Thank you both for the suggestions. I'll look into XAMPP, I think that would be a nice solution. I wanted to use dreamweaver to create page templates, and was hoping to just be able to work with a live version of the site within the program, but I guess that's not necessary.
And Gene, you're so right about sticking to the Thematic files. I originally made a lot of revisions and it made things so complex (especially because I'm a complete novice with css and php), so I recently started all over with the original thematic files, following better practices and it makes everything so much clearer! http://sustainablepantry.com/test is what I've been working on, and I just need to make a few more changes before I make it live.