December 23, 2016

Holiday sugar cookies

I've never decorated sugar cookies with icing. I decided I wanted to do that and try a new recipe, too.

I chose Joanne Chang's holiday sugar cookies from her cookbook Flour. I've had great success with recipes from this book, and this one didn't disappoint, either.

They were very tasty! The cookies got rave reviews from my family.

I think I could've done a better job with the decorating, but it's not bad for my first try. I went with the icing in the recipe- not royal icing, which is the traditional sugar cookie icing. I did add a little vanilla extract, since there wasn't any and the flavor was a little boring without it.

The cookies themselves were much better than the recipe I used to use for sugar cookies. I'll definitely make these again.

December 20, 2016

Doctor Who: The Evil of the Daleks

This story is great! It really hurts my Whovian heart that six of the seven episodes are missing. I wish the BBC would animate this story like they've done for others.

The story starts with the Doctor and Jamie looking for the TARDIS, which has been stolen. If Admiral Ackbar had been there, he'd have told them it was a trap. Scientists Maxible and Waterfield were doing time travel experiments, and the Daleks showed up, took over, and took Waterfield's daughter Victoria hostage. So the Doctor and Jamie end up back in 1866 at Maxible's house, and there are the Daleks.

The Daleks keep getting beaten by humans, so they want to find out what that "human factor" is, distill it, inject it into themselves, and become invincible. This is logical in Dalek brains, I guess? The idea is that Jamie has to rescue Victoria and the Doctor will record his emotions as he goes along his quest. Again...we're stretching here, but this is still a fantastic story.

meeting Victoria
You know this isn't going to go well when Jamie shows mercy and the Daleks start yelling about human weakness. The Doctor pointed out that the person to whom Jamie showed mercy ended up saving Jamie's life moments later and became his ally in rescuing Victoria. The Daleks didn't really care about that.

The Doctor puts the "human factor" emotions into three experimental Daleks, gives them names, and teaches them that they're his friends. Then they all head to Skaro, with the Daleks thinking that this is brilliant and definitely not going to backfire at all.

It goes as expected when you put human emotions in a Dalek...they question orders and all hell breaks loose. The Doctor fools more Daleks into accepting good human emotions, and then they all start fighting each other and attacking the Emperor Dalek, which looks pretty crazy.

Emperor Dalek

Skaro is visited again and again in Doctor Who, and it always looks different...Anyway, the Doctor thinks this is the final end of the Daleks, but we know they keep popping up in the future. Victoria's father dies, so she joins them in the TARDIS at the end.

This is a terrific story. If it weren't almost completely missing, I think it would be a classic.


Doctor: Second
Companions: Jamie, Victoria
Episode: #36, "The Evil of the Daleks," seven parts
Adversary: the Daleks
Classic Lines: a Dalek, ordering Victoria not to feed the birds at the window: "You will not feed the flying pests outside."
Tuck This Away to Impress Your Friends: The Daleks won't be seen again for another four years. They next face the 3rd Doctor in "Day of the Daleks."
Next Up: "Tomb of the Cybermen"

December 10, 2016

Easy skillet-braised chicken with mushrooms

I was in the mood for something new, so I pulled out The Food Lab cookbook and went for braised chicken.

I'm not the biggest fan of dark meat, but it was tasty! Like the name of the recipe says, it was easy. Shallots, garlic, chicken broth, white wine, mushroms, a tiny bit of heavy cream, yum- all cooked in my saute pan. Easy is good. One pan is good. This was good.

December 9, 2016

Classic Who on Retro TV

Classic episodes of Doctor Who can be hard to find on television. I recently discovered a channel that shows Classic Who almost every day. It's called Retro TV. I'm not sure when I got this channel, since I'm normally only looking at the HD channels in the guide. I discovered it by accident when I was searching for Doctor Who in the Tivo search. There it was, down in the low numbers, right near Create.

There's an hour of Doctor Who on every weeknight. Right now they're showing the 4th Doctor. On Saturdays, there's two hours! That's at the end of the 7th Doctor's era now. Check it out!
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