Fried Pork Chops

Pan Fried Pork Chops

I’ve had 30+ years of married life perfecting the art of fried pork chops. I have tried just about every combination of spices and wet ingredients and have finally found the PERFECT fried pork chop. The unlikely ingredient……honey!   Also, you can use boneless pork chops but I think the “bone in” is best because it renders that little bit of extra “fat”. This recipe is so worth a try if you want a tried and true, no fail pork chop your family will ask for again and again.


-4 boneless or bone in pork chop

-2 tsp of pepper ( I love pepper! – even more than salt)

-1 tsp salt

-1 cup flour

-1/2 cup HONEY

-1/2 cup of canola oil

-2 tsp butter

-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

-1/2 tsp smoked paprika

-1 cup buttermilk


-Combine your flour, salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne and mix well

-Set up your dredging station with 4 trays:  2 trays with 1/2 cup of flour mixture in each, 1 tray with buttermilk, 1 tray with honey

-Heat your canola oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

-Dredge each pork chop in this order:  Buttermilk, flour, honey, flour

-Place the chops in the preheated skillet and cook for about 3 minutes per side. Set aside to rest for 5 minutes.

Delicious and simple!



Dak’s Spices Special Sale!

My favorite spice, Dak’s, is running a 3 pack gift set special for under $20 with free shipping.  You can pick and choose  3 blends.  This is a limited time offer that will expire next Sunday the 17th.  This is your chance to try these great salt free spices. Just click on the Dak’s picture above and it will take you directly to their site to purchase. Happy spicing!

Brunch Hashbrown Omlette Sandwich

Hashbrown Omlette Sandwich

I have named this the Sunday brunch “Hashomwich”. I was playing around with one of my favorite cooking tools – my GE Waffle Iron and some favorite ingredients to come up with a little “twist” for brunch today.


My husband, David, and I enjoy our weekend breakfast time together. We stay so busy during the week that we rarely sit down for breakfast. This was so much fun to assemble – needless to say my husband wanted another one – but I said too late – waffle maker is clean and put up!

Give this a try and let me know what you think!


4 Servings

-1 lb bag of Simply Potato Hashbrowns

-4 large eggs

-1/2 cup fresh mushrooms

-1/2 cup diced onions

-salt and pepper

-1 tsp of Daks Lemon Pepper Spice

-4 slice Sargento pepper jack cheese

-6 slices of cooked bacon

-2 tbs maple syrup

-1 tbs olive oil

-1 tbs chopped scallions


**Bacon prep:  I like to cook my bacon in the oven – less mess. Preheat the oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with tin foil. Lay the slices of bacon in a single layer and brush the maple syrup on each slice and a generous sprinkle of pepper on each. Bake for 6 minutes, flip the bacon and cook another 6 min. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.

-Preheat your waffle iron on medium high for about 7 minutes.

-While you are waiting on your waffle iron, heat a skillet with the olive oil and add the mushrooms and onions and saute till translucent, about 8 minutes over medium heat and set aside.

-Place about 3/4 cup of the hashbrown on both sides of the sprayed waffle iron (I like Pam). Close the waffle maker and cook for about 8 minutes. You can remove them when they are crispy on the outside and can be removed in two hash cakes. Repeat the same process until you have 4 sandwiches (top and bottom). Set aside.

-Whisk up 4 eggs and pour into a preheated, Pam sprayed large skillet. When the omlette begins to set on top add your mushrooms and onions and Daks lemon pepper and flip into one large omlette. Cut the omlette into 4 squares (its ok if they are a little “odd” shaped)

Assembly: (The fun part!)

-Hashbrown cake on the bottom

-Omlette square on top of hashbrown

-Slice of pepper jack cheese on top of omlette

-Top with a few slices of bacon

-A sprinkle of green onions

-Top with your final hashbrown cake.

Serve. Enjoy!




Business is Booming!

Wren’s Cooking With A TwistBusiness is Booming!

I never would have imagined when I began this small catering business it would grow so quickly but I KNEW I would love it as much as I do!  I am constantly testing and twisting to bring you new and delicious dishes. If you are in the Birmingham area and have a need for a “small” group caterer you can easily contact me at You won’t be disappointed!    Have a wonderful weekend and please help me spread the word by reposting on your facebook page or pinterest!  xoxo Wren


Lemon, Butter and Thyme Chicken

Lemon, Butter and  Thyme Chicken

Lemon, Butter and Thyme Chicken


I have experimented with so many versions of this recipe and after many attempts I can tell you – if you don’t try any of my recipes you MUST try this one. The flavor and moistness of this chicken make it a dish that would make your recipe box and be used time and time again!


-4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

-1/2 cup of flour

-1/2 tsp salt

-1/2 tsp pepper

-1/3 cup butter

-1 tbs olive oil

-4 lemons

-1 clove garlic minced

-2 tbs fresh thyme

-1 tsp of Italian seasoning and or lemon pepper. I prefer Dak’s Spices. (


-Set up a breading station with 2 trays. Place the flour, salt and pepper in one tray and the juice of 2 lemons in the other tray.

-Place your chicken breast into a gallon size zip lock bag and pound with a mallet to 1/2 inch thickness. I recommend using a zip lock bag instead of plastic wrap because it keeps any contaminants from the chicken inside the bag.

-Preheat a large skillet over medium heat and melt the butter, add the olive oil and the juice of your 3rd lemon

-Dredge each chicken breast on both sides in the lemon juice, then dredge each piece in the flour mixture.

-Add the chicken to the skillet and cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Sprinkle each side while frying with the Italian seasoning or Daks Green Zest and/or Lemon Pepper.

-Remove your chicken and cover with foil to rest for 5 minutes. In the meantime, cut your 4th lemon into slices and add them to the skillet with your Thyme and saute for 2-3 minutes.

-Plate your chicken and top it with the sauteed lemons and pour the drippings over the chicken. Enjoy!

Serves 4


Pear, Asparagus & Arugula Salad & Orange Vinaigrette

Pear, Asparagus & Arugula Salad & Orange Vinaigrette

Arugula & Pear Salad

It’s Spring! Fresh ingredients in abundance!  This salad is so loaded with yumminess that it is easy to make it the main dish for lunch or dinner. Hope you enjoy.


-3 cups of spring mix salad (add peppery Arugula for a great taste)

-1/2 cup of fresh asparagus spears, washed and dryed

-1 to 2 Bartlett pears, sliced thinly

-1/4 cup toasted, chopped pecans

1/4 cup fresh parmesan

1/2 cup cherry tomato

1/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins

1/2 avocado spliced and chopped

There are so many options of this recipe – you can add walnuts, strawberries, apples, fennel, kale, quinoa or pasta – it goes on and on!


1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup of Pear Balsamic Vinegar ( you can get this at a specialty store  or grocery)

3 tsp honey

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 minced garlic clove

1 Tbs red wine vinegar

Juice of one orange

Mix all of the above in a mason jar and it will keep for up to a week in the fridge.


Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Use a few pear slices and asparagus slices to enhance the presentation.  Serve on a large serving tray or bowl and slather some of your homemade dressing on!


Zucchini and Squash Bake

This is a healthy, easy and quick little side dish using  “Daks Green Zest” again.


Zucchini and Squash Bake


-4 zucchini

-4 squash

-2 Tb olive oil

– 1 tsp salt

-1 tsp pepper

-2 tsp Daks Green Zest or similar spice combination of your choice

-1/2 cup Kraft 5 Italian Cheese



-Preheat oven to 350 degrees

-Wash your zucchini and squash and pat dry

-Cut your veggies into thin slices

-In a mixing bowl, combine the veggies, olive oil, salt, pepper and Dak’s spice or similar

-Spread the mix onto a large baking sheet sprayed with a non-stick spray

-Crumble the cheese over the top of the veggies

-Bake 25-30 min.



Rustic Ham and Cheddar Pie

This delicious pie is a spin off of a recipe by Chef Bobby Flay “with a twist”. It is such a great alternative to your typical “sandwich” and a wonderful easy brunch/lunch treat!

Rustic Ham & Cheddar Pie


-1 pkg (2 sheets) of Pillusbury Puff Pastry

-1 large egg plus 2 Tbs of water whisked

-1 tsp black pepper

-Kosher salt

-8 oz of thick cut country ham or black forest ham

-2 Tbs Grey Poupon Coarse Mustard

-3 Tbs of Fig Preserves

-6 oz of Sargento White Cheddar

-2 oz of Sargento shredded Pepper Jack


6 easy steps!…

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees

-Unroll one sheet of the puff pastry onto a lightly floured surface

-Gently roll with a rolling pin to increase the pastry by about 1″.

-Place the rolled pastry onto a sheet pan lined with parchment and spray lightly with Pam

-Whisk your egg and 2 Tbs of water and brush over entire surface of pastry

-Next, combine the mustard, pepper, fig preserves, and spread evenly over the pastry leaving about a 1″ border between where the spread stops and the pastry stops

-Place the ham pieces on the pastry on top of the preserve spread to cover the entire pie

-Combine your cheeses and spread over the ham

-Roll out your second puff pastry and roll out to increase size by 1″

-Lay the 2nd puff pastry over the ham and cheese pie and work around the pie to fold the bottom pastry over the top and press with a fork to seal

-Brush the entire top with egg wash and sprinkle with kosher salt

-Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes

The end result…..a beautiful rustic treat!




Greek Chicken & Dak’s



If you are not familiar with Dak’s Spices you need to be! This is a Birmingham based company that has developed a line of spices that I use on a daily basis. This Greek chicken recipe uses the Dak’s Green Zest and everything is cooked on one sheetpan.  And …..oh my!……it is sooo good. This recipe was plenty for me and my husband – for a family of 4 I would just double it.


    • 6 baby new potatoes
    • 8 oz of fresh green beans
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or basil leaves
    • 2 to 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
    • 2 Tb of Dak’s Green Zest Seasoning (or any Greek season)
For the marinade
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • In a large size Ziploc bag, combine chicken, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and oregano or basil; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Marinate for at least 30 minutes. Drain the chicken from the marinade, discarding the marinade.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly spray  a baking sheet
  • Place the chicken on the baking sheet. Place potatoes and green beans in a single layer around  the chicken. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste and the Dak’s or Greek spice
  • Place into oven and roast until the chicken is completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 25-30 minutes.* Then broil for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown and slightly charred.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with parsley or basil


Rice With A Twist


Rice With A Twist

If you are a “rice lover” you will love this recipe. Did you know that you can very simply change the way you prepare a dish by what you “cook it in”.  For this recipe I used your basic Success Rice Boil In The Bag. Package instructions call for you to boil the rice packet in water. I decided to try something a little different to give it some new, updated flavor.  Instead of using water, I boiled the bag in equal parts of chicken broth and Pinot Grigio . The difference was amazing!  Then I decided to try some different combinations and came up with the following rice that will now be my “go to”.  Hope you give it a try.


1 bag of Success Boil In Bag Rice

Equal parts of chicken broth and Pinot Grigio

1 Orange

1/2 cup Chopped pistachio nuts

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1/2 onion chopped and sauteed in butter

2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil

2 tbs of fresh basil

1/4 cup of Hormel bacon bits



In a medium pot, cook the Success rice in the chicken broth and wine according to package. Drain and set aside.

Cook the chopped onion in 2 tbs of butter and set aside

In a mixing bowl, mix the rice, onion, olive oil, salt, pepper, basil, bacon bits and pistachios. Squeeze the juice of one orange over the mixture. Mix well and serve immediately.

The combination of flavors is amazing.