Saturday, March 31, 2012

Eleventh Birthday Party

Beware, today we have a long post.   We've been promising the details of Tubby's eleventh b-day bash for awhile, and now we've got it together.   Eleven is an important birthday.  We even filled the house with flowers

 For obsessive Harry Potter fans   like us eleven has special significance.  After all its at age eleven that young witches and wizards first discover their magical powers and enroll in Hogwarts.  

 So thanks to Birthday Express Tubby's eleventh birthday had a Harry Potter theme.

He started his morning with his favorite breakfast, kibble topped with Sardines.  Then he opened his first present an adorable initial shirt from the great store Diva Dog Designs.  We discovered Diva Dog at the Super Pet Expo. 
 The adorable initial shirts reminded me of the Harry Potter sweaters 

so it made the perfect gift.

 Cake is an important part of any birthday and this year we decided to make Tubby a Carrot Banana Bread Cake.  It was a hit:

Carrot Banana Bread Cake

1 1/2 cups coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
2 large eggs beaten
3 mashed bananas
1/2 cup chopped baby carrots 
1 tub low fat cream cheese
Happy Hips Chicken and Banana Treats 

Preheat the oven to 350.  Grease a bone shaped cake pan.   Stir together coconut flour ( a great high protein, grain free, flour substitute) and baking powder.  Whisk the eggs together and stir in the honey and oil.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir.   Mash the bananas and add to the mixture, stir again.   Fold in the chopped carrots.  If the mixture seems to dry add a little water, you want cake batter consistency.  Bake for 45 minutes, watch closely to prevent burning.   I burned the cake a little but luckily the frosting covered it.

For the frosting stir the low fat cream cheese together with food coloring and spread on the cake.  Decorate with the Happy Hips treats.

After cake Tubby opened his remaining presents.   He got a very cute tweed jacket from Rover Dog on Etsy 

It has little elbow patches on the sleeves which is what really makes it.  Now Tubby looks like a professor, he can give his PHD having Dad a run for his money.

Tubby also got an Owl from Olive Green Dog 

 Every Hogwarts student has to have an owl.

It wouldn't be a birthday without treats, so Tubby got some of those too.   Duck treats Mighty Dog Treats.   Bob was definitely hoping Tubby would share.

 After taking some more embarrassing pictures

we started in on the cooking.  Since it was a Harry Potter party we need a true English feast.  It was mom's birthday too, so we needed some people yums.  Mom decided to make a traditional British Sunday lunch, with roast beef, veggies, cauliflower cheese, Yorkshire puddings, and Trifle.  

Roast Beef

3 1/2 lbs of beef top round
2 medium yellow onions
2 carrots
1 bulb of garlic
springs of thyme and rosemary and some sage
olive oil salt and pepper

Take the meat out of the fridge two hours before you start so that it comes to room temperature.  Preheeat the oven 475.    Rinse and roughly chop the vegetables, you needed peel them.   Break apart the garlic bulb, but don't peel the cloves. Place the vegetables and all the herbs in a baking dish.  Set the meat atop the vegetables and rub all over with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.    Place in the oven and turn the heat down to 400. 
Roast for about an hour until the internal temperature is 130 degrees Farenheit.

Horseradish Sauce

5 tbsp  cream fraiche
1 fresh horseradish
olive oil
salt and pepper
minced chives

Peel and cut the horseradish into 1 inch chunks.  Mince 3 chunks up in the food processor until you get about a 1/4 cup of horseradish.   Zest the lemon and add to the horseradish, stir in the juice and the cream fraiche.   Drizzle with oive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Mix in the chives

Roast Vegetables

2 1/2 lb baby cream potatoes cut in half if large, or left whole if small
6 parnsips peeled and cut in large chunks
6 carrots peeled and cut in half
1 bulb garlic, cloves separated but unpeeled
3 springs rosemary
salt and pepper
olive oil

Bring a very large pot of well salted water to the boil.  Boil the potatoes and carrots for 6 minutes and then add the parsnips and boil four minutes more.  Make sure to let the vegetables reach a full boil before starting the timer.

Drain the veggies.  Remove the carrots and parsnips and then shake the potatoes about in the colander to break them up a bit.

Using the side of a large knife bash the unpeeled garlic cloves up a bit.  Pick the leaves off the rosemary.  Take a large roasting plan and place over two burners, heat  the olive oil and  and add the garlic and rosemary to the pan, stir around a bit and salt and pepper well.   Stir in the vegetables and mix up well.  Put in the oven when you put the meat in, roast one hour.

Cauliflower Cheese

1 large cauliflower, cut in florets
2 sprigs Rosemary
4 anchovy fillets, chopped
1 2/3 cups Cream Fraiche
2 cups grated cheddar
salt and pepper
1 slice of bacon, uncooked
1/2 cup bread crumbs (preferably Panko bread crumbs)

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook the cauliflower 5 minutes, drain.   Stir together the cream fraiche

Yorkshire Puddings 

3 eggs
1 cup flour
a pinch of kosher salt 
scant 1 1/4 cup of milk

Whisk together the eggs, flour, salt and milk until you get a very smooth batter.   Pour into a large measuring cup and set aside.   If its sits for about a half an hour to an hour you will have a smoother batter and better puddings.

After you take the meat out of the oven, turn the heat up to 475 and preheat fully.   Take a muffin tin and add a teaspoon of Crisco to each compartment.  Place in the oven and heat 5 minutes.  Take out of the oven and pour the batter into the muffin tin.   Cook 15 minutes, don't open the oven door.

Orange Raspberry Trifle from Ina Garten

you can find the recipe here.

It was mom's birthday too so she got some pressies.  Mom got all the Star Trek movies, first and next generation.  We can wear our Stark Trek shirts while we watch them with her.

She also got some MST3K DVDs that's another of mom's favorite nerd shows.   Then there was a mysterious box

filled with dog toys from Olive Green Dog, but she didn't give the toys to us.  What gives?   Seems like something is up.

After we opened the presents Tubby put on his pugjamas and his Harry Potter hat from All You Need Is Pug and settled in for a Harry Potter movie-a-thon.


Friday, March 30, 2012

For Payton

We are sorrier then words can say for the loss of Payton

 Her mom and dad where the best of pet parents and loved her dearly. 

The House Dog's Grave

      I've changed my ways a little; 
      I cannot now Run with you in the evenings along the shore, 
      Except in a kind of dream; 
      and you, if you dream a moment, You see me there. 
       So leave awhile the paw-marks on the front door 
      Where I used to scratch to go out or in, 
      And you'd soon open; leave on the kitchen floor 
      The marks of my drinking-pan. 
      I cannot lie by your fire as I used to do 
      On the warm stone,
       Nor at the foot of your bed;
       no, all the night through I lie alone. 
      But your kind thought has laid me less than six feet 
      Outside your window where firelight so often plays, 
      And where you sit to read--and I fear often grieving for me--
       Every night your lamplight lies on my place. 
      You, man and woman, live so long, it is hard 
      To think of you ever dying 
      A little dog would get tired, living so long. 
      I hope than when you are lying
       Under the ground like me your lives will appear 
      As good and joyful as mine. 
      No, dear, that's too much hope: you are not so well cared for 
      As I have been. 
       And never have known the passionate undivided 
      Fidelities that I knew.
        Your minds are perhaps too active, too many-sided. . . . 
      But to me you were true. 
      You were never masters, but friends. I was your friend. 
      I loved you well, and was loved. 
      Deep love endures 
      To the end and far past the end. 
      If this is my end, 
      I am not lonely. 
      I am not afraid. 
      I am still yours. Robinson Jeffers, 1941


Pugs in the Kitchen Give Away Winner

Today we are announcing the winner of our  Blogiversary give away, the winner gets a ten dollar gift certificate to  Pugs in The Kitchen.

To hold the contest mom wrote down all the names of the wonderful pups who commented on our post and put them in a hat.

And the winner is..................

 Minnie and Mack!  They have a great blog and we hope they enjoy the noms!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Happy 11th Birthday-My Pug Love

Tubby-Dog of My Heart

Tubby on his first night home in 2001
5th Birthday Party

7th Birthday

8th Birthday

With the late Bingo on his 9th Birthday, they were good friends

On his tenth birthday

  • Today, at age 11

  • The poor dog, in life the firmest friend,
    The first to welcome, foremost to defend. - 
  •  Lord Byron

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday-Silly Tongue

Don't forget to enter our Pugs in the Kitchen Give Away  in honor of our Blogiversary and Tubby's upcoming 11th birthday, March 29!   We will announce the winner on March 30 and on March 31st we will post the details of Tubby's (and mom's) birthday bash.

Happy wordless Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Simple Kibble Topper-Chicken Salad for Dogs

Yum chicken, what dog doesn't love it.  It certainly has my pups licking their lips.

 Plus chicken is nutritious and readily available.   While I was making up chicken salad for myself for my lunch time sandwiches I decided to mix up a  hound friendly version.  (With some healthy fruits thrown in)

Chicken Salad for Pups

4 boneless, skinless organic chicken fillets boiled or baked 
2 apples, diced
1/2 pint blue berries (blue berries are loaded with good for you anti-oxidants and have been shown to ward off dementia in older animals)
2 stalks of celery chopped
1/2 cup fat free plain yogurt

Tear up the chicken breasts into small bits and put in a large bowl.   Stir in apples, blueberries, and celery.  You can off course completely customize this and add whatever fruit and vegetables you have on hand: strawberries, peas, fava beans, cherries, and raspberries wold all be good choices.  After you  have added your fruit and celery to the chicken  mix in the yogurt until everything is well combined.   

Serve atop your dogs kibble for an extra nutritional boost.

Note: If your dog is sensitive to dairy just leave out the yogurt.

Chicken Salad for the Peeps  (Cause mom and dad have to eat too)

2 chicken breasts with skin and on the boan
olive oil
salt and pepper
about a 1/4 cup of Mayonaise
3 tbsp of tarragon chopped (but I really like tarragon so you may want less)
2 stalks of celery chopped
1/4 cup green grapes, halved
Mesculun or baby lettuces salad mix
whole grain bread, I like Bread Alone 

Preheat the oven to 350 and put the chicken in a baking dish.  Rub with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast until cooked through about 35 minutes.  Cool.   Remove and discard the skin and shred the chicken.  Refrigerate until cold.

Place the chicken in a large bowl and mix the mayo in gently with a fork.  Stir in the tarragon, celery, and green grapes.   Make sandwiches with the bread and the lettuces.

"Can I have some?"

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Mischief-Happy Birthday Mom!!!

Mom is always worrying about us getting old.  She sighs over our grey hairs

"Greys, schmeys, I still look fabulous mom."

 and scrutinizes our gait on walks looking for signs of arthritis, even as we scamper along

 and she is always buying us new supplements and vitamins and healthy powders.  Luckily, most of them are tasty.   

Well, mom should stop worrying about us because we are spring chickens compared to her!  Today mom is 238 in dog years!!!    She might be a bit of a kook but we still let her know every day that we love her.

 (Yeah-its kind of an old pic.  Mom is more camera shy then us.)

Love ya' Mom!

(Stay tuned later in the week to hear details of Tubby and mom's birthday celebration, they are both March babies).