About Me


How it All Began
About Me
TV
Press Mentions
Contest Judging
PR/Sponsorship
Review Policy
Contact

How it All Began

Hi, I’m Kathy Strahs. When I received a panini press for Christmas in 2007, I was, of course, grateful to my sister for the thoughtful gift. She knew I loved to cook and panini presses were the “it” gift for cooks, thanks to Oprah and her “Favorite Things.” But in the back of my head I was also thinking “Uh oh…you know I’m gonna use this once and then add it the appliance wasteland that is my pantry.” That’s what I did with the ice cream maker, the crepe machine, the pizzelle machine – and those are the ones that I can at least remember. Good intentions fallen to the wayside. I had to break the cycle, but I would need some serious motivation.

Hanging out with chef Marco Pierre White at BlogHer '11

Hanging out with chef Marco Pierre White at BlogHer ’11

Then came the idea for a panini blog – I would come up with new ideas for panini, test them out on my press and write up my recipes. At the time, I was a new mommy to a baby girl and while I had scarcely any control over my schedule, I did have pockets of time that seemed ripe for a creative outlet. And so Panini Happy (my other baby) was born.

Now my panini maker gets plenty of use! It’s been so much fun to get inspired, try out some variations and come up with great-tasting results (most of the time). Each experiment is like a little project that I get to conceptualize, execute – and eat! It may be the job I’ve been looking for all my life :-)

It was such a treat to explore the Lower East Side with Ruth Reichl and other food folks

It was such a treat to explore the Lower East Side with Ruth Reichl and other food folks

About Me

The Ultimate Panini Press Cookbook, by Kathy Strahs - order it on Amazon!I channel my passions for cooking and online media into two food blogs: Panini Happy, with hundreds of creative grilled sandwich recipes and other innovative uses for the panini maker, and Cooking On the Side, featuring the recipes I find printed on food packaging. My first cookbook, The Ultimate Panini Press Cookbook, will be published by the Harvard Common Press in 2013.

My work has been featured in Pillsbury Magazine, San Diego Family Magazine and the Associated Press, on the New York Times, PBSSaveurTLC and Food News Journal websites and highlighted in The Wall Street Journal. For the past 4 years I have been listed among the Top 100 Mom Food Bloggers by Babble.com. I also served as an Executive Judge in 2011, 2012 and 2013 for the Grilled Cheese Invitational in Los Angeles.

I entered the food world following a career in online marketing and advertising for well known consumer brands Warner Bros., Gateway and TurboTax. A Silicon Valley native and proud alumna of Stanford University, I now live in beautiful San Diego, California with my husband Mike and our two preschoolers.

Meeting one of my culinary heroes, chef Mary Sue Milliken

Meeting one of my culinary heroes, chef Mary Sue Milliken

TV

Live TV cooking demo on San Diego Living - Nutella S'mores Panini

Live TV cooking demo on San Diego Living – Nutella S’mores Panini

I have appeared in both live and recorded TV cooking segments, including the following:

Press Mentions

My recipes and photography have been featured in a variety of print and online media, locally and nationally.

Contest Judging

I have served as a judge for a number of culinary competitions:

  • World Food Championships (Sandwich Competition) – Las Vegas, NV (2012)
  • The Grilled Cheese Invitational – Los Angeles, CA (2011, 2012, 2013)
  • Bisquick Family Favorites Recipe Contest – San Diego County Fair (2013)
  • Ghirardelli Chocolate Championship – San Diego County Fair (2012)
  • King Arthur Flour Great Cakes – San Diego County Fair (2012)
  • Fleischmann’s Yeast Bake for the Cure – San Diego County Fair (2011)

PR/Sponsorship

I am open to working with public relations and marketers looking to reach an audience of home cooks and other food enthusiasts. Ways that we can work together include (but is not limited to):

  • Sponsored posts
  • Giveaways
  • Recipe development
  • Special events
  • Contest judging

Please feel free to e-mail me at kathy [at] paninihappy [dot] com.

Catching up with chef Ben Ford of Ford's Filling Station

Catching up with chef Ben Ford of Ford’s Filling Station

Review Policy

From time to time, I review food-related products and services on Panini Happy. I don’t accept payment for reviews. If you would like to submit an item for review, please contact me at kathy [at] paninihappy [dot] com.

Contact

Got feedback? Questions? You can reach me by e-mail at kathy [at] paninihappy [dot] com.