Reviews for The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day



“Best Everyday French Cookbook”

–T. Susan Chang, in NPR’s 2011 Cookbook Round-Up Shortlist Recommendations

Everyday French home cooking is filled with countless utterly simple dishes as perfect and impressive in their own way as the hautest restaurant cuisine. Wini Moranville’s new book…proves this with recipe after recipe.”
–, November, 2011; also as excerpted on the Christian Science Monitor website.


Here is authentic French cooking without fuss or fear, the way real French families eat today. Now that the typical French woman, the bonne femme of the title, works outside of the home just like her American counterpart (and now that French men, like their American frères, are often in charge of getting dinner on the table), the emphasis is on easy techniques and speedy preparation.

Wini Moranville draws on years of traveling to and living in France and serves up a hip, user-friendly volume that brings a wealth of up-to-date French recipes and time-saving techniques seamlessly into the American kitchen. In a voice at once wise and lighthearted, Moranville offers 250 recipes that focus on simple, fresh ingredients prepared well.

Two main-dish chapters, “Sauté, Deglaze, Serve” and “Stew, Roast, Braise,” show readers how to turn out robust and delicious entrées in a genuine French style with ease. Soupes that range from the light to the substantial, salades from a simple Goat Cheese Salad Classique to a complex Swiss Chard with Roast Chicken, Apples, and Blue Cheese, and desserts from a foolproof little crème brulée to cakes and cookies and tartes and crêpes round out the picture. In her recipes, wine suggestions, tips and shortcuts, and sidebars brimming with local color, Moranville gives French cooking an accessible, friendly, and casual spin.

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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.
–Andrew Hoover, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, November 2011

“The Bonne Femme Cookbook” delivers a message that good, fresh, vividly flavored French cooking is possible wherever you live.”
–Bill Daley, The Chicago Tribune

This book is long on charm and short on complicated recipes. Wini Moranville…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.
–Kathie Jenkins, St. Paul Pioneer Press

In cooking, the phrase bonne femme is used to describe food that is fresh, simple, honest and served everyday. Moranville has perfected this technique in the last 20 years by spending her summers in France’s various picturesque villages and stunning cities…. Her charming book brings to life 250 recipes that are made with easy-to-find ingredients, but are unique enough to wow your family and guests.”
–Emily Arno, Relish Magazine

“Best Everyday French Cookbook”
–T. Susan Chang, in NPR’s 2011 Cookbook Round-Up Shortlist Recommendations

“Simple tricks of the bonne femme, like using fresh tarragon to elevate a piece of chicken or Dijon mustard to spice up some scallops, will be welcomed by home cooks. French classics like bouillabaisse and poisson meunière are well represented; however, Moranville also recognizes ethnic influences that have come to shape France’s modern cuisine in dishes such as Moroccan-spiced chicken braise. 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.”
–Publisher’s Weekly, October 2011

“[Wini] marries her love of French cuisine with innovation and practicality, appealing to busy home cooks and would-be foodies who can’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 kitchen–with fewer calories, fewer dirty dishes and a lot less prep time.”
–Cakes, Tea, and Dreams blogger Katie Noah Gibson on the Shelf Awareness Website

“Sure, there are classics — like gougères, céleri rémoulade 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….Are we hungry yet?”
— Leslie Brenner, restaurant critic for the Dallas Morning News

“Another food writer who has traveled extensively in France sets out to convince us that French cooking can be incorporated easily into everyday American life. Forget Buffalo wings and check out her lemon-saffron-rosemary wings.”
–France Magazine, Winter 2011

“Truly easy and truly delicious recipes, all inspired by Moranville’s love for all things French. Moranville may be American, but she has lived and travelled extensively in France — and along the way, she’s picked up plenty of great stories and recipes about one of her favourite places.”
–Wine Access Magazine (Canada); 2011 Wine and Cookbook Gift Guide

This book is more than just a cookbook…Wini adds in delightful stories of her own experiences living and eating in France, as well as many useful tips covering everything from French meal planning to how to poach a meringue. All of these engaging tidbits are sprinkled around the recipes along with some lovely, whimsical drawings (by the illustrator Nishan Akgulian) – making this a fun book just to sit down and read. I have tried a dozen or so recipes and they have all worked. And what’s more, they were pain free.
–La Marmite, a food blogger in France, on the Easy French Food website.

“From autumn to spring, this Francophile labors as the restaurant critic for the Des Moines Register. Come summer, she and her husband, David, live in France, devoting several months to perusing city and rural markets and cooking up a storm. “Bonne Femme” distills 20 years of that home-away-from-home cooking experience into a 250-plus collection of recipes that captures the way modern, time-pressed French families cook and eat at home.”

–Rick Nelson, Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Cited as one of  the “three of the best of this year’s crop of cookbooks.”
–Claire Hopley, Amherst Bulletin.

“For all the complex, multi-stepped recipes that give French cuisine its daunting reputation, everyday French home cooking is filled with countless utterly simple dishes as perfect and impressive in their own way as the hautest restaurant cuisine. Wini Moranville’s new book…proves this with recipe after recipe.”
–, November, 2011

Also recommended by Sheryl Julian, Food Editor of the Boston Globe, in the Holiday Cookbook Guide on the WGBH radio website in Boston.

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