From My Mom’s Kitchen

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The weekend after Thanksgiving found us in my parent’s home for a two and half day visit.  Spite the fact that I urged my mom not to fuss in the kitchen, she told me she was fixing a meal for Saturday evening that would not keep her in the kitchen for long.

When her meal began roasting in the oven, the smells made me even hungrier, and anxious for a peek at what she was cooking!  What she had prepared was a Pork Chop Casserole that made up pretty much the whole meal.  It had Pork chops, sweet potatoes, and apples layered inside the baking dish.  What a great combination of flavors!  It served up beautifully as she slid the spatula under each pork chop “stack” and placed it on our plates.

It was really delicious!!

She added a salad and bread to round out the meal.  There was no need for snacking that night!

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With the busy Christmas season upon us, we might be tempted to go out for dinner after busy days of shopping, wrapping, and a long list of holiday events, but with recipes like these, there’s no need!  This simple recipe would be a perfect prep-ahead dish so your family can eat a scrumptious meal at home.  I’ve renamed it from simply Pork Chop Casserole to Busy Day Pork Chop Casserole.  Here’s the recipe:

Pork Chop Casserole

6 Pork chops
4 Sweet potatoes
4 Tart apples
1/4 Cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp salt
Dash of pepper
1/8 tsp sage


Peel and slice potatoes.  Without peeling, cut apples into thick slices.  Place the potatoes in a  greased baking dish and sprinkle with salt.  Add the apples, sugar, and cinnamon.  Arrange the pork chops on the apples and season with remaining ingredients.  Add 1/4 cup hot water and bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until pork chops are well done.

My mom always sets a gorgeous table.

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It was delicious.  It was lovely.  It was typical of my mom’s kitchen.

She’s a great cook and a gracious hostess.

I hope you’ll put this dish on your busy calendar/menu!  The flavors are perfect and you’ll have it ready for the oven in minutes!

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BBQ, Butter and Bargains


We’ve been on vacation – maybe you’ve guessed.  (A week alone with my preacher husband has me spitting out alliterated blog post titles! Ha!)

While we’re away, we usually stay in a condo with cooking facilities.  We enjoy eating out, but after a while, we really prefer to fix our own meals so we can keep cost and calories to a minimum.

One huge blessing on this vacation was the discovery of two gas grills that have been added to the property where we stay!  We made a trip to Kroger and purchased some boneless pork chops.  Then I surveyed the ingredients I’d brought with me from home and I landed on a great recipe, mocking one we’ve enjoyed at The Chop House.  It has an herbed butter that takes the simply grilled chop to another level!  Here’s how I did it:

Grilled Pork Chops with Herbed Buttr

4 Boneless pork chops
Cooking Spray

Herbed Butter
1/2 stick softened butter
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried rosemary

Combine ingredients for butter in a small bowl.  Refrigerate 30 minutes or longer.

Prepare grill by placing foil on grill and spraying with cooking spray. Heat grill.  Season chops with salt and pepper.  Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side. Check for doneness.  Remove from grill  Serve with a small ball of herbed butter on top of pork chops.


My Menu:

Grilled Pork Chops with Herbed Butter
Sweet Potato Fries
Asian Chop Salad
Toasted Sour Dough Bread

When I figured up our meal, it cost us right at $6 for BOTH of our dinners!  I got the chops on sale, we got about 3 meals out of the bag of salad, and 3 meals from the Ore-Ida Potatoes!  The best part was how delicious the chops were!  They were every bit as good as what we’ve enjoyed at the restaurant!  We cooked all four on one night, but ate two the first evening and the other two the next night!  This meal was a scrumptious barbequed dinner, dripping with that herbed butter!

If you’re home, make this dinner and you might feel like you’re on vacation! Here was our view while we ate…


God is so good to us!  It was a blessing that we don’t deserve, but that He graciously allowed.

Fire up your grill, and make these chops! Now, alliterate your recent meal  and leave it as a comment!

Reminiscing about the salt air,

What I’ve Done/What I’m Doing

Wow, lots of things have happened in the last week – wait, I think I said about last week, too!  It’s true, but it’s a blessing.  Each week is filled with ministry and blessings, and those two are all intertwined!  Serving the Lord is wonderful, and I am a woman that is thankful and fulfilled!

Let me tell you about some of my blessings via these pictures above.  We’ll start on the top left and go across each row.

  • Honey Spiced Glazed Pork Chops, baked sweet potatoes and peas made up supper one night.  The sauce makes a plain pork chop incredible!
  • Until you see second graders act out the pilgrim’s and Indian’s first Thanksgiving, you have not lived.  My little neighbor girl was one of the cutest pilgrims ever.  We watched her and her fellow classmates give their rendition of Thanksgiving.  Too cute.
  • Last weekend my husband and I had the privilege of serving in a leadership conference.  On Saturday afternoon during free time, we drove to the Amish Bulk store and they had their donut and pretzel truck up and running.  I tried one of the pretzels for the first time.  Oh. My.  Let’s just say I hope it won’t be my last!  I think they’re even better than their wonderful donuts!
  • I mentioned yesterday about the children I had the privilege to teach in Sunday school last week.  This is a picture I took of them while they were reading our passage together.  They all participated so well.  What a blessing they were to me!
  • I’m hosting Thanksgiving Dinner tomorrow and I’m making individual cornucopias for treats and name cards.  I’ll show the end result of these little guys next week.
  • The fireplace makes for the coziest bedroom in the early morning.  My husband had the fire going for me  to enjoy during my devotions yesterday (it was 24 degrees!).  It felt soooo lovely.
  • Not pictured are all my preparations for Thanksgiving dinner and company for a couple days.  I’m having tons of fun, and I’m super excited!

That’s what I’ve done and am doing.  What are you up to these days before Thanksgiving?




What’s Cookin’ in the Parsonage?

Grits. . . does not only stand for Girls raised in the south, but I think it also is an acronym for Great, really intensely terrific side dish!  In the last several years, I have come to really love them!  I’ve posted about cheese grits, but friends, I’ve found a recipe that just may top the cheesy version!  I found a recipe on Pioneer Woman (super site…check it out!), then I did a little tweaking of the recipe to make it less fattening.  We didn’t miss any of the other ingredients.  My husband’s words were, “You knocked it out of the park with that, one, Baby!”  I love it when he says that – it means he really  likes it!  If you’re tired of potatoes as a side dish, then try this!

As the main dish, I also tried Pioneer woman’s Pork Chops with Apples.  Mmmmmm. So yummy!

My Menu:
Green Beans
Fresh Tomatoes and Cottage Cheese
Here are some pics of the chops:

My “tweaked” recipe for the grits was this, instead of using bacon fat, I did the bacon in the microwave and sauteed the onions in reduced-fat butter.  I used 2% milk instead of heavy cream and I found that the grits were so good it didn’t need the cheese!  Pioneer woman would die if she saw my version of her heavenly dish, but the reality is I don’t live on a ranch where I rope cattle and burn off all those calories!  Something has to give, folks!  =)  I’m telling you, they were great even with these changes!

You can’t get a better salad than this…

Fresh tomato slices, on a lettuce leaf, and a spoon of cottage cheese on top.  It’s pretty and delicious!

See my pretty quilted runner I just got?  It’s Waverly and I nabbed it at TJ Maxx for $7!  It goes the entire length of my bar counter adding softness, texture and color to that otherwise cold space.  ~Love~

So, what’s been cooking at your house? 

From my parsonage kitchen,