feeling patriotic for July 4th!

feeling patriotic for July 4th!

This week I am at work in Chicago for Sigma Kappa's 87th National Convention. With over 900 people in attendance it's an amazing five days! Because I didn't have to leave for Chicago until this past Tuesday Kurt and I were able to celebrate July 4th together.

  I made two different star-spangled galettes for dessert: one raspberry and one blackberry!

I made two different star-spangled galettes for dessert: one raspberry and one blackberry!

For most of my late childhood July 4th was a working holiday. I worked as a golf caddy for thirteen years and so my memories of this holiday tend to include feeling really hot and sweaty while walking with two golf bags on my shoulders! But that doesn't mean I don't still like to celebrate, especially when there are tasty drinks and even tastier desserts involved!

For our July 4th celebration, Kurt and I assembled a menu that reminded us of childhood - steak sandwiches prepared two ways! Traditional Chicago style with spicy giardiniera for Kurt and a plainer version similar to a Philly cheesesteak with cheese, peppers and onions for me. I've included the recipe with the two variations below. We also made a really quick potato salad, two berry galettes, and a yummy, slushy bourbon drink that I think will be in regular rotation for the rest of our summer. You can find the recipes for the berry galettes and the slushy bourbon drink from Smitten Kitchen, one of my very favorite food blogs, here and here

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Steak Sandwiches, Two Ways

Ingredients: 

  • 1 box of frozen pre-sliced steak (it's also sometimes called chip steak).

  • 4 Hoagie rolls

  • 1 small yellow or sweet onion, sliced thinly

  • 3 to 4 mini bell peppers, sliced thinly

Toppings: 

  • Cheddar cheese slices

  • Giardiniera

  • Spicy pepper spread (if the giardiniera pepper mix is too mild)

 

Instructions: 

  • Heat a little bit of olive oil in a frying pan at medium-high. Once hot, add the sliced peppers to the pan.

  • Once the peppers have softened and are beginning to brown, add in the frozen pre-sliced steak.

  • As the steak cooks, use a wooden spoon to break the steak up into small pieces. The smaller the pieces, the crispier they become!

  • Add the sliced onions to the pan with the steak and peppers. Continue cooking until the onions have softened and browned, and the steak looks nicely browned and crispy at the edges.

  • While the steak, peppers and onions are cooking, toast the hoagie rolls in the oven.

  • To serve Mary's way:

    • Place the steak, peppers and onions onto one half of the toasted hoagie roll.

    • Top with one slice of the cheddar cheese, torn in half so it lines the length of the roll. Then top with the other half of the roll.

    • Serve with ketchup on the side for dipping!

  • To serve Kurt's way:

    • Spread both sides of the toasted hoagie roll with the spicy pepper spread.

    • Place the steak, peppers and onions onto one half of the toasted hoagie roll.

    • Top with the giadinera pepper mix and the other half of the roll.

    • Enjoy!


The really quick potato salad was an invention of Kurt's on the fly:

  • Take two medium sized yellow potatoes and microwave using the baked potato setting until soft.

  • Toss them in the food processor with about 1/4 of an onion, thinly sliced, 1/3 cup of mayonnaise and 1/4 cup whole grain mustard.

  • Pulse until combined and serve!

  These animal plates are from West Elm. Kurt and I collected them not long after we moved to Florida! The Owl and the Doe felt rather patriotic in their red and blue, making them easy choices for the meal!

These animal plates are from West Elm. Kurt and I collected them not long after we moved to Florida! The Owl and the Doe felt rather patriotic in their red and blue, making them easy choices for the meal!

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Because it wasn't too hot we decided to enjoy dessert and our slushy drinks out on the patio. We don't often sit out there, so Sydney was a little confused why were choosing to sit out in the heat! It was really nice to quietly enjoy the day, our meal, and each other before I traveled again. 

  We received these lovely dessert plates from our wedding registry. They are the perfect size for dessert and I love the sweet, scalloped edges! A lovely showcase for the red, white, and blue of our ice cream and galette slices.

We received these lovely dessert plates from our wedding registry. They are the perfect size for dessert and I love the sweet, scalloped edges! A lovely showcase for the red, white, and blue of our ice cream and galette slices.

  Sydney kept careful watch while we were outside, judiciously reviewing each car that drove into the parking lot!

Sydney kept careful watch while we were outside, judiciously reviewing each car that drove into the parking lot!

As this July 4th holiday passed, I was reminded that we are halfway through another year. To be honest with you all,  it's somewhat hard to believe that 2016 is halfway complete! As I think about the time that has passed I'm grateful for all that I've been able to enjoy and achieve during the first six months of this year. I cannot wait to see what the second six months have in store!

I hope you had a wonderful time celebrating the holiday with your family and friends! I'd love to know some of your favorite ways to celebrate the summer holidays. Share your thoughts in the comments!

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