Thursday, June 30, 2011

Meal No. 308: Roasted Pork Tenderloin

There is no end to the fun at the Roediger House, and as you know, it always pleases me to have folks come over for dinner. So, no sooner have the New Orleans friends departed than I get another special set of visitors: Peggy Clark and Jeff Means, from Florida.

I've known these two fellow educators for years, thanks to our mutual involvement in Project CRISS. The last few days, they were just north of here, doing a train-the-trainer training for CRISS up in Surry County, NC. On their way back to Greensboro for tomorrow's flight home, they made time to come by for a meal and to see the Roediger House.

We started off with spiced pecan and bleu cheese mixed greens with a sweet and sour vinaigrette, which comes from Southern Living.

The main dish was Oven-Roasted Pork Tenderloin and Vegetables.

Alongside, I had the usual suspects: company mashed potatoes and seasoned green beans.

And Jeff and Peggy said the carrot cake was pretty good, although I've already made note of my disappointment in it.

After dinner, we adjourned to the upstairs porch and enjoyed a perfect summer evening with light breezes, along with some decaf coffee. It was a terrific evening.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Possum Possibilities

Here at the end of June, it was necessary to say goodbye to guests who, I thought, were leaving all too early. The crew from New Orleans departed this afternoon, with the couples each heading off to spend the rest of this week with family in New York and New Jersey.

Today was also a chance to say goodbye to an unwanted guest: a young possum. Once the New Orleans folks had left, I set up my Havahart® trap and baited it with pork gristle and peanut butter. Within a few hours, I had my yard possum trapped.

The same one who had gotten into the house a while back? I have no idea, although I do know that this trapped one is one ugly rascal, whereas the wall-siddling baby possum that I almost trapped in the north parlour was a veritable cutie in comparison.

Once I'd given Cyprus a chance to check out this rascal, we climbed up in the truck with the trap in the back, and I drove 10 miles out into the country before finding a nice low field next to a creek for releasing him. He scurried away quickly!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Meal No. 307: The Junesgiving Meal

Any excuse I can find to make the traditional Thanksgiving meal? Yes. Having a crew in from New Orleans is just the excuse I needed.

So it was herb-roasted turkey breast:

And stuffing:

And corn pudding:

And layered green bean casserole:

And slow-cooker sweet potato casserole:

And I think it was a table of happy eaters (glad to have Roediger House regulars Beau and Bradley on hand, as well):

We were so stuffed that the dense carrot cake I'd made yesterday had only a few takers:

Monday, June 27, 2011

Meal No. 306: Beef Burgandy

The visit here by the crew from New Orleans continues to go well. They seem to have contented themselves with relaxing and reading here at the house, mixed in with excursions to walk downtown, catch a movie at a/perture, check out Kernel Kustard's, tour Wake Forest University, and so on.

Dinner on this Monday night was another new recipe, and I think it turned out decent. This is beef burgandy from the slow cooker, with rice and Fordhook lima beans and some heartland sunflower bread from the bread machine.

I also made a carrot cake, using the wonderful recipe from Southern Living in 1981 that was passed on to me by education friends and colleagues John and Ebbie Linaburg.

I made this a couple of Thanksgivings ago and it was darned incredible. This time, not so much so. And I'm all the more disappointed because I know how good it can be. The second time was not the charm. I'm still diagnosing what I did wrong, but it may be that using the microplane grater and not being careful about how packed down the shredded carrot became led to a very, very, very dense result. Not very cake-y. It was almost like a flourless carrot cake. It was dense like a fruit cake. But the crew said it was good, and I agree. It does mean that much smaller than usual pieces would have been called for.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Meal No. 305: Smothered Pork Chops

Part of what makes this an excellent summer weekend is the pleasure of visits from good people. Saturday morning, Nancy Mosley (grad student from Wake Forest, Class of 2004) and her husband Mark and their son Parker stopped by for a much-overdue visit. Then, on Sunday, Tim Schwarz (WFU Grad 2007) brought in a crew from New Orleans: his girlfriend Andrea and co-worker Julia and her husband Chris. It will be a great few days having them here, as long as they can stand the fact that my primary focus is on what kind of good meal we can have next, as opposed to planning and executing some bodacious city excursions and such.

The evening meal once everybody had arrived: smothered pork chops with onion-thyme gravy, with company mashed potatoes and garden peas. For dessert: the secret recipe chocolate chip cookies that are a rough approximation of the Doubletree special ones.

After dinner, things got fun. Fortunately, I left these activities to the young whippersnappers and contented myself with clean-up responsibilities. This is a game Andrea brought along as a gift to the Roediger House, inherited from her days at Indiana University.

Braised Smothered Pork Chops with Onion-Thyme Gravy from Cook's Country [April/May 2011], p. 22-23.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Meal No. 304: Cheesy Hamburger Pasta Bake

It sure does seem like I've been a little lazy in the kitchen lately. Tonight's meal was another easy one: cheesy hamburger pasta bake, from a recipe card in Pillsbury Classic Cookbooks magazine. It was good enough for seconds!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Blackberry Buttermilk Cake

The latest issue of Bon Appétit had some alluring photos of the prep and finished product for a blackberry buttermilk cake. This past Wednesday morning, I woke up way, way too early and decided I'd use the extra time to make this myself.

I took it up to 6th & Vine where it was well-received by the staff coming in for the lunch shift.

Recipe from Bon Appétit, July 2011, p. 106, 109.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Meal No. 303: Cajun-Seasoned Pimento Burgers

The habit I have of going into a repetitive spell from time to time has cropped up again. Although it was just recently that I had cajun-spiced pimento burgers on the menu here at the Roediger House, I went ahead and fixed them again yesterday. I needed an easy meal before a vet appointment and then a late-night drive up to Shenandoah County, VA.

They were even better this time, because I tossed more of the seasoning in and I also think I'd made a better batch of pimento cheese this time.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Meal No. 302: Beef-Mushroom Teriyaki Noodles

After taking some time on Tuesday to go through some recipe card magazines that have accumulated over the last several months, I ended up pulling out and saving quite a few of them. Most are fairly simple and do not require a whole lot preparation. I decided on that very hot first day of summer that I would not go the elaborate route, and this is last night's result: Beef Teriyaki Stir-Fry.

Recipe from Pillsbury Classic Cookbooks periodical/recipe cards.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Solstice 2011

Summer was officially welcomed at 1:16 pm EDT, and the following two pictures of the Roediger House were taken pretty much at that exact moment.

Monday, June 20, 2011

N.C. State Games Bike Criterium

It was Cycle Sunday all day long in front of the Roediger House on Sunday. From early morning until just after lunch, it was the Powerade State Games of North Carolina Bike Criterium 2011, which involved a race course using the rectangle of Fourth Street, Poplar Street, Holly Avenue, and Spring Street. During the afternoon, the street closures expanded up to include Fifth Street, and it was the City-sponsored family event, Cycle Sunday.

This time around, the City and the event organizers did a much better job of giving residents a heads-up that the street would be closed, including a hang-tag on the front door, a flyer dropped off at the house, and a mailing.

Here are a few shots related to the Bike Criterium:

Barricades to Close Spring Street

Street Sweeping of Debris

Protective Gear on Signposts

A Race in Progress

Dude Walking Who'd Just Wiped Out

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Meal No. 301: Babyback Pork Ribs

Tonight had been set aside for a bunch of us to gather for Trivial Pursuit, a game that I do not like very much, so I simply offered to be the chef and left every one else to the competition. With babyback pork ribs on sale this week at half price at the Harris Teeter, it helped make my decision for me. I'd been wanting to try ribs again, since I'm new to that as an entree, but I wanted something other than grilling them. This recipe involves the CrockPot for the majority of the cooking time.

Alongside I had some more of that mac-n-cheese dish called "Three Cheese Pasta Bake," and some creamy stuffed eggs based on a recipe I got from good friends Jim and Barbara Huneycutt up in Charlottesville.

Thanks for reading the blog, folks!

"Sweet and Sour Sticky Ribs," from America's Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution, 2011, p. 147.

Three Cheese Pasta Bake, from Anna Olson on LifeStyle FOOD.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Meal No. 300: Chicken Vesuvio

The momentous occasion of the 300th meal in the newly renovated kitchen and addition of the Roediger House has now presented itself. And a tightknit group of good friends were on hand to celebrate this milestone.

On the menu, a dish called Chicken Vesuvio, served with red potatoes and garden peas.

And the dessert: my first time of making brownies completely from scratch, thanks to the gift of good chocolate and a perfect recipe for it from the always delightful David Wald and Everett Kline.

"Chicken Vesuvio," from America's Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution, 2011, p. 83.

"Chocolate Brownies," by Claudia Fleming at Gramercy Tavern.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The 299 Breakfast Special

I couldn't help myself. Since tonight's meal was the 299th in the new Roediger House kitchen, the menu was chosen just so I could title it The 299 Breakfast Special.

Of course, there are many of us in this world who think it's awesome to have breakfast for supper, so it was not hard to give in to this blog-name-opportunity compulsion. With sizzling country ham, biscuits, rice, cheesy scrambled eggs, grape jelly, and a tall cold glass of milk, I was one happy resident of the Roediger House.

And since dinner seemed a long time coming, I had to have a mid-day pomegranate berry smoothie, which was exceptionally tasty today.