A Week, in Three Acts (Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches)

skipaheadAct 1: “Is it Friday yet?” So said the girl who enjoys an incredibly flexible work schedule and one or two work-at-home days each week. This week has seemed exceptionally long though. It all began with some news about staff changes at my job. It’s an exciting time, but it also likely means more demands on me and a more rigid work schedule. Since the biggest perk of my job is my ability to work from home as needed and start my day at 10am or leave at 4pm when I can, I’m a little troubled. I know we’ll get back to a flexible schedule again, but as we transition, I imagine I’ll be pulled in a few more directions. It’ll be a fun ride anyhow. Ride along with me?

Act 2: In the middle of the week I attended a conference and flashed a handful of attendees. Ok, not really, but kind of. If you ever plan a conference, please please please make sure you have a spot to direct nursing mothers to. PLEASE. To be fair, this conference did have a spot for me. On the other side of the hotel on the 24th floor. It took no less than 10 minutes to get to. So 20 minutes of travel, plus the time it takes to pump, meant I was missing whole sessions out of my $200 conference. There were only five sessions to begin with, so I was not a happy girl. Even so, I tried to roll with it. But when I went to use the room for the second time that day and found it was in use, I was incredibly frustrated when they didn’t have a back up option for me. Folks, I’ve pumped in storage closets, I’ve pumped in my car, I’ve even pumped in a restaurant after hours. I’m flexible. I really just need a door. I asked the hotel and conference crew if there was an office, a bathroom with a sofa, a closet – anything at all that I could use in lieu of the 24th floor isolation chamber that was in use. No, no, no. With tears welling up – mostly out of frustration – I started counting my options. I told the staff I’d nurse right there in the lobby if that’s what they left me to (fyi – I do have a cover-up, so we’re not talking about extreme indecency here). They said I couldn’t do that, but didn’t give me any other options either. So I walked three steps in the direction of the lobby sofa, saw a plethora of guys in three-piece suits on their blackberrys, and quickly chickened out. Instead I found a corner in one of the meeting rooms that had minimal traffic and a spot to plug-in my pump. It was still humiliating sitting there with my shirt hoisted, my nursing coverup (aka “tent”), and the steady “swish, swash, swish, swash, swish, swash” of my breast pump while conference participants networked and met with one another close by.

(By the way, later that day I found that the bathrooms did in fact have sofas, despite the front desk looking at me with bafflement when I asked that question.)

Act 3: Finally, the end of my week was spent battling a three-day snow storm that veered wildly from sputtering rain, to huge snowflakes, to sleet; and so on. I had watched the weather closely because of an early morning meeting, with participants from all around the state. The meeting went off without a hitch and although I hid behind various types of technology all through the meeting, my struggling social side was drained. I mean it, I was dog tired when I got home. Introvert friends, if you find yourself physically exhausted after meetings or parties, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Read this and take comfort. How to Care for you Introvert is one of my favorite articles. I share it, reference it, and read it often. It gives me comfort and reminds me that I’m not a crazy person (well, that might be an overstatement), but just an introvert.

So, needless to say, easy was the name of the game this week for dinner. I wanted comforting food, fast food (from my kitchen, foo, not from McDon’s), and mostly I wanted easy food. So, consider this the first installment of the “this week can just go right back to H E double hockey sticks” series.


Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches

Overall: five-star

Go ahead, have some wine! I love this Purple Cowboy Merlot. It’s named Purple Cowboy because the rodeo-loving wine makers always had purple teeth. My cowboy always turns his teeth purple when he has wine too!

This recipe makes me happy. It was so quick to whip up; had the meat, veggies, dairy, and grain all included; was a breeze to clean up; and tasted great! It costs a bit more since it does require steak and if you’re feeding a big family it could add up, but at least a little steak goes a long way in this one! (Recipe here, from Simply Scratch.)

Ease to Prepare: five-star

I love that you can prepare this entire thing in your skillet. I actually used my electric skillet, but you could certainly make this on a stove top too. To prepare it, just dice up a few peppers and onions and cut your steak into strips. Then throw in some worchachaster, worthshire, werstchestershire, uhh, this stuff:

And load it up into a baguette or french loaf with some cheese. Then, cease all conversation while you stuff your face with this hearty, yummy sandwich.

Instructions: five-star

Loved the thoroughness on this one!! I always love that Laurie has a ton of beautiful pictures to go along with her recipe (don’t worry. I know the irony in me saying that, considering I take pictures with my phone. I’ll get there, maybe.). She also packed a ton of tips in this post.

  1. You can use a variety of steaks for this recipe. Flank, ribeye, or skirt. (I used flank.)
  2. Toss your steak in the freezer for 20 minutes before you cut, it makes it so much easier to work with.
  3. Cut your steak across the grain and at an angle so that you have a larger surface area to be grilled. (Uh, user error? Yeh, I was rushed and didn’t follow directions. Sorry.)

The one thing I was confused about was the number of servings this recipe makes. It says it’s either two or it’s four. When it’s two, it’s essentially a double serving?

Food: five-star

I’ve never really eaten a Philly cheesesteak. It just hasn’t ever sounded good to me, but this was so good! Hearty, savory, gooey, goodness in a bun. Our french bread loaf was a little bit too heavy, but really I think that just depends on the loaf you get. Look for a thinner loaf or try out a baguette – whatever looks best to you!

Clean up: five-star

One skillet. I had a teeny bit of scrubbing to do from the steak, but nothing I’m going to complain about.

Cost: two dollar

There is a bit more expense to this recipe than your usual weeknight meal. It’s half steak, but the other half is onion and green peppers. So at least you can stretch your buck a bit!


How was your week? Any bizarre weather patterns out there? Hey moms, can you commiserate with me on any awful nursing stories? Tell me!

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6 responses

  1. Hoping your Mom tries this one soon, surprise surprise, it is half meat. How about grilling the steak on the grill before you slice it up?

  2. I don’t know what shocked me more, the ridiculous hotel for not trying to accommodate you or the fact that you’d never had a philly cheesesteak before!! Incredible on both fronts, for very different reasons.

    Nick owes me a dinner. I think I might just hand him this recipe. Easy or not, philly cheesesteaks are amazing!!

    Enjoy your weekend. šŸ™‚

    • Hah, yeah I guess it is pretty ridiculous. I’m glad I finally added Philly Cheesesteak to my list of easy and delicious sandwiches. If Nick hasn’t made you one of your own yet, tell him to get on it!

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