My boys love this film about a pair of siblings in foster care who keep stray dogs in an abandoned hotel.
Because what kid doesn’t love dogs? Well, I mean, I do know one kid that doesn’t, but she still enjoys dog movies.
If you’re looking for a family fun night with plenty of laughs and a book tie-in, Hotel for Dogs is the perfect answer. And read the book, too, because it’s written by Lois Duncan, so you know it’s good.
Just maybe don’t try to read it all in one night.
Hotel for Dogs features siblings Andi and Bruce, 16- and 11-year-old orphans who refuse to be separated by the foster care system but have, perhaps, the worst foster parents ever. They’ve been placed 5 times in 3 years, and their latest home is their last hope of staying together. Somehow through all of this, the kids have managed to keep the family dog, Friday, with them through some pretty sneaky schemes. When they have to find a place for Friday to stay, they discover an abandoned hotel that already has dogs living in it. Along with some new friends, the siblings start taking in just about every stray in the city, turning the hotel into a dog Wonderland.
Cuteness overload, but done so well that I’m seriously watching it for about the milllionth time as I type this.
When Friday is first introduced in the film, he steals some bacon from the kids’ foster mom right behind her back. So I thought a fun meal would include potato skins covered in bacon. Because bacon. And what goes better with tater skins than a big, yummy thickburger? I mean, seriously, y’all.
This is actually my husband’s super-yummy-frag-delicious recipe and the only way we’ll eat burgers at the Brison house.
What You Need
- 3 lbs ground chuck
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp hot sauce
- 1 Tbsp steak sauce
- 1 Tbsp Cavender’s Greek Seasoning (or to taste)
What You Do
- Place ground chuck into a bowl
- Pour all other ingredients over ground beef
- Mix with a wooden spoon (or your hands) until sauces and spice are evenly distributed
- Divide mixture into 6-8 balls
- Pack each ball tightly between your hands
- Flatten and place in skillet or on grill
- Cook on medium heat for 5-8 minutes on each side until done to your liking
- Serve on buns garnished with some good stuff (like pickles. Because pickles.)
Loaded Potato Skins
These are a family favorite that disappear quickly around here.
What you need
- 5 medium potatoes, baked and cooled
- 1 lb cooked bacon
- 6 Tbsp butter + extra for outside of potatoes
- 3-4 Tbsp natural sour cream
- 1/2 Tbsp kosher salt
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
What you do
- Cut each baked potato in half vertically, then cut each half in half horizontally so you have 4 open-faced pieces
- Carefully scoop out most of the white pulp and place in a bowl; set aside
- Turn the shelled skins over and spray with oil then sprinkle with kosher salt; flip back over so they’re ready to fill
- Mix butter, sour cream, 1 cup cheddar cheese and 1/2 the bacon into the potato pulp, mashing potatoes as you go
- Spoon the mixture back into the potato shells (you’ll probably have some left over–save it for another use)
- Top each filled potato shell with a sprinkle of cheese and bacon
- Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and potatoes are heated through
What could be more fun than cookies that look like dog bones? Just don’t mix them up with your dog’s treats. Ewww.
Not Your Dog’s Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup wheat flour
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
What you do
What you do:
- Preheat oven to 350F
- In a mixer, cream peanut butter, butter, and sugars until smooth
- Add egg and vanilla extract and mix well
- In a separate bowl, sift together flours, baking soda, and salt
- Add to butter mixture and mix well
- Scoop out about a 1/2″ ball of dough and roll between hands to make long part of bone
- Place on cookie sheet and flatten slightly with fingertips
- Scoop out 4 1/4-inch balls and press 2 into each end of long part
- Sprinkle with white sugar if desired
- Bake 9 minutes
- Allow to cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet
- Remove to wire rack to cool completely
Yeah. This one is gonna be fun. And so yummy, you’ll be thanking me later. (And thanking my beautiful husband.)
Looking for more family fun? Check out:
Dinner and a Movie: Wonder
Dinner and a Movie: The Little Prince
Dinner and a Movie: The Great Gilly Hopkins
How to Host a Family Book Talk
KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys.Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.
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