Cheesy Garlic Twists

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The kids and I love garlic bread in basically any form. Sometimes we buy the store-made garlic bread and give each slice a few seconds in the microwave. Sometimes we brush a leftover hot dog bun with butter and garlic salt and broil it for a couple minutes. And sometimes, we make these garlic twists.


I have yet to convince my husband about the wonders of garlic. It’s a family thing… his entire family is garlic averse. They never eat garlic bread and don’t even use garlic in the lasagna.

But me? I’ll put garlic on just about anything. I remember this one time when my son was a newborn and I was nursing, we went to a pizza place that was new to us, and I ordered a pizza that was basically just garlic cloves and caramelized onions. I thoroughly enjoyed it. About halfway through the meal, it occurred to me that my nursing child might not appreciate that too much.

He didn’t, by the way. He cried every time he nursed for the next two days, and the garlic was so strong I could smell it on him for days.

Oh… but that was a good pizza! And it didn’t stop him from growing up to love garlic bread, so nothing lost.

I should tell you upfront that I have never been one to make homemade bread. It’s so time consuming… and kneading for 10 minutes straight? I don’t think so. Laziness reigns here.

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Baked Eggplant Fries – Gluten Free

Eggplant Fries
This month I’m thrilled to share my neighborhood’s farmers market with you. It was the first one I visited in Seattle and the one I now consider my home market. Every Sunday morning, the Ballard Farmers Market seems to draw much of the rest of the city to the neighborhood’s historic downtown core. This large market is my favorite for a well-rounded selection of fresh produce and other artisan foods – ideal if you’re looking to cook a special meal. It’s also just right for a weekly trip to stock up on staples like eggplant from Alvarez Family Farms.

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The funny thing about eggplant is that I hated it growing up, absolutely hated it – with just one exception; the eggplant fries my mom would make. The preparation is simple and the end product seems to please just about any palate. I prefer these crispy bites dipped in either ketchup or some tame sriracha however they are also tasty plain.


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Baked Onion Rings

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Oh, onion rings, how I love thee!Though, I never order them! In fact, I couldn’t even tell you the last time I had onion rings! I got a wicked craving for them last week and I just had to have them, but of course, I wanted them without all of the calories and fat. Frying them was out of the question. Time to bake ’em up!
I was a little worried about getting these to brown so depending on your oven, you may want to bake them a little longer. Even though they didn’t get as golden all the way around like I wanted them to, I still found them to be perfectly crispy! I dipped mine in sriracha mayo (which makes them even more yummy, by the way!) I would take this baked version any day over the fried version!

Squash Blossoms – The Food of the Gods

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The days are hot, the sun shines in the sky long into the evening and the squash are throwing forth big bright beautiful blooms.  Yes it’s that enchanted time for squash blossoms.  A tiny window of wonder when the delicate flowers of your zucchinis or yellow crooks can be harvest with loving care in the cool morning air and stuffed with light fluffy cheese before being dipped in bubbling barely-there-batter and devoured in the blink of an eye.


I remember so vividly the first time I had this elusive delicacy.    Working at the Utah Shakespeare Festival in stunning Cedar City the cast and crew cultivated a garden.  Everyone pitched in, working together to water and weed as well as wine and dine on the fruits of our labors.  John Pryble, not only one of the best actors I have had the pleasure of sharing the stage with but a local farmer of Ashland Oregon, brought out a plate of what I could only describe as heaven, a plate of Squash Blossoms.

Living in a tiny studio in Manhattan didn’t allow me the luxury of having my own garden so the years passed with nary a cheese stuffed bloom.  The memories, however, remained as vivid, as ever.    Then one summer evening, my husband Matt and I treated ourselves to dinner and there on the menu they were; Squash Blossoms.   Before the waiter had time to ask us if we wanted flat or sparkling water I had fervently requested the appetizer.  It arrived in all its splendor and even though we ate with care, savoring every tiny bite it was gone all too quickly.  We ate the rest of our meal and when the waitress asked if we would like dessert I responded with all seriousness, “Yes, I’ll have the Squash Blossoms.”

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So imagine my elation when last week Matt brought home a bag full of squash flowers from a co-worker; he had harvested them but didn’t know how to prepare them.  Asking around the office he heard of Marcella Rose’s Blog and hit up my husband with a deal.  “A trade” he said,  “the flowers for a blog on how to prepare them.”  I like to think my husband answered him with a resounding slam of his hand on his desk paired with a loud, “BOOM! Done!!”  As this is how I would have responded to this Angel of a man.

Here is how to make heaven on a plate, but readers beware, these lighter than air treats will haunt you all year long.  You have been warned. [Read more…]