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Friday, 23 November 2012 12:42

The Next New Thing: Tandem Soup Cooking

Happy Friday! We hope that all our of lovely readers had a most excellent Thanksgiving and are spending some chill-time with family and friends. Today Jana is introducing us to a cute new concept that she has come up with to try to win her neverending battle of trying to eat dinner before 10 o'clock: tandem soup cooking. Read on to learn more about it.
Tandem Soup Cooking

If tandem soup cooking is not a thing, then I'm officially making it so.  We have a goal in our house - to eat dinner before 10pm.  It's nearly impossible.  My husband Kelly gets home at 7:30, sometimes later.  By the time we've fed, bathed and put the baby to sleep, cooked dinner, changed our clothes and sat down to relax...it's 10 o'clock and we're eating late yet again.  One day recently, I decided to tackle dinner a bit differently.  I wanted to try and make two big pots of soup at once so that we could have dinner already made for the next day.  I understand that leftovers are not really a novel concept, but doing this by myself would've taken twice as long and been half as fun.  Luckily, Kell was in the mood to help out and our daughter Josie, was in the mood to play with her magnetic refrigerator letters while we cooked.  I chose two recipes using items I had on hand - Corn and Butternut Squash Chowder for me and Leek Potato Soup for Kell.  We got to work cooking, and as I peeled, cubed and wrestled my butternut squash, Kelly was able to chop an onion for me while peeling and cubing potatoes and chopping leeks for his own recipe.  Miraculously, we both ended up at the, "simmer for 45 minutes," point at the same time.  Both soups were absolutely delicious, and we were so relieved that dinner was already done for the next day.  Plus, Kelly cleans as he cooks, which I do not, so the kitchen was clean when we were done.  So, we spent time together, made multiple meals, had dinner on time and a clean kitchen...win-win.  TSC, it's a thing and I'm totally a fan.

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Monday, 12 November 2012 21:34

Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

I can't believe that next week Thanksgiving will be upon us yet again! For Thursday girls, this holiday is one of our absolute favorites-- a holiday that is solely about food and family, what more could you want from a day? So, over the years we've amassed a nice collection of Thanksgiving-appropriate recipes from our friends and family. Since I'm not a meat-eater, the side dishes have always been my favorite part of Thanksgiving and I think it's very important to pay just as much attention to the supporting dishes as the main star-- the turkey (or tofurkey, in my case.) To help jumpstart your Thanksgiving meal planning, here are some of our favorite recipes for you.




thanksgiving_saladSalads and Veggies

Aunt Patsy's Spread Salad

Cozy Roasted Cauliflower

Pennsylvania Dutch Succotash

Mom's Sweet Potato Casserole

Squash It Out Fritters



Asya's Thanksgiving Butternut Squash Soup

Pumpkin Spice Soup

Down Home Tortellini Soup


Great Grammy Alice's Apple Cream Pie

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cake

Apple and Maple Bread Pudding

Figgy Biscotti



Mulled Wine

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Wednesday, 24 October 2012 11:44

Fall Heaven

Fall Heaven


So far, my Fall has been full of wonderful people and wonderful views. Louisville is absolutely stunning in October, and as a bonus, I also got a taste of Colroado Fall when my husband and I visited his daughter in Boulder.


Published in Blog Summaries
Wednesday, 24 October 2012 11:43

Fall heaven

So far, my Fall has been full of wonderful people and wonderful views. Louisville is absolutely stunning in October, and as a bonus, I also got a taste of Colroado Fall when my husband and I visited his daughter in Boulder.

Below are a few snapshots capturing my Fall heaven. Enjoy!




lauryn_october12_boulder1  lauryn_october12_boulder4    

beautiful Colorado

lauryn_october12_boulder2  lauryn_october12_boulder5

lauryn_october12_foxhollow  lauryn_october12_fallparty

Back in Kentucky... pumpkin patch at Foxhollow Farm & a Festival afterparty at my friend's farm house (complete with chili, strung lights & wine).

lauryn_october12_fallfoliage  lauryn_october12_cyclouvia

Leaf-spotting in Louisville. This doesn't even begin to do it justice!  Come see it for yourself ;)

  lauryn_october12_lauramarling  lauryn_october12_lauramarling2

The lovely Laura Marling, live and up close at a venue in Louisville; the perfect tunes for a chilly Fall night.



Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Wednesday, 24 October 2012 07:19

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pie

Oh, October. I really and truly do love you. I must admit that each year I'm a little hesitant about your arrival, but once you start giving me your crisp cool air and enough oranges, reds, and purples to make any girl who has taken 2D color theory swoon I remember how much I've missed you.  Now that I've decided to stop being in denial that cold weather and shorter days are indeed right around the corner, all I can think about is pie.  After my weekly run to the farmers market and a visit to the park with Miss Crazy Pants, I headed back to my kitchen for some good old fashioned pie making and I knew exactly what I wanted to make, pumpkin pie.  I didn't want just any pumpkin pie though, I wanted my chocolate chip pumpkin pie. I've been making this recipe for a few years now, and quite honestly it's a small miracle that the pie ever made it to a photo shoot. By Sunday night I was shamelessly digging away at it after a giant pasta dinner (with duck prosciutto no less) and haven't been able to resist it for even a moment when I enter the kitchen. This time I added a little Cornelius applejack to mix things up and holy moly is it good.  I suggest this pie for breakfast, a mid-afternoon snack, or as a traditional post-dinner dessert.





Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Piepumpkin_pie-1720
by Stephania Stanley

What you need:      

For the crust (makes two 9 in. pie crusts): 

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 16 tbsp (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup ice water

For the filling: 

  • 1 15oz. can pumpkin
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 3 tbsp Applejack (or Bourbon)
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 14oz. can sweetened condenced milk
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

What you do:

For the crust: 

In a food processor combine flour, sugar, and salt.  Pulse to mix. Add butter and and pulse until the mixture is similar to a rough cornmeal.  Keeping the processor going, slowly add the ice water one tabelspoon at a time.  Continue until the dough comes together while mixing in larger clumps. Be sure not to over mix.

Divide crust into two separate parts.  Form them into small discs, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour (or freeze for about 15 minutes).  If you're not making a second pie within the next few days, store the second crust in the freezer until neeeded.

For the filling: 

Preheat the oven to 425° F. In a large mixing bowl combine pumpkin, spices, and applejack.  Using an electric mixer, stir until ingredients are well blended. Add eggs and condensed milk.  Mix well.  Add chocolate chips Stir to mix.  

Take out the pie crust and using a rolling pin, roll out the dough on a generously floured flat surface.  I suggest rolling and then turning the dough clockwise 1/4 of the way and repeating so that you get a nice even crust.  Once the crust is rolled out to approximately a 9-inch circle, gently place the pie crust into a buttered pie dish.  Fold the edges underneath itself and pinch the edges forming a traidtional pie crust pattern.  

Pour the filling into the crust.  

Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes.  Lower heat to 350°F and cook for an additional 35 to 40 minutes.  Cool pie for at least 30 minutes before serving. 

Serves 6-8.


Jeanette's Healthy Living: Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
Chez Us: Pull Apart Pumpkin-Pecan Bread With Maple Bourbon Frosting
And Love It Too: Vanilla Pumpkin Swirl Cake With Vanilla Palm Sugar Glaze
Haute Apple Pie: Creamy Pumpkin Penne With Italian Sausage
HGTV Gardens: Garden-to-Table: Pumpkins
From My Corner of Saratoga: Chocolate-Pumpkin Cake
Made By Michelle: Pumpkin Scones
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Roasted Pumpkin and Black Bean Stew With Chorizo and Pepitas
Devour: 5 Delicious Ways to Use Pumpkins After Carving
Virtually Homemade: Pumpkin Pancakes With Maple Cream and Candied Vanilla Pecans
The Heritage Cook: Gingery Pumpkin Mousse With Whipped Ginger Cream
Thursday Night Dinner: Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pie
Cooking With Books: Pumpkin-Bacon Brussels Sprouts
FN Dish: Primping Up Pumpkin

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Monday, 22 October 2012 06:47

Home Grown Fall Fun

Happy Monday! I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend! I spent the weekend baking pumpkin pie (recipe coming Wednesday!), eating a very spicy meal at Mission Chinese, and enjoying a very lazy Sunday afternoon cooking and planning a little trip upstate.

This week we're sharing our fall projects. Whether it's learning a new cooking technique or reorganizing our homes, we've got it covered over here at Thursdays. To kick it off, we have Sara here sharing some of her fall project inspiration.

What are you working on this fall?! Need a little advice? Leave a comment below!





Home Grown Fall Fun
by Sara Lowman

Work for me has been a little bit of a hurricane lately, but it’s all the more reason that I needed to carve out some space for friends and family. What I’ve been up to:

 I took in the Fall upstate in my hometown of Elmira, New York. My mother and I had fun visiting our favorite farmer’s market for the best kind of decorations—home grown!


Being totally tunnel-visioned with work, I didn’t even realize the trees were changing until I got upstate!


My mom at our favorite Farmer’s market.


Loving this mix for a fall bouquet!


Bargain Décor!


Obsessed with peppers, and this color scheme!


Mums for your doorstep.


Indian corn takes the cake for my favorite Fall decoration. It’s earthy and elegant.


To top it all off, we lucked out with the farmer’s last batch of summer corn. 

When I got back to NYC, it was back to business as usual, but being home reminded me how important it is to get out and away. Inspiration is everywhere, and that becomes really apparent when you take a moment to breathe.

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Wednesday, 17 October 2012 06:50

My Vermont Getaway

Happy happy Thursday! I have been dying to write up a post about my press trip to Windham Hill Inn in the countryside of Vermont for weeks and have finally gathered a few of my photos and two mouth watering recipes together to share! 

Here is a little excerpt from my article: 

As we pull into the drive to Windham Hill Inn, two notable items come into view: a sizable garden bursting with herbs and vegetables and a grand inn set in the rolling hills of Vermont.  Originally built as a farmhouse, Windham Hill Inn sits in the countryside on the outskirts of West Townshend on 160 acres of land full of hiking trails, a pool, a clay tennis court, and even a waterfall.  Each room at the inn is unique. Mine was called the Forget Me Knot room, and it was complete with a full bathtub, a king-sized bed, and a large window seat with plenty of room to stretch out and catch up on my long-neglected book list.
Read the rest here.

Sound like heaven? Man on man, did I fall head over heels in love. If you're looking for the perfect fall getaway you, my friend, have officially found it. From the train ride to the bathtub to the farm to table cuisine, my two night stay at Windham Hill was a breath of fresh air that I had no idea how much I really needed. 



I slept more soundly on my room's king sized tempurpedic mattress than I had in my own bed for months.  As much as I love my little Ophelia, I relished in my time alone.  In my downtime I could do whatever I wished to do, which ended up being absolutely positively nothing. And it was blissful.  The 7:00am yoga class overlooking the rolling hills of Vermont made me forget about any stress that I had been carrying around and the food--well it was fresh, creative, and executed flawlessly. I personally suggest the french toast for breakfast and the homemade granola for a midafternoon snack.

Here are two recipes that Windham Hill's own chef created directly inspired by the Inn's own vegetable and herb garden. 

Have a lovely Thursday everyone! 



P.S. To find out more info about Windham Hill Inn go here

Vegetable Wellingtonslide_8-9206
by Chef Graham Gill of Windham Hill Inn

What you need:             

  • 1 spring fresh rosemary
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 summer squash
  • 1 baby eggplant 
  • fresh sliced tomato
  • yellow, green, and red bell peppers (optional)
  • 3 sheets of puff pastry 5"x5"
  • 1 egg 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper

What you do:

Cut the top and bottom off the vegetables and slice about 11/2" long x 1/4" thick.  Cut the peppers in half and remove the stem and seeds, cut each 1/2 into four pieces.  Place all vegetables in a bowl, chop the rosemary leaves and add to bowl, pour the oil and season with salt and pepper and toss.

Heat the grill (or skillet) and cook the vegetables (about 5 minutes per side at high heat). (Note: Chef Graham cooked the vegetables long enough so that they had beautiful grill marks on the vegetables.  You can also easily saute the vegetables at medium high heat). Let cool. 

Place a piece of puff pastry on the table and layer the vegetable son top of each other. Whisk egg with a little milk in a small bowl.  Gently brush pastry with egg mixture.  Fold corners to the middle, pinch together to close and brush egg mixture once more.  Turn the wellington upside down.  Repeat with remaining three puff pastry sheets.  

Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Red Pepper Coulis
by Chef Graham Gill of Windham Hill Inn

What you need:             

  • 1 red pepper
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt and pepper

What you do:

On an open flame blacken the red pepper.  Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let cool.  When cool remove the black skin and seeds.  Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

To serve spoon Pepper Coulis in the middle of the plate, cut the Vegetable Wellington in half and place on top.

by Chef Graham Gill of Windham Hill Inn

What you need:             

  • 1 sprig of fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cucumbers peeled and seeded
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic peeled 
  • 4 large tomatoes 
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 6oz cans of tomato juice

What you do:

Blanch tomatoes in boiling water and refresh in an ice bath.  Remove the skin, cut in half and remove seeds.  Cut pepper in half and remove stem and seeds.  Place all ingredients in a food processor and rough chop. Season with salt and pepper.


Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Tuesday, 16 October 2012 11:48

Orange Accents for a Fall Wedding by Lauren Lowman

Orange Accents for a Fall Wedding

By: Lauren Lowman

Wedding season is still going strong.  It is so fun to watch how each season brings new color schemes and combinations to the floral designing world.  Orange is a terrific color to use in bridal and bridesmaid bouquets.  It photographs well and can bring amazing color to any event.  I have shared a few of my favorite designs from this month below.  This is the season to embrace all of the natural foliage colors like rusty orange, red, browns and burgundy.













Bridal bouquet with orange spray roses, Black Magic red roses, rusty orange hypericum berries, and white Oriental lilies.



The bridal party was wearing chocolate brown so the colors were very rich.  This color pairing was simple, yet created a very elegant and seasonal look.


Bridal bouquet with a mixture of orange and pink dahlias, green and peach hypericum berries, celosia, and eggplant calla lilies.




Bridesmaid bouquets were a variation of the bridal bouquet on a smaller scale.

I love this time of year because you can mix local fresh flowers into any bouquet to make it that much more amazing!

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Monday, 15 October 2012 18:51

Mixed Lettuce, Carmelized Onion and Goat Cheese Pita Pizza

This pita pizza is a great weekday meal that feels a little bit fancy with it's carmelized onions and goat cheese, but is really simple to make-- and how fancy can anything on pita bread be, really? I love the combination of the sweetness of the onions and the spiciness of the lettuce and herbs. You can easily make this on a store bought crust if you prefer; I like the personal pan-ness of pitas. I didn't feel like this needed a sauce because of the goat cheese, but if you would prefer, try a nice white sauce or pesto.



Mixed Lettuce, Carmelized Onion and Goat Cheese Pita Pizza

by colleen

What you need:             mixed_lettuce_pizza_2

  • 4 whole wheat flat pitas
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 lb asparagus cut into 1 1/2" long pieces
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 1 4 oz package herb goat cheese
  • Shredded Parmesan
  • 4 cups mixed lettuce
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • Black pepper
  • Red pepper flakes

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 365 degrees F. Next, begin to carmelize the onions. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. When oil is heated add, the onions to the skillet. Sprinkle with crushed black pepper and salt if you would like. You don't want the onions to dry out or burn, so stir them often and, depending on how your stove top heats, you may need to lower the heat. After the onions begin to turn clear, sprinkle with sugar and allow to saute about 15-20 minutes.

While the onions are carmelizing, spread 1/4 of the goat cheese package on a pita (more or less to taste). Repeat on each pita. When the onions have five minutes left, add asparagus, red pepper flakes and cumin to skillet and saute. Remove from heat and spread onions and asparagus evenly over each pita.

Place pitas in oven for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and pile 1/4 of the basil and at least a cup of mixed lettuce on top of each pita; sprinkle with Parmesan and red pepper flakes and enjoy!


Jeanette's Healthy Living: Quinoa and Black Lentil Salad With Mixed Salad Greens
Cooking With Books: "Chopped" Salads
Haute Apple Pie: Roasted Butternut Squash Salad With Warm Bacon Dressing
Dishin & Dishes: Beet Salad With Garlic Vinaigrette
And Love It Too: Rainbow Salad
Made By Michelle: Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwiches
Feed Me Phoebe: Hearts of Romaine With Beets, Pistachios and Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette
HGTV Gardens: Garden-to-Table: Mixed Lettuce
Virtually Homemade: Mixed Fall Greens With Dijon Chive Vinaigrette
Devour: Lettuce (Hold the Salad)
Daily*Dishin: Almond Chutney Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Delicious Lean: Chiffonade of Mixed Greens
FN Dish: Top 12 Lettuce Wraps


Published in THURSDAYS Blog
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