One of the very great joys of being involved in the food content world is knowing other writers, especially bloggers, who ultimately go on to publish books, and then getting to see the fruits of their labors. It is a tremendous validation of the passion and efforts of all of we bloggers that publishers can see the value in our work, and commit to bringing that to fruition in the printed word.
Most recently, I attended an event for Katy Strahs' new oeuvre, The Ultimate Panini Press Cookbook. Kathy has maintained the blog Panini Happy since 2008, committed to extolling the virtues of using the panini press as a multifunctional cooking tool, and to elevating the art of pressed sandwich making. She and I have some history, having been on panels together at BlogHer Food, and just generally running in like-minded circles in the blogosphere.
The concept of panini press as kitchen powerhouse is not really a new one. I was blown away nearly a decade ago by a story on Kitchen Sisters about how George Foreman grills were creating opportunities for people of severely limited means to cook sensible, nutritious foods in places where they otherwise could not have even a hot plate. It was something they could stow away, like contraband, when they needed it out of site, yet could be called into action to cook complete meals for their families.
This is why I adore Kathy's blog, and her pursuant book. Sure, there are many ideas for sandwiches; it is, after all, the core competency of the panini press. But she goes beyond that to talk about grilling salmon, meats, fruits ... basically anything you might cook on a full-on grill, but with a modicum of the muss and mess, right on the kitchen counter.