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About Me

Phoenix, Arizona, United States
The most important thing in my life is my family. I love my dear husband and 4 wonderful children (ages 11 through 18). I am a stay-at-home mom (my dream job!). Some of my favorite things to do include cooking (and eating!), photography, reading, piano, flute, watching my favorite TV shows, swimming, traveling, and most recently...using the rip stick with my kids. I would love to attend culinary school someday & fit my love of photography in with that somehow. My dream vacation is Italy - something I was recently blessed to experience! I'd love to return and see more of that beautiful and DELICIOUS country! My days are usually full of running kids to and from activities - scouts, sports, music and church. Sometimes I have to remind myself to breathe, but I absolutely LOVE my crazy life and the people I am lucky enough to share it with!

Friday, February 5, 2010

tomato, mozzarella & pesto panini (from Ina Garten's 'Barefoot Contessa At Home')


We love our panini machine! It's a great way to make delicious hot sandwiches for lunch. You can also make dessert sandwiches with slices of brioche bread and good chocolate melted in the middle. Yum. But you can do the same thing by making the sandwiches in a pan on the stovetop.  Just place a plate on top of the sandwich and put something heavy, like a brick or heavy can, on the plate. These are super fast & easy!

2 large ripe beefsteak tomatoes
1 (16-ounce) ball fresh mozzarella
12 slices bakery white bread, sliced 1/2-inch thick
about 1 cup prepared pesto (the cheapest I've found is at Costco, back by the refrigerated dips & the cheese)
kosher salt
unsalted butter, at room temperature

Preheat a panini grill machine.

Core the tomatoes and slice the tomatoes and mozzarella 1/4-inch thick.

Place the bread slices on a work surface. Spread each slice evenly with pesto. Place a layer of mozzarella (about 2 slices) on half of the bread and cover with a layer of tomato. (If the toma­toes are large, it will only be one slice.) Sprinkle the tomato with salt. Place the remaining slices of bread, pesto side down,
on top. Spread the top and bottom of each sandwich with soft­ened butter. Grill the sandwiches in batches on the panini grill for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mozzarella starts to ooze. Cut each sandwich in half, and serve warm.

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