The Hands On French Cookbook


The Hands On French Cookbook:
Connect with French through Simple, Healthy Cooking,


Elisabeth de Châtillon

(nonfiction: Healthy Bilingual French Cook Book and Language Book – French and English)

 Release date: 6/2/2021
144 pages
Hands on French



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If you think French food is complicated, decadent, and heavy, think again! If you think learning and exploring another language is difficult or boring, think again! And if you think cooking French food and learning French at the same time is impossible, teacher and home cook Elisabeth de Châtillon is here to prove you wrong. It might sound too good to be true, but The Hands On French Cookbook is full of healthy, simple French recipes that you can make for friends and family while you learn not only the French language but also a little bit about French culture in a relaxed, fun, tasty way.



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You’ve written a unique cookbook that combines cooking healthy French recipes with learning French. How did you come up with the idea for your book?

Actually, the idea of this book really came up while I was prepping/teaching French cooking classes for children. Since my students love French food and I love to cook simple, healthy food, I wanted to bring both my love and experience of teaching and healthy cooking together.

When I arrived in the US about 20 years ago, my cooking skills had already (déjà) developed with my married life and the real pleasure of sharing simple, good food with my husband and my friends. Along with being a French home cook, I was able to pursue my love of teaching, which started when I was about 10. I was very driven to teach the piano to my sister, although I was not a virtuoso (une virtuose) at it! After an extended teaching experience in France and Italy, I landed on the other side of the big pond for Love (Amour) and some adventures in Nashville public inner city schools. Afterwards, it was time for me to go out on my own. And I have been a happy freelance teacher for about 17 years now.


When I took an entertaining week‐long workshop, I encountered a fun approach to teaching language acquisition through comments and body movements. I later came up with the idea of using this fun way of learning a language with my love for cooking and eating healthy food. Voilà !

What can people expect to learn as they read your book?

It is a bilingual cookbook that will not only teach you how to cook simple and healthy French dishes, but also will teach you to speak some French and learn about daily life and culture.

But a cookbook with only 10 recipes?! Yes! (Oui !) I did choose these recipes especially for your cooking as well as language lessons, because they are a good example of simple and healthy French cooking. The recipes also can be customized for different tastes, dietary restrictions and for use with seasonal fruits and vegetables. And if you like to learn some French, you won’t be overwhelmed by a great number of recipes like in traditional cookbooks.

Cooking the recipes will help you actively learn the language: “What the hand does, the mind remembers…” My favorite quote from Maria Montessori. That is why this book has been inspired by TPR (Total Physical Response), a fun, hands‐on teaching tool that allows you to learn a language by incorporating specific physical tasks with commands. It’s the same way you learned your native language through looking, listening, responding and doing. It is beaucoup de fun!

Last but not the least, you can make this cookbook your own. Learn actively some French at your own pace while cooking simple and easy recipes to follow. By the way, since it is a bilingual book in French and English, French readers will also learn English words and phrases.

Which is your favorite recipe in the cookbook and why did you include it?

My favorite recipe is the star on the cover of my book : 
The crustless quiche with yellow squash, ricotta, and parmesan 
(La quiche sans pâte aux courges jaunes, ricotta, et parmesan).

Really, I like to make this recipe often all seasons, with a great variety of seasonal vegetables.
My friends love it!

And you can try this quiche in several ways by following additional recipes at the back of the book.
Look for the variations called “Other Crustless Quiche with Seasonal Vegetables.”

You can make quiches with tomatoes, ricotta and parmesan, or with spinach, leeks, mushrooms or broccoli.

All these quiches are delicious!

Why am I including this quiche recipe?

I like the idea that this crustless recipe is a lighter and healthier version of the traditional quiche, and it also gets an extra flavor boost from the fresh vegetables.

And it is easy to make. It is a delicious one‐dish meal you can serve with a nice green salad.

Last but not least, this quiche also reminds me of a fond memory of my dear Mauritian friend, Nicole, who shared and cooked this recipe with me.

If you were cooking a dinner for friends, what recipes from the book would you combine to make a delicious meal?

In the summer I would have a Niçoise salad with quinoa (Salade niçoise au quinoa). It’s light and refreshing for a main dish. And for dessert, a silky chocolate mousse (Mousse soyeuse au chocolat). This is a nice, balanced meal, and chocolate fans will love it!

In the winter, for Mardi Gras, I would prepare a dinner exclusively with crepes (crêpes). For the main dish, buckwheat crepes with salmon (Crêpes de sarrasin au saumon), or other fillings, according to your taste or dietary restrictions (cheese, seasonal vegetables lightly sautéed or steamed, tofu etc.) Be adventurous!

For dessert, sweet spelt crepes (Crêpes d’épeautre sucrées) with all kinds of fillings, like sugar and lemon juice, honey, jam, steamed fruit, melted chocolate or sandwich spread (almond or peanut butter). Choose what you like!

I love this kind of festive dinner that you can prepare all year round like French people. It’s fun and you will have good laugh if you are brave enough to flip the crepes over in the air! Be careful it does not land on your dad’s face, like in the darling illustration by Clémentine, my French illustrator full of humor and talent.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Oui, I wanted readers of my book to hear how to pronounce the French words and phrases, so I recorded myself reading the main recipes in French. To listen to the recordings that go with this book, please visit and look on the top menu for “MY RECIPES AUDIO.” This will help you practice the French pronunciation as you read this book at your own pace.

I would like to be clear about the essence of my book: it is not a traditional cookbook. Indeed, each recipe is a learning journey of the French language inspired by TPR, that explains the unique format of this book and the number of recipes. Of course, as I said before, you can make this book your own and enjoy it according to what you are interested in.

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The Hands On French Cookbook_Elisabeth de ChâtillonElisabeth de Châtillon
was born in France, has an MA in Education and Marketing,
and has taught extensively in both the USA and Europe.
She is also an accomplished home cook
who enjoys sharing her love for French cooking
by feeding her family and friends simple, good food.
was born from her combined love of teaching and cooking
—and a desire to share that love and knowledge.
When Elisabeth isn’t working or cooking,
she likes stepping on her yoga mat,
meditating, swimming in the ocean and lakes, walking in the beautiful outdoors, and traveling.
She currently lives in Nashville, TN, with her husband, Ron, and Minou, her bilingual cat.

To find our more, please visit her website.
Follow her on Facebook, on Instagram, or on LinkedIn