Thursday, February 9, 2017

Tom Hiddleston

I daresay Tom Hiddleston was probably the first actor I genuinely wanted to meet in real life. Not just as a fan, but as an equal. I have always felt like Tom was rather down to Earth and just charming. I am not alone in this thinking. MANY woman love and adore Mr. Hiddleston. And who can blame them, really? I mean, everything he does is with such grace and humility that you can't help but love him. And with the accent, I mean, come on! I could literally listen to him all day long. He could read a phone book and I'd melt into a puddle on the floor. And so would everyone else.

He's everyone's favorite 'bad guy' as Loki in Marvel's THOR series alongside Chris Hemsworth. Though I was never a huge Loki fan. I have loved his portrayal of nice and kind characters. Cranford, for example. Even though he's so blonde in that one, it's a little weird. Here is Tom Hiddleston at Nerd HQ this last
summer. It's a half hour well spent (there may be some swearing, I can't remember):

And here he is doing an impersonation of a velociraptor:

He held the #1 spot for a good long while. And he only lost it after a fall from my good graces after I watched him in Only Lovers Left Alive. I get that it's an artsy movie, but the language was atrocious and the content left so much to be desired and after it was over I remember thinking to myself "What even was the point of that movie. AND, why did Tom do it? Didn't he read the script beforehand? WHY DID TOM DO THAT MOVIE?!" and he slipped a little then. And he did a number of projects that, while artistic, left me wondering why he chose that role. But, I am a bit of a traditionalist. I don't usually go to a movie because it's artistic or unique. I don't write those things either. So, I found myself parting ways with Tom and accidentally fell into the abyss of Richard Armitage that replaced Tom.

And, I don't think we need to talk about the crushing, heartbreaking time last summer when I had to take him entirely off the Top 5 list because of a girl that will remain nameless, but none of us really liked her before, and them together made us like her less, am I right? I am. I totally am. And it wasn't because she was dating him. It was because when she was dating him we saw her for what she really is. Because next to him, there was a difference. He is a genuinely good person. I think he would try and save the world if he could. Because that's the type of person he is. He goes to Africa to help the poor and needy. He'd probably give you the shirt off his back if he thought you needed it. I'm assuming. Because I don't actually know him. But, I like thinking of him that way. I like thinking of him as the charming and sweet guy that spends his free time helping those less fortunate than himself.

 So. Tom Hiddleston. Have you read the GQ article that was just barely written about him? If not, read it HERE. It's worth it, believe me. It reminded me of why I gave him the #1 spot to begin with. It reacquainted me with Tom and made me want to meet him all over again. I would love to sit down and just chat with him for a while. I feel like we'd be friends.

And, it gave me hope that Tom will be in movies that I can watch and not wonder what he was possibly thinking. Plus, he's coming back this November as Loki in Thor:Ragnorok. Can we be excited for that? ABSOLUTELY. I think it will be a fantastic film. And his portrayal of Loki is just beyond stellar. He does such a good job as an actor and gives so much to each role. It's phenomenal.

Have you guys seen him in The Hollow Crown? GO CHECK IT OUT. Also, his portrayal of F. Scott Fitzgerald in Midnight in Paris is so great. And, let's not forget his role in Cranford. It was brilliant. For all of his many roles, check out his iMDB profile.

He loves to sing and dance wherever he goes. He is always seen talking to everyone he can and just being a genuinely good person. The world needs more people like Tom Hiddleston in it. And I need to be friends with him. Just saying.

And, in honor of his birthday, just a few days after my own, we have made this amazing Lemon Loaf. I adapted the recipe from Averie Cooks. Check it out HERE.

Lemon Loaf

3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon extract, to taste (MUST be lemon EXTRACT. It won't work the same with lemon oil or lemon juice!)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Lemon Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice, or as necessary for consistency

For the loaf, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Averie makes one big 9x5 inch loaf, I make 3 smaller loafs instead. You want to prepare the pans by either spraying them with a cooking oil with flour, or by greasing and flouring your pans. Then set them aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and sour cream until smooth. Then, slowly stream in the oil while whisking. Don't over mix your batter. Mix until just combined and then add the lemon extract and zest. Then, add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until just combined. There may be lumps, but it'll be fine.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s) and bake in the oven for 50-52 minutes if making just one loaf, or about 35-38 minutes for three smaller loaves. Check after 35 minutes. They should be lightly browned with a toothpick coming out clean from the center.

Once the loaves are done, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool in the pans before removing them. Once cooled, remove from the pans and prepare the glaze.

For the glaze, mix the lemon juice slowly into the powdered sugar in a bowl until the desired consistency is reached. You don't want it too thin, so don't add all the lemon juice at once and then stir. Add it slowly, stirring constantly so it doesn't get too thin. Then, once the desired consistency is reached, drizzle the glaze over the bread. It will taste so amazing, I promise. And then you can go watch a Tom Hiddleston movie and people won't be sure if you're drooling over him or the bread. In reality, it'll be both. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that! Enjoy!!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Orlando Bloom

Have you ever watched a movie and realized that someone in that movie was, like, super attractive. And you've seen them in other things, but for some reason this movie and this time just clicked for you? And even if all your friends thought this actor was attractive before, suddenly, somehow, you got thrown on the bandwagon. Yeah, that's what happened to me when I saw Orlando Bloom in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

I was never a fan of Legolas when the Lord of the Rings movies were coming out. I was always a much bigger fan of Viggo Mortenson's Aragorn. I think I am more of a sucker for dark hair, which would also explain why I didn't notice Orlando until Pirates of the Caribbean. Makes sense, right? Right.

I think I saw Pirates of the Caribbean about 10-12 times in the theater when it came out. I don't actually even want to think about how much money that was. Especially since I didn't have a job for half of that time. It was my freshman year of college! Time to party! Learn to stay awake all night and still make it to classes the next day...or not.... I may or may not have almost failed out my first semester. BUT, my roommate's very kind boyfriend bought me a copy of Pirates the day it came out as an early Christmas present. Because he knew of my obsession. And that same roommate bought me a poster that hung above my bed the remainder of the year. And maybe even on my wall after I moved, I honestly can't remember. But if Orlando Bloom was in the cast, I watched it. At least, that was my motto for the next several years. I thought he as an AMAZING actor. I thought everything he did was just stellar. And then I went on a mission for my church. I spent a year and a half in North Carolina not watching TV or movies. And talking to people in the south about Jesus. I did realize the irony of my mission while I was there. But while I was gone, I forgot about Orlando. Mostly.

A friend sent me an action figure as a joke, but it was really funny. That action figure sat on my desk the remainder of my time in North Carolina. I think it's still in a box somewhere. When I got home, things were different. I was different. I had learned a lot about myself over those eighteen months away from my friends, family, and the life I knew. Don't get me wrong, I still watched movies. Oh, and I have not stopped since. But I had become a little bit pickier about what I watched. And how many times I watched it. And somewhere along the way Orlando slipped into oblivion. It also could be because he hadn't done a whole lot over the course of several years.

He did show up in The Musketeers as the villain, and if you need a good laugh GO WATCH THAT MOVIE. It's not as bad as you're thinking. It's actually pretty fantastic. AND, Orlando is a villain. With a ridiculous wardrobe. And a blimp. No joke. Just go watch the movie. It prob
ably won't be a waste of time for you.

And then he disappeared again. Until the Hobbit movies came out and he reprised Legolas again. This time, I felt so sad for his character. It was heartbreaking to watch him lose hope. But, it was also kind of cool to see his character again. And, if any of you are purists of the books, I know he wasn't in them. I know, I know. BUT, it was still great.

To check out all of his movies and stuff, check out iMDB HERE.

So, in honor of his birthday today, I have made eclairs!! They're fancy and look really cool BUT, they also taste AMAZING. Here's the run down on how to make them!!

Homemade Eclairs

CHOUX PASTRY: (pronounced Shoe Pastry, it took me WAY to long to learn that!)

½ cup butter
1 cup water
1 cup all purpose
¼ tsp salt
4 large eggs


1 (4 serving size) package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt


1/3 Cup chocolate chips
2 Tbsp butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp hot water

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet, and I would not recommend using a cooking spray. Pull out the shortening and a paper towel and actually grease the pan. The dough won't stick otherwise. And you don't want your choux sliding around!!

In a medium saucepan add the butter and water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the flour and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until the dough forms a stiff ball.

Remove from heat and add the eggs one at a time. This is tricky because you don't want the eggs to become scrambled eggs in the pan. I usually make a little indent in the ball and add the egg, then stir it gently, but quickly, until the egg is mixed in. Then, I repeat until all the eggs have been mixed in.

Spoon the dough into a pastry bag with a star tip. You can also form them without a tip in your pastry bag. Pipe the dough onto the prepared cookie sheet. They will expand a bit, so don't put them less than an inch apart.

Bake for fifteen minutes at 425, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and cook for another 20 minutes. You want them puffy, golden, and hollow sounding when you tap on them. As soon as you take them out of the oven, insert a knife into the end of each to release the heat inside and to keep them puffed and hollow. You will also be using this whole to fill each eclair. Let them cool completely before filling.

You can make the filling while the shells cool. Firstly, beat the whipping cream, sugar and vanilla and salt to stiff peaks and set aside. Hint: You can also use cool whip. Don't tell the hard core chefs that spend forever making everything. Then combine the pudding mix and milk together. Let it set for a minute or two. Then, fold in the whipping cream. Pour into a pastry bag that's either been fitted with a filling tip, or with a small hole in the pastry bag. fill each shell until they feel filled. It takes a little practice, but you'll get the hang of it, I promise.

Then, once the shells are filled, make the icing by melting the chocolate chips and the butter in the microwave in 30 second intervals until melted. Then, beat the chocolate, powdered sugar and water together. I usually pipe the chocolate on the top, but you can spread it with a knife as well. Then, enjoy!!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Ian Somerhalder

I was never really into the show LOST. My best friend was obsessed and tried on several occasions to convince me to watch it. All to no avail. I still have not seen past the first four episodes of the show. I was, however, intrigued by one of the characters. A tall, skinny guy with black hair and piercing blue eyes.

Fast forward a few years to my brief, but damning, vampire phase. It was BAD, but out of it came my guilty pleasure addiction to Vampire Diaries. I found myself once again intrigued by the "bad guy" of the first season, Damon Salvatore. Same black hair and piercing blue eyes. I actually really loved to hate him then. I was always a bigger fan of Stefan Salvatore because I always prefer the good guys.

That is, until I met the actors who play these characters in real life. I met Paul Wesley first who came to Salt Lake Comic con about two years ago. He was nice, but very distant and distracted. I felt like he was there out of a contractual obligation than to actually meet his fans. Maybe he was having an off day, I don't know. I mean he was pleasant, but distant. Then, a year later Ian Somerhalder came and I wasn't sure I really wanted to meet him because he's the bad guy and also what if meeting him was as disappointing as meeting Paul Wesley. However, I have several friends who love him and wanted to go in on a photo op, so I obliged and we all went and waited in the ridiculously long line with all the fans in their Vampire Diaries t-shirts and swooning at the mere thought of hearing his voice. Then, when we all least expected it, he came out from behind the curtain where the photo ops take place. He walked past us and I think a couple of girls almost fainted. He waved at everyone, even blew a few kisses to the crowd. The line was collectively fan girling over him. And my thought was "well, he seems nicer than Paul. This might not be a waste of my time."

And oh how right I was. I pulled the short straw on the picture and didn't get to stand next to him, but when it was finally our turn, he pulled us in so tight. My poor friend next to me was squished right next to him. She has since assured me that it was no problem at all. My other friend had gone back and forth for weeks on whether or not she should ask him to pretend to bite her because he plays a vampire in Vampire Diaries and I told her to go for it. And this is the picture we ended up with:

It's actually one of my favorite pictures because when she timidly asked if he'd pretend to bite her he very forcefully told her to get over here and this is what we got. I love it. I also loved that after the picture was taken he specifically told each of us 'thank you', which doesn't usually happen and is actually really cool.

Fast forward again to September of this year. Ian came back to Salt Lake Comic Con. A friend of mine got me really really great seats to his panel and me and my friends went. If you've never been to a comic convention before, they usually have panels where the actors/actresses talk about the roles they've played, what projects they have coming up, and so on. Salt Lake's Comic Con lets the attendees ask the actors/actresses questions and you hear a lot of cool stories that way. For Ian's panel, he got a lot of ridiculous questions, but I was very impressed with his answers. He knows where his job comes from. He knows that he's been on a show for 8 seasons because the fans have been watching it. I like it when actors/actresses recognize that they have a job because I am ridiculously obsessed with TV and movies.

Ian talked a lot about the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, which is really cool. You can check it out HERE, if you want to. He is trying to make the world a better place and it's really quite commendable.

He is married to Nikki Reed, which I always thought was a little bit funny that they've both played Vampires in significant series'. She was in the Twilight saga. But seriously, they are the most adorable couple in the whole world. I love them together.

He's been in a few things, but really he's spent most of his career between LOST and The Vampire Diaries. he was on Smallville for a half a second and a few other shows that I actually haven't seen. You can check out all of his credits HERE.

And to celebrate his birthday today, I have made Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies. They are incredibly delicious and I LOVE them. they're so addicting. Just like watching Vampire Diaries. hahaha.

Pinterest helped me out with the recipe that can be found HERE.

Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies

1 Cup Semi Sweet Chocolate (to be melted)
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
¼ Cup Dark Cocoa Powder
1 tsp. Baking Powder
¼ tsp. Salt
½ Cup Salted Butter, softened
¼ Cup Granulated Sugar
½ Cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
1 Egg
2 tsps. Vanilla extract
1 Cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the cup of semi sweet chocolate chips. Do this by microwaving in 30 second intervals. Stir after each burst of heat so as to not burn the chocolate. Once melted, set aside and in a separate bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt and set aside.

Then, in another bowl cream butter and sugars together until well combined. To this mixture add the melted chocolate. Mix until combined. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well. Then, add the dry ingredients slowly until well incorporated. Once you have a chocolaty goodness, add the chocolate chips and mix until they are thoroughly spread through the dough.

I use a standard cookie scoop and drop them on a cookie sheet about an inch or so apart. I use a silicon baking mat that is AMAZING and I highly recommend getting them if you bake a lot. If not, you can just grease a cookie sheet, they'll still turn out.

Bake them for about 10-11 minutes. Let them cool a minute before moving them to a cooling rack to finish cooling before eating them all gone!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Jonny Lee Miller

In case you don't know this about me, I am a HUGE Jane Austen fan. BUT, I feel it important to state that Pride and Prejudice is NOT my favorite of her novels. I am actually quite partial to Persuasion. It's brilliant and I feel like it's the story of my life minus the engagement at 19 that resulted in the love of my life joining the navy that then made him rich thus making it a bit awkward when he shows up again in my life 8 years later. And I'm not rich either. Okay, so I can't actually relate to the main points of the story other than holding on to hope for happiness even when everything around you is bleak. But, I digress...

Jane Austen is legit. Love her work. She's so funny and brings up so many good points. I feel like we might have been friends had we known each other in real life. It would have been cool. Kind of like Mansfield Park, which is a book Jane wrote. It's been adapted many times, like all of her work. There is an adaption from 1994 that I really like. A very young Jonny Lee Miller plays Edmund Bertram who wants to be a minister. And his cousin, Fanny Price, comes to live with them when she's a kid and grows up and falls in love with him. There's some scandal and a few marriage proposals involving other people and then a very classic Austen ending.

Jonny Lee Miller also played the beloved Mr. Knightley in the 2004 adaption of Emma produced by the BBC. His performance in this role is amazing and definitely worth looking in to. And the difference in his portrayal of both Austen characters really does show the scope of his acting ability. Even though both characters are similar, there are distinct differences that he really brings out.

And then, in 2012 CBS decided to get in on a very popular book series and created a show called Elementary. It focuses on Sherlock Holmes in modern times living in New York City. This played off of the fame of BBC's smash hit Sherlock, the title role being played by Benedict Cumberbatch. While it did not take off as hugely as Sherlock did, it has maintained a steady viewership over it's previous five seasons and is actually a
very remarkable and true adaption.

They have gender bent some of the roles, but they have done it in a way that is fascinating and well played. Joan Watson played by Lucy Liu takes the place of the traditional John Watson and Jamie Moriarty, played by Natalie Dormer, takes the place of James Moriarty. Both Liu and Dormer are absolutely extraordinary in their key roles in Sherlock's life.

At first I was hesitant, but this last summer I binge watched the entire series in two and a half weeks and I can honestly say that I fe

el like Elementary is a very true and amazing adaption. I love the way that Jonny portrays Sherlock. He brings out the idiosyncrasies that make Sherlock Sherlock. He plays up Sherlock's struggle with addiction in a very convincing but honest way. It's a major point of the show, but is not over done. The emotions and intricacies of the plots are beautiful and Jonny makes them all work together.

And speaking of Benedict Cummberbatch sharing a character with Jonny, in 2011 Jonny and Benedict Cummberbatch shared the title role in Danny Boyle's Frankenstein. They alternated the roles of Frankenstein and his monster. I haven't actually seen this adaption in it's entirety, but what I have seen was very impressive. Jonny and Benedict are good friends and support each other playing Sherlock, which I think is cool.

To see all of Jonny's film and TV credits, check out his iMDB page HERE.

And to celebrate his birthday today, I have made Swig style Sugar Cookies!!!

Apparently Swig is a popular drink shop around Utah county, where I am from. I am not a big soda drinker, so I've never been, but someone brought me one of these cookies and I fell in love with them and found a recipe to make my own!! I took the Tried and Tasty blog's lemon swig cookie (which is AMAZING) and made them vanilla instead of lemon, though both are totally delicious and worth making.

Swig Style Sugar Cookies

For the Cookie

5½ c. + 2 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. cream of tarter
1 c. (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1¼ c. sugar
¾ c. powdered sugar
¾ c. oil
1 Tbs. vanilla
2 eggs, room temperature

I realize that might seem like a lot of vanilla, and you are more than welcome to put in less. I loved the vanilla-y flavor that adding a Tablespoon gave the cookies, so it really comes down to what you like.

These cookies are a bit tricky, so follow my instructions completely! Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Start with creaming the butter and sugars together for about 2-3 minutes. While that is whipping into light and yummy goodness, you're going to take a separate bowl and combine the flour, cream of tarter, salt and baking soda and then set the bowl aside.

Once the sugar and butter mixture is whipped, stream the oil into the mixture while the mixer is beating. Add the vanilla and beat in the eggs one at a time until well combined. Add the dry ingredients slowly and then mix until dough is well combined.

Roll dough into 2 inch balls about 3 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Take 1/4 cup of granulated sugar and the bottom of a glass or a tart press (about 2.5 inches in diameter) and dip the press in the sugar then press down on the cookie dough until it is about 1/2 inch thick. The edges will crack, and that's cool. They are supposed to do that.

Bake for about 8 minutes. You don't want them too crisp because you want them to be delicious.

For the frosting, I just made my regular Buttercream Frosting for these, the recipe of which can be found HERE.(scroll all the way to the bottom of the post. It's there, I promise!)

If you are making the lemon version from the link above, definitely make the lemon frosting she gives you the recipe for. It's so so good!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Mehcad Brooks

A year and a half ago CBS announced that they were creating a new superhero TV show featuring the same executive producer as The CW hit duo The Flash and Arrow. They would be focusing on Supergirl. I did not know how I felt about this. Marvel had their whole Agent's of SHIELD thing going on over at ABC, but no one else, besides The CW, had really tried to do a TV show in years. It was almost like the world had said "No, we like our superheroes on the big screen. Don't give us your puny budget and bad CGI TV shows!" and for the most part I was right there agreeing with them. But there was a part of me that wanted to see what they would come up with. 
And not only did I want to see what they would come up with, but I wanted to see a real connection between the Supergirl mythology and the Superman legend. I wanted direct links. I wanted The Man of Steel to show up from time to time. I wanted the writers to acknowledge that although the show was focused on the Girl of Steel, she has a super awesome (and my favorite comic book character) cousin that could help her out from time to time. And they did not disappoint. 

Cut to the pilot. Me, sitting on the edge of the couch soaking in every.single.line. EVERY.SINGLE.SCENE. All of it. And then Kara Danvers, Supergirl's alter ego, walks in to the new Art Director's office to pick up something for Cat Grant and she sees the first real picture of her cousin Kal-El, known to this world as Superman. He steps out of the corner and sees her admiring the print and offers for her to take it because he's got other copies. He took the photo. He is...wait for it...Jimmy Olsen!! Now going by James because only "the big guy" can call him Jimmy. Well, him and James' mom. And in that moment I was like "I like this guy.....who is he?" and so, iMDB came to my rescue, as it always does, and I realized that I haven't seen him in anything else. 

His name is Mehcad Brooks. He's been in a number of sports related movies. I am not really a sports person (if you couldn't tell by this blog. haha), but I might be looking in to them because I LOVE him on Supergirl. You can check out his other credits HERE.

AND, this season they are letting him take on a heroic role and James Olsen will become Guardian who is one of my favorite characters. I'm really excited to see what they come up with for him. His character on the show is really awesome, and of all the Jimmy Olsen's, he's definitely my favorite.

So, to jump right into our tradition here on Starstruck Baking, let's get to the treat I will be eating while I marathon Supergirl Season 1. It's on Netflix, in case you haven't seen it. Is it cheesy? YES. But is it clean, good and wholesome? YES. And if you don't like those things, well, I'm sorry? 

Any way, treats treats wonderful treats!! 

For Mehcad's birthday, I made delicious Twix Thumbprint Cookies!!

I found a few recipes on Pinterest and this is the one I liked best. Check it out HERE.

Twix Thumbprint Cookies

Shortbread cookie:
⅔ cup Butter, softened
½ cup sugar
2 Eggs (yolks only)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1½ cups all-purpose flour

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees. Mix the butter, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla until well combined and creamy. Then add the flour and mix until well incorporated. The original recipe says to chill for an hour. I've done it both ways and if you chill the dough, the cookie keeps a better shape. I usually don't have time to chill things for an hour and they still turn out okay. They taste the same. 

Once your dough is ready form 1 inch balls and you want to place them 2 inches apart. Press the center of the cookies either with a tart press, or your thumb (which is why they're called thumbprint cookies, FYI). And bake them for about 7-10 minutes. You want the edges to just be a light golden brown. Once baked, take them out of the oven. Let them sit on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before transferring them over to a cooling rack to finish cooling. 

In the original recipe she has you buy caramels from the store. I am not a fan of that method. I have never had a good experience using premade caramels for anything. SO, I am going to share my top secret family recipe for an easy homemade microwave caramel that will give you a delicious caramel filling that adds a million extra delicious points to these cookies.

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla

Add all EXCEPT vanilla to a microwave safe bowl. I like to cut the butter into cubes so it will melt faster, but you don't have to do that. Mix together and then microwave for 3-4 minutes. Remove from microwave and mix until butter is completely incorporated to the mix then put back in the microwave for another 4-5 minutes. Remove from microwave careful as it will be very very hot. Add the vanilla and then I usually start filling the cookies with the molten hot caramel. You can let is sit for a minute, but the longer you wait the harder it will be to pour it into the cookies. 

To fill the cookies, I just take a spoon and pour it carefully into the center of the cookie. It should be soft enough that it will run over the cookie. Don't over fill them or you will have a caramel mess all over your kitchen. 

Once the cookies are filled, I melt about a half cup of milk chocolate chips in a bowl and then drizzle it over the cookies with a fork. Sometimes I use a pastry bag. Whatever floats your boat. And then, I eat them. Because they are delicious. I get the most compliments on these cookies.  So, check them out, watch Supergirl and have a great night with Mehcad Brooks!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Hugh Jackman

You know when you're a kid and you LOVE a cartoon so much you run home right after school to watch it? And when you're playing pretend with your siblings you always bring in your favorite cartoon characters? And then, as a teen or adult they (you know, Hollywood, society, or just the collective 'they')  tell you they are doing you this huge favor and they're going to make a live action movie and you're thinking "how is that going to work?!" and you hold your breath because you just know they're going to screw it up and how you're going to have to hate the characters you love so much.

That was me and the Xmen animated series. I also loved the Batman/Superman animated series and had to live through the painfully awful Batman Forever AND Batman and Robin movies. I cringed at the thought of my beloved Xmen falling prey to the same misrepresentation. 

My biggest question was, how on earth are
they goibg to bring Wolverine to life? With his blue hair and yellow spandex, I was certain this was one character that probably only worked in the comics. And then I saw the first preview and my heart fluttered for a brief second because it didn't look terrible. So I went on opening day because I'm that kind of fan. And, I'ma be straight with y'all, I was suuuuuuper impressed with Wolverine. It's like they took a picture from the comics to auditions and when Hugh Jackman came in they were like "you know, if we changed his hair and gave him sideburns.... Yep.... Yep... That's him". And so it was. And I died to death. Because he's PERFECT. 

Obviously, after I watched Xmen 6 times on theaters (I'm Soozee and I'm a comic book movie addict) I watched for other movies with Hugh Jackman in them because he intrigued me. This was early 2000s, so I had to actually wait for movies to come out because I didn't know what iMDB was yet. Haha. And a few years later Kate and Leopold came out and I thought to myself "I just don't see Wolverine doing well in a chick flick" and boy, was I wrong. Again! And I couldn't be happier about it,  either!

A few years ago my friends were like "let's go see Real Steel!! It's like Rock'em Sock'em Robots in real life!" and that sounded interesting, so I went. Um. Have y'all seen that movie?! If not, go find it NOW. I cried at the end. It was so beautiful. I LOVE that movie. A movie about robot
fighting. Yep. 

Did you know he can sing? Did you know he was a teacher before he became an actor? Did you know that he is actually a really fantastic person in real life? That last one I don't know from personal experience, but I have heard that from people that have met him. I will work with him one day. He would be an excellent villain in my story, LIGHTS. 

He's the voice of the Easter Bunny in Rise of the Guardians, which is one of my favorite movies. He is such a versatile actor. For examples, go watch Les Miserables, then The Prestige, then Eddie the Eagle.  And who could forget his role in Australia with Nicole Kidman? The movie was a bit long, but he was amazing.

The new poster for the last Wolverine movie was just released and I am very intrigued. The title is simply Logan. They have hinted at possibly going down the "Old Man Logan" storyline in this film, which would be interesting. I have always loved Wolverine and think it could be a very fitting end for such an iconic character.

Check out all of his credits on iMDB HERE because I've barely even scratched the surface of his amazing filmography.

And with all that said, it's time to get to the treat. For Hugh's birthday, I made a Maple Bacon Biscoff Cheesecake. Yes, you read that right. Maple. Bacon. Biscoff. Cheesecake. It's a hybrid of many recipes, but in the end it's just delicious. 

Maple Bacon Biscoff Cheesecake

For the crust:

1 pkg. Biscoff cookies, crushed 

For the filling:
4 pkgs. Cream cheese
3/4 cup granulated sugar 
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed 
1 Tbs. Vanilla
3/4 tsp. Cinnamon 
4 eggs 
1/4 cup biscoff cookie spread 

For topping:
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup Powdered sugar
4 oz. Cream cheese 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. 
Press the crushed cookie crumbs into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Set aside. 

Combine cream cheese, sugars, vanilla and spices until combined. Then, mix in biscoff spread. 
Next, add eggs one at a time until just combined. Do NOT over mix the batter. 
Pour over crust and bake for one hour or until the center is almost set. 
Remove from the oven and let cool. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. 
While you're cheesecake is cooling, cook up some bacon. I cooked a one pound package, but at least a quarter of it disappeared before I finished the cheesecake, so cook however much bacon you're comfortable with. Once it's cooked and cooked chop it into small pieces to sprinkle on top. 
For the mousse, whip 1 cup heavy cream and 1/3 cup powdered sugar to stiff peaks Set aside. Cream 4oz.cream cheese then fold in whipped cream and add 1 tsp. Mapeline maple flavoring.
To assemble, place a slice of cheesecake on a plate, spoon or pipe mousse onto the top it it and the sprinkle the bacon on top and enjoy!