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.

NaBloPoMo – Nov 16th

25 Things About Me

I know I’ve done this before but there is one of those annoying “Like My Status And I’ll Give You A Number”. I’ve seen some people do it 4 times. 29 facts later, I know all but their shoe size…That’s just a lot of information for FB to handle. But I decided

1) I wear a size 5.5Y workboot. I have ridiculously small feet. It’s abnormal. I’ve heard all of the jokes. “Did you break into TRU and steal GI Joe’s combat boots?” and “How do you not trip more?” and my personal favorite, from my old supervisor on the ship “We can’t find you boots from this distributor so I’m going to need you to go stand in shit and hope your feet grow”. I’ll get right on that.

2) I’m a Car Rockstar. I’ve attracted a LOT of attention and have had people outright point and laugh at me as I drive by because I sing (and sometimes dance) while I’m driving down the road. Sometimes I’m Carrie Underwood, other times I’m Jessica Simpson. I’m even part of the TSO during the holiday season. It depends on my mood.

3) I ran a 5K, a 10K, and a Half Marathon in 2013. I know this seems like it’s not a big deal at all but to me, someone who was 217lbs at delivery, having packed on a substantial amount of weight during my pregnancy, this is a huge accomplishment for me. I call myself an “accidental runner” because I never intended to fall in love with this sport. I started the C25K as a resolution for Feb through April and it skyrocketed from there.

4) I’m deathly scared of water I can’t see the bottom of. I know, I know. “But Lara, you’re in the Coast Guard”. I understand the confusion. I just don’t go in water I can’t see the bottom of, whether it be a lake, river, ocean, etc. I did go into the ocean while I was in Hawaii because I could see the bottom, but even then, I didn’t go past my knees. I wanted the option to run if I needed to. This started during swim call in 2001. I jumped off the side of the ship, into the Caribbean Ocean. I got some goggles and, under me, a school of hammerheads. I made like Jesus and walked on water. No Thanks.

5) I entered the Coast Guard when I was still 17 yrs old. I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up but I knew I needed to get away from my mother and sister so I signed up. My mother had to sign the papers so I could leave since I was still, legally, a minor. I turned 18 during the last week of Basic Training.

6) I’m taking college classes and working towards a BA in Hospitality Manangement with a concentration in Event Planning. Yea. I don’t know why but I love planning parties. I don’t really like dealing with people, especially when they are at a particularly shrill time in their lives but seeing the faces of people who are impressed makes it totally worth it. I thrive on pleasing people. Even though I don’t give a shit what people think of me, I like to see people pleased.

7) I’ve driven across the Bridge Between The Americas. It’s just like any other bridge except it connects North America and South America. I did this when I was in Panama. While I was there, I crossed through the Canal. It’s annoying and a pain in the ass because it took forever. And it rained the entire time.

8) I’m obsessed with the History Channel, the Freemasons in particular. E and I will DVR and watch any and all shows relating to the Freemasons. I actually know some members of the Masons and while they tell me a lot of these shows are propoganda, I still love them and find them absolutely fascinating. I love making the connections to how their actions created our country.

9) I am one of the most loyalest and most fiercely protective people you will ever meet. I’m hard to get to know. I don’t like people in, very easily, because I’ve been hurt by “friends” but once you’re in, I’ve got your back. I still have the same 3 best friends that I’ve had since kindergarten. We’ve lost touch through some years and my first marriage almost destroyed them, but they’ve remained by my side and I know, if I were to call them tomorrow, crying, one would ask if I needed her to come up to Maine, another would tell me the guest room is clean and to come back to MD, the third would ask me if she needed a shovel or cement. They get me. No matter how long between visits, we pick right up where we left off. If you mess with my family or my friends, I will come after you and make your life hell. I hold grudges for a long, long time.

10) I have OCD. It’s not awful. Like, I don’t have to walk in and out of a door frame 13 times before I can sit down but my DVDs are alphabetized, my CDs are organized by genre and then alphabetized, I have to count my daughter’s Little People before I can go to bed (once, Snow White was missing, and I tore our living room apart to find her), the TV or radio volume must be on an increment of 5. At any given time, the TV in our house is either way too low or way too loud. When I run, I have to end at an even time. I either have to run for 30 mins or 35 mins. I can’t stop at 32 mins. I try to time my mileage to my clock because it drives me batty to have 30 mins but only 3.32 miles. My mileage needs to be an increment of 5, as well.

11) I played the trumpet in elementary and middle school. I wasn’t fantastic or anything but I only started playing because I knew me practicing it would drive my mother bananas. She got the last laugh because she would send me over to a friends house to practice with him and his mother. Touche Ma. In hindsight, I wish I had played the clarinet.

12) I was the best parent I have ever met…before I had a child. Before I had Beanie, I used to roll my eyes at the parents that complained about being tired or how hard being a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) was or how much laundry needed to get done, etc. I was all “dude, the kid sleeps. It can’t be THAT hard”. Then I had Beanie. She was an easy baby so I still got my “chores” done but the lack of sleep – that about did me in. I still don’t think it’s that hard to get things done with a child in the house but I rarely ever admit that for fear that I’d further fuel the Mommy Wars.

13)  I despise being called “Mommy”. I have called myself “mama” ever since Beanie was born. E refers to me as “Mama” when he needs Beanie to recognize me in some way, shape, or form. Beanie, in turn, has never called me “Mommy”

14) I think the “Mommy Wars” are the dumbest f**king thing ever. I think it all started from a mother who insisted she knew everything and when someone dared to differ from her way of thinking, it became a huge deal. Now, the people who continue the war, I think, are the most insecure. The people who will BF in public simply for a reaction, the people who stop others to tell them the carseat isn’t correct (when they aren’t asked), the people who tell people formula is poison. There are people from every department and, just once, I’d like everyone to STFU and understand that no one knows what’s best for any child but they’re own. And, for the love of all that is Holy, if you don’t have a child, you don’t have a dog in this fight so please keep your opinions to yourself.

15) I have 10 tattoo “pieces”. I have “Deifuir” on the top of my shoulder (it means “Sister” in Gaelic), “Nochtann Gra Noi” with a shamrock between my shoulder blades (it means “Love Reveals Beauty” in Gaelic), 4 Japanese characters on my lower back (they are supposed to mean: Courage, Beauty, Love, True” but they probably mean Chicken Noodle Soup), “There You’ll Be” with my uncle and grandfather’s initials under it, a Honu turtle on my stomach (under my belly button) with “True to One, Enemy to None” which is a play on Ben Franklin’s speech and also stolen from Dee, a hibscus on my right foot, a teal cherryblossom with Beanie’s name on my left wrist, a support ribbon on my left side ribcage with “Unbreakable Strength” over it and my maternal grandfather’s birth date (18) in roman numerals, and three sparrows on my right side ribcage. I’m planning on getting “V, X, XII.I” on my left calf to represent the races I’ve run (5K, 10K, Half Marathon).

16) I can touch my nose with my tongue. I’m pretty sure I was drunk when I figured this out but yea. I have a freakishly long tongue.

17) Some of my greatest friends are people I’ve met on the internet. When I was planning my first wedding, I joined the message boards on WeightWatchers.com. Now, 8 years later, I’m still FB friends with a lot of them and, a lot of them I’ve never met in person.

18) I’m extremely opinionated. I, often times, make a terrible first impression because I speak my mind but one thing I pride myself on is that I won’t ever say anything behind your back that I wouldn’t or haven’t already said to your face. I once threw someone off during an argument because I corrected them when they said “well you said…”. I interrupted them and said “no, what I said was…” and that was actually worse than what they thought I had said. It ended up ending the argument because I was truthful and forthcoming. Most people think it’s that I lack a filter. It’s just that I’m opinionated and have zero tolerance for the bullshit.

19) I hate birds. I hate them with a passion. I can’t eat outdoors because I am too distracted with where they are and how close they are to me. I have them tattooed to me for a Sailor tradition but actual, real life birds, I don’t want them near me. I was running once when three turkeys came out of the bushes. I screamed and took off.

20) I am a HUGE Ravens Fan.

I grew up, born and raised in Baltimore and I remember when the Ravens came to Baltimore in Aug of 1996. I went to high school with a guy that played for the Ravens (he's now out of the NFL due to a severe knee injury). I've met several players from the Ravens.

I grew up, born and raised in Baltimore and I remember when the Ravens came to Baltimore in Aug of 1996. I went to high school with a guy that played for the Ravens (he’s now out of the NFL due to a severe knee injury). I’ve met several players from the Ravens.

21) I’ve traveled to a lot of places but still haven’t hit the places on my Bucket List. With being on the ship, I was given the opportunity to travel all over the place. I can’t say “world” because it was narrowed down to North and South Americas but I had an absolute blast. I spent my 19th Birthday in NYC (after 9/11), my 20th birthday in Manta, Ecuador, in addition to hiking through the jungles of Costa Rica, seeing the drug slums of Colombia, the lush terrain (but shitty economy) of Haiti, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Jamaica, to name a few. I still have the clay fish that K stole for me in Costa Rica. He stole it to make me feel better after a monkey pooped on me. I still want to make it to England, Scotland, Ireland, Greece, and Italy. Someday, I hope.

22) I’m pretty positive that I’m addicted to York Peppermint Patties. I eat a ridiculous amount of them. I’m pretty sure those are the blame for my weight gain.

23) Contrary to my friends, I did NOT know I would be marrying E when I first met him. So many of my peeps have said “I knew I was gonna marry my man when I first met him”. That wasn’t me. I thought we would just be friends and I could take advantage of him and make him take me to dinner. That backfired. But in a good way 😉

24) Reality TV is my non-food addiction. If there is a reality TV show on, chances are I probably DVR it, unless it’s Big Brother. I don’t understand that TV show. I DVR The Amazing Race, The Real Housewives of Everywhere (except DC), Survivor, those godawful MTV shows, to name a few.

25) I’ve never not lived near the water. Where ever I’ve lived, I’ve never been more than 20 miles from the water, whether it be the bay or the ocean.

NaBloPoMo – Nov 12th

Day 12: Name five things inside your refrigerator right now and how you feel about them.

1) Milk (whole and skim)

2) Grape Jelly

3) Teriyaki Sauce

4) Bleu Cheese (both block and dressing)

5) Shredded Cheese (mozzarella and cheddar)

How I feel about these? Well, they’re food. I adore love food. It’s one of my most favorite things in the world. For these 5 things though, this is how the Coastie household exists.

Milk – I can kill a gallon of Skim in about a week. Beanie and E will down a gallon within 3 days. We are a very calcium-healthy family, to say the least.

Grape Jelly – We like our PB & J’s. Now that Beanie has entered her 2-year-old-hunger strike, PB & J is really one of the only things keeping her alive.

Teriyaki Sauce – I love a good teriyaki marinade. I prefer to mix this with honey and garlic and make it a little sweeter. It also is less salty then soy, which it good for the scale.

Bleu Cheese – If it was socially acceptable to swim in a vat of bleu cheese, I would. I use bleu cheese for everything. Broiled on top of steaks, topped on Buffalo encrusted chicken, dressing for dipping carrots into. It’s a mah-velous creation.

Shredded Cheese – Mozzarella for homemade pizza and Cheddar for homemade anything else. Homemade potato skins have become a family favorite during football season and cheese is a must for those.

I feel constricted narrowing this down because, now that my husband has become a fan of the kitchen, we’re acquiring more and more food/seasonings/sauces. I think these are my 5 favorite and the 5 that I’m most likely never to run out of.

POTD – Day 3

Day #3 – Breakfast

Biscuit and Milk

Biscuit and Milk

Not healthy, I know, but this is a breakfast for someone who comes into work and immediately has to get to work. Plus it’s free so I’ll take it 🙂

The Weight Saga – Weeks 7 & 8

Total this week: +5lbs

Total Overall: 9lbs

Yea. Not a fantastic two weeks. I got call on Friday night, the 16th, that my Poppy had passed away and that E and I needed to go back to MD for the funeral. That meant eating on the road, driving at least 9 hours one way, and having an extremely messed up sleep and work out routine. Between visiting family and driving, there was no time for working out (unless I wanted to lose an hour of sleep and frankly, with all the emotions, there was no chance of that being feasible).

Then there was Thanksgiving. I didn’t limit myself but I did listen to my body. E parentals and my parentals came to our place and we did the tourist thing which was nice but again, that left little time to work out. That part was my own fault but I haven’t seen them since Sept so I really just wanted to catch up and visit and relax.

My need to relax = a gain of 5lbs. I’m hoping some of this weight is just bloat from other issues and I’m chugging water like it’s my job so I WILL see a loss this week. It’s just a matter of how much will I see.

While my ma was in town, we decided to continue my sunday baking and we made Pumpkin Roll

 One thing I learned — when they say have the cream cheese at room temperature — have the cream cheese at room temperature. I have cream cheese clumps now.

I think it was a bit heavy on cloves but overall, it wasn’t bad for my first attempt.

30 Days of Giving Thanks – Day 15

15) A Recipe:

I ADORE the Iceburg Lettuce Wedge Salad from Outback. I think I love it a little more than people are supposed to love food but I love this. The tanginess of the blue cheese and balsamic with the saltiness of the bacon — YUM! I found a recipe online and just went with it.

1/2 C Balsamic Vinegar

1/8 C of Honey

1/4 t Salt

Mix in a saucepan on the stove and reduce to a thick syrup. I threw some beef stew meat (the chunks of beef) into the sauce and then put that over a wedge a lettuce with the bacon (extra crispy please!) and the crumbles of blue cheese. I don’t make my own blue cheese, I prefer Marie’s Extra Chunky Bleu Cheese.

30 Days of Giving Thanks – Days 10, 11, and 12

So clearly I suck at this whole “blogging every single day” bit but I’m trying!

10) A Time Of Day: After Beanie’s bath but right before she goes to bed, we sit in her glider and we read a story from her Bedtime Story Book and she settles down and watches the pages turn. I can’t believe she is getting so big so fast but she is an amazing little human ♥

11) A Tradition: one tradition that started in my family and I’ve continued it with Beanie is every Christmas season we watch the Christmas movies on TV and then we watch Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas. The singing and dancing are my favorite and it just gives a great message. We watched it last Christmas with Beanie (well, we watched it and she slept) but it’ll be something we’ll do again this year.

12) A Gadget: Apple TV, by far, my most favorite. I love being able to catch up on shows that are off the air or that I’ve downloaded from iTunes. I’ve had many Netflix days with this gadget 🙂

Sunday brought the usual football and baking. A 1pm game where we promptly pummeled the Oakland Raiders (am I the only one that was surprised they still have a team? I honestly thought they didn’t have a team anymore). Sneaky Sam Koch and his TD 🙂 Awesome Play.

In the baking division, up to the plate was: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

This is a “Case In Point” when you don’t omit ingredients. I left out the chocolate chips because I didn’t have any and sure enough, they are missing the sweetness :/ E is still eating them but they could have been better with the chocolate.

I might actually try these again when I get chocolate chips.

And I learned a VERY important lesson this past weekend.

Do Not Leave Beanie Unattended

The Scale – Week 5

Total loss this week: -0.9

Total loss overall: 11.9 lbs

I’m happy. I’m seeing progress both in my running and with my appearance. When I got some post-preg jeans, I got one pair that was 3 sizes bigger than what I was wearing pre-preg. Those are packed away. The pairs that I got that are two sizes bigger than my pre-preg size are now starting to get ridiculously big in the waist so now I need to find the time (and money) to go get another pair in a smaller size. I doubt I’ll ever fit back into the size I was pre-preg even though I’m really only one size larger. My hips and bum have umm… changed. LOL

 Went for a run with work this morning and I can’t say I’m terribly upset that I was made to do it.

I will say though, missing a workout on Wednesday and then missing another one yesterday due to a lingering migraine really sucks.

I did about 2.2 miles on the bike and then went for a 2.25mi run. I’m happy with the burn.

 

 

 

 

Since E has been  such long hours, I needed something to get into and Beanie has been needing an afternoon nap so I decided to attempt to bake some things that have been on my Baking Bucket List.

Up this go-round: Apple Cider Crumb Cake

You wouldn’t believe how difficult it was to find this type of recipe. It started out as Apple Cider Doughnuts. E loves these things and they actually taste like Apple, which I dig. So I came across this recipe and figured what the hell – let’s give it a whirl.

For the crumb topping:

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
12 tablespoons butter, melted, warm
2 2/3 cups cake flour

Mix all of this together and set aside. The original recipe said to let this cool while I prepared the cake batter. I’m not sure if I did it wrong but I never got anything more than mixed crumbles.

For the cake batter:

2 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
12 tablespoons butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup vanilla yogurt (feel free to substitute an equal amount of buttermilk or plain milk here)
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons apple cider

*I used whole milk instead of yogurt and I haven’t the slightest idea of where to find buttermilk

 

And finally, for the glaze

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2-3 tablespoons apple cider, depending on how thick or thin you’d like your glaze
2 teaspoons applejack, apple schnapps or apple brandy (optional)

*I didn’t use the last ingredient because I didn’t have it in the house and I don’t like that type of liquor

Overall assessment from E: it tastes good.

Right.

My biggest beef with this is that it takes almost an entire box of cake flour and my stupid oven doesn’t heat correctly so even after baking it for 42 mins, the cake was dry for my liking (you’re supposed to bake it 50-60 mins).

It’s not bad though and I’d more than likely make it again.

rachelkern152

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