Lazy Day Dinner: Pork Chops

I love cooking. It’s one of my main passions. I really love when I can cook something that has layers and layers of favor, but it isn’t too complicated to make.

Marinades make accomplishing this so easy.

My favorite thing about marinades I that you can throw whatever you have handy together and it (almost) always works. Talk about win win!

Last night I made BBQ pork chops for dinner. We haven’t pulled out the grill yet and I wanted to make something other than the normal baked and basted pork chops – not that there is anything wrong with those.

I started by searching through my pantry for flavors that were unique and unexpected in a traditional BBQ dish. I landed on coconut and peanut butter.

Hey, it seemed like a pretty good idea at the time.

In a large glass, I combined .5 cup peanut butter, .5 cup light agave nectar, .5 cup light brown sugar, a table spoon BBQ of McCormick’s Smokehouse Maple BBQ rub, and a dash of nutmeg and microwaved it to melt it into a syrup like state. I then layered this peanut butter syrup and my pork chops in a large mixing bowl. Over top of the pork chops, I poured an 8 ounce can of cream of coconut. I covered the bowl and placed it in the fridge for five hours. If covered tightly, it could even sit overnight. The longer your marinade sits, the more your food will absorb the flavors.

When it was time to start dinner, I drained the coconut cream off of the pork chops. I then rubbed the McCormick rub and some of my Pampered Chef BBQ rub into both sides of the pork chops before placing them on a baking stone cookie sheet with pineapple, onions, and green peppers.

I covered the cookie sheet in tin foil and baked it at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

I could have stopped here! They were incredibly juicy and flavorful. If I hadn’t had my mind set on BBQ, I would have just served them as was.

After they finished baking, I cut them into strips and browned them in a cast iron skillet. One they were brown enough, I drizzled my BBQ sauce mixture over them and baked for another 15 minutes at 350.

While they were back in the oven, I drained the juices off of the pineapples, green peppers, and onions. I used this as chutney when I plated my pork.

My BBQ sauce mixture was one cup ketchup, .5 cup brown sugar, 1 cup BBQ sauce, 3 tablespoons spicy brown mustard, and 1 teaspoon minced garlic. I mixed this together in a large glass and microwaved it until smooth.

These were so good! My picky boyfriend and my niece both loved them! I can’t wait to make them next time I have family in town.

I have to admit, I was pretty skeptical that I could pull this combination off. But I love making my own recipes – it’s what makes cooking fun!

The only thing I would change next time is that I would triple the peanut butter combination and let the pork sit overnight to really absorb the flavors. I would also use a little less rub. I wanted more of the marinade flavor to shine through.

I ended up making Cody and Marley macaroni and cheese for a side and my mom wanted cornbread stuffing.

I usually make corn on the cob, rice, and a veggie when I make pork chops. I’m such a creature of habit.

Sorry there aren’t pictures! I put Cody in charge of taking them while I cooked and as a result, all of them are blurry. Haha

The Pampered Chef rub is my absolute favorite. I have almost all of the flavors and I use them on everything! You should check them out!

Any secret to great BBQ pork chops that I should know??

Summer Reading List

Ah, summer!

My favorite thing about summer is that I have time to read! I’ve jotted down a short summer reading list. It isn’t long because I plan on spending more of my free time crafting and hanging out than in previous years.

Paper Towns: I honestly had no interest in reading John Greene’s latest book turned movie. Until last year, I had never read any of Green’s books despite watching some of his vlogs. My first Green book was The Fault in Our Stars. I loved it. I read it in one sitting with no breaks. It was captivating. Then, I bought Looking for Alaska. While it was interesting, I could not stay hooked reading it. I hadn’t tried any of his other books since. But I saw the trailer today when I went to see Pitch Perfect Two. Cara Delevingne looks absolutely stunning. I’ve been a fan of hers since she first hit the radar. I always feel ridiculously guilty if I don’t read a book before watching the movie. So, one my reading list it goes.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in Spanish: I’ve been working to learn Spanish. They say it is easier to learn languages if you read and listen to familiar things in the language you are trying to learn. I frequently listen to Spanish covers of my favorite songs. I decided to take it a step farther and read one of my all-time favorite books in Spanish this summer.

And there you have it – my two book long reading list.

I plan on reading more than just those two books. I just don’t know what they are going to be yet.

Any super good books I need to know about?