Made-from-scratch garlic and parmesan focaccia

There is something amazing about freshly baked bread.

The soft, chewy texture. The sweet smell wafting out of the kitchen. The golden brown crust.

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Add garlic and parmesan to the equation and well, you have yourself a wonderful dinner. Especially a nice surprise for your family when they may only expect traditional spaghetti and marinara.

But you’re thinking. Oh no, I can’t make bread. Don’t worry. Making focaccia is very easy and very forgiving. The only need is for some warmth (something we have an abundance of in a California summer) to let the bread rise.

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Cilantro pesto with roasted spaghetti squash

There’s something about cilantro that can make a gray day sunny and a sunny day even better.

It’s such a vivid shade of green and it’s flavor is just as bright and cheery.

And recently my friend Michelle contributed some Q and As for the blog. One of the questions she asked was if I had any recipe suggestions for spaghetti squash that did not involve making it pasta-like.

And maybe you’ll say that pesto still makes it pasta like. Well, sure. Kinda. But usually cooks are roasting spaghetti squash into tender little pasta-like noodles and topping it all with normal tomato sauce.

Cilantro pesto is far from normal.

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French pea & bacon gnocchi

Do you ever get tired of pasta?

True, it can be prepared a number of ways. With tomato sauce, with cream sauce, with fresh pepper and parmesan or served with vegetables.

But I turn to pasta so often. So here’s my answer when you want and don’t want pasta for dinner.

Gnocchi.

But not just any gnocchi. For this dish I add green peas and bacon (veggie bacon). For seasoning, herbs de provence.

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