Thursday, April 30, 2015

Sprinkled Donut Cap'n Crunch Cookies: Twice!

I've talked about how the local markets do not feature some of the new varieties of Cap'n Crunch cereal, and that's a shame because of how good some of those flavors are for making cookies. I have to stock up when I find them on the road, or I have to depend on friends from other states to come bearing a resupply. One of those strange new flavors is Sprinkled Donut Cap'n Crunch:

In the picture above, you can see my first batch of these, fairly fresh out of the oven.

Just two days later, I found myself making another batch when a bunch of folks were over here for dinner and a movie, and I felt we ought to have something sweet to snack on into the late night:

That means I've now made regular Cap'n Crunch cookies (a bunch of times), Cinnamon Roll Cap'n Crunch cookies, Chocolatey Crunch cookies, and now Sprinkled Donut Crunch cookies. They're all fantastic, if you must know.

"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.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Could It Be Another Damn Cat?

We've had a stray cat in the neighborhood and my birds are its easiest meal, and there is always the fear that I won't see the cat but Cyprus will (and chase it into the street in time to get smooshed by a passing vehicle), so I needed to relocate it. Fortunately, after about three days, it finally was enticed into the Havahart® trap.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Murray's Old Fashioned Nana Puddin'

With the exception of cookies, I've not really been blowing the top off the dessert game lately. At least a couple of recent confections made it onto the post-dinner agendas, and I'm just now getting around to blogging about at least this one...

Old Fashioned Nana Pudding

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

Monday, April 27, 2015

Possum No. 10

Possum No. 10

I was trying to catch a stray cat, but hours after setting out the trap, I had yet another possum instead. He now lives down on the river instead of in my yard.

A couple of nights later, Cyprus went pretty nuts in the side yard, and apparently we have a candidate for a soon-to-be-trapped-and-relocated Possum No. 11:

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Meal No. 1267: Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

This really is a fantastic improvement over and upgrade of the traditional 'Bama chicken that's been a favorite here for years. It takes more time and is more involved, but the pay-off is a delicious dinner of poppy seed chicken casserole. It's hard to stop with just one helping of it. That's what showed up on the dinner table here last night for a special Saturday night meal.

"Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole," by Ashley Moore in Cook's Country, February/March 2015, p. 20.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Meal No. 1266: Sleep-Over Brunch

It was a late night last night, and a most excellent one. I do believe that the thirteen overnight guests enjoyed themselves, and I sure enjoyed them. We started this Saturday morning with an early breakfast of caramelized party ham biscuits, Bundt coffee cake, creamy stone-ground cheese grits, and coffee.

"Party Ham Biscuits," a recipe shared with our family by Susan Brown, who was my sister Allison's college chum at the University of North Carolina. I recorded Susan's in my recipe collection in 1988. There are various versions of this recipe, of course. Pretty popular is the "caramelized" version, such as this one: "Caramelized Ham & Swiss Buns," by Iris Weihemuller of Baxter, MN, in Taste of Home, December 2013, p. 59.

Cheese Grits made using recipe for Creamy Grits, from Luquire Family Stone Ground Grits, milled in Greenwood, SC.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Meal No. 1265: Juicy Burgers on the Grill

The Roediger House is hosting a huge sleep-over tonight and it is party city here. Pool playing, snacks, story-telling, videos, music, drinks...and some supper.

The snacks on hand included sausage queso and creamy stuffed eggs. For the evening grub, I grilled up a mess of burgers and served them with chips.

"Grilled Juicy Burgers," from Pillsbury Classic Cookbooks recipe magazine.

"Chunky Sausage Queso," in the Southern Living Slow-Cooker Cookbook. Compiled and Edited by Jane E. Gentry. Birmingham, AL: Oxmoor House (2006), p. 23.

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

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Meal No. 1264: Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Sage & Garlic

Update from May 02, 2015: I was wrangling one of the pork chops that night and it suddenly turned unwieldy on me when I was cooking this meal, and I ended up getting a huge plop of hot grease to land on the knuckle of my thumb, which hurt but didn't slow me down on continuing to work on the meal. But it has taken quite a while to heal:

That third shot, of the darned wound bleeding, happened right in the middle of my teaching a workshop in Virginia Beach: I looked down at my hand and it appeared to have blood all over it. I'm going to continue counting myself pretty fortunate in the kitchen, though, with a pretty tiny number of cooking mishaps. The only other good grease burn I remember was from frying up some hushpuppies back in 2012.

"Your New Favorite Pork Chops," by Alison Roman, in Bon Appétit, March 2015, p. 35.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Meal No. 1262: Simple Beef Chili with Beans

It was a crew of folks here tonight for a mix of pool playing and streaming of a popular TV series, so I put on a pot of chili. We scarfed it down.

"Simple Beef Chili with Kidney Beans," from Cook's Illustrated, Number Sixty-One [March-April 2003], p. 10-11.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Meal No. 1261: Fried Shrimp & Hushpuppies

When I made shrimp po'boys last week, the recipe for the fried shrimp was so good that I've been craving it again ever since. Tonight I decided to just do a plate of cajun-spiced shrimp with a side of hushpuppies.

The peeled shrimp gets a good coating of spices, then I dip it briefly in buttermilk, and then dredge it in a flour, corn meal, and spice mixture. Then it goes to the fryer for just a few minutes. It comes out delicious.

The hushpuppies, however, were somewhat off...perhaps because the mix was out of date...

The creole dipping sauce made up for the disappointment of them, though.

"Shrimp Po'Boy," in Bon Appétit, June 2011, p. 118-119.

"Cajun Remoulade Sauce," by Remoulader. Found online at

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Meal No. 1260: Roasted Breast of Turkey

Sunday night at the Roediger House took on the feel of a feast when the roasted herbed turkey breast was sliced and served. The marinating and roasting of the turkey were from recipes that are new to me but I think they're going to be worth reaching for again.

I'd promised that we'd have some sweet potato casserole to go with it, so I dug out a good-looking version of it from the North Carolina Baptist Foundation Family Favorites cookbook:

It was also a chance to try out another recipe I came across in the Southern Living annual recipes collection, passed on to me by friend and CRISS colleague Peggy Clark. This one was for a simple creamy wine sauce, and it was a big big hit with the turkey.

No green vegetables on the plate...just a lump of corn casserole that was sweet and tender and good. We all did not seem to lack for enough sustenance this night!

Guidance for marinating the turkey breast came from "Marinated Turkey Breast," by Danielle and published to; and for roasting it from "Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast Recipe," from Taste of Home online.

"Creamy Wine Sauce," by Lynda Sarkisian of Seneca, SC. Published in Southern Living 2001 Annual Recipes. Birmingham, AL: Oxmoor Press (2001), p. 81.

"Sweet Potato Casserole," by Ella Rae Roberts of Hendersonville, NC. Published in Foundation Family Favorites. Cary, NC: North Carolina Baptist Foundation (1993), p. 204.

"Jiffy Corn Casserole," found on Facebook. Also known as "Corn Soufflé," as found in Stirring Performances, from The Junior League of Winston-Salem, Inc. (1988), p. 219. Online recipe (called "Spoon Bread Casserole") can be found on the JIFFY Mix website from Chelsea Milling Co.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Meal No. 1259: Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Thighs

First of all, today was a special treat, because my oldest friend in the world stopped by with his wonderful wife Tracy and their adorable new addition to the family, Emmett.

Jay and I grew up across the street from one another but it had been far too long since he'd been able to stop by the Roediger House. They were on their way from Asheville back home to Raleigh, after celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary.

Their photos of Emmett, by the way, are pretty awesome...check out Tracy's Instagram feed or Jay's Instagram feed.

As for dinner on this unusually quiet Saturday night at the Roediger House, I dipped into an old Southern Living recipes annual (gifted to me from friend and CRISS trainer colleague Peggy Clark from Florida), and I tried out stuffed bacon-wrapped chicken thighs. It was somewhat involved and I wouldn't have minded a boost in the flavors and seasoning, but it was still a good Saturday supper.

Cherrywood-smoked bacon wrapped all 'round, dipped in egg and lemon juice, dredged in lemon pepper-seasoned flour, fried for a bit, and then baked.

Stuffed inside with Swiss cheese, honey dijon, roasted red pepper strips, and some cubed stuffing...

"Stuffed Chicken Thighs," by Lee Ann Ray of Pilot Point, TX. In Southern Living 1982 Annual Recipes, Birmingham, AL: Oxmoor Press (1982), p. 84.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Meal No. 1258: New Year's Day Meatballs

Tonight was just one of those great gatherings with good friends. With six folks around the table, I whipped up a batch of what we in the Jones family call "New Year's Day Meatballs" (a moniker assigned because of the holiday when we first had them). Other Jones family favorites filled out the plate: layered green bean casserole and company mashed potatoes. The menu choices were driven by a desire to have dishes that could cook while I enjoyed being upstairs joining in on the pool playing. I've found myself doing that sort of culinary decision-making quite a bit these last couple of months. Addendum: When it was announced that it was nearly 2 am, catching me completely off-guard, we finally retired the cue sticks for the night.

"New Year's Day Meatballs," from Carol Fultz and shared with me by my sister Allison Jones Holden of Rossville, IN (2001).

"Company Mashed Potatoes," a Jones family favorite.

"Layered Green Bean Casserole," shared with me by my sister Allison Jones Holden of Rossville, IN (December 2001).

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Meal No. 1257: Baked Dijon Salmon Fillets

Baked Dijon Salmon Fillets

Back in February, when I tried this recipe for the first time, I was pretty pleased with the results. Tonight was little different, although I'd go back in time and fix two things: thicker stalks of asparagus would stand up to the cooking better, and I let the salmon bake at least five minutes too long.

What I wouldn't change? How good it still was. This take on salmon is a keeper at the Roediger House.

"Baked Dijon Salmon," by Esmee Williams. In AllRecipes Magazine, February/March 2015, p. 21.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Meal No. 1256: Bourbon Glazed Pork Chops with a Fried Egg

Well, look what kind of topper I found for this evening's delicious pan-seared and bourbon-glazed center cut pork chop:

That's what I ended up making for dinner after a grueling three days working on tax stuff!

"Bourbon Glazed Pork Chops and Fried Eggs," by Sydney Oland of Somerville, MA. Found online at [Posted January 18, 2014.]

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Meeting Room with a View

In over two decades of providing professional development and training to educators, I confess to having taught in all kinds of presentation and classroom spaces. That means lots of media centers, no small number of classrooms, occasionally in cafeterias, every once in a while in a central training room, from time to time in a hotel ballroom, and a handful of times in recreation club spaces. Perhaps twice I've taught in church facilities.

Last week, I got to conduct a training session for aspiring principals from Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools in a gorgeous room with the best views ever: the Neill Board Room of the Burress Center in the new offices of the Winston-Salem Foundation:

Here's a shot of the group, and you can see how those floor-to-ceiling windows offered a wide-ranging view of the Winston-Salem city skyline and downtown:

And looking in on the room through the glass wall:

Now, has your attentive eye picked up on why I'm posting about this on the Roediger House blog? Yep: I spent the whole day, for the first time ever, teaching in a room that looked down on the house I live in. (See the first and third photos above.)

That's right: the Winston-Salem Foundation is located in the new 751 W. Fourth building, about which I've blogged in the past. That building with the wonderful amenity floor on top with a rooftop deck for relaxing breaks from trainings:

...and from which, if one looks south while enjoying that top-floor view, one can spot the wonderful Roediger House, which itself has a pretty snazzy view of the downtown skyline:

A friend of mine was in town that week and snagged this photo looking back at 751 W Fourth. If you look at the third floor, over to the right, you'll see a session facilitator leaning against the glass of the presentation room during his session with aspiring principals:

Monday, April 13, 2015

Turns Out Cyprus Really Was Too Sweet

Regular readers of the blog, and any visitors to the Roediger House, are well acquainted with Cyprus. She is sweet, precious, loving, gentle, and sleepy. She loves women, especially, and poses a modest threat to any who get close enough to her for a kiss to be attempted.

In recent months, this sweet girl of the house has ballooned to over 80 pounds. She turned into quite the porker, as some of the following pictures might attest:

I've been between vets the last few months and I'd let her thyroid medication run out. Between the weight and a terrible infection in one eye that she contracted, I was propelled to action on a Friday when I was off the road and got her in to see a new doc.

The eye infection was termed "idiopathic" and was cleared up with drops, although it's left her with a ghost eye and limited vision. Once she started again on the thyroid medicine, though, she underwent a tremendous period of weight loss. In less than two months, she shed nearly 20 pounds. She was listless, eating only a little bit every two or three days, and she'd become quite weak. I've been carrying her on the stairs and lifting her up into the truck. Another vet visit was called for.

There's now a new diagnosis, after some tests were run: Cyprus is diabetic. From now on, she'll need insulin shots morning and night:

Update: after almost a full week, Cyprus has really rebounded. She's got her appetite back (and how!), she's got more energy, she's returned to her loving personality, and I'd say she's going to be just fine. In fact, I'd say she's almost ready for her learner's permit:

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Meal No. 1255: Grilled Shoulder Lamb Chops

It was one of those rare occasions where I forgot to photograph the dinner, but this evening the beautiful weather compelled me to grill. Featured on the plates: shoulder lamb chops, baked sweet potatoes, and steamed broccoli. Another fine meal here at the RoHo!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Meal No. 1254: Shrimp Po'Boys

It was all good, but the shrimp was especially amazing tonight.

There was still enough blue cheese coleslaw from earlier in the week to contribute to how these po'boys were dressed.

"Shrimp Po'Boy," in Bon Appétit, June 2011, p. 118-119.

"Rémoulade," online at

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