Monday, January 28, 2013

Bringin' Popover Back!

Well, I guess I always just figured EVERYone knows what a popover is. I found out today that I'm wrong. I shared a photo of mine on facebook and the first comment was "what's a popover?". It was from my friend, Susan...obviously a Popover Virgin!
To be honest, I never had one or heard of one until I moved in with my best friend/roommate. Jamie, back in the early 90's. He had a popover pan and a killer recipe, which I still have handwritten by him somewhere around here. It's amazing I could read it considering how illegible his writing is. He's a doctor, by the way. (insert rimshot!)

During our very long relationship as roommates, Sunday was always popover day. Jamie would wake up and make them and then we'd clean the apartment while listening to NPR. It was just our "thing".
When I relocated over 4 years ago, one thing I missed right away was popovers. I moved to Pennsylvania in October and for Jamie's holiday visit that first Christmas away from Detroit, he brought me a popover pan!
It's always in my kitchen and I love making them.

The first batches I made came out perfectly. I am at a higher elevation here but not that much off from Detroit that I thought it should make any difference in my baking. The next batch I made was awful! They didn't rise at all. I started researching every recipe and article I could find to discover what was causing mine to come out so poorly. I never had them come out like that back in Michigan. It was odd.
If you can find it, Alton Brown did a Good Eats episode called "Popover Sometime". It's one of my favorites. It's often repeated on the new Food TV channel. Yes, I DVR'd it the last time it was on.
I'm not going to go too in depth with all the science here. That's Alton's job. That's why he gets the big bucks.
I switched to his recipe and it seemed to work great. I never had non-rising, flat popovers again.

I bought a Hobby Farms Chicken magazine in December and was pleased to see that there was an article called "Eggcellent Meal Ideas". Popovers were one of the recipes featured. I love the author's description and memories of them. The recipe is excerpted  from "The Fresh Egg Cookbook: From chicken to kitchen: Recipes for using eggs from farmers markets, local farms and your own backyard"
(Storey Publishing, 2012) by Jennifer Trainer Thompson. (photography by Jason Houston)
Believe me, THAT book is now on my "to buy" list. And I'm not getting it on kindle...I'm buying the actual book. That's one that really needs to be in my collection!
Being the crazy chicken gal I am and being so into my fresh eggs my girls lay for me everyday, I'm sure I'll be using every recipe in that book!
Here's the link on amazon if anyone else is interested:
"The Fresh Egg Cookbook..."

She also has a yummy recipe for Rum Rice Pudding, but that's another story.

So, Popovers. Why are they so good? For me, it's partially the memories that go with them. Those Sunday mornings and fun with my best friend.

What are they? I'll let wikipedia explain. Again, that's why they get the big bucks. ; )

Here's a great blog with Julia Child's popover recipe
the author of the blog obviously loves them as much as I do! Great photos, too.

To begin, you can NOT-I repeat NOT- make good popovers without the correct pan. You just can't. Believe me, when I moved here I tried. It was sad. Don't do it.
Sur La Table (mine and Susan's fave) have a wonderful selection. You can even get the mini pans. I want the mini one...just don't have it yet. Put it on my wish list! Let me know if you need my shipping address...
; )

You'll notice a few differences in the recipe I used (from Hobby Farm's article that featured the Fresh Egg Cookbook) and the Julia Child recipe. I never used the Julia one, strangely, since I adore her...
as I mentioned, I was quite religious with using Alton Brown's recipe. If you google "popover", Alton Brown's name comes up in the results, so he's doing something right with it! Seems everyone loves his recipe.

Since I have my own fresh eggs every day and right now I have 3 dozen in my fridge, I decided to make some. Quelle disaster, I misplaced my magazine, but after frantic searching I found it. I saw the recipe over a month ago and have been dying to try it. I know...I know...if it ain't broke, don't fix it, but I still like to try to find the best of the best. I think the author of the book would LOVE to hear that I think her recipe blows away Alton Brown's!!! I think Bobby Flay should have them do a  popover THROWDOWN!

I didn't originally plan on blogging about this until I saw all the "never had one", "what's a popover" type comments on my facebook picture, so I didn't photograph the whole thing, only the result, which was phenomenal. So I apologize for lack of  ingredient or steps photos.

3 tbsp. butter, chilled
4 eggs
1 & 1/4 C. milk
2 tbsp. butter, melted
1 & 1/4 C all-purpose flour, unbleached
1/4 tsp. salt

(*adding in my own notes)
Preheat oven 375 degrees Fahrenheit
Butter a 6 cup popover pan  (*if you over-butter or over-grease sides, I've read they don't rise as well. Mine did fine today, even though I went against my usual judgement of NOT buttering my non-stick pan)
add 1/2 tbsp of chilled  butter to bottom of each cup and put pan in oven until butter melts (*I only added a tiny 1/2 tsp)
Beat eggs until foamy using an electric mixer (*Alton says use a blender, which I've used in the past. I liked the blender, but this time I used my hand mixer. worked just as well.)
Beat in milk and melted butter and reduce the speed to low. Add the flour and salt and beat until smooth, about 3 minutes.
Fill prepared popover pan cups 3/4 of the way with batter, bake 35-40 min. until puffed and well-browned. Serve immediately.   (*mine were ready right at 35 mins.)

One step I always do (courtesy of Mr. Brown) is to take a chopstick (or a straw, even a knife tip) and pierce the top of the popovers immediately after you remove them from the oven. This allows the steam inside them (which made them rise) to escape. If you let it escape after baking, it keeps them from being over-wet inside and collapsing into a soggy, sad-looking thing.
If you did everything right, they'll disappear before they can collapse!
I find they're so addictive, you can eat one, then another, then another...
I also drop a dollop of butter right on top after piercing them so it drips down inside the popover and when you bite into it: buttery goodness!

There are tons of variations of popovers...sweet, savory...if you google them, you'll see what I mean.
I've NEVER made a savory popover, although they sound pretty good. I saw one recipe that included cheese and chives and it sounded like a great alternative to biscuits with dinner. I've just never made them yet. I'm sure I will someday. I'm just so addicted to the plain old, original popover that I can't have them any other way. The simplicity of 5 ingredients is just sublime. Why muck it up?
This is the infamous, now aptly named "What's a Popover" photo. Get a pan, make some. Enjoy.
I quote my hero, Adrian Monk, "you'll thank me later".

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Long time, no blog, lots of news!

So I haven't posted on my blogs in a long time. I could give many excuses- one being that my laptop died on me and I've been using my smart phone as my only "computer" for the past almost 2 years... but that's boring and doesn't matter anyway. I'd rather talk about the good stuff. First of all, I HAVE CHICKENS! (and 3 ducks!) For my cooking and baking, this is the greatest thing since, well...ever!

I also have a cheese press now, so I'll be exploring the crazy world of homemade cheese.
Last summer, I planted a huge garden and did a lot of preserving. I especially had fun canning. I'm looking forward to sharing a lot of the recipes I used. I also dehydrated a lot of my herbs and froze veggies to eat all through the winter.

I don't want to give too much away, but I finally got this wonderful new laptop so I'm looking forward to getting back into blogging. I've missed it so much. Hope you've missed me and I have years of recipes to catch up on, so away we go. See you again soon!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Day 1, Cake 1 of Martha's "33 Simple Cakes": Applesauce Cake

In case you missed the previous blog, I ran across this page on called "33 Simple Cakes". I had a flashback to when I watched "Julie & Julia" and thought, maybe I could make all 33 cake recipes and share the results. If it gets boring around cake number 15 or if anyone falls into a sugar coma and threatens to sue, I might not make it through them all, but I'm going to try. At the end I can at least say I have a "cake repetoire". I like that the cakes are all simple, non-fussy and easy to make. You don't have to be a major force in the kitchen to bake any of them, and most importantly: no cake decorating skills are required!

I'm actually going to make the cakes in the order they appear online, and I didn't skip ahead to see what they all are- I'm going to just surprise myself. The only reason I did check on the first five is so I could make an ingredient list for when I go grocery shopping, but I didn't read the whole recipes, just skimmed the ingredients for what I don't have.

The first cake on the list is an especially yummy one, it's Applesauce Cake.

I realize not everyone has apples just sitting around, but I happened to have 5 Gala apples, so I did make my own applesauce. I'm going to start with that recipe first, but you can skip over it if you just want to use store-bought applesauce.
I do have to recommend you make it yourself though; the main reason being that your house will smell delicious with the scent of simmering apples, cinnamon and sugar on the stove. Also, it's so tasty! After I made mine, I found myself wishing I had some french vanilla ice cream and caramel to make a sundae- Maybe next time...!

Starting off then, Basic Applesauce!

Basic Applesauce-Recipe courtesy of Everyday Food/Martha Stewart

Prep: 20 minutes Total: 45 minutes

Use it by itself or as an ingredient in other recipes.


Makes 4 cups.

* 3 pounds apples, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
* 1 cinnamon stick
* 2 to 4 tablespoons sugar
* 3/4 cup water
* 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


1. Peel, core, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices 3 pounds apples (try a combination of Gala, Golden Delicious, and McIntosh). In a large saucepan, combine apples with 1 cinnamon stick, 2 to 4 tablespoons sugar, and 3/4 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender, 30 to 35 minutes. (If sauce begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, add 2 to 4 tablespoons more water.)
2. Remove from heat; discard cinnamon stick. Stir in 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice.

As always, here are my notes:
I used all Gala apples because that's all I had, and it came out great. I also cut the recipe in half. I only had 5 apples, and you only need 2 cups of applesauce for the cake, so it worked out perfectly. I let my applesauce simmer for about 45 minutes instead of 30-35, but I did also keep it on a very low simmer. When the apples were mushy enough, I used a wooden spoon to break them up and make it kind of chunky, but still saucy. I was really happy with the results. In looking through a few other online applesauce recipes, I saw one by the Neely's on and instead of using water in their recipe, they used Apple Cider. I thought that was a great idea. I might try it the next time I make it. But be sure to check the ingredients in your cider. You might have to adjust your applesauce recipe if your cider has added sugar in it. If you can get plain old cider with nothing else added, that would be ideal.
Below: my apples, cinnamon sticks-which I snapped in 1/2 for extra flavor- and the other ingredients in the pan ready to simmer.

My finished applesauce: YUM! It was really hard to not eat it. Maybe I should've made double what I needed for the the future I will. Well, I'll be sure to have enough apples. This whole thing today was kind of on a whim.

Now I could make the cake-quickly before the applesauce got eaten.

Applesauce Cake courtesy of Everyday Food/Martha Stewart

Prep: 25 minutes Total: 2 hours 30 minutes

If you decide to use store-bought applesauce, choose one with a chunky texture.


Serves 10.

* 3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cardamom
* 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
* 2 cups packed light-brown sugar
* 1/4 cup honey
* 2 large eggs
* 2 cups Basic Applesauce, or store-bought chunky applesauce
* Nonstick cooking spray
* Confectioners' sugar, optional


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom. Set aside.
2. In another bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, and honey until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture; beat just until combined. Beat in applesauce.
3. Generously coat a nonstick 9-inch tube pan with cooking spray. Spoon batter into pan; smooth top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (but slightly wet), 50 to 60 minutes.
4. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes. Turn out of pan onto a cutting board or baking sheet; invert cake onto rack, top side up. Cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving, if desired.

This is a good picture to illustrate why you don't want the apple chunks too large. Mine were the perfect size. You want to mash the applesauce, but still keep it a bit chunky so when you cut the cake, you can see the apples here & there inside...soooo good! Think how good this would be with a scoop of ice cream!

On to my notes:
There are only a couple. I didn't have any cardamom, so I left it out. I love cinnamon, so I was happy as long as I had that. I also don't have a tube pan (yet!) so I used my bundt pan. Same thing, just "bumpier"!

The Delicious Result:

So Cake Number One is finished. I can't wait for the next one...come back to see what it is!
...unless you peeked at it from the link in my previous blog. If that's the case, don't tell anyone, and act surprised when you read the next blog.
Thanks for visiting and let's have some CAKE!

Julie had Julia, I have MARTHA!

I got an email from Martha Stewart (not a personal email from her, but I hope to someday!). It was the e-newsletter with the Valentine's Day crafts and such...but what caught my eye was the "33 Simple Cake" recipes link.
I had a "Julie & Julia" moment and thought, why don't I make ALL 33 of the cakes?

I owe our dry cleaner a baked gift-goody because he did me a favor today. I forgot to take in my boyfriend's suit that he needs for a really important meeting on Monday. OOPS. Big Oops actually. Ben (dry cleaner) is rushing the order and will have it for me on Sunday. He rocks.
It pays to make friends with your dry cleaner, and if possible, bribe him with promises of cake, cookies, or brownies!
Sunday when I go to pick up the suit, I must bring Ben a thank you gift.
I was going to take brownies but I think he will be the receipient of some of Cake Number One from the list of 33.

The first recipe (yes, I'm going in ORDER!) on Martha's "33 Simple Cake Recipes" is Applesauce Cake. PERFECT! I have some apples that are ripe and I need to use. Yes, I will be making homemade applesauce.
So I'm off to bake. Stay tuned for the recipe step by step, pics and most importantly results.

Hmmm...I hope Ben likes applesauce cake. I might have to take some brownies as back-up...but from his excited expression when I told him about my baking, I think he'd enjoy and eat just about anything I bring him.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Kitsch Cake 101: Black Velvet Cake!

I went grocery shopping several days ago and I bought what I thought was everything I needed for Red Velvet Cake. I knew I had a 4 color box of food coloring in my pantry. What I didn't know until I was too far into making the cake today was that the red was EMPTY.
Actually, it wasn't so much empty as it was dehydrated. It was unusable. I tried to think of what to do next. My creative juices flowing, I mentally blended the remaining colors in my head, trying every conceivable combination of green, yellow and blue. It wasn't pretty. Blue Velvet Cake? Hmmm...maybe good for Elvis Presley's birthday next year, but not so much what I wanted to make. Yellow? Well, that just looks like really bright basic yellow cake! Green? Let's NOT go there. First thought: Moldy Cake. Green beer on March 17th is as far as I'll go with that color. There was only one other color I happened to have, and is was Black.
I kind of smiled when I thought "Black Velvet Cake". It reminded me of all things kitschy, but mainly it was my cake tribute to the ubiquitous black velvet painting. I love black velvet paintings. They're so awful, you have to love them out of feeling sorry for how horrid they are.
So black it would be. I started to wish I did have red food coloring. The next time I do, I want to make a three layer cake with alternating layers of black and red cake. Very race car...very euro...very "Top Gear", which incidentally was the show I've been listening to in the background all day. By the way that's a show about fast cars, not something you'd associate with cake, but somehow my weird thought process connected the two in what I imagined was a very exciting way.
Now anytime you work with food coloring, you have to be careful. I wasn't as careful as I should've been and I ended up with black fingertips, a black tongue (I admit it, I'm a bowl-licker! I think I've admitted that in previous blogs...) and if you aren't cautious, black drops on your counter or floor. (I had both). So before you even think about it, either put down a drop cloth or really plan to take your time and do not get distracted! Also, don't have plans to go out anytime before your tongue has time to return to its normal color.

Here we go with the recipe then. It's from "Cakeman Raven" from the Cakeman Raven Confectionery, NYC and was on an episode of "Sara's Secrets".

Southern Red Velvet Cake

(my version: Kitschy Black Velvet Cake)

Shortening for the pans

(dry ingredients)
2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 1/2 C sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp fine salt
1 tsp cocoa powder

(wet ingredients)
1 1/2 C vegetable oil
1 C buttermilk at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 Tbsp. red food coloring (1 oz) Of course, I used black...
1 tsp. distilled white vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows
Crushed Pecans (optional, for garnish)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Lightly grease and flour three 9 by 1 and 1/2 inch round cake pans

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. In another large bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar and vanilla.

Using a stand mixer (Kitchen Aid) mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined and a smooth batter is formed.

Divide the cake batter evenly among the prepared cake pans. Place the pans in the oven evenly spaced apart. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through the cooking, until the cake pulls away from the side of the pans and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

Personal note: Do NOT rely on any old "cook til' golden" advice. If you use black food coloring, you won't see a change in color, but you'll notice the consistency is different once it's baked- it will look spongey. Same goes for if you make your cake the traditional red the toothpick test to be safe. Mine took just over 30 minutes, closer to 37.

Notice my cake layers aren't super black, but a nice rich dark color. It reminds me of dark chocolate brownies. All in all, I was pleased! But note how you can't tell if it's cooked through by the color at all, you have to do the poke test.

Remove the cakes from the oven and run a knife around the edges to loosen them from the sides of the pans. One at a time, invert the cakes onto a plate and then re-invert them onto a cooling rack, rounded-sides up. Let cool completely.

Another note: Don't skimp on the cooling time or frosting will be a nightmare. It will melt as you put it on, so trust me, be patient and let the cakes cool...a lot!

Here's what to do to keep you from messing with the cakes while they cool: make your cream cheese frosting.
Another thing about this cake, it's NOT for dieters! I watch what I eat and my weight constantly, but sometimes you just gotta' say: I DON'T CARE!
You could use fat-free cream cheese, but you still have to put 2 sticks of butter and 4 cups of confectioner's sugar in this frosting, so you know...why bother? Make it fattening, make it rich, then have a TINY slice (everything good in moderation is my mantra) then share it with friends & coworkers! They'll love you, you'll be every one's favorite and you won't feel guilty for eating a whole cake by yourself alone in your kitchen at 2am. Not that I'm speaking from personal experience or anything...

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 pound (16 oz. or 2 packages) of cream cheese, softened
2 sticks of butter (1 C.) softened (unsalted, of course)
4 C. sifted confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, (or use a large bowl with a hand-held electric mixer) mix the cream cheese, butter and sugar on low until incorporated. Increase speed to high, mixing until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. (stop occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula)

Personal Notes: Do NOT turn your mixer to high until ALL the sugar is incorporated or your kitchen will be covered in fine white confectioners sugar dust. Not fun to clean. Also, let it go on high for the full five minutes. You'll be amazed how the consistency changes and develops. It goes from heavy to light, fluffy and gorgeous. If you only do three Put it on high and walk away -come back only to scrape down the sides after a minute or two but be sure to give it the whole five. I went as high as "8" on my Kitchen Aid. The highest setting, 10, seemed excessive. I didn't want to liquefy it.

Reduce the speed of the mixer to low, add vanilla, raise speed to high and mix briefly until fluffy (scape sides again occasionally). Store in refrigerator until somewhat stiff before using. May be stored for up to 3 days in fridge.

Now I'm assuming you've been patient and let your frosting chill and cake layers cool, so lets move on to the fun part.

Frost the cake. Place 1 layer rounded-side down in the middle of a rotating cake stand.
My personal thought: Yes, because we ALL own one! Hey, here's my story- I don't own one. I just used a pretty platter/plate and spun the plate on the kitchen counter. No need to feel you have to be all fancy about it. I managed just find without the rotating cake stand, you will too.

One layer down, two to go.
Using a palette knife or offset spatula spread some of the cream cheese frosting over the top of the cake. Spread enough to make a 1/4 to 1/2 inch layer. Carefully set the next layer on top, rounded-side down, and repeat. Top with remaining layer and cover the entire cake with the remaining frosting. Garnish with chopped pecans if desired.

Last note: Since I didn't do a traditional Southern Red Velvet Cake, I didn't think my garnish should be traditional pecans. Again, I got creative and used what I had, which were some Valentine's-type little thingies.
My significant other asked (while he watched me sprinkle them on) "is it a Valentine's Day cake now?" I thought, well, it could be. I could call it the "My Black Heart" cake. Perfect for the non-romantic types! Romantic on the surface, black as night on the inside. I kinda' like it. It may become a Valentine's Day tradition!

So whether you want to call it a "Black Hearted" Cake, a Black Velvet Cake, or something you make up yourself, this whole experience today proves that even if you're out of a very important ingredient -for example red food coloring for a Red Velvet Cake, you can use a little ingenuity and imagination and come up with something equally fabulous! Have fun and enjoy the utterly devilish yumminess.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010



They just beat Bobby Flay in a Throwdown...GREAT episode- the Belgian Waffle episode obviously!
Watch it when it repeats- it will make you want to go to NYC to track down the yellow truck! I know I'm going to find them, as soon as possible.
Am planning a trip to NYC soon (I live 90 mins away) and I'm definitely going to get myself a liege waffle! Will report back, (with pics, of course!) Now I'm in the mood to learn to make REALLY good waffles...stay tuned!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I bake for my dogs too. Are you REALLY that surprised?

For those of you who might read this who aren't familiar with my "pack", I should mention that I have an army of little four-legged furry children (and a couple not so furry!).
Several years ago, Tippytoes, one of my italian greyhounds, was diagnosed with a liver shunt. It's a long story so I won't go into it. It was surgically corrected and she's fine now- a total survivor- but I did have to home cook for her for many, many months. I also learned a lot about dog nutrition in that time, mostly out of necessity.
Let me say straight up front, this book helped me a lot:
"Better Food for Dogs"
Now I'm not going to get totally into the home cooking stuff here (for dogs, anyway!) but I may do a separate blog about it someday when I run out of things to say about people food. Don't hold your breath, that could be a long wait.
I would like to share a couple of recipes for homemade treats I've found that my dogs loved. To be honest, I have some picky dogs! They usually don't like most biscuit-type treats. Italian greyhounds and hairless dogs aren't exactly known for their stellar dental histories. That's a joke by the way. They often need cleanings every year or two, lose a lot of teeth, or in the case of hairless breeds like my chinese crested, Voodoo, they don't have all their teeth to begin with. That said, if I can make a biscuit they will actually EAT, I know it must be good. In fact, I ALWAYS taste the food, treats, cookies, or biscuits I make for them. It isn't gross or weird because it isn't dog food, it's people food...for dogs!
Without further delay, I give you a few recipes that were the biggest hits over the years with my dogs. Don't be afraid to taste them yourself. They might seem a little bland to you, but I've also found that it's a Murphy's Law that if your dog sees YOU eating something, that thing all the sudden becomes the most desirable thing in the world to them. Just a tip from me, the crazy dog mom, to you...don't tell the dogs I clued you into that secret. It's just between us.

Pavlov's Pumpkin Bread
recipe courtesy of 3 Dog Bakery

*personal note: great for a doggie birthday cake or for dogs without a lot of teeth!
This gets Cairo's (aka "The Apple Burglar") seal of approval!

Yield: 1 loaf of bread

1 Med. Egg
1 2/3 C whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 c. applesauce
1/2 c. honey
1 C. 100% natural pumpkin (*note* NOT mix! just pumpkin! The "pie mix" has added sugar, etc. that you don't want or need in this)
1/2 c. water

In a bowl, combine egg, flour, baking soda, cinnamon & nutmeg.
In a medium size mixing bowl, mix applesauce, honey, pumpkin and water.
Gradually add dry mixture to wet mixture, mixing together thoroughly.

Pour into a 14 x 8 inch bread pan. Bake at 350 degrees for approx. 50 minutes to 1 hour, until toothpick inserted comes out dry. Cool bread on a rack. Store in sealed container.

Optional: glaze with a small portion of honey and sprinkle with ground peanut crumbs. Peanuts are safe, other nuts...not so much! Use peanuts to be safe. Not a time to be adventurous with your ingredients.

Practice your pup's tricks and enjoy! Don't be afraid to taste it yourself- it's actually mighty good!

Cheese Multi-Grain Dog Biscuits

*personal note: these tend to be on the "Rich" side, so do NOT overfeed your dogs! In the course of my taste-testing with my pups, these got 'burped up' after too many. oops. Hey, I had to make sure I got the right reaction...but throwing them up was NOT it. Feed in MODERATION, trust me on this...

1 C uncooked oatmeal
1/4 C butter or bacon drippings (what smells like bacon?! bacon! bacon! bacon! I can't read!)
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 C hot water
1 C cornmeal
1/2 C powdered milk
1 C wheat germ
4 oz/1 C grated cheese (your choice. Cheddar is always a safe bet)
3 C whole wheat flour

In large bowl, pour hot water over oatmeal and butter or bacon drippings; let stand for 5 minutes.
Stir in powdered milk, grated cheese, egg.
Add cornmeal and wheat germ. Mix well.
Add flour, 1/3 C. at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Knead for 3-4 minutes, adding more flour if necessary to make a very stiff dough.
Pat or roll dough to 1/2 inch thickness.
Cut into shapes and place on a greased baking sheet.
Bake for 1 hour at 300 degrees.
Turn off heat and let dry in oven for 1 & 1/2 hours or longer.
Makes approx. 2 and 1/4 lbs. of cookies.
Store in airtight container.
*another note:
I refrigerated mine due to the cheese- better to be safe than sorry, and I didn't want them to mold. Mine seemed to last well for almost 2 weeks in the fridge. You could also freeze the dough in portions and take it out to make some as needed, but I haven't tried that yet. Will try it and report back!

Peanut Butter Puppy Poppers

recipe by Nicole Curran, owned by a pug in Delaware, found on Heartland Ranch site.

*yet another note: My dogs loved these, and I love that it's only four ingredients! Simple yet effective!
Again, you can o.d. your dog on any treat. Moderation is always key, especially with milk and peanut butter in these. Sounds good to us, but dogs can only handle so much!

2 C whole-wheat flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 C. peanut butter- chunky or smooth, your choice!
1 C. milk

Preheat over to 375 degrees
In a bowl, combine flour and baking powder.
In another bowl, mix peanut butter and milk. (tougher than it sounds, be patient)
Then add dry ingredients and mix well. (I use a wooden mixing spoon)
Place dough on a lightly floured work surface and knead. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness and use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes.
Bake for 20 minutes on a greased baking sheet until lightly brown.
*note (again!) CAUTION: they can burn easily, so be sure to keep an eye on them. I recommend setting the time for ten minutes and checking every couple minutes from then on...
Cool on a rack and store in an airtight container.

BONE appetit, les chiens!