Thursday, March 15, 2012

Marinated Pork Chops & Mustardy Green Beans

I set out some pork chops last week to thaw while I was at work. I hadn't really decided what I wanted to do with them at that point. I just knew that's what we would be having for supper. While on break at work, I was searching online to see what kind of recipes I could find that used pork chops. I found this marinade recipe. I decided it would be perfect, considered they didn't need to marinate that long. I followed the recipe, but I also added some minced onion, black pepper, olive oil and red pepper flakes. I broiled the pork chops instead of grilling and I served them with mustardy green beans and a noodle packet. The recipe for the green beans is below. I used canned green beans because that's what I had, but fresh or frozen would be ideal. The beans won't fall apart as easily this way, but they still taste great no matter what type of green beans you use.

I had never made the mustardy green beans for Luke before and he really like them. He is a big fan of mustard so that probably helps. Since spring is almost here, I am looking forward to all of the fresh produce that is going to become available. I am also looking forward to visiting the local farmer's market. Luke and I are hoping to move to the Des Moines area within the next couple of months. We are both busy applying for jobs, so hopefully something will become of that.

1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons garlic powder
4 pork chops

In a shallow dish, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, honey and garlic powder. Place chops in dish, and turn to coat. Cover, and marinate for 2 to 4 hours in the refrigerator.
Preheat grill to high heat, and lightly oil grate.
Grill steaks 5 to 8 minutes per side, or to desired doneness.

Mustardy Green Beans

4 cups green beans (fresh or frozen)
1 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the green beans until just tender; drain. Heat olive oil, mustard, and salt and pepper in pan. Place the beans back in the pan, turning to coat. Serve warm.

I hope you enjoy trying something new!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Brownie Swirl Cheesecake

This is the very first cheesecake I've ever made that didn't come in box where all you had to add was milk. I definitely need to practice this a bit more. But the good news is that it came out all right and was incredibly delicious! I had to borrow a springform pan from a co-worker, so I definitely need to get one of my own. My birthday is next month, so I will be adding that to my wish list. This was a pretty easy recipe, especially since the crust is made from brownie mix. You just have to patient enough for it to bake and cool before eating it. I'm hoping to be able to spend more time in the kitchen this coming week, but I did have 2 new classes start that will be keeping me busy. I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend, enjoying the warm weather. Spring is on it's way! :)


1 package fudge brownie mix (13-inch x 9-inch pan size)

4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
3 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon almond extract and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Fresh raspberries and chocolate curls, optional


Prepare brownie mix according to package directions for chewy fudge brownies. Set aside 2/3 cup brownie batter; spread remaining batter into a greased 9-in. springform pan.
Place pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan. Bake at 350° for 25-28 minutes (brownies will barely test done). Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla on low speed just until combined. Stir 1/3 cup into reserved brownie batter; set aside. Spoon half the cheesecake batter into crust; dollop with half of reserved chocolate cheesecake batter. Repeat layers. Cut through batter with a knife to swirl the chocolate cheesecake batter.
Place in a larger baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan. Bake at 325° for 1-1/2 hours or until surface is no longer shiny and center is almost set.
Remove pan from water bath and foil. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan. Garnish with raspberries and chocolate curls if desired. Yield: 16 servings.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Crockpot Lasagna

I did not realize it had been so long since my last post. I have quite a few recipes to get uploaded, as I have tried some new ones. I made this lasagna on Sunday. I found the recipe on Taste of Home's website. I have tried a lot of recipes from their website recently and I have not found a bad one yet. Since Luke was gone all weekend, enjoying some time with the guys, I decided this would be the perfect thing to throw in the crock-pot so that it was ready and waiting by the time he got home. This was really easy to throw together. I used ground lamb instead beef, but only because I felt like having lamb. The lasagna was delicious and I had some Texas Toast in the freezer. So I just threw that in the oven to serve with it. This recipes makes a ton, so we have leftovers to last us the week. I guess I know what I'm eating for lunch every day this week. Look for more recipes to be added this week as I try to get myself more organized. I have 2 new classes starting this week, so that will keep me busy along with work. ENJOY!!


1 pound ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (29 ounces) tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 package (8 ounces) no-cook lasagna noodles
4 cups (16 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1-1/2 cups (12 ounces) 4% cottage cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


In a skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain. Stir in the tomato sauce, water, tomato paste, salt and oregano.
Spread a fourth of the meat sauce in an ungreased 5-qt. slow cooker. Arrange a third of the noodles over sauce (break the noodles if necessary). Combine the cheeses; spoon a third of the mixture over noodles. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining meat sauce.
Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until noodles are tender. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Nutritional Facts:
1 serving (1 slice) equals 482 calories, 20 g fat (11 g saturated fat), 84 mg cholesterol, 1,317 mg sodium, 36 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 38 g protein.