Wow! That Pioneer Woman has some really good recipes!

I snagged this one not too long ago. It was a HUGE hit!

I was so excited when this recipe showed up in my email. (That’s how it works when you are a blog subscriber-hint, hint.)

There was an apple, that really needed to be used, in the fruit basket, and I knew I had the rest of the stuff.

Funny thing about that knowing. Turns out I did NOT have grated cheese of any sort. So, I pulled out the old cheese grater and went to town.

Pretty sad, huh? But hey, it worked just fine. A gal’s gotta do what a gal’s gotta do!

We’ll start with the grits first. Click the picture for a closer look. You can’t print from the pictured print button. You must go to the Pioneer Woman’s actual page to do the special printing-the link is above. Sorry, I’m not that fancy yet.

Chop up your bacon and onion.

Cook it in a pot. So far-pretty easy!

Add grits, chicken broth, and water. Now, PW used some fancy stone ground grits. I had just regular old grits, so that’s what I used. I think they may have even been the quick cooking kind. I remember having to adjust the cooking time a bit. Cook until the liquid is absorbed but not dried out!

Pour in the cream. Remove from heat and add the cheese.

Oh, yummy yummy!

On to the Chops.

I had little skinny breakfast chops. They cook faster.

Brown the chops in a pan with some olive oil and butter and salt and pepper. I used my cast iron skillet. It seems to make everything taste better.

Do you see the juice on the plate? Save that! Always save the juice!

Cook the apples in the same pan with all the pork chop goody. Add the wine and vinegar. If you don’t keep wine on hand, like me, cooking wine works just fine. (Please ignore that statement if you are a culinary professional. I’m sure your skin is crawling off by now. Alton Brown says to never use cooking wine. Oh, well.)

Be sure to scrape up all that pork choppy goodness while you are cooking your apples.

Next, add the maple syrup, yes, I said maple syrup.

The real deal maple syrup is pretty expensive. I, once again, used  what I had, which was pancake syrup. Unscrunch your face! I know it sounds weird, but trust me. It will be yummy!

Stack the pork chops on top of the apples in the pan. Cover and let it simmer for 20 minutes or so.

Put a big scoop of grits on your plate, then pork chop, then apples.

Serve it up and wait for the applause! Oh, so good!

Critic’s Corner

Chip: I loved everything about this meal.

  • The grits were incredible — cooked with bacon and cheese — I’ve told Peggy that from now on when I refer to “grits” it is this recipe to which I am referring. This is what grits were meant to be.
  • The pork chops were awesome. In the first place it’s meat. In the second place it’s pork. Need I say anymore?
  • Several things were fried. The bacon and onions in the grits were fried, the pork chops were fried, the apples were fried, everything is better fried.
  • The absence of a vegetable certainly added to the enjoyment of this meal. Peggy lamented over not having served a veggie with this dish, but I pointed out that it merely saved me the trouble of having to take an obligatory and polite bite of something green — a bite that could have been better used on these awesome grits and pork chops.

Megan: The grits were just ok. I loved the flavor, but I kept getting squishy bacon. The pork chops were probably some of the best pork chops I’ve ever tasted.

Katie: The grits were awesome! I loved them! The pork chops were very delicious. Just  awesome! No better way to explain it!

Well, I had the what-to-have-for-dinner blues. I just have not felt like cooking. Must be the heat!

I haven’t even felt inspired by anything at the grocery store. UGH!

So, the options for supper last night were sandwiches of some sort or a ham bone that has been in the freezer for a while.

I thought about making a quiche, but there were only 4 eggs! I guess I could have made a petite quiche. I would have had to make a crust-forget it!

I was watching the Food Channel while folding laundry and saw a commercial for 5 Ingredient Fix. She was going to be making spaghetti carbonara. I’ve made spaghetti carbonara before, so I stuck around to watch. I didn’t realize it was SPINACH Carbonara. That would not work-no spinach. (I probably wouldn’t have made it anyway. We are a little too bland for that at my house.)

After rejecting poor Claire’s recipe, I did a search for Spaghetti Carbonara. I came across a site I had never seen before. The name intrigued me-My Italian Grandmother.

This is a picture from her blog. Doesn't it look yummy?!

I didn’t take any pictures along the way. Sorry. I wasn’t really planning to blog about this. It turned out so yummy I just had to share.

The pantry was pretty bare, but I thought I could make it work.

I didn’t have enough spaghetti, so I used penne pasta.

I didn’t have Romano cheese, so I used Parmesan.

I didn’t have Pinot Grigio, so I used cooking wine.

I didn’t have fresh parsley, so I left it out.

Did I really make this recipe?

Check out her blog. It looks like there might be some other tasty recipes there.

"Ooo, quick, before you take a bite, take a picture!"

Critics’ Corner

Chip: Noodles? Good. Cheese? Good. Bacon? GOOOOD!

Megan: It was just okay. The bacon saved it because it could use less of the sauce.

Katie: It was delicious, superb! (Can I get a Wooo?) Wooo! (This is a reference to So You Think You Can Dance. Are you watching this summer?)