By Laura Tolbert
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The week between Christmas and New Year’s is always confusing for me. The excitement of the holidays is over, and we’re waiting for the new year to arrive.
Many of us have children on school break, our work schedules are altered and the change in routine can leave us feeling out of sorts.
With tummies full of heavy holiday meals and perhaps too many cookies and sweets enjoyed, how about some simple and easy to prepare sandwiches to get us through this week?

FRENCH DIP SANDWICHES

You will love this simple recipe that puts that slow cooker to good use.

• 2 to 2 1/2 lb. chuck roast

• Granulated garlic

• Onion powder

• Salt

• Freshly ground black pepper

• 2 cans beef consomme

• Hoagie rolls (toasted)

• Sliced Swiss cheese

• Prepared horseradish if desired



Set slow cooker to low. Coat roast liberally with next four ingredients. Place in the slow cooker and slowly add beef consomme.

Cook for 10 hours on low. If you prefer, cook for 5 to 6 hours on high. When the meat is fall-apart tender, take two forks and shred it.

Toast the hoagie rolls under the broiler until golden brown. Load up the rolls with the shredded beef and top with sliced cheese. Add more beef on top of the cheese. If you’d like, you can add a little prepared horseradish.

Remember, a little goes a long way!

Ladle the beefy, brothy goodness into small individual bowls and dip in your sandwich with each bite.

PHILLY CHEESE STEAK SANDWICH

This is not the typical Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich made with the orange day-glow cheese. I used provolone and added it directly on the steak and veggies after the hoagie roll was fully loaded. The addition of Worcestershire sauce added a great depth of flavor to the steak. You can use either sirloin, ribeye or flank steak; just remember to slice very thinly AGAINST the grain. A few minutes in the freezer while you prep the vegetables will make slicing easier.

• 1 tablespoon olive oil

• 1 medium yellow onion, sliced lengthwise and then thinly sliced

• 1 green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

• Salt and pepper to taste

• 1 lb. steak, thinly sliced

• 1 teaspoon granulated garlic

• 1 to 2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

• Sliced provolone cheese

• Hoagie rolls, lightly toasted

Place a large, cast-iron skillet over high heat and add the oil. When the oil shimmers, add the onions and peppers. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper, and cook, stirring until vegetables begin to soften.

While the vegetables are cooking, prepare your steak. Move all the onions and peppers to one side of the skillet and add in the steak. Sprinkle with the granulated garlic.

Stir the steak occasionally and cook until done. Then stir to mix in the onions and peppers and add the Worcestershire sauce. Reduce heat and allow the Worcestershire sauce to coat all the ingredients. Let mixture simmer while you toast the hoagie rolls.

Load up the rolls, top with the sliced provolone and dig in!

GARLICKY MEATBALL SLIDERS

A few weeks ago, I gave you the recipe for my homemade meatballs. I suggested it would be a good idea to freeze some of them for sandwiches such as this! If you didn’t save that recipe, here’s the link to the recipe on my blog: https://bit.ly/38F2w7h. You can always use frozen meatballs if you wish.

For the sliders, you will need

• 12 meatballs
• 2 cups marinara sauce


12 King’s Hawaiian rolls

• 6 slices provolone cheese

• 6 tablespoons butter

• 1 tablespoon minced garlic

• 1 teaspoon Tuscan herb blend

• 2 tablespoons minced basil

• 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for topping


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray.


Heat the meatballs and marinara in a medium saucepan over low heat until heated through.


Slice the rolls in half and place bottom half in prepared baking dish. Top each roll with a meatball and marinara sauce. Next, add the sliced provolone. Place the top of the rolls on top of the cheese.

In a small saucepan, over low heat, melt butter. Add garlic, Tuscan herb blend, basil and Parmesan cheese. Let simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently.


Slowly spoon the garlic butter mixture over the top of each sandwich. Then top with extra grated Parmesan. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until the cheese has melted. Serve immediately.

Laura Tolbert, also known as Fleur de Lolly, has been sharing recipes, table decor ideas and advice for fellow foodies and novices on her blog, fleurdelolly.blogspot.com for more than eight years. She won the Duke Mayonnaise 100th Anniversary nationwide recipe contest for her Alabama White BBQ Sauce. You can contact her at facebook.com/fleurde.lolly.5, on Instagram and fleurdelolly@yahoo.com.