Monday, December 31, 2012

Meal No. 656: New Year's Eve Pulled Pork Barbecue

The Roediger House celebrated the final evening of 2012 with a fun-sized group of regulars, starting off with a meal of pulled pork barbecue and sauce, with blue cheese coleslaw and creamy stuffed eggs. For dessert there was banana pudding (which was gone so fast I forgot to take a  picture until only one small bite remained). The cork was popped on the upstairs porch at midnight and board games filled the time on either side of the momentous midnight moment.

"Indoor Pulled Pork," by Bryan Roof. In Cook's Illustrated, January & February 2010 (No. 102), p. 6-7.

"Blue Cheese Coleslaw," from Ina Garten. Available online at the Food Network website..

"Creamy Stuffed Eggs," a recipe shared with me by Barbara Huneycutt of Crozet, VA.

"Murray's Old Fashioned Nana Puddin'," from the Murray Vanilla Wafers package. Also found online at;skin=murray.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Meal No. 655: Honey-Rosemary Pork Medallions

One of the 30-Minute Supper recipe cards in the January 2013 Cook's Country offered an idea for honey-rosemary pork medallions, and it seemed to fit the bill tonight. I even had some fresh rosemary to use in the glaze. Organic red quinoa and supersweet white corn were great accompaniments. I also executed the maiden run of butterhorn rolls, based on a recipe that my sister Allison sent me. They were huge, but I realize I overlooked a step in the recipe for dividing the dough before rolling and cutting it. I liked their flavor, even though they came out a little on the dry side. I'll have to experiment with that recipe.

Full Moon of December 2012

In the days between Christmas and New Year's this year, there was one mostly clear night that was also the time of the full moon. I managed to grab shots of it coming up over the city skyline (around 7 in the evening) and then as it was setting in the west behind the house around 5 or 5:30 am. Here's a sampling, and also another couple of shots of this year's limited Christmas decorations.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Meal No. 654: Potato and Cheese Soup

Once again, it's thanks to my sister Allison and her husband Tom that I got to try out another good recipe. This time, it was Potato and Cheese Soup, another bonus of Tom's enrollment in cooking classes at KitchenArt in West Lafayette, Indiana. Like any good soup, it takes longer to prepare than one might think on first read, but it is worth it in the end.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Meal No. 653: Glorious Beef and Mushroom Stir-Fry

"Glorious Beef with Mushrooms" (p. 87) in Wok Fast by Hugh Carpenter and Teri Sandison. Ten Speed Press, 2002. All-purpose Chinese marinade (for the beef, p. 26) and Asian garlic sauce (for the vegetables, p. 27).

Banana Sandwich Snack

When a bit of hunger hit me mid-day yesterday, I reached for a banana, potato bread, and my faithful Duke's mayonnaise. It was just the thing to abate the pangs.

Usually, Cyprus is tremendously uninterested in people food (she is only give dog food; nothing comes to her from the table or my kitchen). But boy howdy, she seemed most intrigued by this sandwich as I sat by the fireside and ate it.

Red Velvet Cheesecake

Here's an adventure in aesthetics, if not in creative dessert-making.

This brightly-colored slice of goodness is red velvet cheesecake, something I just stumbled across in the pages of my first-ever issue of Southern Living back in late 2004. This served as dessert last night following the meal of savory garlic beef and broccoli turnovers.

Rather than grinding up chocolate graham crackers, I went with crushed Oreo cookies (without their lardish goop in the middle, which I scraped out as shown below).

The cheesecake was pretty striking when it came out of the oven:

The cream cheese frosting on top gives it a bit of a sweetness overkill, but that helps it stay true to form for a red velvet concoction.

"Red Velvet Cheesecake," by Rhonda Y. Coker (Columbia, SC). Published in Southern Living, December 2004, p. 140.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Meal No. 652: Savory Garlic Beef & Broccoli Turnovers

This is only the second time that I've made these marvelous and reasonably uncomplicated beef and broccoli turnovers, and boy howdy, are they mighty fine. Tonight they were just right for an evening of Doctor Who Christmas specials (this year's and last year's both).

I also tried for the first time a recipe for cooked carrots shared with me by my sister Allison in Indiana. They too were awfully good. The recipe came from a local cooking school up there that her husband Tom has been taking occasional classes from. There are several recipes she's shared with me that I need to be busy making.

Also, here's a rare turn of events: the creator of this recipe, Kirsten Shabaz, stopped by the Roediger House blog and left a comment on the entry for my previous round of these turnovers. She's offered a recipe for apple turnovers that I hope to follow up with her and get.

"Savory Garlic Beef & Broccoli Turnovers," by Kirsten Shabaz of Minneapolis, MN. Taste of Home, November 2011, p. 31. [Taste of Home misspelled Kirsten's name in that issue, mistakenly renaming her "Kristen."] Recipe can also be found here.

"Carrot Ginger Fondant," by Chef Monique Jamet Hooker. From KitchenArt: The Store for Cooks (West Lafayette, IN). ["Fondant" seems an interesting word choice, although maybe I just have a misunderstanding of its range of use as a cooking term.]

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Meal No. 651: Shrimp Bisque

It's been leftovers out the wazoo since the big weekend of cooking and special meals, but tonight was a return to something fresh-prepared in the Roediger House kitchen.

I harkened back to the New Year's Day 2012 special lunch item of shrimp bisque, which yet again was really delicious. I've made a note on the recipe, though, to cut down on the amount of crushed red pepper flakes. It brings just too much heat to the bisque and that's a detraction.

One ingredient in this is a quarter cup of white rice, coarsely ground. For that sort of job, I have this Kuhn Rikon spice grinder, but I about got a blister from twisting and twisting and twisting. In the middle of prepping this meal, I stopped and ordered an electric grinder from Clearly, I have insufficient patience, stamina, or perseverance, and perhaps an out-of-whack sense of the realities of my disposable income.

"Shrimp Bisque with Crab and Tapioca," from Food & Wine, November 2011, p. 150, 152. Also available online.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day 2012

Christmas Day 2012 dawned grandly foggy and strange and eerie, a condition that persisted until late morning. This is the house at around 9:30 am:

Monday, December 24, 2012

Monster Chip Cookies at Christmas

Christmas is a time for baking. This year, I fell for the end-of-aisle display of red and green colored semisweet morsels, and I used them to make a batch of monster chip cookies.

"Monster Chip Cookies," by Judy Mabry [Myrtle Beach, SC]. Published in Taste of Home, October/November 2001.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Carrot Cake for Christmas 2012

Last night's Christmas Eve Eve Eve feast also featured a rare and exceptional dessert: the famous 1981 Southern Living carrot cake recipe that good friends and colleagues Ebbie and John Linaburg shared with me. I pretty much want to make this each time a holiday meal rolls around, but I so seldom have managed to actually get it done.

This was my endeavor on Saturday morning, though, and it was to good end. We were all pretty stuffed yet most of us managed to put away the majority of our own slices of this tasty treat.

Fresh Out of the Oven and Waiting for the Buttermilk Glaze

Each Layer Cools and Buttermilk Glaze Settles In

Horizontal Frosting Completed

Sweet & Flavorful Cream Cheese Icing

Picture Snapped Quickly / This Slice Was Not Long for This World

"Blue Ribbon Carrot Cake (1981)," also known as "Best Carrot Cake (October, 1997)," from Southern Living. Also found online.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Meal No. 650: Christmas Eve Eve Eve Feast

This year's Christmas feast occurred tonight, which technically would be considered Christmas Eve Eve Eve, or perhaps just Christmas Eve3.  It was the occasion to bring a fantastic group of good friends around the kitchen table (the dining room is still a disaster of accumulated stuff, boxes from my Mother's estate, and miscellaneous piles of whatever), which required a bit of creative seating since there were nine of us. It all worked out just fine, though.

Thyme-Garlic-Paprika Roasted Breast of Turkey

Beef Tenderloin in Wine Sauce

Beautiful Roasted Beef Tenderloin on the Cutting Board

Sliced Up and Ready for the Serving Platter

Clockwise from Bottom: Turkey with Gravy, Beef Tenderloin in Wine Sauce, Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole, Layered Green Bean Casserole, Stuffing, and Creamy Horseradish Sauce (in center).

"Oven-Roasted Turkey Breast," Betty Crocker: Holiday Entrées, Sides, Brunches, & More, November 2001, p. 22-23.

"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.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Meal No. 649: Rosemary-Garlic Leg of Lamb

First off, let's start with the picture I snagged in the precious few moments of the brief sunrise (before climbing almost immediately into clouds), with its winter solstice southern-most angle on the buildings of downtown Winston-Salem:

Tonight a major portion of the Phillis gang was here and dinner had to occur before we all headed out to Joe and Lucy Milner's for their annual Christmas party (something I've been going to for about 25 years, I'd guess). Can it ever be too soon to repeat a delicious meal like leg of lamb? I don't think so.

However, instead of grilling it after an all-night marinating, this evening it was a rosemary-garlic rub that gave the lamb its flavor, followed by a good roasting with vegetables in the oven.

"Rosemary-Garlic Leg of Lamb," from Cuisine at Home, Issue 80, April 2010, p. 35.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Meal No. 648: Grilled Veal Chops

I am completely over my mental block about veal. Damn, this was vealy, vealy good.

"Grilled Veal T-Bones with Rosemary Gremolata," Cuisine at Home, Issue No. 93 (May/June 2012), p.24-25.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Starting to Look a Little Like Christmas

The nice weather in Winston-Salem this past Saturday got me motivated enough to do some initial decorating for Christmas. Here's how far it managed to go: