Friday, November 30, 2018

Meal No. 2248: One-Pan Pork Tenderloin

The end of Thanksgiving weekend found the Roediger House dinner table again happily populated with folks who are dear, and the four of us on Sunday night dug in to what has become an easy favorite and easy regular dish: one-pan pork tenderloin with green beans and baby yellow potatoes.

On one of the trips outside for Sumner to run around, I really screwed up by leaving my phone on the charger. A hawk was perched on the AT&T cable right above the front wall, and there was a pretty cool moment where he and Sumner had a brief staring contest at each other.

The hawk relocated to one of the cherry trees overlooking the driveway, which gave me time to grab my long lens.

He hung out here for quite a while but my birds all seemed to get word of his threatening presence and were nowhere to be seen or heard. The hawk took off after about an hour of sitting and spinning that little head of his.

And ain't this a fine looking dog?

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

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Meal No. 2247: Potato and Cheddar Soup

After the long morning of drear and cold and even some light icing on vegetation and on the cars, with a pervasive chill dominating all the feels, by Saturday night I was pretty sure soup was called for. With the ingredients on hand so that a trip out to the grocery store could be avoided, the smart call was for potato and cheddar cheese soup, topped with some crumbled bacon. It was the ideal evening meal for a day like that, while the fire still crackled on the grate nearby.

"Potato and Cheese Soup," shared with me by my sister and her husband, who got it through a cooking class at KitchenArt in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Winter Cometh

Fire 47

Black Friday turned cold, with a high temperature in the low 40s...or, put another way, 20 degrees colder than the average. It was time to get another great all-day fire going in the kitchen fireplace, which seemed (as the photo above suggests) to be perfectly cozy for Sumner. Friday was also the first day that Cristina Zavaleta took over the mammoth job of housecleaning, since Maid to Please didn't turn out to be the right choice. She and her team did a great job—I'm glad to have her. And the highlight of that cold day was a warm visit from my college roommate Jimmy, along with his wife Julie and their son Hunter. It's always terrific to see them.

Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend managed to dawn even more miserable, with temps hovering around 31°F and freezing rain overtaking the area. Which seemed to make a roaring Saturday morning fire an absolute necessity.

Fire 48

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Meal No. 2246: Thanksgiving 2018

Thanksgiving remains my favorite of all the holidays precisely because it is all about food and fellowship with folks who enrich our lives. Sometimes that's our blood relations, but the Roediger House enjoys its own kind of family. Most years, that's meant a table full of a wonderful mix of people when all the many Thanksgiving dishes are offered up. This year was remarkably different and yet every bit as delightful: it was just four of us around the table.

And feast we did! The only regular feast menu item to make an appearance was layered green bean casserole. I tried new recipes for roasting a whole turkey and for a different take on stuffing. I brought in the Neely's terrific Southern creamed corn and pulled out a recipe for sweet potato casserole that I might only have made once before (at least since I began blogging about my kitchen exploits in 2010). It all seemed to turn out pretty great!

Roast Turkey

Sage Stuffing

Sweet Potato Casserole

Southern Creamed Corn

Layered Green Bean Casserole

"Make-Ahead Roast Turkey," by Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa.

"Classic Sage Dressing," by Faith Durand for The Kitchn. Posted by The Splendid Table.

"Sweet Potato Soufflé," by Eudell F. Smith of Clayton, NC. Published in Foundation Family Favorites. Cary, NC: North Carolina Baptist Foundation (1993), p. 205.

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

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

Monday, November 26, 2018

Meal No. 2245: Brunswick Stew

We had us a fine gathering of five on the Wednesday night ahead of Thanksgiving, and the crew allowed me to try out another new recipe on them: Brunswick stew. I've made this before but I think the version that went into everybody's bowls that night was labeled a winner. So much winning!

Brunswick Stew based on:

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

Rotisserie Chicken from Sam's Club.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Meal No. 2244: Beef Bourguignon

Cooked last Sunday and served at dinnertime this past Monday night (after an overnight rest) was a gratifying pot of incredible rich, silky, and deeply-flavored beef bourguignon. Man-o-man, that hearty goodness ain't easy to resist.

Fire No. 46 - Prepped and Ready

Last weekend, there was enough of a chill and I was free enough with my schedule to make a third fire in three days. I'd laid it that morning so that it would be in readiness, but I wasn't planning to light it since the forecast was for a gentle warming up to around 60°F...but with intermittent cloudiness and enough chill in this old man's bones, I was quick to strike a match to it and then enjoy working by the blaze.

Fire No. 46 - Work Setting

Also, many thanks to all of you who were not that morning's example of careless inconsideration:

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

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Saturday Night Carrot Cake

Exactly a week ago, when there was a crowd here and we had baked spaghetti casserole, I also had a dessert to offer up to the gathered crew: one-layer carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Yum. Seriously, it was supremely yum.

"Perfect Carrot Cake," by Shelly Jaronsky of [Published 11 April 2018]

Friday, November 23, 2018

Meal No. 2243: Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole

On the Saturday night before Thanksgiving, there were seven of us around the dinner table. I served up a new recipe for baked spaghetti. For years and years, I've depended upon a delicious recipe for this that I got from my long-time friend Cindy Coulson, but I was up for trying something new and a bit goopier than the usual.

I wanted to walk a fine line: to up the cheesiness and ooze without the dish becoming a spaghetti'd version of lasagna. I wanted it to retain some distinctness and, in the end, I reckon it mostly succeeded. It seems the unanimous verdict was that this was a fine dish, worthy of repeating.

We had salad with it, with homemade Caesar dressing and homemade croutons.

The chill that invaded Winston that week was slow to abate, and I uncharacteristically made an evening fire on Friday night...normally I make 'em an all-day affair.

Fire No. 44

And then, although Saturday was a beautiful and sunny late fall day, I still started the morning with a fire since (1) it was 33°F when I woke up and (2) I like having a fire. With coffee in one hand and a good book to read in the other, and with Sumner settled in as an oversized lapdog, it was a picture-perfect Saturday morning.

Fire No. 45

Recipe based primarily on "Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti" and "Quick and Easy Marinara Sauce," by Sabrina of Dinner, Then Dessert. [Published 06 May 2016]

"Easy Lemon Caesar Salad Dressing," by Kim of

"Croutons," by Marg CaymanDesigns on

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Red Velvet Sugar Cookies

When it was cold and rainy back on the 15th, and I felt sequestered inside all day with a great fire going to keep things cozy, I decided to break out a new recipe: red velvet sugar cookies with a cream cheese icing on top. Geez Louise: they were quite something, and I hate like heck that you had to miss 'em.

"Red Velvet Sugar Cookies," from Jillian Hatsumi of [Published 08 February 2016]

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Meal No. 2242: Ultimate Cream of Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Last Thursday was supposed to be a day for me with teacher leaders at an area elementary school, but the schedule needed to be shifted to accommodate some training they were doing. So instead of having to venture out, I delighted in being able to stay home and stay in because it was a dreary, cold, rainy, miserable weather day.

It granted me the option to have the first fire of the 2018-2019 winter season:

Fire No. 43

And that evening it was hard to imagine anything better than a creamy bowl of tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches, which just always hits the spot.

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

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Chocolate Stout Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Back in September, I tried for the first time a recipe for a stout-infused chocolate cake with a cream cheese topping; I decided to give it another go a week ago, following the Country Captain Chicken dinner. I was inspired, in part, by the mixed six-pack of beers that Donna and Ebbie brought, as assembled by Coe up at the Woodstock Cafe. One bottle was from Michigan's New Holland brewery, a bourbon-barrel-aged Dragon's Milk Imperial Stout Ale. The part that didn't go into the cake was darned delicious, too.

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

Monday, November 19, 2018

Meal No. 2241: Country Captain Chicken

Last Tuesday continued to be chilly, overcast, dreary, and not quite as rainy. With Mookie and Kristen on tap for dinner that night, and me at home for the day, I got busy during the late morning and put together a terrific slow cooker meal known as Country Captain Chicken. My first experience of this recipe was up in Princeton, NJ, with friends David and Everett on an Easter visit some years ago, and it's David's recipe that guided me. Some steamed brown rice, roasted cauliflower, and roasted asparagus completed the dish.

That morning, Sumner and I chanced to encounter a large hawk lurking about the yard. We scared him away from the small planting bed right outside the back door, and he flew up on top of the movie screen frame, and then he hustled over to the light pole at the end of the driveway.

The gray of the day made good pictures problematic but I still like to marvel over these creatures and capture those moments when I can.

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

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Cape Cod Soft Molasses Cookies

With a cold rainy drear settled in for a full-day of oppression last Monday, by evening time I was ready to try creating something—anything—even if it didn't turn out that great. Which is basically what happened: an attractive-looking flavorful soft molasses/ginger cookie that really isn't my thing. I have tossed the recipe print-out as there's no need to hold onto it. It's true what they say: "The more you know..."

"Cape Cod Soft Molasses Cookies," from King Arthur Flour.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

The End of Business 40

As of this morning, the central stretch of the downtown expressway (which was originally Interstate 40, before it was re-routed in 1992 to bypass Winston-Salem to the south) is now closed.

Credit: City of Winston-Salem [via Twitter]

The Broad Street bridge was torn down last month and those access ramps will be eliminated, which I guess will represent the long-term adjustment for me when it comes to coming and going.

Given that the Roediger House is just off this major downtown artery, it's going to be an interesting 20 months or so until the roadway reopens under the new moniker: The Salem Parkway.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Meal No. 2240: Barbecued Pork Spare Ribs

Veteran's Day dawned brisk and cold, with our first good hard freeze of the fall. It was just barely above the mid-20s when Sumner and I were outside a little before 8 am. It was a gorgeous Sunday morning but with enough breeze that you could feel the chill cutting through you if you turned the right way.

That night, Amy and Gern came over to dinner, and with a free afternoon I decided to get into a little bit of a long slow-cooking meal: oven-roasted St. Louis-style barbecued spare ribs. The sides were both new recipes: twice-baked potato casserole (not really all that good, though); and Brussels sprouts with bacon, garlic, and shallots (which was quite tasty).

"How to Make Great Ribs in the Oven," by Emma Christensen. From The Kitchn. [Published 01 July 2017]

"Memphis Rub," from ALIKAT695 on, with helpful modifications as suggested in the reviews from naples34102.

"Twice Baked Potato Casserole," by Sue Adame on [Published 02 June 2012]

"Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Garlic, and Shallots," by David Bonom. In Cooking Light, November 2011.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Meal No. 2239: Broccoli and Cheese Soup

With our first major freeze/frost warning of the approaching winter issued for last Saturday night, with chill evening temps and shudder-inducing breezes that were constant, all I wanted that evening at dinnertime was a warm hearty soup. The broccoli-cheese combo won out and that's what looked so good in my bowl at the evening meal.

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

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Chai-Spiced Sugar Cookies

When I belatedly discovered an out-of-date ingredient that sidetracked me from a new cookie recipe I was hankering to try, I shifted gears and pulled up a different new recipe to make: chai-spiced sugar cookies. Wow. If you were at the house that evening, you'd be mighty glad that Plan B was required.

"Chai-Spiced Sugar Cookies," by Jamie of [Published 05 January 2012]

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Toffee and Salted Caramel Ice Cream

It was rainy, foggy, and dreary on Election Day, which left Sumner and me sequestered in the house all day (I had voted early). I caught up on correspondence, washed towels and sheets, worked on a couple of presentations...and made a batch of no-churn salted caramel toffee ice cream. It was a fantastic treat and awesomely delicious, if I may say so!

Based on "No Churn Salted Caramel Toffee Pretzel Ice Cream," from Maria Lichty of the Two Peas and Their Pod blog.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Meal No. 2238: Pioneer Woman Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf

I realize I had only just made meatloaf over the previous weekend, although it was lamb-and-mushroom meatloaf as inspired by Asheville's famous Tupelo Honey Cafe. But with company this past Tuesday night and a chub of ground beef that was begging to be used, I figured it was a good choice for the evening's main course. Hence, at suppertime, we sat down to the Pioneer Woman's favorite meatloaf, in all its glory, along with the Pioneer Woman's version of creamy mashed potatoes, which are rich and sinful. And I added the pot of dependable seasoned green beans to finish it all out.

Y'know, the last I fixed this meal, at the end of May, I was 45 pounds heavier than I am now. I fear this meal definitely cut away at that progress!

"My Favorite Meatloaf," from Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman. Posted 20 September 2010.

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

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Meal No. 2237: Savory Breakfast Bread Pudding

Before dear friends Ebbie and Donna left on the first Sunday morning of November, following an excellent visit and reunion for us all, I thought a bit of brunchy breakfast was called for: savory sausage bread pudding and more of the French yogurt cake. I suppose the dish turned out reasonably decent but then suddenly breakfast and the weekend and the visit was over. They did have a long drive to make following this but I hated to see them go!

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

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Meal No. 2236: Lamb and Mushroom Meatloaf

As noted in yesterday's blog post, it was a particularly special weekend at the Roediger House at the beginning of November, as we enjoyed a visit from fellow educators that I've known for about 15 and 20 years, respectively: Donna and Ebbie, both from the Shenandoah Valley region. Now that they're retired, I'll be hoping that this is the first of many trips they take to Winston-Salem.

On that first Saturday night of November, when dinnertime rolled around, we sat down to the Tupelo Honey Cafe's version of lamb and mushroom meatloaf together with smashed sweet potatoes and seasoned green beans.

Over the last few years, I've regularly caught up with these two delightful ladies when I'm working up that way, often at the really terrific Woodstock Cafe. It was there that I first encountered warm bacon dip some time ago, which quickly became a featured RoHo appetizer or party item, so nostalgia and tribute drove me to have a batch of it before our scrumptious meal that evening.

"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).

"Swiss and Bacon Dip," from Rachael Ray. Available online at the Food Network website.