Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Spring, Finally and At Last!

I am so glad spring has finally arrived, although I am writing this during a chilly and stormy week from 11 floors up above the Virginia Beach oceanfront. With the terrible, terrible storms and tornadoes that are ravaging states to our south and along the coast this week, though, I find it unseemly to be grumbling about cool days and overcast skies here in Hampton Roads.

March 31, 2014

March 31, 2014

April 12, 2014

April 24, 2014

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

RoHo, As Seen from 21 Floors Up

While reading posts in the forum on the Winston-Salem's Tallest Buildings site, I came across a reposted photo that was taken from the 21st floor of the Wells Fargo tower. I noticed a familiar house in it:

Click the Pic to Enlarge It

The house is partially obscured by trees so you'll be looking for the unique shape of the gabled roof line under black shingles and above the light cream color of the house paint, just above the tip of the steeple of Calvary Moravian Church in the lower foreground.

This photo was taken by Augy, whose Flickr name is augman57, and was located in his WF21 set of photos. He is an amazing photographer and I would encourage you to bookmark his page if you want to see what Winston looks--and feels--like.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Another Damn Cat

It's taken me a while since I first started spotting this stray cat lurking around the back of the house, and using a sandbag on the patio pad as a bathroom spot, but the last weekend of March I finally managed to trap it. It was my unpleasant task to take it to Animal Control on the following Monday morning before I headed out for a week of work up in Winchester, Virginia.

This rascal looked pretty worse for the wear, with big scars and gashes on its face from a rough life on the streets. I didn't bother to shoot another video of how wild he was when I was moving him, but I like him much better safely ensconced in the trap with a wall of wire between us.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Meal No. 984: Teriyaki Beef Skewers

I got this recipe from my sister Allison and her husband Tom quite a few years ago, because it was some delicious eating when they served it to me on a long-ago trip to Indiana. On this gorgeous Sunday evening, it was a great choice for the grill. Alongside, some brown basmati and a gaggle of baby Brussels sprouts.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Meal No. 983: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

I've got a big shindig happening at the Roediger House later tonight with lots of goodies made and still to make, so I needed to go quick with dinner just now:

UPDATE FROM 1:00 AM: Roediger House regular Amy Williamson, here for the party tonight, ordered warm bacon dip to be served promptly at 1 am. I do what I'm told:

"Swiss and Bacon Dip," from Rachael Ray. Available online at the Food Network website.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Meal No. 982: Ultimate Cream of Tomato Soup & A Grilled Cheese Panini

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

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Meal No. 980: Braggin' Rights Brisket

Kamado Meal No. 26

"Braggin' Rights Brisket" (p. 105-106). In Smoke & Spice, by Cheryl and Bill Jamison. Boston: The Harvard Common Press, 2003.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Some Desserts of Early Spring

It was a night out for dinner at the Roediger House this evening at a new spot called The Honey Pot, and it was really good. So today's blog post will let me catch up on a few sweet concoctions that didn't make it to an entry here yet.

Peach Cobbler

Cap'n Crunch Cookies for Guilford County Principals Cohort

White Chocolate-Macadamia Nut Cookies

"Old Fashioned Peach Cobbler," by Carla Prysock of Malvern, AR. Published in Carla's Kitchen Confessions on Facebook and attributed to a 1950s cookbook.

"Cap'n Crunch Cookies," found online at The Capitol Baker, with credit going to The Sugar Plum Blog for inspiration and the source of the adapted recipe.

"Premier White Chocolate and Macadamia Pieces Cookies," from Hershey's Mauna Loa. Found online at

Monday, April 21, 2014

Meal No. 979: Country Ham and Rice

I spent the whole afternoon and on into the evening smoking a beef brisket but it didn't quite finish, so I had to reach for an alternative for tonight's supper. That ended up being a good breakfast-for-dinner meal that make me think of my mother, with whom this was a regular menu if I was home for a weekend.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Meal No. 977: Pork Medallions with Ginger-Shiitake Cream Sauce

This is one of the standards of the Roediger House, and it's always good. Tonight it packed an extra punch thanks to the first use in it of a super-dark soy sauce. The original recipe is to use this sauce with tuna but it works great with pork tenderloin medallions.

"Pan-Seared Tuna with Ginger-Shiitake Cream Sauce," The Bon App├ętit Cookbook by Barbara Fairchild, 2006, p. 398-399.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Meal No. 976: Peanut Butter Bacon Burgers

Unusually good for a meal that is always unusually good: Friday night peanut butter bacon burgers at the Roediger House enjoyed by those smart or lucky enough to work out their plans to be here!

Mighty tempting to grab a slice or two of bacon fresh off the griddle.

Another reason to love Virginia?

Pretty close to the perfect consistency and taste for the peanut butter.

The beef cubes, ready for about 30 minutes in the freezer to firm them up.

Another great service provided by the Cuisinart.

Wow: perfectly ground this time.

The patties, gently pushed into shape and liberally salted and peppered.

Get your sizzle on.

Buttered, toasted kaiser rolls

I tried putting the bacon on the bottom this time.

The assembled mass, from top to bottom:
homemade peanut butter, provolone, fresh-ground patty, bacon,
homemade burger sauce, buttered toasted kaiser roll

Dessert made late night and post bar hopping:
Scotch Chocolate Cake
a/k/a Texas Sheet Cake

A review of key points about peanut butter bacon burgers:
  • Inspired by Yo Mama's in the French Quarter of New Orleans
  • First Made: Meal No. 180
  • Last Made: Meal No. 905
  • Homemade Peanut Butter
  • Fresh-Ground Beef from boneless beef short ribs and top sirloin
  • Homemade Classic Burger Sauce (recipe below)
  • Labeled Finished Burger: Guide to Meal No. 234
  • Some guidance, inspiration, and tips are based on Cook's Illustrated, No. 93 (July/August 2008), p. 10.

Classic Burger Sauce
from Cook's Illustrated, July-August 2008, p. 11.
4 T mayonnaise
2 T ketchup
1 tsp sweet pickle relish
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.

"Scotch Chocolate Cake," [in my world, also known as Texas Sheetcake]. Credited to Susie Timmons. From "Popular: Cake Request Gets 22 Responses," by Michael Hastings, Food Editor of the Winston-Salem Journal. Published October 6, 2010.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Meal No. 975: Grilled Veal Chops

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

"Lemon-Garlic Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes," from Melissa's/World Variety Produce, Inc. Recipe on bag of potatoes. Alternative link for recipe can be found here.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Meal No. 974: Far Eastern Chicken Legs

"Far Eastern Chicken Legs," in Weber's Big Book of Grilling by Jamie Purviance and Sandra S. McRae. San Francisco: Chronicle Books (2001), p. 258.

"Company Mashed Potatoes," a Jones family favorite.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Meal No. 973: Rotini Carbonara

It was tax day today and I managed to wrap up my federal and three different state returns by 3 pm. I didn't feel like working hard on dinner after all that.

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

Monday, April 14, 2014

Meal No. 972: Indoor Pulled Pork Barbecue

It was another evening of binge TV series watching at the Roediger House, the sort of event where a bunch of regulars come over and partake of the upstairs big screen plasma TV and I enjoy cooking and prepping down in the kitchen. It's how things are supposed to work around here.

This evening: a return to the indoor pulled pork barbecue that is definitely one of the favorites of the house. It's been a while since I made it, perhaps because I overdid it for a few weeks or months last year and got everybody tired of it.

The simple meal had one accompaniment: blue cheese cole slaw. Good stuff, that.

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

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

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Meal No. 971: Beef Satay with Soy-Ginger-Peanut Sauce

Geez Louise! What another excellent meal. I realize I've been doing a lot of beef lately but what's not to love about beef?

I tossed these chunks of marinated skewer-grilled beef tenderloin onto a pile of brown basmati, and that delicious dark soy-ginger-peanut sauce was about as on-target as you could get.

I also got out the lawn mower for the first time of the season. The front yard wasn't all that bad but it needed the trim. It's looking good now:

The back yard, however, was a different story. Thanks to the wall demolition and re-seeding back there, I've been letting that new grass get a real foothold. It did great, and was thick and lush and pretty tall. You can see this in these pics earlier today of Cyprus back there:

Now it's all trimmed up, but a bit was thick and somewhat damp. I kept the blade on its most elevated setting to keep from damaging this new grass.

When it was all finished, I was happy to sit a spell with this fine bottle of Pepsi:

"Beef Satay," in Weber's Big Book of Grilling by Jamie Purviance and Sandra S. McRae. San Francisco: Chronicle Books (2001), p. 142-143.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Meal No. 970: Bourbon-Glazed Cajun Beef Tenderloin

I think this is only my second time of trying to grill a beef tenderloin, but for a table-full of fellows with big appetites, this one got some pretty good reviews. For the third night in a row, I'm grilling on the new Weber Genesis and also using Weber's grilling cookbook. So far, it has not disappointed.

I gave the Delmonico potatoes another go and they proved yet again to be a welcome addition to the starch repertoire on Roediger House menus.

Rounding out the plate was the good ol' basic Campbell's Kitchens green bean casserole. There wasn't much left and all the plates were scraped clean. I think that's an encouraging sign.

"Bourbon-Glazed Cajun Tenderloin," in Weber's Big Book of Grilling by Jamie Purviance and Sandra S. McRae. San Francisco: Chronicle Books (2001), p. 137.

"Delmonico Potatoes," by Diane Unger, in Cook's Country, December/January 2009, p. 13.

"Campbell's Classic Green Bean Casserole," from Campbell's Kitchen. Recipe available online.