chicagolovespanini

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


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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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Decadent bagel dessert: I’m looking for a caramel sauce recipe!

I made this dessert a few days ago because I had a bit of time to spare and a few cinnamon & raisin bagels in the fridge (I wrote about our love of bagels in the fall here). An acquaintance of ours who lives in Tennessee makes bananas in caramel sauce regularly, and she usually serves this delicious concoction over chocolate ice cream – so yummy :-) I remembered her and decided to use her banana & caramel sauce recipe to bring some sweet joy to our bagels. I also had whipped cream on hand and lots of toasted almonds to serve as a crunchy element. I was thus well-equipped and ready to improvise in the kitchen while waiting for my husband to get back from work. 

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My “almost” BLT panino: Bacon rocks!

I bought some bacon from the grocery store the other day and soon enough was faced with a dilemma: How to best use it? My husband is not a fan of bacon – he leaves for work early every day and finds it very difficult to eat a food as “heavy” as bacon at 4 o’clock in the morning. I was therefore left with quite a few slices of bacon. I ate a couple and then decided to use the bacon in a BLT sandwich or panino, so I went back to the store and bought a poppy seed bread roll and some Gouda cheese. I noticed they had yellow tomatoes on sale and got some of those too. Of course, being pregnant, I totally forgot about the lettuce :-) It was too late to go back though, so I left the lettuce out and only relied on the bacon to deliver that much-needed element of crispiness. Continue reading

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