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Admittedly not as thrilling as a Beni Hana volcano, but dinnertainment can come in small forms. I’m big on tabletop assembly. The obsession started with a lazy susanand hasn’t let up as I discovered my kids ate betterand my life was made easier.

Welcome to Make Your Own @*#&’n Panini Night.


start from the right


bread basket


Two sure-fire tips in getting the kids to eat better: choice and toys. First, using any and all meats, cheeses and vegetables from the refrigerator and a rather motley group of bread products, we found more possible combinations than a Starbucks barista.


press on meals


And, as if a panini press wasn’t thrilling enough, we threw down a few basting brushes at the place setting if for no other reason than to hear “what’s thisstupidthing for?”


brush on utensils


Do you ever flash forward a decade or so and think how will these moments be talked about at family gatherings? Remember the night mom made dinner so enjoyable that she gave us each our own basting utensil to coat the outside of fresh sour dough bread with extra virgin olive oil before we got to press our own delicious, and healthy, panini sandwiches all the while wondering how does she do it all? Or, remember when dad choked on that brush bristle?

It’s just nice to be remembered.

A few tips for Make Your Own @#_$ Panini Night:

  • Make up the meat/cheese platter waaay ahead of time – bread, right before serving.
  • Grill vegetables on the panini press, wipe down.
  • No panini press? Use your iron…no, just grill like you would grilled cheese, broil, eat cold.
  • Create a contest, give samples to each other, vote. Remember mom’s lame idea for that panini making contest?



  1. Leslie Howard says Sep 16th 2011 6:21 pm

    Where do I begin? You are super Mom. What a cool idea. I will praise you when we’re old (many years from now) even if they forget. And so happy you are finding use for the basters. Now just invite 50 friends over and use them all at once. A basting party (instead of tasting party.) And now I have a use for my iron.

    Thanks for the idea!

    • Sherri says Sep 16th 2011 8:31 pm

      You know I treasure those basters you gave me more than Grandma’s silver.

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