Tiny Toon Adventures

Episode: The Acme Home Shopping Show-I Was A Teenage Bunny Sitter
Mashed Topato Man

Whenever I’m in need of a heaping helping of the 90’s, (Which is honestly every day.) I can easily get my fix by watching a little Tiny Toon Adventures. It’s so funny and smart that I can never get tired of the show. Every time I watch it, I find something that I never noticed before, whether it’s a pop culture reference, gag, or just a lovely bit of acting or animation. And episodes that I never paid much attention to in the past have quickly become some of my favorites. I get a kick out of all the parodies Tiny Toons does and I love when the episodes are presented as other shows, say for instance, something you’d find on a home shopping network. By the time the show gets to the last segment, Buster has gotten himself all sorts of hurt thanks to the Fly-Boy Beanie, so he’s very happy to see that the last item is a nice, safe book. I’m very happy too because I love “I was a Teenage Bunnysitter.”

I’ve got a weakness for the little kiddos in Tiny Toons. (I can’t get enough of Little Plucky!) But this segment is all about Duncan Potter! As much as Babs hates babysitting, she’s pretty good at it once she gets off the phone. (Instead of killing Duncan when he drives her crazy, Babs vents her frustration by screaming outside.) When Duncan asks for mashed potatoes, or mashed topatoes, Babs makes him some from scratch. She even shapes the mashed topatoes into a man and gives him psghetti hair at Duncan’s request. I’ve eaten my weight in mashed potatoes over the years, but never in the shape of a man. And never with spaghetti. Now I can’t miss an opportunity to play with my food, so one mashed potato man coming right up!

Recipe makes about 4-6 men, depending on amount of mashed potatoes used per man.

Ingredients

2 pounds of russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

¼ cup heavy cream

¼ cup (½ stick) butter, cut into chunks, plus a butter pat for each man

Salt and white pepper to taste

4-6 ounces spaghetti noodles

 

Directions

Mashed Topato Man:

Place potatoes in a large pot and fill with water. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain.

Place the pot back over the heat. Add the heavy cream and butter. Once the butter has melted, remove from the heat and add the mixture to the potatoes. Using a masher, food mill, or similar tool of your choice, mash the potatoes until smooth. Season with salt and white pepper.

Psghetti Hair:

Bring a large pot full of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook, stirring occasionally, until the noodles have cooked through, 8 minutes. Drain.

Putting It All Together:

Place a heaping scoop of mashed potatoes on a plate. Sculpt a man out of mashed potatoes and place a butter pat on/in his center. Add some spaghetti noodles to give the man hair. Now go all Tyrannosaurus Rex on that mashed topato man!

tiny-toon-topatotiny-topato-mantiny-toon-psghettitiny-psghetti

Okay, so I’m no artist, but I like my mashed topato man. (My sister says he looks like a cute, little pig.) But if I eat my mashed topato man, he’ll die. Actually, I already ate him. Sorry little guy. And I did it in a slightly more civilized way than Duncan. I didn’t go full dinosaur, but I did have some fun eating my mashed topato man. I think I could really get along with Duncan, at least for a little while. Based on my babysitting experience, I’m positive that little kid would run me ragged. By the end of the night, I’d be conked out like Babs. I’m getting kind of tired just thinking about it. Maybe I’ll just buy the book instead.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

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Justice League Unlimited

Episode: The Balance
Pasta Shells with Peas

The number one reason I’m such a superhero nut, is because I stumbled into the DC Animated Universe at a very young age. (I didn’t get to really know Marvel until later.) I watched every episode of every show I could and I still wanted more superheroes. Lucky for me, I didn’t have to wait long before Justice League Unlimited was born. I already loved Justice League, but adding all of the extra superheroes just made everything more fun. The core seven will always be my favorites, but I got to fall in love with so many new people and I felt like I was becoming quite the hero expert. The greatest thing about JLU, is getting to go beyond the masks and capes and seeing the superheroes as “regular people” living and working together, fighting and playing, and even dating. (I wasn’t the only one falling in love.) Every interaction is so cute.

Just seeing the heroes eating together at the commissary in the Watchtower is enough to make me giggle. That still applies even when they’re being huffy with each other, like Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl. The Flash was trying to be sweet and have them eat dinner together, but they just couldn’t get along. (Their food wasn’t even a safe topic.) Judging from their trays and the trays of most of the other heroes, I’m figuring that pasta shells with peas is that day’s special. I don’t know who cooks up there, but they are feeding superheroes so I’d have to assume the food’s pretty good.

Recipe makes seven 1-cup servings.

Ingredients

1/2 pound large pasta shells

4 cups frozen peas, thawed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion

3 cloves garlic

1 cup chicken broth

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 teaspoon parsley

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt

Pepper

 

Directions

Sauce with Peas:

Add the oil to a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth, heavy cream, peas, parsley, salt, and pepper. Simmer until the sauce has thickened, 5-6 minutes.

Pasta Shells:

Bring a large pot full of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook, stirring occasionally, until the noodles have cooked through, 10-12 minutes. Drain.

Putting It All Together:

Lightly toss the hot noodles in the sauce. Add the Parmesan cheese and dish out!

JLU PastaJLU Pasta Peas (3)

This dinner is pretty humble compared to Flash’s overloaded tray, but I don’t burn through calories as quickly as he does. I have to say though, the pasta shells with peas taste better than most ( Okay, all.) of the cafeteria food I’ve had. I don’t know if it’s the pasta or the sauce or the two of them coming together to do some good. Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl may be like oil and vinegar, but everything in this dish mixes perfectly.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

Baby Looney Tunes

Episode: Save Our Cinnamon
Cinnamon Rolls

I’ve always been a sucker for baby/kid versions of cartoon characters. I don’t know if it’s because I found them easier to relate to when I was a kid, or if it’s just that the little versions are too cute. Yeah, cute. I’m definitely going with cute. Baby Looney Tunes is no exception. They don’t act much like their adult selves that I know and love, but I like the idea of seeing the characters growing up together in a more modern environment and getting along (for the most part). And I loved watching and waiting to see which characters got the “babyfication” treatment. I mean, of course Bugs, Daffy, and Sylvester are adorable, but have you seen Baby Gossamer? (He’s so cute!) Every time I went to Six Flags, I begged my parents for all the Baby Looney Tunes plushies I could get my hands on because I couldn’t go any longer without that cuteness in my life. Cuddliness aside, Baby Looney Tunes is a sweet, little show, filled with lessons about using your imagination, and trying your best, and doing the right thing, and growing up. (You know, all of those cartoon standards.)

But you know what else is sweet? Cinnamon rolls. Baby Looney Tunes is full of cookies and cakes, but the king of sweets in this show is the cinnamon roll. Granny’s sister, Auntie, owns a bakery called Cakery Bakery Doc which has the most addicting cinnamon rolls. I’m pretty sure the Babies were more excited about eating cinnamon rolls than seeing Auntie. (Daffy was not a happy camper when she brought in a cake for them.) But when the bakery is on the verge of shutting down, the Babies have no problems getting their hands dirty making a giant cinnamon roll worthy of the Skinni’s Book of World Records. As much as I’d love to make a record-breaking, giant cinnamon roll of death, I’m going to play it safe and just bake up a bunch of yummy, regular-sized ones.

Recipe makes 16 cinnamon rolls.

Ingredients

Dough:

1 cup warm milk (105-115 degrees F)

2 ¼ teaspoons yeast

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

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

2 eggs, room temperature, beaten

2 egg yolks, room temperature, beaten

4 cups flour

 

Filling:

1 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons cinnamon

Pinch of Salt

2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly

 

Icing:

4 ounces (½ cup) cream cheese, room temperature

½ cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature

2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Directions

Dough:

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 2 tablespoons of sugar in the warm milk. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes, or until foamy. In a large bowl, combine the rest of the sugar, salt, butter, eggs, egg yolks, and 2 cups of flour. Add the yeast mixture. Mix in the rest of the flour until the dough comes together. 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, 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.

In a small bowl, make the filling by combining the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well and set aside.

Punch down the dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into an 18 X 12-inch rectangle. Evenly brush the melted butter on the dough. Sprinkle the filling over the dough and spread to cover evenly. Pat down on the filling just a bit to encourage it to stick. Beginning with the long edge closet to you, use your fingers to tightly roll the dough into a cylinder. Use a serrated knife to cut the cylinder into 16 rolls. Place the rolls on a couple of greased baking sheets and allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake the rolls, rotating the pans halfway through, for 30 minutes, or until the rolls are browned and cooked through.

Icing:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter. Add the vanilla extract. Slowly mix in the powdered sugar and beat until the icing is smooth.

Putting It All Together:

Allow the rolls to cool slightly and generously spread icing on top. Now you can enjoy!

babylooneytunesBaby LT Cinn Roll

I love cinnamon rolls as much as the Baby Looney Tunes do, so I know these won’t last long. If it were possible, that sweet smell would have me floating all over the place like the Babies. But what I truly love about this episode (besides the excuse to make cinnamon rolls) is that a little bakery education is thrown in there. The Babies are truly making a cinnamon roll from kneading the dough, to spreading the filling, to rolling it, and baking it up. It takes some work, but cinnamon rolls (and saving bakeries) are definitely worth it.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation

Mayo and Cream Cheese Sandwiches

For many long years, school was the bane of my existence. And the only way I could find sweet relief was Summer Vacation. Summer was such a magical time of year where I could let the stress of learning slip from my mind for a short while and do whatever I wanted. And I’ve done it all: the beach, camping, and vegging the whole 12 weeks away in front of the boob tube. Really, the vegging out part was my favorite and I could never really start enjoying my break until I had watched Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation. I had never seen something so accurately describe the roller coaster of emotions that accompanies Summer Vacation. Plus it was done in hilarious Tiny Toon fashion and managed to smash just about everything I love about the show into it.

The scenes that really steal my heart though, are Plucky’s misadventures with the Pig Family. I just adore Hamton, but his family is a little strange. They’re loving, but strange. They even bring their own food to the drive-in. And what they bring is on a whole other level of odd. They all eat mayo and cream cheese on white with the crusts cut off. I’d rather have the jumbo cheeseburger, chili fries, and a cherry pie, but maybe I’m missing out on something fantastic. There’s only one way to find out.

Recipe makes enough bread for 6 sandwiches, but you can make as many as you want.

Ingredients

Cream Cheese, room temperature

White Sandwich Bread Or

Bread:

¼ cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)

1 ¼ teaspoons yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

½ cup, plus 2 tablespoons milk, room temperature

1 teaspoon salt

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

2 1/4 cups bread flour

 

Mayonnaise Or

Mayonnaise:

2 egg yolks, room temperature

3/4 teaspoon dry mustard

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 cup oil Corn, Vegetable, or Olive

 

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 bread flour and salt. Add yeast mixture and milk 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 hour 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 another 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.

Mayonnaise:

In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks, dry mustard, salt, and sugar. Whisk in the lemon juice and white wine vinegar. Begin adding oil, drop by drop, while constantly whisking. Once the mixture begins to thicken, you can add the oil in a thin, steady stream, while still whisking constantly. Keep whisking until all the oil is incorporated. This is a lot of work on your arm, so you can do the exact same thing in a food processor or blender if desired. Let the finished mayonnaise sit for an hour at room temperature and then cover and chill.

Putting It All Together:

Take two slices of bread and cut off the crusts. Spread mayo and cream cheese on the bread and bring the slices together. Enjoy your sandwich!

Tiny Toon SandwichTiny Toons Mayo

Alright, these sandwiches will probably never sound appetizing, but they’re not half bad. I don’t plan on packing any the next time I make the pilgrimage to “Happy World Land,” but if that’s all I’ve got, I’ll eat it. I mean, they are Hamton’s favorite. And when you’re on a road trip, you take what you can get because you never know what (or who) is waiting for you down the road.

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!

 

Space Jam


Swackhammer’s Courtside Feast

Easter is just days away, so I know that poor Easter Bunny is working overtime. Although I appreciate his efforts, he’s not the only Bunny on my mind this time of year. Sorry, Mr. Cottontail, but in my house, you have to share your day with Bugs. And it’s not just because I run around yelling, “I wanna Easter Egg,” every year. The real reason is Easter Morning, 1997. I ran to see what goodies the Easter Bunny had brought and stopped dead in my tracks when I saw a pristine Space Jam VHS waiting for us kids. Our Easter Baskets were full of candy, but we ignored the sugary goodness completely. We loved Space Jam so much and weren’t expecting it to be there, so we super freaked out. You would’ve thought it was Christmas.

Since that day, I’ve seen this movie hundreds of times. Looney Tunes teaming up with Michael Jordan to win a basketball game against aliens sounds like the silliest idea ever, (because it is) but it works beyond well. I’ve always found movies that pair live action and animation to be enchanting and Bugs Bunny has always been one of my heroes. Plus having the Nerdlucks steal the talent of NBA powerhouses was the coolest thing I had ever seen. The Monstars are so tough and cool, but they’ve got just the right amount of stupid sprinkled in. And there wouldn’t be any Monstars without the greedy Mr. Swackhammer. He’s such a fun villain and seeing him being pampered during the Big Game is just too funny.

His table is full of food and he’s got more bread and wine coming. (And pie, a pork chop, or sorbet, perhaps.) I assumed he’s got potatoes and green beans and I can tell that’s a jello mold from a mile away. Now what meat is he eating? Sure, it’s probably just a roasted turkey leg, but since I have absolutely no idea what it is, (and I couldn’t find any turkey legs for the life of me) I thought I’d sort of treat it like manga meat and make my own. And by that, I’m basically talking about making a meatloaf on a stick.

Recipe makes 2 large servings.

Ingredients

Meat:

1/2 cup panko

1/4 cup milk

1/4 onion, minced

1 clove garlic

1 tablespoon butter

1 pound ground turkey

1 egg

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon brown mustard

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 chicken or turkey drumsticks with the meat removed

 

For Breading:

1/2 cup flour

1 egg

1 cup panko

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

Oil for Deep Frying

 

Potatoes

1 pound new potatoes, sliced

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

 

Green Beans

1 pound green beans

2 tablespoons butter

Salt

Pepper

 

Gelatin

1 box strawberry or raspberry flavored Jello Or

1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin

3 tablespoon sugar

2 cups fruit juice: Raspberry or White Cran-Strawberry or something along the same color

 

Directions

Meat:

In a small bowl, combine panko and milk and set aside.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small pan. Add onions and garlic and sauté until onions are soft. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine panko-milk mixture, turkey, egg, onion and garlic, salt, pepper, brown mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix until just combined. Divide in half and place meat mounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Shape the meat mounds into ovals so they resemble the leg-type shape. Stick the bones into the shapes. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Remove from oven and cool completely.

In a shallow bowl, combine flour, salt, and pepper. In a second shallow bowl, beat the egg. Place the panko in a third shallow bowl. Dredge one “leg” in the flour. Shake off the excess and dredge in the egg. Then coat it with the panko. You may have to dredge and coat a couple of times to get an even coating. Repeat the dredging process with the other “leg.” Don’t use the bones as handles just yet or they might come apart. Save that for when you’re trying to eat it. Chill the “legs” for 15 minutes.

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

Fry the “legs,” one at a time, until golden on all sides, 2-3 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Potatoes:

Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan or pot over medium-high heat. Add salt and potatoes and lower the heat. Simmer the potatoes until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Drain off the potatoes and add them back to the pan. Melt butter and coat the potatoes. Season with pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder and remove from heat.

Green Beans:

Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan or pot over medium-high heat. Add salt and green beans and cook until green beans are slightly tender, 6 minutes. Drain off the green beans and add them back to the pan. Melt butter and coat green beans. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.

Gelatin:

Pour gelatin and ¼ cup of juice in a small bowl. While the gelatin is blooming, combine the sugar and remaining fruit juice in a medium saucepan. Place the saucepan over medium high heat and bring the juice to a boil. Remove from heat and add the bloomed gelatin. Mix until the gelatin has completely dissolved. Pour the gelatin mixture into a small mold or bowl and allow it to come to room temperature. Chill the mold for 4 hours or until the gelatin has set. Remove the gelatin from the mold and onto a small plate.

Putting It All Together:

Place some green beans on a plate. Place a “leg” on top and scoop out some potatoes. Serve alongside the gelatin, a cup of coffee, and a glass of your favorite red, fancy drink. Enjoy!

Space JamSpace Jam Food

 

I can totally see these “legs” being sold at Moron Mountain! They are pretty looney looking. Now I have something a little more fun to eat while watching Space Jam besides cereal or junk food. Hey, any excuse to watch this movie is fine with me. It still makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And yes, the scene near the end where Michael Jordan steps onto the baseball field still moves me to tears.

Have a Happy Easter, Everybody!

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!