September 24, 2014

Ultimate streusel cake

This streusel bundt cake is a Martha Stewart recipe. I've been on a Martha kick lately.

This cake has an obscene amount of streusel. I like streusel, so that wasn't a problem for me. It does make the cake very crumbly when you cut it. It was falling apart around the bottom (which had streusel) and at edges of the middle, where the streusel was exposed to the pan and not inside the batter.

The cake was okay but not great. I was expecting it to be much better than it was. I wasn't going to make this again, but my family loved it. I guess I should consider keeping this one around. I think I'd put more streusel in the middle rather than on the bottom next time.

It sure does look pretty.

September 18, 2014

Doctor Who: The Crusade

"The Crusade" is one of the Doctor Who serials that is missing episodes because of the BBC purge of their archives. Episodes one and three exist. Episodes two and four are lost. I watched reconstructions of the two missing episodes. These included still photos on screen, with the audio from the show as well as narration if there was important action not covered by the photos.

This is an enjoyable serial. The Doctor, Ian, Barbara, and Vicki arrive outside the town of Jaffa during the Crusades. Saracens kidnap Barbara, and the others befriend Richard the Lionheart, the king of England.

Ian wants to go get Barbara immediately. (Of course he does! Again, I'm on record as thinking that Ian and Barbara have a thing for each other.) The TARDIS crew ask Richard for help, and one of his knights helps convince him to send Ian to the sultan's camp. King Richard knights Ian, and off he goes. Meanwhile, El Akir, the obvious baddie among the Saracens, is doing some serious plotting. He doesn't like Barbara at all. The Doctor and Vicki hang out with the king and his sister, Princess Joanna. Joanna finds out that Vicki is really a woman and stops her from continuing to pretend to be a boy.

The Doctor and Vicki always have a good time together. He's much nicer to Vicki than he was to Susan. I'm not sure if that's his character evolving or if it's a deliberate choice. Vicki is sweet and smart and not afraid of her own shadow, but the Doctor also continues to be nicer to everyone in general.

Back to the story...More plotting. The king wants to marry his sister to the sultan's brother and forge a peace. She's having none of that. There is intrigue upon intrigue.


Eventually, Ian finds Barbara and everyone makes their way back to the TARDIS. There's a funny bit at the end. The knights see the TARDIS leave, and they think that "Sir Ian" has been whisked off by fiends- poor Sir Ian! Heh.

When I looked at the episode list, I realized that I'm almost to the end of the Barbara and Ian era. I hate to see them go!


Doctor: First
Companions: Ian, Barbara, Vicki
Episode: #14, "The Crusade," four parts- 'The Lion,' 'The Knight of Jaffa,' 'The Wheel of Fortune,' 'The Warlords'
Adversary: El Akir, the Saracens
Classic Lines: the Doctor: "I almost wish I'd been knighted, too." Vicki, in reply: "That'll be the day!"; Princess Joanna, to the Doctor: "There's something new in you, yet something older than the sky itself."
Tuck This Away to Impress Your Friends: Julian Glover, who plays the part of Richard the Lionheart, later plays the character Scaroth in the 4th Doctor story "City of Death."
Next Up: "The Space Museum"

September 15, 2014

Cheddar bits

I made homemade Cheez-Its!

This is another Martha Stewart recipe. I saw this on Martha Bakes and thought I'd try it. YUM. These are some tasty cheddar crackers. The secret ingredient? Cayenne pepper. I never would have guessed.

I made these according to how Martha did on Martha Bakes rather than exactly how the recipe said to make them. The recipe says to chill the dough and then roll it out on a floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness, then chill it again. On Martha Bakes, she rolled each of the four sections of dough into a four inch by five inch rectangle. She rolled them between plastic wrap, and then chilled them to firmness before cutting them into one-inch squares. That worked well. The rectangles were thicker than 1/4 inch, and I had to bake the crackers a lot longer than the recipe said, but they turned out great. This recipe is a keeper.

September 9, 2014

Butterscotch pudding

The chocolate pudding from Flour was outstanding, so I didn't expect anything less from the butterscotch. It was fantastic.

Those black specks are from a vanilla bean.

It was thicker and not as rich as the chocolate pudding. The process for making it was a little different. The flavor was amazing. There isn't much else to say. It was great! 

September 3, 2014

Doctor Who: The Web Planet

This story is unbearably boring. Skip it. It's boring, and it's six episodes long! It does have ant people as bad guys, though.

The Zarbi. And a cockroach with fringe?

The Doctor, Ian, Barbara, and Vicki are all stuck on this planet, as usual. They run into ant people, bee people, and something else entirely.

Really, this is terrible. The only reason to watch is the weird creatures and bad costumes. In investigating this episode, I see that the Menoptra are referred to as butterfly-like. I think they look like bees.


I had a very hard time sticking with this one to the end. I can't even give a summary of what it's about because the plot is so boring.

Is that a brain or a spider?

This episode was especially disappointing since the previous one was so good. On to "The Crusade!"


Doctor: First
Companions: Ian, Barbara, Vicki
Episode: #13, "The Web Planet," six parts- 'The Web Planet,' 'The Zarbi,' 'Escape to Danger,' 'Crater of Needles,' 'Invasion,' 'The Centre'
Adversary: the Zarbi, the Animus
Classic Lines: the Doctor, on communicating with the Zarbi: "Apart from rubbing our legs together like some sort of grasshopper, I doubt if we can get on speaking terms with them."
Tuck This Away to Impress Your Friends: Vicki is from Earth in the future, but has never heard of aspirin.
Next Up: "The Crusade"
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