Saturday, July 31, 2010

August is National Panini Month!

 Soooo....some folks might be saying to themselves, "what is a Panini? "

A panini is basically a grilled sandwich made on Italian bread.
A traditional panini is made with two slices of dense bread filled with meat, cheese and vegetables. The outsides of the bread are usually  brushed with extra virgin olive oil to give it a crispier texture and then the sandwich is grilled on a two sided panini/sandwich grill.
Paninis are usually made with a Panini Press but if you don't have one, you can get around it.
You can place the sandwich in a pan and cook it like you would any "grilled" cheese sandwich, using a spatula to press down on the sandwich , of course you won't get those lovely grilled lines, but the sandwich will still be good.
Both  How to Make a Panini without a Panini Press from eHow  and,  have good suggestions on making paninis without a press.

Types of bread that work well for paninis: foccacia, ciabatta, sourdough also thick cut italian or  french

All types of meats are good on a panini but they have to be cooked before you put them in the sandwich.

Feel free to experiment with your cheeses...try mozzarella, asiago, provolone, brie, goat cheese, cheddar, etc.

And don't forget the veggies! Roasted peppers, tomatoes, basil, spinach, red onions, eggplant....whatever comes to mind. Oh, you can also try fruit...some sliced apples, pears or strawberries might be delicious.

Oooooo.....I almost forgot the absolutely fabulous dessert panini. A Chocolate Strawberry Panini made with pound cake for bread and using nutella as the chocolate....yummy! The video on how to make this treat is at the end of the blog.

For some interesting ideas for paninis, check out this Page A Day Recipe Calendar that Sargento cheese put out in 2009 to honor August as Panini Month. It's packed with 31 yummy recipes.

Okay, I am soooooo hungry! I guess I'll go make something to eat.......hmmm I wonder what??

This is a fab video from Food Network. Giada makes a couple of delicious looking Paninis.

And here is Giada's yummy Chocolate Strawberry Panini.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Celebrate National Drive Thru Day!

July 25th is National Drive Thru Day. 
I have absolutely no idea who proclaimed this to be a holiday but who cares?! Let's admit it.....we love drive thrus. You can find drive thru liquor stores, coffee shops and even a drive thru wedding chapel (Las Vegas, of course). 

According to Wiki:
A drive-through, or drive-thru, is a type of service provided by a business that allows customers to purchase products without leaving their cars. The format was first pioneered in the United States in the 1930s but has since spread to other countries.
Drive-throughs have generally replaced drive-ins in popular culture, and are now found in the vast majority of modern American fast-food chains.
 I just found this great vid about National Drive Thru Day......

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Gummi Worm Day!!

" I guess I'll go eat worms, big fat juicy ones, itty bitty skinny ones, see how they wiggle and squirm!"

Remember that song? Yes, I know it's kind of gross but , hey, what can you expect from a kids song??

Normally, none of us would think of eating worms (I hope!) but July 15th is Gummi Worm Day. The perfect day to make and eat worms!

Homemade Gummi Worms much simpler to make than you would think. You need:

12 tbsp sugar
1 1/3 cup orange juice
8 tbsp corn syrup
8 tbsp unflavored gelatin
Food coloring, optional
Superfine Sugar for coating

1. Prepare an 8x8 inch pan by wetting it lightly with water.

2. Place gelatin in 1/2 cup cold water to soften for about 5 minutes.

3. Place the juice, sugar (regular not the superfine) and corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves.

5. Stir in the gelatin and continue stirring until gelatin dissolves.

6. At this point add food coloring if desired.

7. Pour into prepared pan and leave until completely set, 4-6 hours at room temperature or 1 to 2 hours in the refrigerator.

8. When set, turn out of pan and cut with a sharp knife into long, thin strips to resemble worms.

9. Roll your worms in the superfine sugar.

Now go out there and eat some worms!!!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Love this video! Waka Waka....this time for Africa

This is the official 2010 FIFA video. I'm not really into soccer or Shakira but this is a fabulous video.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy Independence Day!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Which Chicken Wing Day do you celebrate?

Did you know that there are two holidays celebrating the chicken wing?

Yep, there's International Chicken Wing Day which is July 2nd and National Chicken Wing Day which is July 25th. I figure since both days are celebrated in July, it doesn't matter which day you celebrate.

Anyhoo, what really matters it that these holidays are the perfect excuse for cooking and eating a whole mess of chicken wings!! (as if we really need an excuse)

To help some of y'all come with a few new recipes I've found 6 really fun ones. Enjoy!!!

Caramelized Baked Chicken Wings
* 3 pounds chicken wings
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1/2 cup soy sauce
* 2 tablespoons ketchup
* 1 cup honey
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2. Place chicken in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Mix together the oil, soy sauce, ketchup, honey, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour over the chicken.
3. Bake in preheated oven for one hour, or until sauce is caramelized.

Cranberry Barbecued Chicken Wings

Ingredients -
18 Chicken Wings
1 can Jellied Cranberry Sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons packed Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Prepared Mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

1. Place chicken wings in casserole dish or medium mixing bowl
2. In medium saucepan, combine cranberry sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard.
3. Stirring constantly, heat over low, until smooth. Allow sauce to cool.
4. Pour over chicken wings.
5. Cover and refrigerate several hours.
6. Remove chicken from marinade and grill directly over medium heat, until chicken is cooked through.

Taco Chicken Wings
Ingredients -
1/2 cup Flour
1 package Taco Seasoning Mix
3 pounds Chicken Wings
6 tablespoons Butter
1 cup crushed Corn Chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. In medium mixing bowl, combine flour and taco seasoning.
3. Toss wings in seasoning mixture to coat.
4. In shallow bowl, place crushed corn chips. Toss wings in corn chips to coat.
5. Melt butter in large non-stick baking dish or casserole dish.
6. Spread wings evenly in dish.
7. Bake 45 minutes.