Saturday, September 28, 2013

All Things CATS on Etsy

Of course I am going to make this post about kittens, because I have two new members in my family!! Meet Storm (aka Storm Trooper) and Duplo (aka Duple and Princes Duplo...we had a really hard time naming her).

Storm and Duplo napping together

Storm
Duplo

As a celebration, I decided to do some Etsy surfing for all things kitten related:


I REALLY, REALLY love this "Cat Cave". This link is just for the tutorial on how to do it. But, there are lots of Caves out there for purchase on Etsy.


 This Toy box is by CollegeViewCrafts. I like the idea of it. Right now, I have all the cat toys in a shoe box (not so stylish).


  This shop has a lot of handmade felt toys. The popcorn can be "butter scented" or filled with catnip.


I think I will make a couple of these scratching posts with the huge tree branch that landed in my yard from a storm that hit tonight. BUT if you would prefer to just buy one, you can find them here.

And last but not least:

SOMETHING FOR THE DOGS!! (The Original Toasty Pet Bed)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

"Chocolate" Chip Cookies

One of my favorite cookies can also be eaten by my dog! We share. These cookies are vegan, gluten free and have carob chips in them.... and I really don't feel all that guilty if I eat half the batch in one day. In fact, I have been known to give them to my (human) kids for lunch. Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 5/8 c. of natural peanut butter (usually I just "guesstimate" on this measurement)... and yes, using the natural peanut butter does work better than Skippy of Jiff for some reason.
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. baking powder 
  • 1/2 c. of carob chips (as I human, I prefer CHOCOLATE chips. But if you want to share with your dog, use carob chips because chocolate is poisonous to our four-legged friends.)
All you have to do is blend the ingredients (minus the carob chips) in a blender:

The peanut butter has not been added in, yet! I usually heat the honey and peanut butter up for about 10 sec. in the microwave before I blend.

 Stir in the carob chips:


And spoon onto a baking sheet (no need to grease it):


Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes:



I should warn you, when you eat them you will not think "OMG! These taste EXACTLY like a chocolate chip cookie." Because they don't, they have chickpeas in them!!! BUT, they are delicious. I like them better when they are warm. IF you happen to have leftovers the next day, just microwave them! My (human) kids love them warm or cold and don't realize they are eating something healthy. Shhhhh.... don't tell them! My dogs don't really care whether it's healthy or not... they just think I am awesome! AND... Honey has almost the same health benefits to your dog as it does for you (Google it)! But, don't over do it when feeding your dogs honey. It's a sugar and extra calories.1 tsp of honey a day (or less) should suffice. And last, like human babies, honey should not be fed to puppies.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Chicken Noodle Soup!!

Occasionally, on those really hectic days, I swing by the grocery store to buy a rotisserie chicken for dinner. After my family has devoured most of the meat, I use the left over scraps (bones included) to make chicken broth. Lots and lots of chicken broth that can be froze and used for any future recipe.

I should first note, that some of these pictures contain ingredients like ONIONS or GARLIC (I was making it for humans, not dogs). Never give you dogs onion (or garlic). It's poisonous. And when in doubt about your ingredients, you can always double check on this Humane Society link.  Here are some ingredients that are good for dogs that would be good in any chicken stock:
  • Parsley
  • Greek Oregano
  • Basil Thyme
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Green Beans
  • Peas 
  • Squash
and of course:
  • Chicken scraps and bones 
Now for the chicken broth steps: First grab a giant stock pot with a colander that fits inside of it.



Next grab your ingredients. In this picture, I have some carrots, green beans and kale. I also added celery. As a general rule of thumb, celery and carrots are a good base for any soup stock. Chop your ingredients into big chunks. There is no need for finely dicing anything. That will just waste your time.
 

Next, throw all your chunks into the big stock pot...including the chicken scraps and bones (p.s. the secret to any good soup stock is having BONES). Add your seasonings and fill up the pot with water. Please don't use salt if you are going to give it to your dog. ***The below photo has ONIONS. DON'T USE ONIONS (this was my human version)***


Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer (uncovered) for a couple hours and the liquid has reduced a couple of inches. Your house will smell AMAZING and you might have trouble keeping your dogs out of the kitchen!



Once the stock has cooled enough that you won't scald yourself or end up in the emergency room with serious burns, take the pot over to the sink and carefully lift the colander out. TAADAA!! You have beautiful chicken broth that is WAY healthier and cheaper than grocery store bought.

 After that, you can make wonderful Chicken Noodle soup for your dog... and you (you might want to add some salt to your own bowl...)