Panini Happy is Turning 1!

by on January 15, 2009

Happy Birthday, Panini Happy!

One year ago this week I got off the fence and put up my first-ever blog post.  I hadn’t even heard of the term “food blogger” and yet I had just become one. And I’m so glad I did!

At a time in my life when I might have otherwise become a bit insular and excessively baby-obsessed, having stepped out of the working world to take care of my newborn daughter, Panini Happy very quickly became an important creative outlet for me. As I’ve been expressing myself through food blogging I’ve made so many great new friends who share a common interest in panini and food in general. Through fun exchanges on Twitter, e-mails, Facebook messages and even a smattering of in-person meetups,  it’s been a blast to get to know so many foodie folks.  What I initially thought would be this quiet little project involving just me, my panini press, the computer and “cyberspace” has become a far more interactive, social, rewarding undertaking than I ever could have imagined.  Thanks so much to all of you for reading my blog, commenting on my posts, trying out my panini recipes (who knew I’d ever grill this much?) and embracing me into the online food community!

To celebrate her first birthday (I decided my blog is a “she”), I grilled Panini Happy a big, messy roast beef and sharp white cheddar sandwich with sweet caramelized red onions and horseradish mayo.  On a homemade baguette!

My little blog baby is all growns up. 🙂

Roast Beef & Cheddar Panini

Roast Beef and Cheddar Panini

Serves 4


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise (I use light)
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
4 small baguettes or 1 large baguette cut into 4 pieces, halved lengthwise
1/2 lb. roast beef, thinly sliced
4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, sliced


Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté 20-25 minutes until caramelized. Remove from heat. Stir in balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Preheat panini grill to medium-high heat (375 degrees).

Combine mayonnaise and horseradish in a small bowl. Spread a thin layer of horseradish mayo inside the bottom half of each baguette. Add onions, roast beef and cheese and close the sandwich with the top baguette half.

Grill 6-7 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve immediately and enjoy!

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:

>Ready to buy a panini press? Check out my Panini Press Buying Guide for the features to look for.

>Want more panini recipes? See my Recipe Index for a list of all recipes on Panini Happy.

>Traveling to a new city soon? Browse Panini Happy’s Great American Sandwich Guide to find the best sandwiches across the country!

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 RecipeGirl January 15, 2009 at 9:57 pm

Congratulations! And who’da thought you’d be so good at the whole blogging thing too? Your blog is wonderful.

It was great meeting you recently, and I look forward to hanging out with you and other SD food bloggers in the near future!


2 Esi January 15, 2009 at 10:24 pm

Happy blog birthday!!!! I just love reading your blog and seeing all your panini creations like this one. Hope the next year brings many more!


3 sharon January 15, 2009 at 10:26 pm

Congrats! She’s so sophisticated…I would’ve thought she was 10 🙂 Hey, I’m in SD – I’d love to have a foodie get together!


4 Chuck January 16, 2009 at 1:37 am

Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday dear Panini Happy.
Happy birthday to you!

It’s much better for you that I’m writing this than singing it… trust me.


5 Pigpigscorner January 16, 2009 at 1:58 am

Congrats!! Love your delicious panini creations!


6 Donna January 16, 2009 at 4:18 am

Wow. I just discovered your blog. New , very, to blogging, and stumbled upon your blog. Sounds wonderful. I will be trying some of these. Congrats on your one year!!


7 Val January 16, 2009 at 4:19 am

So glad I found your site! Santa brought me a Cuisanart Panini/Grill & I’ve been hunting for ideas ever since.
Thanks for posting the recipes & excellent pictures.


8 Arlene January 16, 2009 at 5:55 am

Happy Birthday and here’s to another great year of panini. This one looks as yummy as usual.


9 Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy January 16, 2009 at 6:45 am

Congrats on a great year! You have truly elevated the “lowly sandwich” to new heights on this blog.

Roast beef and horseradish sauce is one of my favorite panini combos. It looks great!


10 HoneyB January 16, 2009 at 7:58 am

Congratulations Kathy!! You have a great blog and something to be really proud of! AND your birthday panini is awesome!!


11 Kori January 16, 2009 at 8:32 am

Congrats! I know how hard it is to keep up with a blog, and you do a fantastic job. Very inspirational!


12 Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) January 16, 2009 at 9:37 am

Congratulations, Kathy! One full year of blogging is a huge achievement, and you’ve helped us all think about panini in such interesting ways. Here’s to Year Two!


13 lo! January 16, 2009 at 9:51 am

Happy Blogiversary, Kathy!
I’m thrilled to have been following along this whole time… you’ve done fabulous things!

I’m eyeing up that homemade baguette and thinking I’d like to be over at YOUR house eating that sammich right about now.


14 Curt January 16, 2009 at 10:35 am

Congrats and happy blogiversary.

I just missed my 3 year… didn’t even think about it. But you’re much farther along at 1 year than I am now!


15 Sandie January 16, 2009 at 10:38 am

Congratulations, Kathy! I’m so glad Panini Happy has brought you as much joy and pleasure as it has your readers! And what a great panini to celebrate with as well! Does it get any yummier?!


16 Bellini Valli January 16, 2009 at 10:48 am

Happy Birthday Baby Panini!!


17 nina January 16, 2009 at 11:16 am

I never thought that you could make a blog just about sandwiches, but you have proven me wrong….great new discovery…your blog ,that is!!!


18 Karen January 16, 2009 at 11:41 am

Congrats! That sandwich looks amazing… will look forward to your blog posts this year 🙂


19 The Duo Dishes January 16, 2009 at 12:36 pm

Happy belated! Can you do a cake and ice cream panini next year?


20 Elle January 16, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Happy blogiversary to you…happy blogiversary to you!

What a great sandwich to cap off a year with! mmm!


21 Katie January 16, 2009 at 12:45 pm

This looks great and Congrats on your 1 year anniversary!


22 VeggieGirl January 16, 2009 at 2:23 pm



23 Hélène January 16, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Congratulations! Since I started following your blog I always like it.


24 kellypea January 16, 2009 at 4:37 pm

Happy First Birthday, Kathy! And what a perfect choice to celebrate. Love roast beef and cheddar. Wish it was on the menu for tonight.


25 grace January 17, 2009 at 5:08 am

you’ve really created something worth a lot of pride, kathy–i’ve enjoyed all of your sandwiches and recreated many for myself. keep up the good work!


26 The Food Hunter January 17, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Happy Birthday!


27 Culinary Cory January 17, 2009 at 8:53 pm

Cute picture and happy blogging birthday!


28 Nicole January 19, 2009 at 9:41 pm

Oh HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Congratulations on your one year-iversary. So cool and might I say… it looks like you are more than toddling around. You have done quite a lot in a year. Good for you.


29 Heather January 21, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Happy belated birthday Panini Happy! Love the blog- you’ve come a long way. 🙂


30 pickycook January 26, 2009 at 11:14 pm

Happy Belated Blogoversary! Congrats on 1 year


31 Judy January 30, 2009 at 2:14 pm

Happy belated blogoversary! What a great idea to have a blog dedicated to paninis. Now I know where to come when I want a warm sammy.


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