Posts tagged: french
January 20, 2012

French Friday Giveaway: The Bonne Femme Cookbook

As soon as I read the subtitle I knew it was for us: Simple, Splendid Food that French Women Cook Every Day. Yes, please! This is a cookbook that eschews grand to-dos and difficult preparations in favor of bringing the special into the everyday, or as author Wini Moranville puts it, ce soir. Cassoulet is made approachable and ingredients lists become procurable, all while still staying true to the soul of French cooking (no cans of this or that here). There’s a spirit in this book that I found infectious and inspiring. Go ahead, add a flourish to a simple pork chop (it takes an extra minute or two), make do with what you have (use the maple syrup instead of honey, if that’s what’s on hand), and open the front door to your friends, even if all you offer is a glass of wine and a hunk of cheese. And that, perhaps, was my favorite moment of the book: when a wise cookbook author reminds us we don’t always have to cook. “If the task of cooking up something for a simple drink is going to keep you from inviting someone over,” she advises, “then don’t cook––but pick up the phone anyway.” Leave a comment by midnight EST, Sunday, January 22 to win a copy. One Pink of Perfection reader will be chosen at random. Bonne chance!

Update 1/23: Congrats to the lucky, Sara! And thanks to all for entering!

November 18, 2011

French Friday: Laughing Elephant Vintage Notebooks

On this very happy Friday, I thought I’d share with you a recently-discovered pretty. I found these vintage-y Frenchified notebooks in a quirky little notions shop in midtown. But in addition to the gorgeous covers, I think what I like most about them is how slim they are. The pressure is off to live big and record a lot; there are only a few pages to scribble down some thoughts about your life today. I like that, if partly because it feels less like you’re toting along the diary of your innermost feelings, and more like you’re just some smart lady who has so many good ideas for her next novel or poem or custom dress design with a peplum, she’s just got to jot them down before she flies off to a hot date at a cozy wine bar. Right?!

And so happy Friday to all of you! My new end of the week ritual is to walk down to the coffee shop in the sunshine and chat with the radiantly charming barista. Then I walk back home with my extremely caffeinated beverage and use her music choice of the day to seed a Pandora station. Last week it was Aretha, and today––bless her––it’s Stevie Wonder.

Do you have any awesome let’s-get-this-weekend-started-right rituals? Happy weekend, all!

April 29, 2011

French Friday: Kid Stuff

I think old stuff is charming––the junkier, the better. This makes it very hard for me to cover ground on road trips because every giant billboard on a lonely stretch of country road for flea markets and antique malls makes me want to pull off at the next exit and dig through dusty, musty piles.

This is how I found a Girl Scout Handbook with awesome illustrations from the ’30s, my beloved turquoise typewriter, and the little lidded alpine dish that I pull my Splenda out of every morning. This is my favorite way to shop but sometimes, in a pinch, Etsy will do.

Vintage baby stuff is dear, and old French things, as we know, can have an irresistible sort of charm. Put them together and we’re talking, whoa: a match made in heaven.

Another thing about little vintage knickknacks here and there: when you’re largely shopping at places like IKEA for furniture and big ticket items, a little vintage toy on the windowsill or an old floral dish on the table can bring a big dose of history and charm to a space. It’s the kind of touch that really makes a house a home. And that even grown-ups can get behind.

Happy weekend!

April 22, 2011

French Friday: String Shopping Bags

Do you ever have such a vivid picture in your mind’s eye, even thought you know you’ve never actually seen it in real life? When I see these string shopping bags, I can smell the salty air. A woman is in the sunny South of France, or maybe walking cobblestones on a foggy day in Dijon. She is headed to the outdoor market, and when she arrives, she pulls the string shoppers out from her purse and hooks them over her wrist, still empty. She walks among the stalls wearing a brown leather belt and a linen skirt with wrinkles across her lap from when she sat reading a book by the open window earlier that morning. Her hair is pulled back in two clips, and she is smelling the air and feeling the warm sun on her forearms. She picks up a round piece of fruit, chats with a vendor, tucks a head of wet, leafy greens into her bag. The bags expand as she drops in a wedge of soft cheese, garlic, a small bottle of milk, and perhaps some shiny fish fillets wrapped in stiff paper. And when the bags are heavy and filled, she walks back the way she came––in the sunshine, or in the fog––strong-armed, on her way home to make a fine lunch.

Can’t you just see it?

Happy weekend, friends! I’ll be away from my kitchen and living vicariously through yours: What’s on your kitchen agenda?