Menu Planning is for the Birds!

Birds at the Feeder

We’ve recently had a few out of town guests and, as usually happens, our regular food budget/cooking routine kind of went out the window!  It’s always fun to break out of the routine and splurge a little, but now it’s time to get back on track!

So I’ve spent the morning clipping coupons and surveying the contents of my pantry, fridge and freezer.  And since I want to use up what I already have on hand, it looks like we’ll be eating a lot of pork and whole wheat pasta this week!

I wasn’t planning on sharing these mundane details of my life, but as I was scouring the food blogs looking for new ways to use up the Costco-sized package of pork chops in my freezer, I realized that you might also be interested in a few of the recipes I came across.

Orangutan at the San Diego Zoo

One recipe we’ll definitely be trying this week is the Vermont Maple Syrup Pork Chops from Simply Recipes. Just reading over the sweet and sour flavors present in the ingredient list made my mouth start watering!

I also recently bookmarked this Five-Minute Indian-style Cabbage from Herbivoracious.  It looks like a quick, easy, and inexpensive side dish since I already have all the spices in my cupboard.  If you’re new to cooking with Indian spices, this would be a great introduction!

I’ve really been craving soup the last couple of days and Rachel’s Autumn Vegetable Chowder over at Coconut & Lime looks like a rich, hearty, and surprisingly healthy chowder.  It’s definitely on my list!

And since there will be an emphasis on pork chops this week, here’s another one that caught my eye.  Peter’s Grilled Pork Chops with Mustard, Honey and Sage look amazing!  Here in San Diego, we can keep the grill going all year round!

So those are my must-try food blog recipes for the week.  The rest of our meals will probably be improvised, as usual!

Are there any new recipes that have caught your eye this week?  Leave a comment and share the link!

  1. katie

    What Geek’s Eat has a great looking fried pork chop sandwich. Made me scour the sales ads for a store with pork chops on sale, so maybe you’d be interested.

    3:43 pm  Oct 5th, 2008
  2. Nicole

    Katie: Ooooooh, thanks for sharing! I was planning on trying to be a bit healthier this week but now I’m feeling like fried pork chops might make their way onto the menu 🙂

    3:55 pm  Oct 5th, 2008
  3. Alyce

    Nicole..Do you like Navy Beans? You can put a couple of those pork chops in your navy beans for great flavor! Also..I like to do this in the fall..brown pork chops..pour a can or two of apple pie filling in bottom of casserole dish, then layer stuffing (already prepared), then lay pork chops on top and bake.. Its so good.. with the savory of the stuffing and the sweet of the apples. Yum!

    6:14 pm  Oct 5th, 2008
  4. Michael Natkin

    Thanks for mentioning the Indian cabbage. I hope you try it and like it! I’m glad you dropped by because now I know about your blog too.

    8:02 pm  Oct 5th, 2008
  5. Meg

    Love the pictures! All those recipes sound great! Thanks for sharing. I am going to add you to my blogroll if that is OK!

    6:46 am  Oct 6th, 2008
  6. Cynthia

    Check out my friend Marie’s blog. I find her dishes always makes you want to leave the computer and go cook:

    7:49 am  Oct 6th, 2008
  7. Nicole

    Alyce: I love navy beans! And that dish with the apples and stuffing sounds really good!
    Michael: You’re welcome! It was great to find your site!
    Meg: Thanks!
    Cynthia: Thanks for the great recommendation! You’re right, I do feel like cooking now! 🙂

    10:13 am  Oct 6th, 2008
  8. Ben

    What can I say about the pics? They are just HOT. Hehe. And this is what I like to make with pork chops 🙂

    11:56 am  Oct 6th, 2008
  9. Nicole

    Ben: Thanks for the link! I love pineapple with pork chops and will have to check out that sauce!

    4:54 pm  Oct 6th, 2008
  10. Amy

    that autumn chowder recipe you linked looks amazing! i bet you could make an awesome chowder too. and don’t forget my coconut bread for thanksgiving! 🙂

    5:19 pm  Oct 6th, 2008
  11. Maria

    Great recipe ideas! And don’t you wish you had an unlimited budget for food and entertaining? I will keep dreaming:)

    7:50 am  Oct 7th, 2008
  12. kamaile

    I love pork chops. My favorite way to eat them is marinated in a sort of teriyaki marinade, grilled (or broiled) and served with hot rice and pineapple. YUM! Hmmm…maybe that will make it on the menu plan this month. 🙂

    6:20 pm  Oct 7th, 2008
  13. Curt

    I have to say I’ve gotten hooked on molasses (thinned with water) and a 3-chile rub on pork chops. It’s sweet and spicy at the same time.

    6:53 am  Oct 8th, 2008
  14. Nicole

    Amy: Yes, I’m going to make some variation of it today. I don’t have any cauliflower so I might just use broccoli, corn, and potato. Should be good! I just bought some coconut so I’ll start working on a sweet bread recipe 🙂

    Maria: Yes, it would be nice to have an unlimited budget! But I also think that being on a limited budget forces you to become more creative, and that can be fun, too!

    Kamaile: My mom used to cook pork chops in a mixture of soy sauce, pineapple juice, and tarragon and would serve it and the pineapple over rice. It was good but I think I ate it too many times when I was a kid so I don’t make it much anymore! 🙂

    Curt: That sounds great! I need to start experimenting with rubs again…I’ve been in a rut lately, making the same one every time!

    11:10 am  Oct 8th, 2008
  15. Terry B

    Ahhh, Nicole. Pork chops are wonderfully versatile. Since your Wordless Wednesday post speaks of missing Sicily, you might consider this tomato-free Italian recipe for Rosemary Sage Chops.

    5:36 pm  Oct 8th, 2008
  16. Jessica

    Thanks for the tips! Can’t wait to try both the soup and the cabbage recipes. 🙂 We’re doing the same right now, trying to economize and use what we’ve got in the cupboards- lots of whole wheat pasta here, too.

    3:14 am  Oct 9th, 2008
  17. Alisa

    Hi Nicole, this is the first time I cam across your site, and I think its awesome. Love the pictures and great food ideas here too. Id like to recommend a friends foodblog at Their recipes are very simple and easy to follow

    7:57 am  Oct 10th, 2008
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