Jessica's Jottings:

On faith, food, family and frugality

Eating Down the Pantry, Week Five

This is an exciting week! We finish up our month long “Eating Down the Pantry Challenge” and start our “Gluten- and Dairy-Free trial“. We’re also fighting off another cold – sigh.

I’m going to go ahead and lay some wagers that this will be a muffin-heavy month. I’m not normally a muffin maker*, but what I know of baking with coconut flour – well, most of it involves muffins. 🙂

Sunday, January 27

Breakfast: Fried Oatmeal Pancakes
Lunch: Homemade Pizza
Dinner: Veggie soup for the kids and Tom Kha Ghai for the adults

Tasks: Pull applesauce from the freezer.

Monday, January 28

Breakfast: Apple Cinnamon Coconut Flour muffins
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner:
Steak Fajitas

Tasks: Check kombucha, research gluten-free sourdough starters, cool and bottle chicken stock – freeze. Pull ground meat from freezer. Finish meal plan. Make grocery list.

Tuesday, January 29

Breakfast: Mango smoothies and omelets
Lunch:
leftovers
Dinner: meatloaf and butternut squash fries

Tasks: Get bread dough mixed up before bed. Soak oats for breakfast.

Wednesday, January 30

Breakfast: Oatmeal with butter, milk and honey
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner:
Potato soup and homemade boule bread

Tasks: Pull pumpkin from freezer to thaw overnight in the fridge.

Thursday, January 31

Breakfast: Pumpkin Pie Casserole and Banana Smoothies
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner:
Braised Chicken with Butternut Squash and Cranberries and salad

Tasks:  Make a fresh batch of sweet onion salad dressing.

Friday, February 1

Breakfast: Banana Muffins **
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner:
Chicken and Cauliflower Fried “Rice”

Tasks:

Saturday, February 2

Breakfast: Grain Free Apple Cinnamon Waffles
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner:
Salmon Croquettes with Romesco Sauce

*Um…yeah, I know coconut flour muffins have been on the meal plan the last few weeks as snacks, but I’ve not gotten them made. Any muffins we had were from the last big batch I made and threw in the freezer.

**This is where having 50-ish (not kidding) bananas in my freezer is a huge help. In case you missed how (and why!) I do this, here ya go!

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Goals for January 28- February 2, 2013

Knowing the power of accountability…here we go! I’ll check in next week on the same topic with a synopsis of how I did attaining these goals along with a fresh set.

Goals for January 28- February 2, 2013

  • Finalize the list of supplements I need to order for our Gluten- and Dairy-Free trial
  • Order said supplements. 😉
    • (Psst! Have you ever ordered from Vitacost.com? They have fantastic prices!)
  • Continue to research meal ideas for February.
  • Continue to write out my story of nutritional healing so that I can share with it on this blog.
  • Walk/run three times this week.
    • I currently have a cold, so I won’t be running today, but I don’t want to lose my C25K progress either. Maintenance is the order of the day until I’ve beaten the cold off.
  • Work on the kids’ packing list.
    • Nathan and I are going away for a week in March. With four kids going four different places, I can’t let this wait until the last minute.
  • Strain the herbs off of the Herbal Multivitamin Glycerin Tincture so we can start using it.
  • Call the doctors’ offices that have been recommended to me and see if they’re accepting new patients.
  • Make progress on one of the kid crafts currently in the works.
  • Work on one of the Creativity Challenge projects.
  • Finish “What’s Eating Your Child?” and start “The Mood Cure.”
  • Write a love note to my husband.
  • Get the Romans Project papers glued into a spiral bound pack of index cards and work on catching up to the current week’s memory verses.
    • Anybody want to be a Scripture Memory Skype buddy? 😀
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Our Upcoming Gluten- and Milk-Free Trial

I have a confession to make.

My 2013 Reading List?

I’ve barely made a scratch in it.

I know, I know. It’s only January and I’m already off track.*

But…it’s not because I haven’t been reading – because I have. Boy, have I.

I’ve been absolutely engrossed in my reading – staying up waaaay too late to read more about a topic near and dear to my heart: the health of my children.

More specifically, how nutrition plays a key role in the health of my children – much more so than conventional medicine would lead us to believe.

I’m not going to get into cultural specifics here – there are a bazillion** other blogs out there, whose authors are much more knowledgeable than I. All I’m going to talk about is my back story and how it’s helping to write my family’s story.

Annnnnd, I’m not going to do that today.

Today, rather, I’m going to encourage you to either buy or hit up your local library for Kelly Dorfman’s AMAZING and accessible book, “What’s Eating Your Child? The Hidden Connections between Food and Childhood Ailments: Anxiety, Recurrent Ear Infections, Stomachaches, Picky Eating, Rashes, ADHD, and More. And What Every Parent Can Do About It.” (added emphasis mine)

It’s amazing because it documents her ability to rectify ongoing issues without the use of drugs and, in some cases, surgery. It’s accessible because Dorfman is clearly a teacher at heart – she takes technical concepts and breaks them down such that the non-technical can get a grasp on them and apply them to their family situation. I like that she does NOT encourage maverick behavior, but is up front about finding a physician that will partner with you to monitor your child.

Our Story, Part One

I’ve long known that something was wrong. My oldest has had ongoing, non-painful eczema; a swollen lymph node in her neck; persistent constipation – and more. My other children have some similar, but some different issues. All of this occurring despite our eating a fairly clean, mostly processed food free diet. (Yeah, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen! But, due to having more counter space in our new house, I’ve parked my laptop in the kitchen and listen to Dave Ramsey or Pandora or, if it’s after the kids are in bed, Mark Gungor.)

And so, after reading on Kelly’s book for the last several days – after countless “Wow! My kids have/do that, too!” moments, we’re going to go gluten- and dairy-free for the month of February. I’ll continue posting our meal plans – that’s been such a blessing to me – but they’ll like look very different as I navigate these unknown waters.

Any tips or recipes or advice for me as we take a turn off the beaten path? Please share them below!

*Remind me to tell you about our Hobby Lobby trip the other day. It involved my kids going nuts, multiple middle-aged disapproving women, and my lamenting to a sympathetic clerk that the women all looked like they wanted to award me the “Worst Mother of the Year” award – and with it only being January, that was pretty sad.

**Bazillion’s a number, right? It’s right after bajillion and right before gajillion. Right? 😉

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Miscellaneous Goals for 2013

I know that this a little later than most of the 2013 goals posts. I’m okay with that. 🙂

I’ve been juggling sick kids and sadness, 2 Chronicles and sleepless nights. I’m okay with that, too. At least I don’t have to worry about what we’re eating at our next meal, right?

I’ve been absolutely enjoying our “Eat Down the Pantry” Challenge for multiple reasons, some of which I know I’ve mentioned before:

  • There’s soooo much less stress involved with meal times. Knowing what we’re going to eat in advance allows me to prepare necessary ingredients the day before, be it pulling meat out of the freezer or soaking oats. Less stress = happier Mama!
  • We’re spending less money at the grocery store because we have a list we can stick to. Since moving to Georgia a few months ago, I’ve consistently blown my grocery budget. I haven’t figured out the least expensive places to get the types of food we’re trying to eat, leading to paying premium at the big box grocery stores.  This is getting better as I’ve made headway in locating the local version of a Farmer’s Market, but I haven’t actually ordered anything from their website yet.
  • We’ve been having SO. MUCH. FUN trying some new foods! Well…Nathan and I have been enjoying it, anyway. 😉
  • And, last but not least, this was the kick in the pants to start meal planning again. I’ve been meaning to for quite a while. In the past, I’ve purchased printable calendars, a meal planning guide book (“Plan It, Don’t Panic”), and even pre-made meal plans, hoping against hope that by closing my eyes and opening my wallet, I would mysteriously have workable for our family meal plans magically appear. Uh…yeah…I’m not always the sharpest tool in the shed. And, let me hasten to add there’s nothing wrong with any of these solutions – I purchased the Life As Mom calendar pack again for this year – but, and it’s a BIG but, if you don’t put the time into using the solution you’ve purchased, you might as well have flushed your money downa ze toilet.

So, with regards to goals for 2013, I feel like I’m already off to a great start because I’m meal planning again and have been for the past four weeks.

That doesn’t mean I want to rest on my laurels, though. Hubby and I started the Couch to 5K program on December 31 and we’ve been faithfully following it, fully intending to run a 5K later this year. Which one remains to be seen as we’ll need to look up the annual races for our new locale.

2013 Goals

As I did with my 2013 Reading List, I’ve loosely modeled it upon what I’ve seen work for Money Saving Mom.

Relational:

  • Actively take steps on a weekly basis to build community in our new community.  (Some weeks, this may look like a Birds on a Wire meeting for me. Other weeks, it will be playdates with the new homeschool group or, Lord willing, a community group.)
  • Send two cards a month to loved ones, friends or family, to keep the channels of communication open. (Relationships are like muscles – if you don’t give them attention, they will atrophy and die.)
  • Write a love note to my husband at least once a month.

Fitness

  • Complete the Couch to 5K running plan with my husband, shooting for at least a 15 minute mile.
    • Run at least one 5K this year.
    • Continue to run 3-5 times a week.
  • Complete a T-Tapp boot camp.

Financial

  • Finish paying down my college loan. (Almost there!!!)
  • Pay off our mini-van.
  • Ideally, we’d also like to sell a house (or two)! However, that’s not something I have any control over, so we will continue to pray for a buyer.
  • Continue researching local food options, with two purposes in mind:
    • Cut our food budget, and
    • Send more of what we do spend to support local farmers.

Mothering

  • Work through one of our “Five in a Row” books.
  • Keep going to the library every two weeks.
  • Be intentional about spending at least 10 minutes alone with each child per day.
  • Make at least one play date a month, as able, so that the kids can start making some new friends.
  • Continue to daily fill out our Family Gratitude Journal.
  • Include the children in more chore and kitchen activities.
    • I find that I’m naturally doing this as I start to get more energy back, but I would like to be more intentional about it. 🙂
  • Continue working on Scripture memory verses.
    • Finish up Psalms 1 and 23.
    • Review verses they’ve already learned.
    • Work through oh Amanda’sArmor of God” and “Truth in the Tinsel” studies.
      • I actually purchased “Truth in the Tinsel” last December, but didn’t dive into it except to print it out. The kids colored the ornament pages, but that’s about as far as we got.

Personal

  • Start and finish a web site that I committed to design and build a few years ago. (It’s a long story…/sigh)
    • Watch the Learnable classes that I purchased to assist in said design and creation before my access expires.
  • Purchase a domain name and hosting. If I’m going to be writing anyway, it would be nice to use affiliate links within my posts – something that wordpress doesn’t allow in their free hosting.
  • Re-do the “Scripture Memory” book I wrote for the LifeGroup I led last year. As we were working through the book, I felt several times that I could have done better in my Scripture selection – targeting some of the basics that were such a HUGE help to me as a new believer.
  • Memorize Romans 1, 8, and 12 with this plan.
    • I have it printed and cut out. Now I need to paste and read.
    • Ideally, I will include my children in this practice. I want them to see how much it means to Mommy to hide God’s word in her heart.
  • Learn to knit.
  • Finish up my participation in the 2013 Pay it Forward Creativity Challenge.
  • Determine a home school mission statement, a home school name, and get all of the necessary paperwork filled out before August.
  • Get a new will and power of attorney filled out for the state of Georgia.
  • Write at least one “Faith” post per month. These take so much longer and require so much more than most of my posts!
  • Finish the shirt that I started making for my sister’s 2012 Christmas present before this Christmas. 😉
  • Pull out my guitar and play at least once a week.
    • Finish two songs. Attempt to determine what chords they use. (Ahem. This will be a challenge I’ve always been able to take my songs to some highly skilled guitarist friends. That’s not really an option now.)

Some of these have been long time goals that I’ve never made traction on. Some of them are goals that I’ve attained in the past, but have lost ground on due to one thing or another and just not making it a priority. Some are moving targets that I’m trying to pin down and some are brand new. Regardless, as the late Zig Zigler said, “You hit what you aim at and, if you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” Even if I don’t accomplish 1/3 of this list, I’ll have accomplished 2/3 more than I would have without writing it out and taking aim.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Your own goal lists? Bring ’em on! I enjoy hearing from you. 😀

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Eat Down the Pantry, Week 4 Menu Plan

Wow! This is the last full week of our “Eat Down the Pantry” challenge. In many ways, our cupboards and freezer are starting to get a little bare. But, as spring is coming and we’ll want to start preserving our fresh food finds, this is a great place to be.

What I’ve learned so far:

  • I heart knowing what every meal is going to be in advance – even if I end up changing it. We’ve had a TON of leftovers, so I definitely need to include more “clean out the fridge” days.
  • I heart having the Tasks list to help me prep for the next day’s meals. I have SO many other things batting around my brain, that I just need a list to tell me what to do.
  • My husband is liking that I’m not stressing over food. He’s noticed a difference. Whee!

Sunday, January 20

Breakfast: Leftovers
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Chili

Tasks: Pull Split Pea Soup and a container of applesauce from the freezer

Monday, January 21

Breakfast: Eggs with toast and yogurt
Lunch: Leftovers for grown ups, sandwiches for kids
Dinner:
Split pea soup, cheese, and homemade bread with dipping oil

Tasks: Make bread, check kombucha, and pull zucchini and bacon out of the freezer

Tuesday, January 22

Breakfast: Banana smoothies and zucchini pancakes with bacon
Lunch:
Leftovers
Dinner: Crock pot baked potato for baked potato bar

Tasks: Grate some cheese, cook some extra bacon to go with dinner, pull okra out to thaw, and soak oats for breakfast

Wednesday, January 23

Breakfast: Oatmeal with butter, milk and honey
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner:
Okra raita, Indian fish and potato stew and biscuits

Tasks: Have the kids help make biscuits. Double or triple the recipe and freeze some before baking. Pull pork chops out of the freezer.

Thursday, January 24

Breakfast: Pancakes and sauteed apples
Lunch: PBJ’s or leftovers
Dinner:
Apple sage pork chops and Sunshine Cole Slaw

Tasks: Pull some pumpkin puree out of the freezer.

Friday, January 25

Breakfast: Pumpkin Pie Casserole and Banana Smoothies
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner:
Leftovers

Tasks:

Saturday, January 26

Breakfast: Pancakes or waffles, chef’s choice
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner:
Leftovers or homemade pizza

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Awesome Crock Pot Arborio Rice Pudding Makeover

Crockpot Arborio Rice Pudding - oh, so good!

Crock Pot Arborio Rice Pudding – oh, so good!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This pudding prompted my oldest to say, “Mom! This is better than ice cream!”

It prompted my secondborn to cry, “Mom! This is so good! This rice pudding tastes like rice pudding.”

Uh…okay? I’m going to take it as a compliment as she’s never had rice pudding before – apparently, this has set the bar high. 😉

The Makeover

We had this for dessert Sunday night as a part of our “Eat Down the Pantry” Challenge. I’ve had a box of arborio rice in the pantry for, ahem, a year or three. :p

It was easy to whip up, until…I ran out of milk. I was doubling the recipe to use up the whole box of rice, which took the milk called for up to 6 2/3 cups. I only had 5 1/3 cups. I began to reach for the baby’s creamery milk when I remembered the coconut milk in pantry. Huzzah!

Also, we try to not eat a ton of sugar. The thought of doubling the sugar called for was not comfy. So, I used a scant cup (more than 3/4 full, less than fully full) and it was perfect.

And, technically, doubling the recipe would have used 2 cups of rice, leaving about 1/3 cup leftover. (I know, because I started to measure. hehe) I didn’t want leftovers, so I just dumped the rest of the bag into the crock.

I followed the directions as written, except that I was concerned the rice wouldn’t be totally cooked due to the increased amounts. So, about 1 1/2 hours in, I turned it up to high for 30 min. Again, this worked really well.

So…

We will absolutely be making this again. The kids loved it. The grown ups loved it. I’m so glad to have found this recipe. Many thanks to the “Slow Cooker Adventure” for posting the original! 😀

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Eat Down the Pantry, Week 3 Menu

In case you’re just now joining us, we’re participating in Good Cheap Eats‘ January 2013 “Eat Down the Pantry” Challenge.

Week 3

This weeks sees us upping the amounts of rice and beans as we continue eating through our stockpile. I did cheat a little bit and buy 4 gallons of super awesome non-homogenized, grassfed cow’s milk from the creamery when we went up to NC last week. They’ve been added to our freezer stash to be pulled out as needed for baby. I also stocked up on organic sucanat from Bryson’s Farm Supply as it’s a much better price there than anything I’ve seen online. Since I was in town anyway, right? 😉

Also, it’s time to tackle some of our more exotic oddities. Grape leaves and pine nuts, arborio rice and lamb necks – it’s time to work them in. We also get to take advantage of bringing our bucket of mint plants with us as Friday night’s dinner calls for a teaspoon of fresh mint.

Sunday, January 13

Breakfast: Fried Mush…no, really. That’s what the recipe is called. It’s a way to use all of our leftover oatmeal and have pancakes at the same time. Win!
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Spinach and Carrots Pullao (on the stove top), cornbread and Crockpot Arborio Rice Pudding

Tasks: Pull out two jars of chicken broth for tomorrow’s soup, pull out a bag of chickpeas for tomorrow’s dinner, boil extra “about to expire” eggs for snacks, make coconut flour muffins

Monday, January 14

Breakfast: Eggs with toast and yogurt
Lunch: Chicken Soup
Dinner:
Vegan Dad’s Cajun Chickpea Patties with Tahini-Tamari sauce and salad

Tasks: Make bread, make breadmaker deli rolls, check kombucha

Tuesday, January 15

Breakfast: Banana smoothies, coconut flour muffins, and breakfast rice*
Lunch:
Leftovers
Dinner: Snobby Joe’s with deli rolls and butternut squash fries

Tasks: Pull lamb necks out of the freezer, soak oats for tomorrow’s breakfast, save butternut squash seeds for roasting

Wednesday, January 16

Breakfast: Oatmeal with butter, milk and honey
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner:
Lamb neck stew with lard biscuits

Tasks: Have the kids help make biscuits. Double or triple the recipe and freeze some before baking.

Thursday, January 17

Breakfast: Pancakes and sauteed apples
Lunch: PBJ’s or leftovers
Dinner:
Date night!

Tasks: Soak oats for breakfast, soak flour for pita bread, pull grated cucumber and ground meat out of the freezer for tomorrow’s dinner.

Friday, January 18

Breakfast: Baked oatmeal
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner:
Stuffed Grape Leaves with Pita Bread, Hummus, Black Olives, and Tzatziki Sauce

Tasks: Re-read grape leave tutorial, make pita bread, hummus, and tzatziki sauce

Saturday, January 19

Breakfast: Pancakes or waffles, chef’s choice
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner:
leftovers or homemade pizza

*Breakfast rice is something we while had growing up that is highly reminiscent of Horchata, a Latino rice milk drink. It tastes remarkably similar, but is much less exotic, in that it’s only cooked white rice with a little bit of cinnamon and sugar, topped with milk.

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Fast and Tasty Coriander Salmon

Coriander salmon - salmon with an Indian twist

Salmon with an Indian Twist

 

My husband loves Indian food. When I found salmon filets marked down, I knew I wanted to do something special with them for him.

Drawing on the knowledge I’ve gleaned from our favorite Indian cookbook, 5 Spices, 50 Dishes, I created this marinade. The kids weren’t thrilled by the coriander seeds, but they ate every other part of it. 😉

 

Coriander Salmon

  • 2 lbs of salmon fillets
  • 4 medium cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 T. freshly ground coriander
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp madras curry
  • 1/3 c. olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt

Mix marinade, pour over fillets. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35 – 45 minutes at 375.

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Eat Down the Pantry, Week 2 Menu

Ahem…so far, I’ve thrown away 1 opened bag of roasted peanuts that expired in January of 2011, found a can of…something (I don’t know because the wrapper’s been peeled off), and used most of a 6 lb can of whole, peeled tomatoes. I’ve found anchovy paste, condensed two opened canisters of coca powder down into one, and – this is important – I’ve used our menu chalkboard consistently throughout the challenge.

Oh yeah. I have a menu chalkboard. Don’t hate.

It’s actually a bit of a sanity saver. My oldest has been reading for awhile now. She can look at the board and see what we’re having, as opposed to asking me over and over and over and over…well, you get the idea. 🙂

Sunday, January 6

Breakfast: Homemade bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits
Lunch: Leftovers (for easy meals after we get home from church)
Dinner:  Everyday Yellow Dal, Thalipeeth, and Okra Raita

Monday, January 7

Breakfast: Oatmeal with butter, honey, and milk Uh…yeah, this didn’t happen. My son was up and down throughout the night and then, when I had finally gotten him settled back in his bed, I tripped on a jingle bell toy and woke up the baby. Mama said there’d be days like this. My awesome husband made pancakes and let me sleep in.
Lunch: Leftovers/sandwiches
Dinner:
Yellow Squash Casserole with Rice and Chicken

Tasks for the day: Make crockpot yogurt, Boil eggs, Make coconut flour muffins and grapefruit clafouti

Tuesday, January 8

Breakfast: Frozen banana smoothie, Citrus fruit topped with yogurt, toast
Lunch:
Tuna salad sandwiches
Dinner: Crockpot Baked Potato Bar

Task for the day: Make hamburger buns in the bread machine, pull meat for tomorrow’s meatloaf out of the deep freezer.

Wednesday, January 9

Breakfast: Oatmeal with butter, milk, and honey
Lunch: Deli sandwiches
Dinner:
Meatloaf, leftover baked potatoes, and salad

Task for the day: Soak oatmeal for tomorrow’s breakfast.

Thursday, January 10

Breakfast: Baked Oatmeal
Lunch: traveling
Dinner:
traveling

Friday, January 11

Breakfast: traveling
Lunch: traveling
Dinner:
traveling

Saturday, January 12

Breakfast: Pancakes or waffles, chef’s choice
Lunch: leftovers or sandwiches
Dinner:
Homemade pizza and butternut squash fries

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Amazing Apple and Sage Pork Chops

Apple Sage Porkchops

Why yes, they do taste just as good as they look!

This recipe came up as a part of our participation in the Good Cheat Eats Eat Down the Pantry Challenge. We had some Harvest Naturals pork chops in the deep freezer from when they’d been reduced for quick sale at our local Ingles and, well, it was time to work them into the menu. 🙂

I knew that a part of our pantry challenge would involve some dishes that my kids weren’t going to like. I had actually thought (from past experience!) that this would be one of them. Not so! Rafe cleaned his plate and each of the older girls wanted seconds on the pork chops. With a slight modification* of Dreena Burton’s Coconut Lime Basmati Rice and a salad on the side, this was restaurant grade fare without the bill.

This recipe originated with a McCormick Recipe Inspirations spice pack that I found a few years ago at Wal-Mart. I had never cooked pork chops before and had no idea what to do with them. Lo and behold, these spice packs come with step by step instructions with what to do on the back. Problem solved! Whee!

Apple Sage Porkchops

Oh la la! Oh, so good.

The McCormick Recipe Inspiration Spice packets contain all of the seasonings that you need for the Apple and Sage Pork Chops. If you don’t have one of the spice kits, you’ll need a few spices that may not normally be in your kitchen: rubbed sage and ground allspice. The other spices called for are fairly common: minced garlic, thyme, and paprika. (In my opinion, it’s worth picking up the Recipe Inspiration kit. It’s going to be cheaper to get the kit one time and test the recipe rather than buying the full-sized spice bottles for a recipe you end up not liking.)

Apple and Sage Pork Chops**

  • 1 1/2 tsp. rubbed sage
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic, dried
  • 1 tsp. thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 T. flour (or, to be gluten free, use 1 T. arrowroot powder. That’s what we use.)
  • 1 tsp. salt – don’t forget this as it quite noticeably alters the taste 😉
  • 4 boneless pork chops, 1 inch thick (about 1 1/4 lbs.) – You don’t have to use this particular thickness – just watch them closely while they’re cooking and adjust the time accordingly.
  • 2 T. olive oil (or coconut oil or ghee – mmm!***)
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 red apples, thinly sliced (Try for organic! Apples are one of the most sprayed of all crops.)
  • 1/2 c. apple juice ****
  • 1 T. brown sugar****

Directions:

1. Put the flour, salt, and all of the spices in a bowl. Mix them up really well with a fork.

2. Lay your pork chops out on a plate or a 9″x13″ dish. Take 1 T. of the seasoned flour mix and rub it into the pork chops on both sides. Reserve the rest of the seasoned flour for later.

3. Heat your oil or ghee in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the pork chops on each side until browned. Remove from skillet.

4. Add the sliced onion to the skillet. Stirring occasionally, cook until softened – approximately 3 minutes. Add the apples to the onions and cook for two more minutes.

5. Add the juice, sugar, and reserved seasoned flour to the skillet and stir until thoroughly blended. Put the pork chops back into the skillet and stir them in. Swirl the pork chops into the apples and onions, thoroughly coating them with the sauce.

6. Once this has come to a nice, bubbly boil, cover the skillet and turn the heat down to low. Let it simmer for about five minutes or until your handy, dandy meat thermometer says that they’re done.

7. Eat and enjoy!*****

Have any favorite pork chop recipes that you’d like to share? Please do so in the comments below! 😀

 

*Our modifications included using full fat coconut milk, white basmati rice, and, as we had no lime zest, 1 tsp of lemon zest and 1/2 tsp. of orange zest. So, so good!

**Normally, I try to *not* post full recipes that I did not develop. I would much rather refer people to the person who created the original so that credit is given where credit is due. However, the only Apple Sage Pork Chop recipe that I saw on McCormick’s website was different from the one I’m sharing with you.

***The reading that I’ve done has recommended NOT cooking with olive oil as heat will damage the molecular structure of the oil and make it less than desirable for consumption.

****Part of the pantry challenge involves using what you have on hand. We did not have any apple juice and I don’t buy brown sugar. (Whenever we need brown sugar, we mix 1 c. white sugar with 1 T. of molasses. Voila! Instant brown sugar without having to add a line item to the grocery budget or take up another plot of pantry real estate.) To compensate for our lacking ingredients, I used 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar, 1/8 c. (aka 2 T.) molasses, and about 1/8 c. water. This gave it a deeper, less sweet flavor than normal and was, as I mentioned above, well received by all.

*****I don’t really have anything else to add. I just wanted to see if I could work 5 stars into this post. 😉

 

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