Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Lovely lunch, literate cat and a rescued rescuer

- An invitation for lunch to a lovely home on Sunday for lasagna and great conversation with a table full of friends.  Susan and Rick have a lot, but they give a lot - an awful lot.  And it was lovely to have something Italian and spicy for lunch rather than the usual holiday fare.

 - Their cat Allie is 20 years old.  That's pretty old in cat years, but she still loves to read.  :)

- Dakota was banished to the back porch that day for too much exuberant barking.  He came to their family as an adult rescue pet, but fit right in.  A few days ago he was outdoors again, but urgently barking at this door.  Susan went to check and Allie (who goes outside sometimes) was standing underneath Dakota.  Every time Allie tried to move away, he herded her back and stood over her.  The reason turned out to be a hawk squawking at them from a nearby tree.  The hawk probably would have captured the frail Allie if Dakota had not been so persistent in protecting her.  You know I loved that story.

*** Bonus today.  Another friend, Mary Ann, brought a dense chocolate cake with a fluffy icing laced with crushed peppermint sticks.  Yum!  I asked for the recipe and here it is:

Peppermint Cream Brownie Torte—Serves 10-12 full slices

1 large box ( 1lb. 6.5 oz) Betty Crocker Original Supreme Brownie Mix w/syrup pouch

or 2 Ghirardelli Brownie Mixes.     Bake in 9x13x2 pan

Heat oven to 350°    Line 9x13 pan with 17x12 aluminum foil.

Grease bottom of foil w/shortening.  Make brownies using water, oil and eggs.

Bake as directed.  Cool in pan 1 hour on wire rack.

Make peppermint cream & dark chocolate  ganache.  [ below ]

Remove brownies from pan using foil to lift. Cut into 3 equal rectangles.

Trim sides.

Place 1 brownie rectangle on platter.  Spread with 2/3 cup peppermint cream. 

Top w/2nd brownie rectangle and spread w/dark chocolate ganache.

Top w/ 3rd brownie rectangle.  Spread w/ remaining cream.  Refrigerate uncovered.

Just before serving, sprinkle w/crushed hard peppermint candies.

 Peppermint cream-

½ c heavy whipping cream  ½ pkg (8oz) cream cheese softened

¼ c powdered sugar            ½ tsp peppermint extract.

Beat whipping cream in medium bowl w/electric mixer until soft peaks form.

Set aside.

Beat remaining ingredients in medium bowl on low speed until blended;

beat on medium speed until smooth.

Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture.

Dark Chocolate ganache

¼ cup whipping (heavy) cream.  ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips.

Heat whipping cream until hot, but not boiling, in 1 qt sauce pan over low heat. 

Remove from heat.  Stir in chocolate chips until melted.  Let stand at room temp 1 hr or until thickened.


Granny Annie said...

We got a german shepherd/st. bernard mix puppy when my daughter was born. Needless to say the dog grew much faster than my daughter and would do that exact same thing with my little girl that Dakota did with Allie if danger was present. It would be so funny to hear my toddler crying and look out to see her bumping her head against the dog's chest trying to escape this second mother.

Could you just send me the Peppermint Cream Brownie Torte already made? Thanks!

Louvregirl said...

Great story Lynn! I think my one dog (Ginger) would do the same! Ginger is a 'terror;' fiercely protective and no hawk could 'get over' on her!

Nice that you are sharing a recipe...w-a-y cooool.

Jannie Funster said...

Ahhh, always trust a barking family dog!

LOVE those blue bottles on their back deck.

And LOVE seeing the partial you reflected in the oven door!! :)

Hope our cats live til 20 too!

Well, off now for some naked roller skating.......


TALON said...

Clever dogs and clever cats and kind friends - so beautiful! :)

happygirl said...

Wow, what a dog. I'd say that Dakota is a keeper, even with the barking. Sweet pet love. and the cake, um, starving now. :)

Jannie Funster said...

Where is dear Lynn? She must be very busy this morning!! :0

I still had this page open from earlier, and refreshed... :)

Now, off to email the lovely lady with the chestnut hair and voice I met at Kalyani's birthday... about the lower harmonies for our studio session in early 2012.

xoxoxo (agin, foreveer and a day...) :)

sage said...

The story of Dakota and Allie is wonderful... And the recipes sound delicious.

Elephant's Child said...

Hi, I followed you home. Thanks for visiting. I LOVE the story of the cat being protected from the hawk. Made my sentimental eyes mist up. Thank you.

Maude Lynn said...

That recipe looks amazing!

G. B. Miller said...

Great story about the dog and the cat.

As for those chocolate cake receipes, just another fine example of what I can't have. :(

Perhaps you can post a few pictures of the finished products in the future? :D

Lynn said...

I love the fierce loyalty of dogs like that.

And I would if I could! :)

lg -

Ginger is a beauty, too. I'll bet she IS fiercely protective of your and your family.

Make that cake, huh? I might.

Jannie -

Susan has a blue bottle tree down in the deep back yard. She has a thing for the blue bottles, as you can see. :)

My cat passed away last year, but she almost made it. She was 17.

Hope you enjoyed that naked roller skating. :)


Talon -

Especially the kind friends. :)

happygirl -

I know - I wish I had some of that cake right now. Salad for dinner again. Whatever.

Lynn said...

Jannie -

I had a wildly busy day and might blog about why one of these days. :)


Sage -

Thank you - I'm glad you enjoyed it.

The Elephant's Child -

I'm delighted you came by! You have a lovely postive blog - right up my alley!

Mama Zen -

It was delish. :)

G -

I'm sorry - I didn't think about that! I guess that happens to you all the time.

Fireblossom said...

Wow! A literate cat and a hero dog, all in one post! Cool!!!

Riot Kitty said...

Nom! I mean the ganache, not the dog or cat.

Snaggle Tooth said...

Pretty Poinsettia, (They make me sneeze). Lasagne is always delish, but so much work! Sweet looking senior cat! I had 2 that long, a special thing! I hope she gets that catnip mouse!
Dakota is an awesome babysitter, n very cute, too! I've tried to explain the danger of hawks to Mischief.
Thanks for the mouth watering Torte recipe!

Lynn said...

FB -

I aim to please. :)

Riot Kitty -

lol! Let me know if you make that. :)

Snaggle -

I'm not partial to poinsettias, but this was so pretty because of its variegated leaves.

Dakota is a sweet dog and a good family member.

AudreyO said...

Dogs are amazing. Ours is so protective of us. It's actually almost funny, when we do a fast food place, he'll bark like crazy at the person wanting to hand us food. Not sure what he thinks is being handed to us, but male or female he barks away until we pull away.

Sparkling Red said...

Allie is looking good for her age! None of my cats have ever lived that long. Good thing she has her faithful doggie friend to look after her.

LL Cool Joe said...

Lasagna, well a great deal of Italian food, is my favourite. I'd rather have pasta at this time of the year.

That is old for a cat!

Lynn said...

Audrey -

Thank for coming by! I can imagine that the drive thru people don't make sense to dogs. :)

Sparkling Red -

Mine didn't either - my Sophie was 17 when she passed away (kidney disease.) They are lucky to still have her, but she does seem a little frail and needed help jumping down from that chair.

Lynn said...

Joe -

You were just here! Me, too - holiday food gets a little old. :)

Betty Manousos said...

what cute furry guys!
the photos are so adorable!

that recipe looks awesome! i'll surely give it a try.

Lynn said...

Betty -

I hope you do and post about it!