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Butter and Rum Crepes

Lessons from Dorie Greenspan

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Next Friday, the French Fridays group will post our last recipe from Around My French Table. Today, instead of sharing a recipe, I’m reviewing the “Lessons from Dorie” I learned along the way plus celebrating Food Revolution Day!

Cannelés | A French pastry from Dorie Greenspan's new cookbook, Baking Chez Moi


I’m reflecting on all I’ve learned over the past 4  1/2 years cooking along with my French Fridays with Dorie friends each week. Dorie Greenspan’s recipes inspired, taught and fed us. And concurrently, I’m celebrating the 4th Annual Food Revolution Day, a day of global action created by Jamie Oliver to engage and inspire people of all ages to learn about food and how to cook it.  Fellow food blogger and Dorista, Mardi Michels, of, is a huge proponent of educating children on cooking along with other life skills to take them into a successful future. She has recruited us to help with this worthy cause.

Caramel Topped Sundaes - caramel from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan

Caramel Topped Sundaes

A Few Lessons from Dorie:

  • There are Bonne Idées for every recipe. Dorie posted suggestions for a good percentage of her recipes. For example, if you can’t find monkfish (Monkfish with Double Carrots), use scallops, shrimp or flounder. Add some strong coffee to your chocolate mousse (Top Secret Chocolate Mousse) to make it mocha. A tomato pepper salad pairs perfectly with Muenster Soufflés. I love her attention to detail, pairing suggestions and substitutions.
  • Rubbing citrus zest or vanilla seeds into your sugar before baking increases flavor permeation into the dish (Honey Spiced Madeleines).
  • French culinary terms wove their way into my vocabulary as I created Tartines (Tartine de Viande des Grisons, Two Tartines from La Croix), Gateaux Basque, Cannelés, Gravlax, Sablés, Pissaladière and a heck of a lot more! Many my hubby wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole!
  • Restaurant caliber meals can be made at home (with two of my favorites being Scallops with Caramel Orange Sauce, Tuna Mango Ceviche).
  • There’s room in my spice cabinet for cardamom seeds, cardamom pods, piment d’espelette, quatre épieces, star anise and more…
  • I don’t dislike tarragon as much as I thought I did (Winter Ceviche).
  • How to cook duck (Pan Seared Duck with Clementines) to perfection! And Bill will rave about it x 3 for each recipe in the cookbook.
  • Cooking and baking along with other bloggers can and did create treasured friendships.

Visitidine: French Sponge Cake perfect for strawberry shortcakes


Food Revolution Day

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 Mardi 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.

Butter and Rum Crêpes - recipe from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan

Butter and Rum Crêpes

If you’d like to see how the rest of the Doristas are celebrating Food Revolution Day, the recipe or technique from Dorie that’s a “must know,” please check out the LYL section for this recipe on the French Fridays website.

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23 comments on “Lessons from Dorie Greenspan”

  1. Simply damn delicious sweet bites!!!

  2. Even though I haven’t participated in FFWD in a long time, I’m still feeling pretty nostalgic that it’s almost over. I’ve loved getting to know all the people from that group!

  3. Yummy………… 🙂 Luv this recipe.. .. Thanks for sharing

  4. Thanks for participating in this year’s Day, Liz – and I LOVE your lessons learned! Thanks also for spreading the word about the petition 🙂

  5. Those are some great lessons learned. The sugar/ zest thing is a favorite of mine and I use it in other recipes too now.

    I am so grateful we get to participate in this way.

  6. Wow, has it really been 4.5 years with French Fridays with Dorie? All of the recipes you guys have shared from the book have been amazing!! and a big woot woot for the 4th Annual Food Revolution Day! I love Jamie Oliver!

  7. It’s bittersweet to think that this project is drawing to a close, but it’s been a great adventure and I’m so glad I got to meet you through it. Three cheers for you and for French Fridays. And three more cheers for Mardi, who brought us together to celebrate Food Revolution Day – xo

  8. Wow, that’s a lot of recipes! They all look delicious 🙂

  9. That last lesson about friendships is the most important one. Good food is a path towards more than just calories!

  10. Such a fantastic, beautifully written, and well-considered post, Liz. Now you’ve sent me back to “the book” to ponder the many, many things I learned both from Dorie and from all of you, my Dorista colleagues. For some crazy reason, my being able to roll up that Blueberry-Mascarpone Roulade so successfully was just amazing to me. I couldn’t get over myself that day. I’m with Bill about the duck – that duck/Palisade peaches recipe is right up there among my favorites. Every recipe has a story or tale attached to it, either mine or from one of you. This really has been a phenomenal journey with a very special group of people. Thanks for your thoughts today.

  11. OMG love Cannelés! Can’t believe the end is near but great lessons to share and a great cause to mention. have a great weekenddLiz.

  12. Great post, Liz! Very well presented! Loved your lessons learned from Dorie! The sugar and zest is one of my favorite things! I use that tip with any recipe that uses sugar and zest!
    This is a bitter sweet time…I can’t believe we have one more recipe to complete. The friendships have been the most surprising to me. It has been a wonderful ride! Happy Friday!

  13. What a great wrap up for FRD. I have learned so much from Dorie too.

  14. This is such a good cause. There’s so much work to be done here. When I was a kid, snacks were pieces of cut apple or a homemade cookie. Then came Little Debbie.

  15. Wonderful tips and cause, Liz! I’ve got to try the vanilla bean seeds / citrus zest trick for sugar next bake =)

  16. We certainly have learned so much from Dorie. It has been a great experience
    for all and I loved reading your post and looking at all those delicious recipes that you always turn out.

  17. Smiling at your learned from Dorie comments, such fun…and even though i don’t post with the group, I still made my fair share of AMFT recipes, some several times over. Dorie’s recipes are wonderful, no doubt about it. It’s been fun seeing what everyone made and their take on it all. What will replace FFWD? Strawberry season, yahoo!! Your strawberry dishes look so beautiful.

  18. What a wonderful post – the sugar trick is one of my favourites, too. I’m so glad to have cooked along with you all, sharing stories and getting to know one another.

  19. Wonderful recipes and tips Liz! Thank you also for sharing the info on Food Revolution Day.

  20. Loved this post, Liz, and all the things you point out are very much how I feel, too! Indeed, I’m sure most of us really treasure the lessons along the way. It’s sad that it is finally coming to an end…

  21. Nice trip down memory lane. Having only been with the group one year I was glad to see that I had made some of the recipes that you mentioned. Next week will be bitter sweet.

  22. Lz, what a wonderfully written post with absolutely amazing pictures – inspiring us all to go back to AMFT for some of these wonderful recipes again and again.

  23. Wow – that’s many years of recreating Dorie’s recipes! I wonder if she knows you are her biggest fan? 🙂

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