Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Comfort Zone - 1/10/2012

After a very brief hiatus from Tunnel City muffins, I can say with confidence that after this morning, I am back on the wagon. When knee pain rendered me unable to partake in morning practice, I knew that a raspberry muffin would provide the necessary comfort. Apparently, fellow customers had the same idea - somehow, the cold and winter melancholy make a hearty muffin seem all the more appealing - but I was thankfully able to snag the last one. I figured I'd just have half, and save a portion for the afternoon, but once I broke off an edge of the voluptuous top and bit into the sweet, buttery body, I knew that the gargantuan unit would not make it past the morning. I relish the edges because they are slightly crunchy, providing a provocatively complementary encasing to the luscious dough beneath. I reveled in the decadent density of each clump I broke off, savoring the rich flavor and texture. As always, the raspberries contributed aesthetics as well a relatively tart burst of fresh flavor. The daily selections have their work cut out for them, as now only the guarantee of something truly spectacular can steer me from this classic choice...
The cold may also have catalyzed my intense lunchtime cheese craving. By the afternoon, nothing sounded more heavenly than a hot panini, warmed to perfection on the hit griddle. Although paninis often frequent my plate, this one boasted both melted swiss cheese and cream cheese, a tantalizing combination that I had never tried before. 
On one piece of bread, I layered the cream cheese and then smeared the white surface with pesto, next making sure to place a thick layer of turkey and some obligatory spinach on top before finishing the mound with the cheese slice, and the opposing sandwich component. Most remarkable was the way the cream cheese fused with the pesto to create a creamy rendition of garlic and basil that in turn interacted with the bread, drawing out the starchy sweetness as always. I felt waves of utmost satisfaction with each bite, and I would periodically dip the melting layers into a cup of honey carrot soup. Again, a hot line miracle is the only thing that will make me deviate from a panini in the future - whenever I make another selection, I always regret it. Luckily, I stayed in my comfort zone today. 

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