The Holiday Festival of Trees and Music
Lyme Art Association, Old Lyme CT
November 21 – December 4, 2010

A Thyme to Cook was proud to collaborate with our friend and colleague Josh Chalmers. Our Pastry Chef, Bill made a selection of treats for guests to nibble on. The decorated tree & table presented Rice Krispy Treats (the star tree topper was also a rice krispy treat), Melon, Champagne and Strawberry flavored Lollipops, Chocolate Bonbons, Mint Candy Cane Cookies & Almond Spritz Cookie Wreaths. The table featured Tiremisu Cups & Lavender Lemon Squares.

Proceeds from The Festival of Trees and Music will benefit the youth in music initiatives supporting musical artistic development of youth, programs and services with in the shoreline community & New London counties. Visit their web site for more information on their initiatives. http://www.bringourmusicback.org/


If you’re still looking for something yummy for your Thanksgiving table, try one of our tried & true recipes. Our pumpkin soup is out of this world. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Pumpkin Soup

(1) 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
6 ounces chopped celery
6 ounces chopped onion
3 ounces chopped carrot
4 ounces sweet butter
1 tbsp curry powder
½ tsp allspice
¼ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground cinnamon
32 ounces chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup heavy cream
Salt & pepper to taste

Sauté carrot, celery & onion in butter til onion becomes translucent. Add stock & seasoning then bring to a boil. Add pumpkin puree and reduce heat to a simmer. Continue cooking for ~ 20 minutes. Puree soup together with an immersion blender, food processor or blender. If using a food processor or blender, allow soup to cool first. Add cream while blending

For an element of surprise place toasted pine nuts, sultanas (or golden raisins) and sautéed crisp julienned Serrano ham on the bottom of the bowl. Pour soup over.

Deciding on a photographer was much easier than I thought it would be! But, deciding on a location for the wedding….that was exhausting! My fiancée and I struggled to find the perfect spot. We really wanted the water to act as a beautiful backdrop, so with that as a priority, our search began! We looked at some stunning locations such as

Eolia Mansion at Harkness Memorial State Park ,
The Branford House at Avery Point, and The Florence Griswold Museum on the Lieutenant River. Eventually, we decided on Eolia Mansion! It had everything we were looking for…except our guest list is much larger than the 150 guests that it can hold. We went back and forth a 100 times – cut the list or start the search all over again? Ultimately, we decided everyone on our list was too important.
We finally settled on The Crocker House Ballroom – an 1873 historic building that has plenty of room for both dinner and dancing. Inside, it has beautiful gold chivari chairs and four elegant pillars that give an architectural presence. Some drawbacks for us…it doesn’t have a beautiful water view and parking can be challenging.
Do I still think about having our wedding at Eolia Mansion…yes, every now and then! (especially since I am frequently catering weddings there!) ….. But, The Crocker House is where we will dance the night away, surrounded by our family and friends, and in the end, it’s not so much about the space as it is about who we are sharing the space with!



Linda is on her way to the warmth of Orlando Florida for the latest RED – Regional Education Day. Host Warren Dietel of Puff ‘n Stuff Catering has assembled two days of “red-hot” education and two nights of events.

Linda is especially looking forward to speakers Rebecca Grinnals and Simon T. Bailey. Rebecca, the owner of Engaging Concepts Consulting will be discussing “Capturing the Luxury Wedding Market” and Simon, author of Releasing Your Inner Brilliance is sure to capture the attention of his audience as he discusses “discovering how to motivate your team and bring out your company’s hidden brilliance”. We all can’t wait to hear about both seminars (and of course the night life) when she returns!


Well the seasons are changing, leaves are falling and the local growing season comes to a close with the danger of the first frost. As I cleaned out my summer garden I was reminded of the wonderful tastes of garden fresh produce. The use of local produce enhances every dish we as chefs can produce. I can still remember the taste of fresh spring asparagus picked that morning. Vine ripened tomatoes in all their glory in the heat of the summer. Living in Connecticut means a shorter growing season than some parts of the country so the challenge is how to save and incorporate those farm fresh flavors in the dead of winter. Some ways to save that mid summer flavor are making jams and compotes from tree ripened fruits, canning vine ripened tomatoes, making pesto from the final run of basil and dehydrating herbs and fruits. Produce is available year round but we all know that after being shipped across the country (or even from another country) the flavor profile starts to break down. The saving of fruits and vegetables when they are at their peek and abundant is a great way to incorporate some farm fresh flavor when the snow begins to fly. Well the good news this time of the year is I just picked all of my pumpkins from the garden and it’s time to get creative and start carving. Happy Halloween everyone!


The 7th Annual Hot Pepper Eating Contest was held on October 3rd at The Cookery. Every year this event draws more people – spectators and participants alike.

The afternoon begins with a Chili Cook-Off. Chilli of all kinds are submitted and judged anonymously for the Hottest and Best Overall Flavor. Chilli has run the gamut over the years – from beef, chicken, and bean – to moose, bear, venison and reptile.

After “warming up” with the chilli and mass quantities of beer, the pepper contenders don their custom t-shirts and sit at a long table reminiscent of the “last supper.” Participants can consume as much white bread as they want….and drink as much beer or wine as they want to try to diffuse the heat; but they must eat the entire pepper (excluding the stem) in the time allotted.

The first round begins with at the lowest end of the Scoville Heat Scale and builds up to one of the highest – the Habañero. This year, nine different kinds of hot peppers were included (including some pilfered from Dominica!). As the tears flow and tongues burn, participants who can’t stand the heat bow out to signify their lack of tolerance and get a baby bottle with milk…oh….the relief of the burn with milk!
Watching the contest is definitely entertainment – facial expressions, moans, cries, and belly-clutching are only amplified by the continuous flow of alcohol (which only heightens the pain!).
The winner of the contest receives the coveted “Pepper Trophy” and $100. They also get to name the Hot Pepper Sauce (complete with photo) that ATTC makes from the remaining pepper bounty.
This is a highly competitive event with several repeat performers that have blown everyone away with their ability to withstand the fire.

This year, we are pleased to announce the first female winner – Raechel Brown – a member of our event culinary team. Throughout the year, she will proudly display her Pepper Trophy and gear up to defend her title next year!

Don’t know what to do with your wedding dress after the big day? If you don’t have grand plans for it, give it another chance to walk down the aisle and donate it to Brides Against Breast Cancer.

Your dress will be refurbished and sold at one of their “Nationwide Tour of Gowns” sales held across the country. All donation proceeds go to The Making Memories Foundation that grants final wishes to men and women suffering from terminal breast cancer.

It is estimated that this year alone over 200,000 women and nearly 1,200 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Sadly, breast cancer will take the lives of almost 40,000 people this year in the United States and over 300,000 worldwide. In the United States one person will be diagnosed with breast cancer every 2½ minutes, and one person will die of breast cancer every 12 minutes. Many know that this disease is the second highest killer of women in the United States, but a little known fact is that breast cancer is the number one killer of women between the ages of 15 and 54. – message from Making Memories

For more info, go to Brides Against Breast Cancer


The 7th annual Hot Pepper Eating Contest is here!

This Sunday, October 3rd, A Thyme to Cook hosts the annual Hot Pepper Eating Contest. Kicking it off is the the Chili Contest! Each year we have grand flavors of various chili recipes to taste and vote on for “Hottest” and “Best Overall.” Bill, Julie, Brian and Dan have won the chili contest and this year I am once again attempting to get the prize.

I have already started my chili with a bunch of fresh garden love. Each day or two I add in more and more tomatoes and peppers from my garden. It’s a lot of fun and it introduces the Hot Pepper Eating Contest……

Let the games begin… We’ve had as many as 15 participate in selecting and eating hot peppers from mild to down right fire blazing until the contest is over and the last one standing is not sucking on a baby bottle of milk.

Our A Thyme to Cook Gang looks forward to seeing everyone again!
Lori Post, Client Relations

Working for a caterer is like nothing else. It’s fast paced, exciting and can be a little crazy, especially during wedding season!

As the office manager, I don’t plan or attend the events, but I still have contact with the clients if they have questions and I’m right in the hub of the action! How cool is that??? (Pretty cool!) But occasionally, I’d like to actually attend a wedding and see how it all comes together. Trust me, I’ve probably been to over 50 weddings in my time, but because I’m getting to be of a “certain age”, pretty much all my friends have passed the marriage stage and are on to children, so my wedding prospects have just about dried up.

Finally, finally, someone decided to get hitched and my husband and I were invited! I couldn’t wait to see how the bride’s vision came to life! What were her colors? How many attendants? Favors or no favors? DJ or Band? Sooo many choices!! (Can you tell I like weddings??)

It was a tented affair, held at the home of the groom’s grandparents, with views of his grandmother’s beautiful flower gardens. The couple walked barefoot down an aisle of sand and released butterflies after they said their vows. The color scheme of purple, orange and white was reflected in the linen, paper lanterns and the flowers and everyone looked gorgeous! Good food, good spirits and good friends (with some dancing thrown in) all make for a great evening!

Sadly, there are no more on the horizon, but I guess this was enough to satisfy my wedding craving for now. I’ll just have to wait for our own Emily to get married next summer. Only 295 days left!!! (….not that I’m counting!)

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.