Weekend Dog Blogging #36

by Cate on May 29, 2006

Hey all! I hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend, we sure are! I spent the morning outside doing weeding, planting flowers and doing a general belated Spring cleanup. It was a little warm outside today, with the typical New Jersey overhumid weather already rearing its ugly head, but I’ll take it.

Amazing how one picture can alter your entire dinner plans. Yesterday, the new issue of Cooking Pleasures magazine arrived, and my original menu went out the window. The July 2006 issue is jam-packed with all sorts of summer recipes, including 19 specifically for the grill. After a few minutes of discussion, we ended up going with the cover recipe for Mexican Burgers. So, so good, moist and juicy. Not overly spiced, but just enough. Instead of using their recipe for Quick Guacamole as a topping, I went with my own Guacamole Cream. I would definitely make these again. Do try them! The Neighbors came over and brought a Chili Con Queso, which was perfect with the burgers.

To go with last nights’ dinner, The Husband requested a “simple salad” for dinner as well, and this is where our opinions differed. I took iceberg wedges and sliced tomatoes and topped it with a homemade Chive Dressing I found from Dave Lieberman and a few sprinkled scallions. Now I ask you … simple, right? He took the bowl, shook his head and said something about “all I asked for was a normal salad.” He was kidding, of course, but that was simple, wasn’t it? The dressing was good, creamy and light, though admittedly, “white” dressings are not a favorite of The Husbands’. He much prefers vinaigrettes.

Tonight, both The Husband and The Neighbor Husband took over in the kitchen, which was A-OK by me. They did a fantastic job, although clean-up procedures need to be worked on a bit. They grilled flank steak, made a big batch of steamers (hmmm, love them!) and, of course, a “normal” salad (iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, shredded Cheddar and oil and vinegar dressing). I made a quick dessert, Better than Sex Cake. Very simple to make and slightly decadent.

Nicholas and The Girlfriend have been asking to have a sleepover for a few weeks now, and tonight is their lucky night. They both eagerly got into their PJs and right into bed. Unfortunately, sleep is another story. 12 am and they’re both still awake, after their third glass of apple juice….

OK folks, without further ado, your Weekend Dog Blogging #36 roundup. Until tomorrow… don’t forget, you can also join my Flickr pool as well.

A year ago today… meat and potatoes.

An adorable Stumpan from Anne’s Food:

The soulful Simba checks in from Up a Creek Without a PatL

Chloe from La Mia Cucina enjoys the warm weather in Ohio:

The curly-haired Gino from The Flying Apple drops in from Austria. Check out their site for even more adorable pictures:

Max from Peanut Butter Etouffe shows off his stylin’ new summer do:

A cute French bulldog from Paris checks in from Why Travel to France:

It’s Mr. Woofy’s turn from Kitchen Wench. Go check out their site to find out about … Weekend DUCK Blogging. ;)

The boys are back from Culinarily Obsessed:

The duo from Farmgirl Fare take a breather. For an added bonus, Farmgirl leaves us this link as a bonus from a friend of hers.

And lastly, my parents’ dog, Beau. Nicholas babysat Beau for the past week while my parents vacationed in Maine. Here’s a morning snuggle:

Mexican Burgers
1-1/2 lb. ground beef
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
1 pickled jalapeno chile (I used diced green chiles)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon grate lime peel (I omitted)
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 slices Monterey Jack cheese
4 Kaiser or Mexican bolillo rolls, split
1/2 cup Jalapeno-Lime Mayonnaise (recipe follows)
2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
1/2 cup Quick-Roasted Chile Salsa (recipe follows)
1 cup Quick Guacamole (recipe follows)

In medium bowl, gently mix together beef, cilantro, green onion, chile, garlic, chili powder, lime peel and salt. Shape into 4 patties. Heat grill. Place burgers on gas grill over medium heat or on charcoal hrill 4-6 inches from medium coals; cover grill. Grill 8-10 minutes or until thoroughly cooked and no longer pink in center, turning once. Top each burger with one slice cheese, grill 1 minute or until cheese has melted. Spread each roll with 2 tablespoons of the Jalapeno-Lime Mayonnaise. Place lettuce on top of tolls; top with burgers, salsa and guacamole.

Jalapeno-Lime Mayonnaise:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons grated lime peel
1 tablespoon fhinely chopped pickled jalapeno chile (I used diced green chiles)
In small bowl, stir together all ingredients.

Quick-Roasted Chile Salsa:
1 large tomato, diced
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons diced canned roasted green chiles
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
In small bowl, stir together all ingredients.

Quick Guacamole:
1 large avocado
1/4 cup diced tomato
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 teaspoons finely chopped seeded deveined jalapeno chile, if desired
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
Place avocado in medium bowl, mash coarsely with fork or potato masher. (Do not overmash; texture should be quite lumpy). Stir in remaining ingredients.

Better Than Sex Cake
1 (18.25 ounce) package German Chocolate cake mix
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
6 ounces caramel ice cream topping
3 (1.4 ounce) bars chocolate covered toffee, chopped or Heath Bits
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

Bake cake according to package directions for a 9×13 inch pan; cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. After cooled, make holes with wooden spoon along the top of the cake, making sure not to go through to the bottom. Pour can of sweetened condensed milk over the cake and give it a few minutes to work through tge cake. Pour the caramel topping over the top of the cake, then sprinkle the crushed chocolate toffee bars liberally across the entire cake. Let cake cool completely, then top with whipped topping. Decorate the top of the cake with some more chocolate toffee bar bits. Serve. (Keep leftovers refrigerated).

Hearts of Iceberg Lettuce with Ranch Dressing
Recipe courtesy Dave Lieberman
The ‘Berg’s back! For a while it was almost embarrassing to even think of eating Iceberg lettuce?it was blacklisted as flavorless, colorless and watery. But Iceberg is an All-American favorite that doesn’t deserve to be shelved. It’s refreshing and crisp, and the ‘rents are sure to love it because it’s probably what they grew up on. And it’s so simple! To serve, I just split a head of iceberg into wedges and top them with some homemade ranch dressing and fresh chopped chives. Nothing simpler. Nothing better.

1 small head iceberg lettuce
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup plain yogurt (I omitted)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, pressed through garlic press or finely minced
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped chives, plus more for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Peel off any wilted or discolored leaves from the outside of the lettuce. Trim the core even with the bottom of the lettuce and cut the lettuce into quarters through the core. If the quarters look too big for a single serving, either cut them in half or trim them to whatever size you feel is a good serving.

Combine the sour cream, yogurt, mayonnaise, garlic, vinegar, and chives in a bowl until well mixed. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To serve, set the wedge of iceberg in the center of a salad plate, spoon the dressing over and dash it with a good pinch of chives. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Culinarily Obsessed May 30, 2006 at 1:27 am

I was thinking about making “Better Than Sex” Cake again soon. I made one sometime last year..it was soooo good & easy too! YUM!


amanda May 30, 2006 at 7:24 am

mmm!!! those mexican burgers look awesome!


Pamela May 31, 2006 at 10:18 am

Amazing recipes, thanks for sharing!!


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