Marinated Baked Pork Chops

I’m a sucker for teriyaki type stuff so when I saw soy sauce, brown sugar, and worcestershire sauce, I thought this was a shoe it for love from the Coastie House.

Marinated Baked Pork Chops

I followed this recipe to a T, minus using 6 pork chops. I only had 4.

1T Soy Sauce

2T Veggie Oil

1T Worcestershire sauce

1t lemon juice

2T brown sugar

2T ketchup

4 Pork Chops (I use boneless, center cut. Usually on the thicker side)

Pre-Baking

Pre-Baking

The recipe called to bake it for 30 mins, flip, baste, and bake for 30 mins. That would turn these into hockey pucks so I baked for 25 mins total and dumped all the sauce over it.

Overall family opinion: they were better the second day. For some reason, the ketchup was very prominent in this recipe. It was BBQ-y enough for me and I liked it but I really tasted the ketchup, which I didn’t love. We had two chops the next day and they were definitely better. We may have this again but we’ll need to tweak the receipe some.

pork chop2The upside to this recipe is that it’s packed with protein, which is a plus considering how much time E and I spend in the gym. On to the next recipe, I suppose

Crock Pot Balsamic Chicken

I’m having an inappropriate love affair with my crock pot as of late. It’s so convenient and with school, Beanie, E, and work, it’s nice to come home and have a chunk of dinner taken care of.

Yesterday was one of those days. Time management was my failure and thank goodness I had something else preparing my meal otherwise I’m pretty positive my family would have starved. I went to the gym with C for her first outing, post baby, and we got a 3.11 mile training run in. While we were doing that, my crock pot boyfriend was home, ensuring my meal was cooking.

Crock Pot Balsamic Chicken was the meal of choice. This is the first recipe I’ve used from Just a Pinch that I’ve used but it definitely seemed simple enough.

balsamic chicken1

Not shown: 2 lb of boneless, skinless breasts

2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/2 C of balsamic vinegar

2T minced onion

1T garlic powder

1T Italian seasoning

1/2T salt

1/2T black pepper

2T Extra Olive Oil

2T minced garlic

balsamic chicken2

Put the oil and garlic in the bottom of the crock pot and then layer the chicken on top of it. Put the dry seasonings onto the chicken and then dump the balsamic vinegar on top of that.

The cooking time was weird for me. I don’t like dry meat (who does, right?) so when I read “3 hours”, I thought “no way in hell am I cooking this mess for 3 hours”. I stopped it at a little over 2 and sure enough, the chicken was a little dry for me.

balsamic chicken3

Overall Family Opinion: “this is really good!”. I served it with egg noodles. The sauce didn’t thicken the way I thoought it might so it wasn’t so much a sauce as it was juice but it still had really great flavor.

Cheesy Stuffed Meatballs

We have a regular rotation of dinners and it seems to get a touch boring after a while. I’m always on the look out for new recipes that sound great and aren’t too terribly labor intensive to make.

I decided, for Feb, I wanted to do a various of “Julie & Julia”. Please don’t think I have any grand ideas of getting out Julia Childs’ cookbook and making Beef Wellington on a school night. But I would like to challenge myself to make 28 different dinners, not only to give my family some change, but also to enhance some cooking skills.

Allrecipes.com is one of my favorite go-to’s but I also see how people “share” a million and one recipes all over the facebook. You know the “share this on your wall so you can refer back!” posts. Yea. My mother is guilty of those but I can’t lie, I’ve tried a couple that she has posted.

Last night was Betty Crocker’s Cheese Stuffed Meatballs.

Now, I attempt to tweak recipes whenever I can to lessen the calories and make it a touch healthier. MFP has this recipe labeled as 850 cals per serving. I don’t know about you but that’s a LOT for one dinner so I needed to figre this out.

Cheese Stuffed Meatballs

Cheese Stuffed Meatballs

I used:

4 Sticks of Polly-O Mozzerella String Cheese (freeze for about an hour before using), cut into enough chunks for the number of meatballs you have

1 lb 80/20 ground beef (I find the less fat, the drier the meat and I don’t enjoy dried out ground beef)

1/2 C Parmesan Bread Crumbs

1T Minced Onion (I prefer the taste of the dried minced onion when I don’t have a fresh onion in the house)

2t Garlic Powder

1 whole egg

I mixed all ingredients together in  a bowl and made sure to distribute the dry ingredients.

meatballs 2

Out of the pound of meat, I was able to get 11 meatballs, each weighing 1.6 oz.

meatballs 3Take the cheese and stuff it into the meatball. You might need to cut more off the chunk to make it fit properly

meatballs 4Seal the meatballs around the cheese, as best you can. This definitely kicked my ass.

meatballs 5Bake at 350* for 10 mins and check them. I checked them at 10 mins and they needed a littler longer, in my opinion. I learned the hard way — next time I will be baking these on a rack with a drip pan underneath. I also learned that I need to work on sealing my balls (pause for *snickers*) because the cheese was oozing out.

meatballs 6

Case in point — oozy cheese.

Overall Family Opinion: “they’re good”. I agree with E, they were a little bland so I definitely need to beef up the seasonings within the actual meatball. I also think sealing them better and then putting the balls into the sauce would be helpful too. This will be put into the rotation and eaten again. It definitely didn’t take forever to make so it’s convenient for a weeknight meal.

rachelkern152

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