French 5 | 09.17.21


Welcome to the 24th edition of French 5, where I share a glimpse of France through language, places, food and drink, arts and culture, as well as a random fun fact.


In this week’s edition, Canadian teacher and French cookbook author Mardi shares a glimpse of her house in France and why cooking French food is easier than it looks. 



A big thank you to Mardi for participating in this interview and for sharing her lovely (and delicious-looking) photos. If you have any feedback or ideas of what you’d like to see or who should be featured, please leave your comment below.


Featuring || Mardi of @eatlivtravwrite

My name is Mardi Michels. I live in Toronto, Ontario (Canada). I love France because I spent a number of years living and teaching there when I was younger and fell in love with the language, culture and food! Now, I teach French as a second language and a lot of French cooking classes. I’m also the author of the blog eatlivetravelwrite.com where I share culinary adventures near and far and two cookbooks -  In the French kitchen with kids and French Food for Everyone (releasing chapter by chapter – the first of which – le goûter (after school snacks) released on September 1st!). I love sharing how easy it is to make French dishes at home with everyone!


01 Language || N’importe quoi

I think my favourite French expression would have to be “n’importe quoi” which loosely translates as “nonsense” but also has many other meanings and, so, can be used in SO many ways.


02 Place || Maison de la fontaine

I’m going to have to say the little patio at our house in Nérac, maison de la fontaine specifically early morning in the summer before it gets too hot. I take my first coffee of the day out onto the patio and enjoy the sounds of the town waking up. It’s a wonderful place to enjoy a meal or just an apéro…


03 Food & Drink || Champagne

Is this a trick question? I can only choose ONE? 

Well, if I MUST, I guess I’d have to say champagne. Not just for special occasions!


04 Arts & Culture || Saying “Bonjour!”

An important aspect of French culture is saying “Bonjour”! You’ll notice in France, when people enter a store or restaurant, they will greet everyone with a general Bonjour (or Bonsoir depending on the time of day), sometimes followed by Messieurs-dames (meaning ladies and gentlemen). It’s a common courtesy that so many visitors to France neglect and can often make the difference between someone treating you with courtesy and someone being dismissive.  On that note, you can read about common expressions you might need for your trip to France here.


05 Fun Fact || French food isn’t complicated

I think many people hear “French food” and immediately think “complicated”. In actual fact, the food that French people prepare and eat at home isn’t complicated and doesn’t use fancy ingredients or equipment. Many people are surprised when they look at the recipes in my books because the ingredients are fridge or pantry staples and/ or just plain good fresh produce/ meat/ protein. Some of the most delicious French recipes only have a handful of (really good quality) ingredients which surprises everyone!


Follow Friday || Mardi’s list of inspiring Francophiles

Too many to choose just one… A handful of folks I follow and am constantly inspired by…


- For Paris life and food: David Lebovitz 

- For French cheese: Jennifer Greco 

- For Paris life and food: La Cuisine Paris 

- For a slice of life from a part-time Parisienne : Dorie Greenspan 

- For snippets of life in Hanoi from a dedicated Francophile: Ann Mah

- For Paris life and journalism (also food!): Lindsey Tramuta

- Paris, creatively: Anne Ditmeyer 

- Fun and food in Paris: Jill Colonna 

- A dedicated Francophile sharing how to bring a little bit of France to your everyday: Rebecca Plotnick 

- From a farm in Southwest France: Louisa Hallewell 

- For simple French recipes and inspiration: Audrey Le Goff 

- For gorgeous pastries: Molly Wilkinson 


- Lucy Vanel, for delicious snapshots from her teaching kitchen in Lyon


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To read all previous editions, visit our French 5 webpage



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