Last week you may have noticed there was no French Fridays with Dorie Post. My version of the chosen recipe, Quatre-Quarts, a delicious, one-layer, plain-and-simple cake, flopped. It was un désastre. While I have no problem embarrassing myself, and do it often, why do that to Dorie Greenspan?

Let’s just say that you cannot forget to include sugar in this recipe, then, try to add it to the batter as the pan is headed into the oven, stir frantically, and expect to get a good result. If you want to see the successes of other Dorista’s who did include the sugar, according to Greenspan’s instructions, check out:


If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.

Yes, some of the pieces are missing.


Tuesdays with Dorie, Baking with Julia – Join Up

Greenspan has just been interviewed on National Public Radio’s “Talk of the Nation” by Neal Conan, about her on-line cooking groups.



If you’d like to pull on an apron and jump into an international, group-cooking adventure, here’s your small window of opportunity. Now is the time to register for “Tuesdays with Dorie” which kicks off February 1st. This group is going to whip, knead and sift through the recipes, methods and techniques in “Baking with Julia”, a cookbook written by Greenspan in 1996, in collaboration with and based on the memorable PBS Series hosted by Julia Child.

TUESDAYS WITH DORIE, Baking with Julia


As of today, 210 bakers have registered to join in this on-line recipe romp – a group living throughout the        United States, eleven countries and six continents. Hey, Antarctica, we need you! The range: a myriad of ages, professionals and amateurs, bloggers and bakers. While channeling Paula Deen and ever conscious that “baking” does translate into extra, unwanted calories, this group will only bake twice a month. Remember, Julia was all about moderation and portion control. She never deprived herself of enjoying good food.

(UPDATE: Wednesday, January 25: Laurie and Jules, the two women monitoring “Tuesdays with Dorie” just gave me this update: ” So now we are up to 258 blogs with about 270 bakers.  We’re still missing folks from nine states (DE, KS, MI, MT, NE, NM, ND, WV, and WY).  Countries with bakers outside the US include Australia, Netherlands, South Africa, Taiwan, Canada, Philippines, Brazil, Spain, Italy, Germany, England, Austria, and India!  Our youngest baker (that I know of) is nine.  Our first recipe posts in two weeks!”

If you wish to be invited into Greenspan’s kitchen, and, lets hear it from the nine states that aren’t represented, go to:     http://tuesdayswithdorie.wordpress.com/

My Love Fest with French Fridays with Dorie

Last May, when I joined FFWD, my on-line group cooking its way through Greenspan’s newest recipe book, “Around my French Table”, I held no expectations. Since I had been doing little cooking and no entertaining for the previous six to seven years and never really adjusted to eating alone, I realized my culinary skills were rusty and my cookbooks, dusty.  In other words, joining a cooking group with a weekly purpose would, possibly, “force my issues”.

Whether being force-fed or spoon-fed, a little of both, I think, this nine- month instructive food feast rates 5-stars from me.  After reviewing Basics 101, replenishing my ingredient staples and supplies and purchasing new pots ‘n pans, I am remembering everything I love about kitchen living.

More importantly, each week I also must plan who, what, where, when and how, this food is going to be eaten. If it’s Thursday and I’m knocking at my neighbor’s door, they know it’s food. When I invite friends to share supper, odds are, it’s a “Dorie recipe”. When I’m at Trader Joe’s looking for “weird” ingredients, they realize it’s almost Friday. To their credit and my benefit, my friends have become culinary critics. My shoulders are broad!

An unimagined bonus has been my simpatico with other Dorista’s throughout the world, most of whom write blogs. Because we cannot post until 12:00am, (PST, for me) on Friday, it’s the Australian bloggers who post first, followed by an international roll-out of the week’s recipe. Readers, you cannot imagine the cuisine creativity, innovativeness and ambition in the food blogosphere. These cooks, unlike me, are always tweaking and twisting Greenspan’s recipes into something even more delicious or nutritious or less-fattening. We all comment, suggest, help and encourage each other. Ideas. Light-bulb moments. FFWD has it all.

Meet a few FFWD Blogging Friends:

1. http://crazyworldofcher.blogspot.com/

2. http://foodivakitchen.blogspot.com/

3. http://confessionsofaculinarydiva.blogspot.com/

4. http://fakeginger.com/

5. http://triciaandnanacookingwithdorie.blogspot.com/

6. http://wscwong.typepad.com/dessert_by_candy/recipe-collection.html

7. http://www.kitchenlaw.blogspot.com/       (An Aussie Lawyer)

8. http://oneexpatslife.wordpress.com/         (An expat in Germany)

9. http://www.eatlivetravelwrite.com/about-me/  (An Aussie in Canada)

10. http://greatfood360.com/about/        (A Puerto Rican home cook)

 And, think SUGAR!  


  1. Maya@Foodiva's Kitchen says

    Hi Mary, this is an utterly brilliant post, I just loved reading through it. Firstly, your efforts with the quatre-quarts made me smile, you are so real and honest and mistakes like this happen to every one of us! Very few will actually own up to it, though, haha. Like you, I also have a love fest with FFWD and can’t bear to miss a session cooking with the Doristas. Thanks for featuring my site and some of my favorites here ;).

  2. says

    Awe, thanks! I too have found FFwD to be an incredible rewarding experience. My expectation going in was that I would try out some new recipes and improve my cooking, but it has turned out to be so much more than that. I love the community that we have here and the fact that we have members from all corners of the world makes it that much richer an experience.

    And I’m sorry to hear that your cake didn’t work out last week, but as you said, sometimes it happens and life goes on. I’ve had more than a few recipes bomb in my kitchen, I like to think of them as learning experiences.

  3. says

    What a terrific post! I’ve really enjoyed being part of the ffwd group. I agree, it gets you cooking new and interesting things, and more importantly sharing with your friends in the group!

  4. says

    Thank you for your kind comment on my king cake post, Mary. I think we’ve all forgotten something at some point or another. I know I’m guilty of not adding the flour to the cauliflower gratin. Not that my family cared anyways! The love that goes into cooking always shines through.

    I hope that a scoop of ice cream or a soak in some liquor revived your cake!

    • Mary says

      Okay, Adriana, I just pulled the Quatre-Quarts, in all its pieces, out of the wastebasket and will pour the remaining Armagnac from M. Jacques’ chicken over it!!!!!!!!! Mary (Actually, everyone, I am just kidding.)

  5. says

    Thank you Mary for your kind yours and linking to my blog! It’s always a pleasure to read your FFWD entries, successful dishes or not. Bad kitchen days happen to all of us and it’s nice to know that we all share each other’s frustration when dishes do not turn out the way we hoped. Keep up the good work!

  6. says

    Thanks for the link.
    We all have those days in the kitchen – the important thing is being able to put them behind you and push forward – with a healthy dose of humor (I think I am the queen of kitchen mishaps…). I love that you can keep a sense of humor about it.
    I have loved the whole FFwD experience and signed up for TWD too! Glad to see you are joining along.

    • Mary says

      Cher, I am so glad that some FFWD Dorista’s are “going over to the other side” also. What really convinced me to join was that we were only going to bake two items each —- far easier on the hips. See you there…….

  7. says

    GREAT POST! I love being a part of FFWD – it’s definitely the nicest blogging “group” that I have been a part of. Your list of friends are all people I read and who I didn’t before I started FFWD. Now you are on that list too 🙂

  8. says

    Hi Mary, thanks for the link and for dropping by. Hey, we all make mistakes (and yep, I have left the sugar out before myself, LOL). It’s fun baking and cooking along with everyone, and seeing all the different interpretations – and you definitely learn a lot from others and yourself along the way. I agree – everything in moderation, and like Dorie, we can share the love by giving some away.

  9. says

    Mary – THANK YOU! This made my day and week! I couldn’t agree more with you about French Fridays with Dorie – it is such an amazing group of culinary enthusiasts who provide so much support and inspiration. Who knew! It has also brought me inspiration in cooking at home and trying new things again to share with friends – I had forgotten about how wonderful that is and am happy to have rediscovered that joy.

    Thank you again for being an inspiration! And don’t forget the sugar 🙂

  10. says

    Love love loved the whole thing. And the shout out !!! Thanks so much. Nana and I had no idea what we were getting into when I signed us up. Had to learn about posting and had no idea about this whole “comment” thing. Wow. What a time it has been. Far exceeded our expectations and our fellow Doristas would be shocked to know how often Nana and I talk to each other about Cher, or Susan, or MARY…..we love our cyber friends. And we love Dorie 🙂

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