Pat’s Pantry: Casual Foods


We have some down-home comfort foods for you.  This is home-style cooking at its best. You don’t have to live on a farm to enjoy grilled chops and blackberry cobble. – Pat Mills



3 cups fresh or frozen blackberries

1 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup cold water

1 tablespoon butter


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cold butter

1/2 cup milk

whipped topping or vanilla ice cream, optional


Combine the blackberries, sugar and cinnamon in a large saucepan. Cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Combine the cornstarch and water until smooth. Stir into fruit mixture. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Pour into a greased 8-inch square baking dish. Dot with butter. For the topping, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the milk just until moistened. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto hot berry mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until the filling is bubbly and the topping is golden brown. Serve warm with whipped topping or ice cream.  Yield: 9 servings.




1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup soy sauce

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 teaspoon pepper

4 bone-in pork loin chops (1-inch thick and 8 oz. each)


Combine the brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic and pepper in a small bowl. Pour marinade into a large re-sealable plastic bag. Add pork chops. Seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.  If grilling the chops, use long-handled tongs to dip a paper towel in cooking oil and lightly coat the grill rack. Drain and discard marinade. Grill chops, covered, over medium heat or broil 4-inches from heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.



1/4 cup butter or margarine

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup chopped green pepper

1/3 cup chopped onion

1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

3 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices


Place butter in a 2-quart baking dish and microwave at high 30 seconds or until butter melts. Stir in Parmesan cheese and next five ingredients. Add sliced potato and toss to gently coat. Cover dish tightly with heavy-duty plastic wrap and fold back a small edge of wrap to allow steam to escape. Microwave potato on high 13 to 15 minutes or until potato is tender, stirring at 5-minutes intervals. Yield: 4 servings.



1 can (15 oz.) creamed corn

1 can (15 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained

1 beaten egg

1/2 cup chopped onion

2/3 cup milk

1 cup cracker crumbs

1/4 cup melted butter

2 tablespoons sugar

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup grated cheddar cheese, optional


Mix all ingredients and pour into a 2-quart buttered casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Remove from oven and sprinkle cheese on top if desired. Return to oven for five minutes or until cheese is melted.



Adding a pinch of salt to chocolate dishes will enhance the flavor.

Try loosening rusty screws by putting a drop or two of ammonia on the screw.

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