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 3 of 100 Days of Barbecue – Rib Eye with Herbed Butter

California, Domestic

I didn’t fire up the grill on day 3 until almost 9pm because time flies at my bestie’s house. ;)

We didn’t let that get in the way of the 100 Days of Barbecue though! I had already been marinating the steaks all day, so they were ready to go when the kids and I got home. The time of night and our backyard lights made for some pretty pictures!

The marinade itself was very basic, but I figured since there was so much going on with the herbed butter, I didn’t want to complicate it too much. I used a base of canola oil, cracked black and pink peppercorns and a sprinkle of yesterday’s homemade rub. Important note, I did not rub this into the rib eyes, I literally just sprinkled it on top. There is a serious difference when it comes to flavor, so don’t rub it in!


Just like with all steaks, how long you grill it is 100% your personal preference. I left these on for a full 20 minutes, because that’s what my family requested and while they were a little more done than I’d normally aim for, there were still some pink pieces and it wasn’t tough at all.


The real star of this dinner is the herbed butter. I can’t give a recipe for it with any authority because it’s just butter and whatever herbs you love. I used a lot of rosemary, thyme and basil. You can either use a spatula to mush the herbs into your butter or you can melt the butter and add the herbed to the melted butter. To finish the steak off, you have two options. You can either finish cooking the steak in a pool of the butter in a cast iron skillet on the grill OR you can just pour the melted butter over the steak at the table. I opted for the second choice because no one else was interested in the butter on their steak so it wasn’t really practical for me to do that. It was fantastic, but I bet it would be even better cooked in the butter.

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Day 2 of 100 Days of Barbecue – Top Sirloin with Homemade Rub

California, Domestic

Day 2 was pretty easy because it’s my husband’s absolute favorite barbecue dinner and I’ve made it so many times over the years I’ve lost count. Top Sirloin with my homemade rub, baked potatoes with chives and parm and a caesar salad. I actually hadn’t made it since we moved back to California, so he was so happy when he saw me working on it this morning.

Making a dry rub or a paste yourself is one of those things that seems like too much work until you just do it. It does require a lot of ingredients, so you can either do it and create a well stoked pantry at the same time or you can buy some of these spices here and there until you have collected them all. Also look for spice blends that cost the same as one jar but have three or four spices in them (like an ‘Italian blend’ will have oregano and basil, for example). I just literally whisk all of these together in roughly equal parts with the exception of cayenne pepper and cumin, for those two I use much less. Their flavors can be overwhelming and while I do think they add to the overall flavor of the finished spice mix (or I just wouldn’t use them), you really don’t need much. The garlic though, I use fresh and I slather it on the steak with the back of a spoon.
sea salt
black pepper
dill seed
red pepper flakes
dehydrated onion flakes
celery seed
cayenne pepper (just a pinch)
dry mustard
cumin (just a pinch)

Other than these spices (or mixes or a prepared dry rub) you’ll need…

enough canola oil to almost cover your steak in whatever dish you’re marinating it in
3 teaspoons minced garlic
top sirloin steak


I always start by pouring some canola oil in the dish I’m using, and then placing the steak on top to see where the oil level is. I don’t really want the steak swimming in it, because it’s just not necessary, but I do want to make sure it’s getting enough. Then I flip the steak so there is oil on the topside, and I gently rub a very small amount of the spice mixture onto the steak. I use the back of a spoon to spread about half the garlic over it and then I flip it over and do the same. I usually check on it every few hours, sprinkle more spice mix on it, flip it, and do it again.


Now, you fire up your grill. For years we used gas grills, but I am so obsessed with our new Weber charcoal grill. One of our neighbors has one and he was always experimenting with flavors by adding different kinds of wood chips to his charcoal. We decided that since we needed a new grill anyway, we’d get the best charcoal grill we could find and really get into it. More on that later this summer, right now I am still getting the hang of heating all my coals evenly and getting them to hold a flame. I was way better today than yesterday, so I’m making progress.

How long you cook your steak is entirely up to personal preference, of course. If you like it very rare, you will not need to cook it long at all, and if you like it very well done it’ll be on there longer. Totally up to you. We usually cook until medium rare and then take it out to rest. Remember that meat will continue cooking for a little while from the inside out after you’ve removed it from the heat. Catch it just before you think it’s ready and by the time you cut it, it will be.

Serve with whatever sides strike your fancy! I always serve it with baked potatoes and a ceaser, but I usually also have corn on the cob as well. I couldn’t find any this week!


Day 1 of 100 Days of Barbecue – Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

California, Domestic

I have attempted to do this crazy summer of barbecue idea before, and I failed. However, the last time I tried I was an overscheduled dance mom and this time around I am a pretty laid back homebody so I think it’ll work.

The recipe that kicked off this project was the humble skirt steak, in a really simple marinade with a fresh chimichurri sauce and potatoes. I made the marinade earlier in the day and let it sit for a few hours before getting it on the grill. I made the chimichurri at the same time, so that hung out in the fridge for a while before we ate too.

Very simple, but so good.

Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup orange juice
juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon red wine
4 chopped cloves garlic
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup fresh parsley
1 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 onion
3 chopped cloves garlic
juice of 1 lime
salt & pepper to taste

The marinade comes together so simply. All you need to do is whisk it all together! Find an appropriately shallow pan for your steak and marinade then pour the marinade over the steak, cover and pop in the fridge. The longer the better. Ideally, a skirt steak would be marinated overnight, I only did this for a few hours today.

The chimichurri is just as simple, but you’ll be using a food processor (or something like it). I almost used my Ninja for this, but there were two cups of greens and it would barely fit. I went with the food processor for space. Just load it all in and pulse until it is as creamy as you’d like. Some prefer it to be a little thicker, some like it really smooth. I like it somewhere in the middle, so that’s what I went with.

Then, as I was warming up the barbecue, we made s’mores. I have used gas grills for the last 17 years and this year, I really wanted to try out charcoal. It really is so much more work than gas, but the flavor you get from it is so much better. We’re going to need a fire pit though because this was not a great technique for roasting marshmallows!

Once the grill was ready to go, I brought the steak out and put it on. How long you grill it really depends on your personal preference. My husband is a medium well, and our oldest is more of a medium rare and the rest of us land somewhere in the middle. Thankfully, I ended up with a decent variety of doneness in this steak for everyone to be happy in less than 20 minutes.

We have so much chimichurri left over! We’ll eat it over the weekend with chips and pita bread I’m sure, but my bestie also suggested eating it with toast, scrambled eggs and quesadillas! She’s a genius, as usual.

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