Hi everyone! It’s no secret that I love entertaining – there’s something so special to me about gathering people together to share your happiness. For me, entertaining always involves at least a little food – gotta keep everyone well-fed, right? The thing is, I don’t always want to make an elaborate meal or spend too much time in the kitchen. Minimizing my stress as a hostess lets me actually enjoy the party rather than worrying about little things. Because of this, I’m always looking for easy ways to entertain without hassle.
One of my favorite solutions? Build Your Own Paninis. All you have to do ahead of time is some basic food prep like slicing and chopping, but the actual sandwich assembly and grilling can be done by your guests. Since they are picking what they want on their sandwiches, they get exactly what they want. Pretty awesome, right?
Here’s what I like to use:
- A few loaves of fresh bread, sliced. You can use baguettes, but larger loaves have more surface area, and therefore yield bigger sandwiches. I really like using focaccia as well, since the oils in the bread help it grill beautifully.
- Some good melting cheeses, like mozzarella and gruyere.
- A few spreads, like pesto, aioli, or mustard.
- Sliced tomatoes
- Caramelized onions
- Some deli meats, like honey ham, turkey, or buffalo chicken
- Shredded fresh basil
- Fresh greens, like spinach
Just set everything out on a table, let your guests build their sandwiches, and grill the creations on your panini press. I own and love the Griddler.
If you’re having younger guests, you can even set out cream cheese or peanut butter and jelly. And how delicious would a panini spread be using Thanksgiving leftovers? Imagine – cranberry sauce and turkey and stuffing, on a hearty bread. Just yum. Set out a simple salad as a side and you have a lovely, stress-free meal.
Do you have any entertaining go-tos? I’d love to hear.