bacon and cheese doggy treats

we got back from our mega vacation last week, but it has been REALLY hard to want to do much of anything after coming home! i’m excited to really get back into the kitchen and my desire to learn to cook as well as my mother has been renewed, BUT, then winter gets in the way. between gray cold days and jet lag – i’m not ashamed to admit i have spent most non-working hours in my pajamas.

on monday, though, i decided i would make dog treats for pineapple. any of you dog owners out there probably know that dog treats without a million horrible chemicals in them are insanely expensive. solution – make your own! for awhile we were making liver treats but the dough was so unruly and liquifying liver just made a terrible mess – ENTER: treats flavored with bacon fat! we always have a big can of it sitting around since we make bacon every weekend – now it can go to a good cause! i know dogs will eat just about anything, but pineapple really works himself into a tizzy over these treats – this recipe is a keeper.

BACON & CHEESE DOG TREATS (adapted from all recipes)
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
10 tablespoons bacon fat, melted
2 cups corn meal
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup shredded cheese (i used farmers cheese)

preheat oven to 350
beat eggs in a bowl, stir in milk, water and bacon fat (make sure everything is room temp or the bacon fat will solidify in the cold liquids)
gradually stir in cheese, corn meal and flour to form a dough
roll dough out on a flour surface and cut out treats using a dog bone shaped cookie cutter
i also used a 1/2 teaspoon spoon and made little half ball treats
i also used a bigger cookie cutter shaped like a turkey to make some bigger treats for special treat times
put dough shapes/balls on a cookie sheet and bake for: 15 minutes for dog bones and turkeys, 20 minutes for half ball shapes

*store in the freezer – i give pineapple the treats straight from the freezer and he happily crunches away on them*


vacation mode

see ya in a couple weeks, blog friends. the mister and i will be in the southern hemisphere, near the equator, where it is summer right now 🙂

p.s. that’s a photo of vietnam

my last meal of 2010

a couple weeks ago, i had brussel sprouts with my meal at the dakota that left me with a craving for more. i’ve never really cooked them before, so after looking up some brussel sprout hash recipes, i decided just to wing and see what happened. i’m really glad that what happened turned out to really good and hearty!

1 lb fresh brussel sprouts, quartered
3 medium new potatoes, cubed
3 slices bacon (i used fischer farms bacon – local and totally drool-making)
1/2 cup chicken broth
about 2 T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

start bacon cooking in a big frying pan. while bacon is cooking, boil potatoes in a small pot for about 8 minutes, in a rolling boil – drain and set aside

once the bacon is done, set aside on a paper towel to soak up some of the grease, wipe off the frying pan, add the potatoes and 1 T of olive oil and get them cooking

while the potatoes are frying, you can use the same potato pot for the sprouts – add the chicken stock and sprouts to the pot, cover, bring to light boil and steam sprouts for 10-12 minutes, use tongs to remove the sprouts from the pot and add them directly to the frying pan with the potatoes – add the remaining 1T of olive oil – mix everything up and cook on a medium heat until the veggies have reached your desired consistency

crumble the bacon and add right before eating. salt and pepper to taste.

SO good.