Philly Cheese Steaks

My husband was reading the USA Weekend insert in the paper back in June and found a “Father’s Day” recipe for Philly Cheese Steak that he cut out for me to make. I was thankful that he contributed a recipe since I’m always asking him what he wants to eat but I was also eating my words because I’ve gotten used to being the meal chooser. I’ve never enjoyed Philly cheese steaks in the past because I find the meat chewy and the sandwich overfilled with cheese so I put off making them until July. This past weekend we enjoyed our first summer weekend at home just the two of us and I wanted to make Ryan something I knew he’d love. I went to the store without my recipe so asked the butcher what cut of meat would work best for Philly Cheese Steaks.  He gave me a few options but said a New York Strip Steak is by far the best for Philly sandwiches so that’s what I bought, a 1 pound New York Strip.

Philly Cheese Steaks

I followed USA Weekends (June 10-12,2011 edition) recipe for the marinade and I let the steak soak in it for an hour before starting up the grill. From there I decided to make my own variation since this recipe called for jarred fried peppers and I had fresh peppers from the garden.


Mix: 1 Tbs olive oil, 2 Tbsp A1 steak sauce, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper.


  • Make the Meat Marinade and let steaks sit in the refrigerator in the marinade for ~ 1 hour
  • Warm the grill to medium high
  • Slice one sweet onion, 1 green bell pepper and 1 large banana pepper.
  • Toss the vegetables with a small amount of olive oil.
  • Place the steak and veggies on a grill plate and grill (Our piece of steak was very thick so I ended up cooking it about 5-6 minutes on each side and I kept the veggies on that whole time. Be careful not to overcook the steak and remember it will keep cooking once you remove it from the grill. Our steak turned out medium which is exactly how we like it).
  • Once your steak is cooked to your liking and the veggies look done remove the steak and veggies from the grill.
  • Thinly slice the steak.
  • Now, the good part. Drizzle two hoagies or brat buns with olive oil and red wine vinegar.
  • Place on grill to toast for 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove, layer on steak and veggies and top with a slice of swiss or provolone cheese (we used swiss).
  • Place back on the grill until the cheese melts.

Serve immediately.

*Side Note: our deli cuts cheese into 1/2 ounce slices so I used two slices per sandwich which = 1 serving of cheese per sandwich.

Honestly, I wasn’t even expecting to like these but I was so surprised because I loved them. I loved the vinegar taste on the bun and the sharp cheese taste over the mix of hot and mild peppers and perfectly seasoned and cooked steak. Definitely a recipe I will be making in again in the future and one I highly recommend for any meat lovers or steak skeptics! It was very easy to prep and perfect for hot days when you don’t want to use the oven. My picture doesn’t even do it justice since I didn’t remember to take my camera out until the colorful veggies were topped with cheese.


Sina: 5, Ryan: 5

philly cheese steaks

Brisket Birthday Dinner

Yesterday was my husbands birthday so the dinner menu was centered around him, which means one thing, BEEF. While reading my Cooking Light magazine this past month I came across a page showing beef brisket sandwiches that looked amazing. After returning to the page to find the recipe I saw that it was an add from Beef It’s What’s For Dinner. Wandering to their website for the first time I found a basic recipe that was perfect to work off of to make the sandwiches (recipe below). I chose to make them in a crock pot instead of the oven since we were out golfing while they cooked. To go with the beef I made corn with a new butter spread.

Grilled Corn with Roasted Jalapeno Butter

Roasting the jalapeno reduced the spicy kick and the honey and lime zest gave it a great sweet balance (sounds weird but tasted great).
Lastly, we balanced our plate with a salad made with lettuce and spring mix from my crop share, red peppers, tomatoes, feta cheese and an avocado. Topped with my coworkers favorite vinaigrette (if she’s okay with me sharing it I’ll post it tomorrow).
Even though corn is a starchy vegetable I think we did a good job trying to live up to the MyPlate food guide!
It was delicious and enjoyed by all but it didn’t stop there, per Ryan’s request we had chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream cake from DQ! I rarely feel like a meal was the perfect amount of food and all worth remaking but this one nailed it. Not too much food a great combination.

Beer Braised Beef Brisket Sandwiches

Inspired and Adapted from a Beef It’s What’s For Dinner recipe

  • 4 pounds of beef brisket – fat trimmed off
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle of beer
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle of chili sauce
  • Olive Oil
  • 2 onions (chopped into 12 pieces each)
  • Buns
  1. Rub minced garlic onto beef. Heat oil in a pan and place the beef in the pan and brown it on each side (1-3 minutes per side). Remove beef from heat and season with salt and pepper
  2. Turn crock pot to high and place the chopped onions on the bottom and the beef on top of them.
  3. Mix the bottle of beer and chili sauce and pour over the beef.
  4. Cover and let cook for 4-5 hours.
  5. Remove beef from crock pot and slice thinly against the grain.
  6. Place back in the crock pot on low until you are ready to eat.
  7. Serve with good buns and the sauce on top.

Beef Broccoli Stir Fry

The first day back to work after vacation always comes as a shock. The relaxation quickly fizzles and responsibilities, deadlines and workloads accumulate quicker than anticipated. Today was day two back to work for my husband and I and knowing how busy he has been I decided to make a meal I knew he would love.  Let me first explain why I knew he would love this dish. First, you will have to know that I’ve never been a beef lover. My mom doesn’t like steak so we didn’t have it as kids and once I tried it as an adult I wasn’t impressed. I’m a big texture eater and while the flavor of steak is usually delicious I don’t like all the chewing that comes with it. Now, I know what most of you are thinking, “You just haven’t had a good steak before.” I’ve heard this line a million times and I’ve tried many different cuts, flavors and cooking methods.  Nine out of ten times I’m still turned off by the texture and only eat half an ounce (with the exception of a beef tenderloin I had at Manny’s Steak house that melted in my mouth). That being said I don’t cook beef often so my husband has to resort to ordering fancy steaks when we are out to eat. The second reason I knew he’d love my dinner choice was the fresh ginger and Sriracha added to the sauce; two things he loves.

I knew I’d like the flavor of this dish and figured I’d pick out most of the beef but to my amazement I loved it and so did my husband. The beef wasn’t chewy, the broccoli kept the perfect crunch and the flavor was delicious.
In situations when I cook something delicious my first instinct is to call my best friend Rachel to tell her about it (we started a cooking club last year since we both have such a passion for food and I knew she would love this). Well, she works second shift at the hospital so I’m sharing the recipe with my changes (which include doubling the sauce) to my blog followers. You have to try this and tell me what you think.

Beef Broccoli Stir Fry

Adapted from: Cooking Light March 2011


  • 1 cup whole grain rice (uncooked)
  • 3 tablespoons dry sherry, divided
  • 3 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 pound boneless sirloin steak, cut diagonally across grain into thin slices
  • 1 cup lower-sodium beef or chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoon Sriracha (hot chile sauce) or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and grated + more for the top of your dish if desired
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 4 cups broccoli (~1 broccoli head), chopped (you can buy the prechopped bag at the store to save time)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sliced green onions


  1. Cook 1 cup of whole grain rice according to directions.
  2. While rice cooks, combine 1 tablespoon sherry, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, sugar, and beef. Stir together 2 tablespoon sherry, 2 tablespoon soy sauce, broth, cornstarch, hoisin, and Sriracha.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef mixture; sauté 3 minutes or until browned. Remove beef from pan. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan. Add ginger and garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
  4. Add broccoli and 1/4 cup water; cook 1 minute. Add onions; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add broth mixture and beef mixture; cook 2 minutes or until beef is thoroughly heated and sauce is slightly thick.
  5. Serve beef mixture over rice. Add fresh ginger and Sriracha to top as desired

Boeuf Bourguignon

My best friend Rachel and I both have a love for cooking but we live in different states so we rarely get to cook together. Luckily, every Christmas we take a day off for a long weekend together.  This year we decided to tackle Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon recipe. After patting the beef dry, chopping, browning, baking, mixing, baking and then sautéing the mushrooms and onions we were set.

At about the 30th step and an hour in we started to wonder if this was going to be worth all the effort. A few hours later as the smell filled the house our confidence in this dish grew. While this isn’t a light recipe nor was it a quick and easy recipe it was definitely worth it. I have never been a big a beef eater since the texture isn’t my favorite but this was perfect. So for the once a year I am up for a good comfort stew I think I’ll make it again.  If you have the time and a good cooking partner (because you’re in the kitchen for awhile) I highly recommend tackling the iconic Julia Child’s recipe.

Beef Bourguignon

The video they have helped explain a few of the steps to us.