The Quick Gourmet with Jennifer Caress

Garlic and Chives Crescent Rolls

By Jennifer Caress

The autumn/winter holidays bring a lot of joy and cheer...and cooking. All the cooking. Add to the extra cleaning, shopping, wrapping, we also have baking for the school party, cooking for the office potluck, baking for the club’s dinner, cooking for the big family dinner, cooking for the other big family dinner...ugh! I’m a foodie who gets sick of being in the kitchen by the end of December.

I believe it was the fourth potluck of this past holiday season that inspired this quick but fanciful recipe. These savory rolls were a huge hit and I received many requests to make them again. There are three ways you can make these rolls:

1.      Quick
2.      Quicker
3.      Quickest

Quick: make bread from scratch and roll your own crescent rolls. Delicious! Including rising time, you’re looking at about two and a half hours of time from start to finish, plus a lot of bragging rights.

Quicker: Buy the dough frozen (look for it in the freezer section next to the Texas toast). Once the dough is thawed, total preparation and baking time for the crescent rolls will be about an hour, less if you’re better at rolling dough into uniform shapes and sizes than I am.

Quickest: use the crescent rolls from a can, which is what I did. For a family gathering of eight, I got two cans. Adjust as necessary.

Because I made this recipe up, I’ll give the best approximation of ingredient amounts that I can.

About .5 ounces of fresh chives. You want fresh because of how they are going to interact with the oil. In short, fresh will taste better than dried. Chop these babies up.

2 or 3 tablespoons of minced garlic. I enjoy chopping and mincing food, but the quickest method would be to simply buy a jar of minced garlic.

Half a cup of olive oil. Of course, you’re welcome to use the oil of your choice, but olive oil is recommended.

Prepare your rolls. Have them laid out flat on a clean counter or parchment paper. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Pour the oil into a saucepan and turn the heat to medium-low. You want a low, gentle simmer. Too hot and your chives will burn FAST (experience talking). Once you see that rolling simmer, turn your heat down just a bit more. You want to maintain that gentle simmer with as little heat as possible.

Put the garlic into the oil and thank me later for the wonderful aroma that is now wafting through your kitchen. Give the garlic a few minutes alone with the oil, stirring occasionally. Once you really start to smell the lovely aroma and can see the garlic turn translucent, add the chives.

Turn your heat down again, this time turn it to just above warm. Stir gently, don’t whisk. The goal here is to make sure the flavors are being distributed through all of the oil. Whisking is adding unneeded chaos. The chives will get darker in color. Don’t walk away here or check your phone. Keep your eye on the chives because, again, they can burn fast.

Take the pan off the burner once the chives are a nice dark green and set it to the side. Stir again to remind everyone who’s boss.

With a small solid spoon (I used a dessert spoon) scoop out a bit of everything: oil, chives, garlic, and spread over a roll. Yes, the oil is going to make it a bit messy but *chef’s kiss* so very flavorful.

Repeat with each roll, saving a bit for later. Now roll into the standard crescent roll shape, sprinkle each with salt, and pour the rest of the garlic and chives over the tops. With this step, you actually want the least amount of oil possible. Place the rolls on a baking sheet and follow the baking directions on the packaging, or bake for about 10-15 minutes if you used the frozen or from-scratch dough. The bottoms will get darker than what you’re used to because of the oil. Don’t panic, they’re still yummy.

Serve and bask in all the compliments that will now be showering upon you.

Tell us about Diamond Eye Phyllis:

Diamond Eye Phyllis is a hard-drinking lesbian who crashes spaceships and curses a lot; she’s an intergalactic thief who fumbles her way from planet to planet, dodging aliens, and stealing what her boss then sells on the black market. Diamond Eye is a badass riddled with anxiety and who has little more ambition in life than to not work a “normal” job. She may just be my favorite person.

What was your writing process for this project:

I was going to write a flash fiction piece, something intended to jump-start my writing mind so that I could finish a different story that had stalled. I began writing “Otherworldly Mysteries” which is about eyewitness testimony to a UFO crash somewhere in the United States midwest, where the original Diamond Eye was a small, thin, man with pointed features. Almost like a beanpole elf. This character doesn’t appear until the last scene of the story, and I had everything completed except this scene. This part of the story refused to be written! Now I’m stubborn, but I’ve been a writer long enough to know when to surrender to whatever is trying to come through, albeit a plot point, a character, or the spirit of the world I’m writing about, so that’s what I did. I surrendered. The moment I did that, Phyllis came through with a burst and the rest of the story flowed.

I can laugh about it now, but the lesson I learned from all this was to not go up against a character that is as stubborn as I am.

What kind of research do I do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I haven’t really done any research for Diamond Eye, because she’s going to different planets and encountering beings that, as far as I know, don’t exist. However, the characters in my first book, Perverted Realities, went into an abandoned mental hospital. I did months of research on mental hospitals, especially on electric shock therapy. I had pages and pages of notes that ended up being about four or five paragraphs of the actual story.

I’m currently writing a story that includes a woman who survived a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. I’m reading medical textbooks on the brain, and peer-reviewed medical articles about gunshot wounds to the head. Very, very interesting!

You know how writers joke about having bizarre and potentially incriminating browser histories? This is why lol

What’s next?

I’m always writing something, but whether that something actually has a beginning, middle, and end is often the unanswered question. Plus, right now, I’m really into visual storytelling. Costumes, magic, props...either on stage or in front of a camera, my attention has really been pulled in this direction for the last few months. Currently, I’m creating a short magic show that deals with a haunted doll and a witch. It’s based on a short story I wrote about a year ago, but always felt the story needed more than what I could give it through ink on paper.

Diamond Eye Phyllis is an intergalactic thief who travels from world to world, stealing what she can, taking what her boss sends her to retrieve, and screwing it all up as she goes along. Author Jennifer Caress takes you on a wild and psychedelic ride through Phyllis' outrageous misadventures, one otherworldly tale at a time.

Get acquainted with the world’s favorite thief, available in paperback or ebook:


First thing first, this author is very talented and Diamond Eye Phyllis is totally original, the tales of an interstellar lesbian thief, count me all the way in. I had a great time reading this book. It opens with news reports that detail Diamond's escapades on different planets from the locals perspective. The author paints vivid pictures, and her words start to play like a movie in your head. All of the characters, including the minor players, have a unique voice and are well developed. The sarcasm and dry wit deliver laugh after page turning laugh. I'm not giving any spoilers, but I'd recommend it to anyone who wants an escape from the ordinary. Well done, Jennifer!

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Review Posted to Amazon and Goodreads

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