A Recipe and Cricut Update

I’m trying to work my way through all of the new cookbooks I received at various bridal showers in the past months. Tonight’s test-run comes from my MOH who got me the California Pizza Kitchen Family Cookbook, as part of a “pizza time” themed gift. The cookbook has way more than just pizza though – it’s got many of the awesome appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and other menu items they have at the restaurant.

Tonight I tried their “Grilled Chicken Pesto Panini.” It was phenomenal. Seriously. Many of the ingredients I wouldn’t eat separately, but when you combine them with bread and heat, it’s magic. The recipe is below, along with my notes afterwards:

Grilled Chicken Pesto Panini
-Crusty Italian Bread
-2 T mayo
-1 medium leaf fresh basil (finely chopped)
-1 small clove garlic (finely minced)
-sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
-Grilled Garlic Chicken (see additional recipe below)
-Monterey Jack Cheese (4 slices)

Heat your panini grill (or regular frying pan). Coat one side of each piece of bread with either butter or non-stick cooking spray. Combine the mayo, garlic, and basil, and spread over the “inside” of the bread. Place the tomato strips on the bread. Slice the cooked chicken and heat in the microwave for 20 seconds (so that everything is nice and warm when you eat it). Add the chicken to the sandwich, and top with the cheese slices. Cook on the panini maker or frying pan, and enjoy.

There are two prep things you need to do before assembling the sandwiches: make the grilled garlic chicken and the pesto mayo. The mayo is simple, and I assembled it early. I had run out of fresh garlic, so I used half as much garlic powder instead, and two basil leaves (I know – I’m wild!). This is my new favorite condiment – yum.

For the grilled chicken, CPK suggests a marinade ahead of time. Take your chicken breasts (or you can just use the pre-cut chicken you buy in bags at the store), and mix with 6 T of olive oil, 2 T chopped garlic, 1 T soy sauce, and 1.5 teaspoons of kosher salt. Put that mixture (I just threw it all in a plastic bowl) in the fridge for at least thirty minutes, so the chicken can soak up all the tasty garlicky-ness. If you’re using raw chicken breasts, you need to cook them fully before adding them to your sandwich; if you’re using pre-cooked chicken, you can either heat it in the microwave like the recipe suggests, or do as I did, and heat it in a frying pan with all the oil and garlic to really sear in the flavor.

It’s more time and effort than a basic PB&J;, but dang, it is sooooo worth it.

So that was the good news of the day. Also, the fact that I go my Social Security business dealt with, and in 5-7 business days, I’ll have a new card with my new name. It was a little jarring to hand over my old card and watch the clerk casual throw it in the office shredder – bye bye Miss NavyGirl… no going back now!!! But, it’s also exciting, cuz I got to sign my new name on a couple forms!

And the bad news… stupid stupid JoAnn Fabrics in Mt. Vernon didn’t have any – ANY – Cricut cartridges. So no new toys for me to play with tonight. Oh, I found some other scrapbook supplies, but it just wasn’t the same. 🙁

Ed. I have no clue why the fonts and sizes are all wonky on this post; something rotten in the state of blogger apparently.

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