Thursday, September 29, 2011

Oh wow, a panini maker!!

I was born in July and for my 30th birthday, my husband went nuts. Literally. He must have lost his mind, with all the crazy and wonderful gifts that he came up with for me.  Among my favorites, he had one of my closest friends fly in from NYC to surprise me, 
 my Norm!

arranged for all of my dear friends & sister to go out for the night in style {limo} 

and on my actual birthday (since we partied a few nights before on Saturday) he took me out to eat at a fabulous little restaurant, where my family awaited to once again, surprise me.

woo hoo bring on 30!

One of my tangible gifts, which I did ask for, I'll admit, was a red Dutch Oven from the Giada collection at Target.  Joey knows that I love to cook, which is always a gift to him, and since he was there picking up this pot, he figured he'd get the panini maker too.  It was not something I ever thought of getting, so when I opened it, I believe it went something like..."Oh wow, a panini maker...I've always wanted one!" with a puzzled and excited smile.

Needless to say, one of his early birthday gifts was a set of nice steak knives (since we were throwing a dinner and didn't have any, I figured it was equivalent to a panini maker.  A nice needed, yet awkward gift, to give the one you love so dear. :) 

Roast Beef Paninis~ left over from our big Sunday dinner

  • Sliced/cut up pieces of roast beef (a small handful)
  • 1/2 of an avocado sliced
  • Thinly sliced tomatoes (I love Romas)
  • Thick bread~I love making my own, but if not mine, I buy freshly made at a store. Lately I've been loving BJ's organic wheat
  • Mayo (I prefer the one made with olive oil)
  • Cheese (we had Gruyere leftover, so I used that!
Pile it on the bread & throw it on the panini maker! I use a knife to hold the sandwhich back while I close the lid on the huge beast of a sandwhich.  Toast until it all melts together.

Served with homemade Tomato Basil soup:
  • 4 cups fresh tomatoes (Roma~chunks)
  • 1 box of organic chicken broth
  • 1 sliced sauteed onion
  • 4 whole cloves garlic
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • basil to garnish
In a large pot, saute onion until soft.  Add a little salt to help it along. Throw in garlic.  Add tomatoes, broth and allow to simmer on med-low for 20+ mins.  Use an immersion blender to puree.  I prefer mine a bit thicker, so I use a can of paste.  Add salt/pepper & basil.  Serve warm.

~If you use big beefsteak tomatoes, you will probably need to strain, or use a food mill.  I just strained the seeds out so it tasted better.  With Romas, you don't need to strain.

I married an Italian, so yes, most of my meals will be centered around Italy!! Ciao~

xox Jenn

1 comment:

  1. Going to try this tomato soup recipe tonight! :) Thanks!


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