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How to make italian ham panini

How to Make Italian Ham Panini

Italy is one of the best places in the world to produce the finest cuisines and fantastic dishes, not to forget the good wine, of course. Remember spaghetti and pizza treats that no one could resist?  Well, Italy has definitely become very well known for that, but there is more to Italian foods than these things. And what about those enticing Italian sandwiches called Panini such as Ham Panini or Turkey Panini?
Panino, or Panini in plural form, is a famous sandwich made of a small loaf of bread that is cut horizontally, stuffed with your choice of meat products, cheese, herbs and spices, vegetables, and other ingredients. Panini sandwiches vary: some would have it served without the sauce or topping, as their tradition dictates; some would prefer to add sauce to fit in with their local taste. In whatever style you want your Panini to be, keep in mind though that the best way to cook Panini is to cook it in a Panini grill or press.
To help you get started here’s a sample recipe for the Italian Ham Panini, which is good if you have ham leftovers in your fridge.
You will need to prepare the following ingredients:
-Thinly-sliced ham; leftovers are good
-Italian loaf bread
-Fresh mozzarella
-Provolone cheese
-Fresh basil leaves, or fresh spinach, rinse and pat dry
-Extra virgin olive oil
-Red wine vinegar
-Salt and pepper
Then follow the steps below:
1-Cut the Italian loaf in half. On each side of the cut bread, place thin slices of mozzarella to keep in tact the bread halves together when placed in Panini press.
2-Put a topping of fresh spinach, or fresh basil leaves, on the mozzarella.
3-Sprinkle it with a good amount of vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper to get the best flavor from it.
4-Next, layer it with provolone cheese.
5-Then top it with thinly-sliced ham. Shower some more salt and pepper.
6-Put together the two halves of bread and close it up.
7-Lastly, brush some olive oil before putting it on the grill.
8-Let it grill until the cheese is seen to melt.
9-Remove it from the grill. Let it cool for a few minutes until it’s not too hot to hold anymore. Slice it into your desired cuts.
10-Then serve and enjoy your Panini!
Panini sandwiches are not only healthy and delicious treats for everyone; it is the most preferred food-to-go these days by busy bodies. While they can easily be prepared at home and brought to the office, they can also easily be ordered from your favorite restaurant; this option is more expensive of course.
While some people question the calories and fat found in Panini sandwiches, there is nothing to worry about if you make your own, because you control the ingredients. To resolve this issue, always opt for low-fat or low-calories ingredients to fill up that Ham Panini sandwich.

Easy recipes for people on the move

Easy Recipes for People on the Move

Are you one of those busy people who never has time for a good, home-cooked meal? Do you tend to grab a burger or taco instead of a real meal because the fast food joint is «on the way»? If you’re one of the millions of people who never seem to have time to cook, a repertoire of quick and easy recipes and a single great appliance can make a huge difference in your life.

The GT Xpress 101 is an indoor grill that bills itself as a sandwich maker, dessert maker and meal maker. The ads for the countertop grill say that it will revolutionize the way that you cook. For the busy, on-the-move individual, that claim is not far from the truth. Here are just a handful of recipes for busy people who skip breakfast, eat fast food for lunch and pull a microwave meal out of the freezer for dinner. Just wait till you see what you can do in just eight minutes.

Breakfast — the most important meal of the day

Too many busy people skip breakfast in the rush to get out the door to work in the morning. The GT Xpress can make it easy for you to eat a healthy, nutritious breakfast to fuel your workday the right way. Because there’s no need to stand over a skillet to flip pancakes or stir eggs, you can preheat the grill, add ingredients, and hop in the shower. By the time you get out, breakfast will be ready to eat — and you’ll still be out the door on time.

Parmesan Bagel Bake

Much tastier than the usual fast-food breakfast bagel — and a whole lot less expensive

  • 1 mini onion bagel
  • 1 egg
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • ? tablespoons tarragon
  • 1 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoons shredded Provolone cheese

Preheat the GT Xpress. Place one half of the onion bagel in one well in the GT Xpress. Scramble egg and beat in salt, pepper, tarragon and Parmesan cheese, then pour over bagel. Top with Provolone cheese and cover with other half of the bagel. Close top and cook for 10 minutes. Take the opportunity to put on your makeup or run a brush through your hair — it’s easy to multi-task.

Breakfast Burrito

1 egg, beaten

2 pre-cooked breakfast sausages, sliced or broken into pieces

1 slice American cheese

? cup diced peppers

? cup diced onions

1 flour tortilla

Cooking spray

Spray top and bottom cooking surface with non-stick spray. Fit tortilla into one well in the GT Xpress allowing half the tortilla to lap over the side. Add onions, peppers and sausage. Pour egg over vegetables and sausage. Top with cheese slice. Fold tortilla over. Close cover and cook for 8 minutes.

Take-along Lunches

Instead of running through a drive-through for lunch, take a few minutes to make a quick sandwich in the GT Xpress to pack and take along. Or get a little fancy and bring something to heat in the office microwave. Try one of these recipes for something special at lunch.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Wrap

? boneless chicken breast

1 slice Swiss cheese

1 slice baked ham

1 tortilla wrap

Cut a slice into the side of the chicken breast to create a pocket. Fold swiss cheese and slice of ham into the pocket. Press the chicken breast together and fit into one well in the GT Xpress. Close top and cook for twenty minutes. When done, wrap burrito style in tortilla wrap and pack for lunch in insulated lunch bag.

Bacon and Swiss Stuffed Baby Bella Mushroom Caps

2 slices cooked bacon

? ounce of shredded Swiss cheese

1 finely chopped scallion

1/8 tsp ground pepper

1 tablespoon Ranch dressing

6 Baby Bella mushroom caps

Combine everything but the mushroom caps and mix well. Place 3 mushroom caps in each well. Top with bacon mixture. Close cover and cook for five minutes. Open and allow to cool before wrapping for lunch. Add a six ounce cup of yogurt and a bottled water or juice for a gourmet lunch at the office.

Gourmet Dinner on the Fly

How often do you skip dinner or order a pizza because it takes too much time to cook something fancy? The GT Xpress makes it easy to cook delicious, fresh dinners for one, two or a crowd — without heating up your kitchen or dirtying pots and pans. Next time you’re in the mood for something healthy, fresh and delicious, try one of these recipes.

Seafood Stuffed Salmon

2 salmon fillets

2/3 cup shredded crabmeat or chopped shrimp

? cup shredded spinach

salt and pepper to taste

Slice partway through each salmon fillet to create a pocket for stuffing. Mix crabmeat and spinach together. Season with salt and pepper. Fill each salmon pocket with stuffing mixture. Brush the well and top surface of grill with olive oil and fit one salmon fillet into each one. Cook 6 to 8 minutes.

Product review of mirro pressure cookers

Product Review of Mirro Pressure Cookers

Mirro Pressure Cookers was originally manufactured by a US company called Mirro which is then known to produce kitchen products like aluminum cooking utensils. Presently, they are part of the Wearever company which handles their parts and warranty services.

Mirro cookware is made of polished heavy gauge aluminum and is rust proof and dishwasher safe. Safety features include:

— pressure monitoring device
— locking handle which prevents the opening of the lid if its not safe
— overpressure release valve
— gasket release window

They come in different sizes as well to suit your family’s needs — 4 quarts for single and small household, 6-8 quarts for the medium size families and the 12 and 22 quart sizes for large families and for feeding a crowd. The 12 and 22 quarts also function as pressure canners.

Mirro pressure cookers are a no fuss or no-frills type of cookwares. They have the basic functions and features expected of its kind. Like all the others, it can cut cooking time up to 70% without sacrificing the nutrients and flavors of the food. They come with a limited ten year warranty and parts and accessories are also readily available online. The downside to this product is its only aluminum made, there are no stainless steel ones if you are looking for that finish. It appears inferior in design compare to the pressure cookwares in the market. Another disadvantage is the fact that it is not recommended for use on glass stove top since it has a concave bottom. This makes it less versatile and flexible. However, this product is very affordable, $35-$90 depending on the size and model.

Easy tortilla recipes everyone will love

Easy Tortilla Recipes Everyone Will Love

Fresh-off-the-griddle homemade tortillas are easy to make and delicious to eat. Both corn and wheat tortillas can be served in a variety of ways to complement a meal.
The tortilla (tor-tee’-yah) was named by Spanish conquistadores who observed native peoples of the New World making small, fried corn cakes (torta in Spanish). The Aztecs soaked corn kernels in water and powdered limestone, removed the husks and pounded the softened kernels into a paste. This same process is still used today, more than five hundred years later, to make hominy, a nutritious staple. Masa harina, dried hominy flour, is used today to make corn tortillas.
Recipe for Corn Tortillas
Traditionally, corn tortillas were made by hand-slapping the dough into rounds. An easier way is to use a tortilla press or a rolling pin. See the tortilla recipe below for details.
2 cups masa harina
11/3 cups hot water, approximately
Place the masa in a wide bowl. Gradually add the water, mixing with your hand. Knead in the bowl, adding enough water to make the dough soft without being sticky. The dough can sit for half an hour or be used immediately.
Make small (golf-ball size) balls and cover.
Heat a griddle or a cast-iron skillet to medium-high.
If using a press, place a piece of waxed paper or thick plastic sheet on the bottom of the press. Place a ball onto the plastic, then cover with another piece of waxed paper or plastic. Close the top and press. When opened, you should see a neat little tortilla. Remove the upper piece of plastic.
If rolling the tortilla dough, place the ball between two sheets of waxed paper or plastic and roll into 6-inch rounds approximately 1/8-inch thick or as thin as possible without tearing. Irregular rounds are fine – they taste just as good!
For either shaping method, remove the tortilla while still on the waxed paper or plastic and place it dough-side down onto your hand. Remove the upper plastic, then place the tortilla onto the heated griddle. Within half a minute, it should begin to brown. Flip and cook on the other side. It should puff up. It can be turned several times to keep it cooking evenly without burning. Within two minutes, your tortilla should be done. Repeat till you run out of tortilla dough.
Stack and wrap cooked tortillas in a towel to keep them warm.
Tip: If the dough is crumbly and won’t hold its shape, add water a teaspoon at a time. If it is sticky, add a bit more masa until it handles well.
Recipe for Wheat Tortillas
The Spanish brought corn to Europe and introduced wheat to the Americas. The wheat tortilla, popular all over the world, is simple to prepare using the following recipe.
2 cups whole wheat flour or combination white and whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot water, approximately
Place flour in a wide bowl. Add salt, then gradually add just enough hot water to create a soft dough. Knead for approximately five minutes, cover and let the dough rest for at least 20 minutes.
Heat a cast-iron skillet or griddle to medium-high heat.
Flour the preparation area. Divide the dough into small (walnut-sized) balls, place in the flour and cover. Lightly press one ball into the floured work area, then with a rolling pin, roll into rounds of the desired size. Lift from the flour, turn over and roll from the opposite side. Work from the centre outward to keep an even thickness.
Lightly dust off the excess flour and place on the hot griddle. Cook following the directions above in the recipe for corn tortillas.
The entire family can enjoy the rolling and cooking process — and the tortilla eating afterwards!

Gas grills bbq smoker or a charcoal grill which is best for me

Gas Grills, BBQ Smoker or a Charcoal grill, which is best for me?

The use of gas grills has become ever more popular over the years. There are a few reasons for this, firstly the convenience of not having to wait for the coals to reach the right grilling temperature. Secondly you can adjust the flame by the turn of a dial thus avoiding those common situations where either the coals are too hot or the coals just die out and oh no!, you are left with your perfectly prepared uncooked meat lying on the grill.

Thirdly the convenience of cleaning the gas grills afterwards, no messy coals to throw away.

The hard core charcoal grill men will always argue that nothing quite tastes like your favourite meal prepared and grilled on a charcoal grill, so the debate will always be there, charcoal versus gas, convenience versus taste.

Personally I have owned and used many different types of barbecue grills over the years, yes I love the convenience of the gas grills, and yes I love the smell and taste of a charcoal grill, which you ask me would I choose, I really cannot tell you. What I can tell you is why one of my favourite gas grills of all time is the Weber Q. If you are anything like me I love the look of this Weber grill, so before I even start grilling I am excited for the next barbecue. My pride and joy is standing in the garden, waiting for the friends to arrive, with the meat prepared and ready to go. The turn of the dial, the press of a button and she is ready to grill my carefully prepared meat perfectly. I can adjust the flame to the right setting depending on the meat I am grilling, hot for steaks, cooler for legs of lamb etc. By closing the lid I avoid those irritating flare ups, and when I am done these gas grills are easily switched off with the turn of a dial. I have also found that they are really easy to clean afterwards, with a drip pan that removes all the oils and fat and is easy to remover and throw away. Until now not one of my friends or family has requested that I use my charcoal grill in place of using my gas Weber Grill. So the taste issue cannot be that big. You can find more information on this and many other Gas Grills, Charcoal Grill including the BBQ Smoker range by clicking on these links.

Creative ways to use ice cube trays

10 Creative Ways To Use Ice Cube Trays

Are you one of those people who ‘think’ that ice cube trays are just for making ice? What I have learned over the years is…those plastic trays are much more valuable if you use them for other things.
Here are some ideas that I would like to share with you.
1. Fudge — Mix up your favorite fudge recipe. While it’s still hot (but not boiling), pour mixture into ice cube trays. Refrigerate until firm. If you find sticking a problem, run a butter knife under hot tap water, then around each fudge square to loosen them.
2. Fruit Flavored Ice Cubes — Pour your favorite fruit flavored drink into the tray. Freeze until firm. Use the flavored cubes in your favorite beverages. Example: I freeze lemonade in ice cube trays and then use in our ice tea.
3. Popsicles — Purchase popsicle sticks and cut them in half. Pour your favorite fruit juice into the ice cube trays. Place in freezer for 30 minutes. Remove and insert sticks; place back into the freezer until firm.
4. Chocolate Lollipops — Purchase some chocolate squares. Follow package directions for melting the squares in the microwave. Pour into trays. Insert lollipop sticks when chocolate is semi-firm. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes until firm.
5. Gelatin Jigglers — Make your favorite gelatin (jello) jigglers recipe. Pour gelatin into trays and refrigerate until firm. To loosen squares from tray, run a butter knife under hot tap water.
6. Freezer Pudding Pops — Make your favorite box of instant pudding. Pour into trays, refrigerate for 30-45 minutes until semi-firm. Remove from refrigerator and insert popsicle or lollipop sticks. Place in freezer for 2 hours until firm.
7. Broth Cubes — Freeze your left-over chicken or beef broth in your ice cube trays. Once frozen, pop them out and place into zipper closure bags. Label the bags and freeze. When you need broth for your recipes, easily remove the amount of broth cubes that you need.
8. Gravy Blocks — Freeze left-over gravy. Once firm, remove from the trays and place in a zipper closure bag. When you need gravy for your recipes, thaw just what you need.
9. Cereal Snacks — Make your favorite snack bar recipe that uses cereal. Lightly coat the trays with non-stick cooking spray. Press the cereal mixture into the cavities. Once firm, remove the cubes from the tray for the perfect little snacking blocks.
10. Iced Coffee Cubes — Do you like drinking iced coffees but hate the watery taste when you use conventional ice? Freeze some left-over coffee in your trays. When you are ready for an iced coffee, pop out 2-3 cubes.

Sicilian olive oil from sicily with love

Sicilian Olive Oil — From Sicily With Love

Olive oil has become very popular in American kitchens in the past twenty years. The majority of households have at least one bottle of olive oil in their arsenal of cooking supplies. What a lot of people do not know are the subtle and not so subtle differences between the different kinds of olive oil.

On the production side there are two classifications of olive oils. Virgin olive oil is oil that is produced physically, without the use of chemicals. Refined olive oil has been chemically treated. These chemical treatments are used to counterbalance the strong tastes that some oils have from their acid content. Pomace olive oil is pulled from the solid byproduct using chemicals and heat.

There are also retail classifications which most people are at least vaguely familiar with. Extra-virgin olive oil is the least processed oil from the first cold-pressing of olives. The acidity of extra-virgin olive oils must be 0.8% or less and cannot have any refined oil. Virgin olive oil is from the second pressing of olives with acidity less then 2%. Virgin olive oil also cannot contain any refined oil. Pure olive oil is a blend of refined olive oil with one of the virgin oils. Regular olive oil is also a blend of the two but must have an acidity of 1.5% or less. Olive-pomace oil is a blend of refined pomace olive oil and in some cases virgin olive oil. This oil is edible but is rarely sold at the retail level.

Please visit this link to learn more about Sicilian olive oil.