Showing posts with label dogs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dogs. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

It's #Catweek with #Cats & a Chocolate Cake #Recipe for humans

It's Cat Week!

Tigger, from Cookbook Nook Mysteries
Fictional Ginger Cat
I live in Crystal Cove
I like other cats, like to play a lot! Like to pounce and trounce.
Like long walks on the beach.
I am a rescue who has the distinct memory of falling off a truck. 
To hear me meow, click here

Rags from Cheese Shop Mysteries
Fictional Ragdoll
I live in Providence, Ohio
I like dogs and walks on a leash, and cheese!
I am a rescue who isn't very fond of being left alone outside.
To hear me purr, click here.

Sparky from Encino.
Dog. To be specific, Golden Doodle.
Somewhat bummed that the focus today is on cats! I like it to be all about me.
When is it dog week?
This picture was taken right after a walk, hence the leash. I love my walks.
Yes, I say hence. My mom is a writer and teaches me all sorts of big words.
I love going to day care and socializing with other dogs, big or small.
Would probably love cats if introduced to one.
Not fond of Mommy leaving the house...ever!

From Tigger:

Have you ever been to a cat parade? In Crystal Cove, the town featured in the Cookbook Nook STIRRING THE PLOT, is the Black Cat Parade. Cats only. A canine event will occur later in the year. Lots of people participate. There are booths that feature cat foods--I particularly like the tuna treats. There are human foods, as well. I saw one little girl with something pink and frothy. It stuck to her lips and nose. Her mother was trying to get some of it out of her long blonde curls. Some other kids had popcorn balls that they'd gotten at the Cookbook Nook. Katie made them. The kids were purring with delight.
Mysteries, every Halloween there are fun events. One of them, which is featured in the latest story,

TIGGER, in costume.
In addition, there's a costume contest. Jenna, my human, made me an adorable hat. She's pretty good with needle and thread. I won't win the contest. There are a number of gorgeous cats. You know the kinds I mean, gorgeous, but stuck up. They couldn't be bothered talking to me, a rescue cat, but I don't care. As long as Jenna is holding me, I'm cool.

In honor of black writer--Daryl--is offering something spooky dark for a treat...dark as in chocolate! I told her cake wasn't spooky. She agreed but told me it was decadently delicious! For humans only.

I suggested she make something with tuna. She was fresh out, but promised next year she'd make me  a tuna quiche. In fact, she liked the idea so much, she just ran off to the store so she could whip me up a pie. Yummm!

From Stirring the Plot

French Silk Fudge Cake
(ala Jenna, ala Katie)
(serves 4-8)

1 (3.5 to 4 ounce) bittersweet chocolate bar, chopped
1 ½ squares (1 ounce) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons coffee
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup white sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons flour (*may use gluten-free flour plus 1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum)
1/2 of a 3.5 to  4 ounce bittersweet chocolate bar broken into ½-inch pieces 
If desired: whipped cream or frosting.

Note: I used Ghirardelli 72% dark chocolate instead of bittersweet chocolate.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 4 mini-bundt cake cups.

Please 1 chopped bar of bittersweet chocolate, unsweetened chocolate, and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Place bowl in microwave and cook on low power until the butter has melted and the chocolate is soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir often to avoid burning the mixture.

In a mixing bowl, whisk cinnamon, coffee, eggs, egg yolk, sugar, and salt until combined. Stir in the flour. Mix in the chocolate mixture. Stir until smooth. Add the ½ bar of bittersweet chocolate that has been broken into ½-inch pieces. Spoon the batter in the prepared bundt cake cups. Fill about ¾ full.

Bake for about 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out with “streaks’ of thick batter. The tops of the cakes will be nearly firm. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 5 -10 minutes.  Serve warm…or wait 20 minutes and serve at room temperature with whipped cream squirted into the center of the bundt shape.

Note: If you want to frost this cake, consider baking it in cupcakes tins or in a 9-inch springform pan lined with parchment paper. Cook about 30-35 minutes.

Note: Dessert, for adults only. 
Cats and/or Dogs may watch human eat...

PS From Daryl aka Avery: I had cats growing up. Black cats named Inky and Blackie (not very original, I know), but I loved those cats. They were independent, feisty, and they owned the neighborhood. When I got married, however, my husband couldn't have cats around, so over the years, we have had dogs. When it's dog week, I'll share all those pictures. 


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STIRRING THE PLOT is available for order: order here.

Next up: AS GOUDA AS DEAD, 6th Cheese Shop Mystery!

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Going to the Dogs: The Westminster Dog Show and the Perfect Hot Dog by Cleo Coyle

When I was a singleton, I felt left out of Valentine’s Day. As part of a couple, it sometimes feels a little forced. On the other hand, the celebration of love need not be limited to couples. Sweethearts come in many forms, including the furry and feathered kind.

Rebel, Bobo, and Cleocatra,
3 of my many New York strays,
rescued from the city streets.
Today happens to mark the second and final day of the annual Westminster Dog Show here in New York City. I always enjoy this show, as well as the Cat Show. (Pictured right are three of my furry Valentines.) 

Both the Cat and Dog shows celebrate the love and appreciation we have for our furry friends, which is a heartwarming sight to see. When "Best in Show" is announced at the end of these events, naming the single cat or pup who captures everyone's heart, it brings tears to many eyes (mine included). 

I especially enjoy watching the wonderful Westsminster Dog Show judging. To wit...


The "Best of Group" judging is both entertaining and informative. 
As each dog is presented, the announcer explains the basic characteristics of each breed. And each dog presented is already a winner of his or her "Best of Breed" category for the Show, so you're seeing a superior example of the breed. It's a wonderful way to learn more about the world of dogs...

Pictured above is "Finn,"
one of the Best of Breed winners. 

Finn is a Tibetan Terrier, a type of dog first raised and bred in Tibetan monasteries over 2,000 years ago. They first got out of the country when an English physician was given the dog as a gift after caring for a Tibetan woman. 

Finn's win in Best of Breed allowed him to advance to Best of Group. In the video below, you can watch Finn compete in his "Non-Sporting" Group event. 

Best of Group Judging
"Non-Sporting Group"

Click here to view this video
at the Westminster website.

To watch all of the 
"Best of Group" judging 
videos including the 
"Best of Breed" winners in: 

Herding, Hound, Sporting,
Non-Sporting, Terrier, Toy and
Working group categories,

Congrats to the


Sky, the ginger
Wire Fox Terrier!

To watch Sky compete in the
Best in Show judging,
with the seven other
"Best in Group" winners, 

click here 

Sky won First Place
out of over 2,800 entries!


Cleo Coyle, fan of furry 
creatures large and small, 
is author of The Coffeehouse
. Click here to
learn more.
As for today's recipe, in keeping with the theme, I'm going to the dogs! Below I share my tips for cooking the perfect one.

Living in New York, space is limited, especially space in our little kitchen. My husband (and partner in crime-writing) and I often look for ways to make one kitchen gadget serve two or more purposes. 

Case in point: Our pizza pan with holes. Scroll down to see how we make use of it when we cook hot dogs...

Cleo's Tips for Cooking the
Perfect Hot Dog...

Into a saucepan of water toss 3 or 4 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon of yellow mustard powder, and some ground black pepper. When the water begins to boil, add the hot dogs. Boil for 15 to 20 minutes.

The garlic, mustard powder, and pepper add nice flavor to your average dog. The boiling will plump them up and you can eat them right away. You can also throw them on a grill for a few minutes. In fact, this method is a great way to prepare hot dogs for an outdoor grill. It plumps them up with moisture so you won't get dry, shriveled hot dogs. Instead, they'll stay moist and delicious.

And here's that pizza pan trick: 

During the last minute or two of boiling the dogs, set your pizza pan with holes over the saucepan's top. 

Place your open hot dog buns face down on the pizza pan, and in just one or two minutes you'll have nice, warm steamed buns to go with your flavorful dogs. 

Just slap on a little mustard, relish, onions, with tail-wagging joy!

Valentine's Day

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.

To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.

Now a National
Bestseller in Hardcover

A Coffeehouse Mystery 

*Starred Review* -Kirkus

"Top Pick"  -RT Book Reviews

"...a highly satisfying mystery."
-Publishers Weekly

See the book's
Recipe Guide
by clicking here.

* * * 

Coffeehouse Mystery
Free Title Checklist
(with mini plot summaries)

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
13 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 

* * * 

Haunted Bookshop
Free Title Checklist,