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

Spicy Tomato Cream Sauce


I used to be so intimidated to make my own pasta sauces. Doesn’t that sound like something a full blooded Italian (which I’m not) can whip up with a glass of wine in one hand and without breaking a sweat? Intimidating. I’ve been playing around with it though… learned a few basic recipes, married a few new techniques. And I came up with a pretty easy (and vegetarian!) recipe that tastes like you spent all day in the kitchen. Ready for it?

What you’ll need:

2T Olive oil

Crushed red pepper


Salt and pepper

1 Onion- chopped

4-6 Cloves minced garlic (4 if you prefer a subtle garlic taste, 5-6 if you LOVE garlic)

2 cups (or a 14 oz can) of petite diced tomatoes

1/4 cup water

1 T dried Basil or 3 T fresh Basil… I just cut about a dozen fresh leaves with scissors.

1/4 tsp dried Oregano

1/3 to 1/2 cup heavy cream

Supplies: Large skillet, a blender or food processor


Heat Olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, paprika and crushed red pepper. Heat on mediu-high for 2 minutes until onions become golden. *Note: Start small with the paprika and red pepper… just sprinkle enough to give the onion a little dusting and red color. The flavor will intensify later and you can always add more later. 

Add tomatoes, water, basil, oregano. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 10-15 minutes. While it’s simmering you can taste to add more paprika, red crushed pepper or salt and paper. This is also when I boil water for the pasta.

Add heavy cream and immediately remove from heat. To make it vegan you could use almond milk, although I haven’t tried it myself yet.

Pour contents into blender/food processor. Pulse until smooth. *Note:It will be hot so make sure its glass or heat resistant plastic. I use large Ball jar with my blender. 


I served my sauce over Roasted Butternut Squash Agnolotti (Buitoni) with fresh basil and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Hubby says it would be delish with shrimp or chicken over Penne or Fettuccine too! You can make this as mild or spicy as you like! I jarred the rest of the sauce (take note of the expiration date on your cream) and ate leftovers for lunch yesterday. So yummy if I may say so myself!