It’s been a week or so since the cicadas emerged from their 17 year dirt nap and they are making up for lost time.DSC_0437 (1600x1060)I tried a box mix onion ring batter for these and didn’t much like the result although I did manage to choke a few down.  The sammich is a turkey salad made with a generous amount of crumbled crispy bacon with celery and sweet relish.  Much better than the rings.DSC_0429 (1600x1060)I posted a photo of this chicken while still on the grill the other day.  Here it is plated with the baked beans and a few cold sides.DSC02319 (1600x1060)Post needz moar kitteh!  I don’t know anything about this one other than it will be available for adoption soon.DSC_5324 (1600x1060)I don’t have many pictures of Toby that don’t have him giving me a suspicious glare.  Look up scaredy-cat in the dictionary and there he is.DSC_0443 (1600x1060)I don’t make compound butters very often but I really should pick up my game.  This one is a dill butter with a drop of lemon juice and a dash of cayenne and it went really well with this lemon butter fish filet.

Friday Recipe Exchange: Recipes for Pups

Bixby Treats1

Have I mentioned I HATE my kitchen? The house hunt goes on…and on. But this week I braved the ugly, cramped space because one of my clients was having a tough week and I thought Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies would help (recipe here). They worked wonders. And I’ll add that since they are very chewy and crispy they are great frozen – cold, chewy and sweet.

Chocolate Chip Cookies4

I’d done a bit of cooking over the week, but most was for Bixby. As timing would have it, a few things fell into place that meant I had ideas for dog treats. And that became the idea for this week’s recipe exchange.

Jack bravely volunteers to test the final product.

Jack bravely volunteers to test the final product.

First up, Mrs. J cooks up cheesy dog biscuits (photo above and below by JeffreyW). Recipe and step by step photos here.

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Just a note, no Bixby update this week, but all his recipes include bonus photos of the Beast.

Then from my files, Dried Liver Treats, recipe and pup photo here.

Next, his absolute favorite treat right now, Yogurt Pupsicles, recipe and pic of that Tongue, here.

What about the cats, you ask? Well, as I’ve mentioned before, I tried making food and treats for my cats (including fresh fish) and they looked at me like I was insane and stomped off. So if you have had better luck, please share because I’m open to trying again.

What’s in your dish tonight? Do you have any treat recipes? Any fun plans?

For tonight’s featured recipe, more biscuits. I enjoyed making them and I might do it again, it was pretty simple and quick.


Brown rice flour gives the biscuits crunch, peanut butter and pumpkin give them irresistible flavor (for pups at least). These got two paws up from Bixby and the neighbor dogs.

Pumpkin-Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons dry milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 cup, plus 1 tbsp whole wheat flour (if your dog has a sensitive tummy, use all rice flour)

Preheat oven to 350.

In large bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin and peanut butter until smooth. Stir in dry milk, salt  and then add the flour gradually, combining with spatula or hands to form a stiff, dry dough. It’s very dry, so you may need to add a touch of water to get it to the consistency you need to roll it out.


Turn out onto lightly floured surface  – and if dough is rough, briefly knead and press to combine.
Roll dough between 1/4 – 1/2″ and use biscuit or other shape cutter to make biscuits. Place shapes on cookie sheet.. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully turn biscuits over, then bake additional 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely on rack.

Mine made 2 dozen very large biscuits. Next time I’ll try to find smaller cookie cutters, or just make discs. I think you could easily get 4 dozen smaller treats.

That’s it for this week. Have a great (and hopefully dry) weekend – TaMara

Paw print


Recipes for Dogs: Yogurt Pupsicles

That tongue1

At the same time I was making the liver treats for Bixby, my sister-in-law sent me a recipe filled with some of his favorite things – bananas and peanut butter – so I had try it. If I haven’t mentioned it before, no one can eat a banana in Bixby’s vicinity without having to fight him off. He’s crazy about them. Rivals his apple obsession.

Frozen treats1

It was very simple. Here is the original, which I doubled and froze in cat food containers I save (they come in very handy for so many things, I have a good dozen tucked away), because ice cube size ones just wouldn’t be much of a treat for the Beast.

Frozen Yogurt Pupsicles

  • 32 oz plain yogurt
  • 1 cup peanut butter (Bixby prefers creamy)
  • 3 bananas

Blend in a blender until smooth. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze. You can pop out and stick into a ziplock bag to store. Dole out as needed for a cool puppy treat.



Recipes for Pets: Simple Dried Liver Treats

Bixby loves dehydrated liver treats. I blame the vet, she hands them out like candy when we are there.

Can't have my box1He also loves boxes. Here he has deconstructed one that I taped shut with a new toy inside. He loved the toy, but first had to make the most of his box time.

I was in the grocery store the other day and stumbled upon a carton of fresh chicken livers. No hormones, no antibiotics, etc, which is important when dealing with organ meats.

I thought he’d really like them. So I tried to give him one…raw. He looked at me like I had lost my mind. Spit it out, pushed it around the floor, and kept looking at me like, “what fresh hell is this?”

Rebuked, I pulled out the baking sheet, turned the oven to 180 degrees (the lowest my temp goes) and started prep.

I washed and thoroughly dried the livers and cut them in half. I lightly oiled the baking sheet and spread the liver pieces out with lots of space in-between so they had room to dry out. Even with the washing, they released a lot of liquid, so halfway through the cooking process, I mopped up the liquid.

Sorry, not much I could do to make dried liver look good. :-(

Sorry, not much I could do to make dried liver look good. :-(

It took about 4-1/2 hours for them to dry out completely. I store them in the refrigerator, but I’ve been doling them out so slowly, I’ll freeze the rest just to be safe.

If this is too much work, or if your dog, like mine, prefers beef liver, we purchase these from the local feed store:


They’re a bit pricey, but they go a long way and a lot less work.


Mmm… Blackberry Pie

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A Good Day for a Cookout

DSC_5339 (1600x1060)Thighs are the best part of a chicken.  These are bone in and they still have their skins and are perfect for a bbq.  Cast iron works great on a grill, these beans will have a smokey flavor because of that chunk of hickory I have in the smokebox over one of the burners.DSC_5452 (1600x1060)Bonus Butterfly!  I just like the look of this one.  That’s a Yellow Swallowtail on purple cone flowers.

Turkey Pot Pie Pr0n

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A Little Update

Photo by Shannon Lukens

Photo by Shannon Lukens

I wanted to just do a bit of an update since I haven’t been posting many recipes. Life has become very focused on house hunting (and work, and Bixby). Over the last few months I’ve really honed in on what I am looking for, which doesn’t make it much easier in this crazy market, but at least I’m not wasting everyone’s time looking at every house that comes up. I won’t lie, it’s been discouraging, but in the midst of it, I’ve met some incredible people. One of my clients builds houses and today went out of his way to look at a house I was wavering on, to give me his very expert opinion. I have another client who remodels houses and he’s been offering advice on what to look for, and then there are the myriad of friends who have lent their support and taken time out of their schedules to come look at houses along the way. So, I view it as an adventure and a journey…and the house will find its way to me.

 This is one of my favorite Colorado photographers. Lars Leber.

That being said, I am repelled by my kitchen. I spend as little time in there as possible, which is why I’ve had nothing much new to post. But I hope you’ll stick with me until I can unveil the new kitchen, which I am sure will inspire me to cook again.


All is not lost though, I am actually working on few recipes for Bixby. One my sister-in-law sent me and another is a way to make some training treats for him and I want to try my hand at homemade biscuits. I’ll share those in a week or so.  Although, I’m a bit leery, because trying to cook for the cats never went over well and they are back on commercial cat food. Because fresh fish is obviously not good enough for them. Little furry hellions.

I also have a couple of nice summer vegetable recipes tucked away and if I can find my inspiration, I might try my hand at them before too long. But I wouldn’t get my hopes up, as I’m finding it difficult to do even the most basic cooking to make sure meals don’t dissolve into revolving takeout.

How about you? How do you cope when you’ve lost your desire to cook even the most basic foods?

Stay tuned, I’m sure things will get interesting… Until then – TaMara



DSC_0414 (1600x1060)Nachos!  Sometimes I have a little ground beef left over, not enough for burgers, but plenty for something like this.  I make my own seasoning for taco style meat.DSC_0411 (1600x1060)Mrs J thought Boston cream pie would be nice.  It ended up tasting much better than it looked before the hot  ganache covered covered a few errors.  This is as close a look as I dare to show.  Why is it not called Boston cream cake?  Mystery!DSC02390 (1600x1060)Puppies! Momma dog came to the shelter pregnant and dropped this healthy litter of six.DSC02385 (1600x1060)This pup is named Spicy, and is one of several that were removed from a hoarder.  She seems to be OK but some of her sibs are still shy.DSC_0398 (1600x1060)Hard to beat bbq’d chicken and grilled corn on the cob.DSC_0416 (1600x1060)Not as classic a combo as with grilled cheese but the tuna salad sammy went quite well with the tomato soup.

Suddenly, Cicadas!

DSC_5319 (1600x1060)Cicadas!  One of a myriad that appeared overnight.  They are kind of pretty, fresh out of their old skins.  This one is perched upon a coralbell Mrs J planted last fall after nurturing it all last summer in a container.  Not really looking forward to their singing 24/7, talk about the sounds of summer…DSC_5317 (1600x1060)Once we noticed and started looking we found the empties all over.  These things emerge on a cycle, I’m not sure if these are the 13 year or the 17 year models.DSC_5316 (1600x1060)


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