I’ve recently noticed an upswing in the levels of public displays of affection around campus. Perhaps the beautiful weather and sunshine is a lot more conducive to love than snow and frostbite. It could also be that people are actually spending time in public rather than huddled inside now that daylight exists. Whatever it is, I’ve been trapped behind couples holding hands and taking up the entire sidewalk a few too many times for comfort. If I walk around them, I run the risk of getting hit by a car; if I aggressively push through their linked hands, I run the risk of being a grade-A jerk. What’s a girl just tryna get to the dining hall for her solitary stir-fry to do?


Photo by Tarika Narain

Don’t get me wrong: I think love is a beautiful thing. It’s the driving force of the universe, or whatever. More importantly (and more relevant to my life), the power of love is one of the main themes of the Harry Potter series. Do I see myself getting married at some point? Maybe. Do I also sometimes envision myself as an old spinster, knitting sweaters for my cats and shaking my fist at all the young hooligans listening to “Justin Beaver” on the street? Maybe. Both seem like pretty viable options, to tell you the truth.


Photo by Tarika Narain

As you have probably realized by now, it’s my firm belief that there’s no challenge or problem that life can throw at me that can’t be fixed by a warm, gooey panini and a good TV show. So, naturally, I applied this theory to develop the most delicious temporary (or permanent? Jury’s still out on that matter) solution to my absent love life. After a long, exhausting day, this panini is the only thing I need to come home to. And, even more importantly, this panini has all the qualities of my dream man: it’s sweet, hot and rich. I can be myself around it and it only brings me joy. It’s the only significant other I’ll ever need; and if I want more, I can just cook myself (a significant) another.


Photo by Tarika Narain


Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 1 (It’s a monogamous relationship.)


Photo by Tarika Narain


2 slices cinnamon-swirl bread
2-3 tablespoons Nutella
Strawberries (As many as you want. Treat yoself.)


Photo by Tarika Narain


1. Preheat your panini maker to medium heat.

2. Evenly spread Nutella on both slices of bread.

3. Slice off the tops of each strawberry, then slice each strawberry in half.

5. Layer strawberries on top of one slice of bread (or both, if you’re feelin’ artistic, like I was).

6. Assemble your sandwich and put it in the heated panini press.

7.  Enjoy a romantic candlelight dinner with your panini. Fall quickly, irrevocably, deeply in love.


Photo by Tarika Narain

Still a bit hungry? Check out last week’s recipe, The Liz Lemon-ini