Grilled Mushroom and Swiss Cheese

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In my house growing up, my Mom always referred to a grilled cheese sandwich as “cheese toasty.” It wasn’t until I was 23 years-old and living in New York City that I realized the rest of the world had a different name for them.

I was in the cafeteria at my first job when I ordered a cheese toasty and the cook had no idea what I was talking about. I described it and he realized I wanted a grilled cheese. I got my sandwich and a Mountain Dew. I went to the checkout lady and said, “just a cheese toasty and a pop.” On the East coast “pop” is “soda.” The young lady at the registered laughed at my hysterically. Then  she said, “You mean a soda and grilled cheese?” I agreed.     From that day forward, every time I went to the cafeteria and the young lady was working, she would say upon seeing me, “Hey Pops want a cheese toasty!” Then bust out in laughter.

For this recipe, I make a gourmet cheese toasty with mushrooms and swiss cheese,
a decadent reminder of my Midwestern roots.

The first couple of years living in New York were a huge learning experience for me. They would have been a learning experience anywhere in the world because I was learning how to be an adult in the real world, which is a change from being an adult on a college campus. New York was the ultimate test. I made it through and ended up spending 12 and a half years of my life there.

I still love the city and its energy and hope to spend more time there in the future. What they say is really true, “if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.” Because anywhere else seems to be easier, or slower paced – in America that is.

New York is one thing, I’m not sure if I have what it takes to make it in Kandahar, Afghanistan or Islamabad, Pakistan - If the local Taliban were to discover a Star Wars collection like mine they may throw me in prison for false idol worship.

Eat well, cook often ...

Makes 2 sandwiches; 15 minutes
2 Tbs Mayonnaise (spread thin on bread)
4 slices Bread
4 slices Swiss cheese
2 oz Mushrooms, cooked

Assemble sandwiches

Spread mayonnaise on bread. (side that will contact hot surface) On bottom slice stack swiss cheese, mushrooms, another slice of cheese and top piece of bread. Repeat.

Toast, serve
Place sandwiches on griddle over medium high heat and toast until bread is golden brown and cheese has melted, turning once. Remove from heat and serve.

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