Friday, June 15, 2012

It has been VERY Busy around here lately! (That's a good thing)
Graduations, Baby Showers, Wedding Showers, Luncheons etc.
I actually started taking photos of much of my work and putting it on Parties By Sandi's new facebook page, I do have to admit that I sometimes forget the camera. Take a look at the pictures by going to the facebook page, you might find some ideas you like or some inspiration!

Here are a few pictures of the chocolate shoes I've been making for the Brides to Be!


        With the exception of the silk flower blooms glued on with chocolate they are completly EDIBLE!!! Made using a mold from chocolate, decorated with sugar pearls and sugar dusting powders, insole made of edible paper and edible markers, these have been a BIG HIT with the girls!!
The colors for the bride's were based on their wedding colors. They also make great Birthday gifts!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Parties By Sandi is now on FACEBOOK, check out our new page!
Like Us and keep track of Sandi's work through pictures of recent catering jobs and projects!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

It's Cookin Thyme... Celebrates EASTER!!!

Sorry I've not had the blog out the past 2 weeks, I'd like to say I was away on vacation but that would be wishful thinking! I actually have been so busy with catering I didn't get the chance to gather my recipes (but that's a good thing!).
So... here are a few easy ones for your Easter celebration that will bring you Rave Reviews!
(Appetizers and Desserts)
Enjoy and have a very Happy Easter!!!

*Vanilla Shrimp Crostini  (Love This!)


*1 loaf French bread
*2 ounces Gruyere or Manchego cheese
*4 tablespoons butter, divided
*1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
*1/2 cup dry white wine
*2 teaspoons vanilla extract
*1/2 teaspoon basil leaves
*1/4 teaspoon  cayenne pepper
*Roasted red peppers, chopped 
*Fresh chives, snipped 


 1. Slice bread on the diagonal into 24 (1/2-inch thick) slices. Place on baking sheet; broil until lightly toasted on both sides. Using a vegetable peeler, shave cheese into very thin slices. Set aside.
 2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add shrimp; cook and stir 2 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Add wine, vanilla, basil and red pepper; cook 2 to 4 minutes. Remove shrimp from pan. Boil sauce 1 minute; remove pan from heat and whisk in remaining butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. The butter must melt gradually to form a creamy sauce.
 3. To assemble appetizers, brush toasted bread slices with warm sauce from skillet. Top with 1 to 2 thin slices of cheese, then 1 to 2 shrimp (depending on size); brush with additional sauce. Garnish with roasted red pepper and chives.


*Asparagus with Parmesan Crust ( this is really, really GOOD!)


  • 1 pound thin asparagus spears
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ounce shaved Parmesan cheese
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, or to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees 
  2. Place asparagus on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and toss to coat. Arrange asparagus spears in a single layer. Spread Parmesan cheese over asparagus, and season with freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Bake 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until cheese is melted and asparagus is tender but crisp. Serve immediately on warm plates, sprinkling with balsamic vinegar to taste. 

*Pineapple Cobbler (My Easter Dessert this year)


    •    1 cup all-purpose flour
    •    Pinch of salt
    •    1 cup sugar
    •    1 tablespoon baking powder
    •    3/4 cup milk
    •    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    •    1 stick (1/4 lb.) unsalted butter, melted
    •    1 (20 oz.) can pineapple chunks in juice, drained 


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a bowl, mix flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, milk and vanilla extract; stir until mixture forms a smooth batter. Gently stir in butter.
  2. Spread batter evenly in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish (it will be a very thin layer) and scatter pineapple chunks evenly over batter.
  3. Bake until pineapple has fallen to bottom of pan and top is puffed and golden brown and springs back slightly when touched in middle, about 25 minutes. Cool cobbler slightly and then serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

*Strawberry Supreme Cheesecake Dip

 (can't wait to try this!)


*16 ounces cream cheese - softened (reg.or low-fa)t

*1/2 cup strawberries

*1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light sour cream

*1 tbsp. orange liqueur

*1 tsp. vanilla extract


1.Process cream cheese, strawberries, sugar, sour cream, liqueur, and vanilla in a blender or food processor until very smooth. Pour into bowl, cover, and chill at least 2 hours.
2.Serve with your choice of dippers: fresh strawberries, pineapple, chocolate or vanilla pound cake cubes, waffle cookies, or assorted chocolates.

                                                   SEE YOU NEXT WEEK!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

It's Cookin' Thyme shares recently tried recipes............

What happened to SPRING??????? All the sudden it's hailing, snow showering and teeth chattering COLD!!!! The weather was so unpredictable this past week, I just stayed home and COOKED!
I tried some new ideas with Meatloaf presentation ( I like because they can be made and frozen for
individual dishes later.) I experimented with a Clam Pie Recipe changing it a bit to suit my taste, I guess it was a hit on a Lenten Friday because I had 1 slice and it was GONE..........!
What to do with chicken breast came next which is being served for dinner today!

Hope you try the recipes, they were good! Share them with your friends. Pray for warmer weather as we leave March behind this week, and check back next week to get some Easter and Spring inspired recipes! 
Check out my website @ ( for all your catering needs and contact me to book your date while it's available ................. Have a Great Week!!!

Individual Meatloaf Muffins
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons prepared mustard
  1. In a large bowl, combine the
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F  and spray muffin pan with nonstick spray.
  3. egg, milk, cheese, oats and salt. Add the ground beef, mixing well, fill  each cup of  muffin pan with mixture, packing the mixture in tightly.
  4. In a separate small bowl, combine the ketchup, brown sugar and mustard. Stir thoroughly and spread over each meatloaf.
  5. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for  35-45 minutes.

Tomato Basil Chicken

  • 4 (6 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 (12 ounce) bottle garlic and herb marinade
  • 16 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 large tomato, thinly sliced
  • 4 slices provolone cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  1. Place chicken breasts on a cutting board. With a sharp knife, slice chicken breasts horizontally, without slicing them completely in half. Open the chicken breasts like a book. Place chicken and marinade into a large resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  3. Place opened chicken breasts on a  non-stick sheet pan. Place 4 basil leaves on the bottom half of each chicken breast. Top each with 2 or 3 tomato slices and 1 slice of cheese, and fold over top half of chicken (if necessary, fasten with toothpicks).
  4. Cook in preheated oven for 25- 30 minutes.  Remove from oven, and sprinkle chicken with Parmesan. Return to oven, and cook until cheese is melted, about 2 to 3 minutes.

  Jersey Clam Pie


*1 pastry for two-crust pie

*1/2 c. onion (chopped)

*6 tbsp. butter

*1/2 c. all-purpose flour

*1 tsp. salt

*3 c. clam juice

*4 c. chopped clams (chowder size)

*5 oz. frozen peas & carrots

*1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes ( I used the ones with basil & garlic)

*2 c. potatoes (chopped)

*1 tsp herbes de provence 

*Freshly ground black pepper to taste

      1. Prepare pastry. Place half of the pastry in a deep-dish pie pan. 
          Reserve remaining pastry to  place on top of clam filling. Do not prebake.

      2. In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, cook onion in butter until tender. 

      3. In a small bowl, blend flour and salt.

      4. Add flour mixture to saucepan with clam juice, clams, peas & carrots, tomatoes, 
          potatoes, and herbes de provence Cook until potatoes are tender. Season with salt 
          and pepper.

      5. Pour into prepared pastry, then place remaining pastry on top of clam filling.
          Trim any excess pastry and crimp edges to seal. Cut small slits in top of pastry to allow   
          steam to vent while pie is baking.  

      6. Brush top with beaten egg, place onto baking sheet.

      7. Bake in preheated 425 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until top is a light golden    

Friday, March 18, 2011

It's Cookin' Thyme WELCOMES SPRING!!!!!

Spring arrives this week (HOORAY!!!) We start spending more time outside.
Longer Days mean later practices for Baseball and Soccer, busy kids schedules, yardwork!
Oh My! Don't despair ... Following are a few easy recipes that will help you get a great dinner 
on the table QUICK!

On The Go Ravioli Lasagna
Servings 6-8
Servings Size
  • 1 (25 ounce) package frozen cheese ravioli
  • 1 (26 1/2 ounce) bottle spaghetti sauce
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  1.  In 9x13-inch dish spread a little bit of sauce at bottom (to prevent sticking).
  2. Put on ravioli, as many as will fit without being"tight".
  3. Put on more sauce and then cheese.
  4. Repeat until all ravioli is gone.
  5. Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes.
  6. (I usually have three layers of about 15 ravioli in each layer.) It can be frozen also.

Easy BBQ “ Crock Pot” Chicken Sandwiches
Servings 4-6  
Servings Size
  • 1 -2 lb chicken breast (boneless & skinless)
  • 1 (18 ounce) jar of your favorite BBQ Sauce
  • 1 medium  onion (sliced)
  • 4 -6 hamburger buns
  1. Remove all  fat from the chicken and toss it in the crock pot.
  2.  Place the onion slices on top of the chicken.
  3.  Pour the barbecue sauce over top.
  4.  You may not need the entire jar, just enough to cover the chicken.
  5.  Cook it on LOW for 8 hours or until the chicken is nice and tender.
  6. Shred the chicken with a fork and knife; scoop the mixture onto the bottom buns and top it with the top buns.
  7. Or, you might prefer leaving the breasts whole and eating it that way.
                   Serve with a salad for an easy weeknight meal!

 Sweet Lips No Hips Pie
Servings 8
Servings Size
  • 1 (1/3 ounce) box sugar-free jello (4 serving size -any flavor)
  • 1 (8 ounce) container thawed Cool Whip Free
  • 1 graham cracker crust (reduced fat-Keebler makes one)
  • ice cubes  & water
1       Boil 2/3 c water.
2        In mixing bowl, mix boiling water and Jello for about 2 minutes until dissolved.
3        In a measuring cup, combine ice cubes and water to measure 1 cup.
4        Stir into Jello mixture til ice is melted.
5        Add Cool Whip and whisk until smooth.
6       Put mixing bowl in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to allow mixture to thicken.
7        Spoon filling into crust.
8        Refrigerate overnight.


*If you have recipes to share email them to me and I'll include them on the blog!
  Check back next week for more recipes!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Its Cookin' Thyme celebrates St. Patrick's Day!

     "Like the warmth of the sun, And the light of the day,  
                                                  May the luck of the Irish shine bright on your way." 

     March 17th is approaching fast and Here's hoping that the following EASY recipes will help you celebrate!!

Irish Soda Bread
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups raisins
  • 2 eggs, (lightly beaten)
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees  Grease  9 inch round cast iron skillet or a 9 inch round baking or cake pan.
  2. In mixing bowl, combine flour (reserve 1 tablespoon), sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and raisins. In a small bowl, blend eggs, buttermilk and sour cream. Stir liquid mixture into flour mixture just until flour is moistened. Knead dough in bowl about 10 to 12 turns. (Dough will be sticky). Put  dough in greased skillet or pan and pat down. Cut a 4x3/4 inch deep slit in the top of the bread. Dust with reserved flour
  3. Bake in 350 degree oven for 65 to 75 minutes. Let cool and turn bread onto wire rack.

Irish Beef Stew
St.Patty's Day done right with Ireland's best beer.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cubed
  • 3 cups stout beer (such as Guinness)
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chunked
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the beef, beer, sliced potatoes, and quartered potatoes. Bring to boil over high heat,  reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until beef is tender, about 2 hours.
  2. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
This is a yummy side dish for St. Patty’s Day and a wonderful anytime dish!
  • 2 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1/2 small head cabbage, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  1. Place potatoes in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender.
  2. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, reserve drippings, crumble and set aside. In reserved drippings, saute cabbage and onion until soft and translucent.
  3. Drain cooked potatoes, mash with milk, season with salt and pepper. Fold in bacon, cabbage, and onions, transfer mixture to a large serving bowl. Make a well in the center, and pour in the melted butter.

Irish Potato Candy
A cute little confection that looks just like little potatoes.
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • ½  package cream cheese (4 oz)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups flaked coconut
  • 1 T ground cinnamon
  1. In a medium bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add the vanilla and confectioners' sugar; beat until smooth. Using hands, mix in the coconut.
  2. Roll into balls or potato shapes, and roll in the cinnamon. Place onto a cookie sheet and chill to set. Roll potatoes in cinnamon again for darker color.

 Here's a last recipe a friend of mine would like to share......... (Thanks!)
"Your friends will definitely feel the luck of the Irish smiling on them when you serve this fantastic cake! What's the magic ingredient that makes this cake the perfect St. Patrick's Day treat? A cup of Irish beer—Guinness stout, to be exact. The beer adds a hint of coffee-like flavor to the cake. If you'd prefer a non-alcoholic cake, substitute milk for the beer... it's still a great cake!"
Guinness Cake
16 T. butter (1/2 lb.)
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 2/3 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 cup Guinness stout
6 eggs
In a bowl, cream together the butter and both sugars. In another bowl, mix together the baking powder, spices, salt, flour and cocoa. At the very last moment, add the Guinness to the eggs. (Don't let it sit too long,the alcohol will begin to cook the eggs!)
Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture and blend, then add half of the wet ingredients. Repeat this process until all the ingredients are combined.
Pre-heat the oven to 350°, and line the bottom of at least 2 9-inch diameter cake pans with wax paper. Divide the batter between pans, and bake until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool cakes in pans for about 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack and peel off the wax paper. Let the layers cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 pounds confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a bowl beat together the cream cheese and butter until mixed, then beat in the sugar. Finally, add the vanilla.
Place one cake layer, bottom side up, on a platter. Spread with frosting, then top with another layer, bottom side down. Repeat with each layer, then spread the remaining frosting smoothly over the top and sides of the cake.

 Enjoy!!!!    And.....

  May you have:

            "A world of wishes at your command
                 God and his angels close at hand
              Friends and family their love impart,
                   And Irish blessings in you heart."
......................... check back next week for more March recipes!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

It's Cookin' Thyme celebrates Nutrition Month.....

March is National Nutrition Month and here are a few tasty and healthy ideas, good for entertaining as well as a special treat for your family! Low in fat and calories but big on taste! Enjoy and check back next week for some Irish recipes for St. Patty's Day! Please pass these ideas onto family and friends.

Asparagus Guacamole

  • 1 lb fresh asparagus trimmed and cut into one inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/3 cup chopped tomato 
  • 2 tbsp reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp minced fresh cilantro
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • 4 drops hot pepper sauce (more if prefer)

  • In ½ inch of water, bring trimmed asparagus to a boil then reduce heat and cook until fork tender (about 5-7 minutes).
  • Drain asparagus very well and place in food processor or blender with the onion and garlic; blend until smooth.
  • In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients then add the asparagus mixture and combine. Chill.
  • Serve with raw veggies or tortilla chips.

Strawberry Balsamic Chicken

  • 3 to 4 Tbs. light olive oil
  • 4 boneless,skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 1/4tsp pepper
  • 1/3c finely chopped almonds
  • 1/4 c minced green onions
  • 1/3 c chicken broth
  • 1/3 c  sugar free strawberry preserves
  • 3Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1Tbs chopped fresh rosemary or 1tsp. dried rosemary,crumbled
  • 1 pkg.(10oz) fresh spinach, cooked

  • In a large skillet, heat oil over med.-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper; dredge in almonds. Place chicken in oil ;cook 5 about mins on each side or till no longer pink. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.
  • Reduce the heat to medium. Saute the green onions about a min. Add the chicken broth, preserves, vinegar and rosemary. Simmer, uncovered, till slightly thickened, about 3 mins.   Place warm spinach on a serving platter and top with chicken.  Pour the balsamic sauce over top & sprinkle with parsley.

Now let's go to dessert...

Fresh Fruit Fondue  

Ingredients for fondue
    *1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen strawberries, thawed
    *1/2 tsp. lemon juice
    *1/4 c light cream
    *1 tsp. cornstarch
   Blend all ingredients in blender, transfer to saucepan and cook on medium heat
   till slightly thick, put in fondue pot to serve.

Cut fresh fruit of choice ( I use melons, pineapple and strawberries) into chunks using fondue forks or skewers to dip (try angel food cake cubes , marshmallows, and lady fingers as well).

Remember next week we go IRISH!