Mimi Thorisson’s Manger Workshop




As you read in the last post, Frank and I road tripped to Barcelona from Italy a couple weeks ago. I wanted to take Mimi Thorisson’s Manger Workshop. Quite frankly, I was not sure how this was going to work out since at the time of the workshop, Mimi was 9 months pregnant. But she assured me that most of the time, her children arrived late, so she was pretty sure it would all be fine. And she was right; it was more than fine. Tucked into a little village in Medoc, France, you will find Mimi and her husband, Oddur and their (now) 7 children. It’s a picture perfect home with a picture perfect family living inside. It’s a curated dream; every corner is a photo op, and every person is beautiful. Even more amazing is that Mimi and Oddur are sincere, lovely, sweet, inviting, and engaging people. They are wonderful.




One thing that no one mentions is that Oddur is a key component in the Manger workshop. He’s the wine guy, and master of ceremonies, and he’s superb at it. They are truly a dream team. Even the children play an integral part in the experience. They are just adorable, personable, and polite.



Our group was 7 ladies from all over. Mostly Americans with the exception of a lovely lady from Paris (via Spain). Mimi explained that the workshop is rather casual; she likes to make you feel like it’s a group of friends gathering around her kitchen table. She showed us how to make the perfect asparagus souffle, and it was delicious. Oddur popped in checking on the progress of lunch as he and the children set the table. Mimi has one assistant, Allegra. She’s from Italy and was helpful and informative as well.

We spent a beautiful 4 days watching Mimi prepare her French cuisine, her other specialties, and showing us her tricks of the trade. Oddur conducted countless wine tastings and regaled us with stories of the region and local characters. He is super entertaining. It was a delightful experience in a part of France we may never have visited, and I am so happy we did.

As of this post, Mimi and Oddur most likely have welcomed their 7th child. Big Congrats, and I hope to see them again…maybe this time in Italy.


xx, Annette

photos via: me


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Beet Goat Cheese Salad with Lime & Thyme Dressing


I love beets and thyme, and this recipe for beet goat cheese salad combines both of my favorite flavors. It’s so amazing the variety of beets that are found in the market these days.

The above photograph of beets is from my style + workshop partner and photography instructor Helen Norman ‘s farm. Make sure you head over to the Maryland Style+Photo Workshop page to sign up to be taught by Helen, one of the best in the business. We will forage and style from Starbright Farm to create the most gorgeous imagery. Sign up before all the spots are gone. These tend to sell out fast. I can’t wait!

Try this salad, and let me know how you like it in the comments section below. How do you like preparing your beets?

Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Thyme/Lime Dressing
Serves 6-8

You will need:
– 6 large red beets, roasted
– 8 tablespoons plain goat cheese
– 6 cups arugula

To prepare beets:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Roast beets in skin in the oven for 45 minutes

Let the beets cool, then peel the beets and slice into ½ inch disks

* I use gloves or a knife and fork to peel my beets; it’s much less messy this way.


You will need:
– ¼ cup lime olive oil like O&CO
– ¼ cup lime juice
– ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
– 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
– 3 tablespoons fresh Thyme leaves
– 1 teaspoon lime zest

To prepare salad: 

Place all dressing ingredients in a small lidded jar, close the lid and shake until combined

Assembly of the salad: Arrange beets on platter or a plate on top of arugula, dollop with teaspoons of goat cheese, pour dressing over the salad.

Photo Credit : Helen Norman (Maryland Starbright Farm Style + Photo Workshop Photography instructor)


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Fete du Citron


One of the things I love most about living on the Italian Riviera is that we are so close to France. One of my favorite little sea side towns is about 45 minutes away, Menton.

I have written about Menton before, because it’s the home of my favorite flea market.

Recently, I met my friend food blogger and photographer, Jennifer who lives there for the Fete du Citron, a festival of Lemons, held every year mid February, This year it took place from February 13th – March 2nd. It was the 83rd annual Fete although Jennifer tells me that these amazing themed displays have only been part of the festival for about 20 years. This year, the theme was Italian Cinema, so of course you know how much I adore La Dolce Vita, and yes there was an actual display of La Dolce Vita the movie complete with the Trevi Fountain out of lemons and oranges. A truly insane display and extremely entertaining.



IMG_8153-e1455872133382 FullSizeRender

Citrus stands dot the city, and I got to try all types of citrus including a citrus fruit that was new to me. In French Cédrat, when cut the center, reveals a large mild pith and a small area of actual lemon fruit.



Sliced thin, it has a mild and fragrant citrus taste. Jennifer told me to slice the cédrat thin and drizzle with Olive oil and sprinkled with salt. I have to admit it sounded like a weird combination, but of course I tried it that evening, and it was delicious. The fruit has the consistency of an apple with a light crunch, so it holds up to the oil and salt. I love it when I find new food, and this was a surprise for sure. Thanks to Jennifer for giving me her tour of Menton, a place she loves and lives in.

xx, Annette


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Ikea Vardagen Series:: Tradition meets Function

Ikea Vardagen table linens are great neutral linens | http://annettejosephstyle.com/ These carafes from ikea can hold anything and everything | http://annettejosephstyle.com/

As I’ve shared with you before, Ikea is always one of my go-to shopping destinations when sourcing props for styled shoots, workshops, and my own home. Just recently, Ikea released their latest collection, the VARDAGEN series, and I’m smitten.

This collection would be a great basis for any home because of the earthy tones, traditional shapes, and functional capabilities. It would be especially good for anyone you know who is starting their first home (i.e. new college grads and newlyweds), or anyone considering a kitchen overhaul on a budget. Even if you’re not on a budget I love these pieces because they work. In my own home I love the idea of high low. Just like you would put on an H&M blazer with Prada shoes. If it’s good design it’s good design no matter what the price point.

Inspired by traditional kitchenware, the Ikea VARDAGEN series was designed after traditional, sturdy kitchen knives. You’ll recognize their shape immediately, too.  The modest designs mean these knives can blend with current kitchen equipment and be used for years to come.

Use glass jars to hold flour and spices in your kitchen, or detergent in your laundry room. | http://annettejosephstyle.com/ Ikea vardagen kitchen knives are traditional and functional. | These carafes from ikea can hold anything and everything | http://annettejosephstyle.com/

Of course, as a photo stylist, I’m always looking for exquisite containers and linens for my photos. I would be remiss not to mention the VARDAGEN series table linens and glassware. The VARDAGEN jars would be great on your kitchen countertops. Fill the small one with salt or other spice and the larger one with cookies or even your kitchen utensils. I also love using jars like this in unexpected rooms like the laundry room.

As far as linens, you can never have too many neutral linens for entertaining.

Add these to your party pantry.

It’s all about elegant basics and this collection is just that.

What are you loving from the new VARDAGEN series?

Any good ideas for incorporating these items in your own home?

Please share them with me in the comments, I would love to hear from you creative darlings… xx

Photo credit: IKEA

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