What I’m Reading: The Bonne Femme Cookbook

A couple of months ago, I got it stuck in my head that Eggroll should eat the way French kids eat, meaning only at the table for no more than four sessions a day (breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner), at least a couple of which would include anything that Randy and I were eating. Unobtainable in America I know, but I can pretend, right?

I got so into the idea, I bought a French baby food cookbook. For the most part, it seems similar enough to what I imagine I’d find in it’s American counterparts – lots of steamed and mashed up stuff, but I was impressed with the variety of things they expected kids to eat before two years old. In short – everything. Lychee, white fish, fennel, and beets are all included in recipes.

Bonne Femme CookbookThat’s all well and good, but first I need to make sure I’m eating all those healthy foods, too, right? Eh. Enter in my own French cookbook perfect for novice chefs and aspiring gourmands alike. The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day¬†by Wini Moranville is exactly that. Well, I guess I can’t confirm that this is how French women cook every day, but it is definitely simple and splendid.

The recipes paired well with the clean eating challenge because French people simply don’t use a lot of the crap we do. Sure, butter and good cheeses are listed often in ingrediant lists, but if you take the time to find quality product, I still consider them clean. I’m looking forward to diving into the dessert section once granulated sugar is allowed for more than just my cheat meals.

None of the recipes seem to be as labor intensive as we would expect from a French cookbook. Then again, the author isn’t French. She’s an American who has traveled extensively throughout the country, proving to be knowledgable on the topic and my hero when it comes to careers. How do I get her job?! Or at least her schedule and travel budget??

There is a whole chapter dedicated to “Saute, Deglaze and Serve” – a very easy way to cook almost any protein and create a sauce in one fell swoop. So far, I’ve tried the basic chicken recipe and can picture that paired with many, many sides. From the “Braise, Stew or Roast” chapter, I just made the Normandy Beef Stroganoff that replaces the traditional mushrooms with apple slices. It was good this week, but I can’t wait to do it again with mashed potatoes and a fire come January. It’s perfect winter food! One¬†Bonne Starter Salad finally introduced me to a way I like fennel; paired with a lemony dressing, almonds and creamy cheese over Bibb lettuce. YUM!

The Glazed Carrots are face-palm simple yet delicious. The extra ingredients in this recipe are minimal, so I can give leftovers to Eggroll. Bonus.

Do I even need to tell you how much I liked the Chocolate Cherry Pound Cake?

If you’re looking for a new book to up your basic cooking skills, let me recommend this one. It will make for a great Sunday afternoon’s read AND easy midweek dinners, I promise.


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