Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Bright Side.

Everybody has those days.  Well, I suppose it is my turn.  I would be outright lying to you if I said I wasn't feeling melancholy, and I would be making it a double whopper if I said it didn't have anything to do with the fact that school starts on Friday.  (Or that my dear relatives have returned home, much too far from here.)

Growing up I had a small sign in my bedroom that my mother hung on the wall.  It was of a mother goose being trailed by her ducklings.  The sign read, "Count your many blessings, name them one by one by one by one by one..."  Next to the words "by one" there was a duckling.  When I was mad I would see it in the corner of my room and it sort of soothed me back into the positive, the good, the bright side.  Perhaps not every time I was mad, but you get the point.  

A lot of blogs have "happy lists" and they are a similar concept, but happiness fades quickly.  A blessing sticks around, in my opinion, and doesn't lose its worth based on a changing emotion.  I may be wrong about that, I'm often wrong about many things, but I'd rather count blessings than count objects which make me momentarily happy. And now that I have said that, I must, with distinction, completely contradict myself and declare that I am very blessed to own a Breville Panini Press.  Yes, it is an object, but it is also a blessing to my life, because it makes sandwiches perfect in a way that I cannot. These photos of ooey gooey melted cheese and charred grill marks on sourdough are no lie, no trick of the photo-editing light.  Behold a blessed machine and the fruit of its hands-off labor:

Breville Panini Press

In short, this machine is non-stick (which means you don't need Pam).  Also, it heats evenly, melting cheese and blending flavors to an unprecedented taste-satisfaction level, and NO, I am NOT getting paid to write this.  This machine is the gift that keeps on giving me delicious sandwiches easily and quickly.  Would I mislead you?   Anyway, the thought of a perfect panini in my sack lunch is helping me face the eleven hours in which I am enrolled for June and July. This little press is more than a happy thought, it is a blessing that opens some sunlight from the bright side.

Caprese Panini
[from Williams-Sonoma]
Caprese Panini

Most of these ingredients can and should come directly from your Farmer's Market!


  • 2 slices country-style bread, each 1/2 inch thick
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • 2 Tbs. mayonnaise (optional, or make your own)
  • 2 slices mozzarella cheese
  • 3 tomato slices
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 fresh basil leaves


Preheat an electric panini maker according to the manufacturers instructions.

Brush one side of each bread slice with olive oil. Lay the slices, oiled side down, on a clean work surface. Spread the top of each slice with 1 Tbs. mayonnaise. Place the cheese on one slice and top with the tomato slices. Drizzle with the vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Top with the basil, then with the other bread slice, oiled side up.

Place the sandwich on the preheated panini maker and cook according to the manufacturers instructions until the bread is golden and the cheese is melted, 3 to 5 minutes.

Transfer the sandwich to a cutting board and cut in half. Serve immediately.
Serves 1.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.


Lenore said...

Hang in there my dear, this too shall pass. I love your idea of counting blessings - and that you included a panini maker!!


A.Kelley said...

Thanks Lenore! You are so sweet! I'm adding you to the list :)

Anonymous said...

I remember that sign in your room! We all have so many blessings to count in our lives, why NOT start with food or a device that cooks it?

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