Sunday, July 19, 2009

Meal No. 22: Burgers on the Grill

It's summer, and it's easy to turn to the simple burgers that I put together for grilling on a lovely summer evening. It was a later dinner, which shows the benefit of some wisdom when the heat of summer is on the scene.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Meal No. 21: Not So Cajun Chicken

The meal made at mid-day today was subsequently delivered to friends working at 6th & Vine: a repeat of the first meal ever made in the new kitchen, inspired by a dish found at Crowley's in Raleigh. Not So Cajun Chicken is always a winner to me.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Meal No. 20: Coronation Chicken

Bradley Phillis and Trevor LaFauci came over this afternoon for a challenging round of Trivial Pursuit. The mid-day/mid-afternoon meal was coronation chicken.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Meal No. 19: Beef Tenderloin Stir-Fry

A night breaking out the wok in order to create beef, mushroom, and onion stir-fry before settling down with a DVD movie for the evening.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Meal No. 18: Burgers and a Movie

For the last night of the Oklahoma crew this week, I had to go with grilling burgers as a prelude to Movie Night No. 6 for this season: Heathers.

The burgers are a pretty simple recipe that I got a while back, and they always come out very good and very tasty. The actual name, believe it or not, is "Juicy Burgers on the Grill."

Done.

It's not really summer to me until these burgers show up on the front porch for a good evening outside with friends.

And it was a sign of great progress with the 2009 Roediger Theatre movie season: another good movie and a happily receptive audience for it.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Meal No. 17: The Roediger House Dinner

When it is a special gathering, my most favorite meal to fix for a crowd is the one that showed up at the Roediger House tonight for my visiting Oklahoma friends. It was garlic and rosemary roasted beef tenderloin with a spicy horseradish sauce; layered green bean casserole; feta-stuffed bell peppers; company mashed potatoes; yeast rolls; and, for dessert, chocolate Kahlua cake.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New North Fence

OVERDUE SUMMER UPDATE / July 2009

The blog has been much neglected, so before the Christmas holiday is over, I'm getting some more pictures up. When Pete LaRoque, the general contractor, determined that significant grading was needed around the addition, it became necessary to erect a retaining wall between my property and the gravel parking lot to my north. This begged for a fence to match the one I'd already put up on the south side of the property, and in early July, this was installed by Fence Builders of Winston-Salem.




By early July, the grass in the rear courtyard was really beginning to take hold and grow, and it was a nice change from the exposed raw red clay that had been the standard look for so many months.


Also, in early summer, the first flowers to warm the new addition were presented by good friends who visited from Oklahoma:

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Meal No. 16: The Brunch Meal

Because I am actually blogging this quite some time after the fact, I am going on partial memory of what all I served for Meal No. 16: The Brunch Meal. The picture here was taken at the end of that meal, when only one plate remained on the table and all the rest of the attendees were easing into their respective food comas.


My typical menu for this meal includes zucchini bread and Bundt coffee cake; make-ahead scrambled eggs; spring frittata quiche; creamy cheese grits; and a big bowl of fruit.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Meal No. 15: 2x2 Soup

A crew of good friends from Oklahoma arrived this evening for a week of hanging out at the Roediger House, and a pretty helpful and accommodating meal to have on hand when arrival times are uncertain is my cousin Betsy's 2 x 2 soup. That was the evening's fare.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Meal No. 14: Bama Chicken

In special celebration of Jen Martin's birthday, it was another quick return to the favorite dish called Bama Chicken.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Meal No. 13: Seared Salmon

A Porch Rail Update

I have this fear that your 4th of July weekend might be terribly incomplete without a word or two about the porch railings, which (last you knew) were reinstalled but not yet painted or stained. Since they are pressure-treated lumber, the idea was to let the new railings sit out and cure a bit. While I was away last week, Roberto was sent over to give them a good solid-color staining, and they do look good. Unfortunately, the post top piece cracked and the boards used to construct the post no longer neatly aligned, so the result was a tad unsightly. Never fear, though: Pete sent Roberto back with caulking instructions and he cleaned it up pretty well. Here are the shots to help you see this.




Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Paper Route

Back in the early days when I'd first bought the house, this is what the dining room looked like. It had a dark green wallpaper with tiny colored designs in it, and a less-than-pleasing fruity border up around the top. There were also fancy valance treatments that, while pretty dusty, actually looked like someone had spent some money on them. It took me a while to pull the trigger on this, but it finally seemed best to let it go. So last week, my painter Gary Hudson had a couple of his crew come over and pull that paper down. The room had always seemed pretty dark to me, and I'm ready for it to take on a warmer and attractive feel. It helped to replace the ceiling fan with a more appropriate chandelier.

If the picture to the right here is the BEFORE, then these next two are the DURING and AFTER.



If you read through the post "A Series of Unfortunate Events," you may recall that our dear plumbers failed to glue the drain on the old upstairs tub, and this led to a water disaster in the dining room below it. There seems to be no obvious lasting damage to the floors, but all that water coming down did manage to strip the varnish off the wainscoting along that wall in the dining room. This week, one of Pete's crew put fresh clearcoat along that wall, and it gave off a shiny sheen once he was finished.