Yesterday, Tallulah and I joined our human mommy/personal chef in the kitchen to whip up a batch of Veggie Bones. Tallulah supervised as Mommy assembled the ingredients:
- 3 cups minced parsley
- 1/4 cup finely chopped carrots
- 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella or parmesan cheese (we went for the parmesan, and Mommy gave it a fine chop)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2-3/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons bran (we used oat bran)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 to 1 cup water
In one bowl, Mommy combined the parsley, carrots, cheese, and olive oil. In another, she mixed the whole wheat flour, bran, and baking powder. Then she poured the dry ingredients into the veggies, gradually added 1/2 cup of water, and mixed to make a moist but not wet dough. If you’re trying this at home, you might need to add a little extra water. We eventually used just a bit over one cup.
Then came my second favorite part of any dog treat recipe: cleaning the mixer beaters.
I even let Tallulah get in on the action. When we’d finished, Mommy could have put those beaters right back into the drawer . . . but she didn’t, opting instead to let them take what Tallulah and I thought was a totally unnecessary spin in the dishwasher. But back to the actual baking process.
Mommy kneaded the dough for about a minute and put half of it onto a surface sprinkled with some whole wheat flour. Then she rolled the dough out to 1/2-inch thickness and cut it into little bone shapes before placing the cut-out treats onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. (Mommy wrapped the remaining dough in plastic wrap, sealed it in a ziplock bag, and popped it into the freezer so that we can make more treats another day.)
At this point, I will admit that I was super excited that I do not have opposable thumbs. You see, if I did, I might have had to do the whole kneading, rolling, and cutting thing. Instead, I enjoyed a nice little nap. I even left the pre-baking quality control duties up to Tallulah. She seemed pleased with the work that our mommy had done and gave her the ok to place the cookie sheet into the oven, which was preheated to 350F. Then my little sister and I sat back and waited about 20 to 30 minutes for our Veggie Bones to come out. We knew they were ready when they were browned and slightly hardened.
Remember just above when I told you that cleaning the mixer beaters is my second favorite part of any dog teat recipe? Any guesses what my favorite part might be? Yep . . . it’s tasting the final product. After the Veggie Bones came out of the oven, we let them cool and harden just a bit more. While I was happy to let Tallulah cover pre-bake quality control, I took full responsibility for guaranteeing the quality of the post-bake product. After all, being the older sibling does come with some advantages. And my verdict? Simply superb! If you’re looking for a healthy homemade treat, these Veggie Bones are just the thing. BONE appetit . . . and try to keep the drool to a minimum. 😉
Someone in our family has dog breath. (I’m not naming names, but if you lean into your screen and sniff, I think you can figure it out on your own.) So my human mommy/blogging assistant/personal chef turned to our friends at Pinterest in search of a tasty remedy. She found quite a few recipes. Some were for frozen treats. They looked super yummy and perfect for summer. We’ll definitely try them another time.
But we wanted something we could share with our friends, so Mommy and I settled on DIY Doggy Breath Mints from SkinnyMs.com. The list of ingredients is simple:
- 2-1/2 cups of old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup of fresh parsley finely chopped
- 1/2 cup of fresh mint finely chopped
- 1 large egg (substitute 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce for dogs with allergies to chicken products)
- 1/4 cup of water plus 1 teaspoon
- 3 tablespoons of coconut oil (olive oil may be substituted if you can’t find coconut oil)
While Tallulah and I watched, Mommy added the old-fashioned oats to the food processor and let the machine do its thing until the oats had the consistency of flour.
Then she combined the chopped parsley, chopped mint, egg, water, and coconut oil in a medium bowl and whisked them all together.
Under Tallulah’s watchful nose, Mommy poured the processed old-fashioned oats into a large bowl, made a well, added the whisked liquid ingredients into the well, and then blended with a spoon. (She added a bit of water to get the consistency she wanted.)
At this point, because I am the senior dog in our family, I did the quality-control taste-testing duties. I pronounced the treat dough perfectly perfect. I would have been totally happy diving into the raw dough, but apparently actually baking the treats is important to humans, so Mommy continued with the process.
She rolled the dough out to about 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch thickness and cut the treats into bone and heart shapes. (You could just use a knife to make little squares. Trust me, dogs don’t care.) Then she placed the hearts and bones onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet, popped the cookie sheet into the oven, which she had preheated to 325 F, and set the timer for 35 to 40 minutes. Tallulah and I decided that this would be a good time for naps.
Boy am I ever glad we woke up in time to taste these minty fresh breath treats as soon as they came out of the oven. They are yummmm-meeeeeee!
And they’re good for us, too. Here are some of the health benefits:
- Old-Fashioned Oats–Oats are high in protein, soluble fiber (the kind of fiber that keeps cholesterol low), and levels of iron, manganese, zinc, and B vitamins. They’re low in gluten and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Oats act as a digestive aid to calm the intestinal tract and they have anti-inflammatory and skin-soothing properties. They have a calming effect, so they’re a good addition to the diets of nervous dogs. Finally, oats strengthen the spleen, pancreas, bones, heart, and immune system.
- Parsley–In addition to fighting bad breath, parsley is an anti-inflammatory, which can benefit dogs with arthritis and cancer. It’s also a diuretic so it’s good for dogs with urinary issues. Parsley boosts kidney function, which in turn helps the heart, lungs, and other organs. Parsley also helps with GI issues because it strengthens intestinal muscles. One word of warning: Parsley should not be given to dogs during pregnancy because it stimulates the uterus.
- Mint–Mint can sooth upset stomachs and reduce gas. It also reduces nausea, so it’s good for travel sickness. And mint is a natural breath freshener.
- Egg–Eggs are a great source of protein. They help build muscle, strengthen hair, and repair tissue.
- Coconut Oil–Because coconut oil contains antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral agents, it helps to prevent infection and disease and may even reduce the risk of cancer. It regulates and balances insulin (which can help to prevent or control diabetes), promotes normal thyroid function, and increases energy levels to help control and reduce weight. Coconut oil builds strong bones and helps decrease arthritis discomfort by reducing inflammation. It also helps to improve bad breath.
So here’s to good health and good breath. . . and really good treats. BONE appetit!
Happy Independence Day! My little sister, Tallulah Bee, and I have had a pretty great day so far . . . except of course for having to put on silly outfits and have our pictures taken. That part was slightly torturous.
But we cooperated because we got a couple of our favorite red, white, and blue treats. Mommy froze whole blueberries in our star-shaped ice-cube tray and then dumped the frozen treats into our outside water bowl. I was a dainty drinker.
Tallulah, as usual, lacked restraint . . . but definitely had a good time.
Next we headed inside for some frozen yogurt and crushed strawberry bone-shaped delights. After a challenging-but-successful “Leave it!” command, Tallulah and I dove in like a couple of hotdog-eating contestants at Coney Island.
Sending you sweet kisses and best wishes for a safe and happy Fourth of July!
Last Thursday, my little sister and I joined our humans at the Shrine on Airline to watch the New Orleans Baby Cakes minor-league baseball team take on the Iowa Cubs, an affiliate of the World Series champion Chicago Cubs. The Baby Cakes host Dog Day at each of their Thursday-evening games. Every Thursday also happens to be Thirsty Thursday with $2 12-ounce domestic drafts, which comes in very handy for all the humans who are stressed about ensuring that their four-legged family members behave themselves for nine innings.
Technically, this wasn’t my first time at the ballpark. I concluded last year’s A to Z Challenge with a trip to Zephyr Field, as it was known them, but I only got to see the outside that day. (You can click here to read that post.) And back then, our Triple A Miami Marlins affiliate team was called the Zephyrs. Then they had a big contest to change the name and, in a bit of a controversial move, they became the Baby Cakes. It’s a play on our Mardi Gras tradition of placing a little plastic baby in our king cakes, but it’s a little odd because no one ever says “baby cakes” around here. Nevertheless, the new name has grown on us and the logo is pretty fabulous, so we’ll give our hometown team a pass. But I digress. Back to the game.
Humans and their canines have the option of enjoying the game from two different locations. Most of us sat beyond the outfield in an area of the ballpark called the levee. The nice people with the Baby Cakes set up water bowls and kiddy pools for the pups to enjoy, and there’s plenty of room to stretch your legs . . . all four of them.
Dogs are also invited to join their humans in certain sections of the stands along the first base side of the ballpark. We decided that Tallulah probably wasn’t quite ready for that level of sophistication, but we did stop by to enjoy the view.
And speaking of Tallulah, her mind tended to wander during the game. She was far more interested in the dogs around us and the hotdogs and Cracker Jacks their humans were enjoying than she was in the action on the diamond.
My big round eyes, on the other hand, were glued to the game . . .
. . . except for when I dosed off briefly. Turns out baseball is pretty conducive to napping.
My humans, Tallulah, and I say cheers to the Baby Cakes. We had a fantastic time and our hometown team won the evening we were there. We definitely plan on attending another Thursday evening Dog Day game this season. Here’s hoping we catch a homerun ball or at least have a little taste of a hot dog on our next visit.
Have you ever gotten to join your humans at a sporting event in your hometown?
Many of our friends across America celebrated the end of summer a couple of weekends ago. Here in South Louisiana, we’ll still be looking for ways to beat the heat and humidity for at least another month. That means my little sister will have a few more opportunities to perfect her watermelon-eating skills.
When we first introduced Tallulah to a watermelon, she was a bit confused.
It was as if she thought the little spot where the stem used to be was some sort of wondrous watermelon key that would magically unlock this mysterious green thing. Goodness knows she tried and tried that approach, but to no avail.
It was time for the seasoned watermelon eater to step in and show her silly little sister a thing or two about this summer delicacy.
“First of all,” I told Tallulah, “you don’t just bite into the watermelon. You let the humans cut it into nice little slices for us. The humans love preparing our food and serving it to us. We mustn’t deny them this great pleasure.”
Obviously, one of us has a better grasp on patience and manners than the other. It becomes more and more clear every single day that I have many, many lessons to teach Tallulah. But back to the watermelon-eating tutorial.
I tried to show Tallulah the proper watermelon-eating style: dainty little lady-like bites.
Tallulah had something completely different in mind: putting the entire slice into her mouth all at once. And by entire slice I really mean entire slice. Tallulah devoured that watermelon slice . . . rind and all.
I’m becoming more and more convinced that my little sister is part pig. Check out that nose–and that full mouth–and tell me what you think.
Tallulah has a lot to learn about eating watermelons, but under my watchful eye I think there’s a chance she’ll catch on. I guess it’s a good thing we have a little bit of time before summer’s end.
My sister and I are city girls. We love our visits to New Orleans’ Audubon Park, but most of our outdoor adventures involve leash walks along busy urban streets and evenings at boisterous dog-friendly establishments. So we were both super excited when our humans told us that we would all be spending a weekend in the country. They said the location would be a big surprise, but the preparations for our getaway would start in the kitchen . . . which I think is the all-time best place to start preparing.
Mornings in the country need to begin with a hearty breakfast–for dogs and humans–and any hearty country breakfast needs to include three key ingredients: eggs, bacon, and cheese. My human mommy turned to The Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook from the Bubba Rose Biscuit Company, and that’s where she found a quick and easy breakfast treat recipe with just six simple ingredients: oat flour, rice flour, shredded cheddar cheese, cooked bacon, eggs, and water. You’ll notice from the photo above that the bacon we used was 100% natural with no preservatives. My human mommy must admit that she has never ever made this healthy choice when preparing bacon for humans. But the people from Bubba Rose suggested it for pups and people and, Mommy said, nothing is too good for Miss Harper Lee and Tallulah Bee.
Mommy combined all the ingredients . . .
. . . while Tallulah and I watched. I was well-behaved and supervised from a respectable distance. Tallulah was a little more . . . shall we say . . . eager.
We let Mommy roll the dough and cut the treats into pretty flower shapes. Tallulah and I would have helped with this step, but our lack of opposable thumbs and need for a little mid-morning doggy nap prevented our assistance.
Tallulah and I had a tiny taste test, and let me tell you that we definitely approve of these bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast treats. Mommy quickly stored them in an air-tight container and told us that we’d get to enjoy more on our country getaway. The anticipation nearly did us in.
And for everyone who thinks that my human mommy only makes doggy treats when she’s in the kitchen, I present to you a human breakfast treat that she made for our country weekend: Breakfast Bake Recipe. She used the leftover ingredients from the dog treats she made. Wait a minute: Don’t the dogs usually get the leftovers? Not at our house. 😉
Here’s the human breakfast recipe:
4-1/2 cups seasoned croutons (about 10 ounce)
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 jar (4-1/2 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained
4 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/8 teaspoon pepper
8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
- Sprinkle the croutons, cheese, onion, peppers and mushrooms into two greased 8-inch square baking dishes. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, salt, mustard and pepper. Slowly pour over vegetable and sprinkle with bacon.
- Cover and freeze one casserole for up to three months. Bake the second casserole, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
- To use frozen casserole: Completely thaw in the refrigerator for 24 to 36 hours. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
Yield: 2 casseroles (6 to 8 servings each)
So you’ll just have to wait to see the human breakfast casserole finished product . . . just like Tallulah and I had to wait until we got to the country to enjoy the rest of our doggy breakfast treats. Any ideas where we went for our getaway?
S is for streetcars and sisters. Today our tour of New Orleans takes a little detour. This is my sister Tallulah Bee’s first birthday. Woo hoo! So we’re throwing a NOLA-sized party . . . and in a city that’s known for partying, that’s a pretty big party. The pictures above were taken when Tallulah was about four months old. We were spending the afternoon in the Warehouse District (which is also called the Arts District) and Tallulah decided that she wanted to take a streetcar ride. Shhhh . . . don’t tell her that it’s just a bench made to look like the real thing. Streetcars in New Orleans date back to the 1830s, and at one time they ran from one end of the city to the other. (You can read more about New Orleans streetcar history by clicking here.) But buses began to overtake the streetcars in the 1960s and–with the exception of the St. Charles Avenue streetcar–the lines all but disappeared. Today the New Orleans streetcar is having a renaissance. There are several lines operating throughout New Orleans, with more lines being added. The streetcar (which is run by the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority) is a great way to see New Orleans. You can buy a pass–called a Jazzy Pass–that allows you to take multiple trips on the streetcars (and buses) over a set number of days. Check out the streetcar lines and schedules here and click here for more information about Jazzy Passes.
Now back to my sister, Tallulah Bee. She looks like she’s ready to get this birthday party started, doesn’t she. (Or maybe she looks like she’s already been partying a little too much. It’s hard to tell.)
Because no birthday party is complete without a birthday cake, we joined our human mommy in the kitchen to do a little baking while our human daddy served as the official party photographer. As you can see, Tallulah is a little rule breaker. I know that feet are not allowed on the countertops, but sometimes she “forgets” this rule. We both know that licking the beaters is the best part of baking, and I will be the first to admit that Tallulah showed great restraint as Mommy decorated the cake.
And here’s the final product. Trust me, it didn’t look like this for very long. If you’re interested in the recipe for this dog-friendly cake (made with banana and peanut butter . . . yum!) and the dog-friendly icing, click here. I promise you it will be a hit!
So happy, happy first birthday sweet Tallulah Bee. You’re a little rule breaker, and sometimes you’re a whole lot of puppy and a really huge pest, but you’re a precious little girl with a heart of pure Golden love. We’re so happy that you’re a part of our family . . . and we wish for many, many, many more happy years to come. Love you, Tallulah Bee!
This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Please click here for a link to the challenge homepage and a list of the bloggers who are participating.
It’s been a little while–to say the least–since I’ve spent quality time in the kitchen with my human mommy making tasty treats for my puppy dog friends. Wondering why? Well just take a look to my left. Mommy and I have both learned that little sisters take a lot of time and effort, and their presence is not terribly conducive to kitchen activities. But Tallulah Bee is now almost 11 months old, so we decided to give her a chance . . . and she passed with flying colors.
With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, we turned to one of our favorite cookbooks–The Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook from the Bubba Rose Biscuit Company–in search of the perfect recipe. Can you imagine anything more appropriate than Irish Wolfhounders? The ingredients made me lick my lips: oat flour, brown rice flour, spinach leaves, cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, rosemary, oat bran, one egg, and just enough water to form a dough. Our friends at Bubba Rose offered this interesting little tidbit about the benefits of rosemary:
Rosemary is an excellent antioxidant. . . . It is a natural antibiotic and antiseptic and is known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, and anti-fungal properties. It supports immune system functions and defends against free radical damage.
And I thought these treats were just going to taste good.
While Tallulah and I watch (and, I’ll admit, drooled a bit), Mommy processed some old fashioned oats to make the oat flour.
Then she packed the spinach leaves into the food processor . . .
. . . and processed away. Look at that beautiful green color. Things were starting to take on a festive St. Paddy’s Day tint. Tallulah and I would have been happy to take care of all the processing. But in order to reach the switch, we would have to put our paws on the countertop, and that’s not allowed. (Someone needs to remind Tallulah of this rule because she tends to forget it . . . a lot!)
Then it was time to put all the ingredients into a bowl . . .
. . . and combine before adding the water a little at a time to make the dough.
This was the point in the process when Tallulah lost interest.
And I’ll admit that I snuck in a quick little nap too. Let’s face it, this is the part of baking that’s better left to humans and their opposable thumbs.
So Mommy rolled out the dough and started cutting out little doggy bone shapes. The cookbook recommended using a shamrock-shaped cookie cutter, but we didn’t have one. I seriously doubt that my friends will care.
Mommy cut out a lot of little bone-shaped Irish Wolfhounders and then popped them into the oven.
And that’s when Tallulah and I popped up for our most important contribution: clean-up crew. While Tallulah licked the bowl, I took care of the spoon. Cleaning the spoon takes way more skill, so it’s better left to big sisters.
Mommy has packaged most of the tasty treats. She’s already mailed some to our far-away friends, and over the next couple of days we’ll make special deliveries to our local friends. I think they’re going to have a very happy St.Patrick’s Day!
Remember how excited my human mommy was when she read that the theme for last week’s 52 Snapshots of Life would be purple? Well, multiply that by approximately 100 and you’ll have some slight inkling of the dread she felt when she saw this week’s theme: mischief.
I am not a mischievous girl. I have been a well-behaved dog since Day 1. (Yes, Mommy is fully aware of just how lucky she is. And yes, she also realizes that because she has been so lucky with me, her next dog will probably be a total wild child.) In my almost six years on this Earth, I have only had one moment of true mischief. I was just a few months old and I was “assisting” Mommy while she planted some pretty new rose bushes in the garden. Mommy glanced up and saw me running around the yard like a crazy girl with something in my mouth. At first she thought I had picked up a branch that had fallen from a tree. But then she couldn’t figure out why that branch had such beautiful red leaves in spring. And then she realized that I had grabbed one of the newly planted rose bushes and created my very own Rose Bowl Parade . . . crazy puppy style. I don’t recall exactly what Mommy said to me when she finally caught me, but it certainly convinced me that mischief would not be tolerated.
Which brings us to this week’s challenge. Yesterday I received a package from my Florida friends Sully, Murphy Brown, and Carter. (They are @rowdyretrievers on Instagram.) It was filled with fabulous surprises, including this bone-shaped mold. I gave Mommy a look that clearly said, “We need to use that thing now,” so she combined a little fat-free plain yogurt and some peanut butter and started spooning the mixture into the mold. Before putting the mold into the freezer, she let me have a little peek. I couldn’t help it, friends. Yogurt and peanut butter are two of my all-time favorite treats. And yogurt combined with peanut butter? Well, I just couldn’t control myself. I had to take a little lick.
And do you know what? Mommy let me keep licking, and licking, and licking. It might not seem like much to you, but to me it was a moment of mischief . . . and Mommy and I both loved it. Oh, don’t worry. We refilled the empty mold and popped it into the freezer, so I’ll have lots of bone-shaped frozen yogurt-peanut butter treats to enjoy. Who knows? Maybe I’ll bury some of those frozen bones around the house . . . under a rug, beneath a sofa cushion. This mischief thing is pretty fun!
Today I’m linking up with The Lazy Pitbull for the 52 Snapshots of Life photo challenge. Click the link below to join the fun and visit the other participants!
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Wow. That title sure is a tongue twister. Just trying to say it was a trick. And speaking of tricks . . . a little more than a week ago, I wrote a post called “Six by Six?” I confessed that I do not know any tricks, revealed my human mommy’s silly plan for me learn six tricks by my sixth birthday (which is next month), and asked for your input on what tricks I should learn. I loved your comments, and I was very surprised to learn that most of my four-legged friends don’t do any tricks either. I thought for sure that my mommy would give up on this ridiculous trick idea after she saw that, but no such luck. It appears that we are forging ahead with the trick lessons.
Naturally, we had to find a tasty treat recipe for these trick lessons. You didn’t honestly think I’d fall for this crazy plan without the promise of treats, did you? So Mommy turned to The Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook from the Bubba Rose Biscuit Company and zeroed in on a recipe for Tuna Snackers, billed as “high-protein, low-fat, allergy-friendly, and filled with beneficial omegas.” This trick-learning thing could require a lot of treats, so it was important to find something that is low-fat. Mommy liked the limited ingredients and simple preparation.
I was pretty excited about the tuna and more than pleased to clean the little cans before they went into the recycling bin. I supervised while Mommy combined 1-1/2 cups of oat flour, 1-1/2 cups of brown rice flour, 1/4 cup of oat bran, 6 ounces of albacore tuna in water, 1 egg, and enough water to form a dough ball (a little more than 1/2 cup added slowly).
The recipe says to roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thickness and then cut into shapes. Since we’ll be using these tuna treats for trick training, Mommy simply used a knife to cut the rolled out dough into little squares.
Then the treat squares went onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and into an oven preheated to 350 F to bake for 22 minutes. Friends, for the life of me I will never ever understand this whole baking step. This just seems like such a total waste of time to me. I am more than happy to eat my treats before they go into the oven, but Mommy absolutely insists on baking them. Whatever.
Would you just look at all the Tuna Snackers this recipe made. We’ve put some in the refrigerator and the rest in the freezer. I’m pretty sure that one batch will get me through mastering all six tricks. And about those tricks . . . I’ve settled on my six: bow, shake, high five, sit up, speak, and–first up–spin . . . or maybe in keeping with the Tasty Tuesday T theme we should call that twirl!
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