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Wednesday, 28 March 2012 19:41

TND: Birthday Dinner and Duct Tape Wallets

We hope that you've been enjoying birthday week here at Thursdays! I'm continuously amazed at how many birthdays there are in March. To celebrate some Louisville Thursday girl birthdays at dinner tonight, we're making some easy Shrimp 'n Black Beans along with Kate's favorite birthday dessert. For the craft, I'm going to show the girls how to make these fun duct tape wallets.

xo.

colleen

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Shrimp 'n Black Beans

by stephania stanley

What you need:Shrimp_n_black_beans_FINALIMG_6359-Edit

  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 cups shrimp, raw
  • 4 cups cooked white rice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper

What to do:

Cook rice according to directions.  While the rice is cooking, pour the can of black beans, cayenne, cumin, salt and pepper into a saucepan and cook over medium heat for five minutes.  While the beans are cooking, use a fork to gently mash up the black beans.  You don’t want to completely mash it together, but just enough so that it’s not all whole beans.

If your shrimp is not already peeled, go ahead and peel them now.  Heat olive oil in a medium sized skillet over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and shrimp.  Sauté for three minutes or until shrimp has turned white.

Distribute ingredients onto four plates layering them from bottom to top, rice, black beans, and then shrimp.

Serves 4.

Kate's Strawberry Cake

kate is one of our favorite Thursday girls and this recipe comes from her mama (both of whom are March birthday girls).

What you need:cake_with_strawberriesFINAL

For the cake:

  • 1 box cake mix (yellow or white)
  • 1 box strawberry Jello
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup crushed strawberries
  • 4 eggs

For the icing:

  • 1 box powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup crushed strawberries
  • 1/4 cup margarine

What to do:

For the cake:
Mix dry cake mix and Jello powder together.  Add oil, water, and strawberries.  Beat eggs in one at a time with a whisk. Mix until incorporated. Bake in 2 cake pans or round loaf pan for 30-35 minutes at 350° F.

For the icing:
Mix ingredients together until incorporated. Ice cake with a soft spatula after cake has cooled (about 15 minutes).

 

Duct Tape Wallets

by colleen

duct_tape_wallet

I've been really into making these fun little wallets lately (and they make great birthday gifts!). Follow the directions in the video here. If you live in the Louisville area, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the next Glue Gun Mafia class at Regalo. We'll have all kinds of fun duct tape colors to choose fun, and we're going to show you how to make bags.

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Thursday, 08 March 2012 08:54

Grillin' & Beading

Happy Thursday everyone! It's our favorite day of the week and tonight is going to be a very special night because we have a new Thursdays Girl!

Meet Ophelia...

ophelia_first_day

My adorable, sweet, sweet black lab puppy. I know, she could not be more cute, right?!

So tonight we're going to have a special TND because our Thursdays Girls are dying to meet Miss Ophelia. In light of the 69 degree weather, we are most definitely going to be firing up the grill.  I'm thinking fish tacos with Michelle's mango salsa and our Chunky Monkey Avocado Dip. For the craft, I'm going to be making something new.  It's another take on a friendship bracelet with a chunky gold chain. I was hoping to finish it before Thursday to share with all of you, but I must admit that I've been a teeny tiny bit distracted with my little bundle of love.  I promise to share it next week, just in time for Yellow Week! However, I simply cannot leave you all hanging without a single new craft idea so I've made a little roundup of my favorite jewelry making crafts from our site and from our fellow bloggers.

What are you cooking and crafting tonight?!

xo,

Stephania

 

Mango Salsa

by Michelle Hainer

Mango-salsa

 

What you need:

  • 1 mango, cubed
  • 1 roma tomato, chopped
  • juice of one lime
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
  • pinch of cumin
  • salt, to taste

What to do:

Combine ingredients and enjoy!

 

Chunky Monkey Avocado Dip

by Colleen Reilly

What you need:avocado339B2582

  • 4 ripe avocados
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic (finely diced)
  • 2 roma tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (finely chopped)
  • 1 lime
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
Note:Serve with blue tortilla chips and salsa as a snack while you’re preparing the rest of your meal or as a side with burritos or tacos.

What to do:

In a small mixing bowl, add diced onion and garlic. Slice roma tomatoes in half. Over a trash can, squeeze out their guts. Do this for each half. Dice what is left of the tomato into very small pieces and add to the bowl. With a sharp knife, slice each avocado in half long ways. Hold the avocado in both hands and turn each half away from the other to separate the halves. Run your knife around the pit to loosen. Using a spoon, gently scoop out the pit. If the avocado is ripe, the pit will pop right out. Slicing between the skin and the avocado’s insides with your knife, plop the insides into the bowl.

Using your (washed!) fingers or the back of a spoon or a potato masher, mash up the avocado mixture carefully so you don’t crush up the tomatoes. Because you aren’t using a food processor, this dip will be chunky. Once the dip is to the desired consistency, grind or sprinkle on pepper and add a tiny dash of salt and a dash of cayenne pepper. Slice the lime in half and squeeze one half over the mixture, seed side up so the deeds don’t fall into the bowl. Mix all ingredients with a spoon until they are evenly distributed and you’re ready to go!

This will make about 2 cups of dip. Easily doubled or tripled—just add more of everything!

 

Fresh Fish Tacos

by Colleen Reilly

What you need:

  • 1 lb tilapia fillets (catfish works well, too)
  • 3 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • ½ avocado, removed from skin and cubed
  • 1 cup romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 7 slices jalapenos, diced
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 16 oz can black beans
  • 8 taco sized flour tortillas
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salsa

What to do:

Note: Parsley is a good substitute if you are cilantro-phobic.

Fire up the grill.  Open can of black beans, remove label and place on grill, stirring occasionally. When it’s bubbly, it’s ready. Coat each side of tilapia fillets (1 lb will be about two fillets) with olive oil. Sprinkle pepper and 1 tbsp of cilantro on each side and rub to spread evenly. Use the extra tbsp of cilantro as a topper for the finished tacos. Put fillets on the grill (we usually put ours on a piece of foil because, admittedly, we aren’t that great at keeping our grill super clean.) The olive oil will prevent fish from sticking.

While the first side is grilling, begin chopping the toppers (avocado, lettuce, jalapenos, onion and set aside). Flip the fillets after 3-5 minutes. While the second side is cooking, put as many tortillas on the grill as will fit, and grill each side for about 30 seconds, until slightly browned. After 3-5 minutes, the tilapia should be white and flaky. Let them go for a few more minutes if there are any clear-ish parts remaining. When cooked thoroughly, remove from grill and cut up each fillet into inch-size pieces. Load each tortilla with black beans, fish, cheese and then whatever cold toppers you want. Dribble some salsa on top and close up the tortilla. Of course, Stephania and Colleen always add hot sauce as well.

Serves 4.

Story:
I can’t think of anything better than sitting in a friend’s backyard or deck (or whatever outdoor space you can find) eating these tacos and drinking a margarita on a hot summer Thursday. Ahh…summer!  -Colleen

 

DIY Braided Necklace

from More Design Please

braided_necklaceIMG_3521

Vintage Necklace 

by Stephania Stanley

Vintage_necklace

Caitlin's Graceful Gold Earrings

 by Caitlin Hinz

colleen

Pom Pom Bib Necklace

from Little Miss Momma

pom_pom_necklaceIMG_1579

Rope & Hex Nut Bracelet

from Pinterest via Truly Smitten

rope_and_hex_bracelet

Anthro Limitless Necklace

from Flamingo Toes

anthroP1019749

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 09:39

Delicious Crab Meat Muffins

Today we are sharing a tasty little appetizer from our fellow foodie and blogger, the lovely Michelle Hainer. Michelle is always coming up with new ways to keep her recipes true to whole foods and this recipe is no exception.  These Crab Meat Muffins aren't really muffins at all, but bite sized pieces of deliciousness that make the perfect appetizer.  Michelle usually makes these guys for special holidays, but I'm convinced that they are easy enough to make year round (most especially at our Thursday Night Dinners!).

Happy cooking & crafting! 

Stephania

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Crab Meat Muffins

By Michelle Hainer

Crabmeat-muffins-platter

What you need:

  • 6 English Muffins
  • 1 6 ounce can of White Lump Crab meat
  • 2 tablespoons mayonaise
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 a teaspoon seasoned salt

For the Old English Cheese Spread

  • 1/8 cup mayonaise
  • 1/8 cup half and half
  • 1/2 pound medium cheddar cheese, cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/6 cup tomato juice
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon scallions, thinly sliced

For the Seasoned Salt

  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon corn starch

What you do:

To make the Old English Chees Spread combine in a saucepan mayonnaise, milk, cheese, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in juice, horseradish and green onions. Next add the butter, crab meat, mayonaise, garlic salt, and seasoned salt. 

Split and half and quarter the english muffins. Stir everything together and then spread the mixture on top of the muffins. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes.

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Thursday, 01 March 2012 10:24

Springlike Recipes and a Pretty In Pink Drink

It's been feeling like springtime lately in Louisville, and that just always makes everything seem better. For Thursday night dinner, we're going to embrace the current warmed-up temps and serve up a light, spring-inspired (not to mention quick and easy) meal. As you know, it's cocktail week here at Thursdays, so we're also going to make this yummy drink that my brother and his girlfriend (my soon-to-be sister-in-law!) developed. They spent a winter a couple of years ago experimenting and finally coming up with the recipe below (sounds like a good way to beat the winter blues to me). And I must say, I'm glad they did! But be careful, it's really yummy, so it can get you in trouble :)

Happy Thursday!

xo,

colleen

 

Five Minute Grilled Shrimp

by Colleen Reilly

What you need:

  • 16 jumbo shrimp, deveined in shell, raw
  • ½ cup olive oil, for brushing
  • Coarse salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 lemons, halved

What to do:

Ready the grill or preheat griddle or grill pan over high heat. Butterfly shrimp by slicing nearly all the way through them lengthwise. Leave the shell on. Brush the shrimp with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill two minutes on each side until the shell is opaque. Squirt with lemon wedges to serve. 

Serves 2-4.

 

Baked Plantains

by Colleen Reilly and Stephania Stanley

What you need:

  • 4 Very ripe plantains
  • Cooking spray

What to do:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Peel the plantains and cut off the ends.  Slice the plantains horizontally into 1/8” thick strips.  Coat a cookie sheet with cooking spray and place the slices of plantains on the cookie sheet, making sure that they do not overlap.  If you run out of space, put the remaining slices on another cookie sheet.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, flipping slices over once about half way through.  Take them out when the plantains are golden brown. Add a dash of salt over them and they are ready to eat!

 

Happiness in a Glasshappiness_in_a_glassIMG_1395

by Freda Maletsky

What you need:

  • Vodka (Freda uses Kettle One)
  • Cherry juice from maraschino cherries
  • Peach Juice (Freda uses Trader Joes)
  • Lightly crushed ice (give it a few pulses in a blender)

What you do:

These instructions are per drink in a small (8 oz or so) tumbler. To each glass, add a shot and a half of vodka and 2 tablespoons cherry juice. Add a handful of crushed ice and fill the rest of the glass with peach juice. Top with a couple of cherries and a fancy straw!

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Thursday, 16 February 2012 13:17

Friday Feature: Adrianna Adarme of a Cozy Kitchen

When we stumbled onto A Cozy Kitchen, we knew that we were in for a treat. We immediately noticed the darling design and once we began to scroll down to read and admire the delicious recipes, we were hooked. Adrianna Adarme is the co-creator and now sole writer and has a fantastic sense of humor in her writing and on her take on food. She says on her site, "There’s nothing fancy about the stuff I like to cook and bake–it’s usually just grown-up versions of stuff I ate as a kid."

We knew you guys would love her too, so today we have Adrianna here to share her thoughts on food, kitchen gadgets, and her most recent favorite recipe.

Adriana

1. Tell us a little bit about A Cozy Kitchen, how did you decide to start food blogging?

A Cozy Kitchen is a place where I share recipes I'm digging and accompany them with stories about my random life-happenings.  I started my blog a few years ago when I was working a job that I wasn't too thrilled with. I was bored and uninspired so I'd come home and cook and cook some more. Finally I decided that it'd be fun to share, so that's how ACK was born.
CupcakeCU

2. We read that breakfast is your favorite meal of day. What is your go-to breakfast?

It totally is! My breakfast life is broken into two worlds: healthy and indulgent. During the week I usually go with the former, so it's, like, a beet/apple/kale juice concoction with a strong cup of coffee. On the weekends, I'm all about fun so I always go with a stack of pancakes.  I know pumpkin was so three months ago but I'm still obsessed with pumpkin pancakes right now. I can't stop!
PancakesStackSyrup

3. If you had to choose one cooking tool that you just could not live without, what would it be?

Oh I dunno. I guess a bowl? What could I make without having a bowl? Probably nothing. So yeah, a bowl!
TomatoBruschetta1

4. We're all about a fun girls' night in. What are your top three favorite tips/tricks for entertaining?

Top three entertaining tricks: 1. Buy a few things. Don't try and make EVERYTHING. This leads to too much stress. Buy some olives, prosciutto, cornichons, and nuts. No one doesn't like those things. 2. Make your friends make things. It stresses me out when I go to dinner parties or brunches when the host is all frazzled. Break up the work! People want to help and contribute. 3. Ask about everyone's allergies and food preferences. I have all of my friends' food issues memorized. The thought of someone not having food makes me cringe. And P.S.: Always have alcohol. Always.

FinalStrawberrySangria

 

 

Spicy Buttery Steamed Mussels (for two!) 

by Adrianna Adarme of A Cozy Kitchen

mussels

What you need:

  • 1 pound mussels
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 tablespoons Italian parsley, minced and divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (scale back to 1 teaspoon if your adverse to spicy)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • salt

What you do:

Place the mussels in a bowl and cover them with cold water. Mix in the two tablespoons of flour and allow to stand for 30 minutes. This will allow the mussels to release any sand. Next, drain the mussels and pull the “beards” off. If the mussels are dirty, scrub them, removing any dirt and be sure to discard any that aren’t tightly shut.

In a large saute pan, melt butter over medium heat. Once melted, add the shallots and garlic; cook for 3-4 minutes and until translucent. Add 2 tablespoons of Italian parsley, crushed red pepper and white wine. Bring to a simmer, reducing liquid for 5-7 minutes.

Transfer clean mussels to the pot and cover with a lid, steaming them for 2-3 minutes. Holding the lid down, give the pot a shake one or two times; this will make sure the mussels at the bottom don’t burn. You’ll know when the mussels are done when they’re all open, throwing away any that refuse to open. Scoop mussels into two separate bowls, and ladle liquid over each bowl. Serve with bread.

Enjoy!

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Thursday, 03 November 2011 10:48

New Crafting Project and Ginger Shrimp Stir-Fry

Fall is in the air and I am really happy about two things. First, the new Florence + The Machine album is out and I am loving it (no really, it's been on repeat for the last two days).  Secondly, it's Thursdaycozy-winters-CRAFT-600which it's time to hang with girls. Tonight I'm feeling like I need a little stir fry in my life, so I'm going to cook up one of Caitlin and Colleen's favorite dishes, Ginger Shrimp Stir-fry.

For the craft this week, I will be getting out my knitting needles.  After about 8 years of crocheting, I have finally decided that its time for me to learn how to knit. When Emily first introduced me to the world of knitting and crocheting, she explained that one of the main differences in the process was that knitting tended to take a bit longer to complete a project than crocheting. I thought about it for about one second and decided that I was after the immediate gratification, so I took up crocheting.  Caitlin is going to be teaching me the basics tonight and then I have picked out a cable knit scarf as my first project.  Check out the how-to for knitting cable that I found at The {New New} Blog.

Happy cooking and crafting! 

stephania

Ginger Shrimp Stir-fry
by Colleen and Stephania

What you need:

Cooked rice (there will be three or four of us, so we will do 4 cups water, and 2 cups dry rice; cooked to package instruction. we currently have long grain white rice at the house)

  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sherry (dry white wine is ok)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 garlic glove, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped ginger (1/2 tsp ground ginger)
  • ¾ pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 tbsp peanut oil
  • ½ pound asparagus cut into ½” long pieces
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 4 oz mushrooms sliced (if Colleen’s in charge of cooking she usually “forgets” to add the mushrooms)

What to do:

Note: We make this recipe a lot because we tend to have most of the ingredients around the house and we love stir-fries because they are like main dish and side all in one.  We often will add other veggies we have around like peppers and zucchini to give the dish more volume.

Whisk together thoroughly soy sauce, sherry, garlic, cornstarch and ginger in a medium bowl. Add shrimp and coat with sauce. Set aside for 10 minutes.

In your biggest skillet, heat 1 ½ tbsp peanut oil over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, remove shrimp with slotted spoon and add to skillet. Set aside the rest of the sauce. Stir-fry until shrimp turns pink, about a minute on each side. Place shrimp on a plate.

Add the other 1 ½ tbsp peanut oil to skillet. When the oil is hot, add asparagus, scallions, mushrooms and stir-fry until veggies are tender. This will be 5-7 minutes. Return shrimp to skillet and add the rest of the sauce and stir fry until heated through and sauce is thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Serve over rice immediately.

Veggie option:

If there are veg heads in your midst, microwave fake chicken patties for about 45 seconds so they are soft enough to cut into bite size cubes. Let stand in sauce for 10 minutes like you would with the shrimp. Sauté chicken pieces for 3-5 minutes, flipping occasionally. Transfer to plate and cook the veggies for 5-7 minutes.  Add the chicken and stir fry with the veggies for about 3 minutes.

Story:

We made the mistake only once of buying shrimp that weren’t already de-gutted. After a lot of disgusted groans and about 30 minutes, Caitlin, Stephania and Kyra finally got all the little guys de-veined.  We’ve decided the little bit of extra cost will always be worth it in this case.

How to Knit Cablecablehowto_032
Instructions and photo from thenewnew.blogspot.com

What you need:

Cooked rice (there will be three or four of us, so we will do 4 cups water, and 2 cups dry rice; cooked to package instruction. we currently have long grain white rice at the house)

  • knitting needles
  • yarn
  • cable needles

What to do:

Cast on 18 stitches. Row 1: purl 6, knit 6, purl 6.  

Row 2: knit the knits and purl the purls.

Row 3: Purl 6, take the next 3 stitches and slip them onto a cable needle.

Let the cable needle slouch away from your work and knit the next 3 stiches with your regular needles.  Be sure to pull that first stitch tight.

Knit the 3 stitchs that are on the cable needle, pull tight.

The pattern is 6 rows long so for rows 4, 5, and 6 you will knit the knits and purl the purls.  Afte the 6th row start over.  Rows 1 and 2 you knit the knits and purl the purls and row 3 is where you cross over the stitches.

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Tuesday, 11 October 2011 10:42

Orange Week: Orange Can Make Us Healthier AND Happier

When I told Jana that "Orange" was the theme color for this week, she was less than enthused. Apparently Jana holds quite a disdain for the color. But then she remembered, that to a yogi, such as herself, the color orange is actually quite important as it represents an important chakra (she'll explain later) and that keeping it healthy can keep you healthy and happy, too. (As someone who is just getting back into yoga, I find this very interesting!)

So look at that, not only is orange the official color of fall:

orange-fall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

image from mademoiselledianne.com

and very in style right now:

orange_coucholsen_orange

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

couch image from design*sponge. Olsen image from the web.

...it's also good for you! Yay! Jana tells you more below.

xo.

colleen

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This week’s color theme had me stumped.  Orange is probably my least favorite color.  It reminds me of felt and carpet wall art.  Yet, orange is the color associated with one of my favorite chakras – the Svadhisthana or 2nd chakra.  It’s a super appropriate chakra for me at the moment, since I’m a new mom, and it governs the womb, among other things.orangechakras_2_orange0509

You might be wondering what a chakra is exactly.  Picture a chakra as a circle of energy that flows throughout our bodies.  Although there are hundreds of chakras in our bodies, we commonly reference seven major chakras that start at the base of the spine and move upwards to the crown of the head.  Every organ, gland and body system is connected to a chakra and each chakra is connected to a color vibrational frequency.  If a chakra is not performing correctly, this could cause our physical, mental and spiritual health to suffer.

The 2nd chakra is located in the lower abdomen behind and approximately two inches from the belly button, in the area of the womb.  It rules the reproductive organs, all the liquids in the body, the hips, sacrum, low back and kidneys.  It is associated with creativity, procreation and the emotional and sensual aspects of our lives.  A balanced 2nd chakra leads to feelings of wellness, plenty, pleasure, and joy, whereas signs of deficiency are fear of pleasure, being out of touch with one's feelings and resistance to change.  An imbalance in the 2nd chakra may be experienced as an eating disorder, drug or alcohol addiction, depression, and intimacy issues.

To focus on balancing the 2nd chakra, try to wear orange clothing.  Orange is a very stimulating color because of its vibrational energy.  In yoga, do backward and forward bends and squatting moves to strengthen the 2nd chakra.  Some of the foods associated with a healthy 2nd chakra are: water, healthy oils and fatty acids, fish, seeds, tropical fruits, nuts, and orange-colored food.

Below, you’ll find a tasty recipe to help feed your 2nd chakra from the book, Chakra Foods for Optimum Health, by Deanna M. Minich, PhD, CN.  Enjoy!

 Grilled Salmon with Apricot Orange Sauce and Baby Carrots

What you need: 

  • 1 and 1/2 lbs salmon
  • ¾ cup apricot preserves
  • 1 tbsp teriyaki sauce
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1 small bag baby carrots

What to do:

Cut salmon into four 6 oz servings and set aside in a 9x13” baking pan.  In small saucepan combine apricot preserves, teriyaki sauce, vinegar and ginger. Stir over low heat for about a minute or until preserves become liquid. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Add sesame oil, orange juice and orange zest and mix well.  Pour ¾ of mixture on top of salmon.  Cover with foil and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until ready to grill.  Keep remaining sauce on side in a small bowl. Meanwhile, allow baby carrots to steam until they reach soft consistency.

Preheat grill to medium. Grease grill. Remove marinated salmon and place on grill. Cover grill and cook 3-4 minutes per side or until desired doneness. Serve salmon with warm apricot sauce and baby carrots.

Serves 4.

 

 

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 18:30

Thursday Night Dinner: Flip-Flops and Blondies

Happy Thursday everyone! As I continue with my little staycation, Ryder and I are headed to Coney Island for a day of rides, treats, and plain ole’ fun! I haven’t been for years and I am determined to give Ry a little taste of amusement parks before we make our big trip to Harry Potter World and Disney World next month.  After months of coaxing, I have finally warmed Ry up to the idea of going on a kid rollercoaster.  With my dad in the lead, my sisters and I have always been rollercoaster fanatics.  We used to go to Kings Island every summer and would wait for hours in line for a ride on the newest and most badass rollercoaster at the park.  I’m not sure that Ry is such a thrill seeker, but I think he’ll enjoy kid-sized hills all the same.

9coney

However, before we take our journey on the Q train, I need to plan out my Thursday Night Dinner.  I made a delicious batch of Blondies yesterday that I think will put a smile on at least one or two faces this evening.  I have wanted to make these guys for ages.  I love Blondies because they only require one mixing bowl and you can really get creative to what you end up adding to them.  I happened to have a bag of unsweetened coconut from a food styling job and have a slight obsession with the lovely texture that coconut adds, so I added about a cup or so to the basic recipe.  Serve them with a healthy dollop of whipped cream and enjoy.

Oh, and dinner of course! I’m thinking that we’ll make our Easy Peasy Fresh Sauce and Angel Hair pasta, but I want to switch it up a bit and add grilled butterfly cut shrimp.  Inspired by our Vacation Week, I will be working on our new and improved flip-flop craft.  I am thrilled to announce that we will be adding this craft kit to our shop in just a few short weeks! I have searched high and low in NYC to find the cutest beads to accessorize this super fun summer craft and I am convinced that they will become my new favorite pair of shoes.

 

 Easy Peasy Fresh Sauce and Angel Hair Pasta
by Stephania Stanley

What You Need:fresh_pasta339B3059

  • 1 16oz box of angel hair pasta
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large zucchini, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup goat cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp crushed red pepper
Note:This will make about six servings. If you feel the need for a little meat in your life, add chicken sausage (my favorite is the spinach and feta kind).  Slice it and sauté for five minutes. Mix it in when you add the pasta and goat cheese.

What to do:

Cook pasta according to directions on the box.  While your pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add zucchini and garlic and sauté for five minutes.  Add the tomatoes, sauté for two minutes, and then stir in the parsley and crushed red pepper.  Sauté ingredients for an additional four minutes.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain it, and add it to the sauté pan.  Lower the heat to medium-low so that your pasta does not over cook and add the goat cheese.  Using a wooden spoon, mix ingredients together and sauté for another five minutes.  Remove from heat and serve.

Serves 4-6.

 Blondies for THURSDAYSblondies2-7140
by Stephania Stanley

What You Need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 stick of butter, melted
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup diced walnuts, toasted
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ tsp salt
Note:Blondies are a great dessert for experimenting. Try adding and subtracting different elements that you have in your kitchen like marshmallows, almonds, caramel, etc.

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine sugar and butter into a medium sized mixing bowl. Mix until smooth. Next add vanilla and the egg yolks, one at a time. Mix until blended. Add flour at about ½ cup at a time. Add the coconut, walnuts, salt, and chocolate chips. Stir to mix. Pour batter into a 13”x9” baking pan and make for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

 Fun Flip-Flopsflipflops2-7158
by Colleen Reilly and Stephania Stanley

What you need:

  • A pair of plain rubber flip-flops
  • 2 yards seam binding or ribbon
  • Fabric glue
  • Embellishments (beads, buttons, rhinestones, etc)
  • thread and needle
  • Scissors

What to do:

Cut approximately one yard of seam binding or ribbon. Wrap the ribbon or binding around one side of the flip-flop strap, starting from the back and working your way up to the toe divider. Secure the binding or ribbon at both ends with a dab of fabric glue.  Repeat on the other side of the strap.  You can leave the flip-flop as it is, or glue embellishments onto the top of the newly ribboned strap for a more festive look.  Repeat for the second flip-flop.

Story:
As soon as the weather warms, we are sock-less for the entirety of the summer, but your average flip flops are a bit too boring for us. This is an easy way to turn an ordinary pair of rubber flip-flops into some seriously fun summer foot wear.

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Friday, 15 July 2011 07:39

Follow Up Friday: Louisville Crew TND


Louisville Crew TND (Thursday Night Dinner)

Dinner was so yummy last night! We loosely followed our Fresh Fish Tacos recipe-- and it was the perfect summer evening meal. Can't wait until Derek and I have a grill, and it will be even that much better. Here are some photos from last night.

Kate getting caught getting into the guacamole.

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This guy likes to hang out in the kitchen with us.

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The spread. Mmmmm:

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Dressed with tomatoes from Kate's garden.

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I joined the clean plate club.

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Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 18:12

Thursday Night Dinner: Picnic Style

Happy Thursday everyone! This week at THURSDAYS we have been all about picnics.  We tend to take advantage of the warm weather every chance we get and fruit_stamped-7037picnics have become one of our favorite summertime activities. This week I was able to squeeze in my own evening picnic while listening to the opera at Central Park.  My friends and I had a lovely little spread of Brie and crackers, sushi, and pecan pie for dessert.  We left feeling pleasantly sleepy and full.  It was one of those nights that makes me feel so happy and grateful to live in New York City.  

Inspired by my recent picnic evening, I have decided to share our Spicy California Roll recipe for dinner tonight.  Sushi can sound a little daunting at first, but its actually pretty easy to make and its so healthy! For the craft this week, I am posting a new fabric napkin craft that is block printing with fruit! Fabric napkins are a great way to dress up a dinner party and to make your gathering a little bit more earth-friendly.  This craft also makes a fun project for kids.  Ry was a great little helper with mine!

Happy cooking & crafting! 

stephania

Spicy California Roll

What You Need:_MG_1843

For the rice:

  • 2 cups sushi or short grain rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

For the rolls:

  • 1 cup prepared sushi rice
  • ½ avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 4 crab sticks or real king crabmeat
  • ½ cucumber, cut vertically and peeled
  • 1 sheet of nori seaweed
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 3 drops hot pepper sauce (preferably Japanese hot pepper sauce)
  • Bamboo rolling mat (optional)

What to Do:

For the rice:

Rinse rice thoroughly in cold water.  Over medium heat, combine water and rice in a medium pot.  Keeping the lid off, bring water to boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes.  Keep the lid on.

 While the rice is standing, combine the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan.  Cook over medium-high heat for two minutes, or until sugar is dissolved; stir often.  Take out a 13” x 9” glass baking dish and, when the rice is ready, scoop the rice into the baking dish.  Use a spatula to spread the rice evenly so that there is a nice, even layer of rice.  Next, pour the vinegar mixture evenly over the rice.  Using a spatula, gently fold the rice so that the vinegar mixture is spread thoroughly throughout the rice.  Let the rice cool to room temperature before making your rolls.

 For the rolls:

Slice the avocado into ¼” thick pieces.  Next, cut the halved cucumber in half again, vertically.  Cut ¼” thick slices and set aside.  Spread plastic wrap over the bamboo rolling mat or on a flat surface.  Lay the sheet of nori on the plastic sheet and spread the rice over the nori sheet.  Sprinkle sesame seeds over the rice, pat down with spatula, and gently flip over the rice and nori layers together.  Coat the nori sheet with mayonnaise and hot pepper sauce.  Place avocado, cucumber, and crabmeat in the center of the nori sheet.  Tightly roll the bamboo mat and ingredients into a cylinder.  Make sure not to roll the bamboo mat inside the roll, but use it as a guide to make the cylinder shape.  Cut roll horizontally into six pieces.

Serve with ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce on the side.

Veggie Option:

Double the amount of cucumber and avocado and omit the crabmeat.  If you want a plain cucumber or avocado roll, simply triple the amount of whichever kind of roll you want and omit the crabmeat and the other ingredient.

 

Fruit Block Printed Napkinsfruit_stamped-7048

What You Need:

  • 2 apples, sliced in half
  • 2 pears, sliced in half
  • fabric napkins
  • fabric paint
  • paintbrush

What to Do:

Lay out your fabric napkins and decide on the placement for the print.  I suggest running a couple of practice block prints with the fruit on a paper towel first, so you can figure out the consistency of the fabric paint and how the fruit will appear.  Paint a thin layer of paint onto the fruit (making sure there aren't any streaks) and simply press the fruit down (painted side down) onto the fabric napkin.  Feel free to experiment with different layers of paint and pattern making with the fruit.  Let the paint dry for about 30 minutes and they are ready to use! 

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
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