Saturday, March 31, 2018

Meal No. 2071: Sunday Brunch for Six

Last Sunday, it was six at the table and I couldn't imagine a better meal than a quick repeat of the brunch from earlier in the month. The big casserole dish of savory breakfast bread pudding and French yogurt cake generally promised pleased palates. They did not disappoint.

"Savory Bread Pudding," from King Arthur Flour. [recipe clipping]

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

Friday, March 30, 2018

Meal No. 2070: Pipetizer Casserole

Before heading out for a snowy/rainy night on the town with a crew of bachelor's party fellas, I served us all up some supper this past Saturday night: Pipetizer Casserole, along with homemade garlic-parmesan bread. While the evening's possibilities were certainly dampened by the very winter-like weather, it was still a good time...till the groom-to-be ended up with his head in a trashcan.

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

"Easy Homemade Garlic Bread," by Jocelyn Delk Adams of Grandbaby Cakes.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Meal No. 2069: Chicken Salad Melts

This past Saturday was awesome, because it marked the one-year anniversary of the arrival of rescue pup Sumner to the Roediger House. And it was weird because it rained a lot and snowed some too. It was a fine day to be inside, once I'd run early morning shopping errands. At lunchtime, I put the previous evening's chicken legs to good use in a homemade chicken salad which I then used to create chicken salad melts on buttered toasted brioche buns. I'd never made those before and those sammiches were awesome.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Meal No. 2068: Seasoned Chicken Leg Quarters

When Friday night rolled around, following a terrific final day with a talented group of teachers at Hunter Elementary School, and with three at the table, I pulled out the Instant Pot and tried a new recipe for seasoned chicken leg quarters. I also made a newer Roediger House favorite side dish of creamed corn. Some stuffing seemed to be the right final piece of the dinner puzzle.

"Pressure Cooker Chicken Legs with Herb Rub," by Mike Vrobel of Dad Cooks Dinner.

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

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Caramel Crunch Cookies

This spring has allowed me a chance to work with another fantastic group of teachers from Hunter Elementary School in Greensboro, and on my last day with them last Friday, I wanted to take a special batch of cookies to them. The Caramel Popcorn Cap'n Crunch version is such a hit whenever I make them, and I made them extra big. The teachers were most kind in their compliments!

"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, March 26, 2018

Meal No. 2067: Panko-Crusted Tilapia

Last Thursday night, the Roediger House menu included panko-crusted tilapia and some steamed broccoli florets. I didn't quite get them to come out simultaneously but it still turned out to be a fine weeknight dinner.

"Panko-Crusted Tilapia," from Lacey of The Sweet Pea Chef.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Meal No. 2066: Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken

It was, of course, an unexpected turn of events to be living in North Carolina and to have the day off this late in March because of snow. The "found" time at home that day let me do a few house things and also to get a much-needed haircut. It didn't inspire me to go down a fancy or involved dinner prep route, though, and I fell back on a new recipe that came together pretty easily: creamy Tuscan garlic chicken over angel hair pasta. I'm not a fan of sun-dried tomatoes and I added some diced asparagus to it, and it turned out pretty nice for a cozy mid-week meal.

"Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken," from Alyssa Rivers at The Recipe Critic.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Spring Begins with Snow

The much-anticipated Spring season officially arrived Tuesday, and then Wednesday I was at home because it was a snow day! That's not the usual way of Winston-Salem, but hey: I sure was glad to be able to go and get that much-needed haircut.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Meal No. 2065: Bacon & Onion Bistro Pizza

I spent this past Tuesday with some fine aspiring administrators in Vance County, NC, which is a good two-hour drive from Winston. So that evening I made a simple and quick and also really tasty dinner: a bistro-style pizza topped with homemade barbecue sauce, crumbled bacon, caramelized onion, goat and blue cheeses, and a mozzarella-provolone mix of cheese. It baked up crisp and toasty on the pizza stone and hit the spot that night.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Meal No. 2064: Baked Pork Chops

Every once in a while, I break out my friend Cindy's recommended approach to baking boneless pork chops. It brings back fine memories of my many, many visits with her and her husband Harley back when they lived in Winchester, VA. For three of us at the table Monday night, the chops were accompanied by a rice-vermicelli mix and hot buttered corn.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Meal No. 2063: Mushroom & Swiss Burgers

Last Sunday night, I made Madeira mushrooms and used them on top of burger patties along with Swiss cheese and buttered toasted brioche buns...and those were some fantastic mushroom and Swiss burgers!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Meal No. 2062: Bacon Grilled Cheese

Although my cast iron skillet got too hot too fast and gave a good dark sear to my bacon grilled cheese sandwich at lunchtime on was still a bacon grilled cheese and it earned no argument from me.

Monday, March 19, 2018

DoubleTree-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies

On the desserts front, I've certainly been under-productive since Christmas. It occurs to me that I am very nearly reaching the point of cheating Cohort II from the High Point University Leadership Academy this spring: I've not been regularly bringing goodies from the home kitchen to them and we're halfway through the semester. So I busted out the stand mixer Sunday afternoon and put together a few batches of the DoubleTree-style chocolate chip cookies that are usually mighty good. I'm taking them with me today when we meet at a local middle school to begin our coaching rounds and post-observation conferencing rotations.

"Doubletree Hotel's Chocolate Chip Cookies," by Ayşegül Sanford and her blog, Foolproof Living. Published December 29, 2013.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Meal No. 2061: Grilled Porterhouse and Fries

For those who celebrate St. Patrick's Day, it turned out to be a pretty ideal Saturday for bar-hopping, with gorgeous mostly sunny skies and a pretty warm day for March. The purple crocus are still doing their thing but there was also a really happy gaggle of daffodil strutting its stuff along the front wall, as shown above. And as the Bradford pear's blossoms fade, it's now time for the stunted cherry trees to bring out the bells that toll spring:

I spent a good bit of time outside with Sumner but wish that had included getting an early start on spring yard work. He is an avid hunter of small birds that like to perch on the tires and chassis of the Tundra, so he did some underbelly sleuthing:

At dinner time, I had to give in to the grilling compulsion, and while the porterhouse steaks were a lot thinner than I'd like, it was all good with crispy golden french fries.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Meal No. 2060: Light & Fluffy Waffles

It was nice to be back at home following a couple of days working up in Virginia. After a shower or two passed through this morning, keeping a bit of late-winter chill in the air, the sun busted out and the temps slowly got up towards 60°F, and that meant lots of time outside with Sumner. But at mid-day, my focus turned to waffles, and they were just right.

"Light and Fluffy Waffles," by James Schend, Food Editor of Taste of Home, September/October 2017, p. 26.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Meal No. 2059: Chicken Cordon Bleu

Tuesday night six of us came together to celebrate Amy Williamson's birthday, and her requested menu was for chicken cordon bleu. I like adding to it a Mornay sauce, and we also had squash casserole and Brussels sprouts gratin. It was some fine eating!

"Chicken Cordon Bleu," by Tyler Florence from the Food Network.

Mornay Sauce based on "Le Chicken Cordon Bleu with Parmesan Dijon Sauce," by Ben Rayl from

"Squash Casserole," recipe from Margaret Holmes southern canned vegetables.

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

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Meal No. 2058: Pulled Pork Barbecue Sandwiches

On my last work trip to Virginia Beach, on one of my dinners out, I had a pretty delicious standard pulled pork sandwich but what stood out for me was the nice sweet-and-tangy sauce. I've been wanting to replicate it, to an extent, and gave that a trial run this past Monday night with a recipe for pulled pork in the Instant Pot. It turned out great.

I also piloted a new barbecue sauce recipe that was also really awesome.

And, for the first time that I can remember, I made coleslaw using my mother's recipe.

"Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork" and "Homemade BBQ Sauce," from Ali of Gimme Some Oven.

Homemade Coleslaw was based on my mother's recipe and shared with me by my sister Allison.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

A Mid-March Snowfall

I'll be darned if we didn't get quite the late winter snowfall this past Monday, on what would have been my father's 95th birthday.

The forecast originally called for a chance of a wintry mix, but by mid- to late morning, it was all snow all day until late afternoon. It's been too warm for it to pile up all that much, in spite of how constantly it came down.

Rather strange to have a fully-blossomed Bradford pear tree and all that snow!

You can see that the daffodils and purple crocus were reduced to complete submission.

I still had a list of errands to run so I hit the road in the truck that morning. Oh, the things I won't do to make sure I have heavy cream on hand...

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Meal No. 2057: Kung Pao Chicken

The Roediger House has a new next-door neighbor who came over for dinner on Sunday night. Because I knew Ryan liked Asian restaurants, I thought I'd bring back the house version of kung pao chicken over Basmati rice. It had just the right amount of heat and the flavors really came through in a terrific combination. It was a tasty meal!

"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, March 12, 2018

Meal No. 2056: Special Brunch with Greensboro Colleagues

It's taken far too long to achieve, but Sunday at mid-day I finally got to enjoy a visit from and brunch with delightful friends from Greensboro, one of whom I've had the pleasure to work with through Guilford County Schools over the last several years. Although we were faced with yucky cold rainy weather, it was cozy inside the Roediger House. I'd asked Amy to look at the blog and see if there were any dishes in particular that she'd like me to go for, and so we had savory breakfast bread pudding; French yogurt cake; fresh fruit; and, for dessert, a slice of homemade Atlantic Beach pie.

"Savory Bread Pudding," from King Arthur Flour. [recipe clipping]

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

"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.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Meal No. 2055: Indoor Barbecued Chicken

When Kristen and Mookie were back over for dinner last night, I thought I'd pilot a new recipe: indoor barbecued chicken. We are in a crazy cold-snap here in Winston even though it's almost the middle of March, and we were actually under threat of a wintry mix late night and into today. So I wasn't going to be grilling!

In order to be more free to spend time up on the third floor and to get some pool playing in, though, I repeated the sides that we'd only had about 10 meals ago because I could toss them in the oven instead of having to tend to them: company mashed potatoes and traditional green bean casserole.

"Indoor Barbecued Chicken," by Matthew Fairman. In Cook's Country, October/November 2017, p. 18.

"Company Mashed Potatoes," a recipe originally from my sister Allison that quickly became a Jones family favorite.

"Campbell's Classic Green Bean Casserole," from Campbell's Kitchen. Recipe available online.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Meal No. 2054: Seasoned Whole Chicken

It was a good and full work week, and I finished out with a great day at High Point University with Cohort II in the Leadership Academy, a fine group of aspiring administrators with whom I'm getting to work this year. With Amy and Gern coming to dinner on a chilly Friday night, I liked the idea of having something from the realm of comfort food at dinner time, so we had seasoned whole chicken from the Instant Pot, some tangy Alabama great white sauce, and the cheesy goodness of macaroni and cheese casserole. I had a small catastrophe in the prep and ran late but I think that made us all the more hungry for the gooey goodness on our plates.

Also, from Thursday morning, as seen from the upstairs porch:

"How to Cook Instant Pot Whole Chicken - Rotisserie Style," by Sheena from

"Rotisserie Chicken Seasoning," by Judith Hanneman, The Midnight Baker.

"Alabama Great White Sauce" (p. 362), in Smoke & Spice, by Cheryl and Bill Jamison. Boston: The Harvard Common Press, 2003.

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

Friday, March 9, 2018

Meal No. 2053: Filet Mignon with Madeira Mushroom Sauce

When Mookie and Kristen were here on Wednesday night, I was feeling like making a sort of fancy feast: filet mignon in a Madeira mushroom sauce, Brussels sprouts gratin, and homemade creamy mashed potatoes. I think we were all delighted and amazed at how really very good it all turned out, as if somehow we'd taken it to a whole 'nother level on a basic weekday night.

"Filet Mignon with Shiitake Madeira Sauce," in The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook, compiled and edited by Julie Fisher Gunter. Birmingham, AL: Oxmoor House (1999), p. 237.

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

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

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Meal No. 2052: Filipino Chicken Adobo

With friends Jeremy and Mark here for a few days this week, I've tried to make some suitable dinners each evening. On Tuesday night, that led me to Filipino chicken adobo, which has made quite a few appearances on the menu at the Roediger House. It was passable without being outstanding, but I think we all enjoyed it well enough.

"Introducing Chicken Adobo," by Bryan Roof. In Cook's Illustrated, March & April 2012, p. 6-7.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Meal No. 2051: Pork Tenderloin with Honey Mustard Glaze

The Monday night meal for four at the Roediger House was roasted pork tenderloin with a honey mustard glaze, along with smashed sweet potatoes, green beans, and Jiffy corn casserole. What a feast!

"Pork Tenderloin with Honey Mustard Glaze," from Diana Rattray. Recipe originally found on and is no longer available 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 (2011).

"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.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Meal No. 2050: Braised Chicken and Brussels Sprouts

The meal for four on Sunday night was a quick return to the deliciousness known as braised chicken and Brussels sprouts, which I'd only made just a few weeks ago. But it was so darned good that night, and since I had more folks around the table than I'd originally planned for, it seemed an ideal solution. This dish'll make you like Brussels sprouts, if you harbored any uncertainty about 'em.

"Braised Chicken and Brussels Sprouts," in Everyday Food, Issue 97, November 2012, p. 22.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Meal No. 2049: French Toast

It was easy like Sunday morning when I carved some slices of challah off a loaf and turned them into some scrumptious French toast at lunchtime yesterday.

"French Toast," from King Arthur Flour online.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Meal No. 2048: Boogaloo Wonderland Sandwiches

Friends who'd planned to come to dinner last night had to cancel, so I changed direction on my menu for the evening. It gave me license to try three new recipes, which was actually pretty fun. There were also some good lessons learned! The main feature for the Saturday night meal was a Detroit classic: Boogaloo Wonderland sandwiches.

It seemed fitting to have French fries alongside, although I had a bug in my ear to try homemade handcut fries.

And I also decided (what the heck!) to make homemade beer ketchup on top of it all. I was rather surprised and delighted with how tasty that ketchup turned out. I don't see myself doing that all that time, the way I've come to do with applesauce (I may never have storebought applesauce again). But it was a special treat for the dinner last night.

"Boogaloo Wonderland Sandwiches," by Bryan Roof. In Cook's Country, April/May 2018, p. 4-5.

"Fresh-Cut French Fries," from Cuisine at Home, Issue No. 128 (March-April 2018), p. 40-41.

"Homemade Beer Ketchup," by Russell White. From Ugly Stick Brewing. [Published 28 June 2016]

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Meal No. 2047: Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

A brightly sunny but blustery and chilly Saturday morning found its way to downtown Winston-Salem today, and when lunchtime rolled around the siren call of fluffy buttermilk pancakes could not be ignored. And they were spot on!

Also, more blooms are appearing in the crocus bed!

"Best Tips for Making Pancakes: Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes," by Joanne on the Pioneer Woman website.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Spring Feels Closer!

When I think about how tiny the trees in the "grove" at the front corner of the house were when I bought this place almost 15 years ago, it's just all the more gorgeous when the Bradford pear breaks out in its early spring glory and seems so huge. All that, plus I hate winter so this is always a welcome sight to me.

What's not a welcome sight, though, is to discover a new fascination with birds around the house, which first appeared on the side view mirrors of the car and truck:

And then they really let loose at the front door:

What the heck!