Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Meal No. 2462: Bacon Melts on Buns

The mid-day snack on Saturday: cheesy bacon melts that were hard to resist.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Tillers Owned: 2. Tillers Stolen: 2

When I took Sumner out for his morning routine yesterday, I took note of what was missing at the back side of the driveway: my gas tiller. For the last several months, it's been sitting in front of that mysterious toy car (that itself showed up out of the blue back in 2008). They left me the black plastic cover, perhaps because of what bad shape it was in.

This is the second tiller I've owned and now it's the second to be stolen, just past three years of owning it. (My first tiller lasted four years before someone stole it.) Unfortunately, the security cameras were not able to see far enough across the driveway for me to find out what happened to it, so I'll be making adjustments in their angles and views, for sure.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Butter Toffee Cookies

Sometimes when I make cookies, I simply don't care which ones I make...there are so many good recipes, it's not like I'm going to end up disappointed. So even though it's only been about three weeks since I last made butter toffee cookies, I still decided that's what I had a taste for last Thursday night. Good enough to eat three of 'em hot as they came out of the oven!

"Butter Toffee Cookies," originally from King Arthur Flour. The catalog that comes periodically from KAF has recipes in it, which is where I originally got this. But, as sometimes happens, it is not available on their website. I'm glad someone posted it to Food.com.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Meal No. 2461: Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

I'd made another fresh batch of creamy Caesar dressing, I still had a couple of pieces of grilled chicken from a few days ago, and there was a handful of power greens remaining in my salad container. That was the other meal on Thursday at the Roediger House.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Meal No. 2460: Bacon Grilled Cheese

Yesterday's first meal in the Roediger House kitchen: bacon grilled cheese. Ah, bacon!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Coffee in the Early Morning Chill

My body, heart, and head want very much to remain stuck in days of sunshine and warmth. This morning, as I huddled under my toboggan, wrapped in my winter coat, and shivering with my first steaming mug of morning coffee while Sumner frolicked outside, I could not accept that temps could drop to 42°F just yet...even though they had.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Volunteer Vinca

Before I left last week for my work days in Virginia Beach, I had to snag this shot of sprawling volunteer vinca, that found a wee crack between the pavement and the wall near where they'd previously been planted. It took hold, and it thrived even during our long and terrible dry spell. Rather a hearty plant when it wants to be!

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Meal No. 2459: Grilled Burgers on a Marvelous Monday

It was a pretty nice fall day yesterday, with the bulk of it devoted to instructional rounds with one of the subcohorts I'm working with from High Point University. Fortunately, our school site Monday was only about 20 minutes up the road, in Rural Hall, so there was ample time to enjoy the pleasant sunny afternoon and to be inspired to fire up the grill and to have delicious well-seasoned burgers for supper.

"Grilled Juicy Burgers," from Pillsbury Classic Cookbooks recipe magazine.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Meal No. 2458: Broccoli Cheese Soup

With it so chilly, wet, rainy, and yucky yesterday, soup became the natural and proper choice for the Sunday night supper. I reached back into the archives, bringing back a delicious recipe that is an homage to Panera broccoli cheese soup that's so loved at Panera, and which I hadn't made since this past January. It was more than overdue for a reappearance.

"Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup," by ChefNini and posted to GeniusKitchen.com.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

The Season's First Hot Chocolate

Today was dreary, rainy, gray, and bone-chilling. After sitting in a chilly movie theatre this afternoon in order to see a not-very-good documentary, I walked home in a state of increasing wintry distress. That led me to make the first steaming mug of luscious hot chocolate in advance of the winter season. I dread the coming cold months. But the hot chocolate was quite satisfying!

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Meal No. 2457: Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

Saturday night was a glorious early fall evening, which made grilling out a smart call, but a small appetite left me wanting little more than to put some diced grilled chicken breasts atop greens, dressed with homemade Caesar dressing and roasted sunflower seeds.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Meal No. 2456: Scrambled Eggs & Toast

It was a good but long week working in Virginia Beach, followed by my first day with a new group of administrators in a local school district on Friday, so when hunger hit later on, well into the evening hours, I scrambled up some eggs, added Swiss cheese to 'em, and added some toast to the plate.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Country Comes to Town

"I don't know nothing about city parkin'," wailed the southern-drawled tipsy fellow who had to knock on the front door last Friday night, in order to get me to unblock the driveway so that he could get his frickin' truck off'n my property. When he's not wailing on Facebook that "Democrats are socialists," I wonder if he can stop to consider the irony that he thought he deserved to take something that belonged to me, just because I wasn't using all of it at the moment he needed it?

I suppose that having TWO signs that say "PRIVATE DRIVE" was not sufficient to better inform him of our persnickety city ways.

[This post is at least partially offered tongue-in-cheek.]

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

DoubleTree-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have definitely been on a cookie-making tear lately. The batch I made last Friday was the famous and delicious Doubletree Hotel-style chocolate chip cookies, and they disappeared fast.

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

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Meal No. 2455: Carne Adovada

Oh my, goodness gracious, and good googily moogily: last Saturday night was the latest round of the fully-flavored, wonderfully seasoned, and remarkably tasty New Mexico-style pork in red chile sauce that has now made several appearances on the Roediger House dinner table over the last year or so. I kept it simple, just serving it over Basmati rice, but it seemed to be more than enough to satisfy our dinner cravings that night.

"Braised New Mexico-Style Pork in Red Chile Sauce (Carne Adovada)," by Annie Petito. In Cook's Illustrated, Number 154 (September/October 2018), p. 6-7.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Cap'n Crunch Cookies

I've been working with a group of aspiring administrators taking part in the High Point University Leadership Academy. For our field experiences with observations and data collection this fall, they've been divided into three smaller sub-cohorts. I had my final day with one of those subgroups last week and felt bad that I'd never made them any kitchen confections. So, last Wednesday evening I whipped up a batch of Cap'n Crunch cookies to take in for our session up in Elkin. They seemed to be well-received!

"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.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Sumner's Sixth Squirrel Squelching

Sweet Sumner, the awesome pooch of the Roediger House, has had a long dry run since his last squirrel kill. But that changed this afternoon when he was able to score a victory over a possibly hampered little scurrier. There is an abundance of squirrel life around our block and I appreciate his assistance in controlling the population a bit, especially given some of the damage those buggers have been guilty of.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Meal No. 2454: Instant Pot Beef Short Ribs

A decent sale on beef short ribs enticed me to bring home a package of them, and a time crunch led me to try a recipe for them in the Instant Pot. And it was all pretty good, really, along with roasted baby potatoes and more of the sweet southern coleslaw.

"Instant Pot Short Ribs," from Amy + Jacky of PressureCookerRecipes.com. [Published 08 August 2018]

Friday, October 4, 2019

Meal No. 2453: Chicken Tikka Masala

With my more careful monitoring of diet and food intake, I've definitely tried to stay away from rice. The few times I've had it over the last year to eighteen months, it's pushed the next morning's weigh-in into unpleasant territory. But Tuesday night I was ready to make an exception since I was craving homemade chicken tikka masala, which I served over brown rice along with roasted broccoli. I'm clearly out of practice, because the brown rice required a second cooking cycle, but it proved to be a tasty meal.

"Chicken Tikka Masala," from Cook's Country, October/November 2014, centerfold recipe cards.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Tres Leches Cake

Last Sunday night's dinner of Texas slow-cooked pulled pork had a sweet finisher at the end: tres leches cake, that left us all smacking our lips with moderate helpings of happiness. There's nothing outrageous about this delicious dessert, but it pleases one's dessert palate and leaves him wanting more.

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

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Meal No. 2452: Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork

Last Sunday night was a special evening at the Roediger House, made noteworthy by a return visit of Mookie's folks Rita and Jimmy. With six of us at the table, I wanted to have a-plenty to serve up. Since Boston Butt was on a special sale for 99-cents-a-pound, that narrowed down my options to something porklicious. I had to divert from my first inclination because some key ingredients were not available at the local Hispanic grocery, so I defaulted to a delicious alternative: slow cooker Texas pulled pork with Wild Willy's Rub and homemade tangy Carolina barbecue sauce. I bulked up our plates with homemade baked beans (without the ground beef this time) and my mother's sweet southern coleslaw.

Pulled Pork based on a Review with Modifications by jenleighd, made in response to "Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork," from cmccreight on AllRecipes.com.

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

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

"Baked Beans," from Redith Mozelle Newman Quesenberry (1927-2019) of Carroll County, Virginia, via Cindy Coulson of Cana, VA.

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

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

It's Sparsely Parsley

While temps have continued to dwell in the 90s here at the end of September, the advent of Fall is showing its early signs. The driveway is getting a small littering of leaves and the creeping onset of dark calls us inside earlier each evening. My kitchen herbs have endured, except for the parsley, which had turned quite sad in the last few days.

Upon closer inspection over the weekend, I saw that at least someone is still getting to enjoy it: these Eastern Black Swallowtail larvae were beautifully feasting and stripped it fairly bare. Given what they promise to transform into, I am happy to offer up this sustenance.

While I think I've had nesting caterpillars in the upper branches of trees in years past, this is the first garden invasion I can remember. With that lovely coloring and speedy destruction of the greenery, they were an entertaining feast for the eyes.

Click on the above photo for a larger view, but this is a close-up of the photo from the top of the blog post, with 11 visible caterpillars marked with red arrows.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Meal No. 2451: Savory Garlic Beef and Broccoli Turnovers

For the Friday dinner meal, I reached into the archives and brought out a dish that I hadn't made since last December, but one that never fails to satisfy and often also impresses: savory garlic beef and broccoli turnovers, with a homemade garlic creme to top it all off with. I added roasted broccoli as a side and was more than pleased with how it all came together.

"Savory Garlic Beef & Broccoli Turnovers," by Kirsten Renee Shabaz of Minneapolis, MN. Taste of Home, November 2011, p. 31. (Go to food.com for a copy of the original recipe.)

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

Sunday, September 29, 2019

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

I did a bit of baking on Friday afternoon, resulting in a healthy batch of unhealthy white chocolate-macadamia nut cookies. So good were they!

"Premier White Chocolate and Macadamia Pieces Cookies," from Hershey's Mauna Loa. Found online at https://www.maunaloa.com/recipes/premier-white-chips-and-macadamia-pieces-cookies/.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Meal No. 2450: Roasted Salmon over Caesar-Topped Greens

I try to make salmon a regular part of my diet, and this week's opportunity presented itself last night when I put a roasted slab of it atop power greens, dressed with my homemade creamy Caesar dressing. I ate it like it was going out of style, and then Sumner and I took a humid walk around downtown in the late evening hours.

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

Friday, September 27, 2019

Meal No. 2449: BBQ Chicken Soup

On Tuesday night, I used some baked barbecue chicken thighs that I'd already prepped and cooked, incorporating them in a scaled-back version of the amazing BBQ chicken soup that normally gets made with beer can chicken from the kamado grill. It was still really amazingly good, with enough leftovers to share with the neighbors across the street.

"BBQ Chicken Soup," from the folks at the Big Green Egg website.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Pimento Cheese Sausage Balls

With a package of hot Neese's sausage nearing the end of its shelf life and no immediate plans for doing anything with it, I made the smart choice of cooking a batch of pimento cheese sausage balls, destined for the freezer, waiting there until needed for easy snacking or quick breakfasting.

"Pimento Cheese Sausage Balls," by Kate Robertson of A Thought and a Half blog. [Published 20 March 2019]

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

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Butter Toffee Cookies

Following our Sunday night dinner of lamb tacos, I managed to also offer up a simple dessert treat that might be considered tough to beat: fresh and hot-out-of-the-oven butter toffee cookies! These marvelous concoctions are in a class unto themselves and are a unique and delicious combination of ingredients that always gets a terrific response, it seems.

"Butter Toffee Cookies," originally from King Arthur Flour. The catalog that comes periodically from KAF has recipes in it, which is where I originally got this. But, as sometimes happens, it is not available on their website. I'm glad someone posted it to Food.com.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Meal No. 2448: Spiced Lamb Tacos

The Sunday dinner for four was lamb tacos, topped with caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, goat cheese, cheddar cheese, and a lemon tahini yogurt sauce. I take my inspiration from the lamb köfte that has been one of the more interesting and delicious dinner offerings that draws from an international playbook. We seemed to think they were pretty good that night!

Monday, September 23, 2019

A Loaf of Banana Bread

Well, it's been pretty much exactly a year since I made this banana nut bread recipe, which is almost always so very good. We had just been battered by the rains of Hurricane Florence that last time; as of this writing, we sure could use any rain, whether hurricane-induced or otherwise.

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