August 28, 2014

Iced oatmeal applesauce cookies

This is another Martha Stewart recipe. I have a binder full of recipes I thought looked good but haven't tried yet. This came from the binder.

I have a hard time determining when to take oatmeal cookies out of the oven, but this time I baked these the correct length of time. They were okay. The maple glaze was good, but it overpowered the cookie and was very sweet. I don't think the flavor of the cookie was strong enough to hold up to it.

These cookies also suffered from the comparison to those I made from Flour. Even though I baked those other cookies too long, the flavor was amazing. They were way better than these. I won't make these again.

August 21, 2014

Doctor Who: The Romans

This is a fun episode. I think it's one of the better 1st Doctor stories. This one never takes itself seriously, and it just feels like everyone is having a good time (even when bad things are happening). I swear William Hartnell seemed drunk in some parts. He was goofy and laughing, and he flubbed his lines more than usual. (In the very old episodes, they couldn't always waste time and money to reshoot, so sometimes they'd leave in when they messed up. Hartnell would say the wrong thing and immediately say the correct line, and the scene would move on.)

The Doctor, Ian, Barbara, and Vicki are squatting in a villa in ancient Rome. The owner is away, so they're making themselves comfortable. The running joke of the Doctor calling Ian by the wrong last name continues. The Doctor and Vicki decide to take a trip to the city of Rome and leave Ian and Barbara behind. 

Ah, Ian. Let me comb your hair.

Barbara takes this opportunity to comb Ian's hair to make him look more Roman. This is just the first time in this serial that screams Ian and Barbara really do have a thing for each other. Alas! Ian and Barbara are captured by slavers. Barbara gets sent to Rome, and Ian gets put on a ship. The ship gets wrecked, and he heads to Rome. 

the Doctor and Vicki

Meanwhile, the Doctor and Vicki have made it to Rome, where the Doctor is pretending to be a famous lyre player who has been called to play for Nero. Unfortunately, people keep trying to kill this famous lyre player. The 1st Doctor gets into a fight! He doesn't take it seriously. He's laughing the entire time he's beating up the assassin. 

Nero is kind of nutty.

Barbara ends up in Nero's palace, but never runs into the Doctor or Vicki. That's something very interesting about this serial. Barbara and Ian's story runs parallel to the Doctor and Vicki's. They don't intersect except at the villa. The Doctor and Vicki return to the villa thinking that Barbara and Ian never left. 

Oh, no! Ian!

Nero has a thing for Barbara, and he makes her watch a gladiator fight. One of the fighters happens to be Ian. Of course it is. To make a long story short, everyone escapes. Barbara and Ian get back to the villa before the Doctor and Vicki, and as I mentioned above, the other two never know that Barbara and Ian left. This leaves them just enough time to flirt more. 

Oh, Ian. Oh, Barbara. Happy sigh.

The Doctor accidentally gives Nero the idea to burn down Rome before heading back to the villa with Vicki. 

Excellent special effects! That's Rome burning.

Once they're all together again, they head back to the TARDIS, which is still sitting where it landed after falling off a cliff at the end of the previous serial. The Doctor reassured them earlier that the TARDIS could take off from any angle.

All in all, this is a very enjoyable episode. I like it a lot. Watching it for the Whoathon wasn't the first time I'd seen it, and I'll watch it again. I think it would be a good episode for someone who hasn't seen any 1st Doctor episodes. 


Doctor: First
Companions: Ian, Barbara, Vicki
Episode: #12, "The Romans," four parts- 'The Slave Traders,' 'All Roads Lead to Rome,' 'Conspiracy,' 'Inferno'
Adversary: Slave traders, Nero (sometimes)
Classic Lines: Vicki: "Well, it's alright living here, but it's boring. No wonder he gets irritable." Ian: "Heh! That's got nothing to do with living here, believe me."; the Doctor, to Ian: "I don't know that I was under any obligation to report my movements to you, Chesterfield." Barbara: "ChesterTON." the Doctor, to Ian: "Oh, Barbara is calling you."
Tuck This Away to Impress Your Friends: The Doctor accidentally gives Nero the idea to burn Rome.
Next Up: "The Web Planet"

August 14, 2014

Chocolate bundt cake

When I bought my bundt pan, I thought to myself, "Yep, I'm an old lady." I've had it for a little while but never used it. I picked a recipe for a chocolate bundt cake and went with it.

This is a Martha Stewart recipe I saved years ago in case I ever got a bundt pan. I was out of sour cream but happened to have creme fraiche, so I used that instead. 

The cake came out of the pan easily, which is something that concerned me going into making my first bundt cake. 

The cake was moist and dense, but I think it could have used more chocolate flavor. I liked it okay. The glaze was delicious. I can't decide if I'll make this again. I think I might look for other bundt cake recipes and try those instead. 

August 7, 2014

Pumpkin muffins with candied pepitas

Again, this is a recipe from Flour. I left out the candied pepitas and went for straight-up, plain pumpkin muffins. Some people only want pumpkin things in the fall. That's crazy talk! I like pumpkin all year.

The muffins were incredibly moist. The flavor was very good, but not as strong as I was expecting. Another thing that struck me was that it made more than twelve muffins. Usually, Flour's estimation of quantities is right on. This made eighteen muffins instead of twelve.

I liked the pumpkin muffins. My family went nuts for them. I'll be making these again.

August 1, 2014

Vanilla bean pound cake

Pound cake has been my nemesis for years. It never turns out right. Even the last time I made pound cake, using a recipe from Flour, it was only meh. I like pound cake. A lot. Not being one to give up, I tried again. I used a variation on that same recipe from Flour, but this time I made vanilla bean pound cake.

Wow. It was great!! The texture, the flavor- everything. It was delicious. It was moist. It was dense, but not too dense. It baked through evenly, and I didn't feel like the section on the top that cracked open was undercooked.

This is the best pound cake I've ever made. I don't know why a variation on the same recipe turned out so much better, but it did. I've been told that I need to make another one ASAP. I was told the night I made this that I needed to make another one that same night.
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