9.23.2015

Vegan Philly cheesesteak bites

It's football season again.

(And all the people rejoiced)

I celebrate football season for two reasons: the FOOD and the Carolina Panthers (more specifically, Cam Newton).

It's no secret I'm a lover of parties, hosting and all the fun food concoctions that come along with it, so to me, fall is the perfect time to take all your favorite meals and make them bite-sized.

We kicked off our first football Sunday with our own vegan version of Philly cheesesteak bites. Pinterest is a plethora of awesome ideas, but there aren't very many vegan ones. And when it comes to some recipes, it's a lot of trial and error in terms of finding the right vegan swaps.

Luckily, this one is A LOT of reward and very little effort.

Now, I won't lie. This probably isn't the kind of thing you want to eat every single day. It may be vegan, but it does utilize some fake meat products and vegan cheese. But I'm an "everything in moderation" kinda gal, so when we want to settle down and have some oh-so-delicious-but-bad-for-you vegan grub, we will, unapologetically.

We ate these with an Asian coleslaw (that's gotta be healthy, right!), but had enough to freeze and eat as a quick on-the-go snack or a moms-too-busy-for-dinner kind of meal!


Vegan Philly cheesesteak bites
(makes 24 "cups")
Ingredients:
2 rolls of Pillsbury crescent dough sheets
1 package Tofurky peppered lunch "meat"
8 ounces (1 cup) vegan cream cheese
1/2 cup Vegenaise
1 package Daiya provolone slices
1 package vegan mozzarella cheese shreds
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 tbs olive oil
2 tsp garlic powder

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, cut up vegan provolone slices into small pieces. Cut up or tear Tofurky peppered lunch "meat" into small strips. Stir in vegan mozzarella cheese shreds, Vegenaise and vegan cream cheese. Dice up onion, green pepper, and sliced mushrooms, add to creamy mixture. Stir in garlic powder and olive oil. Set aside.

Roll out the crescent roll dough. Cut into 12 pieces. Grease your muffin pan and spread one piece per cup. (They won't cover the whole cup, it's more like get the four corners to tough the top. Check out the picture if you need a visual for this). Repeat until you have two muffin pans filled.

Spoon the creamy mixture into the cups (about 2/3 full) and then bake for 10-12 minutes.

Cool and take out of muffin pans! Top with pizza sauce, banana peppers or mustard if you're feeling wild!

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9.09.2015

Summer kicked my butt and other tales of woe

You may notice things have been a bit quiet around our humble abode this summer.

Don't worry, I didn't go anywhere, I'm just a busy, busy bee!

Summer officially ended nearly a month ago, but we just finished up our family vacation last week, so as far as I'm concerned it just ended for us.

It's kind of hard to believe I've had a kindergartner for almost ONE MONTH. Yeah, we start school crazy early here in the Buckeye State. I sent my first baby off on her school bus without shedding a tear (until a few hours later when I cried over something completely ridiculous). There is something so surreal about watching your first child head off to school.

About a week ago it hit me: she's not my "baby" anymore. I mean sure, she's always going to be my little girl, but she's officially in school. And she's going to be in school for at least a good 12 years now, and hopefully, once she's discovered her passion, another four to eight years of college after that. My "baby" has homework, wants to hang out with friends and is already telling me what's cool and what isn't.

Seriously, can we say five going on 15?

She absolutely adores school. She came home with her first homework assignment squealing for joy. (Remind me to remind her of that feeling in another year or two when she's totally over it and we have to twist her arm to sit down and do her homework). It's amazing to watch her begin this journey. And it's incredibly scary for me. I mean, I can handle kindergarten math, it's counting and coloring and whatnot. But what happens in a few years when I don't remember how to add fractions? Thankfully Chubby Vegan Dad has got quite the math sense about him, because legit folks, I struggle with that stuff.

When it's time to do some book reports or diagram sentences, though, I've got that covered. Do they even diagram sentences anymore? We didn't, so when I went off to college and had to take my fundamentals of English grammar my sophomore year, well, let's just say I was stumped.

I love to hear about her day, and she's already tired of telling me about it. She skips off the bus and I ask her about a zillion questions to figure out what she did. So far, her favorite things include: art class, math and checking out library books. And let's not forget the 4,578 different things the school does on the weekends, from pep rallies to ice cream socials, our little girl is fully-engaged in her school lifestyle.

And did I mention Braeburn is walking around and talking like a little man now? He uses six, seven word sentences, knows all his letters and adores singing songs.

I'm not ready for my children to be growing up so quickly. Trust me, I was on no level a baby whisperer, but between my best friend having a sweet little baby boy in July and my children practically ready to move off and start college, well, it makes a momma start to come down with that baby fever all over again. I'm starting to understand how people end up with four, sometimes five kiddos.

In addition to raising tiny human beings, I also completed my first season of coaching select summer softball. It was a phenomenal experience, an emotional one for sure, but I'm ready and pumped to take on the challenge again with a crop of super talented 16U girls.

My career has been a wee bit volatile over the last few months, which was the cause of additional stress and time away. I was blessed to have to make an incredibly hard decision between two amazing companies and two amazing teams. Once emotion was removed I knew the right decision, but it didn't really make it any easier to follow through with. I'm excited for what I have ahead of me in 2016, and trying to leave what I have in 2015 even better than before.

There's so many twists and turns I didn't plan for in adulthood, but I pray I continue to have the support of my husband and kiddos to continue along this path with enthusiasm.

Other than that, we're just keeping on, keeping on. (A little Joe dirt humor for you there ... and if you didn't know, Crackle just released Joe Dirt 2, I highly recommend it).

So, I guess the real question now is, are you ready for fall as much as we are???

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