Rush Hour

There are days that are just postcard perfect. My husband and I recently took advantage of one such day by putting together some divine panini sandwiches and heading to a park that overlooks a nature conservancy, a large freshwater lake and, off in the distance, the capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin. It was a picturesque evening, made all the better by warm paninis with some of our favorite ingredients in them.

The wonderful thing about sandwiches is that you are only limited by your imagination when it comes to what to put in and on them. In fact, with paninis, you get a warm, pressed filling that seems more special than an ordinary sandwich. Maybe that's why they seem so appropriate for dinner. On the go. Overlooking the lake. With someone special. Ahh, this is what summer is all about!

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

Smoked Turkey & Avocado Paninis

  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 1 avocado -- peeled and pit removed
  • 1 T. nonfat sour cream
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • 1 tomato -- sliced
  • 8 oz. deli-sliced smoked turkey
  • 4 slices whole grain bread
  • Cooking spray

Place the bacon on a broiler pan. Put the pan on the oven rack closest to the broiler with the oven off. Turn the broiler on HIGH and set a timer to 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, mash the avocado in a small bowl and add the sour cream and lime juice to the bowl. Stir to combine.

Remove the bacon from the oven and arrange tomato slices, smoked turkey and bacon on two slices of bread. Spread the avocado paste generously on the two remaining slices of bread and place them on the other slices to form sandwiches.

Spray both sides of each sandwich lightly with cooking spray. Using a sandwich press, contact grill or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, either press the sandwich in the press or grill for 5 minutes or cook each side of the sandwich for 3 minutes in the skillet.

  • Yields: 2 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes