Thursday, October 6, 2022

Meal No. 3201: Carrot Cake Oatmeal

The Roediger House got to host another overnight guest back on September 22nd, when my sister stayed overnight on her way down to the beach. A repeat of the previous weekend's batch of carrot cake oatmeal was an easy go-to for our light breakfast before she left Friday morning.


Based on "Carrot Cake Oatmeal," from Molly Watson of TheSpruceEats.com. [Updated 02 July 2019]

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Meal No. 3200: Apple-Walnut Chicken Salad Sandwiches

My sister passed through overnight on September 22nd but her arrival time was not quite clear to me. In case she came in hungry, but also so that my own supper would be ready for me on that Thursday, I tossed a prepped split chicken breast into the sous vide mid-day and then whipped up a red onion dressing, punched up with a bit of gochuchang sauce but balanced with honey and dijon. Diced apples and walnuts bulked it up and it all was terrific on brioche buns, along with an overabundance of Sun Chips.

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Eggnog Tres Leches Cake

Perhaps it's a coping mechanism, knowing that the change of seasons was approaching and knowing how much I will not look forward to being cold and losing all my good outside time...but in late September I made a nice batch of eggnog. Pretty delicious all by itself, but its first dedicated purpose was as part of the sweet soak for an eggnog tres leches cake. Oh, that cake was pretty awesome, boosted by the homemade whipped cream I put on it instead of the recipe's recommended shortcut of topping the milk-soaked sponge layer with Cool Whip. Since I re-upped my supply of whole nutmeg and got a really good grinder, the essential spice element was present and accounted for. The dinner guests back on September 21st definitely approved, so extra slices went home with them when we wrapped up our evening.

Also, as for that grand batch of marvelous eggnog itself, I seemed to have more success folding the sweetened whipped egg whites into the custard base this time; I don't always feel triumphant at that phase of the process.


"Eggnog Tres Leches Cake," from Michele at FlavorMosaic.com. [Published 13 December 2015]

Monday, October 3, 2022

Meal No. 3199: Filipino Chicken Adobo

When blessed with delightful neighbors here on Spring Street, it becomes a special bonus any evening that they can gather at the Roediger House dinner table. That was the case on September 21st, and I thought it might be nice to make a grand skillet of filipino chicken adobo. I probably cooked the chicken thighs just a bit too long but the sauce was excellent, especially on the brown rice I'd steamed. We also enjoyed a batch of garlicked asparagus cuts. It was a great evening, capped off by a special dessert, to be detailed in tomorrow's blog entry.


"Introducing Chicken Adobo," by Bryan Roof. In Cook's Illustrated, March & April 2012, p. 6-7.

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Meal No. 3198: Bacon-Onion-Cheddar Puff Pastry Pizza

As the weekend before last was wrapping up, after a terrific houseguest departed, another marvelous pair of visitors came for an afternoon hang that Sunday: my college roommate Jimmy and his wonderful wife Julie. With a tally of 37 years of friendship, they remain among my most favorite people in the world. Talking and catching up were so engrossing that I completely forgot that I wanted us to grab a picture with one another, as we have regularly done when they've made the journey here from Sanford. Eventually, it was necessary to let them head back home late afternoon, and so I opted for a quick-prepped supper here that night: bacon, onion, and cheddar puff pastry pizza with a base of homemade barbecue sauce (that I had tucked away in the fridge), which was well-suited to the end of a fine weekend in Winston.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

The Positive Implications of a Color Printer Upgrade

Oh, the endlessness of one's to-do lists, that of course will understandably include items of vital importance but also simply of preference. It's been a long time since I owned a really good color photo printer, which means I've had scattered about the house a mix of outdated, irrelevant, and also poorly-printed photographs in frames. I reached a point of combined frustration and inspiration in September, did the necessry research, and pulled the trigger on getting a new color inkjet printer: the Canon PIXMA G620 pictured here:

Then, I went on a short search (with quick positive results) for which closet into which I'd stuck away some various empty picture frames, pulled out my large paper cutter that I had back in my classroom teaching days, and ended up with a much enhanced and much refreshed personalization of various common spaces throughout the house. It was a pleasing little project to complete.

The unresolved question at this moment: whether this printer will allow me to get back into the habit and business of making my own birthday cards for sending out to friends and loved ones.... Its predecessor did not treat the card paper particularly well and I've missed my efforts to maintain this anachronistic snailmail practice.

Friday, September 30, 2022

Meal No. 3197: Sous Vide Bacon-Onion-Swiss Egg Bites

As the long-awaited visit of Karissa Piper was wrapping up the weekend before last, we enjoyed a Sunday morning light breakfast of bacon-onion-Swiss sous vide egg bites together with sliced bananas and whole strawberries. Washed down with ample coffee and extended by the relaxing but animated conversation we were enjoying, it was a most suitable coda for our time together.


Based on "How to Sous Vide Egg Bites at Home," from Jenna Passaro of SipBiteGo.com. [Published 08 July 2021 / Modified 31 August 2021]

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Meal No. 3196: Boogaloo Wonderland Sandwiches

Once suppertime rolled around on September 17th, I made a last-minute shift in my plans. Adding to the joy of a weekend out-of-town visitor was the happy circumstance of another friend and colleague coming by with her awesome twin senior-in-high school sons, to catch up with all of us. In eager hopes of channeling my mother's uncanny ability to be a host-at-the-ready in nearly any social situation, I opted for a back-up mealplan that might serve six instead of three, and Boogaloo Wonderland Sandwiches fit that bill. A variation (dare I say upgrade?) on sloppy joes, that would more properly be served on hoagie rolls instead of brioche buns, these work well as open-faced piles of savory and slightly sweet goodness.


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

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Meal No. 3195: Carrot Cake Oatmeal

While the delightful Karissa was here the weekend before last, our Saturday morning day-starter snack was a long overdue return to carrot cake oatmeal, a slightly healthier spin on what's already an awesome breakfast choice. It's not so much more trouble to make than regular oatmeal but it can feel like you've really notched things up. Our portions remained moderate that morning while we enjoyed our bowls outside on a wonderfully moderate sunny morning.


Based on "Carrot Cake Oatmeal," from Molly Watson of TheSpruceEats.com. [Updated 02 July 2019]

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Ray's the Bar Sign

When architect Sam Binkley designed the kitchen addition in 2008, he did so with excellent vision and foresight. It has been a marvelous expansion of and improvement to the life of the Roediger House. The west gable added to the roof back then would, he predicted, make an excellent space for a pool table, if and when I decided to finish out the attic. Sam was spot-on yet again in 2014 when he designed that attic renovation into a massive man cave, perfect for the pool table, plenty of seating for large gatherings for movies and games, and smart uses for the smaller north and south gables.

That south gable is outfitted with a sink and cabinets and a double undercounter beer cooler, all under a unique bar top made from salvaged old wood from a theatre demolition in the North Carolina Sandhills region. Aptly and cleverly named “Ray’s the Bar,” all it has needed to be complete is a couple of key signs. I’ve got a spot above the window where someday I hope to have a Foothills Brewery beer sign. And Sam envisioned a woodcut sign on the exposed chimney beside the bar area, and we even positioned a dedicated spot light on it. Finally, over seven years later, I finally got that sign, and it’s a beauty, if I my say so myself.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Ice Cream Sandwiches

In early September I was once again an ice cream-making fiend. Among the good frozen batches of fun that I'd put away was sweet vanilla ice milk. As long as it was already churned and ready, I figured I'd finally try my hand at ice cream sandwiches so, back on September 15th, I made the chocolate cookies for top and bottom and, as bedtime approached, I spread that sweet vanilla ice milk on a bottom crust and topped it with the top cookie. I wrapped it back up to refreeze overnight so that the individual sandwiches could be cut the following day. Back into the freezer the then individually-wrapped ice cream sandwiches went until I could break them out for dessert after dinner. Our verdict? They were pretty tasty.


Based on "Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches," from I Scream Sandwich! by Jennie Schacht. Posted online in a blog post by PJ Hamel of King Arthur Baking.[Published 29 July 2013]

"Classic Vanilla Ice Milk," by Stella Parks, Pastry Wizard of SeriousEats.com. [Published 22 August 2018 / Updated 15 April 2020]

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Meal No. 3194: Sheet Pan Beef Nachos

Oh my gosh: can it have been nine years since dear wonderful friend, colleague, and former neighbor and former teacher education student Karissa Piper visited the Roediger House? She is such an awesome person and someone I've truly missed ever since she moved to Ohio. I'm very glad she decided to come back for her Wake Forest University class reunion so that I might claim some time with her back on the September 15th weekend. When she came in on Friday afternoon, I figured I'd have a simple dinner for us: sheet pan beef nachos with lime crema. There was also a special new dessert treat already put aside and waiting...that'll be the subject of tomorrow's blog post.


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

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

"Easy Lime Crema," from Lisa Bryan of DownShiftology.com. [Published 22 April 2020]

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Meal No. 3193: Bacon Cheeseburgers

As we were approaching the middle of September, we were blessed with picture-perfect weather of sunny days, moderate temperatures, nearly cloudless skies. Seemed to me on Thursday a week ago that grilling was called for, and it'd been a couple of months since I'd made burgers. I upped the ante a bit with a batch of bacon, some of which went immediately onto the hot cheesed burgers. I also brought out my special spin on burger sauce to go on the top and bottom brioche buns. These bacon cheeseburgers were just what the doctor ordered that day.


Adapted from "Juicy Burgers," originally from Pillsbury Classic Cookbooks recipe magazine, July 2003, p. 52-53. After Pillsbury was purchased in 2001 by General Mills, home of Betty Crocker (founded in 1921, mind you!), it basically ceased to exist as a company and lives on just as a brand. I guess that's why a Pillsbury cookbook recipe from 2003 is now only found on the Betty Crocker website.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Meal No. 3192: Garlic-Honey-Mustard Chicken Thighs

As of just after 9 pm last night, we reached the official change of the seasons. My beloved summer has come to an end; autumn is upon us. And the weather cooperated with a semi-dramatic change to coincide with this march toward year's end, giving us a couple of near-90s days and then a shower burst and strong cooler breezes that whispered and then screamed "Fall!" By bedtime last night, it felt like October, and September seemed no where to be found.

Ah, but I've got a meal from a while back to make note of here. I was faced with the last of a Costco bulk package of fresh chicken thighs that had to be frozen or utilized by Tuesday a week ago, and I decided there's no such thing as too much chicken at suppertime. So I made a simple olive oil, honey, garlic, and mustard glaze and nestled the salt-and-peppered thighs onto some dressed Brussels sprouts, which were already oiled and topped with slivers of bacon. This one-pan wonder went into the oven for about 45 minutes and out came a pretty scrumptious weeknight meal.


"Oven Baked Chicken Thighs," from Joanna Cismaru of JoCooks.com.

"Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts," from Christine Gallary of TheKitchn.com. [Published 09 August 2022]

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Peach Buttermilk Ice Cream

Perhaps not long after I'd bought the Roediger House, and knowing it would require culinary equipment like a gas grill or a bread machine, I happened upon yet another necessary item on a Sam's Club run, if memory serves: a classic wood bucket-style ice cream freezer with an electric motor and a hand-crank. (I never used the hand-crank.) I made quite a few tall cannisters of various ice creams with it over the years but it finally rusted out. I'd bought a replacement through Amazon in August 2017 but never put it to use before I undertook my big weight-loss effort the following year. (Oh, I make a lot of ice creams, but just in the smaller batches thanks to my Cuisinart countertop machine.)

When I came across a compelling recipe for peach buttermilk ice cream recently, but also found that it made about double the base needed for my countertop model, I decided to break out the big boy and break it in. I'm so glad I did, because this new ice-and-rock-salt maker churned the ice cream most excellently. And the ice cream itself was excellent and worthy of recommendation!


Adapted from "Musings on Peach-Nectarine Buttermilk Ice Cream," from Carolyn Jung of the FoodGal.com blog. [Published 24 July 2013] Her recipe was adapted from The Animal Farm Buttermilk Cookbook by Diane St. Clair. A print-friendly pdf of the recipe is available.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Meal No. 3191: Murgh Makhani (Butter Chicken)

While I did not feel it scaled up well when I tried to double it for a crowd of six on Monday a week ago, it was still a pretty decent supper of murgh makhani for that weeknight gathering of the most regular Roediger House crew. It was another good time, not only around the dinner table but also for the casual laugh-filled hanging out up on the third floor.


"Murgh Makhani (Butter Chicken)," from Sam Sifton of NYT Cooking.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Meal No. 3190: Jollof Rice and Chicken

It's been a nice run of new recipe experiments, with a decidedly international bent of late. Back on Saturday, September 10th, it was a highly successful trial of African jollof rice and chicken thighs. A sensational combination of spices, a touch of heat, tons of flavor...it all came together terrifically for a fine dinner feast.

I'd made another dessert to serve up at the meal's conclusion: hot chocolate pudding. Let me clarify: the pudding is chilled but its flavor is akin to that of hot chocolate. My single serving of it was insufficient but I remained strong in the face of temptation...until Sunday night when I was not so well restrained.

That dreary and all-day-rainy Saturday began with a quick trip out with Sumner once we got up, and I spied upon passing the window at the kitchen sink a hungry adorable visitor atop the platform bird feeder. While I'd like his cuteness and coloring to persuade me he is just a mouse, the large feet and hairless tail—and overall larger size—would suggest he's probably a roof rat. Not as yucky as the greasy other rats that we've also seen around here...but at that moment he was simply harmless enough.


"Jollof Rice and Chicken," from Imma Adamu of Immaculate Bites, a blog found at AfricanBites.com. [Published 02 November 2020 / Updated 20 April 2021]

"Hot Chocolate Pudding," from the Food Network Kitchens.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Tasty Tangy Lime Sherbet

Sherbet is not a regular frozen dairy treat here, having appeared hardly at all on the dessert menu, so Friday a week ago it was a nice suprise when I was able to serve a delightful lime sherbet to go along with an impromptu evening visit from Kristen and Mookie. This was my second time making this recipe although it's good enough to be in a more regular rotation.


"Lime Sherbet," from Kathy Berget of Beyond the Chicken Coop. [Published 09 June 2018 / Modified 20 April 2020]

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Meal No. 3189: Pork Tenderloin Stirfry

Friday a week ago was a chance to try out another new recipe, and it was yet another winner: a Korean-inspired pork tenderloin stir fry. And it was not alone on the plate, because multiple piles of add-ons surrounded it, including Korean spinach salad, roasted broccoli florets, and the last of the leftover butter chicken basmati rice. A bigger supper than the day called for, but there was no limit to the enjoyment of it.

The meal itself was a delight, but its sheer size led to some feelings of guilt. Fortunately, all those calories were fuel for my best ever walking/running workout that evening, that took me from the Holly Avenue Neighborhood through the West End and up through Buena Vista, over to Ardmore, across through West Salem, up the main drag of Old Salem, and through downtown back home again. Grand total: 9.4 miles, at an average pace of 13'23" per mile.


"Best Pork Tenderloin Stir Fry," by Rika Agustini of Posh Journal. [Published 02 June 2019 / Modified 16 May 2020]

"Siguemchi Namul (Korean Spinach Salad)," by Rika Agustini of Posh Journal. [Published 20 June 2016]

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Meal No. 3188: Hamburger Supreme

When I realized I had grabbed but tucked away a package of fresh ground beef, back on Tuesday a week ago, I was in a bind for getting it cooked into something before it was too late to use it. I've got several go-to quick beef recipes that might have sufficed but I could not think of anything better that night than a comforting casserole of hamburger supreme, a long-time family favorite, a dish I've been making consistently for friends ever since the late 1980s...and a joyful supper for four of us that more recent evening.

Here's another milestone worth noting from that day: I've managed to keep up with my commitment on walking or biking, always exceeding the minimum of 30 minutes of exercise per day, and closing all three rings on my Apple Watch for 200 consecutive days.


"Hamburger Supreme," from the late Mrs. John T. (Glynn) Johnson of Buies Creek, North Carolina, via Janice Jones Bodenhamer.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Meal No. 3187: Ultimate Cream of Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Labor Day Monday this year was rainy and grey and dreary. But the house was warmed with the arrival of Mookie and Kristen for an evening hang, including some dinner. The weather called for soup, and I went with cream of tomato for our bowls. I also made a fun little loaf of peasant bread to turn into grilled cheese sandwiches, which were pretty awesome in their own right. While I either over-proofed the dough or simply had it too wet, it deflated some without becoming unpleasantly dense while baking. (These small successes in from-scratch bread-making are likely to render my previously much-used bread machine permanently stored away on the top shelf of the butler's pantry.)


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

"Easy Same-Day Peasant Bread," from Jenny Rosenstrach of the CupofJo.com blog. [Published 02 February 2022] Adapted from Alexandra Stafford of AlexandraCooks.com. [07 November 2012 / Updated 06 January 2022]

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Meal No. 3186: French Toast

A meal that could come together in under a half hour was the necessary call back on Labor Day Sunday, and French toast was perfect for the moment. It's another of the simple favorites here, with the distinct advantage of allowing breakfast for dinner from time to time.

Confession: it was so good, easy, and fast, I turned around and made it again three days later:


"French Toast," from King Arthur Flour online.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Meal No. 3185: Roasted Salmon & Broccoli

I could not help myself! On September's first Saturday evening, when it was just a meal for me, I could not be dissuaded from running out for a fresh slab of salmon to spice and roast, along with more roasted broccoli florets.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Batches of Ice Creams

As August was coming to an end, I had an oversupply of heavy cream nearing its expiration date. While there are several different favorite uses for said ingredient, what could be better than ice creams, as in plural? So I made four different batches, three of which were successful and one which was a bit of a bust. I started with brown sugar cinnamon, putting aside a portion of it in a to-go container because I'd long ago promised to share a sample with neighbors across the street. Then, I went with a traditional authentic vanilla bean ice cream, shown above adorned with some of the hot fudge sauce (that was first made for the death by chocolate cake).

There was also butterscotch pecan, with the extra step of delicious roasted buttered pecans (that I could not also stop snacking on before I churned the base). It was pretty freakin' delicious. Ah, but the unsuccessful batch was eggnog ice cream, where I think the issue was my churn urn had not had enough recovery time in the freezer before being pressed into service...so it did not properly freeze the base. (I still ate the deflated result after letting it sit overnight in the freezer.)


"Brown Sugar Cinnamon Ice Cream," from Heather Tullos of SugarDishMe.com. [Published 11 September 2015]

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

"Eggnog Ice Cream" (p. 58), "Butterscotch Pecan Ice Cream" (p. 44), and "Buttered Pecans" (p. 195), by David Lebovitz. In The Perfect Scoop, Berkeley/Toronto: Ten Speed Press (2007).

Monday, September 12, 2022

Meal No. 3184: Salmon Croquettes

The Friday evening at the front end of Labor Day Weekend involved a simple and somewhat skimpy meal, using up some leftover salmon from earlier that week: salmon croquettes, with the incredible and dependable chili-garlic-lime aïoli that originally came to me as a wise partner to crab cakes. Roasted asparagus cuts were on the side, all on a most fantastic downtown day.


Adapted from "Salmon Burgers" (p. 396) and "Herb Sauce" (p. 395), from Denise Austin, Shrink Your Female Fat Zones, Rodale Books (2003).

"Chili-Lime Aïoli," from David Wald of Princeton, NJ, May 2009.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Meal No. 3183: Murgh Makhani (Butter Chicken)

September came on the scene in a clear-skied blue glory of breezes and gracious temps so that outside time required maximizing. But I retreated to the kitchen late that month-starting Thursday afternoon for a grander dinner undertaking, dicing onions and mincing garlic cloves and cutting up a couple of tomatoes. I'd put bone-in chicken thighs into a marinade of Greek yogurt and various spices that morning, and I portioned out additional spices (including a bonus dose of kashmiri chili powder) and various complementary other ingredients...all toward a grand skillet of incredible murgh makhani, also known as butter chicken. If the blog is to be believed, this is Butter Chicken No. 4, and by far the best yet. (No. 1: Meal No. 442; No. 2: Meal No. 1001; No. 3: Meal No. 1998.) Served over fresh basmati rice and with enough sauce to be utterly decadent, this counts as one of the awesome meals of the Roediger House kitchen.


"Murgh Makhani (Butter Chicken)," from Sam Sifton of NYT Cooking.