My parents visited us last weekend! We started things off perfectly by enjoying some delicious pizza at Emma’s Thursday night. Then on Friday, I snuck out of work a bit early to check out the Chihuly exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts with them – amazing! I think my Dad put it best when he said he felt like we were in a world Dr. Seuss had created. After picking up Apolinaras, we headed out for Blue Ribbon BBQ, which the birthday boy requested, and then drove up to Vermont.
We started the next day by doing the Magic Hat Brewery tour and tasting, where I voted for Wacko, aka The Liquid Song of Summer, as my favorite. My mom was super cute and answered a question right on the tour to win a free pint glass.
Next up was lunch on Lake Champlain at Splash – we were literally on the lake since the tables are on a floating dock. The views were beautiful and our clam chowder was surprisingly excellent.
Then we indulged in a little ice cream during the Ben and Jerry’s Factory tour (which is free by the way if you check in on yelp) and my Dad and I squeezed in a hilly run before our Korean takeout from Yama. It was a very relaxing day and we headed to bed early since the next morning we needed to rise and shine super early for the highlight of our trip, a King Arthur Flour baking class!
I’ve been planning this trip with my mom ever since I took a class there last year with a group of bloggers. While the boys amused themselves by hiking the Appalachian Trail, my mom and I were treated to a tour of the King Arthur Flour warehouse, production facility where they make all their mixes, and test kitchen, led by the lovely Allison Furbish, who is their web media coordinator and set up our blogger baking class last year. Here we are in the test kitchen, where I salivated over their super well stocked walk-in pantry. Thanks so much Allison for coming in on a Sunday to show us around!
Then we headed in for our class called “The Magic of Wild Yeast – Sourdough” where we learned everything we need to know to successfully maintain starter cultures and bake beautiful boules of sourdough bread at home – SO fun! We also hit the King Arthur store, where I loaded up some fun baking goodies, and had a fantastic meal at Foundry on Elm after the drive home. I had such a great mini vacation with my family and wish they could visit more often!
Sourdough is my absolute favorite and I’ve been diligently feeding my starter and plan to make something with it soon! In the meantime, I wanted to whip up some sandwiches with the bread we baked during the class and decided to feature ripe summer tomatoes. I settled on chicken panini with a tomato and feta sauce topped with melted mozzarella and fresh tomato slices. I can’t wait to take a stab at making my own sourdough!
Triple Tomato Chicken Panini
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup of your favorite tomato sauce
1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
4 slices sourdough bread
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cooked butterflied boneless skinless chicken breasts, warmed
1 large tomato, sliced
2/3 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Place feta cheese and tomato sauce in a food processor and pulse until smooth, about 1 minute. Stir in sun dried tomatoes.
Use a pastry brush to evenly spread olive oil over each slice of bread. Flip slices of bread over and evenly spread with feta tomato sauce. Top two slices evenly with chicken, tomato slices, and mozzarella cheese. Top with the remaining slices of bread, tomato sauce side down. Place sandwiches in a preheated panini press and cook until bead is crispy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Makes 2 panini.
Nutrition: 503 calories, 24.0g fat, protein per panino
Cost: $2.60 per panino