Cooking with Caitlin: Third Thursday

I recently had to honor of attending the best party ever. Cooking with Caitlin throws a party on the third Thursday of every month cleverly dubbed “Third Thursday” and it really is the best party in town. In fact, it is the only party I’m aware of in which the food is the guest of honor. My sister Susie had a attended this foodie affair a few times and was given tickets for her birthday. In celebration of her birthday she invited my sister Francie, our aunt Trish and myself to go with her as a girls night out.  We met after work and headed to Third Thursday. We were greeted at the doors of the Current at the Banks and ushered upstairs to the Club Room.


There we were welcomed by the ladies of Cooking with Caitlin with an assortment of craft beers and carefully selected wines. Throughout the event we were served 9 small courses of exquisite petit fours. I tried to keep up with taking pictures of the food but it was hard guys. I mean, I really just kept eating. It should be noted that my appetite remained satisfied throughout the night but was never overly full. Below: Lemon ricotta topped with sliced radish.


Not only was the food delish but it was gorgeous too! Like these mango and cauliflower Caribbean jerk sauce skewers. The presentation is amazing and the taste was even better. I never could have imagined putting jerk sauce with a fruit and a vegetable in one dish but it was divine!


Caitlin herself was hands-on with everything all night along with her energetic staff. This was a turkey sandwich with some delicious sauce (that I can’t recall for the life of me) with a classic potato chip and piped avocado. I passed on the turkey since I’m a vegetarian, but I had let them know ahead of time so they made sure to have a few turkey-less sandwiches prepared as well. And I approved.


For dessert we enjoyed blood oranges with fresh red wine infused chocolate sauce.IMG_5061

Susie and Francie approved.IMG_5056-0

Oh yes, and the fresh hot cross buns. Holy moly!IMG_5051-0

I have to say that this isn’t going to be my last Third Thursday. It was a completely unique experience with food and I can’t wait to return for another! This was ideal for a girls’ night out because its casual, no formal or intimidating sit-down dinner and plenty of wine. I would also recommend this as a relaxed date night. And the bang for the buck was amazing as well. Where else can you get a gourmet meal including alcohol and dessert for $30 per person?IMG_5049

I honestly can’t wait to do this whole thing again. And I wish I had taken more pictures and notes on exactly what each dish was called and consisted off. But seriously: If you are in Cincinnati be sure to make it to a Third Thursday! If you want to know more about Cooking with Caitlin, her recipes, videos and radio show you can find it all at

Homemade Pop Tarts


A while back we had a family reunion at our Relay for Life event. My huge family came in droves. All brought something to share and stayed for the good time for a good cause. My cousin Caitlin is a gifted chef. In fact, she’s known as Cooking with Caitlin.  And being the amazing chef that she is she brought homemade pop tarts for breakfast (Relay for Life is an overnight/24 hour fundraiser). Oh my god. What a genius! She made strawberry basil pop tarts along with Nutella marshmallow fluff pop tarts. Both were divine. I ate them as if I’d been starving in the dessert for months and had never delighted in pop tarts. I probably embarrassed myself with the speed I was eating. As I praised the pop tarts Caitlin said something like “They’re really easy, Everything is store bought. Just assemble and bake.” Freshly inspired, I went home and got to work.

All you need is a package of pie crust, marshmallow fluff and Nutella. Caitlin is right- no measuring or mixing. Just put it all together. So that’s all I did.


First, I punched out round pieces of pie crust using a cup as my cookie cutter.


Then I paired all the rounds to be sure I had enough.


Lastly, I spread Nutella onto the bottom half of each set. After that I plopped marshmallow fluff on top of the Nutella. Nothing fancy here, folks. I don’t even measure and I wasn’t particularly neat about applying the ingredients either. So simple! I should have had the kids help.


Then I crimped each “pop tart” securely closed with a fork just as I would on an actual pie.  I baked them at 350 for 8ish minutes. To be honest I didn’t really time them I just watched to make sure they got golden and cooked through but not too crispy or flaky.


I think I could have done a better job sealing them closed because the marshmallow expands in the oven and helped burst a couple of the pop tarts open. In hindsight I also could have made these with just one circle and folded them in half. Might be easier for little hands and smaller appetites. Next time I plan on using strawberry preserves and fresh basil to try to duplicate the strawberry basil recipe Caitlin also brought along. Thanks, Caitlin! Now I have a new addiction.