Saturday, March 31, 2012

Meal No. 470: Savory Beef and Broccoli Turnovers

Almost a hundred meals ago, I tried out a new recipe that forced me to confront my fear of and ignorance about phyllo dough. The result convinced me it was well worth any angst I experienced, and yet it's still taken me this long to get around to making this meal again.

So, let me present to you last night's supper: savory beef and broccoli turnovers with a garlic cream sauce on top, along with baby Brussels sprouts. It got pretty good reviews from the dinner guests, including the late-night reheat for Amy Williamson, who's staying over a few days.

"Savory Garlic Beef & Broccoli Turnovers," by Kirsten Shabaz of Minneapolis, MN. Taste of Home, November 2011, p. 31.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Meal No. 469: Linguine with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

Drove in from a challenging week in Virginia, and I was glad to get home. Dinner had to be simple.

"Linguine with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce," from The Flying Biscuit Cookbook by April Moon, 1998, p. 30.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars

For last Sunday's Game of Thrones dinner and watching party, I made up a dessert to serve as our break between the penultimate and the final episodes of season 1. These are the remarkably delicious dulce de leche cheesecake bars that I've only made once before. You should try them!

"Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars," from Bon Appétit, June 2010, p. 96.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Meal No. 468: Cubed Steaks with Garlic-Parsley Butter

Once again, a quick meal was called for before I could hit the road for a few more days of work in Virginia. This is also something new for me: cubed steaks. Never bought or cooked these before.

I sautéed some baby bella mushrooms and reheated some of the mashed potatoes and Madeira and stilton sauce from the other night. There were also some lima beans left over that gave me a bit of green on the plate.

"Improving Minute Steaks," in Cook's Country, April/May 2012, p. 15.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Meal No. 467: Biscuits and Gravy

Worked too long and hard in the yard yesterday, and I had to go the easy and simple route for last night's supper.

Monday, March 26, 2012

First Grass-Cutting of 2012

As noted in one of last week's blog posts, the lack of cold this winter and the early onset of spring weather turned my yard into a nightmare. The winter weeds got a foothold and they've done a heckuva job ruining major portions of the yard. My treatment last week of Weed-B-Gon seems to have stunted many of the weeds that had taken root, but not all the problem growth was killed completely.

On this Monday of glorious perfect spring weather, with warm sun and pleasant breezes, it seemed time to drag out the lawnmower for the first cutting of the year. Not only was the growth thick and there were too many patches that were choked and overgrown, but all that thick stuff had trapped a lot of the weekend's rain. So the thing that was enough of a problem just got that much worse. I should have kept track of how many times I had to empty the mulch bag on the back of the mower.

But, as always, even with my grass in bad shape, a freshly-trimmed lawn always looks mighty good to me.

I can also tell you that, by mid-evening tonight, I was really feeling it all over my body, too. Guess I'm more out of shape that I thought, and guess also that it was a harder job to tackle than I should have allowed it to get.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Meal No. 466: Rack of Lamb / Game of Thrones

Last night was the last of three Sundays set aside to watch the first season of HBO's Game of Thrones. The season was a fantastic adaptation of the novels by George R. R. Martin, which I read last year.

And to go with it, I made for our crew a fantastic meal, I think. It was garlic and rosemary crusted roasted rack of New Zealand lamb, with mashed potatoes, baby lima beans, and a scrumptious Madeira and stilton sauce.

"Garlic-Crusted Roast Rack of Lamb," Food & Wine, April 2011, p. 148.

"Madeira and Stilton Sauce," from More Than Gourmet. Recipe Online.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Meal No. 465: Two Kinds of Pizza

The last time I made pizza was almost exactly 100 meals ago, so I guess this was overdue. And even though I knew there would be ample leftovers, I decided to go with thinner crusts and get two pizzas out of it: bacon and cheddar, and pesto-shiitake-feta.

Bacon and Cheddar, before baking

Bacon and Cheddar, after baking

Pesto, Shiitake, and Feta, before baking

Pesto, Shiitake, and Feta, after baking

Saturday Night Supper

Friday, March 23, 2012

Meal No. 464: Baked Salmon with Chili-Lime Vinaigrette

Not every meal I make when I drive in from working the week in Virginia is shabby or repetitious, as most of my Friday evening posts would clearly suggest. On my way through Walkertown this evening, I pulled into the local Lowe's Foods and grabbed salmon and broccoli crowns. Together with quinoa, and topped with a chili-lime vinaigrette, it made a fantastic supper. This method of baking the salmon came out just about perfect, so I'll be keeping this recipe's directions in mind for future meals.

"Baked Salmon with Lime Vinaigrette," from the center Recipe Cards in Cook's Country, April/May 2012.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Breakfast Snackables for Unexpected Guests

A not especially unusual event in the Roediger House is for there to be unexpected overnight guests. Sometimes that's because people happen to come to town or pass through, not knowing enough in advance that there will be time to stop off. Other times, it has no small connection to the proximity to local drinking spots.

Last weekend, there were three extra folks crashing upstairs, and I did my usual early awakening so I got busy on some goodies for our morning's light repast.

Bundt Coffee Cake

Sausage Balls

Sausage Ball [close-up]

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sticky Bun Cinnamon Pecan Rolls!

It has been almost two years since the one other time I've tried my hand at these, but last weekend I woke up one morning at 5 am and decided it was time for the Roediger House to have sticky buns (or cinnamon rolls, perhaps). My sister Allison and her husband Tom introduced me to these, and also gave me the recipe. They are just too darned good, especially reheated and topped with a faux-Cinnabon frosting.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring 2012 Arrives Early

As several people have mentioned, we didn't have much of a winter, and we skipped spring and went straight to summer. (Sure feels that way, with the 9000 high temperature records that have been broken nationwide in the last 10 days, roughly!)

At least there is the burst of blooms and color that are such a welcome sight, with all the attendant signals that the joys of warmer weather bring to my chilled body and soul.

My travel schedule again meant I mostly missed the blooming of the Bradford pear tree, although I think it has an unusually short blooming phase before those green leaves (now pretty much fully exposed) start to push through.

Our mild and even warm temps of winter, though, led to a terrible problem with winter weeds, and they are doing a great job of taking over portions of my yard.

It's been hard to find the time to get around to it, and to do so when the weather was cooperating (it's been mighty stormy of late, too), but before I left town Monday, I treated the whole yard with my Weed B Gon. Hope to see a lot of dead weeds when I get back home at week's end.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Meal No. 463: Tuna Medallions with Bontemps Sauce

Oh, Monday, Monday. It's almost time for me to hit the road for this week's work up in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. But my need to cook up a meal remains insistent, so there will be no quick grab of a cajun fillet biscuit at Bojangle's on my way up US 220 this evening.

Instead, a quick afternoon feast:

These are pan-seared tuna medallions with a quick bontemps sauce, with Israeli couscous and French-style green beans. Wow.

Update: In the comments below, I've received an admonition about what I more properly ought to call the couscous above. While there is perhaps an understandable political or cultural agenda that might have propelled my commenter to challenge my nomenclature, I also recognize that this particular couscous is also known as "Pearl Couscous." I might just have to consider using that second name more frequently, even though I like having a single searchable term in mind whenever I want to look up past meals.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Meal No. 462: Filipino Chicken Adobo

Tonight: Round 2 of Game of Thrones, the HBO adaptation of the incredible series of novels written by George R. R. Martin.

So once again, it behooved me to try to put a decent dinner on the supper table. I went with a recent find, first made at the end of February to much acclaim: Filipino Chicken Adobo. This time I used the chicken thighs with skin and bones, as suggested by the recipe. But the guests and I agreed that we kind of liked the version from before, when I used skinless boneless thigh fillets.

Doesn't that clove of garlic look mighty tempting on that bed of Basmati? And for some reason, folks around the table thought even the peas were particularly tasty.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Meal No. 461: Not So Cajun Chicken

My inclination when chicken tenders are on sale is to plan for a meal of one of the Roediger House's most favorite dishes: Not So Cajun Chicken. Tonight, when several people were supposed to come, I made a double-batch and added Brussels sprouts as the accompaniment.

Not So Cajun Chicken Recipe, found online in PDF format.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Cinnamon Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Friday night cookie-making, after a simple supper of pancakes that hardly seemed worth blogging about.

And every time I make these delicious Hershey's cinnamon chip-oatmeal cookies, I find them to be a terrible temptation for days on end. Or at least until they are gone.

Recipe from the Hershey's Kitchens website:

PDF of the Roediger House Version can be found by clicking here.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Meal No. 460: Hamburger Supreme

Hamburger Supreme:
Easy Meal for a Late-Evening Return from the Road

"Hamburger Supreme," from the late Mrs. John T. (Glynn) Johnson of Buies Creek, North Carolina, via Janice Jones Bodenhamer.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

That's What I Call a TV

As I mentioned last week, my television of roughly 11 years died.

After doing my Consumer Reports research and starting my online shopping search for price comparisons, I had the good fortune to come across a highly rated television at roughly two-thirds of its usual price. It's larger than what I might have sought out, but with the price, I couldn't exactly turn my back on it.

This is my new Panasonic VIERA TC-P55ST30 55-inch 1080p 3D plasma HDTV. And it's pretty cool.

Oh, the DVD player gave out right about the same time, so I've now replaced it with another Panasonic item: a Blu-Ray 3D HD player.

First movie when I got home this past Friday night: Blu-Ray Terminator.

First TV event with a crew on hand:Blu-Ray Game of Thrones, Season 1, Episodes 1-3 (still shot taken from the TV, above). More good TV-watching to follow.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lifestar 911: Officially Gone

I suppose with the end of February, the lease officially ran out for the ambulance service that was my rear neighbor for a little more than two years. They have cleared out, and their new location is not yet known to me.

Of course, given the commercial nature of that lot, I guess I should harbor a bit of trepidation about what might move in to take their place. But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Meal No. 459: Miso-Glazed Salmon

Once again, it's the afternoon for me to hit the road for a few days of work in Virginia, and I wanted to make some supper before I took off. I chose very, very well.

I revisited the miso-glazed salmon recipe that's shown up a couple of times before, and geez louise, was it mighty fine.

It was accompanied by fresh-steamed asparagus topped with butter and some kosher salt, and a pine nut and garlic quinoa that came out just exactly on the money.

"Miso-Glazed Salmon Steaks," from Bon Appétit, May 2011, p. 58.