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Monday, October 15, 2012

Cheddar Cheese Panini, Animal Style

Wow. Just started my blog and  I already took a week off. There is no excuse. Except for my own craziness! Some big changes happened around my home during the last week. It was a lot of work! But it was so worth it!

But before I share the deets on that particular tale, I thought I would share with you this delicious lunch we made last weekend (while watching General Conference).

Cheddar Cheese Panini, Animal Style!

At least that's what I'd like to call it. Sounds cooler than just you're average "Grilled Cheese" ;].

Between Saturday sessions of  Conference, the husband, kids and I went to the park. It was chilly, but we kept ourselves plenty warm with running and climbing on the play equipment.  The hubs and I even got to play a little bit of tennis!

And by tennis... I mean not really tennis at all. More like... I serve the ball, the hubster returns it over the net, and I (with lots of finesse and grace) swing my racket with all the power I can muster... and I miss ;].

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

It was a nail biter, peeps. Had my tots at the edge of their seats! After playing at the park for about an hour and a half, (in which Kay learned how to use the fireman's pole & the monkey bars! Go Kay!) the cold was too much for us. So we decided to head home for something warm and tasty. Like grilled cheese and tomato soup!

But we decided to go fancy. I like fancy =].

For any of you who have been to Inn-N-Out, you'll know what I mean when I use the term 'Animal Style.'  It is a type of (fry) sauce, mixed with minced pickles and grilled onions.  I happen to love Inn-N-Out, but my husband... well he's not the biggest fan. Blaspheme, I know!

 But we can at least both agree on the fact that the animal style sauce is just plain ole' delicious. And, lucky for us, it is super simple to make, and ridiculously cheap!  Assuming you keep mayo, ketchup, and mustard in regular stock.

So here's what you need:

1/3 cup of Mayo
1/3 cup of Ketchup
1 tablespoon of Mustard
1 half of a yellow onion
1/3 cup of minced dill pickles (I would say this is optional. We didn't have pickles and it was still yumm-o)
2 Slices of Bread (of your choice)
3-4 thin slices of Cheddar Cheese

Mix together the mayo, ketchup, and mustard in a small bowl.  If you are adding pickles, you can go ahead and add them in at this time as well.

Finely chop the onion.  Pre-heat a frying pan over medium heat, adding either a small amount of cooking oil of your choice, or lightly brushing the pan with butter. Add the onions and (stirring frequently) cook until translucent.

Once your onions are nice & sweet & translucent, you can go ahead and add them to the sauce you previously mixed. Be sure to pour off any extra cooking oil or butter beforehand.

Taking your bread, spoon on the 'Animal Style' sauce and spread it evenly on both slices. On one of the slices of bread, layer your cheese on top of the 'Animal Style' sauce. If you wish, you could also add some sandwich meat on top of the cheese. Take your other piece of bread, and with the sauce on the inside, place it on top of the the bread topped with cheese.

Here's where you can deviate. We personally like to make our grilled cheese on the George Foreman. It cooks faster, plus we don't have to add oil or butter to keep the sandwich from sticking.  If you have a Lean Mean Grillin' Machine, I highly recommend using it.

All you have to do is put your finished sandwich on the grill, close the lid, and then wait for the "ready" light to turn on. Simple as that!

If you do not have one of these genius contraptions, you can go ahead and grill your Cheddar 'Animal Style' Panini the old fashioned way: over the stove.

I am not the best person to ask how to efficiently and effectively do that. Which is why I use the Foreman ;]. But there are many wonderful reference sites that could probably give you great tips on making a grilled cheese over the stove.  I would try a google search, or  As always, be wise and use your internet common sense when navigating information from either of these sites.

AnyWHO.These sandwiches turned out superbly fantastic. At least in my mind! Hubs and tots thought they were pretty yummy too! They were mouthwatering and super filling. I could only eat one. Which is saying somethin'! I usually eat like a starved velociraptor. I'm not sure how I know that, but I'm pretty positive it is true.

In all, it was a perfectly wonderful way to warm ourselves up (inside and out) after playing at the park.  One bad side effect from the delicious food was that it put me in a food stupor only minutes before the next general conference session was to start. It was so hard to stay awake!

Thank you, Inn-N-Out.

So, for all my Inn-N-Out lovers out there, what's your favorite item on the menu? I'm personally addicted to their strawberry milkshakes. Best. Strawberry. Shakes. EVER! When it comes to the hierarchy of fast food restaurant milkshakes, I would say that Inn-N-Out is the emperor of the Strawberry division. Yum!


  1. Grilled cheese on the stove is super easy. Just put a lid over the frying pan and cook it slowly (generally I start it out on medium and them reduce it to medium low so I don't burn the bread). Flip it over when the bread is done on one side and put the lid back on. The steam helps melt the cheese. If it's a particularly thick slice of cheese or a really hard cheese that doesn't melt well, you can put a few drops of water under the lid when the pan is hot. Do it a few times, but only a few drops at a time.

  2. Thanks, Sam! I'm going to have to try that! =] You're awesome!


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