Saturday, July 7, 2018

Paris In July: Favorite French Cookbooks

Of course I love to cook! So, of course I love cookbooks, even though I have some I've never used! Still, some of my favorites are French cooking -- and in several cases, not because of the recipes!


Of course there are Julia's books. They should stand alone. The recipes are so well researched that it's difficult to fail (though they may take awhile!). I stand by her Boeuf Bourguignon recipe and that of her French Onion Soup, the latter of which is a winter staple in our household.


Another I cook from often is Clothtilde Dusoulier's "French Market Cookbook."



This one is such a hit! Wonderful fruit and veggie dishes and fabulous desserts. I've tried this one as a moulton cake, chocolate mousse and even made little mini tarts with it. Easy and no-fail.




Of course, some books deliver more than food and I love those, too. I adored Rachel Khoo's "Little Paris Kitchen" TV show. So when I saw "Little French Kitchen" on the sale rack at the book store, I had to have it. (If you aren't familiar with her, check out this article on how she turned her Paris living room into a French restaurant!)


In addition to being a Cordon Bleu trained cook, she is also a delightful artist and one reason why I love this book is because of the recipes and background information.


Each region of France gets its due, with photos and illustrations to help tell its culinary story. You learn loads from this one (and one day, I'll be making something, too!)


Do you recognize this dining room?


It's one of my favorite rooms in all the world, far more than those in grand palaces. It's Monet's dining room at Giverny. And this is his kitchen.


These fabulous photos and well written biographical sections are just one reason why I love "Monet's Table," a yard sale find!


Recipes from Monet's own collection and others of the day have been modified for today's kitchens. I had good luck with their madeleine recipe (although I now have another favorite -- I think the problems I had with this one were my own off-kilter oven temp and timing).


Even if you never cook a single thing with it, the photos and text alone make this one worth having, especially if you are a Monet fan and have warm memories of Giverny.


By now you've figured out I love recipe books with more than recipes because you just can't try everything. But a good text makes it worthwhile, even if it never sees the kitchen. Like this one!


Anne Willan has a resume as long as your spatula handle. For 32 years she founded and taught at Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne in Paris and Burgundy. Her "La France Gastronomique" does much as Rachel Khoo's "Little French Kitchen" does -- provide delicious sounding recipes with beautiful photos and a good look at the various regions of France.


One may never pull off a meringue that looks like this...


...or a salad presented so beautifully.


But with a good French cookbook you can have a lot of fun in the kitchen (and maybe learn something about France too!) Or, as Julia would say...


"Bon appetit!"

Linking to: Paris In July   /    Let's Keep In Touch   /    Share Your Cup   

52 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Hello, the cookbooks look wonderful. Great recipes and beautiful images.
I love trying new recipes. The dining room and tablescape are pretty.
Enjoy your day and weekend!

DUTA said...

Nowadays, cookbooks are not as sought after as in the past. People want to look good, so they tend to make their own recipes, invent their own formula that will suit their body and keep it in shape.

Olka said...

I'm not sure if I like the French kitchen. Maybe I haven't tried the good one ;) Everytime when someone is telling "french food", when I close my eyes I see the frog legs :D
Yes I know that French people are eating a lot of "standard" food, but still I haven't even tried to find any french recipe :D
Your meals look amazing, so maybe I'll finally convince myself to try something like this ;)

Jean R. said...

I don't cook or bake but I really love looking at cookbooks and was thrilled that you introduced me to Monet's Table---one of my favorite painters. I went to Amazon and put it on my Wish List and saw there is also a Renoir's Table book with 60 recipes. Anyway, thoroughly enjoyed this mini trip to Paris.

Joyful said...

Lovely post. I really enjoyed Rachel Khoo's program but I haven't seen her on television in my area for awhile now. I love the photos of Monet's dining table. So beautiful. I have a cookbook of Julia Child's though I've never actually cooked from it, lol. I also loved to watch her on TV and the movie that came out based on her life.

Iris Flavia said...

I didn´t even know Monet did cook, too!
Beautiful book indeed. The Link is at the moment "broken", I hope to remember to come back.
I have to admit, I have some cook books I looked into once or twice but never went to try anything.
Jamie Oliver, though, he made me cook for real (also because I have his DVDs, too, and can see how it´s really properly done). And 70´s cook-books.

Mae Travels said...

Beautiful selection! My Julia Child cookbooks have totally lost their dust jackets from years of hard use! I've collected quite a few artists cookbooks with a combination of art and cuisine, often based on the artist's own recipes -- though not always. I need to get busy and write something for Paris in July!

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

David Gascoigne said...

I make a Boeuf Bourguignon which is excellent and has won acclaim from all who have tasted it. I substitute cipolinni (spelling?) onions for pearl onions whenever I can obtain them. But people sit at my table and eat and who is going to say the meal was not great? It's a tad oxymoronic.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

What a fun collection of French cookbooks. I'm not a cook but I do enjoy the photos!!

Mac n' Janet said...

Though I get most of my recipes off the internet I love to read cookbooks.

Valerie-Jael said...

I think I'm putting on weight just thinking about all of those fantastic recipes. Enjoy your weekend, hugs, Valerie

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jeanie, you had to know I was going to LOVE this post! Well done! Of course, I love Julia and was privileged to chat with her on several occasions. And her Boeuf Bourguignon was the starting point for mine. You didn't mention another of my favorites, Jacques Pepin. Would love to spend a day in the kitchen with him!

Nancy Burns said...

So glad you included La Petite Cuisine à Paris by R. Khoo!
I see some more cookbooks I want to investigate in your list.
I made a few recipes from Julia Child's cookbook....but the onion soup I have yet to make!

Paulita said...

You have included some of my favorite things, Monet's dining room and madeleines. Great sharing of cookbooks and thanks for the reminder about Paris in July.

Sami said...

I have a big collection of cookbooks too, but none of them on French cuisine.
Had no idea Monet cooked...I also like a cookbook with a story.
Enjoy your French cooking Jeanie and have a nice weekend.

William Kendall said...

I wouldn't have known that about Monet.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

What fun to read your take on French cooking and art, too. You have some lovely books, and although I have many, many cookbooks, only one touches on French cuisine (unless you count the James Beard cookbook I have where he travels all over the world to bring the most expensive recipes and unique ingredients you can possibly find). These are lovely and I so enjoyed your review of them, too. Gotta LOVE the Monet "cookbook."

Marie Rayner said...

I have many of the same books! No surprise there I suppose! Wasn’t Julia Child great! I have a book by Ann Willen on cooking things perfectly! It’s great! I do so love cookbooks! Happy weekend and yes, Bon Appetit!! Xo

Sally said...

What a wonderful post. I don’t really like to cook, but I love cookbooks. Go figure. Maybe deep down inside I do want to be a good cook. You inspire as always.

Marilyn Miller said...

I love this post. I have such a weakness for a good cookbook and I could be tempted by Monet's Table and the Little French Kitchen. I have a fascination for the food differences for each region and Little French Kitchen would be fun to learn more. I also absolutely loved visiting Monet's kitchen. It just took my breathe away. Each time I see yellow and blue together now I think of him.

vvb32 reads said...

Yummy post. Monet's dining room is a must see now ;-)

JaneGS said...

I have got to learn more about Rachel Khoo--is her show still on, I wonder. Will search for it, and her cookbook is so appealing. I'm sure I will get Monet's Table when I visit Giverny in August--if not for me, then for my sister, who will lend it to me :)

Another lovely post about France.

David Gascoigne said...

You had a blog post recently wherein there was a discussion of what people eat and whether cooking is going the way of the Dodo. Does it not stagger you the number of comments above where people say they don’t like to cook, or simply don’t cook? Many say they like to look at cookbooks - but don’t cook. This is like reading Alfred Kinsey and not having sex!

Magnolia Darjeeling said...

My cookbook list just got bigger. :) I love My Little Paris Kitchen probably because I adored the show. Monet’s table looks amazing and will definitely be looking for that one.

Brona Joy said...

I've tried Julia's BB a couple of times & last year I tried a French Onion soup. They were fine but I didn't rave about them - perhaps my palate is not tuned to French cooking?

I've only ever flicked through my Rachel Khoo book - I didn't realise that it had all the extra info about regions and courses. If I ever shake this awful winter cold, I may be tempted to try something out of after all.

Thanks for nudging me in the right direction:-)

shoreacres said...

I was surprised to read about Monet and his kitchen. That's a book I would enjoy, I think. Most of the French cooking I've bumped up against seems just not worth the time, effort, or money. But those meringues? I'd love to be able to make those -- if only we didn't have such humidity!

While at Crystal Bridges, I took the opportunity to tour the Frank Lloyd Wright house that was moved there, piece by piece, and reconstructed. When I saw the kitchen, all I could think was, "This was a man whose understanding of cooking is far different from mine." He like to call kitchens "laboratories," and his kitchen reminded me of my high school science lab. It was a far cry from Monet's kitchen!

Jacqueline Brown said...

Some of my favourite cookbooks there, but some I now need to find too! Thank you.

The French Hutch said...

Hello Jeanie, sorry I’m late to this fabulous post but we were spending the Fourth in Atlanta. I love Julia and her recipes. The Beef Borurguignon is a favorite here and I’ve enjoyed reading about Julia’s life in France. I do recognize the kitchen. It’s as beautiful in person as the photo and I will never forget my visit there. I have Monet’s book too and pull it out from time to time to enjoy. Great way to celebrate “Paris in July” and reminds me to get busy with my own French celebration. Loved this.......

La Table De Nana said...

I think you know I love to bake and cook:) Familiar books for sure:) Love seeing photos in books..I find I buy less and less though ..more as gifts now.No room..and I find such inspiration all over the web..tried and trues..although yesterday.. Dorie's book..Baking from My Home to Yours was the basis for my tart.Her sweet crust and her pastry cream..the base of my tart..she's no fail and winner winner.I find some cookbooks bland..some over the top and some too basic.
If I have followed a baker on the web and made some of their recipes and they are good.I may buy the book.
I have Marie on my Kindle lol..Dorie too..David L..
etc..not crazy about cookbooks on my Kindle..but Marie's was only available on Kindle at the beginning in Canada.I do have the volume now too.
The French..are masters at patisserie..I watch a show w/ Jacques:"Qui sera le prochain grand patissier"..It makes our cdn cooking shows ..seem very ordinary..These pastry chefs are STARS.
Immense talent.

Fun post Jeanie!

AnnMarie aka Vintage Junkie aka NaNa said...

I have a ton of different cookbooks but not one French one! I think I am too scared to try to cook French plus there is that reputation that everything is so high fat! I might have to change my mind about it after this lovely post!

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

What wonderful photos of my ultimate downfall: food! LOL
I have to say, that photo of Monet's dining room must have been taken during a visit by the airbrushes of Disney. Whenever I've been there (three times), it did not look anywhere near that pristine, orderly, well-kempt or brilliantly gleaming! LOL I have always found his home to be far more humble and 'farmhouse-y' than photos of it in glossy books tend to exhibit!

I just found your post on my tall tags post - thank you for visiting! I hate blog.com's new policy of not sending notifications when comments are posted. Grrr. LOL

Enjoy the (small) break in the heat wave we're having. I hear it's going to get back to summer this coming week. Aargh!

Arti said...

I never knew cookbooks can be so beautiful! Love all your pics here. And the madeleines of course.

Jackie Mc Guinness said...

Thanks for all your comments. Great to meet you too! We are kindred spirits in more ways, I don't cycle wither, would rather take a plane anyday.
Do you do digital scrapbooking? I got the feeling you do.
Also love to cook, but we are now gluten-free a husband was diagnosed with celiac a few years ago.
He never knows what's for dinner as I experiment.

thepaintedapron.com said...

What beautiful cookbooks Jeanie!! I love the Monet's Table one especially, what a treasure trove! I also love hand illustrated cookbooks like the one by Rachel Khoo...such a beautiful collection, very inspiring for cooking!
Jenna

Bella said...

Monet's dining room is fabulous. I love the color combination. It's as if sky and sunshine came to live there.

I've never tried Julia's French Onion Soup, but I will have to remedy that situation.

Sandra Cox said...

Oh that picture of French Onion Soup is making me hungry. I've got to go fix lunch:)

Lisbeth said...

Fantastic cook books. Love Monet’s kitchen. I am preparing for a French dinner. Anu suggestions? Not too complicated.

Lynne said...

Wonderful collection Jeanie . . .
Loved the Monet’s Table book find . . .
Great Bon Appetit post . . .

Louise said...

I love cookbooks too- perhaps a little too much. I do have too many of them... But oh, the delight of a home made madeleine still warm from the oven! Extraordinary- even out of my very wonky oven which is in dire need of replacement. I think I'm going to run out of time this July, but it's a great idea to look at favourite French cookbooks.

Pamela said...

Thanks for the cookbook tour! I don't like to cook and have no cookbooks, but I have to say these all look interesting.

Angela said...

Thanks for all the French cookbook recommendations. I've recently begun raiding my local library to find French cookbooks so that I can expand my recipe collection. Your list of suggestions will come in very handy when I reserve my next set of cookbooks!

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

I agree with you about cookbooks that have a story as well as recipes, they are my favorites.

Red Rose Alley said...

Oh my, that French onion soup looks delicious. And the meringues, YUMMY!

~Sheri

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Wonderful post. I'm a cookbook-crazy person, too. How wonderful for you to find the Monet book at a yard sale! Wow.

I hope to read and cook from some French cookbooks this month.

Barbara Chapman said...

Hello Jeanie! Okay, now I'm really starving {it's 1:25 and I had to finish writing my French post, A Little Bit of Paris Aujourd'hui before eating lunch} but I'm really happy I looked at your cookbook post! Now I have a few more books to look for... Ha! Like I have any more room for them here in our Prairie home... ;)

Thanks for a wonderful write-up,
Hugs,
Barb :)

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I have the first Julia cookbook but have not made anything from it! Well, we have made a few things from it for Julia Child night but I haven’t made anything on my own. I will have to make that a goal for this fall or winter! Besides that I have a cook book that my aunt gave me for my 30th bday but I can not remember the name of it! Something like around my French table? We made a shredded carrot salad from it for one of the julia child nights which was so good.

Monica's Bookish Life said...

Love your photos! I enjoyed the Rachel Khoo cooking show, and her cookbook looks like something I'll be on the lookout for.

Barbara Chapman said...

Such wonderful books! I'm not sure if I already commented but I did want to say I thoroughly enjoyed your Paris and French book contributions.

Thanks for some new book reading ideas,
Barb :)

Molly said...

I DO recognize Monet's dining room :) Giverny is the topic of my Paris in July post this week.
I appreciate all these cookbook recommendations. I want to prepare an authentic French meal and pair with Burgandy wines for our family vacation at the lake. My Little French Kitchen sounds like the perfect book for me to check out. Thank you!

My name is Erika. said...

I have so many cookbooks too. I love reading them as well as cooking from them. I was quite excit d when last fall I was cleaning my attic and found 4 boxes of older cookbooks I had put up there like back in the 90s. There was a couple of Julia child’s and Louise bertholdes (I hope I spelled that somewhat correctly). I enjoy d your post today and all those cool French cookbooks you shared. NOw which ones do t I own ? Hugs erika

Jann Olson said...

I love cookbooks too! Can you believe I don't have a single French one? I have a friend that makes the most wonderful macaroons. I'd love to learn how. :) Thanks for sharing with SYC.
hugs,
Jann

Tammy Chrzan said...

These cookbooks look divine! I've never really done any French cooking, but you have inspired me to want to!
Tammy x

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