Thursday, June 30, 2011


While thumbing through A Thyme to Celebrate, looking for a recipe to make this week, I stumbled across this little unique gem, Picadillo. This is one of my husband's all-time favorite items on the menus of Cuban Restaurants. So, I knew we needed to try it, and see if it could be replicated in our own home.

I have to give him all the credit for this one. He was the one chopping and cooking away in the kitchen to prepare this savory dish. I am so lucky to have a husband that likes to cook!

I love that you can make this dish using only two pans (one if you have a rice cooker). I was worried it would be complicated and we’d have a huge mess in the kitchen. To my surprise, this recipe was quick and simple! I guess that is why it is a Cuban staple meal. It could simmer on the stove all day long, and the flavors would only get better and better.

Next time my husband needs a quick Picadillo fix, I will know what to do!  

Tip: The meat will cook faster than the potatoes - that is okay! I got nervous, but it came out just right. Also, if you want this meal to stretch further than the four servings that are suggested, just prepare more rice! Just be sure to follow the directions on how to prepare your yellow rice.

~ Emily

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pumpkin Muffins

I know you’ll have a can of this hiding in the back of your pantry from last fall. You might even have a couple, if you like to stock up!  

I made these Pumpkin Muffins (found on page 21 of A Thyme to Celebrate in the breakfast section) for a yummy Sunday brunch treat and brought about a dozen to share with co-workers Monday morning. They were a hit!

However, I did not make the yummy cream cheese frosting the recipe calls for, because as these were coming out of the oven, they were being devoured at my house! The aroma is so enticing; I just don’t know how you could wait for these to cool enough to ice!

Tip:  Next time I make these I am going to try putting the frosting on the inside of the muffin by filling up the muffin tins 1/8 the way dropping a spoonful of icing in the center then covering the icing with the remaining 1/8 batter. Hopefully, these will turn out like the Pumpkin Roll, another one of my favorite recipes from the Cookbook!   

If you try this, leave a comment and let us all know how it went!

~ Emily

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Chicken Wellington Bundles

Thank you to Brooke Spicer for preparing this amazing meal and sharing her success with us!

Take it away, Brooke...

Chicken Wellington Bundles has turned into one of my go-to, easy-peasy, don't even have to open the cookbook recipes! One of my fellow JLTers made this recipe one night, and ever since, I have been hooked.

First, you boil a package of chicken, while the oven is preheating to 350. While it is boiling you dice the green onions and soften the cream cheese, then put them both in a medium mixing bowl. After the chicken is cooked, you cut it in cubes or shred it - whichever texture you like better. Then you add the chicken to the cream cheese and diced onions. Stir it all up, and add salt and pepper to your liking. 
Then, you get a tube of crescent rolls and pop 'em open. I like to use two triangles per scoop of chicken mixture - it makes it easier to fold. I lay the two triangles (making a square) on the cookie sheet, then scoop a tablespoon or two of chicken mixture in the middle and pull up the corners of the crescent roll square to the middle. Then you put it in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until they turn light brown.

While the bundles are baking, you take a can of Cream of Chicken and put it in a small saucepan. Add milk half way up the can and stir it together and put the heat on low. Once the bundles are brown, put them on a plate and ladle the soup mixture on top. Bon Apetit! 

Sounds delicious, Brooke (and looks so pretty too)! That will be made in my house very soon! Thank you so much for sharing!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Oven-Roasted Asparagus with Toasted Almonds

Doesn't this just sound amazing?

Well, it is! And SO easy to make! A good thing about this recipe is that you can make it for any number of people - I made it for two, but you can easily adjust the quantities to serve as many as needed.

So, after you bake the asparagus, you are supposed to sprinkle on the toasted sliced almonds. Weelllll, I have never really cooked with sliced almonds before, so I was not aware that they sell (in the baking section) pre-sliced almonds. Being the dedicated cook that I am, I bought whole almonds and attempted to slice them myself. Just for the record - it does not work. Buy the sliced ones. Just a tip.

This is a great way to prepare asparagus. My husband does not usually care for asparagus, but ate this and actually liked it very much - his response was "refreshing"! Not what I would expect, but there ya go!

~ Sarah

Friday, June 24, 2011

Creamy Rigatoni Bake

Wow! This is the perfect family friendly dinner and, even better, it feeds an army! You will be enjoying the leftovers for days. The thing I love most about this recipe is that I had everything needed in my refrigerator and pantry except for the ground beef. It is creamy and cheesy, which is a perfect combination for kids and picky husbands alike!

This recipe is so simple and would be the perfect thing to make for a friend or to freeze in preparation for a new baby (as I will soon be doing)!  

Tip:  Let it cool for about 5-10 minutes after baking. I know, it smells amazing and will come out with bubbly perfection but it will set in that time and won’t run all over your plate. I promise, it will still be hot!!

~ Emily

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sweet Asian Chicken

Our first Guest Post!! A HUGE thank you to Emily Fulton!

Sweet Asian Chicken = Success for a new wife!

When Emily got married last month, she challenged herself to cook something from one of her many cookbooks at least once a week. Well, luckily for us (and her new husband, Bob) she chose a recipe from A Thyme to Celebrate!

Here is her recap of the event:

I looked through my kitchen to be sure I had all the ingredients, in hopes I didn't have to go to the grocery store, and I did!! I seasoned the chicken with salt & pepper and then placed it in a casserole dish. Then, I whisked together the wine mixture & poured over the chicken.

I used small boneless, skinless chicken breasts and probably had too much of the wine mixture, but it made the chicken really moist and we used the extra sauce to give the broccoli a little bit more flavor! The chicken baked for about 25 minutes and I served it with steamed broccoli and couscous.

Bob and I loved the sweet flavor of the chicken & plan to make this recipe again!

Thank you again, Emily! It looks amazing!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Chocolate Cake Cookies

Yummy, yummy yummy! These cookies were not only extremely easy to make, but they were delicious! My husband ate an entire dozen between dinner and breakfast! (Sounds healthy, huh?)

The ingredients are simple, and you will more than likely have most of them in your pantry.

The recipe makes 4 dozen, so you will have more than enough with just one batch! In an attempt to make them more round, I rolled the balls of dough and then added a criss-cross pattern on the tops by gently pressing them with a fork. (Which disappeared while baking, but I get an "A" for effort!)

Even though I made 4 dozen, they are already gone! These are perfect for a summer bbq, a girls night, or just to keep around the house for a treat!

~ Sarah

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sausage Hash Brown Casserole

Yummy Yummy! This was the perfect Sunday Father-To-Be Brunch for my husband and we ate it all up! (Baby Howard really loved it too!)
I prepped it the night before, so all I would have to do Sunday morning was pop it in the oven to bake and then enjoy with no mess to clean up.  

The casserole came out steaming and bubbly. Full of everything my husband loves - eggs, spicy sausage, onions, hash browns, and cheese.  

This is the perfect dish for company because you can combine all of the ingredients the night before, clean up the mess, and then wake your guests up the next morning to its yummy aroma. I look forward to making it again and the leftovers are just as scrumptious the next day (if not better).

Tip:  If you are using frozen hash browns, make sure to defrost and drain all the water off as stated in the recipe. Otherwise, this casserole will come out runny.  Oh, and this is amazing with hot sauce - or ketchup, if you don’t care for spicy food!

~ Emily

Monday, June 20, 2011

Herbed Pork & Potatoes

Our first recipe from A Thyme to Celebrate...

Herbed Pork and Potatoes

One of the many great things about ATTC is the simplicity of the ingredients and recipes. When deciding what to make for dinner, I looked in my freezer and saw I had pork. I then looked in the Index of ATTC for pork recipes, and lo and behold, there was the Herbed Pork and Potatoes. I can honestly say that I had every single ingredient needed except one! (Which is extra amazing because I am not great at going to the grocery store.)

The recipe was quite easy and only took a few minutes to prepare. (To save some dishes, I mixed all the herbs in the measuring cup that I was using for the olive oil.)

Much to my delight, I even had the red potatoes. My grandad has a garden and had just brought over a huge sack for us!

After baking for about 30 minutes, we had a yummy meal...and a yummy smelling house!

This recipe received rave reviews from the husband! It will definitely be made again - and there were plenty of leftovers for me to take to work!

Go try it! Enjoy : )

~ Sarah

Thursday, June 9, 2011

So Very Julie & Julia Of Us...

Hi All!

Welcome to the inaugural post of the Junior League of Tallahassee's "A Thyme to Celebrate" cookbook blog!

To get us going, let’s start with a few introductions... 

This blog will be maintained by Sarah Collins and Emily Howard – The Junior League of Tallahassee Cookbook Co-Chairs for the 2011-2012 League year.

Emily grew up in Tampa, Florida and moved to Tallahassee to attend college at Florida State University where she received a Masters of Science in Planning. Emily and her husband, Brett, have two dogs, Doak and Campbell (can you tell they are FSU fans?) and a baby boy on the way!

Sarah grew up in Tallahassee, Florida and met her husband, Tanner, in middle school. She attended Florida State University where she received a degree in Interior Design and a minor in Art History. Sarah and Tanner live in Tallahassee with their son, Fisher and dog, Tucker.

We are here to tell you about the Junior League of Tallahassee’s phenomenal cookbook – A Thyme to Celebrate! Launched during the 2009-2010 Junior League year, a lot of hard work went into this cookbook. Or, as we like to put it, a lot of sugar, spice, and joy of giving back to our community went into this cookbook! Our cookbook was a labor of love for the League - you would be hard pressed to find someone who has a connection with the League that did not contribute to the book in some way. We truly pulled our resources. The women that dedicated so much of themselves to the cookbook are the reason we are in the position we are today as leaders in the Junior League - we really felt their passion for the cookbook.

Here is the best part about our cookbook: every penny from the sale of A Thyme to Celebrate goes directly to our community projects that help children and families in the Tallahassee area. Projects like Kids Boutique, where we take deserving children back-to-school-clothes and supplies shopping, and Kids in the Kitchen, where we teach local elementary and middle school-aged children about nutrition and exercise in fun and exciting ways. And that is just the tip of the iceberg-lettuce.

In order to help us do more for the kids and families in our community, here is where you come in: Join us as we cook our way through the cookbook! That's right. We are going to be cooking/baking/mixing a lot this year - and we want you there with us! It is our hope that through this blog, we entice you (with the amazingly delicious recipes) to purchase this cookbook for you and all your friends and family and coworkers AND educate you on the amazing ways the Junior League of Tallahassee works in our community. And have a lot of fun along the way! Whew! That is a tall order, but we are up for the challenge. Every recipe will be documented, photographed, and then we will blog it for you! We will even throw in a few "Supper Clubs" just to keep it interesting!

Now, Emily and I will not be the only ones working the kitchen-magic for you. In this blog, you will meet some of the amazing ladies of the JLT as they help us cook our way through the cookbook! We are women dedicated to serving our community and making a difference. We are professionals, doctors, lawyers, stylists, restaurateurs, artists, mothers, wives, friends and so so much more.

We are so looking forward to this adventure and hope you will come along for all the mixing and sauté-ing! Make sure you follow us, add us to your daily blogs list, and leave lots of comments/support!

I know...So very Julie & Julia of us : )

(Amazing. Go watch it.)