June 25, 2009
***GIVEAWAY UPDATE*** Thanks to all who entered; we love hearing about everyone’s doggies, and were tempted to just send you all treats! However, the random number generator did not suffer from such emotional entanglements & chose commenters 10 & 11, Cheryl & Christy, as our lucky recipients. They’ll be receiving their treats later this week. We promise to do this again soon, and in the meantime, urge you to give the recipe a try yourselves. xx, BJG
Allow me to introduce you to the Blue Jean Puppy.
Pup-pay! I know, she’s freaking cute, right? Calling her a puppy, though, is a total misnomer as our L.D. (which stands for Lucky Dawg—we didn’t name her, okay??) is fourteen-plus years old, which for a yellow lab means she’s approximately 107.
I did not grow up with dogs. In fact, I didn’t have pets of any kind until I met Jill. At the risk of vast cultural generalization, I’m like most Indian kids I know this way. Our parents came from a context where it’s tough enough to feed your kids, let alone an extra, alien mouth. In India, as in many parts of the world, wild dogs run in packs on the street, largely ignored or dodged by citizens. Having a pet in India is, for most, a status symbol of opulent, extreme wealth.
My parents also fended off any potential begging-for-pets by making it very clear that my mother was allergic to dog & cat hair, so it wasn’t going to happen. Given this, I made do with vicarious enjoyment of my neighbors’ and friends’ animals; it was never a serious “upset” for me that I didn’t have pets. As it turns out, the “your mother is allergic” bit was all a ruse! Oh the lies we tell our children.
Of course, now that I live with this sweet thang (& two very sweet cats in addition), I can’t imagine my life without animals in it.
We’re probably not going to have our LD for too much longer. I don’t like thinking about it, not one bit. Since she’s my first pet, she will also be my first pet death, and I’m not looking forward to that.
I try to stay focused on the fact that our old dog is happy, healthy, and aside from having to wear a diaper these days, enjoys an excellent quality of life in her twilight years. Including these homemade dog treats.
These treats are incredibly easy to make, and they’ve never met a dog they didn’t like (LD, Tillie, Kathleen, Digby, Doodle, Penny, Dillon, Gunny, Murphy, & Buster can all attest!) And, you don’t have to feel guilty giving these out, because they’re full of only good stuff.
To share the love with some canine friends of Blue Jean Gourmet, we’re having our first giveaway! I’ll be baking up a fresh batch of dog treats this weekend and mailing them out to a few lucky dawgs (c/o their BJG reader-owners).
If you’d like to enter, simply leave a comment on this post telling us about the dog(s) in your life by the end of the day Monday (June 29). We’ll draw a couple of winners on Tuesday (June 30) morning & notify them via email.
In the meantime, I’m going to go ahead and post the recipe for these treats here, because should you win, your dog may well become addicted. I’m just sayin’.
PEANUT BUTTER DOG TREATS
adapted from a recipe generously shared by Denise Duncan (who makes them for Molly, Max, & Sophie!)
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup water
¼ cup peanut butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup old-fashioned oats
optional: We keep wheat germ in the freezer to add to smoothies & breads, so I always throw a dash in for puppy health benefits.
preheat oven: 400 degrees F
Combine flour & oats in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients; add wet ingredients and mix thoroughly, using a large spoon or your hands.
At this point, you may need to add extra water or extra flour depending upon the texture of the mix. If you plan to roll out the treats, you’ll want the dough to be pretty stiff and so add more flour. If you plan to make drop treats, a wetter mixture will do.
(option 1) Roll out the dough in two batches, using more whole wheat flour for the counter. Somewhere between ¼ – ½ inch thickness is best to insure that the treats stay crunchy but don’t burn.
Use cookie cutters or just a knife to make desired shapes. Place on a well-greased sheet pan and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes. Check for browning on the bottom of the treats; cool on wire racks until they’re a safe temperature for your puppy to sample.
(option 2) If you’re thinking, heck, my dog couldn’t care less what shape these things come in, he/she just wants to eat. them. all. now! then you can either roll the mixture into tablespoon-sized balls or just scoop out about a tablespoon’s worth at a time onto well-greased cookie sheets, placing them about an inch apart.
Flatten the treats out with a floured palm and bake for 20-25 minutes (because they’re a little thicker than the rolled-out version, they’ll take a bit longer). Cool on wire racks; let the dog or dogs in the house taste-test for you to assure quality control.