Cubanos from the Chef movie
There’s a memorable scene in Chef — if you saw the movie this summer, you know the one — where John Leguizamo sways to Cuban music, massaging mojo marinade into a pork shoulder in a manner that probably deserves some privacy. When it’s falling-off-the-bone roasted, Jon Favreau, like a surgeon, shaves off a few test pieces…and determines it’s pretty perfect.

It can’t be possible to watch that movie without desperately wanting to get into that roast pork and the Cubanos they assemble from it (well, unless you don’t eat pork). So I was excited to see that chef Roy Choi, who was a consultant and producer for the movie, shared his recipe on the People magazine website…and I pretty much made it immediately.
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My Favorite Pumpkin Muffins
Because I’ve made them many times over the years and they’re the best pumpkin muffins I’ve tasted — fluffy, flavorful, unfussy, nice doming.

Because even though baking with pumpkin can be kind of a seasonal fad, it’s a delicious one, so pumpkin on!

Because now that it’s October you’re undoubtedly going to need to bring a crowd-pleasing, autumn-appropriate dish to school/work/church/soccer, etc. Or you’re simply going to want one at home on a brisk autumn afternoon.

Because you can easily double the recipe for a big group — in fact, the orignal recipe from Erin Cooks (one of my earliest favorite food blogs) makes a whole lot of muffins — or make them in mini muffin pans or mini loaf pans for lunch boxes or cute gifts.

Because pumpkin + cake mix does not equal a recipe (yeah, I said it — sorry, Pinterest!).

Because you probably have all the ingredients on hand already (especially in October, because pumpkin time).

Because they can pass for breakfast, dessert or even a side dish — versatility awaits!

Because friends love to receive the occasional pumpkin muffin surprise on their doorstep.

Because baking these muffins doubles as an awesome home fragrance for your kitchen.

Because…oh, just turn on the oven and make ‘em!

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Smoked Sausage, Fig and Manchego Skewers plus Win a $100 Visa Gift Card from Johnsonville Sausage

September 29, 2014

To me, appetizers are the ultimate comfort food. They’re a treat – party food, or something to share when my husband and I are out at a restaurant. With just a few bites through which to deliver something delicious and memorable – the flavors and textures of appetizers can be bolder, more intense, maybe even […]

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A Surprisingly Good Apple Cake

September 23, 2014
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BOOM — the moment I came through the doors of the preschool my proud little boy shoved the little ziploc bag containing that day’s project right up to my face so I’d be sure to see it. “We made apple cake!!” Big grin, eyes wide and twinkling, legs jumping up and down — you can […]

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Well, hello!

September 8, 2014
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That’s me, smile-screaming on the kiddie coaster at Happy Hollow this summer. My little girl insisted we sit in the front row, for maximum thrills. I am so not a roller coaster person! But my kids got me on them at least four times over the past few months. And I have to admit, I […]

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Moving House

June 10, 2014
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An intermittent little eyebrow twitch reminds me that our departure from San Diego and move back to the Bay Area is a little more than two weeks away. I’ve been a giant ball of stress for the past few months and I have a feeling that’s not likely to change anytime soon. Selling our house […]

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Mac ‘n Cheese Grilled Cheese

April 30, 2014

It’s the last day of April, which means that National Grilled Cheese Month is drawing to a close. We’ve got one last guest blogger today, Stefani Pollack from Cupcake Project, and she’s sharing just about the cheesiest grilled cheese sandwich possible: Mac ‘n Cheese Grilled Cheese. The mac ‘n cheese isn’t on the inside, like […]

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Texas Toast Asparagus Crab Melt

April 21, 2014

Hello everyone! While my world continues to be overtaken by THE MOVE (there’s a gentleman shampooing the rugs at this very moment), my friend Amy Flanigan from Very Culinary is stopping by Panini Happy today to share her amazing grilled cheese — the Texas Toast Asparagus Crab Melt. She had me at Texas Toast…and asparagus…and […]

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Pickled Asparagus Grilled Cheese

April 16, 2014

Happy National Grilled Cheese Month! I know it’s been a little quiet around here lately — my family is getting ready to bid a bittersweet farewell to San Diego and move back up to the Bay Area, so my time has been completely zapped by decluttering, packing, househunting and other relocation joys. Meanwhile, the cheesiest […]

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Reuben Panini

March 14, 2014

{I first posted this recipe in September 2008 — now updated with clearer instructions, a new photo and an excerpt from my cookbook, The Ultimate Panini Press Cookbook} Once upon a time I asked Panini Happy readers to name their favorite sandwich. The overwhelming choice turned out to be the Reuben. It wasn’t hard for […]

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