dining · dining rooms · food and wine · recipes

Dining Room Chairs + An Eggplant Panini

As promised today I will be blogging about dining rooms.  But before I delve into my dining room recommendations, I’d first like to report on an amazing dinner my husband and I made last night courtesy of Skinnytaste (whose blog never ceases to amaze me with recipes that I am always so eager to try!).  We had purchased an eggplant from the Green City Market over the weekend so we decided to make Eggplant panini’s with pesto.  And they were delicious.  I have no pictures, but here is one from the Skinnytaste website…

And below is the recipe (also found here, with more images as well).

Eggplant Panini with Pesto
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 4  Serving Size: 1 panini • Old Points: 7 pts • Points+: 9 pts
Calories: 336 • Fat: 8.5 g • Protein: 11.4 g • Carb: 50 g • Fiber: 3.8 g • Sugar: 2.7 g
Sodium: 394 mg (without salt)  

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant, about 12-14 oz
  • kosher salt to taste
  • olive oil spray (we used olive oil)
  • 12 oz french bread (or baguette), cut into 4 pieces (we used a seven grain bread)
  • 4 slices part skim mozzarella cheese (we used fresh mozzarella balls)
  • 2 tbsp skinny pesto  (we used pre-packaged pesto from Whole Foods to save time)
  • 8 thin sliced tomato

Directions:

Slice the eggplant into 1/4-inch thick slices. Place the eggplant slices on a paper towel and season with salt; set aside about 30 minutes. This will help draw some of the moisture out of the eggplant. Pat the eggplant dry with paper towels.

Preheat panini grill. Lightly spritz eggplant with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. When the grill is hot, grill eggplant about 7-8 minutes, turning once half way through. Set aside.

Slice the bread open and place 3 slices of grilled eggplant, 1 slice of mozzarella, 1/2 tablespoon of pesto, and 2 slices of tomatoes on each sandwich.

Close and lightly spray the top of the bread with oil. Place on a panini press andclose until the cheese melts and the bread is toasted. Cut in half diagonally and eat immediately.

Okay, now that we have a deliciously delightful meal to eat, we need an awesome dining room to eat it in ASAP.  As I reported yesterday, we bought new dining chairs (that I am loving) and here is a picture in case you need a recap…

But before we took the plunge in buying these new dining chairs, I did what any obsessive designer would do and I searched every design blog, magazine, google search and of course, Pinterest, to determine exactly what style I wanted for our dining room.  And while I ended up selecting our chairs on a whim, below are a few design tips I used when making our selection.

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Always try to avoid the cliche matchy-matchy dining room chairs, and avoid dining room sets at all costs.  Your space will look more custom and less catalog-y if you avoid purchasing a dining room set with matching chairs.  If you have a rustic dining room table, try mixing it up with modern chairs (like in the dining room above that utilized white Wishbone chairs with a round rustic table).

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And speaking matching chairs and dining sets, not all of your dining room chairs need to match.  Try adding in a bench, or switching up the chairs at the heads of your table to something more substantial.  Or, if you would like a more eclectic look, you could have all of your dining chairs different.

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Do not forget to measure.  Especially if you are thinking ‘outside the box’ when you make your selection (like the space below that uses outdoor lounge/dining chairs for their indoor dining room).  Make sure that your chair arms will be able to slide under your dining room table if necessary and make sure you have a few inches to spare on either end of your table and in between your chairs when selecting a dining chair width.

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Keep it comfy.  Do not forget that this is the dining room.  And it is very easy to have a dining room that is NEVER actually used.  So make the space so darn comfortable that it is always used.  If you decide to go with wooden or metal chairs, try adding a chair pad to bring in some color and comfort.

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I’ll be back soon with more tips, but for now, Happy Wednesday and speaking of comfort, here is a little quote to remind you that the work week is almost more than half way done!  xo

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