Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Supernatural 10x18 "Book of the Damned"

Can I just say - finally?! After so many episodes where it just felt like blah blah let's waste some time until we get to the interesting stuff, tonight was actually some interesting stuff. Finally!

Recap/review of Supernatural 10x18 "Book of the Damned"As you may or may not remember, Charlie went off to points unknown to see what she could figure out about the whole Mark business. Turns out, she was able to turn up the Book of the Damned after searching pretty much around the globe. Only now she has some creepy dudes on her tail with strange markings on their arms. Luckily, she manages to get away from them, but they're able to track the book with this magical compass, so she calls up Sam and Dean for help.

They meet her in one of Bobby's cabins, as apparently he has quite a few in random spots, and she gives them the dish on the book. Basically, it's in such an ancient language that no one can read it. Some nun had dark visions many years ago and wrote the book on pieces of her own skin in her own blood. Yeah.... that's definitely a book you want to be messing with. And on top of all that, the book seems to be sort of calling out to Dean, wanting him to take it and run away with it.

Eventually, Sam is able to figure out that it's in some ancient dialect, but the words don't seem to make any sense when translated. Charlie deduces that it must be in code, only they aren't having any luck in deciphering it. Meanwhile, Dean has looked up the dudes who were after Charlie, and they are part of an old family called the Stynes that have basically caused mayhem over the years thanks to the help of the book, which they lost about 800 years ago or thereabouts, and now they want it back. Dean runs into one of them, Jacob, at the local gas station when picking up some snacks, and though he is able to fend them off, they follow him back to the cabin. He urges Sam to burn the damn book of the damned, because nothing good can come of using it, despite the dude saying that there really is a cure for the Mark inside it. They have some fisticuffs, and Sam throws the book into the fire - or does he?

Recap/review of Supernatural 10x18 "Book of the Damned"I admit I saw this twist coming, because duh, when Sam was talking about how he couldn't keep hunting if his brother wasn't around, you just knew he wasn't really going to get rid of the seeming one shot at getting it done. Instead, he pretend to burn the book, and then took it to Rowena in secret to have her decipher it and remove the Mark. What will be the price? That remains to be seen. Dun dun dun.

MEANWHILE! Castiel is on the hunt for his grace with human-Metatron in tow. Metatron is enjoying the human existence thanks to some waffles, but is clearly delaying their search for the grace. Finally, he leads Cas to a library that he says he had another angel give him clues to where Cas' grace is hidden. That is - he had another angel hide it so he couldn't be tortured for the information. Of course, Metatron is always sneaky and secretly writes some angel-hurting sigils around the library, putting Castiel down for the count. Turns out, he had hidden the demon tablet there, which he takes and runs off with. BUT, he also really did hide Cas' grace there, which Cas manages to find and restores himself. So, no more worrying about Cas' missing grace.

And in a fun little scene, Cas and Charlie meet. I guess I never realized they hadn't met before, but it was a cute scene, and he healed Charlie's bullet wound (oh yeah, she was shot in that opening scene too) and her carpal tunnel. Aw.

Random Thoughts:

- Is it just me, or did Cas' angel wings not look quite so healthy when he got his grace back? They looked kind of falling apart.

- Did anyone really believe that Sam actually burned that book? I mean, you knew Rowena was going to have to come into play in all of this somehow, and seeing as it's some kind of spellbook, it only makes sense she would have to get involved with it. What that means for them in the long run, who knows. Because who knows what the heck she's going to want in exchange for her help. Seems a bad idea to let her stay in possession of such a thing.

- What does the demon tablet do? I honestly can't remember if they ever found the demon tablet before, or if it was only the angel tablet? Man, canon. I just know it's probably not good if Metatron is running around with it.

- Did I count not one but two classic rock songs in this episode? Nice!

Quotes:

Metatron: Goosebumps! Don't even get me started on those. Creepy. And yet, arousing.

Dean: When was the last time either one of us was on a beach?
Sam: Never.

Metatron: You were human. Don't you miss this?
Castiel: No. I don't miss digestion. Indigestion.

Metatron: Sorry about the mess. I guess I'm lactose intolerant.
Castiel: Let's never speak of it again.

Charlie: I thought you'd be shorter.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Avocado Pound Cake

Avocado Pound Cake by freshfromthe.com

Have you ever gone to the grocery store, all ready to buy certain things with specific meal ideas in mind, only to find they are literally out of every single thing you wanted? Welcome to my weekend! I mean, sheesh. Was it because of the whole Easter holiday business or what? Nonetheless, I was foiled. I wanted to make some homemade ice cream to share with you this week, but no.

Instead, I searched for what I had already sitting around in my kitchen, waiting to be used, and discovered I had some very ripe avocado on my hands, and I've always wanted to try baking with avocados. Of course, I could have also made avocado ice cream, but... but... sigh. Ice cream was not meant to be. Nor was a broiler chicken with potatoes, but I digress.

Avocado Pound Cake by freshfromthe.com

Let me tell you about this Avocado Pound Cake. The original recipe calls for cornmeal, which of course I don't just keep lying around, so instead I put in a bit more flour to make up the difference. In the end, the middle of the cake drooped a little, but it still cooked all the way through. I'm not sure what caused the middle to drop here - was it because of my baking soda? Too much mixing? The lack of cornmeal? Whatever the case, oh well. The cake still tastes delicious, and that's the most important part, right?

Avocado Pound Cake by freshfromthe.com

One thing I especially enjoy about this pound cake? The crust is super yummy. Normally I am not a crust person, but this crust kind of turns into this sugary crunch that may be my favorite part of the whole thing! Otherwise, the avocado adds a nice extra moistness to the cake, but not an overly avocado flavor. In fact, you may not even know it has avocado in it if someone didn't tell you first.


Avocado Pound Cake

Ingredients
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 ounces buttermilk
  • flesh of 1 ripe avocado (about 1/2 cup mashed)
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray your loaf pan (or grease and flour it, if you prefer).
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside for now. Set out your eggs to come to room temperature at this time as well.
  3. In your stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until it's nice and soft. Add in the sugar and beat until that's light and fluffy, about four minutes. Add in the avocado and beat for another minute to get it incorporated, making sure to scrape down the sides and get all that goodness in there.
  4. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating for a minute after each addition. Then mix in your vanilla extract.
  5. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add in half of your flour mixture, then all of the buttermilk, then the rest of the flour mixture. Only beat that until just combined.
  6. Pour that into your loaf pan and place in the oven, turning it down to 325F. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Mine took longer than this, but I used an 8 inch loaf pan rather than a 9 inch, so that is why. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes before you invert onto a cooling rack to let it cool all the way.
  7. Slice and enjoy! 
Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker
Avocado Pound Cake by freshfromthe.com

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Supernatural 10x17 "Inside Man"

Supernatural 10x17 "Inside Man"Rowena said something in tonight's episode that I feel pretty much sums up my feelings: you're stalling! Or something close to that anyway. Watching this show compared to others like Arrow and The Flash, which go through storylines really quickly, it makes this whole Mark of Cain storyline feel neverending, and not going much of anywhere. I mean, we're at episode 17 now, so we must be getting close to a resolution here, but an entire season? Sheesh. Whereas other things that would be interesting to last more than one episode, don't. Maybe I'm the only one feeling this way? Hmm.

Despite all of the above, this episode was actually one of the better ones of late. There was some movement in the whole Mark storyline, and the whole Rowena/Crowley neverending storyline that was beginning to feel extremely repetitive and, dare I say, kind of pointless. So let's start with that one and get it out of the way here. Basically, Rowena is tired of Crowley not acting against the Winchesters, which we've heard her complain about ad nauseam. She decides to take things into her own hands and, in the guise of going on a date, takes the fight to Dean himself. She tries to use some big spell written in blood on her skin against him, but it doesn't do a thing thanks to the Mark. So, she heads back to the den of Hell and beats herself up, then pretends it was Dean who did all that, trying to get a rise out of Crowley to send him after Dean.

Well, Crowley does go to see Dean, but only to have a wee chat. Dean tells him Rowena lied and has this whole speech about family not necessarily having anything to do with blood, so Crowley heads back and kicks Rowena out. And, oh yes, forgot this bit which may come in to play later, she also claims that the Mark is just a curse, and as a curse, it can be removed, though she doesn't know how. So, Rowena heads off to points unknown with goals rather unknown, leaving Crowley to pursue his own... unknown goals. Hmm. Did I miss the goals somewhere? Hmm.

Supernatural 10x17 "Inside Man"
Why was Dean hanging out by himself where Rowena could just pay him a visit? Because Sam and Castiel are teaming up to try to get to Metatron, since he claimed he knew how to get rid of the Mark. To do that, they need to get into Heaven, but the angels are barring Cas from entering and releasing Metatron. So they come up with this brilliant plan to use a psychic to contact Bobby in Heaven and get him to help open up the portal.

Do I really need to recount how that goes down? No. Bobby escapes his slice of Heaven and opens up the portal. Cas jumps in and manages to escape with Metatron. Metatron is all like I have all the leverage here, you can't do anything without me, so you better let me go, so they finally get some smarts and take out his grace, turning him mortal, and shoot him in the leg for good measure. Which then forces him to reveal that he, in fact, does NOT know how to get rid of the Mark. But he does know where some of Cas' grace is hiding. While Cas gets to decide what to do with that information, Sam heads back to the bunker, where he reads a heartfelt letter from Bobby basically saying, you know, he shouldn't hide this stuff from Dean, yada yada.

Random Thoughts:

- I enjoyed the whole pool hustling scene, though I didn't recount it above as it's not really necessary to the overall story. But those guys were kind of idiots to not realize he was hustling them. I mean, come on, dudes. It was pretty obvious when he said let's make it $300. Duh.

- What did you all think of the return of Bobby? At least it was in Heaven and not another way of resurrecting him, I guess. I mean, don't get me wrong, I like Bobby, but I really didn't like the Ghost Bobby storyline.

- Why wouldn't they ever try contacting anyone else in Heaven like that? Like, oh, say, their parents? I mean, Papa Winchester surely would have been a help in that situation too, no? Or are we saying he isn't actually up in Heaven?

- What exactly were those angels planning to do with Bobby at the end there? 

Quotes:

Sam: I was thinking about seeing a movie.
Dean: That could be cool.
Sam: It's a French movie.
Dean: You mean like nudie French?
Sam: Even better. It's about a mime, that's secretly a cockroach.

Crowley: You're my mother, I don't want to see anything. I've been to Hell, thanks.

Oliver: What are you?
Castiel: I'm an angel.
Oliver: You can't be. I'm an athiest.

Crowley: Squirrel.
Dean: Boris. Where's Natasha?

Bobby: This is the scribe of God? Looks like a Fraggle.

Previous Episode

Friday, March 27, 2015

Chocolate Soda Cake

Chocolate Soda Cake by freshfromthe.com

Sometimes laziness wins out, am I right? That and curiosity. They say curiosity killed the cat, but when it comes to baking, does the saying hold true?

Well. I mean, yes. Sometimes it does! Some of you have probably heard that you can make a cake with just two ingredients - a box of some cake mix and a can of soda. Or pop. I'm from Oregon and I grew up calling it pop, but since living in LA and being surrounded by soda-sayers, I feel like I'm supposed to say soda? Ah, life. People also don't say the full name of freeways in LA, either. It's the 405 to the 101 to the 110 to the 10 to the 5, etc. All "the" something. But in Oregon it's I-5, I-205, I-405. Probably because there are way less freeways. But I digress.

Cake. We're talking about cake!


So, first and foremost - yes, you can make a cake with just a box of cake mix and some soda. It doesn't have to be an actual soda drink like Coke or Pepsi or whatever else. I just used sparkling water here to see if that would work, and it does. But despite what other people may say, you kind of do have to mess with the directions on the box before baking. I was going by the directions on the box, then noticed only 10 minutes unto the 25 minute cook time that the cake was already looking close to done. So, in my instructions below, I advise you lower the oven temperature and shorten the baking time by about five minutes. I'm just glad I was paying attention, or this would've been one overdone cake.

The question remains, though - just because you can make a cake this way, does it mean you should? I can tell you that, no, I will likely not make a cake this way again. Why's that, you ask? It's extremely crumbly. The egg that is normally in there has a purpose, people. You may not be able to tell from these photos 100%, but it was very hard to get out a normal piece of cake without it crumbling everywhere. However, a different experiment would be adding in something else to help as a binder. You could try some applesauce, pumpkin puree, mashed banana. Those would all be ways to add a little more moisture and bind-i-ness, and perhaps get a more cake-y cake out of the process.

But if you just want some fast and easy cake you can scoop into and dollop some ice cream on top of, then hey, this totally works for that.




Chocolate Soda Cake

Ingredients
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • 12 ounces soda/sparkling water
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 325F. Spray the bottom of a 9x13 pan (or you can do it however you like, in two round cake pans, cupcakes, etc.).
  2. Mix together the cake mix and the soda water. It can be slightly lumpy. Pour into your prepared pan and smooth out.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a tester inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean. Your cooking times will vary depending on the pan size you are using.
Chocolate Soda Cake by freshfromthe.com

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Supernatural 10x16 "Paint it Black"

Supernatural 10x16 "Paint it Black"I don't mean to be a drag, but... snooooooooze. Like, literally, I was falling asleep watching this episode. Was it just me? The last couple have felt like a lot of treading water. Which is when you start to think how cable series have it right when it comes to serialized stuff. Because if this show was only 12 or so episodes a season, we wouldn't be faced with so much filler waiting to get to interesting stuff. Just saying.

But, recapping is what I do here, so I suppose I shall get on with it. The brothers Winchester find themselves on a new job, where some dudes are killing themselves rather terribly. Though at first there doesn't seem to be much connection between them, they soon figure out that all of the men were Catholic and went to the same church, and all of them happened to go to confessional right before they died. Suspicious, much?

Rather than focus too much on the actual investigating of Sam and Dean, the show decided instead to have us listen in on one sister telling another her tragic tale of love and loss. It was quite clear all of this was taking place a long time ago in the past, to me, before the "big reveal" partway through the episode, but whatever. Turns out it's a vengeful spirit all along, possessing people's bodies after she hears them confess to cheating, because that's what her paramour did in the past, then killing them before leaving their bodies once more. Of course, the brothers aren't quite sure of this at first, so Dean has a confessional moment wherein he talks about his feelings and blah blah. You know, I'm sure back in like season two or four, a confessional like that would've made my heart go pitter pat, but now it just seems like more of the same, over and over.
Supernatural 10x16 "Paint it Black"
Anyway. The other sister tells them this woman's stuff was sent over from Italy, along with this journal where she confesses her murder, so Dean is like let's burn that stuff since there are no bones to find (she was burned at the stake, yada yada), while Sam is like wait there could be clues. Luckily Sam does not listen to Dean here, because he discovers that the crazy woman cut off part of her finger to be ground up and used in the paint her dude painted her with. So, burn the painting, and the ghost burns up with it. Bing, bang, boom.

MEANWHILE! You may have been wondering what is going on with Crowley and his wee mother Rowena. Or maybe not, but you're going to find out anyway. She's in a huff because she feels like her baby doesn't care about her. Crowley, either feeling magnanimous or bored or something, decides to deliver the head coven woman Olivette to Rowena to basically torture and huff indignantly to. She wants to know about some special potions and whatnot that were taken many moons ago, and Olivette confesses it was the Men of Letters that took it all, and that Sam and Dean happen to be some of the last Men of Letters around. Thus, Rowena's hatred of the brothers intensifies, as surely she is now on the hunt for them as well as their bunker that apparently contains these magic witchy things.

And... that's pretty much all she wrote, apart from the patented brother moment in the car at the end of the episode, where Sam basically tells Dean yet again that he needs to keep fighting and they'll figure out how to get rid of the Mark, which is a lot of the same refrain we've been hearing for a while now.

Random Thoughts:

- Next week's episode at least looks interesting, even though they are doing what they love to do and not letting dead characters stay dead. I wouldn't have thought I was looking forward to Castiel and the angels being back in the mix, but dang if I don't just want the story to move forward already.

- Witches seem crazy powerful in this world. Like, she can make mini faces appear on the back of heads and turn people into hamsters? That seems kind of scarier than some of the other things they've faced in the past, just because of the unpredictability.

- I know a lot of people are not huge fans of Rowena. I think part of it is they've made her a bit too whiny and vindictive rather than seeming like she has her crap together and is super powerful. Obviously she's powerful enough to have stayed alive this long, and certainly she is good at manipulation, but it's still not quite clear what her real goal is, and maybe that's the real problem people are having with her.

Quotes:

Dean: We'll figure out what's going on with Terry Sloan.
Sam: Probably nude selfies.
Dean: I'm feeling good about this.

Sam: Sister, I've got a question.
Dean: I'm sure it's a different question.

Dean: Tell me you didn't think that nun was hot. I think she had a little thing for me too.
Sam: Dean, she was married to Jesus.

Dean: I believe there is a god, but I'm not sure he still believes in us.

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