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The Third Day of Christmas: Philly Steak Sandwiches

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Christ is Born!  Glorify Him!

I haven’t posted in the last two weeks.  Life got busy, as I’m sure yours did too.  It was wonderfully busy and no time was left for blogging.  We even saved some of our giving for today, since last week didn’t include enough hours for everything.  I’m glad that John reminded me that we had twelve whole days of Christmas to finish everything; otherwise, I might not have made it through last week.  I do have a couple of meals from last week that I still want to share, but I’ll have to catch up another day.

Last week was packed with finishing Christmas presents and completing our last few bits of our homeschool year.  We stick to a different schedule than most, but it works for us.  Now we have three months break to have a change of pace.

The kids and my nephews helped make a Santa Hat Party Mix for gifts, but we didn’t get to try it because most of the ingredients are on our naughty food list.  Sometimes it’s nice to live vicariously through others.  We did try one batch of a homemade allergy friendly almond bark for my sister’s birthday.  It did taste good, but it was only solid in the refrigerator, so the recipe needs tweaking before we share it.

Santa Hat Mix
I also got to finish sewing three dolls.  One was for Snuggle Bunny.  Another was for our only niece, and the third was for my youngest cousin.  Making these dolls was very special for me, because my grandmother started them years ago, but never finished them.  The dolls were mostly done, but the dresses were only cut out and needed assembling.   One Christmas many years ago, Grandma made me one of these pillowcase dolls.  Mine has a lavender dress and is quite well loved.  She even traveled with me to Girl Scout Camp one summer and has my name in Sharpie marker on the back hem of her dress.  Now she spends most of her time in Snuggle Bunny’s doll carriage, just as Grandma would have liked.  Today she has a new sister to share the ride.   Hopefully one day these three dolls will show the wear of time and love.  It would be a shame if they weather the years with a layer of dust instead of experiencing the messy love of some sweet little girls.  Oh, and what of the one in the middle with the extra color in her dress?  That is the product of Little Man’s handy work.  He quietly got his hands on my sewing scissors and started the remodeling process.  After a little rummaging through my quilting scraps, I’m happy with the results.  Though if I ever make a modified skirt again, I’d rather it happen before I gather the skirt and attach it to the bodice.

Pillowcase Dolls
The weekend before the Feast of the Nativity is when we celebrated with our families.  Saturday was for my family, and Sunday after church was for John’s family.  It was great family time and my children were thoroughly spoiled by grandparents, aunts, and uncles.   Meals were provided by the hosts and they all did a wonderful job with our holiday fare.  My mother-in-law surprised us with a treat from a local gluten free bakery.  My mother and I made Better Balls with almond butter.  We omitted the rice puffs and rolled the balls in unsweetened coconut instead of dipping them in chocolate, but every last one was gone in no time.  I used to make a peanut and dairy laden version of these as a child, so it was a very nostalgic dessert and oh so easy to make.

Christmas Day found us at Church in the morning.  I think celebrating the feast at Church on Christmas is one of my favorite Orthodox Traditions.  It really is wonderful to focus on the true meaning of this holiday with our Church family before we break the fast and open our family presents.  After Church we completed our last Advent reading before we opened presents.

Christmas Day

This year I took meat laden meal requests from each family member for celebrating the feast.  I promised to make them all sometime during the twelve days of Christmas.  Snuggle Bunny’s request was California Rolls.  That meal was lunch on Christmas day for many reasons.  One being that we were headed out to a Christmas party in the afternoon, and it was a meal that could be prepared in the allotted time.  The second reason is because it was a meal that John is adept at preparing, so I got a day off from cooking.

John also made pancakes and bacon for yesterday’s breakfast.  I assembled them into the festive arrangement you see below.  The eyes are carob chips, the buttons are raisins, the mouth is banana, and the snow is coconut oil.

Buster’s meal request was Honey-Mustard Chicken Tenders which easily used the last of the bacon.  This time I served it with roasted broccoli, oven fries, and yellow squash.

Today’s lunch was John’s request.  He doesn’t often request dairy, so I was happy to buy him a few slices of provolone from the deli.  When I buy cheese, it is often by the slice–just enough for John.  This time we had some leftover soft goat cheese from John’s mom’s dinner, so those of us who can tolerate small doses of goats dairy indulged for this one meal.  I was planning to make cashew sauce, but opted out at the last minute when I remembered the goat cheese.

I discovered that the steak purchased this time was much thicker than I originally realized, so I chopped it rather than shaving it as I normally do.  The bun is an onion dinner roll from Local Oven.  They still have egg in them, so Little Man and I cheated a little bit.  It’s all for a good cause and we don’t do it often, so today I think it was worth the convenience and the flavor.  Tomorrow may be another story.

I also would have liked to add mushrooms to this sandwich, but I forgot until I was cooking.

Philly Steak Sandwiches
about 1.5 lb thin steak, lightly salted on both sides
1 large onion, thinly slice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
salt to taste
cheese or substitute (optional)
condiments of your choosing

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Add the oil, onion, salt, and garlic to the pan.  Saute until the onions caramelize.  Reduce heat as necessary to keep the onions from burning.

Remove the onions from the pan and raise the heat back to medium.  Sear the steak on both sides until the steak is cooked to your liking.  Times will vary depending on the thickness of your steak.

Slice the steak thinly and toss in the pan with the onions to warm them and mix well with the meat.  Serve on buns with your choice of toppings.

Merry Christmas!


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