DuckTales (1987)

Episode: The Money Vanishes
Ma Beagle’s Cake

“Scrooge McDuck, he had a vault. Ee-i-ee-i-oh. And in his vault, he had some dough. Ee-i-ee-i-oh.” What? You don’t immediately start singing this song when you think of DuckTales? Me neither. I like something with a bit more “Woo-oo!” in it. Hey, after all my Disney Afternoon days, I’ll never be able to get that theme song out of my head. But that catchy tune is just one thing I love about DuckTales. There’s also adventure, mystery, riches, Launchpad. I could just sit here and type about this series for days, but then we’d never get to the recipe. Let’s just say that I love this show as much as Scrooge loves money. No, my cartoon obsession won’t make me three cubic acres of cash, but I feel rich in other ways. Even Scrooge comes to realize that wealth isn’t always measured in dollars and cents. But that never stops him from fussing over the money he has and finding ways to earn more. Scrooge didn’t become a zillionaire by luck alone. He did it by being “smarter than the smarties and tougher than the toughies.” And those skills of his, as well as those of his grandnephews, are put to the test whenever they travel across the globe in search of treasure or come face-to-face with the villains right in Duckburg.

You’d think life would be easy for the richest duck in the world, but it’s not all triple-mint ripple ice cream and dips in the Money Bin for Scrooge McDuck. He’s got to deal with pains in the wallet like Flintheart Glomgold, Magica De Spell, and the Beagle Boys. When we first meet the notorious Beagle Boys, Big Time says that they’ve hit the Money Bin 299 times! And after all those attempts, the Beagle Boys still somehow keep finding new ways to try to make off with Scrooge’s cash. They once stole Gyro’s Furniture-Mover Ray and Preparation Spray and zapped all the money in the Money Bin straight to their hideout. They never had to lift a money bag! But let’s back up here a bit. The Beagle Boys were in jail. They’re always in jail. How do they keep getting out? It’s definitely not because of good behavior. El Capitan, Glomgold, and Magica have all sprung them from jail, but they usually escape thanks to their dear old Ma. Whenever her sons end up in the slammer, Ma Beagle goes to the kitchen and bakes up something special to send to her boys. And her tokens of affection are filled with the best surprises. (I’m not talking chocolate chips.) More like “a file, some dynamite, maybe a blowtorch.” In the case of “The Money Vanishes,” Ma Beagle sends a cake with a shovel in it. I know what you’re thinking, “There’s a shovel in that cake?” Yeah, you can’t even tell, right? Okay, so you can OBVIOUSLY see that a shovel is hidden in it, but Officer Parolski doesn’t notice.

Recipe makes one large chocolate cake.

Ingredients

Chocolate Cake:

1 cup vegetable oil

4 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour

3 cups sugar

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 eggs, room temperature

2 cups buttermilk, room temperature

 

Frosting-You’ll need 3-4 batches

3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon heavy cream

 

Sprinkles

2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1 tablespoon meringue powder

2 tablespoons warm water

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Blue and Red/Pink Food Coloring

 

Directions

Chocolate Cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease and flour two 10 x 2-inch round cake pans.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a stand mixer, combine oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract and beat until pale, about 3 minutes. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternatingly, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.

Divide cake batter amongst pans. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when the cake is tested. Cool in pans for 10-15 minutes. Turn out cakes on a wire rack and cool completely.

Frosting:

In a stand mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy. Beat powdered sugar in, a little at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add vanilla extract and heavy cream. Beat until smooth.

Sprinkles:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, meringue powder, vanilla extract, and water until smooth. (You may have to add additional water if it’s too thick, but you want the mixture to remain pipe-able.) Divide the icing into two bowls and tint one blue and the other pink. Transfer one bowl of icing to a piping bag fitted with a tip about ¼-inch in diameter. (I wanted bigger sprinkles and the best tip in my drawer was a Marpol #10.) Pipe long, thin lines onto parchment-lined baking sheets until all the icing is used up. Repeat with the other colored icing. Let the icing sit uncovered for 24 hours, or at least overnight. Once the icing strips are dry, chop or break them up into your desired lengths.

Putting It All Together:

Trim any excess cake so both rounds are level. Spread a large amount of frosting on the top and sides of one of the cakes. Top with the other cake. Now here’s the fun part! Stick a shovel right through the cake. Cover the cake and the shovel with a lot more of the frosting. Top with sprinkles. Now it’s ready for delivery or you can just go all Burger on it!

DuckTales BBDuckTales BB Cake

I’m a big fan of this shovel cake, (It doesn’t have a fun, alliterative name.) so I would love to take a peek at Ma Beagle’s recipe book to see all the weapons she’s baked for her sons. There are Pumpkin Pistol Popovers, Metal Meringue Pie, Huckleberry Hand Grenade Cheesecake, and Ma’s favorite, Chocolate Chainsaw Surprise, just to name a few. All these sweet treats warm the Beagle Boys’ hearts and fill their stomachs, and most importantly, get them out of jail. That is, once they figure out how to use the tools. Big Time is the only one who understands that they need to use the shovel to tunnel out their cell. Too bad all of their digging and deceiving is for nothing because Huey, Dewey, and Louie turn the tables on them and zap them back to jail before they can even spend a dime. They may have only gotten a small taste of freedom, but they’ll be sinking their teeth into another one of Ma’s cakes in no time.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

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Pokémon: Indigo League

Episode: Showdown at Dark City
Omurice

There are a ton of shows out there that I’m crazy about. And then there are the few shows that I’m CRAZY about. Those are the ones that truly define who I am and never fail to make me smile. They’re also the ones I obsess over to the point where it’s probably unhealthy. Pokémon is one of those shows. (Particularly Indigo League.) After watching it over and over all of these years, I still can’t get sick of it. I love the show. I love it as much as…as much as…as much as Pikachu loves ketchup!

Man, that really takes me back. All the way back to Dark City when the Yas and Kaz Gyms were in the middle of a gang war over becoming an official Pokémon Gym. When Ash, Misty, and Brock enter the city, they’re puzzled by its ghost town appearance and a woman’s fear of Pokémon trainers. Before Ash and friends have a chance to do anything, they encounter some rock-throwing kids who dislike anyone who works with Pokémon. Fortunately, a friendly restaurant owner steps in and invites Ash and Co. inside and explains the city’s situation. Since they’re in a restaurant, they might as well eat. Ash is served up some tasty looking omurice, but it doesn’t stay pretty for long. Pikachu is just loving a bottle of ketchup and when Ash asks Pikachu to pour some on, Pikachu is happy to share the good stuff. And by share I mean dump on enough that you can’t see the omurice anymore and Ash has to take the ketchup away from Pikachu. (Which Pikachu quickly wrestles back from Ash.)

Recipe makes 2 servings.

Ingredients

Fried Rice:

1 tablespoon butter

½ cup onion, finely chopped

½ cup mixed vegetables, finely chopped (I use a mix of peas and carrots, but use whatever you like.)

4 ounces chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 cup cooked rice

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons ketchup, plus more for decoration

Salt

Pepper

 

Omelettes

4 large eggs

4 tablespoons heavy cream or milk

Salt

Oil or Nonstick Cooking Spray

 

Directions

Fried Rice:

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and vegetables and cook until onions become translucent and vegetables begin to soften. Add the chicken, salt, and pepper. Once the chicken is fully cooked, add the rice and soy sauce and stir until any clumps of rice have been broken down and the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Add the ketchup and mix until the ketchup is evenly distributed throughout the rice. Adjust seasonings and remove from heat and set aside.

Omelettes:

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, cream or milk, and a pinch of salt.

Putting It All Together:

Heat oil in a 10-inch nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Pour in half the egg mixture and tilt the pan to evenly spread it. When the bottom of the egg has set but the top is still runny, reduce the heat to low. Spread half of the fried rice in the middle of the omelette. Fold the left and right sides of the omelette over the rice. Move the omurice to the edge of the pan and flip it onto a plate. Cover the omurice with a clean towel and shape it into an oval. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Drizzle the omurice with ketchup (Or drown it if you’re like Pikachu!) and serve!

Pokemon OmuricePokemon Dark City Omurice

So maybe the omurice doesn’t look as pleasing after Pikachu’s through with it, but I’m sure it’s still delicious. I tend to be a bit heavy-handed with the ketchup myself. It’s good for everything, except aliases. But “Tom Ato” isn’t very good either. (Don’t get me started on “Ann Chovy” and “Caesar Salad.”) Ash should’ve picked a better name, but that’s not what’s important. What’s really important is that the Yas and Kaz Gyms know that it’s wrong to use Pokémon for street fighting. And the kids finally realize what I’ve known most of my life: Pokémon are the coolest, especially Pikachu.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

Captain Planet and the Planeteers

Episode: Mind Pollution
Blintzes

“I’m your powers magnified. Haven’t you heard the song? ‘Captain Planet, he’s our hero…’” Isn’t Captain Planet just the greatest superhero? He sings his own theme song! And when he’s not singing or quoting, he’s making some bad joke or pun. (He’d fit in just fine at my house.) But the greatest thing about Captain Planet is that he’s a hero for Earth, which honestly needs all the help it can get. With the invaluable aid of the Planeteers, Eco-Villains are thwarted, animals are saved, pollution is stopped, and people are educated. Yes, this is an educational show. And it’s a darn good one because it inspired me to be part of the solution and not the pollution.

When I watch Captain Planet and the Planeteers, I get so angry at the stupid Eco-Villains that I just want to reach in my TV and start smacking them around. They cheat, kill, destroy, and pollute just to satisfy their own greed and cause trouble. And it’s not just the environment that’s in danger. People get hurt too, especially when Verminous Skumm is out causing the most insidious kind of pollution by dealing drugs. Linka’s cousin Boris becomes hopelessly addicted to Skumm’s drug, Bliss, and puts her in danger in order to get more. Linka’s too smart to do drugs, but she’s in a world of trouble when Boris slips Bliss into some blintzes and she eats one.

Recipe makes about 10 filled blintzes.

Ingredients

Filling:

2 pounds ground beef

2 medium onions, finely chopped

2 teaspoons parsley flakes

1 ½ teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

 

Blintzes:

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 cups milk, room temperature

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1 ¾ cups flour

Oil or Nonstick Cooking Spray

Butter

 

Directions

Filling:

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the ground beef, salt, pepper, and parsley and cook until meat is browned. Stir occasionally while browning to break up the meat. Remove from heat and set aside.

Blintzes:

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, oil, sugar, and salt. Gradually whisk in the flour and continue whisking until the mixture is smooth and has the consistency of heavy cream.

Place a crepe pan or 10-inch nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add a little bit of oil. Pour 1/3 cup of batter in, tilting the pan to evenly spread it. When the edge of the blintz begins to brown and curl, flip it over using a thin spatula or your fingers if you’re careful. Cook for another 20-30 seconds and set it on a plate with a bit of butter on it so it doesn’t stick. Top the blintz with a bit more butter so the next one won’t stick to it. Repeat the process with the remaining batter.

Putting It All Together:

Place about ¼ cup of filling slightly off from the middle of a blintz and spread out into a cylinder shape. Fold in the top and bottom sides and roll up the blintz. Repeat with the other blintzes. Now you can enjoy a tasty, 100% Bliss-Free blintz!

Variations:
After folding the blintzes, you can heat some oil in a pan over medium heat and brown the blintzes on both sides. Blintzes can be filled with anything you want. I just assumed it was ground beef because people have compared the blintz to a burrito. If you don’t want the large burrito shape, you can place the filling in the middle, bring the left and right sides completely over the filling, and roll up the blintz from the top. This shape doesn’t need as much filling, so you should be able to cut the filling recipe in half.

captainplanetblintzCaptain Planet Blintz (2)

This episode sticks out in my mind for a few reasons. Yes, the blintz is one of them, but the main reason is because this episode gets downright scary. The Planeteers are in the middle of a zombie siege. Boris breaks through a window and cuts his arms badly and bleeds everywhere. Then Boris…he…you know. And I wasn’t expecting that! This show has shocked me a few times, but that was the biggest. There are real dangers out there, so I’m proud of this show for not sugar-coating anything. We may not have those specific Eco-Villains around, but our world is in peril. I wasn’t given a magic ring, but I can still help protect the Earth. I’m a Planeteer and you can be one too! Remember, “THE POWER IS YOURS!”

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

Sonic the Hedgehog

Episode: The Odd Couple
Chili Dog

With all the running around I’ve been doing lately, I’m starting to feel like Sonic the Hedgehog. I can’t beat feet like “The Fastest Thing Alive,” but throw me a Power Ring and let’s see what happens. But even if I had some extra juice power, there’s no way I can match Sonic’s attitude. He’s as arrogant as can be and goes around singing about himself. I love it! You know who doesn’t love it? That angry, evil Dr. Robotnik. He’s got all the makings of a classic villain: an army of Swat-bots, a pet robot bird to love on, and a nephew/lackey to yell at named Snively. You’d think he’d be able to take control of all of Mobius. Well he would if the Freedom Fighters weren’t around. They set Sonic SatAM apart from the other Sonics out there and I love the entire cast of characters. Among them there’s the strong-minded princess, the sweet, little kid, the smart mechanic, the kick-butt girl, and Antoine. Oh how I adore stupid, cowardly, little Antoine with his bad English and his intense love of French cuisine. (Poor preparation of dishes such as Crêpe Suzette and Escargot can and has been used as a form of torture for him.) And since Antoine is such a gourmet, you can already guess how he feels about chili dogs.

Sonic’s and Antoine’s personalities clash anyway, but things (Or should I say just Antoine.) get crazy when the two are forced to bunk together during a snow storm. When Sonic’s hut gets smashed by Dulcy, (Thanks to Antoine.) Sonic packs his socks and makes himself at home with Antoine. Thinking that he’s being a good roomie, Sonic decides to whip up some chili dogs for the two of them because you haven’t lived until you’ve had one of Sonic’s ol’ dogs. (Antoine was not thrilled.) Now Sonic means well, but chili dogs are a messy business and they’re even messier when Sonic’s the one holding the pans. He smacks a can of chili and sends the stuff bouncing all over the house and right into neat-freak Antoine’s face. When he gets upset about it, the oblivious Sonic just assures Antoine that he can have another helping. Antoine can’t handle that and just faints. Once he regains consciousness, Antoine sees that Sonic’s chili dog adventures have trashed his kitchen. Sonic only has chili dogs on his mind so the first thing he says to Antoine is that he saved him a dog. He then proceeds to eat it anyway. Antoine goes a little nuts and screams about chili dogs in his wardrobe.

Recipe makes 2 chili dogs

Ingredients

1 (15 ounce) can of hot chili

2 hot dogs

2 hot dog buns

2 green olives

Chopped onion

1 tablespoon vegetable oil for cooking

Directions

Chili:

Open the can of chili into a medium pan over medium heat. Cook the chili, stirring occasionally, until the chili is cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Hot Dog:

Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add hotdogs to the pan and cook until browned and cooked through, turning occasionally.

Putting It All Together:

Split a hotdog bun open and place a hotdog inside. Smother the whole thing with chili. Garnish with chopped onion and a green olive. Enjoy!

sonic-the-hedgehog-chili-dogsonic-satam-chili-dog

This recipe is a super simple one where you just throw things together, but that’s what makes it perfect for when you’re stuck over at someone’s house with a hankering for chili dogs. (Just try not to mess up the house so bad.) Making chili dogs away from home isn’t a common practice of mine, but I’m going to change that because they’re way past delicious! Uncle Chuck eats chili dogs and he’s been roboticized. But Antoine’s an odd one and isn’t a fan. The chili dogs aren’t enough to push Antoine over the edge, but they bring him right to it. Once Sonic starts sleeprunning, Antoine completely loses it and starts laughing maniacally and trashing his hut to the point that Sonic can’t stand him anymore and leaves. A tree even comes crashing down on his hut and he just goes on laughing. Poor little Antoine.

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

Rocko’s Modern Life

Episode: Fortune Cookie
Fortune Cookies

While trying to settle on what food to cover this week, I looked up to find my Spunky stuffed animal staring me in the face. (Talk about an “Aha!” moment.) So, I’m taking on Rocko’s Modern Life. I love this show! It’s totally whacked, but that’s part of the fun. I know that like, a million things went way over my head when I watched it as a kid, but I didn’t know or care. I just watched it for that cute, little wallaby. The stuff that I did pick up though, I added to my own modern life. On my worst days, I can become such a Filburt. (“I’m nauseous. I’m nauseous. I’m nauseous.”) And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve messed up my neck acting like Dr. Hutchison. (’Kay?) But one of the easiest ways to tell that I grew up with Rocko (Besides asking me to sing about recycling.) is to hand me a fortune cookie.

When thumbing through my favorite episodes of Rocko’s Modern Life, it doesn’t take me long to get to “Fortune Cookie.” Leave it to Filburt to get a fortune that reads, “Bad luck and extreme misfortune will infest your pathetic soul for all eternity.” (That “extreme” went missing for a while there and got me all sorts of confused.) Every time I break open a fortune cookie I half expect to find that very same fortune. I joke about it enough that one of these days it probably will happen. I just want the paper, not the bad luck that comes with it. (“It’s only a stupid fortune cookie. You can’t take these things seriously.” Right?) If I ended up with that fortune, I’m sure my life would play out just like the episode. (Minus Really Really Big Man.) I’d freak out. Then the townspeople would freak out. Then I’d freak out some more. So what does Filburt do? He returns to the Chinese restaurant for a fortune cookie redo and goes through a great big pile of fortune cookies, but every one he touches has the same fortune. It’s not a pretty situation to be in, but it’s happening to Filburt, not me. So I can sit here comfortably and focus more on the actual cookies than the paper inside them.

Recipe makes about 45 fortune cookies.

Ingredients

1 cup cake flour, sifted

½ cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 large egg whites

1/3 cup vegetable oil

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons water

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Prepare fortunes. Line a cookie sheet with a silicone mat or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites and sugar until well combined. Add cake flour and salt and mix until just combined. Add vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and water and mix until smooth.

Drop teaspoons of batter on the cookie sheet and spread the batter into 3.5 inch circles. Bake until the cookies begin to brown, 6-8 minutes. Remove from oven and use an offset spatula to lift a cookie off the sheet. Place a fortune in the center of the cookie and loosely fold the cookie in half. Press the center of the cookie to the lip of a cup or edge of a pan and fold the ends down to shape. Place the cookie in a muffin tin to hold its shape while it cools. Repeat with the other cookies. The cookies will begin to harden immediately, so you’ll need to work quickly. If a cookie hardens before you are able to shape it, place it back in the oven for 1 minute. These cookies are coming out of a very hot oven, so wearing heat resistant gloves will save your poor fingers. Once the cookies have fully cooled, you can break them open!

rockos-modern-life-fortunerockos-ml-fortune-cookie-3

Whenever I get fortune cookies, I get just as excited as Heffer does about reading them. I haven’t attacked anyone, but I’ve come close. I just have to know what everyone’s fortunes are! Whether or not they come true is a different story. And even though Filburt got a not-so-nice fortune, everything worked out for “Mr. Lucky” in the end. (I can’t say the same for the rest of O-Town.) But I made my own cookies, so I know what I’ll find on the inside. Just for fun, I’ll break open one more fortune cookie for the road. *Crack.* Hmm. Let’s see. It reads, “Bad luck and extreme misfortune…” I didn’t write this. Uh-oh. I’m going to collect all of my good luck charms just in case. I can’t be too careful. After all, blog day is a very dangerous day.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

Tiny Toon Adventures

Episode: The Acme Home Shopping Show-I Was A Teenage Bunny Sitter
Mashed Topato Man

Whenever I’m in need of a heaping helping of the 90’s, (Which is honestly every day.) I can easily get my fix by watching a little Tiny Toon Adventures. It’s so funny and smart that I can never get tired of the show. Every time I watch it, I find something that I never noticed before, whether it’s a pop culture reference, gag, or just a lovely bit of acting or animation. And episodes that I never paid much attention to in the past have quickly become some of my favorites. I get a kick out of all the parodies Tiny Toons does and I love when the episodes are presented as other shows, say for instance, something you’d find on a home shopping network. By the time the show gets to the last segment, Buster has gotten himself all sorts of hurt thanks to the Fly-Boy Beanie, so he’s very happy to see that the last item is a nice, safe book. I’m very happy too because I love “I was a Teenage Bunnysitter.”

I’ve got a weakness for the little kiddos in Tiny Toons. (I can’t get enough of Little Plucky!) But this segment is all about Duncan Potter! As much as Babs hates babysitting, she’s pretty good at it once she gets off the phone. (Instead of killing Duncan when he drives her crazy, Babs vents her frustration by screaming outside.) When Duncan asks for mashed potatoes, or mashed topatoes, Babs makes him some from scratch. She even shapes the mashed topatoes into a man and gives him psghetti hair at Duncan’s request. I’ve eaten my weight in mashed potatoes over the years, but never in the shape of a man. And never with spaghetti. Now I can’t miss an opportunity to play with my food, so one mashed potato man coming right up!

Recipe makes about 4-6 men, depending on amount of mashed potatoes used per man.

Ingredients

2 pounds of russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

¼ cup heavy cream

¼ cup (½ stick) butter, cut into chunks, plus a butter pat for each man

Salt and white pepper to taste

4-6 ounces spaghetti noodles

 

Directions

Mashed Topato Man:

Place potatoes in a large pot and fill with water. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain.

Place the pot back over the heat. Add the heavy cream and butter. Once the butter has melted, remove from the heat and add the mixture to the potatoes. Using a masher, food mill, or similar tool of your choice, mash the potatoes until smooth. Season with salt and white pepper.

Psghetti Hair:

Bring a large pot full of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook, stirring occasionally, until the noodles have cooked through, 8 minutes. Drain.

Putting It All Together:

Place a heaping scoop of mashed potatoes on a plate. Sculpt a man out of mashed potatoes and place a butter pat on/in his center. Add some spaghetti noodles to give the man hair. Now go all Tyrannosaurus Rex on that mashed topato man!

tiny-toon-topatotiny-topato-mantiny-toon-psghettitiny-psghetti

Okay, so I’m no artist, but I like my mashed topato man. (My sister says he looks like a cute, little pig.) But if I eat my mashed topato man, he’ll die. Actually, I already ate him. Sorry little guy. And I did it in a slightly more civilized way than Duncan. I didn’t go full dinosaur, but I did have some fun eating my mashed topato man. I think I could really get along with Duncan, at least for a little while. Based on my babysitting experience, I’m positive that little kid would run me ragged. By the end of the night, I’d be conked out like Babs. I’m getting kind of tired just thinking about it. Maybe I’ll just buy the book instead.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

Bump in the Night

Episode: Better Homes & Garbage
Slice of Sweet Potato Pie

I never dare sleep with my hands or feet dangling off my bed for fear of being grabbed by something under there. I know it’s silly. Why am I assuming that the monster under my bed is a bad one? My monster could be just like Mr. Bumpy. Sure, he’s a little rough around the edges, but he’s not bad at all. In fact, he really cares for The Boy. (He’s Mr. Bumpy’s hero.) And Mr. Bumpy is a great pal too. He does whatever he can for Squishington and Molly. He’d even give them the warts off his own back.

However, all friendships have limits and there are times when even the best of friends will fight. Squishington tries to repay Mr. Bumpy’s kindness for letting him stay under the bed, but he takes things a bit too far. (After seeing his nest cleaned and organized, Mr. Bumpy pinches his arm so hard it comes off.) And things only go from bad to worse when Squishington tries to feed Mr. Bumpy lunch. For a monster who craves dirty socks, used facial tissues, and the occasional clogged drain hair and toenail sundae, foods like lettuce, carrots, and celery aren’t very appetizing. When Mr. Bumpy runs for the filing cabinet to get some socks, Squishington tries to have him eat a slice of sweet potato pie. Instead of eating it though, Mr. Bumpy just pretends and tosses it on the floor. That doesn’t sit too well with Squishington. He feels his cleaning, cooking, and comforting aren’t being appreciated and after another fight, he says he never wants to see Mr. Bumpy again. I hate to see the bosomest of buddies fighting, especially over things like pillows, garbage, and pie.

Recipe makes one deep-dish 9-inch pie.

Ingredients

Crust:

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup butter, cold and cut into chunks

4-5 tablespoons ice water, plus 1 or 2 more tablespoons if needed

Filling:

3 cups cooked and mashed sweet potato

½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled slightly

¾ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs, beaten

1 cup heavy whipping cream

¾ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Directions

Crust:

In a food processor, pulse flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 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 disk and cover in plastic wrap. Let dough chill until firm, 30 minutes to an hour.

Filling:
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, eggs, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until smooth. Beat in sweet potato. Add cinnamon and nutmeg. Gradually stir in heavy cream and beat until combined.

Putting It All Together:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Unwrap dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out dough 14-16 inches across and place in a pie tin. Gently press dough into place. Trim excess dough or fold it back on itself. Crimp edge for a more decorative look.

Pour filling evenly into pie crust and bake for 1-1 ½ hours, or until skewer inserted in it comes out clean. Remove pie from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate until ready to serve!

Variations: As soon as I saw the slice of sweet potato pie in Bump in the Night, I got all sorts of excited to make one. I came up with the recipe, made the pie, fell in love with it, AND THEN realized that it’s supposed to be good for you. Whoops! Although sweet potatoes are pretty healthy, loading them down with cream, sugar, and butter probably isn’t the best thing for you. (But Molly considers stray sock holes to be a part of a comforting and nutritious meal, so who knows?) Anyway, here are some tips to make a lighter version.
For a healthier pie crust: Replace half or all of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat (I’d use white whole wheat.) and you can omit the sugar.
For the pie: Reduce the granulated sugar to 1/4 cup or omit it all together. Feel free to use a sugar substitute or baking blend for the brown sugar. Reduce the butter to 3 tablespoons and replace the heavy cream with 3/4 cup of milk.

bump-in-the-night-piebump-in-the-night-sweet-potato-2

It doesn’t take long for Mr. Bumpy and Squishington to start missing each other and make up. (Causing the “Moral Alert” sign to hit Mr. Bumpy on the head.) I’m just glad to see those two getting along again. And I got a yummy sweet potato pie out of it too. Maybe I can make friends with my own monster by leaving some pie out for him or her. (I know Squishington likes eating pie in the dark.) Alright, time to fess up. Do I have a monster living under my bed? No, and I know for sure that I don’t have one in my bathroom. (Although one would so come in handy.) But my closet, that’s another story.

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!