Category Archives: Recipes

Hot milk punch

hot milk punch // a thousand threads
It sounds harsh, but lately I’ve been feeling stiff and uninspired – paralyzed even.

It’s cold, the house is on the market, work is all maybes and what ifs, and every next step seems to be waiting for something else to get out of the way. Mostly I’m impatient. Which, I suppose, is a good feeling, since I know there are good things to come.

But my skin is dry and I can’t help itching for spring… waiting, for me, has never been the best part.

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Potato chip cookies

potato chip cookies // a thousand threads
Sunday morning, Mark and I woke up early to poke and prod our already-staged home into submission – a process that, naturally, involved making cookies… otherwise known as small delicious “buy our house, please” bribes.

I’m assuming the open house went well… muddy tracks implied that someone must’ve come. But since it might’ve come off as creepy to leer at potential buyers from the corner, judging their reluctance to consume a few extra calories as a personal slight against our home and the whole of our world view, we went to the gym.

… partially because we hadn’t been all week and partially because cookie dough is my kryptonite. Also, apparently, fully-baked cookies, of which I’ve had five a day since these were baked.

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Salted chocolate raspberry stout doughnuts with DuClaw

salted chocolate raspberry stout doughnuts // a thousand threads
I’m always a little torn on Valentines Day. Should we celebrate, is it a greeting card holiday, blah, blah, blah.

Any reason to go out for a romantic dinner, though, is one I can’t generally bring myself to be down on… or stay in for a romantic dinner. Or stay in for doughnuts and beer… because let’s just be honest, the gloomiest gloom of winter is upon us and all I really want is doughnuts and beer. (We’ve covered this.)

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Shaved brussels sprout salad with currants and bacon vinaigrette

shaved brussels sprout salad with currants and bacon vinaigrette // a thousand threads
Say what you want about brussels sprouts, everything — and I mean everything — is better with bacon.

Not that I’m not a fan of the sprouts, but it never hurts to do a little doctoring up. And let’s be honest… green veggies have never been my thing.

I want them to be my thing. I really do. In fact until I was at least 20 years old I thought I loved the sprouts…

I mean, my grandma’s sprouts were delicious. Nevermind that they were smothered in butter and cheese.

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Grapefruit cardamom rum cake

grapefruit cardamom rum cake // a thousand threads
It’s about this time each year that we cold weather dwellers start dreaming about a getaway. You know the drill… white sandy beaches, little umbrellas, 10lbs of rum cake… it all sounds too good to be true. Especially when the dumb dreary blizzards don’t even turn out to be worth their weight.

That is, unless you happen to cruise out of Baltimore just in time to meet a cold front that extends all the way to the Caribbean. Add a justbarelynotbroken, recently operated on arm that makes a soak in the spa look less than friendly, and you might just find yourself scrapping the sand to hole up with fourteen documentaries and a slab of midnight pizza in your sweet, warm, gently swaying room on the sea… such was the story of our first, and only, cruise.

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Blue corn bread

blue corn bread // a thousand threads
There was a time in my life when 44 degrees would’ve been considered something less than a “really nice day,” and the seasons mostly existed in theory… that time is not now.

Now, winter comes once a year. Shorter days bookended by warmer beds and the slow slog of grey in between…

Now, the seasons each have their own soul. Summers are marked by vacations and trips to the pool, spring by the cherry blossoms, fall by the cider, and winter, most definitely, by the comfort food.

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Delicata squash galette

delicata squash galette // a thousand threads
Delicata squash and apple cider vinegar are, without a doubt, two of my favorite food groups… I tell Mark I’m making up for lost time with salt and vinegar chips I never had or wouldn’t touch as a kid when he starts giving me the side eye for hogging the pop chips.

If properly covered and roasted in a tasty salt and vinegar rub, I think I’d eat a sock… and delicata squash is basically candy.

So the sweet, salty, vinegary combination in this galette is just the fix.

… especially since it’s wrapped in my other two favorite food groups: flour and butter.

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How to make your own infused salts + Friday links

how to make your own infused salts // a thousand threads
Happy Friday! And congratulations on making it through the first week back from the holidays without a full-on Falling Down rampage… I’m proud of you all. Okay mostly I’m proud of me, because if ever there was a week. January, snow, fires on the metro… what is happening to my world? One more crazy commute and I may have to start camping outside the office in my car…

The good news is that I’m a big fat weather wimp and really, it’s been a pretty good week. The new year really does feel like a welcome reset this year, with a nice slow bit of hibernation ahead for the winter… I have a pile of new cookbooks, a brand new planner, a cleanse in the fridge, and I’m ready for the reset in more ways than one, with a few big things already on the horizon…

I know it’s a tease since I can’t quite give you all of the details, but the work starts this month on a major reset for this space that I can’t wait to share, and this weekend we’ve set an appointment to look at a house that, who knows, might turn out to be a bit of a reset of its own… a sort of massive process of a reset, but keep your fingers crossed, because we’re excited for the possible challenge! Mark hasn’t quite reset his employment situation, but I think he’s on his way, and slowly, surely, life is coming back around to a hopeful place… even if the hope still sits a little in limbo.

I mentioned a cleanse that I’m excited to share with you all next week — you might assume that given my #1 value in life is butter (no really though) I wouldn’t be down for a cleanse… but I believe in butter so strongly because it’s whole. Fake food might save a few calories, sure… and over the course of my life, I’ve tried all of the tricks. But it always comes back to whole, balanced eating to keep me on track feeling truly good. You won’t see shortening advocated for on this blog, but you might see lard… I love to indulge, and I feel that the healthy (and better tasting) way to do so is to stick to foods with ingredients I recognize. So when I’ve gone a little overboard on the butter and sugar (always) and feel the need for a reset, I’m all about a whole foods cleanse.

… that’s not to say it’s easy, so stay tuned for a little detox diary I have planned for next week.

And since we’re on the subject of resets, one easy option I love to add a little more flavor to healthy foods is to make and use infused salts. So this week I’m sharing some of my favorite recipes — three recipes we made at our last Field + Foundry event — on West Elm’s blog!

Head over for a few ideas… they’re super easy to make if you’ve never tried, and there’s no reason you have to stick to my recipes, you can use any of your favorite flavors in a similar way to create your own combination of infused salts.


Has the narrative of the American dream shifted? What do you think?

Resolutions from from Thoreau, Virginia Woolf, Carl Sagan, Bruce Lee, Maya Angelou, and more.

This beautiful green minestrone.


And some research on the gender gap in the military.

This great diy coffee table.

Dutch babies for all of the meals.

It’s cold, I think I’m allowed two links to soup – especially when they look this good.

10 handmade home solutions for the winter.

Photo by Reema Desai.


First snow + Cranberry scones with clementine glaze

first snow + cranberry scones with clementine glaze // a thousand threads
The first big snow of the year always makes me think about Gilmore Girls — a reference Mark now understands, after having been forced to go along on all seven seasons of my trip down memory lane.

Somewhere in the season where Luke and Lorelai are happy, Lorelei wakes up in the middle of the night and drags Luke out of bed, so excited for the first flake to fall…

But by the middle of the following day, Lorelai and snow aren’t on such good terms.

I didn’t grow up with much of the fluffy white stuff on the coast, so I wait for it. Every year, I’m as impatient as a child on Christmas Eve. And when it finally comes, it’s glorious. Beautiful white blankets of snow make the whole world new for a day…

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Maple glazed shrimp and cream cheese grits

maple glazed shrimp and cream cheese grits // a thousand threads
I can’t say just how the tradition began. But every year at Christmas, my family would gather twice. First on Christmas Eve for shrimp louie and clam chowder, and second on Christmas Day for a Thanksgiving-like feast.

My heart swells to ten times its size at just the thought of my grandparents’ home in those days… warm, inviting, and filled with the scent of freshly-baked pie, with appetizers at the ready and grandpa at the counter mixing singapore slings.

Sure, none of our traditions made sense and sure, on more than one occasion that epic meal was followed by an equally-epic storming out of one relative or another, egged on by my grandfather, left giggling in the corner, so tickled by his own tomfoolery…

“What?!” would be his response to any question or comment directed his way. With a wink in my or my father’s direction a split second later…

He played deaf for years before anyone ever caught on — and by then he really was.

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