your sweet comment! I am quite sure you will enjoy the cauliflower mash, and I love the capers combination with the scallops and beurre noisette – capers never tasted so good! The book is coming out October 28th – not sure when it’s out in UK but I know it can be bought online at that date (or on pre-order). Bonne journée, Mimi x

  38. So glad you had a nice trip!

    Please keep the scallop photos/recipes coming. I’ve never seen them in the shell like that and they are stunning.

  39. Loved your story and pics about your trip to NY. If ever in AZ I would love to meet you and have you sign the book…Best, P-

  40. Hi Mimi, thanks for this wonderful post; I was wondering, if you were to do these pains au lait with sugar, how much would you put in there? My grandma in France used to make a very simple but comforting recipe of petits pains au lait (she would buy the ready-made one at the store) and do a sort of croque monsieur with them: split them in half, fill them with jambon d’York, béchamel and gruyère, and bake them in the oven for a little while. The sweet taste of the buns combined with the béchamel and the ham was so great, it’s one of my numerous but very significant madeleines de Proust ! I’ve tried making them in the U.S. with burger buns, but I had never thought of making my own pains au lait before I read your post!

    1. Bonjour Pauline, So happy you dropped by to share your grandma’s recipe! Sounds so comforting! For the petit pain au lait, I add 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar to the recipe to make the buns more classic with a sweeter touch. Enjoy! Mimi x

  41. Oh thank you so much for sharing Mimi, and so glad you and your husband had a wonderful time in NY. I love it too, I have a sister-in-law who lives in Manhattan with her family, we visit most years, and we love to try all the fabulous foods in various restaurants. I have to say though, she is also a great cook, so when I get my copy of your book, I must pick one up for her too!.
    Time for a wee rest for you now. xx

  42. Bonjour, thank you so much for the wonderful post, its all so lovely to read! I’m also a mixed breed so I completely understand the part about being fascinated by merging cultures. I’m still a student, but I’ve been cooking my way through some of your beautiful recipes and its made my long days of exams and studying so much brighter.

  43. Hello Mimi, so happy to hear that your trip to NYC was filled with many taste memories and taste sensations. What an exciting time for you, so many wonderfully beautiful oysters that are opening up for you, and I am so very happy for you!
    As tomorrow is the first day of Spring, I shall welcome it with the scallop and pear recipes, your recipes are always a treat to make, it is why I am looking forward to October 28th and placing my pre-order. I hope that you and the baby continue to be beautifully well.
    I see that Oddur has found and captured a Gerad Depardieu look alike at the Golden Delicious stand.
    Thank you again and all the best!

    1. Bonjour Gee Gee! I sure hope you enjoyed the recipes – how did you like the scallops? Thank you for your lovely message regarding my book – I am so touched – always 🙂 Mimi x

  44. Mimi, a beautiful homage to my adopted home of New York City. Funny how much I love it here, but whenever I see one of your posts I dream of France…I am dying to read your new book and will my first in line to purchase.

  45. Me alegro que hayas regresado sana y salva y que todo haya sido tan maravilloso.Un viaje intenso y fascinante a una ciudad tan especial tambien esta en mi lista de deseos, me encanta viajar. Me gusta mucho cocinar tus recetas, no se porque pero me hacen sentir bien , me alegran el dia La otra noche hice la ensalada de endibias ,y estoy impaciente por cocinar las peras y el pan de leche. ¿Hay algun secreto para que los panecillos quecen esponjosos? Mimi, eres una fantastica cocinera, y me gustaria saber eres autodidacta o has estudiado cocina

    1. Hola Rosa! Gracias por su amable mensaje. NYC era tan emocionante, me encanta la energía de la ciudad. Para responder a su pregunta, yo soy un cocinero autodidacta, sin embargo, me gustaría decir que he tenido muy buenas ‘profesoras’, como mi abuela, mi aunta y mi padre. El resto es pura inspiración y pasión por la cocina. Me encanta complacer a mi familia y amigos. Esperemos que algún día pueda cumplir mi sueño de cocinar para más gente al abrir un pequeño restaurante rústico? 🙂 Saludo, Mimi x

      1. Mi querida Mimi, seria maravilloso que abriera un pequeño restaurante, es un sueño hermoso. Me encantaria ir …. Feliz dia.

  46. Bonjour Mimi! Quel merveilleuse escapade qui donne de folles envies de voyages! Et des recettes incroyablement alléchantes! Cette salade d’endives m’a l’air exquise… Quant aux regrets à la fin du voyage…. Bien souvent, ma maman m’a dit qu’il fallait toujours des regrets pour pouvoir revenir. Votre prochain séjour à New York n’en sera que plus riche en découvertes! Et quoi de plus extraordinaire que le retour à la maison et les retrouvailles avec des enfants qui vous serrent fort, tellement fort dans leurs bras? Portez-vous bien, Mimi!

    1. Merci pour votre message! J’adore les inspirations que m’offrent les voyages, surtout dans une ville si excitante comme New York! La salade d’endive, simplissime et délicieuse, fut une jolie découverte dans un superbe restaurant qui s’appelle Estella. Quel succès 🙂 Je me réjouis d’être de retour à la maison – je rentre bientôt dans mon 8ème mois, donc les voyages, c’est fini pour le moment! Bonne semaine Kenza! Mimi x

  47. Absolutely delightful
    Your writing, the photos .. Love it!
    I’m from Vancouver Canada but have been to NYC a few times and understand the overwhelming desire to see everything and then run out of time
    Looks like you had a great time

  48. Lovely post. I’ve been a long time reader, although horrible at leaving comments. I had to comment here though. Don’t the Nantucket Cape Scallops just melt in your mouth? Our restaurant has been featuring those (while in season) for years and they are such a treat. Your travels and adventures in NY sound absolutely divine; good food, wine and friends. Some of the elements that truly make a happy life.

    1. Thank you Elizabeth for saying hi! I just checked out your lovely site – how beautiful are your children Joshua, Jonas & Jessica (and the photos!)? I especially loved your future sommelier son 🙂 Bravo! Where is your husband’s restaurant – I would love to add it to my ‘carnet d’addresses’! Merci, Mimix

  49. I’m a long time reader who always enjoys the culinary journey! I’ve tried several recipes that have always turned out wonderfully! We are travelling to Medoc in the near future and wondered which of the Chateaux offer a friendly atmosphere and easy access…..and great wine of course! Merci!

    1. Hello Denise! Ah, I am always happy to hear future Médoc travellers 🙂 Chateau Lynch-Bages, Chateau Tour-Haut Caussan, Chateau Le Pey (one of my favourite white wines ‘Elise’), chateau Lanessan… here’s a few to start with 🙂 Mimi x

  50. Those lobster rolls sound utterly delicious! And I love the idea of them in the pain au lait. Your trip looks like it was wonderful and delicious, the photos doing such a wonderful job of capturing it all. 🙂

  51. Aw, it sounds like you had a lovely trip! My husband and I will be in New York in September and even though it is still quite awhile away, it is all I can think about! We finally get to meet a few online friends in real life. And all the glorious food we will get to try. I just can’t wait!! You know what else I can’t wait for? Your book!!

  52. Ah, I just love your stories. I recently moved from New York to Los Angeles, so this was a nice reminder of home! Absolutely can’t wait for your cookbook and thank you for sharing your beautiful life through food! xo

  53. Hi Mimi, I want to serve the pears & maple cream for a party of 15, but just to double check to get it right. Is the cream whipping cream, or not? If not, what %? When you say ‘whisk’, could this be done with electric beaters? I’m not such a talent in the kitchen, so would rather be more informed than less..thanks for your feedback, Lisa

      1. Perfect, excited to try it, thanks Mimi! Here in Quebec it’s maple syrup season, just bought my cans for $4.99 ea (love a good deal! )

  54. in the photo immediately after “The French Connection” paragraph it looks like the man in the blue shirt is carrying a giant silver spoon. x

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