Zucchini Bowtie Pasta

Do you have a go-to recipe? You know, the one that you’ve made so many times, you’ve not only memorized it, but you don’t even have to *think* about it anymore? The one you could make in your sleep?

This is that recipe for me. It looks unassuming, yes, but I have yet to serve it to someone who did not immediately ask for the recipe.

My mouth is watering.

This is a perfect recipe if you do #MeatlessMonday, especially if you, like me, try to force vegetarian recipes on an unwilling family. My half-British husband who, true to his lineage, loves nothing more than meat with gravy on it, loves this pasta. Everyone loves this pasta!

Zucchini Bowtie Pasta

  • 16 oz farfalle pasta
  • 1 lb zucchini, shredded
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of shredded parmesan (see tips & tricks)
  • salt to taste

Cook pasta in a large pot according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted and the oils are starting to form tiny bubbles, saute the zucchini for 3 minutes. Then add the minced garlic and saute for one minute. Add the crushed red pepper and saute for one minute. Remove skillet from heat and set aside.

Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Add around half of the pasta to the skillet and mix with the sauteed zucchini, then add all of that back to the pasta pot. Stir all the pasta and zucchini together. Add half of your shredded parmesan cheese to the pasta, stir to combine, and then stir in the remaining cheese. Salt to taste and serve!

Sauteeing the zucchini

Tips & tricks:

– You may shred your zucchini by using a cheese grater (large holes) or a food processor with a shredding attachment.
– Packaged shredded parmesan will do the trick, but if you really want to elevate this dish, buy a chunk of decent parm and shred it yourself with the cheese grater. You won’t regret it. You don’t even need to buy the super fancy stuff.
– I’m going to clarify this just to be sure: this recipe calls for *shredded* parmesan, NOT grated parmesan. As in, do not even LOOK at the plastic container of powdered parmesan cheese. That is not the cheese you’re looking for. *waves hand to perform Jedi mind trick* Seriously, though, you can buy shredded parmesan in the refrigerated aisle with the other shredded cheese at most stores. Or, again, you can shred it yourself.
– Do not accidentally buy cucumber instead of zucchini. I did that once, and somehow got through the entire recipe without realizing my mistake, and it was disgusting.

Okay, seriously, get thee to the store for ingredients and make this pasta! You will not regret it!


15 Retro Fonts on Canva

I think that Canva is the greatest online invention since Myspace or Livejournal, because like both of those proto-social media sites, Canva makes it easy for the technologically only-semi-literate to create personalized content.

Canva is a totally free online resource for creating graphics, infographics, book covers, social media banners, invitations, or whatever else you can dream up, and the results are mindblowingly good! They offer tons of templates so you don’t even have to start from scratch; just search for whatever you’re trying to make (i.e. “flyer” or “Twitter graphic”) and you’ll find lots of options to get you started on that very project. It’s unbelievably easy.

I love blogging and creating but I just don’t have the brain for the tough coding and Photoshop-type stuff, so when I discovered that *EVEN I* could use Canva to create graphics, I went wild. And since I’m a retro aficionado, of course I immediately started figuring out how to give my creations a little bit of vintage flair.

If you’re here reading this blog, there’s a chance you’re at least somewhat interested in all things retro, so I’m going to give you some of my vintage Canva tips in this and future blog posts. Because I love you.

Behold! 15 Retro Fonts on Canva!

The secret is to play with the options like letter spacing, bold type, and italics. Also, don’t be afraid to experiment around with combinations. You may choose one font for your main headline that looks unassuming, but then when you try different fonts for the subtitle, it automatically makes the whole thing look more vintage. A good serif typewriter-style font (like Trocchi with wide letter spacing) can make almost anything look more vintage. A brushy script like Engagement, Mr. Dafoe, or Playlist can look very 50s or 60s. A bold serif font with lots of flourishes (Berkshire Swash or Lobster Two) looks 70s, and of course, the 80s are all about that digital look – think dot matrix printing or Atari game print.

I hope this gives you some ideas and inspiration for creating your very own retro-inspired graphics on Canva! Do you have a favorite retro Canva font or other digital font? Do you have a dream font? I’m always looking for a good disco font – think Saturday Night Fever.


Miss Pamela’s Writing Workshop

Pamela Des Barres is a force of nature, so it only makes sense that her arrival to Tulsa would inevitably result in emergency-level foul weather.

I have been wanting to take a writing workshop with Miss Pamela (as she’s known) for years, so when I finally lived in a city she was visiting and found out that she had a workshop coming up, I absolutely could not pass it up.

Except that first time was scheduled in May of 2019. If you’re a Tulsan, you know that as the month we were inundated by near-constant flooding and tornado watches for weeks (oh, and a couple of earthquakes, too). When I say flooding, I mean catastrophic flooding. That month was spent in a true state of emergency, with the army corps of engineers facing the horrible decision of releasing the nearby dam at higher and higher rates knowing that it would devastate our city, but having no choice otherwise.

So on the night of Pamela’s first workshop in Tulsa, I was huddled in my bathroom with my husband and cats, listening for the tornado sirens and sending her regretful emails that I wouldn’t be able to make it after all. I wanted to attend her class more than almost anything, but I wasn’t willing to put myself in mortal danger for it.

Miss Pamela and me!

Fast forward to a couple of months ago: I got an email from Miss Pamela herself letting me know that she was coming back, and my second chance was official!

(Of course, it almost didn’t happen again due to flash flooding and snow, but I made it all right.)

If you’re unfamiliar with Pamela Des Barres, let me give you a bit of background: she’s no ordinary writer, for more than one reason. First of all, she’s an extraordinary writer, but on top of that, she’s also a legendary groupie.

Being a 60s and 70s freak, it was inevitable that I would eventually discover her book I’m With The Band, and once I did, I fell in love. This book is a memoir of Miss Pamela’s absolutely fantastical life filled with dozens of the rock artists I idolize: Jim Morrison, Gram Parsons, Jimmy Page, Frank Zappa, Mick Jagger, on and on and on. If I’ve got their record, there’s a good chance that Miss P hung out with them, dated them, or slept with them.

It would be easy to pass off I’m With The Band as a salacious groupie tell-all, but I will die on the hill of insisting that it is SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT. What Pamela captures so eloquently and heartwrenchingly in her book is the sublime, tortured feeling of being a fan, especially as a young girl. I went through my own preteen and teen years kissing my John Lennon poster goodnight and almost hurting with the force of my yearning, and until I read I’m With The Band, nobody had ever put it into the right words before. It was exactly my experience, just a few decades before I went through it. (Of course, Pamela then moved on to actually being friends and lovers with the rock stars she adored, but I digress!)

I knew that the writing workshop would be fun – how could it not be with Miss P at the helm? – but I was still floored by what a beautiful good time it was. Twelve women were gathered in the host’s living room, drinking wine, eating snacks, and following the writing prompts that we were given. Miss Pamela creates a totally safe space for self-expression. There’s no self-editing, no qualifying, and no criticism; we get a few minutes to pour our words onto the page as unfiltered as possible, and then we go around the room and read our pieces aloud. We all laugh and cry with each other, discuss what we’ve written, and best of all, build each other up.

Miss Pamela always drives home that the most important thing in writing is to get your ego out of the way, and that is completely aligned with my own theory of writing. I’m one of those woo-woo writers like Elizabeth Gilbert or Stephen King who elevate the act of writing to a spiritual experience, a practice of channeling from the ether, and the only method to my madness is to let the muse grab hold and come through me. By repeatedly writing in a short period of time, then reading it out loud, then doing it again and again each evening of the workshop, we’re given the opportunity to develop the ability to get over ourselves and let it flow, first onto the page and then out into the circle of attendees.

Miss Pamela’s Tulsa Dolls!

The other exceptional thing about Miss P’s workshops is the kind of people she attracts to her classes. I mean, think about it; this woman has inspired generations of groupies and music lovin’-ladies with her style, sweetness, smarts, and sass. There’s not a more open-hearted, independent, supportive, rockin’ group of women you’ll ever meet than the ones who aspire to be one of Miss Pamela’s “dolls.” (That’s what we call ourselves once we’ve been to one of the workshops. I am proudly one of Miss P’s dolls now!)

If you’re looking for a low-pressure, super supportive, and highly fun & giggly girl power-infused writing experience, please check out one of Miss Pamela’s writing workshops near you! You will absolutely love it!

You can find I’m With The Band here.

You can find Pamela Des Barres’ other books here.

You can find Miss Pamela’s writing workshop schedule here.


Hi, I’m Eliza Gillie.

Get to know me!

Hi, I’m Eliza Gillie.

I’m a retro-obsessed, cat-loving writer living in Tulsa, Oklahoma geographically, but chronologically, I exist in the 1970s.

Doing what I do best: communing with trees and slinging cards.

To put it succinctly, I write books about weirdos and misfits finding their place in the world. Within that broader theme, I’ve written YA, romance, Southern Gothic, and I’m even working on a cozy-ish mystery.

When I’m not writing, I spend my time thrifting, hiking, hula hooping, reading tarot cards, and watching The Office on a never-ending loop.

Do you believe in ghosts, UFOs, and Bigfoot? Are you obsessed with everything vintage? Do you spend your time listening to true crime podcasts? Do you talk to trees and birds? Do you cry because you never got to see the Beatles or Led Zeppelin live? Has a loved one ever told you that you need to stop quoting The Office or they’re gonna go bananas? If you said yes to any of those, we’ll get along just fine. We’re already friends; I just decided.

Me & my pals
My sweet baby angels.