Authors in the Kitchen: Dee Ernst

Today I'm pleased to introduce Dee Ernst, who shares a taste of her new book as well as a favorite recipe:

Here is a quick excerpt from my new book, A Different Kind of Forever:

He was in the kitchen.  She watched him taking out eggs and cheese from the refrigerator.  She crossed her arms over her breasts.

“If you can cook,” she said seriously, “I may have to propose.”

He threw her a smile.  “I can make a great marinade for cooking anything out on a grill, and I make mashed potatoes that will take a year off your life from too much butter and cream.  I also make perfect omelets.  Cheese?  Or would you prefer mushroom?  You have a great kitchen.  You must be serious about food.”

“Yes, we’re pretty serious about food around here."

Now – what’s the most important line?   “ …we’re pretty serious about food around here.”

I’ve always been pretty serious about food.  When I was growing up, sure, I watched Julia Child, but my real food hero was Graham Kerr, known as The Galloping Gourmet.  I was always trying to make his recipes for dinner, and was constantly disappointed that my mother didn’t have squab or fresh English sugar peas in her refrigerator.

In college, I was lucky that my roommates loved cooking as much as I did.  We’d live on peanut butter for a week to have a really wonderful meal on Saturday night with a bunch of friends.  Nothing was too complicated for us – homemade tomato or French onion soup, scalloped potatoes, eggplant parmesan- -we once did an elaborate Thanksgiving dinner for all our friends trapped on campus for the holiday.

These days, I still love to cook, but it’s more about taste and convenience, and this dish wins big on both counts.  It’s easy to prepare, uses basic pantry items, and the gravy is great over mashed potatoes.

Balsamic Pork Chops

Pork chops – I use thick cut, and make 4 or five for my family.  Boneless cutlets work fine, as do the whole tenderloins

2 large onions, sliced thin

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

¼ cup ketchup



Olive oil as needed

Water Heat a heavy skillet; add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan, and sear the meat quickly.  Make sure it’s nice and brown, and there are some tasty bits left behind.

Lower heat to medium, and add the onions.  Stir for a few minutes until they begin to soften and turn brown on the edges.

While the onions are cooking, mix the balsamic, and ketchup together with ½ cup hot water.

Add the pork back into the pan, as well as any juices that gathered on the plate, and pour the sauce over top.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cover and bring to a simmer.

Now, you can keep on the stove top on low or pop into a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Simple, right?  The sauce thickens, the onions get soft, the pork gets really tender – just great.  Yes, I know it sounds weird, but trust me – these flavors really work together.

Here’s the beauty of this recipe.  You can make as much as you like – just keep the proportions of vinegar/ketchup/water the same.  It works just as well with 4 chops as it does with eight – just slice more onions and make more sauce!

Thanks so much, Rosemary, for letting me share with your readers.

Dee started writing about ten years ago, and was thrilled to have her first book, Better Off Without Him, hit the Amazon free download list at #2 this past month!  Her new contemporary romance,  A Different Kind of Forever, is available as an eBook or paperback on Amazon, and as a NookBook