Sunday, April 30, 2017

Meal No. 1811: Biscuits 'N Sausage Gravy

One of the treats of watching the school year wind down is seeing the openings begin to occur on what has been a blessedly busy and full work calendar. When I was enjoying this past Thursday off, it also created a nice opportunity to benefit from a long-overdue visit by Jen Martin during her lunch hour, both to catch up and so that she could meet Sumner.

Speaking of Sumner, he's not had long days at home alone in quite a while, and I don't think he handled it very well in his crate on Wednesday:

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Meal No. 1810: Pork Medallions with Dijon Mushroom Sauce

Hard labor not required, but delicious results nonetheless this past Wednesday night, when I went for one of my early favorite recipes from the Pillsbury Bake-Off contest: pan-seared pork medallions in an easy dijon mushroom cream sauce. To go with it, mashed potatoes were essential, and fresh-steamed perfectly-cooked broccoli slid into the final third of the plate.

"Pork Medallions with Dijon Mushroom Sauce," by Frank Hollands of Moorhead, Minnesota. Bake-Off Contest 37 (1996). Published in Pillsbury Classic Cookbooks' A Taste of the BAKE-OFF Issue from March 2001, p. 40-41.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Meal No. 1809: Baked Chicken Thighs

When mealtime arrived on Tuesday night, it seemed a good time for just a pile of comfort on a plate: baked chicken thighs, macaroni and cheese casserole, and fluffy biscuit-style hoecake. And it made for helpful leftovers the next day when I was working in a local middle school.

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

"Fluffy Southern-Style Hoecakes," by Erica of My Busy Bees and Me. Recipe first encountered through her YouTube video.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Party Ham Biscuits for Northwest Middle School

When it turned out that Sunday night's birthday bash up on the third floor did not require any additional foods and goodies, I instead took the party ham biscuits I'd prepared, fresh and piping hot, for breakfast with the leadership team at Northwest Middle School on Tuesday. They seemed to find them worth eating.

"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.

"Spicy Horseradish Sauce," from The All-New Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook. Compiled and Edited by Julie Fisher Gunter. Birmingham, AL: Oxmoor Press (2006), p. 296.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Meal No. 1808: Indoor Pulled Pork Barbecue Birthday Bash

Last Sunday night, the Roediger House was the setting for a 40th birthday party mostly peopled with crew from Willow's Bistro. I was in charge of foodstuffs.

"Swiss and Bacon Dip" [not pictured], from Rachael Ray. Available online at the Food Network website.

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

"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.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Lemon Shortbread Cheesecake

It's a treat all by itself whenever Girl Scout cookie sales time rolls around, but thanks to a special section in Taste of Home magazine, one can also choose to make those cookies into some other delicious concoction. That's the idea behind lemon shortbread cheesecake, which employs shortbread/Trefoils in the crust and Lemonades cookies in the filling, with a homemade lemon curd on top. It's much requested around here and there is disappointment that it can only appear about once a year.  Except for this year, when here it is for a second time!

"Lemon Shortbread Cheesecake," by Rosalia Roger of Lincoln, Nebraska. Originally published in Taste of Home, February/March, 2016, p. 64-65.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Meal No. 1807: Not So Cajun Chicken

Requested as the featured entree for a 40th birthday meal, Saturday night's supper for five brought back yet again the most favorite Not So Cajun Chicken. Delicious grub!

"Not So Cajun Chicken," a dish I regularly enjoyed at Crowley's Old Time Favorites restaurant and bar on Medlin Drive in Raleigh, NC. Credit to Jimmy Randolph for helping track the recipe down. (Another version of the recipe can be found here.)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Meal No. 1806: Grilled Ribeyes and French Fries

Yet again, a very last-minute cancellation from a school freed me up on a gorgeous spring day this past Friday. I ran errands, weeded, and cut the grass for the third time this season. And it was the kind of night where steaks on the grill seemed to fit the bill, so the evening finished out with ribeyes and fries.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Meal No. 1805: Seared Tuna Steaks and Sauce à la Moutarde

Thursday's evening meal at the Roediger House was a balance between the simplicity of skillet-seared tuna steaks and the complexity of a rich, silky French mustard sauce, in addition to souped-up pearl couscous and a home-tossed Caesar salad. All that good food made an earlier bedtime a necessity.

"Sauce Bâtarde" and "Sauce à la Moutarde," from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck. 1961/1983/2001. [Seventeenth Printing, October 2009.] p. 64-66.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Meal No. 1804: Island Pork Tenderloin

For the evening meal this past Wednesday, I went with island pork tenderloin with a white wine cream sauce, as well as smashed sweet potatoes and buttered early peas. It was all pretty darned good.

"Island Pork Tenderloin" and "White Wine Cream Sauce," from Sherry's Cafe Vita. Found online.

"Smashed Sweet Potatoes" (p. 128) 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.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Meal No. 1803: Glorious Beef and Mushroom Stir-Fry

I'd held onto the incredibly tender beef tenderloin that I'd trimmed away for last Sunday night's meal, and I was intent on putting it to good use. On Tuesday night, that led me to go with glorious beef and mushroom stir-fry, with onion and asparagus added in for good measure.

"Glorious Beef with Mushrooms," in Wok Fast by Hugh Carpenter and Teri Sandison. Ten Speed Press, 2002, p. 87 (recipe) and p. 26-27 (marinade and sauce).

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Eastertide Atlantic Beach Pie

The famous Crook's Corner in Chapel Hill features a treat it calls "Atlantic Beach Pie," which takes me directly back decades into my childhood and the family's oceanside restaurant outings on the North Carolina coast. When an article in Our State magazine brought this recipe to my attention a few years ago, I was just a bit giddy over how remarkable this simple treat is. As key lime pie is to Florida, perhaps the same is true of Atlantic Beach pie for the coast of the Tarheel State...the recipes are incredibly similar but the difference isn't just lemon versus key lime: it's also the cracker crust we employ here (I prefer it with crushed Ritz) as opposed to one made from graham crackers. Anyway: the end of the incredible Easter night feast was this phenomenal pie, and it was Oh! so good.

"One Phenomenal Pie: Atlantic Beach Pie," from Chef Bill Smith. Published in Our State Magazine, May 2014. Also featured in "Found Recipes" on All Things Considered from National Public Radio, broadcast April 13, 2013.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Meal No. 1802: Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin for Easter Night

Sunday night was Easter, but it was also the time for our happy crew to watch the first episode of Series 10 of the BBC's Doctor Who.  The very special holiday meal for the four of us was a second go at slow-roasted beef tenderloin, which turned out just fabulous again.

To make it easier for us to focus on the show that night, I went with sides that could be left to cook without my constant attention. That led me to go with company mashed potatoes (even though we just had 'em a few nights ago) and layered green bean casserole. We were all pretty stuffed at meal's end, but that didn't stop us from launching face-first into that evening's dessert, which will be the focus of tomorrow's blog post.

"Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin," from J. Kenji López-Alt, Managing Culinary Director of

"Spicy Horseradish Sauce" from "Beef Tenderloin in Wine Sauce," from The All-New Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook. Compiled and Edited by Julie Fisher Gunter. Oxmoor Press (2006), p. 295, 296.

"Company Mashed Potatoes," a Jones family favorite.

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

Monday, April 17, 2017

Meal No. 1801: Slow-Roasted Leg of Lamb for Easter Eve

On the Saturday night of Easter weekend, I went for a nice and fancy-tending meal which featured a slow-roasted boneless leg of lamb. I tried out a new approach for this dish, which included butterflying the meat, sautéeing onion and garlic with aromatics in olive oil to spread on the inside, rolling it up and tying it tightly, and then slow-roasting in a low-heat oven before searing it in a hot oven at the tail-end of the process.

Brussels sprouts gratin and sweet potato casserole finished out the plate. The Pettit chocolate chess pie from the previous night was the dessert option, and no one declined it.

Saturday was also my inaugural spring sighting of the goldfinch couple, which always pleases me:

"Slow-Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb with Garlic and Rosemary," by J. Kenji López-Alt. From The Food Lab of

"Brussels Sprouts Gratin," by Alison Roman. From Cooking on

"Sweet Potato Casserole," based in part on Wanda Byerly's recipe, found in Cooking with Grace, by the Women's Fellowship of Grace Moravian Church, Mount Airy, NC (2001), p. 39.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Pettit Chocolate Chess Pie

Following the special treat of deviled beef short ribs for Meal No. 1800 this past Friday night, I also had a dessert on hand: the Pettit Chocolate Chess Pie. This terrific take on chess pie came to me from dear friends Pembroke and Deborah Pettit. Deborah retired not long ago as superintendent of Louisa County Schools...which is the area some people may remember as the epicenter of the 2011 earthquake that shook the region. This pie will also rock your world.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Meal No. 1800: Deviled Beef Short Ribs

Since the substantial completion of the project to demolish and then rebuild the kitchen on the back side of the Roediger House, there have now been 1,800 meals made in that new kitchen, as marked by the one this past Friday night. For the occasion, a much-loved and often-requested dish was served up: deviled beef short ribs. It seemed fitting to also have the favorite known as company mashed potatoes, a natural companion to this entree. The plate was finished out with fresh-cut steamed broccoli florets.

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

"Company Mashed Potatoes," a Jones family favorite.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Meal No. 1799: Barbecued Chicken

'Twas not a small meal on Thursday night, in fantastically gorgeous spring weather on the first night of the 2017 season for the Winston-Salem Dash baseball team. I grilled barbecued chicken thighs but also tried out a new recipe for fluffy hoecake biscuits that turned out pretty wonderfully amazing. Also, I had basic buttered mashed potatoes like we get in the southern restaurants back home in Harnett County, plus hot buttered corn. Wheweeeee.

From Bon Appétit, July 2013:

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

"Fluffy Southern-Style Hoecakes," by Erica of My Busy Bees and Me. Recipe first encountered through her YouTube video.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Meal No. 1798: Chicken Quesadillas

When dinnertime rolled around last night, it seemed good to bring out the hearty and delicious chicken quesadillas for the four of us at the table. There was a distinct and rewarding smacking of lips.

Preparation and cooking based on "Quesadillas for a Crowd," by Morgan Bolling. In Cook's Country, August/September 2015, p. 18.

"Fajita Seasoning Mix," from Adapted from "Fajita Seasoning Mix Recipe" on

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Meal No. 1797: Tahlequah Tacos

Last night, it was Tahlequah tacos like my father-in-law makes: crispy fried tortillas with a Kraft single, topped with homemade taco meat and onions and tomatoes and sour cream. Plenty filling, that!

"Crispy Beef Tacos," by Hilah Johnson. From

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Meal No. 1796: Linton Hopkins's Bucatini Carbonara

Monday at the Roediger House, it was the easy but silky deliciousness known as the fancy carbonara, with egg yolk and shallots and finely-diced pancetta, all draped over bucatini in a one-bowl wonder.

"Bucatini Carbonara," by Linton Hopkins. In Food & Wine, July 2009.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Meal No. 1795: Grilled Kickin' Burgers

Beautiful, gorgeous unbelievable day in Winston-Salem Sunday, which allowed for two massive walks with Sumner and a bit of outside time. It was also a perfect night for grilling a new spicy version of the usual Roediger House burgers, with crinkle-cut fries on the side. Hot grilled buttered brioche buns and the favorite burger sauce concoction, and it was all good.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Meal No. 1794: Smothered Pork Chops with Onion-Thyme Gravy

Saturday night's dinner was a return to a meal that was, for a time, a regular favorite: smothered pork chops with onion-thyme gravy. [Last served: December 2014.] To go with it, I also had slow-cooker scalloped potatoes and hot buttered corn. We all feasted.

"Smothered Pork Chops," by Erika Bruce. In Cook's Country, April/May 2011, p. 22-23. [View and print a pdf of the recipe by clicking on this link.]

"Slow-Cooker Scalloped Potatoes," by Kelly Price. In Cook's Country, January 2011, p. 6.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Meal No. 1793: Miso-Glazed Salmon Fillets

Last night's simple meal for the end of the final travel week for spring: miso-glazed wild-caught Atlantic salmon with pearl couscous and fresh steamed broccoli.

Miso Glaze from "Miso-Glazed Salmon Steaks," in Bon Appétit, May 2011, p. 58.

Couscous recipe based partially on "Toasted Israeli Couscous with Pine Nuts and Parsley, from Bon Appétit, December 2004.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Meal No. 1792: Chicken Potpie with Cheddar Crust

Last Sunday night, it was time for a quiet meal at the Roediger House after a gorgeous day that allowed for a huge walk with Sumner. We actually walked all the way to the Salem Cemetery and found our way to the graves of the Roediger Family, who made this house their home from 1905 until 1991. Then we circled back through Salem College and Old Salem and took the downtown Strollway back up to Fourth Street for the remaining blocks back to the house.

For dinner, it was another one-bowl dish: chicken potpie with a homemade cheddar crust. I worked from a combination of ideas, as noted in the source list below.

That day was also a chance to work out in the yard a good bit, and it included the first mowing of the lawn for the 2017 summer season.

"Chicken Potpie with Cheddar Crust," from Food Network Magazine, Vol. 4, No. 8 (October 2011), p. 132-133.

"Easy Crust Chicken Pot Pie," attributed to Norma Anderson and copied from one of Cindy Coulson's cookbooks [13 July 1997].

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Glazed Apple Cream Pie

Last Saturday night, in addition to sweet and sour chicken, I also managed to produce a dessert: glazed apple cream pie. It was sweet and good but, frankly, perhaps a bit short on apple. The forks and lip-licks seemed to be unaffected in their respective machinations, though.

"Glazed Apple Cream Pie," by kathy on

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Meal No. 1791: Sweet and Sour Chicken

With guests here again on Saturday night, I had a hankering to try out on them a meal from last summer: sweet and sour chicken. It's a bit involved and rather messy to make, but I sure do enjoy the result.

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

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Meal No. 1790: Simple Beef Chili

Friday was a weird weather day: storms in the morning with heavy downpours, and then clear and sunny, and then rainy and cool, and then more sun, and then cooler rain and quick downpours...  I thought it was supposed to be chilly and dreary all day and therefore planned on making a big pot of chili for the two couples who came for a Friday night hang (and a viewing of The Shining). It hasn't even been a month since I last served this, but I could not discern any displeasure in the group at its quick reappearance.

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

Sweet Southern Cornbread adapted from "Golden Sweet Cornbread," from bluegirl on

Monday, April 3, 2017

Lemon Chess Pie

When cousins Marilyn and Earl were here last week, the dessert I served up was a creamy but extra-lemony lemon chess pie. I've been making this one for a number of years now, operating somehow under the impression that I was using a recipe that supposedly was a favorite of President Bill Clinton. Last fall, I actually checked my handwritten recipe against the one printed in the Clinton Foundation cookbook...and they did not match! This one, though, has been voted the superior one at the Roediger House.

"Lemon Chess Pie," originally thought to be President Clinton's favorite version, but apparently it's not quite the same. My source is unknown but this link goes to the identical recipe.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Meal No. 1789: Shrimp and Goat Cheese Grits

My cousins Marilyn and Earl came over last Thursday night for a long overdue visit. It was great to see them and to have time to catch up. We all live here in the Winston-Salem/Lewisville area but it'd been over two years since their last visit, which makes me feel pretty horrible. On the supper table that night was the Tupelo Honey Cafe's version of shrimp and grits, with a roasted red pepper sauce.  The bowls were all clean by meal's end.

"Shrimp and Goat Cheese Grits with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce," 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. 100-101, 179.

Guidance for making the creamy grits: Luquire Family Stone Ground Grits, milled in Greenwood, SC.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Meal No. 1788: Not So Cajun Chicken

I'd like to feign embarrassment that I've already repeated yet another meal in such short order, but (1) it's so darned good, and (2) it makes great leftovers and I was to work the next day at a school where we were expected to bring our lunches. What am I talking about? Not So Cajun Chicken: the first meal I ever made in the new kitchen of the Roediger in Meal No. 1. And now, it's Meal No. 1788, served this past Wednesday night.

"Not So Cajun Chicken," a dish I regularly enjoyed at Crowley's Old Time Favorites restaurant and bar on Medlin Drive in Raleigh, NC. Credit to Jimmy Randolph for helping track the recipe down. (Another version of the recipe can be found here.)