Category Archives: Recipes

Mother Earth Monday

Yesterday was Earth Day and in my mind, one day a year shouldn’t be when we think when trying to save the environment. Rather we should be treating everyday as Earth Day to make a difference on our planet. Whether or not you believe in ‘climate change’ it seems hard to dispute ‘things are a-changing’ out there. Extreme droughts, increasingly more frequent severe storms, you can probably agree that weather patterns don’t seem normal these days. In order to protect our environment, I believe going organic is one way to help Mother Nature. Whenever possible, I try to eat organic and I certainly garden organically. With my two knuckleheads, I never can be sure what they’ll eat, so I want to make sure if they munch on anything in the garden, there aren’t chemicals that control weeds on it. In the past I have used common table vinegar to keep weeds at bay. While repeated applications are necessary a necessary shortcoming, I don’t have to worry about any canine munching on a weed with a side dish of chemicals on top.

Everyone likes a lush flower garden without weeds but I’m not going to put my dogs at risk. With a bee population in peril, it is even more important to treat Mother Nature kindly.

So when I was at my local health food store recently, I was thrilled to come across this recipe for weed control. I have used agricultural strength vinegar in the past and at around 20% acidity (compared with 3-5% for common table vinegar), know it’s extremely efficient when it comes to killing weeds though the lesser strength will also do the job. You may need to reapply a couple of times, especially if the weeds are well established.     I also discovered recently that if you have ants, you can sprinkle some cinnamon and they’ll take off for cheaper housing. Those industrial size bottles from Costco will come in handy beyond the occasional batch of cookies, especially after I found a bunch of squatters in the garage.

“Lady bug love” isn’t exclusively for the environment, in the long run it’s also for your fur-kids, even when you’ve been away on vacation without them. Happy Monday. May your week be particularly environmentally friendly.

Live, love, bark 🐾

Tongue in Tuesday

I’ve tried. I really have tried to catch Elsa with her tongue out but do you think she will accommodate me? Heck no! She clams up as if she belongs to the Illuminati. Sam is equally uncooperative. So alas, it’s not very likely there will be any ‘Tongue Out Tuesday’ posts featuring our gang. So instead, I’m offering a Tongue In Tuesday post (hey when given lemons, I say make some lemonade).

The stoic little Ranch Ninja doesn’t seem to mind me sharing this new recipe with you even if she won’t share her lovely pink tongue. After a dry winter (I realize some of you had endless Nor’easters and countless snow storms-of which we’re so jealous), your pups may have cracked paws or noses. If so, this. is. for. you. You may recall (past posts can be found here and here), where I shared recipes for tick and flea remedies and other treatment remedies for skin conditions using essential oils. Well here’s another one you can add to your healing arsenal ~ a balm for paws and noses

HOMEMADE PET BALM FOR NOSES AND PAWS

INGREDIENTS

1/2 C Natural Beeswax
1/4 C Coconut Oil
1/4 C Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Shea Butter
10-20 drops Vitamin E Oil (a natural preservative)

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Melt beeswax in a small jar in a pot of hot water (double boiler effect) over medium-high heat, stirring often, until completely melted. This should take about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the coconut oil, olive oil, and shea butter. Heat until all ingredients are melted, stirring often.
  3. Remove from heat and add the vitamin E drops. Stir well.
  4. Pour mixture into storage containers or molds.
  5. Let it sit for an hour until it solidifies.

Photo courtesy: Soap Deli News Blog

To use, rub a small amount into your palm until it melts. Apply to affected areas. I love the idea of using the silicone dog paw and bone shaped molds I’ve used before when I made coconut oil dog treats. With the moisturizing properties of these oils, those cracked paws and noses should heal up in no time. And you won’t have to worry about the balm being licked off. All the ingredients are completely safe. Win-win. Even if there is no tongue being displayed for the camera.

Does your pup ever get cracked nose or paws?

Live, love, bark 🐾

 

For the Health of It ~ Treat Tuesday

Commercial vs. Homemade ~ Always a dilemma isn’t it? We want the very best for our pups and sometimes we think we don’t have the time. I can tell you this is one of the quickest handmade treats you can make. Not only is it quick and easy, it contains healthy ingredients too. We’ve shared homemade snacks made with peanut butter before, but this one has the added benefit of banana. I don’t know about you, but my best intentions of using the beautiful, yellow fruit before it gets too ripe seem to fail on a regular basis. What do you do with that last banana that is past its prime? How about making some of these?

Oatmeal Peanut Butter and Banana Dog Treats

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 medium, peeled and quartered banana
  • 1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350º F. Pulse oatmeal, banana and peanut butter in a food processor until a dough ball is formed. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/2 to 1 inch thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut out and place on a non-stick baking sheet or parchment paper. Bake 12-15 depending on thickness until golden brown on top. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes. See what I mean…easy-peasy. These treats will stay good 3-5 days in an air-tight container (unrefrigerated) or you can freeze them to last longer. The trick is waiting until they’ve cooled off enough to taste. After all, quality control is big around our kitchen and burnt tongues are definitely frowned upon. Happy noshing!

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Pawty Recipes

First, let me bark out loud thanks for all the kind Gotcha Day greetings to my sister. You made her day very special and mom and I appreciate Blogville’s kindness. Hey, it’s Sam here. Mom promised to share her treat recipes with everyone and we can’t believe how many of you want to try them out.

The good news is they are super easy to make. A while back mom posted the “Unleash the Quiche” recipe from Rachel Ray. You can read about it here. Mom modifies the recipe since she’s a vegetarian and never has meat in the house, other than dog food. I know…we’re so deprived.

Vegetable Quiche Muffins

Whisk together 4 eggs with a splash of milk (we don’t do a lot of milk either so you can either just do a splash or 1/4 cup like Rachel’s recipe calls for. Mom then added a couple of tablespoons each of (a) chopped carrot bits (b) chopped frozen green beans and (c) cheese. Mix together and pour into greased muffin tins or paper baking cups. We made 6 muffins. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  That’s it. Didn’t I say it was easy? It took mom longer to clean up then it did to throw these guys together.  And the good news is you can substitute any dog appropriate veggie for the carrots or green beans or even add some meat. {Drool}

Coconut Oil Dog Treats

These were even easier to whip up with only 3 ingredients. Take 1 cup of peanut butter (make sure it doesn’t contain Xylitol-that stuff is deadly for us fur-kids) and 1 cup of pure, unprocessed coconut oil. The recipe mom used also called for 1 tsp. of cinnamon but mom used to make dog treats for sale and some dogs aren’t all that keen on a heavy taste of cinnamon. She only added around 1/4 tsp. Melt the coconut oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until melted. Add the peanut butter and cinnamon and stir until mixture is nice and smooth. It should be somewhat thick but pourable. Pour mixture into silicone ice trays and freeze until solid. We are keeping them in an air-tight container in the freezer. If you’re stingy like my mom, just give one treat with meals. The brown part is the cinnamon which tends to settle at the bottom of the mold.

Mom snagged those adorable silicon paw print and small bone molds from Amazon but you can use plain silicon ice-cube trays as well.  Aren’t they as cute as a certain poodle you know? Let us know if you make these and what you and your pup thought. They really couldn’t be easier to make and the rewards for your pups of these healthy treats / meal-toppers are what it’s all about, right? These guys earn my 4-paw seal of approval so now all that left to do is eat.🐾🐾

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

 

Bone Jour

Welcome to our first co-authored experiment! Hi there, Sam and Elsa here.

Sam: You already know me, I’m that handsome pet therapy dude.

Elsa: Well yes, true enough. Now me…well, I’m the smart one.

Sam: Hey…I’m smart too, sister.

Elsa: Right…whatever gets you through the night, bro. Anyway…we wanted to share a new recipe mom found from Rachel Ray recently. You know Rachel and how much she lovvves her doggies!

Sam and Elsa together in 2-part harmony: So without further adieu, let’s ‘Unleash the Quiche!’

Photo courtesy of Rachel Ray Magazine

Mini-Ham, Cheese and Spinach Pup Mini Quiche from Rachel Ray’s Kitchen*

Sam: Ok kids, let’s get started. First thing, preheat your oven to 350º and find your mini-muffin tins. Elsa, did you find those muffin tins yet?

Elsa: Got ’em! You’ll need to spray your muffin tins to keep them from sticking (or use paper cups to line). I’d do it, but I don’t have a thumb. Ooooh Mo-mmm, we need your help!

Sam: After your mom sprays the tins, combine in a small bowl these ingredients, mix 2 TBSP each of chopped ham, grated Swiss cheese and thawed drained frozen spinach, dividing equally among the muffin cups.

Elsa: Um, you know Mom is a vegetarian, right brother? Where we gonna find ham around the Ranch?

Sam: Mom will modify the recipe to account for the fact that she has no ham. We’re sharing the recipe with ham for everyone else. Maybe one day she’ll make an exception and pick up a small piece of ham steak for us. Paws crossed…hint, hint, mom.

Elsa:  It’s ok for me, I love veggies. Maybe she’ll add my favorite…green beans. Then in a medium bowl, whisk 4 eggs with 1/4 cup milk. Divide the egg mixture evenly among the cups.

Sam: Bake until golden brown and cook through, about 20 minutes depending on the size of your tins. Makes about 12 mini’s.

Elsa: How easy is that? Now ‘ham it up’ brother and let’s go dig our paws into this tasty brunch meal!

Mom here interrupting this co-authored post by making a cameo appearance: If you make this up, let us know what you think. Our version will be slightly modified since, as noted by the ‘smart one,’ meat is an unknown commodity around our vegetarian lifestyle Ranch.

[* The recipe was reviewed by the ASPCA. Every pet is different so be sure to check with your veterinary professional to make sure the recipe is suitable in your case.]

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Monday Mo(a)nings

Photo courtesy of Dog Treat Kitchen

I had been meaning to make these treats for the fur-kids fur-ever… so over the weekend I finally got my rear in gear and made sweet potato chews.

Talk about easy-peasy! Just wash and thinly slice yams or sweet potatoes and let a dehydrator do it’s thing. It’s not even necessary to de-skin them. A few hours later (depending on the thickness of your slices) and Voila! ~ sweet potato chews.

Dehydrated chews ready for noshing

Don’t have a dehydrator? No sweat. Bake them in in a 250° F oven on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 3 hours, turning half-way through. They should come out soft but chewy. If you want something a bit crisper, add 30 minutes to the baking. Cool and store in an airtight container in the frig for up to 3 weeks (or freeze them for up to 4 months). I used a mandolin to slice mine because it’s quicker (or so I thought) but be careful, those amazing slicers suckers can slice through anything…including your hand. It took longer to treat my wound than it did the actual slicing and placing on the racks. Apologies for the image exposures for these last two images. I felt lucky to be able to take a photo with my left hand.

So I learned two things this past weekend…(1) how to make a tasty, easy-to-make and healthful treat that my dogs loved and (2) be careful with trying to force something through the slicer as you are likely to slip especially if you thought you could do ‘one last swipe’ without the benefit of the food guard which should be used without exception. For anyone with an IKEA nearby, I suggest buying their fabulous Band-Aids, those things are truly AMAZING and super inexpensive.

So did you do anything productive over the weekend? Hopefully it was something safe. Happy Mo(a)nday.

Live, love, bark!

Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard

We all know Sam had a good time at the K-Oss Pawty with his new fur-iend, Anne. When he came home (past his curfew I might add) he kept reminding me about all the terrific treats there and began guilting me into making more treats for he and Elsa. “Ok, ok I said. I’ll make some more treats.” Seeing his hang-dog look and hearing those heavy dog sighs every time he walked past this sight made me realize how truly mistreated he is. NOT! but that’s another story.

img_4297-3-2

I have been trying to get Sam to eat more veggies and fruits as long as I can remember, both of which he has soundly rejected. A few chews and then he spits them out into a mushy spot on the floor. The little Ninja Hoover aka Elsa, however is more than happy to gobble up any blueberry, apple slice, peas or green beans offered and it’s made Sam reconsider his limited thinking on those kinds of foodables. Now he sits patiently while I dole out those healthy snacks so I wanted to find a recipe that might have apples or applesauce. A quick check of the ole pantry showed a nice jar of unsweetened organic applesauce so I was off to the races…otherwise known as the Google Oracle to find a recipe. It contains peanut butter, oats and applesauce. A few minutes with the KitchenAid and Voilà! A new favorite is born. From this…

'Pawnut-Applesauce' Treats

‘Pawnut’ Butter-Applesauce Treats

To this…in no time!

final

For those of you interested in the recipe, Sam wanted me to share it so all his fur-iends could enjoy this tasty treat.

‘Pawnut’ Butter ~ Applesauce Treats

3 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups pick-cook oats
1 cup ‘pawnut’ butter (Xylitol free please)
1 cup unsweetened organic applesauce
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil or coconut oil (I used 1/2 cup of coconut oil)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Mix all ingredients well but don’t over mix. Knead the dough on lightly floured surface (if dough is too loose or crumbly, you can add more coconut or olive oil). Roll to about 1/4 inch thick and cut into shapes with cookie cutters. You can also make small double balls if you don’t want to use any cutters, they’ll be fine, just not as cute as a paw or bone shape). Place on cookie sheet approximately 1/2 inch apart. Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool and serve. Store in airtight container in fridge for up to a couple of weeks.

Easy-peasy. Your fur-ball will love ’em and you’ll love knowing they are eating something tasty and healthy. Just don’t let them guilt you into too many. That hang-dog look only goes so far.

Live, love, bark! ❤