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American cheese

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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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. Keep Reading

Italian beef panini: I’ve got a panino for every occasion – and my husband will eat it!

I went to the doctor earlier this week and he confirmed my suspicions: I’m pregnant! This is big news for our family and explains the fatigue, nausea and sleepiness I’ve been experiencing lately. I won’t go into details, but I’ll say this: these past few weeks have been hard. Physically, I feel drained of energy and can hardly eat anything due to the nausea. Moreover, with mom absent and my husband at work till late every day, I often feel isolated, lonely, and I’m overwhelmed by anxiety and worries. I’ve been told I’ll feel better in the second trimester of my pregnancy. I hope that’s true – I really don’t like this new lethargic me. 🙁

Food-wise, being pregnant means I had to stop eating certain products, including deli meats. This part was hard – as you know, we are “panini aficionados,” and up until this week I used to eat deli meats on a daily basis. No more, though. I’ll have to come up with new lunch ideas for myself – or maybe I’ll still eat panini, but I won’t use any deli meats? I’m still wondering which way to go.

I may no longer be able to eat panini with deli meats, but I’m still more than happy to make them! Earlier in the week I made this Italian beef panino for my husband, using a few slices of American cheese I had in the fridge. The beef was on sale at the local Italian grocery store, so I bought some.  Keep Reading