In our 5TH post of our 2015 Holiday Entertaining Tips series, Linda Sample shares her thoughts on the first line of defense for your holiday guests – the hors d’oeuvres!

Let’s talk about hors d’oeuvres (hd’s) – especially, balancing them with the entrée/meal. Also, let’s look at some of the factors that affect both passed and stationary.

If you are serving a main dish later in the evening, consider what you’re serving and do not replicate the flavors. You also want to make sure you are not redundant with protein; beef, fish, pork, chicken, lamb, or shellfish. This holds true whether you’re doing a seated meal or a forkable station.


COLORS – Bright vs brown or all pale.


TEXTURES – Some with crunch, some soft, some in-between.




Here is the fourth in the series of Holiday entertaining season tips from A Thyme to Cook Founder and President, Linda Sample

Now that you have decided to host a soiree and your home is all decorated, you need to figure out what KIND of food to serve, and a lot of these decisions are based on the type of party you want.


In the previous post, I mentioned how the time frame of your party dictates the appropriate kinds of foods. Make sure to balance some stationary items, (requiring a cocktail napkin ONLY) as well as some hot hors d’oeuvres. By balance, I mean combining different colors, textures, temperature, and a representation of meat, poultry, veggie, fish/seafood, and cheese. You will also want to think seasonal and utilize what ingredients are currently at their peak for both flavor and quality. This is why ATTC does not routinely give lists of suggested hors d’oeuvres items, as people tend to choose what they like – only to realize that what was chosen, was all some variation of cheese!


It is nice to offer some take-away sweets as guests leave, too – depending on the length of the party, you may or may not need to provide coffee. If you do, you need to provide it for ½ the guests, as not everyone will trade their wine glass for the a coffee mug.




We are often asked for our advice on entertaining during the holidays. Recently, A Thyme to Cook Founder and President, Linda Sample, took some time to discuss her thoughts. Here is the third in the series of Holiday entertaining season tips

Decorating for the holidays is probably my MOST favorite thing to do. So, I want to make sure I do not get carried away with this one and start rambling….

It is important to make your home feel warm and inviting (use candles, make the entryway festive and smell wonderful). However, DO NOT GO CRAZY CLEANING THE HOUSE!


The only place to focus on is the bathroom. No one will notice the kitchen, as they assume you are as crazed as everyone else at this time of year; but they WILL visit the bathroom. Make sure it is clean, smells great; and I always recommend adding some unexpected holiday touches to this neglected, but also, frequently visited room – some greens, twinkle lights, perhaps an Elf on a Shelf? And if some of your family are of the fuzzy kind, make sure to clean their “bathrooms” too and tend to the litter box and scooping the lawn before guests arrive.




We are often asked for our advice on entertaining during the holidays. Recently, A Thyme to Cook Founder and President, Linda Sample, took some time to discuss her thoughts. Here is the second in the series of Holiday entertaining season tips

You decided you are going to have a party and have narrowed down the guest list. You looked at your available space and all the logistics. Now you have some serious decisions to make! As with all these tips, I will keep reminding you to Keep It Simple! Plan on serving something tried and true that is also reflection of yourself. This is the season for comfort and is NOT the time to go playing with pork belly or that 45 step dish you saw on the cooking show last week.

Let’s talk guests and menu…


Although it may seem arbitrary – this is HUGE, as this will dictate the amount, style and quantity of your menu. A cocktail party from 5pm-8pm implies that you plan on serving enough food to equate a meal and do not expect guests to go on to dinner when they leave your home.

You might want to consider a few stationary items, a few hors d’oeuvres (maybe get someone to assist you so you don’t have to leave your guests – Keep It Simple) and perhaps, bring out something a little heartier around 6:30pm or so. You also may want to set out a few holiday cookies for a sweet send-off before guests head back out into the cold.

If you decide on an earlier 5pm-7pm soiree – this is what I would call a traditional, light, cocktail party. With a few nibbles and bites, this short gathering is more social and promotes mingling; but just not for too long!




We are often asked for our advice on entertaining during the holidays. Recently, A Thyme to Cook Founder and President, Linda Sample, took some time to discuss her thoughts. Throughout the Holiday entertaining season, we will share them here with you…

So, you have decided to have a holiday bash. Of course, my first response is going to be – call us at A Thyme to Cook! However, with all the seasonal, festive decorating at this time of year, it’s understandable that you may decide to show off your home and do it yourself.

With that in mind, here are a few tips and trends…

The Basic Questions

WHERE is the party? If it is in your home – how many people can your home accommodate COMFORTABLY? I said COMFORTABLY, not crammed into every nook and cranny. You can determine how many guests you can fit by simply dividing the square footage of your home by 5 – that is the magic number. If you do not want to open up your entire house, decide which rooms and use the same formula to determine how many people you should invite.


WHAT kind of party are you throwing? Now that you have a sense of your ‘party space’ you need to think about WHAT KIND of party you want to host. A cocktail party, a casual brunch, a full dinner party for 12? Remember, keep it simple and focus on doing what you feel comfortable executing.



PicMonkey Collage2

We are always extremely honored that a happy couple would invite us to be a part of their special day. In the process, we have the privilege of working alongside some of the very best in the industry to help create the perfect celebrations for those saying “I Do”.

Often, we mention our admiration for photographers, however, we cannot over-stress the timelessness of their work. Memories carved in time and there for us to share and look back on.

As our 2015 Wedding “Season” continues to drive along through the Fall, we wanted to take pause and spotlight some of the amazing couples, venues and, of course, photographers from last few years.


Sarah & Jonathan Photo Courtesy: Leslie Dumke Studios White Gate Farm

Sarah & Jonathan
Photo Courtesy: Leslie Dumke Studios
White Gate Farm



New Website

We are BEYOND excited to officially unveil our new look on the internet!

Thanks to the amazingly talented Patti Murphy and her Patti Murphy Designs team, AThymeToCook.com has a fresh look that fits perfectly into our vision as a company.

We started the new website project last fall and today we are filled with accomplishment and joy!

We met Patti at an industry event last summer at Stonington Vineyards and kept her card handy. She is a local artist (with the most adorable shop in the Velvet Mill in Stonington) who brought her sense of artistry to the project.

The new site’s design allows for ease of use to our current and potential clients and is filled with beautiful photography from some of the best area professionals.

Everything including our menu designing process, weddings, pop-up dinners, green certification, FAQ, team bios, featured venues, corporate events and so much more is on the site for your reading pleasure.

Please, take a look at our new little corner of the world wide web and let us know what you think!




In the event business, there are the essentials – amazing location, amazing food (OF COURSE!), amazing drinks, amazing floral, amazing clothes, amazing guests and so much more.

However, the photos of all these amazing things are what we can cherish for the years to come.

That’s where the AMAZING photographers come in. Silently doing their job, capturing all those special moments and making them even-lasting.

When we started to work with Patti Murphy on redesigning our website, we knew that we wanted to showcase the best of the best photographs and sent out the requests. Our friends in the photography world didn’t hesitate to share their photos from previous celebrations we worked side-by-side on.

We want to highlight those people who currently have their art on our new site. We can’t recommend them enough and would more than happy to talk to you about any of them!

Anna Sawin Photography
Phone: 860.608.4872

Chris Nachtwey Photography
Phone: 860.912.4958

HK Photography
Phone: 203.906.7722

Jewel Photo
Phone: 860.262.0311

JHumphries Photography
Phone: 203.687.6410

Kelly Lorenz Imagery
Phone: 617.680.8802

Laura Dee Photography

Leslie Dumke Studios
Phone: 917-533-9446

Levi & Val

Lindsay Shaw Photography
Phone: 860.268.1722

Love Days Photography
Phone: 508-221-0128

Maggie Conley Photography
Phone: 860-857-7136

Meg Heriot Photography
Phone: 401-601-5447

Robert Norman Photography
Phone: 203-247-3093

Saintuma Photography EQFX Studios
Phone: (860) 373 0304

Stephen Wang Photography
Phone: 860-918-3174

Studio TEN9TEN
Phone: 203-415-9851


Last month a few of us attended a great networking event hosted by the Rhode Island Wedding Group at the Providence G, right in the middle of a revitalized downtown Providence.

We were in awe of the grand ballroom/event space. A former Gas Company lobby (built in 1920s), the space, with huge windows and grand columns, is ideal for transforming into the celebration of your dreams. The Providence G website states it perfectly: “4,800 square feet of blank canvas to completely customize and design the look and feel of your event. From weddings, to socials, to birthday soirées…”.

photo: ProvidenceG

photo: ProvidenceG

photo: ProvidenceG

We returned the following week and met with the uber-talented Kristen who serves as the Event Specialist at the Providence G. Kristen guided us on a spectacular tour and filled us in on all the details of the historic building. The space is custom-made for an unforgettable event – a caterers kitchen, beautiful restrooms, a grand lobby, and even valet parking for all guests!


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