Obsessed with Food: The Rock’s Cinnamon Pancakes Review

To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of pancakes or cinnamon, but every once in a while, I get a random craving for one or both. Last month, a couple weeks after getting “Back to the Kitchen” by Freddie Prinze Jr. in the mail. Thankfully, I knew he had a pancake recipe in his cookbook. So, I turned on the first episode of Dollhouse by Joss Whedon (creator of the Buffyverse) staring Eliza Dushku (Faith of the Buffyverse) and opened “Back to the Kitchen” to page three so I could make “The Rock’s Cinnamon Pancakes.” I knew they would be amazing, because I had tried a handful or two of Freddie’s recipes already and they were the bomb!

As I laughed about how hard it would be to watch Dollhouse and not think of Faith, I got to cracking an egg and mixing the ingredients together. I put my pan on the the stove and started making a mess, because it’s virtually impossible for me to cook or bake without making a mess. It was a mess well worth it though, because the pancakes were, in fact, totally amazing! Have you ever had toast with butter, cinnamon, and sugar? These are kind of like the upgraded, not quite as mess version of that! They’re amazing and I love them! I give them 4 out 5 stars!

Stirring Up Fun in the Kitchen

This post is basically about how Freddie Prinze Jr. is the King of the Kitchen and also about how Sarah Michelle Gellar is his queen! ❤

On the back cover of “Back to the Kitchen” by Freddie Prinze Jr., there is a quote by Seth Green that reads, “Is it fair for a guy to be handsome, talented, a great husband and father, AND a genius cook? Only if he shares the recipes. We all just got really lucky.” I’d like to raise this quote and offer a slightly improvised version for us girls! Is it fair that Sarah Michelle Gellar is beautiful, talented, a great mother and wife, an excellent baker herself (Stirring up Fun with Food), and gets to be married to the man that Seth Green described? Only if, and I paraphrase from the Foreword she wrote, she becomes the nagging wife who constantly comments on how her husband’s food is so amazing he needs to write a cookbook until he finally does!

I have always been a picky eater, not because I don’t like food, but because certain textures make me sick. In 2015, I developed an hereditary intolerance to gluten from my Papa (maternal grandfather, read “Paw-Paw). Up to that point and even still much through 2016, I was contently reliant on a microwavable, highly-processed diet. It was quick, easy, and relatively mess free, just how I liked it. Going gluten free doesn’t really allow for that kind of a lifestyle though, because what few microwaveable gluten free items are out there are bland at best. So, I was forced to start meal prepping. For a while, I just suffered through eating some foods with gluten, because it was easier and also because I was at a total loss in the kitchen. The weekend before Thanksgiving 2016 though, I made brownies to take to my family dinner and decided to meal prep while I was waiting for them to bake and I haven’t not meal prepped since. At that point, it was just fruits, vegetables, corn chips, gf pretzels, chicken, gf pasta, white rice, and my amazing “Blood Slayer” smoothies for the most part, with the weekly gluten stops at Chick-fil-A and gluten-y meals at my Nanny and Papa’s house every Sunday evening. Since Christmas 2016 though, I have only eaten maybe two servings of food that had gluten and I’m living better for it. How do I do this? Well, I take recipes from cookbooks and Pinterest and substitute gf versions of whatever the recipe calls for.

In February 2017, I learned that Sarah Michelle Gellar (star of my favorite show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Freddie Prinze Jr. (the Fred to Sarah’s Daphne) were both as much in love with cooking and baking as they are with each other, okay, maybe not that in love with cooking, because come on, have you seen the way they look at each other? ❤ Because I’ve loved Sarah and Freddie together ever since I learned that a real life married couple would be playing one of my favorite TV couples, Fred and Daphne in the live action Scooby Doo movies, and because I’ve loved Sarah Michelle Gellar since I started watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the first time in March 2016, I decided to look them up online. Beautifully, they tend to keep their personal life personal for the most part, so I didn’t find much, but what I did find just made my heart swoon! Like, did you know they knew each other for three years before they started dating? And that their first date was technically an accident because they were originally going to hang out with a mutual friend who couldn’t make it (sounds like a movie, right?)? Or did you know that Freddie said this about Sarah and their first date: “A lot of girls back then in Hollywood as far as the actresses, they didn’t eat; they ate salad and I had gone on a date with a handful of them. They would never eat what I would eat. You have to have that in common with me if we’re going to get along. So, Sarah came to dinner with me, and we sat down and she ate everything, including a crab that they let walk across the counter, then kill while it was alive in some oil and said, ‘It’s popcorn, try!’ And she ate it without even blinking, and I was like, ‘Yo, my girl is legit.’”

Anyway, while I was looking them up, I found a YouTube video of them for Foodstirs (co-founded by Gellar herself) for gingerbread cookies and I immediately knew two things: 1) These two are totally and completely in love. 2) I have got to buy their cookbooks! Surely, if Sarah Michelle Gellar can inspire me to commit to a consistent workout for the first time since high school (Train Like a Slayer), then she and Freddie Prinze Jr. can inspire me to cook and try new foods. So, I went to Amazon.com (my guilty pleasure), found “Back to the Kitchen” and purchased it with my Amazon Prime Visa Credit Card by Chase. Yeah, it worked. Apparently, all it took for me to commit to working out again and to commit to eating almost everything homemade was a personal, obsessive connection to my plans. I haven’t stopped cooking and baking from scratch since getting Freddie’s book in the mail on March 4, 2017. Also, it totally helps that I’m “Obsessive Girl” and the front cover of his book uses the keyword “obsessed” in the description: “75 delicious, real recipes (& true stories) from a Food-obsessed actor.” Of course, it helps too that he has great family and friend stories for every recipe and adorable family pictures on every other page! ❤

I’ve tried a bunch of his recipes now and I fully intend on reviewing them within the next few weeks. I just wanted to write this as a preview of how much I love “Back to the Kitchen.” I’ll also be reviewing “Stirring Up Fun with Food” as I try SMG’s recipes. Here’s a preview—ALL I NEED IN LIFE IS SMG’s LEMON POPPY SEED CUPCAKES! WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF FINDING A RECIPE BEFORE RANDOMLY FINDING THEM IN HER BOOK!? IDK, BUT I’M GLAD THEY’RE IN HER BOOK! BECAUSE EVEN IF I END UP HATING EVERYTHING ELSE, IT WON’T MATTER BECAUSE LEMON POPPY SEED CUPCAKES ARE MY FAVORITE AND SMG MADE MY DAY BY HAVING THEM IN HER BOOK!!!! She also made my day when she liked two of my tweets about her cookbook, but that’s only relevant, because the first one was about her cupcakes and the second was about how adorable “Back to the Kitchen” and “Stirring Up Fun with Food” are next to each other (see above photo)! ❤

So, I’ll leave you with these words that are also from the Foreword written by SMG, “Honestly, there are times when I pass on going out to dinner, because I know the meal at my house will be better.” She’s not wrong! If I can make these meals and not want to go out to eat, then how blessed must Sarah and their kids be to have Freddie living in their kitchen? I mean, seriously! I haven’t even been cooking for a year and I’m obsessed with eating my versions of Freddie’s recipes, how much better must they be when he’s the one making them!?

Oh, How the Mighty Have Fallen–PLL Characters

 

Once upon a time, Aria Montgomery was my favorite of the Liars. Now, I know that’s probably because I just really liked Lucy Hale and because I am pretty much always immediately drawn to the characters with tragic back stories and or love stories. Now though, Aria is my least favorite of the Liars. In fact, she and Ezra are now my least favorite characters, period. I may even like Jackie and Meredith more than Aria and Ezra, which is saying something because Jackie and Meredith were awful. Through seasons one, two, and parts of three, Ezria was my favorite and they were my favorite characters. Through seasons three and four, they started to lose their appeal, but I longed for they days of season one and two. Plus, if there’s anything I had learned from my original binge-watching obsession, Heartland, it’s that some relationships are worth shipping even if they break up, fight, and or face ridiculous obstacles in nearly every other episode. Obviously, I was hoping Ezria would be one of those couples. Unfortunately, seasons four and five showed me they weren’t one of those couples. Still though, I kept on holding onto hope that maybe true love would prevail for Aria and Ezra. When seasons six and seven came around, they put nails in the coffin of my love for Ezria. I tried to keep hoping, but all hope has been lost. I don’t really care if they end up together or not. In fact, I really don’t care what happens to either of them. They both annoy me now.

Emily and Alison are close seconds on my list of least favorite Liars. They’re just kind of boring. Throughout the whole series, I have felt little to know emotion for Emily. Actually, the only times I’ve ever felt anything for Emily were in the moments with her dad. I didn’t even care when Maya died. I am just completely unaffected by anything in PLL related to Emily Fields. As for Alison, I liked her more when she was dead and missing. I’ve tried to empathize and sympathize with Alison and I do feel for her, but I just don’t like her as a character. She has as a character has added nothing to the show. She couldn’t have stayed dead or missing and it would have been fine with me. Let Charles DiLaurentis be Spencer’s secret brother/sister earlier than the season 7B premiere and let someone else fall in love with a doctor who isn’t really a doctor. That’d’ve been fine with me. at least I would have had stronger feelings about it as time passed. Sure, in the moment, I totally felt for Alison in every one of her tragic reveals, but now that time has passed, I just don’t care.

After Emily, Alison, and Aria, I find it hard to choose my favorite Liars. Even though Mona isn’t included on the official list of Liars, anyone who has read previous PLL posts knows that she’s on my list of Liars right beside Spencer and Hanna. I suppose, these three are my favorites because they are the most relatable, even if I did used to say Aria was the most relatable. They’ve all three felt what it’s like to be rejected. They know how it feels to feel unloved and unaccepted. They know what it’s like to find that one person who looks past all the negative and loves you for the positive anyway.

Even though Mona hit Hanna with a car and tortured her and her friends for years, Hanna has still always loved and mostly accepted her. Does she trust Mona? “Sometimes.” She always loves her though. Even when Mona was in Radley right after confessing to being A, Hanna went and visited her, despite Caleb and the other’s wishes that she not. That’s true friendship. That’s what I want in a best friend—someone who loves me no matter how crazy I am. Thankfully, that’s exactly the kind of best friend I do have. I know good and well that my obsessive tendencies sometimes border, if not cross the line of crazy. And yet, my best friend loves me anyway. She lets me send her excess amounts of posts about my obsessions, she has long, detailed conversations with about my obsessions, and she even joins in on many of my obsessions, sometimes before I’m supposed, sometimes without knowing I’m obsessed, and sometimes after I’m obsessed. That’s true friendship—loving your best friend even if they’re insane. Hanna loves Mona even though she was clinically insane. And Mona? Well, Mona—I think—has and is doing everything she possibly can to prove to Hanna that she loves her too. She’s trying very hard to atone for the sins she committed as A and just as a mean girl in general. Anyway, I love a character who is the redemption character—someone who spends the majority of their time in the story becoming better than they were before and if she does end up being on the A Team or evening being Uber A herself, then that’s even better, because as a story arch, I just thing that would be absolutely brilliant.

As for Hanna, she’s the realest character of all. She doesn’t have any deep dark secrets. Her skeletons are those of a broken family and a broken self-image. She acted out because her parents had marital issues and thus she had daddy issues. She developed an eating disorder because the popular girl told her too. She became the popular and kind of mean girl, because she was bullied and all the other things she has done have either been on accident or with an accomplice. To quote the song “Nervous Girls” by Lucy Hale, “Hanna in her skinny jeans is too damn scared to eat.” That was Hanna Marin for several seasons and long before we even met her. All she cared about was looking good, being popular, and getting the guy, because those were the things she thought she needed to be loved and accepted. Then, Caleb came to town and slowly showed her that none of that stuff was when made her beautiful, loved, or accepted. Of course, she didn’t actually believe that until he left for Ravenswood and came back, but she is finally too that point where she knows Hanna Marin is all she needs to be. Of course, she still struggles, but that’s why she’s such a great character, so yeah, actually, Hanna may be my favorite character of them all. One thing is for sure though, Haleb is definitely my favorite couple!

Finally, there’s Spencer Hastings. She has been rejected time and time again by her various family members. She just learned she was adopted by her mother (which by the way makes all of the other Spencer and Veronica scenes make so much more sense) because her biological mother was in a mental institute. Throughout the series, she has discovered that her father cheated on her adoptive mother not once, but twice and got both women pregnant. Her half-sister Melissa and half-brother/cousin Jason are two of the sketchiest people ever to live in Rosewood. Her ex-boyfriend once made her believe he was working with A and made her believe he was killed in a motorcycle accident. She’s been being stalked for a decade. One of her best friends made her believe she died, then that she was kidnapped, only to confess that she really just ran away. She was placed in the same mental hospital that she would later find out is the same place where she was born because it’s the same place her biological mother and half-sister, or brother, I’m still not too clear on that, was locked up for who knows how long. Spencer Hastings has been a mess throughout the whole series and it’s only becoming more and more clear with every episode as to why it’s totally okay that she’s a hot mess 98% of the time. In fact, it’s basically a miracle she’s not truly insane by now. Actually, at this point, Spencer could end up being A and I wouldn’t blame her in the slightest, because half of Rosewood is related to her and has done tragic things to her anyway, so why not? Then of course, there’s Spoby, who just needs to get back together already, because they’re breaking my heart and I don’t even care half as much about the show anymore as much as I once did.

Anyway, this post was written mostly just because I was reading some of my old posts and couldn’t help but laugh at myself for how much I loved Ezria only to get to a point where they are my least favorite characters! Then, I decided I might as well write about how I feel about the other Liars too while I’m at it.