05/26/2011 § 4 Comments
Meet Maeby. She is my furry little companion/ball of cuteness. She came into my life quite unexpectedly. I went to Wal-mart for toilet paper between classes one day and came home with a puppy; which I bought from someone’s trunk in the parking lot. I guess you could say it was a bit of an impulse buy, but who could resist that face?
I used to get squeamish when people would start going on about their pets so I’ll spare you the agony.
Lately Maeby and I have been having an issue. You see, she is very finicky about her food. I’ve consulted with the vet numerous times about this issue and they say she’s healthy, but coaxing her to eat is sometimes quite a chore. I’ve tried so many different dog foods it’s ridiculous. I’m finally to the point where I’ve decided to dabble in making her food. I’ve been reading about it lately to make sure it’s safe and so far I have found many sources that say it is. Rather than diving directly into making the food, which seems a bit complicated, I’ve decided to start with handmade treats.
This brings me to my first topic in the Maeby Not, Maeby So series: Quick and easy dog treats. If Maeby and I both approve of the treat it will get a “Maeby So!”, if we don’t like it a “Maeby Not”. I found basic recipes for treats on a site called Bullwinkle.
Easy Homemade Doggie Treats
1. Peanut Butter Puppy Poppers rating: Maeby So!
The original recipe makes a very large batch, so I cut it in half, still yielding plenty of treats. I also cut the cook time down by about half as well. In the end, the treats turned out nicely and Maeby really enjoys them. I am in no way an expert on this, so you should really know how your pet will react to each ingredient before feeding it to them. I found out that some dogs are allergic to peanuts, just like adults. So please use your discretion :)
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 375’F. In a bowl, combine flour and baking powder.
In another bowl, mix peanut butter and milk.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness and use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes. I didn’t have a cookie cutter so I used a small jar flipper upside down. This worked nicely.
Bake for 11 minutes on a greased baking sheet until lightly brown. This will vary based on the power of your oven. The original recipe called for 20 minutes. Maeby has trouble with very crunchy food, so I’m glad I opted for less time.
Cool on a rack, then store in an airtight container.
Please make sure you know how your pet will react to each ingredient before feeding it to them!
2. Doggie Dots rating: Maeby Not.
I created this recipe, but it is a modification of this. This one is so super easy. Maeby really likes them, but I don’t. Since the treat is frozen Maeby could not eat it right away causing it to melt and stain the couch. I would consider this after a walk on a hot day or to take outside.
1 small jar baby food (I used chicken flavor)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
Simply mix yogurt and baby food together.
Pour into an ice cube tray.
Freeze and pop! I found this great little ice cube tray that makes the Dot-like shape. The bottom of the tray is a flexible silcone making it very easy to press the treats out.
So that’s that! I’ll be covering more pet related issues in the future, but for the time being if you have any knowledge on this topic or suggestions for more recipes I’d love to know!
05/12/2011 § 2 Comments
It’s no secret that I have an affinity for marshmallow fluff. Chocolate ice cream with marshmallow fluff, to be exact. According to my mom, I’m practically half chocolate and marshmallow as it is, because that’s all she wanted to eat when she was pregnant with me. So when an opportunity arose to buy a large amount of the good stuff for very cheap, what do you think I did? That’s right, I bought a 3 lb. tub of “marshmallow topping” for $3.00.
Visions of rice-crispy treats and chocolaty sweets danced through my head when I came across it on the shelf. Come to find out, there’s only so many fluffernutters a girl can eat. After a couple of spoonfuls, I was completely fluffed out.
So now I’ve got this monster of awesomeness sitting in my refrigerator that I want nothing to do with, reminding me that sometimes too much of a good thing really is too much.
Coming soon: 4/20/2011 Macaroni Salad: A Love Story
05/11/2011 § 3 Comments
If you stand back, cross your eyes and squint a little, it almost looks like a Pollock painting; minus the corner of course.
The road to mastering the art of pizza making (or baking in general) has been a slow and rocky one for me. When I was in college my roommate Jackie and I went through a bit of pizza phase and I got pretty decent at making a pie. Unbeknownst to me, I’ve since lost my pizza-bilities.
I’ve been experimenting with different techniques and lately my go to gals for everything cooking have been Heidi Swanson and Deb of Smitten Kitchen. Any time I have an ingredient and I don’t know what to do with it, I check their recipe indexes first before looking elsewhere. They’ve both officially made it to my ‘bookmark bar’. ANYWAYS, the other day I came across Smitten Kitchen’s section on pizza, so I figured I’d give the whole baking thing another go. She makes it look so easy that it’s really hard to resist.
What you see above is a culmination of a couple of different recipes (I’m a notorious recipe tweaker) and some ingenuity. I use the term “pizzaster” lightly, because it actually came out tasting really good. However about half-way through the cooking process I had to add more sauce and cheese. Oops! Let’s just say, I need a little practice.
dough recipe: For the dough I used SK’s recipe almost exactly.
1 1/2 cups flour (I used 1/2 cup whole wheat flour. Not sure I would do that again, upon reflection)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon instant dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water (+1 tablespoon because it was a little dry)
1 tablespoon olive oil (in this case all I had was a canola+olive oil blend, but I don’t think that’s a problem)
To find out how to make the dough look here.
I really have very little experience making dough and I don’t think I properly knead it… My dough was pretty tough and took quite a bit of manipulation to get it to stay still on the baking sheet. I also forgot to dust the pan with cornmeal prior to rolling the pizza out. So, that was fun trying to fix.
toppings: you can make this with whatever your little heart desires.
On hand I had Yukon Gold potatoes, vidalia onion, and white mushrooms. As a base I made a mixture of 3 tablespoons of alfredo sauce and a little bit of oil. I could have gone a little heavier with the amount of toppings, but what I had did the job. I also topped with some spinach and mozzarella cheese and rosemary.
I set my oven to 400 and let that bad boy cook for about 15 minutes.
Here’s where the disaster part came about: The spinach crisped up like dried leaves. So those had to go asap. Also it was very dry and the cheese was getting crispy. Discontent with the result, I turned the oven off and was about to say the hell with it! But, I decided to throw on some more alfredo and cheese one top and set it in the oven for a few minutes.
VOILA, it turned out really well and my mom is a big fan.
Not so bad after-all.