Tom and Jerry: The Movie

Éclair

I like Tom and Jerry: The Movie. There, I said it. I watched this movie all the time when I was a kid. I can still remember the exact spot where it sat at the video store. And that’s because I love Tom and Jerry. (Who doesn’t love Tom and Jerry?) And it was fun for me seeing them break from the norm and talk and work together. (Which looking at it now, okay, I can see why everyone gets so cheesed off.) But I still enjoy Tom and Jerry getting thrown into a very not-so-Tom and Jerry story. There’s a little runaway “orphan” girl, an evil “aunt” and lawyer, an animal-napper, a strange carnival guy with a hand puppet, and a seriously fat doggy on a skateboard. (I’m going to come clean right here and admit that Ferdinand has always been my favorite.) These sound like the ingredients for a nice, adventurey movie. Throw in some corny song and dance numbers and we’re all set. Oh, and some food would be nice.

Aunt Figg is a horrible, rotten person, but I have to give the lady credit for surrounding herself with food. (That’s what I’d do with all my money.) It seems like she always has cupcakes nearby and her kitchen is filled with all kinds of treats. (I can see how Ferdinand got so tubby.) Despite there being such a vast amount of delectables in the house, when Tom and Jerry come to stay with them, the “something special” they’re given is a scary, dripping bowl of who knows what. But out of all the food in the movie, the one that calls to me the most is an éclair. There’s just always been something about the scene where Aunt Figg is scheming with Lickboot over the phone and she squeezes an éclair to death.

Recipe makes about 7 éclairs.

Ingredients

Filling:

2 cups whole milk

4 egg yolks, room temperature

½ cup sugar

¼ cup cornstarch

Pinch of Salt

4 tablespoons butter, room temperature, and cut into chunks

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

 

Pastry

1 cup water

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

1 teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup flour, sifted

4 eggs, room temperature, beaten

 

Ganache Topping

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 cup heavy cream

 

Directions

Filling:

In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt.

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk until it simmers. While whisking constantly, pour a little of the hot milk into the egg mixture. Slowly pour in the rest of the milk, whisking constantly. When the milk and egg mixture are fully combined, pour this mixture back into the saucepan.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and just comes to a boil. Pour the cream through a mesh strainer into a bowl. Stir in the butter and vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap, letting it touch the surface so the pastry cream won’t form a skin. Place in the refrigerator and chill completely, at least 2 hours. Fold the whipped cream into the pastry cream.

Pastry:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a medium saucepan, combine water, butter, sugar, and salt. Cook over medium heat until the butter is completely melted. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, remove the pan from the heat and add all the flour at once. Stir until the flour is completely incorporated. Return the pan to the heat and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. When the dough comes together in a ball, remove from heat and cool slightly. (Enough so the eggs won’t cook when added.) Move the dough to a bowl or stand mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. The dough should be smooth and paste-like and shouldn’t cling to a beater or spoon when lightly shaken.

Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip (3/4-1 inch). Pipe 6-inch lengths of dough onto a greased baking sheet sprinkled with just a little water, leaving plenty of room in between them. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees F. and bake for 30 minutes. (Don’t open the door.) Remove the tray from the oven and make a small hole in the end of each éclair to allow steam to escape. Bake an additional 5 minutes, or until the éclairs are crispy and golden. Remove the éclairs from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Ganache Topping:

Place chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream over medium heat until it just begins to boil. Pour the heavy cream over the chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir until the chocolate mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

Putting It All Together:

Split each éclair in half lengthwise. Pipe or spoon filling into the bottom half of the éclairs. Dip the tops in the ganache. Close the éclairs and let the ganache set before serving. Enjoy!

Tom and Jerry MovieTom&Jerry Movie

Now I really feel like a million dollars here with my éclair. Yes, I’m trying my best to squeeze money talk in here somewhere. But hey, a delicious, fancy éclair definitely beats chunky tuna from a trashcan. (That stuff is green!) At least Tom and Jerry don’t have to worry anymore about eating off the streets because of bad owners. (What’s up with that? And Puggsy’s family too! There’s a greater chance of me getting left behind during a move than one of our pets.) Actually, Tom and Jerry don’t have to worry about anything anymore, which leaves them plenty of time to do what they do best: play cat and mouse games.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

A Troll in Central Park

Salad

I have no idea what I did to Gnorga, but I somehow ended up on her bad side. Not bad enough for me to be turned to stone, but for the last few months, I lived in a place of rock and steel where nothing grew. (And I wasn’t even in New York City.) Oh wait. I wasn’t feeling the wrath of the “Queen of Mean.” That was winter. But now spring is here and my little patch of green has returned. I could use some more flowers though. This wouldn’t be a problem if I had Stanley’s green thumb and I could grow some with a snap. Unfortunately, my thumb’s a little more like Gnorga’s black thumb. It won’t turn things to stone, but it’s still very dangerous. (I’m not too good with plants.) And even if I were to successfully grow a flower, it wouldn’t be a magical talking, dancing one. (Yes, I want magical dancing flowers. Did you see how happy they make Rosie?) Maybe I’m just not believing in myself enough. Or maybe I’m better off leaving the plant growing to the professionals and should just stick to eating them.

No, no, no, I don’t want to eat any of Stanley’s flowers! But I am talking about eating some greens. You see, things don’t go too well for Stanley at the beginning. He gets banished for growing flowers and is flung all the way to New York. Sure, he’s happy to see that there was some mistake and he isn’t in a land without grass, leaves, and flowers, but taking in this new world isn’t the easiest for the gentle, little troll. He gets chased by ferocious dogs and bumps into a really angry squirrel. Then he falls from a tree over a restaurant and lands straight in a large salad. He wanted green, he got it. But he finds himself in a tight spot when the salad gets dressed and served to a very hungry customer. And when the man digs in, it’s a pain in the butt for Stanley, literally. He screams and runs off and, after more trouble, finds himself a hole under a bridge. So his punishment is off to a rough start, but it’s not supposed to be nice. “It’s supposed to be punishing!”

Recipe makes one very large salad.

Ingredients

2 hearts romaine lettuce, rinsed and left in large pieces

1-2 large tomatoes, sliced into wedges

Black Olives

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Vinaigrette Or

Vinaigrette

¼ cup white wine vinegar

¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of Sugar (Optional)

Salt

White Pepper

Directions

Vinaigrette:

Pour white wine vinegar and olive oil in a mason jar. Tightly secure the lid and shake it vigorously until fully combined, about 10 seconds. Season to taste. (This can also be done in a blender.)

Putting It All Together:

In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, tomatoes, and black olives. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad. Add freshly ground pepper. Toss the salad and serve individual portions. Enjoy!

Variations:
Obviously, smaller sized pieces of lettuce are much easier to eat than the large leaves.
For a more stable and flavorful vinaigrette, add 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard. You can also opt for black pepper if that better suits your taste.

Troll ParkTroll Park Salad

Okay, I really like salads, but I’ve never gotten as excited over one as that guy in the restaurant. (He’s licks his lips and everything.) I kind of feel bad that he doesn’t get to enjoy it. I feel even worse for Stanley for being a part of it. But without all of his scary encounters, he wouldn’t have ended up in the right place to meet Rosie and Gus. Sure, they lead to even more trouble, but when everything’s said and done, Stanley manages to create a world that’s bright and shiny and absolutely green.

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

Feed the Kitty

Kitty Cookie

Marc Antony and Pussyfoot are long-time favorites of mine because they’re just so gosh darn cute together. No matter what names they go by, seeing the big bulldog dote on that tiny kitten has always made me smile. And no cartoon of theirs makes me happier than “Feed the Kitty.” Marc Anthony tries to act like tough stuff and bark at Pussyfoot, but she just curls up on his back. And despite all the kneading she does to get comfortable, he can’t help but like her. (Yeah, this is starting to sound a whole lot like my kitty and me.) However, unlike Marc Anthony, I don’t have the problem where I’m constantly bringing stuff home. His owner is finally fed up with all of his mess and tells him not to bring one more thing into their house. Now I’m just guessing that Marc Anthony would be reasonable about this order under normal circumstances, but he did just bring a kitten into the house. A kitten who doesn’t like to stay put. Every time Pussyfoot crosses paths with his owner, Marc Anthony pretends that the kitten is just a toy or a powder puff and gets more and more desperate to keep her a secret.

Now here’s where it gets really good. Marc Anthony hides Pussyfoot in the flour drawer just before his owner comes into the kitchen to make cookies. She unknowingly scoops up the kitten and adds her to the bowl. She proceeds to make the cookie dough while Marc Anthony tries his best to rescue Pussyfoot. Fearing the kitten’s fate if she meets with the stand mixer, Marc Anthony’s last-ditch effort is to spray whipped cream all over his face and pretend he’s rabid. His owner has been putting up with his crazy antics all day, but wasting her whipped cream was the last straw and she throws him outside. Pussyfoot gets out of the bowl unharmed, but poor Marc Anthony doesn’t know that. He watches in horror as his owner beats the dough, rolls it out, cuts it, and places the cookies in the oven, thinking his precious kitty is in there. He can’t take it and cries himself a puddle. And then when his owner lets him back inside, she gives him a cookie shaped like a cat!

Recipe makes about 20 cookies (Depending on size.)

Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 large egg

¼ cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

3 cups flour

Candy (Blue Jelly Beans, M&M’s, etc.) or frosting for eyes

 

Directions

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Add the milk. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Divide the dough in two and flatten each half into a disk. Cover each disk with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. (I know Marc Anthony’s owner rolls her dough out right away, and I may have been able to get away with it, but I feel better letting it chill.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Lightly dust a counter with flour and roll out a disk to ¼-inch thickness. Cut out shapes with a kitty cookie cutter or make a stencil and cut out with a paring knife. Marc Anthony’s owner used a variety of cookie cutters, so you don’t have to just stick with kitties. Re-roll and cut until you run out of dough and continue this process with the other disk.

Place cookies in the oven and bake, rotating trays halfway through, until the cookies have browned slightly, 10-15 minutes. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheets for 2 minutes. While the cookies are still warm and soft, press candy into them to make eyes for the kitties. If you want to draw eyes on with frosting, make sure the cookies have fully cooled. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and allow them to cool completely. Enjoy!

FeedTheKittyFeedTheKittyCookie

Oh, I can’t handle Marc Anthony’s face! And instead of eating the kitty cookie, he puts it on his back. But there’s no sad ending for the sweet, furry pair. Pussyfoot shows up and Marc Anthony is ecstatic. And busted. Luckily, Marc Anthony’s owner allows him to keep the kitten, but he’s got to take care of her. I don’t know what’s more incredible: Marc Anthony’s owner allowing him to care entirely for a kitten, or Marc Anthony actually being responsible enough to do so. That could never happen in my house. The only cat my dogs would take care of is one made of cookie. (And we all know how that would end.)

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

Very Aggressive Vegetables

Short: Baby Corn
Baby Corn in Butter Sauce

My sister brought home a very large can of baby corn the other day and we got all sorts of excited because we are baby corn junkies. We had big plans for that can. (Yes, those big plans really were to open the can and eat as much baby corn as we possibly could.) And no matter how many times we eat the stuff, we always bring up the same topics. My sister always says that she wants to see baby corn harvested and I always talk about how aggressive they are. Mmm hmm, baby corn. It’s a very aggressive vegetable. They’ve never done me any wrong, but that’s because I don’t give them the opportunity. I’ve watched the Very Aggressive Vegetables shorts on Nicktoons enough to know veggies’ true natures. Sure, they sit there all quiet and unassuming, but when some kid says or does something to offend those vegetables, the produce is ready to come at them!

Broccoli, Celery, A Not-So-Sweet Potato, Cucumber, and Zucchini are all pretty hostile, but the angry, little Baby Corn is what’s really stuck with me all these years. He can tolerate being stabbed, having his face rubbed in sauce, and getting splattered against a wall, but it’s when the baby corn’s taste is insulted that he takes action. And when you insult one’s taste, you’ve insulted all baby corn, so the aggressive baby corn calls for all his little baby corn friends to rise up and attack the bratty little girl. All they want is to be appreciated. I think I can do that.

Recipe makes 1 serving.

Ingredients

4 ounces baby corn

3 tablespoons butter

¼ cup water

½ teaspoon cornstarch

Salt and Pepper

 

Directions

Combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl and stir until the cornstarch has dissolved. Set aside.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the baby corn and salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in the water. Simmer, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens and the baby corn is heated through, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and serve with unidentifiable green stuff/greens of your choice. Enjoy, or else!

VeryAggVeg BbyCrnVery Ag Veg Baby Corn

I don’t want to say that the little girl deserves the wrath of the baby corn, but come on, she deserves it. Yelling and throwing food just because it tastes off. And it’s just baby corn. It’s not like it’s…well I better not give an example. Who knows? Whatever I suggest may turn out to be quite aggressive as well. I don’t want to get anyone mad, so if there’s anything I’ve learned from these shorts, it’s to just sit here and eat all my vegetables.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

Bugs Bunny and the Three Bears

Carrot Soup

“Once upon a time there were three bears-Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear.” Okay, stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Yeah, it’s the story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” but it’s probably not the one you’re thinking of. (Actually, I’m sure you’re thinking of the right one. You did read the title of this post after all.) So yeah, it’s the classic tale done up in good ol’ Merrie Melodies fashion. You know things aren’t going to go as expected right from the get-go when you see The Three Bears. This dysfunctional family is not the good-natured trio who just want to eat some porridge. They want to eat Goldilocks and are willing to go through the whole “Three Bears” routine just to get her. Now this is my kind of story, but there’s just one more thing needed to really jazz this up: Bugs Bunny.

The whole “Lure Goldilocks to the house and when she goes upstairs to sleep…WHAM! idea” is very spur of the moment, so the bears don’t even have porridge for her. All they have are some old carrots. That doesn’t stop Papa Bear and he tells Mama Bear to make carrot soup then. (You know where this is going.) The aroma of that nice, hot soup pulls Bugs from his hole and brings him straight to the bears’ table. Bugs isn’t one to pass up free carrot soup so he helps himself to it. And he knows the bears are there, but he just plays along. He’s got this whole situation under control, right?

I don’t even have all the stuff to make porridge in my kitchen right now, (I’m low on grains.) so I know where Mama Bear’s coming from. But she puts me in a tight spot when she says that they ONLY have some old carrots. So I’m going to say that she’s got a few extra things in the kitchen, like an old onion and some old stock, just to add some flavor. 

Recipe makes 8 cups of soup.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons butter

1 large onion, chopped

2 pounds peeled carrots, chopped

4 cups chicken broth

4 cups water

2 teaspoons salt

½-1 teaspoon white pepper

Additional whole carrots (scrubbed and trimmed) for garnish

 

Directions

Heat olive oil and melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots and sauté until onion softens, 5 minutes.

Add the chicken broth, water, salt, and white pepper. (If you don’t want raw carrots for garnishes, toss them in the pot to soften them too. Otherwise boil them separately.) Bring to a boil and cover. Reduce heat and cook until the carrots are tender, 25-30 minutes.

Remove the whole carrots. Purée the soup with an immersion blender or purée the soup in a blender in batches. Return the soup to the pot over low heat. If the soup is too thick for your liking, add additional stock to achieve your desired consistency. Adjust the seasonings if needed.

Pour soup into bowls and garnish with carrots. Enjoy!

BugsBearsCarrotSoupBugsBunnyCarrotSoup

Bugs Bunny yells for some ketchup while he’s eating. (Which I tried with the soup and I’m not a fan.) He then lies on top of the bears and goes upstairs to sleep. He knows exactly what he’s doing and he’s going to outsmart the bears and end the cartoon a happy rabbit. Well, not this time. This is one of those cartoons where Bugs takes his games a little too far. He tells Mama Bear that she’s beautiful and lands one of his big Bugs Bunny kisses on her. Mama Bear becomes infatuated with him and he can’t shake her off. Even when he gets to his hole, she’s there. She covers him in kisses and he runs away screaming. I hope that carrot soup was worth it.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

The Rescuers

The Rescuers
Ginger Snaps

“R-E-S-C-U-E. Rescue Aid Society. Heads held high, touch the sky. You mean everything to me.” Now that we’ve sang part of the Rescue Aid Society Anthem (and have the rest of it stuck in our heads.) we can now get to business. I will now present The Rescuers. I’ve watched enough cartoons to know that you should never underestimate mice. That goes especially for Miss Bianca and Bernard. Sure they’re small, but with enough faith, they can do things you wouldn’t believe. Traveling from New York to Devil’s Bayou, finding the world’s largest diamond, and taking on the evil Madame Medusa and her pet alligators to save one little orphan girl are all in a day’s work for Rescue Aid Society agents. The pair doesn’t do it all alone, but their help comes from other small animals. Orville the albatross flies them to Devil’s Bayou and Ellie Mae and the other bayou residents charge onto the riverboat to save Penny. Evinrude’s just a dragonfly and he puts his life on the line to help out. Clearly, little ones can do big things.

Even Rufus the Cat plays an important part in finding Penny. Miss Bianca and Bernard meet him at the Morningside Orphanage and he directs their search towards Madame Medusa, the owner of a sleazy pawnshop down the street. (Though he says that they’d be wasting their time going down there.) Rufus tells Miss Bianca and Bernard about the last time he saw Penny before she ran away. Penny was depressed about being passed over on Adoption Day, but Rufus reassured her by saying, “Faith is a bluebird, you see from afar. It’s for real and as sure as the first evening star. You can’t touch it, or buy it, or wrap it up tight, but it’s there just the same, making things turn out right.” Once Penny cheered up she gave Rufus two extra ginger snaps that she took from lunch even though she wasn’t supposed to. Rufus licked them and called them catnip snaps, much to Penny’s delight. Then Rufus’ tale ends with Penny telling Rufus that she loves him and carrying him (rather roughly) off to supper. Seeing all of this breaks my heart and makes me root harder for Miss Bianca and Bernard to succeed in finding and rescuing Penny. And then the stupid hungry side of me ruins the moment and says, “Hey, let’s go make our own Catnip Snaps!”

Recipe makes about 45 cookies.

Ingredients

½ cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

1 egg

1 tablespoon molasses

3 tablespoons light corn syrup

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

In a stand mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the egg. Add the molasses and corn syrup and mix well. Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Drop dough with a 2-teaspoon sized scoop, 2 inches apart, onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Flatten the cookies by hand or with the bottom of a glass.

Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, for 10-12 minutes for softer cookies or 15 minutes for crispier ones.

Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and allow the cookies to cool for a minute before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely. Dig in!

therescuerstherescuers-gingersnaps

Because I made these ginger snaps, I’ve got no problem taking two extra for my cat. (But I’m not really going to share them with her.) We’re close like Rufus and Penny, but she doesn’t talk back when I speak to her. I’ve tried talking to mice too and they don’t answer either. (I thought mice could talk like anybody.) Penny’s just special, not to mention incredibly brave. During her ordeal in Devil’s Bayou she never stops trying her hardest to flee from her captors. I’m beyond glad that Penny finds “someone waiting for her.” And Penny and her new parents aren’t the only ones brought together. Miss Bianca and Bernard are now ready to take on anything and jump right into another mission. That won’t be the last time we see the agents, but I think I’ve left you with enough for now. “Tomorrow is another day.”

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!

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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!

Monsters, Inc.

Snow Cones

Yes, you read that right. Snow cones. In January. Hey, this is the time of year for snow and ice, so I’m just using what’s on hand. And if your brain works like mine, when you think of snow cones, your thoughts immediately go to Monsters, Inc. (Which is one of the best Pixar movies ever!) Who’d of thought that monsters scare children because their screams are used to power everything? They just go to work and scare like it’s no big deal. Okay, well there’s one big deal. Scaring is considered dangerous work because monsters are afraid of the toxic kids. They believe that just one touch by a human child could kill them. (Actually, I think there’s a hint of truth in there. Kids are scary.) But I like Boo. She’s cute and harmless. Just like most of the monsters in Monstropolis. There’s no way they could scare me. Except for Mr. Waternoose. (*Shivers.* That guy’s icky.) Well, forget Mr. Waternoose. He’s not important. (Actually he’s very important, but I much more prefer Mike and Sulley.)

The stress of finding and hiding a human child and trying to safely send her home without being caught or tangled in a secret plot can be quite taxing on a friendship. Throw banishment on top of all that and Mike and Sulley are splitsville. I hate seeing them mad and hurt and I would just fast-forward through this part of the movie if not for the Abominable Snowman. When I’m not running around shouting, “Mike Wazowski!” or saying something like Roz, I’m yelling, “Welcome to the Himalayas!” I love the poor, messed up Yeti. He’d rather be referred to as the Adorable Snowman or the Agreeable Snowman and for good reason. Does a yak milk drinking, snow cone making monster sound abominable? And it’s awfully hospitable of the Yeti to offer Mike and Sulley snow cones, but the yellow color would concern anyone. (“No, no, no, don’t worry. It’s lemon.”) I’m pretty sure the Yeti, of all monsters, knows not to eat the yellow snow.

Recipe makes 1 cup snow cone syrup.

Ingredients

1 cup granulated sugar

½ cup fresh lemon juice

Zest of ½ a lemon

Yellow Food Coloring (Optional)

Ice or Fresh, Clean Snow

 

Directions

Combine sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Once the syrup begins to boil, remove from heat. Pour the syrup through a fine mesh strainer into a small bowl. Let syrup cool completely and add yellow food coloring.

Crush your desired amount of ice using a blender, snow cone machine, or other device. If using snow, just collect it from a clean area. Scoop ice or snow into a paper cup and drizzle with your desired amount syrup. Dig in!

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It seems like the Yeti’s not taking his banishment too badly. (At least he’s handling it better than Bigfoot, a.k.a. King Itchy.) Maybe the snow cones have something to do with it? He can’t escape the snow and ice, so it’s best just to have some fun with it. (He does think the snow is fabulous.) Hey, that’s not a bad idea. I think I just found my way to survive the winter. I’m going to need a lot more syrup.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

The Peanuts Movie

Cupcakes

When I first heard that The Peanuts Movie was in development, I was all full of mixed emotions. I so wanted to see “Good ol’ Charlie Brown” on the big screen, but I wasn’t completely sold on the idea either. I feared that someone was trying to make a quick buck off the Peanuts gang and the movie would be nothing short of obnoxious. When I finally got to see the movie, I was ecstatic to find that my fears were all for nothing. The Peanuts Movie is so soft and endearing and I can’t help but feel it’s a wonderful tribute to the late, great Charles M. Schulz and his beloved characters.

Charlie Brown is still the Charlie Browniest as he falls for The Little Red-Haired Girl and tries desperately to impress her. (The poor kid comes down with a serious case of inadequacy.) Lucky for him, his faithful friend Snoopy sticks close to his side and helps him along. But that doesn’t stop Snoopy from trying his darndest to steal the spotlight. Snoopy’s journey to the aerodrome has got to be my favorite part of the movie. (Sneaky, little, evil Snoopy on Peppermint Patty’s lights is too funny!) Oh, and I just love when Snoopy steals Charlie Brown’s cupcakes. Yeah, cupcakes. That Charlie Brown himself bakes. That’s quite a step up from toast! It’s not like Charlie Brown had a choice though when Peppermint Patty signs him up to make cupcakes for the Winter Dance. Okay, he sets out towards school with only 6 cupcakes, but judging from Snoopy’s actions they had to be good.

Recipe makes 24 cupcakes.

Ingredients

Cupcakes:

2/3 cup butter, room temperature

1 ¾ cups sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

3 cups sifted cake flour

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 ¼ cups milk, room temperature

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

 

Buttercream Icing

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 cups sifted powdered sugar

6 tablespoons heavy cream

Green food coloring

 

Sprinkles (Optional) They look like either gold or green jimmies, but any sprinkles are fine.

 

Directions

Cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line standard muffin tins with cupcake liners.

In a large mixing bowl, combine cake flour, baking powder, and salt. In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy (about 3 minutes). Beat in the eggs one at a time and add the vanilla extract. Add flour mixture in four additions, alternately with the milk. Begin and end with the flour mixture. Stir until just combined.

Divide cupcake batter amongst tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when the cupcakes are tested. Cool in tins on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from tins and cool on the rack completely.

Buttercream Icing:

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

Putting It All Together:

Top each cupcake with a large dollop of icing and smear/smooth with an offset spatula or tool of your choice. Top with a pinch of sprinkles. Now they’re ready for any winter dance or just for you.

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Can Charlie Brown really bake cupcakes and whip up icing all from scratch? I have no doubt in my mind that he can. If he can read War and Peace and write a superb 1000-word book report on it all in one weekend, he can make cupcakes no problem. (I know I can’t do that. Let me have a crack at Leo’s Toy Store instead.) Despite countless failures, Charlie Brown even manages to fly a kite. (Something else I can’t do.) I’m pretty sure that he can do anything, because every time he gets knocked down, he gets right back up. He’s also kind, compassionate, honest, brave, and funny. And I’m glad that he gets some recognition for it! So he’s not perfect. That doesn’t mean he’s an insecure, wishy-washy failure. He’s a good person and people like him. Why else would I still be watching him after all these years?

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!