Ain't nobody here but us chickens. (French Fridays with Dorie: Chicken in a Pot - the Garlic and Lemon Version)

One day, four years and some odd months ago, I sent an e-mail to join this cooking club that had started a couple of weeks prior. It was from this book of French type food that was written by a baking book author that seemed pretty interesting.

A few days later, my very first French Fridays post went up - Marie Helene's apple cake. Of course, I followed the directions for my very first recipe, right? No. Apparently, I started this venture as I meant to continue it.


Little did I know how much that copy of Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table was going to impact my life. It doesn't seem possible that I've now cooked every single recipe out of that book. Sure, I expected it to bump of my cooking skills; I didn't expect the friendships that would come out of it and the opportunities it would bring.

There will be some celebration and lessons learned posts coming out over the next few weeks. I have so much to say, but no words to say them. For now, let's talk about the very last recipe - the cover recipe.


Sometimes you win; sometimes you lose... (Tuesdays with Dorie BwJ: Cardinal Slice)

A Cardinal Slice is supposed to be a traditional Austrian dessert of meringue/ lady fingers layered between a caramel/ coffee pastry cream.

The only thing Cardinal about my dessert was the one that may have been needed to say a prayer for it once I realized that I left out a key ingredient in my lady finger batter.

It was going along swimmingly up until that point.


French Fridays with Dorie: Food Revolution Day

For the past several years, the French Fridays with Dorie crew has joined in on Food Revolution Day.

You might ask "what is Food Revolution Day?" Well...
Mardi, fearless Food Revolution Embassador and ardent Dorista is spearheading the groups efforts (along with hosting events in Toronto) provided the following commentary:

"Friday May 15th 2015 is the fourth annual Food Revolution Day – a day of global action created by Jamie Oliver and the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation to engage and inspire people of all ages to learn about food and how to cook it.

This year, Food Revolution Day is a global campaign to put compulsory food education back on the school curriculum. Jamie passionately believes that by educating children about food and cooking in a fun and engaging way, we can equip them with the basic skills they need to lead healthier, happier lives, for themselves and their future families.  Dorie agrees – last year when I was chatting with her about food education, she said:  'I would love to see a generation that can cook and wants to cook for themselves and others.  The world would be a better place.'

With overweight and obesity statistics increasing at an alarming rate, and preventable diet-related disease claiming more lives earlier than ever before, it has never been more important to educate children about food, where it comes from and how it affects their bodies. Food Revolution Day is about getting kids food smart and setting them up for a long, healthy life."

That is a message that we should all be able to get behind, no?


Keep it simple (Tuesdays with Dorie Baking Chez Moi: Nutella Buttons)

It only takes a little change to turn something ordinary into extraordinary.

A strand of pearls against a simple black dress.

A vibrant painting on an otherwise blank wall.

A single flower in a vase.

Nothing ostentatious or over the top - just enough to say "Hey, I'm here"


Layers (French Fridays with Dorie: Seafood Pot au Feu)

Complexity is a concept that has filled up every nook and cranny of my thoughts these days. Even the simple things are multifaceted and if you start to look, you will see the layers that have been pieced together to make up the whole.

Few things are as simple as they seem, no?

That certainly holds true for people.

Each of us comes with a past and a vault of experience unique to that person.

The person that was stationed overseas in a war - forever carrying with him the realities of a time that he still isn't sure how to process.

The mother that was born in another country and immigrated as a child. Trying to hold on to the memories of the past while building a future in her new home.

The neighbor with who has driven bus for decades, while owning their own business. Each time you talk to them, you are struck by the number of connections they have made with people in their lifetime.

Heck, look at something as simple as a cooking group. You buy a book and cook recipes, right? Not so much... You learn new techniques. You face foods that you never thought you would ever, ever eat. You make friends. You grow. Simple is not so simple anymore, is it?

And that's a good thing. Except for when it isn't.