Dinner · home · Home making · Lightened Up Recipe · Meal planning · refreshment at home · Tablescapes

My Kitchen Table – Settings & Sustenance

We all have to eat.  But what we fix and how we serve it can make a huge  difference in how much enjoyment we give ourselves and those with whom we share the meal. I can remember growing up that my mom always made the table and the food a special part of each day.  I don’t go overboard on a regular day, but I try to make the food and the table inviting.  Today’s post is just a little glimpse into how I set the table and what meals we’ve been enjoying recently.

Al Fresco Dining – Once the weather turns warm, we eat outside as often as possible!  One morning recently I took breakfast outside to the front porch where the sun was shining and ate sitting in a rocking chair.  That’s even better than Cracker Barrel! Continue reading “My Kitchen Table – Settings & Sustenance”

Dinner · Lightened Up Recipe · Sandwich

Reuben Sandwiches Done Light(er)

Reuben 2a

I love a good Reuben Sandwich at a restaurant, but I’ve seldom ever made one at home.  First, the Corned Beef is expensive at the grocery store.  Second, the calories are even higher!  But when a generous man at our church shared his homemade sauerkraut with us (again!) I kept thinking about how good a Reuben Sandwich would taste using that freshly made kraut!

So, Continue reading “Reuben Sandwiches Done Light(er)”

Dinner · Pork chops

Homemade Shake and Bake Pork Chops

Man I love a bone-in pork chop!  They are thick, juicy and scrumptious!  Are you old enough to remember the commercials for Shake and Bake coating mix for chicken and pork? Here it is…

The commercial might be comical now (especially those “southern accents!”), but it’s true – this coating is easier and better than frying!

I Recently found a lovely package of pork chops on sale at Kroger and brought them home, not knowing how I would prepare them.  Then remembering those crispy oven-baked pork chops from my childhood, I Googled “Homemade Shake and Bake Pork chops” and found that Southern Living had a great recipe!!

Look at this pork chop with its delicious coating that was BAKED!

Shake and bake 1

Homemade Shake and Bake Pork Chops

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 1/8 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 4 (1/2-inch-thick) bone-in pork loin chops
Step 1

Preheat oven to 425°. Stir together first 6 ingredients, 2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper in a bowl. Transfer mixture to a 1-gal. zip-top plastic freezer bag.

Step 2

Sprinkle pork chops on both sides with remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Place 2 chops in breadcrumb mixture, and shake to coat well. Place chops on a wire rack on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chops.

Step 3

Bake at 425° for 15 minutes; turn chops over, and bake 10 more minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 155°. Let stand 5 minutes.

Southern Living added a Mustard Sauce. I tried it and it was delicious!!  Here’s the recipe for that:

Mustard Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Step 4

Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallot, and sauté 3 minutes or until softened. Increase heat to medium-high; add broth, and bring to a boil. Boil 1 minute. Stir in mustard, cream, and lemon juice, and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened. Stir in chopped parsley. Serve immediately with pork chops.

shake and bake 3

Now, aren’t you hungry for a crunchy, savory pork chop?  i SERIOUSLY could eat this every week, and that’s coming from a girl who likes variety in her menu!  I hope you’ll find someone to give you some help (spoken with a southern drawl!and try this recipe!

Denise Signature 150 px

 

Dinner · main dish · Pork chops

Pork Chops, Peas and Potato Dish

You’re probably up to your eyeballs in sugar cookie dough and all things sweet right now, but you still have to have supper, right?! I’m going to help you with an old family recipe I remember having as a child, fixing for my girls when they were home, and I still enjoy today.
I love a recipe that doesn’t call for special ingredients.  I know I can open my pantry and find just what I need and pull supper together in a flash.  I recently made a casserole that’s an old recipe that falls right into that category! It’s called, Pork Chop, Peas and Potato Casserole.  I loved it as a child, and I love it today.  The pork chops get so tender while cooking in the tomato soup mixture, and the soup makes a great sauce for the vegetables.  I love these kinds of recipes where you pile everything in the dish, cover it, and you’re done!
You could put this together the night before and store it in the fridge until it’s time to bake it for dinner (just make sure the potatoes are all under the sauce so they don’t turn brown).  This is hearty and so good!  Add a salad and bread and the meal is complete!

Pork Chop, Peas and Potato Casserole

 4 Pork Chops
3-4 potatoes, peeled and sliced
1/2 Cup onion, diced
1 can Tomato Soup
1 Can Milk
Frozen Peas
Salt and Pepper
Layer potatoes and onions in the bottom of a casserole dish. Add peas – as many as you think you’ll need.   Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Mix soup and milk.  Pour over top of vegetables.  Place pork chops on top and spoon some of the soup over the chops. Add salt and pepper to chops.   Cover and bake 1 hour.
The pork will be super tender and the potatoes and peas will have absorbed the sauce.  Yum!
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pork chops and peas
Have you been cooking any old family recipes?  Is there one you haven’t made in a while you need to pull out?  Sometimes those are the best!
With love from my country kitchen,
Denise Signature 150 px
Cooking · dessert · Dinner · grilling · main dish

Catfish Sandwich and Easy Dessert

The meal I’m sharing today reminds me of childhood, only we’re going to take something simple and make it a little more special!

I love fish, but I especially love a fish sandwich!  I recently tried a Cooking Light recipe for…

Catfish Sandwich a

It was as amazing as it sounds! I used frozen catfish filets and we grilled them.  That alone added a great flavor to the fish, and of course it cooked up in no time.  This peanut sauce takes it up a whole new notch, adding great flavors to the sandwich!

Also, I don’t often make dessert for us on a weeknight, but for this meal, I wanted a little something sweet afterwards.  So, I did a flashback dessert, making a pudding parfait.  Again, it was bumped up a whole notch by doing two things:

  1. I used the new natural flavored Jell-O Pudding mix.  Have you tried them?  The Vanilla and chocolate have both been really, really good, and I’m not usually a fan of the instant varieties!
    Chocolate
  2. I made fresh whipping cream instead of Cool Whip!  Yum.  The end.

Let’s get on with the recipes!

Catfish Po’boy with Hoisin-Peanut Sauce

 

Ingredients

  • Sauce:
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • Catfish:
  • 1/4 cup Thai chile sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 (6-ounce) farm-raised catfish fillets
  • Cooking spray
  • Remaining ingredients:
  • 4 (2 1/2-ounce) hoagie rolls, split and lightly toasted
  • 2 cups shredded napa (Chinese) cabbage

To prepare sauce, heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and ginger; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low. Add hoisin sauce, peanut butter, lime juice, and sugar; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; set aside.

Prepare grill or broiler.

To prepare catfish, combine chile sauce and garlic in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add catfish; seal and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes, turning bag occasionally.

Remove fish from marinade; discard marinade. Place fish on a grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Cook 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Spread 1 tablespoon sauce over bottom half of each hoagie roll; top each serving with 1/2 cup cabbage, 1 catfish fillet, and top half of roll. Serve immediately.

Catfish Sandwich

Sometimes we overthink dessert. Why not do a simple dish like pudding and make it a little more special with fresh whipping cream and a berry!

Pudding Parfait

Mix up a package of Jell-O pudding. Let set until firm (about 5 minutes). Then you can either layer the pudding and the whipping cream, or you can line the dish with the cream and put the pudding over the top…Pudding in a Cloud!

I add a little powdered sugar to the whipping cream to sweeten it.

Top with a strawberry!

pudding 1

A fish sandwich and Pudding…it doesn’t get any more reminiscent or delicious than that!

Do you remember this pudding dessert as a kid?  

With love from my country kitchen,