Philly Cheesesteak Stew

Do you ever get an intense craving for a good philly cheesesteak sub? Like an, ‘I know I’m not pregnant or anything, but I have got to have one right. now’ kind of craving? (Come on, I know I can’t be the only one!) But then there’s all these impossible obstacles in the way, like not wanting to go to the sub shop, or the store, or perhaps maybe you don’t have bread in the house, or you don’t want a bunch of carbs, or you don’t want to chew a lot… guess what? I have a solution! Philly Cheesesteak Stew. I’ll admit we’ve never been to Philly…maybe someday….but we sure do like their sandwiches. And, I figured if their sandwiches were good, then a soup would be, too! Boy, was I right!!

If you like the philly cheesesteak sandwich, then you got to try this soup. All the flavors of the famous sandwich you love come together here in a thick, and hearty stew that is sure to satisfy any level of cheesesteak craving. See? We’ve got you covered.

Philly Cheesesteak Stew

 Philly Cheesesteak Stew

recipe adapted from Lady MeLady

1 1/2 lb top sirloin or ribeye, cut in thin slices
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 tbsp flour, divided
2 onions, quartered and cut into thin slices
1/2 – 1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 cups beef broth, 2 if you want a really thick stew
1-2 sweet bell pepper; thinly sliced
4 large buns; hollowed out (the recipe called for sourdough buns, I couldn’t find any so I used crusty Kaiser rolls)
12 round slices provolone cheese

Directions

1. In a large bowl, toss the steak strips with the salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of flour and toss again, making sure the slices are well coated.
2. Sear the steak, in two batches, over medium-high heat, so that both sides brown, only about 1-2 minutes per side. At this stage we still want the centers pink. Once browned, set aside.
3. Next, add the onions and mushrooms to the same skillet and brown for a few minutes until the onions are translucent. Now, add the garlic powder, salt, pepper and the last 2 tablespoons of flour. Stir to ensure the onions are coated with flour.
4. Add in the beef broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring between each addition so that it thickens, until it’s finally fully incorporated to avoid lumps. Allow to thicken and bring to a bubble, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes.
5. Add in the peppers in the last 10 minutes of simmering. Add beef after the 30 minutes and let simmer, about 5 minutes, so that it’s heated through.
6. Cut a circle in the top of each bun and remove most of the insides. Set on either a foil covered pan, a pan with a non-stick baking mat, or a pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Add one slice of provolone to the inside of each bread bowl. Carefully spoon stew into each bread bowl over top of the cheese, and then top the stew in each bread bowl with two slices of provolone.
7. Place the pan under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and begins to turn a golden-brown.
8. Serve hot with the removed pieces for dipping.

{One Pot Wonder} Dirty Rice

For years, we bought the box mix and simply added ground beef to it. We were in heaven. It was divine. It tasted great and it was quick. Everything we ever needed or wanted in our dirty rice dinners. Or so I thought. Sometimes I have readers send me links to recipes they think will tickle my fancy or that they want an opinion on before venturing into uncharted territory. THAT’ is how this recipe fell into my lap, err inbox, late last year, and I can’t say thank you enough!

I wanted to share this with you all sooner. I really did. You see, I first made this late last year, and we loved it. But I don’t typically take pictures until the next time I make something. I mean, I’ve gotta make sure it’s son approve and all. So then there was the second time we made this, and all I had was a crappy picture that really didn’t do it justice, and this meal deserved better than that. So I used that as the perfect excuse to make it again. And it seemed that every time I got around to making it again, and again, we were all in so much of a hurry to dig into this dish that the only photo I could get was using the hub’s cell phone! Clearly you can see where our priorities lie. 😉 So this time around, about 9 months later, give or take a month or so, I didn’t tell anyone what was for dinner and wouldn’t let anyone near the kitchen until I’d managed to get at least one decent shot with my camera. Once I snapped it, that was it, the troops were all over it. It was a lot like what I’d imagine feeding a pack of ravenous wolves might be like. [End tangent]

So. Dirty Rice. If you’re from the South, especially the deep south and any ‘bayou’ regions, you’ve probably grown up on the stuff. For those of you not from the deep south, a fun fact about ‘dirty’ rice.  The traditional Cajun dish get it’s name from the white rice it calls for that turns a ‘dirty’ color when cooked with small pieces of chicken livers. Yeah. I didn’t like liver when I was little, and it’s still a no-go now. I know, I know, your palette can change as you age, but I’m not chancing it. No liver for this Mama. I get my rice pleeeenty dirty using good ol’ ground beef. Don’t like beef? Chicken sausage or pork sausage both work great in this meal. If you’ve got one pot, and one 25-minute window of time, you’ve got this amazing dinner that will leave you with only ONE dish to clean. Priceless, right?!

Dirty Rice

Dirty Rice

recipe adapted from Southern Plate

1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground beef
1 stalk celery, sliced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 small onion, diced
4 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped, or 2 tbsp dried
1-3 tbsp creole seasoning, depending on how spicy you’d like it
5 cups cooked rice
 
Directions
 
1. In a large skillet, heat up the oil, over medium heat.
2. Add the ground beef, celery, pepper, garlic, and onion and cook, breaking up the beef while stirring, until the ground beef is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.
3. Add the parsley and creole seasoning, starting on the low end with 1 tbsp and tasting before leaving it or increasing the amount as desired, stirring to combine.
4. Then stir in the cooked rice, and saute for 5 minutes, or until heated through, over medium heat.
 
 
Like the idea of a one pot meal and a less-mess dinner? Check out these other one pot wonders:
4 Sons 'R' Us: Mexican Chicken & Rice
Mexican Chicken & Rice (Arroz con Pollo)
4 Sons 'R' Us: {One Pot Wonder} Pizza Pasta
Pizza Pasta
4 Sons 'R' Us: {One Pot Wonder} Chicken Lo Mein
Chicken Lo Mein
 

{One Pot Wonder} Mexican Chicken & Rice

The great thing about this dish? (I mean besides the incredibly tasty flavors) It can all be made in one pot. All of it. Rice and all. It’s like magic. Dinner magic. One pot to dirty, one pot to clean, one delicious meal to consume. And if I haven’t convinced you yet… it’s quick. Super quick. Less than 30 minutes quick. Don’t believe me? Here, let me walk you through it.

Cook chicken –> stir everything else in –> let cook 20 minutes –>DONE. Piece. of. chicken & rice. cake.

{One Pot Wonder} Mexican Chicken & Rice

4 Sons 'R' Us: Mexican Chicken & Rice

recipe adapted from Yellow Bliss Road

Directions

1. Cut chicken into one inch pieces and season with salt & pepper. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and add chicken. Cook until just barely browned, but not cooked through.
2. Add one cup of long grain white rice and saute for one minute. Add remaining ingredients, stir, and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low for about 20 minutes or until rice is tender and fluffy. If there is still liquid in the pan, uncover and simmer until the liquid is reduced.

4 Sons 'R' Us: Mexican Chicken & Rice 2

Buen provecho!

{One Pot Wonder} Pizza Pasta

Over the years I’ve learned I can’t ask the sons to spot clean the living room or to clean in general without supervision. Otherwise everything ends up in the toy box. Day old, dirty socks, sippy cups, Dad’s tools, remotes, candy wrappers. You name it, if I can’t find it and they’ve cleaned recently, it’s in the toy box . While it’s frustrating to no end, I do understand the urge. Shoot, even as an adult I have the urge to do things as simply as possible. Their motivator for doing the bare minimum to get by? Usually, the great outdoors is calling their name, or their video games. Mine? Supply and demand. Some days there are just too many things needing my attention, and there’s only one of me with a limited number of hours in the day.

Enter the wonderful world of one pot meals. I simply cannot express the love I have for them. The pleasure I get from knowing I literally just threw a bunch of stuff into a pot and it turned into a delicious meal everyone loves is addicting. I just can’t keep it all to myself. I’ve got to share the love, or in this case, the recipe. Be careful though, the one pot meal craze is contagious!

{One Pot Wonder} Pizza Pasta

4 Sons 'R' Us: {One Pot Wonder} Pizza Pasta

recipe originally from Yellow Bliss Road’

1 5 oz package pepperoni

1 pound Italian sausage
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced green peppers
1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
1 jar pizza sauce + 1 jar water
1 2 oz. can tomato paste
2 cups beef broth
3 cups small, dry pasta (penne, wheels, macaroni, etc.)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions

1. In a 5 quart pot, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil. Add onions and peppers and saute until soft, about five minutes. Add garlic and saute one minute.
2. Add Italian sausage and pepperoni and cook until sausage is no longer pink.
3. Add pasta, beef broth, tomato paste, pizza sauce, water and seasonings. Stir and bring to a boil.
4. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring at least once, .
5. Remove from heat and stir in mozzarella cheese, reserving 1/4 cup for sprinkling on the top. Replace the cover and let sit for five minutes. Garnish with diced green peppers and shredded Parmesan, if desired.

Creamy Garlic Pasta

 In my little Italian family we love garlic. Before meeting ( & marrying) my husband, I would have been stingy about how much I added to a dish. Now? It calls for 1 clove? It needs at least 3. It calls for olive oil & garlic? I’m also using my garlic-infused olive oil. The cardinal rule he taught me: You can never use too much garlic. No such thing. My husband eats the stuff by the spoonful. While I can’t go quite that far myself, I really love the pungent stuff. I’m also a recovering cheese addict. Garlic & Cheese, together? Now that’s a beautiful thing! This rich and creamy pasta dish is a match made in heaven. You can be enjoying this delectable pasta dish in a snap, it’s that simple to throw together. The taste is out of this world (and it gives us our garlic fix)! Feel free to top this creamy garlic pasta off with as little, or as much, extra Parmesan cheese as your taste buds desire. I won’t judge you. Besides, if anyone ever tells you you put too much Parmesan cheese on your pasta, stop speaking to them. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.

Creamy Garlic Pasta

4 Sibs 'R' Us: Creamy Garlic Pasta

recipe adapted from The Cheese Pusher

2 tsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp butter
¼  tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
3 cups chicken stock
½ lb spaghetti or angel hair pasta
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
¾ cup half & half
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, or 2 tsp dried
1 tsp chopped fresh basil (optional)

Directions

1. In a pot, bring the olive oil to medium-low heat. Add the garlic and stir, allowing it to cook for 1-2 minutes. Mix in the butter until melted. Add the salt, pepper and chicken stock. Raise the heat to high and let it come to a boil.
2. Once it’s boiling, add the pasta and cook for as long as the box’s directions indicate. Reduce to medium heat and mix in the Parmesan until completely melted. Turn off the heat and stir in the cream and parsley. Serve immediately.

{One Pot Wonder} Chicken Lo Mein

It’s Sunday again. Sundays I find myself wondering why my family wants dinner every single night. I mean I fed them last night. I’m kidding, kinda. Sundays I want to relax. All. Day. Long. I want to read my book. I want to curl up on the couch with my boys and watch movies or our favorite shows. I want to play with them on the playground. I want to laugh, a lot, and make blanket forts. I want to take an afternoon  nap. I want to do so many things. What I absolutely do not want to do on a Sunday, is cook dinner.

Still, the family has to eat. As a solution, I try to find quick, easy recipes that don’t require a lot of work on my part. ‘One pot wonder’ meals are a favorite of mine on Sundays. Little work, and even less clean-up required afterwards. This Lo Mein couldn’t have been any easier to make, or any more flavorful. It’s everything I want in a dinner, especially on a night I don’t want to cook.

{One Pot Wonder} Chicken Lo Mein

4 Sons 'R' Us: {One Pot Wonder} Chicken Lo Meinrecipe adapted from The Wholesome Dish

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks
1 lb spaghetti, or lo mein noodles
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 3 inch long strips
1 medium red bell pepper, cut in thin 3 inch long strips
1 bunch green onions, white part thinly sliced and the green part cut into 3 inch long strips
4 tsp garlic, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp corn starch
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
4 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions
1. Add the chicken, then the pasta, then the remaining ingredients to a large stockpot or dutch oven, and cover. Bring to a boil. Stir and reduce to a simmer.
2. Cook covered for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook until most of the liquid is gone and the chicken is cooked through.

{One Pot Wonder} Cheeseburger Casserole

I love a one pot meal. This recipe is so easy, quick to prepare, and the same great cheeseburger flavors we crave. I can’t stress this enough… it did in fact taste just like a cheeseburger! Less mess, less clean-up, but some very satisfied customers. Sprinkling on some of our favorite traditional cheeseburger toppings rounded out the truly authentic taste. While the rest of us opted for tomatoes, onions, lettuce, and pickles, I did have to draw the line for the oldest son at mayonnaise. What is it about teenage boys and mayonnaise? He puts it on everything. Eventually I caved at steak sauce, as long as it remained only on his plate. But, I digress. This meal really is outstanding. Shake things up, and step outside of the box, the next night you’re craving burgers by giving this a try!

{One Pot Wonder} Cheeseburger Casserole

4 Sons 'R' Us: {One Pot Wonder} Cheeseburger Casserole

recipe adapted from Number 2 Pencil

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 lb rotini pasta
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • freshly diced tomato
  • green onions, thinly sliced
  • pickles
  • shredded lettuce

Directions

  1. In a dutch oven, or large pot, add olive oil. Over medium heat, saute onions until softened.
  2. Increase heat to high and add ground beef. Brown ground beef. Drain.
  3. Return beef to pot and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add canned tomatoes, sauce, broth, water, pasta, ketchup, and mustard to the pot. Stir to evenly combine.
  5. Bring pot to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes, or until the pasta is tender.
  6. Once pasta is cooked, remove the pot from heat and stir in one cup of cheddar cheese.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining cup of cheese over top the pasta and re-cover with lid until the cheese is melted.
  8. Serve. Add your choice of the traditional cheeseburger toppings to your serving and enjoy.