Gravity Falls

Episode: The Time Traveler’s Pig
Mystery Dogs

“Ah, summer break. A time for leisure, recreation, and takin’ ‘er easy.” Unless you’re Dipper Pines. He and his twin sister Mabel get shipped up north to Gravity Falls, Oregon to stay at their Great-uncle Stan’s place in the woods. Well, their “Grunkle” doesn’t live in an ordinary house. He transformed it into a tourist trap called the “Mystery Shack.” “And guess who had to work there.” Dipper thought he’d have to suffer through the same boring routine all summer, but that changes when he finds a mysterious journal in the forest. Dipper’s suspicions about the town’s weirdness are confirmed and then some. The kids begin uncovering the mysteries of Gravity Falls and encounter all kinds of magical creatures and paranormal thingums. And of course, no summer is complete unless the fate of the world is at stake.

Dipper and Mabel unlock all sorts of crazy secrets surrounding the town, but there remains one mystery left unsolved: How do they get Mystery Dogs in the shape of a question mark? (“It’s unnatural.”) Yeah, I’m talking about the corn dogs at Grunkle Stan’s Mystery Fair. They’re the ones that Dipper and Wendy get before Dipper accidently hurts Wendy, steals Blendin Blandin’s fancy tape measure time machine, and goes back in time over and over to keep Wendy and Robbie from getting together. I know. There are a whole lot of puzzles and blink-and-you-miss-it things in this series and I get hung up on corn dogs. I’ve seen Soos direct traffic with corn dogs, and there’s the Tunnel of Love and Corndogs at the Mystery Fair, and-Oh my gosh! Is there some kind of Gravity Falls corn dog conspiracy? Nah, I’m sure Old Man McGucket would have mentioned something. Right? Hmm…maybe I should look into this. Or maybe I should just shut my yap and get on with making corn dogs.

Recipe makes 3 large corn dogs.

Ingredients

3 footlong hot dogs

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for coating hot dogs

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup milk

Mustard (Optional)

Oil for frying-Enough to submerge corn dogs, a little over 1 gallon

Directions

Heat oil in a deep fryer or large pot to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. In another bowl, combine the eggs and milk. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until smooth.

Pat the hot dogs dry and roll in flour to coat. Insert a 12-inch skewer halfway through the hot dog. Bend the top of the hot dog to make the curve of the question mark and continue pushing the skewer through so it holds it in place. Cut off part of the bottom of the hot dog and pull it down to make the bottom of the question mark.

Dip a hot dog into the batter and evenly coat. (You’re going to have to get your hands dirty.) Allow any excess batter to drip off. Carefully place the hot dog in the hot oil and cook until golden brown, 4-5 minutes. Transfer the corn dog to a wire rack or paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining hot dogs. Top with a little mustard and enjoy!

Gravity Falls Mystery DogGravity Falls Insp Mystery Dog

So I just made corn dogs shaped like question marks. That’s got to be one of the more weird things I’ve done over the summer. (You’re next, Mobius chicken strips!) Hey, my summer breaks weren’t nearly as supernatural as the Pines’. Still, I loved them more than anything, so whenever August rolled around, I’d start wishing summer could last forever. Unfortunately, whether you’re saving the world from a whole lot of weirdness or you’re just lazing your days away, summer ends. And then it’s time for us to grow up. (“But not too much.”) I wish I could go back and relive my past summers, but that’s not going to happen unless I get my hands on some sensitive, extremely complicated time equipment. But time machine or not, whenever I need just a little more summer, I know I can always return to a sleepy town in the woods called Gravity Falls.

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

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The Super Hero Squad Show

Episode: Invader From the Dark Dimension!
Corn, Dirt, and Cabbage Spaghetti

“Ready, Squaddies?” Time to Hero-Wait! Too early in the blog. I didn’t even give a supervillain the chance to show up. That shouldn’t’ take too long though since Doctor Doom teamed up with almost every one of them and formed the Lethal Legion. And if the troublemakers in Villainville aren’t enough, there are plenty of other baddies out there with their own plans for wreaking havoc on Super Hero City, the Earth, and the entire Universe. With all of these villains around, we’re going to need a few good heroes. That’s where the Super Hero Squad comes in. It’s the Squad’s mission to prevent Doctor Doom from rebuilding the Infinity Sword by collecting all the Infinity Fractals before he does. Plus there’s all that other superhero business they need to take care of. Lucky for The Super Hero Squad, they have S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents and other heroes to come to their aid. (“You can’t throw a cow in this town without hitting a superhero.”) Unlucky for the Squaddies, they all have to live together in S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Helicarrier.

Sure, you might think it’d be funny if Iron Man, Thor, Falcon, Hulk, Wolverine, and Silver Surfer lived under one roof, but actually…no, it is funny, especially when the other Squaddies have to deal with Silver Surfer’s cooking. The Surfer loves cooking, but his food tends to make his friends “bloweth mighty chunks.” When Baron Mordo possesses Iron Man, Thor blames Silver Surfer’s “freaky cosmic food” for Iron Man’s odd behavior and smell. Silver Surfer does admit that his food would be better if he had taste buds, but that doesn’t stop him from cooking. So when the Squad returns to the Helicarrier (Minus Falcon, Redwing, and “Iron Menace.”), Silver Surfer whips up a fresh batch of corn, dirt, and cabbage spaghetti for them. The Surfer calls it comfort food, but he still takes it into battle and throws it on Doctor Doom. It delights Silver Surfer when Doom picks up on the Parmesan because he finally found someone who appreciates gourmet cooking. Gourmet or not, the spaghetti looks a little scary, so this will be quite the battle for me. Hmm. I guess that means it’s “Time to Hero Up!”

Recipe makes about 9 cups.

Ingredients

8 ounces spaghetti

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup onions, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons dried mushroom powder (Did you think I was really using dirt?)

1 cup corn

4 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced

8 cups beef broth

Shredded Parmesan cheese

Salt

Pepper

Directions

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cabbage and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add beef broth, dried mushroom powder, and corn and bring to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until the noodles have reached your desired doneness. Season with salt and pepper and add Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Super Hero CDCSSuperHeroSquad CDCS

Looking at the corn, dirt, and cabbage spaghetti makes me feel pukey, but it tastes much better than it looks. And now I know I can use it as a weapon during a fight. It’s a tactic called “Making someone sick with some home cooking.” Silver Surfer uses this when he starts throwing “truly powerful” meat pies at Abomination and Wolverine. Just seeing Surfer’s cooking is now enough to scare off Doctor Doom. Even though Surfer’s cooking is “deadly,” he loves it and that’s all that matters. Iron Man rewards him for assembling the Defenders and allows him to be cook for a day at the Stark Industries Café. This calls for a new name for Silver Surfer. Now he is the Cosmic Chef.

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

Star vs. the Forces of Evil

Episode: The Banagic Incident
Banagic Ice Cream

Star vs. the Forces of Evil promises a little weird, a little wild, and a good time. I’d have to say it delivers. If a magic-wielding, monster-fighting princess from another dimension living as a foreign exchange student on Earth doesn’t fit that description, I don’t know what does. How does this even happen anyway? Well, Star isn’t what one would call a “typical princess.” She’s reckless and irresponsible and sets her kingdom on fire shortly after receiving a great family heirloom, The Royal Magic Wand. Her parents send her to Earth to train and she takes up residence in the Diaz household. This was done as a safety measure, but Star still finds plenty of ways to get into trouble. When she’s not narwhal blasting some ill-intentioned monsters or cutting her way into other dimensions, she’s got to handle everyday life in a place entirely new to her.

Star lives a pretty exciting life, but even she isn’t safe from boredom. (It’s her biggest fear.) She was going to have to renounce her vow to never have a dull day until she saw a magazine ad for The Banagic Wand. It’s one of those “As Featured on TV” products that you see in those late night commercials. “Designed by leading freeze-ologists, The Banagic Wand uses state-of-the-art molecular ice-stronomy to frostulate your sizzle zones and chill you out.” (It makes banana ice cream.) Star can’t resist this “Earth Magic” and insists on immediately finding a “Better Store” where it’s sold. (Supplies are limited.) But Marco refuses to skip his karate class, so Star’s on her own. She wasn’t doing too badly until she mistook the staff of a pirate-themed restaurant for real pirates and trashes the place. They chase her all the way to the store and corner her right in front of The Banagic Wands. Star tells them that they need to “chill out,” so everyone does just that. Banagic Wand Party at Marco’s house!

Recipe makes one 2-cup serving

Ingredients

4 ripe bananas

Yellow food coloring

Directions

Peel and thinly slice the bananas. Freeze the banana slices for at least two hours. Place the frozen banana slices in a food processor. Blend, occasionally scraping down the sides of the processor, until the bananas become creamy. Add a little yellow food coloring and blend a few more seconds. Scrape out of the food processor. (You can fill a piping bag with the banana ice cream and pipe into a bowl to give it more of a soft serve look.)  Enjoy immediately!

StarvstheFOEStarvstFOE Ban

Star completes her quest, conquers her boredom, and feels like she’s mastered Earth. Marco is impressed and admits that he underestimated her. Star’s not too happy to hear that though and she pushes Marco’s Banagic ice cream out of his hands. I wasn’t surprised that Star found a Banagic Wand, but I was surprised that it actually worked. I’ve gotten sucked in by enough infomercials to know that they can’t all be trusted. Well Banagic Wand or not, banana ice cream is pretty magical. “I’m totally chilled out!”

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

Steven Universe

Episode: Together Breakfast
Even More Together Breakfast

I’d like to say that I’ve been a fan of Steven Universe since the show started, but then I’d be lying. Actually, I was quite late to the party. I was having trouble adjusting to newer shows, so I didn’t even give Steven a chance. But it’s not right for me to say I don’t like a show if I haven’t tried it, so I watched one episode. Then one more. And another and another and now here I am all caught up with everyone else. I felt so silly for thinking that the show had nothing to offer me because it has something for everyone. It’s weird and silly but serious and action-packed. Plus the characters are all so different, be it personalities, abilities, sizes, shapes, colors, whatever. And the amount of heart this show has surprised me. I love Steven’s relationship with the Gems and after I watched “Together Breakfast,” I knew I was hooked on the show.

The episode, just like the title food, is fun and sweet. Steven wakes up to an empty house and starts making breakfast. He’s got four toaster waffles with syrup. (Okay.) When he finds that the Gems still aren’t home, he adds some microwave popcorn. (Interesting.) The house is still empty. What does Steven do? He adds some whipped cream. (Now it’s out of control!) But wait, there’s more! He tops it all off with a strawberry. Now Steven comes to the conclusion that this is too good to be eaten alone. This is a “Together Breakfast” which should be eaten with the Gems like best buds. But when the Gems return, Steven’s breakfast gets turned down and ignored. Not letting that deter him, Steven follows Pearl into her room in the hopes of getting everyone together before his Together Breakfast becomes Together Brunch. This leads to him getting caught up in a waterfall, being chased by Amethyst, and sliding down to the bottom of the Crystal Temple. And just when everyone is together, they have to fight a smoke monster that takes refuge in the Together Breakfast. (“Now it has all the power of a breakfast. We have to destroy it.”) After the battle, they make a Together Breakfast that’s even more together and even more breakfast.

Recipe makes one shareable breakfast.

Ingredients

8 toaster waffles

1-2 bags microwave popcorn

Maple syrup

Canned whipped cream

Strawberry

 

Directions

Alright, this one’s easy. Toast the waffles according to the directions on the box. Place the waffles on a plate in two stacks of 4. Drizzle maple syrup over the waffles. Pop popcorn according to the instructions on the box/bag. Dump as much popcorn as you desire over the sticky waffles. Top with whipped cream and a strawberry. Now you can finally eat!

Steven Universe Together BreakfastSteven Universe More Together Bfst

Okay, so Steven and the Gems decide not to eat the Together Breakfast after all. (“Pizza’s a better idea.”) The Together Breakfast looks great! How can they pass that up? Well, it did try to kill them, so I guess I understand. But I live for food like this so whether I had to fight it or not, I’m eating it. Seeing Steven build the original Together Breakfast made me smile because I’ve been in his sandals and done the similar things. Just not with waffles and popcorn. Too bad the idea of eating the Together Breakfast is now ruined for Steven and the Gems because it’s even more fun to eat than it is to make. But it still brings them together, so it’s not a complete waste.

 

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!

 

The Fairly OddParents

 

 

Episode: Snack Attack

Spark Tarts

 Fairy Godparents who grant just about any wish I ask for? Sign me up! Alas, I couldn’t get my own fairies because I had quite the happy childhood. (Stinks, right?) So I’ll just sit here and seethe with jealousy as I watch Timmy Turner adventure with the magical beings I so rightly deserve. Ew, I’m starting to remind myself of Mr. Crocker. Well, at least I’m not as bad asFAIRYGODPARENTSFAIRYGODPARENTSFAIRYGODPARENTS!!!!! Ouch. Maybe I spoke too soon.

Come on. Timmy even has a fairy dog who bakes! I love my dog and wouldn’t trade her for all the magic in Fairy World, but she’d rather steal my food than make some herself. Sparky, on the other hand, makes “magically delicious” dog treats that are so addictive that Timmy’s Dad ate a million of them. I don’t know about dog treats, but I do have something that might do the trick.

Recipe makes roughly 15 spark tarts. It can vary by the size of cookie cutter used. Mine were stubby!

 Ingredients

2 ¼ cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup butter flavored shortening

¾ cup sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 tablespoons milk

1 egg, plus 1 tablespoon of milk for egg wash

turbinado/raw sugar or additional white granulated sugar – Optional, but it makes it sparkly!

 

Directions

 Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In a stand mixer, cream together shortening and sugar on medium speed. Reduce the speed to low and add the egg and vanilla. Add the flour mixture a little at a time, alternating with the milk. Remove dough from stand mixer and flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 1 hour or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll the dough out to a thickness of 1/4 an inch. Have some flour on hand because the dough will start to get sticky as it warms up. Cut out shapes with a doggy bone cookie cutter and place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Roll out scraps and cut out shapes until you run out of dough. Chill Spark Tarts for 15 minutes to help them retain their shapes while baking.

Make an egg wash by whisking together one egg and a tablespoon of milk. Brush the Spark Tarts with the egg wash and dust with sugar. Bake for 25 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Remove and transfer to a cooling rack. Then stuff your face!

DSC_0130DSC_0092 (2)

These Spark Tarts are pretty yummy with a nice, big glass of milk, even without the secret ingredient. I didn’t have any fairy dust on hand, but if you have some lying around, feel free to add it. I probably could eat a million Spark Tarts, but the only thing I’d wish for afterwards would be to have my stomach pumped.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!