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Panini and sandwiches

Grilled veggie sandwich: celebrating the end of summer with two secret ingredients to match :-)

Keeping the family happy and well-fed this summer has been easy thanks to a marvelous piece of technology: the grill! We bought our first outdoor grill back in June, and now we finally know what we’ve been missing out on. Grilling outdoors has made our weekends memorable, and our journey through charred flavors has been exciting and rewarding. Gone are the days of using a grill pan for our grilling needs. It’s grill pan out (for now), outdoor grill in! 🙂

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When life gives you eggplants, you make an eggplant & sweet pepper panino!

Today, post #2 covering my Pure Flavor veggie cooking bonanza, where I highlight the taste and versatility of eggplants. I’m so excited to be writing about good, nutritious food!

I had a colorful assortment of Pure Flavor baby eggplants and I immediately thought I should use them to make my family’s version of baba ghanoush, one of the oldest recipes ever posted on this blog. In the end however, I decided to push myself a little harder (lol) and after some thinking and experimentation I came up with this vegetarian panino recipe, in which I married the gorgeous eggplants pictured below with the Pure Flavor Aurora Sweets peppers.  More on these peppers will be revealed in my upcoming veggie post #3 (hint, hint!) Keep Reading

Father’s Day meat & mushroom panino: always a hit with protein-loving dads

Happy Father’s Day to the fathers among us! Hope you are having an amazing weekend with your loved ones.

In case you’re wondering whether I’m making anything special to eat on this very special day – yes, I am. I am making a blended meat panino. I have been so inspired by the blenditarian movement and by last month’s Culinary Fight Club Blended Burger Challenge that I’ve decided to make something my family loves – a panino, and not just any panino: a blended meat & mushroom panino! Made up of a delicious mix of ground chuck and cremini mushrooms sitting pretty on Swiss cheese goodness, this truly is a great gift for the protein-loving dads 🙂

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Cheesy, easy breezy, veggie-loaded sandwich: Be careful with the goat cheese!

Goat cheese has to be one of the priciest ingredients ever – to me, anyway. I used to eat a lot of goat cheese when we lived in Europe, in countries where this type of cheese was produced in large quantities. Since coming to Chicago however, I had to scale down consumption for no other reason than price. I love a good goat cheese-inspired sandwich and miss the old days of indulgence!

With limited market supply and high prices as a result, what is a goat cheese aficionada left to do than to hunt down promotions and to hope for a sale? This is exactly what I have been doing for awhile now. Keep Reading

Memorial Day sausage sandwich extravaganza: a different kind of pigs in a blanket!

There’s no time like the time you spend with your loved ones 🙂 This weekend my husband is off work, which means we will truly be celebrating Memorial Day together as a family. We went out to eat today, while tomorrow we’ll stay home and dear husband will do some grilling – and when we grill, we don’t hold back! We will for sure make the decadent sandwich below using fresh sausages we got on sale from the local grocery store. I will use a batch of Italian sausages for this purpose, but you can use brats as well (as we did in the past) with similarly spectacular results.

In creating this dish I was inspired by pigs in a blanket, the popular appetizer which involves hot dogs or small sausages wrapped in dough and baked until piping hot. Eating them straight out of the oven, sizzling with luscious juices and covered in buttery pastry, is definitely one of my greatest joys. This dish does resemble pigs in a blanket, but with a twist: the dough is replaced by lots and lots of bacon and pepper jack cheese. The more proteins, the merrier!

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Our Cinco de Mayo weekend: It’s time for a double-stacked corn tortilla sandwich – or two, or three!

Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone! How many tacos do you usually eat in one sitting: two, three, more? I can only eat two, which is a shame because I just love corn tortillas. 🙂 The rustic flavor and unadulterated simplicity of corn tortillas reminds me of the polenta I used to eat in my home country in industrial quantities. Both corn tortillas and polenta have recently become very fashionable, yet to me it is their purity of flavor that makes them the most appealing. Unencumbered by non-essential additions, corn tortillas exude honesty, an appreciation of the simple things in life, and a vast journey through history – and for these reasons I come back to them again, and again, and again.

I often use corn tortillas to make double-stacked sandwiches, which my husband loves to eat at the end of a long work day. The heat of the chorizo cuts through the layers of creamy chihuahua cheese to bring fire to the dish, while the tomatoes, sweet pepper and chopped cilantro add freshness and crispiness. Finger-licking at its finest, this sandwich is messy to eat, succulent and oh-so satisfying 🙂 Keep Reading

What’s in a naan sandwich? A story of flavors, decadence and… trends

Did you know naan pizza is one of this year’s hottest food trends according to Pinterest? I’m not surprised: we have been using naan to make pizza quite a bit lately. We are big fans of classic thick pizza dough, but sometimes we want something different and light, and this is when naan flatbreads come in handy. With their wholesome flavor and smooth texture, naans have captured our hearts and minds, and they are here to stay. Overload them with veggies and homemade sauces and dips, use them as canvas for pizzas and sandwiches, and they are sure winners – in our household, at least 🙂 Keep Reading