Bacon Wrapped Pork Meatloaf

Hello all! So last night I was all set to make my normal meatloaf recipe but wrapped in bacon. Then I went to unwrap my beef and it was spoiled! Boo! Well, I wasn’t going to let a little spoiled meat get the best of me, so I trashed it and decided to wing it. I found a package of chicken sausage, so I decided to grind that up with a red pepper and an onion. It turned out really good, but I think it was too big of a change for my family. They said it was good and ate it, but they love my original meatloaf recipe and said they were missing the beef. I loved the change and except the bacon wrapping, it was lighter with the chicken sausage and veggies added.

Bacon Wrapped Pork Meatloaf


1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds ground chicken sausage
1/2 pound ground mild Italian sausage
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
8 strips of bacon


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Place the red bell pepper, onion, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is finely chopped. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped vegetables and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the vegetables, sausage, bread crumbs, eggs, salt, Worcestershire sauce and ketchup and mix well. Spray the bottom of a baking dish and place on strips of bacon on bottom with sides sticking out. Using your hands, form the meat it into a loaf. Place it on top of the bacon in the pan. Wrap the strips around the top. Add more on top or sides if needed. Bake the meat loaf, uncovered, until cooked through, about 1 hour.
Pour off the melted fat, slice the meat loaf and serve.

Funny story—-I put it on a sheet pan with aluminum foil. The bacon grease set a small fire in my oven. Use a baking dish 😉


Easy weeknight dinner—Crock Pot Pork Ragu

Hey guys! So as predicted, this week has been super crazy! Monday Becca had cheer practice, so she ate a cheese quesadilla. We took her to practice and the rest of us ate at a local Greek place. I had a bowl of lentil soup and falafel with pita (eating leftovers tomorrow).

Tuesday night my parents picked up the girls from school. They took them for a snack and then took Katie to her cheer practice. I was stuck at bus duty until late (middle school gets out the latest here), so the hubby went to the first curriculum night. I got home, started cooking dinner, and then helped Becca with her homework. I made a version of my chicken and mushrooms. Delish!


Hello little toes =)

Last night I also browned my pork for my crock pot rendition of Pork Ragu.


Tomorrow night will be another cheer night. Thinking of making something with sausage. Have a great night!

A Day for my Lulu

Evening, y’all! So today would be my sweet Lizzie’s 10th birthday. Lots of emotions, but trying to focus on all the good times.

I woke up early and went to a barre class, one of my favorite workouts. Then I went to the first farmer’s market of the season. What a beautiful morning! I bought a coffee to drink while I checked out all the vendors. Lots of great stuff. I bought some kale, a bunch of radishes, some pimento goat cheese, and some cinnamon bread (Lizzie’s favorite).

Then I came home to a sleepy family still in their pajamas. Everyone had some waffles and cinnamon bread and got ready to head out to a local strawberry farm. We picked TONS of yummy strawberries and had a blast.
After we came home, we all had a pretty chill afternoon… Jimmy Johns Lunch, Naps, TV, playing outside. I made one of her favorite meals for dinner; Pork Ragu with Bucatini and Strawberry Shortcake.





Tomorrow I am going to a Bodyflow class (Thai Chi, Pilates, and Yoga Fusion class) and hanging out with awesome friends at the new Avengers movie. Hope you guys have a fantastic Sunday!

Sweet Braised Pork Empanadas

Hey guys! Happy Sunday! On my meal plan this week I had empanadas. I had wanted to make the dough, but remembered that my trusty food processor had bit the dust. Luckily, I had some back up puff pastry in the freezer, so I rolled with it. This was pretty yummy; sweet and a bit spicy. I made half spicy and half non-spicy. The hubby had the spicy and the girls and I had non-spicy, but I added some hot sauce and jalapenos to my sour cream, so mine had a nice kick to it. I think next time I will do beef or chicken with a different seasoning. Hopefully by then I will have a new food processor and can make homemade dough.

Sweet Braised Empanadas – I got this recipe from and tweaked it a bit. Was meant for carnitas, but I thought it would still be amazing in an empanada. I was right. =)

3 pounds pork loin
2 tablespoons peanut oil (olive oil is fine if you don’t have peanut)
2 cans coke (or enough to go half-way up the pork)
1 tablespoon hot sauce or Sriracha
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 container of beef broth

Preheat oven to 325°F. Over medium-high heat, brown pork in peanut oil in a Dutch Oven on all sides. (Don’t skimp on this part. You want a nice brown crust.) Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and place the pot in the oven with lid slightly askew. Turn every 30 minutes or so, and remove after about three hours. Remove pork from liquid and shred on a cutting board using two forks. Place pork in a bowl or platter as you go. Toss with a little bit of the braising liquid — just a little, it’s very sweet.

Defrost some puff pastry. Cut in squares. Add a spoonful of pork and shredded Mexican cheese. I made half of them spicy- I added a couple of shakes of hot sauce and some diced jalapenos. For the non-spicy, I just added the pork and cheese. I brushed all with an egg wash and poked them with a fork.

Becca really loved the puff pastry, so I told her I would make her apple turnovers soon. Be on the lookout =)



Smothered Pork Chops

Hey guys! Happy Friday! Today was a pretty nice day. We slept in until about 8:45. Then I relaxed more with some coffee and went to an amazing Pilates class. Later I met a friend for lunch and chatted. The girls came with me and had a good time as well. It was also my dog’s birthday. Brutus got spoiled with some treats and toys.

This afternoon I cleaned out the kitchen to see what I could make. I defrosted some pork chops and decided to come up with a new recipe. My kids LOVE pork chops and gravy, so I thought to make a gravy smothered pork chop with mashed potatoes and veggies. I turned on my I-pod, poured myself a glass of wine, and got to cooking. It felt amazing to get back in the kitchen.

The verdict?
Everyone loved it, so this is totally going in to my pork chop recipe rotation.

Be on the lookout for a new chicken dish tomorrow. I am brewing up some ideas…

Smothered Pork Chops

1/2 stick of butter or 1/4 cup olive oil
3-5 pork chops, 3/4-inch thick, bone-in—- you could do this with any pork chop; no bone or thinner pork chops need less time. Just reduce the browning time or time it is cooked in the gravy. For accurate cooking, use a thermometer. Take out at 145 and let rest for 5 minutes. It will come up to 150-160 and be perfectly safe to eat.
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream (sub. buttermilk or half and half)

Dry off your chops with a paper towel. Put the flour in a shallow plate/bowl and add the salt and pepper. Dredge the pork chops in the seasoned flour; shaking off the excess.

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat and coat with the oil. I used one large and one med. so I would not over crowd the pan. You may end up steaming them and they will not brown, so make sure you have plenty of room. No overcrowding!

When the oil is hot, your pan should be smoking and ready for the meat. Lay the pork chops in the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Remove the pork chops from the pan and add a little sprinkle of seasoned flour to the pan drippings. Add more butter if necessary.

Add your onions and cook them down, about 8-10 minutes. Mix the flour into the fat to dissolve and then pour in the chicken broth in a little at a time. Let the liquid cook down for 5 minutes to reduce and thicken a bit.

Stir in the heavy cream a little at a time to finish the gravy and return the pork chops to the pan, covering them with the sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes until the pork is cooked through.



I served with a side of mashed potatoes and mixed veggies. Dinner was a hit. Trust me…just do it! =) Amy