Weekly menu for 1/23 - 1/29

We're trying to get back on track around here, and that means getting organized (again!).  Starting with an easy one, menu planning.  Here's what's on our menu this week.  What's cooking at your house?


Veggie beef & barley soup; hot crusty whole grain bread; refreshing berry salad.

Oriental chicken wings; easy lo mein; steamed snow peas.



Breakfast for dinner - Stuffed french toast w/berries & cream; honeydew slices.

Freakin' awesome buffalo chicken pizza; celery, cuke & carrot sticks.

Updated pork chops & applesauce; sesame green beans; garden salad.

For more menu ideas, head on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie.
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Pork Chops & Applesauce updated for today's tastes.

Fess up-  how many of you read that in Peter Brady imitating Humphry Bogarts voice?   I cannot say (or think) pork chops & applesauce in a normal voice.  It's simply not possible.  In case you are too young to remember or want a flashback, here's a clip:

Wanting something with a bit more zing, we came up with this recipe:  easy, delish and ready in about 30* minutes.  What more can you ask for.

Crispy Oven Baked Pork Chops with Panko Crust (serves 4)
4 pork loin chops (with or without bone)
1/2 cup of your fave honey mustard dressing / dipping sauce**
2/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
Light tasting cooking spray - canola, vegetable, evoo, etc (a misto bottle is great for this since you know exactly what the quality of your oil is, but you can use Pam or the like as well).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Spray baking sheet with cooking spray
Rinse chops & pat dry then coat in honey mustard sauce
Coat with Panko (we like to put Panko in large Ziploc bag and drop chops one at a time and shake til coated) then lay on prepared baking sheet
Bake for 25 - 45 minutes until pork is done -  the thicker the chops, the longer they take
If you prefer them to have a browner look, you can broil for a couple of minutes, but keep a careful eye on them as they can burn quickly if you don't

Sweet & Tangy Apple Sauce
4 med apples (about 2 cups when sliced or diced)
1 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1-2 Tbsp spicy brown mustard
1-3 Tbsp vinegar (apple cider, red or white wine or white will do, in the pic we used a pomegranate infused red wine vinegar

While chops are baking, core and chop apples, peeling first if desired - you can do them in thin slices, or chunks - we like to make uneven sized chunks because you will get different textures as the larger ones keep a bit of a bite and the smaller ones get almost mushy
Fry apples in butter over med-low heat til they have a texture you enjoy
As the apples are frying, make up the sauce in a small cup or bowl
Add sauce to apples and let simmer for a couple of minutes until the flavors marry

Serve apples on top of or alongside the chops for a real taste treat.  Delicious.

*May take longer if you have really thick chops.
**We used a bottled dressing we got for pennies with coupons and sales and added mayo and worcestershire sauce since it wasn't our favorite).  To make your own, use mayo, spicy brown mustard, honey and a dash or two of worcestershire sauce -  enough of each til it tastes good to you, it's very subjective- or if you aren't the wing it type, check here for myo recipes..

If you try it, please let us know how you like it.  Hope you enjoy.

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Happy New Year - Non-Traditional Menu For Luck & Prosperity

A common sentiment as we ring in the new year is good riddance, 2011, bring it 2012.

Many of us had more than our share of burdens and we're more than ready to leave them in the past.

Throughout the world, there are various traditions and superstitions about "lucky" food to be eaten on New Year's Day for good fortune and prosperity.  I first learned there were "lucky foods" when living in Louisiana.  While I don't care for some of the more traditional choices, we've adapted over the years to get the elements of luck and prosperity without compromising taste.  Here is our menu for good fortune, as well as the foods we don't eat as they are said to bring misfortune.

Breakfast::  apple turnovers

Lunch:  baked ham; roasted cabbage; hoppin' john served w/rice; carrot coins, cornbread

Early dinner / snack:  ham & swiss on rye with coleslaw &/or wilted spinach salad

Late evening meal:  bean soup made with meaty ham bone; cornbread

Here's why we make these choices:

Baked goods, including sweets & pastries (symbolize luck)

Pork (symbolizes progress as pigs push forward when they are ready to move as well as prosperity) -  here's one time you do NOT want to go for the leanest cut- get some bacon, ham, hog jowls, fatty roast, etc -  you want flush times, not lean.

Greens (symbolize prosperity) cooked greens with pork is traditional, anything from pork & kraut or a big pot of southern style greens with hog jowl, bacon drippings or a ham hock.  Since we're not fans of either we've found ways to get our greens in without having to choke down something we don't enjoy, which I believe would defeat the purpose.  We seem to prefer most veggies roasted and cabbage is no exception-  use a mild oil or melt a bit of coconut oil in the pan then toss the large chunks with your favorite spices or seasonings.  We make an organic baby spinach salad wilted down with bacon and for the slaw we don't buy the pre-shredded as I usually do but I chop in rough rectangles, again to represent bills in numerous denominations.

Legumes (symbolize prosperity, fortune) said to represent money, specifically coins, in Louisiana it's traditionally hoppin' john made with black-eyed peas, which we don't much care for but eat for tradition JUST IN CASE. ;-)  We also do a many bean soup later in the evening so we get them all in just in case one is luckier than the next.

Rice (symbolizes abundance) for obvious reasons.

Carrots (symbolize prosperity) we do them in coin shapes to represent a multitude of coins.

Cornbread (symbolizes prosperity) we make with a can of whole kernel corn added to represent gold.  (We also add shredded cheese, diced green chilies and cayenne, but that's just because it tastes really good.)

Foods you should not eat on New Years Day include:

Lobster or crab since they move backwards they symbolize lack of progress, going back instead of forward.

Chicken as they scratch backwards they symbolize looking back, dwelling on the past, stagnation.

Any type of winged fowl as this could symbolize your good luck and fortune flying away.

There you have it, our New Year's Day menu and traditions.  Do you do any of these or have any of your own?  We'd love for you to share them with us.

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