Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School

Fungus Fudge

“Raggy, rook! Writing!” I’m not trying to say “lighting” or “lightning.” I really do mean “writing” because this is the beginning of the Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School post! I love Scooby-Doo and I have quite the soft spot for this movie. Most of Shaggy’s and Scooby’s adventures involve some guy in a costume, but every once in a while, they have to face off against real deal monsters. And when Shaggy takes on a job as a Gym Teacher/Coach (With Scooby and Scrappy as assistants, of course.) at Miss Grimwood’s Finishing School for Ghouls, the guys get a little more than they bargained for. (He should’ve paid a little closer attention to the name.) Miss Grimwood’s isn’t the typical fancy finishing school. It’s full of girl ghouls with some very famous fathers. We’re talking the mightiest monsters in the world: Count Dracula, The Werewolf, Frankenteen (Frankenstein’s Monster), The Phantom, and The Mummy. Now it’s all fun and games training the girls for their annual volleyball match against the neighboring Calloway Military School, but things get downright dangerous when the Witch of the Web, Revolta, kidnaps the girls and tries to turn them evil.

But long before Shaggy ever lays eyes on Miss Grimwood’s and meets the girls, he’s, in typical Shaggy fashion, most excited to get to the school to try some of its fancy cooking. Unfortunately, the food is anything but fancy. The garden is full of rotten fruits and vegetables. (They make sure to weed out all the fresh stuff.) And thick, tasty-looking steaks are reserved for the Venus Flytraps. The goodies for the school’s big Halloween Open House include Swamp Brownies, Caterpillar Cookies, and Poison Ivy Punch. Even when Colonel Calloway stops by to arrange their volleyball game, he is offered refreshments with the Grimwood flair. Tea and sweets seems harmless enough to Miss Grimwood, but the Colonel isn’t a fan of Fungus Fudge and Toadstool Tea. If you couldn’t tell by now, I kind of have a thing for making weird food, so Fungus Fudge is right up my alley. I have no clue just what kind of fungus Miss Grimwood uses in her fudge, so I thought that typical, non-poisonous mushrooms would be a safe bet.

Recipe makes 9 large pieces of fudge.

Ingredients

4 ½ cups sugar

6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped

1 ¾ cup, plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream

2 ¼ tablespoons corn syrup 

6 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks

1 ounce dried mushrooms, processed into a fine powder (I used a blend that included porcini, shiitake, and oyster, but it all comes down to flavor preferences.)

Directions

Grease an 8 X 11 inch baking dish.

In a large saucepan, combine sugar, chocolate, heavy cream, and corn syrup. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and the chocolate has melted. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan and cook the mixture, without stirring, until the thermometer reads 234 degrees F.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the butter and mushroom powder. As much as it pains you, don’t stir the mixture until it drops to 130 degrees F. Stir the fudge until it’s well-blended, thickened, and loses its shine. Pour and spread evenly into the prepared pan and let it sit until firm. This could take about 4 hours. Slice the fudge and eat up!

scooby-fungus-fudgescooby-ghoul-fudge

I guess my Fungus Fudge wouldn’t meet Miss Grimwood’s standards because it doesn’t taste moldy, but I’m more than happy with it. There is a little bit of a mushroomy earthiness to it, but it works really well with the chocolate. If I were on a strict military diet, I’d break it for a piece of this fudge. Colonel Calloway took one bite of Miss Grimwood’s and dropped it, (Right into Matches’ mouth.) but I think he’d like mine. And I know Scooby-Doo would like it too because he had no qualms with the piece he stole from Shaggy. Would you expect anything different?

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

Scooby Doo, Where Are You!

Episode: Spooky Space Kook
Shaggy’s Jaw-Stretcher Special

There aren’t a whole lot of shows out there that left an impression on me as strong as Scooby Doo, Where Are You! Most of my favorite things today are: cartoons, mysteries, dogs, and food. Coincidence? I think not. There’s no way I could watch that show over and over and not take something from it. Whether I turned on my TV morning, noon, or night, Scooby Doo was on. For me, Scooby-Doo easily became synonymous with Cartoon Network. And I guess I’m not the only one who thought that. (How else did he get elected President?)

Another Scooby Doo influence is that even though I’m a fraidy cat, I love legends about ghosts and monsters. If I heard someone talk about a haunted mansion, zombie, or outer space ghost in the area, I’d be the second person on the scene. (I’d need the first person to use as a shield.) I’d try to stay out of trouble, but with my luck I’d end up just like Shaggy and Scooby and come face to face with the ghost/monster/scary thing. Either that or I’d end up getting trapped or something, like “Danger Prone Daphne”, or losing my glasses somewhere, like Velma. I share the worst traits with the members of Mystery, Inc., so they probably wouldn’t let me join. But I can be persuaded with food too, so maybe they actually would. Shaggy and Scooby seem to have the most fun anyway. I’d just stick with them and pass the time eating strange, big sandwiches, like Shaggy’s Jaw-Stretcher Special. Yeah, chocolate sauce on a meatloaf and bologna sandwich is odd, but it beats a sardine and marshmallow fudge one.

Recipe makes 1 sandwich.

Ingredients

You can add any amount of stuff to your sandwich, but here’s kind of a guideline:

3 slices Bologna

3 slices Meatloaf

1 slice Swiss Cheese

1 slice Cheddar Cheese

1 leaf Lettuce

The following can’t actually be seen on the sandwich, so they are optional:

Tomatoes

Green Olives

Ketchup

Mustard

Mayonnaise

 

5 Slices of Wheat Sandwich Bread Or

Bread:

½ cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)

1 ¼ teaspoons yeast

½ tablespoon sugar

½ cup, plus 2 tablespoons milk, room temperature

1 ½ tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon salt

¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened and cut into chunks

2 ½ cups whole wheat flour

 

1 Bottle of Chocolate Syrup Or

Chocolate Syrup:

1 cup water

2 cups sugar

1 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

 

Directions

Bread:

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in the warm water. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes, or until foamy. In a large bowl, combine whole wheat flour and salt. Add yeast mixture, milk, and honey and stir to combine. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in the butter. Once the butter is fully incorporated, continue kneading the dough for 8 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and place in a large, clean bowl. Lightly coat dough with oil and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until it has doubled in size. Punch down the dough and shape into a loaf. Place the dough into a greased 9-inch loaf pan, cover, and let rise for an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake loaf for 30 minutes. Place the pan on a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes. Turn the bread out and let rest on the rack until completely cooled. Slice.

Chocolate Syrup:

In a medium saucepan, combine water, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Bring to a boil and whisk until sugar, cocoa powder, and salt dissolve. Whisk in the corn syrup and vanilla extract. Allow the cocoa mixture to simmer until it has slightly thickened, whisking occasionally. Remove mixture from heat and cool completely.

Putting It All Together:

Tomatoes, green olives, ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise can be added to any layer of the sandwich but the top.

Place down a slice of bread. Add a slice of Swiss cheese and top with another piece of bread. Add a lettuce leaf and two slices of meatloaf. Top with another slice of bread and place two slices of bologna on top of that. Add another slice of bread and a slice of cheddar cheese. Cover that with one more slice of bread, a slice of bologna, and a slice of meatloaf. Drench the sandwich in chocolate syrup. Now it’s ready to be eaten!

scoobydoo jawstretcherScooby Doo Sandwich

Okay, I’ve got strange tastes, I know. But this is a really good sandwich. Plus it’s super fun to eat. It’s difficult to get everything in one bite and this one’s tiny compared to some of the sandwiches Shaggy makes. And this one is an absolute mess. Now so am I. I got syrup everywhere and had trouble getting through my sandwich because I couldn’t stop laughing. See, even after all these years, Scooby Doo, Where Are You! still makes me laugh. I don’t think I’ll ever find the “Recipe For My Love” of this series (I know, wrong episode, but I couldn’t resist.) but the recipe for this sandwich is close enough.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

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!