New Year’s Resolution Cookies

I hope you are all out there working on your goals for the year, whether they are to fight for social justice…

Here’s a super supportive puppo participating in the Toronto #WomensMarch today. 13/10

A photo posted by WeRateDogs (@weratedogs) on

or to stop and smell the flowers…

One of my new year’s resolutions is to post more frequently, and Truffle’s is to eat more snacks, so here is our first recipe of the year!

This cookie is loaded with healthy ingredients: carrots, flax seed, coconut oil (keeps our coats pretty!) and arugula, which is nutritious for dogs, but should be given in small doses, and preferably cooked.

Ingredients

2 large carrots
1 cup arugula
2 tbsp flax seeds
1 large egg
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup of water

Preheat your oven to 350F. Grind your flax seeds in a food processor, then put them into the bowl of your stand mixer, or a large mixing bowl. Chop the arugula in the same food processor (no need to clean in-between), followed by the carrots. Add your egg and coconut oil, and mix thoroughly. Add the flour a bit at a time, and then the 1/2 cup of water.

Once your dough comes together, roll out to about 1/3 inch thick, and cut out into desired shapes. Bake for 30 min. Let cool, and enjoy!

As with all homemade treats, keep in the fridge, or freeze and defrost as needed.

Orphan Dog Cookies

Around this time last year, Karen Schaver and her volunteers were gearing up for the Texas Freedom Ride. Lake County based rescue Orphan Dog homes 250 dogs every year, mostly in Northern California. Once a year during Karen’s summer vacation from teaching, they go farther afield. Last year, they went to Texas and brought back a van full of dogs from high-kill shelters. Truffle and her brothers were three of the lucky pups, and their people are very, very grateful.

I made these cookies in honor of Orphan Dog. Rescue puppies deserve healthy and high-value treats! These have been very popular at our favorite dog park…

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Ingredients

220g canned salmon, drained and picked through to remove larger bones
1 cup peas
125 g carrot
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup flax seeds
1 egg
3 tbsp coconut oil

Grind the flax seeds in a food processor, and move to a mixing bowl. Shred about 3 medium carrots in the food processor, then add 1 cup of peas and chop again. Add the canned salmon to the food processor to make sure any remaining bones are blitzed. (Salmon bones from tins should be safe for dogs and humans, since they’ve been pressure canned. They’re also a good source of calcium.) Add this wet mixture to 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1 egg, and 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, and knead by hand or in a stand mixer. Add extra flour if necessary to bring dough into a ball.

Once the dough comes together, roll out to a 1/2 inch thickness and cut into desired shapes. Bake at 375F for 15 minutes for cookies that break off easily (good for training), or 20-25 min. for dry biscuits. Either way, since these are made from fresh ingredients, make sure to store your cookies in the fridge or freezer.

Happy Independence Day, puppers!

May the Fourth be with you!

I took Truffle over to our local Unleashed by Petco on Force Friday last year. She had just chewed through her first leash. I think she just wanted some Star Wars merchandise.

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Here she is, showing off her Yoda ears.

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We came across these super cute Star Wars dog biscuits!

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The difficult decision…

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Han didn’t stand a chance. Truffle ate first.

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Today, Truffle is exploring her Light Side. But only because good dogs get more snacks.

Puppy’s 1st Birthday Cake

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A festive and healthy meatloaf cake for a special day!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup oats
1 medium carrot
1 lb lean ground turkey
3/4 lb chicken liver
Handful of frozen peas

Preheat oven to 350F.

Get your food processor ready for a triple shot… First, toss in oats and chop coarsely. Empty into a mixing bowl. Then chop carrots until they’re finely diced. Add the carrots to the oats.

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Rinse the chicken livers in water, then put them into the food processor and blend until you don’t see any big chunks. Add this to your mixing bowl, along with the ground turkey. Mix with a spoon until all ingredients are combined.

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Grease a cake tin with olive oil, then pour in your disgusting looking mixture.

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There’s really no way to stop this looking like vomit, but you love your dog, and it’s her 1st birthday so…

Bake at 350 for 1 hour, or until a meat thermometer reads 160 in the center of the meatloaf, er, cake.

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While the cake cools, peel and chop 2 potatoes. Boil for 15 min. or until you can put a fork through the chunks. Drain and mash your potatoes. They won’t be very creamy, but you’ll be ok. Frost the cooled cake with the warm mashed potatoes. Start with a scoop in the middle and work out to the edges, adding as you go. I was pretty happy that it started to look like fondant. Probably tastes better than fondant–let’s face it, that stuff is not for flavor.

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Once you’re happy with your frosting, decorate with frozen peas. You should be able to press the hard peas into the potato so they stay in place.

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Slice and enjoy! You can see photos of Truffle and her brothers enjoying their cake here.

Recipe: Qora Cookies

My boss’s family adopted a beautiful border collie x lab mix over the holidays. They named her Qora, which means “black” in Uzbek. She had given birth shortly before being picked up by the SPCA, and this little girl was so skinny! In addition to a nutritious diet, I figured she could use some special treats made with healthy fats.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup ground flax seeds
2 small granny smith apples with peels on, but cores removed
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened and unsalted peanut butter
1/2 cup water or chicken stock
3 tbsp olive oil

Grind flax seeds in a food processor. Remove the cores from your apples (the seeds of apples are poisonous to dogs), and puree in the same food processor. You should end up with about 1 cup of blitzed apple. Place all ingredients into a mixer and combine thoroughly.

Roll your dough out into 1/2 inch sheet and cut into the desired shapes.

Bake at 350 for 25 min.

Store in fridge or freeze.

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These cookies are really high-value (blurry photo evidence of Qora’s excitement above!), but remember that since they’re higher in fat content, you’ll want to limit the number of treats you give your pups.

Heart BEET and Ricotta Cookies

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Valentine’s Day is coming up, and it’s a perfect excuse to bake some special cookies for Truffle and friends.

I love the amazing fuschia of red beets. Peeling them makes for stained hands, but luckily, you can find cooked red beets at lots of markets now. We had some part-skim ricotta leftover from lasagnas. You can substitute an extra egg if your dog is lactose-intolerant, but Truffle has no problem with cheese… except the problem of NOT getting enough cheese!

Ingredients:

250g cooked beets, pureed
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
2.5 cups whole wheat flour
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350F. Roughly chop the cooked beets and puree in a food processor or blender. Add 1/2 cup part skim ricotta and mix thoroughly. Add the wet ingredients, including 1 beaten egg to 2.5 cups of whole wheat flour. Bring together using a stand mixer, or do it the old-fashioned way if you want pink hands for days!

Roll the dough out onto a floured surface. Half-inch thickness works well for smaller cookie cutters. Cut out your shapes and bake in oven for 15-20 min. The longer you bake the cookies, the less pink they’ll become, so it worth checking after 12 min. or so. Let cool and store in fridge or freeze for up to a couple months.

Recipe: Tuna Brownies

This recipe is for Hoopa the happy black lab who we met at Point Isabel on Christmas Day. His owner Jenny requested a high-value treat to motivate Hoops to bring the ball back when playing fetch.

Tuna brownies are popular training tool because they’re smelly enough to get your dog’s attention, and many pups will do tricks for just a little nibble. There are quite a few variations in recipes I’ve found online, from including eggshells, to adding Parmesan cheese… This is my version, and one that Truffle really enjoys.

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Ingredients:

2 cans of tuna in water (along with the water)
2 large eggs
1.5 cup whole wheat flour
2 garlic cloves, Microplaned (or 2 tsp garlic powder)
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 cup chicken stock or water

Preheat your oven to 350F. Grease a 9×13 inch brownie pan with olive oil.

Using a blender or food processor, puree your tuna, along with the water in the cans. Finely grate your garlic (Microplanes are the best!), and chiffonade your parsley. Eh, just make it small 🙂

In a mixing bowl, bring this all together with the beaten eggs, flour, and chicken stock or water. When the mix resembles a brownie batter consistency, pour it into the pan and bake for 20-25 min. Test with a toothpick–if it comes out clean, your pupple brownies are ready!

Let the brownies rest for a bit, but make sure to cut them while still warm. We use a pizza roller to make long bars and freeze most of the batch. I take out a few bars from the freezer at a time and cut or break off bits for training.

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Jenny, and any other readers out there, let us know how these tuna brownies work out for you!

Recipe: Carroty Quenelle Cookies

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Ingredients

3 carrots, grated or chopped in a food processor
2 ripe bananas
1 egg
1/4 cup olive oil
2.5 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oats

Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine your dry ingredients, then bring together with the wet ingredients, either by hand or in a stand mixer.

Make your Quenelles by using 2 spoons (I chose small teaspoons so the cookies would fit in our medium size Kong). Scoop a ball of dough, then scrape with the second spoon to form the shape of an American football… or perhaps a rounder version of the spaceship in Flight of the Navigator??

Bake for 35 minutes. The cookies should be cooked through to the center but easy to break apart without crumbling.

Truffle loves her veggies, so I wasn’t surprised that she was into these cookies. The surprising thing was when we brought some out at her favorite dog park, and all the dogs started to flock to these treats. Some of the people said their dogs usually turned their adorable noses up at carrots, so it was nice to be able to sneak some in cookie form.