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.
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.
First up, Mrs. J cooks up cheesy dog biscuits (photo above and below by JeffreyW). Recipe and step by step photos here.
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
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.
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.
This week I’m having fun with unusual recipes in unusual gadgets. Here’s one from December 2012:
This is a great take on spinach lasagna, using a slow-cooker. This entire dish completely surprised me. I was at work, one day, in our morning meeting – which was actually an excuse for the guys to wow me with their cooking ideas – when Vern told me about the slow-cooker lasagna he’d made the night before. I was skeptical. Lasagna in a slow-cooker sounded like it would have the consistency of canned ravioli. But he insisted it was really good. So I set out to see for myself. I have to say, he wasn’t wrong. It had a great flavor, the texture was very similar to having cooked it in an oven and the top was nicely browned and the cheese perfectly gooey. The only caveat is that it cooks in about 4 hours, so you can’t put it together in the morning and have it ready when you get home at the end of the work day. It would be burned to a crisp, even on low.
So, here is tonight’s featured recipe, my version of slow-cooker lasagna:
Slow-Cooker Spinach Lasagna
- 1 lb lean ground beef (opt, you can skip to keep this vegetarian)
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 tsp crushed garlic
- 1 carrot shredded (this cuts the acidity of the sauce, adds a touch of sweetness)
- 1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
- 28 oz canned tomato sauce
- 6 oz can tomato paste
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
- 2 tsp of dried basil, crushed
- 12 ounces ricotta cheese (you can sub in cottage cheese if desired)
- 1 egg
- 2 cups fresh spinach, washed and rough chopped
- 16 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 12 ounces lasagna noodles, uncooked (I used brown rice pasta to keep it gluten free)
Sauce: Brown ground beef, along with onion, garlic, carrots and green pepper in a saucepan (if you are omitting the beef, sauté vegetables in a tbsp of olive oil). Add tomato sauce, paste and spices. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat and let simmer on low while preparing remaining ingredients.
Mix together ricotta cheese and egg, until well combined. Fold in spinach.
In the slow-cooker, spoon a layer of sauce onto the bottom, add a double layer of uncooked lasagna noodles (break to fit) and top with a portion of the ricotta mixture and then a portion of the mozzarella. Add sauce, then a single layer of noodles, ricotta and mozzarella and repeat layers until ingredients are all used up. (Because slow-cookers vary in size, I unfortunately can’t give you precise layering, as I can with the traditional lasagna. You’ll have to eye it. The good news is, it will all cook together and be just fine regardless).
Finish with sauce, mozzarella and then shredded Parmesan.
Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.
Did a little cleaning and cooking today. Recipe is here.
Should have a Bixby update today or tomorrow.
Elvis would have been 80 yesterday, so lots of Elvis going on. I searched out some of his favorite recipes for the Recipe Exchange this week. Let’s start with the obvious:
- 3 large ripe bananas
- 1-1/2 cups peanut butter
- 8 slices white bread
- 1/2 cup butter
Peel and mash the bananas in a medium bowl. Combine the peanut butter with the bananas and mix well.
Toast the bread lightly and spread the mixture on three of the slices; top with the remaining three slices.
Melt the butter in a large skillet and slowly brown the sandwiches on both sides until golden brown.
Not your style, how about a black-eyed pea dip to go with your tortilla chips?
From the Graceland’s Table: Recipes Fit for the King of Rock and Roll Cookbook:
“JUST PRETEND” HARVARD TEXAS CAVIAR
- 1 16-ounce can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
- 1 16-ounce can black-eyed peas with jalapenos, drained and rinsed
- 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 avocados, chopped
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 10 3/4-ounce can tomato soup
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup salad oil
- Dash of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon mustard
For complete recipe and many more, follow the link to here.