Friday, September 22, 2017

Meal No. 1917: World's Best Lasagna

Once the Wake Forest Homecoming game was all wrapped up and the weekend's guests returned to the house, we gathered again around the table and had some heaping plates of fresh-baked lasagna along with toasted garlic bread. I went ahead and made another batch of sweet and sour vinaigrette to adorn spring mix salads with spiced vanilla-cinnamon glazed walnuts and blue cheese. It all seemed to be well-received by the assembled throng.

I was the only one to add some of my homemade applesauce to the plate.

"Spiced Pecan and Blue Cheese Salad," inspired by the signature salad at Ryan's Steaks, Chops, & Seafood (an excellent Winston-Salem restaurant). "Sweet and Sour Vinaigrette" from The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook, compiled and edited by Julie Fisher Gunter. Birmingham, AL: Oxmoor House (1999), p. 373. "Cinnamon Vanilla Glazed Walnuts" recipe from McCormick & Company. Thanks as always to Jimmy Randolph for helping me track down those recipes.

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

Thursday, September 21, 2017

More French Yogurt Cake? Yes, Please

This past Saturday morning, I wanted to have something for the weekend guests to nibble on with their coffee, and since the French yogurt cake I've made a couple of times lately has been so very tasty, I had to bring forth another loaf of it from the hard-working Roediger House oven.

"French Yogurt Cake," by Andrew Knowlton. In Bon Appétit, May 2012, p. 30.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Meal No. 1916: One-Pan Pork Tenderloin and Roasted Vegetables

When I finished up a Project CRISS training in nearby Walkertown this past Thursday afternoon, I didn't get to come back home. Instead I pointed the car east and a bit north and drove to Virginia Beach, because I had a training with high school administrators there to look forward to on Friday. (Another bonus: stopping at Smithfield's Chicken 'N Barbecue at dinnertime on the route!) It was a great and full day to finish out last week, and then I turned around and drove back to Winston-Salem and was greeted by the weekend's guests who were staying here for Wake Forest University's Homecoming. That meant a dinner needed to show up on the table, and the easy choice based on what I had on hand was one-pan pork tenderloin with green beans and roasted red potato wedges. It might have been 9 o'clock at night when we sat down to it, but we tackled it all enthusiastically!

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

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Red Velvet Cake & Chocolate Decadence Ice Cream

For the fantastic dinner gathering for six of us this past Wednesday night, I also managed to get desserts made. Both recipes were new trials for me, and the response was very encouraging from the crew.

The centerpiece was a four-layer red velvet cake, using the recipe from that most expert of food bloggers, Barry C. Parsons. The other "velvet" cake recipes I've made from his website (lemon velvet and chocolate velvet) have been absolutely outstanding, and this red velvet cake was right there with the rest of them.

The chocolate decadence ice cream was a novelty, both for its intense chocolate-y-ness as well as for its thick consistency. It might have even have been just a bit much, but then again, there are plenty of fans of chocolate around here.

"The Best Red Velvet Cake," from Barry C. Parsons of

"Chocolate Decadence Ice Cream," from

Monday, September 18, 2017

Meal No. 1915: Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin

In the marking of a special occasion this past Wednesday night at the Roediger House, a special dinner menu was fitting: slow-roasted beef tenderloin with spicy horseradish sauce; Brussels sprouts gratin; twice-baked stuffed potatoes; and, for those who were so inclined, some homemade cinnamon applesauce.

There was a special salad to start it off as well: spring mix with blue cheese and cinnamon-vanilla-glazed walnuts and a sweet and sour vinaigrette.

"Spiced Pecan and Blue Cheese Salad," inspired by the signature salad at Ryan's Steaks, Chops, & Seafood (an excellent Winston-Salem restaurant). "Sweet and Sour Vinaigrette" from The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook, compiled and edited by Julie Fisher Gunter. Birmingham, AL: Oxmoor House (1999), p. 373. "Cinnamon Vanilla Glazed Walnuts" recipe from McCormick & Company. Thanks as always to Jimmy Randolph for helping me track down those recipes.

"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.

"Brussels Sprouts Gratin," by Alison Roman. From Cooking on

"Stuffed Potatoes: Good/Better/Best," in Cuisine at Home,  December 2006, p. 23-24 [Recipe Clipping]. Reminder about crispier potato skins from "Crispy Baked Potato," from The Kitchen on

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

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Meal No. 1914: Glorious Beef & Mushroom Stir Fry

With the welcome and unplanned addition of new neighbor Jordan to the dinner table last Tuesday night, I stretched the cubes of beef tenderloin into three bowls of glorious beef and mushroom stir fry. It was tasty, with just enough kick to make it interesting.

"Glorious Beef with Mushrooms," in Wok Fast by Hugh Carpenter and Teri Sandison. Ten Speed Press, 2002, p. 87 (recipe) and p. 26-27 (marinade and sauce).

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Meal No. 1913: Miso Chicken

As the winds began to gust outside and the rain picked up with the west-of-us passage of the remnants of Hurricane Irma on Monday night, it was all pretty cozy inside the Roediger House, with good tunes on the Sonos and Sumner sleeping in my old man's chair with his chin perched on the arm. In the oven for the evening's meal: miso chicken, a new recipe that I'd had saved in my file for quite a while. To go with it, rice and broccoli.

I'm glad I tried it, but it's not likely to get repeated. I've got much better recipes for chicken thighs!

"Miso Chicken," by Sam Sifton. In New York Times Cooking.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Meal No. 1912: Glazed Grilled Pork Chops

Before the far-reaching effects of Hurricane Irma could fully invade Winston-Salem on Sunday night, I thought I'd get some grilling in. Some thick center-cut pork chops were awaiting me in the meat drawer, and it all turned into a gracious and filling meal. To go with it, peas and a rice-vermicelli mix, and I couldn't resist adding some of the leftover sweet potato souffle from a dinner earlier in the week.

"Glazed Pork Chops," in Cuisine's Celebrate the Seasons: Summertime Menus, Issue 10 (June/July 2016), p. 36-38.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Meal No. 1911: Light and Fluffy Waffles

Sunday morning allowed for the rare treat of waffles, this time with a new recipe that will definitely bear repeating: light and fluffy waffles, together with thick maple syrup and a tall glass of whole milk. It set me up well to then go catch an afternoon showing of Stephen King's It.

"Light and Fluffy Waffles," by James Schend, Food Editor of Taste of Home, September/October 2017, p. 26.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Emeril's Chocolate Pie

When Deborah and Alaina were here on Saturday night, the dessert I served up was the always-delicious Chocolate Cream Pie from Emeril Lagasse. In the past, I've had a tendency to use a pre-made chocolate crust to save myself a few steps in making it; that night, though, I also made the chocolate cookie crust and really liked its chocolate-y punch.

"Emeril's Chocolate Cream Pie," by Emeril Lagasse (2007). Featured on The website.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Meal No. 1910: Cast-Iron Skillet Calzone

Saturday night was another opportunity to have a delightful evening with neighbors Alaina and Deborah, and when dinnertime rolled around, I served up cast-iron skillet sausage and beef calzone that was pretty tasty. We had some Caesar salad to go with it but I think the calzone took center stage.

"Cast-Iron Skillet Calzone," by Russell Selander. In Cook's Country, December/January 2017, p. 12.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Meal No. 1909: Honey Mustard Chicken

Friday was well-spent with a group of teachers at Walkertown Middle School, as we completed a second day of our Project CRISS training. When I got back to the Roediger House, it was a pretty glorious and sunny and breezy late afternoon, which compelled me to enjoy front porch time with a beer (or two). The evening finished up with a perfect plate of honey mustard baked chicken thighs, with stuffing and steamed broccoli. I'd say it was a night that was hard to beat.

"Honey Mustard Chicken," by Elise Bauer of

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Meal No. 1908: Sausage & Beef Manicotti with Homemade Marinara

On the menu this past Thursday night: sausage and beef manicotti with a homemade marinara sauce. This seems to be a twice-a-year recipe, having first shown up with the fall arrival of an "Autumn Classics" issue from Cuisine at Home back in 2015. For the five of us present that evening, it filled our bellies well.

To add to the fun, I figured it was about time to take a stab at some homemade bread, which ended up being rosemary and garlic flatbread based on a really accessible focaccia recipe that I'd recently stumbled across. It sure had a great flavor!

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

"Easy Focaccia Bread with Garlic and Herbs," from Adam at[Published 24 August 2017]

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Meal No. 1907: Monie's Carbonara

House projects have consumed a lot of energy and attention these last few days. When Wednesday's approaching dinnertime pulled me from the labors of the moment, the quick but delicious meal that I went with was Monie's carbonara, and it sure satisfied.

"Pasta Carbonara," a recipe shared by Monie Lawrence of Raleigh, NC.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Meal No. 1906: Moravian Chicken Pie

With some isolated storms rolling through and making it a dark and dreary Tuesday night, the meal I served up for three of us seemed fittingly comforting: Moravian chicken pie, sweet potato souffle, and seasoned green beans. Thomas, the evening's guest, made the evening with a contribution of baklava that was darned delicious.

"Moravian Chicken Pie," adapted from a recipe by Mimi Patterson and published in Cooking with Grace: A Collection of Favorite Recipes from Our Congregation to Your Home, by the Women's Fellowship of Grace Moravian Church in Mount Airy, NC (2001), p. 47.

"Sweet Potato Souffle," by Eudell F. Smith of Clayton, NC. Published in Foundation Family Favorites. Cary, NC: North Carolina Baptist Foundation (1993), p. 205.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Meal No. 1905: Bistro BBQ Chicken, Feta, Onion, and Bacon Pizza

After a stunningly gorgeous Sunday here in Winston-Salem, dinner took place in two distinct stages, beginning with Caesar salads on the upstairs balcony:

Then closer to the usual Roediger House dinnertime, I served up a bistro-style barbecue chicken, feta, onion, and bacon pizza that was delicious:

It was with a full belly indeed that I finally pushed away from the table that night.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Tile Backsplash in the Kitchen

Yet another project on the house to-do list has now been completed: adding tile backsplash above the countertops in the kitchen. That's been on my list as long as the new kitchen has been in place...or, in other words, since spring 2009.

With the great craftsmanship of Mr. Todd Sink of Amazing Tile by Todd, this long overdue upgrade to the beautiful Roediger House kitchen happened in the waning days of August.

I wasn't interested in anything ridiculous or over-the-top: just a solid classic look with enough style to compliment what's already in place.

I'm pretty pleased with the final result.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Meal No. 1904: Ultimate Cream of Tomato Soup

As the remnants of Hurricane Harvey passed over Winston-Salem this past weekend, it brought cooler temps and an overall dreariness that made one want to stay inside. When Saturday night's meal time arrived, I was drawn to something warm and comforting and settled on ultimate cream of tomato soup along with grilled cheese sandwiches. I was uncomfortably comfortable after all that.

"Ultimate Cream of Tomato Soup," from Cook's Illustrated, November 1999. Recipe can also be found online at

Monday, September 4, 2017

Friday Night Boston Cream Pie

To go with Friday night's latest Roediger House Reading Party, I also wanted to have some dessert that could be prepared in advance. I'd also wanted to try out a new recipe for Boston cream pie, and that's what happened.

There's no doubt that it was pretty, and pretty good. It's hard to serve up a neat slice with that pastry cream clogging up the middle, though! I'd like to do some tinkering with this recipe but it was well-received by the gathered six that night.

"Boston Cream Pie," by Michelle, who blogs at the [Published 19 April 2017]

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Meal No. 1903: New Year's Day Meatballs

Friday night was the latest gathering for a Roediger House reading party, up in the comfy confines of the third floor entertainment space. To have a decent dinner that mostly cooked without me, I went with New Year's Day meatballs, company mashed potatoes, and layered green bean casserole. All those recipes are from the Jones family archives and were thoughtfully provided to me by my sister Allison in Indiana. Any shortcomings with the final products, though, are my own to own.

"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).

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Meal No. 1902: Breakfast for Dinner

On the final night of August 2017, I was feeling like breakfast for dinner: sausage patties, fried sunny-side-up eggs (farm-fresh, from Clarke County VA!), creamy homemade grits, and hot buttered toast with an abundance of mixed fruit jelly...all washed down with a very tall cold glass of orange juice.

"Creamy Grits," from Luquire Family Stone Ground Grits, milled in Greenwood, SC.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Meal No. 1901: Chicken with Tomato and Basil Cream Sauce

Occasionally I'll actually look at the emails I receive from Yummly, and recently upon doing so I found myself looking at a new recipe worth trying: chicken with tomato and basil cream sauce. That's what I served up on Tuesday night, and it really was amazingly delicious. It's a keeper and a repeater, that's for sure.

"Chicken with Tomato and Basil Cream Sauce," from Sally of [Published 27 March 2015]

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Meal No. 1900: Chicken Katsu

The kitchen is in a bit of a disrupted space this week, as will be blogged about later, but I still wanted to cook some dinner and had come across a recipe that would allow me to use my soon-to-be-expiring chicken thighs: chicken katsu. It's very much like the Japanese fried chicken street-food-style dish that I've made a number of times. Chicken katsu has a unique dipping sauce and a really nice crunch to the fried chicken pieces, but I really like the mirin-onion sauce and sushi rice combo of the the street-food alternative. If it were a competition, the older recipe would win.

"Chicken Katsu," by Teresa Morgan, published to

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

French Yogurt Cake for Friends Frank & Karen

Last Saturday night was spent with delightful friends Frank and Karen over at their house for supper and catching up...and also being introduced to their new black lab Lance. Sumner was along for the ride and the boys had a wear-you-out good time running the fenced-in backyard at their warm and cozy abode. While Karen's creme brulee was the clear winner when it came time to partake of the meal-ending sweets, I figured a French yogurt cake from the Roediger House kitchen wasn't a terribly sad contribution.

Since it was so delicious, and I didn't yet know the key lime custard wasn't so great, I decided to make another one for home on Sunday night:

The frozen custard wasn't worth eating this time, but man-o-man, the French yogurt loaf was spot on and perfect in every way.

"French Yogurt Cake," by Andrew Knowlton. In Bon Appétit, May 2012, p. 30.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Key Lime Custard Ice Cream

Here's one more element related to this past Friday's movie night: that morning, I managed to make a batch of key lime custard ice cream, based on a recipe from Willa Whitley that friend and colleague Donna Whitley-Smith shared with me a decade ago. It chilled in the fridge all through the afternoon and, when the burgers on the grill were finishing up, I added in the flavorings and the rennet tablets and got it all set up in the deep churn 6-quart ice cream freezer. I snapped the motor into place and switched it on and...nothing. The little light came on, but no action followed. It seems after all these years I must've finally burned that poor motor up. With guests outside, burgers about to overcook on the grill, and last-minute prep to do for the movie night, I just had to put the canister back in the fridge and mask my frustration and disappointment that we could not have this particular added favorite feature of a summer movie night.

I churned about a quart of it the next morning in the countertop Cuisinart just so it wouldn't all go to waste, with hopes it would be a nice cool dessert to have on hand for the next couple of nights. Unfortunately, the flavorings were off and, in the end, I was glad it didn't get served to a crowd, because I also fear I did not make it custard-y enough when I was cooking the base, leaving it more icy than creamy in the final result. Oh well!

"Lemon Custard Ice Cream," from Willa Whitley and shared by Donna Whitley-Smith.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Meal No. 1899: Juicy Burgers for a Movie Night

In advance of the outdoor movie night this past Friday night, I also grilled up a mess of burgers and, with the weather being so nice, we actually all sat outside in the parking area and scarfed them down. There was also enough remaining chocolate fudge to share once we'd wiped the ketchup from our chins and before we settled in to watch Stand By Me.

"Grilled Juicy Burgers," from Pillsbury Classic Cookbooks recipe magazine.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Movie Night: Stand By Me

Since it's been a summer with a lot going on, and with June being wet and July just being hot, it took me until this past week to turn my thoughts to the joy of a Roediger House summer movie night. The forecast for this past Friday was highly promising, and it ended up being nearly picture-perfect to have some folks over and set up camp chairs out on the parking lot and set up the screen and speakers and light citronella...and I was glad all over again to have gotten a cornhole set for our pre-movie entertainment.

The selection was Stand By Me, the 1986 classic based on a Stephen King novella, The Body, and directed by Rob Reiner. It's been a long time since I've seen it, and it sure was good all over again. That night was also a fine chance to see how sharp and bright the image could be with the new projector and better screen in place.

Speaking of screens, if you were local and watched the Friday morning WXII-12 newscast, you would yet again have been able to spot the Roediger House in the background while Bethany Moore did her live feed:

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Center for Confectious MePleases

Chocolate Fudge.

First time I've made it since December 2013.

Awesome and amazing.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Meal No. 1898: Planked Salmon with Agrodolce Sauce

I've had salmon on my mind for a little while now, and this past Wednesday night I managed to get ahold of some and serve it up for supper. The dependable pearl couscous was a must but I also liked the serious flavoring of the thin red onion slices in the agrodolce sauce that went with it all.

"Planked Salmon Platter," from

"Striped Bass in Agrodolce Sauce,"from Gourmet, December 2004.

Couscous recipe based partially on "Toasted Israeli Couscous with Pine Nuts and Parsley, from Bon Appétit, December 2004.