Photo-worthy pork chops and a hippie salad

Dinner was delayed tonight by a last-minute shopping trip where I quickly lost all sense of time. A place where discretion is prized, where people spend cash to indulge their passion in confidence.

The camera store! I managed to escape with only the bare essentials to get my new Nikon up and running, just in time to include a  photo in tonight’s post. Already I see an improvement over the Blackberry shots. But I see another lens or two in my future (and a few classes to restore photography skills that have lain dormant since my newspapering days).  But I digress …

This week promises to be hectic. Erik’s play hits the stage with three performances (and I’m out for a group dinner on Thursday). I figured I’d kick off the chaos with a meal that involved a bit more effort than I’d usually muster on a Monday night.

The pork chops were easy and amazing (I’ll have to give up that Shake and Bake after all). Spiced with paprika, browned in a skillet and finished in a hot oven. Far better than they sound. The salad from Sunset magazine contained a couple of my favorite foods — spinach and fennel — but it was a throwback to the ’70s with the warm bacon dressing.  One contemporary switch: I learned recently from the local mushroom people that one should always cook mushrooms, even the cultivated ones from the store.  So I sauteed the shrooms quickly, after the fennel, before tossing them into the spinach. Roasted potatoes and parsnips rounded out the scene.

It was all delish; at this point I’m not sure the photo does the meal justice.

Paprika pork chops & sides

Paprika spiced pork chops

Roasted parsnips and potatoes

Spinach, fennel, mushroom salad with warm bacon vinaigrette

Applesauce

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