12 September 2013

C is for Chicken Philly Cheese Steak

Let me start of by saying hello. Now that the pleasantries are out of the way we can really get down to business. The business of the day of course is Philly Cheese Steaks. Now this Philly Cheese Steak is not original by any means, It is derived from two cheese steak places where I unabashedly get a foot-long every time no matter my level of hunger and chow down like its my last meal. They are pretty darn good folks.

After getting married to an athlete I had to quickly learn what "game day" food was. Now this sandwich that I am about to share is not considered fuel for an actual game its heavy, fatty and all kinds of naughty but it is in fact perfect for sitting on the couch with your bros watching your favorite player ball out in super human form. (I am just throwing it out there that next week when I make these for the game I am going to be the best wife ever)

Now the nice things with Philly Cheese Steaks is that you can make them to your liking. I love chicken and because the fixings on this sandwich are all pretty heavy it helps lighten it up just enough. However, it would be really really good with some sliced flank steak or roast beef, just a suggestion. So enough talk let's get down to the recipe.

These would be great for a party because guess what you can make them in Slider form to feed a bundle of people and have them sing your praises.

Chicken Philly Cheese Steaks

From The Desperately Happy Housewife

4 Hoagie Rolls (or dinner rolls, or slider buns)
3-4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (sliced into thin strips)
1/2 lb. of Provolone Cheese Slices
1 8 oz. container of Jalapeno cream cheese (softened)
1 8 oz. pkg. of Mushrooms (sliced)
1 med. Onion (sliced)
1 med. Green Bell Pepper (sliced or chopped, whichever skirts your fancy)
1-2 tsp. of L & L Spade Seasoning
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
3-4 Tbsp. Butter
Maybe some spicy mustard if you want to be a rebel like that.

1. Melt butter in a frying pan and add onions. Begin to sauté until the onion just start to turn brown on their edges. Add in mushrooms, bell peppers and garlic powder and continue to sauté. (Just a quick note, I don't like adding the peppers and the onions to the sauté pan at the same time. I feel like they loose a little bit of their bite and just meld into the onions. By adding them later they don't cook as long and still keep a little bit of their bite giving some texture distinction between the veggies. You can honestly add them in whenever you want.)

2. Once vegetables have been sautéed and have a wonderful aroma, remove them from the pan and set them to the side. Melt a little butter into the pan again.

3. While the butter is melting season the sliced chicken breast with salt, pepper and the L & L Spade Seasoning. Add the chicken to the melted butter and sauté until cooked throughout.  I then add back in the vegetables and make sure that everything is warmed through again.

4. At this point I start to toast my hoagie rolls, I like them nice and crisp for an added textural element, but alas the Hubbs would rather them still be soft so you choose crisp or soft either way is excellent.

5. Once the chicken mixture is almost done, and the buns are toasted. I slather the hoagie rolls with Jalapeno cream cheese on both sides.

6. Place a heaping serving of the chicken filling into the hoagie and cover with slices of provolone cheese. Then slap those babies under the broiler for a minute or two. Please take my advice don't leave them. Don't multitask, don't look at anything other than your sandwiches because the Broiler is not your friend when it doesn't have your full attention. It will burn your food to a crisp just to spite you for ignoring it. Just a warning.

7. Serve with some chips or some oven fries (tutorial to come) Eat and enjoy. If you like spicy mustard like I do, I put some on with my Jalapeno Cream cheese just for kicks and giggles!

09 September 2013

Junk Drawer No More

You know what one of my favorite things to do is, besides reading obviously, I love to stop fights before they start. I know I know y'all have excellent marriages and you haven't had a fight bigger than I feel like the dishwasher isn't full enough to run yet. But if I am being honest the Hubbs and I have a far from perfect marriage. Can I tell you that I love it that way, it keeps things interesting. Seriously, if I told the Hubbs to do something and I wasn't met with a smirk of complete annoyance and a sigh (this mostly happens when I ask to watch the Real Housewives of _________ or Harry Potter during a football game) I literally wouldn't know what to do with myself.

In all seriousness though I was able to completely avoid a fight this weekend. That's right folks, I cleaned out our "Junk" drawer. Something that apparently has been completely erking the Hubbs for probably as long as we have lived in our home. You see I grew up in a home that always had a junk drawer. It was a catch all for everything small and supposedly necessary. The mini containers of auto oil that a very generous salesman gave to my father at a teaching conference, they made an appearance in the drawer along with countless pens that didn't work and batteries that only had half of a charge. Our junk drawer usually held anything that you needed, though. It was like Hermione's bottomless bag in Harry Potter #7 P1.

Since it was a magical drawer I figured that I would establish one in our new home. Little did I know that the magic would not rub off on the Hubbs. It's ok though it really was a mess. I didn't even take a picture for your because it was that out of control. Since I have been trying to do some Fall cleaning that drawer was on my hit list and yesterday was its day. This my friends is how I avoided the inevitable argument of why is there a bunch of crap shoved in this drawer.

Please don't get me wrong, I really believe that you need to have a place in your house that is sort of a home for all things you will need when you least expect it. There are little things that you always need but don't necessarily have a permanent place for in your home. Little screwdrivers, a place for nails and screws, or a place for those batteries that notoriously grow feet and get a mind of their own right before Christmas. Honestly, a magical place like this has saved me more times than I can count. The key is keeping out the riffraff like pens that don't work and half sucked on cough drops that disgustingly find their way into the drawer.  So do you want to tackle a junk drawer too? The best way that I have found to do this is to plan it. Get everything that you will need ahead of time.

Junk Drawer No More- 

From The Desperately Happy Housewife

What you need: 

Space Organizers
Garbage Bag 
Give Away Box 
Scrap Paper
Sweep Box 
Ziplock Bags

First, get a measuring tape and measure the drawer you will be cleaning out. Record you measurements and then head over to the store and buy some little boxes or a utensil organizer. Either will work. When you get back to your house dig right in before you loose your willpower. Grab your give away and garbage bags and then get to work. If you haven't needed to use an item in the last year I say either chuck it or give it away, but its your drawer so do what works for you. 

I usually try to put things in categories and keep them in Ziplock bag: pens, batteries, nails, and little tiny hand sanitizer bottles. Only place like items in the Ziplock bags if the home for them will be in that drawer if they belong somewhere else then put them in your sweep box to be put away in their proper place at the end of the day. Will you do me a favor though, before you put any pens in a bag will you test them on a pad of paper. If they don't work let them go they have served their purpose.

Once the drawer is cleaned out then wipe it down and put in your space organizers. I took my drawer out and worked on it on my couch because it was a Harry Potter weekend on ABC Family and I wouldn't even miss it if I broke my leg and needed to get it super glued together. I'm lazy like that, it also made fitting the organizing cubbies in much easier. Once you think you have figured out a good system. Put your drawer back into its slot and then take all of the items you have already organized in your Ziplock bags and shuffle them into the space organizers. See you did a pretty time consuming step without even knowing it huh. I know I am so very clever, but only sometimes and never on Friday. 

When you organize everything you need make sure that it makes sense to you. I had to shuffle everything around a few times so that the items that we used the most were closest to the front etc. Oh and make sure that your drawer shuts, if not you might have a minor meltdown like I did when you feel like you have the PERFECT set up and then a pair of pliers just manages to get in the way. Guess what though, now you are done and you now are down one junk drawer and have a magical "utility" drawer? Would that be the best way to put it? Yeah that's what we will go with. Now go and do friends.
06 September 2013

It's that time again!

Hey all!

I am so excited about today's post! You see right now the Hubbs and I are kid sitting. I know you can't believe me but it actually is true, No one has gotten hurt or cried yet so I call it a win! That however is besides the point. When the kiddos were out playing with friends and watching football games I snuck away to my house to meet a contractor for a bid. While driving home I got an overwhelming feeling that Fall was a commin' (yep I showed you my Lehi Pioneer self). You see some of the leaves up here on our mountains were already changing colors, the fall fruits were out for sale on the fruit stands, it was the first game of the season for my Alma Mater, and (now this is going to sound crazy) the air smelled like fall. It was full, woodsy and with a hint of a crisp cold to it. If you think I have completely lost it you can stop reading I won't judge you. Promise.

 I got to my house just 2 minutes shy of the contractor arriving and when I walked in I was completely shocked at how messy the darn thing was. This is going to get personal here folks... and I will be completely embarrassed for even telling you this the next time I see you. Be warned. Since both the Hubbs and I work full time and don't see each other all day I usually will make the excuse that the little things can wait. Sweeping a room used to get done right when I got home. Now its half hearted and sometimes not done. I do however surface and deep clean on Saturdays but when a more appealing offer comes round (like attending the SLC Farmers Market) I have to jump at it.

I decided since it was the beginning of Fall and since the house was a considerable mess. That it was time to start the first leg of the Fall Seasons deep clean. I don't know about you but I will usually be so excited and get head first into a project, like a deep clean, and then about half way through I will usually loose my steam and go take a nap in my grubbies. I think that I have devised a plan to stop it from happening. I am going to do this deep clean over a week long period- maybe even longer if things get busy. It's gonna happen folks!

Today I am going to let you know how I best tackled my kitchen, I chose it first because its where most of the action happens in our house. We not only feed ourselves but feed our four legged companions as well. Because of the high traffic in the room it sees a lot of dirt and clutter. This isn't just a my house is really dirty cleaning schedule either I like to do at least 4 deep deep cleanings a year because it helps to make sure clutter doesn't build up and it keeps appliances in tip top shape. So off we go with my 25 steps to a repetitively deep cleaned kitchen.

Fall Kitchen Cleaning Schedule

Things you will need-
Clorox wipes
Gloves -If something is going to gross you out, or if you use bleach
Cleaning Cloths
Scrubber Brush
Garbage bags
Goodwill or DI boxes
Decision Box
Bleach, Pine sol and De-greasing soap
Broom or vacuum
Mop and bucket.

Ready... Set... Clean! (Don't want to read my diatribe... Just click here for a printable cleaning google doc)

1. Do a sweep of the kitchen and get all items out of the area that don't belong in the space.
2. Go through the remaining items that have been left on the counter and decide if you need the item. If so great make sure that it is in its place. If not then decide if you need it if yes we'll find a place for it. If you don't use or need it (this is where the Give away box comes in) then place it in the giveaway box to help someone who really needs it.
3. Once the sweeping is done, go through and wipe off all counter tops and then sweep the floors. This step may seem redundant but I hate trying to clean in a messy area. That makes me sound crazy. Let me explain. When deep cleaning I find it easier to deep clean an area when it is moderately clean and tidy. So everything put in its place already and dishes done floors swept etc. It doesn't have to be hospital clean just something that I can walk around without my shoes on and not get the dry heaves.
4. Now we can get into the nitty gritty. I move cabinet by cabinet and deep clean and de-junk. I first take out everything from the cabinet and go through them. If its food I make sure that I use it and that it hasn't expired. If it has I chuck it. then I use a Clorox wipe and wipe down all surfaces of the cabinet inside and out.
5. Finally I re-organize the products that were in there. For example all pasta products go together. Then I move onto the next cabinet until all of the upper cabinets are cleaned.
6. Once the upper cabinets are cleaned I usually have to empty out the garbage and take a little breather. If that's not for you then keep going and get all of your cabinets or pantry from the eye level down.
7. Next,  I move on to the fridge.

8. Throw away all of the past due condiments and anything that has eyes or feet that weren't there in the beginning. Then remove all of the items from the fridge and set them on your counters.
9.  I'll usually fill up a bucket with piping hot water and add some soap to scrub out everything.
10. I take a quick swipe to remove all loose debris from the fridge and then get my scrubber brush and hot soapy water and go to town. (Since the fridge is cold your water will end up being luke warm quickly enough so don't fret about the heat but if you are sensitive to it regular tap water will work too.
11. I dry the fridge and then re-organize the food and condiments and continue the process with the freezer. Generally, my freezer doesn't need much scrubbing so the process is pretty quick.
12. I will then take my vacuum and remove all of the debris from the bottom coils of the fridge. The first time you do this its pretty gross, but it can actually help your refrigerator run more efficiently.          
13. Now lets move onto the counter tops. Once every thing is organized. I split the room in half. All of the items that reside on top of the right counters I move over to the left side of the kitchen so nothing impedes my superior cleaning skills (or lack thereof).
14. I then begin my three step cleaning and disinfecting process.  First I dry dust. Then I wipe down everything with a Clorox wipe.
15. At this point I usually stop up my sink and make a warm bleach and water solution in it. ( if your hands are sensitive to bleach make sure to wear gloves because as magical as bleach is it can burn your hands like the dickens) I usually mix up 1 part bleach to 16 parts water maybe just a little stronger if someone in the house has been sick. I wipe down all of the surfaces and then dry with a clean cloth.
16. I move all of the appliances and necessities back in their places and then start the whole process over for the left side of the Kitchen. Looking pretty clean eh?!
17. At some point I will usually take down any curtains or material that decorates my kitchen and toss it into the wash to freshen it up. If your curtains can't be washed etc. spot clean and dust with a vacuum nozzle. When they are dry just hang them right on back up there. 
18. Window time. Take some window cleaner and have at it because you are almost done. Really I mean it just a few more steps.
19. Once the windows are clean and there aren't any little smudges I take to the floors.
20. First I sweep up all remnants of the days cleaning.
21. Then I vacuum the exact same places that I have swept because I am crazy and my broom never picks up as much as it should.
22. Then I get down on the floor, (yep!) and remove any stain or food etc that would be really hard to remove with a simple mop. These are usually few and far between so it doesn't take very long.
23. I also take a Clorox wipe and wipe down the walls and baseboards while I'm down there.
24. I mix up a bucket of Pine Sol and water and then go to town with my mop.
25. See all things are shiny and new, looking at least and don't you love the smell of a clean kitchen that is full of new possibilities.

Hey y'all I am Sara otherwise known as the Desperately Happy Housewife. When I am not working I am busy crafting, blogging and re-decorating my house. I channel Lucille Ball and Lauren Graham on a daily basis to get me through the "Oh my gosh I just sewed my finger" moments that often happen. I hope you stay a while and get a chance to see what makes me desperately happy.

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