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My Panini

Okay….I HAVE to tell you about my panini.  Seriously.  It was so delish!

Friday afternoon I had a craving for a panini.  I don’t know where it came from (normally I crave my toasted tomato and basil sandwich obsession) but I was determined that that’s what I would have for dinner.  So after visiting my mom in the hospital (surgery went well – prosthetic elbow bone inserted *sigh*.  No wonder my hair is turning gray!!) I stopped at the grocery store to get some fresh veggies and some artisan bread.  I got a lovely loaf of fresh ciabatta bread and some veggies and cheese.

When I got home I dug out my superhero Hamilton Beach Grill (eat that, George Foreman!) and here’s what I did:

First of all I cut two slices of the bread and buttered all four sides with light soy butter.  On the inside of the bread I also spread a little light mayo (the soy butter and mayo makes it crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside) and some pesto.  After grilling the bread for a few minutes I added fresh mushrooms, green pepper, tomato (duh!), roasted garlic (which I roasted myself), onion, a little gouda and a little brie and some basil, pepper and roasted garlic & red pepper spice and I grilled it pressed for about 5 more minutes.  It was like heaven in a sandwich!  It was so good, in fact, that I took pictures of my dinner (I had a lovely glass of wine with it – Rex Goliath) and made a similar sandwich today.  I also took photos of my grill.  It’s pretty gnarly.  It’s got a nice non-stick surface and has a slot with removable drawer for grease and oils to drain (it’s excellent for cooking bacon on) and it’s so easy to clean.

I’ve also been wanting for a while to make a pot of chili.  So today was the day for my Big Batch Chili!  I’m looking forward to freezing some of it so that I can have it on those cold days.  And it’s so healthy.  It’s vegetarian and has lots and lots and lots of veggies and fresh herbs.  Mmmm.

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