As a young girl spending summers with my grandmother near Toulouse I fell in love with a Frenchman. It was so long ago that I’ve forgotten his name but he was a charming fellow, a bit stocky with rosy cheeks and a smile on his face. Sometimes he was perfectly dressed, in a double-breasted blazer with shiny loafers and a pretentious little foulard around his neck, other times he just wore a simple shirt and trousers. He was always in a good mood … and he was almost always eating. On our way home from the market we would drive past him in my aunt’s car, as we turned down the little country road that led to her house. He would sit there, bathing in sunshine, a half-finished bottle of red wine on a table next to him. He would be slicing a sausage or a piece of bread with his pocket knife. He would waive to us. Sometimes he was invited to my aunt’s house for dinner which, as you can imagine, was very exciting for me. He would bring foie gras, armagnac and camembert. His rosy cheeks would turn red, as would mine (remember I was in love with him), he would tell charming stories and, on at least one occasion, he would start dancing when dinner was over. Except with him dinner was never really over. In between songs he would nibble on a strawberry tart or a slice of brie. On Sundays we would see him, heading straight from the church to a local bistro where he would join his buddies in epic celebrations. What were they celebrating? Who knows, being French, having a day off? I think they mostly celebrated life and good food.
Now I remember his name, he is called Bon Vivant. He lives in every French village and town. In the Pyrénées he loves a bit of black cherry jam with his Ossau Iraty but in Jura he swears by a little yellow wine with his Comté cheese and walnuts. Funnily enough he is as present as ever, after all those years. Even with the rise of supermarkets and take-away coffees he’s found a way to keep his integrity … and I still love him.
Sunday was my birthday and that called for a trip to town. Impatiently I wanted to go on Saturday instead – to have a pre-birthday lunch, get some flowers (my husband saw to that – the prettiest renoncules) and goodies for my big day. Unexpectedly we ended up in the loveliest belle époque brasserie called Le Noailles (the oldest one in Bordeaux), the type of establishment I adore, with black clad waiters, white tablecloths, a pastry tray and red banquets. The food and the atmosphere were so excellent, the room was filled with such joy – it was the comfort of Saturdays at its best. I had a sole meuniere (as I often do in such places), Oddur had the foie de veau, my mother-in-law the salmon and the kids a bit of everything. The food was all excellent but the desserts were to die for, perhaps because the birthday girl in me was in a pastry state of mind. What pleased me most is that my childhood sweetheart, the bon vivant, was sitting at practically every table, enjoying his meal as much as we were. Sometimes he was with his twin, the other bon vivant, but their younger brother, the gourmet, was all over the place too. They were the cutest elderly couple who had a three-course meal with cheese, a younger man and his elegantly dressed daughter with the impeccable table manners and a woman whose two teenage children seemed to be savoring every bite. I could hear them discuss the food, the wine, the desserts. It felt like I could have been here a hundred years ago and met the same people, it was a great way to start a birthday weekend.
We left this world of yesteryear, fulfilled and happy, expecting to walk right back into modernity but in the square opposite the restaurant we spotted a vintage car exhibition. I know next to nothing about cars, don’t even drive myself (thus the bicycle), but I do appreciate a nice belted Jaguar when I see one, in racing green. From the bon vivants of the restaurant to the connoisseurs of automobiles – everybody has their thing, especially on a Saturday. Our automotive adventures were followed by a stroll through the place Quinconces and the Jardin public where we caught a matinée exhibition of Guignol’s adventures at the puppet theatre. Children were shouting and screaming, warning Guignol on stage. The story is always the same with Guignol landing himself in peril but persevering in the end. This little outdoor venue echoed with the laughter of countless other children from a different time, when there were no ipads or iphones, not even TV.
The chef at Le Noailles is a friend from the time he worked at Café Lavinal, one of our favorite places in Médoc. He treated us with little extras and after lunch took the time to sit with us and share recipes and ideas. Talking about the bon vivant and the gourmet. They have a cousin called the glutton. Le Glouton is also the name of a bistrot that Ludovic and his wife Elisabeth are planning to open in Bordeaux this August. A glutton is, of course, less mannered and greedier than the other two but I am sure Ludovic will put some manners into him – it is a bistrot opening that I am eagerly awaiting.
Talking about time passing and remembrances of things past, when it is your birthday you reflect and you look forward. But mainly I just want to have a blissful day with family and friends and food. Inspired by Le Noailles and the atmosphere there, the bon vivants, gourmets and gluttons I have been revisiting classic dishes such as the pork chops with prunes and the marvelous ‘merveilleux’, an old-fashioned meringue dessert covered in cream and chocolate flakes. Simply wonderful!
My day was made even lovelier by all your countless birthday wishes and kindness. So I had to steal Ludovic’s meringue tart recipe and make it as a special treat for all of you, even if I already had another dessert planned.
On your birthday you are allowed to have two desserts.
p.s. On Monday I got the sweetest email from a girl, a reader of the blog. She’s American but is currently an au pair in Bordeaux. She said she saw me entering le Noailles, wanted to say hi but felt it was too intrusive. She should have – I would have offered her a lemon meringue tart!
Potato galettes with sautéed asparagus with fresh peas
(makes about 8 galettes)
4 large potatoes (about 700 g/ 1&1/2 pounds)
3 small shallots, finely chopped
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
4 tbsp plain flour
Coarse sea-salt and freshly ground black pepper
A bunch of asparagus (3-4 per person) (I used the sables des Landes white/violettes asparagus)
1 cup fresh peas, shelled
A small piece of Comté cheese (or cheddar)
A dash of piment d’espelette
A few sprigs of fresh chives
A dash of freshly grated lemon zest
A tablespoon of crème fraîche per serving
Butter & olive oil for frying
Peel the potatoes and grate them into a large bowl. Add the chopped shallots, nutmeg, egg and egg yolk, flour. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
Heat the 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter in a sauté pan until sizzling hot, scoop about a tablespoon or one and a half tablespoon (depending on how large you want the galettes), flatten them with a spatula. Cook them on both sides until golden. Grate a teaspoon of Comté cheese on top. Place them on kitchen paper to absorb excess oil.
Peel the asparagus and cut off the stiff ends. Slice the asparagus in half. Sauté the asparagus in a pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter, stiring gently. After 5 minutes add the peas. Season with salt & pepper. Add a few tablespoons of water and continue to cook until absorbed and asparagus and peas are tender yet al dente.
Place the potato galette on a serving plate, place the asparagus and peas on top, add a tablespoon of crème fraîche, season with salt & pepper and a dash of piment d’espelette. Sprinkle with lemon zest and finely chopped chives.
Pork chops with prunes & red wine sauce
For the pork chops
4 pork chops/ côtes de porc
230 g/ ½ pound dried prunes, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes
4 tbsp/ 60 g unsalted butter
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
A few sprigs of parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped
A few cloves of unpeeled garlic
Coarse sea-salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce
1 carrot, diced
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
180 ml/ ¾ cup red wine
30 ml/ 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
60 ml/ 4 tbsp chicken or vegetable stock
2 ½ tbsp unsalted butter
Coarse sea-salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce
Chop the carrot and shallots. Heat 1 tbsp butter in a sauté pan and cook until slightly golden. Add the bay leaf, thyme, season with salt and pepper, then add the vinegar, wine and reduce for a few minutes. Add the stock and bring to a soft boil, lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the remaining butter. Drain the prunes and add them to the sauce. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes and set aside.
In a large sauté pan, heat the butter and olive oil on a medium to high heat. Sauté the pork chops and unpeeled garlic cloves on both sides until golden and cooked through. Season with salt & pepper. Spoon excess fat from the pan, then pour the prunes and wine sauce on top of the pork chops. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve immediately with steamed potatoes.
This old-fashioned marvellous dessert is a little gem. A French meringue, covered in whipped cream and chocolate flakes, how simple and delicious! Especially with a name like ‘Le Merveilleux’ – simply irresistible.
Tip: Place the chocolate in a warm environment for a few minutes to facilitate the grating. You’ll get nicer & richer flakes.
For the meringues
3 egg whites
100 g/ ½ cup fine sugar
100 g/ 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
½ tsp corn starch (maïzana) or cream of tartar
350 ml/ Heavy cream, for whipping
150 g dark chocolate, grated (I use a vegetable peeler)
In a large glass bowl, whisk the egg whites on a high-speed until frothy. Add the cornstarch and sugar/ confectioner’s sugar (1-2 tbsp at a time) gradually and continue whisking until stiff and glossy. Transfer mixture to a piping bag and pipe small meringues (about the size of a round plum).
Bake in a preheated oven 140°C/280 F for 25 minutes, then lower heat 95°C/200 F and continue to bake for 2 hours. Switch the heat off and open the oven door. Leave the meringues to cool in the oven.
When the meringues are completely cooled, grate the chocolate into flakes (I use a vegetable peeler) and whisk the cream in a large bowl until stiff.
Cover the meringues evenly with a thick layer of cream and sprinkle with the chocolate flakes. Serve immediately.
Lemon meringue tarts
(makes about 8 small tarts)
Last Saturday, the first thing that caught my eye as I entered the brasserie Le Noailles was the cabinet à desserts (the dessert cabinet), especially this lovely lemon meringue tart. The base is a Breton sablé biscuit, so rich and buttery and slightly flavoured with rum. Ludovic, the chef, is from Brittany, so this sablé is extra delicious.It’s then covered with lemon custard and an Italian meringue on top. Pure pleasure. Merci pour cette recette Ludovic!
For the sablés
250 g/ 2 cups plain flour
130 g/ 2/3 cup fine sugar
240 g/ 1 cup unsalted butter
1 pinch of fleur de sel/ salt
2 egg yolks
1 tsp dark rum
1 vanilla pod, split lengthwise
1 egg yolk, for the eggwash
A bunch of redcurrants/groseille – to garnish
On a clan surface, mix all the ingredients together until you get a smooth dough. Shape into a ball, wrap in cling film/ plastic wrap and refrigerate for a least 2 hours. On a floured surface, roll out the dough and cut out 8-10 cm circles (my circle molds have a little round trim/cannelé). Brush the sablés with eggwash. Bake on a parchment lined baking tray in a preheated oven 180°C/ 350 F for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool on a pastry rack.
For the lemon custard
Juice of 3 lemons
80 g/ 1/3 cup unsalted butter
130 g/ 2/3 cup granulated sugar
Squeeze the lemon juice. Pour into a saucepan, add the sugar and whisked eggs. Whisk gradually, adding the butter, until mixture becomes thick like a custard on a medium to low heat. Take off the heat and leave to cool completely. Then refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
For the Italian meringue
4 egg whites
250 g/ 1 & 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
80 ml/ 1/3 cup lukewarm water
1 pinch of salt
Heat the water and sugar in a saucepan on a medium to high – bring to a boil. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved and has thickened to a syrupy consistence and has reached a temperature of 120°C. Now you can start beating the egg whites until soft peaks. Increase the speed and pour the syrup in a slow stream. Lower the speed and continue to whisk until the mixture has cooled, about 10 to 12 minutes. The mixture should be thick and glossy.
Transfer lemon custard into piping bag and pipe a small ball (size of a ping-pong ball) in the center of the sablé.
Transfer meringue mixture to another large piping bag and pipe small meringue shapes on top of sablé and lemon custard, starting from the bottom sides. Brown with a blow torch.
134 thoughts on “Travels in Time”
Mimi, your husband’s photography is stunning. Your prose and recipes are lovely, and what can I say about my adopted country of France? She is well-covered in a patina that only gets better with time. And as you travel in time, you take us to a place that we do NOT want to leave. A LA VÔTRE! Anita
A la votre Anita! Thanks you! Mimix
Oh my goodness, what a nice distraction from work! I have some Comte, now you have me craving a little Vin Jaune to go with it. You’ve sent me travelling in time too. I have a cherished memory of a Bon Vivant who goes (or went) by the name of Bacchus, produced the most glorious Vin Jaune and in whose wonderful company myself and my then boyfriend (now husband) spent a delightful hour or two some years ago. The world looked a lot rosier (through tipsy eyes) when we left him!
Merci Ruth! I hope this post will make you want to have a ‘bon vivant’ meal with your husband 🙂 Mimi x
Happy Birthday to you! Lovely post and pics. Always a great read.
Thank you Cheri! Mimi x
Are you the most beautiful and sweet woman in the world, or what? 🙂
No, but perhaps I am the most gourmande 🙂 ! Mimi x
What a lovely, lovely post ( as usual, we are a very spoiled group of readers with your luscious recipes and gorgeous photos, I think..) I have one question on the lemon meringue tarts. Would it be alright to refrigerate them after you brown them with a torch?
Ludovic (the chef) told me he does not refrigerate them or they will lose that lovely ‘creaminess. Just keep them in a cool environment (I made them at 11am, and served them in the evening for dessert, they were loveley!) Mimi x
Thank you Mimi! I made them today and they turned out beautifully! Serving them for a special girls night dinner. Can’t wait to try one!
What a gorgeous description of the perfect birthday lunch…have a wonderful year, Mimi, and keep on gladdening our hearts with your brilliant blog!
Merci so much Diana! Mimi x
Thank you for your posts. I am on spring break and this was a delight to finally have the time to sit with a cup of tea and read your post carefully and savour the experience. I am inspired to work on my blog more…which I have neglected shamefully. Thank you for inspiring words of everyday life…the everyday joys of life we often miss in the name of hustle and bustle. Cheers.
Thank you for such a lovely message Angela! Have a lovely spring break – and happy spring! Mimix
What a wonderful birthday you had Mimi & loved ones!
Thank you for sharing a taste of the deserts… lovelylovelylovely…
Thank you Eve – I love these two desserts – it’s the kind of treats you just can’t resist! Enjoy – we all did and I can’t wait to make some more! Mimi x
You are so lovely to answer all of your comments! My daughter actually points at your photos and says *there are my friends 🙂 my husband comments over my shoulder that your world looks very familiar to ours. Well and then of course there is the yummy food… xEve
Joyeux Anniversaire Mimi! J’aime beaucoup le restaurant que vous avez choisis pour le fêter. Nous aussi on y va parfois et on sort à chaque fois avec une sourire! c’est très bon et la déco est tellement chic! J’aime beaucoup les photos, ton fils il est très beau! et les filles aussi bien sûr…
On connait bien les guignols parce qu’on habite à côté de parc bordelaise et ils viens tous les weekends! A chaque fois, j’essaie de reproduire une recette de ton blog (c’est devenue une tradition), cette fois-ci, j’aimerais faire ta galette de pommes de terre et ton délicieux merveilleux. (on peut se tutoyé?).
J’ai regardé les dernières publication, le figaro, vanity fair…donc, double félicitations!! Je pense que tu mérite largement!!
Merci Eva! Je suis si touchée que tu aimes reproduire les recettes du blog, j’espère qu’elles te plaisent! J’adore le parc à Bordeaux, il est si beau et quel bonheur d’y être au printemps. Le Noailles est vraiment une adresse incontournable, nous aimons aussi La tupina ainsi que la brasserie Bordelaise surtout avec les enfants. Peut-etre que l’on se croisera un jour?! 🙂 Mimi x
Merci à toi pour partager! J’aime beaucoup ta cuisine et chaque fois que je fais une de tes recettes tout le monde se régale!
La Tupina, je connais très bien, on allait souvent mais plus maintenant, les dernières fois on avait été un peu déçus. Peut-être on avait mal tombé.
Je viens de découvrir une très bon adresse à Bordeaux, le Davoli, un sans faute de l’entrée jusqu’à dessert et un choix de vin très bon aussi.
C’est sûre, ça me feras très plaisir te voir un de ces jours! Je te souhaite un très bon weekend en famille. Eva. xo
Happy Birthday Mimi. You bring such joy to all of us faithful readers. Love all of your dishes. The potato cake with asparagus and peas is so evocative of Spring and the pork chop is lovely with the prunes. I just made a pork roast with prunes from Simone Beck’s Simca’s Cuisine and have extra prunes. Will make your dish. Thank you for your inspiration.
Bonsoir Penny! Thanks for the sweet comment – it brings be intense joy to share our lives here with you, and most of all the recipes. I hope you’ll enjoy them! Mimi x
Happy Birthday my friend. Hope your day was the best yet. Please keep us updated on your little one. And keep the beautiful pictures coming. It is a breath of fresh air. Blessings to you.
Merci Robin – had a fabulous birthday week-end, relaxing with the family. Baby is doing well, 7 weeks to go till the big day! I can’t wait to hold her in my arms! Thanks for your kind blessings! Mimix
What a beautiful and fascinating pre-birthday lunch birthday, from your post I could feel the wonderful atmosphere around you with your loving family. Wishing you a blessed and a great year in all aspects.
Merveilleux dessert looks so simple and delcious, and a great idea!
Oddur, you always amaze us with your beautiful photography. Thank you so much
Thanks Rowaida for your kind words – it’s such a pleasure to share our happy moments with the family. Bordeaux is always a fun outing, it’s a lovely city, so charming, old-school and exciting. And so many chocolate and wines stores 🙂 Bonne soirée, Mimi x
So glad you had a lovely birthday Mimi. May the coming year be the best yet! Loved reading your post. Such a treat! x
Merci Mary – so happy to share with you! Enjoy the recipes, especially the desserts! Mimi x
I adore reading your stories and wonderful adventures, dear. Of all the blogs I follow, yours is the only one I sit down with, shut out everything else, and become completely engaged with. I am so happy you had a lovely birthday adventure with your family!
So touching to hear this Amber, thank you! Much love, Mimi x
Tanti Auguri Mimi! Happy birthday!
Such a beautiful way to spend your day! with your lovely family and french food!
all the best to you, and always thanks for your sharings!
Merci Anita! Thank you for your kind wishes! Mimi x
Hi Mimi, Your stories are soulful and your husbands photographs are incredible. Happy Birthday!
Rita L. Nielsen
Merci Rita – so touched by your kind wishes 🙂 Mimi x
Sounds like your birthday was the perfect embodiment of the bon vivant spirit! My goodness, I am running to the kitchen to make Le Merveilleux — they look like little clouds of heaven covered in cream and chocolate!! Happy Birthday, Mimi, and Vive Le Bon Vivant!
Yes, vive le Bon Vivant! it’s the spirit of happiness in disguise, the essence of France 🙂 I hope you will enjoy the Merveilleux, just the name is inviting enough. They are a gem of a dessert! Enjoy, Mimi x
Happy birthday Mimi! So glad you had an amazing birthday and you got spoiled by all xx
Merci! All the best, Mimi x
Bonjour Mimi et bon anniversaire en retard ! Le Bon vivant me fait penser au Dolce Farniente italien…. C’est un art de vivre que j’essaie d’entretenir dans ma maison et surtout d’inculquer et transmettre à mes enfants ! Rien ne vaut cela !
Et merci à vous de le rappeler.
Merci Alexandra! C’est si important de préserver cet art de vivre, cet esprit de ‘bon vivant’, de savoir apprécier les bonnes choses, surtout en famille! Bonne soirée, Mimi x
Superb Mimi… too much temptation for me… thank goodness the photographs are calorie free… 😉 xv
Merci Vicki! I can only say that the Merveilleux are so light, it’s just like eating a big fluffy cloud covered in chocolate 🙂 Nearly calorie free 😉 Mimix
Happy birthday, Mimi! Your posts are so inspiring. Glad you treated yourself to more than one dessert. 🙂
Thank you Ileana! It reminds me of my student days, when my friends and I would occasionaly go to fabulous Parisian restaurants and only order the desserts! That was fun 🙂 Mimi x
Happy Birthday, Mimi! I love your writing, your food, and your husband’s photography, and even more than that, Mimi, you seem like such a wonderful person. Thank you for creating such a warm and inviting space! Waiting on pins and needles for your cookbook.
Oh Samantha, you are too kind! I am glad you feel this way 🙂 Can’t wait to share the cookbook with you! Mimi x
Hello again Ms Mimi! Your birthday seems like it was lovely. I have a question in regards to a previous comment you made about matcha tea. I was inspired by you to get some and you said you combine it with almond milk I believe? In my pregnancy I am craving all things almond as well and I would love to see any recipes with them, especially the matcha one and maybe an almond croissant? 😉 I love all your recipes though! Thank you for posting.
Hi Amanda! How is your pregnancy going? Yes, I do love combining matcha with almond milk, almonds and a banana for breakfast. Then there’s almond blanc mange, almond ice cream, almond cream. If you go to a chinese supermarket, they sell the most delicious almond drinks (you mix with warm water) – it’s delicious and so rich in flavour. You should try. I also love making almond and matcha ice-cream… oh dear I could go on forever. I am not sure if I already mentioned this, but I am in love with the almond products from Weleda (cleansing, milk, facial cream and oil etc..) I can’t live without! Mimi x
Oh I love Weleda products! Six montths already – second pregnancy goes much faster than the first! 😉 Can’t wait to try the shake, thank you!
Wonderful story of the Bon Vivant woven into a dreamy story of a young girl’s summer. Happy Birthday! I see you celebrated in beautiful style and I agree on the two desserts rule. I also think a birthday should be celebrated all week. Will be trying the lemon meringue tart, looks divine.
Thank you Sarah! That’s the spirit, to expand your birthday so it lasts as long as possible 😉 Enjoy the tart recipe, it’s a delight, and I especially love the sablé pastry with a hint of rum, it changes everything! Mimi x
Gracious me ! Your first paragraph just carried me away ! How well you know the Bon Vivant – and what you do with words, so splendid. Is it possible to have a crush on a blog ? Your husband’s handsome photos just stop me in my tracks, and I find myself playing “hooky” from my work just to read your writings and recipes when your posts pop up. Okay, now I have to have another look at your beautiful plate with asparagus – there’s a treat after my own heart.
🙂 Thank you Linny! I wish I could share the words and recipe in person 🙂 I hope you’ll enjoy the recipes, they are all so enjoyable to make! Especially the merveilleux! Mimi x
Happy birthday. How I love this beautiful blog.
A quick question. Is confectioners sugar the same as powdered or icing sugar?
Thank you Richard. Yes, confectioners sugar is the same as icing sugar. Mimi x
Mimi, vous devriez écrire un roman sur la France d’autrefois ! Moi qui vit dans les Pyrénées, à Tarbes, où le temps semble s’être parfois arrêté, et qui suis amoureuse d’un bon vivant, j’ai été transportée par votre histoire 🙂 Alors que dire des étrangers qui parcourent votre blog chaque jour? Vous êtes non seulement une excellente cuisinière mais aussi une grande conteuse !
Oh merci Anne-Camille! Je suis amoureuse des contes d’autrefois, des recettes d’autrefois, bref, tout ce qui pourrait me ramener dans le passé. Mimi x
I must have one of these Merveilleux as soon as possible!
It is such a treat when I get notice that there is a new Manger post up:) I love every image and story and recipe. Thank you.
Thank you Sheila, I am so touched! Mimi x
Thanks for taking us along on your lovely birthday lunch! Topped with a beautiful memory from your childhood. Sweet.
Happy belated birthday!
Thank you! It is a pleasure to share – enjoy the recipes! Mimi x
Everyone is seeing YOU in person and not stopping to say hello!Be prepared as when I see YOU in person I will SCREAM with delight!This post brought me to tears………..HAPPY BIRTHDAY!You are a TREASURE.I love how your adorable husband refers to you as HER.
Bonsoir Contessa! You are always the life of the party 🙂 I know we will meet soon, and when that happens we will be having so much fun! Mimi x
amazing photos and what a beautiful story!
happy b-day and many more!
Oh thank you! Mimi x
Happy Birthday! May all that you wished for come true! Can’t wait to tryout the recipes. Reading your posts always brightens my day, merci beaucoup 🙂
Thank you Rhiannon! I am so touched! Enjoy the recipes! Mimi x
I could never forget your birthday since we share the same day (told you that already in last year’s post) , so I was waiting for a festive post. Thank you for sharing the wonderful stories, the beautiful photos, the delicious recipes and your amazing life with us. Happy belated birthday, may all your dreams come true, may you always have hapiness in your life!
PS . I’ve travelled across many parts of France (even lived in Strasbourg for a while), but never visited Bordeaux. Your husband’s photos and your blog have me hooked!
Happy belated birthday Maria! I hope you also had a wonderful day, filled with happiness. Best, Mimix ps: now you must visit Bordeaux and Médoc!
This blog is so beautiful. Each post is a dream, the pictures are wonderful, your stories are perfect, and the food looks amazing. Happy Birthday!
Thank you for such a wonderful comment – I am so touched! Mimix
Happy Happy Birthday Mimi!
Thank you Shawna! Mimix
Happy Birthday! You look so beautiful- Your post simply perfect. I felt like I was at your birthday dinner table and the pictures outstanding! I send you and your family love and light!
Thank you Rose Marie! Sending you lots of hugs from Médoc! Mimi x
Joyeux Anniversaire Mimi!!! =)
Merci Emily! Mimi x
Happy Birthday Mimi, it sounds like a lovely day. I love the analogy of the Bon vivant, the gourmet and the glutton. I think sometimes I can be all three wrapped in one. Decadent dining
indeed ! In the sable recipe is fine sugar super fine granulated sugar or what we call powdered sugar ? One day I would like of contact your husband about dogs and his knowledge of good breeders of JRT’s or fox that may be available in the US or could be imported.
All best wishes,
Bonjour Patricia! Thank you for your kind wishes! For the sablé recipe, I would recommend fine sugar (caster sugar), I find granulated sugar to thick. And please feel free to contact Oddur, he would be delighted to give you dog advice. Have a lovely week-end, Mimix
Always you take me away with your Amazing pictures and dreamy stories, I can’t wait to try this recipe for my family. I’m a vegetarian but i don’t deprive my family of meat, because they are not vegetarians. I like that you make a lot of meals that are meatless also i don’t every feel deprived. Happy Birthday Mimi I also shared a birthday on the 2nd of April….xoxox
It’s always a pleasure to share Thamara – I am so glad you can find a recipe that matches your taste, spring is one of the best seasons for all my favorite vegetarian dishes. Enjoy the potato galettes (and the desserts I hope!). Merci, Mimix
Congratulations on your birthday, Mimi! You look radiant with happiness and bright. That conclusion has been lovely. I love the way you see life and the enthusiasm with which you live your whole family. Between your writing and photos from your husband we permit them to enjoy a bit of it too us.
Exquisite menu (the Merveilleux look delicious, so delicate!).
An hug with great affection,
Merci Yasmina, I am so touched by your kindness 🙂 Enjoy the recipes, especially the Merveilleux! Bon week-end, Mimi x
I love Toulouse, it’s such a lovely city! Plus, it was where I ate the best ever vegetarian lasagne, with goats cheese in a lovely restaurant called Geppetto that really looked like the character house!
So glad to hear that you had such a lovely birthday weekend. Plus, the birthday girl is always entitled to 2 desserts. It’s a staple in a my family as well 🙂
Toulouse is so lovely – it’s the pink & violet city! Have a lovely week-end! Mimi x
Marvelous! The story, the adventure and recipes of course. Happy Birthday…looked like a day to remember.
Thank you so much! I hope you will try some of these recipes 🙂 Mimi x
Happy late Birthday Mimi,
Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful moments with us.
Sure love your blog
Thank you Barbara – enjoy th erecipes – and have a wonderful week-end! Mimi x
Happy birthday, Mimi! I think I married your bon vivant, though I fear he’s more glutton these days, but who can blame him, surrounded by delicious French food? Have a great weekend. X
Thank you Zelda! Bon Vivant, gluton – they are all adorable 🙂 Bon week-end, Mimix
Ah I seem to have missed wishing you a joyeux anniversaire, so I guess this will have to do. It sounds like you had a nice birthday weekend – just the type of thing I would have loved too (I am very nostalgic and have a soft spot for anything in the past). x
Merci Amy! I hope you are having a wonderful end of week! Enjoy the recipes! Best, Mimix
I hope that you had a wonderful birthday! From your story it sounds like you did, I definitely agree, two desserts are necessary:). I am very interested in the Merveilleux – a patisserie just opened on the Upper East Side that sells solely this treat.
Merci Alison! Le Merveilleux is making a comeback! Glad to hear you can find some in NY – please make them at home too, they are too wonderful 🙂 Bon week-end! Mimi x
One never knows what to say when commenting on such posts which creates a full heart within an reader. So familiar is France (though I have never been) to a childhood such as mine decorated with the cobblestone streets, old rainbow colored buildings and horse drawn carriages of Charleston, S.C. This leads me to believe that the bon vivant can be universal and serves as a gentle constant reminder to savor an enjoy this fleeting life we are blessed with and that is what I absorb the most from this blog; a sense of fulfillment in the reminder of the daily blessings and beauty of life despite its trials. Thank you for sharing and thank you for being an inspiration. Food truly is the way to a person heart as it is made by the hands of those who love greatly, passionately, and tenderly. You have so much to celebrate. Happiest of Birthdays Cooking Goddess!
Merci Tiffany for your lovely wishes! You are so inspiring in everyway, through your art, your words and pure kindness! I hope you will come and visit France soon, discover our little part of the world here in Médoc. Wishing you a beautiful week-end! Mimi x
Thank you Mimi for this amazing travel in time! The photos are fabulous and the recipes incredible! I’m eager to try the Merveilleux recipe!!!
I must say it’s the first time I leave a comment on your blog but I’m used to reading each post you write. I really appreciate your work. Thank you, you’re very inspiring!
Thank you for saying hi! Wishing you a lovely week-end, and hopefully you’ll get a chance to try out some of these recipes! Best, Mimix
Mimi, I have been reading your blog for a while now I would like to say it’s just getting better and better! It’s even more evocative and dreamy than ever. Happy Birthday!
Merci! I am so touched to hear this 🙂 Mimi x
Well, this was certainly a birthday feast! I loved everything, right down to your recipe for lemon curd, which had about half the sugar of most recipes, which is to say, just the right amount with 3 lemons to ensure a curd that is tart tart tart. Happy belated birthday! Glad to here the bon vivant continues his culinary perigrinations. Ken
Thank you Ken – so glad you appreciated the recipe – it is Ludovic’s the chef at Noilles, a bon vivant himself from Brittany 🙂 Bon week-end, Mimi x
Those bon vivants are everywhere, aren’t they, even here in Melbourne. You see them, dining alone or in company, makes no difference, just in the perpetual search for the best of everything. The restaurant in Bordeaux sounds and looks beautiful. Classical French cuisine, you can’t beat it.
Now Mimi, you’ve just help solve one of my constant challenges here in the kitchen…..the use of egg whites (from constant mayonnaise making). How delicious your Merveilleux and Meringue Tarts look. Will make a wonderful change from all the pavlovas I tend to do. Bon Weekend sweet Mimi xx Anita
Bonjour Anita! Glad I solved one of your egg white dilemmas! Whenever I have leftover egg yolks, I tend to make cannelés, and when I have too many meringues, well it’s meringues all the way 🙂 Enjoy the recipes, they are perfect for entertaining 🙂 Je te souhaite un beau week-end! Mimix
You and my friend Stephane Gabart make French living seem as though heaven were on earth. I have always wanted to come to France and will finally be visiting this September with hubby. We will be staying with Stephane for four days and I am so excited to experience the joie de vivre your country offers!
So happy to hear you are visiting France in the fall! And I am sure you will be in good hands with Stéphane – you’ll be eating so well and he is such a generous host! Love dthe market in Libourne 🙂 Enjoy, you must be counting the days! Mimi x
Joyeux Anniversaire Mimi!!
I think you are just so wonderful. I read your blog when I need a moment of happiness and peace and that is what you always give me. Thank you. xxx
It sounds like you had an incredible birthday! You can bet if I would have seen you, I would have walked up and told you how inspiring you are to me…
What a pleasure reading this post!
It is so much inspiring and while cuddling my newborn baby girl (she was born a week ago on Saturday) I have dreamt to our next summers together and all the beautiful memories I want to offer to her.
Happy Birthday Mimi!
I feel as if I have been given the best present… Your blog! Beautiful. Delicious. Merci.
Bonjour Mimi! I am so happy you had a great birthday!!! 🙂 xoxo, dana
Mimi, you look radiant – I hope that when I become a mother I look half as good as you do. It’s inspiring to see that motherhood doesn’t always mean that one cannot look after oneself 🙂 The potato cakes w/asparagus look lovely; I might just make them next week. Are you on Twitter now?
Everytime I show pictures of your creations to my wife she says, “I love those blue and white dishes.” She has a thing for blue and white. What can you tell me about them? And can they be acquired in the states? Merci!
merci mimi! those pictures are so amazing! I’ve only just had my breakfast and they leave me dying for dinner–and one that my husband is going to make me with these recipes (i hope).
Happy happy Birthday. I was always quite pregnant with my kids on my birthday, such a nice feeling.
wishing you all the best from burgundy,xoxo
Bon Anniversaire Mimi! I don’t know how I could get through a Monday morning without your blog! You are a lovely story teller, and the food, well, in a world all it’s own. You inspire so much life and food. Thanks for the beautiful journeys!
thank you for yet another beautiful post! A small question for you: every time you post, I admire your plates! We got married a year ago and are still trying to find our dream “service” – this looks like it 😉 Any chance you could tell me who they are made by, or where you found them? many many thanks!!
Hi Mimi, and happy birthday! So glad to see a new prune receipe (I’m from Agen), can’t wait to try it!
I’m going to be in Bordeau at the end of the month, I might take a tour by le Noaille, sounds like a charming place!
Thanks for yet another lovely post… xx
What a beautiful blog post! I have always wanted to go to France any your post just made me want to go all the more.
Mon Dieu, j’aime ton blog <3
It keeps getting better and better!
Greetings from New York,
I can’t believe it took me so long to discover your blog. I studied in Toulouse and quite miss traveling around the area. I can almost taste the food in your pictures! Your writing is lovely, as is your family.
Je suis Bordelaise et en allant sur la page facebook du Noailles j’ai déccouvert votre blog.
Je ne le connaissais pas et suis en plein ravissement !
Autant la qualité et le charme des textes que la délicatesse et la beauté des photos ! Mille fois merci et bravo : je vais vous suivre désormais !
Mimi, Thank you for bringing me back to France from Toronto, it warms my heart. Et merci pour les merveilleux!
a little late, but i wanted to say happy birthday!
Mimi, je découvre avec ravissement ton blog et je l’adore. Tout me plaît, c’est la classe ! Tu nous fais rêver comme dans un véritable conte de fées et tes recettes sont vraiment irrésistibles d’autant plus qu’elles sont accompagnées par les sublimes photos d’oddur. Que du bonheur !
Merci Anne-Marie! Mimi x
Olala quelle excellente idee !! bon c’est la premiere fois que je mets un commentaire sur votre superbe blog que je regarde regulierement…. tellement les photos, les recettes, les recits sont sympathiques !!
Tout ca pour dire…. que des que possible, nous viendrons faire honneur a votre delicieuse Tables D’Hotes, de Geneve !!
Bonne chance, bonne continuation et a tout bientot,
PS :…. ns viendrons certainement en petit avion Piper, y a t’il une piste tout pres de votre endroit ??
Merci Corinne! J’espère sincèrement que vous viendrez nous rendre une petite visite un jour! Concernant la piste pour l’avion, il y en a quelques uneaux alentours, je me renseignerais davantage! Bon week-end! Mimi x
Whaou, your pictures are so wonderful ! It made me travel in my own country 🙂
You are a Mrs. Miniver for the 21st century – I realized when you wrote about the Guignol. (If you don’t know the book you must read it. But I’m sure it sits next to Mrs. Dalloway on your bedside table.)
Hello Mimi, my husband has found your TV series for us to watch in Australia..I am hoping my six month old daughter will learn French as I play it so often! I am wondering what brand of French chocolate you buy? I am following a lot of your traditions in terms of food and drinks..can I ask how you make your almond milk drink at night? Kindest regards, Kate