Panini Palooza!

Is it just me or did this week FLY by???  I can’t believe tomorrow is Friday already.  Guess time flies when you’re having fun, huh? 😉

I’ve got my favorite Party of One recipe of the week to share with you tonight, but first I have to tell you about my training run this afternoon.  It 100% kicked my butt!

My 10K training plan called for 5 miles with 3 miles of Fartlek in the middle.  Fart-wha???  Yep, Fartlek.  It’s a Swedish word, and basically what it means is that you run intervals at almost race pace with shorter intervals of recovery in between.  For example, if you did 4 minutes hard, you’d follow it up with 2 minutes of recovery.  Because it was raining cats and dogs this afternoon, it was treadmill time for me!  Here’s what I did:

Minutes Pace
0-10 6.5 (9:13 pace)
10-15 7.0 (8:34 pace)
15-17:30 6.0 (10:00 pace)
17:30-21:30 7.0
21:30-23:30 6.0
23:30-26:30 7.0
26:30-28:00 6.0
28:00-30:00 7.0
30:00-31:00 6.0
31-36 7.0
36-38:30 6.0
38:30-45:27 6.5
Sub total 5 miles
45:27-50 4 (cool down)
Total 5.3 miles

I’ve got to tell you, the first 15 minutes of this nearly killed me.  My asthma was acting up and my calves were super tight, but I fought through it and felt great for the rest of the run.  Thank goodness!  If I had had about 5 more minutes of feeling that way, I probably would have quit.  I was also watching Oprah, whose guest today was David Arquette.  Even though he’s a total car wreck and I’m not usually a big Oprah fan (sorry!), the interview was pretty good.  He said something that really struck a chord with me:

“Anger is like drinking poison and expecting the person you’re angry at to die.”

This was something his yoga instructor told him during his rehab process.  In the process of getting through my breakup, this is exactly what I was doing.  I was so angry and hurt, and I expected it to hurt him somehow.  I was just incensed at the injustice that he could go on with his life while I was suffering so much.  Even though I’m no where near over my anger (I think it’s actually really good for me at this point!), I have let go of the notion that he’s somehow going to take responsibility.  Big step for me! YAY!  And who would have thought I’d be inspired by David Arquette of all people? 😀


Anywho, as I said before, dinner tonight was my all time favorite of the week!  As I was thinking about what to make this afternoon, I realized I was really craving another panini.  There’s something about the crispy, crunchiness of the bread that appeals to me.  I guess I just like my food to make noise.  I mean, is there anything better than the sound an apple makes when you bite into it?!?!

So I had my heart set on another panini, and I realized that it has been a Panini Palooza over here this week!

Veggie Panini at Cafe Caturra on Monday

Strawberry Mozzarella Thyme Panini on Tuesday

And for lunch on Wednesday

But no, I’m not done yet!  Tonight, I made my favorite panini of the week!

Eggplant Mozzarella Panini

2-3 slices of eggplant

1 piece ciabatta

1 piece fresh mozzarella

Italian seasoning

Garlic salt

Cooking Spray

Special Equipment: Panini Press or Griddler!

First, get yourself a lil’ somethin’ somethin’ to sip on while you cook.


Pick yer poison!


This step is key.

OK, then, make sure you have something fun on the radio or TV in the background.


Gilmore Girls--my background noise of choice 🙂



Now that you’re set up, preheat your griddler (or a grill pan) to high heat.

Spray your eggplant slices with cooking spray and season with a sprinkle of Italian seasoning and garlic salt.

Onto the Griddler for ~5 minutes.  Be sure to spray the bottom surface of the grill before placing them on.

**Note: If you are using a grill pan, it will take a little longer to grill.  The contact on both sides of the Griddler makes the grilling go faster.  I’d say they’ll take closer to 10 minutes on the grill pan.

While the eggplant cooks, wash up some fresh basil.

Is there anything better than fresh basil???  I, for one, find the scent completely intoxicating.  I would be the strange girl wearing basil perfume if if existed.

Moving on.  Also, get your mozzarella ready.  Slice it, if necessary, to fit your slice of bread.  As the eggplant comes off the grill, place it right onto your sandwich.

And top it with that delicious basil.  (You can sniff it if you want.  Or not.  Whatever suits you.)

Spray the top of the sandwich and the bottom surface of your Griddler with cooking spray and onto the grill she goes!

Five minutes later . . .

Ready Freddy!


Served up alongside this . . .

Did you know you can roast frozen broccoli?  I had no idea.  I just gave it a whirl and it was fabulous!  Just like fresh!  I just misted the frozen broc with a little cooking spray, sprinkled it with garlic salt, and roasted it for about 20-25 minutes in a 400* oven.  Perfection!

All together now!

And hey guess what???

Friday Lunch

Yeppers!  That’s a second Eggplant Mozz Panini on a Sandwich Thin for my lunch tomorrow!  Cannot wait for this!!!

I know I’ve been gushing about the basil tonight, probably to the point that you’re questioning my sanity a bit, but honestly it MAKES this panini!  You have GOT to try this!  I promise, you won’t be disappointed!  😀


I also whipped up a batch of Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies while I was making dinner.  I originally found this recipe on Julie’s blog (which is one of my favorites, BTW!).  These are the easiest, tastiest cookies ever.  Usually, I’m not a huge PB cookie fan, but these are perfectly soft.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup sugar

1 cup peanut butter

1 egg

Mix it all together.  Make little dough balls (about a teaspoon’s worth each), and bake at 350* for 10 minutes.  Easy peasy.

Make ’em.  Now.  I’m sure you have all the ingredients . . . what are you waiting for???

I would love to go feast on these, but they’re for my school’s custodian.  😀

Back story:  My school has a modified schedule on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  For the last hour of the day, kids who have all their work done and haven’t gotten into trouble get to go to clubs.  The other students go to study hall or remediation.  So, my club on Thursdays is Zumba Club.  This is a new round of clubs for the new semester so it was the first time we met.  We were supposed to meet in the lobby, but can you imagine trying to get 30 middle school girls to do Zumba while parents and students gawk at them from the front office???  Yeah, not happening.  The cafeteria looked open, but I wanted to double check with the custodian to be sure it was ok for us to use it.  Even though that’s the time he usually cleans and buffs the floors, he was gracious enough to let us have the space.  What a guy!

When someone does something nice for me, I like to show my gratitude with treats!  Cookie time!

Of course I had to sample one.  You know, just to make sure they’re ok.  Don’t worry.  They passed the taste test!


Phew!  I guess I had a lot to say tonight!  Have a good one!

How do you show your gratitude when someone does something nice for you???



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