Holy crazy-day, batman!

That is to say, it’s been a nutty one around here for me and what seems like half the city. Everyone’s been out stocking up on the essentials before the big blizzard hits later this afternoon!

After a visit with my accountant this morning (2012 taxes projections = blerg and a half) I fought the crowds to pick up a few essentials of my own at the grocery store, and Bed, Bath & Beyond…and Archivers. Like I said – the essentials.

Afterwards I stopped by this cozy little spot to pick up a late lunch. Maybe you’ve heard of it? Panera, I believe it’s called? ;)

Since it’s been a grip and half since I last visited my local Panera, and I knew I’d be giving away some gift cards this week, I emailed my friend Panera John, the blessed saint who took me to get smooched by Curtis Stone, last night to see what the latest and greatest was on their menu. He immediately responded with two recommendations.

First, their new, Big Kid Grilled Cheese with gruyere, Vermont white cheddar, organic sliced American cheese, and applewood-smoked bacon grilled on their all-natural white bread. YES!

This sandwich is seriously just as delicious as it looks! The gooey-cheese factor is off the charts, and the smoky bacon studding the sandwich is ridiculous. The sandwich also has this great parmesan cheese crust (at least I think it was parm) on one side that’s inspired. I’m glad I got just half the sandwich as part of a You-Pick-2, ’cause this baby was decadent! 

My second “pick” was a cup of Panera’s Chicken Noodle Soup, a perennial favorite.

So much win on such a little plate!

But wait, there’s more! John’s second recomendation was that I pick up a Red Velvet Crinkle Cookie for dessert. Well twist my arm…

First of all these cookies are kept in a WARMER, so they’re served, well, warm, and second of all, the centers are perfectly gooey and chewy, with pieces of melty white chocolate all throughout.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say this is one of the best cookies I’ve ever had. It’s going to be very difficult saving half for my beloved Ben to enjoy when he gets home from work. Crinkle Cookies are his favorite, but, Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies are now mine! ;)

Month of Holiday Giveaways

To spread lots of holiday cheer, and fill some hungry bellies, Panera is giving away five, $15 gift cards to try something new off the menu, or enjoy a classic favorite at any of their locations.


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Enter to win one, $15 Panera Gift Card by clicking on the “+1” button then clicking “Enter” by 11:59pm central time on Thursday, December 20. Good luck!

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