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Sunday, August 3, 2014

My Paris Kitchen




As I prepared my carry-on bag for the next day's flight to Paris, a delivery arrived on my doorstep.  I opened it, discovering My Paris Kitchen.  As I felt the slightly rough pages and flipped through its beautiful photos of grey skies and sophisticated skylines, I instantly felt like I'd already been transported back to France.  

My first impressions were glowing.  What is not to love about a book that I open to see the words "high quality olive oil", "herbed goat cheese", and "braised figs", with recipes that make my mouth water for the Parisian bistro cuisine that awaits me in just a few hours in France!

This cookbook by renowned Napa Valley chef-turned-Parisian David Lebovitz is one best enjoyed over a hot cup of coffee and with Pandora set to acoustic guitar.  It has a calming effect, with David's laid-back pragmatic philosophy.  I connect with his approach, which is very similar to my own experience as a perpetual kitchen improviser:  "Recipes are guidelines, starting points for cooks to diverge from.  Take them in your own personal direction."

I love the way that the author captures the diversity of Paris and incorporates flavors that are ignored in traditional French cookbooks yet make such a large part of the French dining experience.  For all the couscous and tabbouleh that I've enjoyed in France, this is one of the first books I've seen that acknowledges that these "ethnic" foods are now anchored in the Parisian palate, and represents them as part of the French kitchen that they now are.  

The recipes are, for the most part, largely attainable in a standard American kitchen.  I was able to make the cover recipe - Poulet a la moutarde - with ingredients I already had in my refrigerator.  I've reviewed that recipe here.

To summarize: I love the rustic photos and the friendly anecdotes that are sprinkled throughout the book.  I appreciate the level of detail in the instructions (thoroughly explained, without being condescending).  
...And I confess that, although I would joyfully eat any of the items in the book without hesitation, it is a book that I enjoy drooling over but don't expect to actually use often. #foodporn

Disclaimer:  I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.  

Disclosure:  Lavende and Lemonade was not compensated for this post.  I did however receive free product to review on this blog.  All opinions are 100% my own.

43 comments:

  1. Fun! I love cookbooks. French sounds amazing!

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  2. I completely agree that recipes are like guidelines for us to follow. I've been experiencing some of this lately, and about 90% of the time, I've been very pleased with the outcomes.

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  3. This sounds like a great cookbook. I am always interested in new ones. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  4. This sounds like it would be a great gift for my friend who loves using recipes from cookbooks!

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  5. This sounds like a great cookbook. I haven't made many French dishes.

    Michelle F.

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  6. Sounds amazing, I'll definitely have to check this one out!

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  7. That sounds like a really nice recipe book. I'm thinking about getting this for one of my dear friends as a gift.

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  8. Nice book filled with amazing photos for photograzing. I also like how recipes are derived from personal direction.

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  9. YUM!! It's always fun to try something new!

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  10. I understand the "not often" thing, sometimes decadence and complication just don't make it to dinner!

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  11. I love cookbooks! It always encourages me to try something new.

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  12. I've been to Paris and they do have a wide variety of dishes there. I'm sure you'll make a lot of good dishes with this book.

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  13. Love cookbooks. It inspires me to create new dishes and come up with a few of my own.

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  14. I need to get my hands on more cook books. Thanks for the recommendation.

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  15. I have to head on and check if this book is available in the book store. I guess I will be interested in this one too

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  16. Looks very good. I am going to check out the recipe you made. Thanks!

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  17. looks really good. thanks for this :)

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  18. Cookbooks are so fun. I would love to get this one. Amber N

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  19. I totally want to read this. I love books about cooking. It makes me hungry though. Lol

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  20. I'd love to try recipes from a French cookbook. This one sounds fantastic to me.

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  21. Sounds like a great cook book! I have to confess that I often look at the pictures more than I cook what is inside a cook book too!

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  22. It sounds like an amazing cook book indeed. I would love to travel to Paris one day. Thanks for sharing.

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  23. cookbooks are something to go by but when you add what you like or add little extra of this or that you can make something incredible. very nice post

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  24. This looks like an awesome cookbook! I love using recipes from cookbooks and adding my own spin to them!

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  25. It's nice to be able to review cookbooks. Sometimes I buy cookbooks just for the photos.

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  26. I collect cookbooks and keep my eye out for this one. It looks fantastic.

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  27. French cuisine seems to be everywhere right now! Yum. I wouldn't mind making a few of those dishes at home.

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  28. Aren't books like this fun to drool over. I'm not a fancy chef but love looking at fancy cooking books. I like to look at new recipes and food photo styling. :)

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  29. My mother in law will love this book. I liked it for myself also. Love learning about other countries food and recipes.

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  30. Oh have fun cooking all the different things in there! I love cook books!

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  31. The cover looks intimidating, but glad you were able to make a recipe with ingredients from home! I'll have to look for it

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  32. I'm sure the recipe there would just be awesome!

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  33. This cookbook sounds divine! I would love these foods, but would be hard pressed to get my family to eat some of them!

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  34. Not a huge fan of French cooking but I love just having cookbooks in my kitchen! It is a beautiful book!

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  35. I think I'd get a big kick out of the anecdotes as well. It's fun to get some personality!

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  36. Thanks for the recommendation, I love a good cookbook!

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  37. looks like a good book for me! i am so far away from paris too but always dreaming of coming there one day

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  38. This cookbook sounds awesome! I would love to try it out!

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  39. Hi I'm not sure if my first comment pushed through. If yes, please delete this one. I love cookbook like this. Interesting to read anecdotes and it is not boring since it's more interesting than the recipe itself.

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  40. I'm totally drooling over the My Paris Kitchen cookbook review. I want this book. Love that you said the ingredients should be easy to get!

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  41. I am a foodie, My Paris Kitchen looks like a good read for me.. Thanks for shairng

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  42. Sounds like a fantastic cookbook and would love to try the different recipes!! Thank you for the recommendation.

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  43. Might just have to check that cookbook out!

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Thanks for your kind comments!

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