Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Skillet-Glazed Pork Chops

Oh my goodness... I'VE MISSED YOU GUYS!

I did not intend on being away from you this long, and for that I apologize! But things got a little crazy around here after Thanksgiving.

I have some good news and some bad news... let's get the bad news over with first because I don't like to dwell on sad things.

Unfortunately, my grandfather passed away the weekend after Thanksgiving after 85 glorious years on this earth.  I told you all a bit about him over the summer - he was definitely one in a million.

My cousin and I had the honor of giving the eulogy at his funeral, and our family was humbled by the hundreds of people that came over the course of two days to pay their respects.  He will be VERY missed, but the awesome part is that he led a full life and kept us all smiling and laughing for many years!

This is super tough because I also lost my very dear great aunt over the summer - Aunt Joyce was like a grandmother to me.  She was super spunky and forward-thinking, and she gave great advice.  She was also incredibly easy to talk to.  I know that part of life & aging is moving on, but it's hard to say goodbye to people that mean so much to you!  

That being said - on to the good news.  The rest of my hiatus was spent with my new boyfriend.

Mr. V is painfully jealous as he is very handsome & a younger man.

Much, much younger.

16 days old, to be exact.

My best friend Lauren had her baby on November 22!!  I just got back from Myrtle Beach visiting Holt Vittles and he could not be sweeter. 

But let me tell you... after spending 4 days with a newborn baby, I realized that I'm just not cut out for having children.


I'm totally joking, I just thought that might give my mother-in-law a little jolt in her seat since she is SO looking forward to having grandchildren.

Don't worry Pammy Vittles, we're still planning on being parents... someday :)

But actually, the visit opened my eyes in a different way.

See, I'm an only child but I have a bunch of younger cousins, I started babysitting neighborhood kids at 13, and worked in both a nursery and a summer camp.  So I'm no stranger to the kiddos.

But babies have always kind of weirded me out.

Which sounds horrible, I know, but I mean - they just seem so fragile and mysterious.  I'm that girl who gets offered to hold someone's infant and says "Oh... no thank you."  I am just not a baby person.

I have always felt confident that I could be a good mother at some point, but the whole infant stage makes me a little wary.  Especially since that part comes first!

However, Lauren is like my sister... which makes Holt my nephew.

 Lauren & Holt

So as soon as I got into her house I was basically like "Ok, let's cut to the chase - now give me that baby."  She gladly obliged and... the rest is history.

I'm in love!
"Holt Hogan" & I
How cute is he?

But as I've learned from both Lauren and Nat Vittles, being a new mom is a ton of work... so I am thinking Mr. V had better enjoy meals such as this while he can :)

Skillet-Glazed Pork Chops
  • 4 boneless center-cut or loin chops , 3/4 to 1 inch thick
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 C. maple syrup (since good maple syrup is expensive, I used half honey)
  • 2 t. Dijon mustard 
  • 1/4 C. cider vinegar 
  • 1 t. minced fresh thyme 
  • 1 T. vegetable oil
Trim chops and slash through fat and silver skin on thin sides of each chop, making 2 cuts about 2" apart on each (this helps to prevent the sides of the chops from curling up in the pan as they cook). Pat chops dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Combine maple syrup, mustard, vinegar, and thyme in bowl or large measuring cup.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add pork to skillet and cook until well browned, about 5 minutes. Turn chops and add glaze mixture. Turn heat down to medium-low and cook until internal temperature registers 140 degrees (5 to 8 minutes).  Remove chops to plate and tent with foil.

Then, reduce glaze: return any accumulated juices to skillet and simmer glaze over medium heat until thick and syrupy. (Tip: you want the liquid to have small but plentiful bubbles, and a spatula dragged through the mixture should make a trail.)  Pour reduced glaze over chops & serve.  Serves 4, 1 chop per person.

Recipe from Cook's Country

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