And on the ninth day of Christmas . . . I get to go to a slumber party! I get to spend the night with my friends The Big Dogs while my humans have a little alone time. Even parents of furry four-legged children need a night alone every once in a while. And is there anything better than going to your friends’ house for a good old-fashioned slumber party? Surely you remember when you were slightly younger and went to slumber parties. Your friends’ houses were always more exciting than your house, and your friends’ parents were always more fun than your parents. My mommy has packed my overnight bag with food and fun toys and my bed is clean. Now it’s time to get this slumber party started. I hope no one wants to tell scary ghost stories. Then I’ll be up all night. 🙂
At long last, my humans have returned to me. That’s right. We are together again. Home, sweet home.
Now don’t feel too sorry for me. While my humans were off trotting the globe, I was spending two glorious weeks with my friends The Big Dogs–Sunshine, Maggie, and Kenai. This is a picture that Miss Gaye sent to my human mommy while she and my human daddy were who knows where doing who knows what. That’s Sunshine at the top and Maggie at the bottom with me in the middle. Kenai was off doing whatever it is that boy dogs do when they leave the girl dogs behind. It is quite possible that seeing this picture of me convinced Mommy to get on the plane and head for home.
Meanwhile, my humans were off seeing things like this . . .
. . . and this . . .
. . . and this. But enough about my humans and their gallivanting. The important thing is that we are all back home and back together. And things are getting back to normal.
That means early morning walks in my neighborhood. So many smells that I missed.
And offering my expert assistance as Mommy putters in the garden. So many weeds to pull.
And of course, catching up with all of you, my friends. But first, I think I’ll just put my head down on this shelf and take a little nap. It’s good to be home.
Last week my friend Miss Gaye (human mother to The Big Dogs) gave my human mommy a beautiful homegrown zucchini, and Mommy decided to make Zucchini Mini Muffins for humans. What? Mommy was actually taking time to prepare a special treat that wasn’t for me? I know. I was shocked too. But then the most wonderful thing happened: Mommy realized that she still had half of that beautiful zucchini left. Naturally, she began an Internet search for the perfect zucchini dog treat recipe. I knew she wouldn’t forget about me.
She settled on a Whole Wheat Zucchini Pupcake recipe from Doggie Stylish. The ingredient list is very simple:
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup grated zucchini
She combined all the ingredients except the zucchini, mixed well, and then added the zucchini, ensuring that it was evenly distributed in the batter. I was in charge of quality control, and I can tell you that my mommy did an excellent job of mixing.
She spooned the batter into a lined muffin tin, popped the muffin tin into the oven–which she had preheated to 375F–and baked the Whole Wheat Zucchini Pupcakes for 25 to 30 minutes. Now I will tell you that I truly did not understand the whole baking step. I thought the batter was perfectly fine before the pupcakes were baked . . .
. . . but then when I saw that the pupcakes more than doubled in size, I was pretty happy that I had waited for them to cook. And boy did those nice warm Whole Wheat Zucchini Pupcakes ever taste yummy.
Now I know what you’re thinking: Miss Harper Lee, you promised a Tasty Tuesday twofer. Where’s that recipe for the human zucchini treats? Here it is, and it comes from Cooking Light magazine so it’s good for you. The ingredient list is a little longer than the pupcake recipe, but it’s still pretty simple:
- 6 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1-1/3 cups)
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2/3 cup shredded zucchini (about 1 medium zucchini, or the half of the large zucchini that’s left over after you’ve made Whole Wheat Zucchini Pupcakes)
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Weigh or lightly spoon flour in dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next five ingredients (through allspice) in a large bowl.
- Combine zucchini and next five ingredients (through egg) in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.
- Add zucchini mixture to flour mixture, stirring batter just until combined.
- Divide batter evenly among 24 miniature muffin cups coated with cooking spray.
- Bake at 400F for 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of muffins comes out clean.
So if you find yourself with a beautiful large zucchini, head into the kitchen to make Whole Wheat Zucchini Pupcakes for your puppy dog friends and Zucchini Mini Muffins for your human friends. It’s a tasty twofer that will make everyone happy.
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After this completely miserable winter, the first day of spring yesterday called for a serious Golden-style celebration with my friends The Big Dogs–Sunshine, Maggie, and Kenai.
No doggy spring fling is complete without a pretty cake, so my human mommy and I headed to the kitchen and I supervised the baking of our pawty cake. (Many thanks to Wear.Wag.Repeat. for the spectacular cake inspiration, which was part of a recent Tasty Tuesday blog hop. Click here for the recipe.)
We cut the cake and waited for our guests to arrive.
I wish that I had photos of us actually eating the cake, but it was so absolutely fabulous that we inhaled it.
Hey, Maggie, I’m licking my lips back here. Did you leave a little crumb on your plate for me?
Looks like Sunshine was licking her lips too, and searching for crumbs on more than one plate. That’s ok, because Sunshine is the momma dog and she can do anything she wants to do.
Meanwhile Kenai, the only boy dog, found his special blue plate, ate every bit of his cake . . .
. . . and then wandered off for a little bit of boy exploration . . .
. . . while the girls made their way to the door in hopes that another cake would spring through the door. Here’s hoping that your first day of spring was super special and that you feel the gift of a fresh start from Mother Nature.
The oddest thing happened to me this past weekend. I was sound asleep on my bed and I was having the greatest dream . . . you know, the kind where your feet and mouth twitch and you make those little horsey sounds? I know you’ve had those dreams. Anyway, the next thing I knew, my human mommy was shaking me and saying, “Wake up, Miss Lee. We’re going to see The Big Dogs.” I’ve told you about The Big Dogs–Sunshine, Maggie, and Kenai. I stay with The Big Dogs when my humans have the nerve to travel without me, and they helped me train for my daddy’s marathon earlier this year. So I woke up–I think–and I got in my chariot for the ride to The Big Dogs’ house.
Obviously my memory is a little blurry on all of this–and that’s why I think that maybe I was still dreaming–but when we got to The Big Dogs’ house, there was this extra Golden Retriever there . . . I think. The humans called her Little Sunshine, which was very confusing, and she seemed to be one of Sunshine’s puppies and a sister to Maggie and Kenai. You think you’re confused, just imagine how I was feeling at this point. So we all ran around like we had lost our minds and the next thing I knew we were in the back yard.
And then this lady appeared–she may have been my mommy, but really who could tell at that point. She said something about treats, and that really got our attention. Do you see five Golden Retrievers there? I’m just asking because this whole thing was very dreamlike to me.
What about now? Are there still five Golden Retrievers? I thought so. And then the next thing I knew, we were inside. And that’s when I really tried to focus and look around me to assess the situation.
I saw Sunshine, the momma dog . . .
. . . I saw Maggie, her girl puppy . . .
. . . and I saw Kenai, Sunshine’s boy puppy. At this point, I was thinking that maybe I wasn’t in a dream. I was surrounded by Sunshine, Maggie, and Kenai–The Big Dogs. Things were starting to make sense again.
But wait. On the other side of the room, behind a table, apparently hiding from me, I saw that extra Golden Retriever, the one they called Little Sunshine. Just then, my mommy said that it was time to go, so we got back into my chariot and drove away. The next thing I knew, I was back home, on my bed, and drifting in and out of sleep. That entire episode must have been a dream, don’t you think?