Tasty Tuesday: Tuna Treats for Trick Training

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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!

Today, I’m participating in the Tasty Tuesday blog hop, hosted by Kol’s Notes and Sugar the Golden Retriever. You can click on the link below for more yummy recipes and tasty treats.

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Tasty Tuesday: Snow Day with an Orange Twist

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My human daddy had a snow day yesterday. I know what you’re thinking: “Miss Harper Lee, you live in South Louisiana. How in the world did your daddy have a snow day?” Well, friends, Daddy was supposed to fly into Philadelphia Monday afternoon so he could work to earn money to maintain my fabulous lifestyle. But the airline people decided to cancel his flight, so Mommy and I got to enjoy his company for an extra 24 hours. What to do on a beautiful day at home? Harvest oranges from our big backyard orange tree, of course. Mommy’s already plucked the low-hanging fruit, and we’ve shared lots and lots and lots of oranges with our friends and neighbors, but we still have a whole lot of oranges on our tree. So Daddy climbed to the top of a ladder and started picking oranges . . . while I supervised. I’m an excellent supervisor.

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At this point, you know what my mommy started thinking: I wonder if I can find a recipe for dog treats with oranges as an ingredient? Off to the internet she went, and in just a few minutes she discovered Doggy Dessert Chef and a simple recipe for Lemon and Orange Rounds. We even had all the ingredients in the refrigerator and pantry:

  • 1 lemon (juiced and zested)
  • 1 medium orange (juiced and zested)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ

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Mommy preheated the oven to 375 F while I supervised Daddy as he combined the whole wheat flour, oatmeal, and wheat germ in a large bowl.

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Then it was time for Mommy to zest and juice the lemon and orange and combine the juice and zest, honey, and milk in another bowl.

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Mmm mmm mmm . . . so far so good. I was definitely looking forward to the finished product.

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Mommy added the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixed until the dough formed a ball (she had to add a tiny bit of water), and then rolled the dough out to 1/4 inch. We cut our treats into bone and football shapes–perfect for a Superbowl pup party–and then baked the treats on a parchment-lined cookie sheet for 15 to 20 minutes (17 minutes in our oven).

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You probably won’t be super surprised to learn that at some point during the preparation I snuck off for a little nap. Boy was I ever excited when Mommy tiptoed to my bed and held a yummy Lemon and Orange Treat under my nose. It quickly disappeared.

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Today we shared some of the oranges from our tree with the people who lived in our house before us. They’re the ones who planted our beautiful and bountiful orange tree, and now they live right around the corner. They have a super sweet six-month-old Goldendoodle named Ronald, so we made an extra special bag of treats for him. I’m pretty sure Ronald will have a big smile on his face when he tastes these yummy, yummy treats.

Mommy is overjoyed to have discovered Doggy Dessert Chef, which of course makes me a very, very happy girl. If you don’t already know Doggy Dessert Chef, click here to connect with the site. The recipes are very easy with simple ingredients. I’m looking forward to many more homemade treats from this site!

Today, I’m participating in the Tasty Tuesday blog hop, hosted by Kol’s Notes and Sugar the Golden Retriever. You can click on the link below for more yummy recipes and tasty treats.

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Some Challenging Little Canine Candy Canes

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My human mommy and I spent most of this day wrapping up our holiday treat baking for my canine friends. You might recall that we made yummy little gingerbread men last week. This week, we tackled canine candy canes.

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Mommy found the canine candy cane recipe at DogTreatKitchen.com, the same place where she found the recipe for the little gingerbread men. Once again, the ingredients were simple and healthy:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup nonfat powdered milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons red food coloring
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint oil flavoring (optional)
  • 1 large egg (for an egg wash)

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While I supervised, Mommy whisked the flour, powdered milk, and baking powder together in a large bowl. Then, in a smaller bowl, she poured the warm water over the bouillon cube and stirred until it dissolved. (Mommy feels the need to start adding some helpful hints now. If she ever made this recipe again–and she says she probably won’t–she would dissolve the bouillon cube in a cup and then pour the liquid into the bowl.) Then Mommy whisked the eggs into the chicken liquid. She made a well in the dry ingredients, poured the wet ingredients into the well, and stirred thoroughly to combine.

At this point, things started the get a little tricky, so we don’t have any photos to share with you. If we did have photos, they might have been of Mommy pulling her hair out.

The recipe says to knead the dough for about two minutes, adding more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. (Mommy definitely added more flour.) Then separate the dough in half. Form a well in one of the balls of dough and add the red food coloring and peppermint flavoring into the well. (Just another quick note: Best of luck trying to find peppermint oil flavoring in your grocery store the week before Christmas. Mommy went to three different stores, and they were all completely sold out. So we used mint extract. It’s close.) Wearing food-safe gloves, knead the coloring and flavoring throughout the dough.

The recipe says to wear the food-safe gloves for this step because the food coloring will stain your hands red. Mommy’s gloved hands and a small section of the kitchen looked like a murder scene during this step . . . and even with the gloves protecting her hands, they ended up being slightly stained. Also, adding the extract and food coloring made the dough sticky, so Mommy added a bit more flour to the now red dough ball.

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Mommy wrapped the dough balls in plastic wrap and popped them into the freezer for 30 minutes. (There is also an option to chill the dough balls in the refrigerator for two hours, but at this point Mommy just wanted to finish this little nightmare as quickly as possible, so she went with the freezer option.)

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While the dough balls chilled, Mommy and I spent some much-needed chill time outside collecting oranges from our backyard orange tree to share with our human friends and neighbors. Mother Nature makes the very best treats!

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Back inside, Mommy preheated the oven to 350 F and divided each ball of dough into tablespoon-sized balls. She then rolled each ball into a worm shape about five inches long, twisted one plain strip with one red strip, curled the end to shape a candy cane, and placed the candy cane on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. (This all sounds pretty simple, but it was actually quite a challenge . . . so much so that Mommy only used about two-thirds of the dough and then tossed the rest into the trash. And by the way, Mommy donned another pair or food-safe gloves to do all of this. The red-stained gloves proved that this had been a good decision on her part.)

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After the candy canes were on the baking sheet, Mommy whisked an egg in a small bowl and used a pastry brush to thoroughly coat each candy cane with the egg wash. (Finally, an easy step.) Then into the preheated oven those candy canes went. The recipe says to cook for 10 minutes, but we let our treats stay in for 12 minutes.

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Voila! Canine candy canes. Mommy said to take a very, very good look because it is highly unlikely that we will ever, ever make these treats again.

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Too bad, because I can tell you that the canine candy canes are quite tasty . . . but, based on Mommy’s comments throughout the day, probably not worth the trouble.

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At the end of the day, we bagged the candy canes with those yummy little gingerbread men to give to all or my doggy friends. Then we put the oranges from our tree into pretty bags to share with our human friends. Tomorrow, on Christmas Eve, we’ll take a nice morning walk around the neighborhood delivering tasty treats and spreading holiday cheer.

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But first, after a day spent tackling the challenging canine candy canes, Mommy needs a little cheer of her own!

Tasty Tuesday: A New Man in My Life

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There’s a new man in my life. He’s a gingerbread man, and boy is he tasty. I met the little gingerbread man last night when my human mommy and I started our holiday baking . . . for my canine friends, of course.

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Mommy found the recipe for the gingerbread men at DogTreatKitchen.com. I totally approve of the ingredients:

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

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While I supervised, Mommy preheated the oven to 325 F. She whisked together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves in a large bowl. Then she used a sturdy spoon to combine the molasses, water, and canola oil in a smaller bowl before pouring the molasses mixture into the flour mixture and combining the two with a sturdy spoon.

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Next it was time to roll out the dough to about 1/2 inch thickness, cut the dough into little gingerbread man shapes, and place the gingerbread men on cookie sheets to bake. (The recipe says to spray the cookie sheets lightly with nonstick spray, but Mommy used parchment paper. Mommy also had to add a little extra water to form the dough before rolling out.)

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And into the oven those little gingerbread men went for 20 minutes . . .

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. . . which gave me just enough time for a quick nap.

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After baking, we let the little gingerbread men cool off before popping them into the freezer. We still have a bit more baking to do before we make treat gift bags for all my neighborhood friends.

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Mmmmmm . . . I think my friends are going to love the little gingerbread man just as much as I do.

Today, I’m participating in the Tasty Tuesday blog hop, hosted by Kol’s Notes and Sugar the Golden Retriever. You can click on the link below for more yummy recipes and tasty treats.

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Why Did the Golden Retriever Cross the Road?

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Why did the Golden Retriever cross the road?

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To visit the chickens, of course. I’m a pretty lucky dog. I live in the middle of the city, and yet I have a miniature pony that lives right around the corner and a couple of chickens who recently came to roost (haha, get it?) across the street. That’s Number 3 on the left and Wannabe on the right. You might be wondering why Number 3 is named Number 3. Well, at one time there were three chickens, and Number 3 was number three in the pecking order (I made another chicken joke there). Then it turned out that one of the chickens was a rooster, so he went to live in the country.

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So recently I got to visit my chicken neighbors for the first time. I was pretty interested, as you might have gathered from the tension in my collar . . . and you can’t even see the tension in my human mommy’s hand as she maintained the death grip on my leash. I’m not quite sure why my humans were so surprised by my perhaps-overly-excited attraction to the chickens. Afterall, I am a bird dog.

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Mommy quickly determined that it might be a good idea for me to get away from the hen-house, otherwise this blog post might have become a very different take on Tasty Tuesday. I took one last look as my human daddy dragged me away. I have a pretty good idea that I won’t ever be allowed to visit the chickens again.

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But my mommy stuck around to learn more about Wannabe and Number 3. They’ll be one year old in February. They laid their first eggs when they were around eight or nine months old, and they’ll lay eggs for the first five to eight years of their lives. That’s a lot of eggs. Number 3 is what’s called an olive egger because she lays eggs that are olive-green, and Wannabe is a pale blue Easter egger. They eat chicken feed, but they also get kitchen scraps from their humans (hey, I want to be a chicken) . . . pretty much everything except chicken. Their human mother says it just doesn’t feel right to feed the chickens chicken. Makes sense to me. Their favorite human food is cooked spaghetti.

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They need all those spaghetti carbs because during the day they are free to roam around their big backyard. In the evening, they settle into this beautiful chicken coop. Eat your hearts out, pups. This thing is way nicer than any dog house I’ve ever seen.

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They perch in this area to sleep . . .

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. . . and this is where they lay their eggs. Look closely and you’ll notice a couple of golf balls. At first, Wannabe and Number 3 were laying eggs all over their coop. Then their humans read that if you place golf balls where you want your chickens to lay, that’s where they’ll lay. It worked!

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And look at the lovely eggs that my chicken neighbors shared with me. Mommy used a couple to make human treats, but you just knew she had to save one of those special eggs to make some yummy dog treats. She turned to The Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook and found a recipe for Pumpkin Drops.

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These heavenly pumpkin spice cookies are made with oat flour, brown rice flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, unsweetened applesauce, canned pumpkin, a little water, and one very special egg. Simply drop about a teaspoon-sized ball onto a cookie sheet, flatten the ball if you’d like, and bake.

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These treats are super simple because they don’t require any rolling or cutting out, and the recipe makes plenty of cookies to share with your friends.

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I volunteered for taste-testing duty. Yep, they passed the test with flying colors.

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I think I’m going to share some Pumpkin Drops with my new friends Wannabe and Number 3 . . . but I might have to get Mommy to make the delivery.

Today, I’m participating in the Tasty Tuesday blog hop, hosted by Kol’s Notes and Sugar the Golden Retriever. You can click on the link below for more yummy recipes and tasty treats.

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Tasty Tuesday Book Report: Bubba Rose’s Biscuit Recipes

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The other day when my human mommy stopped into our local Whole Foods grocery store, this little book caught her eye. (Leave it to Mommy to be distracted by a dog biscuit cookbook while shopping for human food . . . just one of the many reasons I love her so much.) The Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook from the humans at Bubba Rose Biscuit Company (www.bubbarose.com) features more than 100 recipes divided into six chapters:

  • Foget-Me-Nots: A special treat for your favorite four legger for each month of the year
  • Sandwich Board: The daily specials — all the classics
  • Silver Platter: For dogs who live in the lap of luxury
  • Cookie Jar: A little something for the sweet tooth
  • 5th Ave. Decadence: For those with richer tastes
  • Because You Have Unique Tastes: Special treats that meet your needs

The book opens with an introduction that includes a pantry list, time-saving tips for stocking the pantry and fridge, substitution suggestions, helpful cooking tools to have on hand, and storage tips. All recipes are free from wheat, corn, and soy (which the authors say are the most common sources of food allergies in dogs), and many include an interesting nutritional sidebar.

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Mommy naturally flipped immediately to the recipe for the month of October–Pumpkin Bites, made with oat flour, brown rice flour, pumpkin (canned or fresh), molasses (regular or blackstrap, cinnamon, ground ginger, honey, an egg, and enough water to form a dough ball.

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I slipped into my fun fall apron and watched as Mommy combined all the yummy ingredients. I must have dozed off while she rolled out and cut the dough into festive little pumpkin and bone shapes, because the next thing I knew . . .

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. . . the treats were out of the oven and filling the house with the most wonderful autumnal scent. When my human daddy came home, he said the house smelled like pumpkin pie baking. Silly Daddy. He should know that any time the house smells that good it’s because Mommy’s making something special for my friends and me.

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We packaged the Pumpkin Bites and started delivering joy all around our neighborhood. We even brought some of the treats to our friends in Texas. I can assure you that the reviews have been outstanding, and I am definitely looking forward to tasting my way through The Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook.

Today, I’m participating in the Tasty Tuesday blog hop, hosted by Kol’s Notes and Sugar the Golden Retriever. You can click on the link below for more yummy recipes and tasty treats.

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Countdown to Kickoff: Tasty Tailgating Treats

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Who says college football tailgating is just for humans? Dogs enjoy a tasty treat before the game just as much as anyone, so my human mommy and I whipped up a little something for me to share with all of my canine friends before the big LSU Tigers season opener this Saturday.

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To make these tasty tailgating treats, we turned to a couple of recipes that we’ve used before: Happy Hip Bones Treats from 3mbakery and cream cheese frosting from Wear.Wag.Repeat. (You can click here and here for links to the recipes.) I was in charge of quality control, and a I can assure you that the combination of oat flour, peanut butter, turmeric, ginger, and apple cider vinegar more than met my very high standards.

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While I supervised watched, Mommy cut the rolled out dough into footballs, football helmets, and of course L-S-U. And then we popped the treats into the oven and waited for an eternity 30 minutes.

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I let Mommy decorate the golden cookies with purple cream cheese frosting . . . perfect colors for an LSU tailgate. Now Mommy would have you believe that she planned for the treats to be gold, but it was just a happy coincidence thanks to the turmeric. She thinks that might be a sign of good things to come for our Tigers this Saturday. She thinks funny things like that when it comes to football.

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But I won’t make too much fun of Mommy’s silly football superstitions because she made this extra special cookie just for me, HL. It was gone in one bite. Yummy!

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We’ve packaged our canine tailgating treats and will deliver them over the next few days so that all of my doggy friends will have a little something to enjoy before the big game. Just a word of caution for my friends: Saving these tasty treats for Saturday may prove to be a bit of a test!

Tasty Tuesday Blog Hop

Today, I’m participating in the Tasty Tuesday blog hop, hosted by Kol’s Notes and Sugar the Golden Retriever. You can click on the link below for more yummy recipes and tasty treats.

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Comfort Food . . . K9 Style

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We’re all familiar with human comfort foods . . . things like macaroni and cheese, meatloaf, chocolate cake. Would it surprise you to know that canines have comfort foods too? It’s time for you to get to know my favorite summertime comfort food.

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Where I live, summers are hot . . . I mean really hot . . . and humid . . . I mean really humid. So naturally my favorite summertime comfort treat has to be frozen.

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And naturally it has to include three of my all-time favorite ingredients: yogurt, peanut butter, and bananas. Yum!

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My human mommy mashed a banana in a bowl. Then she added a heaping teaspoon of smooth peanut butter to the mashed banana. Luckily for me, that was the last of the peanut butter, so I got to lick the jar. Bonus!

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Finally, she added two tablespoons of plain yogurt to the bowl and mixed everything with a spoon. I got to lick the spoon. Pretty clean, don’t you think? Mommy could have just put it back into the drawer, but for some reason she decided that it needed to go into the dishwasher. Whatever.

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While I watched, Mommy spooned the yogurt-peanut butter-banana mixture into molds and then popped the molds into the freezer.

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Meanwhile, I got to lick the bowl. Yes! As with the spoon I licked, I thought the bowl was clean enough to go right back into the cabinet. Mommy didn’t quite agree, so the bowl joined the spoon in the dishwasher.

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And after just a few hours in the freezer, my treats were ready to eat. Now that’s a tasty treat that can comfort a canine even on the hottest of summer days!

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Footnote: If you don’t have fancy little molds, don’t worry. You can put small spoonfuls of the yogurt-peanut butter-banana mixture on a cookie sheet to freeze. Trust a dog on this: We don’t care how it looks; we just want a taste. BONE appetit!

Today, I’m participating in the Tasty Tuesday blog hop, hosted by Kol’s Notes and Sugar the Golden Retriever. You can click on the link below for more yummy recipes and tasty treats.

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Tasty Tuesday Twofer: Zucchini Treats for Dogs and Humans

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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.

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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

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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.

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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 . . .

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. . . 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.

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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

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  • 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.

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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.

Today, I’m participating in the Tasty Tuesday blog hop, hosted by Kol’s Notes and Sugar the Golden Retriever. You can click on the link below for more yummy recipes and tasty treats.

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Harper Lee from A to Z: N is for NANNERS

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Is there anything more absolutely fabulous than nanners? I think not.

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My human mommy and I have made lots and lots of doggy treats that contain nanners. We’ve made Strawberry Banana Pupsicles on a hot summer day and Bow-WOW Banana Biscotti on a cool autumn evening. We combined nanners and oats to make Banana Oat Cookies. We even added nanners to a batter and produced the perfect cake for a Golden Spring Fling.

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But do you want to know my favorite way to eat nanners? Right out of my human daddy’s fingers.

This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. See you tomorrow!

Click the link below to connect with other pet bloggers who are doing the A to Z Challenge.

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