Category Archives: Recipes

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.

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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! ❤

Clean Your Paws

While we haven’t had an over-abundance of snow yet, other locales across the country have been inundated. What does this mean when you have a dog? Well in our case, it means when we go outside for daily walks, we run of the risk of harming fragile paws from neighbors who over-enthusiastically spread snow melt on sidewalks and driveways. Great for humans, not so great for the ‘paw set.’

img_1261Sure, putting on boots for extended walks protects them but installation on 8 paws isn’t possible all the time or particularly appreciated by the fur-gallery around the Ranch. Sam reluctantly allows boots, but Elsa on the other hand starts pirouetting around like Mikhail Baryshnikov. I haven’t been able to convince her yet that snow boots are not some torturous form of Chinese foot binding. So we often end up walking in the gutter area of the street when there is a lot of salt spread on walks and I have to keep her from licking her paws when it builds up. Conversely, avoiding salted walks by walking on snow-covered streets sometimes results in ice balls building up in their pads so we have to stop and remove them since they probably feel a little like a small stone in your shoe. I know I can’t walk like that and don’t expect my fur-kids to do so either.

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We had hospital duty over the weekend and maintenance always over salts the walkways from the parking lot to the entrance even though the snow from our last storm was over two weeks ago as well as probably 95% melted. Luckily I carry individual wipes with me whenever we go to the hospital during the winter.  And with all sorts of potential germs in a hospital setting, I don’t want Sam licking his paws when we get home. It also inspired me to look for a recipe I could easily make that would help comfort and protect paws, especially in winter.

And voila! Just look at this one with minimal ingredients. Should be easy to protect the fur-kids’ paws when we don’t wear snow boots. Calendula is super healing, avocado and coconut will be extra moisturizing and beeswax will help coat and protect the surface of their paws.

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How do you protect your pups’ paws in winter?

Live, love, bark!

Follow-up ‘Furs-day’

A few of you contacted me regarding specific recipes after our earlier post. I consider the use of essential oils to be preventative in nature so here is additional information about options I like and have found to work well.

Essential Oils

Kelly at Primally Inspired shared this YouTube video with an easy to make recipe in the battle of keeping nasty little buggers at bay. Living in a wooded area, it makes sense to conclude her successful use over the past few years as a good barometer for determining effectiveness. The recipe is simply and easy to make with only 3 ingredients (although our preference is to use 100% witch hazel over vodka). Rose Geranium oil is a terrific non-chemical remedy and this concoction can also be sprayed on a bandana worn around the neck. Groovy fashion statement and a safe remedy for our fur-kids…gotta love that combo.

We have used various essential oil recipes for repelling all manner of crawly or flying things. When my daughter used to live outside Denver in the foothills where deer and bears were frequent visitors, this one worked for both Sam and me and is also a swell mosquito repellant.

bug repellent

Homeopathy:

For those of you more into homeopathic solutions, in addition to Ledum as noted in our earlier post, the use of the homeopathic nosode Psorinum 30c can naturally repel and control ticks and fleas on dogs and cats. It’s totally natural, economical, non-toxic to kids, pets and the environment and can be safely given to dogs or cats. Psorinum is an effective alternative treatment over chemical flea and tick collars for pets with insecticide intolerance, or ineffectiveness since some hardy bugs may become immune to insecticides found in commercial flea and tick collars.

Hope this follow-up provides some additional info for those of you who want to pursue a more natural route. If you have any other specific questions, be sure to email us.

Live, love, bark! ❤

Head Games

Once in a while you have to give a dog medication. Sam hates it but so do most dogs. No one likes the procedure: hold head, avoid scratching or biting, pop a pill in the back of the throat, try not to let the dog wriggle free & run away before spitting it out (and most likely not to be found for hours), stroke said wriggling creature’s throat long enough to swallow. It rarely works. If someone doesn’t get hurt, the dog distrusts you. So we silly humanoids try to disguise it. Dogs will generally eat anything so you’d think they’d gladly take a little pill wrapped in cheese any day. I thought I was being so clever taking a little shredded Cheddar and forming it into a nice little ball wrapped innocently around a little tiny pill, administering it as prescribed and viola! wellness. But Sam has figured that out. I’m not saying he’s stubborn, well, yes, I guess I am saying he can be stubborn but invariably he’d eat the Cheddar (I mean, what dog doesn’t like Cheddar?) and then spit out the pill but he’s kind of sneaky about it. He’ll act very contrite as if saying “see, I’m such a good boy, aren’t I? See I took all my medicine.” while actually crossing his paws behind his back, lying through his teeth! Then ‘Mother’s Little Helper’ later mysteriously appears under the dining table or behind the water bowl. That’s when I know I’ve been had. Outsmarted by a dog with the intellect of a radish. The shame of it all.

Then it came to me–a solution that was much cheaper than $10 a pound Cheddar that needed to be grated (and frankly, I may not always have Cheddar on hand if and when meds need to be doled out) or an expensive Madison Avenue version of the same thing.

So brilliant, so simple, inexpensive and it totally works. A homemade peanut butter pill pocket.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, combine the milk, peanut butter and flour.
  • Mix until completely combined.
  • After it comes together well, I found it best to knead it with my hands to complete the process.
  • Divide the dough into 12 small balls.
  • I found it easiest to use the tip of a meat thermometer to make the hole and wriggle that around to enlarge the opening.
  • Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
  • They will keep until the expiration date of your milk.

Outsmarting the smart-alec dog

I almost feel bad tricking him.  But I just want to be a good dog mommy and get him back to doing what he does best, making patients smile and outsmarting me.   Like I said, almost.