Just Cooking My Way Through 2021

We are into the third week of 2021. Who is still working towards their New Year’s Resolution? In our household, there has been a big push towards low-carb eating. I started the year out with no Dr. Pepper for 30 days, I will admit, I had a little slip one day but have been going strong since then. With the low-carb eating going on in our house, I figured I would join in on the fun too.

One thing that I want to do for myself this year, is to enhance my cooking skills. Since, like many Americans, we are trying to eat better this time of year, I figured why not step up my cooking skills in the process.

Boneless Pork Chops in Creamy Garlic Spinach Sauce – (Minus the Spinach) – My first cooked meal of the New Year and I have to say, I was amazed! I was so impressed with myself and it has definitely given me the confidence to keep cooking, even though I may be a little slower than the expert cooker in our house.

Boneless Pork Chops in Creamy Garlic Sauce

Ingredients

  • 6 pork chops, boneless – We got the thinner boneless pork chops and actually cooked around 9. 6 went in the sauce and we had some plain ones for leftovers. You will see in the original recipe it calls for 3.
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil – I didn’t measure this, just did a little shake of the wrist to get it across the pan
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely minced – I used a Garlic Press for this
  • 1 small yellow onion – minced
  • 1/3  cup chicken stock
  • 1 ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning – I didn’t measure this, just a shake across the pan
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper flakes – I didn’t measure this, just a couple shakes throughout the pan
  • ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese – it calls for grated, I just used the kind you would put on your pizza

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season your pork chops with paprika, salt, and pepper on both sides. Place in the pan and cook until your liking. Mine came out golden brown. If you are the temping type, they need to at least be 145 degrees internally. Take them out of the pan and set them aside.
  2. Melt the butter in the same pan. Add garlic, onion, Italian Seasoning, and red crushed chili pepper and stir-fry about a minute or so. When my onions started browning, I added the chicken stock.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and add the heavy whipping cream. Bring the creamy sauce to a gentle simmer. Depending on how thick you want you sauce this could take a few minutes. We like it a little thicker, so I let it simmer and stirred occasionally.
  4. Stir in the Parmesan Cheese and allow sauce to continue to simmer and wait until the cheese is melted. I kept stirring occasionally at this point as well.
  5. Put the pork chops back into the pan to reheat. I covered the pork chops with the sauce and served.

For our side we had Bacon Wrapped Asparagus –

  • Set your oven to 400 Degrees
  • Get out a cookie sheet and cover it with foil
  • Snap your Asparagus – simply bend in half and let them snap naturally
  • Put them into a bowl. Add olive oil and salt and pepper. Mix all the ingredients until your asparagus appear seasoned
  • Take out your bacon, either cut it in half or tear it in half
  • Wrap each asparagus with half a piece of bacon, placing them on the cooking sheet
  • Place in oven and cook for about 30 – 40 minutes, depending on how crispy you like them. I placed mine in the oven right before I started cooking the pork chops and they were ready when the meal was ready

Tips

  1. You probably only need half an onion and make sure to chop it extra small.
  2. Season to how you like it, sometimes more is better

If you are interested in the original recipe you can check it out here – https://www.eatwell101.com/boneless-pork-chops-in-creamy-garlic-butter-sauce

P.S. Their pictures are a lot prettier than mine. Don’t worry I plan to step it up on the photography side next time.

I hope this brings you as much comfort as it did me.

As always share some love, we could all use a little more love.

XOXOXO

Casey

The Power of Introverts

For most of my childhood, I seemed like an outgoing person. I was always involved in some kind of sports activity, normally multiple at one time. I also played the piano and was an avid reader. I have always loved to write as well. The older I got, the more competitive I got in sports. I was a fairly smart kid, never really having to study extra hard after school unless it came to Math. I also grew a passion for photography. Did I mention that I was the starting pitcher for our high school softball team when I was a freshman?

After high school and into College (which would turn into long drawn out years of College at all different ages experience) I was a bartender at a restaurant, who went out all the time, who was surrounded by her friends all the time, whose creative side (reading, writing, and photography) seemed to die.

I tell you all these things because I have recently come to learn that I am actually an introverted person. I enjoy my quiet time. I enjoy my alone time, I love reading. I love writing and being in my head, I have so many thoughts that sometimes I have to get them down on paper or else I won’t stop thinking about them. I find this very fascinating as I look back on my younger years and see some of the same qualities but at times almost the opposite of how I am now.

I recently read – “Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop talking.” – By Susan Cain. This book blew my mind and explained a lot of questions that I had. That even being an introvert, if you have a true passion about something you will display extrovert qualities because you are doing the thing you love. That your environment can play a part in displaying different qualities as well. For so long, I felt different than some people. I know a lot of people but I have a select few really good friends and honestly, I have those friends still because THEY reach out and communicate with me. I am happy being able to read a book all day yet I long for companionship without any expectations. Me, ten years ago would have been out multiple times a week. Me now, dreads even thinking about going to the grocery store, but yet, I can stand and work a booth for multiple days at a time selling some of my favorite shirts.

If you have ever been a little bit curious about the introvert/extrovert relationship you should definitely pick us this book. There is advice for introverts on how to learn how to be more vocal. There is advice for extroverts on how to maybe listen a little bit longer. There is advice for people in relationships who are introverts/extroverts. Did you know that a disagreement may turn into a huge fight because you don’t understand the personality of your partner? Imagine how happier homes could potentially be if we actually understood how the other processed information. Have a child that has a different personality than you? This book will help with that too. Even if you don’t have a close relationship or a child, reading the book will definitely help put a different perspective on the people you work with. Imagine the greatness that could arise if we all understood each other a little better.

As always share some love, we could all use a little more love

XOXO

Casey