Tag Archives: delicious

Paninis – making regular sandwiches look bad since the 1950’s

I’m back after a long hiatus! I recently picked up the Giada De Laurentis Panini press from Target for $14.99. I can’t decide if I’m more excited about the delicious panini I made or the deal I got on the press itself :). I am not much of a sandwich person myself because really, who wants to eat a sandwich when you can eat something hot? Well, the beauty of a panini is that it’s a hot, crispy sandwich that really encompasses the best of both worlds.

This is the first time making a panini, so I thought…why not make one of my favorite sandwiches? A Reuben, of course.

Here’s what I used to make mine:
– 2 slices of white, sour dough bread with a schmear of butter on one side
– a dollop of Thousand island dressing, spread evenly on one slice of bread (not the buttered side)

– a slice of Provolone cheese
– several slices of thinly slices corned beef (I used Boar’s Head from my local grocery store)

– as much sauerkraut as you’d like

1. Preheat your panini press on Low heat. I’ve found that cooking the panini on high heat causes it to cook too quickly, making it really easy to burn your sandwich.

2. I buttered one side of both slices of bread. The buttered sides will be the outside of the sandwich. It really adds a beautiful color to the cr

usty exterior and definitely adds to the crunchiness of the panini.

3. Schmear on a little bit of Thousand Island dressing to one of the slices of bread (not on top of the buttered side).

4. Add one slice of Provolone cheese on top of the dressing.

5. Stack up your corned beef to your liking. I like to add about 1/4 lb of meat into my sandwich, making it pretty hearty.

6. Add some sauerkraut and you’re almost ready to go!

7. Please the other slice of bread on

top (buttered side out) and you’re ready to start pressing.

8. Place the ready to go sandwich on the panini press and close the lid. I usually

give it about 2-3 minutes before I open the lid and check on the sandwich.

9. Continue to check on the panini until the outside is golden brown. And, voila! You have yourself a panini πŸ™‚

Needless to say, it was absolutely delicious.

Some might ask you “Why in the world do you have a panini press? That’s so random.” No need to reply…just make them a panini.


The Guinness Cupcake.

I can’t believe it’s been so long since i’ve actually posted about food. I’ve been so busy with triathlon training and working that I completely neglected my blog 😦 And now, we resurrect!

I went to a birthday party last weekend and had these amazing Guinness cupcakes. I wanted to recreate them myself because i’ve never actually cooked or baked with beer before. So after hunting down a recipe online, I decided to bake chocolate Guinness cupcakes with chocolate ganache filling and vanilla frosting. You can’t really go wrong with beer and chocolate, can you?

I used the recipe from here and made a few small adjustments based on the ingredients I had on hand.

Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes
Makes approximately 24 cupcakes

For the Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

1 cup of stout beer (I used Guinness)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar (I reduced this by a few tablespoons because it just seemed like too much)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Chocolate Ganache Filling
8 ounces of bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature

Baileys Frosting
3 to 4 cups confections sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 to 4 tablespoons Baileys (I used heavy cream because I didn’t have any Baileys on hand)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

For the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350Β°F and Line the cupcake pan with 24 liners.

Melt butter with the beer in a sauce pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Whisk in cocoa powder until smooth. Be sure to continue whisking or the cocoa can burn at the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In a mixer bowl, beat the eggs and the sour cream together. Add the cooled beer/butter/cocoa mixture and beat to combine. Add the flour mixture and beat briefly just to combine. Do not overbeat or else the cupcakes will be tough. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the batter until completely combined.

Fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick or a slim knife inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely to room temperature.

To make the filling: Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. Add the butter and stir until combined.

Fill the cupcakes: Let the filling cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped. Using your 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. I went about half to 2/3 of the way down and used a small knife to help me extract the centers. Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

To make the frosting: In a large mixer bowl, whip the butter until it is very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, letting it incorporate, until the butter becomes thicker and stiff. Slowly drizzle the Bailey’s (or cream) and whip until combined. Ice and decorate the cupcakes to your liking πŸ™‚

Here’s how they turned out: