Thursday, August 31, 2017

Meal No. 1900: Chicken Katsu

The kitchen is in a bit of a disrupted space this week, as will be blogged about later, but I still wanted to cook some dinner and had come across a recipe that would allow me to use my soon-to-be-expiring chicken thighs: chicken katsu. It's very much like the Japanese fried chicken street-food-style dish that I've made a number of times. Chicken katsu has a unique dipping sauce and a really nice crunch to the fried chicken pieces, but I really like the mirin-onion sauce and sushi rice combo of the the street-food alternative. If it were a competition, the older recipe would win.

"Chicken Katsu," by Teresa Morgan, published to

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

French Yogurt Cake for Friends Frank & Karen

Last Saturday night was spent with delightful friends Frank and Karen over at their house for supper and catching up...and also being introduced to their new black lab Lance. Sumner was along for the ride and the boys had a wear-you-out good time running the fenced-in backyard at their warm and cozy abode. While Karen's creme brulee was the clear winner when it came time to partake of the meal-ending sweets, I figured a French yogurt cake from the Roediger House kitchen wasn't a terribly sad contribution.

Since it was so delicious, and I didn't yet know the key lime custard wasn't so great, I decided to make another one for home on Sunday night:

The frozen custard wasn't worth eating this time, but man-o-man, the French yogurt loaf was spot on and perfect in every way.

"French Yogurt Cake," by Andrew Knowlton. In Bon Appétit, May 2012, p. 30.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Key Lime Custard Ice Cream

Here's one more element related to this past Friday's movie night: that morning, I managed to make a batch of key lime custard ice cream, based on a recipe from Willa Whitley that friend and colleague Donna Whitley-Smith shared with me a decade ago. It chilled in the fridge all through the afternoon and, when the burgers on the grill were finishing up, I added in the flavorings and the rennet tablets and got it all set up in the deep churn 6-quart ice cream freezer. I snapped the motor into place and switched it on and...nothing. The little light came on, but no action followed. It seems after all these years I must've finally burned that poor motor up. With guests outside, burgers about to overcook on the grill, and last-minute prep to do for the movie night, I just had to put the canister back in the fridge and mask my frustration and disappointment that we could not have this particular added favorite feature of a summer movie night.

I churned about a quart of it the next morning in the countertop Cuisinart just so it wouldn't all go to waste, with hopes it would be a nice cool dessert to have on hand for the next couple of nights. Unfortunately, the flavorings were off and, in the end, I was glad it didn't get served to a crowd, because I also fear I did not make it custard-y enough when I was cooking the base, leaving it more icy than creamy in the final result. Oh well!

"Lemon Custard Ice Cream," from Willa Whitley and shared by Donna Whitley-Smith.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Meal No. 1899: Juicy Burgers for a Movie Night

In advance of the outdoor movie night this past Friday night, I also grilled up a mess of burgers and, with the weather being so nice, we actually all sat outside in the parking area and scarfed them down. There was also enough remaining chocolate fudge to share once we'd wiped the ketchup from our chins and before we settled in to watch Stand By Me.

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

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Movie Night: Stand By Me

Since it's been a summer with a lot going on, and with June being wet and July just being hot, it took me until this past week to turn my thoughts to the joy of a Roediger House summer movie night. The forecast for this past Friday was highly promising, and it ended up being nearly picture-perfect to have some folks over and set up camp chairs out on the parking lot and set up the screen and speakers and light citronella...and I was glad all over again to have gotten a cornhole set for our pre-movie entertainment.

The selection was Stand By Me, the 1986 classic based on a Stephen King novella, The Body, and directed by Rob Reiner. It's been a long time since I've seen it, and it sure was good all over again. That night was also a fine chance to see how sharp and bright the image could be with the new projector and better screen in place.

Speaking of screens, if you were local and watched the Friday morning WXII-12 newscast, you would yet again have been able to spot the Roediger House in the background while Bethany Moore did her live feed:

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Center for Confectious MePleases

Chocolate Fudge.

First time I've made it since December 2013.

Awesome and amazing.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Meal No. 1898: Planked Salmon with Agrodolce Sauce

I've had salmon on my mind for a little while now, and this past Wednesday night I managed to get ahold of some and serve it up for supper. The dependable pearl couscous was a must but I also liked the serious flavoring of the thin red onion slices in the agrodolce sauce that went with it all.

"Planked Salmon Platter," from

"Striped Bass in Agrodolce Sauce,"from Gourmet, December 2004.

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

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Meal No. 1897: Afro-Caribbean Macaroni Beef Casserole

Although it had a spicy kick to it that might have exceeded my hopes for this dish, the Tuesday evening supper from featured a flavorful macaroni and beef casserole: lots of zip, lots of cheese, lots of umph in each heaping spoonful. I balanced it out with yet even more of my homemade applesauce, just because I could.

"Macaroni Beef Casserole," from Imma of Immaculate Bites, a blog found at

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Meal No. 1896: Hamburger Supreme

When I dug into the meat drawer of the fridge and discovered I'd overbought ground beef, that led me to a long-time family favorite for Monday night's meal: hamburger supreme, with hot buttered corn and homemade applesauce.

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

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Great American Eclipse 2017

Tracking all the way across the country, from Oregon to South Carolina, the spectacularly-hyped solar eclipse of 2017 was not a disappointment. Although I'd briefly toyed with the idea of trying to get somewhere along its 70-mile-wide path of totality, in the end I decided I would enjoy it from the comfort of my own yard. We had 94.3 percent obscurity at the 2:41 pm peak yesterday, and it remained a reasonably bright and sunny day. I thought it had a slight graying, like the way they used to film "night" scenes on Perry Mason back in the day. I had proper eclipse glasses and loved watching it proceed through the mid-afternoon. I snagged a shot of myself just before the near-totality moment:

Inspired by a post by my friend and colleague John Lloyd, I also had my own colander eclipse shadow moment:

Monday, August 21, 2017

Chocolate Pizzert Dessert Pizza

Following last night's delicious dinner of poppy seed chicken casserole, I also did an experimental dessert that I'd really like to try to perfect: chocolate pizzert pizza. I had scoured the web a year or so ago hoping others were also fond of this concoction...and maybe someone had a close approximation to it. I found that at a defunct website called

The inspiration comes from the Texas-based Pizza Inn chain, which had a location in Dunn, near where I grew up in Buies Creek. One of our favorite items on the Tuesday night buffet was their 'pizzert' — pizza dessert — and most especially the basic chocolate one.

When my sister Allison and her son Eli were here to visit last summer, we drove down to High Point, the closest Pizza Inn location to Winston-Salem, and I must say I was terribly disappointed that they no longer offer chocolate pizzert.

"Pizzert Dessert Pizza," an in-process adaptation from 2 Crochet Hooks (Millie & Kristina of Durham, NC).

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Meal No. 1895: Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

Although it was just a dinner for two tonight, I still made up the full batch of poppy seed chicken casserole. The leftovers are also pretty good! This morning, I also managed to make yet another pot of homemade applesauce, and if you could taste this latest version, you'd understand why I keep making it so often. It is just hard to beat.

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

Guidance for Homemade Applesauce from:

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Meal No. 1894: Barbecue Chicken, Bacon, Feta, and Onion Bistro Pizza

As an accompaniment to Captain America: Winter Soldier, I whipped up a speedy bistro pizza topped with barbecue chicken, bacon, feta, and sautéed red onion, and finished with sharp cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. Yum. Alas, because of the rush to get back up to resume the movie, it was also the rare occasion where I completely forgot to snap a photo of the good dinner. Shucks.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Meal No. 1893: One-Pan Pork Tenderloin

With a full work week including some on-the-road time, and late afternoons both Thursday and Friday, and guests at the table this evening, it seemed my best choice was a rapid return to a recently-fixed meal: one-pan pork tenderloin with green beans and potatoes. It turned out pretty well. And since it's prepared and cooked all together, it meant I was a more present participant in the first-ever Roediger House Reading Party up on the third floor. Yes: a bunch of us sat around reading on a Friday night. Don't be jealous.

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

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Meal No. 1892: Grilled Bacon and Cheese Sandwiches

It's nearly a five hour drive when I'm coming back home from Berryville, Virginia, and along with an abundance of bacon in the fridge, that led to last night's simple supper: grilled bacon and cheese sandwiches with lots of cold refreshing orange juice. Worth blogging about? Maybe not. Worth eating? Heck yeah.

By the way, look at who showed up again behind the house doing a live report this past Monday morning:

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Meal No. 1891: Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Breasts

Last Sunday night, for one final meal before I had to head out of town to Virginia for two days of work, I tried a new main dish recipe and supplemented it with leftovers from the previous night's meal. And I added some hot buttered peas in as well. On the menu and on our plates: bacon-wrapped chicken breasts, company mashed potatoes, homemade applesauce, peas, and fluffy southern hoecake-style biscuits.

"Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Breasts," by Ashley Moore. In Cook's Country, August/September 2017, p. 11.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Meal No. 1890: Oven-Fried Chicken with White Milk Gravy

It turned out to be a fine Saturday night for a great southern feast: oven-friend chicken breasts with a savory white milk gravy; company mashed potatoes; hot buttered corn; fluffy southern-style hoecakes; and homemade cinnamon applesauce. Woo-eeee! It was frickin' awesome.

Based on "Oven-Fried Chicken with Waffles and White Gravy," from Ashley of [Published 12 November 2015]

"Company Mashed Potatoes," a Jones family favorite.

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

Guidance for Homemade Applesauce from:

Monday, August 14, 2017

Meal No. 1889: World's Best Lasagna

Last Friday night, the wonderful neighbors Deborah and Alaina were up after too long of an absence, and they brought their friend Mike with them, and at dinnertime we all sat down to hearty plates of fresh-baked lasagna together with Caesar salad and toasted garlic bread. The ladies were kind enough to bring a cherry crumble and some vanilla custard for dessert. It was another delightful evening!

A distinct advantage of this recipe is that it makes a lot, and it makes great leftovers:

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

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Meal No. 1888: Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin

It's hard to walk past the Harris Teeter beef tenderloin when it's on a big sale, and that leads to a great excuse to have the table full of the regularest regulars of the Roediger House, even on a weeknight, as occurred this past Thursday. Slow-roasted to a perfect temperature, and then broiled briefly with a shallot-thyme butter dousing to give it a crusty goodness on the outside, the amazing beef was joined by layered green bean casserole and homemade creamy mashed potatoes. For some of us, the beef tenderloin can't be complete without spicy horseradish sauce. It was heart-warming to see all plates return to the buffet counter for seconds, and for there to be at least one nomination for "best beef tenderloin yet."

Gern was ready.

"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.

"Creamy Mashed Potatoes," from Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman. Published online 03 November 2007.

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

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Meal No. 1887: Beef Puff Pastry with Indian Spices

After a couple of days on the road to do a training with teachers at a high school in Virginia Beach, it was nice to be back home and in my kitchen again. When dinnertime rolled around on Wednesday night, I felt like trying a new recipe but then fell short on creating anything to go with it. So on the plates sat two beautifully golden and wonderfully flavorful beef-stuffed puff pastries with a real South Asian flair. Piping hot, satisfying, and worth having again sometime.

"Beef Puff Pastry," from Thas of the blog.

Friday, August 11, 2017

We Screamed for Weekend Ice Creams

When Maureen Moos and family were here the other weekend, they ran up to Mount Airy and over into Cana, Virginia, and came home with some terrific fresh sweet peaches. I put those to use last week in a new recipe for peach ice cream and then churned it in time to cool the tongue-sears from our spicy beef chili on Friday night. I do believe all eight comers sought out a second helping, and then there were two or three who went for a third serving. I take that as a promising positive sign.

I also managed to use up some over-ripe bananas last weekend, by roasting them with light brown sugar and then turning them into an ice cream all unto themselves. It's tasty, but not my thing, so I'm glad there were others around to enjoy it:

For me, though, I was content to have another bowl of the previous night's peach ice cream, all nice and set up after an overnight stint in the freezer:

"Contest-Winning Peach Ice Cream," by Toni Box Weaver [Alabama]. In Taste of Home, June/July 2004, p. 31.

"Roasted Banana Ice Cream," by David Lebovitz. In The Perfect Scoop, Ten Speed Press (Berkeley/Toronto),  2007, p. 72.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Meal No. 1886: One-Pan Pork Tenderloin

Last Saturday night, with good friends visiting from Lynchburg, we feasted on one-pan pork tenderloin with roasted green beans and baby Dutch potatoes...before diving into more delicious homemade ice cream (to be blogged about tomorrow!).

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

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Meal No. 1885: Simple Beef Chili with Beans

Goodness gracious: there were eight folks at the dinner table last Friday night and I thought a pot of beef chili would be more than sufficient to feed us all. Alas, it amounted to seven full bowls and an eighth skimpy one, which I took, and then we all made up for it with hearty tender slices of Granny Wilson's honey wheat cornbread. And the dessert, too, which will be described in a subsequent blog entry.

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

"Granny Wilson's Cornbread," a recipe shared with me by Linda B. Dunlap.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Meal No. 1884: Roasted Turkey Tenderloins

A new recipe happened on Thursday night: roasted turkey tenderloins, along with broccoli with cheese sauce and candied sweet potatoes.

"Roasted Turkey Tenderloins," by Laura Gordon. From [Posted 04 November 2014]

"Candied Sweet Potatoes," by Cecilia Jenkins. In Cook's Country, October/November 2015, p. 21.

Monday, August 7, 2017

The Roediger House: Backdrop for a WXII Live Report

When I took Sumner out at 6:30 last Thursday morning, I caught sight of a mobile news unit from local station WXII-12 up on the parking lot behind the house:

It turns out that Bethany Moore, one of the station's reporters, was doing a live segment with the city skyline behind her. It's kind of cool that the cameraman also captured the Roediger House in the shot.

This might be the third or fourth time I've chanced to spy WXII mobile reporting from up there...the last time being in connection with the construction of 751 West Fourth across the way from here. On another occasion, back in 2013, that lot was the setting for WGHP's evening live report (the station's Winston-Salem bureau is right around the corner from here, on Holly Avenue).

Here's what the house looked like from the front, once the sun began to appear beyond the city skyline:

Sunday, August 6, 2017

More Projects Completed!

Shower Doors Completed

Much earlier in the summer, Quality Glass Service was here to install three shower doors and a bathroom mirror, but only half the job got completed because of some broken tile. Mr. Todd Sink was called in to do a replacement of the inside tile of the shower entry in the main second floor bathroom...

and that was finished the last Friday in July:

Then, on August 1st, the Quality Glass fellows returned to install that last shower door and also to put up a new mirror over the vanity and basin in that bathroom. I still need to add some towel rods but I'm feeling pretty good about this bathroom now.

Van Gogh Guest Bedroom Furniture

Also on my list for this summer was refinishing the writing table in the Van Gogh guest bedroom. I've had it since I was in middle school and it went off to my dorm room at Carolina and has been with me ever since. I distinctly remember foolishly placing the hot ceramic microwave dish full of fresh-made oatmeal on it one of those college years, and there were plenty of other scuffs and watermarks and heat injuries. Kent Grubbs of Grubbs' Woodworks made it look fantastic:

He also fixed a kitchen table chair that had been broken.

The other addition to the Van Gogh bedroom is a hope chest at the end of the bed. Made in the late 1940s by Lane (headquartered in Alta Vista, VA), it certainly does seem to be an appropriate new item in that lovely guest room.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Brioche Stone Fruit Cobbler with Vanilla Ice Cream

After a fun night with the six core members of the larger Roediger House family, with Star Wars IV: A New Hope on the evening's entertainment agenda, and a filling comfort food dinner, I also had planned a bit of dessert to finish us out. It has been forever since I've made stone fruit cobbler and I was excited about bringing it back as a summer treat. I had even made vanilla ice cream in time for it to mostly set up as a sidecar to that main sugary feature.

Unfortunately, when the timer went off and I went down to pull the cobbler out of the oven that I'd just used to make dinner, I discovered that I must've been too habitually thorough when pulling the casserole out...and had turned OFF the oven instead of leaving it on for dessert. So, the guests had to head out (it was getting late!) and the cobbler and ice cream were enjoyed by a considerably smaller audience!

"Brioche Stone Fruit Cobbler," recipe worked out by me as an adaptation of "Stone Fruit Cobbler," by Ann of [Published 08 August 2008]

"Vanilla Ice Cream," from Bi-Rite Creamery's Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones, by Kris Hoogerhyde, Anne Walker, and Dabney Gough. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press (2012), p. 35-36.