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Mac N Cheese Panini


posted: 08/24/13

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Mac N Cheese Panini that goes easy on the effort and heavy on the kid love!

Mac N Cheese Panini that goes easy on the effort and heavy on the kid love! via www.wineandglue.com

Can I make a confession?

I hate traveling. Like hate it with a firey burning passion that is usually reserved for things like gum smacking and whistling.

Last week I flew out to Portland to visit my sweet childhood friend and her adorable new baby. And I was really excited to see her, but I was absolutely dreading the travel.

The day before I was leaving, I was super snappy with everyone. And it seemed pretty obvious to me that it was because my whole family was being obnoxious. Obviously.

I remember being in Quinn’s room, wrestling with her changing her diaper as smoke was pouring out my ears and my face was getting more and more red with giant droplets of sweat dripping down, you know, all cartoon character like. And Nathan looks at me and says

“Oooooooooo! You hate traveling!! That’s why you have been acting all tweaked out!!”

Thanks babe.

And I hate it for good reason too!

Mac N Cheese Panini that goes easy on the effort and heavy on the kid love! via www.wineandglue.com

On the second leg of my journey (from Phoenix to Portland), our flight was delayed an hour, which normally wouldn’t bother me. I’d get a cocktail, do some people watching, and just in general enjoy not having to chase my unruly children towards their bedtime doom. But! They didn’t announce the delay until we were already seated on the plane. Till I was all strapped in the seat infront of the most obnoxious tweenage boy on the planet.

Sitting there, I tried to remain all chill, and watch my portable Felicity, when my chair starts to shake.

It shakes again. Slightly more violently this time.

Okay. I’ve had enough. One shake I can forgive. Two shakes, I might have to murder you. I attempt to look through the space between my chair and the chair next to me to see the face of the  scoundrel behind me. Of course I can’t see anything but some pale arms that seem to belong to a thirteenish aged boy.

In this moment I realize I’m doomed.

In this moment, I also realize that I’m a bit of a princess. I would really love to be one of those girls that just rolls with the punches and can handle, say . . . camping. Or you know teenage boys who are MOST DEFINITELY using the tray table that is attached to the back of your seat as the field in a violent game of paper triangle football.

Alas . . . I am not that laid back girl. I’m high maintenance. I like my space. I like my peace and quiet. I like my chairs still and my planes free of thirteen year old boys who are about to get strangled by the crazed woman in front of them.**

You know what else I like?

Easy lunches for my kiddos. Like a Mac N Cheese Panini. Yup. It is exactly what it sounds like. Some left over Mac N Cheese, two pieces of bread, and a panini press. Though it could totally be made in a regular frying pan like a grilled cheese.

This sandwich might not be my cup of tea, but Gavin (five years old, full of energy, and always with something to say) loves it! It actually was his idea. He thought he didn’t like paninis until he realize that you could shove some left over cheese smothered noodles in them!

**No thirteen year old boys were actually strangled in the making of this blog post . . . though his parents got plenty of dirty looks from the crazy women deboarding the plane . . . 

Mac N Cheese Panini that goes easy on the effort and heavy on the kid love! via www.wineandglue.com

Mac N Cheese Panini

  • 1 cup left over mac n cheese
  • 2 pieces of thinly cut bread
  • olive oil spray
  1. Spray one piece of bread, and put it olive oil side down on the panini press.
  2. Evenly spread your noodles over it.
  3. Spray the other piece of bread and set it on top. Close the panini press, plug it in, and wait for the light on top to turn green. You may want to keep a close eye on it if you have a picky eater who doesn’t like any golden parts to the bread.

Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


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  1. Julianne @ Beyond Frosting says

    What a fun idea! I love Mac and cheese with a passion but I rarely eat it because it makes me feel guilty. Certainly I can imagine how much better it is in a panini! Also, yuck to annoying teenage boys.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Yeah, turns out when you stuff bread with Mac N Cheese it makes it a guilt free meal! ;)

  2. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust says

    Ugh. I hate traveling – when I’m alone. It’s the worst!! I feel you pain.

    And the sandwich. Awesome!!

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thanks Dorothy!

  3. Amy | Club Narwhal says

    Lisa, what a fun way to eat mac and cheese! I just got a panini press and have been nosing around for some recipes. This is going on the list :) Thanks for co-hosting Wake Up Wednesdays!

    • Lisa Longley says

      OMG. I love my panini press so much!! You are going to love yours too!! We love the thinly cut Country Miche from Panera. It is perfect!

  4. Trish - Mom On Timeout says

    High maintenance or not – this panini looks amazing! My boys would totally love this…who am I kidding? I would too!

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thanks Trish!!

  5. Jocelyn @ BruCrew Life says

    These look fabulously delicious!! You have one smart little guy!! ;)

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thanks Jocelyn! Yup, he’s a keeper :)

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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners

5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners