of self-isolation! While the plague
continues, at least now there is some hope that the end, or some version of the
end, is in sight. Both Laurie and I are
now on lists for the vaccine. In the meantime
however, one of Laurie’s sisters and her husband have tested positive for
Covid-19. While her sister is
asymptomatic, her sister’s husband is in the hospital. He seems to be doing better than when he was
first admitted…good new is, they both had their first jabs a week earlier.
our life here in East Tennessee, we actually went out for dinner the other day!
picking up food at the drive-up window is just another form of take-out. But is it really take-out when you consume
the food in the restaurant’s parking lot?
case, we decided that it was time to visit Popeye’s to check out their much
acclaimed spicy chicken sandwich. Why
haven’t we done this before? Well,
depending on the route taken, it’s a 45 minute (+/-) or about 28 miles one way
from our house to the nearest Popeye’s in Maryville Tennessee.
French fries are seasoned and they are at least a touch above average for fast
food fries. This was a large order that
Popeye’s famous and much hyped spicy chicken sandwich… Guess what?! It lived up to its reputation! Sorry Chick-fil-a, now you are only #2 when it
comes to spicy chicken sandwiches.
Popeye’s sandwich consists of a real hunk of moist fried chicken, large
enough that we could have and should have skipped the French fries. The flavor was excellent and the sandwich
wasn’t too spicy…just right for Laurie.
have also tried both Wendy’s and Hardee’s spicy chicken sandwiches. Wendy’s was the better of these two but
neither version can come close to measuring up to Chick-fil-a’s product, much
less the great sandwich that Popeye’s offers.
as we’d made the 1.5 hour round trip to Popeye’s, we’d decided to pick up some
spicy chicken and some coleslaw for another meal. We also reheated a few leftover fries. The pieces of chicken aren’t as large as
those from KFC but on the positive side, they are much less heavily breaded
than KFC’s. I would have liked the
chicken better if they were a bit spicier but they were still very tasty… Laurie liked the coleslaw, but me not so
it is our imagination but the Popeye’s chicken from Maryville Tennessee isn’t
close to as spicy as the version we used to buy at a Popeye’s store in Skokie
Illinois. It’s possible that it’s been
toned down for this market…
pandemic, we’re always looking for some new prepared or frozen food item to
try… In this case it was P.F. Chang’s Kung Pao Cauliflower – described as
crispy tempura-battered cauliflower with spicy Kung Pao Sauce. We both like cauliflower and we like spicy
Kung Pao sauce…
given this appetizer a 6 out of 10…ok but not great. We followed the instructions but the
cauliflower was a little too soft for us when it was done in the oven. Laurie thought that it had decent flavor but
I was on the fence in that regard. The
biggest problem was the size of the hunks of cauliflower. Note how nice and similar the cauliflower
pieces are on the box. In reality, the
pieces varied from tiny to very large.
That probably impacted both the texture and the flavor of the finished
like pancakes. On the other hand, Laurie
really doesn’t like pancakes! So,
pancakes are a rarity at our house… However, recently Laurie’s sister Bonnie
told her about a great pancake recipe that she found that makes “The Best-Ever
Fluffy Pancakes”. Laurie got the recipe
and determined to give pancakes another try…
can see, the pancake batter was really thick.
The recipe is as follows:
2 cups of
all-purpose flour, ¼ cup of sugar, 1 tbs. of baking powder, 2 tsp of baking
soda, 1 tsp. of kosher salt, 2 cups of buttermilk, 1.25 sticks of melted butter
plus vegetable oil for the skillet, 2 large eggs and pure maple syrup.
large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and
salt, then set it aside. In a medium
bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, melted butter and the eggs. Then pour the liquid ingredients into the
flour mixture and stir together until well combined. Let the batter stand for 20 to 30
minutes. It will begin to get fluffy.
that batter turned into this luscious stack of pancakes! We made a lot and kept them warm in the oven
until we had used up all of the batter. I did freeze some for a future breakfast or two...
the pancakes, we heated our skillet over medium-high heat until it was
hot. When it was hot enough, we poured a
¼ cup of batter per pancake on the pan…ensuring that they didn’t touch. As instructed, we cooked them until lightly
browned on both sides. A couple of them
were a bit darker than called for but that was due to my lack of practice in
cooking pancakes after many, many years.
guess whose plate of pancakes was mine and which one was Laurie’s? We both have our quirks when it comes to
guessed which plate was mine vs. Laurie’s?
Hers was the neat plate with the sausage, the pancakes with syrup and
the blueberries on the side. She doesn’t
like her fruit on top of her pancakes.
On the other hand, I do like my blueberries on top but you might have
noticed that there isn’t any syrup on my pancakes. That was because, I don’t like syrup mixed
with my sausage and I wanted to take a photo before moving my sausage to
another plate. Humans’ are strange
conclusion, Laurie did like these fluffy pancakes and has said that she’d do it
again! It’s a win for yours truly…
for some excitement! Well, at least it
was excitement for us. As we cruised
along US Hwy. 321 through nearby Lenoir City a few days ago, Laurie spotted a
sign by a construction site that really grabbed our attention. It announced that Freddy’s Frozen Custard and
Steakburgers was coming to town! Of all
the fast food or fast casual burger joints, Freddy’s is far and away our
favorite, even beating out our old favorite, Steak n’ Shake.
discovered Freddy’s when we were visiting our family in Omaha Nebraska. To show readers what a Freddy’s looks like, I
borrowed the photo of a Freddy's location from the Internet.
At the end of 2020, Freddy’s had grown to over 380 stores across 30
very near future, we’ll be able to treat ourselves to Freddy’s via the
drive-thru window and it will be only about 15 miles and 25 minutes from
home. Previously, we had to drive 43
miles/53 minutes to Oak Ridge or 50 miles to Chapman Highway in south
Knoxville! Winner, Winner, Burger
click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
for stopping by for a visit!
and Take Care, Big Daddy Dave