Sunday, September 30, 2018

Meal No. 2210: Pan-Seared Chicken Thighs with Shallots in a Roasted Garlic Wine Sauce

It was definitely an all-out production while the skies were storming over Winston-Salem on Wednesday night, and I'm referring specifically to the meal that I put together for four of us to enjoy that evening. And the pay-off was pretty awesome because I do believe we all loved the pan-seared chicken thighs with shallots in a roasted garlic wine sauce. And the cauliflower gratin. The whole green beans with a tangy mustard sauce weren't bad, but they sure did need some more salt.

"Pan-Seared Chicken Thighs with Shallots in Roasted Garlic Wine Sauce," from Amie, the Day-Dreaming Optimist. Her blog is A Meaning of An Optimist.

"Green Beans with Tangy Mustard Sauce," from Southern Living, June 2009. [Recipe Clipping.]

"Cauliflower Gratin," by Julia Collin. In Cook's Illustrated, Number Fifty-Five (March & April 2002), p. 18-19.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Meal No. 2209: Roasted Salmon

A lightly-spiced roasted salmon was the centerpiece of the plates on Tuesday evening, cooked to just the right temperature and all perfectly tender and delicious. The chilled rosemary dijon cream sauce was an unnecessary enhancement and a guilty pleasure. The asparagus was also pretty close to perfectly roasted, and the simple mashed potatoes were buttery and balanced.

Chilled Rosemary Dijon Cream Sauce, from "Poached Salmon," in The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook, compiled and edited by Julie Fisher Gunter. Birmingham, AL: Oxmoor House (1999), p. 216.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Imperial Stout Chocolate Cake with Irish Cream Frosting

No doubt there's been a dearth of desserts at the Roediger House all summer long, but Saturday night was a notable exception: I had a deeply chocolatey super moist imperial stout chocolate cake to finish up the evening with...and it very nearly finished me. Rich and heavy but what an incredible taste it possessed!

"Guinness Chocolate Cake Recipe with Creamy Frosting," by Joanne and Adam Gallagher of [Published March 2012]

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Meal No. 2208: Imperial Stout Beef Stew

Some time back I'd stocked up on Bourbon Barrel-Aged Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout from Foothills Brewing, which happens to be just around the corner from the house. I am not a regular stout drinker but got a case of it for special occasions and special guests.

On Saturday night, though, I pulled out a bottle for two good purposes, the first of which was to make a small batch of beef stew. This paired great with the remaining Yukon buttery mashed potatoes from the previous evening's grilled pork chops.

Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout Beef Stew based on:

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Meal No. 2207: Grilled Pork Chops

What a gorgeous Friday night in Winston-Salem for the final official day of summer! I took full advantage of it by grilling some delicious lightly-blackened pork chops to tender perfection and serving them alongside buttery Yukon mashed potatoes and garden peas. Not a lot to it, really, and yet it was just super good!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Meal No. 2206: Chicken & Mushrooms with Cream Wine Sauce

Thursday's threesome at the supper table turned out to be thoroughly thrilled that my kitchen experimentation played out: we had bowls of creamy chicken-and-pasta goodness based on a recipe for chicken with mushroom sauce that I'd been saving for quite a while. I prepped the chicken so it was lightly pan-fried with seasoning, and I sautéed the cremini mushrooms first in butter and then in marsala. It occurred to me that this could all be pretty decent over linguine so that was how it all came together. We might even want to have this again sometime.

Majorly adapted from "Chicken with Mushroom Sauce," by Dawn Perry. From [Published April 2012]

Monday, September 24, 2018

Meal No. 2205: Country Captain Chicken

Although it's quite a good meal, I'm not sure I can explain why Tuesday night's Country Captain chicken was making only its third appearance here in the Roediger House. It's a delicious Anglo-Indian fusion meal that emerged in South Carolina and Georgia but which came to me via New Jersey. Deeply and brightly flavored, with a touch of heat, and a rich sauce that stews into a marvelous combination exceeding its constituent parts, it was great over fresh steamed basmati rice and with roasted parmesan broccoli florets.

Thanks to the historical record provided through this blog, I can report that I first made this for Meal No. 75, after Princeton friends David and Everett prepared it on a visit up to New Jersey. The other occasion for Country Captain, with a different recipe, was Meal No. 1662, and it wasn't as good, as I recall.

"Country Captain Chicken," a recipe shared by David Wald (Princeton, NJ), May 2009.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Hurricane Florence Post-Mortem

Early Morning Before Landfall of Hurricane Florence

With a lot of threat and bluster, a Hurricane named Florence churned and turned and grew out over the Atlantic Ocean and tracked a path that promised a destructive broadside on North Carolina unlike anything we'd seen since the infamous 1954 landing of Hazel. Even though we're over four hours inland, it was clear we'd best make ourselves ready for it, and boy howdy was the water pretty much cleared out of all the grocery store shelves! At the Roediger House, I tied all the trash and recycling and yard waste carts together around the basketball goal:

...and brought in the furniture from the upstairs porch:

In the days leading up to landfall, though, the direct hit that was predicted for Winston-Salem once Florence began her land journey was recast as a broad sideswipe once she began tracking a little more to the south. By Friday night, on September 14th, we started to get rains from the outer bands of this enormous storm:

Then Saturday was just dreary but uneventful, and it wasn't until the system made its turn that we had the really full day of rain on Sunday. What that showed, though, was that I've still got a problem with leaking around the center dormer up above the upstairs porch door, because the water was definitely coming through the second floor sitting area ceiling:

By the time it was all said and done, we very fortunately didn't get a direct hit, nor did we get even a hellacious sideswipe, and around here the rains created at best localized moderate problems. Not so for the eastern end of the state and definitely not true for the Chesterfield [VA] area where several tornadoes were spawned as the remnants of Florence moved northeast. It's almost like Florence went around her elbow to get to her thumb so that Winston-Salem was largely unaffected.

I'm glad we were ready, and I'm glad we were spared, and I hate it (of course!) for the hard-hit areas. And by Monday evening, I welcomed the clearing skies and promise of a return to normality as I looked out the west-facing kitchen window after supper:

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Battered-by-Rain Banana Bread

The great soaking from the remnants of Hurricane Florence occurred this past Sunday, which pretty much locked down all activity and left us all confined to our houses. I only had to walk one time past the well-ripened bananas on the counter to be convinced that a good way to pass the time would be to make another loaf of delicious banana bread. And so I did.

"Starbucks Copycat Banana Nut Bread," from Liz of [Published 25 March 2015]

Friday, September 21, 2018

Meal No. 2204: Simple Beef Chili with Beans

As we hunkered down Saturday in Winston-Salem and were gently lashed by the outer bands of wind and rain from the slow-moving Hurricane Florence, plodding her way across South Carolina, we considered ourselves lucky. The predicted path of this massive storm previously targeted our area but then it tracked south. There would be brief bursts of heavy downpours but mostly it was a light soaking rain or just sprinkles. Even the wind wasn't that bad. Seemed like the kind of night when I ought to have a pot of chili to serve up, along with sweet southern cornbread, for the four of us gathered to also watch Darren Aronofsky's controversial film Mother!

"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

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

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Cinnamon-Sugar Pumpkin Bread (Take Two)

Pretty recently, I had a pretty bad result from a pretty good sounding recipe for cinnamon sugar pumpkin bread. I felt sure the fault was mine, either that the canola oil I used was on its last legs, or perhaps the pumpkin pie spice was old since I hardly ever use it. Regardless, I definitely wasn't giving up on it and, last Friday afternoon, with fresher ingredients, I gave it another go. And I'm glad I did, because it was darned good pumpkin bread.

Confession: when I troubled myself to look at the expiration printed on the bottom of the old pumpkin pie spice, I found that it carried a 2007 date. You know: during the George W. Bush administration. Good grief.

"Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Bread," from Averie Sunshine of [Published 27 September 2017]

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Meal No. 2203: Savory Beef, Broccoli, and Blue Cheese Braided Puff Pastry

Friday night saw the return of Alaina, from down the street, and it inspired me to tinker with a recipe that's much-loved at the Roediger House but that I hadn't made in nearly two years: savory garlic beef and broccoli turnovers.

I ended up melding it with a new recipe for beef-stuffed braided puff pastry but man-o-man, how marvelous it all turned out! I'd made some roasted garlic cooking creme sauce to go on it, and a pot of fresh steamed broccoli.

Beforehand, there was salad with homemade sweet-and-sour vinaigrette and more of the cinnamon-vanilla glazed pecans.

"Spiced Pecan and Blue Cheese Salad," inspired by the signature salad at Ryan's Steaks, Chops, & Seafood (an excellent Winston-Salem restaurant). "Sweet and Sour Vinaigrette" from The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook, compiled and edited by Julie Fisher Gunter. Birmingham, AL: Oxmoor House (1999), p. 373. "Cinnamon Vanilla Glazed Walnuts" recipe from McCormick & Company. Thanks as always to Jimmy Randolph for helping me track down those recipes.

Braided Beef Puff Pastry was an amalgamation of:

"DIY Cooking Creme," from Finding Joy in My Kitchen. [Published 25 May 2011]

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Tres Leches Cake

As you might imagine, the weight-watching efforts of the last several months have put quite the kibosh on my dessert making. You'd have to go all the way back to the end of May for the last cake I made. But with folks over for a birthday dinner, I figured I could try out Hilah Johnson's tres leches cake and see if it would provide the right sweet note for a gathering of sweet people.

The consensus: the cake was pretty amazing. Might just have to make that one again!

"Tres Leches Cake," by Hilah Johnson of [Published 18 June 2013]

Monday, September 17, 2018

Meal No. 2202: Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin

Well, it was my birthday last week, and I like having a chance to make a meal while simultaneously making people come and eat it. That occurred last Thursday night, in that anticipatory window of waiting and watching for the onslaught known as Hurricane Florence to come bearing down.

The evening's vittles included a slow-roasted beef tenderloin with spicy horseradish sauce, layered green bean casserole, and slow-cooker scalloped potatoes. It really was all pretty great, if the chef may say so, and there was enough left to send some home with folks, which I hope makes 'em happier!

"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.

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

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

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Meal No. 2201: Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork

When my Harris Teeter puts Boston Butt on sale at 99-cents-a-pound, I find it irresistible and had to grab two of 'em. The first of those became sweet pork nachos two weeks ago, and the second one was just about to get long in the tooth towards the end of last week. So it was an excuse to try out a new recipe where I could cook it overnight in the crockpot in hopes of having delicious pulled pork ready for supper and for sharing on Wednesday night.

That's how it all turned out: delicious pulled pork barbecue that made a tasty supper, together with coleslaw. And plenty to pass on to three of the neighbors plus a couple of the RoHo regulars...and one portion left for the next day's lunch.

Pulled Pork based on: "Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork," from cmccreight on

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

Barbecue Sauce for cooking adapted from "Tangy Carolina Barbecue Sauce," from Karly Campbell of [Published 10 May 2013]

Barbecue Sauce made for serving was "Homemade BBQ Sauce," from Ali of [Published 03 July 2014]

Sweet Southern Coleslaw based on recipe from Allison M. Jones.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Meal No. 2200: Supreme Soy Sauce Chicken Fried Rice

I had saved the leftover brown rice from recent meals with the idea that it was time to do a weeknight wok of fried rice. On Monday, with the addition of diced chicken breast, it was a great meal that came together easily and (bonus!) made for great leftovers on Tuesday night.

Based on:

Friday, September 14, 2018

Meal No. 2199: Modern Beef Burgundy

It was no simple meal at the Roediger House for the four of us together this past Sunday night. I feel like I went a bit all out on the main dish, a modern take on beef burgundy, that turned out to be pretty darned incredible. It was a pretty involved dish to make and I really managed to smoke up the kitchen in an early stage of the process, so thank goodness it was cool and in the upper 70s so I could throw open all the windows. To go with it, and to keep me more free for playing pool, I did roasted Yukon gold potato wedges and roasted green beans, so that they could just be cooking while I was up on the third floor.

I also made a new special salad, based on a collection of recipes from folks who wanted to mimic the Fuji apple salad that is a go-to for me at Panera Bread. With homemade apple chips, my own candied pecans, plus some dried cranberries and blue cheese, and a homemade white balsamic vinaigrette, it was something all to itself.

Panera-Style Kanzi Apple Salad based on:

"Modern Beef Burgundy," from America's Test Kitchen, Season 14: "Meat and Potatoes with Panache." Accessed 05 December 2014.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Meal No. 2198: Smothered Pork Chops with Onion-Thyme Gravy

When Amy and Gern were back over for dinner last Saturday night, it was again a goal to have the meal mostly cooking so there'd be plenty of pool time before supper was served. The long braise of smothered pork chops in onion-thyme gravy, along with brown rice and the original Campbell's green bean casserole, allowed for that mostly hands-free prep and a delightful time upstairs before it all came together and was served. The chops were moist and delicious, just like they're supposed to be. It was a fine meal at the apex of the weekend. All that, and still some cinnamon roll cookies-n-cream ice cream remained for offering small servings to cap off the night? Why, yes. Yes indeed.

"Smothered Pork Chops," by Erika Bruce. In Cook's Country, April/May 2011, p. 22-23.

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

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Meal No. 2197: Chicken Thighs with Goat Cheese and Tarragon Sauce

At dinnertime this past Friday night, I tried out another new recipe: chicken thighs in a goat cheese and tarragon sauce over brown rice. I could've gone for a creamier goop but the richness of the flavors sure made up for it. A bit of fresh-steamed broccoli was all that was needed to go with it.

"Chicken Thighs with Goat Cheese Sauce and Tarragon," from Cooking Light, May 2001. [Found online.]

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Cinnamon-Sugar Pumpkin Bread

This past Wednesday allowed me some late afternoon time to try out a new recipe, this time for pumpkin bread with a cinnamon sugar topping. I was trying to adapt it from a mini-loaf version so the cooking time was a bit dicey. Unfortunately, I fear that among the ingredients I employed there must've been something bad, either old canola oil or bad pumpkin pie spice...there was a terrible off-taste to it when I sampled a corner of it. So I tossed the whole thing in the trash and will give it another go some other time. At least it looked tempting, even if it was a bust!

"Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Bread," from Averie Sunshine of [Published 27 September 2017]

Monday, September 10, 2018

Meal No. 2196: Baked Chicken Taquitos

Last Wednesday night, with four of us on hand, I piloted another new recipe: baked chicken taquitos. There was also a recent addition to the side dish repertoire: Mexican coleslaw. We all added those good things to our bellies and were then additionally happy that there was more of the cinnamon roll cookies-n-cream ice cream to finish us off.

"Baked Chicken Taquitos," from Maria and Josh of Two Peas and Their Pod.

"Mexican Coleslaw," from Christin of [Published 08 August 2017]

"Taco Seasoning I," from Bill Echols on

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Meal No. 2195: Rotisserie-Style Whole Chicken

Tuesday night's supper at the Roediger House represented a return to the Instant Pot, from which emerged a rotisserie-style seasoned whole chicken that was moist and full of great flavor. I also roasted some broccoli florets and served up more of the homemade Southern coleslaw from the previous evening. And Alabama great white sauce, to dip that chicken into...

"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.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Cinnamon Roll Cookies-n-Cream Ice Cream

For dessert following our Bugaloo Wonderland sandwiches on Labor Day Monday night, I had made on Sunday a batch of cinnamon roll cookies-n-cream ice cream. That stuff is crazy good and, while we were moderate in our amounts, our lip-licking appreciation was in no way short in supply. This was the first ice cream I'd had since May, so I made sure that I did another 3-plus-mile walk before bedtime.

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

Friday, September 7, 2018

Meal No. 2194: Bugaloo Wonderland Sandwiches

With a return visit of delightful neighbors Alaina and Deborah on Labor Day evening, I thought a fun and slightly different supper was called for. So I gave Bugaloo Wonderland sandwiches another go, with their hearty and flavorful goodness, to reasonable approval of the gathered crew. I deviated from the specs and served 'em on buttered-and-toasted brioche buns rather than the typical hoagie or sub roll. We had our fill while still saving room for the rare (at least, these days, it seems) treat of some dessert (see tomorrow's blog post). Also on the menu was a batch of coleslaw based on my mother's recipe.

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

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Meal No. 2193: Sheet Pan Sweet Pork Nachos

The Sunday evening meal for four was a happy return to sheet pan sweet pork nachos. That's all we needed.

"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]

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Meal No. 2192: Salad with Homemade Caesar Dressing

On a stormy Saturday evening of Labor Day weekend, which was also the first day of September, I tried to be sort of good and depended for the evening's sustenance on an Italian salad with homemade Caesar dressing that really was on point.

"Easy Lemon Caesar Salad Dressing," by Kim of

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Big Chair Comes to the Fireside

After almost 10 years of pretty constant use, the more colorful of the two old men's chairs by the fireside in the kitchen pretty much gave up the ghost. With two of its four main springs having snapped, it was no longer a suitable seat. This past Sunday, I opened it up from the bottom to see if it was something I could repair and decided that such was not possible. Because the chair was placed in the kitchen space before the new kitchen was fully trimmed and finished out, it was a belated discovery that it was too wide to get back out through any of the doors! So I disassembled it and hauled it out.

On Labor Day, a quick run down to Furnitureland South netted a great sale discovery: a Klaussner piece descriptively named "The Big Chair" was on a super special yesterday for a mere $295. Even if it ends up not residing by the fireside permanently, I was not going to walk away without it.

And Sumner seems to have taken to it quickly.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Meal No. 2191: New Year's Day Meatballs

On Friday night, it was a treat to have almost all of the Roediger House's most regular regulars, and it seemed long past the time when I should have brought back one of our favorites: New Year's Day meatballs with green bean casserole and company mashed potatoes...all recipes that came to me through my sister Allison. It was a nice feast for bringing the week to a close, as well as for kicking off the Labor Day weekend.

"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).

Sunday, September 2, 2018

More Banana Bread? Indeed!

I seem to have developed a fondness for letting my bananas ripen sufficiently to where I have no choice but to make a loaf of banana bread. Here's the latest, from the end of this past week...

"Starbucks Copycat Banana Nut Bread," from Liz of [Published 25 March 2015]

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Meal No. 2190: Sausage and Beef Manicotti with Homemade Marinara

After a day full of appointments and rushing from one place to another, Thursday night's dinner at the Roediger House found four at the dinner table and a goal of making something satisfying but not overly complicated. It had been a good while since I last made sausage and beef manicotti, and it seemed like a good time to bring it out.

"Sausage & Beef Manicotti with Homemade Marinara," from Celebrate the Seasons: Autumn Classics from Cuisine at Home. Issue No. 6, October/November 2015, p. 18.