Tuesday, December 28, 2021

“Home Cooking” -- Sort of --

Given Laurie’s immobility with her broken ankle…subsequent surgery…and sciatica, I’ve been the chief chef and bottle washer for about 2 months.  The good news is that she should be mobile again by New Year’s Eve!  We have our fingers crossed.  She is not good at sitting and not doing…and I am not an amazing chef!

As a matter of fact, as I reviewed our more recent food photos, I noted that I didn’t often take photos of the meals I ‘prepared’ unless I count our ‘take out’ menu items.  Who takes photos of soup and a ham sandwich for dinner?  What the heck!  I did call in those take-out orders and then I picked them up… That has to count for something.

Yes, I am starting this post with a take-out meal… I called in an order to our local Italian Restaurant, Little Italy in Loudon Tennessee.  Laurie had one of my favorites, the Sausage Alfredo Skillet. ($15.95) This offering consists of penne pasta, grape tomatoes, Italian sausage and Cajun seasoning cooked in an Alfredo sauce with grated parmesan.  Excellent…especially since she couldn’t finish it and I ‘had’ to have it for brunch later in the week!

As for myself, I opted for the Chicken Romano. ($17.95) With this dish, slices of chicken breast are encrusted with asiago and Romano cheese and they are served over a bed of linguini with Alfredo sauce.  Both dishes came with garlic bread knots and a salad…

If I do say so myself, this was another fine example of yours truly delivering a fine meal at home…

We actually went out to eat once during this past 3 weeks.  Of course, this adventure followed another doctor’s appointment so it was convenient and the late afternoon timing was perfect.  No crowds and quick service… As you can see, we opted for a Texas Roadhouse Restaurant as they are large and spacious, easy to get around with a wheelchair.  This particular restaurant is located in the Turkey Creek shopping area in Knoxville – Farragut Tennessee.

If you’ve never been in a Texas Roadhouse, they tend to blend wood with the industrial look and they are very casual.  The staff seems to wear whatever they feel like, within reason of course.  The restaurant was moderately busy for roughly 4 PM on a weekday.

Warm rolls come with the meals and they’re pretty decent too.  I don’t care for the honey butter that accompanies them but I didn’t think to order regular butter until it was too late.  We both had Caesar salads and we agreed that salads in restaurants always seem to taste better than ones we make at home.  Of course, giving my dietary restrictions, any salad with leafy greens has to be a rare treat.  I didn’t finish mine as I didn’t want to push my luck with my meds.

Laurie ordered the 3 Piece Fried Catfish Dinner with steak fries. ($13.99) She didn’t much care for the corn meal breading but the fish itself was fine.  Fortunately for me, she couldn’t finish all that fish.  The left overs served me well in another ‘home cooked’ meal where I used them for a nice sandwich.

As for myself, I went for the 12 oz. Fort Worth Ribeye Steak with a side of applesauce. ($19.99) The steak was cooked correctly…medium rare…and it was a decent steak overall. 

Service was spotty and we felt like the restaurant was a bit disorganized…perhaps due to staffing/training issues.  There wasn’t any pepper on the table, (got up and got it from another table), asked for lemon with our water and iced tea…and had to ask twice, plus Laurie never did get that extra tartar sauce she requested.  Also, $2.99 for iced tea is why we normally just ask for water…

This Texas Roadhouse Restaurant is located at 11001 Turkey Creek Drive in Knoxville Tennessee.  Phone: 865-392-9150.  Texas Roadhouse has over 650 restaurants in 49 states and 10 countries.  Website: Homepage | Texas Roadhouse.

Yet another recent ‘home cooked’ meal was a large pepperoni and sausage pizza that I picked up from Little Italy in Loudon Tennessee.  I figure that if I have to call in an order and then go pick it up, I should count that as a Big Daddy Dave initiated ‘home cooked’ dinner…  These pizzas aren’t equal to New York style quality, but it is for sure a good substitute here in East Tennessee. 

FYI, Little Italy is located at 316 Lakeside Plaza in Loudon Tennessee.  Phone: 865-657-6224.  Their on-line menu can be found at www.littleitalyoftellico.takeout7.com.  

Finally, a real home cooked meal!  I had determined that we were having a prime rib roast for our big meal on Christmas Day.  It was a single rib roast weighing 2.61 lbs. and it cost $44.00 at Fresh Market...$16.86 per pound.  This was my plate before attacking the meal!

I almost destroyed this pricy piece of beef as well as the complete meal all by myself.  I’m not used to operating our oven so I managed to turn it off at the point where I was supposed to just lower the temperature for slow roasting… Not a good thing!  Fortunately, after receiving instruction from Laurie, the roast came out OK despite my errors…medium to medium rare.  The potatoes, which were roasted with the prime rib, were another matter.  Some were cooked and edible while the others will turn into fried potatoes for breakfast in the near future.

I’m counting on my returning soon to the role of ‘sous chef in training’ when Laurie is back on her feet and has once again assumed her position in our home as master chef!

I thought that it would be appropriate to end this post with a moon shot…faint and fuzzy through the branches of life…much like my earnest and well-intended efforts in the kitchen and on-line. 

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. At least you chose the take-out meals well. They all looked quite tasty, David. That ribeye is a huge favourite, but your homemade prime rib roast looks bomb!

  2. You seem to be doing a very good job at making food happen. Your Christmas meal looks delicious.

  3. Great to know the chef can call and pick-up such delightful meals to-go! And cooking yourself is definitely a chore best left to others, though your Christmas feast looks pretty darn good.

  4. You know how to call in and order and pick it up to bring to your home, Dave, so that qualifies as "home dining." Besides cooking is vastly overrated and while I do it at home, I'm thankful tht grenville likes to share kitchen duties as well. Sending our best wishes to you and Laurie for a better and Happy New Year.