Cranberry Sauce Cookies

Cranberry Sauce Cookies

One half empty jar stared back at me from the refrigerator shelf as I contemplated a new treat for the Kirbster. I figured why not since the ingredients are dog friendly? Why not indeed! They were a huge hit, so much that while taking pictures Kirby and our foster, Jilly Bean, began eating the cookie right out of my hand.  LOLz I just started snapping pics while they greedily chomped away.

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PB Pill Pockets

PB Pill Pockets

I'm fortunate he's a healthy dog but I know there are many dogs who require daily pills for certain illnesses.  Pills that have to be disguised in order to be taken and not forced or spit out.  The Greenies cost $7.99 for 30 small pill pockets or $9.99 for 30 large pill pockets and contain corn products which are considered one of the top three allergens for dogs. Why not make your own which are quick and easy, cheaper, and healthier?

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The Great Plumpkin

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The Great Plumpkin

The other day I came home from work to a smelly mess. Apparently Kirby had an upset stomach with a nasty bout of diarrhea which I am attributing to the vienna sausages Doug shared with him the day before. His eyes looked good so I knew he didn't need a visit to his vet.  After I cleaned him up and the mess in his playroom I turned to Google.  Three ingredients kept popping up as I searched for a home remedy.  Pumpkin, cayenne pepper, and probiotics (yogurt).

That night when preparing his evening meal I chose white fish, pumpkin with a dash of cayenne pepper and plain yogurt.  Kirby ate the fish, then the yogurt, then the pumpkin. I gave Shelby the same meal just in case she had what he had.  

They devoured their meals so since I had left over pumpkin I decided to create a treat using all of these ingredients. I thought about using the fish in place of a flour but chose brown rice flour since rice is considered mild enough for delicate tummies. I may still try a treat with the fish in place of the flour. 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
  • 3/4 cup pure pumpkin
  • 3 tbsp plain yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Preparation Instructions:

1.  In a medium bowl thoroughly mix all ingredients.

2.  Roll out 1/4 inch thick and cut out shapes with cookie cutters.

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3.  Bake at 350 degrees for 23 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom.

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4.  I wanted a chewy texture so I removed them from the oven to cool on a baking rack. For crisper cookies, turn off the oven and leave in for a few hours.

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These "treats" with benefits were a hit. It's considered a good idea to let the dog fast for a day or two as long as you provide plenty of fresh water. With no sugars added a few can be substituted in place of meals while his poor tummy gets back in sync.

I am pleased to say Kirby was ok the next day. (NO MORE VIENNA SAUSAGES FOR THIS FURKID) Home remedies really do work but if you have any doubts, always check with your veterinarian first.  For more information about these amazing ingredients check out my list of Healthy Ingredients.

If diarrhea persists, or the dog becomes lethargic, or begins vomiting, a visit to the vet is imperative. I am a pet parent so always seek the advice of your veterinarian. One phone call only takes a few minutes.

Cherry Carob Biscotti

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Cherry Carob Biscotti

February is known as the "Month of Love".  Valentine's Day is usually marked with cards, flowers, and chocolates.  Then there is National Cherry Day celebrated on February 20th.  Mmmm, chocolate and cherries. Sounds yummy to me.  Kirby loves carob flavored treats so I wanted to incorporate some cherries into a carob treat.

Being half Italian I loved the fancier idea of a biscotti but you can easily roll out the dough and cut out cookie shapes to bake.  Just lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees and bake 10 to 15 minutes. Then turn off the oven leaving the cookies to harden for an hour or two.

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups oat flour
  • 2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup carob chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped or pureed cherries*

Preparation Instructions

1. Thoroughly combine all ingredients in large bowl.  

2.  Place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to chill and firm.

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3.  On a floured surface form dough into flat logs 6 inches wide and 1 inch high.

4.  Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

5.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

6.  Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.  

7.  Lower oven temperature to 200 degrees.

8.  Cut logs into 1 inch slices and place back on parchment paper lined cookie sheet. 

9.  Bake for 20 to 30 minutes then turn off oven.  Leave logs in the oven for a few hours until the slices are dry and crunchy.

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10.  Cool on rack and store in airtight container.

*I used a 14.5 oz can of red tart pitted cherries packed in water.  Chopped fresh cherries would be even better for a chewy texture.

This made a lot but there was no turning back once I had added the cherries which contributed a lot of moisture so I had to add more oat flour and rice flour.  You can probably use only 2 cups oat flour and 1 cup rice flour (3 cups whole wheat flour) if using fresh cherries.

Another factor is to be sure your dog likes a tart cherry or a sweet cherry so let him taste one first. Apparently Kirby likes any kind of cherry!  Lol - the only foods so far we have found he doesn't like is lettuce and green beans. 

Chocolate Cherry Pie

Adapted from

Local Lemons

Original recipe

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Ingredients for 9 inch pie dish

Crust: 

  • 1 ½ cups refrigerated all-purpose flour
  • 14 tablespoons of unsalted butter, frozen
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ cup finely ground honey graham crackers
  • 1 cup of icy cold water
  • 1 egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons of water to make an egg wash.
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Cherry filling:

  • 2 16 oz bags frozen dark, sweet cherries, thawed and drained
  • ½ cup agave nectar
  • 4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup of shredded dark chocolate with some milk chocolate mixed in
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(Fresh cherries would be even better but it's winter here so they are not available)

Preparation Instructions:

1.  Chop the butter into small cubes and place in the freezer while you prepare everything else. 

2.  Place drained cherries in medium size bowl. 

3.  Add the chopped chocolate, 4 tablespoons of flour and the agave nectar. Gently toss until the cherries are well coated.

4.  Prepare the crust.  I have a small food processor so I halved the crust recipe and made the bottom crust first, then I made the top crust

5.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

6.  Sift together the flour, salt and ground graham crackers into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a dough blade.

7.  Make sure the cup of cold water is within reach. Add the frozen butter to the bowl and pulse. Add the water one tablespoon at a time until the dough looks like course breadcrumbs. Try not to add too much water or your dough will be soggy. The dough should not form a ball in the food processor–it should just come together when you pinch it with your fingers.

8.  Remove the dough from the bowl and work it with your hands to form a ball then divide it in half. (For a flaky crust it’s recommended to wrap each half in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes before rolling out)

9.  Lightly flour your surface, rolling pin and hands, and roll out one half of the dough until it fits into a 9 inch pie dish. Carefully pick it up and place it in the dish, cutting off the overhang.

10.  Fill the dough with the cherry mixture.

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11. Roll out the second half of the dough and place it on top of the pie.

12.  Pinch the sides closed with your thumb and forefinger, and use a sharp knife to cut three vents into the top of the crust.

13.  Brush with the egg wash.

14  Bake for 25 minutes in the middle of your oven.

15.  Lower the heat to 350 degrees and bake for 25 more minutes.

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I love the bitter taste of dark chocolate but I think this would be better with all milk chocolate for a lighter taste and to let the cherry flavor come out more.  My first pie from scratch!  I admit it wasn't near as pretty as Local Lemons but it did turn out pretty tasty.  I'm inspired to make more!

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Sweet Potato Puffs

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Sweet Potato Puffs

Ingredients:

  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1 medium ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup flax meal
  • 1 egg

Preparation Instructions

1.  Cook sweet potato in microwave for roughly 3 to 4 minutes to soften.

2.  Cut in half and scoop out the sweet potato.

3.  Mash together sweet potato and banana.

4.  Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. 

5.  Roll into 1 inch balls and place on greased baking sheet.  

6.  Then flatten each ball with your finger.  (If you want to cut out cookie shapes then add more flour to make dough less sticky and easier to work with).  

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7.  Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.  Let cool.

These puffs are soft and chewy.  They will keep a few days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Watch for mold and throw away at the first sign. 

These soft cookies are packed with good stuff for your dog!

Honey Apple Delights

Honey Apple Delights

 

The other day a friend of mine at the bank brought us a Honey Apple Bundt Cake she had made which was absolutely delish!  I brought an extra slice home and ended up giving Kirby a bite or two since I can't seem to resist those sweet brown eyes.  He loved it too which could only mean I needed to devise a honey and apple dog cookie for him with much less sugar.

An interesting tidbit is the Jewish Feast of Trumpets where the apples and honey symbolize the sweetness of the Lord and the sweet year to come.  I'm not Jewish but we can all use a little more sweetness this year. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups oat flour
  • 1 ½ cups brown rice flour
  • ½ cup clover honey
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preparation Instructions

1. Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.  

2. Roll out to 1/4 inch thick and cut using cookie cutter of choice.  

3. Place on parchment lined baking sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.  They can be placed close together since they won't spread while baking.  

4. Turn off oven and leave for roughly thirty minutes.

These can be stored in a closed container in the refrigerator for at least a week.

Creamy Chicken Biscuits

Creamy Chicken Biscuits

I love chicken pot pie so this is a rendition of the classic comfort food.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup chicken (cooked and shredded)
  • 1/4 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1/4 cup green beans, shredded
  • 1/2 cup undiluted cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cups brown rice flour

Preparation Instructions

1. In a large bowl combine all ingredients until well mixed.

2. Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 inch thick and cut into shapes with the cutter of your choice.

3. Place biscuits on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  Cool and refrigerate.

These will keep for up to five days in the refrigerator or a month in the freezer.