Sunday, July 31, 2016

Meal No. 1601: Shrimp Po'Boys

It was a hot summer Sunday night at the Roediger House and I still managed to make the kitchen hotter with a grand deep fry endeavor. Tonight it was shrimp po'boys and hushpuppies for the four of us, and we did our darnedest to scarf it all down.

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

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

"Southern Style Hush Puppies," by Elaine Bovender. Posted on JustAPinch Recipes.

Partial help for making easy coleslaw from "Nana's Southern Coleslaw," from Kristina on

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Sweet (and Sour) Sixteen Hundred

Since the completion of the kitchen addition to the Roediger House in 2009, I have now made 1,600 meals in this great space. Not all different meals, of course, but a total of one-thousand six-hundred breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. You're ever so glad they're all documented right here (except, as of this writing, a handful of the first dozen), aren't you?

For this milestone of sorts, I tried for the second time a recipe that came to me this summer: sweet and sour chicken. It was not as bready as the previous occasion, but it sure was delicious. I like the result, even though the process is a bit involved and messy.

"Sweet-and-Sour Chicken," by Diane Unger. In Cook's Country, June/July 2016, p. 19.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Meal No. 1599: Moroccan-Spiced Chicken Thighs

It is that great time of the summer when I get to enjoy a couple of days with my sister and nephew as they travel from Indiana down to the beaches of North Carolina for the coming week. Eli and I have played many fierce games of pool, and the crew of us also braved the dreadful heat and humidity to venture out to Bib's for lunch and over to Mast General Store for the barrels of old-fashioned candy. Along the way, Eli was happy to progress in Pokemon Go, while he was at it.

Last night's late supper was baked Moroccan-spiced chicken thighs. Since Eli likes corn, I made more but this time turned it into Southern creamed corn, and that seemed to go over well. Also, to please all palates (including mine!), I enjoyed putting together another batch of the potluck macaroni and cheese, even though it had just been on the menu earlier in the week. Don't believe there were any complaints!

"Southern Creamed Corn," by Patrick and Gina Neely of the Food Network.

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

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Meal No. 1598: Grilled Pork Kebabs

Finally, stormy summer weather came through Winston-Salem last night, cooling things down a bit and giving us some much-needed rain. I was so glad for the precipitation that I did not fret about having to step outside to grill the Wednesday evening dinner of pork kebabs. It made sense to bring back out the rest of the homemade barbecue sauce from the previous evening's dinner, and homemade mashed potatoes and buttered corn rounded out the plate.

"Grilled Pork Kebabs with Barbecue Glaze," an online extra from Cook's Illustrated and based on "The Best Way to Grill Pork Tenderloin," Issue No. 134, May & June 2015, p. 6.

"Virginia Pruitt's Perfect Barbecue Sauce," by Fred Thompson of Grillin' with Gas. Recipe found on

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Meal No. 1597: Grilled Beef Short Ribs

The heatwave of late July is continuing, and this has curtailed many outdoor adventures and made staying indoors an enticing option. But I ventured out last night in order to grill a rare item here at the Roediger House: beef short ribs.

Oh, they were delicious! And they were made all the better by a simple homemade barbecue sauce. Then, too, it didn't hurt to have a super-cheesy casserole of macaroni and cheese and hot buttered early peas to go with it all.

Cooking Guidance from "Boneless Beef Short Ribs," from Rusty of the blog.

"Southern Succor Pork Rub." In Smoke & Spice, by Cheryl and Bill Jamison. Boston: The Harvard Common Press (2003), p. 27.

"Virginia Pruitt's Perfect Barbecue Sauce," by Fred Thompson of Grillin' with Gas. Recipe found on

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

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Meal No. 1596: New Year's Day Meatballs

The Monday night meal for six at the Roediger House was a specially requested menu, which I was happy to fulfill: New Year's Day meatballs, company mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole. Our plates were filled and quickly emptied, and some returned to the buffet for a second go at the goodness there.

Over the years, as friendships have developed and flourished in this happy homestead, evenings like last night remind me how fortunate I really am.

And hey: I have to give credit to my sister Allison, as the source of all the recipes used for this dinner.

"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).

Monday, July 25, 2016

Meal No. 1595: Moroccan Bistro Chicken

When the grocery store did not have the items I was hoping for on my Sunday afternoon shopping trip, I had to punt and turn to a house favorite for last night's dinner for five: Brendan's Moroccan bistro chicken. (That's my name for this concoction, in honor of the former middle school student who first made it on a visit back to see him and his folks in Raleigh.) I tend to make it two or three times a year, but this is the first time in 2016.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Barbara Matthews's Classic Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

With such a good crowd on hand for Friday night's movie night, a churning of homemade ice cream was called for. I turned to the recipe I got from Barbara Matthews several years ago, and it sure was good. Pictured above is a dish I served up the next day, after the small amount remaining had time to set up in the freezer a while.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Meal No. 1594: Pipetizer Casserole for a Crowd

For last night's movie night, I tried to scrounge up some grub both for house guests from Oklahoma and for a few early arrivers for the evening's screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark. I regret that the casserole fell short of the appetites, though, and I'm hoping the dessert (to be blogged about tomorrow) helped alleviate any lingering hunger.

"Pipetizer Casserole" is an adaptation of "Tailgate Casserole," from The Big Book of Casseroles, by Maryana Vollstedt. San Francisco: Chronicle Books (2000), p. 120.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Movie Night 2016 #4: Raiders of the Lost Ark

On a hot and sultry July Friday night, the Roediger Theatre season continued with a great cadre of guests and a showing of the original Indiana Jones movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark. Since the last attempt at a movie night, I've upgraded both the movie screen and the projector and was mostly pleased with the improvement in the projection...but there will still be additional adjustments to be made.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Hopeful About Hummingbirds

When I was out in the rural landscape in the Green Country of eastern Oklahoma last week, the hummingbirds were busy and numerous. At one point, as accurately as I could (given how fast they dart about), I counted 13 of them in the vicinity of the feeders on the front porch.

Downtown living doesn't lend itself to the preferences of hummingbirds, so I've never gotten around to putting up a feeder. I was been buzzed by one while working in the yard, a year or so ago. It's a Catch-22, though: if I don't put up a feeder, they won't have as much incentive to come 'round. But I've not put up a feeder because I never see them.

I was inspired by the marvel that they are and laid down four bucks at Wal-Mart so I could try out a feeder, and I put it up on Monday before heading out of town. I will be watching it with great anticipation!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Salted Caramel Butterscotch Blondies

A week ago, I tried out an amazing new recipe for salted caramel butterscotch blondies. They tasted great but I'm not sure about the recipe's recommendations on pan size: there was not nearly enough batter to fill a 9x13 pan. Yesterday, I decided to try it again but in a 9x9 pan instead. They were still great, but it was tricky to figure out how long to adjust the cooking time.

I know now that this is too small a pan, and I think the middle was too gooey but still scrumptious. I'll just have to make 'em again and try to get closer to the mark.

"Salted Caramel Butterscotch Blondies," from Maria & Josh of the Two Peas & Their Pod blog.

"Salted Caramel Sauce," from Maria & Josh of the Two Peas & Their Pod blog.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Caramel Popcorn Crunch Cookies for Mission Possible Retreat

When I join the Mission Possible team for this week's retreats up in Asheville, I'm coming armed...with caramel popcorn Cap'n Crunch cookies. I hope they like 'em.

"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, July 18, 2016

Meal No. 1593: Country-Fried Steak with Gravy

On this sultry, humid, and nearly-full-mooned Monday night at the Roediger House, the menu was a simple country meal: country-fried steak with gravy and mashed potatoes. Yum. Best I can tell from the blog, I've only tried this dish once before, using a different recipe, a little over a year ago.

"Country-Fried Steak," from Ree Drummond and her blog, The Pioneer Woman.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Meal No. 1592: Chicken Spaghetti

After a great week with the in-laws in Oklahoma, it was good to return home yesterday (drove straight through, all 1007 miles!). Today I took it easy with unpacking and laundry and email, but I still wanted to make a dinner. It ended up being four of us at the table, and I tried a new recipe from Ree Drummond. (My father-in-law digs her cookbooks and I found some recipes when I had a chance to look through them.) We all thought it was mighty good.

"Chicken Spaghetti," from Ree Drummond. From The Pioneer Woman blog.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

"Is This a Rooming House?"

No, brother. No, it's not.

I was kind of hoping that the No Trespassing plaque I installed might help you realize the answer to that question before you rang the doorbell and knocked on the window, bringing me all the way down from the third floor to tell you something I ought not to have had to tell you.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Salted Caramel Butterscotch Blondies

I have plenty of cooking magazines and cookbooks and a ton of recipes that have been given to me and several tons that I have already found and printed off the marvelous interwebs. I keep telling myself to stop finding new ones until I make a bigger dent in the ones I've already accumulated.

And then I came across a reference to a link to another recipe that cited as its source the salted caramel sauce which now sits gorgeously in a Ball jar in the fridge. I made that stuff. It is phenomenal. AND I'll have enough to be able to try out several different recipes that it can contribute to.

That's what happened last Friday night, when I used about a quarter cup of this to serve as a middle layer to salted caramel butterscotch blondies. More of it got drizzled on top when I served up the blondies squares, and I was rewarded by the moans and soft squeals of delight from the gathered assemblage.

"Salted Caramel Butterscotch Blondies," from Maria & Josh of the Two Peas & Their Pod blog.

"Salted Caramel Sauce," from Maria & Josh of the Two Peas & Their Pod blog.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Meal No. 1591: Indiana Chicken and Corn Chowder

It was my hope that this past Friday night could be a movie night, but the storms of summer had other ideas, and so the evening was reduced to five for dinner. I kept it simple: Indiana Corn and Potato Chowder, to which I added a heap of diced rotisserie chicken. The evening turned into a great impromptu casual party with all the action taking place in the kitchen instead of up on the third floor.

"Indiana Corn and Potato Chowder," by Brannon Soileau of Maize, An American Grill (formerly of Lafayette, IN). In Indiana Cooks!, by Christine Barbour and Scott Feickert with photographs by Tom Stio. Bloomington, IN: Quarry Books (2005), p. 64-65. Recipe originally shared with me by my sister Allison on December 31, 2006. You can find this, and quite a few other Indiana recipes, if you scroll to the bottom of this article: "Indiana Can Cook."

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Chocolate Meringue Pie

If you head on Highway 50 out of Benson, NC, past where Interstates 95 and 40 intersect, you come to the community of Meadow with its very best feature: the Meadow Restaurant. (Some would argue that the Meadow Lights, at Christmastime, are the area's star attraction, but I disagree.) This was a favorite stop (and regularly a destination!) for my family before time and events scattered us about, back when my mother was still living. All-you-can-eat delicious country-cooking and freakin' awesome desserts, especially the chocolate meringue pie.

That's what I wanted to make for dessert last Thursday night...and it's probably the first time I've made it in over a decade. We all seemed to think it was pretty good, so maybe it won't be such a stranger around here from now on.

"Chocolate Meringue Pie," based on a classic and common recipe.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Meal No. 1590: Grilled Molasses-Mustard Glazed Pork Chops

On a stormy and rainy Thursday summer evening, I managed to choose and shop for a recipe that required me to be outside grilling. I've followed it in the past at least to grill the pork chops, but only one other time have I also made the cooked apples and apple butter that are also part of this recipe.

I think the crew that night was okay with how things turned out. Baked sweet potatoes and lima beans were on the menu as well.

"Molasses-Mustard Glazed Pork Chops," adapted by Nick Kindelsperger from Bobby Flay's Grill It! Found online at

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Meal No. 1589: Coq au Vin

Once again, by reaching back in the archives, I found a recipe worth trying this past Wednesday night. And boy howdy, was it ever worth it. The meal that night was the classic French dish, coq au vin. This version of it isn't completely classic: I certainly didn't use a whole rooster, for instance. And one shortcut that didn't seem to hurt the final result was using skinless boneless chicken thighs, to save a bit of time.

Served over rice as a one-bowl dinner, it was quite something. It was a simple and small weeknight meal but I think this could be an impressive feast for guests some night!

"Modern Coq au Vin," by Sandra Wu. In Cook's Illustrated, Number Eighty-Three (November & December, 2006), p. 18-19.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Meal No. 1588: World's Greatest Lasagna

Tuesday night's gathering of five around the Roediger House dinner table was another great and fun affair, supplemented by the fact that there was a pan of delicious lasagna for us to fall face-first into. A big bowl of Caesar salad and piping hot buttered garlic bread made the dinner complete.

"World's Best Lasagna," by John Chandler (Dallas, TX). Found online at

Friday, July 8, 2016

Margaret Lasater's Apple Pie

On Independence Day, after those delicious baby back pork ribs, I served up a very American dessert: a wonderful streusel crumb-topped apple pie, from a recipe credited to Margaret Lasater. Two of the most wonderful gentle good souls in the church where I grew up were Gene and Lucy Lasater. Margaret was the wife of Gene's cousin Dick, and another amazing Buies Creek denizen named Mary-Margaret McKnight shared this recipe with me back in 2000. It is a sweet concoction, as it should be. It's pie. Pie should be sweet. I probably should've bulked it up with more fresh sliced apples, but that would mess up the apples-to-sugar ratio, and why would I want to do that?

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Meal No. 1587: Honey-Glazed Baby Back Pork Ribs

On the Fourth of July, it seemed appropriate to reach back into the archives for a baby back pork ribs recipe. I came across one that I think I might have actually made once before, back in 2010, before I was consistently trying to cite where the recipes I made came from.

Dinner on Monday night: honey-glazed baby back pork ribs with a whiskey marinade (and a dipping sauce that I ended up not using...I didn't care for it). It's a Thai-inspired take on ribs and they were flavorful and tender, so much so that I ended up eating seven ribs, which was more than my share.

On the side, the macaroni and cheese casserole that's my attempt to make a reasonable-sized portion of that cheesy pasta goodness. I didn't futz around with any green vegetables on that night.

"Honey-Glazed Baby Back Ribs with Whiskey Marinade," from Chef Andy Ricker of Pok Pok (Portland, OR). In Food and Wine, June 2009, p. 124-125.

"Macaroni and Cheese Casserole," by Sarah Gabriel. In Cook's Country, June/July 2012, p. 17.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Meal No. 1586: Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

Wow. On Sunday night, I tried for the first time a recipe for deep dish pizza, from a 2010 issue of Cook's Illustrated, that really was fantastic. The crust was buttery and flaky, the homemade pizza sauce was just perfect, and it had a nice balance of cheese. Two pieces of this, and I was done, but it was oh-so-good.

"Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza," by Francisco J. Robert. In Cook's Illustrated, Number 102 (January & February, 2010), p. 14-15.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Butter Toffee Cookies!

Years ago, a King Arthur Flour catalog came to the house and in it was a recipe for butter toffee cookies. As is often the case with the recipes they showcase, there were a couple of special ingredients that needed to be ordered. I took the bait, whipped these up, and they've been one of my favorite cookies for years. Say hello to the Fourth of July batch of Butter Toffee Cookies, stuffed with pecan pieces, milk chocolate-toffee bits, and cappuccino morsels, along with butter rum flavoring. They are hard to beat! So why in the world haven't I made a batch since 2013?!

"Butter Toffee Cookies," originally from King Arthur Flour. The catalog that comes periodically from KAF has recipes in it, which is where I originally got this. But, as sometimes happens, it is not available on their website. I'm glad someone posted it to

Monday, July 4, 2016

Meal No. 1585: Creamy Pasta with Asparagus, Crispy Prosciutto, and Parmesan

Almost five years ago, I made this very dish for the first and only other time: creamy pasta with asparagus, parmesan, and crispy prosciutto. It was good all those years ago, and it was good this past Saturday night while I watched the final episode in the latest season of the BBC's Luther.

Also, on this fine Fourth of July, I awakened after another night of storms and heavy downpours, and today's forecast sure does appear to be rocky.

"Creamy Pasta with Asparagus, Parmesan, and Crispy Prosciutto," from 30-Minute Supper Recipe Cards found in the October/November 2007 issue of Cook's Country.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Meal No. 1584: Indoor Pulled Pork Barbecue

This past Friday night was supposed to be an outdoor movie night...but as the blog post from that day explains, we encountered some technical difficulties with the projector, and then the house still got hit by a pretty heavy downpour during prime movie night hours.

There's a long-time core group that seems to willingly report a little earlier for a bit of grub, before the evening's film and if I can get it all put together, and Friday night the menu included indoor pulled pork barbecue, blue cheese coleslaw, and eggy potato salad. I also had creamy stuffed eggs and homemade pimento cheese to go with it all. We chowed down.

Also, let me note that this stormy pattern is persisting. This is the storm that passed through last night, waking me up at around 1:30 am:

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

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

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

"Eggy Potato Salad with Pickles," by Jenny Rosenstratch and Andy Ward. In Bon Appétit, May 2012, p. 36.

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

Chow Hound's Tips: How to Make the Perfect Hard-Boiled Egg, by Margo True of Sunset Magazine.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Celebrating Allison M. Jones

The wonderful woman who raised me was born on this day 90 years ago, and so she is even more on my mind on this summer Saturday. In the picture above, we believe she was 16 years old. A kind, calm woman, with a heck of a head on her shoulders, widowed at age 55 with one child headed off for her freshman year in college and a high schooler still at home, she kept food on the table and put us through college and hosted us at holidays and gave us great beach vacations. More than anything, I miss my weekend trips back home, when it was just the two of us for coffee in the mornings and grilled steaks at night and sitting around talking or working together in the yard or running errands. She only got to visit the Roediger House two or three times, just in the first year I owned it, because the devastating car wreck that incapacitated her occurred in September 2004. She left this world in January 2011.

To Mother, on her birthday.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Movie Night #3: Technical Difficulties...Please Stand By

The first day of July began cloudy and humid, after a night of storms and heavy rains, but by mid-day it had turned sunny and warm. I had held out hope that the forecast posted earlier in the week would hold up and that we'd all be able to enjoy another movie night tonight. The skies looked clear but it was humid and still warm as heck! By the time all the set-up was completed, I was pretty much sweated through.

The selection for tonight: the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory from 1971. It's such a fun film, but of course my brain had completely blocked out that it had singing numbers in it, which I can do without, thank you very much.

We were all settled in, some pre-movie tunes were playing from the iPod, and the crowd on hand patiently waited while I fired up the projector. And we waited. And we waited. And, finally, the "projector bulb" warning light appeared. Uh oh!

Look: I bought that projector back in 2007 and it's been great. I've taken it on the road a few times for conference presentations but it's pretty much just been an outdoor home theatre device otherwise. To me, even though it's not been used for 3000 hours (or whatever the promise is), I'd say nearly a decade of service is a fine testament to it.

And thank goodness the third floor/attic rehab created a great TV-watching area, because the 10 of us trooped right on up there and watched the movie in that cool comfort. And before we got all the way through it, a storm and downpour moved in. So the busted projector did us all a pretty huge favor, really!