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This Bathroom Is Full Of Wiener Dogs

We went to an ice hockey game last weekend.

I use the term “ice hockey” loosely because our local team is as far from professional as you can get.  It’s basically a bunch of dudes who skate around while the audience watches ads for pest control and bail bondsmen on the jumbo-tron.

Anyway, when we got to the stadium Scott found seats and I went to get hotdogs and beer.  When I got back, we had the following conversation:

ME:       The bathroom is full of dogs.

SCOTT:       Drug-sniffing dogs?

ME:       No.  Wiener dogs.  One came into my stall while I was peeing.

SCOTT:       Uh huh.

ME:       You don’t believe me?

SCOTT:       [shaking his head]  I sure don’t.  Are you drunk?

ME:       How could I be drunk?  We just got here.  So did the wiener dogs, apparently.  Which is what I’m trying to tell you.

SCOTT:       [rolling his eyes].  Okay.  So the wiener dog that came into the stall with you. . . did it have a name?

ME:       Yes.  Carpet Annie.

SCOTT:       Its name was “Carpet”?

ME:       Yes.

SCOTT:       How do you know?

ME:       [exasperated]  Because it was wearing a t-shirt that had “carpet” written on it!

SCOTT:      Sure it was.

ME:       You know what?  HERE.  [tossing my iPhone into his lap.]

carpet annie

SCOTT:       I guess I owe you an apology.

ME:       I accept your apology and I raise you one wiener dog.  [pointing to one that had appeared on Scott's left.]

SCOTT:       Good God, what’s happening?

weiner dog

What was happening, it turned out, was the 3rd Annual Wiener Dog Race.

weinerdogs4

During a break in the hockey action, 50 dachshunds wiggled across the ice at varying speeds.  Some ran in the wrong direction.  Others got tangled up in knots, and still more sat down and waited for it to be over.

on the ice

It was basically what the guys on the hockey team had been doing all night.  And it was awesome.

So I’m thinking of getting a wiener dog in time for the 4th Annual Wiener Dog Race. . . unless anyone has a wiener dog I can borrow?

I will trade you cornbread muffins.

corn muffins 1 small. . . and a handful of daffodils that have started blooming in the driveway.

daffodils small

. . . and some white chicken chili with butternut squash.

chijcken chili5 small

And I promise to split the prize with you if our wiener dog wins.  I think it’s a $20 gas card or something.

Anyway, about that white chicken chili. . . I am so excited about it.  It’s hearty and satisfying and it kept us going all week–we made so many meals out of it.

Using a store-bought rotisserie chicken really cuts down on the effort, but you could be a better chef than I and roast or poach your own.   The original recipe I used didn’t call for butternut squash, but it adds some nice, healthy volume to the dish.   And when you dunk a sour cream cornbread muffin in there– well, it’s great.

Cornbread Muffins {Download & Print Recipe}
Adapted just slightly from a recipe by Diana Rattray and told in my own words.

Ingredients: (makes 6 muffins)

2 eggs

1 c. sour cream

6 Tbsp. butter, melted

1/4 c. whole milk

1/2 c. flour

1 1/4 c. finely ground cornmeal

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

3 Tbsp. sugar

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and butter a muffin tin.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (eggs, sour cream, melted butter and milk).  In a large bowl or standing mixer, combine the remaining dry ingredients.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir or beat until just combined.  Pour the batter into the muffin tin and bake 20-25 minutes, until the tops are lightly browned and a tester (such as a toothpick) inserted all the way into a muffin comes out clean.  Serve.

~~~

White Chicken Chili with Butternut Squash {Download & Print Recipe}
Adapted slightly from The Kitchn and told in my own words.
The chili is great made ahead and reheated because the flavors only deepen with time.  As noted below, you could alter this to make it a soup instead of a thick stew.  If you prefer a soup, use more broth and skip the roux.

Ingredients: (for about 6)

1/2 of a large butternut squash, diced into 1″ cubes (2-3 c.)

3 Tbsp. + 2 tsp.  olive oil, divided

1 medium to large onion, diced

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed, diced (optional–only if you like it hot)

2 4-0z. cans chopped green chiles

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/4 tsp. cayenne

6 c. chicken broth (preferably unsalted), or more if you like a lighter, soupier stew

2 15.8-oz. cans white beans, drained and rinsed (my favorite is Great Northern beans but Cannellini beans are fine too)

1 15-oz. can corn

the meat from 1 store-bought rotisserie chicken (shredded by hand, 4-6 c.)

a dash (or more, to taste) Tabasco sauce

6 Tbsp. butter

6 Tbsp. flour

3/4 c. whole milk or cream (I use milk)

salt and pepper

lime wedges, tortilla chips, cornbread muffins, sour cream, cilantro, grated cheddar or Monterey Jack, Tabasco for serving (optional)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Toss the butternut squash pieces in 2 tsp. of the olive oil and spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Roast them until they’re tender when you pierce them with a fork.

In the meantime, heat the remaining 3 Tbsp. olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat.  Throw in the onion, celery, bell pepper, and jalapeno if using.  Cook until very soft, about 10 minutes, but don’t let the onions brown or burn.  Add the green chiles, garlic, cumin, chili powder and cayenne, and cook for another 2 minutes.

Pour in the chicken broth and increase the heat to high momentarily while you add the white beans, corn, chicken, Tabasco, some pepper, and several dashes of salt (especially if you used unsalted chicken broth).  Reduce the heat to low.

A couple notes at this point:  (1)  if you taste the stew now, you’ll really taste the Tabasco.  Don’t worry–it mellows.  (2) The chicken broth may not totally cover the chicken and veggies in the pot.  That’s okay.  But if you like a soup rather than a thick chili, you can add more broth here and skip the roux below.  [I added 1/2 c. or more broth and did add the roux below, and it made a deliciously thick stew.]

Cook for an hour over low heat, adding the butternut squash to the pot whenever the squash is done.

To make the roux for thickening the stew, toss the butter and the flour into a small saucepan over medium heat.  Cook, stirring together, about 3-4 minutes, until it turns a toasty color.  Add the milk or cream and cook 3-4 more minutes, stirring or whisking so that the contents come together and thicken into a paste.

Stir the paste into the chili completely so that there are no lumps.

Continue cooking the chili over low heat for another 30 minutes to an hour.  Taste it and season with more salt and spices if it needs it.

Serve the chili with Tabasco on the side, and tortilla chips or cornbread.   The chili is extremely satisfying on its own, but I like serving it with a lime wedge on the side for squeezing on top.   You can also put sour cream, cilantro, or grated cheddar or Monterey Jack on the table for people to add as they wish.

~~~

thunder2.24 smallLast year, over a period of many months, Thunder dug/ate/ripped a huge hole in one of the couch cushions.  We covered it with a blanket, because that’s how classy people fix furniture.  Now she sleeps in the hole.  She curls up in it like it’s a nest.   It makes me think she’s been watching the doves that are nesting under the eaves of our front porch.

If so, she’s going to be really disappointed when she tries to lay an egg.

52 Comments Post a comment
  1. Amy #

    My family has two wiener dogs! One of them, Biggie Smalls, wouldn’t do too well in the race because he’d just bark at the other dogs. The other, Sparky, might work since he follows my dad EVERYWHERE, so maybe if my dad came along, he could win.

    This chicken chili looks so yummy! I’ve never made one with a white base but I think it sounds amazing for a cold day :)

    February 26, 2013
    • Amy, it didn’t seem like there was a rule against bribing your dog with treats, so I will provide them. Your dad and I should probably start practicing if Sparky’s going to have a chance at winning this thing.

      February 26, 2013
      • Amy #

        haha. Well he’s in Florida and given the length of Sparky’s legs, it could take him a while to walk to you ;)

        February 26, 2013
  2. I would buy a weiner dog just to see that race.

    February 26, 2013
    • I was going to say the same thing!

      February 26, 2013
      • Yes! This is what I’m SAYING, ladies. Also, It would be a lot cheaper if we go in on a wiener dog together. If one of you could keep him most of the year so Scott never finds out that I bought a wiener dog (or a 1/3 part ownership in a wiener dog), that would be excellent.

        February 26, 2013
  3. Loving your post – ha! A relative has a mini-weiner and it hops more than runs. This would have been interesting to see. Happy Tuesday:)

    February 26, 2013
    • Ah, I don’t think there were any mini-wieners at the ice park last weekend. I bet they weren’t allowed because it would have been a health hazard for them to participate. Probably just one of the many ways mini-wiener dogs are discriminated against.

      February 26, 2013
  4. PattyAD #

    Jealous of your daffodils – mine won’t be showing up until the end of next month, at the earliest. That’s probably just as well, since we’re supposed to get at least 6 inches of snow today & tomorrow.

    The weinder dog race sounds like a blast! We have a local AHL league, with lots of gimmicky games, but the most exciting thing they do is the human hockey puck. Weiner dogs still win.

    Are the corn muffins on the sweeter side, or more savory? I tend to prefer them a bit sweet.

    February 26, 2013
    • Patty, what the heck is the human hockey puck?! It sounds. . . painful.

      These muffins are still pretty savory. The original recipe made 2 Tbsp. sugar optional, but I upped it to 3 and I personally wouldn’t like them without it. You could increase the sugar more, or add a can of corn–that would probably sweeten it a tad. But if you like sweet corn muffins you might want to start with this recipe as a base: http://www.landolakes.com/recipe/1012/sour-cream-cornbread-muffins. I tried these out too and the cornmeal was less intense in these. If you upped the sugar in the Land O’Lakes recipe, it should get you closer to what you like.

      February 26, 2013
      • PattyAD #

        Milwaukee Admirals human hockey puck: fans from the crowd volunteer for the chance to get launched from a slingshot at the center line, across the ice on a saucer sled, to knock down a large set of soft bowling pins set up down by the goal (they move the net). The contestant who knocks down the most pins wins a minor prize. They’ve done it for years, so it must not be too bad. The tricky part seems to be the ability to course correct without tipping off the saucer.

        A little sweet is okay; I just really dislike the ones that seem to have no sugar at all. The cornmeal seems to need that touch for me. Thanks for the link – I may try both & see what works.

        February 26, 2013
  5. I’m glad you had photographic evidence to get that timely apology… :) I don’t think I’ve ever had white chili before, and I’m a little hesitant about putting milk/cream in soups, but your chili looks SO GOOD. (Especially in that beautiful wooden bowl, and especially with the corn muffins!)

    February 26, 2013
    • Allison, I hear you. When soups call for a cup or two of cream, I usually add 1/4 c. for starters. I used milk for this. You could totally make it without the roux and milk, though–I tasted it before adding those and it was good–just be more of a tortilla soup than a stew. I’m not sure how it would be with just the roux but without the milk–probably fine, right? It would just thicken it a little, I suppose. I guess you’d want to ease up on the spices, though, since there wouldn’t be any dairy in there to cut the heat.

      I’m glad you like the wooden bowl–my mom got it for me for Christmas!

      February 26, 2013
  6. I usually start the recipe-selection process by gauging the number of square inches occupied by the ingredients and instructions and then I get rid of those that are larger than a drink coaster, but this one looks dee-LISH and easy, and if it will feed us more than once, I already like it. Thanks!

    February 26, 2013
    • I know what you mean. There are a lot of ingredients, that’s true. Overall–the chopping wasn’t so bad– it eases up when you get to all the cans and spices. Don’t you think ALL recipes should be assigned an “annoyance” score? Or a “chopping” score? I get so bummed out when a recipe calls for 2 chopped onions or something. Chopping onions is my least favorite and not because they sting my eyes–I just hate peeling them and making sure none falls on the floor since the dogs are allergic.

      February 26, 2013
  7. Dachshunds for the win! That race looks like way more fun than actual ice hockey. Those dogs were all over the place! How the hell did they know who won? Your white chili looks very tasty and I love your wooden bowls.

    February 26, 2013
  8. I like that you didn’t lead with the dog photo, choosing instead to test Scott’s faith in you.

    That’s strike one, Scott. Strike one.

    Or whatever the hockey equivalent is.

    February 26, 2013
    • Well said.

      Sometimes I think there are no “strikes” in hockey. I feel like every 10th time a guy whacks someone’s helmet, yells an epithet, and punches another dude in the groin, he gets a 1-minute time out.

      February 26, 2013
  9. I have a wiener dog mix! Do you think he could race? That sounds like quite the fun day:)

    February 26, 2013
    • At no point did there appear to be ANY rules related to the Wiener Dog Race. So, yes. Yes, I think he could race.

      February 26, 2013
  10. jenny_o #

    Hilarious; you’ve made me laugh out loud, and not in that LOL way, in a real way :) Wiener dogs are terribly cute, but I think Thunder is just a tad cuter. I am happy to know that other people just drape blankets over their pet destruction as well. It’s fruitless to try to have nice things, is it not?

    February 26, 2013
    • Don’t you just hate how you can’t say “you made me laugh” anymore without feeling like a 13-year-old? Ugh.

      Anyway, I am so glad you had a real live chuckle. Now you should watch the video posted just below your comment because it’s hilarious, I think.

      I bemoan the loss of the couch cushion. We should have saved all the stuffing that came out, little by little, when we weren’t looking, because then we could have patched it back together again. Alas. The couch cushion went the way of the afghan, and the pillow cases, and, well, I’ll stop there before I get upset. :)

      February 26, 2013
  11. WooHoo! Weenie Dog races are THE BEST! Although I can’t imagine competing on ice! (Hell, my dogs slip and slide across hard-wood floors!)

    Our old Mama-Dog, Tazz, was a True Wiener – back in the day! She won her heat and took 4th place, overall, at the Highway Wiener Nationals in 2007. Tazz the #5 dog and Princess Annie is #6. I’ve posted pictures here: http://imqtpi.blogspot.com/2013/02/and-now-for-something-completely.html if you’re interested. Also – along those lines – there is an absolutely HYSTERICAL movie – err – DOGumentary about Weenie-Dog Racing called “Wiener Takes All” http://wienertakesall.com/

    Check it out – if you are so inclined ;-)

    P.S. Thanks for the recipe for white chili. I’ve always wanted to try to make up a batch o’ white chili (just to be different). Now I’ve got a recipe I can actually follow! (Of course, now I have to plant some white tomatoes, as well! :-D)

    February 26, 2013
    • My friend,

      1. How could I NOT check this out? Your dog came in 4th place! That’s awesome. I like the race-on-grass format you guys have going on better than the ice format. A lot of the owners I talked to (Scott made me go down on the ice and videotape the race, so I met some people) said that their dogs (including Carpet Annie) hated to cold so they weren’t racing. There were maybe a hundred dogs on the sidelines.

      2. Oh my God. Everyone and their extended families, and their colleagues and THEIR extended families, should watch the trailer for WIENER TAKES ALL. To reiterate, here’s the link:

      http://wienertakesall.com/

      February 26, 2013
    • jenny_o #

      What a great video – thanks for linking :)

      February 26, 2013
  12. That’s hysterical! Love it!!!

    February 26, 2013
    • You are always so kind, Lynn. Thanks!

      February 26, 2013
  13. Candy #

    Love white chicken chili. Perfect for this cold, dreary day. One of my mini wiener dogs would love to race. He practices twice a day in the house. The other would just bark for a little while then go sit down; he has an exercise problem. You can borrow one the next time you visit Nashville!!

    (Read postscript in slow Southern drawl)
    P.S. Gurll, they gonna take you Southern card away if you keep putting suga in th’ cornbread. ;)

    February 26, 2013
    • Candy, I laughed when reading your comment for a couple reasons. First, for some reason saying “I have an exercise problem”–even if coming from a dog–strikes me as hilarious. THAT is what I’ll tell Scott when he tries to drag me to the gym. Instead of “um, my back hurts” or “but. . . I have work to do,” I’m going to announce I have an exercise problem, turn on my heel, and promptly walk away.

      Also, you are awesome for calling me out on the sugar and I can’t believe I forgot to put a note up there about how it’s not legit if you do use it. Gah! I’m going to have to pick up pecans from my back yard and eat them in order to win my Southern card back!

      February 26, 2013
  14. This post made me hungry for chili dogs for some reason – is that wrong? Hilarious post as usual! You are living the dream my friend…living the dream….

    February 26, 2013
    • Mellissa, as Scott would say, CHILI DOGS ARE NEVER WRONG. Also, philly cheese steaks. Also any of the 900 other Scott-approved items, but I won’t list them out here.

      February 26, 2013
  15. That has got to be the best thing EVER!!!! I have a friend who would love this, I’m going to send her the link! You put a smile on my face as usual! Thank you again

    February 26, 2013
    • Aw, thanks Gee! If your friend has a wiener dog, I hope she lives in a place that has a nice, gentle wiener dog race every year (because this one was kinda nuts!)

      February 26, 2013
  16. Very cool

    February 26, 2013
  17. I must be classy too because that is exactly how I fixed the chair my daughters dog ate! :)

    And I feel so bad for those wiener dogs on the ice! Their feet must have been freezing! Not to mention their bellies dragging on the ice too! lol.

    February 26, 2013
  18. juanitascocina #

    I think they should call the event, “Wieners on Ice”.

    That’s all I’ve got.

    February 26, 2013
  19. mallory #

    Our Frenchie (to recap: nee Freddie Mercury) nests! I suspect it is A Thing amongst them, but I only have one to base that opinion on besides Thunder’s partial status. I will tell you, Fred’s nest comes in the form of the soft-filled back cushion of our (admittedly: rather cheap) couch, which happens to be up against a window. So he will hoist himself up there to bark ferociously at passers-by, then slump down to relax in the now-smooshed cushion, all tightly snuggled up against the actual back of the couch. We too throw a blanket over the whole messy situation, which happens to be a similar color to Fred, and sometimes I will walk by and he is completely camouflaged. If only he didn’t snore, he’d be totally stealth. IF ONLY.

    Lacking segue, I will slide straight into: I am making that chili this weekend. Though I am partial to my cast iron skillet cornbread…

    February 26, 2013
  20. I’ve sent this to my daughter so she can read it with her English long-haired dachshund, Olive. Too cute!

    February 26, 2013
  21. Love wiener dogs! My parents just bought our second one! Charlie… :)

    February 26, 2013
  22. Weiner dogs on ice?! I must move to your town IMMEDIATELY.
    We had one when I was growing up, his name was Otto, and all of his shenanigans have gone down in family history. I miss that dog.

    February 26, 2013
  23. That may be the most awesome thing I have ever seen happen in an ice rink. And I’m Canadian and a diehard Vancouver Canucks fan…

    February 27, 2013
  24. Haha. My husband’s cousin absolutely adores sausage dogs (that’s what we call them in Oz) so I am totally going to share this with her.

    February 27, 2013
  25. I think you could fix Thunder (oops, poor choice of words) with a fake wiener dog nose–elastic string around her head. Surely, she’d kill at the races (er, my word choice today..
    .)
    We got 10 inches of snow in the last 24 hours, so I’m trying not to hate your daffodils.

    February 27, 2013
  26. stephbo93 #

    OMG! The only thing better than weiner dog races is weiner dog races ON ICE!!!

    February 27, 2013
    • Everything is better on ice, don’t you think? Dancing is fine but ice dancing makes me swoon. And for some reason the crazy cut-out ballroom dancing costumes look more appropriate on the ice….

      March 1, 2013
  27. Good God, I do love the absurd. In fact, I’m currently living for it. Those little ice dogs (and their handlers, I might add) fit that bill.

    February 28, 2013
  28. only you would just happen to attend a hockey game filled with wiener dogs. Seriously, only you; i needed no photographic evidence, because i knew it was the truth. I think what’s most stunning to me is that hockey exists in the south; i had NO IDEA about that.
    it just dawned on me, whilst looking at your beautifully puffed corn muffins and perfect white chicken chili HOW MUCH BETTER of a cook you are than I am. Like, exponentially so. I’m so busy hunkering down with ridiculous cookies that i can’t even throw together a salad most days.

    March 5, 2013
  29. Oh my- that’s a hoot. Ice hockey and Alabama are funny enough never mind the wiener dogs! You should have ended the night with cool runnings- John Candy and the Jamaican bobsledding team :-)

    March 24, 2013
    • I loved that movie when I was younger. My brother and I used to quote it all the time!

      March 24, 2013

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