It’s a Bonne Femme blog birthday party (and a giveaway!)

Cheers – it was my birthday on the weekend and today it’s my blog’s THIRD birthday! What better way to celebrate both than with a fabulous apéro and some fancy French snacks, right? Fortunately, I received a copy of The Bonne Femme Cookbook recently from the kind folks at Harvard Common Press and I had been dying to test some of the recipes so I invited some friends over to help me  – for my birthday, but really, “for the blog”. My friends are used to “taking one for the blog” these days so an invite to a “blog food meal” is not unusual.

Image: Harvard Common Press

The book, the brainchild of Wini Moranville of Chez Bonne Femme, 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.

It’s a user-friendly (though I missed illustrations or pictures of the dishes, to be honest) manual of up-to-date French classic recipes, demystified for today’s busy cook which includes a ton of time-saving tips.  The over 250 recipes are short and sweet – not intimidating at all – and just about every page contains a recipe I want to try. Ahem.  Moranville’s writing is lighthearted and conversational – it’s kind of like having her in your kitchen chatting as you cook – a lovely trait for a food writer to have!  You can read more about the book here.

For my little “apéro“, I made delicious “Croques Jeune Homme Amuses Bouches” – ham and cheese in buttery puff pastry. Mmmmm… So much easier than a croque monsieur and so much easier to handle at a cocktail party!

Also, continuing in the buttery puff pastry theme – Flaky Green Olive and Cheese Spirals… (though I used black olive tapenade but you get the idea!!)

And last but not least, Frenchified wings – Lemon Saffron Rosemary Wings to be exact!  These were delightful – unlike most “Buffalo” wings that you get here in North America. Fresh and elegant tasting – well as elegant as finger food can be!

I whipped up these three dishes in around an hour – not bad for three different cocktail snacks! I can’t wait to try more of the recipes from the other chapters in the Bonne Femme Cookbook!

And hey, what’s a party without presents?  Well thanks to Harvard Common Press, I have one copy of the Bonne Femme Cookbook to giveaway to one lucky reader anywhere in the world.  HCP will cover the shipping within Canada and North America but if you happen to win and you live elsewhere, I will pick up the tab for the remainder of the shipping. Just my way of saying “thanks” for reading over the past three years – I hope you will stick around!

To enter? Simply leave me a comment telling me what your favourite cocktail snack is.

Bonus entry? Tweet the following message:

Celebrate @eatlivtravwrite ‘s blog birthday and win a copy of @winimoranville ‘s cookbook http://bit.ly/Kb6VL4 Open to anyone/anywhere!

Then come back to leave me a separate comment telling me you did.

Contest closes on Tuesday May 22nd at 9pm EST and winner will be announced Wednesday May 23rd. Good luck!

Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary review copy of the Bonne Femme Cookbook by Harvard Common Press. I was not otherwise compensated and was not obligated to write a post about it. HCP will provide one (1) copy of the Bonne Femme Cookbook as a giveaway prize and will cover shipping costs in North America and Canada. Should the winner be from elsewhere, I will cover the remainder of the shipping costs myself.

76 Responses to It’s a Bonne Femme blog birthday party (and a giveaway!)

  1. Cher May 15, 2012 at 05:39 #

    Happy three year! (I can’t believe you have only been doing this three years).
    Your site is always such an inviting place to visit. Glad to have had the chance to get to know you!

  2. Lauren May 15, 2012 at 05:45 #

    Mardi! Happy happy blog birthday :). I’m in awe it’s only been three years, and can’t wait to see where the next three take you. So grateful to have met you through this space. xox

  3. Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen May 15, 2012 at 06:04 #

    Happy, happy blog birthday. Time flies when you’re having fun. I’m a southerner, so by far my favorite snack is cheese straws. I have to really watch myself, or I’ll eat all of them before my guests arrive.

    The book sounds fantastic. I cook a lot of French and the idea “without fuss and fear” sounds like a genius.

    Again, big congratulations on three years. I’ve follow along and enjoyed every moment and want more, more more.

  4. Notyet100 May 15, 2012 at 06:52 #

    For me it’s gonna be tangri kabob,which is spiced chicken drumsticks cooked in tandoor oven,,:) wish ya many more milestones like this,,.congrats,

  5. idiosyncratic eye May 15, 2012 at 07:42 #

    It’s a shame these days when a recipe book doesn’t have images of the finished dishes. I love pastry especially puff so these looks very yummy! The ham and cheese ones look suspiciously like a Gallic take on the sausage roll. 🙂

  6. Kathryn May 15, 2012 at 08:11 #

    Happy Birthday and Happy Blog Birthday. I enjoy reading your blog. Thank-you.

    A great giveaway and it looks likes a great book (sometimes images can be intimidating).

    My favourite cocktail snack would be my Mother’s Mushroom Half-Moons (tiny little cream cheese pastry packages of mushrooms). Yum.


  7. Laura May 15, 2012 at 08:20 #

    Happy Blog Birthday! And Happy Birthday! As for cocktail snacks, I made an asiago pate once that you spread on walnut halves … pretty lush. Also, asparagus wrapped in proscuitto is a fave! Love your blog!

  8. Mr. Neil May 15, 2012 at 09:18 #

    Okay blog readers…Mr. Neil is back, after a communications-free week in North Korea, and then a frantic week in Bangkok.

    Having just landed about 90 minutes before guests arrived, I was in a less than stellar state: somehow I missed two of the three appetizers! The wings were nice, slightly more elegant than the usual North American variety.

    As this was a celebration of blog and birthday, the only wine match possible for me was a sparkler. Had a nice bottle of Jansz from Tasmania – a great value bubbly, made in the traditional method. (The first from Tas to do so.) Dry, crisp, with a nice hint of yeast and apple with citrus undertones.

    • Tami May 15, 2012 at 19:08 #

      and a very nice drop too, I might add 🙂

  9. Martha T May 15, 2012 at 09:27 #

    This book just went on my Amazon wishlist. Thanks for telling us about it. As far as cocktail party food goes, I think Croques Jeune Homme Amuses Bouches looks and sounds amazing. I can hardly wait to try them!

  10. Martha T May 15, 2012 at 09:28 #

    I tweeted! https://twitter.com/#!/mbt4955/status/202389952661700610

  11. Lindsey May 15, 2012 at 09:36 #

    Fantastic giveaway for a fantastic blog! Thank you for giving back to your readers 🙂 My favorite cocktail snack is either veggie chips (boring) OR mixed variety bruschetta!

  12. Paula May 15, 2012 at 10:01 #

    I didn’t know it was your birthday this weekend! Happy belated birthday Mardi, hope you have a wonderful year.

    Happy 3rd birthday to your fabulous blog. Looking forward to many more years of coming here.

    Your dishes above all look scrumptious. Glad you were able to share them with friends at your birthday gathering.

    P.S. Not entering the giveaway.

  13. Amy May 15, 2012 at 10:04 #

    Happy Blog Anniversary! My favorite cocktail snack is a platter of chicken wings!

  14. Brian May 15, 2012 at 10:41 #

    This book sounds great and congratulations on your blogs third birthday, my favourite cocktail snack is baked goat cheese served on garlic rubbed toasted baguette slices.

  15. Tiff May 15, 2012 at 11:47 #

    Happy birthday to you and the blog!

    I am a huge fan of cocktail sausages and sausage rolls. I especially like it when people spice them up with some chorizo. =)

    Thank you for the wonderful giveaway, and for entertaining me over the past year. So glad I stumbled onto your blog!

  16. Tiff May 15, 2012 at 11:48 #

    Also, I tweeted!


  17. Kathleen May 15, 2012 at 11:49 #

    Happy blog bday. I always enjoy your posts…my face little bite for an apero is a gougere…

  18. Isobel May 15, 2012 at 12:41 #

    Hi Mardi,

    Happy Blogiversary! Those cocktail snacks look so good and the fact that all three were done in under an hour make them that much more incredible ^_^

    My favourite finger food is a tie between chicken wings, pretty much any flavour, and gougère…soft and airy, but packing a super cheesy punch.

    Anyways, I just wanted to say thanks for writing this blog…your readers really do appreciated you sharing your delicious recipes and your helpful tips / techniques!

  19. Isobel May 15, 2012 at 12:41 #

    P.S. I tweeted too!

  20. NatCooks May 15, 2012 at 12:51 #

    I’m really torn between two – one is a hot red chili dip made with roasted red peppers, coriander and lime to go with Margueritas or anything citrus, and the other is a blue cheese and shallot spread on rye crackers. Both divine.

  21. chris May 15, 2012 at 12:55 #

    Happy blog birthday!
    My favourite cocktail snack is anything on a stick!

  22. Steve @ Grocery Alerts May 15, 2012 at 13:11 #

    Happy blogiversary!

    We have also been around for that long and know it takes time and perseverance.

    I like just simple crostini.

  23. Katja of Skimbaco May 15, 2012 at 14:36 #

    Happy birthday and blog-anniversary!! And I wish I could come to your blog-cooking parties one day… 🙂

  24. Jacinta May 15, 2012 at 16:01 #

    Happy Birthday! Long live Eat.Travel.Write… it’s fun reading all about your cooking projects. Cheers! Oh yeah… cocktail snack… I like cheese, especially melted brie, and spreadable things, like ricotta, hummus, and simple as ever tacos and salsa.

  25. Marina@Picnic at Marina May 15, 2012 at 17:24 #

    Happy birthday and happy blogiversary! How interesting: I just made some food for a party, my signature dish! 🙂 Posting it today…

  26. amy marantino May 15, 2012 at 18:24 #

    my favorite cocktail snack is chicken wings

  27. amy marantino May 15, 2012 at 18:25 #

    i tweeted

  28. Tami May 15, 2012 at 19:06 #

    YAAAAAY………….happy 3rd blog birthday and I can proudly say I’ve read every single post in that time.

    Thought of your birthday when I read the rolled omelette post…..hope you had a sensational day……by the look of the raspberries in the “Ozzie” bubbles……no doubt you did 🙂

    My fave cocktail food is pretty boring…………..chicken drumettes as they are quick and easy after spending 60 hours a week at work.

  29. Carmen Carlton May 15, 2012 at 19:09 #

    Toasty garlicky bruschetta…have always loved the tomato and fresh basil pairing!

  30. Lisa KH May 15, 2012 at 19:11 #

    My fave cocktail snack is ahi tuna mini-tacos.

  31. sarah@spinachandspice May 15, 2012 at 19:36 #

    What a great day to stumble upon your beautiful blog 🙂 Happy blog birthday!
    I LOVE a good roasted chicken drumette.. as do many of your other readers it seems! I think I’ve come to the right place 😉

  32. Laura May 15, 2012 at 22:43 #

    Happy blog/your birthday ! How exciting!
    And what a great giveaway!!!

    I’d have to say that a simple meat and cheese plate is my favorite cocktail appetizer (with more brie the better!)

  33. Laura May 15, 2012 at 22:44 #

    I also tweeted about this lovely giveaway!

  34. Kristin May 16, 2012 at 00:47 #

    I’m partial to sliders, but mostly because they provide enough nourishment to soak up some of the alcohol and allow me to continue with the cocktails! Happy 3rd anniversary!

  35. Cathy @ Savory Notes May 16, 2012 at 01:23 #

    Yay, happy blog birthday! Time flies! 🙂 My favorite cocktail snack is anything mini: mini tacos, mini burgers, mini fries… so cute and yummy.

  36. Tamara May 16, 2012 at 04:40 #

    Anything with cheese!

  37. Tami May 16, 2012 at 08:00 #

    Woo hoo…………sent my first ever tweet @tami4510

  38. Laura May 16, 2012 at 11:37 #

    Happy Birthday to you and your blog!

    My favourite cocktail cocktail snack is warm asiago and artichoke dip. Yum 🙂

  39. Laura May 16, 2012 at 11:39 #

    And I’ve also shared the tweet…


  40. Chris May 16, 2012 at 16:18 #

    Happy blog anniversary!!! I love crostinis, but cheese always works with me!

  41. Chris May 16, 2012 at 16:19 #

    I tweeted as well!!!

  42. Calantha May 16, 2012 at 16:25 #

    Happy Birthday! Here’s to another three years 🙂

  43. Janine May 16, 2012 at 16:26 #

    My favourite cocktail snack is cheese and pineapple. I can literally eat an entire plate!
    Happy blogiversary!

  44. DS May 16, 2012 at 17:28 #

    deviled eggs!

  45. Marsha @ The Harried Cook May 16, 2012 at 22:15 #

    Happy Birthday to you & to your blog! I’ve been away from blogging for a few weeks now, and am so glad to come back to such a special post… the book looks great… I love the cover 🙂 Thanks for a lovely giveaway too 🙂 My favorite cocktail snack is blue cheese wings! Now I am off to check out your other posts that I have missed!

  46. Sarah L May 17, 2012 at 00:55 #

    Happy birthday! I love bruschetta or cheese.

  47. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction May 17, 2012 at 14:49 #

    Congrats on the blog anniversary… What a fun way to celebrate! Right now my favorite cocktail snack is popcorn. It sounds strange, but we were at Founding Farmers in Washington DC and they served a “popcorn of the day” and I just fell in love with the concept. Loved munching on popcorn and enjoying my (alcohol free… *sigh*) homemade ginger ale cocktail.

  48. Audrey May 17, 2012 at 17:42 #

    Favorite cocktail snack? Gotta be bruschetta.

  49. Loris May 17, 2012 at 19:49 #

    Happy Birthday! Fresh figs with a topping of honeyed goat cheese are the seasonal favorite, otherwise for the rest of the year, deviled eggs can’t be beat.

  50. Jennifer K. @missfirefly62 May 17, 2012 at 20:21 #

    Oops, forgot to leave a message. Actually my favourite cocktail snack is the one you posted, which is the lemon saffron rosemary chicken wings. Great cook thinks alike! 😉 I also tweeted days ago when you first posted it on twitter. This cook book would be a delicious addition to my book collection. 🙂

  51. Jennifer K. @msfirefly62 May 17, 2012 at 20:25 #

    Typo on twitter handler.

  52. Meryl May 17, 2012 at 20:34 #

    Tortilla chips and salsa

  53. Louis May 17, 2012 at 20:34 #


  54. Pam M May 18, 2012 at 02:54 #

    Happy Birthday, again and happy bloggy birthday. My favourite cocktail snack is Cheese Bread Cases, you know these well!!

  55. Natalie M May 18, 2012 at 03:58 #

    A very happy blog birthday to you!
    Wishing you many more! 🙂

    My favorite cocktail snack are wings! But more so the carrots & celery! 🙂

  56. Natalie M May 18, 2012 at 03:58 #

    Tweeted about the giveaway! @pastryproblems!

  57. jo@jocooks.com May 18, 2012 at 17:09 #

    Oh you’re killing me. These drumsticks look amazing.

  58. TK May 18, 2012 at 23:31 #

    Happy blog birthday! My favorite cocktail snack is anything I can dip!

  59. Jill May 20, 2012 at 06:52 #

    One of my favorite cocktail snacks would be roasted chick peas!

  60. Jenni May 20, 2012 at 10:43 #

    Your appetizers look delicious!I love making crab stuffed mushrooms. But if I don’t have time to make an apero, a bowl of mixed marinated olives usually makes happy. I’ve also made a similar treat to the ham and cheese rolls, but instead of cheese I use Savora mustard with a prosciutto type ham rolled in puff pastry. It’s a nice combination.

  61. Kim Bee May 20, 2012 at 12:11 #

    Happy Birthday. Those drumsticks look fabulous. We don’t do apps much here or cocktail snacks. If I did I’d probably do mini meatballs with a nice dipping sauce.

  62. toni May 20, 2012 at 15:51 #

    My wishes to your personal life and your blog…Happy Birthday…appreciate all the time & effort you put into the blog

  63. Shannon May 20, 2012 at 21:31 #

    Happy birthday to you and your blog! My favorite cocktail snack would have to be spinach-artichoke dip. Yum!

  64. I love Cheese Gougeres (French) and Deviled Eggs (American)! And I also love collecting cookbooks! If I win, this book will be go to a loving family. Heeheehee! Belated happy birthday and happy bloggerversary!!! Can’t believe it’s been that long…

  65. Greta May 21, 2012 at 12:45 #

    Who doesn’t love finger sandwiches during cocktail hour? So versatile- mini blt with sun dried tomatoes and parsley… oh the possibilities!

  66. Amanda May 22, 2012 at 06:54 #

    Stuffed dates are my favorite. They can be stuffed with anything at all, cheese, bacon, it’s all good.

  67. TC May 22, 2012 at 09:43 #

    scallops wrapped with bacon… yummmmm…

  68. Shalini May 22, 2012 at 10:07 #

    Happy belated birthday, Mardi.

    I’d have to say my favourite coctail snack would be oven-baked pita crisps with garlic oil, and the roasted carrot and caraway and feta spread from Sam and Sam Clarke of the Moro restaurant and cookbooks series. Totally addictive and beautiful.

  69. Don (@foodieprints) May 22, 2012 at 10:57 #

    Favourite cocktail snack? Does a well stocked charcuterie offering with artisan cheese count?

  70. Debbie May 22, 2012 at 16:40 #

    Favourite cocktail snack – various cheeses with tapenade, preferably from Provence!


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