May 18, 2012

Pup'kin Puppy Bites - Pumpkin Molasses Doggie Treats

I not only enjoy cooking and baking for us humans in the house, but I also like making treats for our 2 pups. Okay, one pup and one almost 7 year old 'pup', but she will always be a puppy in my eyes. ;)

When it comes to doggie treats, it seems I should have a fun and clever name for them. Well....I guess I'm just not that cleaver. I'm sure I could of tried to come up with a name like pup'kin bones or dog gone treats, but really? As I'm laughing at my lack of cleverness my husband says, "How about Pup'kin Puppy Bites?" Hmmm......I like it! It seems he is far more clever than I am. That's why I married him don't you know. It had nothing to do with his cooking. Yeah, right!

This is my favorite doggie treat recipe because the ingredients are simple and I usually make them when I have left over pumpkin puree.

In a bowl, mix wheat flour, dry milk, and baking soda together. In a separate bowl, mix pumpkin puree, molasses, safflower oil (or vegetable oil), and water till well combined.

Then add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix till a dry stiff dough is formed. If the dough doesn't come together, add a little more water 1 tablespoon at a time. Or if the dough is too wet, add a little more flour 1 tablespoon at a time.

This dough is a little bit of a challenge to roll out. I usually use a french tapered rolling pin, but had to pull out my handled rolling pin for this dough. The handles made rolling it out much easier.

Roll out to about 1/4 inch thick. The thicker the dough, the longer it will take to bake. As well as vice versa, the thinner the dough, the less time it will take to bake.

Use about a 1 1/2 inch cookie cutter. I cut out several cookies at a time. Gather the left over scraps, form into a ball, roll out and cut more cookies. Or, do what I do which is freeze the dough to bake later. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Place cookies on sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake for 15-20 minutes. They should be just barely soft in the middle. They will harden as they sit. Let cool, store, and spoil your dog with tasty homemade treats! Try them yourself, I did! Okay, they aren't something I would add to my daily snack, but our dogs are pretty happy having a few (hundred) a day.

You really don't need any fancy cookie cutter shapes. I guarantee your dog wouldn't know the difference. Before I had this cute bone shaped cookie cutter, I just used a 1 inch circle cutter I had on hand. You could even use a pizza cutter to cut out squares. That certainly would be a lot faster and your dog would love them just the same.

Pumpkin Molasses Treats - Pup’kin Puppy Treats

1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
2 tablespoon molasses
2 tablespoon safflower oil (or vegetable oil)
3 tablespoons of water
342 grams (2 1/2 cup) wheat flour
2 tablespoon dry milk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix pumpkin puree, molasses, oil, and water till well combined. In a separate bowl, mix flour, dry milk, and baking soda together. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix till a dough is formed. Add more water if dough does not come together 1 tablespoon at a time. This is a dry and stiff dough, so don't add too much water. If dough is too wet, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick. Using a 1 1/2 inch cookie cutter, cut out cookies. Gather scraps, form into a ball, and roll out to cut out more cookies. (You can also freeze the dough to use later. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Take out of the refrigerator and let sit for 15 minutes before rolling out the dough.) Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Place cookies on sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake for 15-20 minutes. They should be slightly (very slightly) soft in the middle. They will harden as they sit. Let cool and get ready to see one happy dog!

May 15, 2012

Recipes.....a process of trial and error.

I have a 'recipe brainstorm' notebook. This is what a recipe usually ends up looking like. A bunch of chicken scratch. It doesn't help that I have horrible writing. I start with a list of ingredients I want to use, a guess at measurements and give it a go. If it doesn't work out, I will usually try again if I think there is potential. I then write on top of my original notes. My goal of course....a yummy recipe.

This wonderful organized manner is all new! The old way consisted of writing on the nearest piece of paper. I have a folder filled with post its, envelopes, even paper towels that I'm trying to sort through and decipher. A number of recipes have also been lost. I've twice written down the perfect measurements for homemade pasta, and have twice lost the piece of paper I wrote on!

My new organized way has already helped keep me on top of blogging. I actually posted two recipes within a week! *currently giving myself a pat on the back*

Now a bit of a funny, or ironic story. Yesterday I posted about the hours my chef husband works and how the time he says he's leaving work can easily change. I use to actually even add on an hour to the time he said he was leaving. Well, for awhile now he has been pretty good at predicting his leave time. Yesterday though....he was way off which I couldn't help but laugh since I had posted about this yesterday. I must of jinxed it. His 6pm estimation turned into 8:30pm. He even called to let me know he was running late by a few minutes. ha! That's the life being married to a chef. Meanwhile I have dinner all prepped and am just waiting....and waiting. When he was on his way I started cooking, or 'firing' as a chef would say. It's then that I realized I'm learning something that a chef has to deal with on an everyday basis. The being able to prep and fire, but more importantly, being able to put everything on hold. If you have no idea what I mean by fire, it basically means to cook the food. You know, put it on the fire. Everyday my husband gets to play the game of prep, hold and fire. I guess it's a game I will also get to play once in awhile being married to a chef, and being a wife that cooks dinner the days he works. So, when my husband is late, I'm actually learning. ;) I'd say that is a pretty good way to look at it. To know me, is to know I have a positive twist on just about everything.

May 14, 2012

Waffles with Blueberry Brandy Syrup and being married to a chef.

The hours a chef works can make things a bit challenging at times. It's hard to make concrete plans and when I'm cooking dinner, I have to be prepared to put things on hold. There is no set 'clock in' and 'clock out' time for a chef. When my husband says he's leaving work at 6pm, 6pm can turn into 7pm, or even 8pm. Although through the years he has gotten a lot better at predicting his leave time. I sometimes feel bad for those newly married to a chef that weren't quite prepared for the long hours a chef works. It's easy to not really think about what the future will be like when all you can think about is the amazing food they cook. ;) One must be a very independent person to be married to a chef, which fortunately I am. I usually have a number of projects going on at one time, so my husband's long hours work for me. His long hours also motivated me to take on most of the cooking at home, which I love!

As with all marriages you take the good with the bad. I'm happy to say there's not much bad, especially when he takes over the cooking on his days off. I know I'm partial, but my husband seriously makes the best waffles and pancakes ever! This past Sunday he topped it off with a blueberry brandy syrup. Simply divine. Yeap, I'd say the good certainly out weighs the long hours he works.

This same waffle mix also makes great pancakes. Just look how fluffy that pancake is! read that correct, 'fluffy'.

We finally made use of this sheet pan my husband brought home. It's awesome!

Fluffy and moist!

We make enough of the mix for a few batches and store it. The mix is even healthy, but to make it really good you've gotta add butter and syrup of course.

Waffle/Pancake Mix Recipe:
Roughly enough for 6 batches
5 oz rolled oats
10 oz whole wheat flour
3 oz ground flax seed
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 oz granulated sugar

Directions: Mix all ingredients together.

Waffles/Pancakes (Double if more than 2)
Pancakes: approx. 6
Waffles: 4
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 oz melted unsalted butter
5 oz waffle/pancake mix

Directions: Whisk egg, buttermilk, and butter together. Add dry mix and stir till lumps are gone (do not over mix). Pancakes: spray pancake griddle with non-stick cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Pour or ladle approximately 1/4 cup of the mixture onto heated pancake griddle. Waffles: follow waffle maker instructions. Top with your favorite syrup, fruit, etc.

Blueberry Brandy Syrup Recipe:
2 oz unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 oz brandy (2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt

Directions: In a saucepan over medium heat melt butter. Add sugar, water, brandy, vanilla extract, blueberries, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Cook till blueberries pop and liquid thickens. Let sit for 3-5 minutes and serve.


If you don't keep brandy on hand, you can buy a miniature bottle which is between 1-2 ounces. We happened to have brandy left over from the merlot brandy sangrias I made for my 40th. :)