The Best Gift For (Wo)Man’s Best Friend

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Raise your hand if you are celebrating the year of the dog. That’s right. 2018 is all about that WOOF. There is nothing like the love of a good pet and I, along with millions of others, love dogs. Looking back 3 years ago I posted a pumpkin dog biscuit recipe here.

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My Deacon loved that recipe, but pumpkin is not always readily available. After watching my daughter’s dog chow down on a few fallen apples in the yard last fall I wondered about using unsweetened applesauce in place of the pumpkin. Turns out that dogs love apples and unsweetened applesauce is safe for dogs to eat.

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So in addition to celebrating your favorite humans this Valentine’s Day consider showing your favorite Fido some love, too. This recipe for grain free dog biscuits is dog approved and with only 5 ingredients super easy to make.

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Honest and loyal, Dogs are the truest friends and most reliable partner. Could you ask for a better Valentine? 

Apple of My Eye Grain Free Dog Treats

3/4 cup buckwheat flour (did you know that buckwheat is actually a fruit seed related to rhubarb—me neither, but it is true)

1/2 cup almond flour

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 egg

1 tablespoon peanut butter

Mix all the ingredients together adding more buckwheat flour if too sticky. Roll out to a 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Bake on a parchment lined cookie sheet at 300F for 30 minutes. Turn each biscuit and bake 5 more minutes. Cool. Makes about 2 dozen.

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Dog & Garden Therapy

try some chocolate mint in your next cake or bread

try some chocolate mint in your next cake or bread

Today doesn’t particularly feel like summer. With leaves falling and temperatures dropping its clear warm days are about to come to a raging halt. The wishful thought of an endless summer brings me into the garden where vegetables continue to hang on. The jalapeno peppers are losing their camouflage as they ripen from green to red and the haricot vert cling to their stems as they lengthen. Fall favorites like butternut squash are ripe for the picking. Their skin has darkened and now ready to be trimmed away in preparation for roasting.

butternut squash ready for roasting

butternut squash ready for roasting

My dog, Deacon, follows me and takes a roll in the oregano. There is something about the herby fragrance that brings pizza and Greek baked chicken to mind. Hmmm, either one would be great for dinner tonight, but my attention quickly turns to one overgrown zucchini. I can’t fight it any longer.

nothing like the love of a great pet

nothing like the love of a great pet

Back inside I sit down to type. I can’t help but notice that Deacon is at my feet. I pause and am reminded that every time I sit and write this blog she is at my feet. Dogs sense things. Whether it’s my body language or some grieving scent she knows when to provide comfort. It’s clear why all dogs go to heaven.

slice of heaven come winter

slice of heaven come winter

If you are tired of eating zucchini go ahead and freeze this cake to be enjoyed in a month or two on a crisp fall day with your favorite cup of tea. You will be glad you did.

Endless Summer Zucchini Sweet Bread

2 cups all purpose flour

1-cup white whole-wheat flour

1-teaspoon baking soda

1-teaspoon fine sea salt

½ teaspoon baking powder

3 teaspoons cinnamon

2 tablespoons ground flax seed meal

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 2/3 cup sugar

¾ cup vegetable oil

1 lemon, grated zest plus 1 tablespoon juice

1-teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chocolate mint or spearmint

2 cups packed shredded zucchini *

1 cup chopped walnuts

Powdered sugar

Heat oven 350F. Spray a coffeecake pan or Bundt pan (or any pan you like that has at least a 10-cup capacity or 2 small loaf pans) with no-stick cooking baking spray. In bowl, sift flours, baking soda, salt, baking powder and cinnamon; stir in flax seed meal and set aside. In large bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla and mint. Add dry ingredients, stirring with a spoon until dry ingredients are moistened. The mixture will be very thick. Add zucchini and mix very well to loosen up the batter. Stir in nuts. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 5o to 60 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes before inverting onto rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar just before serving.

*Note: I grate my zucchini on the large cutters of a box grater and squeeze out some of the excess moisture with paper towels.

As always I recommend King Arthur Flour, as it is consistently the best.

I love my Grandog

I love my Grandog, too! So darn cute.