The Everything Panini Press Cookbook

The Everything Panini Press Cookbook
The Everything Panini Press Cookbook
The Everything Panini Press Cookbook

The Everything Panini Press Cookbook

If you look at my social media profile pages, most of them say the same thing. There’s usually something weird like “My children were sent from the future to destroy me” and then it also says that I’m a Cookbook Author. Back in 2011 I wrote The Everything Panini Press Cookbook. I recently took a look at this blog and realized that I never added a post about my cookbook. Worst author website ever!  Well, better late than never.

The story behind the book goes like this. I used to have another blog about panini sandwiches where I posted some cool recipes. You see, I’m a brown bagger and I have always brought my lunch to work. Eating regular sandwiches every single day was becoming boring and monotonous. Then I got a panini press as a gift and started experimenting with it. I’d take whatever was on hand, cold cuts, leftovers, take out and put it between some bread and press it. Some of these experiments were bad ideas that should have never been tried but a lot of them became some truly great lunches. And since I was already blogging about gardening, I thought I’d branch out and start a panini blog.

An editor at Adams Media came across one of my blog posts about how you could use a panini press for a lot more than just making panini and she was impressed. I think the post was about using a panini press like an indoor grill for cooking hamburgers. This happened around the same time that the whole Julia and Julie thing happened. All of these bloggers were getting their own book deals and I was surprisingly one of those bloggers.

The cookbook has over 300 recipes and I really enjoyed doing it. It would have been nicer to have another 3 months to write it but that crazy deadline is behind me now. Thank goodness for the panini blog. I already had over 100 recipes figured out. I also figured out a way to pack a panini sandwich in your brown bag lunch and keep them nice and crisp even if you only have a microwave for reheating in the office. That’s all in the book by the way.

Anyway, if you’re interested in some good sandwiches, then I recommend that you check out my book. If you need to see my credentials, check my social media profiles. They say that I’m a cookbook author. Ignore the parts about my time traveling children.

Strawberry Margarita

Strawberry Margarita

Strawberry MargaritaStrawberry Margarita

The frozen strawberry margarita is a very sweet drink. If you’re sitting by the pool and plan on having margaritas all day long, then I do not recommend the strawberry margarita. It’s a giant headache waiting to happen. The best way to enjoy one of these delicious drinks is to avoid over indulging and have only one or two.

For this recipe, throw out the best margarita ratio of 3:2:1. You want to use 1 part triple sec, 2 parts tequila, 2 parts lime juice. Next you’ll want to add about 4-5 large strawberries to the blender (or your margarita machine). One last optional ingredient is a tablespoon of agave syrup.

A great variation of this drink would including making a strawberry simple syrup where you boil down pureed strawberries in a sugar and water mixture. If you have time, definitely give it a try. You’ll also avoid the strawberry seeds in your drinks that you get when using a blender. So as usual, if you would like a better drink, it will take more time to do the prep work. Enjoy!

Margarita Week is coming to a close. I have about three more recipes that I’d like to share but I may save them for another time. Plus, I feel like I’m neglecting the DIY and gardening posts that I want to write. Perhaps I’ll sneak a few extra post in this week. Stay tuned.

Blueberry Margarita

Blueberry Margarita
Blueberry Margarita

Blueberry Margarita

Margarita Week continues here at GoodStuffAtHome and today we’re doing the frozen Blueberry Margarita. The key to a great blueberry margarita is really tart blueberries. So if it’s summertime and you just visited the farmers market you’re all set. If you plan on using frozen blueberries in a bag or a little basket from the supermarket, your drink will still be okay but definitely not as awesome as it can be. There’s something about the tartness of blueberries that goes great with lime.

Now a blueberry margarita, the way I make it is refreshingly light drink. It tastes like spring. Here’s how you do it. Start with the margarita recipe that you’re comfortable with. Whether that means using a margarita mix or using my margarita recipe with the 3-2-1 ratio, you’ll be fine. If using the recipe you may want to double up the lime juice, so try a 3-2-2 ratio and see if you like it. And remember, fresh squeezed lime juice is the way to go.

This next step is really hard. Add a cup of blueberries to your blender or margarita machine. And that’s it. You may think that I’m just trying to crank out blog content but after many attempts and variations this is the recipe that I like best. I tried making it sweeter with agave syrup and honey but that decreases the tartness that is unique to this drink. That’s why the really tart blueberries are important. I also tried to blue it up more by adding Blue Curacao but that sort of gave it a diet soda kind of flavor that wasn’t very appealing either. I’m sticking with my recipe of just adding tart blueberries to an extra limed up margarita.

Another variation I tried was to first puree the blueberries in the blender and then strain them. This way you don’t get little tiny pieces of blueberry skin in your margarita. But it my opinion, it wasn’t worth the effort. Enjoy the little bits and remember to check your teeth every once in a while.

Your taste buds might be a little different than mine so give it a shot and see how you like it.

Tuna Panini

Tuna Panini

Tuna Panini
Tuna Panini

I would never in a million years think that vegan tuna salad would taste good but let me tell you, it does. Well at least this recipe does.

I’m always looking for good sandwiches to bring to work. Nothing beats a tasty meal during that all too quick lunch break. And a bad lunch can totally ruin the rest of your day.

I found this recipe here and only made a couple of very minor changes. So I can take no credit at all for this recipe, well except for the part about turning it into a panini. I tend to turn everything into a panini. You’d think that I wrote a Panini Cookbook or something.


Vegan Tuna Panini

  • 1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 large lemon
  • 3 Tbsp hummus
  • 1 1/2 cups celery (chopped)
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 1 sheet of toasted wasabi flavored seaweed (crushed)
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt + pepper to taste
Rinse and drain the chickpeas/garbanzo beans and add them to a mixing bowl. You can peel them if you like but it’s totally not necessary
Mash the beans with a fork, mortar and pestle or a potato masher
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix
Put the mixture in the fridge for at least an hour to give the flavors a chance to blend
For a panini, spread the mixture between two slices of crunchy bread. top with pickle and tomato and press in a preheated panini press for 3-5 minutes


Note: Trader Joe’s has excellent toasted wasabi flavored seaweed and I think they only cost about $0.99 per package. It gives this recipe a good fish like flavor and also a little bit of heat.


If you want to use real tuna fish then it obviously won’t be vegan anymore. But I’d still use the celery, onion, pickle & tomato. Or add cheese for a tuna melt panini.

Substitute For Baking Powder

Substitute For Baking Powder

Substitute For Baking Powder
If you have these, then you don’t need baking powder

Baking Powder Recipe

Recently I had everything I needed to bake some pumpkin bread except for baking powder. After turning my pantry upside down I realized that I had three containers of baking soda and no baking powder. With the wet ingredients already sitting there in the mixing bowl I really didn’t want to go to the store. But I besides all that baking soda, I also found some cream of tartar. We had a large supply of that as well because of a play doh making project I did with my kids.
So this is how you make a substitute for baking powder. I part baking soda, 2 parts cream of tartar. So if the recipe calls for a teaspoon of baking powder, you can combine 1/3 teaspoon of baking soda and 2/3 teaspoon cream of tartar. Easy enough.
Or if you’re aren’t in a hurry you can buy some baking powder from this link below.

Kale and Chickpea Stew

Kale and Chickpea Stew
Kale and Chickpea Stew
Kale and Chickpea Stew

Kale and Chickpea Stew

Tonight I felt like I was living in a 60ies TV Show because there was a hot meal waiting for me on the table when I got home from work. This doesn’t happen a lot in my house even though my wife is a great cook. No, it’s because we’re a typical 2010ies family with two kids and way too many school activities and sports and play dates taking up all of our time.

So when I saw that my wife made a kale and chickpea stew for dinner I was psyched. Not only because I didn’t have to cook but because it tasted awesome. I’ve mentioned before that I try to eat mostly vegan food because of my cholesterol and this recipe totally fit the bill. Healthy, delicious and vegan. Here’s the recipe:

Kale and Chickpea Stew Recipe


  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • pinch salt (to taste)

Cooking Directions

  1. Trim the stems from the Kale and discard (or use for another recipe)
  2. Bring a cup of water to boil and steam the kale leaves until they wilt
  3. Remove the kale from the water and set aside
  4. Add the olive oil to a skillet heated over medium high heat
  5. Add the onion, garlic and tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes
  6. Add the paprika and cumin, stir and cook for another 2 minutes
  7. Add the chickpeas and their liquid and increase the heat to high
  8. Bring to a boil while and then add the kale and the salt
  9. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for about 10 minutes
  10. Serves 4

Now if I could get a martini and a hot meal waiting for me when I got home from work, then it would really feel like a 60ies TV Show. Sadly, Don Draper, I am not.