Captain Planet and the Planeteers

Episode: Mind Pollution
Blintzes

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

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

Recipe makes about 10 filled blintzes.

Ingredients

Filling:

2 pounds ground beef

2 medium onions, finely chopped

2 teaspoons parsley flakes

1 ½ teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

 

Blintzes:

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 cups milk, room temperature

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1 ¾ cups flour

Oil or Nonstick Cooking Spray

Butter

 

Directions

Filling:

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

Blintzes:

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

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

Putting It All Together:

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

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

captainplanetblintzCaptain Planet Blintz (2)

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

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

A Christmas Carol

Scrooge’s Hash Dinner

I can’t let the Holidays pass me by without mentioning Charles Dickens’ little nugget of joy: A Christmas Carol. I know it’s been said and done a million times, but it truly did help shape how we celebrate Christmas today. My very favorite animated version of the classic tale is this production right here. However, it seems to me that the rest world either hates it or doesn’t know it exists. But with its catchy tunes and stellar cast, it’s easy to see how I became captivated by it. I can’t even remember how the tape ended up in my house. Maybe Santa? It’s just always been here, waiting patiently for Christmas to roll around, so we can watch it over and over again.

Sure, you’d think I’d want to cook up something grand like the prize turkey, but I’ve decided to emulate pre-ghostly visitors Scrooge and make hash instead. He orders it all the time at his local tavern because it’s the cheapest thing on the menu. He doesn’t even notice when the waitress switches his order and gives him scraps while his dog, Debit, gets his meal. Yeah, hash is basically the king of leftovers and not too far from scraps, but it’s the tasty version and you can add whatever you want to it.

Recipe makes 5-6 servings.

 Ingredients

 Hash:

4 large potatoes, peeled and chopped

¼ cup milk, half-and-half, or heavy cream

Salt

Pepper

Granulated garlic

4 tablespoons butter

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 ½ cups cooked and chopped corned beef, fresh or canned

1 16 ounce can of baked beans

1 tablespoon ketchup

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

½ cup shredded cheese, optional

 

Carrots:

 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into medallions

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons honey

½ tablespoon lemon juice

½ tablespoon water

Salt

Pepper

 

Broccoli

1 large head of broccoli, cut into florets and chunks

2 tablespoons butter

Salt

Pepper

 

Directions

Hash:

Place potatoes in a large saucepan or pot. Add salt and water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, 15-20 minutes. While the potatoes are boiling, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and heat half-and-half in a small saucepan over medium heat until it simmers. Drain off the potatoes when cooked. Mash and add heated half-and-half. Stir together and season with salt, pepper, and garlic. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft and translucent. Add the corned beef, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes.

Add baked beans to a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes until warmed through and it loses some of its liquid.

Spread baked beans along the bottom of a baking dish. Layer the corned beef mixture over the beans. Spread the mashed potatoes on top. Bake for 30 minutes. If adding cheese, wait until the 20 minute mark to do so. Remove from oven.

Carrots:

Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan or pot over medium-high heat. Add salt and carrots and cook until carrots are tender, 5-8 minutes. Drain off the carrots and add them back to the pan. Add butter, honey, lemon juice, and water. Cook over medium heat until a glaze forms and coats the carrots. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.

Broccoli:

Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan or pot over medium-high heat. Add salt and broccoli and cook until broccoli is tender, 3-4 minutes. Drain off the broccoli and add it back to the pan. Melt butter and coat broccoli. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.

Putting It All Together:

Scoop out portions of hash, carrots, and broccoli onto a plate. Now dinner is ready!

DSC_0657 (2)DSC_0661 (2)

He tells the waitress that his “hash” isn’t fit for a dog, but I find the real thing pretty good. Maybe that’s the real reason why he orders it when he can afford a feast every night. You can’t really tell because he doesn’t seem to care about anything but his profits. But after his fateful Christmas Eve, he’s become older and wiser. He now knows that he’ll never find happiness in his stacks of money. True happiness comes from helping others and living and loving. Not just on Christmas, but every day of the year.

I wish you and yours the Happiest of Holidays!

I’ll be taking a break for the next couple of weeks.

Tune in next year for more Cartoon Cravings!