Synopses & Reviews
When most people think of French food, they anticipate complicated to make, hard-to-find ingredients or too fancy. In French Food at Home, Laura Calder shows that great French food doesn't have to be any of that. The French cooking of everyday life is lighthearted, accessible, and suited to modern tastes. It's about creating a meal using easy-to-find local ingredients. And, above all, it's about slowing down and savoring the pleasures of good food, wherever you live.
Whether it's getting weeknight dinners on the table fairly fast (Basil Beef, Pickle Chops, or Carrot Juice Chicken) or leisurely cooking for dining at a slightly slower pace (Lamb Tagine, Holiday Hen, or Fennel Bass), Laura Calder shares recipes that she's created at home in her own French kitchen. Balance these with just the right side dishes (Olive Potatoes, Buttery Two Tomatoes, or Endives with Honey and Golden Raisins). And, for a special meal, bookend main dishes with a first course (Orange Asparagus, Toast Soup, or Beet Stacks) and a dessert (Nutty Figs, Fireplace Camembert, or Coffee Pots).
You'll enjoy reading French Food at Home as much as cooking from it. About her Camembert Salmon, Laura writes, You're thinking, 'Ugh, she's got to be kidding.' But this is no mental lapse; just because it's strange to the ear doesn't mean it will be to the tongue. Or, for the Lemon Tart of My Dreams: There are more recipes for lemon tart out there than you can shake a stick at. Some have candied lemon slices afloat on top like so many shipwrecked unicycles; others, for reasons I cannot divine, are hell-bent on involving ground almonds ... But all I want in a lemon tart is the plainest possible thing: flat, smooth, and puckering with intense lemon flavor.
From apé ritifs to desserts, Laura offers recipes ranging from easy to those that need just a little extra effort. From dishes that are ready in minutes to those slow and savory, from traditional to contemporary, French Food at Home lets you bring French food to your home.
"Best Everyday French Cookbook" -- T. Susan Chang and#160; From Wine Enthusiast magazine: and#160; For those who struggle to find enough time to craft an inspired dinnertime meal without slaving for hours, this simple and delicious approach to French home cooking allows even the busiest people to taste joie de vivre. and#160; From Wine Access magazine: and#160; Truly easy and truly delicious recipes, all inspired by Moranvilleand#8217;s love for all things French. Moranville may be American, but she has lived and travelled extensively in France and#8212; and along the way, sheand#8217;s picked up plenty of great stories and recipes about one of her favourite places. and#160; From The Chicago Tribune: and#160; The Bonne Femme Cookbook delivers a message that good, fresh, vividly flavored French cooking is possible wherever you live. -- from Bill Daley's book review and#160; From Publishers Weekly: and#160; This book is an enjoyable read. Each recipe comes with an inviting introduction and some brief anecdote or tip to get you excited about making the dish your own and living a small piece of la belle France. and#160; From The Des Moines Register: and#160; This new cookbook by Wini Moranville, who reviews restaurants for The Des Moines Register, is getting thumbs-up reviews for breathing affability into classic French recipes that traditionally can seem snobby and stand-offish. At last, hereand#8217;s a book about French cooking that doesnand#8217;t require a culinary arts degree or frequent visits to Paris or Provence for ingredients. and#160; From The Dallas Morning News: and#160; Sure, there are classics -- like gougand#232;res, cand#233;leri rand#233;moulade and boeuf bourguinon, but Moranville often brings really smart ideas to them. For instance, she solves the sticky problem of tough meat in the boeuf bourguignon by using boneless short ribs. Of course! Why didn't I think of that? And along with a traditional choucroute garni -- a dish that takes hours to prepare -- there's a "choucroute garni Mardi soir" -- a relatively quick, very easy version. and#160; Are we hungry yet? -- from restaurant critic Leslie Brenner and#160; From Shelf Awareness: and#160; [Wini] marries her love of French cuisine with innovation and practicality, appealing to busy home cooks and would-be foodies who canand#8217;t spend all day at the stove. While not all the recipes are quick or light, they all bring the flavors of France to the American kitchenand#8211;with fewer calories, fewer dirty dishes and a lot less prep time. and#160; From Relish: and#160; Many Americans see French cuisine as something the French were born to masterand#8212;and we were destined to fail at. But Wini Moranville, wine expert and author of The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food The French Women Cook Every Day, believes that Americans neednand#8217;t fear the French kitchen. They just need to learn the bonne femme ("good wife") style. and#160; From St. Paul Pioneer Press: and#160; This book is long on charm and short on complicated recipes. Wini Moranville, restaurant reviewer for the Des Moines Register, dispels the notion that French women come home at night and cook elaborate meals with a pound of butter. Even for the French, it's about fresh, healthy and fast. They use boneless, skinless chicken breasts; make a pan sauce for almost any dish; stock their pantries with olives, capers, lemon and Dijon mustard; and partake in the everyday pleasure of eating cheese. Moranville's good writing and anecdotes (such as ordering an aperitif is the secret password to getting a good meal at a restaurant) are an added bonus. -- from Kathie Jenkins, Pioneer Press restaurant critic and#160; and#160;
Written in a breezy, thoroughly engaging style, "French Food at Home" focuses on the simplicity, familiarity of ingredients, and ease of technique that make French cuisine unique. Calder shows how cooking a la Francaise is both practical and easy.
The French cooking of everyday life is lighthearted, accessible, and suited to modern tastes. Whether it's getting weeknight dinners on the table fairly fast (Basil Beef, Rhubarb Chops, or Carrot Juice Chicken) or leisurely cooking for dining at a slightly slower pace (Lamb Tagine, Holiday Hen, or Fennel Bass), Laura Calder shares recipes she's created at home in her own French kitchen.
Simple, Splendid Food that French Women Cook Every Day; 250 recipes that focus on simple, fresh ingredients prepared well
Here is authentic French cooking without fuss or fear. When we think of French cooking, we might picture a fine restaurant with a small army of chefs hovering over sauces for hours at a stretch, crafting elegant dishes with special utensils, hard-to-find ingredients, and architectural skill. But this kind of cooking bears little relationship to the way that real French families eat-yet they eat very well indeed. Now that the typical French woman (the bonne femme of the title) works outside the home like her American counterpart, the emphasis is on easy techniques, simple food, and speedy preparation, all done without sacrificing taste. In a voice that is at once grounded in the wisdom of classical French cooking, yet playful and lighthearted when it comes to the potential for relaxing and enjoying our everyday lives in the kitchen, Moranville offers 300 recipes that focus on simple, fresh ingredients prepared well. The Bonne Femme Cookbook is full of tips and tricks and shortcuts, lots of local color and insight into real French home kitchens, and above all, loads of really good food. It gives French cooking an accessible, friendly, and casual spin.
About the Author
Wini Moranville grew up in Des Moines, Iowa, and attended the University of Iowa, graduating with a B.A. in French and English. She subsequently moved to New York City, where she worked for Sociand#233;tand#233; Gand#233;nand#233;rale (a French bank), Elle magazine, and Oxford University Press. She was later transferred to the Oxford, U.K., branch of this publisher, where she worked as a publicity manager. She obtained her M.A. in English from Iowa State University in 1993; in 1994, she began her present career as a food and wine writer/editor. Her food stories have appeared in lifestyle magazines including Better Homes and Gardens, Country Home, Simply Perfect Italian, Holiday Appetizers, Holiday Celebrations, Holiday Menus, Creative Home, Indulge magazine (a luxury lifestyle magazine in Fort Worth, Texas), and DSM (a luxury lifestyle magazine in Des Moines). She has also served as a writer and editor for numerous cookbooks under the Better Homes and Gardens imprint, including the past three editions of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. Since 1997, she has also written over 500 restaurant reviews for The Des Moines Register. In addition to the dining column, she writes occasional pieces about wine, food, and travel for this newspaper. In recent years, Moranville has added wine and culinary and wine travel to the topics that she covers regularly. She currently writes a monthly wine column for Relish magazine, a food magazine launched in February 2006, with a circulation of over 15 million, distributed through daily newspapers nationwide. Moranville is a member of the James Beard Foundation, and has served as a Restaurant Awards panelist since 2005.