Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

Staying home this year has made me realize how much I can simplify things.  I have so much I want to do, however I need to prioritize some other areas of my life so that I make what I want to do a priority. 

I had this realization on Christmas Eve as Josh and I were rushing around to clean the house before family arrived.  I came downstairs to a messy white tile floor, courtesy of our dog tracking mud in the house from repeated backyard visits.  As I made my way to the backyard to let her out, I saw that the cat had peed in her food dish.. Again.  He is a naughty cat.  And the dog's food dish of all places, what nerve!  It was then I realized that I was living a very reactive life at home instead of proactive.  Thus, the need to create some routines that will simplify life in  2014.

First, I need to simplify eating.  Every New Year's Day, my family cooks pork chops and sauerkraut.  It's a German tradition meant to bring good luck in the coming year.  I was sad this year to miss my dad's pork chops and mom's mashed potatoes.  My six-month-old has been very difficult to travel with lately.  He's been known to cry continuously in the car for an hour and a half.  I decided to recreate the meal at home.  I did the pork chops and Josh did the potatoes.  All was delicious and the pork chops are the simplest recipe ever.  Here it is:

Pork Chops and Sauerkraut

4 bone-in pork chops
2 jars of sauerkraut
1 tablespoon canola oil

1. Heat oil in pressure cooker.  Brown all sides of the pork chops on the bottom of the pressure cooker at medium high heat. 

2. Put one layer of sauerkraut on the bottom of the pressure cooker. Layer 2 pork chops on top (or as many will fit in one layer on the pressure cooker)

3. Alternate another sauerkraut layer and pork chop layer.  Finish by dumping the remaining sauerkraut on top with all the sauerkraut juice.

(In the above picture I only used one jar of sauerkraut. The chops turned out a touch dry which is why I recommend using two jars)

4. Close and seal the pressure cooker. Cook over medium high heat. Once the pressure cooker starts releasing steam (about 20 mins), start the timer for 30 minutes.

5.  Once 30 minutes have elapsed, take the pressure cooker off the heat and release the pressure.  The lid should then open easily.  Enjoy!


  1. That's funny. I'm German but we never had pork cops and Sauerkraut on New Year's day :)

    1. So, the side of my dad's family that started it is German. However, I looked it up and pork chops and sauerkraut for New Years was started with the Pennsylvania Dutch. My dad grew up in Pennsylvania, so now this makes sense :)

  2. This sounds MARVELOUS! It took me almost 25 years to learn to love saurkraut but I adore it now!

  3. It is marvelous! I should really make it more than once a year :)

  4. Tony's Christmas gift was a larger pressure cooker (he found out he enjoys cooking when it's fast (and potentially dangerous perhaps??)). And we all love sauerkraut. Will definitely have to give this a go!