On this day last year, my dog Licorice passed away. She was 16 at the time and would have turned 17 in February 2011. Now if you remember a few months ago I had posted about having to put down my dog Moby in September of last year as well (and yes these were the saddest holidays I’ve ever experienced). His death was from out of the blue, whereas Licorice’s passing was something for which I had been preparing for years. Given her advanced age and some previous (and current) health scares, her death wasn’t that much of a shock. But that didn’t make it any less painful. After all, this was the longest relationship that I’ve had with another living thing aside from family.
I was living in Gainesville, Fl when I rescued her. I just fell in love with her gigantic bat ears; she later grew into those. She was black lab mix with a barrel chest, skinny legs, and pointy ears. Definitely an odd duck for a lab. But she was a sweetie, unless you tried to mess with her food. Moby learned that lesson quickly.
Towards the end, her health started to fail. There was a big scare when she was about 13 when she couldn’t move, spewed out fluid from both ends, and couldn’t eat a thing. It lasted over a week and I was at the point where if I didn’t see any improvement, I would have to really consider the worst. At the time she was on so many meds and I was up pretty much every hour administering some kind of medication. Eventually I worked out a medication schedule that also included flipping her on her opposite side, changing / washing her bedding 3 or 4 times a day, and cleaning her as best as I could. But she made it through and lasted a few more years.
The last few months of her life became more of a struggle. She wasn’t able to walk around on her own; only her front legs had any kind of strength. Also, she had started to get some skin infections and problems with discharge from her eyes. Her weight dropped and her breathing became more labored. Not the best quality of life.
But there are lots of happy memories, with birthdays being some of those memories. This is from her Sweet Sixteen. I couldn’t afford to buy her a car, but she got a cake baked with love! Thankfully Licorice, Moby, and Daisy all got a chance to take part in the celebration. This was taken from Food, Fun, and Facts. For a little added treat, I added a cream cheese frosting and some gummi bears. It was her Sweet Sixteen, after all so I thought a little extra treat was in order. Here’s what you need:
- 1 c. whole wheat flour
- 1 t. baking soda
- 1/4 c. peanut butter
- 1/4 c. cooking oil
- 1 c. shredded carrots
- 1 t. vanilla
- 1/3 c. honey
- 1 egg
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a ring mold with cooking spray.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and baking soda. In another combine the remaining ingredients. Add the flour combination and mix quickly.
3. Transfer to prepared mold and bake for 30 – 40 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before transferring to a serving plate.
Notes — serving suggestion is to frost it with some cottage cheese and top it with some carrot pieces. . . like I mentioned earlier, I frosted this one with a cream cheese frosting and topped it with some gummi bears.
The holiday season is time for cranberries. And whenever we see some fresh cranberries, we must bake something! Usually it’s some Cranberry Bars with a nice cream cheese frosting. But we tried something new this time. This recipe was taken from the Tasty Kitchen. It’s a little bit different from what you may consider to be a “pie”. Honestly, I think it’s closer to a cobbler than a pie, and it was made in a cake pan. So, really it’s kind of an upside down cake. Actually it’s closest to a buckle, which is one of the many types of cobblers (I should do a post on the different types of cobblers). But the recipe calls itself a “pie” and who am I to make a pie conform to my definitions of what pie should be? Well, it’s tasty, whatever the name is. Plus it’s very simple to make so you can have a nice dessert in about an hour!
Here’s what you need:
- Butter, for greasing the pan
- 2 c. (heaping) cranberries
- 3/4 c. pecans, chopped (measure, then chop)
- 1 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 2/3 c. sugar, divided
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 2 whole eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 t. almond extract
- 1/4 t. salt
- 1 T. (sanding) sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Butter and 9-in. cake pan. Add cranberries to the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle on chopped pecans, then sprinkle with 2/3 c. sugar.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, 1 c. sugar, melted butter, eggs, almond extract, and salt. Stir gently to combine.
4. Pour batter slowly over the top in large “ribbons” in order to evenly cover the surface. Spread gently if necessary.
5. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes. 5 minutes before removing from the oven, sprinkle surface with 1 T. sugar for a little extra crunch.
6. Let cool and slice into wedges. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.
This time last year was the start of a very sad period in the household. After a very quick, very sudden, very severe illness, one of my dogs named Moby had to be put to sleep. He was 10 years old, but he definitely didn’t act like a senior dog. He was always active; he’d chase squirrels all day in the backyard if you let him. Which made it that much more difficult. One day, he’s running around chasing leaves, two days later he’s gone.
He was rescued from a shelter in Mason, MI where I found him sitting in his own filth. Sitting at the front of his pen, his face was just pressed against the gate, and he was just looking down at the ground. All the other dogs in the place were barking and yelping for attention, all except for him. He clearly was not used to being in a place like that. So how could I turn away the saddest puppy in the place who was covered in his own crap? Of course, he would celebrate his new freedom by throwing up into the middle console of my truck on the drive home.
He was a member of the family for over 10 years and I wasn’t ready for him to go. I had spent years trying to prepare for when Licorice, who was the elder dog at the time, would pass away (Licorice died later on in the year on December 13 at the age of 16, so my holidays just plain sucked last year). But this wasn’t supposed to happen to Moby. That was definitely a horrible day for us. I was at the vet for hours listening to him howl in pain; even morphine couldn’t ease his suffering. So on September 27th of last year, we said goodbye to our little buddy. I was a mess for months; even know I can’t help but get emotional as I’m writing this. What made things even worse, I ended up forgetting Daisy’s 1st birthday which happened to be two days later on the 29th.
As is a tradition in this house, all the puppies get a special cake or meal on their birthday. I know that they probably have no clue as to what’s going on, but it’s important to me to celebrate it. So this year we’re making sure to celebrate Daisy’s 2nd birthday with one of Moby’s favorites.
This recipe for the “Very Berry Drooly Dreams” cupcakes was taken from the Three Dog Bakery cookbook. This cookbook is actually a very good resource if you do like to bake goodies for your furry friends since it contains a nice list of non-dog-friendly ingredients. I’m sure everyone knows about chocolate and onions being toxic to dogs, but did you know that macadamia nuts could have adverse effects on the digestive and nervous systems of your pooch? Grapes / raisins also contain toxins that could damage the kidneys if eaten in sufficient amounts. Just a couple of facts that might be useful for folks out there. Anyhoo, here’s what you need:
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 c. quick rolled oats
- 1 T. baking powder
- 1/4 c. canola oil
- 1/2 c. honey
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 c. low-fat sour cream
- 1/2 c. skim milk
- 1 c. berries, fresh or frozen and thawed
1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Coat a standard muffin tin with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl stir together the flour, oats, and baking powder. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil and honey. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the sour cream and milk. Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined. Fold in the berries.
3. Fill the muffin cups about 2/3 full and bake for 30 minutes until a tester comes out clean.
4. Cool on a rack until room temperature before serving. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. You can freeze them, where they can keep for a couple of months. Just thaw before serving.
I love Chick-Fil-A! For those in the know, you understand the love. What is extremely difficult for me is not having a Chick-Fil-A anywhere nearby! It’s ridiculous actually. How is it possible to not have one anywhere in this state? I lived in Maine before here, and that state didn’t have one either. I really need to rethink where I might live next: requirement #1 — Chick-Fil-A; requirement #2 — ocean coastline. It’s surprising that I’ve managed to survive all these years without it. Every other state in the Big 10 has one, so why not here?. Actually I lied; there is one in this state. But it’s not a real one — it’s part of the cafeteria at Oakland University in Rochester, MI. You can’t even order anything; you just grab what’s available and take your tray to the cashier. It’s better than nothing though.
However, there is one in Toledo, OH. But there is something about having to cross state lines to get some chicken that seems kinda wrong. Like bad-addiction wrong. It’s different if you’re going to Toledo for some other reason and you just decide to stop by Chick-Fil-A for a snack. Totally legit! But just for the food? (Did I mention that there is also a Waffle House in Toledo?) Of course, that doesn’t mean that I haven’t done it. Sometimes, in a moment of weakness, you just fall off the wagon, drive to a totally different state, and order some sandwiches, fries, and a couple of 120-nugget platters. It’s not like I ate those all by myself; there was a party involved (well, at least that’s the excuse that I use). But after spending some years growing up in the south, that chicken is a staple of life. To me, it’s like a part of home. And what’s wrong with a little taste of home?
I do have tomorrow off, though. Now, I’m not a Jedi, but I foresee a road trip in my near future.
Here’s a recipe that is always a staple at pretty much all of my big family get-togethers. I was trying to track down a recipe so that I could list it on the blog, but there was just a problem of getting everyone on the same page. So luckily I was able to finally find one that was relatively simple (some recipes involved lots of different tropical fruits and cheese, which was a little weird to me — in my experience, SE Asia isn’t big on the whole cheese thing). You will need a food processor though, but I guess you could grate the cassava by hand.
This recipe I found on the Saveur Magazine website. From the picture in the article, this looks pretty close to what is done in my family, but I think the family recipe has some macapuno in it (here’s a link to a blog that nicely describes what macapuno is). The topping is different, too. The one my aunt makes is a lot more caramelized on top, almost like the topping on creme brulee, but softer. Now, I did make one change to the recipe, mainly for time constraints. I was making this for a party and I wanted to do most of the prep ahead of time so I mixed the batter together the night before and put it in the oven just before dinner was served. Worked out great for me!
Here’s what you need:
- 1 1/2 c. sugar
- 2 T. unsalted butter, melted
- 2 t. salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 14-oz. can coconut milk
- 1 1/2 lbs. peeled cassava, cut into chunks
- 1/3 c. heavy cream
1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the sugar, salt, butter, eggs, and coconut milk. Whisk until smooth. Set aside.
3. In a food processor, chop the cassava pieces until it is finely shredded. Stir into the egg mixture, and pour the combined mixture into a 9″ x 13″ baking dish.
4. Bake for 40 minutes until set. Baste with the heavy cream, and then bake for another 40 minutes until browned. Let cool for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Notes — I think I might put in a little citrus zest in the next batch. I’m still trying to get closer to what my family version of the delicacy is, so maybe I’ll add some macapuno. You should be able to find some macapuno preserves in any good Asian grocery.