Panini Love and I am Giving Up Smoking

My SIL and MIL love Brussels sprouts.  When I was meal planning for our lunches this week, I thought I would add some brussel sprouts to a couple of her meals.  I tried them again, still not a fan, but Erica, I know I need to give your Brussels sprout recipe a try!

I didn’t really eat breakfast since I was taste testing our lunches.  The sprouts were tossed in 1 tsp. olive oil, salt and pepper, then baked for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

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One of my SIL’s dishes – 1 cup cooked cavatapi pasta with jarred butternut squash sauce and oven roasted sprouts:

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My Mom was actually given the squash sauce from a gift exchange at Christmas, but she hates butternut squash.  She gave me two jars which each normally sell for $9 each!  Score!

Another reason I didn’t eat much for breakfast?  Because I was dreaming about my panini sandwich.  The star was this pesto that my brother gave me for Christmas (can you tell I cleaned out my pantry and found these goodies?!)

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I put that on both sides of my bread, then provolone, sandwich pepperoni and a slice of buttery mortadella.  I’d never had that lunch meat before meeting Tony – did I miss out on that for so many years!

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I love this panini press – its super quick to get to temperature and super easy to clean too.

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I made lots of dishes – one that I really needed to work on was the Chicken Vindaloo recipe from Epicurious.  The sauce was watery, no flavor.  I’ll be posting my recipe for it later this week though – it came out delicious!  And to people who responded that they use their panini presses a lot (including my cousin Pam – hi Pam!), I agree that this will be a regularly used appliance.

My store had baby back ribs on sale and I had every intention of smoking them.  I smoked a lot of stuff last summer, but for some reason, the last two times I’ve used it I’ve overcooked the meat.

So my goal was low and slow – I was going to smoke them for four hours around 200-225 degrees.  But as I was adjusting the coals about an hour in, disaster struck.

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I gave up and ended up finishing them off in the oven at 225, with a broiler pan of water underneath. 

I used America’s Test Kitchen dry rub mix, and K.C. Masterpiece for the BBQ sauce.  I skimped on the cayenne, barely a pinch, so it wasn’t too spicy for Tony.

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So even though the ribs didn’t start out the way I wanted, they ended up being delicious.  They cooked for about 4 hours at 225.  Then I put K.C. Masterpiece on and finished them up under the broiler.  Kinda looks like a 4th of July picnic dinner, doesn’t it?

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And for corn in April, it was awesome too.  I usually boil a pot of water and when it comes to a boil, take it off the heat and toss in the corn – its ready in 5 minutes and never gets overcooked.

Alright I am off to do my 30 minute stretch and put my food together – I have a mini bacon zucchini pepper casserole for breakfast . . . here is a sneak peak . . . you’ll have to come back tomorrow for the recipe. Open-mouthed smile

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Make it a great day!


23 thoughts on “Panini Love and I am Giving Up Smoking

  1. That panini looks so good!! And where did you get that cup that the baked beans are in? I love that! I hate when baked bean juice runs over my other food 🙂

    • The Sam’s Club near my office has a restaurant supply store aisle – I drool just walking down that aisle! There were 12 of those cups for only $6! I have some at my office for dipping veggies in – love them 😀

  2. (I just noticed this post now…wonder if it posted according to the time that you started writing it vs. when you finished and hit publish?)

    I swear, you are making me want a panini press – that sandwich looks sooooo good! And ribs! Crum. Forgot to book my plane ticket for dinner!!!

  3. So glad you were talking about a different kind of smoking, Ithink trying to stay on track eating healthy is hard enough.

    So do you just wipe down the panini press? I’ve figured out that because all of my cookie sheets are lined with silpats I seriously give them a 2 second wipe down and just stick them back in the drawer. Haven’t washed those suckers in months.

    • After I took the sandwiches off – I just wet a paper towel and wiped it off – let it dry open, then put away in my pantry – which is right off my kitchen – which means I’ll use it more than once! 😀

  4. Marcia @Frugal Healthy Simple

    yummy yummy, you are a woman after my own heart with all of the weekend cooking and prep. Although you plan your meals better and don’t have near the leftovers that I do.

  5. Did you post this last night? It’s showing up in my reader that you did? Anyway, I love our panini press! We haven’t used it lately because I’m trying to clean out the freezer before vacation but for a while we were having a panini once a week. Have to watch them though, the calories add up quickly! Did you use your own bread or did you buy panini bread?

    • I saved my draft post last night – weird how it showed up on yours and Shelley’s blog roll as if you had already read it?!

      We have a local bakery:

      Looks like they only sell to Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana – but so good – it was their Tuscan bread. 😀

      • My blog roll actually lists as newest posts first, which is why I asked you if you posted it last night. Evidently the time stamp that blogger read was the time on your draft. Interesting.

  6. Oh no your poor smoker- is it broke for good? I have yet to try smoking- always intimidated my it, but must someday as I love the flavors! Happy Monday Biz!!

  7. Your food always look so good! I have never seen butternut squash sauce in a jar. It sounds yummy.

  8. I kind of want a panini press, but one more appliance! I will squish sammies between a fry pan and a hot cast iron skillet sometimes, but I don’t eat sandwiches enough to justify purchasing.

  9. I need to invest in a panini press – I think I’d use it a lot! The only problem is finding room to store it.

  10. I’m not sure I’ve ever had mortadella before! I must remedy this! The panini looks so amazing!!!

  11. I think the panini press just makes the sandwich looks so much more tasty! I’m not so much a fan of cooked zucchini, but your breakfast looks good! Must be the bacon 🙂

  12. I see you got quite the deal on your panini press, that’s awesome and your sandwich looks great! Too bad about your smoker, what a bummer. I’m a fan of smoking stuff too. Mine gets alot of use in the summer. Your ribs look like they turned out great.

  13. Everything looks amazing, as usual, I always leave here hungry! Looks like your ribs turned out great, what a summery meal!

  14. haha…I’m glad you realize I”m not going to stop hounding you until you try them 😉 Butternut squash sauce? I want to try making an at home version. Glad the food turned out so fantastic

  15. Yummmmmmm I really need to stop reading your blog when I’m hungry Biz. The Brussels look delish.

  16. your title really caught me off guard 🙂 clever pun! The ribs look awesome and I could eat corn on the cob like its my job.

  17. That panini looks incredible!!
    I need to get my panini maker out and get on it. 🙂

  18. […] Tony and I didn’t head to the grocery store until nearly 4:00!  I redeemed myself from the last time I used the smoker.  The coals were just right and this chicken turned out delicious – juicy, […]

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