Sunday, January 21, 2018

Meal No. 2012: Baby Back Ribs

Saturday a week ago was a Mookie-and-Kristen evening at the Roediger House, with the focus being another edition of our reading party routine. We spent a good bit of time up on the third floor with our books, while downstairs the dinner was a-cooking.

When I called the crew down to supper at around 8 that night, it was to plates of baby back ribs and our own tempting piles of macaroni and cheese casserole alongside.

When the Arctic blast of cold returned to Winston-Salem back on January 13, it sure sparked a fire desire on that chilly Saturday morning that turned out to be ill-advised: it was so windy and gusty that I kept getting smoke blow-back into the kitchen area. By late morning, I'd had to let the fire just die down. But I enjoyed it in the beginning!

Fire No. 40

"How to Make Great Ribs in the Oven," by Emma Christensen. From The Kitchn. [Published 01 July 2017]

"Sweet and Tangy Barbecue Sauce" from recipe for "Indoor Pulled Pork," by Bryan Roof. In Cook's Illustrated, January & February 2010 (No. 102), p. 6-7.

"Macaroni and Cheese Casserole," by Sarah Gabriel. In Cook's Country, June/July 2012, p. 17.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Meal No. 2011: Chicken Quesadillas

Back on Thursday, January 11, after a fine and full day doing a training with assistant principals here in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, I swung by the Sam's Club at that end of town and came home with a rotisserie chicken. It helped in putting together a pretty simple and pleasingly delicious supper of chicken quesadillas, with enough left over to be my lunch-from-home on Day Two with that same group of administrators.

Preparation and cooking based on "Quesadillas for a Crowd," by Morgan Bolling. In Cook's Country, August/September 2015, p. 18.

"Fajita Seasoning Mix," from Adapted from "Fajita Seasoning Mix Recipe" on

Friday, January 19, 2018

Meal No. 2010: Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

On the final morning of the holiday visit of friends Mark and Jeremy a week ago Wednesday, I was enjoying a day off and not enjoying how it was already cold and raw again outside. We decided a nice send-off would be some hot buttermilk pancakes, so I tried another new recipe for those and was reasonably pleased with the result.

"Best Tips for Making Pancakes: Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes," by Joanne on the Pioneer Woman website.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Meal No. 2009: World's Best Lasagna

On Monday, January 8th, my day working with a group of teachers had to be rushed so that we could wrap up by the freezing rain-induced early dismissal time of 12:30 pm. The following day, my work in Mount Airy City Schools was canceled because they had ice-covered roads remaining from that weather event. That left me a day at home when temps unexpectedly got up to 63°F, which allowed me to spend time outside in short sleeves doing a small bit of yard work. That included cleaning and resetting my firewood rack in anticipation of Wednesday's delivery of a fresh pickup truck load.

Our two-week cold snap caused me to blow through the rest of my firewood that I'd received in early 2014...and which I was glad to be rid of, because it wasn't of particularly good quality and definitely wasn't well-cut or well-seasoned. The new delivery, though, is of pretty good quality:

Then, that Tuesday evening, with five at the table, it seemed to be a good time to break out the house favorite from John Chandler, using his recipe that he dubs "World's Best Lasagna." We sure think it's the best, and it gets requested frequently and there's very nearly a whoop or a holler whenever people report to the kitchen for dinner and find this is what's on the plates.

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

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Meal No. 2008: Seasoned Whole Chicken

Monday night a week ago, it was six at the table after my first day back at work following the Christmas holidays. Included in the crew were my cousins Marilyn and Earl, and it was nice to be able to visit with them again. On the menu: rotisserie-style chicken in the Instant Pot with a really nice combination of spices and seasoning; classic Campbell's green bean casserole; and the Pioneer Woman's take on creamy mashed potatoes. It was a delightful evening and I think we really like how the pressure cooker handled the was terrific!

"How to Cook Instant Pot Whole Chicken - Rotisserie Style," by Sheena from

"Rotisserie Chicken Seasoning," by Judith Hanneman, The Midnight Baker.

"Campbell's Classic Green Bean Casserole," from Campbell's Kitchen. Recipe available online.

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

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Meal No. 2007: Sausage Manicotti with Homemade Marinara

Back on January 7th, when it was my last night before going back to work after the holiday break, I was rather ambivalent about cooking dinner. But with friends Jeremy and Mark in from Virginia for a few days, I didn't want to abandon my hosting role entirely. With a quick adjustment to the intended menu to scale it down, and with high hopes that the guys would not feel short-changed by the meal, I decided to go with sausage-stuffed manicotti and homemade marinara...and, well, nothing else. Simple and plain, even though there was still effort in the background to throw it all together!

When I awoke early on that Sunday morning, we were in record-breaking territory with the low temperature: it was 5°F. So I kept a fire going just about the entire day:

Fire No. 39

"Sausage & Beef Manicotti with Homemade Marinara," from Celebrate the Seasons: Autumn Classics from Cuisine at Home. Issue No. 6, October/November 2015, p. 18.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Meal No. 2006: Grilled Porterhouse Steaks

As I was wrapping up my Christmas vacation Saturday a week ago, I'd come home from one of my grocery runs with a nice two-for-one sale on porterhouse steaks. I've got a fine deep fat fryer and love steak and french fries... I braved 17°F weather in order to grill 'em up to a nice well-seasoned medium rare. (Please note: this was not simply a barbaric reaction to having a vegetarian in the house the preceding evening.)

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Meal No. 2005: Indoor Pulled Pork Barbecue

It was a delightful gathering of seven Friday night a week ago, including a lone vegetarian, so in addition to indoor pulled pork barbecue I tried to have an abundance of sides. That included blue cheese coleslaw, potato salad, macaroni and cheese, and a fresh batch of pimento cheese.

It seems the table also was somewhat glad that there remained some Scotch Chocolate Cake from the previous evening.

"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.

"Best Ever Potato Salad," by Michelle, who blogs at the [Published 06 June 2016]

"Best Ever Macaroni and Cheese," from Bob Warden. In Great Food Fast, Brandon, MS: Quail Ridge Press (2012), p. 122-123.

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

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Scotch Chocolate Cake

After the Thursday night chili back on January 4th, I also had a dessert for our crew: Scotch chocolate cake, which is also known as Texas Sheet Cake. It's a bit chocolate-y and a bit delicious.

"Scotch Chocolate Cake," [in my world, also known as Texas Sheet Cake]. Credited to Susie Timmons. From "Popular: Cake Request Gets 22 Responses," by Michael Hastings, Food Editor of the Winston-Salem Journal. Published October 6, 2010.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Meal No. 2004: Simple Beef Chili

During the previous week, a ridiculous arctic blast of cold air included blustery gusts that made it a miserably brutally cold day in Winston-Salem. The best reward I could conjure up for the five of us at dinner Thursday a week ago was a big pot of beef chili and homemade sweet cornbread.

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

Sweet Southern Cornbread adapted from "Golden Sweet Cornbread," from bluegirl on

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Meal No. 2003: Potato and Cheese Soup

Wednesday of last week, Winston-Salem was still in the depths of a rather lengthy cold snap. I kept a fire going through the afternoon and mostly stayed inside, except when Sumner needed his breaks. When suppertime rolled around, what sounded most ideal for dinner was a pot of potato and cheese soup. It really did the trick before the crew headed upstairs for an evening movie: Kingsman: The Secret Service.

"Potato and Cheese Soup," shared with me by my sister and her husband, who got it through a cooking class at KitchenArt in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Meal No. 2002: Pioneer Woman Pancakes

When lunchtime rolled around last Wednesday, rather than leftovers I thought we should all sit down to some nice hot pancakes and country sausage patties. So we did, and it was also a chance to see how Ree Drummond's recipe for pancakes turned out. The batter required some serious thinning to get the right result...the first six I made were incredibly thick and cakey!

Fire 38

The deep freeze was still in full force that day in the Midwest and on the East Coast. We got just above freezing for a high but it remained overcast and grey, which was a great excuse for yet another roaring fire.

"Perfect Pancakes," from Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman. [Published 04 May 2009]

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Meal No. 2001: Pork Medallions with Ginger-Soy Mushroom Sauce

With a pork tenderloin I needed to use and some great leftovers from the previous night's dinner to use as sides, I brought back an old favorite for last Tuesday night's dinner: pan-seared pork medallions with a ginger-garlic-soy mushroom sauce. I reheated company mashed potatoes and green bean casserole from the preceding meal. It all turned out pretty nice!

I will point out that it was cold as the dickens on that morning, with a low of 8°F at just before 8 am. You'd better believe that I was ready for that cold snap to be over with!

Based on "Pan-Seared Tuna with Ginger-Shiitake Cream Sauce," from The Bon Appétit Cookbook by Barbara Fairchild, 2006, p. 398-399.

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

"Company Mashed Potatoes," a Jones family favorite.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Meal No. 2000: New Year's Day Meatballs

The first major project I undertook on this great old house was the demolition of the old kitchen and bathrooms and construction of a whole new kitchen area and bathrooms for both downstairs and up. The first meal prepared in the "new" kitchen was on May 26, 2009. Just over eight-and-a-half years later, on New Year's Day 2018, I served up the Two Thousandth meal: New Year's Day Meatballs with company mashed potatoes and layered green bean casserole. All three of those dishes were favorites in the Jones household, especially around the Christmas and New Year's the name suggests!

In case you're keeping track:it took almost five years for me to reach Meal 1000, but only three-and-a-half more to hit 2000.

"New Year's Day Meatballs," from Carol Fultz and shared with me by my sister Allison Jones Holden of Rossville, IN (2001).

"Company Mashed Potatoes," a Jones family favorite.

"Layered Green Bean Casserole," shared with me by my sister Allison Jones Holden of Rossville, IN (December 2001).

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Meal No. 1999: Apple and Cinnamon Steel-Cut Oatmeal

On New Year's Day, the lunch fare was another new recipe: apple and cinnamon steel-cut oatmeal, made in the Instant Pot. I really had to doctor this up to make it edible, because it came out like brown soup. I ended up making a regular pot of oatmeal to add to it just to get it to thicken up and be a bit more hearty. I also had to sweeten it a bit. By the time I was through tinkering with it, I think we all found it pretty palatable.

When I was getting up that morning, we were down to a ridiculous 14°F and so for the second day in a row, a fire was called for.

Fire No. 37

It made for a nice morning for Sumner and me.

"Apple and Cinnamon Oatmeal," by Laurel Randolph. In The Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook, Berkeley: Rockridge Press (2016), p. 22.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Meal No. 1998: Indian Butter Chicken

On the final night of 2017, the dinner menu at the Roediger House was another new recipe for the Instant Pot: Indian Butter Chicken. It was on a list of Instant Pot recipes that my sister sent me and that we both wanted to try out. Fortunately for me, coconut milk and garam masala are always on the pantry shelf, so I was able to beat her to it. It was mighty good and is likely to reappear.

The winter holiday cold snap is continuing. We were forecast for sunny skies and a high of 32°F that day, but it quickly became overcast and here at the house we never got above 24°F. I got a raging fire going first thing that morning and kept it going till bedtime.

In the ongoing chronicle of various things related to the Roediger House, this was the 36th fire in the new kitchen fireplace, since its first use New Year's Eve 2009.

"Pressure Cooker Indian Butter Chicken," from Jay's Sweet -N- Sour Life.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Meal No. 1997: Sausage, Red Onion, & Shiitake Mushroom Pizza

Last Saturday night's dinner offering was sort of basic and then a little better than basic: sausage pizza with sautéed red onions and shiitake mushrooms. It did the trick on a quiet winter night.

"Sausage, Red Onion, and Wild Mushroom Pizza," from Bon Appétit, March 2005.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Meal No. 1996: Savory Breakfast Bread Pudding

We had one episode of Season 7 of Game of Thrones remaining and decided to watch it this past Saturday morning, along with a bit of breakfast casserole. The new recipe I tried was a real hit, it seems, and is likely to find its way back to a future breakfast gathering here at the Roediger House. King Arthur Flour dubs it "Savory Bread Pudding," and it's a real upgrade on the common sausage-egg-cheese-milk-bread casserole we've all had experience with.

"Savory Bread Pudding," from King Arthur Flour. [recipe clipping]

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Meal No. 1995: Steak Diane

For the final Friday night of 2017, I made probably my best steaks-with-pan-sauce ever. On the plate was a perfectly cooked filet mignon with a mushroom-shallot-dijon-brandy-soy cream sauce that was spot on...and some roasted baby Dutch potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts. I was in beef heaven.

"Steak Diane," from Cuisine at Home, Issue No. 127 (January/February 2018), p. 20-21.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Meal No. 1994: Bourbon Chicken Thighs

Last Thursday morning, in the bright sunshine when it was only 18°F outside, this was my view of the house when I went to fetch the trash roller cart after city pickup:

Then, for dinner that night, I broke out the Instant Pot and Bob Warden cookbook, and in bowls at dinner time was bourbon chicken thighs over rice. It sure went down great with some cold beers.

"Bourbon Chicken Thighs," from Bob Warden. In Great Food Fast, Brandon, MS: Quail Ridge Press (2012), p. 68-69.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Meal No. 1993: Bacon-Wrapped Cheesesteak Meatloaf

As if the previous evening's Christmas feast wasn't enough to do us all in, a wildly overwrought new recipe was on my mind for a trial. So this past Wednesday four of us sat down to the monstrosity known as bacon-wrapped cheesesteak meatloaf on our next evening for a few episodes of Game of Thrones. To go with it, I made company mashed potatoes and I also still had a container of my homemade applesauce to share.

"Bacon Wrapped Cheesesteak Meatloaf," from Twisted. I used the Americanized version of the recipe from Genius Kitchen: "Philly Cheesesteak Meatloaf," posted by Elisa.

"Company Mashed Potatoes," a Jones family favorite.

Inspiration for Homemade Applesauce came from the late Evelyn Coulson of Cana, VA. Guidance for Homemade Applesauce came from:

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Meal No. 1992: The Christmas Feast

What a fantastic Christmas it has been. Although Winston-Salem has been in quite a cold snap, there was plenty of warmth within the Roediger House this season (even though I didn't get around to decorating). When it came time for friends to gather for our annual Christmas feast, this past Tuesday evening, the food was almost as good as the company.

Most of the usual dishes were on the buffet bar although I sampled a new recipe for preparing a whole turkey with the most delicious gravy to go with it.

The beef tenderloin in wine sauce cooked up tender and tasty.

The rest of the fixins were reasonably well-received, too:

Sweet Potato Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

Apple & Bacon Stuffing / Onion-Mushroom Wine Sauce
I suppose I always mention that we love this meal so much that we have to have it multiple times a year: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the Memorial Day "Thanksgiving on the Half-Year." But when you get a plate like this, what's not to like?

"Turkey and Gravy for a Crowd," by Alli Berkey. In Cook's Country, October/November 2017, p. 6-7.

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

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

"Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping," from Southern Living Slow-Cooker Cookbook,  (Oxmoor House, 2006), p. 234-235.

"Cornbread Stuffing with Apples and Bacon," from fellow UNC alum David Venable and QVC's In the Kitchen with David. Found online.