Sunday, March 20, 2016

Caramel Apple Pork Chops

Spring is here! Why not celebrate the occasion with my amazing Caramel Apple Pork Chops! Now, before you start envisioning a pork chop that tastes like the caramel apple you got at the state fair last year, let me assure you that they don't taste alike.


Speaking of spring, I'm excited to start planting my flowers. I love the smell of hyacinths and tulips in the spring and the smell of fresh cut grass. The cows love that the grass is starting to grow, too. They love the hay they eat all winter long, but I can imagine they love munching on grass in the pastures much more. It'll be hay season before we know it.




Planting season will be here before we know it also. Don't forget to stay aware on the roads and watch for any large farm equipment. 


One of my favorite things about spring back home is going to see the tulips a few counties north of us. They are beautiful! The whole valley is full of tulips and daffodils in the spring. My friend Andrew lives up in that area and refers to those visitors as "tulip tourists." I guess that means I was a tulip tourist this weekend! Usually, the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival runs during the month of April and occasionally they open early if the flowers are blooming. It must be my lucky day because this was opening weekend!

The marina

We also swung by the marina where we used to keep our boat when I was a kid. Those were some fun adventures! The trip down memory lane was capped with a stop at my favorite farmers market that has my favorite blue bubblegum ice cream. Nothing makes you feel like you are five years old again like that ice cream. I love it!


The cows were waiting at the gate for me before we left this morning. I was snapping a few photos to commemorate the beginning of spring and they must have been thinking, "Well, hurry up! The manger is that way...you are going the wrong way!! It's breakfast time!" They are sweethearts.

If you are looking for a yummy recipe to celebrate the beginning of spring...or really any day of the week...you'll love these pork chops.


Caramel Apple Pork Chops

Ingredients:

  • 4 pork chops
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 T. unsalted butter
  • 2 apples; peeled, cored and sliced (thin slices)
  • Pecans (as many as you'd like)
  • salt and pepper to taste


Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat
  3. Brush pork chops with olive oil, salt and pepper and place in hot pan
  4. Cook pork chops in the pan for 5-6 minutes on each side
  5. Transfer pork chops to a baking tray or oven-safe dish
  6. See "sauce" instructions below
  7. Pour apples on top of pork chops
  8. Place in the oven for 5 minutes
  9. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving
  10. Enjoy!


Sauce:
In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, pecans, salt, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg
Add butter to the skillet
Stir in brown sugar mixture and apple slices
Cover and cook until apples are tender


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