Mickey’s Christmas Carol

Cratchit Family Christmas Dinner

Another year, another Christmas Carol. There are just so many of them, I couldn’t resist. Last year, when I covered A Christmas Carol, I said it’s my very favorite animated version of the story. Well, so is Mickey’s Christmas Carol. (I have trouble picking favorites.) It was one of my first tastes of A Christmas Carol and, come on, it’s Disney. Everywhere you look, a beloved character shows up to take on a role from this classic. Among them you’ll see Mickey and Co., Mr. Toad, Willie the Giant, and Jiminy Cricket. And let’s not forget about Scrooge McDuck starring as his namesake! Ebenezer Scrooge is a cruel man, but his sense of humor and attitude make it tough to hate him. However, just because I like him doesn’t mean I’m happy with how he treats people like Fred (Donald), the Collectors for the poor (Ratty and Moley), and Isabelle (Daisy). And the poor Cratchits! Bob (Mickey) says he gets paid two shillings and a ha’penny and that’s only because he got a raise for doing Scrooge’s laundry. That’s not nearly enough to support his family. Did you see their Christmas dinner?

The Cratchit Family’s Christmas dinner consists of one very small bird, some brown stuff, and peas. I’m not saying it’s bad. I’m sure Mrs. Cratchit (Minnie) is a wonderful cook, but that’s supposed to feed a family of five? And it doesn’t help that the Ghost of Christmas Present (Willie) shows up with the food of generosity. After seeing mince pies, turkey, and suckling pig, you know that the Cratchit dinner isn’t going to be a pretty sight. Then Scrooge compares it to a canary! If I didn’t feel for the Cratchits already, I would after seeing Tiny Tim (Morty Fieldmouse) walk in and say, “Oh, my! Look at all the wonderful things to eat.” (My heart!) And then there’s my favorite scene where Bob slices his one little pea. That’ll stay with me forever because of how unbelievably silly/sad it is. Oh, and if that isn’t enough to break your heart, Tiny Tim tries to give his dad his drumstick. (Tiny Tim, you sweet, little angel.) It’s sad when this meal is made for an entire family, but for one person, it’d be quite the little feast.

Just what bird Mrs. Cratchit cooked up, I have no idea, but I’m going to use a Cornish game hen. As for the mysterious brown stuff, I’m guessing it’s stuffing. And the peas, well they’re peas.

Recipe makes Christmas dinner for one.

Ingredients

Cornish Game Hen:

1 Cornish game hen

Butter

Salt

Pepper

Stuffing

½ large onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon butter

½ tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped

2 ounces bread crumbs

1 large egg, beaten

Salt

Pepper

Peas

½ cup peas, fresh or frozen

¾ tablespoon butter, melted

Salt

Pepper

Directions

Cornish Game Hen:

Rinse the Cornish game hen and dry thoroughly. Place on a rack over a pan in the fridge, uncovered, for 1-24 hours, the longer the better.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Rub a liberal amount of butter, up to a tablespoon, on the Cornish game hen, inside and out and under the skin. Then season it, inside and out, with liberal amounts of salt and pepper. Truss the Cornish game hen and place on a small rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan. You can also place it on a small rack inside the pan.

Stuffing:

Melt butter in a small pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Remove from heat and add the sage. Add the breadcrumbs and season with salt and pepper. Add enough egg until the mixture just comes together when pressed. Break up the stuffing into large chunks and place on the pan with the Cornish game hen.

Peas:

If you are using fresh peas, boil them for 2-3 minutes. Drain and dry thoroughly. If you are using frozen, thaw and dry thoroughly. In a bowl, combine peas, butter, salt, and pepper.

Putting It All Together:

Bake the Cornish game hen and stuffing until the thickest part of the thigh reads 160-165 degrees F and the juices run clear, about 1 hour. When you have about 20 minutes left of cooking time, add the peas to the pan. Remove from the oven and loosely tent with foil. Let rest 10 minutes. Untruss the Cornish game hen and serve it up with some stuffing and peas. Enjoy!

Variations:
Everyone seems to have their own way of cooking birds, so do what works best for you and your oven. I didn’t use a brine, but you can if you prefer. Also, you can rub the Cornish game hen with olive oil or nothing at all. And you can easily make more or less of anything.

mickeys-christmas-carolmickeys-christmas-carol-food

I feel so awful. I used the smallest Cornish game hen I could find and it’s still huge compared to Mrs. Cratchit’s “canary.” I couldn’t even eat the whole thing in one sitting. But despite not having a whole lot, the Cratchits are still a pretty happy family because they have each other. And thanks to Scrooge’s change of heart, they can afford to keep it that way. The toys and the turkey aren’t bad either, but it’s being with family and friends that makes it a merry Christmas Day.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

I’ll be taking a break for the next two weeks.
Tune in next year for more Cartoon Cravings!

Advertisements

Johnny Test

Episode: Johnny of the Jungle
Meatloaf Burritos

There are a lot of super geniuses out there in cartoon land. Although I do love them, I feel more at home with the less intelligent and the stupid folk. (I can’t imagine why.) I tried the science thing for a while and turns out, it wasn’t for me. It would be nice to have the brain power to invent gadgets and elixirs for the betterment of mankind. (Or at least myself.) Yeah, I’d probably make most of my stuff for the wrong reasons and end up doing more harm than good. Kind of like the disastrous combination of the Test kids. Just like Johnny, I’d run to the Lab whenever I have a problem, use something that I’m probably not supposed to, and destroy half of my city. I know it’s wrong, but it really does sound kind of fun. And Johnny’s daily life frequently includes a bunch of villains bent on his destruction who are a lot more misguided than evil. And they love a good competition. See, even more fun.

What’s not so fun about living in the Test house is dinner. Or should I just call it meatloaf because they don’t eat much else. Now I love a good meatloaf, (And I think deep down so do the Tests.) but eating one night after night after night gets pretty old pretty fast. That’s even if it’s edible. More often than not it’s too dry or disgusting. Just the word “meatloaf” strikes fear into any member of the Test Household, minus Dukey and Hugh, the meatloaf fanatic. Hugh spends most of his days at home, so he’s got plenty of time to perfect his meatloaf recipes. Instead of focusing on making one killer meatloaf, (I mean that in terms of taste, not the meatloaf monster.) he makes all sorts of meatloaf creations. He’s tried flavored meatloaves, meatloaf casserole, meatloaf pie, meatloaf balls, meatloaf parfaits, mini meatloaves, and meatloaf burritos. Wow, that is a lot of meatloaf. I see how it can get scary in the wrong hands. But I don’t eat meatloaf all that often, so all the possibilities are beginning to sound exciting. Plus, I really like saying “meatloaf burritos.”

Recipe makes six burritos.

Ingredients

Meatloaf:

1 pound ground beef or a mixture of beef and pork (I like using a ½ pound of each.)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 cup onion

1/4 cup red bell pepper

1/4 cup orange bell pepper

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 egg

1/3 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup milk or heavy cream

1/2 tablespoon ketchup

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon parsley

 

Glaze:

3 1/2 tablespoons ketchup

1 1/2 tablespoons mustard

3 tablespoons brown sugar

 

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

6 (8-inch) flour tortillas

Burrito Fixings- Cheese, Refried Beans, Etc. (Optional) I tried plain, with cheese, and bean and cheese, and they were all yummy.

 

Directions

Meatloaf:

Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add onions and peppers and cook until soft and onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg, bread crumbs, milk, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, and parsley. Add the vegetables and meat and mix until combined.

Transfer the meat mixture to a parchment-lined pan. I chose a 10 X 10. Shape the mixture into a loaf and bake for 20 minutes.

Make the glaze by combining ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Brush the meatloaf with the glaze and bake another 25 minutes or until the meatloaf’s internal temperature reads 155-160 degrees F. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Putting It All Together:

Cut the meatloaf into 6 slices. Break up a slice and spread over a tortilla, along with anything else you want to add. Fold the sides and roll up the tortilla. Repeat with the rest of the meatloaf slices.

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly brown the burritos on all sides and serve!

Johnny Test Burritos (2)Johnny Test Meatloaf Burritos

Johnny’s dad was really on to something with the whole meatloaf burrito idea. And mine don’t stink at all! Even my anti-meatloaf sister enjoyed her’s. Too bad, because then there’d be more for me. Now just because I made a yummy meatloaf, doesn’t mean I’m going to eat one every day. That’s where poor Hugh messes up. As for myself, I think I’ll have spaghetti for dinner.

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

 

Space Jam


Swackhammer’s Courtside Feast

Easter is just days away, so I know that poor Easter Bunny is working overtime. Although I appreciate his efforts, he’s not the only Bunny on my mind this time of year. Sorry, Mr. Cottontail, but in my house, you have to share your day with Bugs. And it’s not just because I run around yelling, “I wanna Easter Egg,” every year. The real reason is Easter Morning, 1997. I ran to see what goodies the Easter Bunny had brought and stopped dead in my tracks when I saw a pristine Space Jam VHS waiting for us kids. Our Easter Baskets were full of candy, but we ignored the sugary goodness completely. We loved Space Jam so much and weren’t expecting it to be there, so we super freaked out. You would’ve thought it was Christmas.

Since that day, I’ve seen this movie hundreds of times. Looney Tunes teaming up with Michael Jordan to win a basketball game against aliens sounds like the silliest idea ever, (because it is) but it works beyond well. I’ve always found movies that pair live action and animation to be enchanting and Bugs Bunny has always been one of my heroes. Plus having the Nerdlucks steal the talent of NBA powerhouses was the coolest thing I had ever seen. The Monstars are so tough and cool, but they’ve got just the right amount of stupid sprinkled in. And there wouldn’t be any Monstars without the greedy Mr. Swackhammer. He’s such a fun villain and seeing him being pampered during the Big Game is just too funny.

His table is full of food and he’s got more bread and wine coming. (And pie, a pork chop, or sorbet, perhaps.) I assumed he’s got potatoes and green beans and I can tell that’s a jello mold from a mile away. Now what meat is he eating? Sure, it’s probably just a roasted turkey leg, but since I have absolutely no idea what it is, (and I couldn’t find any turkey legs for the life of me) I thought I’d sort of treat it like manga meat and make my own. And by that, I’m basically talking about making a meatloaf on a stick.

Recipe makes 2 large servings.

Ingredients

Meat:

1/2 cup panko

1/4 cup milk

1/4 onion, minced

1 clove garlic

1 tablespoon butter

1 pound ground turkey

1 egg

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon brown mustard

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 chicken or turkey drumsticks with the meat removed

 

For Breading:

1/2 cup flour

1 egg

1 cup panko

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

Oil for Deep Frying

 

Potatoes

1 pound new potatoes, sliced

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

 

Green Beans

1 pound green beans

2 tablespoons butter

Salt

Pepper

 

Gelatin

1 box strawberry or raspberry flavored Jello Or

1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin

3 tablespoon sugar

2 cups fruit juice: Raspberry or White Cran-Strawberry or something along the same color

 

Directions

Meat:

In a small bowl, combine panko and milk and set aside.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small pan. Add onions and garlic and sauté until onions are soft. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine panko-milk mixture, turkey, egg, onion and garlic, salt, pepper, brown mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix until just combined. Divide in half and place meat mounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Shape the meat mounds into ovals so they resemble the leg-type shape. Stick the bones into the shapes. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Remove from oven and cool completely.

In a shallow bowl, combine flour, salt, and pepper. In a second shallow bowl, beat the egg. Place the panko in a third shallow bowl. Dredge one “leg” in the flour. Shake off the excess and dredge in the egg. Then coat it with the panko. You may have to dredge and coat a couple of times to get an even coating. Repeat the dredging process with the other “leg.” Don’t use the bones as handles just yet or they might come apart. Save that for when you’re trying to eat it. Chill the “legs” for 15 minutes.

Heat oil in a large pot/deep skillet or in a deep fryer to 370 degrees F.

Fry the “legs,” one at a time, until golden on all sides, 2-3 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Potatoes:

Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan or pot over medium-high heat. Add salt and potatoes and lower the heat. Simmer the potatoes until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Drain off the potatoes and add them back to the pan. Melt butter and coat the potatoes. Season with pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder and remove from heat.

Green Beans:

Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan or pot over medium-high heat. Add salt and green beans and cook until green beans are slightly tender, 6 minutes. Drain off the green beans and add them back to the pan. Melt butter and coat green beans. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.

Gelatin:

Pour gelatin and ¼ cup of juice in a small bowl. While the gelatin is blooming, combine the sugar and remaining fruit juice in a medium saucepan. Place the saucepan over medium high heat and bring the juice to a boil. Remove from heat and add the bloomed gelatin. Mix until the gelatin has completely dissolved. Pour the gelatin mixture into a small mold or bowl and allow it to come to room temperature. Chill the mold for 4 hours or until the gelatin has set. Remove the gelatin from the mold and onto a small plate.

Putting It All Together:

Place some green beans on a plate. Place a “leg” on top and scoop out some potatoes. Serve alongside the gelatin, a cup of coffee, and a glass of your favorite red, fancy drink. Enjoy!

Space JamSpace Jam Food

 

I can totally see these “legs” being sold at Moron Mountain! They are pretty looney looking. Now I have something a little more fun to eat while watching Space Jam besides cereal or junk food. Hey, any excuse to watch this movie is fine with me. It still makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And yes, the scene near the end where Michael Jordan steps onto the baseball field still moves me to tears.

Have a Happy Easter, Everybody!

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

 

A Christmas Carol

Scrooge’s Hash Dinner

I can’t let the Holidays pass me by without mentioning Charles Dickens’ little nugget of joy: A Christmas Carol. I know it’s been said and done a million times, but it truly did help shape how we celebrate Christmas today. My very favorite animated version of the classic tale is this production right here. However, it seems to me that the rest world either hates it or doesn’t know it exists. But with its catchy tunes and stellar cast, it’s easy to see how I became captivated by it. I can’t even remember how the tape ended up in my house. Maybe Santa? It’s just always been here, waiting patiently for Christmas to roll around, so we can watch it over and over again.

Sure, you’d think I’d want to cook up something grand like the prize turkey, but I’ve decided to emulate pre-ghostly visitors Scrooge and make hash instead. He orders it all the time at his local tavern because it’s the cheapest thing on the menu. He doesn’t even notice when the waitress switches his order and gives him scraps while his dog, Debit, gets his meal. Yeah, hash is basically the king of leftovers and not too far from scraps, but it’s the tasty version and you can add whatever you want to it.

Recipe makes 5-6 servings.

 Ingredients

 Hash:

4 large potatoes, peeled and chopped

¼ cup milk, half-and-half, or heavy cream

Salt

Pepper

Granulated garlic

4 tablespoons butter

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 ½ cups cooked and chopped corned beef, fresh or canned

1 16 ounce can of baked beans

1 tablespoon ketchup

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

½ cup shredded cheese, optional

 

Carrots:

 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into medallions

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons honey

½ tablespoon lemon juice

½ tablespoon water

Salt

Pepper

 

Broccoli

1 large head of broccoli, cut into florets and chunks

2 tablespoons butter

Salt

Pepper

 

Directions

Hash:

Place potatoes in a large saucepan or pot. Add salt and water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, 15-20 minutes. While the potatoes are boiling, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and heat half-and-half in a small saucepan over medium heat until it simmers. Drain off the potatoes when cooked. Mash and add heated half-and-half. Stir together and season with salt, pepper, and garlic. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft and translucent. Add the corned beef, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes.

Add baked beans to a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes until warmed through and it loses some of its liquid.

Spread baked beans along the bottom of a baking dish. Layer the corned beef mixture over the beans. Spread the mashed potatoes on top. Bake for 30 minutes. If adding cheese, wait until the 20 minute mark to do so. Remove from oven.

Carrots:

Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan or pot over medium-high heat. Add salt and carrots and cook until carrots are tender, 5-8 minutes. Drain off the carrots and add them back to the pan. Add butter, honey, lemon juice, and water. Cook over medium heat until a glaze forms and coats the carrots. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.

Broccoli:

Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan or pot over medium-high heat. Add salt and broccoli and cook until broccoli is tender, 3-4 minutes. Drain off the broccoli and add it back to the pan. Melt butter and coat broccoli. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.

Putting It All Together:

Scoop out portions of hash, carrots, and broccoli onto a plate. Now dinner is ready!

DSC_0657 (2)DSC_0661 (2)

He tells the waitress that his “hash” isn’t fit for a dog, but I find the real thing pretty good. Maybe that’s the real reason why he orders it when he can afford a feast every night. You can’t really tell because he doesn’t seem to care about anything but his profits. But after his fateful Christmas Eve, he’s become older and wiser. He now knows that he’ll never find happiness in his stacks of money. True happiness comes from helping others and living and loving. Not just on Christmas, but every day of the year.

I wish you and yours the Happiest of Holidays!

I’ll be taking a break for the next couple of weeks.

Tune in next year for more Cartoon Cravings!