Well, hello!

That’s me, smile-screaming on the kiddie coaster at Happy Hollow this summer. My little girl insisted we sit in the front row, for maximum thrills. I am so not a roller coaster person! ...more

Moving House

An intermittent little eyebrow twitch reminds me that our departure from San Diego and move back to the Bay Area is a little more than two weeks away. I’ve been a giant ball of stress for the past few months and I have a feeling that’s not likely to change anytime soon. Selling our house has been a roller coaster — in escrow, out of escrow, back in escrow ....more

Mac ‘n Cheese Grilled Cheese

It’s the last day of April, which means that National Grilled Cheese Month is drawing to a close. We’ve got one last guest blogger today, Stefani Pollack from Cupcake Project, and she’s sharing just about the cheesiest grilled cheese sandwich possible: Mac ‘n Cheese Grilled Cheese. The mac ‘n cheese isn’t on the inside, like with the Grilled Mac & Cheese with BBQ Pulled Pork I shared several years ago ....more

Texas Toast Asparagus Crab Melt

Hello everyone! While my world continues to be overtaken by THE MOVE (there’s a gentleman shampooing the rugs at this very moment), my friend Amy Flanigan from Very Culinary is stopping by Panini Happy today to share her amazing grilled cheese — the Texas Toast Asparagus Crab Melt. She had me at Texas Toast…and asparagus…and crab…and melt ....more

Pickled Asparagus Grilled Cheese

Happy National Grilled Cheese Month! I know it’s been a little quiet around here lately — my family is getting ready to bid a bittersweet farewell to San Diego and move back up to the Bay Area, so my time has been completely zapped by decluttering, packing, househunting and other relocation joys. Meanwhile, the cheesiest month of the year has been underway! ...more

Reuben Panini

{I first posted this recipe in September 2008 — now updated with clearer instructions, a new photo and an excerpt from my cookbook, The Ultimate Panini Press Cookbook} Once upon a time I asked Panini Happy readers to name their favorite sandwich. The overwhelming choice turned out to be the Reuben. It wasn’t hard for me to understand why ....more

Grilled Banana Bread…and our Hawaiian Vacation!

Under the shade of an umbrella, reclined in a beach chair with my sandy legs outstretched, in view of coconut trees, paddle surfers and my little kids who are splashing at the edge of the lagoon…this is my paradise. And paradise was reality last week when my family traveled to Hawaii! I’ve got a slew of fun island highlights from the trip to share with you — including a recipe for Grilled Banana Bread with Caramel Sauce and Haupia (aka coconut sauce) — so grab yourself a mai tai, sit back and experience a little tropical getaway for a few minutes. (...)Continue reading "Grilled Banana Bread…and our Hawaiian Vacation!" >> ...more

Cajun Breakfast Panini + $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway

“How about Andouille and eggs?” my mother-in-law Susan suggested, without a moment’s hesitation. After several days of mulling over Mardi Gras-themed panini ideas – and multiple trips to the grocery store for all kinds of ingredients – I struggled to come up with a concept that really spoke to me. I hadn’t considered going the breakfast route but it turned out to be just the right spin I was looking for ....more

Chocolate Spread Smackdown

What do you do when you discover five different types of chocolate hazelnut spread in your pantry? Well, if you’re me, you conduct a little Chocolate Spread Smackdown — a non-scientific, yet indulgently fun, taste test to understand the pros and cons, similarities and difference between the various spreads on the market. It was not difficult for me to recruit a group of taste testers for this activity — my husband (Mike), kids (ages 4 and 6) and in-laws (Ken and Susan) were more than willing to participate ....more

Cajun Breakfast Panini + $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway

After several days of mulling over Mardi Gras-themed panini ideas – and multiple trips to the grocery store for all kinds of ingredients – I struggled to come up with a concept that really spoke to me. I hadn’t considered going the breakfast route but it turned out to be just the right spin I was looking for. Thanks to Susan, we’ve got Cajun Breakfast Panini...more