Pt.2: Winter gift DIY on a budget

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Before I head much further into the human gifts, I would like to dedicate Part 2 of my series to the Family Dog{s}. In Honor of our new addition, which hence forth, will be referred to as "Moose". As in, he is just 9 months old and already a Moose, seen here with Frog on her 7th birthday last week:
His Mum is a large Full grown Saint Bernard and dad was just a young Black Mouth Cur pup. Moose came to us very well trained for his age and has made a most amazing and appreciated Intelligent addition. Overjoyed we found each other.
Now back to those gifts. I have begun making instead of buying dog treats. I found a slew of Dog food  recipes that are grain free, which is the route we are heading with our Moose. After some research, book reading & recipe searching I came up with a Grain Free Dog treat using inexpensive ingredients with healthy & tasty results. Buy a few pumpkins while they are still available for making Pumpkin flour and grab up those in super sale 25 cents a pound sweet potatoes as well. You make flour with them for inclusion in the dog treat recipes. They can be stored in freezer bags as one would with Flour for keeping bug free and longer "shelf life".You can make your own pumpkin or Sweet potato flour by peeling, slicing  thinly-think potato chip- such as with a Mandolin.  Drying via Oven at 200{F} degrees or in a Dehydrator. Then grind in Mill or blender until powdered. It's that simple. Now to the treat recipe.I have included some Nutrient packed ingredients so the treat is not Junk but the dog will beg for more.. 

Moose Bites Grain Free Dog treats

1 Pound ground Turkey          1 Egg       8 ½ tablespoons sweet potato flour { equals 4 pounds fresh sweet potatoes that are thin sliced, oven dried at 200 degrees, ground into a flour via blender or mill.} 1 teaspoon Baking powder        ¼ cup FROZEN blueberries                     1 ¼ cup FROZEN Green Peas

I warn you now, your hands will be cold but frozen blueberries and Peas worked much better then fresh/defrosted. You want tiny particles not sludge. 
Heat Oven to 350 {F} degrees. Mix egg & meat together, thoroughly, in a large bowl. Add baking powder & Sweet Potato flour. Mix this into meat & egg very well. Place frozen Blueberries & Frozen Peas into a blender and mix on high until they are small particles.
 A few pea chunks is fine but the blueberries should be just particles when done. Scrape out into meat mix bowl quickly with rubber spatula- do NOT let this defrost or it will become sludge.  Mix in the blueberry and pea particles by blending with your hands until everything is thoroughly mixed together{ Resembling a meat loaf}. Roll a teaspoon worth of mix in your hands to form a ball, like a mini meatball. Place “meatball” onto cookie sheet and slightly flatten for perfectly round cookie shape. One Bite sized morsels are your aim. 
You can always spread the mixture out in a pan. Bake and then cut into tiny squares before they cool if the round bites are too much work.
Bake at 350{F} degrees for 30-40 minutes.Dry appearance with just a slight overdone texture to achieve "drying them out". Set your Moose bites out on cooling racks.

 Store in container with tight fitting lid. Refrigerate or Freeze.

Another great treat for the dog{s} are new toys you can whip up using heavy duty canvas their teeth will not shred in minutes. Make these *Squeaky Bones* {Thank You to Laura Griffin for this Fab Tutorial} in accordance to the dog's size. Enlarging via photocopy machine for the right adjustment. For larger dogs I would switch out the Fabric "strings" to rope. I found some "tug of War" style knotted dog rope at our Local Dollar Tree stores. I went with the single piece with 3 knots. This will be the "stuffing" for the canvas bone. I do not like batting/stuffing in dog toys. They somehow get a hole and it ends up in their stomach as well as the floor. 
Just fold a Rope piece in half, at least 8-10 inches total length,if you do not have inexpensive rope toys in the pet department. Sew in place with the Canvas construction.
 Have an old Pair of Duck Cloth/ Canvas pants? Recycle them for dog toy fabric after soaking in vinegar water 20/80 for a day or two  before washing so as your "scent" is removed. Why do that? let's NOT encourage your dog to chew on something with your scent embedded. Just not a good idea.

Both items above would be great as a bundle gift for a new dog owner. A nice Dog treat Tin for storing in the fridge would be perfect! Don't forget to include the recipe for the dog treats so they can continue the healthy snacks and encourage healthier dog habits producing more years worth of memories together.
Frog & Lil Man playing Super Dog with Moose. They hid his Flying pig-the "kidnapped child" and he had to actually find it for rescuing. And so he did...

Up next. Gifts from the Kitchen never get old. Just step away & think "out of the Box".
Sweetest Dreams,

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