Today was such a lovely day.

I know Spring doesn’t technically start until Sunday, but today was a nice taste of what’s to come!

Although the weather definitely affects the way I cook, that is, using seasonal ingredients and such, I try not to limit myself to certain methods of cooking to certain times of the year. I’ve grilled in the winter, (granted – it was in my icy cold garage – WORTH IT!) and I will pull out my slow cooker for way more than the standard stews that usually come out of it. Prime example: pork chops!

It has taken years for me to truly come to appreciate the gloriousness of the pig. Growing up, I always thought they were cute …

And how could you not?! Honestly, look at that face! ADORABLE!

But anywho, I could never really separate the animal from the food. Cows, no problem. Chickens look funny. I’ve just always loved pigs. Then, of course those of you near and dear to me recall my almost-vegetarian-but-not-quite-health-nut-I-don’t-eat-bacon-or-anything-that-comes-from-a-pig phase when I first started college.

It was one recipe that changed my mind about bacon and, as a result, the whole pig in general: Coq au Vin.

If there is one thing I am a stickler for it’s tradition, and Coq au Vin is a very traditional French peasant dish that is cooked in bacon fat and topped with crispy bacon lardons (a.k.a fancy strips). When I decided to make it for the first time, I decided to overcome my bacon prejudice. It was either go big or go home -and ladies and gentleman – I always go big. 🙂

After the success of my Coq au Vin, I proceeded to experiment even more with bacon when I made my Chicken Corn Chowder, and my love bugs most favorite Bacon, Broccoli, and Cheddar Quiche.

And then… there were pork chops. Sometimes, I blame my parents affinity for Shake n’ Bake growing up for my original distaste towards them, but these days, my pallet for pork is ever expanding, and I decided to give them a whirl this past fall. The following recipe is one I came up with in a pinch when the only produce I had on hand was an apple and an onion. I liked it so much, that I whipped it up again this week!