Warm, Crispy, Crunchy Dinner!


Gosh I hate coming up with post titles sometimes! ;)

Glad you guys are pumped about the giveaway(s)! I am pumped about my daffodils – do you even recognize them as the same ones from last night?!

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They spent all day basking in the sun 8) on the bump out window in the kitchen (jealous) and bloomed magnificently. Smile inducer! :D

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Well, so far this week we’ve been to Jamaica and Italy for dinner, and tonight I thought we’d head South again – this time to Cuba! Cuban “Cubano” Sandwiches were on tap for dinner!


I once again consulted my trusty 1001 Foods To Die For book to get the low-down on the Cubano. :)


“The Cubano originated in the early 1900s when vendors and cafeterias began selling them to sugar mill employees and other workers. Big enough to be eaten with two hands, a bun is split and filled with roast pork, ham, pickles, cheese and mustard. The now bulging bun is heated and pressed on a plancha (like a panini press) making it easier to handle and eat on the go, crisps the shell of the bread and warms the filling.”


Yep, that’ pretty much sums it up! My “bun” was half a loaf of this Demi Wheat French Bread I got from Super Target.

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PS the Super Target in my area has the most amazing bakery bread section! I’m talking dozens and dozens of different types of rolls, loafs and specialty breads like focaccia and Naan. I’m hitting that section up more often!

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Like I said, I cut this loaf in half for myself (I bought Ben a regular French loaf)

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then scooped out the insides. Not only will this help make the sandwich get super flat and crispy when pressed, but it also saves calories! Well, it does if you don’t eat what you took out…which is what I ended up doing. :oops: It was too fresh, soft and squishy to resist, I tell ya!

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The first layer was some leftover Jamaican Jerk Pork.

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Followed by a few slices of low-sodium deli ham.


Next goes some pickle slices,


and a slice of swiss cheese.


Top it off with a drizzle of dijon mustard, baby!


Yum, doesn’t that look good?


The lid goes on, 


and my “panini press” gets put to work. Yep, my homemade contraption is back!


I pressed down as hard as I could so the bread on the bottom, side “A”, could get really crispy.


After side A was done, I sprayed the top with some olive oil, flipped and placed a folded up piece of foil on the bread, so the pan I was using for my press wouldn’t get dirty.


Side Bs turn on the bottom!


DONE! Look how crispy the outsides got! You can see what a difference taking out the middle of the bread made. This would still be pretty doughy and thick on the inside if it was still there. You can really taste the ingredients this way.


These sandwiches are a great way to use up extra deli meat or leftover ham. They’re so inexpensive, quick and easy to make!


I gobbled, natch. Love these!


Oh, alongside, I made some Mashed Sweet Potatoes. They were so good the other night, that I was powerless to resist making them again!


That’s one small sweet potato, microwaved until soft, then mashed with 1 teaspoon of butter and dash of cinnamon. Out of this world, I’m telling you! :D


I feel as though some 3 minute chocolate mousse might be making an appearance later tonight…it GREAT stuff guys. Oh, gosh, and I’ve got to get in my 20 minutes of movement at some point tonight too. This rain is making me feel so blah and lethargic! I know exercise is the answer to kicking those feelings, but it’s those feelings that’s making it hard to exercise! What a vicious circle. I’ve just got to do it and I think Jillian will be more than willing to show me how. ;)

Don’t forget you’ve got 3 ways to win either a Nasoya tofu press + coupons or a Swanson Vitamin goodie bag by tomorrow evening. Enter now, ya’ hear?



Are you a “bread” person? What kinds do you like the best?

I don’t eat bread all that often, but I can totally appreciate a good piece of chewy focaccia, or warm naan. And WHO can forget about CORNBREAD! Which, I suppose is more like dessert, but still… ;)

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  1. the wicked noodle 03.10.2010

    I love daffodils, cuban sandwiches AND mashed sweet potatoes! Can I live at your house? ;-)

  2. Tina 03.10.2010

    I just love your panini press. It makes me smile every time I see it on the blog. It certainly does the trick though for some delicious looking sandwiches!

  3. Evan Thomas 03.10.2010

    I really love cornbread! Besides that–not at all. it also doesn’t help that I try to avoid gluten and gf bread is expensive

  4. Lindsay 03.10.2010

    The panini press KILLS me! Love it! I’m just an “everything” person. Does that count?!?

  5. Megan 03.10.2010

    Totally a bread person…ciabatta, challah, naan, you name it!

  6. Love the homemade panini press. Awesome.

  7. Ms. S 03.10.2010

    Oh yes, I am definitely a bread person. Though I’ve been known to be a rather picky eater, if you put any kind of bread in front of me, I will eat it. I love it all (with the exception of Rye bread).

  8. I’m not a big bread person. I can appreciate good warm bread occassionally especially dipped in olive oil and spices.

  9. Dione 03.10.2010

    If I had a choice, I would live on bread. It’s one of my favorite foods. My favorites are Silver Hills bakery Squirrley bread (a sprouted grain bread), flax buns from Safeway, and a nice crusty ciabatta. Oh I love it all:)

  10. Yum, yum!! I love bread! All bread! Doesn’t matter what kind, I automatically love it based on principle! Haha!

  11. Tay 03.10.2010

    I wish our Target sold food like that! I guess since it’s not a Super Target. And mmmm warm bread straight from the bakery is the best. And the crusty top is the BEST part.

  12. Holy. Yum. That sounds delicious!!! And umm… i’m a bread-a-holic. LOVE it. Any shape or form. Never met a bread that I didn’t like :D

  13. Bread is the best! Cubans on bread even better! I have been known to use leftover pork chop or tenderloin to make them, so tasty!

  14. Kaitlin 03.10.2010

    Oh man, that sandwich look delicious…and, as always, your “sandwich press” is cracking me up over here! I am all about some ciabatta bread when given the choice…I love my carbs!

  15. Arati 03.10.2010

    Those daffodils are so very beautiful. I am not a bread person and eat more rotis (something like whole wheat tortilla) and rice. That sandwich looks delish. And what a cool idea for Panini press. I have no space to put these nice gadgets so dont get them.
    I had a question for you and other readers here. I am thinking of getting new pans and pots. Which company should I go for… farberware, calphalon…. ? I am quite confused.

    • AP 03.11.2010

      I received some farberware as a gift and the non-stick isn’t holding up very well. It seems to get scratched pretty easily. Other than that I like them.

      • Arati 03.11.2010

        Thanks AP for your inputs. Ya, I want to get something that doesn’t scratch easy. My current set, I think it was Farberware, dont exactly remember… scratched easy….

  16. Way to eat around the world! Your sammies look authentic. I love love bread, but have been eating less of it in the past couple of years. I do always have a loaf of whole wheat in the freezer, and enjoy fresh focaccia on occasion too : )

  17. Love that dinner – I want to get hold of a copy of that book now :P
    I’m not a bread person at all, except cornbread – BIG fan of that! The cornbread I’ve had never actually tasted like normal bread so it was ok :) I also like brioche…that’s good :D

  18. Those sandwiches look great! I’m sure my husband would love them, being the carnivore he is. LOL!

    I am definitely a bread person … the fresher the better! Actually that made me think back to your San Fran post because my husband and I visited the Boudin Bakery while we were there and had some of the best bread ever … yum!


  19. maggie 03.12.2010

    Though I wouldn’t call myself a bread lover, I don’t avoid it either. It can be such a soft, chewy (or crunchy), comfort food. Especially homemade, fresh out of the oven! Who could resist? The trouble is stopping at one sometimes!

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  23. Tammy 04.19.2012

    I love your blog…very refreshing and you have a wonderful sense of humor!!

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