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On Ryan’s Plate: Everybody Gets a New Panini! Everybody Gets a New Panini!

February 8, 2012

Pop quiz: What’s Oprah’s favorite Favorite Thing?

Of all the Favorite Things Oprah has showered on her viewers over the years, what’s her absolute favorite?

No, it’s not the Classic Sparkles UGG Australia Boots (which I can verify firsthand are pretty amazing. I’m wearing them now).

It’s not the Magaschoni Embellished Tunic and Leggings (come on, nobody would guess that).

And it sure as hell isn’t Josh Groban’s Illuminations CD.

Give up?

It’s the Breville Panini Press. You can hear it straight from Lady O herself around minute 24 of this Facebook interview (though I first learned about Oprah’s declaration in the Atlantic Monthly. I swear.).

Faced with a nearly impossible question about which of her Favorite Things deserves supreme elevation, a question that would have crushed a lesser being, O doesn’t hem and haw or give that same nonsense your parents gave you and your siblings about not being able to choose a favorite (it was your brother). Big O confidently proclaims the Breville Panini Press her favorite. Not once, but twice. So throw away your other Favorite Things: Your Staub Mini-Cocottes. Your Josh Grobin Noel CD. Your Aerolatte Milk Froth Frother with Defrothing Attachment. Your Claus Artisanal Goat’s Milk Pumice Porto Soaps with Organic Sheep’s Milk Extract from Lafco New York. Your Lululemon “Atlas Stretched” Yoga Pants. Your O’s Guide to Life (actually, keep that. It’s chock full of great advice). Your Josh Groban Josh Groban Covers Appetite For Destruction CD. (Obviously, some of these things are made up. I’m pretty sure there’s no such thing as a mini-cocotte).

Her O-ness has spoken, and Breville Panini Press is the greatest thing that has ever been invented. Take that, Gutenberg!

Having recently come into possession of a Breville, I can attest, once again, to Oprah’s genius. Since we got this press a few months ago, we have been making paninis left and right and center. Want to spice up an ordinary weeknight? A broccoli-cheese Panini will do the trick. Is your bad apple of a day giving you the blues? An apple and blue cheese panini is the cure. Or, you could use it as O-rama does to make Stedman a weekly “Love Sandwich” (which, I have been assured, is actually just a sandwich and not a euphemism for a sexual act).

Surely, there’s a Stedman in your life that deserves a special Love Sandwich. In my life, Anna is the Stedman (wait, that came out wrong). So I decided to whip up a special Tuesday night Caprese Panini with a side of roasted red pepper pasta salad. The Breville is so simple to use that the Panini virtually made itself. Just place some heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil between two slices of focaccia bread and press away.


Unfortunately, Deepak Oprah did not recommend a pasta salad maker, so I had to make that the old fashioned way.


Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Salad

Blend one small jar of roasted red peppers, 2 cloves cooked garlic, ½ cooked white onion, and ¼ cup olive oil in a food processor until the mixture is even and creamy.

Combine roasted red pepper sauce in a bowl with 1 cup cooked pasta, ½ cup sliced cherry tomatoes, ½ cup feta, and ¼ cup chopped parsley. Chill and serve.

Everything came together nicely:



I’d say that this meal might earn the approval of Oprah herself, but I’m not that cocky. One thing’s for sure, though. Only one person in the world could possibly hate the Breville Panini Press:

The rest of you should take Oprah’s word on this, like you should on everything. I hear she even offers some great book recommendations!

14 Comments leave one →
  1. February 8, 2012 7:40 pm

    Like after most of Ryan’s posts, I’m dying over here. My husband wouldn’t even have the slightest idea who Stedman is, guaranteed. In fact, I’m going to ask him that when he comes home tonight just to see if I’m right.
    We don’t have the Breville, but the Cuisinart one we do have definitely takes an otherwise ordinary sandwich to a new level.

  2. February 8, 2012 8:53 pm

    Interesting! I have one of those and I love it….but I rarely seem to pull it out(not sure why!). Tomatoes and cheese rock together

  3. February 8, 2012 9:04 pm

    LMAO @ Anna is my Stedman…..awesome.

    Thanks for posting this, I have a panini press but it’s been collecting dust. I just need some inspiration on what to make with it—the panini looks amazing.

    And those boots? Dear god no!!!

  4. February 8, 2012 9:56 pm


    I need a Panini Press in my life!

  5. February 9, 2012 1:32 am

    Now I have to have that sandwich press! Dinner looks amazing Ryan!

  6. February 9, 2012 5:29 am

    I need those boots. NOW!!!

  7. February 9, 2012 11:38 am

    I have been trying to figure out something to get Scott for Valentines Day. We have never had a panini machine, so thanks for solving my problem. That dinner looks fabulous! (Maybe Scott will get me those boots)

  8. February 9, 2012 1:56 pm

    Cute post, love your posts! Not sure I’m girly enough for the boots, or that there are vegan options for them. 🙂 But this post has tempted me on the panini press, hmmm…

  9. February 9, 2012 1:59 pm

    Great post, yet again, Ryan. I was cracking up! Dinner looks delicious as well!

  10. February 10, 2012 2:24 pm

    It’s 9:25, I’ve just had breakfast, and I’m already ready for lunch. Thanks! But seriously, that panini looks great. I had a Krups maker years and years ago (like, 15) and it made cute little panini triangles… now I usually just make them in a skillet.

    I’m going to be thinking “Deepak Oprah” all the time now…

  11. Erin permalink
    February 10, 2012 6:11 pm

    I’m a new reader, and I have to say: (1) the panini looks delicious, and (2) this post was hilarious!

    Off in search of the “Atlas Stretched” pants…

  12. February 11, 2012 11:53 am

    Ok, I’ll admit I am NOT a huge Oprah fan, but I do think this panini press (and others like it) looks pretty amazing! I think if Nick and I had one of these in our house it would be dangerous!! The only good thing is that…similar to Ryan, Nick would possibly make dinner every once in a while!!

  13. February 12, 2012 11:26 pm

    My husband calls himself a sandwich artist. Maybe he could use one of these things for his valentines day gift.

  14. January 7, 2014 11:19 am

    What a material of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious
    familiarity regarding unexpected emotions.

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