chicagolovespanini

Going panini and beyond in the Windy City – and loving it!


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Cottage cheese sandwich: I thought of England (again!) and learned that onion rolls are the best :-)

I am a big French baguette fan, and you may have noticed this by now. I just love the crunchy exterior (the crunchier, the better!) and soft and comforting interior of a well-made baguette. I’ve never been to France, but I hope to travel there one day and to get the chance to experience baguette deliciousness at its best, on the streets of Paris, hot straight from the oven and complemented by a dash or two of wholesome butter. Still, not all sandwich/panini recipes work well with baguettes, and my ongoing challenge is to find what bread is best suited to the other ingredients that I have. This leads to a lot of what I call “sandwich experimenting” – so much to eat, so little time :-) Continue reading


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Sweet is the way to go: My visit to this year’s International Home + Housewares Show

Doesn’t this cake look beautiful? To me, it certainly does. It is one of the many cakes presented by Cake Boss Buddy Valastro’s team at the 2015 International Home + Housewares Show. With a newborn in the house, I haven’t baked a cake in ages – and as for “real” food, my idea of perfection is anything you can throw into the slow cooker and leave it there to cook for hours on end. Nowadays I don’t have the time to do much in the kitchen, and I feel hopeless and lack the energy to follow complicated recipes. I definitely need help, excitement, and borrowed inspiration. Going to this year’s International Home + Housewares Show was just what I needed. With so many delightful cakes to admire and so much novelty to absorb, who wouldn’t feel inspired? :-)

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My warm vegetarian sandwich – with veggies galore!

Life gets pretty hectic with a newborn in the house. Gone are the days when I could spend hours working on a dish, take pictures to my heart’s content, and ponder over each and every word as I sat in front of the computer, thinking of ways to capture my readers’ hearts and minds. Nowadays, my daily routine is rather different, and it revolves around a tiny soul who brings me endless joy. I feel so blessed :-)

What have I been eating lately? I have become a fan of toast (in the morning) and warm sandwiches (throughout the day). I haven’t used the panini maker in a while, but I hope to start using it again when things settle down and we get back to “normal” – whatever that might mean, lol Continue reading


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I’m back – and eating lots of late-night grilled cheese sandwiches :-)

This is a picture of our beloved baby girl. She was born a few days before Christmas, and since then my life has changed tremendously. Of course, I have been going through the usual: sleepless nights, countless feedings and diaper changes, colic-related fussiness, sessions with the lactation consultant etc. In-between these however – above the overwhelming exhaustion and chaotic eating, above the fear of a new beginning – lies something else, more durable and more profound: love, pure and simple. The kind of love I never knew existed.

I haven’t cooked much lately, but I do hope to get back on track pretty soon. In the meantime, I devour the panini and sandwiches made whenever I got a spare moment.

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Happy holidays!

I hope you all have a safe and peaceful holiday season, with lots of laughter in your hearts and delicious dishes on your tables.

This year I haven’t had the time to put together a Christmas menu, and for once I’m not ashamed to admit it. The reason: I’m a new mom! Our baby daughter was born last week, and now I’m at home recovering. We have no Christmas food in the house, but we do have plenty of love in our hearts – and this is all that matters :-)


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Baking while waiting for the baby: We made mom’s apple pie!

I haven’t been around much lately, and you may have guessed why: the baby is coming! With two weeks left till due date, the days seem to be getting shorter and the impatience is running high. There is still so much to do and sometimes I panic I won’t have enough time to buy all the things the baby needs. I haven’t slept well lately either, most likely due to the stress.

Food-wise, we rely a lot on the slow cooker nowadays because it’s easy to use and very convenient. I didn’t use the oven much after Thanksgiving, but when I did use it, the result was definitely worth it. Such was the case with the apple pie my mom made for Thanksgiving – it was so good that I asked her to make it again and again, and she happily obliged :-) I hadn’t had her apple pie in a gazillion years and I had forgotten how delicious it actually was! Continue reading

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