My life with Noofs

Tales and musings from a Newf mom

My Cooking has Gone to the Dogs

Cartoon dog with knife and fork

Image courtesy of Grant Conchrane

I feed the Noofs high-quality kibble and until recently, supplemented their dry, crunchy staple with canned dog food or dog-safe people food. My food budget in the last several months has shrunk exponentially, so I have been looking for ways to stretch my food dollar – and those of my dogs – without sacrificing quality or nutrition.

I’ve always been a label reader, and have kept my dogs on a very high-quality, low filler diet. That means no corn or wheat gluten, no soy and absolutely NO animal by-products. This food does not come cheap, especially the canned dog food when you look at caloric and nutritional density. The “ultra-premium” canned food will run between $2 and $4 per can! If I buy by the case, the cost can go down to about $1.75 per can, but is still pretty pricey. The reason this is important to me is that some dogs (mine, especially, it seems) do get bored with their food, chiefly my 140 lb male, Merlin. High quality canned dog food keeps my dogs interested in their kibble, and doesn’t make nasty with their digestive tracts.

A few months ago, I started looking at canned dog food labels from the perspective of cooking that food. As I realize that certain nutritional needs must be met, I am keeping their kibble diet untouched until I can figure out this part of it. I am in my third attempt at making “canned” dog food. The first two attempts were certainly edible, and the dogs enjoyed them immensely. However, this third try has me thinking that I am definitely on the right track.

While I am still in the development stage of this endeavor, I can say this much: Yesterday’s entire batch of “canned” dog food, which will last between two weeks and a month as a mix-in or topper, cost me less than $5 to make.

That makes me happy on so many levels. Since I have become an ambassador for AllRecipes, I find that it’s my responsibility to share my successes (and failures) when it comes to my cooking – even for the dogs. As soon as I have developed a somewhat sensible recipe, I will submit it to AllRecipes for addition to the dog food and treats collection. There aren’t enough recipes for dog-related food items in there for my satisfaction.

Oops – almost forgot the legalese:

I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position) and am not compensated for my work with Allrecipes.com. Products received from any advertisers are only used for experience-based reviews on My life with Noofs. The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the blog author (Danielle Bingham) and are not reflected by Allrecipes.com, its advertisers or any other entity.


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Of essays and exploded eggs

Sometimes writing and cooking don’t mix. Actually, that happens pretty often, if you’re a writer like me. I tend to get so involved with what’s going on when I write that I have to make an effort to remember stuff I’m doing elsewhere.

Case in point: On New Years Day, I had an article I needed to finish and send out for approval (yeah, I know, but freelancers don’t work on the standard Monday through Friday, 9-5 gig). On that day, I needed to make some dog food for the Noofs (details on this later), and wanted to hard-boil some eggs to mix in.

I *know* how to hard-boil eggs. I’ve done it since I was barely big enough to stand in front of the stove and I have it down to a science: Bring salted water and eggs (at least a week old, for easier peeling) to a boil slowly from cool water. Once at a full boil, let ‘er rip for one minute, turn off the heat, cover and let stand for 15 minutes. It’s simple and you get perfect hard-boiled eggs every time. No icky green ring! I put the pan with the cool, salted water and eggs on the stove, set it to medium high and went back into the office.

This particular morning, I forgot.

I’m happily typing away, getting absorbed in my goal, then a notice a burnt smell. I barely got the thought of “hmmmm…” in my head when I heard the explosion. Well, “explosion” is a bit dramatic, but one of the eggs did explode, splattering yellow and white (and brown, from the burnt bits of eggshell) on the ceiling, floor and, well… everywhere. I hastily ran to the kitchen (Noofs following me just as hastily), and upon seeing this mess I grabbed the pot, with not a drop of water and minus the exploded egg, dropped it into the sink and quickly turned on the cold water.

The Noofs, seeing Mom in a panic, obviously wanted to be in the middle of it, and requested to know exactly what happened. When I didn’t respond to their questioning looks, they let their noses answer the question. I then had to turn around and grab the dogs to get them out of the kitchen before they started scoffing on the still-hot egg mess. They left dejectedly, as if I were depriving them of their only meal in a month. Poor goggies.

I did manage to salvage most of the eggs, surprisingly enough. After they cooled, I peeled the little bastards, cut off the brown, rubbery parts and used the eggs in the dog food anyway.

There was only the slightest green ring around the yolks.

Welcome to my world

I’m adding yet another blog so that I can round out my life. This blog is one for personal reflection and experiences outside of my writing career (although I will comment on that from time to time). Chief among my life are (not necessarily in order of importance):

  • My pets. I have two Newfoundlands, affectionately referred to as Noofs, rugs, slobber-slingers, furballs, etc. My cats will feature here, too, as they have their own opinion about me and like to let me know often.
  • Musings. I like to muse and wonder aloud. Why not here?
  • Cooking – one of my favorite pastimes.
  • News. I’ll comment on news items from time to time, here, as well. Don’t worry, I won’t get on a soapbox (for long) and I won’t proselytize – just the occasional rant.

I hope my friends from Facebook will visit, and encourage others to visit when I write something worth reading.

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