Steven Universe

Episode: Together Breakfast
Even More Together Breakfast

I’d like to say that I’ve been a fan of Steven Universe since the show started, but then I’d be lying. Actually, I was quite late to the party. I was having trouble adjusting to newer shows, so I didn’t even give Steven a chance. But it’s not right for me to say I don’t like a show if I haven’t tried it, so I watched one episode. Then one more. And another and another and now here I am all caught up with everyone else. I felt so silly for thinking that the show had nothing to offer me because it has something for everyone. It’s weird and silly but serious and action-packed. Plus the characters are all so different, be it personalities, abilities, sizes, shapes, colors, whatever. And the amount of heart this show has surprised me. I love Steven’s relationship with the Gems and after I watched “Together Breakfast,” I knew I was hooked on the show.

The episode, just like the title food, is fun and sweet. Steven wakes up to an empty house and starts making breakfast. He’s got four toaster waffles with syrup. (Okay.) When he finds that the Gems still aren’t home, he adds some microwave popcorn. (Interesting.) The house is still empty. What does Steven do? He adds some whipped cream. (Now it’s out of control!) But wait, there’s more! He tops it all off with a strawberry. Now Steven comes to the conclusion that this is too good to be eaten alone. This is a “Together Breakfast” which should be eaten with the Gems like best buds. But when the Gems return, Steven’s breakfast gets turned down and ignored. Not letting that deter him, Steven follows Pearl into her room in the hopes of getting everyone together before his Together Breakfast becomes Together Brunch. This leads to him getting caught up in a waterfall, being chased by Amethyst, and sliding down to the bottom of the Crystal Temple. And just when everyone is together, they have to fight a smoke monster that takes refuge in the Together Breakfast. (“Now it has all the power of a breakfast. We have to destroy it.”) After the battle, they make a Together Breakfast that’s even more together and even more breakfast.

Recipe makes one shareable breakfast.

Ingredients

8 toaster waffles

1-2 bags microwave popcorn

Maple syrup

Canned whipped cream

Strawberry

 

Directions

Alright, this one’s easy. Toast the waffles according to the directions on the box. Place the waffles on a plate in two stacks of 4. Drizzle maple syrup over the waffles. Pop popcorn according to the instructions on the box/bag. Dump as much popcorn as you desire over the sticky waffles. Top with whipped cream and a strawberry. Now you can finally eat!

Steven Universe Together BreakfastSteven Universe More Together Bfst

Okay, so Steven and the Gems decide not to eat the Together Breakfast after all. (“Pizza’s a better idea.”) The Together Breakfast looks great! How can they pass that up? Well, it did try to kill them, so I guess I understand. But I live for food like this so whether I had to fight it or not, I’m eating it. Seeing Steven build the original Together Breakfast made me smile because I’ve been in his sandals and done the similar things. Just not with waffles and popcorn. Too bad the idea of eating the Together Breakfast is now ruined for Steven and the Gems because it’s even more fun to eat than it is to make. But it still brings them together, so it’s not a complete waste.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

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Howl’s Moving Castle

Bacon and Eggs

Studio Ghibli. You know it. You love it. And if you don’t, it’s only a matter of time before you fall under its spell. I’ve been a fan of Studio Ghibli’s masterpieces since I was little, but it took me many years to figure out that the movies I’d been watching over and over came from the same studio. (I was either really unobservant or really stupid. Probably both.) Once I connected the dots, I knew to keep my eyes peeled for any upcoming movies. It wasn’t long until I found an article about Howl’s Moving Castle. I only had a brief description and a few pictures to go off of, but I was already in love with the film. The only downside was that I’d have to wait for it to come out. And wait and wait. And after a couple long years, I finally got to see it. You can guess that by this point I had very high expectations for this movie. I wasn’t disappointed in the least. Although I can’t say what my favorite Ghibli movie is, (It’s too painful to choose! Don’t make me!) Howl’s Moving Castle has been pretty high up on the list since then.

From the moment Howl’s castle walks across the screen, I check out of reality for a couple of hours and become completely immersed in the beautiful world of the film. Howl’s Moving Castle is obviously fantasy, but the captivating story plays out so effortlessly that it feels real. The characters are just as expressive as you or me and they interact with each other so naturally, routine things such as cleaning or cooking breakfast suddenly become fascinating. I suppose cooking is always livelier when your heat source is a scary and powerful fire demon. Yes, I’ve had my heart stolen by Calcifer too, (I’m rocking my pair of Calcifer socks right now.) but he’s only a part of what makes the breakfast sequence so wonderful. Sophie, Howl, and Markl are just as important. They’re all together for the first time and they already look like a fun little family to me. And then there’s the food! Studio Ghibli has a reputation for beautifully animating food for a reason. Something as simple as bacon and eggs becomes the tastiest looking meal in the world, and I can’t say I wouldn’t tear through my breakfast like Markl.

Recipe serves 2-3.

Ingredients

3 strips bacon (The biggest/thickest you can find.)

4-6 large eggs (Only 4 shown in the picture)

Salt

 

Directions

Place room temperature bacon in a cold pan and set heat to medium. When bacon begins to curl, flip it to the other side. When the bacon is close to your desired doneness, move the bacon over and crack and add the eggs. If there isn’t enough grease, add a little bit of oil before adding the eggs. If the grease is too hot, reduce the heat to low. Continue to cook until the bacon is cooked through and the egg whites are completely set but the yolk is still soft. Remove from heat and season. Bon appétit!

Howl BreakfastHowl Bacon Eggs

It’s not fair. Howl makes cooking look so easy. He can even crack eggs one-handed. I’ve tried and tried and I still can’t do it. I think I’m defective. I have more trouble cooking bacon and eggs than I do most foods, (“I can’t remember the last time we had a real breakfast!”) but I just had to give this a shot. Sure, it’s not nearly as pretty as Howl’s, but it’s still darn tasty. And the best part is, my screwy stove can be as uncooperative as Calcifer, but my bacon didn’t burn!

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

Total Drama Island

Episode: I Triple Dog Dare You
Pancakes!

I’ve been wondering for a long time just how well I’d fare in a reality competition series. I know I wouldn’t make it anywhere near the end, but maybe, just maybe, I might make it past the first elimination. I’m not all that eager to find out though, because my couch is a far safer place than any of these shows. How well do you think anyone would do on Total Drama Island? Me personally, I’m one of those non-athletic people with a low tolerance to pain who hate gross foods and situations. Chris McLean would eat me alive. Obviously, I mean that figuratively since he and Chef eat fancy food at Craft Services every day. The campers, I’m not so sure. Anything is better than the… “food” that Chef serves. I don’t doubt he’s skilled. I’m just not into things like French Bunion Soup with hangnail crackers. I can see why everyone started puking at the Brunch of Disgustingness.

Actual non-disgusting foods do show up every once in a blue moon. The most memorable for me would be the all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast Chef serves the campers. Maybe it’s because Chris had to specify that Chef was preparing genuine food by-products served with fresh ingredients relatively close to their expiration dates. (Yum!) Or maybe it’s because of Owen and his pancake song. Yep, definitely Owen. (“Pancakes! Pancakes! Pancakes!”) He was more excited about pancakes than getting closer to winning the $100,000. I would still want the money, but I do kind of agree with Owen. The only thing better than pancakes is all-you-can-eat pancakes!

Recipe makes 8 six-inch pancakes.

Ingredients

2 cups flour

3 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

2 large eggs, room temperature, slightly beaten

2-2 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature

¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted and cooled slightly

1 teaspoon vanilla

Toppings like almond slivers, maple syrup, and candy (Optional)

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.

Heat an electric griddle to 375 degrees F or set a skillet over medium heat.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, butter, and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and whisk to combine. Don’t overmix. The batter should still have lumps. Grease griddle with butter, vegetable oil, or non-stick cooking spray. Ladle out about ½ cup of batter onto the griddle. You may have to use the ladle to shape the pancake into a large disk. Cook until the pancake bubbles and the edges begin to set, 2 ½-3 minutes. Flip the pancake and cook until golden on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Place pancake in the oven to keep warm. Repeat the process until you run out of batter. Tee ‘em up!

TDITDI Pancakes

You don’t need to win 100 Grand to start every day with pancakes. They don’t cost all that much to make and it’s way easier than playing on Total Drama Island. Pancakes are like little mini sunshines filled with yummy fun. Camp Wawanakwa is not. Owen, with his deep pancake wisdom said, “All the all-you-can-eat pancakes in the world wouldn’t be special without friends to share them.” (Then he went on to eat a toilet seat.) That may be true, but all of the all-you-can-eat pancakes in the world wouldn’t be enough to get me on that show.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

 

Toonsylvania

 

Episode: Bang!

Worms and Curdled Eggs

 Saturday Morning Cartoons were a way of life for me. My mom tended to have trouble getting me up for school, but on Saturdays, I’d be up before the sun. No alarm clock needed. I needed the time to come up with a plan of TV attack because there were so many channels with great Saturday Morning line-ups. No matter what order I chose, I always stopped in at Fox Kids to get my scare on with something “spooky” like Toonsylvania. I call it the red-headed stepchild of the “Steven Spielberg Presents” Family because it’s smart, funny, and educational like the others, but it doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. (Like a DVD! Come on DreamWorks!) And that’s a crying shame because a cartoon about Dr. Vic Frankenstein and his gang, charming dead families, bratty girls who get what they deserve, and the demon dolls, weregrannies, and boogeymen that come along with them is something that everyone should have in their lives.

On more than one occasion, I’ve wished my family could be more like the Deadmans. They are super cheerful, optimistic, and easy-going. They’re the perfect family. Except for that whole being expired thing, but that can’t keep them down. So my Saturday morning meal usually consisted of a bowl of cereal or some kind of snack food that I really shouldn’t have been eating for breakfast. The Deadmans however, start their day more like a typical family and eat a nice, hearty breakfast. Fred’s favorite happens to be worms and curdled eggs. And his mom cooks them in the microwave. Yeah, that’s making my mouth water too.

Recipe makes 1 serving.

 Ingredients

 1 teaspoon butter

2 eggs

1 hotdog

Salt

Pepper

 

 Directions

 Cut hotdog into long, thin strips or take a vegetable peeler to it. Heat a microwave safe plate in your microwave for 2 minutes. Swirl butter around on the plate until it completely melts. Carefully crack your eggs directly onto the plate. Take the tip of a knife or a skewer and pierce the top of the yolks, being careful not to tear them. This will allow steam to escape, so the eggs don’t explode. Spread your wormy hotdog bits around the plate and place it back in the microwave. Cook for 1 minute. If they aren’t done, continue to cook in 15 second increments until they are just about at your desired doneness. Season the eggs with salt and pepper and let sit for 1 minute. Now you’re ready to eat.

DSC_0440 (2)DSC_0463 (2)

Cooking eggs in the microwave is new to me, but I’d have to say I’m a fan. It’s perfect if you don’t have a whole lot of time on your hands in the morning. I wish I had done this as a kid. It would’ve been perfect to do during Saturday morning commercial breaks. And the whole worm thing is fun when you’re looking for something a little wacky or creepy to eat. Like on Halloween, when your food gets to be in costume too.

 

Happy Halloween!

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!