French Food Gifts from the Bonne Femme Cookbook

NEWS FLASH—December 19, 2012: At this time, both and have sold out of the Bonne Femme Cookbook. The publisher is reprinting and more will be on their way in January.

For now, you can still find the book at the following places:

• Beaverdale Books in Des Moines, Iowa, has signed copies of the Bonne Femme Cookbook. If you want a copy, call Alice Meyer at (515) 279-5400. She will ship them to you. But hurry if you want it in time for Christmas!

• has copies of the book.

• You can also go to my page on and click on “Pick Up In Store,” (the link is by the Add to Bag button). Then, put in your ZIP code, and see if a Barnes and Noble store near you has a copy.

Now, on to the post…..

So, you’re the proud owner of the Bonne Femme Cookbook and you want to spread a little French cheer among your France-loving, food-loving friends. There are some great recipes in the book that would make lovely food gifts that will go well beyond the everyday, and help transport them to you-know-where.

A few ideas:

1. Winter Compote for Cheese: Oh, your pals are going to adore this one! Make up a few batches of my Winter Compote for Cheese, which includes dried fruits (figs, apricots, cherries) in a nicely bright, brandy-laced compote. It goes beautifully with many cheeses. Then, tuck it into a gift basket with a few wedges of great French cheeses. See me demo-ing the cheese course here (and find the recipe). Or find the recipe in my book on page 328.

2. Chocolate-Cherry Pound Cake: Wrap up this beauty  in silver foil with a big red bow. Tell the recipient that it freezes well if they wish to keep it a while (though they’ll probably want to dig into it right away). If you’re really feeling generous and fancy, find a can of Isigny-Ste. Mère whipped cream from Normandy (which I find at my local Whole Foods) and tuck it alongside the cake in a gift basket.

3. Caramel Sauce or Chocolate Sauce (page 378 and 379 of the cookbook, respectively). Package these up in little jars with ribbons for great stocking stuffers.

4. Raspberry Coulis or Cherry Coulis (pages 374 and 375, respectively): Ditto—these make beautiful stocking stuffers, and be sure to tell the recipient how wonderfully these go over ice cream or New York Style cheesecake. Or, better yet, present the Chocolate Sauce with one of these fruit sauces—together, they’re heaven.

Keep in mind that these items do need to be refrigerated. Do present them in fancy jars, but remind the recipient to stash them in the fridge to store.

Isigny Ste. Mère whipped cream. I scored this at Whole Foods. What a fun thing to give alongside the French Chocolate Pound Cake!

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1 comment to French Food Gifts from the Bonne Femme Cookbook

  • What might be a bit more strange is that I love to read cookbooks. Yes, yes, I adore the memoir/cookbooks such as A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenburg, or The Language of Baklava by Diana Abu-Jaber. I devour the partial memoir cookbooks such as The Riversong Lodge Cookbook by Kirsten Dixon – each recipe is proceeded by a beautiful essay about the author’s life in Alaska.

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