Monday, August 26, 2019

Applebee's Maple Butter Walnut Blondies

Without knowing that part of the attraction to maple butter walnut blondies is because they're a much-loved dessert item at your local Applebee's, I just thought the recipe sounded compelling and had given the blondies a trial run just a few days before. So, a second pan of these amazing blondies was whipped up right on the heels of the maiden trial of them, and back on Sunday August 18th I topped 'em with a rich and deeply creamy homemade vanilla bean ice cream as well as an adapted version of sweet maple butter sauce. It was sort of outrageous and helps account for me going over my targeted maximum weight the next morning.

Based on "White Chocolate Walnut Blondies with Maple Cream Sauce," from Jillian Hatsumi of [Published 23 July 2018]

"Maple Butter Sauce," pulled from "Applebee's Copycat Maple Butter Blondies," from [Published 20 February 2016]

"Vanilla Ice Cream," from Bi-Rite Creamery's Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones, by Kris Hoogerhyde, Anne Walker, and Dabney Gough. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press (2012), p. 35-36.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Meal No. 2428: Baked Spaghetti

Sunday a week ago, for four of us at the table, it was a very early dinner featuring the heaping piles of beefy tangy cheesy goodness known simply as "baked spaghetti." This source for it came to me over twenty years ago, thanks to my dear friend Cindy Coulson. I originally tracked this recipe down, though, because of how much I have always enjoyed the baked spaghetti served at our local favorite K & W Cafeteria. For the purposes of supper, just this on the plate was deemed sufficient, because of the over-the-top dessert that we were all saving room for. That's featured in tomorrow's blog post.

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

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Cap'n Crunch Cookies

Back on Saturday August 17th, I dashed into the kitchen and an hour later had produced a fine plate of Cap'n Crunch cookies. This is an incredibly dependable recipe that produces really terrific cookies.

"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.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Meal No. 2427: Tender Baked Chicken Thighs

Last Friday the main meal of the day was a filling feast of baked chicken thighs, together with roasted broccoli florets and roasted baby potatoes.

"Baked Tender Chicken Thighs," from Valentina's Corner.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

White Chocolate Walnut Blondies

At the end of the previous week, I piloted a new blondie recipe, a version that features white chocolate and walnuts that really combine quite nicely, and they were a definite hit.

With me, for sure. They were a definite hit with me.

And with others, presumably, according to the small bit of buzz I heard. But they were on the money for me whether anybody else cared for them or not.

Based on "White Chocolate Walnut Blondies with Maple Cream Sauce," from Jillian Hatsumi of [Published 23 July 2018]

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Meal No. 2426: Skillet Beef Stroganoff

Last Thursday's main meal of the day: skillet beef stroganoff. Full of flavor and belly-warmingly delicious!

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

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Red Velvet Cookies

I carved out a bit of leisurely kitchen time last Tuesday afternoon in order to bring back red velvet cookies with white chocolate morsels...something I hadn't made in over five years, for gosh sakes! And that's a silly long-term oversight, because these deceptively simple cookies are also quite good (especially hot out of the oven, of course).

"Red Velvet Cookies," in Cuisine at Home, September/October 2013, p. 46.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Meal No. 2425: Roasted Salmon over Caesar-Topped Greens

As a small squall passed through Winston last Tuesday, with its meager offering of rainwater, I roasted a delicious thick and sizable slab of salmon that was then served on power greens topped with generous dobs of homemade creamy Caesar dressing. Yet again, that salmon was perfectly cooked and moist and tender and flavorful.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Meal No. 2424: Pork Medallions with Ginger-Soy-Shiitake Cream Sauce

When Mookie and Kristen came for dinner last Sunday night, one might say the menu choice had a reasonable chance of being well-received...because the last time I made it was at Kristen's request for her birthday back in late winter. It all turned out pretty well again this time, with roasted broccoli florets being substituted for the Brussels sprout gratin I'd fixed back in March.

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.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Meal No. 2423: A Brunch Quiche

Last Sunday offered an opportunity to get together again with Greensboro friends and colleagues Amy and Cile, with a simple homemade brunch as our focus. I made a bacon, Gruyère, and caramelized onion quiche and served it with fresh fruit and a swirled Bundt coffee cake.

For dessert, Amy brought an incredible croissant-and-caramel bread pudding that was all too tempting and all too delicious, together with some dulce de leche ice cream. It was such a great visit!

Recipe based on "Bacon and Caramelized Onion Quiche," from Mountain Mama Cooks.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Meal No. 2422: Grilled Chicken on Caesar-Topped Greens

As Saturday evening moved toward dusk and then twilight, I tossed a seasoned chicken breast onto the grill and then diced it to go atop my homemade creamy Caesar-dressed pile of power greens. So yes, salad again, and again oh-so-good...

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Meal No. 2421: Caesar-Topped Power Greens with Chicken

Last Friday afternoon I made a fresh batch of creamy Caesar dressing before heading out to an evening movie, and it made for a super salad topped with the last of the previous day's baked crusted ranch chicken when I returned, quite hungry at that...

Based on "Easy Lemon Caesar Salad Dressing," by Kim of

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Meal No. 2420: Buffalo Ranch Chicken with Goddess Dressing

My first-ever batch of Green Goddess dressing was still hanging around in my fridge, so I put it to use again on Thursday afternoon for the early supper. This time I added a breaded ranch chicken, enhanced with homemade buffalo sauce, to give it a nice kick. It wasn't as crispy as I had hoped it would be but I preferred baking to frying. Pretty often my salads are plain but I boosted this one with carrots, radishes, cucumbers, and avocado.

Adapted from "Crispy Buffalo Ranch Chicken Salad with Goddess Dressing," by Tieghan Girard of [Published 29 July 2019]

"Buffalo Sauce Recipe," by Julie Clark of [Published 03 January 2018]

Monday, August 12, 2019

Meal No. 2419: Lamb Köfte-Style Flatbreads with Yogurt Sauce

Last Wednesday's main meal of the day was a variation of the Lamb Köfte with Yogurt Sauce and Muhammara that I've made quite a few times over the years. This time, instead of meatballs, I treated it more like I was making South Asian taco meat but with the spices appropriate to the lamb. Served on flatbread, with caramelized onions, it was well-complemented by the yogurt-tahini sauce that I'd made in advance.

Inspired by "Lamb Köfte with Yogurt Sauce and Muhammara," from Bon Appétit, January 2010. [clipping]

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Cinnamon Chai-Spiced Oatmeal Cookies

Wow. I'd almost forgotten about the cookie recipe that I brought out on Tuesday afternoon: cinnamon chai-spiced oatmeal cookies. They are incredible, especially when I'm first bringing them hot out of the oven. I hadn't made a batch of these since November 2017, which means it was long overdue to bake up a few dozen.

Based on: "Caramel-Chai Oatmeal Cookies," in Cuisine at Home, September/October 2013, p. 47.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Meal No. 2418: Chicken Salad Melts

When peckishness hit on Tuesday afternoon, I found I had just the cure: chicken salad melts, made from the rotisserie-style chicken from Sunday night, plus a dollop of Alabama great white sauce and a dollop of homemade green goddess dressing. It had a great herb-y flavor and was perfect for the mid-day repast.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Meal No. 2417: Green Goddess Dressed Greens

After all these full and filling meals of late, it was time for me to return to the salad realm, and I did so with a new dressing recipe that depended mightily on herbs from my summer garden. With a fresh batch of power greens on hand, I tried out the herby and delicious green goddess dressing, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much flavor it packed.

Based on the following recipes:

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Peach Cobbler Bread Pudding

After the Sunday evening chicken meal, I foisted upon the gathered crew a new take on an old familiar dessert. This was peach cobbler bread pudding, and it was fine that night.

But it's not as good as my simple old-fashioned peach cobbler, and it's definitely not better than the stone fruit cobbler that I have made quite a few times over the years. So, I'll hang on to the recipe but I might merely borrow ideas from it when I think about how to improve my better takes on this tempting treat.

"Peach Cobbler Bread Pudding," by Jocelyn Delk Adams of the blog. [Published 31 July 2019]

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Meal No. 2416: Rotisserie-Style Chicken

When Sunday night rolled around, it had been far too long since Amy and Gern had been over for dinner...and it was terrific to see them. Gern smashed me at pool but I still happily served up decent grub when we all journeyed downstairs for supper, which consisted of rotisserie-style whole chicken with Alabama great white sauce; roasted mixed baby potatoes; and garden peas. There was also dessert, which will be the topic of tomorrow's blog post.

"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.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream

It's been about a year and a half since I made a batch of Vietnamese coffee ice cream, but that's what showed up at dessert time over the weekend. This is one of my considerably easier ice cream recipes but it always comes out creamy and good.

"Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream," by David Lebovitz. In The Perfect Scoop. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press (2007), p. 35.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Meal No. 2415: Pioneer Woman Meat Loaf

The Saturday night meal for three was a full-blast comfort menu, featuring the Pioneer Woman's meat loaf recipe, plus company mashed potatoes and roasted broccoli spears. This was some good eatin'.

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

"Company Mashed Potatoes," shared with the Jones family by my sister Allison.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Vietnamese Iced Coffee Cookies

As this past week was wrapping up, I experimented with a new cookie recipe that I'd been saving for a while. It was for Vietnamese Iced Coffee Cookies, which apparently was a "Reader's Pick" on

It was not a pick for me. After they were sampled here in the Roediger House, I pulled the recipe out of my binder and threw it away.

I also dumped all the cookies into the trash. Yuck. Yuckity yuck yuck.

"Vietnamese Iced Coffee Cookies," by Posie (Harwood) Brien on [Published 05 April 2018]

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Meal No. 2414: Peanut Butter Bacon Burgers

On Thursday night, all alone in this great big house, I made a great big meal that is one of the very special dinner treats and I feel kind of selfish to have kept it all to myself this time: peanut butter bacon burgers. I don't often eat like that anymore, and my belly was overwhelmed and uncomfortably full...but that was one dadgummed delicious burger!

I do like to offer a review of some key points about the Roediger House peanut butter bacon burgers, which this time comes on the occasion of their 30th appearance:
  • Inspired by Yo Mama's in the French Quarter of New Orleans
  • First Made: Meal No. 180
  • Last Made: Meal No. 2231
  • Fresh Home-Ground Beef, typically from boneless beef short ribs and top sirloin
  • Homemade Peanut Butter
  • Homemade Classic Burger Sauce (recipe below)
  • Labeled Sample "Final Product" Burger: Guide to Meal No. 234

Classic Burger Sauce
from Cook's Illustrated, July-August 2008, p. 11.
4 T mayonnaise
2 T ketchup
1 tsp sweet pickle relish
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.

Guidance on grinding, shaping, and cooking burgers from "Best Old-Fashioned Burgers," by J. Kenji Alt, in Cook's Illustrated, No. 93 (July/August 2008), p. 10-11.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Meal No. 2413: Linton Hopkins's Bucatini Carbonara

The Tuesday main meal was really about as good as I've ever made it: the scrumptious and filling dish of bucatini carbonara, following the guidance of Linton Hopkins from an article 10 years ago in Food & Wine. Rather than pancetta this time, I went with simple crumbled bacon. Not sure if that's what made the difference, but I hope I can always make it this good in the future.

"Bucatini Carbonara," by Linton Hopkins. In Food & Wine, July 2009.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Meal No. 2412: Chicken Salad

At the beginning of the week, I whipped up a batch of delicious chicken salad so that it would be easy to grab and go...and to be good! I'm glad I was able to get a light lunch out of it on Monday.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Eggnog Snickerdoodles

Saturday evening gave me a chance to try out a new cookie recipe that had been as yet untested here: eggnog snickerdoodles. And they were well worth it, although I did go to bed regretting that I had been unable to resist eating three of those rascals.

"Eggnog Snickerdoodles," from Jaclyn Bell of [Published 13 December 2014]

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Meal No. 2411: Steak Quesaphillyas

Inspired a bit by the ideas behind a Philly cheesesteak, I took my leftover grilled filet mignon, sautéed onion and sweet pepper strips, and filled tortilla shells to the brim with that and a mess of cheese. For Saturday lunch, I scarfed that down so fast I burned my mouth up a bit. But it was freakin' delicious.

Preparation and cooking based on "Quesadillas for a Crowd," by Morgan Bolling. In Cook's Country, August/September 2015, p. 18.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Meal No. 2410: Grilled Filet Mignon

Last week we finally got a break in the heat wave, and Thursday was simply gorgeous and Friday was not far behind (even though it did warm up a bit more). When it came time to make a meal, I stepped outside and fired up the grill, tossing onto it some filet mignon steaks I'd picked up at Sam's Club. To go with it, I also fired up the deep fat fryer for French fries, which have definitely not made an appearance at the Roediger House in over a year. I had a few, but only a few! And I really jammed on some sautéed spinach with garlic and shiitake mushrooms. All-in-all, it was quite a show of culinary abundance, followed by some relaxing outdoor sitting with Sumner before I walked up the street to a/perture cinema to catch Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Meal No. 2409: Spicy Chicken Wrap

A quickly-whipped-up meal on Thursday afternoon was a small variation on the recently-created spicy chicken wrap...and it was just right for a speedy supper.

"Grilled Spicy Chicken Wrap," a Roediger House original recipe.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Meal No. 2408: Grilled Chicken on Caesar-Topped Greens

I had grilled some chicken and still had a small portion of breast waiting in the fridge, so for a day-ending hearty salad on Monday afternoon (after a great but full day of teaching) I was happy to sit down to this amazing salad with a wonderful take on the creamy Caesar dressing that's quite the regular here.

Based on "Easy Lemon Caesar Salad Dressing," by Kim of

Friday, July 26, 2019

Lemon Curd Ice Cream

On Wednesday a week ago, I made a batch of fresh lemon curd. The next day, on Thursday, I made a base for ice cream. On that Friday, I churned it into a marvelous lemon curd ice cream. On Saturday, it had time to fully chill. On Sunday, we smacked our lips at its glorious deliciousness, along with lemon curd loaf cake.

"Lemon Curd Ice Cream," by Rachel Currier of [Published 27 May 2016]

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Lemon Curd Pound Cake with Limoncello Glaze

For the crew that came to hang out for the afternoon last Sunday, not only did we have ourselves a scrumptious dinner...but there was dessert as well. Behold the lemon curd pound cake, adorned with a sweet glaze infused with limoncello. This was my second go at this small triumph of devilish goodness, and it did not disappoint this time either.

"Lemon Curd Pound Cake with Limoncello Glaze," from Shelly Jaronsky of [Posted 14 June 2015]

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Meal No. 2407: Linguine with Smoked Gouda and Wine Sauce

On Sunday night for the four of us at dinner, I pulled back a recipe that I made three times in 2014...and then no other times since. It's linguine in a smoked gouda and wine sauce but I dressed it up with some fresh chorizo and added in diced grilled chicken breast, too. It was pretty darned good, if I may say so.

"Linguine with Smoked Gouda and Wine Sauce," from The Grit Restaurant Vegetarian Cookbook, by Jessica Greene and Ted Hafer. Athens, GA: Hill Street Press (2001), p. 64.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Over the weekend I did a bit of cookie-making, bringing back an old favorite from the archives: white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. Tasty and all too tempting, because two of 'em went down my gullet when they came hot out of the oven on Saturday night.

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

Monday, July 22, 2019

Meal No. 2406: Grilled Pork Chops and Chicken

By the time Saturday afternoon rolled around, I realized I was under the gun to go ahead and cook a couple of items in the fridge, as they were reaching the end of their shelf life. So I grilled up some blackened pork chops and some roasted garlic chicken breasts, all of which came out just really terrific and tender. When I sat down to eat, I didn't even mess with any sides...I pulled out some remaining homemade barbecue sauce and had a chop and a portion of chicken breast, which left room for some cookies I made later that evening.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Meal No. 2405: Sheet Pan Beef Nachos

For a mid-day meal on Saturday, I made up an individual portion of sheet pan beef nachos, and they were again spot on! Sorry for the lousy photo but it was important to snap it quickly so that these could be consumed at their warm and delicious best.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Meal No. 2404: Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

The main meal last Thursday afternoon: bacon grilled cheese sandwiches on rustic Italian bread. I find myself bedeviled by the simple goodness of this divine construction.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Mocha Caramel Crunch Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

I wanted to have a little sweet dessert for post-dinner on Tuesday night, and I had a new recipe I was hoping to pilot on my Virginia guests: mocha caramel crunch chocolate chip cookie bars. We were intent on digging into them before they were completely set up, but it was well worth it to rush into them...they were a wonderfully full-flavored treat.

"Mocha Caramel Crunch Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars," by Tieghan Girard of the Half-Baked Harvest blog. [Published 30 September 2016]

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Meal No. 2403: Deviled Chicken Thighs

It was a delicious moderate feast at the Roediger House on Tuesday night, featuring deviled chicken thighs along with glazed sweet potatoes and roasted broccoli.

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

"Glazed Sweet Potatoes," by Patrick and Gina Neely; from The Food Network.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Meal No. 2402: Sheet Pan Beef Nachos

For the foursome at dinner last night, the filling and tasty indulgence of sheet pan beef nachos seemed to be the ideal choice. We all ventured back for seconds and still there remained a small portion for a lunch leftover plate the next day.

Taco-Style Meat Based on "Crispy Beef Tacos," by Hilah Johnson. From

"Homemade Chili and Taco Seasoning," from Jamie of [Published 03 February 2011]

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Meal No. 2401: St. Louis Pork Spare Ribs

The Sunday night meal for six at the Roediger House: pork spare ribs, creamy brie four-cheese mac and cheese, and roasted whole green beans. Amazing.

"Crock Pot Ribs," from Christin Mahrlig of the Spicy Southern Kitchen blog. [Published 17 January 2019]

"Creamy Brie Four-Cheese Mac and Cheese," from Tieghan Girard of the Half-Baked Harvest blog. [Published 21 November 2013]

Inspiration for Roasted Green Beans from "Foil-Baked Green Beans with Soy Sauce and Garlic" by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat; and from "Roasted Green Beans" by Samanathon on