Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Meal No. 2229: Linguine with Alfredo Sauce

This past Friday night saw me make the long (and sometimes white-knuckled) drive home in cold dreary rain (mixed with some heavy downpours and a bit of fog here and there), following a full but good week of work in Virginia Beach. It felt pretty awesome to roll up to the Roediger House doorstep...where the indoor temp was a chilly 63°F. But supper was still required, and I turned to a pretty easy but remarkably delicious version of alfredo sauce to drown some cooked linguine in. And then I turned on the heat for the first time since last winter.

"To Die for Fettuccine Alfredo," by ErinMarie.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Doubletree-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies

All last week, I was working at different high schools in Virginia Beach. On Sunday morning, before hitting the road, I managed to bake up a batch of Doubletree-style chocolate chip cookies to take with me to share with the admin teams at the start of that trip. I like them better when I use the bigger scoop and they spread out nicely, but the flavors were still pretty good!

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

Monday, October 29, 2018

French Yogurt Cake (Times 2!)

A week ago Saturday, I managed to make a French yogurt cake to give us an additional option for dessert after our beef bourguignon meal, and it paired pretty nicely with a couple of scoops of the butter pecan ice cream I'd made.

Then, the next morning, I made a second loaf to take with me on the road to Virginia Beach, in order to share with the administrative teams at the schools I was working with. It's so easy, and so delicious. You should click the link below and try it out for yourself!

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

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Butter Pecan Ice Cream

After supper on Saturday night, there was also some dessert: butter pecan ice cream. This here recipe for it really is pretty spot on. That's some good creamy sweet goodness!

"Butter Pecan Ice Cream," from the Whisk Kid.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Meal No. 2228: Beef Bourguignon

Following last Friday night's terrific meal of coq au vin, I guess I was in a stew-braise Saturday night was a very similar meal but this time it was beef bourguignon. Even though I let the braising liquid cook down too much, leaving precious little goop to cover the egg noodles on which it was all served, it was still remarkably tasty.

"Beef Bourguignon (Julia Child Recipe)," from Karina of [Published 18 February 2018]

Friday, October 26, 2018

Crème Brûlée

Following Friday night's terrific meal of coq au vin, I also had some dessert to offer up to everybody: my first attempt at crème brûlée. Given how much I love this concoction, perhaps you'll understand why I divided it into six ramekins instead of eight, as called for by the recipe. I was determined to enjoy an ample serving...which is exactly what happened.

"Crème Brûlée," by Molly O'Neill of New York Times Cooking.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Meal No. 2227: Coq au Vin

Last Friday night I felt like getting a bit adventurous for the four of us sitting down to a Roediger House dinner, which led me to try out a new recipe for the classic French dish of coq au vin. It takes a bit of prep but not so much that it's outrageous. The crew's reviews of this new stew: it'll do! We all thought it was pretty fantastic, I think.

Roasted garlic-parmesan asparagus and roasted spiced Yukon gold potato wedges proved to be excellent sides for this delicious dish.

"Coq au Vin (Chicken Braised in Red Wine) Recipe," by Daniel Gritzer. From

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Meal No. 2226: Mess of Beef on Toast

I don't know what to call the concoction that I whipped up in the skillet last Thursday night, which I then dumped onto buttered and toasted bread slices. It's definitely not appropriate for my diet or weight management but I sure scarfed it down like I hadn't eaten for three days. So, there's that.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Meal No. 2225: Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork

When neighbors Deborah and Alaina were back up to the house for hanging out and for dinner last Wednesday, I let the slow cooker do the heavy lifting so that we could sit down to a gracious feast of Texas pulled pork barbecue, along with the perfect accompaniment of Southern coleslaw like Mother used to make.

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

"Smokin' Summer Spice Dry Rub," from Barry C. Parsons of

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.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Meal No. 2224: Grilled Bacon Cheese Sandwiches

I suppose it wasn't a particularly noteworthy celebratory choice for dinner on the day that the Roediger House mortgage was fully paid off, but last Tuesday a delicious grilled bacon cheese sandwich on artisan bread adorned the paper plates while Avengers: Age of Ultron played on the screen up on the third floor.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Meal No. 2223: Grilled Chicken Breast over Caesar Salad

After the seasonal but still most unwelcome chill last Sunday, the gorgeous Monday that followed it (with warm sunshine and soothing breezes) put me in a mind to grill, but I also didn't want to go too grand with the foodstuffs. Some grilled chicken breast atop a Caesar-dressed salad with a generous sprinkling of roasted sunflower seeds and a few more homemade croutons really offered the perfect solution for supper.

Helpful guidance for grilling chicken breasts came from: "How to Grill the Juiciest Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts," by Joshua Bousel of

"Easy Lemon Caesar Salad Dressing," by Kim of

"Croutons," by Marg CaymanDesigns on

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Meal No. 2222: Broccoli & Cheese Soup

Sunday night's meal was chosen because of what I had in the fridge but also because it was the first fall day of 2018 with me feeling pretty much chilled and not quite finding a way to get warm. So a pot of warm goodness was the right call: broccoli and cheese soup, with some more homemade croutons on top.

"Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup," by ChefNini and posted to

"Croutons," by Marg CaymanDesigns and posted to

Friday, October 19, 2018

Super Epic Rainbow Cake and Cake Batter Ice Cream

You know, a cake like this might just require a bit of effort. But when you get this kind of result, in spite of how I might doubt my sanity in the production phase, it's awfully easy to decide it must've been worth all the trouble and fuss.

This is the aptly-named super epic rainbow cake, which has now made its fourth appearance coming out of the Roediger House kitchen (previously made in 2013, 2015, and 2016). This was the epic dessert to follow the epic Alice Springs Chicken last Saturday night. I even made a batch of cake batter ice cream to go with it, which wasn't all that epic, but in retrospect it might have all been much too much anyway.

To get it right, you'd better do some math: measuring and division, in particular. Once the main batch of cake batter has been whipped up, you've gotta divide it equally into six different bowls, because each layer is going to be colored differently.

They're all pretty cool to look at once they emerge from the oven, though:

And don't get me started with how challenging I keep finding the Italian meringue buttercream, although it didn't flop this year like it has in the past. Why, the final result was a tall and impressive looking cake, I'd say:

"Say It With Cake: Super Epic Rainbow Cake," and "How To Make Italian Meringue Buttercream," from the Whisk Kid blog.

"Cake Batter Ice Cream," by smstemp on

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Meal No. 2221: Blue Ribbon Recipe for Alice Springs Chicken

The beginning of October marks the return each year of the Dixie Classic Fair here in Winston-Salem, and on a gorgeous day off that week I went up and checked it out. I hadn't been to the fair in over 30 years, I bet. I walked the grounds, checked out a lot of the agricultural exhibits, walked around the midway, ate nothing, and came home about 75 minutes later. It was five bucks well spent.

Of course, there are tons of contests and competitions, and the write-up in the local paper of one sponsored by our very own Colony Urban Farm caught my eye. The winning recipe, from Crystal Ridge of nearby Kernersville, was her gussied-up take on the Outback Steakhouse's Alice Springs Chicken. I decided to make it on Saturday night.

This isn't one of the simple recipes:
  • the chicken breasts were pounded and left to marinate overnight in a mix of seasonings and spices
  • the special honey mustard sauce calls for Bourbon-infused Colony Urban Farm honey
  • the cooked bacon is also specially seasoned to up the flavor
  • the chicken is grilled before getting dressed for the final baking
  • mushrooms are sautéed, of course
  • all the goodness is layered and topped with two kinds of cheese before a final baking

And the result? Awesomely fantastic. With all the energy that went into putting the main dish together, I had to depend on instant potatoes and simple steamed asparagus spears for the sides. I sure was delighted with how it all turned out nonetheless. Congratulations to Crystal Ridge for her terrific creation!

"Bourbon Honey Mustard Mushroom Pepper Jack Bacon Chicken," 1st Place Winning Entry submitted by Crystal Ridge (Kernersville, NC) in the Fool's Gold Honey Contest at the 2018 Dixie Classic Fair in Winston-Salem, NC.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

I was up early enough on Friday morning to get a batch of cookies made, and this time I went with white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, which were great for sharing with the crew at Willow's Bistro and also with the admin team of a local high school I've been working with.

"Premier White Chocolate and Macadamia Pieces Cookies," from Hershey's Mauna Loa. Found online at

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Paid in Full: End of the Mortgaged Manse

I bought the Roediger House in October 2003 with a 30-year mortgage and earnest hopes I'd be able to pay it off in 20 years. At mid-day today, exactly 15 years following the purchase, I paid off the remaining portion of the mortgage loan and the Roediger House is free and clear!

That's pretty exciting, if you ask me.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Meal No. 2220: Chicken Breast Nuggets over Caesar Salad

Much of Thursday was rainy and gusty as the remnants of Hurricane Michael passed over the northwest Piedmont of North Carolina. Once again, I had to put out buckets and tubs to catch the drips from the ceiling at the upstairs porch door, but there was no serious damage here and not even a flickering of the lights. Lots of other folks were not so fortunate.

But the rains eased on out of the area by late afternoon and, when dinnertime rolled around, I figured it was time for a fried nuggets version of the Chic-Fil-A copycat sandwiches I've been making for several years, to be put atop another Caesar-dressed Italian salad. I even went so far as to make homemade cheesy-garlicky croutons that were sort of amazing all by themselves. Side note: I think this was the first deep-fried food I've had since late spring—and it apparently had no negative impact on my next-morning weigh-in, thank goodness!

"Croutons," by Marg CaymanDesigns on

Chicken Nuggets based in part on "Chic-Fil-A Copycat Sandwich," by Hilah Johnson. From Hilah Cooking.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Meal No. 2219: Roasted Salmon over Caesar Salad

Wednesday night at the Roediger House: roasted salmon over romaine salad with a homemade kickin' Caesar dressing. That thick fillet was cooked to perfect temperature and tasted amazing, and the Caesar dressing was also, quite simply, on point. Pretty scrumptious, all that.

"Easy Lemon Caesar Salad Dressing," by Kim of

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Meal No. 2218: Baked Pork Chops

When Mookie and Kristen were here for dinner on Tuesday night, I pulled out my friend Cindy's approach to making baked pork chops, with a flavorful seasoning coat and doused with melted butter as it goes into the oven. I've shown myself to be rather fond lately of buttered boiled potatoes, too, and I even brought back the lima beans. It was a fine dinner for us all.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Homemade Granola Bars

With all the granola I've found myself eating lately, I decided I ought to look into making my own batch of it. My first attempt at this occurred at the start of the week and, rather than loose granola (a topping for yogurt, perhaps), I whipped up a set of granola bars. I went with honey-almond-cinnamon bars, and I think they were really darned good. I look forward to concocting more but trying different ingredients and flavor combinations.

"Simple, Soft and Chewy Granola Bars," by Joanne and Adam Gallagher of [Published 26 July 2017]

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake

I was feeling a bit adventurous on Sunday and was hankering to try out a new dessert recipe. But I also tackled it strictly as an experiment, with little investment in it to make me fret if it was a bust and had to be completely tossed. What resulted was a semi-compromised chocolate Swiss roll cake that wasn't all that pretty but was still good enough to serve after the Monday night meal.  I'll have to try another recipe for this sometime and see if it works better....

"Chocolate Roll," from Ali of [Published 04 December 2017]

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Meal No. 2217: Skillet Beef Stroganoff

On Monday night, the Roediger House supper was deliciously simple and more than enough to satisfy: skillet ground beef stroganoff with egg noodles. And there was enough to bundle up some leftovers to hand off to Kristen and Mookie after they came for dinner on Tuesday night:

Based on "Beef Stroganoff Hamburger Dinner in a Skillet," by Emeril Lagasse. Found online at The Food Network.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Brown Sugar Cheesecake with Dulce and White Chocolate Ganache

It's been a good long while since I last made a cheesecake...very nearly a year, in fact. And I got a hankering over the weekend to do something about that, and what emerged was a brown sugar cheesecake with a dulce and white chocolate ganache. But: it wasn't particularly good and definitely not outstanding, and after we sampled it following Sunday night's dinner, I tossed the whole damn thing in the trash.

"Dulce and Brown Sugar Cheesecake," by Naomi Gingerich of [Published 31 December 2016]

Monday, October 8, 2018

Meal No. 2216: Barbecued Chicken

With a pretty nice evening happening here in downtown Winston-Salem Sunday night, I chose to grill the supper: barbecued chicken thighs, together with buttery boiled yellow potatoes and seasoned lima beans. It felt like a feast!

"Barbecued Chicken," by Alison Roman in Bon Appétit, July 2013, p. 70.

"Wild Willy's Number One-derful Rub," in Smoke & Spice, by Cheryl and Bill Jamison. Boston: The Harvard Common Press, 2003, p. 171.

"Homemade BBQ Sauce," from Ali of [Published 03 July 2014]

Sunday, October 7, 2018

HCHS Class of 1983

I wasn't at home cooking anything last night, because I was back "home" in Harnett County for our 35th Class Reunion. What a crew!

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Meal No. 2215: One-Pan Pork Tenderloin

It's always a good evening when Kristen and Mookie are able to come over for dinner, as happened last night. It was an opportune time to bring back a sort-of-newer favorite that finds itself in regular rotation at the Roediger House: one-pan pork tenderloin with whole green beans and baby Dutch potatoes. Except on those occasions when I've overcooked it, this has been a really dependable recipe that makes for us all a great meal.

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

Friday, October 5, 2018

Cap'n Crunch Cookies

I took time last Tuesday afternoon to make a batch of Cap'n Crunch cookies to share with the team I worked with at a local high school on Wednesday. I actually sampled one hot out of the oven and it was a return to a small corner of paradise.

"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.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Meal No. 2214: Lamb & Mushroom Meatloaf

Tuesday night at the Roediger House was a return to a much-loved favorite: lamb and mushroom meatloaf, with smashed sweet potatoes and seasoned green beans. It's sort of a standard around here, but it's always a high standard.

"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).

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Meal No. 2213: Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry

The first meal of October was a new recipe: beef and broccoli stir fry. And although it cooked itself into an almost overwhelming saltiness (in spite of using light soy sauce), it was still pretty filling and tasty.

"Mongolian Beef and Broccoli," from Karina of [Published 15 April 2016]

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Meal No. 2212: Braised Chicken over Brussels Sprouts and Shallots

After a quick overnight trip to DC, there was still time this past Sunday for company but I definitely kept it simple: braised chicken over Brussels sprouts and shallots, along with roasted baby Dutch potatoes. It was basic in its own way, and also basically pretty good.

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

Monday, October 1, 2018

Meal No. 2211: Ultimate Cream of Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese

With the off-and-on drizzle lingering around Winston this past Thursday, I fixed up a pot of rather delicious cream of tomato soup, along with a nicely-toasted grilled cheese sandwich. Yum.

"Ultimate Cream of Tomato Soup," from Cook's Illustrated, November 1999. Recipe can also be found online at