Geography of the house


Early last week, as the festivities were slowly winding down, as we had just said goodbye to the big kids who returned to their school in Iceland, France was shaken by terror. I was working on a long overdue new blog post that I planned to publish later in the day when news of the horrible events in Paris reached us. I was deeply saddened by what was happening in Paris and it made me worry about what the future holds, not just for France but for the entire world. I couldn’t bring myself to continue working on the blog post, when people are getting killed, when a whole nation is grieving, who cares about recipes for carrot soup or a family’s move to a new house?
A few days later my husband brought up the post that hadn’t been published and reminded me of a story I had read in Adam Gopnik’s “The Table Comes First”. It’s about a young man waiting to be executed by the Nazis, writing a final letter to his parents discussing some of his favorite meals and future meals they will have without him. In the past week I’ve come to realize that simple things like sharing a table at dinner with the whole family are never more important than in times of turmoil. The comfort of good food, the healing power of a shared moment is never more needed than on a cold January night when bad news reaches your door.
So we continue to lead our lives, cook, eat, laugh and cry together and hope that by raising our children to the best of our abilities will help create a better world.

Here is a story of one family’s move to a new house on Christmas eve and a few recipes to go with it.




Midnight in St Yzans

As many of you know 2014 saw us finding and ultimately buying a big old house in a little village just by the Gironde estuary. By autumn renovations had begun in earnest and in October we set ourselves the target that come hell or high water we’d at least be having Christmas dinner in the new house though we all hoped we could move in sooner. The guys working in the house were not as optimistic. The smirked and shrugged their shoulders (the French/Russian version of “whatever”). It was all very cute, they thought, but no way was anyone going to live in the house by Christmas. What they didn’t account for though was my unrealistic optimism (that’s often gotten me in trouble) and my husband’s Icelandic bloody mindedness. I often say that Oddur and I are two heads on the same dragon and this Christmas the dragon was headed for St Yzans. By early December the mother in me started getting protective of the children’s Christmas and I insisted getting a Christmas tree for our old house, to enjoy through December and, also … just in case. By mid-December, to the irritation of my husband I changed my tune from “when” to “if we have Christmas in St Yzans” and though he tried every trick in the book, including drafting the gardeners to assist with the painting it seemed that Christmas would not be held in the new house after all. By lunchtime, still in the old place I started taking out my cutting boards, sharpening the knifes, going over recipes in my head. One more big feast, prepared in my old “Kitchen in France”. But that wasn’t to be either, Oddur returned from St Yzans, more determined than ever with that crazy look in his eyes and pleaded for my cooperation. And how can you say no to an exciting adventure on Christmas eve? By late afternoon he dropped me and the little girls off in my new kitchen, stacked with beautiful ingredients like quail, pigeon and duck, bottles of Champagne lined up for days of festivities, vegetables piled like old still life paintings. He promised to be back by seven, he was not. At 9 o’clock they arrived, the rest of the family, seven dogs, a car so full that the windows were popping out. Oddur’s suit squashed against my Wellington boots and the rest of the Christmas presents. Everything that was necessary was brought along, everything that was not was left behind. Interestingly my high heels and stockings were deemed necessary, my toothbrush was not.
By 9.30 we were having Champagne and foie gras in the kitchen, still in our “civil clothes”, by 10.30 the Christmas tree was being decorated and at midnight we had the most beautiful Christmas lunch I’ve ever had in my new, oh so inspiring kitchen in St Yzans. Opening presents under the huge, rather dimly lit tree followed, by 3 everyone was in bed, except my husband who was doing the dishes in the only working sink in the house … just as he had promised.

There are times when having a crazy husband isn’t so bad.




Return of the table & a bed of roses

Our new house has had many lives, it used to be a wine-making château and then later a hotel & restaurant. When we bought it the previous owner left us quite a bit of beautiful furniture that we’ve been cleaning and restoring but since it’s a big house we needed many more pieces. After spending a few afternoons in my new kitchen earlier this winter (before we moved in) I started thinking about a perfect table for the room. I found some photos that looked like what I wanted, a sturdy oak table with drawers for cutlery and Oddur and I searched for something similar around the local antique stores. One day he was driving past a little shop, popped in, liked what he saw and after I had approved by sms (technology can be so useful) he brought home exactly the table I wanted. Now this isn’t really that interesting, people find tables every day, but wait, there’s more. A few days after, the previous owner, Monsieur Ladra, stopped by to give us some guidance regarding the plumbing (a labyrinth comes to mind) and when he entered the kitchen his jaw dropped to the floor. “Where did you find that table he said, his voice almost shaking”. It had been in our house for over 80 years before he sold it to and antiques dealer some months before we bought the house and now the table had found its way home. It may just be a simple little coincidence but typing this gives me goosebumps. And talking of furniture it is such a pleasure to visit the past through carefully made objects. One of the rooms had an old bed and matching closet with carvings of roses, made in the 1920’s. It’s a little small for us but I just had to have that bed in our room. Taking it a part was a pleasure, the craftmanship of such high quality, the whole closet is held together by only a few screws and meticulous carpentry. On the back of the closet is a little label stating that it was custom-made for Madame Pautard (remember Plantia, the lady who dressed in black and charmed everyone with her cooking).

Good furniture, like good food is always better when it comes with a story.




Flavor of the month

Two days after we moved in we were joined on the 26th by Gunnhildur and Þórir and happily invaded by our dear friends, the Hraneks (Matt, Yolanda, Clara) who have just bought two houses opposite our’s. What followed was an endless succession of feasts, amazing Médoc wines, great conversation … and doing dishes in that little sink in the makeshift bathroom. (We have found a nice old porcelain sink for the kitchen but as we were preparing to install it the plumber realized that the evacuation ended not in the sewers but in our garage – “Madame we have a big problem” is the sentence I hear most often these days. New year’s eve saw us inaugurate our red dining room (you know the saying that a compromise is where two people get what neither of them wanted – well I wanted to go pinkish, my husband favored terracotta so we ended up with pure and simple red – we are both sort of happy with it though). And this is where I finally get to the point. After all this rich, delicious food, after the Hraneks had left we just needed some new spices, a whole new flavor. And that flavor turned out to be saffron. I have this habit, come early January, just because the days are getting slightly longer, because it’s a new year, to think of spring. And spring calls for something fresh, uplifting and exciting. So for a few days in early January we went mad for saffron and citrus, I might not like orange on the walls but on my plate it is always welcome. I think I’ve made that carrot soup at least 5 times this year, ginger is so healing and tasty. The chicken was originally supposed to be a fish course but poultry was easier to find and since I was using saffron for the main, why not put it into the souffé too?




A new year calls for new flavors and new adventures and though this year started in a much sadder way than any of us could have anticipated we must be brave and hopeful.
We as a family have never experienced anything like what those who lost their loved ones in Paris are going through now but we do have a little family motto taken from the poem by W.H. Auden that lent it’s title to this post. The subject of the poem is the humblest of rooms but that ‘s not why I like it so much. The final two lines capture my heart like few other lines have and seem to me so filled with truth and meaning. I think no words are better suited for the beginning of this year.

“Face with all our courage
What is now to be”.





p.s. I know that my cookbook, “A Kitchen in France” was only published in October last year (and hasn’t even been published in France yet – will be by Hachette in October 2015 this year) but I am so happy and proud to announce that I will be writing another cookbook with Clarkson Potter/ Random House to be published in the fall of 2016. Again I will have the chance to work with Oddur on the photos, with the best editor in the world, Rica Allannic and the whole dream team at Clarkson Potter, Anna, Kevin, Doris – here’s to continuing the story. This time we will focus on the new house, the restaurant, I am sure Plantia will pop up somewhere.
Regarding the workshops that I announced just before Christmas, I am astonished by the positive response and happy to report that so many of them are already full. We do still have some availability here and there though, especially in November 2015 and for the December 2015 Christmas workshop but a few places in the spring and summer months too.
And on that note I am equally overwhelmed by all of you who have written to me about helping with the seasonal restaurant and though I haven’t had time to reply to the hundreds of letters I’ve received I want you to know that I’ve read them all and will answer you in the coming weeks. There is still some uncertainty around dates, how many people we will need etc so no decisions have yet been made. I apologize for this delay, you’ll hear from me soon.
Finally I am so happy to have signed on as a regular contributor for French ELLE ‘Fiches Cuisine’/ Recipes starting February this year. It is the magazine of my childhood, my French mother read it religiously in Hong Kong and I saved all the little recipes they print on special sheets that you can tear out. To think that these will now be my recipes is a little girls dream come true.

Mimi x


Carrot & ginger soup

Serves 6

900 g/ 2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced
2 small potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 large onion, sliced
1 stick of fresh ginger root (about the size of a finger), peeled and grated
1 teaspoon ground turmeric/curcuma
A pinch of nutmeg
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1.3 litres/ 5 & 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
A few sprigs of chives, chopped finely
120 ml/ 1/2 cup cream
Sea-salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large pot, heat the olive oil and cook the onions, carrots and potatoes for 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add the ginger, turmeric and a pinch of nutmeg. Pour the chicken or vegetable stock, stir all the ingredients. Bring to a boil, cover and lower the heat. Cook for 25 minutes. Mix the soup with a stick blender and add the cream. Reheat on a low heat for a minute or two. Sprinkle chopped chives if desired.


Lemon chicken with saffron sauce

(serves 4)

1 large chicken (approx 2 kg/ 4.4 pounds) , cut into pieces
475 ml/ 2 cups crème fraîche
60 g/ 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
300 g/ 2/3 pounds porcini mushrooms (or mushrooms of your choice), quartered
1 large onion, sliced
2 tablespoons plain flour
Zest of 2 lemons
Juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves, sliced finely
240 ml/ 1 cup white wine
1 tsp saffron threads
A pinch of ground nutmeg
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a large cast iron pot. Brown the chicken pieces on all sides and season with salt & pepper (once browned, take out the chicken breasts and add them to the pot halfway so they don’t overcook).

Add the sliced onion, garlic and mushrooms and continue to sauté for a few minutes. Sprinkle the flour all over the ingredients, then pour the wine – leave to reduce for a few minutes on a medium heat. Add the lemon zest, saffron threads, nutmeg and lemon juice. Add the crème fraîche, lower the heat and cover.

Season accordingly with salt & pepper. Leave to cook on a low heat for 30 minutes.

Serve with steamed potatoes or wild rice.


Lemon & saffron soufflé

Serves 4

160 ml/ 2/3 cu full cream milk
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 eggs, separated
A pinch of saffron threads
25 g/ 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (, plus extra for the ramekins
15 g/ 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
15 g/ 2 tablespoons cornstarch
Confectioner’s sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 200°C/ 400°F

Line the soufflé ramekins with butter and sprinkle all inner sides with granulated sugar. Shake off excess sugar. Place ramekins in the refrigerator and leave to cool for at least 20 minutes.

Grate the zest of a lemon and squeeze the juice.

In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the milk and bring to a slight simmer on a medium to low heat. Add the saffron. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Add the lemon juice, cornstarch and lemon zest. Pour the warm milk on the egg mixture whisking continuously. Return the mixture into the saucepan and place on a medium heat. Stir until mixture thickens slightly. Set aside.

Whisk the egg whites, adding the sugar gradually, until stiff. Fold in the egg whites to the cream mixture with a large spatula.

Pour mixture into oven-proof soufflé ramekins and bake for 6 minutes, or until well-risen and golden.

Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar before serving. Serve immediately.


258 thoughts on “Geography of the house

  1. Mimi, I am one of many admirers, bloggers and Francophiles out here in the world who just loves your work, and that of your husband.

    Your introduction to this post is so true, well-said, and topped off not only with great recipes and photos, but that story about “The Table Comes First.” Yes indeed, love, family, daily life lived in a civil way, these are the things we MUST continue to do in order to counter “attack” the unpleasant realities.

    Very beautiful tribute here to new beginnings, family, and living life comme il faut.


    1. Merci Anita! I am so touched. Everything about this house has been so meaningful, so deep – I love this house – it has a soul reminding us that family and love are the most important themes in our lives! Happy new year, Mimix

  2. Dear Mimi, I just came across your blog and I just love it, your photos are like part of fine art Gallery, and your story in France is like a dream, no,,, have a crazy husband should not be that bad. 🙂


  3. What an absolutely beautiful post, as always. Your words on the tragedy in Paris are so moving and resonate deeply — it’s true, it often feels strange to keep blogging when there is so much strife around us, but I love your reflection that food can be much more meaningful than it seems. Thank you for such thoughtful words, for these beautiful recipes, and for such a lovely, touching description of your Christmas. I loved reading it. Happy new year!

    1. Happy new year Cynthia – and thank you for your kind words. I was so upset with the recent events, a harsh reminder of our world today… but the best thing is to gather with our loved ones, continue living a good life and make the most out of it! Enjoy the recipes, Mimix

  4. What a lovely post, as always !

    The carrot & ginger soup looks so good, I’m going to try it this week ! It’ll change us from my now traditional butternut squash soup (although I never get enough of it).

    The story of the table is soo weird ! I tend to think that everything happens for a reason, and that houses have souls. Looks like your house and your table didn’t want to be separated.

    Last but not least, despite the troubled times we are going through, I wish you all a happy new year 🙂

    Alice x

    1. Happy new year Alice! Love this soup – I had it yesterday and today – it’s getting so cold… and ginger is the solution! By the way, I have been wanting to respond to your email recently… will write soon. All the best, Mimix

  5. What a gorgeous post, Mimi.
    It is a very sad thing that happened in France or overall Europe and the world the past weeks and months. There rarely are words for that strategy.
    I’m always stunned how people are able to continue with their lives after such tragedies. However, it’s one of the necessary abilities people have to have in order to continue.
    And so you were probably right to wait with your post, but it’s good you posted it anyway. As always I’m stunned by the photos. The stories are awesome too. You will always remember this Christmas. The story of the table is awesome. The table was just meant to be in this house and it does look perfect. 🙂
    I’m so looking forward to June and am glad for all the great opportunities you got last year and apparently also this year. May the new year bring you all the best.

  6. Wonderful post Mimi, your perspective on the tragedies in France, and around the world for that matter are so hopeful and spot on. Thank you for making my morning!

    p.s. I’m glad I’m not the only one that lets dogs on the dining table! Loved the photos as usual in this post!

  7. dear mimi,
    thank you for your poetic sensibility and your humanity. Your posts are about so very much more than food.


  8. I think you said that very well – it is the love and care that we can put against this terror. It is, after all, what we have and value. I trust it will prevail, no matter how horrible these incidents are.

    Your blog is wonderful. I emigrated to the South of the U.S. a year ago and write a blog myself for my grown up children, family, friends that we left behind far away… and I often think of you and the graceful way you let others take part in your life. Thank you very much for that.


  9. Mimi, I run a small library in Maine and purchased A Kitchen In France for our collection. When it arrived, I checked it out to myself before anyone else had a chance at it (perks of being the boss), thinking I might find a useful recipe or two. I never anticipated finding the enchanting peek into your life that it contained. Intrigued, I explored Manger, and am hopelessly smitten. I have read every single post from the very beginning, and escape to the Medoc via your blog whenever I have the opportunity. Oh, and yes, I’ve been enjoying the recipes as well. Congratulations to you on all your successes, and thank you for sharing your life with us.

    1. Thank you so much Kathleen! I can only imagine how lovely your store must be – to know I am on your shelves makes me so happy! It is a pleasure to share – I am so excited to start on my second book… the story is unfolding… Happy new year, Mimi x

  10. Mimi,
    I always thoroughly enjoy your posts and your husband’s photography. Your sentiments around food and times of trouble truly resonate as it is around the table that we can seek to learn, be compassionate and understand those different from us by sharing in a very common need: Food and relationships. Happy new year and looking forward to the new book – the last is top on my shelf for morning reading with breakfast!

  11. perfect introduction to your are living a beautiful life and I am grateful you share it.
    The table
    And the children

  12. Mimi

    First off you, your family & all of France have been in my thoughts. Such a sad tragedy.

    Second congrats on the book and magazine. I can’t wait for your second cookbook. I love flipping through the pages of a Kitchen In France, it’s so beautifully made. The photographs are stunning and the food amazing.

    Best wishes to your family this New Year!

  13. Mimi, Oddur, family and France, your countrymen and women are to be admired for the dignified manner in which the atrocities were responded to. The grey day photo impressive – expressed so much with only a few words.
    But life must go on!
    Thank you for the new recipes. Saffron is used often in my house. I’ll enjoy following your lead.

    1. Happy new year Jude! We’re all in the ‘carry on and move forward’ mode. As you said, life does go on. This cold month of January calls for energising food – lemon & saffron are a good team! Enjoy the recipes. Mimi x

  14. I just loved so much to read your story about so crazy Christmas eve!
    And introduction.. you are so right and your words are so touching.
    Photos are like paintings, congrats to your husband! An artist!
    All the best and happy new year Mimi!

  15. Thank you for sharing your blog despite the tragedies. We all need to gather around the tables of our homes and comfort each other and share wisdom. Food is the carrier of these emotions. Keep writing, and keep inspiring…
    In peace, m

  16. Mimi, so beautiful written! It made me stop and think how very fragile our world is! I believe like yourself that each of us can make a difference and it starts at home! You are a “good person” Mimi and each post you write always gives me a new “lease” on life! Thank you for your kind heart. We (your readers) celebrate your wonder posts, phenomenal photography, FABULOUS cookbook, and ALL your new adventures…Many more Blessings and heartfelt love to you and yours in 2015. PS I am still working on coming to a class!❤️

    1. Thank you for such touching words Stephanie! Always a pleasure to share with you, I am ever so grateful for having such wonderful readers. I hope to see you soon. Happy new year, Mimi x

  17. Dear Mimi, Congratulations on getting celebrate Christmas in your new home. It is beautiful !! (what happened to the table it is clear that the house waited for them for years and now hosts).
    I am very happy because my mother is happy with your book (saith the phrase repeated Dalí, only through the ultra-Local is possible to achieve universal, given the success of Cuisine you do. Of course this book is a tribute to life) and when we returned from our holiday in Galicia I also had a surprise, my husband had ordered a copy of your book to me !!
    We have done some of your delicious recipes, and cook them in the coming days that we propose in this post, it seems a delicious menu.
    (I wish the Spanish Elle also includes prescriptions).
    Thanks for all Mimi, enjoy much all the news you have and a big hug for your family.
    (Regarding the events of earlier this year, has been very sad and everyone has made us reflect. A sincere hug).

    1. Hola Yasmina! I am thrilled to know your mother is enjoying the book, and on top of that, you got one too – what a great husband you have 🙂 Wishing you & your family a very happy new year! Mimi x

      1. Mimi Hello again, I received the picture of still life of pears, it’s beautiful !! (it seems that there have been problems in the postal service and has come late). Please thanks from me to Oddur this lovely detail. Many hugs to all.

  18. Dear Mimi,

    Happy new year 2015 to you and your lovely family! I have been waiting for this post and I must say that last week terrible events made me need it more… As you said in your introduction… Well so much to say.
    Bravo for making this christmas so special for your family, I was thinking that the works must have been delayed as they always are…
    And I am so happy for you for this new book project and this new house full of surprises. You deserve all this success!
    I would certainly come to visit you in april-may, while staying in Arcachon if you have time…
    Thank you for these recipes. I am thinking of spring in january too as the winter is just… beginning!
    Je t’embrasse, Cécile

    1. Merci Cécile – and a very happy new year to you & your family. This rather gloomy start of January with all the sad events has encouraged me to create a warm and cozy nest at home… Lots of cooking going on here, the temperature is cooling down! Thanks for all your kind wishes – lots of exciting new beginnings this year, feeling blessed to be so inspired. All the best to your family – stay warm! Mimi x

      1. I just cooked the carrot ginger soup for tonight, the house smells soo good!
        Have a nice day and thank you for your reply. xx

  19. Mimi, I adore your cookbook, it was my most favorite gift this Christmas and so happy to have found your blog as well. I am so inspired by your lovely photographs as well as your family. I love how you all come to the table to celebrate life in its best and darkest. This post reminded me of how very important that is above all else. I cooked everyday with my Dad on our Christmas vacation. And I will treasure that forever. Watching not only our joy in the food and wine but my Mom’s and my husbands in watching us and enjoying what we feed them. And although my boys don’t eat all of my food, I blessed to have their smiling faces and I will promise to share my joy of cooking and just having loved ones around my kitchen. Good luck with your new adventures! I cannot wait for the new posts and cook book! Merci and many blessings.

    1. Hi Jennifer, it made me laugh when you said you cooked with your father – my father also loves food and sometimes tries his hand at cooking, but us cooking together is not so easy, you see he wants to be the boss and since I am also the boss … well you get the picture. But you are so right about the joys of cooking with and for loved ones, as anyone who reads this blog will know it’s simply my favorite thing 🙂 Mimi x

  20. Bonjour Mimi!
    What a beautiful post. My heart sank when the news broke and thought of you and your family along with my friends in Paris and the countryside. Im so happy for you and that gorgeous house. I plan on coming to visit when I can and would love to cook with you. Im in the middle of my cookbook now and appreciate all the handwork you put in yours! Im going to make something from your book tonight for dinner and will toast your success and love of France with a nice red wine. xoxoxo from Chicago.

    1. Merci Patrick, hope you had a wonderful dinner (If not it’s my fault I guess), and nothing could be more appropriate than toasting France with a glass of red. I hope it was from Médoc 🙂 Mimi x

  21. Dear Mimi,
    Happy New Year and happy new house to you and your beautiful family.
    I really respect your delicacy and the way you write even on the most horrifying events like those in France.
    Looking at your newest post I am very thankful that you’ve shared with us such an intimate moment and I am so happy that the table found its way to home.
    I am fully enjoyed your book and now I have cold, drinking your ginger “rejuvenating potion” an planning next week menu.
    Hopefully it will be free dates for the workshops!
    Wish you all happiness this year!

  22. Hi Mimi,

    Adam Gopnick’s The Table Comes First is my favorite book about food, probably because it reminds me that it’s never really only ever about food when it comes down to it. My heart goes out to Paris and the world x

    Also — congratulations on your new book and your Elle a Table position. That was one of the few magazines I regularly and consistently bought last year when I was in Paris. Excited to see your contributions to it!

    1. Bonjour Amy – Happy new year! Adam Gopnik is such a special food writer – I can never get enough of his work. Food is love! Thanks for your kind wishes – I am so inspired for my new book – from Plantia’s restaurant and her recipes, our family recipes, out new house… As for ELLE (it’s for the ELLE, it’s the main issue, where they have 4 ‘fiches-recettes’ you can tear out – I still have my box I collected since childhood! Bonne journée, Mimi x

  23. Bonjour Mimi!
    How nice to read something that brings joy to the heart in this dark moment.
    The oak table story is so magical, I am sure the table wanted to go home 🙂
    I am so happy for your announcements and news and look forward to reading you in ELLE !
    I just made your ginger fried rice a few evenings ago (do you remember it? One of your earlier recipes which I bookmarked for a cold wintry day ;))
    Good luck for the rest of the travaux – it can be a real headache I know!
    Bisous, Jasmine

    1. Bonjour sweet Jasmine! Happy new year! This past month has been a new adventure, from moving to this new house and settling down. I can’t think of a better way to start the new year despite the travaux going on, but it’s still fun, and I enjoy seeing the results every day… simple things like having a new electric switch to a newly painted wall, now that’s a great achievement! Now I am waiting for the kitchen sink. So happy to hear everyone is enjoying ginger-based recipes – I swear by it! Ginger is the key to good health! Bonne semaine, Mimix

  24. I felt as if I had been missing your posts and was happy to see the rose colored wall with the portrait. It has made my day on this gloomy January afternoon in New Hampshire. It’s the color I crave from the photos you share.

    1. Thank you Lyn! It’s been far too long, I know… I’m in love with that ‘museum pink’ on the walls, and decided to only hang portraits of ladies in black dresses! Let’s count the days till spring arrives… in the meantime, enjoy the recipes! Happy new year! Mimi x

  25. Thank you for this beautiful post with all of the children–they are so beautiful. And for the W.H. Auden quote–Yes! with all of our courage. Love the hot pink dining room. New Year Bleassings. xoxo Mary

  26. Mimi, I overlooked asking about the statue waving aloft the French flag. Is the statue local? I’ve had a mooch around St Yzans thanks to ‘Uncle Streetview’. i really like what I see. I also overlooked mentioning something often at the forefront of my mind – the leadership demonstrated by Francois Hollande other world leaders. The wonderful photo of the leaders linking arms in the Sunday March made ponder the vast array of cuisines.

    1. Mimi, that last sentence should read:-

      The wonderful photo of those world leaders linking arms for the Sunday March was printed across a double page in the Sydney Morning Herald. To link with the importance of table, I also pondered the vast array of cuisines which would be represented.

  27. I am so happy that you acknowledged that you have to live life. We can bring beauty to others through the life we live. And hope is found in Jesus’ Christ. I am so thankful for that hope that remains when all else fails. My husband and I will continue to pray for your nation as it seeks to rebuild.
    Keep pushing on.

  28. Dear Mimi,
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the recent tragedy in France with us. The description of the letter was beautiful and evocative., and reminds us to embrace and appreciate the beauty in our lives while we can.
    As always, thank you for the recipes and photos, and including us on your journey in the new house.
    Best wishes to you and your family in the new year.

  29. If you have not read the Alice B. Toklas cookbook, about her life with Gertrude Stein in France (mostly in the small town of Belley), she wrote about wartime there in a very unsentimental way and with a cook’s perspective. The Charlie Hebdo killings may seem utterly different from that period of history, but her perspective may be insightful for the present.

  30. Bonjour Mimi ! Je suis contente de voir comme avance ta nouvelle maison. Elle à l’air d’être très belle ! Mais je suis encore plus contente avec la dernière nouvelle ! J’achète le magazine Elle depuis son apparition en Espagne. Depuis que je suis arrivée en France, je continué avec la version française ! Je ne jamais arrêtée de l’acheté ! J’aime les fiches de cuisine de Scotto et maintenant je veux suivre aussi le tiennes ! Maintenant j’ai une autre bonne raison pour acheter Elle. Je crois que l’année commence très bien 😉
    Ps : je veux essayer de faire le soufflé au citron ! xx

    1. Bonne année Eva! Je suis ravie de faire partie de cette institution Française, mes fiches apparaîtront dès Février, une fois par mois. Enfant, je les collectionnais dans une petite boîte… Bonne semaine, Mimi x ps: et boone dégustation… les soufflés sont délicieuses – je vus conseille une petite boule de glace, comme celle que j’avais fait pout ELLE à la crème fraîche. Mimi x

  31. Happy New Year ! I always look forward to your posts and was a little disappointed in not having something posted before but after reading your latest one, I understand and totally agree with you.

    I do have a question that comes to mind every time I read your blog, do you have help at home ? You seem to do so much and as we all know, the day has 24hours for everyone.

    Please continue posting !!!!!


    1. Happy new year Maria! It was far too long, I agree, but it’s so good to be back! Regarding your question, my mother-in-law stayed with us for a long period last year, so she helped us a lot. That’s pretty much the help I have. Now that we have moved to a bigger home, I might have to consider some cleaning help… and some baby-sitting when my workshop start. Mimi x

  32. Im bowled over by your blog, cant wait to try the lemon Chicken this Wednesday. I anticipate a refreshing flavor. South African weather is still hot.

  33. Mimi,
    We love you in Northern California, food, lifestyle, and maybe most of all, the children and the fine start you and your husband are giving them. Look forward to progress on the house and cooking in the kitchen!
    Josephine Alexander

  34. I am so pleased that everything is going smoothly for you and your family Mimi. Your house is absolutely stunning and it is fast becoming a home for you because of what you and your family put in it. I, too was sadden about what happened in Paris and it does put things in a different perspective. France will rebuild and become strong again as it did in the past. xo

    1. Happy new year Mel! We’re very happy to have finally moved, seeing major progress everyday. A new switch, a new sink, freshly painted walls… we’re getting there! Mimi x

  35. A wonderful, wonderful post, Mimi.
    My husband and I are working on s September trip to Paris and, perhaps, a bike trip on Ile de Re and neighboring locales. If the bike trip works out we will fly home to California from Bordeaux and perhaps can come to your summer-months restaurant for a dinner.

      1. My husband has discovered there is a very nice Relasi & Chateau quite near you. We probably will stay there but dine chez vous.

  36. What a beautiful thoughtful blog this is!
    I am glad that your husband reminded you of the comfort of food not only daily but in very stressful times. My son gave me your cookbook for Christmas this year and I immediately started enjoying
    reading every recipe and loving the
    beautiful photography. Thank you

    1. Thank you Bonnie for such a kind comment. I love hearing how your son gave you my cookbook for Christmas… my son loves giving me cookbooks too! When I was in NY for the book signings, I often had young lads asking me to dedicate the book to their moms… how sweet 🙂 Happy new year! Mimi x

  37. Dearest Mimi,
    I was just constructing your Apple Tart & Potatoes à la Lyonnaise when your post came in. How funny!

    Ahhh! You made it to the goal of a Christmas in the new home. A very Happy & Healthy New Year to your entire clan dogs included! Beautiful pictures & I quite like the red walls.

    Our very best to you,


    Käären & Trishul

  38. ah Mimí when happened the horrible and sadly events all we know. (I have to say still I think in that) I thought in you and many french friends, how this was devasted for all.
    Im agree is not only for France, is for all the world.
    But your hubby is a wise man. Is not easy but by the childrens or the joung people we have to live and hope some day the world would be different.
    Yours pictures of the house are beautiful, and the kids look lovely!
    Love the recipes of course.
    Send you hugs and love.

  39. Mimi, thank you for such a beautiful and poignant post. I live in Australia and we felt the shock of France’s terror attack here too- we too had a terrible terror attack recently in Sydney. I am getting ready for an adventure and a new house in France and too at times felt – what is really important? Treasuring your loved ones and the times you share together-often around the table. Sadness happens and life does go on and we must all live it gloriously, with love, kindness and peace. xx

    1. So happy to hear you are embarking on a new adventure in France! As you said, life is all about treasuring your loved ones, and what a better place to start than at the table. Bonne année and best of luck for your move! Mimi x

  40. I’m really enjoying your exquisite ‘A Kitchen in France’! At last, an authentic, foolproof recipe for Canelés – it’s made me very popular with my daughter & son-in-law. Merci beaucoup, Judith

  41. Congrats on being a contributor for Elle and the new cookbook! Fall 2016 is so far away. I hope we get glimpses of your cookbook as you work on it!

  42. Mimi, I’ve been wondering about you, missing your beautiful posts. I admire your heart in not wanting to post during such a sad time, but, we have to celebrate the good to not let the bad win. You bring goodness and beauty with your work and your stories….thank you for sharing so much.
    We also moved into a new home a few days before Christmas and with all the stress, the commotion and the unfinished projects, it was the best Christmas our family has ever had! I’m so glad yours was happy as well.
    Your new home looks amazing…please show us more. 🙂
    I love saffron so the sauce is definitely a recipe I will be trying very soon. I’m having a house warming dinner for my family and would love to share one of your recipes with them.

    Happy New Year and Happy New Home to all of you!

    1. Bonjour Sarah, Happy new year! Seems we had a similar Christmas – I was torn at first, but it turned out be the best one! We’re still gradually getting life here, a new electrical switch, a new painted wall… we’re getting there. All the best to you & the family, and happy nesting! Mimix

  43. Mimi, a few quiet moments of reflection, and enjoying your news gives me a spot of calm amid the chaos of having a fluish grandchild at home ! merci !

    1. Merci Jo! As I am typing these words, little Gaïa is sleeping on my lap, and Audrey is on my arm… both of them have fever and a bad cold! It’s that time of the year! Let’s get healthy for 2015! Mimix

  44. YOU make me CRY tears of HAPPINESS!Adore the Christmas eve story………..Adore the idea of PINK but the RED works!The children at the table helping dice and cut……..and the story of the TABLE coming HOME!The bed with roses……….and last but not least the fact you will be doing what you ADORE for a magazine your MOTHER READ…..and you loved………well I have NO WORDS for that!YOU AMDE ME CRY TEARS of JOY!!!I am SO THRILLED for YOU and your family………OH and another book!!!!!WOW< WOW< WOW……..!!!My husband is calling me to the kitchen must dash…………….LOVED THIS POST!XOXO

    1. Merci dearest Contessa! And happy new year! THANK YOU for the lovely greeting card – your sons are getting more & more handsome 🙂 Wishing you all the very best this year! Mimix

  45. Thankyou Mimi for such a beautiful and thoughtful post. It is always a pleasure to read such poetic words and admire your husbands photos.
    Speaking of which, I have his pear print up in my Australian country kitchen for daily inspiration. I look forward to the next book x

  46. Thank you Mimi for such a lovely post and congratulations yet again. I’m enjoying your book very much, such a fabulous addition to my cookbook collection.

  47. Mimi, I love this post. I have had a lump in my throat, thinking about the tragic happenings in Paris, but I am so happy that you decided to come back to us. I loved reading of your Christmas in your new home. The new kitchen table is a perfect addition to your kitchen – what a great story.

    Please keep sharing your life with us. It is very special.

    Linda in Washington state, USA

  48. Dear Mimi,

    thank you for this warm and wonderful blog entry. It it always a special moment for me to the read your lovely words and to enjoy the amazing pictures by your husband.

    Thank you for sharing your live with us.

    smile + love, Wiebke XXX

    please tell the color name from the 2. picture ( the pink one with the old frame on)

    1. Hello, thank you for your kind words! And happy new year. I call the pink ‘Museum pink’, but its official name is ‘Rose Mercurey’ from a brand called Comptoir Seigneurie Gauthier. Cheers, Mimi x

  49. Dearest Mimi,
    Bonne Année
    Amazing story about the move and a beautiful house. Fom the photos and your description, I can see and imagine the beautiful antique furniture, the style and the decor. A full house with your precious family around helping in your amazing kitchen, Love.
    The Lemon & saffron soufflé recipe looks delcious, I love saffron and use it in most of my dishes, with teas and dessert.
    Wish you all the best and another great success in 2015.
    Rowaida xx

    Rowaida Flayhan

    1. Hello Rowaida, Happy new year to you and your lovely family! We’ve been on a mission here, settling down in our new home – so many exciting chapters to unfold. Enjoy the recipes – the lemon soufflés are divine. All best, Mimix

  50. Hello dear Mimi
    I’ll definitely visit you some day …
    I love the way you live your meals, as the kids helping in the kitchen and the vegetables and fruits that you reaping the earth, as these carrots:-)
    I was also shivering with the story of the table; a really happy table, to return home.
    I hope that ‘Fiches Cuisine’ arrives to Portugal.
    A big hug for you and for one grieving France


    1. Bonjour Claudia – oh yes, please do visit! We’ve been welcoming the new year gracefully, settling down, cooking more family meals! Theocrats are called ‘Carottes de Sable’ – it’s a typical local variety grown in a ‘sandy’ environment in the Landes region.They are extra sweet, quite amazing really! Happy new year, Mimi x

  51. Hello,Beautiful Mimi!!!
    I know,I know….. You’ve SO much comments and SO fantastic wonderful words here!:)))
    And you SOoooooo deserved all of them…..:)
    I do ADORE your story,your way to write and these photography is just beyond stunning!!!
    You touched me again and again,really fantastic!
    Thankyou million times for share all these magic here andI am o e of the happy girl,which has a chance to meet you in this virtual World!:)))❤️

  52. wonderful post Miss Mimi as usual ! I heard a very spooky long woooooooo inside my head when I read the bit about your beautiful table returned ! Happy New Year and many congratulations on the new book.

    1. Happy new year to you too Kim! I know, the table story was a big reminder that we were destined for this house… I feel such a good vibe from this place – there’s a soul and it’s a good one! Even when I cook, I somehow feel empowered… I guess that must be called inspiration! Mimi x

  53. thank you for all these wonderful stories. and the thoughtful words as well. you are so right, about what the world or we as human beings need especially in though moments. coming together, cherishing love and life. and food does exactly this. when the situation in france got worse and worse, I quite spontaneously invited friends over for a pot-luck dinner. to be surrounded by like minded souls. it didn’t quite work out as I had wanted, because people have their own minds and not necessarily handle things like we’d expect, but though it was an emotional night, it was a hearty and meaningful one. the next dinner ist up by the end of this week.

  54. Let’s hope that everyone can live and let live, treat others with respect, tolerance and kindness. Good luck in your endeavours this year, Mimi! X

  55. Oh Congratulations Mimi!
    Another book, such a fantastic year ahead for you and your beautiful family!
    I can’t wait to read all about it.

    Your new home looks full to the brim with excitement, warmth and cheer. I can’t imagine how you do it all without an army of helpers. You really are an inspiration, and a positive force for women everywhere! Merci

  56. L’AMOUR TRIOMPHE DE TOUT! On a special day today in the U.S. we are celebrating a man who practiced these words utterly. He believed that all men are created equal and should be treated as such. He believed in all races, colors, and religions standing in unity against evil, against loss, against violence. His message was love and and its ability to overcome all measures of hate with compassion.

    His name was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    The way for love to conquer all is for it to planted in the hearts of our children. Then it will be allowed to spread like a wildfire that no act of evil can put out. Instead the flames multiply and soon the whole world will catch fire in the intolerance of hate and murder.

    What you and your family are doing in St. Yzans is important. Sure, your recipes are delicious and your dinners are elegant and inspiring. But, I feel truly that you are creating recipes of love. Of togetherness. It is being grown in the fields of Medoc. It s being blessed and cultivated at the table of your family. After, a time of mourning, THIS is what will be the greatest revenge; To live a life of love and plenty and to produce that love in everyday life. This is what you do on Manger.

    I read your book almost daily and when I create from your recipes, I create love for myself, love for my husband, and love of LIFE. Its more than food. Its comfort. It reassurance that there is good in this world and it is everlasting and it can never be broken.

    L’amour triomphe de tout! May it conquer our homes, our families, our friends, our hearts, and our countries!

    “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. ” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    1. Alos, substitute “conquer” with “triumph” as that is the proper translation haha. I hear “Love triumphs over all” and my head says” Loves conquers all”. Sam idea I guess. Lost in translation ha ha. Going back to French lessons 101 because when I come visit for the workshop/ restaurant, I want to be able to speak French beautifully!! LOL Bisous!

      1. Bonjour Tiffany, Thank you so much for such wise words – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is an inspiration, always. And may I say, your french is excellent – now you just need to practice in France, soon, I hope? bonne semaine, ma chère! Mimi x

  57. Bravo pour ta contribution au Elle France : c’est vraiment super ! Et pour le deuxième livre et ce réveillon complètement fou dans ta nouvelle cuisine ! J’ai beaucoup aimé l’anecdote sur tes talons hauts essentiels et ta brosse à dent qui ne l’était pas ! 😉 Une année qui s’annonce belle pour toi et ta famille ! Je te souhaite que du bon !

  58. I have followed you for a few years enjoying your recipes and exploits in your part of France. The story of your new home sent me on a Google Earth tour of St.Yzans.

    Hence the discovery of 23 Rue de Loudenne, 33340, St. Yzans de Medoc, France. I keep going back, via the internet miracle, to visit. Like stopping by to see an old friend just to chat and make sure they’re ok.

    My old heart skipped a beat when her photo scrolled in view. Beautiful stone work, wrought iron fence, three chimneys and a collapsing roof. She calls in my sleep to leave Louisiana for one more quest…..Rescue her.

    So, do you think there’s room in St.Yzans for one more Don

    1. Bonjour! You got me visiting Google Earth – how fun, I haven’t been for a while. N°28 is down the road – I love the house. I definitely think St Yzans needs another Don Quixote! This is a gem of a village! I hope you’ll get a clear message ‘Come rescue me’ tonight! Is it a sign that n°28 needs you? 🙂 Mimi

      1. Wow, you actually responded. I’m shocked…..Surprised….Honored by your graciousness. Give the owner my email and we’ll see what happens. Fate is a mysterious creature; sometimes the jester, others times a saint.

  59. The Norman Cherner Pretzel Chair looks great in your new house! I really admire your style! And your choices all come alive through your colorful descriptions that are so full of thoughtful appreciation. What a wonderful story about your table.

    Very excited to read you in Elle! xo

    1. Thank you Elizabeth – it’s one of my favorite chairs… as a matter of fact I am a big chair lover, and I have quite a few on my ‘wish list’. Wishing you a lovely 2015! Best, Mimi x

      1. Hi Mimi! Sourcing design happens to be what I do! 🙂 If you ever want to email me what you are looking for I would be more than happy to keep an eye out for you 🙂 (I’m in Paris). Happy New Year to you too! xo Elizabeth

  60. Bonjour Dear Mimi!!!,
    Such sadness the French have had to endure recently. The world was united in your grief. You may not have heard but Australia, only 2 weeks before your terrorist attack, was subjected to one here in Sydney. Dozens of people were taken hostage……2 died and the terrorist.
    Mimi, I would like to thank you for the lovely photo that came in the mail a couple of weeks ago of some very delicious looking pears. It’s now a cover page for a folder I keep on my French recipes (mostly of yours!!). It’s very beautiful…..Oddur is so talented.
    It’s funny how we all crave really fresh food in the New Year. Here, I’m consuming great salads with lots of rocket from the garden. We’ve just started picking tomatoes and cucumbers too. Simply adding some tuna or eggs, oil and vinegar you have a delicious, nutritious meal…….forgot to mention with bread…..must have bread!! Your carrot and ginger soup would be perfect here today. We’re having a small break from Summer this week but it will return shortly……February is looming.
    Fantastic news about all the workshops being booked out. Do you think your B and B section maybe be completed by October……….can you ask the builders just for me….he he…..I’m expecting a “big shrug”could be the response from them. Awhile back you mentioned friends who have a b and b so i’ll go back to former posts.
    Your new home looks lovely. The children look so busy in the kitchen photos. Having read your blog for so long, it’s been lovely to see the children grow…….an new one come along.
    I’ll let you go now dear Mimi. Might even think about your soup for a little lunch today. Off to buy carrots. xx Anita
    p.s. What are you reading at the moment.? I’m thoroughly delighted with A Buzz in the Meadow by Dave Goulson. He’s an English biologist who has a house in France which he’s left for spiders and bees to take over. Who would think entomology would be so funny, but he makes it so xx

    1. Bonjour chère Anita, Happy new year to you! Despite all these sad events, we must all unite and keep moving forward with positivity and strength. I hope you’ll enjoy the soup – much need vitamins for this cold month! Can’t answer right now if the B & B will be ready by October – but we’re on it! Every time one room is ready, my builder Sacha shouts “One more grilled entrecôte for me! “!! 🙂 Bisous, Mimi x ps: right now I am reading a book I got for Christmas – Sofia Loren ‘Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow’.

  61. Hello chère mimi,
    Il n’y a plus grand chose à ajouter après tous ces commentaires élogieux et touchants ; je te sens si heureuse dans ta nouvelle maison qui déborde d’amour avec ta grande famille. Que dire de tes délicieuses recettes qui nous régalent ? Merci, merci, continue à nous enchanter de tes récits ponctués des sublimes photos d’oddur. Très gros bisous à toute la tribu, à très bientôt

  62. Hello Mimi,

    This is such a touching post that I have read it more than once!

    I have been a follower of your blog and facebook page for a long time now, and you have inspired me so much that I took my family to Paris for a week last November.

    It was our first time in France, and we loved Paris so much, that we are already making plans to go back to France this summer, but this time we want to drive through the country side, from Switzerland to Spain. Who knows … I may even have the luck to spot you in one of the markets in the Medoc.

    I got myself your cooking book as a christmas present, and although I have not cooked anything from it yet (apologies…), it’s a joy to read the stories you have before you introduce the recipes.

    Congratulations on your new book ! I will be looking forward to it. In the mean time I will continue to follow you here.

    God Bless you, your family and France.


  63. Happy wishes to you and your family on the move to your house! I CAN’T wait to see its evolution….I missed your posts quite a bit and glad to have you back! I have searched everywhere to watch La Table de Mimi here in the States but we can’t watch it from here. What better way to put my French to use while learning some of your recipes! Hope it finds its way to the States…
    On another note, in my home we use saffron a lot, and here is a trick I learned from my mother-in-law who is Iranian (saffron is one of the main ingredients used in Persian cooking and it grows/is cultivated there).
    Anyway…with the dried threads (about a tsp) you crush with a mortar and pestle until in very small pieces. Then add about 2 tbsp. boiling water. Let steep for about 10 minutes or so. The color will be very deep. You may add the saffron water to recipes, on basmati rice, in soups, etc The water is infused with saffron and tastes much stronger (and you will use less) than the actual threads. And it gives a magnificent color to food!
    best to all…

    1. Thank you for such a wonderful tip! I am such a fan of Persian cuisine – whenever I have free time, I enjoy exploring Persian cuisine recipes. All those spices! Wishing you a fantastic new year! Mimi x ps: Sorry to hear you can’t get ‘La table de Mimi’ – I believe they are starting to distribute them in many territories… but stay tuned, I have exciting news coming your way very soon! xx

  64. This post just made me very happy. I hope the new home is being filled with wonderful warm memories, along with the inevitable tough ones too. I have been thinking of France, and especially its immigrant families who may be unfairly affected by recent events, and sending my hope and love.

  65. Mimi,

    What a wonderful post. Your writing and recipes are inspiring and your husband’s photos are an eye feast.
    Reading your blog is such a delight thank you for sharing your home and dreams with us…

  66. Thank you so very much for the beauty of your words and of Oddur’s photography, they were a much-needed comfort, one as soothing as the lovely orange and ginger soup will be when I make it this afternoon…

  67. Thank you, Mimi! For your words and sharing your heart. I completely agree. In these times we live in the table is so crucial. Here we find belonging, here we share life, here we become better people.

  68. You can not underestimate kindness, and making a meal or sharing a meal with someone. I will bring a small roast with all the trimmings to someone after they have been ill or given birth, and I am always amazed by the response of, “It was so wonderful to have a Meal, it just felt so good, and comforting.” That is how I would describe your blog and recipes, they just feel so good. Congratulations on your new book, very exciting. Such a lovely post.

  69. Bonjour Mimi
    All the best for the new year to you and your lovely family. What an adorable post and the photos are just fabulous congrats to your husband. The house looks lovely and I can see why you love it so much it has warmth etc. especially the kitchen I love it. sorry I am not anywhere near Europe to come visit I will have to be satisfied with the pictures. I know its a big favour, I am missing some notes under the pictures. Love your recipes. I have tried two from your cookbook via my friend Proud Italian.

    1. Hi June,

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. You are so right, I have been thinking that I should write more captions… so I will make an effort next post! Mimi x

  70. Querida Mimi, me alegré mucho cuando ví el nuevo post, tan sincero y auténtico. Me han encantado las fotografias de tus hijos y de los detalles de la nueva casa. Es todo tan hermoso…. Felicidades por el nuevo libro y las publicaciones en ELLE . He estado cocinando algunas de tus recetas, el soufle de alcachofas, el beef welington, el pastel de chocolate y crema de castañas, los gofres, la crema de calabaza, y algunas otras, todas són extraordinarias. Tus publicaciones son un soplo de aire fresco. Feliz año .Rosa

    1. Querida Mimi, he cocinado las tres recetas, y todas son muy buenas, la sopa de zanahorias gana en sabor, de un dia para otro , el pollo lo acompañé con cus-cus, la salsa estaba increible, me encantó, y el soflé tenía un intenso sabor a limón y azafrán. Quedan anotadas en mi cuaderno de recetas preferidas.Hasta muy pronto Mimi.

  71. I was so happy to see your post but I couldn’t seem to get a comment written without having my thoughts taken over by the atrocities taking place in our world. It started close to home for me with the Boston Marathon bombing – now we’re talking about Paris. I said to my husband, Matthew, oh well, there goes my trip to cook with Mimi. But thoughts of despair like that don’t even occur to Matt. Your Christmas story – I should say “tale”, you’re such a good story teller – well, that was so much fun to read. It’s all fun to read, but the table coming back to live in the house – that’s something else ! If you & Oddur ever wish you hadn’t compromised on the red paint, here’s a thought – in New Mexico the terra-cotta earth is often pink rather than sienna. It’s a natural, dusty, earth pink. You might want to file that thought on your back burner. My saffron threads are going to get used up for more than a fish soup thanks to your beautiful & inspiring recipes. Thank you, Mimi !

    1. Hi Linny,

      Time has passed since the recent events… it seems that some of the fear has faded away, yet we all feel a little unsure at times. I think it is best to continue with our lives with the hope that things will get better, safer, wiser! I can’t wait to see you here in Medoc! Mimi x

  72. I can’t express how beautiful this post is, Mimi (and how wonderful you are)! It’s true that it’s hard to even imagine writing a post during such hard times, but the best thing we CAN do is enjoy the big AND LITTLE things while we have them. I love how you put it, that life does go on and things need to get done but at the same time we don’t have to be calloused and uncaring about it. There’s not much we can do but enjoy our blessings and be proactive in prayer for the world and the people/events around us! I think if we all did that more this world wouldn’t be so crazy, you know? Beautiful post and omgness! I really wanna make that souffle!!!!!! Definitely pinning it <333

    1. Oh Ellie – you are wonderful! Yes, I do agree, we all have to be positive, stay strong and keep on living our lives, feel free and enjoy the company of our loved ones! I hope you enjoyed the soufflé. Mimi x

  73. Happy to see another post! I sit with your cookbook when planning my meals and it brings me so much inspiration! I greatly appreciate all the motherhood advice you’ve given me as well. This post brought another question to mind; what time does your family usually have dinner? It seems to be late from your posts.I know you have little ones around the same age as mine ( 2 years & 5 months) and they seem to always get cranky by 6pm, making dinner time rather stressful. Do you do anything special to prevent the craziness? Thank you!

    1. Bonsoir Amanda,
      How are your babies? Doesn’t time fly? To answer your question, dinner time depends on the day. During school nights, we usually have dinner at 7:30- 8pm, and on week-end, we’re flexible. We always have a dinner apéritif, which consists of sliced saucisson sec (dried cured sausage), pickles, olives – that’s the secret to prevent kiddie hunger madness! Mimi x

  74. Dear Mimi,
    again a wonderful post. I would like to ask whether your book is to but in German Language?! I would give this Book to My friend.
    xoxo Heidrun

  75. Glad to see you back. We’ve missed you, but fully understand the extenuating circumstances, both national and personal. Looking forward to the unfolding story of your life in the new house. x0 N2

  76. Mimi, your passion for this new house is invigorating. Though we haven’t found our dream house yet I am bursting with excitement for that day.
    The soufflé sounds amazing!

  77. Oh Mimi, you have such a unique ability to share you passion for all that you hold dear. Your enthusiasm is infectious, and you allow us, the readers, to live in the beauty and happiness you experience. Thank you for your spirit that you are so generous in sharing!!!

    1. It’s a pleasure dear Olga! I am so happy to hear you are enjoying our little house adventures. It didn’t take too long to feel at home, there’s such a good vibe in this house. I feel so serene and complete living here. I can’t wait to share more. I’ll be preparing some exciting projects in the very near future to share with you! Stay tuned, Mimi x

  78. Made the carrot soup tonight. Lovely recipe. Simple, yet wonderfully flavored. Looking forward to having it again for lunch tomorrow. Merci!

  79. This table story is so incredible. I love it when things like this happen!

    PS. I recently bought your book. When it arrived, I sat and read it front to back (with a glass or two of wine) and now I can’t wait to start cooking my way through it. Your life is truly my dream! All the best. Kim x

    1. Kim, thank you! And I loved the part where you sat and had a few glasses of wine – that’s the way! 🙂 I hope you enjoyed a few good meals. Last week, I had a lot of lunch guests and cooked the same menu 3 times in a row – parmesan soup, duck confit parmentier and chocolate meringues (some with fruit) – all from my cookbook. Always a crowd pleaser. Wishing you lots of good meals! Mimix

  80. I found the Gironde estuary on the map, (pg 261) Culinaria FRANCE but I am not sure if you are the tiny rivulet that runs perpendicular, (E-W) to the estuary, or the actual estuary that runs N-S along Haut-Medoc? Such a lovely region! Abundant blessings Mimi!

  81. Hi Mimi!

    I enjoy your writing and I love the photos! I have gotten your book in the US and I absolutely adore it.. I always wonder how you keep so lean and fit with all those delicious food you make!! I know your blog is on food, family and love – could you talk about how you keep fit though? So jealous!!


    1. Bonsoir Kim! Keeping fit? I am constantly running around after the kids and have a huge appetite… I think the best tip is no snacking between meals. And if I feel like something sweet, it’s pure black chocolate (actually, I like the Lindt baking chocolate 70% cocoa). I recently bought the ‘Ballet Beautiful’ DVD, a very good excuse to dress like a ballerina and stretch – but I have to admit, it’s so hard to go into a DVD/living room exercise routine. So I stick to my favorite sport – running twice a week. All best, Mimi x

      1. Thank you for your reply, Mimi! I appreciate that you always reply to comments 🙂
        I love chocolates and all desserts! I enjoy a good run outside when the weather is nice. It’s so hard to keep up the workout routine in winter months for me. I will probably try some at home exercise routine as you mentioned!

  82. je vous souhaites une bonne année 2015 a toutes votre belle famille et surtout le bonheur, le rire,la joie car il ne faut pas que ces personnes nous enlève cela car ils auront gagnés .
    je vais faire le poulet au citron et merci pour votre blog car mon coeur est en peine car fidèle lectrice de charlie le manque est terrible merci

  83. i and the public know what all schoolchildren learn
    those to whom evil is done do evil in return
    w.h. auden

    fetching neighborhood recountings on the horizon
    best new years to you

    1. Thanks so much! Thanks to Oddur perseverance, we managed to move in just in time for Christmas! A few weeks have passed, and I am finally feeling like we are in our ‘home sweet home’! There’s a great vibe here – a mixture of excitement and warmth. It’s perfect! Mimi x

  84. A friend and I made the carrot & ginger soup for dinner this evening and it was quite the success! The heat generated by the fresh ginger most certainly warmed up a chilly Northern California evening. We both agreed that we will be making it again, thank you!

    1. Thanks Rachel – always happy to hear a good cooking review! Ginger is so powerful – one of my favorite ingredients. I have it everyday in hot water with a teaspoon of honey. Al best, Mimi x

  85. Another book! How exciting! I finally received my print from pre-ordering your book just last week, the meringue one, and I love it! Congratulations on moving into your new home. Can’t wait to see what this new year brings us!

    1. So happy you received the prints! I was a bit upset it got so delayed, but then better late than never! Always loved that chocolate meringue photo, hope you enjoy it too. I am so thrilled to be starting my second book, it’s our new adventure, there’s so much love, passion, friendships… Can’t wait to share more. Mimi x

  86. I understand your feelings on the matter – and I also believe in taking time to “breathe in” with life (and what/where it is currently taking you) as well as taking time to “breathe out” (with the events unfolding). also know that your blogsite holds a special delivery of joy for me when I find a new post = it provides joy in a day/time when I find I need it most; or even on days that are wonderful it adds another ray of warmth to it (plus inspiration!). thank you for all you do and congrats on the new book! blessed-be

  87. Mimi: I made the lemon soufflés last night and they were a complete success. This afternoon I made the galette perougienne from AKIF for the third time; we adore that recipe. This time I put very thin slices of apple on the crust before the final butter and sugar and the result was GOOD. We are planning to visit the Medoc in September and DEVOUTLY hope we can dine at your restaurart We’re considering staying at the nearby Relais & Chateau–can’t remember the name but it has a 2-star Michelin restaurant I know you’re busier than a one-armed paper hanger with an itch, as my grandfather used to say, but if you have a moment to comment on these travel plans I’d be hugely grateful. xxx

  88. I just recently found your blog and have been enjoying it. Although I am not a food expert, it’s like a dreamland for me. Everything is so beautiful!

    I also wanted to say that I have benefited from studying the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses, who believe that the earth will one day be a paradise. It gives me comfort when so many sad things occur today, that we have hope for the future. If you ever have any questions, feel free to ask them or even visit their website. I wish you peace!

  89. Love your Blog Mimi! The lovely way you share your life, your food and your precious heart. I am making your Carrot and ginger soup today. I had a full house this Christmas with five Kids and four Grandkids and the joy of everyone around the table warmed my heart. So glad you got to celebrate in your fab new home. Love Mary

  90. Mimi that lemon saffron souffle was heaven! However, mine deflated as soon as I removed it from the oven, and within fifteen minutes it was only 1/3 of the original size. Is this normal?? I was so sad, but it still tasted fantastic!

  91. This is stunningly beautiful and inspiring. The shots with the older children holding the baby are so lovely. Thank you for sharing your corner of the world. Happy New Year and Peace! With love, Alison

  92. Dear Mimi,
    I have been following your blog for a year or so. It is such a delight!
    I bought your cook book last week and I am so pleased. Tonight I made your roast chicken with the herbs and creme fresh and the carmelized turnips (from my fall harvest here in Connecticut). The dinner was formidable! I am looking forward to trying all the recipes.
    Thank you,

  93. I recently came across your lovely blog and then promptly lost in a computer crash. Luckily I stumbled across it again yesterday. I was inspired to make your your lemon chicken with saffron for dinner this evening. It was delicious and a huge hit with our boys, who are now very interested in saffron and eager to try the lemon saffron souffle.

    Best of luck settling in to your new home. It sounds like it was meant to be!

  94. It is a beautiful thing to live in a house that is constantly evolving- it lives and breathes by itself! I can totally imagine the happy chaos of the Christmas eve. We moved to France four years ago and were left waiting for things to arrive from Ireland for a loooong time. We had no Christmas decorations and I have happy memories of adorning our tree with aluminium foil and painted camembert boxes!

  95. I am very excited that you’ve decided to write another cookbook. I was wondering, because you have had such an interesting life and have a way with words – would you ever think about writing a memoir (with a main focus on cooking of course!)?

    Alli x

  96. Hi Mimi,
    my name is Rita and I live in Austria. I am constantly reading your blog and admire your most beautiful home. Please allow me a question: Where did you get these oriental looking earrings on the picture where you stand in your kitchen an peel an orange? They are so gorgeous. I am looking forward to reading your answer. Thank you!

  97. mimi. approx what size ramekins do you recommend for the souffle? i made them last weekend and apparently used the wrong size. they did look great but tasted fantastic as did the chicken. i did not read all the posts. as such, my apologies if this question was addessed previously. best. errol

  98. Hi Mimi, I read your blog constantly and it is such a pleasure for me seeing your beautiful pictures. Please allow me one question: Where did you get those gorgeous oriental looking earrings, which you wear on the picture with the tangerines (you peel one of the tangerines). The earrings look really great!

    1. Bonjour Rita, Thanks for all the lovely words. 🙂 I got those earrings in a little store in Bordeaux (sorry I don’t have the name, but it’s like a little brocantes store), just off rue du Pas st Georges. Mimi x

  99. This is a beautiful story, Mimi.

    I’m always impressed with how you’re able to capture emotion and put me right in the scene itself with just your words. Of course, I love the three half-and-half photos stacked at the top of the post too, but your words are what does it for me. Thank you for providing such great reading for a Saturday morning! 🙂

    Jordan of

  100. I was also feeling horrible after the Paris attacks. I spent few weeks thinking of the horrors that the world is about to witness and to think of the future of my children. It was pretty hard because we were in the middle of a move and this made the process even harder. Thanks for sharing this lovely post! The photographs are really filled with emotions! Your new house is wonderful! I wish all the best!

    1. Hi Mary, Just click on the “follow” button in the bottom right corner of my blog, that way you get an email every time I post … which isn’t that often 🙂 Mimi x

  101. I happened upon your cookbook by chance at a local bookstore. The photos and recipes captivated me immediately and I found myself thumbing through for some time! I had to buy it of course! I’m inspired by every aspect – the food, the stories, the photos, France, and family. Keep it coming! You have a new fan in New Jersey. 🙂

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