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!

Cartoon Planet


Episode: Toot! Toot!
Doughnut

One of my favorite shows in the entire universe is Cartoon Planet. I had been watching Space Ghost & Dino Boy for years, so I already liked the characters. Then they got the 90’s treatment (We affectionately refer to it as “being slapped with the 90’s pan.”) and I fell in love with them! The characters were taken in a direction I never imagined they would be (They became stupid, really stupid in Brak’s case.) and it’s so much fun to watch. I was immensely enjoying Space Ghost Coast to Coast and before I knew it, Cartoon Planet came out of nowhere and amped up the crazy! By that I mean they added Brak as a co-star. (Sorry, Moltar.) And they started “Zorak’s Helpful Hints”, and “The Cartoon Planet Storybook,” and songs about baloney sandwiches and other silly stuff. This reminds me, I’d like to take this moment to apologize to my parents who had to endure all those car rides with us wailing “Highway 40 Revisited” in the backseat.

Anyhoo. With my crazy love for the show, I’ve been dying to cover food from it. And Space Ghost and the guys do love food. They have several songs dedicated to foods and they talk about eating often. Brak even has his own cooking segment. (That he never really gets to do because his cooking makes people seriously ill.) The problem though, is Cartoon Planet was made on the cheap. When the guys spoke or sang about food, the same images were recycled over and over. I’d have no problem with that except that they were real foods. I very well can’t make cartoon food a reality if I don’t have cartoon food to start off with. On rare occasions, a quick drawing of a food item would show up. And lucky for me, a lone doughnut shows up during “The Cartoon Planet Storybook’s,” “What Does My Second Cousin Do?”

Recipe makes 18-24 glazed doughnuts.

Ingredients

Doughnut:

1/3 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)

4 ½ teaspoons yeast

½ cup sugar

1 ½ teaspoons salt

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

1 cup milk, room temperature

2 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 ½ cups flour

Vegetable Oil for Frying

 

Glaze:

¼ cup milk

2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Black Food Coloring

 

Directions

Doughnut:

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 2 tablespoons of sugar in the warm water. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes, or until foamy. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the rest of the sugar, salt, butter, milk, eggs, vanilla extract, and half of the flour. Add the yeast mixture and mix all the ingredients together using the paddle attachment. Once all the ingredients are fully combined, add the remaining flour and mix until the flour is fully incorporated. Replace the paddle with the dough hook attachment and beat on medium speed until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the bowl, about 5 minutes. Move the dough to a large, clean 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.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a ½ inch thickness. (A little less thick is fine too. I just like big doughnuts.) Cut out doughnuts with a doughnut cutter or large and small cookie cutters. Move the doughnuts to a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover with a towel. Let the doughnuts rise for 30 minutes.

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

Fry the doughnuts for 60-90 seconds on each side. (Whenever they turn golden.) Move the doughnuts to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

Glaze:

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together butter, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar. Begin stirring in milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you’ve reached the desired consistency. Whisk until smooth. Move some of the glaze to a small bowl and tint with the food coloring. Place the black glaze in a piping bag.

Putting It All Together:

Dip the doughnuts, one at a time, in the glaze until they have a thick, even coating on top. Allow the glaze to rest a few minutes to fully set. Use the black glaze to pipe little circles onto the doughnuts. Once they set, you can eat up!

Cartoon Planet DoughnutCP Doughnut

Is this batch of doughnuts a desperate excuse to talk about Cartoon Planet? Oh you bet, but who doesn’t like tasty doughnuts? I mean aside from “My Second Cousin.” And it’s Cartoon Planet we’re talking about. Nothing has to make sense here. If you want something bad enough and throw a bunch of funky stuff together, you should end up with something great.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

 

Earthworm Jim

Episode: Trout!
Nut Log

It seems I’ve caught a bad case of Cabin Fever. Now I can sit here and try to ignore it until I do something desperate or… Road Trip! Yep, I like road tripping as much as Earthworm Jim. The difference though, mine usually don’t end at a Giant Fur Bearin Trout. Although that would be pretty awesome! Road trips do run the risk of being a bit long and tiring, but they’re really the best way to experience all the wonderfully weird things out there. I’ve yet to visit the World’s Biggest Scab or the First Speed Bump in the Northern Hemisphere, but I have been to museums about vacuum cleaners and beans. And there’s nothing better about a road trip than stopping off at a tourist trap covered with signs promising clean bathrooms and grabbing yourself a nut log. Some of them do put up a bit of a fight, but I haven’t had to boil a nutty delight to soften it. Or run it over. Or shoot it.

That’s one of the things I love about Earthworm Jim, though. The show is so surreal but also super believable. Nut logs are obstinate roadside delicacies, but you just can’t resist buying them again and again and risk breaking your teeth each time. Maybe Peter Puppy is right when he says that a nut log’s true purpose is to anchor ships in a heavy storm. Still, it’s not going to stop me from trying to make and EAT one.

Recipe makes 10 nut logs

Ingredients

Divinity

1 cup sugar

½ cup corn syrup

¼ cup water

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 egg whites

Caramel

1 cup sugar

¼ cup light corn syrup

¼ cup water

½ cup heavy cream, room temperature

4 tablespoons butter, room temperature- cut into chunks

½ teaspoon salt

4 cups Pecans, most or all chopped (There are some pecan halves on Jim’s nut log, but coating them in just chopped pecans is fine.)

Melted butter, Spray butter, or butter-flavored cooking spray

 

Directions

Pecans:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F,

Spread out the pecans on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spray the pecans with a little butter or butter-flavored cooking spray. Toast the pecans in the oven for 5 minutes. You should be able to smell them when they’re finished. Keep a close eye on the pecans while they’re in the oven since they tend to scorch easily. Remove from oven and cool completely.

Divinity:

Lightly grease an 8 X 8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine water, corn syrup, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan. Place the saucepan over medium high heat and cook until the sugar has dissolved. Attach a candy thermometer to the pan and continue to cook, without stirring, until it reads 260 degrees F. When the syrup reaches about 240 degrees F, beat the egg whites in a stand mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks just form. When the syrup reaches 260 degrees F, immediately take the syrup off the heat. With the mixer on medium, pour the syrup into the egg whites. When all of the syrup is in the bowl, increase the mixer’s speed to high. Add the vanilla extract and whip the mixture until the texture loses its shine and becomes rough, 10-20 minutes.

Pour the divinity into the prepared pan and spread evenly with a lightly greased spatula. Chill until set, 30 minutes-1 hour. Cut the divinity into 10 pieces and roll them into 4-inch logs. Place the logs on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for at least 2 hours.

Caramel:

In a saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, and water. Place over high heat and stir until sugar has dissolved. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and cook until the mixture reaches 230 degrees F. Reduce heat to medium and cook, without stirring, until the syrup mixture is golden. When the syrup reaches close to 300 degrees F, gently stir. Continue to cook until the syrup turns dark amber and closes in on 350 degrees F. Remove from the heat, stir, and let sit for a couple minutes. Slowly add heavy cream, butter, and salt. The mixture will bubble, so be careful. Return the saucepan to the stove and stir until the butter is completely melted. Cook over medium heat until it reaches 255 degrees F. Remove from heat.

Putting It All Together:

Remove the logs from the freezer. One log at a time, dip them in the hot caramel with tongs or a fork. Once fully coated, move them to the pecan-covered baking dish. If you want pecan halves on your nut logs, stick them in place now. Proceed to roll the logs in the chopped pecans until completely covered. Chill the finished nut logs until set, 30 minutes-1 hour. Enjoy!

Earthworm Jim NutlogEarthworm Nut Log

Good news! These nut logs aren’t like the ones at the Nutlog Palace. They are light (My noodle arms have no trouble lifting them.) and can actually be eaten. Every last one of my teeth is still safely snug in my mouth. I wouldn’t recommend throwing them around, but I’m almost confident that they can’t K.O. anyone. Earthworm Jim’s battle with the impudent nut log ended in a “draw,” but I think I won this round. Too bad I have to quit while I’m ahead because I really just can’t handle haggis.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

 

Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog

Episode: Trail of the Missing Tails (And a lot of other episodes)
Chili Dog

I’ve been a fan of Sonic the Hedgehog since before I could properly hold a controller. I would watch my brother play over and over until I was deemed worthy enough to give it a whirl. After spending countless hours with The Blue Blur, I became a fanatic. And just when I thought Sonic couldn’t get any cooler, he started showing up on my television! My brother and I were very Sonic and Tails as kids, so the show fit us to a T. We also got a kick out of the game references, like music, or areas, or the stupid hench-bots. We loved those guys. Except Coconuts. We hated those Badniks before the show and we still hate them. My parents didn’t have much of an opinion either way on the show, but they probably rue the day that “I’m waiting.” became a permanent part of our vocabulary.

Besides the memorable quotes and characters, this show also introduced us to Sonic’s favorite food: chili dogs. I don’t know if I ever had a chili dog before watching the show, but afterward, I wanted them A LOT. That’s probably because Sonic and Tails were eating them all the time! Sonic can pull out an entire kitchen and whip one up in seconds. He’s also quite the chili dog connoisseur and can tell what’s in one just by taking a whiff. He’s a real fan of Dr. Robotnik’s chili and loves his dogs well-spiced with danger. As for myself, I’m not too picky, but this is the chili I grew up on. Well, a chili dog isn’t going to make itself, is it? “Gotta speed, keed!”

Recipe makes 8 chili dogs

Ingredients

Chili:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 pounds ground beef

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon chili seasoning

1 teaspoon sugar

3 (15-ounce) cans dark red kidney beans

1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 (29-ounce) can tomato purée

1 (29-ounce) can tomato sauce

 

Hot Dog Buns Or

Homemade Buns:

1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)

1 tablespoon yeast

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons instant non-fat dry milk powder

1 ½ teaspoons salt

¼ cup olive oil

3 cups bread flour

2 tablespoons melted butter for brushing

 

Hot Dogs or Polish Sausages

Chopped Onions and Shredded Cheese (Optional)

 

Directions

Chili:

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the ground beef, salt, and pepper and cook until ground beef is brown and cooked through, 8-10 minutes. Drain the grease from the pot and return to the heat. Stir in garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, chili seasoning, and sugar. Add the contents of the kidney bean cans, liquid and all. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato purée, and tomato sauce and increase the heat to high. Once the chili begins to boil, reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for one hour.

Hot Dog Buns:

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 1 hour or until it has doubled in size. Turn out the dough on a lightly floured surface and divide into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and roll out the balls into 4 ½ inch long cylinders. Slightly flatten the cylinders and place on a baking sheet. For soft-sided buns, place the buns close enough together on the baking sheet so they will touch as they rise. Cover the baking sheet with a towel and allow the dough to rise for another hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake the buns for 25 minutes. Remove the buns and brush the tops with melted butter. Cover with a towel and let cool completely.

Hot Dog or Polish Sausage:

Sonic has been seen boiling what he calls sausages, but I usually just pan fry them. It’s just a matter of preference.

Boiling:
Bring enough water to submerge hotdogs to a boil in a pot or saucepan on high heat. Add hotdogs and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 3 to 6 minutes, depending on the doneness you want. Remove the hot dogs and drain.

Pan Frying:
Heat 2 tablespoons olive 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. Garnish with chopped onions and shredded cheese. Smother the whole thing with chili. Serve and chow down!

sonic chili dogsonicchilidog

There’s no need to journey all the way to Wienerville for a great chili dog. You don’t even have to set foot on Mobius. We’ve got all the succulent sausages, sauce, onions, and cheese we need right here and no Dr. Robotnik or relations to spoil our fun. Man, all this chili dog talk sure is making me hungry. I think I’ll go have 1 or 2 or 147. I am up, over, and gone!

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

 

Darkwing Duck

Episode: Can’t Bayou Love
Launchpad’s Hand Grenade Brownies

“I am the terror that flaps in the night. I am the scourge that pecks at your nightmares. I am Darkwing Duck!” Okay, I’m obviously not Darkwing Duck. (The scourge that pecks at your nightmares? How does he come up with this stuff?) But I can dream, can’t I? Just look at Launchpad. One day he’s the number one fan of St. Canard’s Caped Crusader, and then BAM! He becomes Darkwing’s sidekick and even gets to take on the role of hero himself.

Rightly so, because I can’t think of a better partner than Launchpad. He does a lot of silly things, but he means well. Not only is he a great pilot, (He’s gotten better about his crash landings.) but he makes a mean batch of brownies. And by “mean,” I’m saying these brownies will give you a nice kick in the taste buds. As far as Darkwing is concerned, these delicious devils pack enough heat to be used in place of hand grenades. Even Jambalaya Jake is wary of them. No one’s gotten anywhere by playing it safe, so let’s get dangerous!

Recipe makes 25 brownies.

Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped or broken into chunks

4 large eggs

¾ cup sugar

¾ cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 ½ cups flour

¼ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

¼-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (How much heat can you handle?)

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease and line a 10 X 15-inch baking dish or lipped baking sheet with parchment paper

Melt together butter and chocolate either in a double boiler/bowl over a pot of simmering water or in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and cayenne pepper. Using a stand mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs until fluffy, 2-3 minutes. On low speed, mix in the sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add the chocolate/butter mixture and mix until fully incorporated. Slowly add the flour mixture and stir until well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when the brownie is tested. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out brownie and allow to cool completely. Cut into about 25 pieces. Eat away!

darkwingdw inspired brwnies (2)

I can tell you that these brownies taste good, but I haven’t been able to test how they work as weapons. Every time I go to throw one, I end up eating it instead. I love these brownies as much as Launchpad and Gumbo do! And no, they don’t smell worse than beaver innards. Just take my word for it. The next time you’re out on an all-night crime-fighting spree, don’t forget to add some of these babies to your arsenal.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

 

The Powerpuff Girls

Episode: Beat Your Greens
Broccoli

The city of Townsville. It’s a nice, bustling metropolis which would be a great place to live if it wasn’t being attacked every day. Whether it’s monsters, aliens, or supervillains, the city’s got them. Or I should say they’ve got the city. I would’ve moved out a long time ago. Well, if I lived in the Powerpuff universe, I’d like to be a fourth Powerpuff Girl. Not like Princess or Bunny but a nice mix of Blossom and Bubbles. (I think I’m just a little too soft to be Buttercup.) I could be a good addition to the team who saves the world before bedtime. I’ve got the brains to outwit Mojo Jojo, the courage to scare away The Boogie Man, and the guts to take out The Broccoloids.

Speaking of guts, just like half the people out there, I’m trying to eat a little healthier and get back into shape. (Emphasis on trying because I’ve eaten pizza more than once this week.) I’ve never had a problem with eating my veggies like the kids in Townsville do. My problem is stuff like liver and onions. So what better health food to whip up than broccoli? Just like Professor Utonium says, “It’s exactly what growing superheroes need to charge up their powers.” I don’t know how the people of Townsville prefer their broccoli cooked, but I’m roasting mine. And just to add a little more pizzazz, I’m serving it over a rice pilaf.

Recipe makes 5-6 servings.

Ingredients

Broccoli

1 large head of broccoli, cut into florets and chunks

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

Salt

Pepper

 

Rice Pilaf

2 cups white rice, rinsed

2 ½ cups chicken broth

¼ cup water

2 tablespoons butter

½ medium onion, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon salt

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Broccoli:

Combine broccoli, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Spread out onto a baking sheet. Move the baking sheet to the oven and roast the broccoli until it’s tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven.

Rice Pilaf:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a large, ovenproof saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add rice and cook, stirring frequently, until the rice becomes fragrant, 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken broth, water, bay leaf, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil.

Remove saucepan from heat, cover with lid or foil, and transfer to oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let it rest for 15 minutes without removing the lid or foil. Remove the bay leaf and fluff the rice with a fork.

Putting It All Together:

Scoop and spread out rice onto a plate. Top with a hearty amount of broccoli. Time to eat it all up!

powerpuff girls broccoli 1DSC_0740 (2)

I can pop broccoli into my mouth like it’s vitamin and mineral packed candy, so the Broccoloid Empire better be wary. And if I’m armed with cheese sauce…let’s just say it’s not going to be a pretty sight. Just like when the day comes where I snap and start eating the produce section at my local grocery store. I know that broccoli doesn’t have the same appeal as cake, a corndog, or a hamster (No, I don’t eat hamsters.), but it does taste good and it’s good for you too. Both in the bodily health sense and the prevention of destruction by evil broccoli-based aliens sense. So when you do get served some veggies, you better eat all of them because you can never be too careful.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

 

Toonsylvania

 

Episode: Bang!

Worms and Curdled Eggs

 Saturday Morning Cartoons were a way of life for me. My mom tended to have trouble getting me up for school, but on Saturdays, I’d be up before the sun. No alarm clock needed. I needed the time to come up with a plan of TV attack because there were so many channels with great Saturday Morning line-ups. No matter what order I chose, I always stopped in at Fox Kids to get my scare on with something “spooky” like Toonsylvania. I call it the red-headed stepchild of the “Steven Spielberg Presents” Family because it’s smart, funny, and educational like the others, but it doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. (Like a DVD! Come on DreamWorks!) And that’s a crying shame because a cartoon about Dr. Vic Frankenstein and his gang, charming dead families, bratty girls who get what they deserve, and the demon dolls, weregrannies, and boogeymen that come along with them is something that everyone should have in their lives.

On more than one occasion, I’ve wished my family could be more like the Deadmans. They are super cheerful, optimistic, and easy-going. They’re the perfect family. Except for that whole being expired thing, but that can’t keep them down. So my Saturday morning meal usually consisted of a bowl of cereal or some kind of snack food that I really shouldn’t have been eating for breakfast. The Deadmans however, start their day more like a typical family and eat a nice, hearty breakfast. Fred’s favorite happens to be worms and curdled eggs. And his mom cooks them in the microwave. Yeah, that’s making my mouth water too.

Recipe makes 1 serving.

 Ingredients

 1 teaspoon butter

2 eggs

1 hotdog

Salt

Pepper

 

 Directions

 Cut hotdog into long, thin strips or take a vegetable peeler to it. Heat a microwave safe plate in your microwave for 2 minutes. Swirl butter around on the plate until it completely melts. Carefully crack your eggs directly onto the plate. Take the tip of a knife or a skewer and pierce the top of the yolks, being careful not to tear them. This will allow steam to escape, so the eggs don’t explode. Spread your wormy hotdog bits around the plate and place it back in the microwave. Cook for 1 minute. If they aren’t done, continue to cook in 15 second increments until they are just about at your desired doneness. Season the eggs with salt and pepper and let sit for 1 minute. Now you’re ready to eat.

DSC_0440 (2)DSC_0463 (2)

Cooking eggs in the microwave is new to me, but I’d have to say I’m a fan. It’s perfect if you don’t have a whole lot of time on your hands in the morning. I wish I had done this as a kid. It would’ve been perfect to do during Saturday morning commercial breaks. And the whole worm thing is fun when you’re looking for something a little wacky or creepy to eat. Like on Halloween, when your food gets to be in costume too.

 

Happy Halloween!

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

 

The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald

 

Episode: Scared Silly

Marshmallows

 Can you believe it’s actually October? Now every TV channel is going to have nothing but movies with vampires, and monsters, and baby ducks! I’m kicking off my very own 31 Nights of Halloween with none other than Scared Silly. I’m a fraidy cat like Grimace and Sundae, so this is a good way to ease into the month of horror. This is also my top video in the Wacky Adventures series and I watch it every chance I get. My sister and I wait for weather that’s perfect for a campout (dark and stormy in our case), so we can “set, set, set, set, set, set, set up camp” in the living room, tent and fake fire included.

Usually we just eat McDonald’s when we watch it, but it gets kind of awkward when you realize you’re eating part of the cast. A safe bet and something no camping trip is complete without are marshmallows. Nothing beats a campfire roasted marshmallow and fresh ones are so good, I stopped buying packaged ones months ago.

Recipe makes 25 marshmallows or more, depending on how you cut them.

 Ingredients

 3 packets of unflavored gelatin

1 cup cold water, divided

1 cup light corn syrup

1 ½ cups sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

½ cup powdered sugar, sifted, plus more if needed

 

Directions

Lightly grease an 8 X 8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Dump powdered sugar into the dish and swirl it around until the bottom and sides are completely coated. Shake excess powdered sugar into a bowl for later use.

Pour gelatin and ½ cup of cold water in the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with the whisk attachment. While the gelatin is blooming, combine the remaining half cup of water, corn syrup, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan. Place the saucepan over medium high heat and cook until the sugar has dissolved. Attach a candy thermometer to the pan and continue to cook, without stirring, until it reads 240 degrees F. Immediately take the syrup off the heat. With the mixer on low, pour the syrup into the gelatin. When all of the syrup is in the bowl, increase the mixer’s speed to high. Whip the mixture until it’s thick, about 12 minutes. Add the vanilla extract during the last minute of whipping.

Pour the marshmallow into the prepared pan and spread evenly with a lightly greased spatula. Things may get messy! Sprinkle some of the remaining powdered sugar over the marshmallow to completely cover the top. Let the marshmallow completely rest until firm, about 4 hours.

Turn out marshmallow onto a cutting board. With a lightly greased knife or pizza cutter, cut into marshmallows. I usually aim for 2-inch squares. Roll the marshmallows into the rest of the powdered sugar to coat all sides. Store in an airtight container or get your bonfire on!

Variations: Instead of making squares, you can pour or pipe out the unset marshmallow into prepared silicone molds. You can also cut out shapes from the finished marshmallow with cookie cutters. If you don’t want to use as much powdered sugar, you can substitute any amount of it with cornstarch.

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As nutty as it may sound, McDonald’s holds a very special place in my heart. Growing up, my grandparents would take all five of us grandkids to the same McDonald’s almost every single day. Ronald is practically a member of my family. I’m not as much of a go-getter as he is, but I think I can hold my own against Franklin and his little game. I’ve got my marshmallows, my “tent in a flashlight,” and my dog who’s seriously nicknamed Sundae. If anyone needs me, I’ll be out in the Farflung Forest.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

 

 

 

Freakazoid!

 

Episode: Candle Jack

Pumpkin Pie

Happy Fall! This time of year has always been my favorite because it’s the “Goldilocks’ Standard” of the seasons. It’s just right! Plus there’s that little spooky feeling floating in the air. It’s the perfect time to sit around a campfire and scare the snot out of each other with stories about Sinbad getting another TV show. Oh, you don’t do that? Well, surely you must talk about Candle Jack? You know, the for real boogeyman guy with the bag on his head? Yeah, that guy. He’s one of my top Freakazoid! villains. (The Lobe wins out by a smidge.) When I was younger, I used to call him Candle Blank, so he couldn’t spirit me away, even though I thought it might be kind of fun. He’s just so gosh darn adorable!

And one thing that goes hand in hand with Fall and Candle Jack is perfectly plump pumpkin pie. That’s his weakness. Out of everything in the entire universe, that’s his weakness. How can you not like the guy? Just like the show. It’s so stupidly funny, that I still bust a gut whenever I think about it. My parents just stop and stare and wonder what on earth is wrong with me. Even I don’t know the answer to that, but I better take it easy on the laughter or I won’t be able to enjoy this pie.

Recipe makes one 9-inch pie.

 Ingredients

 Crust:

1 ¼ cups flour

½ teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup (1 stick) butter, cold and cut into chunks

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

Filling:

2 cups fresh (cooked and mashed) or canned pumpkin

¾ cup brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 large egg yolk

2 tablespoons molasses

1 ½ cups half-&-half

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon freshly grated ginger

 

Directions

 Crust:

In a food processor, pulse flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 2 tablespoons of ice water 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 eggs, egg yolk, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in pumpkin and molasses. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Gradually stir in half-&-half.

Putting It All Together:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Unwrap dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out dough anywhere from 10 to 14 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 into pie crust. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 1 hour, or until skewer inserted in it comes out clean. Cool pie on a wire rack for 2 hours. Refrigerate or serve it up!

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This pumpkin pie is definitely something to scream about. A happy kind of scream. Not a scary, Scream-O-Vision type. Forget the steel, mortar, and bricks. All you need to catch me is the pie. I’ll even go along willingly. And now you know the rest of the blog. Good day!

 

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!

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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!