Saturday, May 26, 2012


I still remember the day I was told I’d be getting a little brother.  I was six years old.  We were at the eyeglass shop in the mall where my dad worked.  My mom knelt down to eye-level and said, “We have a surprise for you.  Do you remember what you’ve wanted for a very long time?”  Much to my retrospect dismay, I responded, “a hot dog?”  (Could I be anything other than an O’Gara – food is ALWAYS on my mind!!  I mean, c’mon!  It’s embarrassing, really.)  The answer was, of course, a little brother. 

My brother’s name is Spencer and he’s been 40 years old since the day he learned to talk.  He’s borderline genius and I love him for it.  Dinner conversations with Spencer continue to blow my mind, whether he’s explaining why mining in Africa is economically unstable or how certain proteins will only attach and then detach to… well, God knows what!  I’m pretty sure when I was 18 I was talking about Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dumb. 

Spencer graduated from high school last Friday and today, we’re celebrating his accomplishment with a party at our house!  There’ll be pizza and cake, swimming, and hopefully a tournament of Spoons during which someone will inevitably crawl across the table in overexcitement. 

I plan to contribute a double batch of Spanakopita triangles – one of Spencer’s favorite appetizers.  They are now a staple at any of our family parties, so they’ll be gone in a heartbeat, I’m sure.  A mixture of savory spinach is delicately wrapped in layers of filo dough to create these tasty packages.  They may take time to put together, but it's well worth the effort.

Congratulations Spencer, on your graduation and all of your accomplishments thus far!  I look up to you so much and I can’t wait to see what you’ll do in college.  Thank you for always being a Niles to my Frasier.  Félicitations, mon cher frère

1 bunch of green onions
2 garlic cloves
Olive oil
1 package of frozen spinach, thawed
6-8 oz. feta
Salt and pepper
1 egg
Filo dough
Melted butter

Squeeze spinach to drain completely. 

In a non-stick skillet, sauté onions.  When onions are soft, add garlic.  When garlic is fragrant, add spinach and mix together.  Remove from heat and let cool. 

Preheat oven to 350.

When spinach is cool, add feta cheese and 1 egg.  Mix until thoroughly combined.  Cut filo sheets in half.  Take one halved sheet and place a spoonful of spinach in the middle of it at the top.  Fold the filo over the spinach and begin to fold so that you have a triangle.  (Almost like you were folding the American flag).  Tuck the last part of the filo dough under the triangle and brush with melted butter.  Place on a greased cookie sheet and repeat with the rest of the spanakopita. 

Bake for about 10 minutes, until the filo triangles are golden brown and crunchy.  Serve with Tatziki sauce, if desired. 

*Thank you to my friend Chad, for introducing me to a new version of these snacks.  Brush a little orange honey butter on top before baking for a sweet touch.  

1 comment:

  1. No joke. JUST last night I thought to myself, I'm going to ask him for that recipe tomorrow. AND HERE IT IS!