Do you see anything wrong with this picture? Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

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Don’t worry, that’s a squirrel risking life and limb to rob a bird house in our neighbor’s yard – HA!! Maybe you had to be there, but this was one of the funniest things I have seen in a really long time. Look at his little body all stretched out! I’m still laughing 30 minutes later! :D

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In other news – homemade panini presses be damnedLOOK! 8O

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The amazingly generous people at Cuisinart heard my pleas for a real panini press – not a pan stacked with protein powder & baked beans – and sent me a Cuisinart Griddler for all my grill, griddle and panini press needs! :D

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This puppy does it all.

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Not only does it have separate griddle, grill and panini heat settings,

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but it also lays flat so you can use it as a flat top grill.

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Or, easily flip the plates to use it as a griddle! Pancakes, anyone? ;)

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On the menu tonight: Pumpkin Turkey Paninis using my new Griddler!

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I kept the panini/grill plates facing out and warmed up the appliance while I assembled my sandwiches.

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I started with a loaf of fresh French bread,

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cut myself off a portion, and dug out the insides. This leaves more room for filling, and makes for a crispier sandwich, IMO. (I didn’t end up eating the bread I dug out this time – win!)

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Then I got out the goods – Pumpkin Butter from the North Carolina girls!

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Sweet, spicy and a great “glue” for pressed sandwiches.

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I slathered some onto the top half of my bread,

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and layered low-sodium deli turkey and swiss cheese on the bottom.

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All together now – his and hers – and PRESS!

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(not my arm)

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Woo! Look at those babies sizzle!

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One of the best features of the Griddler is the floating hinge. It’s great for not burning one end of your sandwich while the other end remains cold and non-crispy. You know what I mean.

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Several minutes later we had paninis!

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This is the crispiest, crunchiest bread I have ever had. No lie.

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Look how taking out the inside of the bread makes for such a thin and crunchy outer shell. It really lets the fillings shine through – such as the pumpkin butter. Oh, the pumpkin butter! Future sandwich combos need not apply. Hot turkey, swiss, and pumpkin butter is where.it’s.at!

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Served with some simply roasted asparagus to compliment the sandwich.

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4 very enthusiastic thumbs up (IGE + IBE) for these sandwiches and the Cuisinart Griddler. We honestly could not be happier that we have this fun new appliance. I see pancakes, burgers, skewers and many more sandwiches in our future!! :D

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I am off to complete a Total Body Circuit then hit the hay by, fingers crossed, 9pm. I’ve had a persistent twitch in my left eye (I know, random) for the past several days, which I hear can be attributed to not getting enough sleep and/or too much caffeine. Early bed time and water it is!

Good night. :)

~~~~~

Do you keep any appliances out on your countertops?

We keep the toaster and butcher block (not really an appliance, but still) out on the counter. The Kitchen Aid mixer, mini food processor and blender are banished to the cupboards!