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Happy Birthday, Julia Child! Here are 9 Recipes to Honor the First Lady of French Cooking

Forget Jennifer Lawrence. If Julia Child isn’t already your spirit animal, you should fix that, stat. (Preferably with a stick of butter and a cheese soufflé.) Ever roasted a chicken? Made an omelet? You probably have the mother of French cooking to thank — but Julia didn’t just teach us to bake perfect croissants. Apart from a chef, she was also a fearless writer, a top secret government researcher, and — above all — a woman who loved to eat. Since she would have turned 102 today, there's only one way to celebrate: with a feast.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever done a Julia Child impression while in the kitchen. Good. You’re going to need it. We dusted off our copies of Mastering the Art of French Cooking to bring you the canonical recipes, from vichyssoise to boeuf bourguignon — all of which are best served with the requisite “Bon appétit!” Whether this is your hundredth soufflé or your first, Julia has your back. Let’s do her proud.

Image: My Darling Lemon Thyme

Perfect Pâté

Oh, you were expecting something light and refreshing? Heck no. This is Julia Child we’re talking about here, and we’re going all out — starting with this chicken liver mousse. Simply Delicious adds a genius touch of clarified butter.

Image: Simply Delicious

Vichyssoise

Move over, gazpacho. Today’s all about that chilled vichyssoise with creamy potatoes and leeks, just like Julia used to make. Thanks, Little Ferraro Kitchen!

Image: Little Ferraro Kitchen

Boeuf Bourguignon

The most infamous of Julia Child dishes, traditional boeuf bourguignon is a beast to make. If you’re short on time, Blogging Over Thyme has a shortcut version — we won’t tell.

Image: Blogging Over Thyme

French Bread

You’re going to need some crusty French bread to sop up all that meaty goodness, right? Julia Child’s got you covered. Thanks, Joy the Baker!

Image: Joy the Baker

Cinnamon Toast Flan

Why make ordinary bread pudding when you can make it with cinnamon toast? Kitchen Confidante shares this iconic recipe for pain perdu — with Julia’s signature twist.

Image: Kitchen Confidante

Charlotte Chantilly

This is not your ordinary whipped cream. You can use it to garnish your pastries, but if we’re being honest, all you really need is a spoon. Baked by Rachel breaks it down.

Image: Baked by Rachel

Oven Roasted Plum Cakes

These crumbly, almond-y cakes are as classically French as they come. Passionate About Baking recommends a healthy scoop of ice cream on top.

Image: Passionate About Baking

Reine de Saba

Named for the Queen of Sheba, this chocolate cake is decadent, rich, and everything that’s right in the world. My Darling Lemon Thyme makes a gluten-free version, but you can check out the original at Epicurious.

Image: My Darling Lemon Thyme

Brown Butter Madeleines

We all know Proust was a fan of madeleines — and so was Julia Child. Whip up a honey-infused batch, and you’ll be in good company. Thanks, Hummingbird High!

Image: Hummingbird High

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