One of my favorite things to do (aside from traveling with my family) is entertain. For that reason, the recipes you’ll find here are designed to be savored slowly, paired with good wine and pleasant company.
Coming from a huge Greek family, most being restaurateurs, I’m proud to say I pretty much grew up in a kitchen. Although I’ve never had professional culinary training – and would never consider myself a ‘chef’ – I did own my first restaurant when I was 26. That restaurant was the birthplace of this delicious madness!
Every dinner party I host, I seem to get the same questions and comments: “How do you do it?” Or, “I could never do this in the kitchen!” My reply is simple and consistent: “It is easy, and you can!”
Thyme with Catherine is where I share recipes and techniques that will keep your time in the kitchen fun and enjoyable. I keep things simple enough for beginners, but tasty enough for seasoned foodies.
Drawing inspiration from traditional family recipes, world travels, and my own demanding palate, your taste buds are sure to be delighted. In addition to the recipes you’ll find here, I’m in the process of writing my first cookbook, “Behind Home Plate” – I’m excited to share my adventure with you.
If you’re new here, visit the pantry for my go-to ingredients, I’ll be adding my favorite cooking items weekly, consider it a spot to go grocery shopping with me. And make sure you sign up to receive updates!
Want to know a bit more of my history? Pour a glass…
I’ve said it before, but I truly can’t think of a better way to spend a beautiful evening than sharing my love of great food with family and friends. The smiles and laughter echoing across the kitchen as we gather together to sip great wine, enjoy savory dishes, and reconnect – it makes my heart smile. My passion started at a young age, and I’d love to share a little back story to help you understand how it all began…
Some of my favorite childhood memories are of waking up to the smell of my mother’s cooking – she’d start early to make sure everything was perfect for our guests coming later that day.
My family loves to entertain; we’re Greek, it’s what we do – and we do it well. Every Sunday was like the Super Bowl in our homes growing up. Everyone gathered at someones house to hang out and break bread all day. Cousins running all over the place, moms and aunts cooking all day, grandparents talking about the upcoming restaurant week, it was non stop. So the story goes, my uncle and grandfather started some amazing restaurants on the south coast of Massachusetts in the early 80s. When I was 26 they offered me one, so I jumped in and took over.
Owning a restaurant was no joke. The work and long hours were intense, the financial reward wasn’t the best, but it was an optimum experience for me. It’s what I knew and what I loved. That’s what we did in my family: we worked, and we worked hard, together. Greeks hold family traditions close to their heart, and very rarely stray from them. The tradition of family, their Christian Orthodox religion, and passion of food continues throughout generations. I have been blessed to have learned these family traditions and able to share them with my own family today.
My parents, like their parents and grandparents before them, are immigrants from Greece who came over in the early 70s. After my brothers and I were born, we moved back to Greece, where I spent many childhood years. However, like the majority of immigrants here in the US, it was the best decision for our family to settle back here in the states.
For those not too familiar, Greece is a country in southeastern Europe with thousands of islands spread throughout the Aegean and Ionian seas. It’s one of the top tourist destination in Europe because of the sunny climate and miles of coastal crystal blue waters.
People living in Mediterranean areas like Greece, Italy, and France, incorporate ingredients for their meals based on the season. They work with what’s fresh and locally grown. They cook with gorgeous fruits and vegetables such as okra, zucchinis, eggplant, tomatoes, lemons, garlic, pomegranates, grapes, and olives.
The diet of most Greeks that live on the islands relies heavily on seafood with local fisherman catching fresh fish, octopus, and shellfish daily. Meats are also popular, such as lamb, goat, pork and beef are among the favorites.
With the dry soil and warm temperatures, the Mediterranean islands are known to grow hearty herbs used to marry these foods together. Fresh thyme, mint, oregano, and parsley grow in abundance. Topping everything off is olive oil, of course. And why not? With its heart-protective properties and aromatic flavor, it completes a dish and promotes an enviably long and healthy life.
With all this history, I decided to start Thyme with Catherine in 2013, as a way to showcase the meals I create and recreate. Many of the recipes I post and will soon write about in my book are inspired by and passed down for generations by my Yiayia (Grandmother) Catherine, my parents, my aunt and uncle.
These days I keep busy with my darling four year old, Liv Jordan. Her contagious smile lights up any room she walks into. She loves to be right by my side – elbows deep – helping me prepare dinner. It’s truly some of the best quality time we spend together. My beautiful stepdaughters Caroline and Kendall keep me on my toes as well. They are already following their fathers footsteps in the athletic world. Their passion for soccer is unbelievable, and it doesn’t hurt that they’re both so naturally talented. I must say, they both rock it out in the kitchen as well. We’ll spend an entire afternoon together creating something extravagant in the kitchen, and I couldn’t be more proud of how quickly they catch on.
Oh yes, their father…he keeps me pretty busy as well.
I’m fortunate to have a wonderful man and life companion around every day. My husband, Jason, is my sanity and support system. He retired as a player in 2012 from the Boston Red Sox where he spent his entire 14 year career. He helped break the 86 year curse to bring home the 2004 World Series championship to Boston.
He and the crew did the same in 2007 and again in 2013…though Jason was helping in the back stages that year. I’ll brag a bit more. He is the only player to have participated in the Little League World Series, College World Series, Olympics, World Baseball Classic and Major League baseball World Series
Throw in three All-Star appearances, Calling 4 No-Hitters, a Gold Glove, Silver Slugger awards, and in 2016, he landed a spot in the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame. I guess the man could play some baseball. Today he works as a part time coach for the Red Sox, which enables him to be home with the family and take part in everyday life. Most importantly, I am now able to use him daily as my test kitchen, and don’t hear many complaints about it.
Enjoy the site, enjoy the food!