Thursday, October 20, 2016

Supernatural 12x02 "Mamma Mia"

Samantha Smith as Mary Winchester and Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester in Supernatural 12x02 "Mamma Mia" First, I just want to ask - does anyone really care about what Lucifer is going to do anymore? Or Crowley and Rowena for that matter? I mean, I get it. Crowley is fun and always has quippy one-liners, but their story is quite honestly played out. Yet here we are, yet again forced to worry about Lucifer taking over Rick Springfield, sorry Vince Vincente, and planning to... who knows. Do stuff. Who cares.

Meanwhile, Dean and Mary are being awkward around each other while Cas looks for traces of Sam. He eventually finds an old farmhouse that was rented out recently to a woman with a British accent, and oh yeah, it happens to be heavily warded. Now just what in the world could be going on in there? Dean wants to head off on his own to check it out, but Mary's like nope, I'm going with you, sonny boy. Lest we forget, Mary grew up in the hunting world. She knows her stuff.

In that farmhouse, Sam is being mind-tortured by Toni, who is giving him some hallucinatory something that makes him think they've done the nasty and are all chummy. You know, girl, that would've been a better tack than the one you're taking to try to get close to the Winchesters, but clearly you haven't done your research that well. Facts and whatnot don't tell you their personalities, I suppose.

Dean and Mary arrive, and Dean goes to check out the house, promptly getting captured by Toni. She slaps him around a bit, threatens some torture under the eyelid, then Mary powers in and kicks... oh wait, first she gets her own butt kicked, then she does do some butt-kicking of her own. Toni does get her in some kind of mind choke, but Dean manages to knock Toni out before it gets too bad. Nonetheless, it's not all fun and games quite yet. Because Toni's boss Mick shows up to try to smooth things over.
Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester, Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester, and Samantha Smith as Mary Winchester in Supernatural 12x02 "Mamma Mia"
Turns out, the British chapter of the Men of Letters were trying to get friendly with the Americans and work together to help take out the monsters in the US. Somehow, this doesn't ring quite true. Who really knows what they really want. We can only assume that they will end up having to work together, though, to fight some bigger evil sometime soon.

The best parts of this episode were all of the quieter bits with Mary and her boys. Sam got to finally meet his mom face to face, she got to bring Dean some pie and reveal that she never was a cook (the meatloaf came from the Piggly Wiggly), and she and Sam finally got to hug. It was quite touching, I must say. I'd like her to stay around a long time, but who knows if that's going to happen. I have a bad feeling she might die again saving her boys sometime soon. Sigh.

Random Thoughts:

- Really, though, the stuff with Lucifer is just hokey. Isn't it? I really don't care. And not to mention the stuff with the acid face grossness. Blegh.

- A lot of hoopla about this Mr. Catch. He better actually be interesting once he finally shows up.

- What does everyone else think about Mary? Are you enjoying her presence as much as I am?


Cas: Don't make things needlessly complicated as you humans tend to do.

Mary: I can handle myself. 'kay? All right, good talk.

Dean: You were good at this, weren't you?
Mary: Very.

Crowley: He has an aura. Supreme evil!

Dean: Who's Angry Spice?

Mary: We should call the internet and see what we can find out about these people.

Previous Episode

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Supernatural 12x01 "Keep Calm and Carry On"

Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester in Supernatural 12x01 "Keep Calm and Carry On"Well, kids, we're back, back again. Much like a long lost Winchester née Campbell, miss Mary. That's right, in case you forgot what happened at the end of last season, Amara decided to give Dean what he's always wanted. Or, some part of it. If she were really for real she would've brought back both of the Winchester parents, but beggars can't be choosers.

Yep. Mary's back, straight from the moment she died burning on that ceiling. Dean manages to convince her of what's happened after laying down some facts about her life and whatnot. But they only have a short time to reminisce, or whatever it is you do in such an awkward position, before they head back to the bunker and realize both Sam and Castiel are missing.

Castiel is alright, he may have gotten blasted away, presumably back up to Heaven or something, but he plummets back down to Earth and makes his way back to the bunker to tell Dean and Mary that some woman was there in the bunker and, presumably, took Sam after blasting him away.

Yep, woman in question is Toni from the UK Men of Letters chapter, who wants to track down all of the US hunters and basically indoctrinate them in how they do things across the pond. Mainly, they track down monsters before they kill anyone, and kill them first. Fairly soundproof plan, although as we've learned through the years, not all monsters are really bad. Nonetheless, after getting a local veterinarian to stitch up Sam's bullet-wounded leg, they take him to some basement to attempt to torture him into telling them what he knows. But, as Sam says, he's been tortured by Lucifer himself, so good luck with that, ladies. Oh yes, Toni has an assistant with her who incidentally I liked better than Toni in these scenes, so you know she's not long for this world.

The new trio of Dean, Castiel and Mary team up to try to figure out where Sam could be by hacking some cameras and eventually finding that veterinarian from earlier, who happens to have Toni's phone number. Dean gives her the ole "give me back my brother, you bitch" speech that he loves to do, and she genuinely does look scared, so she sends her lady minion out to track them down first.

Samantha Smith as Mary Winchester in Supernatural 12x01 "Keep Calm and Carry On"And boy does she, ramming straight into the poor Impala's back side, then proceeding to kick both Dean and Castiel's asses with some fancy brass knuckles, only to be impaled by Mary, because yaaasss mama Winchester should kick some butt, am I right? Of course, she never wanted this hunter life, but what can ya do?

Meanwhile, Toni is torturing Sam with some kind of toxin stuff that makes him see all of the bad things that have happened. He appears to start to lose it, and take a mirror shard to his own neck. But if I know Sam, I know it's a trick. But does Toni know Sam? No. She goes down there, and Sam nearly is able to overpower her and get away. He definitely would have if not for the burnt foot and the bullet hole in his leg. Poor Sammy. But he is not to be rescued in this hour, instead he gets to sit there and be lonely and hurting while Dean and Mary (and Cas) look for him some more.

What's going on with the demons, you wonder? Who the heck are you, wondering such things? Who the F cares anymore? But whatever, Crowley cares. He's been tracking Lucifer, who was not killed by Amara, but instead has been burning through vessels at an alarming rate as he is weak and whatnot. Crowley kills a couple demon minions, yada yada.

And that's about all she wrote for this season premiere. What did you think? Are you looking forward to this season?

Random Thoughts:

- I'm usually against Supernatural bringing people back from the dead, but I admit I am intrigued by Mary being around now. I think it works mostly because she wasn't in the show very much before, so it's not like beating a dead horse or something a la bringing back Bobby.

- I don't really see why Toni felt the need to torture Sam rather than try to work together to get the information. If she had shown up in a more helpful guise, they probably would've just told her everything she wanted to know. But whatever, that is less dramatic, I guess.

- One thing that is interesting about this season is that it's not clear if there is necessarily a "big bad" like in past seasons. To be honest, I kind of like that. For awhile now things have been way too apocalyptic, so hopefully they don't try to introduce another huge big bad again.


Mary: Dean.
Dean: Hi, Mom.

Mary: Is that a computer?
Castiel: Yes. I don't trust them.

Crowley: Well, like they say...duh.

Veterinarian: Student loans are a bitch, okay?

Dean: Saving people. Hunting things. This is our life. I think we make the world a better place. I know that we do.

Previous Episode -- Next Episode

Monday, September 5, 2016

Corn Cookies

Momofuku Milk Bar's Corn Cookies by

I've had the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook for some time now, but have only made a few of the recipes. Why? Because they often require ingredients I don't readily have on hand. Case in point: these corn cookies. But they've been on my mind for a while. Can what are essentially sugar cookies with a bit of corn powder in them be special?

The answer: Yes. Yes they can.

Momofuku Milk Bar's Corn Cookies by

These cookies are strange at first. They're both savory and sweet, some saltiness mixed in with the corniness mixed in with the sugar. And they just work. One should never doubt Christina Tosi and her baking prowess! 

They are also quite large cookies. Only four of them fit on a baking sheet at a time, but I don't know that they would be as good if they were smaller. Why is that, you ask? Because the outsides are nice and crisp, while the inside is the right amount of soft. If you made them smaller, you might get too much crisp and not enough soft. Of course, it's hard to say if that would for sure happen, so maybe I'll try it sometime. Oh shucks for me, having to make these again!

Momofuku Milk Bar's Corn Cookies by

What about this freeze-dried corn powder, you wonder? Well, places like Whole Foods does have freeze-dried corn. Of course, it's organic, which the cookbook actually recommends against because of the flavor. How crazy! Instead, I ended up buying mine online from Amazon. I honestly don't know if it makes that much of a difference between organic and non-organic. Maybe I'll have to test the organic kind out sometime just to see. Again, what a shame!

One thing I would say, I kind of wish I'd let these bake for 17 minutes instead of 18 because I think they are a little too done in the center at 18. The first batch I actually lost my counter, so I was just guessing, and I think they may have been slightly under the others which I did at exactly 18. Of course, I always prefer a more doughy cookie than a crispier cookie, so it could just be my own preferences shining through.

Nonetheless, these are highly recommended! So strange and so good all at once!

Momofuku Milk Bar's Corn Cookies by

  • 225 g (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 300 g (1 1/2 cups) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 225 g (1 1/3 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 45 g (1/4 cup) corn flour*
  • 65 g (2/3 cup) freeze-dried corn powder**
  • 3 g (3/4 tsp) baking powder
  • 1.5 g (1/4 tsp) baking soda
  • 6 g (1 1/2 tsp) kosher salt
Cooking Directions
  1. Combine the butter and sugar and beat on medium-high for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg, and beat for another 7-8 minutes. Obviously this is best done in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment that you can just leave there doing its job.
  2. Reduce the speed to low and add in the flour, corn flour, corn powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until the dough just comes together, no longer than 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. *Corn Flour - I used 1/4 cup all--purpose flour and 4 teaspoons freeze-dried corn powder for this.
    **Freeze-Dried Corn Powder - I bought freeze-dried corn online and pulsed it into a powder in a blender.
  4. Using a 1/3 cup measure, portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Pat the tops of the dough flat. Wrap the pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  5. Heat the oven to 350F.
  6. Arrange the chilled dough on silpat or parchment-lined baking sheets 4 inches apart. Bake for 18 minutes. They should be browned along the edges but still yellow in the middle.
  7. Cool the cookies completely on the cookie sheets before serving or saving. 
Corn Cookies by

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

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

Bailey's Brownies

  • 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