Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Supernatural: Top 5 Season Eleven Episodes

Did you know the summer is nearly over? Where in the world has it gone? Time just seems to be moving faster and faster lately. Except when you’re watching the Olympics and want a certain even to just be on already and for them to quit with the teasing, then it does move at a molasses-like pace.

But I digress. The end of the summer means the return of fall TV. Of course, the CW likes to hold off their shows until October, with Supernatural being no exception. What else does the CW like to do when it comes to Supernatural? Move it to another night! That’s right, Supes will be back on Thursdays this upcoming season, starting October 13.

I gotta be honest, I think about quitting every season. It’s not the same show it used to be for me, and I feel like I make fun of it more than I enjoy it anymore, which is sad. But I guess if people enjoy my somewhat snarky take, then I will soldier on.

Before we get to season 12, though, let’s take a quick look back at the top episodes of this past season – season 11. I will say season 11 was one of the better ones of the back half of the series, so it was somewhat harder to pick the best episodes than it has been. Well, except for #1, because we all know what #1 is before I even get to it. 

Each title is a link to a scene from the episode.


Supernatural 11x16 "Safe House"
 
I was skeptical of this episode at first, as I am any revisiting of certain dead characters. But thankfully this was more of a flashback episode than a resurrection one. It was paced well and did a good job jumping between the present day and the past, and tying it all together. Enjoyable.


Supernatural 11x17 "Red Meat"

Though I mentioned above that season 11 was a better season overall than some of the others, that doesn’t mean I really enjoyed the main mytharc of the season. Rather, I enjoyed the standalone episodes quite a lot more, which is a huge turnaround from the first seasons. This was one such standalone, which stood out because of the way it messed with the normal Supernatural episode format.


Supernatural 11x12 "Don't You Forget About Me"

I will always love Jody, and this episode featuring her and the two girls dealing with some teenage angst amid supernatural drama was a hit to me. I feel like some people don’t agree as much when it comes to this episode, but whatever, this is my list and I can say what I want! I just hope they don’t ever decide to kill Jody or Donna because they are seriously some of the only women to survive on this show.


Supernatural 11x20 "Don't Call Me Shurley"

Oh man. I have never been a proponent of Chuck as GAHHG, but whatever, it happened. And this episode made me like it much more than I thought I would. The way it was structured was great, and that song at the end? Awesome.


Supernatural 11x04 "Baby"

I mean, come on. You knew this was going to be the top episode of the season. The Impala has been as much a part of the family as Sam and Dean, so having this episode as sort of from the POV from the Impala herself was great. Not to mention the brotherly heart-to-hearts that felt truer than a lot of them have lately, just because of exhausting the same stuff over and over again. Anyway, yes, top episode of season 11, and will probably make it into the top 20 at least of the entire series.

Worst Episode of the Season: Beyond the Mat

That’s it for now! Are you looking forward to season 12 and the return of Mary, or are you as burnt out on this show as I am, that at this point it’s like, meh? And what were YOUR favorite episodes of season 11? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Bailey's Brownies

Bailey's Brownies by freshfromthe.com

Sometimes, you're at home and you just get the hankering to bake something. Of course, you don't have everything on hand to make just whatever you want, but brownies? Brownies are easy and the supplies are almost always on hand. And this time I decided I wanted to jazz things up a bit and add in some Bailey's Irish Cream. Because everything is better with Bailey's, right? Especially chocolate things.

I mean, you can't really go wrong with the simple Bailey's in a glass with some ice cubes, but why not add it into your brownie batter as well? If you're thinking to yourself, I bet they don't even taste like Bailey's after they're baked... you're wrong! These really do have the signature Irish cream flavor! Even moreso than I thought they would, if I'm being honest.

Now, the original recipe called for a whole 1/2 cup more sugar, but I thought that would be way too sweet, so I reduced that a bit, and these are still sweet, but not overly so. I also suggest you use a square pan and reduce the baking time as well. Mine came out a little more cake-like than I prefer, but I think reducing the time to what I've put below will help alleviate that a bit. The ones in the pictures baked for 35 minutes, if you like that consistency.

Finally, I must apologize for the slightly blurry nature of some of these photos! I could not get my hands to stay still for the up close shots. Sigh.

Bailey's Brownies by freshfromthe.com

Bailey's Brownies

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2-3 squares baking chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Bailey's Irish Cream Liqueur
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Melt the butter and the chocolate together in a microwave safe bowl, or in a small pan on the stove. If using the microwave, start with 30 seconds, mix, then 30 seconds, then mix, then in increments of 10 seconds until the chocolate is melted through.
  3. In a mixing bowl, cream the melted chocolate mixture with the sugar for 2-3 minutes until fluffy. Add in the eggs, beating one at a time. Add in the flour and stir until just combined. Finally, stir in the Bailey's.
  4. Pour into a greased 8x8 baking pan, and bake for 30-35 minutes until just barely done.
Adapted from How Sweet It Is

Bailey's Brownies by freshfromthe.com

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Classic Light and Fluffy Waffles

Recipe for Light and Fluffy Classic Waffles by freshfromthe.com.

Well, it's been a while, hasn't it? I know! But here's what happened - I moved into a new apartment a few months ago. One that magically has a dishwasher. Having not had a dishwasher for many years, I thought everything should be given a go in it, to make sure they were actually clean. The mistake, however, was including the Kitchenaid mixer metal attachments. Note to everyone: DO NOT put those in the dishwasher! They will come out with this strange silver film all over them. It's something about aluminum and blah blah. I just assumed they would be stainless steel. WRONG!

Anyway, so the story is this: these attachments have still not been replaced. So the baking being done has been rather limited since that happened a couple months ago. As you can see, this recipe isn't even one that requires baking!

Recipe for Light and Fluffy Classic Waffles by freshfromthe.com.

Yes, today I am talking about waffles! I haven't made waffles in some time, mostly because these banana pancakes are super easy and have become something of a tradition on weekends. But this past weekend, I woke up thinking I wanted to do something different. I wanted to do... waffles! However, the waffles I've made in the past have not always lived up to the hype. I love waffles, but my homemade ones have been... well... meh.

I guess it's The Pioneer Woman to the rescue, because these waffles are in fact her recipe, and I can confirm that they are deliciously light and fluffy. I'm pretty sure it has to do with the separating of the eggs and getting some stiff egg white action going on. Also? I had to beat those things by hand. See above re: mixer issues. I would highly recommend using a mixer, my friends. Highly. My arm was not so happy about this whipping by hand situation.

But, yes! If you want a nice, light, fluffy, and sweet waffle recipe, give this a go! I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Recipe for Light and Fluffy Classic Waffles by freshfromthe.com.


Classic Light and Fluffy Waffles

Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 whole egg yolks
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted
  • 4 whole egg whites
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat your waffle iron at its regular setting (mine only has one setting!).
  2. Sift together (or whisk, which is what I did) the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a bowl.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, egg yolks, and vanilla. Gently stir that into your dry ingredients about halfway, then add in your melted butter. Continue mixing gently until combined.
  4. In another bowl (or use a mixer, which is easier), beat your egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Carefully fold those into your batter until they are just about all the way mixed in.
  5. Scoop out your batter into your waffle iron per your individual waffle iron's instructions. Eat, and enjoy! 
Recipe via The Pioneer Woman 

Recipe for Light and Fluffy Classic Waffles by freshfromthe.com.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Supernatural 11x23 "Alpha and Omega"

I suppose I was sort of right last week when I said they were going to do a slightly more subdued season finale in comparison to the episode leading up to it. Though this episode had action, it was much more about the power of words than straight up physical fisticuffs. Did I like it? Hmm. I'm not sure. But let's back up and go over what happened first, shall we?
Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester, Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester, in Supernatural 11x23 "Alpha and Omega"
Last time, the group came together to try to take down Amara, but she was like psha and hit Chuck with some killing blow thing that has resulted in the sun starting to dim. You know, because the light is going out of the universe. Sam is gung ho about finding another way to fix things, but everyone else is ready to throw in the towel. But this is Supernatural, so there's no throwing in the towel.

They can't cage Amara anymore, that won't do. The only thing left is to kill her. The only way to kill her is with a preponderance of light - basically the power of 10,000 suns or thereabouts. Well, ole GAHHG isn't quite feeling up to that task at the moment, but Cas does have a novel idea - what about souls? They're basically made of light, etc. But where to get such a hefty amount of souls?

Sam and Dean round some up at a nearby asylum that they've just ignored until now for reasons unknown. Though a couple dozen in comparison to the thousands needed seems rather paltry, but whatevs. Crowley isn't really able to get any demon souls because of Hell shenanigans, and Cas can't rally the angels because they're just ready to die with dignity. But luckily, our reaper friend Billie happened to be spying on the Winchesters, and she's down to corral some souls for the big Amara-killing bomb. Thing is, they need someone to get it close to her. So, like duh, they're going to send in Dean. With the souls inside of him. Therefore, yet another silly goodbye scene that we all know isn't going to amount to a real death for a Winchester, but whatever.

While the others visit a bar to wait out their time, Dean tries to talk some sense into Amara after she tells him she's not an idiot and can see all the souls inside of him. But, she's had a realization. She never really wanted to destroy all of the beautiful stuff her brother created, she was just jealous. You know how little kids get when they see their sibling doing something cool that they weren't part of. Smash boom! She spirits her brother over and they reconcile, aw shucks. So, rather than everything going kaput by the complete lack of darkness and light, they're going to go off together to dance in the cosmos and relish in their powers, or something. But not before Amara tells Dean she's going to give him what he's always wanted. Now what could that be?
Emily Swallow as Amara, Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester in Supernatural 11x23 "Alpha and Omega"
Meanwhile, in England, some lady is given a lot of screentime. She has a secret timeline and map and all kinds of stalkery things about the Winchesters, and appears to be heading off to Kansas to find them. Which, well, she finds Sam and Cas, there at the end. They think Dean has died, the jokers. She angel sigils Cas away, and basically tells Sam that the Men of Letters, London Chapter, are quite upset at what they've been up to, and they want to bring him in. We're supposed to think she's shot him, but they don't actually show it, so... sure.

Which leaves the final scene with Dean, getting what he's always wanted. A quick aside here, my boyfriend piped up in the background when Amara said that, "What, they're going to bring the dad back?" And I thought to myself, no, it wouldn't be the dad. It would be... the mom! Well, duh, they only visited her grave a few minutes ago in the episode too. That's right, Mary Winchester is back. Dun dun dun!

Random Thoughts:

- It was painfully obvious they were setting up that girl to be some kind of antagonist for next season. Man oh man. I'm not sure how the Men of Letters are going to be the "big bad" of next season, but maybe they'll try something new on the show and not go for the whole big bad scenario quite as gung ho.

- It was neither confirmed nor denied whether Lucifer was dead or alive. So he's probably alive somewhere, all incorporeal and whatnot.

- They definitely left the door open for Chuck and/or Amara to make a reappearance at some point. I mean, really, they couldn't have killed them with the whole balance scenario they had set up, because it wouldn't have made sense for the world to keep on ticking if they were both gone either.

- What does it mean for Mary to be back? That's way more interesting than the Men of Letters crappola. What will she think of what's happened? We've never really seen their dynamic other than in dream sequences or with young Mary, so hey, this is one return from the death I'm not as crazy annoyed by.

- That's all she wrote for season 11. My goodness. I can't believe how long this show has been on!

Quotes:

Chuck: You know how when you're driving, and a bug hits your windshield? I'm the bug.

Rowena: So that was a gun in your pocket.

Chuck: I didn't know dogs had breakfast.
Dean: Cas is back.

Dean: No chick flick moments, come on.
Sam: Yeah, you love chick flicks.
Dean: You're right, I do.

Previous Episode

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Supernatural 11x22 "We Happy Few"

Well, that was a little... anti-climactic. Funny, I was thinking to myself, they're going to do this big battle against Amara, what does that leave for the final episode? Are they going Buffy on us and doing something off beat? Not quite, not quite. But let's get to that in a sec.

Recap/review of Supernatural 11x22 "We Happy Few" by freshfromthe.com.So, after last week, Lucifer is hanging out in the bunker, none too happy with Chuck aka his dad. He just wants an apology for being thrown into Hell. You know, nothing big. But Chuck doesn't want to go there, insisting he did the right thing, what he had to do. Luckily, the Winchesters are there to help mediate the situation. Or, sort of. Dean basically says that apologies don't have to actually mean anything, but of course that's the whole point. Lucifer wants to feel like his dad felt remorse for what happened. In the end, Chuck does admit to that, and that Lucifer was his favorite, when he wasn't supposed to have favorites.

What does that mean for the fight to come? Well, it wasn't just Lucifer on Team God back in the old days - it was also all of the other Archangels, but they are currently either dead or stuck down in a Hell cage, and it would take too long for him to bring them back. That leaves a backup plan - to get help from various factions - the demons, the angels, and the witches. Dean heads off to convince Crowley, while Lucifer, with a tagteam from Castiel, recruits the angels, leaving Sam to work on Rowena and her witch friend(s).

Of course, in the end everyone comes together. Their plan - lure Amara into a trap. So they do. Rowena, with the help of some witches, blasts Amara with a spell. The angels blast down from Heaven with their white light power, and then the demons join in with their black smoke to weaken her. Which, they do. That leaves Lucifer to stab her with, I'm assuming, a magical blade of some sort. Now it's GAHHG's turn, right? He's going to kill her, right?
Recap/review of Supernatural 11x22 "We Happy Few" by freshfromthe.com.
Well, no. You see, ole Chuck doesn't want to kill her. He wants to trap her back in the box. There's a whole speech about yin and yang and how they have to both exist for the balance of the world. Dean is rather unconvinced of that truth, and would rather they just kill her, but that has to do with his weird bond, blah blah who cares. But, in order to trap her again, they have to transfer the Mark of Cain as a sort of seal. Sam agrees to take it, even though that seems stupid because obviously they'd just end up back where they started if they removed it again. But it doesn't really matter, because as soon as Amara can sense that her bro is trying to trap her again, even after he apologizes to her and all, she gets super mad and blasts him with her dark powers. But first she kills Lucifer. Forgot to mention that bit. At least, it seems like she kills him, right? Castiel? We'll find out next week, I'm sure.

Which basically leaves Chuck slowly dying, so she can destroy his world while he's still alive to watch it disappear. So, Darkness still not defeated. Ba dum bum.

Random Thoughts:

- That music at the very end felt weird and long and just overall strange. That was a drawn out beat if ever I saw one.

- It seems like we're heading to an end game of Amara and Chuck dying together and canceling each other out. What that means for the world, who knows?

- The preview for next week kind of confirmed it, but it seems also like Dean is going to be the key somehow to getting Amara to stop, thanks to their weirdo bond. After all, she did look wistful when she saw that photo of little Dean with Mary.

- Only one more week left this season. What are your hopes for next season?

Quotes:

Chuck: Kids, huh?

Dean: Worst episode of Full House ever.

Sam: We all know that you are...God. Can you be a little less... Lordly?
Chuck: But... I am the Lord.

Dean: You smell like a dumpster inside a liquor bar.

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