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Thursday, 16 May 2013 18:15

TND: Greek Easter/Passover Dinner

Happy Thursday! A few weeks ago my darling Jewish boyfriend, Dave, and I had a combined Greek Easter/Belated Passover holiday dinner.

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We've been having many conversations lately about what it means to have a reformed interfaith relationship and this was our first attempt at really coming together and combining our two family traditions. We both dug out our family recipes, I got on the phone with my Uncle Greg for grilling instructions, and we spent two full days preparing for our giant feast. Our friends arrived one by one, I put on Shovels & Rope (because obviously that is the perfect Greek Easter/Passover music), we poured wine, and it began.

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After some of the more complex discussions we've had about what our possible, future family would look like we took all that we had learned thus far and came together and shared our favorite traditions with our nearest and dearest. We spoke Hebrew and Greek and ended the night with our favorite American dessert, s'mores.

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By the end of the night, we were all making plans for the next one.

 

Enjoy!

 

stephania

 

 

Grilled Greek Lamb
by Stephania Stanley

What you need: 

  • lamb (1/2 lb per person)
  • olive oil
  • fresh oregano
  • salt and pepper

What to do:

Coat the lamb with olive oil and generously salt and pepper both sides. 

 

Assemble charcoal around the edges of the grill (so that the heat will be around the edges of the grill and not directly in the center). Place an disposable aluminum pan with 1" of water in the center. Heat up the grill. Grill lamb until the center of the meat reads 140°F. We grilled a butterflied 7Lb lamb and it took a little over an hour. 

 

Once the lamb is ready, let it rest for about 20 minutes and slice diagonally in 1/4" thick slices. Pour the liquid from the aluminum pan into a serving bowl (now au jus) and add a spoonful or so over the lamb when serving.

 

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Tuesday, 01 January 2013 20:29

Happy New Year!

I had the incredible luxury of having all last week off to savor all of the holiday-ness. I spent a lot of time with family, the husband and I got to meet up with friends we rarely get to see, and, to my great pleasure, I spent a lot of time reading. Oh, and sleeping. Lots of time sleeping. I feel so lucky when I am able to take a week or so off at the end of the year to re-energize myself for the new year. I'm feeling like 2013 is going to be a good one for a lot of the people I care about. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone accomplishes. So, all that said. I've been kind of lazy, so I'm going to show you some of my favorite photos of the last week. I personally love seeing photos of people's holidays because they always look so cozy and nice.

What are you most looking forward to in the new year? Any grand plans or events on the horizon?

Happy new year to each of you!

colleen

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Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Monday, 24 December 2012 09:43

Our Favorite Holiday Recipes and Crafts

Happy Christmas Eve! Well after a car service, shuttle, taxi, three security check points, two planes, and one more car service, I finally made it back home to Indiana to celebrate Christmas with my family. Suffice it to say, I was one cranky mcgee by the time I reached my beloved Hoosier state. But now I am here, fully rested, and well stuffed from my mom's homemade blueberry pancakes and am ready to enjoy Christmas with my giant Greek family.  My sisters and I have our Christmas movies cued up (I'm hoping to sneak in Home Alone, before Hillary can put on White Christmas), our wine poured, and our wrapping stations prepped.  It's go-time at the Stanley-Dunn residence and I for one could not be happier.

 

Colleen and I will be taking the next week off and will be back January 2nd full of fresh ideas to take on the new year.

 

But before we take off, here are a few of our favorite holiday recipes and crafts to bring you a little Christmas cheer.

 

Merry Christmas and a very happy new year!

 

xo,

 

Stephania

 

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Peppermint Bark Cookies

(my personal favorite!)

 

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Mint-Chocolate Whoopie Pies

 

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Classic Christmas Cookies

 

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Shabby Chic Ornament

 

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Cute Christmasey Paper Mache Ornament

 

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Elegant Paper Ornaments

 

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Simple Metallic Painted Ornaments

 

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 19:52

My New Niece and Thanksgiving Decor Ideas

Happy, happy Thursday! Well this has been some week! On Wednesday morning at 12:10 am my little niece, Miss Riley Madeline Pryor, was born.  

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I am so overwhelmed with happiness for my stepsister, Ruthie, and my wonderful brother in-law, Michael.  I don't think that I could have imagined how extraordinary it truly feels to be this darling baby girl's aunt.  I am already dreaming up afternoons filled with spoiling her with ice cream, carousel rides in DUMBO, and hours spent in the park reading and playing. It all makes you take a step back and really appreciate all of the love and simple goodness that can exist in your life (most especially when you make room for it).  

I feel that this year I have so much to give thanks for and to make things even better my family is coming to Brooklyn this year for the very first time to celebrate Thanksgiving. Plans are still in the works, so right now I'm just gathering a few simple decor ideas that will be easy to throw together last minute.

Enjoy! 

xoxo,

stephania 


The Center Piece

Gather a variety of mini pumpkins, Indian corn, and gourds into a wooden container or a bowl.  Use smaller household items or flower arranging foam to help fill the bottom and create different levels to create a balanced center piece.
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The Place Card

Gather a variety of mini pumpkins, Indian corn, and gourds into a wooden container or a bowl.  Use smaller household items or flower arranging foam to help fill the bottom and create different levels to create a balanced center piece.

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The Lighting

These modern DIY votive candle holders are really easy to make yourself.  Simply gather smaller leaves and paint them with metallic spray paint.  Let the paint dry and use a thin layer of glue to adhere to the glass candle holder.
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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.

Enjoy!

colleen

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thanksgiving_saladSalads and Veggies

Aunt Patsy's Spread Salad

Cozy Roasted Cauliflower

Pennsylvania Dutch Succotash

Mom's Sweet Potato Casserole

Squash It Out Fritters

 

Soups

Asya's Thanksgiving Butternut Squash Soup

Pumpkin Spice Soup

Down Home Tortellini Soup

Desserts

Great Grammy Alice's Apple Cream Pie

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cake

Apple and Maple Bread Pudding

Figgy Biscotti

 

thanksgiving_drinkDrinks

Mulled Wine

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.

Enjoy! 

xo,

Stephania

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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
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 10:23

Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Coconut Oil

Ok, you all. This is my new obsession!

Ever since our lovely contributor Jana wrote about "The Wonders" of coconut oil and it's deliciousness and magic powers (ok, at least I like to think of it as magic), I've been hearing lots of great things about it, or at least noticing people talking about it. As Jana notes in her post, "Dr. Jon Kabara, professor emeritus at Michigan State, states that coconut oil was recognized for its “extraordinary health properties” 4,000 years ago by the Ayurveda medicinal community in ancient India. " But us westerners have probably been scared of its high saturated fat content. But, like avocado, coconut oil is one of those "good fats" that we're allowed to have, and that may even have very beneficial properties for us.

Last week my dad was telling me about a woman at his work who's husband was exhibiting severe signs of early onset dementia. She had read something about coconut oil and its association with mental and physical well-being. Apparently, she's had her husband on a regimen of a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil a couple of times a day and within a matter of months, she swears he's nearly back to normal.....I don't know. I might just believe in it's magic. Ok, and if it's not magic, it is delicious, and after trying it in mashed sweet potatoes, I don't think the eating portion of my life will ever be the same. It adds just a hint of coconut flavor that goes so perfectly with the sweetness of the sweet potatoes. I added a touch of brown sugar to mine, but honestly, they didn't even need it. What a simple, healthly and totally yummy side dish. My mind is reeling with Thanksgiving side dish ideas...

Enjoy!

xo,

colleen

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Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Coconut Oilsweet_potatoes_mashed
by colleen reilly

What you need:       

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, washed, peeled and diced into 1"x 1" cubes
  • 1 heaping tbsp coconut oil (I got mine at Trader Joe's. And I like the unrefined kind that tastes like coconut. Even my husband who doesn't really like coconut thought these potatoes were delicious)
  • 1/4 cup milk (almond milk would be a good, vegan alternative and probably quite yummy)
  • Brown sugar, optional

What you do:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Dump in potato cubes and boil until fork tender, about 20-22 minutes. Drain potato cubes and return to pot. Spoon in coconut oil and begin to mash potatoes with a masher or wooden spoon while you slowly add the milk. Add more or less depending on the consistency you like. Serve potatoes into bowls and sprinkle with brown sugar if you like. I served this with a side of Brussels sprouts and vegetarian fake chicken. YUM!

Serves 4-6.

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Thursday, 05 April 2012 08:03

TND: Easter Brunch Style

Happy Thursday! This week we’re all about Easter, so we’re doing a special Thursday Night Dinner tonight.  Last year I covered my family’s Greek Easter, so I thought this year I would embrace American Easter with my family’s tradition a big fat family brunch.  We’re kind of big on any excuse to eat loads of delicious food and since I’ll be celebrating Easter with my New York family, I am bound and determined to cook it up in style.  At the top of our menu is my favorite brunch item, pancakes.  Ever since I ordered ricotta pancakes at Dino a few weeks ago, I have been obsessed with the idea of making them at home.  They were actually quite simple and the lemon zest cuts through the cakey sweetness of the traditional pancake.  Obviously, we can’t just stop there, so we’ll also be making Say Oui to Quiche and Michelle’s Ricotta Pie (it’s a ricotta themed Easter this year).

For the craft, we’ll be dying Easter eggs for our centerpiece.  I haven’t dyed Easter eggs since I was a little girl, so I took a few tips from Betsy’s post from last year and (as always) the one and only Martha Stewart.

To make this simple centerpiece, all you need is a vase, taffeta and dyed Easter eggs.  Feel free to play around with different tones of a color to get a subtle, clean, and beautiful centerpiece.

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If you’re looking for a few more Easter décor ideas, make sure to check out our Modern Easter post here.

Have a lovely holiday weekend.

Xo,

Stephania

 

Lemon-Ricotta Pancakeslemon_ricotta_pancakes-6949 

by Stephania 

What you need:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups ricotta 
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups berries (your choice)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/3 cups sugar; 2 tbsp sugar (separated)

What you do:

In a small mixing bowl combine berries, 1/3 cup sugar, and lemon juice.  Toss together and set aside.  In a medium sized mixing bowl combine flour, milk, baking powder, and salt.  Mix until smooth.  In a separate bowl whisk egg whites until frothy.  Add sugar and lemon zest and whisk together.  Add egg yolks to flour mixture and mix until blended.  Next, fold in egg white mixture. Fold in ricotta making sure to keep it's texture.  

Heat griddle to medium-high heat.  Spray cooking spray or melt one tablespoon of butter.  Ladle about 1/2 cup of pancake batter onto griddle.  Cook until the pancake begins to bubble and the bottom side begin to turn golden brown.  Flip and cook for another 3 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from heat.  Repeat until you have gone through all of the batter.  Serve with berries and their juices.

 

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Monday, 13 February 2012 22:20

Valentine's Day Week: Candied Rose Petals

When I was little Valentine's Day meant one thing and one thing only...Candy. Lots and lots of little heart shaped candy. I had no idea that when I would become a real live grownup in New York City, that it would cause such stress and pandemonium amongst my peers. However, now that we've reached our late (very late) 20's the stress of the holiday has seemed to vanish for us altogether. We have learned to embrace the love and adoration we have for and from our fabulous (and I do mean fabulous!) friends and the delicious candy.  

Our dear friend, Shoko, definitely shares the same mindset when it comes to Valentine's Day.  Today she is sharing a perfectly sweet candy to help you feel the love.

As always, make sure to check out Shoko in the latest edition of Rue and on her own adorable blog Sho & Tell.

xo,

Stephania 

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These sparkling, delicate, ruby-red confections are the definition of luxury, and a perfect little culinary embellishment for this time of year. After all, flowers and candy are Valentine’s Day standards - why not marry the two? It's a heavenly match, if you ask me.

- Shoko

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Candied Rose Petals
adapted from this recipe by Alice Waters, from Bon Appetit 

What you need:

  •  3 dozen petals from large, organic roses
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 cup superfine sugar (NOTE: Because I don’t own a food processor and was unable to find superfine sugar at the store, I used granulated. Superfine would have resulted in a more uniform coating, so I’d recommend using that if possible.)

What to do:

Lightly whisk the egg white in a small bowl, and place the sugar in a shallow dish. Carefully brush each (thoroughly dried) petal with egg white on both sides - I used my finger to spread the egg evenly over the petal’s folds and creases. Dip gently into sugar, or use a spoon to sprinkle sugar onto petals. Let dry on a wire rack or a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper, at least 2 hours. Use as a garnish on cookies, cakes, and ice cream.

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
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