Pumpkin Apple Mint Dog Treats

Being a dog owner, I knew this day was coming – The day that I will make treats for my dog that hopefully he will enjoy. Just like with any kids, I do try to expose him to as much fruits and vegetables possible. Well, truth to be told, it’s because I want to see his reaction and frankly, it’s cheaper than having to keep buying them!

I’ve learnt that raspberries,blueberries, sweet potatoes and pumpkin are his favourite. Apples and strawberries are dependent on his mood. Leafy greens are not worth a sniff, peanut butter means time for pills but he falls for it every time. Pineapples and raw carrots will be spat out and appropriately flown across the room. But, in general, he is pretty good with his food which I am very blessed ūüôā

When it comes to cookies, I am terrible at rolling the dough into even thickness. I have no idea if it’s the technique but I never seem to get them even. So, sugar ¬†and shortbread cookies are my absolute nightmare – I’ve tried so many recipes, only to end up angry at myself as they never come out correct. Sticking to equally portion, round cookies are my staple, which explains the Chocolate Chip Cookie¬†,¬†Soft Ginger Cookies¬†and SnickerDoodle Cookies¬†. ūüėÄ Now, you know why.

But when I saw this from DamnDelicious, I figured it would be worth the try to conquer my fear. After all, it’s the dog is eating! As you can see below, I think I deserve some self=praising as it turned out really cute.

I went a little extreme to stamp Maio’s name on his cookies as I fear Pat will¬†eat one and complain why it’s tasteless!

But as it turns out РThe human Pat got really jealous and I had to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies right after. *rolls eyes*

Pumpkin Mint Dog Treats

Prep time: 30-45 mins

Cook Time: 25 mins

Yields : 40 treats – depending on cutter size

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree ( I usually buy them in a can but make sure it’s not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour, or more, as needed
  • 1 apple, grated
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped

 

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat pumpkin puree and eggs on medium-high until well combined, about 1-2 minutes. Gradually add 2 1/2 cups flour at low speed, beating just until incorporated. Add an additional 1/4 cup flour at a time just until the dough is no longer sticky. Add apple, mint and parsley, beating just until incorporated.
  3. Working on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough 3-4 times until it comes together. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes and place onto the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Place into oven and bake until the edges are golden brown, about 25 minutes.
  5. Let cool completely.

 

Note: Ensure your countertop is dusted with flour as the dough can get a little sticky once rolled. Also, I found that dusting your cookie cutter between cuts helps the cut pieces to come off easier.

Recipe by DamnDelicious

 

 

Maio

Maio_HighRes_Forprinting.jpg

*Personal Post*

If I have not mentioned before, Pat and I welcome a furry one to the family last Sept. It was a joint decision though Pat allowed me to pick the dog and frankly, it’s cause I have been stalking the rescue’s page for months. Anyways, I am a firm believer of certain things are fated – especially for the house you buy and the pet you adopt. If it’s meant to be yours, it will be yours and the first gut feeling will always be accurate. Like you will know if you like the house when you first step into it or if the pet and you mutually like one another during the first meet and greet.

I chose Maio from the adoption site without even a picture in his profile. The description of him fit everything we were looking for. Not a puppy – checked. Medium size – checked. Not hyper- checked. I didn’t even finish reading the description in his profile before starting the application. He even came with couple rescue surprises too – awesome recall, sticks to you,¬†dog/people friendly, knows how to swim, serial napper, snuggler and not food picky!

These past 6 months have been wonderful with him around. He makes Pat and I more active everyday and on weekends. We no longer are couch potato bums! ¬†However, it’s the little things he does that always gets my heart strings.

I burst into tears on the couch one day and guess who came sniffing my face, wondering what was wrong. Pat stayed for a couple mins comforting me before he had to go for hockey but Maio stuck to me till I was okay. ain’t he a sweetie?

Last night, for some reason, I felt really warm in the bedroom. Flipping like a fish and unable to find comfort, I decided to move to the couch in attempt to get some sleep. Maio hopped off the bed and came to the couch with me. Snuggling in tight and close, he snoozed with me. It was crammed on the couch with 2 of us lying down with my hands twisted a little awkwardly but I actually fell asleep. I had no idea how long he stuck around till he went back to the bedroom but I slept through the night and was woken up by my alarm.

How is it only been 6 months that he has been with us? It feels like we had him for couple years already! But like I said right – it’s all fated that the timing fell in place perfectly.

I wished that we have met him when he was a puppy or few years earlier. I will never know how his life was before being rescued. He came from a reserve as a stray and I really believe he wasn’t raised in a home. Maio wouldn’t even let Pat or I out of his sight during walks, let alone run away. It’s pretty cute to see him panicking at the dog parks when he can’t find us – running around like a maniac, searching so hard and bolting towards you when he finally sees you.

The journey has only began and there’s a lifetime of memories to collect together. Maio already has a special place in my heart and he will always be my special boy.

Turkey Sliders

 

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Turkey Sliders – Never thought I would actually be making this in my kitchen. Sliders or burgers has always beef as the protein but with a pretty high red meat consumption in the house along with cold days where the grill can’t be fired up, I figured to try this recipe by Alton Brown. I am actually starting to like ground turkey a lot, most of the time Pat thinks it’s ground chicken in his meatballs or Thai stir fry ūüôā Sounds like I am feeding a kid.

This taste different from the usual sliders I have had and the more I taste it, the more I want it. So much so, that a recipe that feeds 6 only feeds 2 people! Now, I usually make some sweet potato fries to fair along and it has been a staple in the house.

 

Turkey Sliders

Yields : 12 Sliders

Prep time : 40 mins

Cook Time: 6-10 mins

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 Portobello mushroom or 6 cremini mushroom, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste (room temp)
  • Mayo, lettuce and tomato slices to dress the babies
  • 12 slider buns

Steps

  1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil, mushroom and salt until mushrooms are cooked. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine miso, parmesan,turkey and mushroom. Mix well with your hands.
  3. Form 12 balls from the meat mixture. Each roughly a little bigger than a ping pong ball.
  4. Allow to chill and marinate in fridge for at least 30 mins.
  5. Place skillet back on the stove over medium-high heat, flatten each ball over the skillet with your hands. Ensure they do not touch.
  6. Cook for a total of 6 mins – 2 on each side then 1 min each side after.
  7. Set the patties aside and wipe the skillet.
  8. Place slider buns, cut side down on the skillet and cover for 1.5- 2 mins.
  9. Remove buns, slap on mayo and assemble your sliders!

 

Recipe by Alton Brown’s Every Day Cook

Italian Pasta Salad

Edit  
Once in a while, I just wish there were minions in my kitchen where i can pass them the recipe paper and the cooking gets done for me. Pat’s hopeless in the kitchen, his specialty is a mean bowl of cereal and that’s about it. Suddenly, recipes that are quick and easy to put together has so much of a bigger appeal.

This pasta salad is quick to whip together and typically is reserved for summer days where it’s hot and a cool meal is the perfect pairing. Also, this is perfect to make ahead for summer camping and potluck gatherings. Truthfully, this meal is a time saver. It is best served at room temperature and eaten the day it is made. The taste changes quite a bit at colder temperatures.

Personally, I would eat this dish by its own bit you can also serve it as a side to compliment any protein.

Italian Pasta Salad

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 7 mins

Yield: 6-8 portions

Ingredients 

  • 1/3 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 3 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 pound fuscilli pasta
  • 8 ounces provolone cheese, cubed or bite size pieces
  • 6 ounces salami, cubed or bite size pieces
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh Parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.

Steps

  1. Place onion, red wine vinegar and oregano in a large bowl. Stir to combine and set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add salt and cook pasta for 7 mins.
  3. Meanwhile, prep your other ingredients.
  4. When the pasta is cooked, drain over a colander and rinse with warm water till pasta is warm to touch.
  5. Combine pasta into the vinegar mixture and toss.
  6. Add all other ingredients and toss to combine.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve immediately or cold. Pasta salad can be kept for 3 days in air tight container.

Note:¬†Personally, the salad taste better served at room temperature. Also, i’m cheap so I usually buy pre- sliced cheese and salami and cut it to pieces. The leftover slices are then used in sandwiches.

 

Recipe by ChowHound

Alton’s Microwave Chocolate Mug Cake¬†

A gazillion apologies for anyone who is still reading my site, I completely vanished from up-keeping  this site with recipes. Truth to be told Рthese past few summer months, I have been really busy doing everything but trying out recipes. I made it a point to take advantage of hiking in the Canadian Rockies every single weekend as a way to push myself out to be with nature and usually; by the end of it, I am too tired to brainstorm my meal rotation. Some days, my meal planning happens right at the grocery store. Pat and I also travelled to Eastern Europe and more significantly, we became fur-parents to a wonderful boy -Maio, who is pictured above. He is a gem and loves to be outdoors who makes a perfect hiking buddy.

Anyways, Alton recently released a cookbook and I have been trying out a couple recipes. I only have done a handful but this chocolate cake is really something else. You can whip this up in 5 mins and it only takes 30 seconds to demolish it.  Late night sweet crave? Need a last min desert for your guests? Your pregnant wife egging you for a sugar craving at 3am? This chocolate cake got you covered! It is so good that Pat asked for this 3 nights in a row which he has never done before.

Alton’s Microwave Chocolate Mug Cake
Prep Time : 4 mins

Cook Time: 1.15 mins

Yields: 2 Portion

Ingredients

  • 75g semi-sweet chocolate,chopped ( or you can use chocolate chips)
  • 34g milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 6g canola/vegetable oil ¬†(1 tablespoon)
  • 36g sugar (4 tablespoons)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 29g All-pirpose flour (3 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

 

Steps

  1. Place chocolate and milk in a 16 ounce (approx. 470ml )mug and microwave on high for 45 seconds, then whisk ( I use a fork but you can also use a skinny whisk) till smooth. Add the vanilla, cayenne,vegetable oil and sugar and whisk smooth again.
  2. Whisk in the eggs, then add the flour and baking powder and mix until the batter just comes together.
  3. Place the mug on a paper plate (my preferred choice ) or paper towel (the batter almost always overflow).
  4. Place in the centre of microwave and just let it sit for 3 mins. (This allows the baking powder to work it’s magic.)
  5. Finally, microwave on high for 1.15 mins Be sure to stick around and watch as the batter sets and rises up like a soufflé and out of the mug like a tower of chocolate goody-ness.
  6. When the microwave stops, the column will fall ūüė¶ .
  7. Turn out onto a plate or bowl (which is why paper plate is my preferred choice) and allow to cool briefly before splitting and filling with a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream. It will not look pretty but will suggest you not to skip this or it’s a big regret.

 

Recipe by Alton Brown’s EveryDayCook


Alton’s Blueberry Muffin

As all ladies can tell you, muffin tops are not attractive and the hardest to loose. However, actual muffin tops though…. they are everything to¬†love. Who doesn’t love the tops of the muffins when they eat one. Actually, I know of a persoon – Pat. He likes the bottom more than the top and eats a muffin bottom up. Weirdo.¬†My favorite is actually devouring into the muffin and hunting those blueberries ūüôā

Please, whatever you do,¬†don’t¬†use paper liners for these babies. Paper liners are meant for cupcakes, not muffins! ¬†If you lube your pan enough, the goodies will slip right off effortlessly.

The recipe will look like it has a lot of batter but that’s the point- to stuff each muffin hole so full that¬†it will expand and go over the top. ¬†These muffins are not sweet, crunchy outside and moist on the inside which is a gazillion times better than pre-mix boxes or any grocery store muffins!

 

Alton’s Blueberry Muffin

Yields: 13 muffins

Prep Time : 10 mins

Cook Time: 25 to 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 22 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 ounces sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 16 ounces plain whole fat/ greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 12 ounces fresh blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons demerera sugar ( I skipped the sugar)

Steps

  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F and coat a standard 12-cup muffin pan (and one small oven safe ramekin) with non-stick spray.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. In second bowl whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs, yolks, yogurt and orange zest until smooth.
  3. Make a crater in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it. Stir with a rubber spatula until just barely combined. Resist the urge to over-mix ‚Äď there should be a some lumps of flour in the batter
  4. Fold in the blueberries, mixing just to combine.
  5. Drop slightly less than cup of batter in each of the muffin tin’s wells. Whatever’s left over can be dropped into the prepared ramekin. The cups should be quite full to the top. ( I find just using my hands to guesstimate the portion easier. Just ensure that all portions looks roughly the same and each muffin cup is full to the top)
  6. Sprinkle the muffins with the demerera sugar and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the bottom of a muffin comes out clean.
  7. Remove from oven and turn out, upside down, onto a clean tea towel to cool completely. This step is so that the bottom will not be soggy.
  8. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days( they usually don’t last longer than that).

Recipe by Alton Brown

Garlic Parmesan Potatoes 

 

 

Do you face the same problems I do? You have a main, typically a protein like ribs or salmon or roast chicken and you scratch your head what to do for sides. You can’t pair a salad with things like ribs. Imagine getting your fingers all sauced up from digging into the ribs and having to pick up a fork to stab into the salad. NO! that defeats the purpose of getting messy.

Typically, I usually olive oil , salt + pepper my veg or potatoes to roast. Same goes for my sweet potatoes to peppers to pretty much everything and it can get quite boring. This is perfect as the herbs are not that strong and the bonus will be the bite of roasted garlic that comes once a while. The next time, I am just going to town on the garlic!

 

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Potatoes

Yield: 2-3 portions

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook time : 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds baby/nugget potatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¬Ĺ¬†teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves

Steps

  1. Crank oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. In a small bowl, combine garlic, thyme, oregano, basil and cheese along with some salt and pepper. set side.
  3. In a large bowl, toss potatoes with olive oil. then followed by the cheese seasoning. Use your hands and toss so the potatoes are evenly coated.
  4. Dump and spread the potatoes onto the baking tray so that its in a single layer,skin side down.
  5. Bake for 30 mins or until its soft when pierced with a fork.
  6. Remove from oven and toss with butter. Add more salt and pepper if required.
  7. Garnish with parsley and serve!

 

Recipe from DamnDelicious