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A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse Hardcover – October 28, 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 193 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Review

“A Kitchen in France…encourages us to cook together and share good food and wine with people we love.”
--The Wall Street Journal
 
“This highly personal and friendly book encourages readers to really appreciate ingredients, and time spent in the kitchen and at the table.”
--Cherry Bombe

“Equally enthralling as her recipes is Thorisson’s seemingly effortless conjuring of a rustic dream life, often exquisitely illustrated by her husband’s photography…”
—Vogue

“If you’ve ever read Mimi Thorisson’s blog, Manger, you know what it is to envy her life, full of long walks through the French countryside with her children and seeming endless brigade of dogs, which end at home with bushels full of produce that she effortlessly turns into feasts, all cassoulets and tarts and roasts and good wine to wash it all down. But if you’re going to buy one aspirational cookbook this fall, it’s Mimi’s—because you’ll actually take on many of her recipes, and absorb a bit of her style of entertaining in the process.”
—Food52.com

“Mimi Thorisson’s picture-perfect life would almost be too idyllic to bear if she weren’t so generous: This lovely home cook willingly shares culinary secrets in her popular blog of two and a half years, Manger, along with a host of classic French recipes in a brand-new cookbook, A Kitchen in France. She leads her life with enviable style, from mothering seven children and wrangling the family’s 14 dogs to elegantly serving up a cognac-infused coq au vin.”
—InStyle

"You'll want to live in Mimi Thorisson's A Kitchen In France. The beautifully shot book includes decadent dishes such as butternut squash gratin and crepes with salted-butter caramel."
—Self
 
“In this warm and inviting collection, Thorisson…brings readers into her farmhouse in Médoc… [W]hile the appeal of this collection rests firmly on its recipes, the incredible photographs capture life in the French countryside. Sidebars on everything from dried grapevines and wine to garlic and visits to the butcher add little details that transport the reader to this bucolic, idyllic world where Thorisson is the perfect host.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
 
“No slave to received wisdom, Thorisson has tinkered with [Médoc’s] outstanding seasonal meats, vegetables, and fruits to generate a very personal sort of cuisine, which she now shares with her devotees.”
—Booklist

"This is real food: delicious, honest recipes that celebrate the beauty of picking what is ripe and in season, and capture the essence of life in rural France."
—Alice Waters

“Mimi Thorisson’s gorgeous new book, A Kitchen in France, is a charming window into an idyllic life in Médoc. While we can’t all live in a beautiful farmhouse surrounded by lush woods, handsome children, and inquisitive terriers, at least we can now re-create at home our own slice of heaven with Mimi’s delectable cherry clafoutis.”
—April Bloomfield, author of A Girl and Her Pig
 
“Mimi’s book is an enchanting look at French-style country cooking, and it will make you run to the stove to re-create the delicious traditions it celebrates.”
—Clotilde Dusoulier, author of The French Market Cookbook
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1St Edition edition (October 28, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080418559X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804185592
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 1.4 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (193 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first discovered Mimi's blog, Manger, about a year ago when I was searching for a cherry clafoutis recipe. Ever since, I have been a faithful follower and couldn't be more excited when she announced that her book was coming soon. If you're a follower of the blog, you'll see her seasonal, unfussy approach to French home cooking reflected in this book.

At first glance, I was afraid most of the recipes were a little more involved since I had limited experience with French cooking. Having made some dishes from her blog before, I decided to peruse the book a few times before marking recipes that I was ready to take on. So far, I have made these dishes:

crepes with salted butter caramel (simple but delicious, you don't need a crepe pan)
fava bean soup (I'll skip the mint next time)
roast chicken with creme fraiche (amazing, I found that rubbing salt and pepper on the chicken first before rubbing the creme fraiche gave me better result, pair it with roasted potato for a complete meal)
pan-seared chicken breast with spring onions (I wasn't too excited about this one, kind of bland compared to her other chicken dishes)
tomato tart (if you're short on time, use store-bought crust. The crust got a little soggy so make sure to add extra flour at the bottom to absorb liquid from tomato)
mustard roasted poussins (I used chicken thigh. It's becoming one of my favorite chicken recipes.)
butternut gratin (a new recipe for butternut squash, will definitely make this again for Thanksgiving or Christmas)

All of the recipes that I have tried so far are are well written and not too complicated for a home cook like myself.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Eagerly anticipating this book, I poured a glass of wine when it arrived and read it cover to cover. The photographs are gorgeous, Miim and her family and home are gorgeous. I do wonder, however, how many of the 5 star reviews have actually cooked from the book. How can you give a cookbook a 5 star review if you haven't tried a single recipe,? One reviewer claims she loves every recipe in the book--the book was released just last week. I prepared the Onion Tart, the Butternut Squash Gratin and the Roast Chicken with Crème Fraîche and Herbs. I chose these recipes as they seemed most accessible to the home cook. The onion tart was overly sweet and lacked depth of flavor, the chicken was juicy but bland, and the butternut squash also lacked depth and seemed overly sweet. Mimi says to "slice" the garlic and the shallot for the chicken. Hmmm, look at the picture, the garlic and the shallot are chopped. I followed the recipe to the letter and the shallot was overly cooked while the sliced garlic was distributed unevenly. The food reserves two stars at best, the writing is self-absorbed and repetitive, but the stunning photography prompted me to give three stars. This is after all, foremost a cookbook, right?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is truly gorgeous. The combination of how photogenic Mimi Thorisson is, her family, home and the countryside plus the dishes cooked and served on French porcelain with pink roses makes beautiful viewing, page after page. Her husband, Oddur Thorisson is a professional photographer and dog breeder. His eye along with their life together has produced a tome that is more than a cookery book, it is a photographic biography of their lives. Most rare of all is the sincere generosity of her writing, making recipes and their lifestyle accessible.

Many reviews online speak of lifestyle envy as though we could aspire to living like they do. I would suggest instead an admiration for people who are so clearly living their passion and doing it with an entourage of seven offspring and terriers too numerous to count. Can you imagine feeding them all? Well, look through this book and you'll see how this is done -- gracefully, with patience and a lot of pure happiness. That's worth taking a look, in and of itself.

Reading about the family's arrival in the winter a few years ago, especially the disappearance of two puppies and their desperate search to find them illustrates Thorisson's sensibility about whether the move to the Medoc region was meant for them after all. Her writing reveals her approach to the seasons and how the recipes are meaningful to her, e.g., her Aunt Francine's recipe for fava bean soup and her father disappearing to eat Chinese noodles at a restaurant nearby while waiting for their order to arrive. I love savory souffles and tarts myself so am planning to try her recipe for artichoke souffle very soon.

What I have found is that rather than envying the largesse of this family's life in France, this book inspires me to live and cook according to my own passions, right where I am. That's saying a lot for a book that just arrived yesterday.
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Format: Hardcover
I love France. It is right at the top of the list of places I have visited that I can’t wait to go back to. Given that, the idea of a cookbook that would take me on a journey into life in France? Pretty exciting.

The first thing I noticed when I received “A Kitchen in France” was how beautiful the book was. The photographs throughout are extremely well done. They make me want to visit. They make me feel like I’m already there. They make me want to eat this food.

Next, there’s the organization of the book. It’s split into seasons. I kind of love this approach to designing a cookbook. I don’t need to see those wonderful strawberry recipes in October.

Then I dove into the content. The recipe introductions are well-done, at least in terms of making me feel like they are telling author Mimi Thorisson’s story. Unfortunately, unlike say, the amazing Dorie Greenspan, the stories here didn’t feel relatable. It felt like a fantasy world of semi-rustic French life that let’s be honest here, I’m not going to be living unless the lottery comes calling.

Finally, there are the recipes themselves. I so very much wanted the recipes to be the kind that would transport me back to those fantastical French moments. I wanted them to be recipes we could cook at home and introduce our family and friends to the wonders of France. Bottom line? They are not those kind of recipes. Throughout the book, I felt like the recipes were predominantly special occasion fare, or worse, in the “yeah, you’re never making this at home” category.
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