Kim Possible

Episode: Team Impossible (and a whole lot of other episodes)
The Naco

I’m one of those weird people who perk up and frantically scan the room whenever I hear the Kimmunicator’s ringtone somewhere. More often than not, I’m not the only one doing it and I truly believe that anyone who reacts to that “Duh-duh-dun-na” grew up right. I liked Kim Possible when it first aired. I caught an episode here and there and rocked out to the theme song every time Radio Disney played it. But it wasn’t until years after the show’s first run that I realized just what a gem it is. Yeah, it’s a “Girl Saves the World” series, but nothing is taken too seriously. It’s engaging and the characters are all great. I love how whacked out all the villains are. And if I could have an ounce of Kim’s confidence that’d be wonderful because her “I can do anything,” attitude is the best thing in the world. And then there’s the goofy, loveable sidekick, Ron. (Oh, Ron.) I’m pretty sure Ron and I are secretly related because sometimes we have a little too much in common.

One major difference between “The Ron” and me is that I didn’t make millions by creating a smash hit fast food item. Ron practically lives at Bueno Nacho anyway, so it was only a matter of time until he started fiddling with the menu. And with one bold stroke of genius, Ron combined his nachos and taco to create The Naco. It’s so simple, but there are people who were either confused or grossed out by it. (Is there anything gross about Tex-Mex style fast food? Don’t answer that!) I’ve always thought it looked delicious, even if it is a drippy bag of food. Later on, the Naco developed a way to stand on its own, so I thought I’d give that a whirl.

Recipe makes about 6 Nacos, depending on if you Grande Size or not.

Ingredients

6 10-inch flour tortillas

1 15-ounce can refried beans

1 15-ounce can nacho cheese

1 tomato, sliced

1-2 lettuce leaves, in pieces or shreds

Corn tortilla chips

 

Naco Meat

1 pound ground beef

½ cup beef broth

¼ cup onion, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

 

Directions

Naco Shell:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Microwave each tortilla for 30 seconds to make them pliable. Place the tortillas in a jumbo muffin tin in a Naco shape. For additional shape and support, make small rolls of aluminum foil and place around the tortillas in the cups to keep the tortillas in place. I used one for the front and two in the back to make a triangular bag shape. Coat the tortillas with nonstick cooking spray and bake for 5-10 minutes until browned and strong enough to keep their shapes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Naco Meat:

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the ground beef and salt and cook until browned. Stir occasionally while browning to break up the meat. Add the beef broth, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, and cornstarch. Continue cooking for 2-3 minutes and remove from heat.

Separately heat refried beans and nacho cheese in the microwave or on the stove. You can either spoon each ingredient into the Naco separately or you can combine them and add them all in one go. Take a shell and add meat, refried beans, tortilla chips, cheese, tomato, and lettuce. Congratulations, it’s a Naco!

kim-possible-nacokp-naco

I can’t blame Ron for eating at Bueno Nacho all the time. I’d do it if I could. The Naco really is nature’s perfect food. I no longer have to choose between eating a taco or nachos. Hey, I don’t even have to choose between eating a Naco and anything else. With this recipe at my fingertips, every night can be Naco Night.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

Chicken Run

Mrs. Tweedy’s Chicken Pie

Growing up near several farms, I’ve often passed by the animals and wondered, “What do they do when we’re not watching? Are they organized?” Turns out they are. At least chickens are if you believe everything that was shown in Chicken Run. (You never know.) Out there right now could be strong willed chickens, like Ginger, who dream of freedom from oppressive farmers and are concocting wild prison escape plans. And maybe someone has started selling pie machines to farmers too. Yeah, right. I’ll believe chickens can build a flying machine, but the pie machine is too far-fetched. (Even though pie machines are very real.)

It would be so nice to have a contraption like that. There have got to be hundreds of ways to make a chicken pie, so it gets confusing sometimes, but this machine takes out all the guesswork. I just want a little one for the average home cook, not a giant “wipe out the whole farm in one fell swoop” kind. (That gives me the willies.) You know, the last thing I want to see is any chicken being made into a pie. Actually, seeing Ginger and Rocky fighting to escape the pie machine is my favorite part, so I do enjoy them being turned into a pie. But I don’t want to see them eaten! Then again I do love chicken pies. (See the moral dilemma?) Well, be it chicken or apple, I don’t own a pie machine, so if I want a pie any time soon, I better get off my butt and make one.

Recipe makes one 10-inch pie.

Ingredients

Crust:

3 cups flour

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cold and cut into chunks

2-3 tablespoons ice water, plus 1 or 2 more tablespoons if needed

1 egg, plus 1 tablespoon milk for egg wash (Optional)

 

Filling:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound chicken, chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup carrots, chopped

2 cups potatoes, chopped

1 cup mushrooms, chopped

4 cups chicken broth 

4 tablespoons butter

5 tablespoons flour

¼ cup milk

Salt

Pepper

 

Directions

Crust:
In a food processor, pulse flour and salt until combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 2-3 tablespoons of ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until dough just comes together when pressed. If the dough is too dry, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse again. Form dough into a ball and divide in half. Flatten each half into a disk and cover in plastic wrap. Let dough chill until firm, 30 minutes to an hour.

Filling:
Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add carrots and potatoes and cook until tender, 8-10 minutes. Drain the vegetables into a colander over a bowl to reserve the cooking liquid. Set both vegetables and broth aside.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook for two minutes. Add mushrooms and continue to cook until the chicken begins to brown. Remove the chicken and mushrooms and set aside. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Remove the onion and garlic and set aside. Melt butter in the skillet. Add flour and whisk constantly until a thick, smooth paste has formed. The roux is fine to use after a couple minutes, but if you want a little bit darker gravy, you’ll need to let your roux brown for at least 10-20 minutes, slowly whisking constantly. Once the roux has reached your desired color, whisk in the milk. Then gradually whisk in the reserved cooking liquid. Cook until the gravy is smooth and thick, still whisking. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Remove from the heat. Combine the chicken and vegetables with the gravy and let sit while preparing the crust.

Putting It All Together:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Unwrap one dough disk and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out dough anywhere from 11 to 14 inches across and place in a pie tin. Gently press dough into place. Trim excess dough or fold it back on itself.

Pour or spoon filling evenly into pie crust.

Unwrap the second dough disk and roll out similar to the first disk. Place the dough over the filling. Press both crusts together to seal. Trim excess dough or fold it back on itself. Crimp edge for a more decorative look. Cut small vents into the top of the pie to allow steam to escape. Make an egg wash by whisking the egg and milk together and brush the top of the pie. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. If the edges of the crust are browning too quickly, place a thin strip of foil over them.

Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to sit for at least 10 minutes. Dig in!

chicken run (2)chicken run pie

Mrs. Tweedy never did get her chicken pie business up and running, but I imagine that her pies would taste a little something like this. Hey, maybe I should start selling my own! Wait, no, not a good idea. I’d probably just eat my profits. (If I don’t eat all my product first.) I’m beginning to think that nothing good comes from starting a chicken pie business. I’d end up like poor, stupid Mr. Tweedy. Or even worse, up to my shoulders in gravy.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

SpongeBob SquarePants

Episode: Pizza Delivery
Krusty Krab Pizza /Krabby Patty Pizza

Even though I love doing my Cartoon Cravings thing, I’m still not really a big fan of writing. I can talk someone’s head off about shows I love, but when I have to put it down on paper or a screen, it gets tough. So I do tend to procrastinate a bit and that always leads me back to SpongeBob SquarePants. A lot of things I do always seem to connect with SpongeBob. (I hope it’s not just me.) I think that’s part of SpongeBob’s charm. Some things are so unexpected and other things hit so close to home that you can’t help but laugh at it. Yeah, a sponge living in a pineapple and working as a fry cook sounds pretty weird. But the world loves weird, because it seems like every person out there has at least heard of SpongeBob.

Now here’s my chance to tackle a show I’ve loved for years and has involved food since Episode One. Every time I turn around, the characters are at the Krusty Krab and Krabby Patties are showing up everywhere. And what do I do? I make pizza. I know. I couldn’t help myself. “Pizza Delivery” is in my Top 2 of Spongebob episodes. (“Band Geeks” takes the top spot by a slim margin.) And it really is the perfect way to describe my life. Oh, and I can’t forget the “Krusty Krab Pizza” song! Every time we have pizza in this house, someone is singing that song. By someone I mean me. And my sister. She takes care of the high notes for me. I’ll get to a good ol’ Krabby Patty sometime down the line, but at least it’s a Krabby Patty Pizza. Mr. Krabs mashes up Krabby Patties, so I figured it had to be a cheeseburger pizza. It’s just topped with mushrooms and pepperoni for an extra oomph.

Recipe makes 1 really large pizza or two 12-inch pizzas.

Ingredients

Crust:

1 ¼ cups warm water (105-115 degrees F)

2 ¼ teaspoons yeast

3 teaspoons sugar

3 tablespoons instant non-fat dry milk powder

1 ½ teaspoons salt

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

3 cups bread flour

 

Sauce:

¼ cup, plus 2 tablespoons ketchup

1 ½ tablespoons mustard

1 ½ tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon sugar

 

Toppings:

Ground Beef:

½ pound ground beef

½ cup chopped onions

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

3 teaspoons of your favorite hamburger rub or spice combination

Up to 1 tablespoon of liquid smoke (Optional)

1 tablespoon olive oil

 

Use as much or as little of:

Shredded Mozzarella

Shredded Cheddar Cheese (Or use your favorite cheese combination.)

Dill Pickles

Mushrooms

Pepperoni

 

Directions

Crust:

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in the warm water. Let rest for 5 minutes or until foamy. Combine flour, dry milk powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add olive oil and yeast mixture to flour. Stir to combine and form into a ball with your hands. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Form the dough into a ball again and place in a large bowl. Lightly coat dough with oil and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 2 hours or until it has doubled in size. Punch down the dough and flatten and stretch it into desired pizza size and shape. Let rest for 15 minutes on a lightly floured pizza paddle or on your pizza pan.

Sauce:

Combine ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and sugar in a small bowl.

Ground Beef:

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, ground beef, hamburger rub, Worcestershire sauce, and liquid smoke. Cook until the meat has browned. Remove from heat and set aside.

Putting It All Together:

If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven. If not, just make your pizza on the pan and place it in the oven once it is heated.

Preheat oven as high as it can go! Mine was at 550 degrees F.

Ladle desired amount of sauce onto crust. Layer dill pickles over the sauce. Spread the ground beef over the pickles. Add cheese. Top with mushrooms and pepperoni. Transfer the pizza from paddle to stone or place your pizza pan in the oven. Bake until crust is browned and cooked through. My pizza was in there for 15 minutes, but all ovens vary so you may have to adjust your cooking time.

Remove the pizza from oven. Slice and enjoy!

spongebob pizzasponge pizza

I’d be happy to eat the whole thing in one bite. I don’t need a Diet Dr. Kelp. Seriously, I will never forgive that guy for making SpongeBob cry. If I didn’t already like Squidward, his heroics right there would easily have won me over. The honor of having the first Krabby Patty Pizza is wasted on a jerk. And how come that pizza didn’t take off? It’s awesome! Maybe Mr. Krabs didn’t find it cost-effective. After all, he did ADD the mushrooms and pepperoni.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

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!

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987)

 

 

Episode: Turtle Tracks (and just about every other episode)

Pizza

Sometimes I wonder how long I would’ve been able to survive if I never met the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Every instance where I thought I was going to positively die of boredom, those heroes in a half shell came to my rescue. It doesn’t sound like much, but it was a huge deal for me as a little kid. Family haircuts were an excruciating three hours of flipping through the same old magazines until I discovered our hairdresser’s son had an extensive Turtle toy collection. Or whenever my parents threw parties at our local lodge, us kids would find solace in one tiny hallway with a Turtles arcade game. Even when our parents didn’t give us money to play the game, we’d still hide out in the hallway and watch it replay the same scenes again and again. And most importantly, I could find those boys on my TV, protecting me against Shredder, Krang, and bad television.

Every time I tuned into my favorite fearsome fighting team, I learned just how far a pizza could be pushed beyond the limit of simple pepperoni. I’ve eaten enough pizza throughout my life that I could easily go toe to toe with Michelangelo. My combinations aren’t as inventive as bananas and sausage, but I’ve made some masterpieces. Leftover Thanksgiving Dinner is one of my very favorites. It may be more work than ordering out, but I haven’t seen any Weird Pizza To Go locations anywhere and what Pizza Hut carries guacamole and marshmallows?

Recipe makes one large pizza

 Ingredients

 Crust:

1 ¼ cups warm water (105-110 degrees F)

2 ¼ teaspoons yeast (active dry or instant both work)

3 teaspoons sugar

3 tablespoons instant non-fat dry milk powder

1 ½ teaspoons salt

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

3 cups bread flour

Sauce:

1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ small onion, minced

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons ketchup

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil

Toppings:

Whatever you want. I did a mashup of:

Pepperoni and Ice Cream, Jellybeans and Mushrooms, and Anchovies and Peanut Butter

Use as much or as little of:

8 ounce bag of shredded mozzarella

1 6 ounce package pepperoni

1 small pack of mushrooms

1 small can anchovies

1 small bag of jellybeans

1 heaping spoonful peanut butter

1 heaping spoonful chocolate ice cream

1 heaping spoonful vanilla ice cream

 

Directions

 Crust:

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast, sugar, and dry milk powder in the warm water. Let rest for 5-10 minutes or until foamy. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Add olive oil and yeast mixture to flour. Stir to combine and form into a ball with your hands. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Form the dough into a ball again and place in a large bowl. Lightly coat dough with oil and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 2 hours or until it has doubled in size. Punch down the dough and flatten and stretch it into desired pizza size and shape. Let rest for 15 minutes on a lightly floured pizza paddle or on a pizza pan.

Sauce:

Mash tomatoes in a small bowl. Pour olive oil into a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for one minute. Add tomatoes and ketchup. Add oregano, parsley, sugar, salt, and pepper. Turn heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Putting It All Together:

If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven. If not, make your pizza on the pan and place it in the oven once it’s heated.

Preheat oven as high as it can go! Mine was at 550 degrees F.

Ladle desired amount of sauce onto crust. Add cheese. Add toppings. (Meat and mushrooms in my case.) Transfer pizza from paddle to stone or pan. Bake until crust is browned and cooked through. My pizza was in there for 15 minutes, but ovens vary so you may have to adjust your cooking time.

Remove pizza from the oven. Let it cool slightly and add the melty ingredients. Slice it up and have at it!

DSC_0371 (2) DSC_0361 (2)

Pizza is the greatest food ever! It tastes amazing, it’s portable, and you can put whatever you want on it. I’m pretty sure if you cut me open, I bleed pizza sauce. Well, if the Turtles ever need another member, I’m always free. My ninja skills are nothing to write home about, but I can always help them eat through a mountain of pizza. Oh, and I’ve been practicing this for years, so I’ve got to say it once before I go…ahem…COWABUNGA!!!!

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

 

 

 

 

Mulan

Porridge

I know I’m opening the floodgates when I mention the “D word,” but I’ve been dying to start covering Disney movies. Naturally, I was raised on them and this lucky little person got to experience the Disney Renaissance first hand. The movie previews alone were enough to completely blow me away and then came the toy and food promotions. By the time opening night rolled around, I was a big bundle of nerves and excitement. One of these beautiful films carved into my memory is Mulan. It’s one of my go-to movies and has traveled by my side on just about every family vacation since its home video release. Hardly a day goes by where I don’t bust out a quote or a bit of song from this movie. It’s been like that since the days when my cousin and I would lock ourselves in her room and sing and dance to the soundtrack in our Mulan garb. (She had one wrap-around costume that we’d take turns wearing.) When that was no longer enough, my grandma whipped up the perfect Halloween costume for me that I’d still wear today if I could fit in it. You don’t meet a movie like that every dynasty, so it’s only natural that it would become a part of my life.

No, I don’t see myself defeating Shan Yu and saving China, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be Mulan in my own right. Whether I’m off to destroy people or just heading into work, the best way to start my morning is with a nice breakfast. And one that’s happy to see me to boot. Okay, so rice porridge can be pretty simple, but it’s delicious and comforting and I’d smile right back at it if I ate a big bowl of it every day.

Recipe makes 6 one-cup servings.

 Ingredients

3 cups water

6 cups chicken broth

1 cup rice, rinsed

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ of an onion, minced

¼ ounce piece of peeled fresh ginger

Salt and white pepper to taste

Soy sauce to taste (Optional)

Each serving will need:

2 large eggs

1 slice of bacon

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and white pepper

 

Directions

In a large pot, combine water, chicken broth, rice, garlic, onion, and ginger. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1-1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally. You want a creamy, oatmeal-like consistency. If it gets too thick, you can add more water or broth. If it’s too thin, allow it to cook longer. Remove ginger piece. Season with salt, white pepper, and soy sauce.

Place a frying pan on medium to low heat. Coat the pan with olive oil. Crack eggs directly into pan and cook until the tops of the whites are set and the yolk is still runny. If the eggs start changing color, turn down the heat. Remove from pan with a spatula and season with salt and white pepper.

Place 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.

Putting It All Together:

Scoop out a cup of porridge into a bowl. Place two eggs on top for eyes and add a bacon smile. Grab yourself a pair of chopsticks or a spoon and dig in!

mulan porridge DSC_0349 (2)

My family is the most important thing to me and I’d do anything for them. That’s why I made enough rice porridge to serve my entire household. I find it a little safer than stealing my father’s armor, running away from home, and impersonating a soldier. Mulan already has that covered, so I’ll just let my heart show me the way to my own greatness, or maybe just a second helping of porridge.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!