Monday, January 23, 2012

French Cookbook Giveaway

My thing is cooking. Well, really my thing is eating.
And since I have three kids and therefore little desire to sit in restaurants with them more than is absolutely necessary, my thing has turned out to be cooking.

I do it because I get a hankering for something and just have to have it. Or maybe I've had something delicious in a restaurant one of the few times I get to go to one and want to make it at home so I can have it again and again. Or I get an idea from a book or see something beautiful at the market that is begging me to eat it.

Because of all of this, I like to buy cookbooks, read food blogs, stalk food television websites and watch shows like the French and English versions of 'Come Dine with Me'.

My stash of the French cooking magazine I obsessively buy when checking out (either online or in person) has grown into an unwieldy tower on my kitchen shelving.

imagine this on your own leaning tower
I've found that reading cookbooks and easy, fairly self-explanatory things in French has helped me along with the language. My culinary vocabulary is really quite impressive.

And so, to you. The reason I am writing this post in the first place. I want to give you something.

And since I have this cookbook/magazine thing going on I thought I'd give you a little piece of my obsession, um collection.

This cookbook is from a popular French series called 'MaraboutChef'.
They have all kinds of cookbooks; some on ethnic foods, others for children, some just full of get the idea.

The one I'm giving away is all about appetizers or 'apéros & mini-bouchées', which simply means starters and bite-sized nibbles. There's a section on party planning plus 20 delicious looking cocktails to try.
mmmm, cocktails!

It is in French. Repeat. French. But that's because I live in France and that's where I bought it.
You'll like it and find that it is really fun to peruse, learn and flex your French muscles.

puffs of herbs & mushrooms and cheese & olives
Now. If you would like to win my appetizer cookbook straight from the top of my leaning tower, then all you have to do is this:

1) For one entry please leave a comment with your favorite cocktail or appetizer nibble.You can share the recipe, I'll try to make it and maybe even post about it, crediting you. (love fest)

2) For two entries please 'like' my Facebook page or follow me @conjirregverbs on Twitter and either write on my wall or tweet me to let me know. A wall comment or tweet will count as a 2nd entry if you're already a liker and tweeter.

3) Imagine yourself serving up tasty and very stylish starters in little cups like the French love so much, pps 58-59.

I will put all your names in a big magic name spinner and share the great news.
The 'French Cookbook Giveaway' will come to a close at midnight my time on the Thursday, 26th of January. This way you can get your book for Valentine's Day and whip up a romantic French apéro!


  1. This is right up my street as I, too, obsess over food and eating. Cookbooks are my bag, baby!

  2. Okay, here's an app that I love to serve: roasted squash soup w/ a dollop of crème fraiche. I don't have the recipe at my fingertips and really, this can be any soup, hot or cold. Just go with the season. If you choose a hot soup, the 'trick' is to serve it in espresso cups or in something that people won't expect. Serve it with savory biscotti to finish the trick!

  3. A nice mega easy nibble is dates stuffed with boursin. Also good is a thin round of goats cheese on a biscotte. Drizzle a tiny bit of honey on the cheese, then grill for a minute or so. Really tasty!

  4. My favorite nibble while entertaining is baked bri. It is oh so easy to make. Just wrap a triangle or round of bri in a thawed puff pastry ) or if you're really ambitious you can make one), brush with an egg wash and bake at 350 watching closely. Serve warm with crackers and sliced fruit.

  5. Hello, my favourite apero has to be round slice of goats cheese that sit in olive oil, crushed garlic, salt and pepper for an hour and are then set on top of round baguette slices, topped with half a walnut and grilled until the cheese is just starting to melt. I'm there on Facebook and Twitter too.

  6. I just serve up some bread or chips with homemade guacamole. Although now after reading the previous comments I feel as if I should not admit this!

  7. ohhh...i would love to win this cookbook! can i get extra entry because I read French & teach it =P ? (I already follow you on FB) it would come in hand for my classroom...

    my favorite appetizer is pao de queijo. it is sooooo good. one person who tried it likened it to "crack" because it is that addictive =)

    Recipe below:

    2 cups tapioca flour (can usually be found in the Asian supermarket)
    1 cup milk
    1/2 cup butter
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 cups crumbled queso fresco (I substituted Parmesan cheese)
    2 eggs

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix milk, salt and butter in a pot, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, then add the tapioca flour. Then add the cheese and eggs, knead with your hands until it's smooth, then form balls (depending on how big you want the small breads to be). Cook on greased baking sheet until they are lightly brown, approximately 20 minutes. Serve right away.

    First time I made this and when I formed the balls, they were incredibly sticky. The batter kept sticking to my hands

    This time when I made this, I sprayed a muffin tin with oil and then poured the batter into the muffin tin. It was still pretty sticky when I tried to get the bread out after they baked, so next time I will try pouring the batter into the muffin tin lined with cupcake/muffin wrappers. After baking I will just peel off the wrapper and then serve.

  8. Thanks everybody! So far so good on the delicious sounding recipes. I love Tanya's idea of serving warm soup from espresso cups, Steph's dates with cheese (i love dates), Jacqui's warm goat cheese with a walnut halve, Free's baked, hidden brie and of course Liene's guacamole. I AM from Texas ya'll!
    And Francophilehic, I have never heard of your starter before and am so intrigued. I hope I can find tapioca flour at my world food market.
    Of course you are all in the running for my appetizer cookbook.
    aidan xo

  9. just found this drink from Eat, Live, Run and it just might become a new fav!

  10. following you on twitter..and retweeted! I teach French in South Carolina so I'm always looking for fun & authentic things to add to my collection :) la France me manque!

  11. The recipe???? First, friends,a glass of La Gramiere from the Rhone and grilled slices of baguette drizzled with a balsamic that has been cooked down to a syrup and and very thin slice of gruyere. Yum! Love appetizers.

  12. Oh fun, love a giveaway! This is going to sound icky, but it is one of the only appetizers that stands out in my mind as being unique and yummy. I had it in Mexico and always want to make it, but no one in my family likes anchovies.

    Take a Ritz cracker, put an anchovy and slice of hard boiled egg on top and you're done.

    I promise it tastes better than it sounds!

  13. Here's one of my favorite apéro nibbles: Slice a fig in half, wrap with a slice of pancetta, drizzle with a little honey and sprinkle on some herbs de Provence. Now broil until the bacon is crispy. Yum!

  14. I'm all about the cheese platter. Very unfrench (having it as an apero instead of in between the main and dessert course) but I love nibbling on cheese with my cocktails. The book looks great!

  15. Lissa,
    Thanks for all the comments, RTs and follows. And thanks too for sharing eat, live, run with me. the drink sounds right up my alley and it's from a resto in austin, my long-lost hometown. that resto didn't exist when i left 7 yrs ago. sigh.

    I'm off to find a bottle of La Gramiere. the Canadians will be thankful.

    Ok. I love anchovies, always have. and so do my boys. i don't think i can find ritz crackers but i'll search out a good substitute in the grocery aisles and let you know. what does msr frank think of this recette?

    Yours is a classic, hands down. I have a fig tree and love doing this with them.

    you cannot go wrong with cheese, no matter when you serve it. although, the other day i was having some as an apero and ma fille said it was weird. she's already been turned to the french side.

    you are all entered to win the apero cookbook. thank you for your comments, tweets and're the best bunch of blog friends going!
    aidan xo

  16. Not a blogger (yet) but an ardent follower of the lovely Sara Louise at Le Petit Village who lured me over here. Am (re)learning French for our move over later this year from Ireland so thought I would enter. Tapenade is one of my favorites, and so easy to do from scratch:

    In a food processor, blend 2 cups of pitted black olives, 2 tablespoons of capers, a clove of garlic, a generous drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Spread on slices of toasted baguette et voila! Now to follow you on Twitter and FB.



  17. forgot to mention, the pao de queijo is a Brazilian cheese bread.

  18. My favorite nibble is Fresh vegetables drizzled with olive oil sea salt and cracked pepper.
    I slice Zucchini,Mushrooms, Asparagus & Grape Tomatoes then drizzle with the oil,salt,and pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until caramelized.
    Make sure you make at least 2 baking sheets worth because the first tray will be gone before the 2nd is done baking. :)

    I also followed you on Twitter.

  19. I'm sorry I missed this giveaway, but I thought I'd share anyway - cut a rectangle of puff pastry (about 25x 15 cm) Spread pesto (jar or made) over the puff pastry and then sprinkle a bit of chilli oil and some parmesan on top of that. Roll it up until you have a 25 cm long swiss roll. Cut into slices and then bake for 10-15 minutes in a 200°C oven. Yummy. I've made this with parma ham as well, or sundried tomatoes in oil...You can put what you like in them really.

  20. Laurel,
    Thanks for the veggie idea. i love them like that but can never seem to get them perfectly done. I'll try again.

    Fat Dormouse,
    I'm sorry you did too. I will do another one sometime soon. Meanwhile, thanks for the recette. i can never have too many puff pastry and parmesan ideas in my book!

    thanks all,
    Aidan xo


It makes my day to read your comments. They're an answer to my floating words in blogland.