I know that the "theme" this week is hobbies and relaxation, but there hasn't been a whole lot of either around here lately. For someone like me who usually spends too much time relaxing and not enough "doing", this week (my week off work) I'm on the go! In fact, today I will be emptying out my bedroom so that I can begin painting it. Yippee!
So instead I thought that I would tell you a little about one of my busiest days recently: Christmas Eve. I was on the go all day that day! And one of the main things that I did was bake homemade dog and cat treats.
I don't have kids-- I have animals! With five cats, a lovebird and a turtle, my life is filled with animals. And I am surrounded by others who love animals as well. Family and friends alike-- we all have animals! My mother has five cats and a dog, my brother probably about five cats and a parrot, my father has several cats and several dogs, and my friend has so many cats...well, she won't even tell me how many she has!
So Christmas Eve I decided to make homemade healthy pet treats! I did research on the internet to find recipes, and here's what I went with:
Savory Cheese Treats
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine cheeses and yogurt. Add flour and cornmeal. If needed, add a small amount of water to create a nice dough. Knead dough into a ball and roll to 1/4 inch. Cut into one inch sized pieces and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Makes 2 dozen.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine tuna, egg white and water. Add cornmeal and flour and blend to form a dough. Knead into a ball and roll to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into one-inch sized pieces. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes. Makes 12 cookies.
from Two Dog Press
Preheat oven to 350 ° F (180 ° C).
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in the parsley, broth, honey, and egg. Gradually blend in flour, adding enough to form a stiff dough.
Transfer to a floured surface and knead until smooth (about 3-5 minutes). Shape the dough into a ball, and roll to 1/4-inch (6 mm) thick. Using small bone-shaped cookie cutters, make biscuits! Transfer to ungreased baking sheets, spacing them about 1/4 inch (6 mm) apart. Gather up the scraps, roll out again, and cut additional biscuits.
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and turn over. Bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until lightly browned on both sides. Let cool overnight. (After we finish baking all batches of biscuits, we turn off the oven, then spread all the biscuits out on one baking sheet and set them in the oven to cool overnight. The extra time in the oven as it cools off helps make the treats crispier and crunchier.)
Makes several dozen small bones that keep and freeze well. We like these biscuits because they're quick and easy and we always have the ingredients on hand to make them.
Tips and Observances:
I used parchment paper on the cookie sheets. This made it so easy to just pick up the paper and "dump" the treats off and into a bowl and then work on the next batch for the oven.
I think that the tip about leaving them in the oven overnight is a good one. The biscuits have a tendency to be a little chewy, and letting them dry out in the oven would make them crispier and easier to eat. Only my last batch of dog biscuits were left in the oven overnight.
The cats are "iffy" with the treats. My five cats tend to be more ambivalent towards them, although they seem to prefer the tuna/salmon treats. My mother's three male cats, however, LOVED all of them! Her dog Katy seemed quite happy with the dog treats.
I had planned on making some treats with bacon in them (which I'm sure would be irresistible!), but I simply ran out of time and energy. But the treat packages turned out cute...
The dog biscuits were in Christmas-y shapes like stockings and stars and bells. Nice!
Now, just because we were busy making treats for animals doesn't mean that we were completely left out in the cold. After the last batch of biscuits were in the oven, it was time for the humans to indulge a little. So I tried my hand at making Hot Buttered Rum for the first time.
Hot Buttered Rum
by Emeril Legasse
In a bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Refrigerate until almost firm. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the butter mixture into 12 small mugs. Pour about 3 ounces of rum into each mug (filling about halfway). Top with boiling water (to fill the remaining half), stir well, and serve immediately. (I followed someone else's suggestion, and instead put the liquids into the mug first, and then added the butter mixture. They said that otherwise the butter is "cooked" by the boiling water.)
Oh, snap! That's a keeper! It may not be something that I'd do on a regular basis, but a great one to whip out on Christmas Eve or even the upcoming New Year's!
I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas, and wish everyone a safe and happy New Year's! Take care, and we'll see you in the new year!