Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Meal Planning: Week 1

I decided to try something new this week. I planned out the entire week's meals, and only bought stuff to make those meals (plus lunch and breakfast stuff, of course).
See, when I lived alone (or basically alone since my
roommate is never home) I rarely cooked. I ate a lot of frozen meals or sandwiches, or more breakfast food. But now, I have someone to cook for!

So last week I wrote out 4 meals and all the ingredients needed. I only did 4 because I knew we were likely to have leftovers, or maybe we would want to grab something else for another night.

This week I planned for:
teriyaki chicken w/ broccoli (Monday)
orange-apricot pork chops w/ rice (Tuesday)
leftovers (Wednesday)
baked ziti w/ salad (Thursday)
cheese burgers w/ roasted potatoes (Friday)

I found the orange-apricot pork chop recipe online... you make them in the crockpot! I really enjoyed it. The chops were fork tender, and the sauce was yummy.

Here is the recipe!

5-6 pork chops (bone in or out)
1 cup apricot jam
1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges (and juice!)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon clove

The Directions:

Use a 4-6 quart crockpot. I put the can of mandarin oranges on the bottom, just to make sure that my pork chops wouldn't stick or burn. Then I put the pork chops (mine didn't have bones) in an even layer on top of that. I seasoned them with salt, pepper, the brown sugar, and cinnamon. I didn't have clove, so I used a touch of pumpkin pie spice because it has cinnamon and clove in it. Then I spooned the apricot jam on top of the pork.

I left the crock-pot on high for the hour I was still home in the morning, then turned to low for the remaining 7 hours of cooking. When I got home I flipped the pork chops and spooned the juice/oranges on top. I served them on rice, which soaked up all the yummy juice flavors.

Steven told me, after he had approved the recipe the day before, that he didn't really like apricots so he thought it had too much apricot flavor. So next time I make this I might try using orange marmalade, or even peach jam. I quite enjoyed them, though!

I'll keep posting any yummy recipes we use!


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