Monthly Archives: August 2013

Because he asked

Him: “When are you going to write a new blog post?”

Me: (Silence)

Him: “‘Cause I go to your blog to look at pictures of Alice.”

Me: (Silence)

Him: “And that same post has been there forever. It’s just Mustard Pork Chops every time I check.”

Me: “What about Facebook?”

Him: “Facebook is too distracting. I like going to your blog.”


Dear husband,

Here is the blog post you requested. I am so glad you love our daughter so much, and it thrills me that you like looking at pictures of her while you’re at work. The joy you take in her is a joy to me! Your request did not fall on deaf ears. Here’s our little one. Isn’t she great!?!?






Social butterfly.


Smiling at little boys.


The morning trash can ritual.


Hey Mom! I like your trash.


Clapping for all she’s worth.




Sure on her feet.


Maybe I don’t wanna be standing anymore . . . but how to get down?


Let’s see . . .




Laughing with Mama.


Caught in the act.


More clapping!


I think I’m done with pictures.


No, really, Mom. I’m done.


Okay, fine. I’ll allow myself to be distracted by this ball . . . just this once.


Expressive eyebrows.




No, you may not look at my teeth, thank you very much.


Semi-spaced out clapping (with cheeks!).


Hi Mom!


I love our baby. How did we happen to get the best one??

Mustard Pork Chops


Why have I been blogging about food so much recently? Well, I’ll tell you. It’s a simple progression of facts that goes something like this:

brother-in-law John staying with us = less (read “no”) leftovers = what are we going to eat?? = must cook more = increased perusal of cookbooks and magazines = exciting meal plans = utter deliciousness = must share via blog

When John leaves us mid-August to pursue his MA, I know it will be a shock to our systems. Suddenly there will be leftovers in the fridge. I’ll start asking myself in a confused fashion, “why is there so much food lying around?” (I can see this coming because this is exactly what happened last summer after he moved out) Leftovers will start decaying before we even have time to eat them. This will lead to guilt, which will lead to less cooking, which will lead to less awesome recipes being made.


What I’m trying to say is that I enjoy cooking for more than two people. And I will miss John’s table-side enthusiasm for the things I make.

But now it’s time to stop talking about John and start talking about pork.

I love the idea of pork, but it’s so easy to cook it wrong and end up with a mouthful of dried-out blah. Another delicious recipe from Nigella Express, I love these chops. If your experience of pork is a dry, flavorless affair, this just might be the recipe that will change everything.

It’s simple to make: a little tenderizing (to get your aggression out), a little frying, and three simple ingredients for a sauce that will send you to the moon.


Also, a brother-in-law can come quite in handy for wielding the meat-smashing mallet.


And for clean-up, I recommend that you obtain a couple of willing men so that you can put your feet up afterwards and demand that bonbons be brought to you pronto.




(Serves 3-4)

4 pork chops
1 ½ TBS olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 cup hard cider
2 TBS wholegrain mustard
2/3 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. To make the garlic oil, put the garlic through a garlic press and immerse in the oil for about 10 minutes. Remove the garlic, and the oil is ready to go.

2. Trim the fat off the pork chops. Score a light diamond pattern on both sides with a knife and the smash them until they’re thinned out. Season with salt and pepper on both sides.

3. Heat the oil in a large skillet. When hot, add the pork chops and cook them for 5 minutes on each side. Remove them to a covered plate to keep them warm.

4. Pour the cider into the pan and let it bubble up, scraping up any brown bits.

5. Add the mustard and cream to the pan. Let the sauce cook for a couple minutes, stirring. You can consider the sauce done at this point; it will be light in color, runny, and perfectly delicious.


6. Or, you can let the sauce continue to bubble away for 8-10 minutes, stirring only occasionally, and it will thicken into a gravy-like gelatinous consistency with a stronger flavor. Also delicious!

7. Pour the sauce over the pork chops and serve.

For your reference, here’s a picture of the chops with the lighter sauce:


And here’s a picture with the darker sauce:


Oodelally it’s good. Thanks, Nigella. Or, as my sisters and I like to say in the most obnoxious, glitzed-out movie-star voice you can muster, “spanks!”

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