Weekend Dog Blogging #58

by Cate on October 30, 2006

Before I forget, very happy birthday wishes go out to our dear friend, Chris. Whether it was celebrating our wedding day with us nearly nine years ago, or enjoying many weekends away together, he’s been a great friend. Unfortunately he moved out of state a few years ago, so we don’t get a chance to see him as often anymore, but maybe this will finally pull him out of perpetual lurkdom. Happy, happy birthday, Chris!

Nicholas and I spent our day alternating between running errands and relaxing. Had The Neighbors over for dinner tonight, and it was the ideal day, weather-wise, to kick off soup season, going with a tried-and-true, Cheeseburger Soup. One of the few reasons to keep Velveeta on hand – the soup is hearty, tummy-warming and perfect for taking the chill off your bones. We paired that with a batch of A-16 Sandwiches, Seven Layer Dip and Taco Dip, keeping things real casual. A perfect relaxing night with easy-to-eat munchies.

Not to be outdone, The Neighbor Husband turned to his favorite, ahem, cook, Sandra Lee and made mini pizzas. Unfortunately we were all so stuffed that we didn’t get a chance to try them, but divvied them up for snacking tomorrow. The Neighbors finally caught a few recent episodes of Sandra Lee’s Semi-Homemade Cooking and finally understand why so many of us scoff at her show. I mean, really, tune into her Halloween episode, and you’ll see no further explanation is needed.

For dessert, I took some help from Costco with their uber-fresh cream puffs. Again, no room for them by the time we got to dessert, so tomorrow night we’ll indulge. We also had a new cocktail tonight, Apple Martinis, from the November issue of Cooking Light magazine. The Neighbor Wife has declared that this might possibly take the place of our “Mom Juice,” it was that good. A gorgeous green color, it’s velvety smooth and goes down incredibly easy. Too easy. ;) If you get a chance, I urge you to try this one – you won’t be disappointed.

I had designated tonight’s Weekend Dog Blogging as our Halloween costume edition, but that seems to have scared off most of our usual participants, with only a few that were brave enough to partake. Below are the three that joined in the fun. Vote for your favorite (one vote per person please – honor system. Picture with the most votes in the comments section gets a cookbook. Eli will be appearing in his Halloween costume on Tuesday.

Until tomorrow…

A year ago today… a delicious dinner.

Apple Martinis
1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup vodka
1 cup apple juice
1 cup apple liqueur (such as Sour Apple Pucker)
Crushed ice

Combine water and sugar in a glass measuring cup. Microwave at HIGH 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves, stirring once; cool. Combine sugar mixture, vodka, juice, and liqueur in a pitcher; stir to combine.

Place crushed ice in a martini shaker. Add vodka mixture to martini shaker in batches; shake well to chill. Strain about 1/2 cup vodka mixture in shaker into each of 10 glasses; repeat procedure with remaining vodka mixture, refilling ice as necessary. Serve immediately.

Yield: 10 martinis (serving size: about 1/2 cup)

Cheeseburger Soup
1/2 lb browned hamburger
4 cups diced potatoes
3/4 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup shredded carrots
8 oz Velveeta
3/4 cup diced celery
1-1/2 cup milk
1 tsp dried basil
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
1/4 tsp pepper
3 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup sour cream

Saute onion, carrots, celery, basil and parsley in 1 T butter for about 10 minutes. Add broth, potatoes and hamburger. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt about 3 T butter. Add flour and cook, stirring, for about 3-5 minutes or until bubbly. Add to soup. Bring to boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add cheese, milk, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until cheese melts. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream.

Rocco from Is It Edible?:

The devil from Experimentation of Taste:

Oliver from Culinary Adventures strikes a pose:

Bear from Farmgirl Fare forgot all about the Halloween festivities, so instead of dressing himself up, he dressed up the leaves in Autumn colors.

Ziggy from Soul Fusion Kitchen pretends to be one of his favorite Superheroes:

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

PatL October 30, 2006 at 4:40 am

It’s a hard choice, but I think I have to go with little Rocco!


Claire October 30, 2006 at 5:32 am

It is a hard choice but I have to agree with Patl! Rocco is the perfect bat-dog!


Sylvie October 30, 2006 at 5:37 am

Cate, I did send an email with the link for Ziggy. Perhaps I was a little late.


Nupur October 30, 2006 at 10:59 am

They are all adorable…but I have to vote for Rocco the bat!


Annie October 30, 2006 at 12:59 pm

Ziggy Spiderman gets my vote – so cute!


Cate October 30, 2006 at 1:00 pm

Sylvia – didn’t get the e-mail, but just added Ziggy. :)


Tammy October 30, 2006 at 2:42 pm

I can’t believe we have to choose! They’re all so cute.
Rocco steals the show though.


Anonymous October 30, 2006 at 10:12 pm

Gosh, I haven’t heard you mention Chris in ages. Hope is doing well.

BTW I’m a big Martini fan… love it!!!!

The Sister In-Law


wendyb532 October 30, 2006 at 10:35 pm

Ziggy is adorable! I vote for him.



farmgirl October 31, 2006 at 2:05 am

All three are absolutely priceless, but that Spiderman Ziggy has me LOLOLOLOL! The look on his adorable little face is just too much.

Happy Halloween! (And thanks for letting the un-costumed Bear join in the WDB fun!)


farmgirl October 31, 2006 at 2:07 am

Okay, please note that this is NOT a second attempt at a vote, but I just wanted to let you know I popped up Ziggy’s pic again and am laughing so hard there are tears in my eyes. Thank you for a dose of the best medicine money can’t buy! : )


Cate October 31, 2006 at 2:26 am

The Sister in Law – He was in Wisconsin for a few years, following his heart, but now he’s in Virginia, so at least he’s a little closer. He’s doing good. :) And I hear ya on the martinis – you gotta try these. The Neighbor will vouch for them. ;)


Anonymous October 31, 2006 at 6:16 pm

Oliver gets my vote


Anonymous October 31, 2006 at 6:18 pm

I vote for Oliver..


Merry October 31, 2006 at 9:45 pm

Ziggy, Ziggy he’s our man!


Ed Tep October 31, 2006 at 9:45 pm

Cate – Happy Halloween! What a fun WDB. Everybody is soooo cute! I’m gonna abstain from voting, but I have a feeling that there will be several doggies getting lots ot treats today.


Anonymous October 31, 2006 at 10:09 pm

My vote is for that cross dressing Oliver, the ear rings are just adorable!!!


Anonymous November 1, 2006 at 2:32 pm

Another vote for Oliver. He is just too cute for words.



CaDoxie@aol.com November 1, 2006 at 6:29 pm

He has my vote.


Barbara (Biscuit Girl) November 2, 2006 at 12:43 am

I vote for Rocco.


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