Saturday, August 19, 2017

Meal No. 1894: Barbecue Chicken, Bacon, Feta, and Onion Bistro Pizza

As an accompaniment to Captain America: Winter Soldier, I whipped up a speedy bistro pizza topped with barbecue chicken, bacon, feta, and sautéed red onion, and finished with sharp cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. Yum. Alas, because of the rush to get back up to resume the movie, it was also the rare occasion where I completely forgot to snap a photo of the good dinner. Shucks.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Meal No. 1893: One-Pan Pork Tenderloin

With a full work week including some on-the-road time, and late afternoons both Thursday and Friday, and guests at the table this evening, it seemed my best choice was a rapid return to a recently-fixed meal: one-pan pork tenderloin with green beans and potatoes. It turned out pretty well. And since it's prepared and cooked all together, it meant I was a more present participant in the first-ever Roediger House Reading Party up on the third floor. Yes: a bunch of us sat around reading on a Friday night. Don't be jealous.

"One-Pan Pork Tenderloin with Green Beans and Potatoes," by Christie Morrison. In Cook's Country, October/November 2015, p. 27.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Meal No. 1892: Grilled Bacon and Cheese Sandwiches

It's nearly a five hour drive when I'm coming back home from Berryville, Virginia, and along with an abundance of bacon in the fridge, that led to last night's simple supper: grilled bacon and cheese sandwiches with lots of cold refreshing orange juice. Worth blogging about? Maybe not. Worth eating? Heck yeah.

By the way, look at who showed up again behind the house doing a live report this past Monday morning:

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Meal No. 1891: Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Breasts

Last Sunday night, for one final meal before I had to head out of town to Virginia for two days of work, I tried a new main dish recipe and supplemented it with leftovers from the previous night's meal. And I added some hot buttered peas in as well. On the menu and on our plates: bacon-wrapped chicken breasts, company mashed potatoes, homemade applesauce, peas, and fluffy southern hoecake-style biscuits.

"Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Breasts," by Ashley Moore. In Cook's Country, August/September 2017, p. 11.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Meal No. 1890: Oven-Fried Chicken with White Milk Gravy

It turned out to be a fine Saturday night for a great southern feast: oven-friend chicken breasts with a savory white milk gravy; company mashed potatoes; hot buttered corn; fluffy southern-style hoecakes; and homemade cinnamon applesauce. Woo-eeee! It was frickin' awesome.

Based on "Oven-Fried Chicken with Waffles and White Gravy," from Ashley of [Published 12 November 2015]

"Company Mashed Potatoes," a Jones family favorite.

"Fluffy Southern-Style Hoecakes," by Erica of My Busy Bees and Me. Recipe first encountered through her YouTube video.

Guidance for Homemade Applesauce from:

Monday, August 14, 2017

Meal No. 1889: World's Best Lasagna

Last Friday night, the wonderful neighbors Deborah and Alaina were up after too long of an absence, and they brought their friend Mike with them, and at dinnertime we all sat down to hearty plates of fresh-baked lasagna together with Caesar salad and toasted garlic bread. The ladies were kind enough to bring a cherry crumble and some vanilla custard for dessert. It was another delightful evening!

A distinct advantage of this recipe is that it makes a lot, and it makes great leftovers:

"World's Best Lasagna," by John Chandler (Dallas, TX). Found online at

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Meal No. 1888: Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin

It's hard to walk past the Harris Teeter beef tenderloin when it's on a big sale, and that leads to a great excuse to have the table full of the regularest regulars of the Roediger House, even on a weeknight, as occurred this past Thursday. Slow-roasted to a perfect temperature, and then broiled briefly with a shallot-thyme butter dousing to give it a crusty goodness on the outside, the amazing beef was joined by layered green bean casserole and homemade creamy mashed potatoes. For some of us, the beef tenderloin can't be complete without spicy horseradish sauce. It was heart-warming to see all plates return to the buffet counter for seconds, and for there to be at least one nomination for "best beef tenderloin yet."

Gern was ready.

"Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin," from J. Kenji López-Alt, Managing Culinary Director of

"Spicy Horseradish Sauce" from "Beef Tenderloin in Wine Sauce," from The All-New Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook. Compiled and Edited by Julie Fisher Gunter. Oxmoor Press (2006), p. 295, 296.

"Creamy Mashed Potatoes," from Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman. Published online 03 November 2007.

"Layered Green Bean Casserole," from my sister Allison in Rossville, Indiana.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Meal No. 1887: Beef Puff Pastry with Indian Spices

After a couple of days on the road to do a training with teachers at a high school in Virginia Beach, it was nice to be back home and in my kitchen again. When dinnertime rolled around on Wednesday night, I felt like trying a new recipe but then fell short on creating anything to go with it. So on the plates sat two beautifully golden and wonderfully flavorful beef-stuffed puff pastries with a real South Asian flair. Piping hot, satisfying, and worth having again sometime.

"Beef Puff Pastry," from Thas of the blog.

Friday, August 11, 2017

We Screamed for Weekend Ice Creams

When Maureen Moos and family were here the other weekend, they ran up to Mount Airy and over into Cana, Virginia, and came home with some terrific fresh sweet peaches. I put those to use last week in a new recipe for peach ice cream and then churned it in time to cool the tongue-sears from our spicy beef chili on Friday night. I do believe all eight comers sought out a second helping, and then there were two or three who went for a third serving. I take that as a promising positive sign.

I also managed to use up some over-ripe bananas last weekend, by roasting them with light brown sugar and then turning them into an ice cream all unto themselves. It's tasty, but not my thing, so I'm glad there were others around to enjoy it:

For me, though, I was content to have another bowl of the previous night's peach ice cream, all nice and set up after an overnight stint in the freezer:

"Contest-Winning Peach Ice Cream," by Toni Box Weaver [Alabama]. In Taste of Home, June/July 2004, p. 31.

"Roasted Banana Ice Cream," by David Lebovitz. In The Perfect Scoop, Ten Speed Press (Berkeley/Toronto),  2007, p. 72.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Meal No. 1886: One-Pan Pork Tenderloin

Last Saturday night, with good friends visiting from Lynchburg, we feasted on one-pan pork tenderloin with roasted green beans and baby Dutch potatoes...before diving into more delicious homemade ice cream (to be blogged about tomorrow!).

"One-Pan Pork Tenderloin with Green Beans and Potatoes," by Christie Morrison. In Cook's Country, October/November 2015, p. 27.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Meal No. 1885: Simple Beef Chili with Beans

Goodness gracious: there were eight folks at the dinner table last Friday night and I thought a pot of beef chili would be more than sufficient to feed us all. Alas, it amounted to seven full bowls and an eighth skimpy one, which I took, and then we all made up for it with hearty tender slices of Granny Wilson's honey wheat cornbread. And the dessert, too, which will be described in a subsequent blog entry.

"Simple Beef Chili with Kidney Beans," from Cook's Illustrated, Number Sixty-One [March-April 2003], p. 10-11.

"Granny Wilson's Cornbread," a recipe shared with me by Linda B. Dunlap.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Meal No. 1884: Roasted Turkey Tenderloins

A new recipe happened on Thursday night: roasted turkey tenderloins, along with broccoli with cheese sauce and candied sweet potatoes.

"Roasted Turkey Tenderloins," by Laura Gordon. From [Posted 04 November 2014]

"Candied Sweet Potatoes," by Cecilia Jenkins. In Cook's Country, October/November 2015, p. 21.

Monday, August 7, 2017

The Roediger House: Backdrop for a WXII Live Report

When I took Sumner out at 6:30 last Thursday morning, I caught sight of a mobile news unit from local station WXII-12 up on the parking lot behind the house:

It turns out that Bethany Moore, one of the station's reporters, was doing a live segment with the city skyline behind her. It's kind of cool that the cameraman also captured the Roediger House in the shot.

This might be the third or fourth time I've chanced to spy WXII mobile reporting from up there...the last time being in connection with the construction of 751 West Fourth across the way from here.

Here's what the house looked like from the front, once the sun began to appear beyond the city skyline:

Sunday, August 6, 2017

More Projects Completed!

Shower Doors Completed

Much earlier in the summer, Quality Glass Service was here to install three shower doors and a bathroom mirror, but only half the job got completed because of some broken tile. Mr. Todd Sink was called in to do a replacement of the inside tile of the shower entry in the main second floor bathroom...

and that was finished the last Friday in July:

Then, on August 1st, the Quality Glass fellows returned to install that last shower door and also to put up a new mirror over the vanity and basin in that bathroom. I still need to add some towel rods but I'm feeling pretty good about this bathroom now.

Van Gogh Guest Bedroom Furniture

Also on my list for this summer was refinishing the writing table in the Van Gogh guest bedroom. I've had it since I was in middle school and it went off to my dorm room at Carolina and has been with me ever since. I distinctly remember foolishly placing the hot ceramic microwave dish full of fresh-made oatmeal on it one of those college years, and there were plenty of other scuffs and watermarks and heat injuries. Kent Grubbs of Grubbs' Woodworks made it look fantastic:

He also fixed a kitchen table chair that had been broken.

The other addition to the Van Gogh bedroom is a hope chest at the end of the bed. Made in the late 1940s by Lane (headquartered in Alta Vista, VA), it certainly does seem to be an appropriate new item in that lovely guest room.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Brioche Stone Fruit Cobbler with Vanilla Ice Cream

After a fun night with the six core members of the larger Roediger House family, with Star Wars IV: A New Hope on the evening's entertainment agenda, and a filling comfort food dinner, I also had planned a bit of dessert to finish us out. It has been forever since I've made stone fruit cobbler and I was excited about bringing it back as a summer treat. I had even made vanilla ice cream in time for it to mostly set up as a sidecar to that main sugary feature.

Unfortunately, when the timer went off and I went down to pull the cobbler out of the oven that I'd just used to make dinner, I discovered that I must've been too habitually thorough when pulling the casserole out...and had turned OFF the oven instead of leaving it on for dessert. So, the guests had to head out (it was getting late!) and the cobbler and ice cream were enjoyed by a considerably smaller audience!

"Brioche Stone Fruit Cobbler," recipe worked out by me as an adaptation of "Stone Fruit Cobbler," by Ann of [Published 08 August 2008]

"Vanilla Ice Cream," from Bi-Rite Creamery's Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones, by Kris Hoogerhyde, Anne Walker, and Dabney Gough. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press (2012), p. 35-36.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Meal No. 1883: Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole

Last Tuesday night the core crew of most regular regulars came over for dinner and a movie. Dinner was the sumptuous goodness of cheesy chicken, broccoli, and rice casserole. The movie was Star Wars IV: A New Hope. And it was all good.

While I have pretty much made it my own recipe, I still got inspiration and ideas from:

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Meal No. 1882: Rotisserie Chicken Sandwiches

Last week was a pretty busy and intense week, and then there was the pleasure of a weekend visit from fellow WFU grad student Mo Moos and her I was content on Monday night to fall back on a simple sandwich and leftover broccoli salad and blue cheese cole slaw. Quick to fix and easy to clean up...and that was a winning combination.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Caramel Popcorn Crunch Cookies

Several years ago, when a dinnertime conversation led me to search for pics of the famous Voodoo Doughnuts creation called "Oh Captain, My Captain" (a yeast doughnut topped with Cap'n Crunch cereal), I also stumbled across a couple of recipes for Cap'n Crunch cookies, and I was seriously intrigued. In the intervening years, I've now made quite a few batches of these, with a variety of Cap'n Crunch cereals (including Sprinkled Donut, Cinnamon Roll Crunch, and Chocolatey Crunch). The favorite version, though, depends on the limited-issue Caramel Popcorn Crunch, which I'm glad I stocked up on. That's what I made this past Sunday in order to tempt Mo Moos and her family while they were here, and also to send with them when they hit the road on Monday afternoon.

"Cap'n Crunch Cookies," found online at The Capitol Baker, with credit going to The Sugar Plum Blog for inspiration and the source of the adapted recipe.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Meal No. 1881: Indoor Pulled Pork Barbecue

An incredibly special family came to the Roediger House for a visit this past weekend and it was great. In the late 1980s, a delightful young Iowa farm girl named Mo Bayles found her way to Wake Forest University to pursue her master's degree, at the same time I was there in a similar pursuit. We were both graduate hall directors and that was the beginning of a long friendship that has survived time and distance. She and her husband Dave live in Minneapolis and have two wonderful daughters, and all of them (plus a niece!) came east for a college tour and a week at the beach. I'm glad they put two nights at the RoHo on their itinerary. To welcome them in proper North Carolina fashion, I made indoor pulled pork  barbecue, blue cheese cole slaw, broccoli salad, and creamy stuffed eggs. For appetizers, there was pimento cheese and warm Swiss and bacon dip.

We were mighty glad also that one of the assistant directors from that time, Paul Barnes, and his wife Denise were able to join us, too.

"Swiss and Bacon Dip" [not pictured], from Rachel Ray. Available online at the Food Network website.

"South Carolina-Style Pimento Cheese [not pictured]." Recipe worked out by me, based on Sharon's Palmetto Pimento Cheese.

"Indoor Pulled Pork," by Bryan Roof. In Cook's Illustrated, January & February 2010 (No. 102), p. 6-7.

"Blue Cheese Cole Slaw," from Ina Garten, from the Food Network website.

"Broccoli Salad," by Carolyn Purpura Mackay. In Cook's Country, August/September 2012, p. 7.

"Creamy Stuffed Eggs," a recipe shared with me by Barbara Huneycutt of Crozet, VA.

Guidance on Hard-Boiled Eggs: "The Hard Truth about Hard-Boiled Eggs," by J. Kenji López-Alt, Managing Culinary Director of

Monday, July 31, 2017

Meal No. 1880: Chicken with Coronation Sauce

One of the popular dishes at the Roediger House is chicken with coronation sauce, and it gets made with some frequency because it is simple to make, simple to serve, and simple to eat...but also simply delicious. With another packed day of to-do list items this past Friday and a late start on supper prep, it's the meal that made sense to me that night.

"Coronation Sauce for Chicken," from 400 Sauces, by Catherine Atkinson, Christine France, and Maggie Mayhew. Hermes House (2006, 2008), p. 155.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Meal No. 1879: Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

When I was out in Oklahoma last week, my father-in-law made Ree Drummond's meatloaf, and I thought it was pretty amazing. So I've been itching to give it a try, which happened on Thursday night. I must've molded the loaf much too plumply, because it actually took twice as long as the stated baking time for it to be cooked through. Once it was served up on the four plates, though, it seemed to be quickly devoured. To go with it, I had a meatloaf sauce, creamy homemade mashed potatoes, and seasoned green beans.

"My Favorite Meatloaf," from Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman. Posted 20 September 2010.

"Creamy Mashed Potatoes," from Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman. Published online 03 November 2007.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Exterior House Washing

It's painfully self-indulgent to make note of this, but the Roediger House really is a beautiful old place. When I'd been too lazy to take down the Christmas decorations this past December, it had the positive benefit that the house was seasonally jazzy when an early January snowfall hit, as shown above. Wouldn't that make a great Christmas card? Except on closer inspection, you see how dirty the house is, dingy and dark and mildew-stained. Beautiful structure, lovely snowfall, festive lights and decorations...and mildew.

It's gotten pretty bad over the last couple of years:

Fortunately, on my way down Robinhood Road last August, as I returned from the grocery store, I spotted a Crystal Clear pressure washing van and snapped a quick cell phone photo of it to get their number...and then finally followed up with them in late May. The earliest appointment was about nine weeks out, but that day finally arrived this past Wednesday and the house has now been beautifully cleaned and refreshed and all the exterior windows washed.

The dark nasty stuff under the eaves washed away easily, but Wes and the crew had to do a double-scrub of the clapboard siding on the east-facing front walls on the first floor. All in all, I'd say they did a fine job of it:

It does reveal how much peeling paint I've got, too, and presses me even more to think about the desperate need for a full painting of the house's exterior.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Meal No. 1878: Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

On the steady march to get things done around here, this past Wednesday proved to be another productive and full day. The great thing from that day will get its own blog entry tomorrow: a full exterior washing of the house. But I also finally got around to replacing the cracked windshield on the Volkswagen CC. And late afternoon, my boy Brian was finally able to come and try to figure out what's going on lately with the beer cooler in the mancave in the attic. He was here for a good while, and we even got in a couple of rounds of pool while waiting for the cooler to come back down to temp.

But it meant a late start on dinner (Amy was also here!) and no time to run to the grocery store. I had the fixings for biscuits and sausage gravy and dinner was served by 8:25 pm to the great satisfaction of the whole table.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Meal No. 1877: Chicken Stroganoff

Tuesday was another incredibly busy day with a huge list of must-do items...and a darned good success rate on completing them. By the time I'd showered after cutting the grass late afternoon, the grocery run was a bit rushed and I didn't get to start on dinner till about 7:40 pm. Still, though, I beat the usual deadline of 8:30 and served up some savory chicken stroganoff. This was a new experiment for me, and it was pretty good.

"Chicken Stroganoff," from the Food Network Kitchens.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Sumner's Summer Kill

Last week's excursion to Oklahoma meant that the precious pup Sumner had a huge country setting to run and play to his heart's content. He was great about responding to the boundaries at the yard's edge and only once (thanks to a darned cat) did he take off and completely not respond to the summons to stop.

There was tons of playtime with his cousin Jo:

Or he'd make his own amusements:

He really is a fine and awesome dog...

All that exercise and training must've upped his skills, because on the second full day back in Winston-Salem, Sumner scored his first squirrel kill when he tore out after five of those little buggers that were raiding the birdseed in the back yard:

I'm a little torn on this one...there's the proud papa who appreciates Sumner's swift execution of this execution, but I'm not thrilled for him to now have the taste of bloody conquest. Then, too, the squirrels have been running us over here at the Roediger House, and when I was gone for a week and didn't resupply the bird feeders, they certainly made a mess of my storage bucket where the extra was kept:

And they played heck in early spring with the cushions of the furniture on the upstairs balcony, raiding them for the stuffing to line their nests:

And also they created a nasty hole in the porch gable vent in order to set up house where I really don't need them to be:

So, no...I'm not really weeping about one less squirrel.