Friday, August 23, 2013

Philly Cheeze Fakes


Have you ever had time go by and then soon realize that it is almost the end of the month when it seems like just yesterday it was the beginning on the month? That has been my August. I swear that yesterday was August 1st! It has been such a busy month that I forgot to post for almost the whole month. I guess between numerous out of town trips, an unexpected hospitalization of a family member, Internet outages, and Mark running his first triathlon (good job babe!) time has just gotten away from me. I even have recipes waiting in the wings ready to be posted! I guess this month I am just thankful that Ashlyn is far from starting school yet and I didn't have to add first day of school to that list.

OK, so on to what I am sure you have been waiting for. Now, as cute as the name Philly Cheeze Fakes is I can't take credit for the name. I ran across this recipe on Taste of Home and I just had to try it based on the name alone. Here is the original recipe Philly-Cheese-Fakes which I tweaked to fit our tastes. The original recipe calls for shiitake mushrooms which I am not a huge fan of, but more importantly are fairly expensive. So, I changed the shiitakes to cremini or button (depending on what you have available) and also changed the spices up a bit. I actually didn't even try the original recipe as written and just used it as inspiration to make my own version of the sandwich. Let me tell you though that my version is definitely worth making. We all love this recipe including Ashlyn! This is a for sure winner if you like the taste of a cheese steak sandwich, but would like to make it a little healthier. Hey, you can also make it for the reason I did, the name! How can you resist making something with such a cute name!

Philly Cheeze Fakes

24 oz of cremini or button mushrooms sliced thick
1/4 c worcheshire sauce
1/4 c water
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp pepper
4 split whole wheat hot dog buns

Cheeze Sauce
Caramelized Onions (optional)
Sauteed Green or Red Peppers (optional)


1. Saute the mushrooms in a little olive oil on medium heat until brown about 10 minutes.

2. While the mushrooms are cooking in a measuring cup or bowl whisk together the rest of the sandwich ingredients (except the buns).

3. Once the mushrooms are brown add the contents of the measuring cup and cook until the liquid is absorbed.

4. While the mushrooms are being glazed toast your hot dog buns.

5. Once the liquid is cooked out of the mushrooms and they are coated in the glaze place the mushrooms into your hot dog buns and top with Cheeze Sauce or cheese of your choice if you eat cheese.

6. If choosing to do so top the Cheeze Sauce with caramelized onions and sauteed peppers.

*Notes: We choose to use hot dog buns instead of hoagie buns to decrease the portion size, but feel free to use whole wheat hoagie buns.

The night I took the pictures I was out of peppers, so these pictures just contain caramelized onions. I also served the sandwiches with roasted potato wedges and steamed green beans.

If you choose to use the optional toppings you can still make this an easy one pan meal (minus making the Cheeze Sauce) by caramelizing your onions, removing them from the pan, sauteing the peppers in the same pan, removing them, and then doing your mushrooms.

This is one of my family's favorite recipes so I hope your family enjoys it just as much as we do.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Where have all of the stickers gone?

*Warning: I am getting on my soap box for this one.*
When I was younger I remember being so excited to go to the bank with my mom. The reason? I was going to get stickers! The bank that we went to gave the kids that came in stickers. I had a notebook with my sticker collection and every time we would come home from the bank I would sit down with my notebook and put my stickers in it. I was so proud of my sticker notebook. So, when did it change from giving kids stickers to giving them candy?
Growing up I really don't remember a lot of candy in the house. We got candy on Halloween, in our school Valentine's, and in our Easter baskets. We may have gotten a candy bar at the store maybe twice a year if even that. That was about it for the candy. I remember candy being a special treat that we got on certain holidays, but we never expected to get it on a weekly or even monthly basis.
Now that I am a mom I am mortified at the amount of candy that is being shoved in my toddler's face. We go to the grocery store they offer a sucker. We go to another store, here is another sucker. She goes to daycare and has a good week, here we go with another sucker (this was actually worse because she was getting candy every day until I stopped that one). We go and visit people here is a candy bar and more suckers. And this is just in the last week! Where have all of the stickers gone?
I really want to start acting like a two year old, stomping on the floor and screaming NO NO NO! Being the mom I have to deal with the consequences of other's actions. Weather that be the temper tantrum that will probably occur when I take the candy away or the 2:30 am tummy ache and diarrhea that occur if she eats more than her little system can handle (which is maybe one sucker). Where have all of the stickers gone?
When did candy change from a special treat that kids get a couple of times a year to an every day occurrence? Should my toddler get candy just because we went to the store? NO! Should she get candy just because we went to visit people? NO! Should she get candy because she had a good day at daycare? NO! Should she get praise and hugs and high fives from people instead of candy? YES! We are getting to the point where she knows who gives her candy and she is expecting it. It is now not a treat, but an expectation and I am NOT OK with that. Where have all of the stickers gone?
Now, I am not saying that my toddler needs anything, she doesn't, but if you feel the need to give her candy instead BRING BACK THE STICKERS! I am urging everyone who thinks that kids need treats just for being kids to BRING BACK THE STICKERS! One very small way to fight childhood obesity in this country is to BRING BACK THE STICKERS! Please, from one mom trying to do what is best for her child's health and well being PLEASE BRING BACK THE STICKERS!
*OK I have now stepped off of my soap box*