A Panini Garage Sale Find – with recipes!

Yesterday while I was running some errand after work I happened to stop at a garage sale near my house. (I think my friend’s garage sale frenzy got into me 🙂 ) I wasn’t really looking for anything in particular, but there was a brand new Panini maker for sale for $5!

It was still in the box and never used! Being the woman I am, I had to get it. It was such a good deal I couldn’t pass it up.

I used to have a Panini maker many years ago and made sandwiches on it all time. I couldn’t wait to get back into my Panini kick. Before I went home, I turned around and when to the grocery store to get some ingredients for my favorite Panini’s. When I got home I took it out of the box to make sure it still worked and was in good quality; and luckily for me, it was! I decide to make my favorite red pepper pesto grilled cheese Panini and to make a little Panini bar for dinner.

It was so hard decided what Panini’s to make but I narrowed it down to a Caprese grilled panini, BLT, and—- , I knew my husband would love them. I made them small so that we could try all of them. 😀 Here are my favorite Panini recipes.

Who doesn’t love a Caprese Grilled Panini?

Ingredients-
• 2 slices of bread
• ½ tomato, sliced
• ½ cup mozzarella cheese
• 4 tbsp. pesto
• 2 tsp. olive oil
• Black pepper to taste

Instructions-
• Brush one side of each slice of bread with olive oil then spread the pest on the other side of both slices. On one slice sprinkle mozzarella on top of the pesto, top with the tomato slices, and add pepper.
• Form the sandwich and place in the Panini maker until the cheese is melted and warmed through.

The best BLT you will ever have-

Ingredients-
• 2 slices of bread
• 1/2 avocado, peeled, pitted, sliced
• 1 tomato, chopped
• 1 egg, fried
• ½ cup spinach
• 2 slices turkey bacon, cooked
• ¼ cup mayonnaise
• ½ tsp. hot sauce

Instructions-
• Mix the hot sauce and mayonnaise in small bowl. Spread on the slices of bread, add the turkey bacon, tomato, avocado, spinach, and egg. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
• Place in Panini maker and grill until the bread is toasted, enjoy!

And my special Big Green Panini

Ingredients-
• 2 slices of ciabatta bread
• 2-3 tbsp. basil pesto
• 4 slices or sharp cheddar cheese
• 3-4 slices of green pepper
• 3-4 slices of green zucchini squash
• 1 handful of kale
• 1 handful of sprouts

Instructions-
• In a pan sauté the bell pepper, zucchini, and kale for about 5 minutes.
• Spread the pesto on the slices of bread, layer with cheese, bell pepper, zucchini, and kale. Top with the sprouts and place in the Panini maker for until crispy, about 5-7 minutes. Enjoy!

If you have a Panini maker you will understand my love for them and how many creations you can make. I am so excited I found one for such a good deal and can make Panini’s for days again! 🙂

Until Next Time,

Nancy

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Early Christmas Shopping

I am not the most organized or timely person but for some reason I got the urge to finish my Christmas shopping this week. It was weird…I have no idea was possessed me to do it! I usually don’t do much shopping for our extended family, I usually just stick to my kids, my husband and our parents.

shopping-card-red

This year has been an incredible year for me. Even though my both of children moved out of the house and I am going through menopause, I look them as positive learning experiences. I can’t keep my children living in my house forever, and after a few months of them gone I am learning to like it. And menopause is a natural process that I have learned to take with stride. I think my newfound confidence and lifestyle made me change my ways and want to get Christmas gifts for everyone.

Before I went shopping I made a list of people I wanted to buy gifts for and an idea of what I wanted to get them. I set my budget to make sure I wouldn’t go crazy…it is so easy to spend more than you want when buying for other people…tis the season I guess!

I decided to go big and head to the mall for my little shopping spree. Walking in was so magical; the entire place was decorated with lights, big snowflakes, candy canes, Christmas decorations everywhere and Christmas music playing from the speakers in every store. I forgot what it was like to shop in the mall during the Christmas season. I have become the gift card lady to the nieces and nephews over the past couple years and haven’t ventured to the mall.

mall-at-christmas

I ended up getting everyone their gifts; the first time that has happened in many years. I really want to share what I got for everyone because it is all so great, but I can’t risk my family and friends seeing this post before Christmas! 🙂

You all will just have to wait!

I am so happy I decided to go shopping in the mall for everyone’s gifts. It really got me in the Christmas spirit. It is a wonderful time of the year!

Until next time,

Nancy

From Shoulder Pads to Fabulous

I have never been one to follow fashion trends, I always shop for the best deals and steals.

Because of that, my wardrobe isn’t exactly up to date…at all. I certainly have no idea what is “in” anymore. After my menopausal rant, I decided if my body wants to constantly be hot I need start dressing like a hot mature woman.

My closet hasn’t exactly changed since the 90’s. Every mother knows, especially if you have a daughter, when you go shopping it always ends up about them; five bags for them and one for you, if you’re lucky. Now that I actually have time for myself, it is time to spice up my style. I’m over my funeral home of a closet, everything I own is black. Even my family comments about my morbid hues of clothing. My go to outfit for work is a big boxy blazer, with the 90’s favorite shoulder pads, classic trousers, and a blouse. And guess what color it is…BLACK! I desperately need a pop of color to look alive.

My anniversary with the hubby is coming up, so it is the perfect excuse to go shopping for something new. I am so fashion-illiterate I had to do a quick search on how to dress 50 and fabulous. “Don’t be afraid of colors, dress for your body type, chic patterns are your friend, let go of baggy clothes that weigh you down…” flooded the search results. Well, I guess if I am going to find clothes that look good I’m going to have to try new things, bring it on! I am ready for a little change.

After I built up my courage to go to the mall, it was so freeing walking in knowing the day was all mine. Where do I start? I have always loved Talbots and Ann Taylor but have always been afraid to try things on in the store. I have this fear when I try things on nothing will fit or I will think it looks good but it actually looks terrible. Very irrational, I know.

But, today was my day, I really wanted to step out of my comfort zone and try things on. I constantly found myself gravitating towards the black shirts and pants…NO MORE BLACK! I had to forcefully avoid falling back into my funeral home clothes habit.

After I had an arm full of clothes I went into the dreaded dressing room. Shockingly, I loved it, the store attendant reminded me of Clara when she would help me pick out clothes, she was so sweet. The attendant was helpful getting new sizes and gave me great fashion advice for a woman my age. And the best part was we somehow got on the topic of menopause and hot flashes, she had some advice on what fabrics to wear to wick away the sweat and stay cool. Finally, someone who understands my struggles. 

I ended up with the PERFECT dress for our anniversary dinner, and it wasn’t black! A round of applause for me! I also ended up getting four more outfits that fit my personality and the style I didn’t even know I had. I guess I forgot what it feels like to go shopping and get new clothes. I feel like a whole new person; rejuvenated and sophisticated.  

I will definitely be back to the mall very soon!

Here is the website picture of the dress I got for my anniversary dinner! I love IT!

dress I got for my  anniversary dinner

Until next time,

Nancy