Blogging since 2009, I'm a 1950s housewife to the bone and I love to share what I've learned with others. I'm a lifelong foodie, raised with Sunday dinners at my grandmother's and daily scratch cooking in my childhood kitchen. I'm a nerdy homeschooling mama of 3, and a wife of 17 years.

I drink tea when I knit and coffee when I do everything else.

From Memorial Day to Labor Day!
Day 1 - Skirt Steak w/ Chimichurri
Day 2 - Top Sirloin w/ Homemade Rub
Day 3 -
Rib Eye w/ Herbed Butter
Day 4 - Rosemary Chicken
Day 5 - Top Sirloin Gyros
Day 6 - Kansas City Style Pork Chops
Day 7 - Steak and Mushroom Kebabs
Day 8 - Dad's Hamurgers, 2.0
Day 9 - Top Sirloin w/ Mushrooms
Day 10 - Kid's Lunch
Day 11 - Chicken Souvlaki
Day 12 - S'mores Cones
Day 13 - Short Ribs

Kitchen & Sewing Skills!
Intro - Syllabus
Lesson 1 - Running & Whipstitch
Lesson 2 - Cookies

Day 9 of 100 Days of Barbecue – Top Sirloin with Mushrooms & Onions

California, Domestic

Day 9 and yes, this is the second time I’ve grilled a top round sirloin. It’s my husband’s favorite and while he is a good sport when it comes to my ridiculous cooking experiments, I need to feed him dinners I know he loves in between all the crazy. ;)

This one is a little different because I grilled mushrooms and onions to go with it and I used a little beef stock in the marinade to create a cheater au jus with it. At some point this summer, I’ll make an actual au jus and share the recipe.

Top Round Sirloin with Mushrooms & Onions

1 large sweet onion
8 oz button mushrooms
4 tablespoons butter
top round sirloin (this massive piece was 2.94lbs and we had leftovers)
1/4 + 2 tablespoons cup beef stock
your choice of steak seasoning, I used a less peppery version of my rub from day 2

Marinate your steak in beef stock and steak seasoning for at least a few hours. Mine sat covered in the fridge for about 6 hours before I grilled it.

You really don’t want to leave your grill unsupervised, so you should team up for this dinner. You could do the mushrooms and onions in a cast iron skillet on the grill if you want. I chopped the onions and mushrooms pretty thin and set up in the kitchen before I started the grill. I started about 2 tablespoons of butter and all of the onions before I even went outside. You want to put a lid on and sweat the onions for a bit first. Then I turned the heat off, left the lid on and went out to deal with the grill. Once the steak was on, I left it with Chris and came into finish off the onions. We prefer the mushrooms and onions to be separate, so once the onions are nice and caramelized I take them out and put the mushrooms in without washing the pan. The onion flavor makes them even better.


The additional 2 tablespoons of beef stock was poured into the dish I put the cooked steak in while it was resting. It soaks up a little and then as it’s cut and shared, each person can tip a little onto their place if they feel so inclined. I served this steak with boiled corn on the cob and roasted potatoes with Greek yogurt and chives.

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Day 7 of 100 Days of Barbecue – Steak and Mushroom Kebabs

California, Domestic

We are officially one week into our 100 Days of Barbecue and we haven’t missed a day! We’ve also gotten into a pretty good routine with prepping the grill, and the clean up after as well.

This is the first kebab recipe I’ve made this year, though I have loads more coming up in the queue. Today’s recipe is more a how-to instruction guide than a typical recipe. This is a very basic meat + potatoes + veggies kebab, and I did it first to help illustrate an issue with grilling kebabs. Steak, potatoes and mushrooms all cook at very different lengths of time. If you put raw cubes of steak on a skewer with raw chunks of potato (even smallish chunks) with chunks of mushroom, you’d never have an evenly cooked kebab. Cooking time for the steak is going to vary greatly depending on personal preference, so I wont really go there but I will say that most people would like at least a little pink throughout and at the size of steak pieces on a kebab, that would not take long at all. The potatoes however, will take forever. Potatoes pretty much always take forever, you don’t want to cut them too small either because the potato to meat ratio will be all wonky. So there’s no way your potato bits are going to cook as fast as your steak bits. The mushrooms are sort of the outlier because of personal preference again however, not even the most well done mushroom is going to take as long as a piece of potato.

Ok, so how do we solve this? I don’t know how others have solved this, and kebabs with a mix of things on them are pretty common, so I’m sure there is a common solution, I chose to prepare the potatoes and steak beforehand.

Steak and Mushroom Kebabs

2lbs steak, your choice, cubed
3lbs potatoes, cubed
button mushrooms
1/2 cup olive oil
your favorite steak seasoning (I used pink and black peppercorns)
your favorite barbecue sauce (I used Stubbs)
salt and pepper to taste

I cubed, seasoned and prepared the potatoes before pre-roasting them. Once they were pretty much done, I took them out to put on the skewers. I only cooked the steak enough so that I wasn’t sliding a totally raw piece of beef onto a skewer with my pre-roasted potatoes and raw mushrooms. I cooked both the cubed potatoes and cubed steak in roasting pans, after they had been seasoned. I seasoned the steak with crushed peppercorns and olive oil, and I seasoned the potatoes with salt and pepper and olive oil (about 1/4 cup for each).

By the time the skewers hit the grill, all my attention was focused on the mushrooms. I knew the beef and potatoes would finish cooking by the time the mushrooms were done. Which, in my case, was about 10-15 minutes.

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It’s Looking Crafty Around Here, but it’s Still Tasty Tuesday

Crafty, Healthy, Kids, Small Town

Even though there is only one recipe in this whole post, I’m calling it a Tasty Tuesday and I’m participating in all my favorite foodie link ups – Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays, Tuesdays at the Table, Made From Scratch Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday (@ 33 Shades of Green), Tasty Tuesday, Delectable Tuesday, Tea Party Tuesday, and Hearth ‘n Soul. And since this is a very crafty post, I’m also linking up with Get Your Craft On, Made With Love, Craftastic, Tip Me Tuesday, Tuesday Crafty Confessions, and Totally Tuesday.

Before I even get into what I posted on the site in the last few days or the collection of crazy cute iPhone photos I’m amassing thanks to a ridic app that I can’t stop playing with – I bring you my kitchen. I posted a crooked picture of it when our offer was officially accepted, 90 days before we closed (longest – and somehow also shortest – 90 days ever). So here it is, a much better view of the room I spend the most time in. The other half of the kitchen has the eating area, the cookbook bookshelf and Wee One #2′s play kitchen – and the pantry! That deserves it’s own post. I have never lived in a house with a walk in pantry or one with this many cabinets, so when we set out to buy a house both of those things were on my wish list. What I really love about it, though I know I’ve said it before, is the working triangle of the fridge to sink to stove. I honestly hadn’t even noticed it until my uncle in law was here on moving day (I can’t call him ‘my husband’s uncle’ after being married for 11 years, as I now adore him like my own uncle) and mentioned that it’ll be a great kitchen for cooking and baking because of the triangle! I had no idea it was an actual ‘thing’, I thought it was just something he said till I later read about it.

Anyhoooooo, out the sink window is the ‘main road’ of this wee town, I guess there are actually two main roads in this town and this window shows the corner of them. There is a whole lot of tractor and horse trailer action on this corner. Also, every single house in town (except ours, I’m not lying) has a dog and they all walk it by this window. (Sidebar- yes we are now entertaining the idea of getting a dog and we are trying to settle on a breed, it will likely be a year until we actually welcome one home). On one hand, a curtain would be a good thing so randos can’t peep in, but on the other hand, there are no randos in a town this small and I like waving like an 80 year old Granny at everyone. For reals. The big patio doors are just out of the frame in the second photo, but you can see where they are from the curtain, just beside the stove. Those doors are very high traffic around here, and I can keep mixing while I glance out to do a quick head count and be sure everyone is accounted for. Love!

I will take photos of my pantry this week – I could make an entire post out of all the weird ingredients in there. You never know when you might need actual honeycomb or hazelnuts or oat flour or dehydrated sugar cane or condensed/evaporated/powdered milk! Not to mention of course the stockpile of apple juice – three kids can easily go through a single can a day.

This week so much of the additions around here have been crafty! I’ve been baking up a storm of course, but most of the projects I’ve added to the site were in the crafty section. There was one recipe added though! It’s another recipe on the health(ier) side of things, a burger from Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicious – with mushrooms and zucchini!

Homemade Plastic Bowls – Am I really writing about a boxed kid’s craft kit? Sorta. I have always been a fan of crafts like these Makit & Bakit type things. The concept of putting plastic in the oven is so alarming and amazing at the same time, I’ve loved it since I made my first record bowl about 15 years ago. These little ‘Makit & Bakit’ crystals were different and I wanted to try them but I couldn’t find them outside of a kit.
Birthday Wishes – My mother has always made a really fun and (often a really big) to do out of everyone’s birthdays. Not just my Dad & my sister, but also my aunts and uncles and close friends have had serious birthdays courtesy of my mother. As is the case with a lot of people who work hard for other people, she hasn’t had many serious birthdays of her own.
Adhesive Bookplates – Finding crafty ideas for teachers can be rough because even after only a few years of teaching, with an average of 20 kids in each class just imagine how many hilariously crafted gifts they already have. Or how many ‘incredibly useful’ mugs they must have! I’m not out to always give the best gift, but I do aim to give each teacher something they’ll actually use.
Crayon Monogram – I am aware that this is one of those teacher gifts that serves no purpose other than being extremely cute but just look at it! Look! I originally found the idea on Tip Junkie, the inspiration post is over here at Keeping Up With the Comptons – it was posted two years ago and I just did it this June. A quick search turns up so many versions of this craft; Two Peans in a Bucket, Well, How Nice, Dollar Store Crafts, Rainy Tuesday Mornings, Creative Mommas and my personal favorite version from Chic & Cheap Nursery.
Fabric Bookmarks – These were part of the collection of things we made as end of school year thank yous to the teachers and staff at the wee ones’ school. These were made for the librarians, who are a retired couple and so sweet with the kids. I have no doubt that between the two of them they have a great deal of bookmarks, but they are so often lost or in need of replacing I figured it was a safe gift. Plus after seeing these ones on How About Orange I had to make some myself!
Deceptively Delicious Burgers, Part 2 – These burgers are the 15th recipe I’ve made from this book. I can’t say these burgers were amazing, because they were not. However, I can say that not one out of all five of us didn’t finish their burger – loaded with mushrooms and zucchini. None of us like zucchini and only one person likes mushrooms. I think that counts as a success, because while no one raved over them, no one complained about them either and we all got a shot of immune system boosting mushrooms, selenium and B2!

I also went and fell in love with the Instagram iPhone app. I fell hard. It’s addicting to have your already super cute phone pictures made extra adorable. See evidence below. There are 16 filters (I think) and the effects range from fading the image slightly to giving it a different ‘mashed potatoey’ feel with a border. My favorite filter is called Nashville, (the first, and last 2 image). I wonder if there’s a 12 step for this sort of addiction??

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