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New Year, New Attempt at Menu Planning

on January 9, 2013

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Katie looks at me in horror as I tell her that I shop sans grocery list. Instead,  I  just walk around the store and get “inspired” for the coming weeks’ meals.  This is how I have always operated, and until the third child came along, it worked well.  But now that I find myself making breakfast, school lunches, snacks, dinners and baby meals, oh and running a business, I’m beginning to lose track and often find myself scrambling and stressed at 4pm everyday, attempting to get two healthy meal on the table by 6 (one for the big kids and us, the other for the baby).  So this year, one of my many resolutions is to be more organized with meal planning.  Step 1. I bought a weekly planner devoted just for this purpose. Step 2. Spend about 15-20 min filling it in for the coming week and Step 3. Create a grocery list and check inventory (I have been known to buy a double and triple of things we have) Step 4. Buy the groceries over the weekend and make a couple of meals in advance.  Step 5. Breathe.

While it’s only January 9th, so far, this system has worked really well. This weekend, I made baby food for the week, Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup for lunches, and an amazing and easy Pork Loin with Apples that we ate for dinner Sunday night and had Tacos with the leftovers last night.

The Pork Loin was sooo good, and so simple to make, that I thought I should share the recipe.  Hope you enjoy it!

Pork Loin with Apples

1 Large or 2 Smaller Pork Loins (I made two smaller ones)

1 Tblspn Onion Powder

Salt/Pepper to taste

4 Tblspn Olive Oil

4 Sweet Onions, sliced

6 Garlic cloves

4-5 Apples cored, sliced apples (I used large ones, and did not peel them)

1-2 Cups Apple Juice (I used unsweetened)

4 Cups Chicken or Beef Broth

3-4 Bay Leaves

Rinse and pat dry the pork loins.  Season with onion powder, salt and pepper.  Heat olive oil in medium to large pan and brown pork loin in all sides.

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Remove pork loin, add apples, garlic and onions and brown for 5-10 min.

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You can either transfer everything to a slow cooker and  or cook on in a covered pot (I used a slow cooker).  Add pork loin to apples/onions/garlic, add 1 cup of apple juice and 4 cups of stock (if you want a sweeter sauce, then add 2 cups apple juice and 2 cups broth).  Simmer for approx 3 hours, or until pork is very tender (shreds with a fork).

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Remove pork, and boil sauce over high heat until reduced by half.  For a richer sauce, you can add 2-3 tblspns of butter to finish sauce.  Enjoy!!

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One response to “New Year, New Attempt at Menu Planning

  1. […] that you know your family loves when it hits the table.   Another was about how to implement weekly strategies for getting and staying organized to avoid last minute panic at 5:30pm.  Both have some real ideas […]

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