Thursday, February 28, 2019

Kahlua Chocolate Bundt Cake

When we had our fun 80s gathering last Saturday night in honor of Kristen's upcoming birthday, we also got to enjoy a somewhat chocolate-y dessert: chocolate sour cream bundt cake.

It was moist and delicious and oh-so-right for the conclusion of our delightful evening together.

"Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake," from The Busty Baker. [Published 20 February 2013]

Chocolate-Kahlua Glaze based on "Kahlua Chocolate Cake" from

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Meal No. 2309: Pork Medallions with Ginger-Shiitake-Soy Cream Sauce

Whenever possible, I like to offer the regular crew the option for a birthday dinner gathering with a menu of their choice. That's what we were up to last Saturday night for Kristen's upcoming special day. By her request, the spread we used to fill our plates included pan-seared pork medallions with a ginger-shiitake-soy cream sauce, plus company mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts gratin.

It was an 80s-themed night, with most of us dressing the part. While I was cooking dinner the rest of the folks were all upstairs watching NKOTB videos...which I did not mind missing out on. [That's a true 1985 sweatshirt I've got on, from Avery Dorm at UNC.]

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.

"Brussels Sprouts Gratin," by Alison Roman. From Cooking on

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Meal No. 2308: Beef Nachos

The Thursday night meal offering at the Roediger House was a simple and seductive pan of beef nachos. And I even had one of my rare beers with it. Well, not a rare beer, but rarely do I have a beer much anymore.

Geez, it was good, if you must know.

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

Monday, February 25, 2019

Meal No. 2307: Baked Garlic Chicken Thighs

Wednesday evening's Roediger House dinner featured baked garlic chicken thighs, together with roasted garlic-parmesan asparagus and simple stuffing. The goodness of the meal helped make up for the utterly crapheap that was the weather that day: cold, constant rain, unalterably yucky and depressing. Being tucked into the warmth of home, out of those miserable winter elements, made for a very nice night.

"Baked Garlic Chicken Thighs," from Sooz Cooks and published on Genius Kitchen.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Meal No. 2306: Pasta with Sausage, Basil, and Mustard

Bringing back a meal that hasn't been made since December 2016, and appreciating the simplicity and quickness of it, on Tuesday night we enjoyed a bowl of pasta with a sausage, basil, and mustard cream sauce...

...with Fire No. 68 continuing to burn, having first been lit early that morning while Sumner kept me company before the day got started. After dinner, it was a mix of sleet, a wee bit of large-flaked snow, and your basic annoying cold (and intermittently freezing) rain.

"Pasta with Sausage, Basil, and Mustard," by Nigel Slater and published in Food & Wine, September 2002.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Red Velvet Pots de Creme

The chocolate pots de creme that I posted about a couple of days ago were actually a rescue operation, because the first thing I'd made that Thursday morning completely bombed. Awarded a coveted Blue Ribbon by the Kitchen Crew on Just a Pinch, a recipe for red velvet pots de creme had originally caught my eye and I made it early that morning. But it turns out the recipe was not thoroughly vetted and not only was there an apparent mistake in the ingredients, but I think the cooking directions were also incomplete. Anyway: when the pots de creme did not cook through or set up properly, I ended up recooking it on the stove and still ended up with a mostly liquidy mess that I had to pour down the drain. Oh well. I'm glad I had a Plan B!

"Red Velvet Pots de Creme with Poached Strawberries," by Crystal Schlueter. On [Published 14 February 2016]

Friday, February 22, 2019

Girl Scout Cookie Lemon Shortbread Cheesecake

The great and fun gathering of the usual suspects last Saturday night not only featured a pretty good meal, but we also capped off the evening with a return of the Girl Scout cookie-inspired lemon shortbread cheesecake, that is deeply loved and fondly sought after in this household. So I had to give in and offer it up, which might actually have made a few folks—and their bellies—moderately happy.

It's a no-bake wonder, although I deviate from the recipe author's suggestion to freeze it, finding that simply chilling it for several hours is sufficient to help it set up and be cuttable and servable. And easily digestible!

The Girl Scout munchkins in front of the Harris Teeter, and also the neighbor children who came 'round to ring the doorbell, have been impossible to resist during this winter's cookie-pushing period...completely because of this easy and pleasing concoction.

"Lemon Shortbread Cheesecake," by Rosalia Roger of Lincoln, Nebraska. Originally published in Taste of Home, February/March, 2016, p. 64-65.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Meal No. 2305: Braised New Mexico-Style Pork in Red Chile Sauce

Gorgeous Braising Sauce of New Mexico Chiles

Saturday night offered another great gathering of the most regular Roediger House regulars for hanging out and watching a new favorite streaming series. So of course there also needed to be some grub to serve at dinnertime, and I thought we might be ready for a second go of carne adovada (I'd first made it back in August.) Two sort of similar sides were offered up as well: Mexican street corn salad with black beans, and Mexican coleslaw. It was rather a festive feast and that was some damned fine pork.

"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.

"Mexican Street Corn Salad," by Joanna Cismaru. From [Published 04 May 2017]

Guidance for air roasting corn from "An Air Fryer Makes Eating Vegetables Easier and More Delicious," by Annaliese Griffin on [Published 10 January 2019]

"Mexican Coleslaw," from Christin of [Published 08 August 2017]

"Taco Seasoning I," from Bill Echols on

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Chocolate Pots de Creme

When the dinner was done with on Valentine's Day Thursday night, and all the clean-up was completed, I still had a trick up my sleeve: tucked away in the wetbar fridge were two ramekins of delicious chocolate pots de creme. I added a sweetened whipped cream, enhanced with a bit of cream cheese, and thinly sliced strawberries to make a complete creation. This was a first for me, and it won't be the last!

"Chocolate Pots de Creme," from the Food Network Magazine.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Meal No. 2304: Shrimp Pad Thai

On Valentine's evening, the Roediger House dinnertime meal featured a new take on shrimp pad thai, with ideas to get me started from a recipe for Thai shrimp and noodles. I went an extra step and created my own paste from a block of tamarind pulp that I'd recently bought from the Asia Grocery, just down Peters Creek Parkway from the house. I still had some of that really good garlicky shrimp made earlier in the week and it was perfect with this bowl of goodness.

Adapted from "Thai Shrimp and Noodles," by Karen from Colorado. From

Guidance for extracting Tamarind Paste from "Technique: How to Use Tamarind Pulp," by Emma Christensen of [Published 20 July 2009]

Monday, February 18, 2019

Cap'n Crunch Cookies

When I was up extra early on Thursday morning, it offered an opportunity to make a small batch of Cap'n Crunch cookies. I even ate one.

"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, February 17, 2019

Meal No. 2303: Cobb Salad, Round 2

With most of the ingredients still on hand, plus those that I'd resupplied (like avocados), I was ready for a second go at Cobb salad. This time I made some fresh buttermilk ranch dressing, which was tasty albeit thin and plain. Still, it was a perfectly suitable meal to finish out a surprisingly chilly and windy Wednesday.

"Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing," from Jenn Segal of Once Upon a Chef.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Meal No. 2302: Swiss Baked Chicken Breasts

The gathering of four on Tuesday sat down at dinnertime to creamy Swiss baked chicken breasts, which I used to make quite a lot and have sort of gotten away from for the last few years. I pretty regularly have trouble avoiding toughening up the breasts when I cook this dish, and yet the flavors all come together really well. I made extra stuffing and also brought out a batch of sweet southern coleslaw, based in part on my mother's recipe.

Fire No. 67

Before going to bed on Monday night, I had checked the Tuesday forecast and was expecting a slow rise in temps to the low 50s. But the cold drizzle and heavy skies persisted and, here at the house, the gauge never rose above 41°F. I had awakened early—around 4 am—and had a fire going before 5 am. And I kept it going all day long, which I find rather delightful.

"Easy Creamy Swiss Baked Chicken Breasts," a recipe shared with me by Cindy Coulson in 1997. Versions of the recipe can be found here and here.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Meal No. 2301: Cobb Salad with Shrimp

Salad has certainly taken up a home here at the Roediger House these last few months and, to avoid getting into too much of a Caesar rut, I decided to really orchestrate a whole 'nother level of salad on Monday night, in the vein of the famous Brown Derby Cobb salad. My version that night included garlicky barbecue shrimp, crumbled bacon, Gorgonzola, avocado, cherry tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, and more of that miso buttermilk ranch dressing on mixed power greens. It was mighty darned delicious and left me full as a tick.

Cobb Salad inspired by many different recipes but overall plan based mostly on "Cobb Salad," by Maria Lichty of the Two Peas and Their Pod blog. [Published 13 August 2018]

"BBQ Shrimp," by Chef Brian D. Smith of Randol's Restaurant and Cajun Dancehall in Lafayette, LA.

Guidance for Hard-Boiled Eggs from "Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs," by Jill Winger of the Prairie Homestead [Published April 2016]; and from "Instant Pot Recipes Everyone Should Know," by Alina Bradford from c| [Published 17 May 2018]

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Meal No. 2300: Grilled Cheese Bacon Sandwiches

The Sunday night meal at the Roediger House: grilled cheese bacon sandwiches that were spot-on delicious.

Over the weekend, winter made a triumphant return with chilly breezes, overcast skies, and temps in the low to mid-40s. When I got up Sunday morning, I lit a fire and kept it going all day until bedtime, and it was a warm consolation against the unwelcome resumption of seasonal temps.

This was Fire No. 66 since the wood-burning fireplace was included in the kitchen addition back in 2010.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Meal No. 2299: Stuffed French Bread

When Amy and Gern came over for a casual evening hang on Saturday night, I served up a beef-and-pork filling in my third attempt at stuffed French bread sandwiches. It's flavorful and savory and went nicely with roasted broccoli florets and a fresh batch of southern sweet coleslaw.

Adapted from "Stuffed French Bread," from Holly of Life in the Lofthouse.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Meal No. 2298: Shredded Barbecue Sandwiches

When Friday night rolled around and I was hoping to get a quick supper on the table, I thought I'd try a recipe for Instant Pot shredded barbecue chicken to serve on Brioche rolls, along with some miso ranch dressing and some sweet southern coleslaw.

"Instant Pot BBQ Chicken," by Dee of [Published 01 August 2018]

"Miso Ranch Dressing," by Emma Laperruque. From [Published 04 June 2018]

Monday, February 11, 2019

Meal No. 2297: Sausage & Beef Manicotti

Thursday night, with four at the table, it was time to bring back sausage and beef manicotti with its tasty homemade marinara. And there were ample leftovers to send home with Mookie and Kristen when it was all over.

"Sausage & Beef Manicotti with Homemade Marinara," from Celebrate the Seasons: Autumn Classics from Cuisine at Home. Issue No. 6, October/November 2015, p. 18.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

I'll Take a Sizzle Over a Snow

Last Thursday, February 7th, was one for the record books:

And if you know me, as I think you might, you'll appreciate how much I loved it, even though I had to turn on the AC!

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Meal No. 2296: Salad, Again

Last Sunday night at the RoHo: Salad. Again. With too much dressing but that homemade Caesar is dee-lishus. What's with all the salads and what happened to all the pretty darned good meals I used to make?

Because as recently as last May, I was wearing these trousers comfortably. And most pictures I've looked at from last spring don't make the change seem that obvious to me, but perhaps it's clearer that I was a bit of a puffy marshmallow in this shot from Mookie and Kristen's wedding in those very pants:

Friday, February 8, 2019

Meal No. 2295: Roasted Salmon on Caesar-topped Greens

As I work on weight maintenance for myself, it means that some nights are simple smoothies instead of a meal, or a simple salad or a fruit plate or a bowl of yogurt with granola on top. The pace of meal-making has changed around here. It also means about once a week I'd like to have salmon, either on a salad or with simple roasted vegetable sides, and that was the choice last Saturday night. The salmon has just been knock-out good of late, but the meal was especially good and filling with the substitution of "power greens" in place of the typical romaine. The combo of spinach, kale, and chard is proving to be pretty pleasing to the palate.

The morning started out cool and breezy, and it seemed ideal for the first fire of February:

Fire No. 65

But it warmed up sufficiently into rather a nice afternoon, and Sumner and I took an energetic walk that encircled downtown Winston-Salem:

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Surprising Signs of Spring

Yesterday, Sumner and I enjoyed the heck out of the beautiful warm day, when temps got up to 70°F here in Winston-Salem. Our strolls around the yard were delightful not only because I was basking in the feel of warm sun on my head, but also because the earliest harbingers of spring were just beginning to emerge:




The Bradford pear is just beginning to show some buds and tiny emerging blossoms:

All while the snowbells strut their stuff on either side of the front steps:

The forecast for later today is for what might be a record-breaking high of 76°F. I've got a Greensboro lunch appointment and some errands to run, but I'll be doing it with windows down and music blasting!

By the weekend, we'll be back to our regularly-scheduled winter.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Meal No. 2294: Spiced Lamb Tacos

The festive Friday night at the Roediger House included an evening hang with Kristen and Mookie, and pool playing, TV watching, and dinner were on the agenda. At suppertime, I served up for the second time a batch of spiced lamb tacos, based on ideas that drive the lamb köfte I've been making for the last several years.

This version was spiced ground lamb with harissa and pomegranate molasses topped with sweet caramelized onions, roasted red pepper strips, diced tomatoes, goat cheese, and cheddar cheese. Once they were baked up, we then spooned a tahini yogurt sauce on them. Man, they were good!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Meal No. 2293: Roasted Salmon over Power Greens

Another delicious roasted salmon filet sat atop a mix of spinach, kale, and chard with a fresh batch of homemade creamy Caesar dressing, following a good day of coaching conversations at a local Winston-Salem high school Thursday.

Thursday was also Day 2 of our January polar vortex adjacency, with morning temps officially at 17°F when I took Sumner out for his first-of-the-day poop. Although street lights made it fruitless to attempt a photo, I was again delighted by the celestial display of Antares next to Jupiter next to a sliver of waning crescent moon which was just to the right of a startling Venus.

When I pulled up the Google Sky app, I could see that the arc continued with a full solar system choir all lurking in the eastern sky, although not visible to me: turning slowly left/toward the north, the app showed Saturn, then Pluto, then Mercury against a not-yet-dawned sun, then Neptune and Mars and Uranus. Pretty cool to "catch 'em" occupying basically a quarter slice of the morning sky.

"Easy Lemon Caesar Salad Dressing," by Kim of

Monday, February 4, 2019

Sour Cream Pound Cake

As the winter's first major polar vortex began its invasion of the northern tier, midwest, and rust belt states last Tuesday night, I baked a sour cream pound cake. Our temps here dipped down only to around 20°F but boy howdy the wind chills were not much fun. I definitely felt bad for the family I have up in Rossville, IN, with wind chills at -50°F. It sure turned out to be a fine pound cake, though.

"Sour Cream Pound Cake," from McCormick. Found online and on the Vanilla Butter & Nut flavoring's packaging box.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Meal No. 2292: Pioneer Woman Meatloaf

Tuesday night's dinner for four at the Roediger House: Ree Drummond's recipe for meatloaf, with roasted broccoli florets and mashed potatoes, along with a zingy tangy sauce. It was nice to still have some lemon curd ice cream to finish off the evening!

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

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Butter Toffee Cookies

It's been over a year since one of my favorite cookie recipes has made an appearance at the Roediger House. When I copied this recipe from a King Arthur Flour clipping, they were simply called butter toffee cookies. It's a remarkably flavorful combination of ingredients, including butter rum flavoring and the unique addition of cappuccino baking chips, which I have to special order.

"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

Friday, February 1, 2019

Lemon Curd Ice Cream

To go with the remaining iced lemon curd pound cake, following Saturday night's soup supper, I had made lemon curd ice cream. The folks around the table said it was pretty good, although I did not partake of it. Living in denial might please me when I get on the morning scales, but it sure is tough some nights when good stuff sits temptingly in ice cream bowls!

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