Traverse City Record-Eagle


November 28, 2013

Foodie with Family: Hunkering down

Blowing, drifting, snow, arctic temperatures: they all make me happy on a regular day.

On Thanksgiving, though, it makes me giddy. When the wind howls around my windows and I’m safely inside behind sealed doors soaking in the scents of roasting turkey and sweet potatoes, baking rolls, boiling potatoes, bubbling gravy, and all the other aromas of Thanksgiving, I am probably the happiest person on the face of the earth.

That is just about as good as it gets.

It’s a feeling of comfort and warmth that cannot be duplicated under sunny skies and in temperate weather. It’s that juxtaposition of the wild chaos of the storm versus the controlled, delicious chaos of Thanksgiving meal prep.

Is anyone with me?

Even if your travel plans were necessarily cancelled or postponed due to the weather, not just any old meal will do to warm you and fill your house with holiday cheer.

You have to hit the classic combination of salty, savory, sweet and aromatic to capture the feel of the holidays. This grilled sandwich does the job beautifully.

No Panini press? No problem. Grill the sandwich on your favorite waffle iron.

No waffle iron? Don’t sweat it. Fire up your heaviest frying pan or griddle and brown that gorgeous sandwich. Any way you crisp it, it’s going to make you happy. And should you decide to eat it wrapped in a thick quilt while watching “White Christmas,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” or “A Christmas Story,” well, you just might decide it’s the best Thanksgiving ever.

Ham and Cheddar Panini with Fried Apples and Onions

Ingredients per sandwich:

1 t. plus 1 T. butter, divided

1 apple, cored and thinly sliced into half moons

½ of an onion, peeled and thinly sliced into half moons

Pinch of salt

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