chicagolovespanini

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


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Pizza time, again! Time for some stuffed Giordano’s pizza

I wrote about this before: My pizza cravings have gone through the roof since becoming pregnant :-) I wouldn’t mind eating pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner – as a matter of fact, I think I’d absolutely love it! There is something very enticing in a pizza, if done well: the buttery and slightly flaky crust, the mellow melted mozzarella like a lava of joy in your mouth, the multilayered and assertive¬† flavor of the tomato sauce – they all come together to create pie heaven for the pizza aficionado.

I was in pizza heaven last weekend, when I went to the opening of the new Giordano’s Pizza carry-out and delivery location in Glenview. It was an event I would never forget – not just because of the delicious food I sampled, but also because of the special guest I got the chance to meet: basketball legend Scottie Pippen. Continue reading


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Fall is upon us, so it’s time to do some baking: The cookies of my childhood

Something has troubled me these past few days: the fall approaching. Lately, the weather has been unusually mild here in Chicago, with low overnight temperatures and highs in the ’70s. There’s something in the air, something that tells me fall is just around the corner. Too soon. Too fast. It’s the middle of August and I can already see the birds migrating, and I can hear their desperate cries as they fly to a warmer climate. Why does summer have to go away so quickly? I don’t know.

I tried to stay positive and to think happy thoughts as I faced this early arrival of the fall. My mom, who’s been here for about a month now, came up with the idea of doing some baking to cheer me up. She took out her recipe binder and we went over several recipes until we came across the one for jam cookies – the cookies of my childhood, as I like to call them. Continue reading


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Panino + smoothie = healthy lunch: My review of the Oatworks oat and fruit smoothies

Since becoming pregnant I have tried to live a healthier lifestyle and to eat a nutritious, fruit and veg based diet. I’ve been paying more attention to how my body interacts with certain foods or drinks – for instance, I have noticed that my baby becomes hyperactive whenever I drink coffee, and I have limited my daily caffeine intake as a result. It has been a process or rediscovery – of my body, my diet, and my general well-being. Thankfully, summer is the season when healthy eating can be accomplished relatively easily – in my case, I need some fresh produce, a panini grill and/or a blender, some inspiration and, of course, a bit of willpower :-)

As someone who’s interested in nutrition, I was pleased to be contacted by Oatworks to review their oat-based fruit smoothies. Oatworks sent me a pack of smoothies to try for the purposes of this review. All opinions expressed here are my own. Continue reading


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Short vacation journal: I went to California to learn about blogging and to “meet” Kerry Washington!

Last week we came back from San Jose CA, where I attended the BlogHer 2014 conference. I had never been to a blogging event before, and I was nervous and a bit unsure of my ability to “fit in.” As you may have noticed by now, I am a rather introvert person, who spends a lot of time (over)thinking, and way too little time interacting with the outside world. What prompted me to attend BlogHer was the prospect of learning from the blogging pros and also of getting to meet various brand reps, as well as other bloggers. Last but not least, my husband and I talked about it and we came to the conclusion that a trip to California would be a very nice vacation. With a baby on the way, who knows when we’re going to be able to afford another vacation? So off we went. :-)

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I’m back!

You may have noticed things have been quiet here these past couple of weeks. We went on vacation and just got back from San Jose CA, where I attended the BlogHer 2014 anniversary blogging conference. We had a great time and a lot of fun, and now it’s going to take us a few days to get back to our normal routine. I’ll post new recipes and stories as soon as possible. In the meantime, I hope you all have a great weekend :-)


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It’s time for summer lightness and freshness: It’s time for a caprese salad

I don’t know about you, but I always develop an appetite for healthy foods during the summer. It is in the summer that I feel the need to take the greatest care of my body, giving it as much nutrients as possible and taking advantage of the abundance of fruits and veggies. The summer season’s fresh produce always inspires me to come up with new ideas in the kitchen, and this summer makes no exception. It’s even better now, because since becoming pregnant I have miraculously started eating a lot healthier than before. The little one definitely knows how to stir me in the right direction food-wise. :-) Continue reading


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Panini with leftover roasted red peppers: The magic is still there!

One of the questions that pops up in my posts rather often is: What to do with leftover food? I’m always interested in repurposing food that is still safe to eat, and the thought of throwing it away does not sit well with me at all. I did some thinking and came to the conclusion that this must be a personality trait I inherited from my parents and my aunt. They were thrifty and very resourceful, and with good reason: the times were hard and food was scarce, and so they cherished every bit of it, and repurposed it with a passion.

I faced a new “leftover challenge” last week, when I realized I still had some roasted red peppers in the fridge. The roasted red pepper salad was an element of my 4th of July menu, and it looked like I had made a little too much of it. Continue reading

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