What’s for Dinner? {This Week}

Sorry to be away so much lately. We’ve had some small changes and some big changes and squeezed in a couple quick trips to our favorite places and my menu-planning/blog-writing has suffered. It’s raining here this week (and I mean RAINING) so tonight’s soup and bread dinner hit the spot. Here’s the dealio:

Sunday: Pork Chops with Apple Sauce and applesauce and broccolini…This is a favorite of ours. The recipe for the sauce and chops is Martha Stewart. She suggests serving them with braised cabbage but I just can’t do it. I want to like it, I really do, but no can do. I can’t find the recipe online to link to for you and my cooking binder with the recipe is packed in a box somewhere (remember those changes I was talking about?) so the best I can tell you is this: brown the pork chops and then cook either covered on the stovetop or covered in the oven until they reach 160 degrees. While the chops are cooking pour 1-2 cups of apple juice (I buy the little individual bottles and just use one bottle) and 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer. Cook until sauce is reduced by half. When pork chops are done, remove from heat and deglaze the pan with the reduced sauce. Spoon sauce over chops on the plate or serve as a side.

And yes, we had to find Peter Brady on youtube so that Mom and Dad could understand why Glenn was walking around saying, “Pork chops and applesauce.”
Monday: Winter Minestrone Soup from The UrbanSpork and Rosemary Bread from Just So Good…Both of these recipes are on my pinterest boards: taste {soup} and taste {bread.} If you’ve been reading for a while you know this is my new favorite bread. Seriously. It is soooo easy and amazingly simple. And of course, delicious. It was a sure thing which is what you want when you try something new like this soup recipe. But it’s a keeper too. Very showy with the chard and tomatoes and pasta; super yummy with the parmesan melted on top. I liked this recipe because the fennel and chard bring pretty strong flavors so that I miss the garlic less. (Can you believe I’m allergic!?!) And just for you, Shelley, it’s meatless. The first of what may become Meatless Mondays.

I’m also thinking soup on Sunday or Monday nights will set us up well with lunch leftovers for the week.

Tuesday: Cranberry Chipotle Meatballs with Egg Noodles and Fresh Pears…This is another new recipe so I’ll let you know what we think. We’re taking a Tuesday night class called Radical Relationship at Imago Dei so this looks like a perfect, quick and easy meal for a night when we have to get out quickly after dinner.

Wednesday: Barbeque “Spareribs” and Roasted Smashed Potatoes from America’s Test Kitchen with green salad…One of those funny “recipes” from childhood, my mom used to make this for dinner pretty often. I’m pretty sure I requested it for my birthday more than once. She did it with “country spareribs” but I’m planning to use boneless pork chops. And it doesn’t get much easier than this (hence the quotes around recipe): place the pork chops in an oven safe pan, pour prepared barbeque sauce liberally over all. Bake at 350 degrees until pork chops are done. The potatoes are back by request from my husband. Should be a simple, yummy, and comfort-y meal.

Thursday: Sausage Bake…I don’t remember where I had this first but it’s one of my favorite fall- or winter-evening comfort-food meals. I don’t have a recipe, just some directions. Chop onion, dice potatoes (I got Yukon Gold,) chop celery and cut beef smoked sausage into bite-sized pieces. Toss with olive oil and cook in skillet until potatoes and celery are tender. (I’ve been known to dice the potatoes and nuke them for a few minutes in the microwave just to get a jump start on the cooking.) I’ve thought about adding diced apple or some mustard seed or dried dill but haven’t ever strayed from the simple flavors of the meat and potatoes. I do serve it with fresh apple slices pretty often though.

Friday: Slow Cooker Beans and Ham from Plain Chicken with Great Harvest Jalapeno Jack Cornbread…True Confessions? I actually changed the day that I was planning to make these beans to Friday because that’s the day our Great Harvest bakes their Jalapeno Jack Cornbread. Have you tried it? Oh.My. Our usual go to at Great Harvest is the Cinnamon Chip aka Cinnamon Burst bread (I blame you, Mindi Waggoner!) but last week when we went by for a special splurge to buy some I tried the cornbread at the sample window. And now I must have it. I’m sure there’s a recipe out there to try, blah-blah-blah, but I am thinking since I’m using ham out of the freezer and beans out of the cupboard, we can splurge on some ah-mazing bread to make the meal seem more special. We’ll still have apples or pears or applesauce or fresh tomatoes and cucumber so I’ll probably serve something like that with our beans and bread.

Can you tell they were predicting cooler temps and rainy days when I planned this menu? We seem to be a little long on comfort-food. But I am happy to say that there’s a reasonable amount of veggies in there too. I’m cooking for four now so I’m trying to be more pro-active about fresh fruits and veggies. You can keep me honest on that.

Bon Appetit!

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