Saturday, October 31, 2015

Meal No. 1405: Deviled Beef Short Ribs for a Birthday Dinner

The regulars of the Roediger House know that I welcome the opportunity to make a special birthday dinner for them, should they want me to. Last Sunday night, the requested meal included deviled beef short ribs:

...and macaroni and cheese:

...and a common holiday dish that I learned about from my sister, which we call layered green bean casserole:

There were seven of us and we took this meal in the dining room, which is such a lovely space and it's used much too seldom. It was a great evening, and the food was more than decent, and we happily gorged on the evening's dessert options (more on that in a later blog post).

"Deviled Beef Short Ribs," by Jeremy Sauer. In Cook's Country, April/May 2014, p. 12-13.

"Best Potluck Macaroni and Cheese," by Cali Rich and published in Cook's Country, April/May 2007, p. 11.

"Layered Green Bean Casserole," from my sister Allison in Rossville, Indiana.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Meal No. 1404: Hamburger Supreme

With a week on the road ahead of me, and an unused chub of ground beef in the fridge, I slipped into an easy meal last Saturday night: hamburger supreme. This favorite of the Jones clan came to us thanks to my oldest sibling's first mother-in-law, back in the early 1970s in Buies Creek. Its perfect companion on the plate tends to be a big pile of buttered corn. There was no room for dessert once this meal was concluded.

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

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Double Chocolate Liqueur Ice Cream

While I was on a crazy dessert-making warpath during the middle of October, I tried out another new ice cream recipe. This one was an almost satanically chocolate concoction known as double chocolate liqueur ice cream, and it comes at you with a dark intensity that makes you believe you just might discover what truly lives within the earth's dense and molten core.

You gotta have a crazy-mad obsession with chocolate for this one not to knock you on your ass. And it was incredibly delicious. The link is below. Don't miss this opportunity.

"Double Chocolate Liqueur Ice Cream," by Kita Roberts. From her Pass the Sushi blog.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Meal No. 1403: Whole-Roasted Chicken

This past Thursday, I had a whole chicken that was begging to be turned into a great meal but it proved to be a bigger bird than I was planning on. So after two hours of roasting it was still not quite done so I had to debone it and finish it in the microwave. That's just really unfortunate, but guests were waiting and the other dishes were past ready. I did at least get to use sage, basil, and rosemary from my herb garden, before winter knocks them down.

Those sides included sweet corn and Brussels sprouts gratin. This was not one of my best meals, but the dessert options made us all happy.

"Herb-Roasted Whole Chicken with Savory Pan Gravy," in Tupelo Honey Cafe: Spirited Recipes from Asheville's New South Kitchen, by Elizabeth Sims with Chef Brian Sonoskus. Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC (2011), p. 136-137.

"Brussels Sprout Gratin," by Morgan Bolling. In Cook's Country, October/November 2015, p. 22.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Cinnamon Roll Cap'n Crunch Cookies

It's not much of a mystery to the regular readers of the blog that I am fond of a cookie recipe that depends on Cap'n Crunch cereal as a prime ingredient. With the fun new flavors they've come out with over the last year or so, it's really increased the appeal of these treats. I'm guilty of making them with tremendous frequency.

One of those special (and, for me, hard to find) flavors is Cinnamon Roll Crunch. I have yet to locate it in any stores in Winston-Salem or Greensboro. The boxes I have were obtained from some Kroger stores in Virginia Beach. I pretty regularly pop into markets when I'm out of town because you never know what you might turn up!

This is one of those awesome finds.

Anyway, last Sunday night, after using Cinnamon Roll Crunch with French toast that morning, it got in my head that it might be time to make a batch of cookies with this sweet cinnamony cereal as well. I'd also stumbled across some pricey Irish butter that was nearing its expiration date, and the double-batch of these cookies uses a total of four and a half sticks (!).

So: Cinnamon Roll Cap'n Crunch Cookies, with enough to take to share with folks when I was doing a training at the beginning of the week.

"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.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Meal No. 1402: One-Pan Pork Tenderloin with Green Beans and Potatoes

With a dinner party for some good friends on my agenda last Wednesday night, it seemed to be a good time to put on trial a tempting recipe in the latest issue of Cook's Country. This was designed to be a weeknight-friendly feast that possessed the virtue of being splendid and reasonably easy. It succeeded on both fronts.

This is how it cooks (pre-oven photo)

Ready to Serve!

"One-Pan Pork Tenderloin with Green Beans and Potatoes," by Christie Morrison. In Cook's Country, October/November 2015, p. 27.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Vanilla-Rum Walnut Crumble Ice Cream

Here's another successful new ice cream adventure here at the Roediger House: vanilla-rum walnut crumble ice cream. I made this recently when I had a rare day off, and it went exceptionally well with the epic rainbow cake I also made that day. They both served as great dessert options for the next several days!

Based on "Vanilla-Bourbon Walnut Crumble Ice Cream," by Cristine Sciarra. Published on

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Another Gorgeous Night for Food Truck Friday

The convenience of Food Truck Fridays, right behind the house, make it all too easy to just grab the Friday night meal from there. I could only imagine that last week's beautiful Friday evening represented the last of those gorgeous weather days. But then yesterday turned out to also be awesome, and also Food Freaks made one of its rare appearances with their fantastic stuffed burgers.

I'm glad I was first in line when they opened just after 6 pm, because there were already about 15 people in the line behind me. I got the Elvis. You can imagine what a remarkable combination of ingredients found their way into that one.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Meal No. 1401: Navajo Frybread and Tacos

It's only been about a month since I last made these, but they're too darned good. It's what I decided to whip up this past Monday night. Leftover meat aplenty, but I'll find a use for it.

"Indian Frybread and Indian Tacos" and "Crispy Beef Tacos," by Hilah Johnson. From

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Epic Rainbow Cake

That's quite a cake I made recently, six layers and a fancy meringue buttercream.

A couple of years ago, when I was feeling adventurous and up to a great cake challenge, I followed a recipe called "Epic Rainbow Cake" and even experimented with the Swiss meringue buttercream frosting that was recommended for it. I had some missteps in that first trial but it was still pretty remarkable. I've been wanting to give it another go. With the weather starting out yucky on a recent Friday, and having my first day off in weeks, it seemed like a good time.

It isn't a small undertaking, as cakes go, but it's fun. And the cake itself really is exceptionally good. This time around, I decided to make only a single batch of Italian meringue buttercream for the outer frosting, and I went the simpler route of making a cream cheese frosting to slather between the layers.

The cake was second attempt was a great improvement over the last version. I served it up with a side of another new ice cream that I also made that day. I'll blog about that later.

"Say It With Cake: Super Epic Rainbow Cake," and "How To Make Italian Meringue Buttercream," from the Whisk Kid blog.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

It Might As Well Be Winter Now

All right, all you lovers of winter and cold weather. You've gotten your wish, early, prematurely, much much before I am at all ready for it. It is only the 21st of October, and already my old man's hands have begun to crack and bleed.

Spring cannot get here fast enough.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Teaching with the House in View

Back in April, I posted about a rare opportunity in my worklife. Given that my consulting work in education regularly takes me up into Virginia or as far away as Los Angeles, I'm always glad when I can work locally. It's hard to get more local than how I'm starting this week:  sessions in instructional leadership for middle school principals in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County, and we're doing this right across the street from the house in the new 751 W. Fourth Street Building.

You can safely assume I walked home and had myself a nice lunch on Monday. And the group was fantastic: I really enjoyed my time with them.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Meal No. 1400: Garlic-Crusted Roasted Rack of Lamb

Last night, it was the occasion of the 1,400th meal I've made since adding the new kitchen to the Roediger House in 2009.

Without intentionally planning to mark it in a special way, I still managed to whip up a pretty special meal: garlic-crusted roasted rack of lamb, with a madeira and stilton sauce that seems the perfect compliment to that rare roasted rack.

It's been a ridiculously long time since I've made this. Wonder if it's because I'm not over the last attempt at it, when my grill burned up on me?

The dessert plate was also rather obnoxious.

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

"Madeira & Stilton Sauce," from More Than Gourmet recipe collection online.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Meal No. 1399: Doctor Who Church Brunch

Since I'm not having to travel out of town today, it was easier to put together a brunch meal before getting our Who crew around the TV to watch the latest episode in the new season of Doctor Who. We refer to this as "Who Church," and I like to feed folks before we head upstairs for the viewing.

Today's menu: Cinnamon Roll Cap'n Crunch-crusted challah French toast, along with crisp bacon, and topped with a savory sweet sour cream sauce. I even had Bailey's Irish Cream in my coffee this morning, because that's the kind of good time that this was.

"French Toast," from King Arthur Flour online.

"Crunchy French Toast," by Nick Iverson. In Cook's Country, April/May 2013, p. 14-15.

"Sour Cream Sauce," from Southern Living, February 2010. Recipe clipping.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Meal No. 1398: Grilled Filet Mignon

As I make this slow, long goodbye to summer, I keep expecting the last pretty day to be the last pretty day. And I take inspiration from it, like the urge tonight to grill steaks because I feel the oppressive promise of impending winter upon me. And I am not happy about it.

But I sure was happy with my steak tonight.

Friday, October 16, 2015

One Final Food Truck Friday for 2015?

Today was another gorgeous fall day, although it did not start out that way. It was cloudy and a little rainy and pretty chilly. But by early afternoon, the sun had come out and the temps warmed nicely.

I am guessing the Food Truck Fridays are going to be wrapping up by the end of the month, so I could not turn down at least one more venture to see what might be had for supper. I was drawn back to the Camel City Grill peanut butter bacon and jelly burger, which was good yet again.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Meal No. 1397: Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

My Thursday night meal was the improved version of a pretty standard dish: poppy seed chicken casserole. This was first introduced to me by my sister Allison, who knew it as 'Bama chicken. I ended up making it a bit soupy tonight, but it sure was good nonetheless.

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

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Excursion to Camel City BBQ Factory

As regular readers of the blog are aware, just about any night I'm in town, I'm cooking dinner. And regularly there will be a contingent of folks at the table. On this delightful Wednesday evening, after a good but long day of work in a middle school, a small crew of us ventured out to partake of a new offering here in downtown Winston-Salem.

[Image from Camel City Nightlife Blog]

A new restaurant has opened up on the northeast end of downtown: the Camel City BBQ Factory. We decided this very pleasant sunny evening called for the stroll up to the intersection of 7th and Liberty. We were disappointed to find that Black Mountain Chocolate had closed at 7 pm, though. Along the walk, I ran into a former Wake Forest colleague from 1989-1990, who was enjoying a sidewalk beer at Rec Billiards; a delightful friend who works down at Willow's Bistro; and some of the guys who were on the crew that finished out the attic, as they enjoyed beers and smokes in front of Foothills Brewing around the corner from the house.

Gosh. I just don't do this enough. I love downtown. I live right here in the heart of it. But I've really fallen out of the habit of taking advantage of all the local attractions.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Meal No. 1396: Kung Pao Chicken

I can't believe it's been nearly a year since I made this particular recipe from a terrific wok cookbook: kung pao chicken. It's not anything like what you might get in Chinese restaurants but rest assured that it is exceptionally delicious. Tonight it was nice to rediscover how good it is.

"Kung Pao [Chicken]" (p. 80) with Szechwan Marinade (p. 28) and Spicy Peanut Stir-Fry Sauce (p. 27). In Wok Fast, by Hugh Carpenter and Teri Sandison. Ten Speed Press (Berkeley/Toronto), 2002.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Meal No. 1395: Grilled Blackened Tuna

After a gorgeous warm and sunny fall day, I felt like doing some more grilling. I picked up tuna steaks, tossed some blackening seasoning on them, cooked up some pearl couscous, and added some rough-looking sugar snap peas. I topped it all off with a delicious sherry-and-shallot cream sauce with a touch of creole seasoning. I couldn't finish it all!

"Sherry Cream Sauce," from

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Meal No. 1394: Grilled Porterhouse Steaks

It seems like a good bet that this weekend could have been the last one of the season with pleasant temps that make grilling an easy choice. So finding porterhouse steaks on sale at the Harris Teeter, and Russet potatoes as well, proved too much of a temptation to resist.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Meal No. 1393: Ultimate Cream of Tomato Soup

I'm sick. A slight cold, but enough to slow me down and to make my appetites limited to foods that bring comfort. Tonight that led me to make a delicious piping hot pot of ultimate cream of tomato soup, along with grilled cheese paninis. It was pretty close to perfect.

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

Friday, October 9, 2015

Saved By a Fave: Food Truck Fridays

After two full weeks of working in Virginia, with only a brief weekend respite in between, it was especially taxing to try to make it home from Woodstock, VA, this afternoon with I-81 completely tied in knots by multiple wrecks. I attempted a detour down the west side of the Shenandoah Valley but found it did not allow me to bypass the next traffic shut-down around Weyer's Cave. My GPS eventually routed me all the way over to The Grottoes and then down through Waynesboro so that I had to pick up VA 151 and then US 29 down through Danville and to Greensboro. That meant it was an almost five-and-a-half hour drive for what normally should have taken around four hours.

Glad that Food Truck Friday was still happening in the lot behind the house, and I sauntered up to Camel City Grill and got me a peanut butter bacon and red pepper jelly burger for my supper. It sure was tasty.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Palmetto's Pricey Pimento Cheese

My college friend, the late Roni Harbert, introduced me to her discovery of a very delicious local pimento cheese: Palmetto Cheese. It's available at the local grocer's and I also had some success buying it at Costco. But having to pay $4.99 four years ago was sufficiently steep that I found a recipe that I could modify and then create a pretty decent homemade version.

Recently, when I passed by the refrigerated case near the front of my usual Harris Teeter, I saw that a 12-ounce tub of Palmetto Cheese is now a staggering $6.49.

Thanks, but no thanks. It's good, but it ain't gold. I'll continue to make my own version.

"South Carolina-Style Pimento Cheese." Recipe worked out by me, based on Sharon's Palmetto Pimento Cheese.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

October Azaleas

Before I left town this past Sunday, I happened to notice the huge burst of color from my "blooming again" azaleas along the driveway. All this wet dreary weather had me sequestered inside; else I might have missed it altogether. It's pretty cool to see how bursting with color they were this year, which is a huge improvement over the last few.

Cyprus enjoyed getting out of the house a bit, too, and going on one of her sniffaris through the now-thick-and-rainsoaked grass. In this photo, you can see pretty clearly how ghosted her eye is, now that she has become sightless:

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Goings and Comings...Out, That Is

I was sorry to find that this majestic praying mantis was quite dead on the porch, but I hope she had a chance to rip the head off of an eager lover before fate did her in:

And I celebrate the coming out of my recently-noted least I'm assuming it was the same fella given the proximity of this shell to where I found him settling in one recent summer afternoon:

Monday, October 5, 2015

Meal No. 1392: 2 x 2 Soup

After the cold, rainy, blustery weather of the weekend, as Hurricane Joaquin headed up the east coast, I found myself drawn to my cousin Betsy's specialty soup, which she calls Two-By-Two Soup. It's hearty, filling, full of flavor, and a real favorite around here. This was the Sunday afternoon meal just before I departed for another full week of travels.

"2 x 2 Soup," from various sources.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Meal No. 1391: Roasted Spice-Rubbed Turkey Tenderloins

The Saturday night meal at the Roediger House was a return to these delicious spice-rubbed turkey tenderloins, but the nasty weather outside led me to roast them in the oven instead of grill them this time. I adjusted by putting them in a 425°F oven for about 30 minutes, and then let them rest for 15.

Alongside, baked sweet potatoes and sugar snap peas. That turkey was tender and tasty!

"Spice-Rubbed Grilled Turkey Tenderloins," from Southern Living, March 2009.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Meal No. 1390: Patty Melts

I drove in last night in the combination of a nor'easter heading up the coast and the offshore antics of Hurricane Joaquin, following a full and intense (but quite good!) week of training up in Frederick County, Virginia. I did swing off at the Lowe's Foods in Walkertown to grab some groceries so I could whip up dinner once I finished my 5-hour drive home.

What resulted was delicious sourdough patty melts with special classic diner burger sauce. I was a little surprised to realize I had not made these in nearly a year! I think I was overdoing them and that's why I had to get away from them for a while. And I was a bit out of practice because I made the patties a wee bit small for the buttered-and-griddled widepan sourdough loaf slices.

Yesterday also represented the 12-year anniversary of my purchase of the Roediger House, by the way. I am so glad I bought this great old house and I absolutely love the home it has become.

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.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Meal No. 1389: Hamburger Supreme

Last Sunday afternoon, before I hit the road, I needed to make something for a late lunch. The easy selection was our family favorite: hamburger supreme.

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