Thursday, May 31, 2018

Meal No. 2126: Monie's Pasta Carbonara

I kept it simple on a rainy Saturday night over Memorial Day weekend: pasta carbonara. That represents the 2,126th meal made in the kitchen addition that was completed back in Spring 2009.

"Pasta Carbonara," a recipe shared by Monie Lawrence of Raleigh, NC.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Meal No. 2125: Pulled Pork Barbecue Sandwiches

So that the evening could be devoted to the long-running film time of Blade Runner 2049, which was the featured entertainment at the Roediger House on Friday night, I opted for a simple meal that could mostly cook without me and then be easily consumed up on the third floor. I'd picked up ciabatta sandwich rolls, which intended to make this a fun take on pulled pork-and-slaw barbecue sandwiches.

Also, as a first-time tomato grower this year, pardon my giddy excitement to see the first emerging tomatoes on my two plants:

"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.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Meal No. 2124: Pork Medallions with Ginger-Soy-Shiitake Sauce

By special birthday request, I served up pan-seared pork medallions with the very special ginger-soy-shiitake mushroom cream sauce on Thursday night. And you can't serve that main dish without the also-quite-special company mashed potatoes. I did try to fancy it up a bit with Brussels sprouts gratin, and it all came together pretty terrifically.

And there was also a well-intentioned dessert that didn't come out quite like I wanted. I used to make white wine coffee cake all the time with no or few hitches. Now I can't get it right to save my neck. So I dumped the mess into a Rubbermaid container and stuck a celebratory birthday candle into the pile.

Cream Sauce based on "Pan-Seared Tuna with Ginger-Shiitake Cream Sauce," from The Bon Appétit Cookbook by Barbara Fairchild, 2006, p. 398-399.

"Company Mashed Potatoes," a Jones family favorite.

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

Monday, May 28, 2018

Meal No. 2123: Baked Spaghetti

On Wednesday night, I knew I was possibly going to have seven at the table (it ended up being six), so I went to my known storehouse of big-dish recipes and pulled out baked spaghetti as our meal choice. There was also salad and garlic bread to go with it.

And there was dessert: Scotch chocolate cake, and folks seemed happy when that was what showed up on their little dessert plates.

"Baked Spaghetti," by Margaret Coalson via Stick Coulson, 13 July 1997.

"Scotch Chocolate Cake," [in my world, also known as Texas sheet cake]. Credited to Susie Timmons. From "Popular: Cake Request Gets 22 Responses," by Michael Hastings, Food Editor of the Winston-Salem Journal. Published October 6, 2010.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Meal No. 2122: Creole-Spiced Fried Chicken

It might not have been my wisest plan for myself last Monday night to pull off a major fried chicken dinner after spending three hours up at The Grand Theatre for Avengers: Infinity War. It left me a bit stressed when I tried to throw everything together in an hour, but fortunately I'd done a good bit of advanced prep work. And it helped that I was cooking the chicken thighs sous vide while we were at the film, before coming home and adding buttermilk and breading for a short fry on the Paragon induction plate.

So here's the great southern feast to start off the Roediger House week: creole-spiced fried chicken thighs, ultra-gooey mac and cheese, and fluffy biscuit hoecakes.

Fried Chicken, with ideas and help from:

"The Food Lab's Ultra-Gooey Stovetop Mac and Cheese Recipe," from J. Kenji López-Alt, Managing Culinary Director of

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

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Meal No. 2121: Not So Cajun Chicken

By special request this past Sunday night, I made the Roediger House favorite known as Not So Cajun Chicken, which was then happily consumed while the crew and I finished binge-watching Altered Carbon from Netflix.

"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.)

Friday, May 25, 2018

Meal No. 2120: Beef Bulgogi Bowls

The Saturday night meal at the Roediger House was meant to be one-bowled and quick, so that binge-watching of the Netflix series Altered Carbon could proceed uninterrupted. A tasty meal and an intriguing, provocative show...all that helped make it a great hang up on the third floor.

Also, to have another item for snacking besides the current delicious offering of homemade pimento cheese, that morning I whipped up a batch of creamy stuffed eggs, and they hit the spot.

"Beef Bulgogi Bowls, A Korean Favorite," by Kaitlin of The Woks of Life blog. [Published 23 January 2016]

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

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

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Meal No. 2119: World's Best Lasagna

It's pretty clear that the Friday night meal at the Roediger House tends to be a crowd-pleasing favorite. It's a big ol' casserole dish of what its author calls the "World's Best Lasagna," and we all think it is awfully darned good. Between the amount, so that it's easy to please six or more bellies, and the welcome reception once the crew learns this is on the menu, I find it hard to resist making this delicious goop.

Perhaps that's why this is already the third time in 2018 I've made it, and why I made it six times in 2017 (and five times in 2016...).

The crew of six didn't seem to mind that there was still an ample amount of cinnamon roll ice cream waiting to finish us off.

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

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Meal No. 2118: Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

Last Thursday night, I wasn't sure I really wanted to cook, but I pressed ahead anyway. With a rotisserie chicken already deboned and waiting for hopeful inclusion in some good dish, I decided to bring back poppy seed chicken casserole...which is always incredibly tasty. No need to trouble myself with making sides for a meal like this: it can stand fine on its own.

Also, that morning (May 17) was my first sighting of a goldfinch for the season:

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

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Cinnamon Roll Cookies 'N Cream Ice Cream

This past week, I tried out a new ice cream recipe, that's sort of based on cookies and cream, perhaps, but with a focus on cinnamon rolls as the intended flavor. It was the rare non-churned version of a frozen dairy treat, and it proved to be a decent coda to meals for a couple of nights.

Based on "Cinnamon Roll Ice Cream," by Jillian of A Bajillian Recipes.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Meal No. 2117: Chicken & Pesto Aioli Ciabatta Sandwiches

Last Wednesday night I was struck with a hankering to pilot a ciabatta and pesto aioli sandwich, featuring chicken, smoked provolone, and roasted red pepper strips. If I try this again, I'll need to go with smaller/thinner individual ciabatta rolls rather than using a whole loaf: it was a lot of bread! But overall it was a tasty variation that I didn't hate.

Ideas to help me along came from:

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Meal No. 2116: Sheet Pan Pork Nachos

On Tuesday night, when the newly-wedded McGowns were back over for dinner and hanging out, I figured I might try a new recipe and see how we all liked it. This was my first go at sweet pork nachos, with the pork cooking all day on Monday in the slow-cooker, and the rest of it put together in time to serve when they were here Tuesday.

It's not my usual thing, and it was a two-day process but, in the end, I think we all thought these nachos were pretty darned amazing. Everyone got seconds; half the crew got thirds!

Also, that morning, Sumner found this little bugger along the south fence line:

I hate for Sumner to tangle with the possums that show up around here, even if they are babies, so I picked him up by the tail and tossed him temporarily into one of my Hav-a-Hart traps:

We were stuck in a rainy period in Winston-Salem, unlike any I can remember (it feels like living in Seattle!), so it took me a while to get that little rascal relocated. He feasted on cat food in the meantime.

By my rough count, this is Possum No. 12 in the trapping chronicle of the Roediger House.

"Sweet Pork Nachos," from Holly of Life in the Lofthouse. [Published 01 August 2017]

"Loaded Sweet Pork Sheet Pan Nachos," from Elyse of Six Sisters Stuff. [Published 14 March 2018]

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Meal No. 2115: Chicken with Coronation Sauce

A little over two weeks ago, I made chicken with coronation sauce, and it was so good that I've had a hard time shaking it. So I had to bring it back for three of us this past Monday night, over fresh steamed rice, as a delicious one-bowl meal.

Also, late that afternoon was the occasion of the first mosquito of the season:

"Coronation Sauce for Chicken," from 400 Sauces, by Catherine Atkinson, Christine France, and Maggie Mayhew. Hermes House (2006, 2008), p. 155.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Meal No. 2114: Pimento Cheese Burgers with Onion Rings

Mother's Day in Winston-Salem for a house with no living mothers was, as seems reasonable, an ordinary May Sunday. Well, it was kind of hot and summer-like, which doesn't bother me all that much, except for not getting out in it to do much-needed yardwork. It felt like a night when grilling must occur, and I had some excellent pimento cheese that I'd made, and I used it to top grilled burgers. I also tried out a new recipe for fried onion rings. Unfortunately, my Paragon induction cooktop from FirstBuild hasn't been my wisest purchase, and it cut off in the middle of frying the first batch. I managed to recover, though, and a few decent onion rings resulted.

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

"Kick Ass Fried Onion Rings," by Rita1652. From Genius Kitchen.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Meal No. 2113: Scrambled Eggs & Sausage

Before my buddy Jason left Sunday to pick his daughter up from college in Virginia, we sat down to a simple breakfast: sausage patties, creamy grits, and Swiss cheese scrambled eggs, along with multiple cups of coffee.

It was a hot day in Winston-Salem, given that it's not quite mid-May. Before breakfast, we took a quick drive around downtown but also made a stop in a cemetery tucked into rolling hills, in order to drop off a squirrel that I'd trapped the evening before. I'm getting overrun with those little buggers.

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

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Meal No. 2112: Lamb & Mushroom Meatloaf

Last Saturday night, the Roediger House enjoyed an overnight visit from fellow Wake Forest alum Jason Miller, on his way to pick up his daughter from college. Jason is one of my greatest and best friends but, as happens with life, we just don't get to see each other all that often.

When dinnertime rolled around, I thought I'd rely on a faithful menu based in part on recipes from Asheville's Tupelo Honey Cafe: lamb and mushroom meatloaf, smashed sweet potatoes, and seasoned green beans. It was a pretty decent meal!

"Lamb and Multi-Mushroom Meat Loaf" (p. 150) and "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).

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Meal No. 2111: Bacon Grilled Cheese

This past Saturday at lunchtime, it was the basic pleasing goodness of bacon grilled cheese sandwiches:

Monday, May 14, 2018

Meal No. 2110: Deviled Chicken Thighs

Thursday was a day of many appointments and tasks and I was probably not all that enthused about making dinner. I got it two-thirds done but the peas I was planning on didn't make the cut. So on the plates: deviled chicken thighs and an old, rarely-sighted side dish of onions au gratin.

"Deviled Chicken Drumsticks," by Ian Knauer. In Gourmet, August 2008.

"Onions au Gratin," from the Junior League of Rockford, IL. In Better Homes and Gardens America's Best-Loved Community Recipes, Volume I. Des Moines, IA: Meredith Books (1994), p. 444-445.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Meal No. 2109: Hamburger Supreme

With four at dinner and with hopes of preserving both outside time and time to play a few rounds of pool, I put my faith in a Jones family favorite for the Wednesday evening meal: hamburger supreme, with hot buttered corn and more of my homemade applesauce.

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

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Meal No. 2108: Bacon, Caramelized Onion, and Blue Cheese Bistro Pizza

I know I sound like a broken record. But yet another gorgeous spring evening occurred Tuesday night in Winston-Salem and I didn't want to come inside any earlier than I had to. So I kept it simple and quick for dinner: a bistro pizza topped with bacon, caramelized onion, and blue cheese crumbles. It did the trick!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Meal No. 2107: Chicken Potpie with Cheddar Crust

Amy and Gern were here for the last time I made this meal, which is what we had on Monday night together: chicken potpie with cheddar crust, along with homemade applesauce.

I didn't get as much of the cheddar punch in the crust as I was expecting, but I think we all thought it was pretty decent overall.

The remaining rhododendrons are beginning to embark on their full blossoming...lots of buds still but the flowers that have emerged are gorgeous.

This is a dramatic improvement over last year's lousy season for them, when ultimately I lost two rhododendrons and didn't get much in the way of blooms.

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

Inspiration for Homemade Applesauce came from Evelyn Coulson of Cana, VA. Guidance for Homemade Applesauce came from:

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Meal No. 2106: Stuffed French Bread

Back in January, I tried out a new recipe for stuffed French bread, and this past Sunday night I was ready to try it again. I think it came out even better this time.

"Stuffed French Bread," from Holly of Life in the Lofthouse.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Meal No. 2105: Mexican Chicken and Rice

It was gorgeous this past Saturday, and it was also Cinco de Mayo, and with four at the table, arroz con pollo made the most sense to me.

"Mexican Chicken & Rice," in Cuisine at Home, Issue No. 115 (January/February 2016), p. 10-11.

"The Best Mexican White Cheese Dip," from

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Meal No. 2104: Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

Last Saturday morning granted me the pleasure of another round of fluffy buttermilk pancakes, topped with a dollop of butter and graced with pure maple syrup.

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

Monday, May 7, 2018

Meal No. 2103: Glazed Grilled Pork Chops

So far, I'm liking this spring. Some might have thought it was a bit warm on Friday but I couldn't get enough of it. Between walking the yard with Sumner, taking time to pull weeds, or just sitting for long stretches at the bistro table on the porch, I was soaking it all in. Low humidity, light breezes, warm temps, sunny skies: spring has sprung in Winston-Salem and I'm all for it.

With long-time chum and fellow Wake Forest alum Chris Burris returning for another visit that evening, with Star Wars: The Last Jedi on the agenda (it was May the Fourth, after all!), I thought grilling up some glazed pork chops might hit us all right. I also had smashed sweet potatoes and a batch of Jiffy corn casserole. The chops were spot on: juicy, perfectly cooked, and flavorful!

"Glazed Pork Chops," in Cuisine's Celebrate the Seasons: Summertime Menus, Issue 10 (June/July 2016), p. 36-38.

"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.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Doubletree-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies

In the face of ongoing pressure to produce some more goodies in the Roediger House kitchen, I was up mighty early Friday morning tackling another batch of Doubletree-style chocolate chip cookies, which were then delivered to friends and colleagues throughout the city of Winston-Salem.  And did I have one hot out of the oven at around 6:30 in the morning? Heck yeah, with cold Vitamin D milk.

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

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Meal No. 2102: Diner-Style Hamburger Steak

When I lived in Winston-Salem in the late 1980s, one of my regular dinner spots was a storefront restaurant in a shopping center on Robinhood Road, near a Lowe's Foods. I'd almost always get the hamburger steak with mashed potatoes and corn or green beans. I decided to let that be my guide when I finally pulled myself back inside from the glorious Thursday evening weather, and in short order I had my own slab of hamburger steak along with creamed corn, mashed potatoes, and homemade applesauce.

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

Inspiration for Homemade Applesauce came from the late Evelyn Coulson of Cana, VA. Guidance for Homemade Applesauce came from:

Friday, May 4, 2018

Meal No. 2101: Chicken with Coronation Sauce

After an incredible final day with the Vance County cohort in the High Point University Leadership Academy this past Wednesday, I enjoyed a sunny spring drive back home to Winston-Salem, getting home in time to enjoy yard time with Sumner and chats with the neighbors. At dinner time, I pulled out an old favorite: chicken with coronation sauce, a fun one-bowl meal over rice that never fails to please the assembled palates.

"Coronation Sauce for Chicken," from 400 Sauces, by Catherine Atkinson, Christine France, and Maggie Mayhew. Hermes House (2006, 2008), p. 155.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Lemon Bars and Caramel Crunch Cookies

This week marks the conclusion of my work with the second cohort of aspiring principals who are earning their masters degrees in the High Point University Leadership Academy. It's been another great semester and I'm so fortunate to get to work with these fine folks. There was no small amount of pressure placed on me not to come to our final sessions empty-handed, so on Tuesday I took slightly-overcooked lemon bars to Greensboro, and on Wednesday I had caramel crunch Capn' Crunch cookies for the folks in Vance County.

"Bake-Sale Lemon Bars," by Mildred Keller (Rockford, IL). Published in Taste of Home,  June/July 1996, p. 37.

"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.