A Dog-Eat-Peanut Butter World

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I have a colleague named Erika, who has a dog named Bubu, who lives the life of a king. Bubu gets home-cooked meals and homemade treats (recipe below). Whoever said “It’s a dog’s life,” clearly has not met Bubu.
I have a dog named Teddy. We rescued him from a shelter, and he has been grateful to us ever since. I like to think we treat Teddy pretty well – he’s now dining on Rachael Ray’s “Delish” and he gets walked every day, has his own comfy bed and gets plenty of love. But he certainly doesn’t live like Bubu, and he has to put up with a lot, like my teen daughter calling him “Princess” for reasons unknown, and putting socks on him and painting his toenails. When these happen he often looks at me as though thinking, “I just can’t believe I have to put up with this,” but he remains calm and gracious.
One of my favorite memories is bringing Teddy home, when my youngest daughter Shoshana was just a few years old. She liked to play hide-and-seek with him. First she would hide and let him find her, then she would tell him to hide. If he moved at all, she would say, “Good job finding a hiding place, Teddy!” and pretend to go look for him.

Bubu’s Favorite Peanut Treats

In large bowl mix the following:
2.5 cups whole wheat flour, 1 cup yellow corn meal, 1 cup milk, 2/3 cup peanut butter (I use organic, creamy, no sugar), 2 slightly beaten eggs, 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese and 1/3 cup real bacon bits (optional).
Best to use your hands for mixing. When the dough is done, roll it to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out shapes with your favorite cookie cutter. It will fill about three big cookie sheets.
Bake in pre-warmed oven at 375 degrees until the cookies are golden brown. It takes about 30-35 minutes. I turn them over after 15 minutes.
Cool the treats on a rack. DO NOT leave unattended! (Unless you have a tiny dog that cannot reach the counter top.)
Store in the bottom drawer of the fridge in a sealed bag or box.
For the health-conscious or chubby doggies, the peanut butter may be replaced with 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce and low-fat cheese can be used.

Bubu’s Second Favorite

The basic ingredients are the same as above. Replace the cheese and the peanut butter with 1-1.5 cup of liver-pasta:
Drain a 12-16-oz box of chicken liver, and saute it over 1 tablespoon of oil with a clove of shredded garlic or a teaspoon of garlic powder. You may need a tablespoon of water. Keep stirring on medium heat.
When it is fully cooked (about 5-6 minutes), let it cool down and puree it in a food processor. (If you don’t have one, just break it up with a fork.)
Mix it with the dough and prepare as above.

No doggy can resist this!

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It’s Yogurt Time!

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I know that Greek Yogurt is supposed to be very healthy, but the only one who likes it in our home is my husband. The rest of us are really creeped out by the texture. I don’t even want to linger on the thought of it for too long; it’s like something out of a Steven King novel.
But I love Kefir (especially in Birthday Cake flavor, which is ridiculously difficult to find) and regular yogurt.
Have you ever made your own yogurt? It’s so yummy, and easy. Give it a try!

Homemade Yogurt

1-1/3 cups whole milk
¼ cup plain yogurt with active cultures
2/3 cup heavy cream

Heat the milk and cream until they just boil. Then remove from heat and let cool to about 115-degrees (slightly cooler than tap water). Whisk in yogurt then strain (I used a dishcloth). Pour mixture into a 2-cup container and cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place and leave for 8-10 hours.
I know I shouldn’t admit this, but I add sugar (what my health-conscious sister used to call “white poison”) to mine. I just sprinkle it on top and dive in. Delicious!