Since I started food blogging, I have participated in a group called “The Barefoot Bloggers.” The idea was a good one — every other week a different participant chose a recipe from one of Ina Garten’s cookbooks and the group would all post on the same recipe. I loved being able to read how all of the creative home cooks out there altered the recipes to suit their tastes, their available ingredients, or their equipment limitations. It’s amazing to see how many variations on spaghetti and meatballs are possible!
Yet, a week before my honeymoon, I pointed out to the group organizer that of the 200 or so participants, only about 3/4 of them were actually posting to their blogs on a regular basis, let alone posting on the group recipe as was “required”. I thought it really took away from the experience if you tried to click each link on the blogroll and only slightly more than half had actually participated in the bi-weekly recipe challenge. Not too long after that email, I was unceremoniously cut from the group, along with a fair amount of others. Having only missed one or two weeks over the 6 months I’d been a member, I found the decision to cut me spiteful… but I digress.
A far more exclusive “cooking the book” group is the Tuesdays with Dorie contingent. Now these ladies are diligent. Well-organized, fun, and committed, this group is one to emulate. Since they are not taking any new members, I am forced to do just that. I love reading their weekly adventures in shortbread, pies, and cakes (oh, the cakes!) as they cook their way through Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours. This week, I was unavoidably compelled to tag along. The recipe, chosen by Megan of My Baking Adventures, is Tiramisu Cake. I LOVE Tiramisu. Tiramisu cake was my wedding cake (there’s a 6 inch cake top in my parents’ fridge right now, in fact) since it was a perfect compromise between chocolate (RJ’s favorite but somehow kinda morbid for a wedding — am I crazy?) and the traditional but boring and tasteless white cake.
So, this week, I played along. Though I’m not on the official blogroll, making this cake and eating it was rewarding enough! RJ called it “decadent and scrumptious” (with only a modicum of sarcasm over the literary language of food writing). I thought it was very good, though the multiple steps and extended effort made me ask more than once “why aren’t I making real tiramisu?” The cake was certainly delicious, with a tight crumb and a perfect balance of the ascerbic coffee, the slight booziness of the alcohol, and the sweetness of the creamy filling. I doubted the balance at first and did not use all of the “espresso syrup” suggested in the recipe, and I regret that — going forward I will trust in Dorie!
Check out the recipe by visiting Megan, at My Baking Adventures.
I’m sorry that you found being removed from the group was “spiteful.” However, since you pointed out that going through the blogroll was a hassle b/c of the numerous missing BB posts in the members’ blogs, I went through every blog and removed those who weren’t participating according to the group’s rules, including you who had only made 3 of the required recipes out of the 5 months (or 7 recipes) since you had joined the group. Again, I’m sorry if you found that being removed was spiteful; that wasn’t my intention. I have always given the group members an opportunity to let me know if they need a break from a recipe (or a month or two) without penalty if life gets too hectic but unfortunately, I hadn’t heard from you other than to tell me that others weren’t participating.
I apologize if my comment seemed harsh to you. I think you did the right thing in cleaning up the blogroll and it seems that you have an even greater number of participating bloggers now than before! Congratulations. As a slight correction, I did post 3 required recipes of the 5 (not 7) since I joined (missing only Meringues and Sour Cream Pancakes) and many of the bonus recipes (though I know those don’t count). It was fun participating while I could.