About That Girl

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Happily married as of 09/08. Mommy to two fun, active, adorable boys, affectionately dubbed A and Z. Mommy of three fuzzy children- Sephiroth, Malificent and Xemnas.

Author of the upcoming Stones of Terrene series. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Inspiration comes from odd places at odd times

Dinner was amazing.

My random idea became a hit with my hubby, it's a winner. All because I saw that butternut squash lying on the counter next to the fridge. Am I glad I run with my crazy ideas!

So this morning before I went to the gym, I was cleaning up the kitchen and trying to decide just what I wanted to do for dinner, when I noticed a small little butternut squash next to my fridge. It had been there for maybe two weeks now, and somehow just hadn't made its way into our fridge! One of our neighbor friends had traded us two butternut squashes for all our sugar (that I can't eat anymore) and most our flour, chocolate chips, and other baking supplies that have been in the kitchen mocking me. (I feel like I got the better part of that trade) So it's been sitting there, waiting patiently for whenever that crazy girl would get around to cooking it. Well, today was the day.

I went on my merry way to the gym, but that squash stayed in the back of my mind, teasing me with different ideas for dinner. I've been given several good recipes to do for squash-recipes with it being the main dish, and others with it as a side dish-but I didn't want to do anything different with the squash today. No, I knew i wanted pork chops with it. Upon arriving back at home, I check the freezer to see if I have any pork chops on hand-voila! I did! But they looked like they might be a tad bit frost bitten. And I wanted my pork chops tender as can be and juicy. My shower was spent cogitating on recipes that could add juicyness.

While still thinking, I decide to run over to Sprouts to get some groceries that I've been needing. I'm a little perplexed at this point, because all the recipes I want to do, I can't, as they all have some type of bread crumb crust or brown sugar added. Then I walked through the produce aisle. And I noticed these gorgeous green beans. And when I say gorgeous, I mean GORGEOUS! They were a vibrant green, without the sad little nicks and dings you'll find on green beans at most grocery stores. It hit me then. I grabbed several handfuls of those amazing beans and made my way to the checkout.

My idea was simple, and in that, it was rather genius. I typically cook my pork chops in a pyrex dish with foil wrapped over the top. Following that idea, I used foil across the inside bottom of the pan, and had extra up and over the edges. Laying my two pork chops in there, I added my seasonings and then folded up all the edges (leaving a very small steam hole) and curled it all in on itself, so moisture would stay in. Baked that and my squash for a bit over an hour at 350, steamed the beans, and served. We melted in our chairs. And all dinner conversations ceased as we solely focused on our meals.

See how I have the foil? That's a *new* trade secret to moist pork chops...

What was this seasoning? Simple stuff. You need however many pork chops that you want to serve. For the ingredient list, this was for two chops:

-1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
-2 tsp cinnamon
-dash of nutmeg
-1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Simple stuff. I dashed cinnamon (and a tad bit of nutmeg) over the chops once they were in the foil and pan. I took a spoon and carefully spread the applesauce thickly over the tops of both chops. Dash again with a bit smaller amount of cinnamon. Pour maple syrup around the chops, and lightly drizzle a tiny amount over the chops. Curl up foil and bake. Once it's done, and bring out the chops and put them on their respective plates, lightly sprinkle more cinnamon, and drizzle maple syrup over them again. (however much you'd like for that, I used about 1 TBSP each chop) Serve.

Notice how thick the applesauce is! That's for a reason!

And behold what it looks like coming out of the oven...
Both our mouths were watering so badly!
 The leftover sauce that was in the foil/pan I also used a small amount of. The flavor is reduced in that sauce, but I took a spoon and lightly drizzled that liquid over the butternut squash quarters on our plates. No butter or salt needed. The green beans got the lightest of brushes with butter before being served to the table.

It was so amazing tasting! Next time maybe I'll make up some fresh
rosemary rolls to alongside it all...

Pork chops come in all different sizes, so I'm not including that in my recipe calories/carb calculations for here. If you use the recipe for the sauce I posted, and split it between two people, it's about 120 cal and 30 carb. But that also depends on if you use all that liquid in the pan after, and if you eat it with the applesauce still on the pork. (which is how it should be eaten!)

  So that has become a new autumn favorite in our household. Now for me to decide what I want to do for dessert with the strawberries I have... ^_^


  1. I love love love LOVE butternut squash!! Rediscovered it this last winter after thinking I thought it was yucky for years. I love having grown-up tastebuds.

    Your blog is so much fun to read! :)

  2. Mmm, those chops sound amazing... I think that I would sear mine over high heat before putting them in the oven. Don't think I could do without that seared flavor ;-)