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Panini and sandwiches

Egg on toast, and much more: Why mayo is out – and dandelion greens are in!

It occurred to me the other day that I had never told you why I don’t use mayo in my sandwiches. Indeed, if you look through my sandwich and panini recipes you’ll find none with mayo, and plenty with sour cream, cottage cheese or mustard. I know mayo is a very popular sandwich ingredient, and for good reason: you need a good creamy component to “bind” everything together and to turn the sandwich into a coherent whole. Still, we find mayo way too heavy and not particularly flavorful, and this is why I’ve been using other ingredients in its place. We’ve always been big fans of sour cream and cottage cheese (both of them lighter than mayo, in our opinion), so why not use these in panini or sandwiches? Moreover, on some occasions, I turn to other less used ingredients and I take advantage of their luscious creaminess to create a satisfying light lunch. Such is the case with the sandwich I am going to write about today, whose creamy component is a fried egg.

This sandwich is special to me because it incorporates a lesser known green element: dandelion greens. Keep Reading

Vive la France! My “almost” French lunch, featuring croissant, Camembert and tomatoes (again!)

I woke up this morning and remembered something: today is the National Day of France, which is also called Bastille Day.  This day is always celebrated in my home country. Our culture is closely related to the French culture – so close that we are members of the International Organization of the Francophonie. I am really glad I remembered about Bastille Day. Better mark the occasion later in the day than not mark it at all!

In honor of Bastille Day, I decided to make a French-inspired lunch: a stuffed croissant. Keep Reading

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 🙂 Keep Reading

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 Keep Reading

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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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 and very absent-minded, 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. Keep Reading

Sun-dried tomato cheese: It works great in a sandwich!

I stumbled upon an interesting discovery at the specialty cheese section the other day: sun-dried tomato cheese! I love both cheese and sun-dried tomatoes. However, I have never never tried them together as part of one product, and I was very curious to see how this cheese would taste like.

I am a self-confessed cheeseaholic – as you know, I use cheese in lots of dishes, both sweet and savory, and cheese is a main ingredient in all of my panini. Meanwhile, my use of sun-dried tomatoes in oil has been rather limited so far – I mainly put them on top of homemade pizza, so there’s definitely room for improvement and experimentation in this regard. Keep Reading