December 1, 2010

Thanks Given, and Doggies Treated Well

Thanksgiving was an amazing holiday this year.  E and I had our first family holiday as a married couple, and it was just perfect- although too brief.  The company was splendid, with endless rounds of Catch Phrase (awesome!) and Apples to Apples (not so awesome).  The dinner was fantastic, with all the regular favorites and some new ones as well.  The dessert was an adventure, as grilling pies is not as easy as a full belly and several glasses of wine had me believe.  And it was all topped off with a bonfire, complete with guitars, a mushroom the size of an infant, and a robust rendition of The Little Mermaid soundtrack.  The entire family, 7 people and 5 dogs (there are also 3 cats in the family, but I doubt they would have stayed past Les Poissons), all enjoying each other's company as the night wound down. Couldn't have asked for more...

But there was more- a whole cooler-full more of Thanksgiving treats to keep E and I in the holiday spirit through the next several days after our return to NC.  While there never really can be too much gravy, I figured we had enough to share with our doggie wards.  I put some into a quick batch of dog treats, and they were a hit.  (Although the great thing about dogs, aside from their inherent cuteness, is that they'll eat just about anything.)  Dog treats can't really be messed up- and therefore require no specific recipe as far as I'm concerned.  You take wet stuff, add flour and other dry stuff until it's not sticky and can be rolled out, then cut out fun shapes and feed them to your furry friends. (And if your husband wants to try one because they smell like gravy, it's ok- they're all natural, after all.)  There are plenty of websites out there if you're more comfortable starting with a recipe, though.
For my parents' dogs, a humane alternative to their backyard full
of frogs and bunnies. 
The picture is awful, but this is Playstation controller, a much cheaper
and healthier midnight snack for The Boog.

Dog Treats
Start by whisking an egg (to act as a binder) then throw in the wet stuff, mix all that up, and add in whatever dry ingredients you want to use.  Here's a list of ideas- I'm sure there a bunch of other things you could use, and I haven't experimented with any actual meat in treats yet, but that is an option. 

Wet things and add-ins:
broth of any kind
leftover gravy
grated carrots
chopped celery
shredded cheese
peanut butter
peanuts or sunflower seeds
mashed banana
oil (veg or olive)
pumpkin puree

Dry things:
whole wheat flour
cooked rice

Once the dough has started to get stiff, flour your counter and start kneading.  Keep kneading, adding more flour as needed, until it's no longer sticky.  Roll out the dough to your desired thickness (I usually make it about as thin as a pie crust) and use cookie cutters or a knife and your imagination to make the shapes.  Bake at 350F for about 30-40 minutes.  They're done when they are completely hard- if they're soft at all, they won't keep very well.  They should be fine at room temperature for a couple weeks, but I always put half the batch in the freezer in case The Boog and Miss Muffin Pie don't get properly spoiled before their treats do....

TV remote... actually the only remote in the house that Freya had not eaten.

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