Saturday, December 27, 2008

Barley, Mini-Muffins, Grandson

This is a picture of our youngest grandson, Aaron. He's three, and he is a sweet and very happy child.

I cooked a box of Barley for us. I put half of it in zip bags for Montana, and saved the other half for us. We all had it for dinner yesterday. I put a little bit of soy sauce on mine and Arnie put Italian dressing on his. Montana, of course, had his plain.

Wednesday, I made Applesauce mini-muffins. Very easy and very, very tasty.

Applesauce Mini-Muffins

  • 1/2 cup oil

  • 3/4 cup sugar (or brown sugar)

  • 1 cup applesauce

  • 1 1/2 cups unsifted whole wheat flour

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Cream oil and sugar together, mix in applesauce and baking soda. Add flour and cinnamon, blending thoroughly. Line mini-muffin tin with papers (or oil and flour). Pour batter into tins. Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes.

These went awfully fast, so I'm going to bake another batch today. I was thinking about doubling the cinnamon. I'm also going to bake a batch for Montana, leaving out the sugar and increasing the cinnamon.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Hanukkah

Hanukkah began Sunday evening. I light the candles every night and say the prayer because this holiday gives me comfort and makes me calm. We also called our youngest grandson, Aaron, and sang him the dreidel song. He is three, and goes to Jewish school out in sunny California. He is such a happy child, and he always makes us smile and laugh.

During Hanukkah, you give your children what's called gelt. It can be small presents, coins or chocolate, things like that. Since we have no children living with us, I bought Montana a package of Three-Dog Bakery "Chocolate" Sandwich Cookies. I'm giving him one each night of Hanukkah, since he is now our child. Needless to say, he's crazy about them!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Melange of Veggies

With this weeks' cooking, I've upped the homemade portion to one-half the total amount I'm feeding Montana. That's as high as I'll go, though. I don't want to have to worry about vitamins and supplements, so will continue feeding Purina One instead of eventually stopping it completely.

I cooked a big bag of organic carrots and held a bowl of them out for my supper. Carrots are my favorite vegetable. To the carrots, I added a can of corn, a can of garbanzo beans, and a can of spinach. Very nutritious, and the colors are beautiful.

I've got some canned pineapple, and I'm going to try freezing pieces of it to use as treats.

It's been raining here all week. Last night, Montana wouldn't go out for his last pee. Remember, I have a Lab who hates to get wet. Arnie was joking that I needed to take him out and hold an umbrella over him when it's raining. At least I think he was joking!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Loyal Service Dog

I had to go to my doctor's office Mon-Tue-Wed for IV steroids. When Arnie and Montana made sure I was settled in, they went out for a walk in the neighboorhood. When they returned, Montana hurried over to see how I was doing, Arnie got him a drink of water, then he plopped down on the floor as close to me as he could get and took a nap until I was finished for the day. He is such a great comfort to me, this great big-hearted dog.

I bought some garbanzo beans, canned spinach, and organic carrots for this weekend's meal prep. Think I'll put it all in a pot of cooked brown rice. Yummy!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Steroid Infusions

I'm having the last one of my 3-day course of IV steroids today. I've had worsening MS symptoms with the latest one being optic neuritis. that has caused left eye pain, blurriness, double vision, and slow focusing. Anyway, Arnie takes me down to the infusion center, makes sure I'm settled in, then he takes Montana out for a walk. When they get back from their walk Jane, the infusion nurse, gets Montana a drink of water, then he plops down beside me and takes a nap until I'm finished and ready to get up.

The Infusion Room is such a nice place. They have leather recliners, blankets, cold drinks, candy, crackers, and a TV. Jane is so sweet, has worked there for years, and runs the program amazingly well. I'm there for about an hour and a half, which isn't too bad because some people have to stay there a lot longer than that. Everyone is nice and because of Montana, conversations usually center around people's pets.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Apple Cinnamon Cookies

I picked this recipe to try because although it has more ingredients than I care to use, I had everything on hand.

Apple Cinnamon Cookies

4 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup natural applesauce, no sugar added
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup water
2 eggs
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead the dough. Pinch off pieces to form 1 inch balls, flatten and place on cookie sheet one inch apart. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. When done, the cookies should be firm to the touch. Turn off the oven, and leave the cookies in for 2 hours to harden. Makes about 80 two inch cookies.

I froze half, and put half in the fridge. They smell great while baking and hardening with the whole wheat flour and cinnamon. Taste-tested and loved by Montana.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Chicken Applesauce Cookies

Here is the simplest recipe I've made so far.

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth
  • 6 Tbsp veg. oil
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal or cream of wheat

Mix ingredients, shape into balls and flatten as for cookies. Bake 35-40 minutes at 350.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

St. Francis Graduation

Graduation was Sunday, Dec 7. It was an awesome affair except that it was 33 degrees outside, and probably just as cold inside the Training Center (huge, unheated horse barn) where the graduation was held. This is a picture of me and Montana--me wearing many, many layers and Montana impervious to the cold! He was in true service dog mode and acted perfectly. I was very nervous, sitting up on stage along with the four other graduates. I got to give my speech first, didn't cry too much (had to stop once and wipe my runny nose!), and then I was able to sit back and listen to everyone else give their speeches. Each graduate was presented with a scrapbook of his/her dog from puppyhood when they were first accepted into the St. Francis Service Dog program, up until the present time. The scrapbooks are full of wonderful things like pictures and journals that none of us had ever seen before. I will cherish mine forever.

After the graduation ceremony, there was the Puppy Parade. About 25 puppies and young dogs that are in training were led across the stage and introduced. The youngest two were 4-month-old Labs, cute as ever. Some of the young Golden Retrievers looked like furballs. After the puppy parade, there was a reception with hot coffee and hot spiced apple cider, cakes and cookies, and other goodies.

What was amazing is that about 100 people came to watch and take part in graduation, despite the chilling cold. I will post more pictures on my profile page.

Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 5, 2008

This is Montana resting at home after a four day Thanksgiving trip to Margate, NJ. The pop-up travel crate worked great. I put him in it while we ate, and at night at the hotel he slept in his crate. However, he was very happy to get back home to his bed and pillow. The pillow is new to him, but it used to be my travel pillow. He likes to rest his head on it, and he also likes to play "catch the pillow".

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Homemade Green Cleaning Products

--Mix together one part while vinegar and one part water in spray bottle. This is a good all-around cleaner for countertops (test first on marble surfaces), sinks and appliances. Add lemon juice for a fresh smell or to remove soap scum.

--Use pure vinegar in your toilet bowl to disinfect.

--Mix together vinegar and salt for a good surface cleaner.

--Make a paste using salt, water, and a little vinegar. Use this as a general, all-purpose cleaner.

--Combine 1 cup rubbing alcohol, 1 cup water, and 1 Tbsp vinegar in a spray bottle. Use on glass and mirrors, and to shine chrome. The alcohol prevents streaking.

--Mix 1 cup vinegar with 1 gallon warm water. Use this to damp mop hardwood, linoleum and tile floors. No need to rinse.

--Spray mixture of 1 part white vinegar and 1 part water on oven. Scrub with a non-abrasive cleaning pad. This works great, even on baked on spills.

--Mix 1 part water and 1 part vinegar in spray bottle. Add 10-20 drops tea tree oil, or lavender or citrus oil. Shake well. Use anywhere, as needed. Non-toxic and organic. Also good to clean door knobs, toilet handles, switch plate covers, etc. I like to use this to clean toilets and sinks.

Always use distilled white vinegar.

Doggy Salmon Patties

I made this yesterday, and it is delicious.

  1. 2 cans boneless salmon
  2. 2 eggs, beaten
  3. 6 Tbsp cream of wheat
  4. 1 small potato
  5. 2 carrots
  6. 1/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese

Scrub, chop up, and then cook potato and carrots. Mix together salmon, egg, and cream of wheat. Drain veggies and add to salmon mixture. Add 1/4 cup cottage cheese. Mix all together and shape into patties. Bake 25-30 min at 350 degrees. Cool, break apart before serving to your dog. Add a little salt and pepper, and enjoy one yourself. I did.

Monday, November 24, 2008

What a Mess

Yesterday, I made a great recipe called Beefy Grain-Free Treats. You use:
  1. 1/2 pound ground beef--uncooked
  2. 1/4 cup chicken broth
  3. 1/3 cup black beans--drained and mashed
  4. 1/3 cup cottage cheese

Preheat oven to 375. (I also added about 1/4 cup frozen peas.) Mix ground meat and chicken broth in a bowl. Add black beans, peas, and cottage cheese. Mix all of the ingredients together. I made them like hamburger patties. Bake 45 minutes. Let cool.

However, the instructions were to use a cookie sheet. Don't, because all the liquid stuff runs off the cookie sheet and onto the oven door, bottom of the oven, and even into the storage area underneath. When I discovered that was happening, I transferred the doggy burgers to a baking sheet.

I didn't taste them, but of course Montana loves them.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Lunch with a Friend

I went to lunch with a friend yesterday, who happens to be Montana's foster mom. He stayed with Kim and her family for over a year while he was training to be a service dog. We had such a good time, talking and laughing.

We bought a travel crate to take on trips and it's the coolest thing, got it at Walmart. It's nylon with large mesh windows on each side, and a mesh door that zips closed. Folded, it's about 12" in diameter and maybe 1" high. You throw it on the floor, and it pops open. We got the XXL for dogs up to 100 lbs, and Montana has plenty of room. It took two days to get him used to it, though. He is crate trained but this one is a little shaky when he moves around, so I had to work with him until he trusted it enough to lay down and stay in it without being scared. Poor baby.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Montana in the Snow

We got our first snow of the season this morning. I bundled up because it was 30 degrees and windy, and went out to play with Montana. He loves cold weather and snow. Doesn't like rain or getting his fet wet, but he absolutely loves the snow. I love to watch him run like a maniac, then stop to sniff every little interesting spot in the yard. It makes me laugh and feel good to see him having such a wonderful time.

Yesterday I boiled two potatoes, and then added them to some leftover baked chicken I had. That made a nice breakfast. I have a few more recipes to try this week.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Delicious Dog Food

I cooked this afternoon, doing too much but I'm glad I did it. I made the oatmeal/egg/cottage cheese cookies, but either the recipe was incorrect or I did something wrong because the mixture wouldn't form into balls. So, I picked up a palm-full and just glopped it onto the cookie sheet. I made seven mounds, baked them, and they came out great. Like a crunchy oatmeal cookie. Montana taste-tested them also, and he agreed that they were tasty.

For the next meal, I concocted my own recipe of cooked brown rice, cooked carrots, cottage cheese, and apple sauce. Montana, of course, approved of this dish quite happily. I thought it was delicious, and we both had some for dinner. It was nice and sweet, for once I made rice that didn't come out like a soggy globby mess, and I used organic carrots.

With these two dishes I have enough to feed Montana for a week, plus one more bowl left over of the rice mixture for me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I Love To Cook For My Dog

I've been making Montana's dog food and treats for the past couple of weeks. I'm having fun doing it, and he is thriving on food that's different from the kibble he's been on for 3 1/2 years. I started him on one cup of his kibble and 1/2 a cup of homemade dog food. I was told to wean him gradually, so I'm planning to have him on only homemade dog food in three months.

I made frozen yogurt/peanut butter treats, which are very easy and quite tasty. Tomorrow, I'm making him cottage cheese balls. I looked for the easiest recipes with, at most, a handful of ingredients.