This new cookbook is a favorite and will likely become tattered and stained with use in the years to come.

When I receive a new book, I wait until I have some quiet time to myself before peeking inside. Then, I sit down with some scraps of paper that serve as page markers and I flip through from beginning to end. Immediately, I get a sense about how well the book fits my cooking style.

After an hour, I had barely made it through the first half of this book because I found myself reading every word, dissecting each recipe and scheming dinner parties or weeknight meals around each. Before I reached the main courses, I had run out of my pile of page markers and realized there was no sense in marking – everything looked good to me! I rarely feel this way but I think that I could cook my way through this entire book.

The author, Wini Moranville, uncovers the secrets behind every day French cooking. While reading her introduction, I had flashbacks to my student days living with a French family in Aix-en-Provence. Each night, my host mom served a number of courses, all simple yet inexplicably delicious. When I complimented her cooking, she waved me away, rolling her eyes, dismissing me with a quick exhale, “Pffff!”

At the beginning of the cookbook, Wini explains that Bonne Femme means “good wife.” In reference to cooking, it describes the fresh, honest, and simple cuisine served every day in French homes (by husband or wife.) I have found the recipes in The Bonne Femme Cookbook  approachable, the ingredients easily available and the results exceptional.

I am a very visual person and when I receive a cookbook with bad photography, I can’t see past it. With the prevalence of online printing and do-it-yourself cookbooks, there are more and more that make it to the shelves with poor photography. Surprisingly, I didn’t even notice the lack of imagery in this book until I was well into the chapters. Instead of photography, there are occasional, sweet drawings along with side stories, French factoids and anecdotes.

Some weeks ago, I sadly missed an opportunity to meet Wini and have my book signed. We exchanged friendly emails and I could tell that she is as lovely as her book. Wini did grant me the courtesy of asking her a few interview questions to share with you.
What are the 3 ingredients that a Bonne Femme MUST have in her pantry at all times?
Wine–it just extracts so much flavor from other ingredients and intensifies the final dish.
Butter–Truly, just a touch does so much to finish a dish with richness and flavor, and butter also intensifies other flavors in the dish.
Dijon Mustard–Love the way just a touch brings sunny brightness to a dish. It also thickens sauces without adding extra fat.

What do you normally eat for breakfast?
When I’m in France, it’s all about tartine–butter and jam spread on baguette halves. I can’t get enough of this! But alas, once home, it’s hard to get that “daily bread” so fresh and wonderful every morning, so I’m kind of a granola girl.

What is/are your go-to table wine(s)?
I love Alsatian Rieslings, Loire Valley Sauvignon Blancs, and just about any reds from Bordeaux. All are wonderfully food friendly. For any-night sips, I also appreciate good values that Italy is sending our way, especially red blends from that combine quintessential Italian grapes (like Sangiovese) with international grapes such as Merlot and/or Cab for a best-of-both-worlds sip: Approachably fruity but with enough brightness on the finish to make them sing at the table.

If you could eat dinner tonight at any restaurant in the world, where would you dine?
While I like contemporary cuisine as much as the next foodie, tonight, because I’m seeking warmth, I’d likely head to the Brasserie Bofinger in Paris. It’s a quintessential French brasserie from the 19th century—plenty of wood and belle-epoque stained glass touches–and they do a wonderful sole meunière and choucroute garnie. A trip to Paris is not complete for me unless I go to this lovely, gracious spot.

If you had to give up cheese or chocolate for the rest of your life, which would it be?
Definitely I’d give up chocolate! There are so many other wonderful ways to bring something sweet to the table–caramel, fruit desserts, custards, meringues–the list goes on. But how could you live without cheese? It’s a great ingredient as well as a fabulous stand-alone treat. A cheese course is one of my favorite pleasures in life.


When asked if Wini will treat us to another cookbook in the future, she keeps the answer a bit close to the vest. It sounds like there might be something in the works. Culinarily speaking, she plans to continue to explore the beautiful, life-enhancing–but everyday-easy–side of France.

I am NOT giving up my copy of The Bonne Femme Cookbook but if you would like to win one of your own, simply leave a comment on this post. I will choose a winner at the end of day on Wednesday.

4/4 Update: Winner has been chosen! Thanks for your interest.

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89 Responses to “Book Giveaway: The Bonne Femme Cookbook”

  1. Mary Lauff-Thompson Says:

    Sounds like a great book. Simple and approachable.

  2. Olivia Says:

    This book sounds wonderful!

  3. Janice Says:

    I don’t think I’d be able to give up cheese either. I love cheese!

  4. sarah Says:

    This looks like such a great cookbook. I recently put it on my “to read” list.

  5. amy marantino Says:

    i would love to win this book

  6. Olivia H Says:

    I would love to own this cookbook! I’m interested in getting into French cooking, and this seems like a great start.

  7. carrie Says:

    i’m with wini on cheese over chocolate. and her 3 pantry must haves are mouthwatering enough to make me want to read her recipes.

  8. Sarah :: greenclogs Says:

    That looks fantastic! I would also choose cheese over chocolate. But it would be tough.

  9. Jess @ Floptimism Says:

    I love that you didn’t notice the lack of pictures – I’m trying to break away from my reliance on recipes with images to try to improve my own creativity and interpretation of dishes, so this cookbook sounds great!

  10. Meredith Says:

    This looks like a beautiful cookbook, but I have to disagree with Wini- I could never give up chocolate!

  11. Carli Says:

    Looks like a wonderful cookbook!

  12. Kristen Lopez Says:

    I’d love to read through this cookbook!

  13. Eileen Says:

    That breakfast tartine sounds wonderful. I wish we had those bakeries full of baguettes here…

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  14. Nina Says:

    This looks like a great cookbook!

  15. nicole Says:

    i love your blog and would love a chance to win this cookbook! how could i not love a cookbook written by an author that MUST have butter in the pantry at all times?!

  16. ES Says:

    Sounds like a great book.

  17. sara Says:

    Awesome giveaway! This cookbook look fantastic. :)

  18. Tina Dillon Says:

    Sounds a very exciting “go to” book for everyday needs. I love butter, cream and cheese in all my cooking! Please include me in the giveaway

  19. Cindy Lu Says:

    I LOVe to curl up by the fire with a good cookbook…this feels like one I would so enjoy!!

  20. beth Says:

    When I go to the library people make fun of me because I take out cookbooks! Even with the age of computer fast recipes there is nothing like reading a good cookbook!

  21. Jennifer Says:

    Choosing between chocolate & cheese = cruel & unusual punishment!!

  22. Penny Says:

    I have stacks of cookbooks next to my bed for night time reading. This sounds perfect for that.

  23. Kait Says:

    This post had my mouth watering with thoughts of French homecooking. Thank you for the opportunity to win!

  24. Joanna Says:

    The book sounds great! I’ve been adding more cookbooks to my wishlist; this will have to join them. :)

  25. Kel Says:

    What a nice review!

  26. Kim Says:

    This book sounds lovely! Even if I am not chosen, it sounds like something definitely worth checking out. Thanks for the information and (hopefully) the share!!!! :)

  27. Tricia Says:

    This sounds like it’s as much fun to read as to cook from!

  28. Pam Says:

    Pick me! Pick me!

  29. Rachael Says:

    Looks like a great cookbook!

  30. Sandy Says:


  31. Libby Says:

    Yes, please enter me! I’m a big fan of Wini’s…

  32. Thomas Blyth Says:

    I read a review in the Minneapolis Star Tribune when Winnie was in town for a book signing at the Bookcase in Wayzata I too missed the signing but so enjoyed this lovely cookbook, I sent her an email and received a gracious response. Today, Winnie posted your review on her FB page and your review so mirrored my feelings, I ordered a copy from Amazon for my Annie in Seattle,she’s a wizard in the kitchen and she’ll love the essence of French simplicity in The Bonne Femme Cookbook. Bon Appetit!

  33. maureen Says:

    This sounds like a wonderful and informative book.

  34. Judy Klym Says:

    I have tried a couple of recipes from her website and they are divine. Would loooove my own copy!!!

  35. Joni N. Says:

    Oh! I’d love to have this book!

  36. Kristin Says:

    Looks fabulous! I would love my own copy!

  37. Sean Says:

    I would love to own a copy of this cookbook.

  38. Alina Says:

    I think winning a copy of The Bonne Femme Cookbook would be awesome! Never ever give up on cheese :)

  39. Barbara Says:

    I would love to own this cookbook!

  40. Lisa E Says:

    No! NEVER give up chocolate! other than that, sounds like a great cookbook!

  41. Bridget Says:

    My goodness, that book sounds like exactly what I need this spring!

  42. R. E. Maley Says:

    The book sounds amazing! I too like to sit down with a cookbook simply to read through in quiet moments. Also, how can I resist a book by a fellow cheese lover?

  43. Rachel Says:

    Sounds like such a lovely book!

  44. Anna Says:

    Sounds like the kind of cookbook that could distract from my law school readings for a very long time….

  45. Julia Says:

    Fabulous looking book! I would have a difficult time giving up cheese or chocolate. It might help the waistline, though.

  46. Kim Marie Quade Says:

    would love to snuggle up with a cup of tea, and this book!!!! sounds devine!!!

  47. Emily Says:

    Sounds like such a great book!

  48. Courtney Says:

    Love the review, brought back a wonderful memory of lunching with you in France when we were both studying abroad. I have a friend headed to Paris next week and I’m going to pass along the restaurant recommendation.

  49. Libay Says:

    This sounds like a great book! I would love to have a copy of my very own. Even if I don’t win the giveaway, I would probably go out and buy it myself.

    I’m new to your blog, but I love it already! ^_^

  50. Meredith Says:

    MMMM wine, butter, mustard…

  51. Anne Banfield Says:

    I would LOVE to be the Bonne Femme! (better than Femme Fatale, right??!) So looking forward to seeing her cookbook. Thanks for today’s post!

  52. Irene Says:

    Oh, I hope I’ll be the lucky one. Thank you for this opportunity. Happy spring :)

  53. Melissa Says:

    Looks good! I don’t think I could ever give up cheese or chocolate!

  54. Justine Says:

    Have to say I would choose cheese over chocolate but it would be a hard hard choice.

  55. kerri Says:

    Sounds lovely!

  56. Kristin Says:

    Sounds like a great book! I’d love a copy.

  57. Heather Says:

    This cookbook sounds like just what I need in my collection! I adore French cuisine, but find myself more drawn to the quotidian dishes rather than the truly fancy stuff (even when I’m not cooking).

  58. Ilene Says:

    Sounds like a great book!

  59. Jane Says:

    I believe the book already has my name on it. Just saying.

  60. Mari Says:

    Looks like a fantastic cookbook!!

  61. Bree Says:

    Long time reader, first time commenter. That cookbook lured me in :–)

  62. chelsea Says:

    this books looks adorable, need!

  63. Bridge Says:

    This looks awesome!

  64. Louis Says:

    Sounds like a great book.

  65. Meryl Says:

    I could never give up chocolate, but cheese is sooo close!

  66. Stolk Says:

    I’d love it! I was just saying to Z that I need to learn more about making sauces, and I’d bet this book would give some great pointers. xoxo

  67. Sophie Says:

    From the interview I can tell I’d love the book!

  68. Peyton Bea Says:

    I’m an third-year student at a small women’s college, and I just got back from a semester abroad in Aix-en-Provence! My host mom was the exact same way. She would make me huge, delicious pans of ratatouille and roasted vegetables that I could eat all week and never EVER get tired of. Since I was forbidden to be in the kitchen while she cooked, I would later pester her about the ingredients of each dish, trying to figure out what made her food so ridiculously good.
    Near the end of my stay I announced at dinner, “I have figured out what your secret ingredient is.” She gives me the single French eyebrow in question.
    “It’s magic.”

  69. Pascale Says:

    I have SHELVES of french cookbooks and it sounds like I need to add this one!!

  70. gail Says:

    thanks for this giveaway!

  71. dave Says:

    looks like a great cookbook!

  72. Heather Says:

    book sounds great.

  73. linda Says:

    oooh la la, ….. wouldn’t this book be fun to work your way through!

  74. Deb Says:

    What a great cookbook! I would very much enjoy trying these simple French recipes.

  75. Megan Says:

    Sounds like a great cookbook!

  76. Athena Says:

    I am a Francophile and cookbook-obsessed… this sounds like it’d be perfect for me! Thank you for the giveaway.

  77. Sand Says:

    I’m craving some Tarte Tatin now, I’d love for some more French recipe inspiration!

  78. Maggie Says:

    Looks wonderful!

  79. Susan Says:

    This looks like a wonderful cookbook. Approachable French home cooking…count me in!

  80. brenda s 'okie in colorado' Says:

    I would love to win this book. You made me crave breakfast in Paris. Nothing better than fresh croissants and baguettes.

  81. Patryce Says:

    Oh, this sounds marvelous! I couldn’t agree with the author more–I could live without chocolate, but not cheese! I hope to get to Paris some day…

  82. Courtney Says:

    You had me at butter, wine and Dijon mustard.

  83. Jen Says:

    This book looks fantastic! I would be honored to win it!!

  84. Jen Says:

    I would love to win this! French is the next cuisine I hope to tackle!

  85. Misty Lynn Says:

    Love the list of must have pantry items!

  86. Cat Says:

    This cookbook sounds awesome!

  87. Kim Says:

    I’d love to win this book to save myself the cost of having to purchase it!

  88. Joan Says:

    Sounds like a good one to cook from.

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