Guidelines & FAQs

Welcome to Weekends In a French Kitchen! This is a fun, casual online cooking group dedicated to cooking through French cookbooks.

We’ve started this project with A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse by Mimi Thorisson, and will be cooking one recipe each week until we have cooked and eaten our way through each dish in this cookbook. Participants with blogs are creating posts about the scheduled recipes, and publishing those posts each Sunday. After we’ve completed Mimi’s book, we will pick a new cookbook to take its place and continue our fun!

If you have any reservations, questions, or exclamations, feel free to contact any of us, and please do have a read through the FAQs below.

This is a fun group! We’ve intentionally picked a cookbook that can stretch us, but doesn’t require extensive amounts of time each week or a degree from Le Cordon Bleu. Here are the guidelines for being a participant in this group:

  • Please pick up a copy of A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse.
  • Check out the Recipe Schedule here
  • Cook along as much as you can! There is no participation requirement. If life gets busy or you go on vacation or have a baby, just pick back up with us when things become more manageable again. We’ll miss you while you’re gone and be thrilled to have you back when you return!
  • If you’re a blogger, post on your blog about the assigned recipe on the Sunday its scheduled for. Then click into this site at some point that day and navigate to the “Leave Your Link” (LYL) post for that week’s recipe (which you should be able to find at the top of the home page) and leave a URL to your blog post in the comments section.
  • Whether you blog or not, or leave a link or not, consider checking out the blogs that have left links. It’s fun to see everyones interpretation of the same recipe!
  • PLEASE DO NOT POST THE ACTUAL RECIPES ON YOUR BLOG! We encourage everyone to purchase their own cookbook in order to cook along with the group. The only exception to this is if the recipe has been posted elsewhere, as some chefs have shared certain recipes on their personal blogs, in magazines, and on news sites. A quick Internet search can tell you if this is the case, and if we’re aware of it already we’ll make sure to mention that in the Tips n Tricks (TNT) post for that recipe, posted the Monday before the scheduled date.
  • Need to make some adjustments to a recipe? Go for it! Please don’t hesitate to make any necessary substitutions to a recipe in order to accommodate any allergies, dietary needs, or preferences. 

We can’t wait to share all of our delicious adventures together!


1. What is Weekends In a French Kitchen?

We are an online cooking group that posts a particular recipe from Mimi Thorrison’s cookbook A Kitchen In France each Sunday. This site exists as something as a liaison between the cookbook and the group participants.

2. How did Weekends In a French Kitchen start?

Three friends came together in early 2015 and decided to challenge themselves to cook through two French cookbooks simultaneously. After a few months of cooking recipes both books, we determined that two cookbooks at the same time is too many cookbooks! So we simplified and took it down to one, like reasonable human beings. We enjoy cooking along together, and we think you’d like it too! So we’ve opened up the experience to anyone interested in joining. Come cook with us!

3. What is the skill level required to join? Do I need to be a professional?

Absolutely not! The goal of Weekends In a French Kitchen is to enjoy French food and cook it at home by trying out new recipes and ingredients, getting to know the authors through their writing, and supporting other home cooks in the group as we cook through recipes together. This is a great project for anyone, whether you are new to cooking, have been cooking forever, or cook professionally.

4. If I join in, what are the rules?

Simply have a glance through the guidelines at the top of this page.

5.  Can I participate if I don’t have a blog?

Absolutely! Although having a blog can make this experience more fun, as this is an easy, comprehensive way to keep up with each other. It is nice to see photos of how the dish comes together and see what did and didn’t work for the other participants of the group. If you’d like to start a blog, check out the resources below–it’s so easy, you can set up your own blog in less than ten minutes. All of these platforms have both free and paid options. A free blog will be plenty to document your journey with us. If you don’t already have a blog and choose not to start one, just check in here a few times a week to look at our Tips & Tricks (TNT) posts, the helpful responses, and maybe even to check out the Leave Your Link (LYL) posts so you can click through to blogs and see how it turned out for other members.

WordPress – a powerful, user-friendly platform with dozens of free templates, tutorials, and how-to videos to get you started
Blogger – another popular easy-to-set-up blogging platform
TypePad – many people like this platform for its clean finishes

6. For those cooking through this book, how are you making it happen? That’s a lot of recipes and posting! 

Indeed, it is! How about using the recipes to guide your family menu planning? Using our recipe schedule, you can merge these dishes with your own home standards, or plan a monthly dinner party using each month’s starter, entrée, and dessert recipes (Tammy and Emily often do this together with their families). Such a great way to get together with friends, too! Then, just post the recipes on the weeks they’re scheduled (see question #12). PLEASE NOTE you don’t have to cook the recipes on the weeks they’re scheduled for! You can cook them anytime leading up to the date the recipe is scheduled for, then publish the post you’ve written related to that recipe on that date. The scheduled date is simply when we will share our experiences with the recipe as a group.

7. When will the recipe schedule be published?

The recipe schedule will be available on the blog by the first of the month prior to the “due date.” For example, the February recipe schedule will be published on the Recipe Schedule page by January 1st. The final week of each month will be a Cook’s Choice week (see question #9).

8. Are the recipes emailed to participants?

No. We encourage all participants to purchase their own copy of the cookbook. Let’s respect the time and effort it takes for an author to write a cookbook! However, there will be a couple weeks when we’ll be cooking a recipe that’s not in the book. On those weeks, we will choose a recipe by Mimi that she has posted on her personal blog, but was not included in this cookbook. Don’t worry, we’ll alert you about those weeks in advance.

9. What is Cook’s Choice week?

Quite simply what it sounds like! On the final weekend of each month, our schedule will reflect that you have the choice of what to post. You could cook from another French cookbook, try out a French recipe you found in a magazine, recreate a dish you had on your latest jealousy-inducing excursion to France, or whatever other French/France-related thing that comes to mind that you’re dying to share. We’re excited to see what everybody comes up with! These weeks are also a good opportunity to catch up on any recipes you may have missed when life happened.

10. What happens if I can’t find an ingredient or have questions about the directions in a recipe?

Have a look at the Tips & Tricks (TNT) page that will be published first thing Monday morning for that week’s recipe. This is a place to list what substitutions you made, if any, and what is and isn’t working for a recipe. If that’s not helping whatever problem you’ve run up against, get creative! If a recipe calls for puff pastry but you’re allergic to gluten, make your own! Or use gluten-free pie crust and enjoy a slightly different texture. Or use a gluten-free baguette instead. You do you. You. Do. You.

11. As a blogger, when should I publish my finished post each week on my blog?

Anytime during the day on Sunday.

12. Can I post early?

You could, but every blogging platform has a publish function where you can set a future date and/or time for your post to go live. So there’s really no need to post early!

13. I adhere to a gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, sugar-free, paleo, or other prescribed diet, or have food allergies. Can I make substitutions?

Of course! Please feel free to modify the recipe to suit your needs/lifestyle/dietary restrictions, etc. It’s fun to read about what kinds of substitutions each cook makes. Also see question #10. That said, any suggestions you read on this site are not to be mistaken for medical advice. If your diet requires that you avoid certain foods, it’s your responsibility to ensure that whatever substitutions you make are appropriate to those restrictions.

14. Who is Mimi Thorisson? Where can I find more information about “A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse?” 

For more information about Mimi Thorisson and “A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse,” click here.