Practical Panini

The other night I took dinner over to my friend Mimi’s because she recently had a baby boy and I know how difficult it can be to take time to make dinner. It was a dreary, rainy day so I thought I would make a pot of hearty soup to warm the soul. I needed something else to go along with the soup and immediately I thought of pan inis. I used a sliced loaf of italian bread and layered in between slices of tomato, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar reduction. I finished it off on my Cuisinart panini press and it turned out to be a hit. When in doubt, a practical panini is the perfect pairing for a bowl of soup. IMG_1218 IMG_1220

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Second Half In the Bag!

Well here’s another 2013 goal I can check off! Yesterday I completed the Colonial Half Marathon.  It started and ended on my school’s campus so I really had no excuse, I had to sign up. Here was my motto for the race.headband

Let me tell you, it was not a walk in the park. It was hill after hill after hill after hill. The last few miles were almost comical because I felt like around every corner was another uphill climb. I had no idea Williamsburg was hiding all those hills.

I started out pretty fast because I was feeling good, but the hills took a toll. By the middle of the race I definitely started slowing down.  I remember seeing the Mile 9 marker and thinking, “forget my time, I just need to finish.” My mile splits are very uneven but I ended up coming in at 2:02 which is an improvement from my 2:04 at the Richmond Half.  I dropped a couple minutes, but the effort was much more substantial.

Here are a few of the tunes that got me through the 13 miles:

1. Troublemaker by Olly Murs (feat. Flo’Rida)

2. End of Time by Beyonce

3. C’Mon by Kesha

4. What About Us by The Saturdays (feat. Sean Paul)

5. Say Somethin by Austin Mahone

On Friday we shall review all the awards season fashion, I hope you’ve been paying attention!

Weekend Brunch: Strawberry Stuffed French Toast

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If you have a special guest for breakfast on the weekend, this is a simply and impressive dish to prepare for the morning hunger pangs. Take your favorite loaf of bread (in this case, I used cobblestone bread from Ward’s Pastry in Ocean City). Brioche bread also works well. Make sure you have a whole loaf so you can cut the slices extra thick. Here is the recipe to make two stuffed pieces. You can double, triple, or quadruple the recipe depending on how many guests you have to feed.

Strawberry Stuffed French Toast

Ingredients
Strawberry Cream Cheese, Two 1-inch thick slices of bread, 1 egg, 3 tbsp milk, 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla extract, sliced fresh strawberries, canola oil and butter for frying

1. Make an incision in the bread to create a pocket for stuffing.
2. Stuff about a tablespoon of cream cheese into the pocket.
3. In a pie dish, mix together the egg, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla extract.
4. Soak the bread in this mixture on both sides until the egg mixture is absorbed into the bread.
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5. Heat a small frying pan with one tbsp canola oil and a small pat of butter. Place the two stuffed slices of bread in the pan. Flip over after about three minutes and cook on the other side.
6. Place french toast on a plate and top with sliced strawberries. Now you are ready to enjoy this delightful treat! Happy Saturday everyone!