My Life as a Teenage Robot

Episode: Saved by the Shell
Fried Pickle, Anchovy, and Peanut Butter Sandwich

There are times when I’m just minding my own business and all of a sudden My Life as a Teenage Robot’s theme song will pop into my head. This can happen even when it’s been months since I last watched the show. All it takes is for me to start humming a couple of bars and my brain is fried. The song will stay there until I watch an episode. And then I have to watch a second. And a third and a fourth and soon I’ve watched the entire series. How can I resist a show about a superhero robot who’d rather live a normal teenage life than protect the Earth? Just about every day, there’s a different mutant or robot or alien messing around in Tremorton, but XJ-9, or Jenny, is more concerned with her appearance, popularity, and dating. It’s tough enough just being a human teenager, so Jenny’s attempts to fit in only lead to more craziness. Throw her friends into the mix and the craziness is doubled.

Just look at Sheldon. He builds and pilots the Silver Shell just to win Jenny over. The poor guy’s plans all fail, but you can’t blame him for trying. Sheldon tries to tell Jenny that he’s her secret admirer and she ends up thinking that the Sliver Shell set her up with Don Prima. She doesn’t think anything bad of Don yet, but I use lots of unflattering adjectives to describe characters like him and the Crust Cousins. One good thing that does come out of Don and Jenny’s date at Mezmer’s is the appearance of Sheldon’s (And apparently Don’s) favorite sandwich: Fried Pickle, Anchovy, and Peanut Butter. Am I sure it’s really a good thing? No. The sandwich sounds as weird as discovering your neighbor’s a robot, but I really like Jenny, so I might like this sandwich too.

The sandwich has 2 two pickle chips on it without a coating. That doesn’t sound all that tasty to me so, I made up a little batter for them. I’m not frying up a whole lot of pickles, but ½ cup makes me feel better than two. You’re free to fry up even more if you feel like it.

Recipe makes 1 sandwich.

Ingredients

You can add any amount of stuff to your sandwich, but here’s kind of a guideline:

3 slices Bread-Looks like a light colored wheat to me, but you can use white if you prefer

Peanut Butter

2-3 cans or jars of anchovies/anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained

1 slice Swiss Cheese

2-3 slices Cheddar or American Cheese

2 leaves Lettuce

2 strips Bacon

1 Green Olive

 

Fried Pickles

½ cup dill pickle chips

3 tablespoons flour

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon onion powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

3 tablespoons water

Vegetable Oil or Peanut Oil for Frying

 

Directions

Bacon:

Place room temperature bacon in a cold pan and set heat to low. When bacon begins to curl, flip it to the other side. This can take about 7 minutes. Continue to cook, flipping it over every few minutes, until it’s browned and almost at your desired crispiness. The bacon will continue to cook after it’s removed from the pan. Drain excess grease by setting the bacon on a plate covered with paper towels.

Fried Pickles:

Spread out pickles and pat dry with paper towels.

Preheat oil in a large pot/deep skillet or in a deep fryer to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and water until smooth. Add the pickles to the batter and coat. Remove the pickles using tongs or a slotted spoon, allowing the excess batter to drip off. Place the pickles in the oil one at a time and fry until golden, 1-2 minutes. Drain the pickles on paper towels.

Putting It All Together:

Place down a slice of bread. There is a mysterious brown space here, so you can put whatever you see fit or skip this layer. I placed some anchovies and a big blob of peanut butter here. Add slices of Cheddar or American cheese and top with lettuce, anchovies, and pickle slices. Top with a slice of bread. Add more anchovies, Swiss cheese, bacon, and more lettuce. Spread a heaping amount of peanut butter on a slice of bread and close the sandwich by placing it on top of the lettuce. Spear a green olive with a toothpick and top the sandwich with it. Here’s your order, kids!

mlaatr-sandwichmylifesandwich

Sheldon’s got some strange tastes. (He is in love with a robot after all.) But notice how I typed “strange” and not “bad.” Yep, the sandwich isn’t as scary as it looks. It’s no smooth operator, but it actually kind of works! Plus, it’s fun to make and eat. Jenny may have her work cut out for her looking for someone genuine and sweet, (Until she finally notices Sheldon!) but if she ever needs a sandwich, there’s one right here. Hey, Jenny’s wanted “skin”, the sense of touch, and the ability to dream. It can’t be too long until she’ll want to eat food.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

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Fun and Fancy Free

Mickey and the Beanstalk
Willie the Giant’s Sandwich

For every handful of Disney movies that I know the ins and outs and a million useless facts about, there’s one that falls into obscurity. It’s unfortunate but it happens. By no means do I love these movies any less. I just don’t get the chance to watch them very often. Fun and Fancy Free is one of those. Yes, it’s a package film, but I still think it’s wonderful. Dinah Shore and Edgar Bergen are fantastic storytellers (I love Charlie McCarthy’s sass.) and I’m a fan of anything that involves Jiminy Cricket. Bongo is a sweet little story and I love Mickey and the Beanstalk to no end.

My favorite Disney cartoons are the ones starring Mickey, Donald, and Goofy. I love this one especially so because it’s a fairy tale. Seeing those three as starving peasants eating paper thin bean sandwiches is so hilariously heartbreaking. If you think that’s over the top, wait till you see Willie the Giant. He’s a childish oaf who can transform into anything and kidnaps the magic harp so she can sing him to sleep. He’s really not a bad guy, just selfish and stupid. (He loves pink bunnies and can’t say “pistachio.”) That’s why I can’t help but like him. Mickey, on the other hand, isn’t too fond of Willie. It doesn’t help when you accidentally find yourself in the middle of someone’s sandwich. Hey, that’s why Willie isn’t too keen on Mickey either. Food isn’t very appetizing after someone sneezes in it. That’s too bad. That sandwich looked tasty until it was blown in half. (Even though I wouldn’t recommend leg bones in my sandwich, but giants like bones, right?) And Willie has interesting tastes anyway, considering his love of chocolate pot roast.

I don’t know if the poultry is chicken or turkey, but both would work well. I just happened to choose turkey. (It comes down to taste preference and how much meat you want in your sandwich.) And I assumed the little white things that look like Donald’s butt are pearl onions. I’m not sure if they’re cooked or not, but I prefer not eating whole, raw onions. Okay. This sandwich is quite the tall order, but I’ve got the magic wordies. (You know, the recipe.)

Recipe makes 1 sandwich, but can easily be adapted to make multiple.

Ingredients

2 Slices White Sandwich Bread

1 leaf Lettuce

1 slice Swiss Cheese

Pepper

 

Roasted Turkey Leg:

1 leg per sandwich

Seasoning Per Leg

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon onion powder

1/8 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1/8 teaspoon ground mustard

Pinch of Sugar

2 tablespoons butter

 

Glazed Pearl Onions:

1 cup pearl onions, fresh or frozen

1 cup water

2 teaspoons butter

3/4 teaspoon sugar

Pinch of Salt

 

Directions

Roasted Turkey Leg:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Rinse turkey legs and pat dry. Place the legs on a rimmed baking sheet and rub with butter. Add seasonings. Cook, uncovered, until the internal temperature reaches 175 degrees F, turning halfway. This may take up to 2-2 1/2 hours, depending on your oven, but start checking for doneness after an hour. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Glazed Pearl Onions:

If using fresh pearl onions, cut the ends off each onion and score the larger side with an “X.” Bring a small pot of water to a boil over high heat. Carefully add the pearl onions and boil until the peel becomes soft, 1 1/2-2 minutes. Drain the onions and rinse with cold water. Once the onions are cool to the touch, you can easily peel them by hand.

If using frozen pearl onions, thaw and pat dry.

Melt butter in a small saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, sugar, and salt. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender and the liquid has evaporated, 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Putting It All Together:

Place down a slice of bread. Add a lettuce leaf and a slice of Swiss cheese. Top with the turkey leg and add some pearl onions. (If going in Willie’s order. I prefer to sandwich my onions between the lettuce and cheese so they don’t fall out.) Top with the second slice of bread. Sprinkle in a little bit of pepper. If your sandwich doesn’t sneeze, it’s ready to eat!

fun&fancy willieFunFancy Sandwich

I would love to see how Willie eats this, because it’s easier said than done. I took a few bites then gave up and pulled the meat off the leg like a normal person before finishing the sandwich. It’s still fun though. Kind of reminds me of a certain song that I can’t seem to get out of my head. “What a great big gorgeous, sumptuous, thumping, bumptious, hum-galumptious, simply scrumptious. My, what a happy day.” (Hope you enjoy the earworm as much as the sandwich!)

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

Scooby Doo, Where Are You!

Episode: Spooky Space Kook
Shaggy’s Jaw-Stretcher Special

There aren’t a whole lot of shows out there that left an impression on me as strong as Scooby Doo, Where Are You! Most of my favorite things today are: cartoons, mysteries, dogs, and food. Coincidence? I think not. There’s no way I could watch that show over and over and not take something from it. Whether I turned on my TV morning, noon, or night, Scooby Doo was on. For me, Scooby-Doo easily became synonymous with Cartoon Network. And I guess I’m not the only one who thought that. (How else did he get elected President?)

Another Scooby Doo influence is that even though I’m a fraidy cat, I love legends about ghosts and monsters. If I heard someone talk about a haunted mansion, zombie, or outer space ghost in the area, I’d be the second person on the scene. (I’d need the first person to use as a shield.) I’d try to stay out of trouble, but with my luck I’d end up just like Shaggy and Scooby and come face to face with the ghost/monster/scary thing. Either that or I’d end up getting trapped or something, like “Danger Prone Daphne”, or losing my glasses somewhere, like Velma. I share the worst traits with the members of Mystery, Inc., so they probably wouldn’t let me join. But I can be persuaded with food too, so maybe they actually would. Shaggy and Scooby seem to have the most fun anyway. I’d just stick with them and pass the time eating strange, big sandwiches, like Shaggy’s Jaw-Stretcher Special. Yeah, chocolate sauce on a meatloaf and bologna sandwich is odd, but it beats a sardine and marshmallow fudge one.

Recipe makes 1 sandwich.

Ingredients

You can add any amount of stuff to your sandwich, but here’s kind of a guideline:

3 slices Bologna

3 slices Meatloaf

1 slice Swiss Cheese

1 slice Cheddar Cheese

1 leaf Lettuce

The following can’t actually be seen on the sandwich, so they are optional:

Tomatoes

Green Olives

Ketchup

Mustard

Mayonnaise

 

5 Slices of Wheat Sandwich Bread Or

Bread:

½ cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)

1 ¼ teaspoons yeast

½ tablespoon sugar

½ cup, plus 2 tablespoons milk, room temperature

1 ½ tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon salt

¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened and cut into chunks

2 ½ cups whole wheat flour

 

1 Bottle of Chocolate Syrup Or

Chocolate Syrup:

1 cup water

2 cups sugar

1 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

 

Directions

Bread:

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in the warm water. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes, or until foamy. In a large bowl, combine whole wheat flour and salt. Add yeast mixture, milk, and honey and stir to combine. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in the butter. Once the butter is fully incorporated, continue kneading the dough for 8 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and place in a large, clean bowl. Lightly coat dough with oil and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until it has doubled in size. Punch down the dough and shape into a loaf. Place the dough into a greased 9-inch loaf pan, cover, and let rise for an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake loaf for 30 minutes. Place the pan on a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes. Turn the bread out and let rest on the rack until completely cooled. Slice.

Chocolate Syrup:

In a medium saucepan, combine water, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Bring to a boil and whisk until sugar, cocoa powder, and salt dissolve. Whisk in the corn syrup and vanilla extract. Allow the cocoa mixture to simmer until it has slightly thickened, whisking occasionally. Remove mixture from heat and cool completely.

Putting It All Together:

Tomatoes, green olives, ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise can be added to any layer of the sandwich but the top.

Place down a slice of bread. Add a slice of Swiss cheese and top with another piece of bread. Add a lettuce leaf and two slices of meatloaf. Top with another slice of bread and place two slices of bologna on top of that. Add another slice of bread and a slice of cheddar cheese. Cover that with one more slice of bread, a slice of bologna, and a slice of meatloaf. Drench the sandwich in chocolate syrup. Now it’s ready to be eaten!

scoobydoo jawstretcherScooby Doo Sandwich

Okay, I’ve got strange tastes, I know. But this is a really good sandwich. Plus it’s super fun to eat. It’s difficult to get everything in one bite and this one’s tiny compared to some of the sandwiches Shaggy makes. And this one is an absolute mess. Now so am I. I got syrup everywhere and had trouble getting through my sandwich because I couldn’t stop laughing. See, even after all these years, Scooby Doo, Where Are You! still makes me laugh. I don’t think I’ll ever find the “Recipe For My Love” of this series (I know, wrong episode, but I couldn’t resist.) but the recipe for this sandwich is close enough.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation

Mayo and Cream Cheese Sandwiches

For many long years, school was the bane of my existence. And the only way I could find sweet relief was Summer Vacation. Summer was such a magical time of year where I could let the stress of learning slip from my mind for a short while and do whatever I wanted. And I’ve done it all: the beach, camping, and vegging the whole 12 weeks away in front of the boob tube. Really, the vegging out part was my favorite and I could never really start enjoying my break until I had watched Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation. I had never seen something so accurately describe the roller coaster of emotions that accompanies Summer Vacation. Plus it was done in hilarious Tiny Toon fashion and managed to smash just about everything I love about the show into it.

The scenes that really steal my heart though, are Plucky’s misadventures with the Pig Family. I just adore Hamton, but his family is a little strange. They’re loving, but strange. They even bring their own food to the drive-in. And what they bring is on a whole other level of odd. They all eat mayo and cream cheese on white with the crusts cut off. I’d rather have the jumbo cheeseburger, chili fries, and a cherry pie, but maybe I’m missing out on something fantastic. There’s only one way to find out.

Recipe makes enough bread for 6 sandwiches, but you can make as many as you want.

Ingredients

Cream Cheese, room temperature

White Sandwich Bread Or

Bread:

¼ cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)

1 ¼ teaspoons yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

½ cup, plus 2 tablespoons milk, room temperature

1 teaspoon salt

¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened and cut into chunks

2 1/4 cups bread flour

 

Mayonnaise Or

Mayonnaise:

2 egg yolks, room temperature

3/4 teaspoon dry mustard

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 cup oil Corn, Vegetable, or Olive

 

Directions

Bread:

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in the warm water. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes, or until foamy. In a large bowl, combine bread flour and salt. Add yeast mixture and milk and stir to combine. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in the butter. Once the butter is fully incorporated, continue kneading the dough for 8 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and place in a large, clean bowl. Lightly coat dough with oil and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size. Punch down the dough and shape into a loaf. Place the dough into a greased 9-inch loaf pan, cover, and let rise for another hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake loaf for 30 minutes. Place the pan on a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes. Turn the bread out and let rest on the rack until completely cooled. Slice.

Mayonnaise:

In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks, dry mustard, salt, and sugar. Whisk in the lemon juice and white wine vinegar. Begin adding oil, drop by drop, while constantly whisking. Once the mixture begins to thicken, you can add the oil in a thin, steady stream, while still whisking constantly. Keep whisking until all the oil is incorporated. This is a lot of work on your arm, so you can do the exact same thing in a food processor or blender if desired. Let the finished mayonnaise sit for an hour at room temperature and then cover and chill.

Putting It All Together:

Take two slices of bread and cut off the crusts. Spread mayo and cream cheese on the bread and bring the slices together. Enjoy your sandwich!

Tiny Toon SandwichTiny Toons Mayo

Alright, these sandwiches will probably never sound appetizing, but they’re not half bad. I don’t plan on packing any the next time I make the pilgrimage to “Happy World Land,” but if that’s all I’ve got, I’ll eat it. I mean, they are Hamton’s favorite. And when you’re on a road trip, you take what you can get because you never know what (or who) is waiting for you down the road.

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

Johnny Bravo


Episode: Johnny Bravo
Deep Fried Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich

More often than I’d like to admit, I’ve released my inner Johnny Bravo on the unsuspecting world. I’ll say or do something Johnny-ish and my sister will immediately turn to me and say, “No more Johnny Bravo for you.” I can’t help it. It left quite the impression on me since I saw it on What A Cartoon! I felt like all of those shorts that went on to become Cartoon Cartoons were made just for me. (Forget all the popularity and demographic mumbo jumbo. They were made for ME and only ME.) There were so many things that went right over my head, but I didn’t care. That’s why now I appreciate quality shows with multiple levels. I hardly got any of Johnny Bravo‘s pop culture references, but I still enjoyed them. I wouldn’t love Donny Osmond as much as I do if I hadn’t seen him on the show. Sad but true.

And how can I not want to be Johnny Bravo? (Or Jenny Brava in my case.) In his own way, Johnny is kind of a good role model. Not the vain, meat-headed, pig side of him. That’s bad. (There’s something up with those sunglasses.) What I’m talking about is Johnny’s self-confidence. I want to get up every morning, look in the mirror, and have to call emergency personnel because I look that good. And he can deliver the goofiest pickup lines with ease because he truly believes in himself. Then when he’s crushed (literally) his confidence only wavers for a moment, if at all. He’s good. I mean, he’s the kind of guy that can break into song, pull a pot of hot oil out of nowhere, make a peanut butter and banana sandwich, and deep fry that bad boy in seconds. Sure, that’s probably because he’s a cartoon character, but I’d like to believe that that’s just one of Johnny’s superpowers. I can make a deep fried peanut butter and banana sandwich too, but it’s going to take me a couple minutes. And I can’t fry a thing with that kind of finesse. I better get practicing.

So, Johnny just plops a sandwich into the hot oil. That’s fine and dandy, but if I do that, all I end up with is soggy bread without a trace of peanut butter left inside. To protect the sandwich, it’s getting a nice coating of batter first.

Recipe makes 2 sandwiches.

Ingredients

Sandwiches:

4 slices of bread

4 tablespoons peanut butter (You can add more if you want but beware of leakage.)

1-2 large bananas (Depends on how much banana you like.)

Vegetable Oil for Frying

Batter:

½ cup milk

1 egg, beaten

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup flour

1 teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

 

Directions

Sandwich:

I know everyone has their own way of making sandwiches, so do what you need to make peanut butter and banana sandwiches. You can spread 1 tablespoon of peanut butter onto each slice of bread. Slice the banana in half, lengthwise, or into about ¼ inch slices. Lay either both banana halves or about half of the slices on one piece of bread. Top that with the second slice of bread.

Batter:

In a small bowl, combine the milk, egg, and vanilla extract. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the wet ingredients and whisk until a smooth batter of dippable consistency forms. If you want it thinner, add more milk.

Putting It All Together:

Heat oil in a large pot/deep skillet or in a deep fryer to 350 degrees F.

Dip the sandwich into the batter and coat thoroughly. Allow the excess batter to drip off and use tongs to move it to the hot oil.
Fry the sandwich until golden brown on each side, 2-2 ½ minutes. Drain the sandwich on paper towels and repeat with the second sandwich. Serve warm!

Johnny Bravo SandwichJohnny Bravo Peanut Butter Banana

I understand that the zookeeper had a lot on her mind since a 900-pound gorilla escaped, but if I’m offered a deep fried peanut butter and banana sandwich, I’ll happily take it. Well, you probably shouldn’t take food from strangers, but I’d take one from Johnny. He was only trying to impress a pretty girl, but he went searching for the gorilla even though he had no idea what one looks like. His heart’s in the right place. It’s the Bravo brain that needs help.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!