Monthly Archives: February 2010

Pork Chops in Apple Gravy

I decided to post this recipe because I needed a first entry for the blog and since we ate this last night, it was a natural.  What I like about this recipe is that while it’s not particularly difficult, it’s a twist on the basic fried pork chop and so feels kind of special.


4 pork chops
1/2 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon beef bullion granules
1 cup apple cider
1 crisp apple

Melt the butter in a skillet and add the oil.  Peel and slice the onion into half rings.  Add the onion to the skillet and saute until done, about 4 or 5 minutes.  Remove the onion from the pan and add the pork chops.  Brown on both sides, about 4 minutes a side.  Remove pork chops from the pan.  Add the flour and cook for a minute.  The flour should absorb all the liquid in the skillet.  After a minute, add the apple cider, the beef bullion granules.  Turn up the heat and mix well.  Stir until the gravy bubbles and thickens.  Reduce the heat, add the pork chop and the onions, spreading the onions over the chops.  Core the crisp apple and cut thick slices, laying them on top of the pork chops.  Cover and cook over low heat until the pork is done, about 20 minutes.  Serve the gravy on the side.

I like to buy boneless pork loin when it’s on sale and cut it into chops for use in this recipe (and others), but the traditional pork chop with a bone in it works just as well here.  Also, you can substitute apple juice for the cider, but when fresh cider and crisp, tart apples are available at your local orchard–use them.  It really makes a difference.

pork apple gravy small

This is how I served the pork chops last night, with baked sweet potato and vegetables.

February 11 — Being on the MWA Board

It’s a little daunting, being on the Board of the Mystery Writers of America (MWA).

The road to this started two years ago when Julie Hyzy, a fabulous author and a great friend, asked me to run as her vice president for the Midwest Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America (MWA).  When I did so, I knew the expectation would be that I would make my own run for the presidency two years later. That’s the way it usually works in the Midwest Chapter–a president runs for two years, and then the vice president runs for president.

Anyway, Julie did a great job in her two years, and and I ran and was elected president for 2010. And because all chapter presidents also sit on the MWA Board, I had the privelege of going to New York a few weeks ago and was indoctrinated into how things run on the national level.

All I can say is — Wow!  This is a great organization, and the people who are on the national board are a dedicated group of published mystery authors who love the genre and want to advance the field of mystery writing and help the authors who are in it.  If you are a mystery author or fan, I recommend that you look into membership.  Non-published authors and fans can be affiliate members, and published authors can become active members.  (Go to for more information.)  As a member, you are automatically assigned to the chapter that covers the geographical region where you live.  Chapters hold meetings with interesting speakers, have a message board to keep members in touch with what’s going on regionally and nationally, and make it possible to network with other writers and fans, among other things.

The Midwest chapter ( just held its first board meeting of the year, and we’re looking at upcoming meetings not only based in Chicago, our hub, but also in St. Louis, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis this year.  For more information, check the Midwest chapter’s site.

The daunting part for me is two-fold–first, to keep things going on both a regional and national level, and second, to keep up the quality of my writing as a member of such a prestigious board!