Panini Happy is Turning 1!

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!


KathyPanini Happy, online since 2008, is more than just a sandwich blog. Here, you'll find hundreds of my original panini recipes, my guide to choosing a panini press and a whole lot of other creative uses for the panini press.
~ Kathy Strahs
>> About Me

All-Time Reader Favorites!

Panini 101

Recent Posts


Permission Policy

All recipes, text and photographs on this site are the original creations and property of Panini Happy. Do not post or publish anything from this site without full credit and a direct link to the original post. with any requests or questions.

Browse Panini

Leave a Comment


  1. RecipeGirl wrote:

    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!

    Posted 1.15.09 Reply
  2. Esi wrote:

    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!

    Posted 1.15.09 Reply
  3. sharon wrote:

    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!

    Posted 1.15.09 Reply
  4. Chuck wrote:

    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.

    Posted 1.16.09 Reply
  5. Congrats!! Love your delicious panini creations!

    Posted 1.16.09 Reply
  6. Donna wrote:

    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!!

    Posted 1.16.09 Reply
  7. Val wrote:

    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.

    Posted 1.16.09 Reply
  8. Arlene wrote:

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

    Posted 1.16.09 Reply
  9. 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!

    Posted 1.16.09 Reply
  10. HoneyB wrote:

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

    Posted 1.16.09 Reply
  11. Kori wrote:

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

    Posted 1.16.09 Reply
  12. 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!

    Posted 1.16.09 Reply
  13. lo! wrote:

    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.

    Posted 1.16.09 Reply
  14. Curt wrote:

    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!

    Posted 1.16.09 Reply
  15. Sandie wrote:

    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?!

    Posted 1.16.09 Reply
  16. Happy Birthday Baby Panini!!

    Posted 1.16.09 Reply
  17. nina wrote:

    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!!!

    Posted 1.16.09 Reply
  18. Karen wrote:

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

    Posted 1.16.09 Reply
  19. Happy belated! Can you do a cake and ice cream panini next year?

    Posted 1.16.09 Reply
  20. Elle wrote:

    Happy blogiversary to you…happy blogiversary to you!

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

    Posted 1.16.09 Reply
  21. Katie wrote:

    This looks great and Congrats on your 1 year anniversary!

    Posted 1.16.09 Reply
  22. VeggieGirl wrote:


    Posted 1.16.09 Reply
  23. Hélène wrote:

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

    Posted 1.16.09 Reply
  24. kellypea wrote:

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

    Posted 1.16.09 Reply
  25. grace wrote:

    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!

    Posted 1.17.09 Reply
  26. Happy Birthday!

    Posted 1.17.09 Reply
  27. Cute picture and happy blogging birthday!

    Posted 1.17.09 Reply
  28. Nicole wrote:

    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.

    Posted 1.19.09 Reply
  29. Heather wrote:

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

    Posted 1.21.09 Reply
  30. pickycook wrote:

    Happy Belated Blogoversary! Congrats on 1 year

    Posted 1.26.09 Reply
  31. Judy wrote:

    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.

    Posted 1.30.09 Reply