Friday, April 19, 2013

Panini Party

We love having people over to our house.  But, finding a time to actually get together with people can sometimes take a lot of planning with how busy we can all be.

Aaron and I have discovered that Sunday after church can actually work pretty well!  We live like 5 minutes from church, so when we want to get together with people who live out of town, Sunday after church works really well, as they are already in town.

I don't know about you, though, Sundays can be a little bit crazy, so I wanted to think up a nice, fun, low maintenance lunch that I can have as my "go-to" meal for after church company.

I present to you:  the Panini Party!



The most beautiful part of the panini party is that literally all of the work can be done ahead of time!

Here's a list of what you need:
  • Bread (I get a loaf of sourdough sliced from the grocery store, plus I make the easiest bread in the world, but you can buy your own crusty bread, too)

  • Meat (I bought sliced turkey and ham, but you could add bacon and/or whatever kind of meat you'd like)

  • Lettuce and Tomatoes (or any other veggies you would put on a sandwich...if you're feeling wild you could even have thinly sliced apple)
  • Cheese (I did sliced provolone and co-jack)

  • Mayo and Mustard (and any other condiments you might like to use)
  • Nonstick Spray or Butter (to put on the outside of your sandwich)
  • Carrots and Dip (or an easy, make ahead fruit or veggie option)

  • Chips (if your guest offers to bring something, this is an inexpensive and easy thing to have them bring)
  • Drink (I usually have water, milk, and some sort of Walmart brand Crystal Light...current favorite: Strawberry Watermelon {tastes like a Jolly Rancher})
  • Dessert (I make my new favorite Oatmeal Chocolate Bars because I never want to stop eating them)

It's pretty self explanatory from there on out.  Arrange everything on plates.  If you make your own crusty bread, cut it.

Set the food on the counter.  Be sure your panini press is at the end so your sandwich is assembled before you press it.  I have a panini press that I got from Aldi a few years ago and I also use a George Foreman grill as a panini press.  I think I like the George Foreman better, actually, seeing as the outside surface of the Aldi panini press heats to the temperature of the surface of the sun.

Paninis are great for picky eaters and kids, because you can make them as simple or as fancy as you want.  Plus, having an activity to do while you visit can make the conversation flow easier for some people!

I would have posted a picture of a finished panini for you, but I thought it might make our guests feel uncomfortable if I asked them to stop eating so I could photograph their food :)

Do you have an easy, go-to meal for entertaining?  I always love new ideas!

Have a great weekend...panini pressing or not :)

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