The AristoCats

Crème de la crème à la Edgar with Crackers

I’ve always been an animal lover, so The AristoCats really struck a chord with me. I wanted to be just like Madame and use my fabulous wealth to start a foundation to support all the strays I could, like her home for all the alley cats of Paris. That fabulous wealth part isn’t looking too good, but I’ve been taking care of strays for many years just fine without it. I’ve mostly brought in cats because there were always a lot around my house, but we became known as the family to bring any animals to if they needed help. However, none of the animals we’ve taken care of possess any kind of musical ability like Scat Cat and his gang. I did have my own Thomas O’Malley show up on my doorstep though. (He was a big, orange, alley cat. What else would I have named him?)

Although I adore my cats, they don’t eat like Duchess and the Kittens. My kitties are pretty content with cat chow and the occasional can of tuna. They’re actually kind of snobbish when it comes to “people food,” so they might turn their noses up at something like Crème de la crème à la Edgar. Well, I won’t. It always looked delicious to me. And then Roquefort brings over that yummy-looking cracker and dunks it. Yep, I definitely need to try it. Since I don’t have a butler, I guess it’s up to me to make some.

Recipe makes 4-5 servings and about 75 crackers.

Ingredients

Crème de la crème à la Edgar:

4 cups heavy cream or milk or a combination of the two. I like 3 cups milk and 1 cup cream.

¼ cup sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Crackers:

2 cups flour

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into chunks, plus 4 tablespoons melted

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/3 cup milk, plus more, if needed

 

Directions

Crème de la crème à la Edgar:

In a medium saucepan, combine heavy cream/milk, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar and salt dissolve and the cream/milk mixture starts steaming. Don’t let it boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Divide into bowls or cups. Enjoy!

Crackers:

In a food processor, pulse flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add vegetable oil and pulse. Add milk and pulse until dough starts coming together. You should now be able to press the dough together with your hands. If it’s too dry, add more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, and pulse again. Form dough into a disk and cover in plastic wrap. Let dough chill until firm, 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

On a lightly floured surface or between two sheets of plastic wrap, roll the dough out to a thickness somewhere between 1/16 and 1/8-inch. Cut out rounds with a small cookie cutter and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Once you’ve used up all of your dough, use a toothpick or skewer to poke four holes into each cracker. Bake for about 10 minutes or until crackers are lightly browned. To ensure both sides get a good browning, flip the crackers over halfway through baking. Remove the crackers from the oven and brush with melted butter. Move the crackers to a wire rack and cool completely. Now they’re ready for snacking!

aristocatsAristocats Creme

I just realized I’m kind of the butler in this family. I’m always cooking, or cleaning, or waiting on someone. Too bad. I always thought I was a lady, like Marie. (I don’t start fights, but I can finish them.) Maybe that’s why I’m so tired. Or it could just be this rich cup of Crème de la crème à la Edgar I’ve been sipping. I know for sure that I didn’t put any sleeping tablets in it, but I am on my third cup of the stuff. And don’t ask me how many crackers I’ve dunked in it. I lost count. Somewhere around 5…6…7…8…ZZZZ.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

 

Thanksgiving Dinner

“I watch Peanuts videos with my mom and dad. I watch Peanuts videos with my dog.” Yeah, I’ve got that commercial down pat. (I watched a lot of Nickelodeon videos.) But I really do watch Peanuts with my family, dogs included. We all grew up on them and no matter how many times you’ve seen them, they’re still fun to watch. I’m a bit like Charlie Brown, (Who isn’t?) so I can easily see me serving a Thanksgiving dinner of nothing but snack foods. I can make more than cold cereal and toast, but if I’m in a pinch, who knows? I know a lot of people have made up Charlie Brown’s “dinner,” but I surprisingly never did.

Thanksgiving has always been such a hectic holiday for my family with multiple dinners. I’d get up and my mom would already be cooking. I’d help her out with whatever I could and we’d watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, then my local parade, then the National Dog Show. The cooking still wasn’t finished by then, but we’d already be late for dinner at my grandma and grandpa’s. Thanksgiving is all done at my house now, but that doesn’t make it any easier. I usually have store-bought bread, pretzels, jellybeans, and popcorn hanging around in my kitchen anyway, so maybe one of these days I’ll just snap and serve this instead.

Ingredients

Butter

Bag of pretzel sticks

Bag of jelly beans

2 pieces of bread

Or:

 Bread for Toast:

 2 cups warm water (105-115 degrees F)

1 tablespoon yeast

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

5 cups bread flour

2 ½ tablespoons butter, cold, cut into chunks

 

Popcorn:

White popcorn kernels 

¼ cup vegetable oil

Salt

 

Directions

Bread for Toast:

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in the warm water. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes, or until foamy. Add the salt, flour, and butter and combine. 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, 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 divide in half. Shape each half of the dough into an oval or loaf shape and place in greased loaf pans. Let the dough rise uncovered for another hour, or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake loaves for 35-40 minutes. Place the pans on a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes. Turn the bread out and let rest on a rack until completely cooled. Cut into slices.
Popcorn:

Pour vegetable oil into a large pan or pot on medium heat. Place one kernel inside and cover. Once it pops, add enough kernels to cover the bottom of the pan. Cover and gently shake. When the popping stops, remove from heat. Season with salt to taste.

 

Putting It All Together:

Place two slices of bread in a toaster and toast until they’ve reached the desired doneness. Butter and stack on a plate. Surround with a handful each of pretzel sticks, jelly beans, and popcorn. You may now feast.

charlie brown thanksDSC_0575 (2)

You want me to eat toast and snacks for Thanksgiving Dinner? Sure! I better whip up a sundae to wash it all down. Who needs the turkey, and the mashed potatoes, and the cranberry sauce, and the pumpkin pie? Thanksgiving isn’t about the food. It’s about the people you share it with.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m taking a break next week, so tune in next, next week for more Cartoon Cravings!