Some days I just can’t remember where I put that “Super Woman” cape…
It seems like the more we women progress forward into equality (there’s a joke for you) the more we are expected to do to earn it. I am one of the lucky women I know, who has a partner that truly thinks of me as an equal in our relationship. That fact notwithstanding, some days it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed…with all that is oftentimes on my plate, I am out of energy before I take my shower. If it sounds like I am complaining, I’m not. Really. I KNOW how good I have it. It’s just that I think we women worry more than men, and about different things.
Because I (and probably a lot of you reading this) have a 12 hour life that takes place outside of my home, it is essential that planning and forethought go into not only my budget, but my weekly dinner menu as well. I don't have the luxury of "wiggle room" in either.
Mothers- especially those whose daily duties take them away from the family- want and need the assurance that their children/spouses/significant others are not suffering just because we are forced to work a 40+ hour work week outside of the home.
This being said- that’s a toughie. (WHERE is that cape??)
The two biggest challenges surrounding dinner time are always nutrition and time spent cooking vs. time spent reconnecting with the family. I refuse to forgo quality nutrition. It is just as important as time spent together. Menu choices aren’t always easy, my days are full and my evenings at home during the work week seem to be about 2 hours long. It’s equally imperative in these times of economic stress to be smart with your cookies and continue to think outside of the to-go box.
Panini sandwiches are a terrific drive through alternative meal- you are only limited by the scope of your own imagination. They’re easy to prepare- you can use a Panini griller, a griddle, a cast iron skillet…even put your sandwich grill pan on your outdoor grill!
Stuff them full of Panini goodness- that runs the gamut from chocolate and banana Paninis for the kids (ok, not just for the kids), vegetarian, fruit and cheese, and meats. Ciabatta bread, foccacia, even challah bread can be used. I love the challah bread, personally. It’s one of my favorites. Serve with a fresh fruit plate and a side salad- dinner in less than 30 minutes; that equals more time to spend with my favorite Fab Family. We sampled the turkey, brie, pear and peach mayo paninis, served them up with sweet potato fries and fresh fruit and yogurt!
Any way you prepare them, these grilled sandwiches don’t just “stack” up against a fast-food meal- they completely overshadow it.
Bain sult as! (Enjoy!)
Turkey, Pear, and Brie Panini on Pumpernickel with Peach Mayo
(say THAT one 10 times fast)
Sliced turkey- from your deli is just fine
a couple of pears- Anjou worked for me- sliced very thin (no need to peel)
Loaf of Pumpernickel
8 oz Brie, sliced thin
1 small onion, sliced thin
Peach Mayonnaise (yes, really)
1 cup of canned peaches, well drained
1 teaspoon honey
2/3 cup mayo
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, diced fine
salt & pepper to taste
Assemble your paninis, buttering bottom slice of bread. Mayo, turkey, pears, onion, brie, mayo, bread. Cook for a few minutes, butter top slice, flip, cook for a few more minutes.
Ready in under 15 minutes, not counting slicing time.
*As always, tweak away and make it your own. I think I will try it next time with a different bread. The pumpernickel was very good, but I think a ciabatta would be fantastic.*
Tracy Wilson on Facebook
J.C. Wilson on Facebook (Tracy's photographer, food critic, and husband extraordinaire)
Read a review of The Dinner Belle Blog on whatscook.in