Whew.

I made it back from Oregon tonight.  How is it that driving for 8 hours is so exhausting?!  But let’s rewind to a few more highlights of the trip… …this might get lengthy.

Look how hunter is holding his toy.
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Mom and I did a little bit of shopping…

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and had lunch at a cute little coffee shop/deli.  My mom got a mocha and I got an iced herbal tea.

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We both half a chicken pesto garlic panini and put together salads at the salad bar.

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Sorry for the iPhone pictures, I forgot my camera!

Hunter and I took lots of walks despite the drizzle.
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It actually even got sunny for a little bit!

It looked more like spring than it does back home.  Everything was blooming…
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Yesterday we went to a great Thai place in Portland for lunch with my mom’s good friend, Greta.
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We all started with a brothy soup with cabbage, green beans, tomato, chicken and onions.

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I got the pad thai.  Yummm.

Afterwards, we peeked into a bakery…
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Resisted ordering one of everything…

But did leave with a few treats.  I got something called a Danish crispy.
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It was like a flattened cinnamon roll and a croissant had a baby.
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And baby, it was goood.  Yum.

We shopped at Crate and Barrel.
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I forgot my camera again and took some dim iPhone pictures anyways.
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I saw lots of green things and thought of Christina.

And stopped on the way home for some gelato.
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Mom got a scoop of mocha and a scoop of sweet cream.

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I got a scoop of chocolate hazelnut (it was EXACTLY like Nutella in gelato form) and a scoop of banana.

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Needless to say it’s been a whirlwind of a few days!  Now back to life and homework… 😉

Food For Thought

Thank you to everyone who expressed their condolences about my grandparents.  And thank you to those of you who just stopped by to read about their memories.  I was touched by all your kind words.

So I am spending a couple of days visiting my mom and dad and brother in Oregon.  There’s nothing like going home to mom’s cooking.  Hunter and I made the 7 hour drive on Saturday and except for a little rain on and off it was a smooth drive.  Here’s some of my favorite pictures so far.

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Hunter is so happy to have so much attention.

Dinner Saturday night:

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White bean chili with chicken, cannelloni beans, green chili, carrots, celery, onion and fresh parsley from mom’s garden.

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Tamale pie made with ground beef, red pepper, corn, green chili with a cornbread “crust.

Tonight:
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We had rib roast, mashed (by me!) potatoes with gravy, ginger glazed carrots, and salad (made by me!) with spinach, romaine, red pepper, celery, cucumber and radishes.

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Geez, my brother sure takes stunning photos.  I have had a lingering headache and was hoping a Dr. Pepper would ease it.

For dessert, we had an Italian ricotta cheesecake.
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With raspberry and chocolate sauce.  Yummm.
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This was much lighter and less dense than a traditional cheesecake, but pretty simple to make.  Mom and I made ours the night before.

Italian Cream Cheese Cake
(from foodnetwork.com)

1 c. graham cracker crumbs
1 c. crushed biscotti crumbs
1 stick butter melted
2 c. ricotta cheese
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, room temperature
5 eggs
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 *F.  Wrap a 9 inch springform pan with aluminum foil (the outside to prevent water from leaking in).  In a medium bowl, mix biscotti and graham cracker crumbs and melted butter together.  Press into bottom of pan and refrigerate until firm.

2. In a large bowl, beat ricotta and cream cheese together until smooth.  Add eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla.  Mix well.  Allow to sit for a few minutes so the bubbles can surface.  Mix again until smooth.  Pour the filling into the springform pan. Tap pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles in cake mixture.  Place pan into large roasting pan (we used a large stainless steel frying pan) with 1 inch of water.

3. Place in oven and bake until filling is set and top is golden, about 1 hour 20 minutes.  Remove and let cook.  Refrigerate a few hours before serving.

Ok, it’s time for night night!

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Hunter says so.  🙂

In Remembrance

This took me some time and courage to write.  I hope you’ll bear with me.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to “go there” with something close to my heart.  I’ve lost two of the most wonderful people in this world.  They lived in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.  Now they live in heaven.  I truly believe that.

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My Grandpa and Gammy.  This is with my brother and I when we were quite little.

My Gammy’s name was Catherine.  She had the most beautiful singing voice and played the piano as well as sewed many of her own clothes.  She called me her little songbird because I would always sing to and with her.  She was gentle and sweet and had an infectious laugh.  Growing up, she was my “favorite” grandparent.  She sewed dresses for me when I was little.  One year for Christmas, she gave me two dolls and sewed a whole wardrobe for them.  I loved all the tiny clothes she had painstakingly made especially for me.  That is something I will always treasure.  Gammy passed away January 24, 2011.  I know she is watching over me today, her little songbird.

My Grandpa’s name was Frank.  His family had emigrated from Austria before he was born.  He liked to tease and joke a lot.  I remember his laugh and his smile.  He loved my brother and I, his only grandchildren.  He’d leave “loonies” or 1 dollar coins at the table for my brother and I when we would visit.  I remember how much he loved candied papaya.  Anytime I think about papaya I think about him.  My grandpa was tirelessly dedicated to take care of Gammy when she became sick over 10 years ago.  His continuous service to her was an example of his love for Jesus Christ.  I believe he was heartbroken when Gammy died and passed away February 20, 2011.  I know that he is glad to be reuinted with his wife.

There is no way to describe the feeling of no longer having them on earth.  Despite the sadness, I know that they no longer have any pain of old age, that they are happy and comfortable and are nearer to me than I realize.  I’m glad for the lives that they led, the examples that they were and that I was able to know such wonderful people.  It makes me wish I would have appreciated the time we spent together but I have learned to appreciate the time that I have with my own parents.

Hawaii: Day 2

So, I’ve spend the last 5 days in bed sick as a dog.  I make it without getting sick all winter long and then it knocks me off my feet.  Not fun.  I feel like I’m beginning to get better, which is good because I have two tests this week.  Boo hoo, poor me. ;(  

To contrast my lovely vacation, it’s been crazy weather here.  One day it’s sunny and springy, the next it’s snowing potato sized snowflakes (seriously, no exaggeration!) and today the wind is howling at every corner of the house.
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Hello neighbor’s tree.
Yeesh… 
You ready for more Hawaii??
2/12
We were smarter and got up early to have breakfast at the hotel brunch.  We ended up eating most of our breakfasts here.  Guess who had waffles with coconut syrup almost every day?  Yum.  I also loaded up on a lot of fruit, especially pineapple.  I swear the pineapple is a hundred times sweeter there.
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I’d been wanting to take pictures of this tree since we got there.  Isn’t it cool?  They have strings of lights hanging down the branches at night, it reminded me of the tree from Avatar.
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This day was spent shopping! all day long…   Surprisingly enough, this was Jeremy’s idea.  Though he definitely got shopped out before I did.  He was a great sport though.  We walked to the mall from our hotel, and managed to take the very long way… we were quite lost for a while.  I’m not a good navigator.  More on that later.  😉
The mall was called Ala Moana Center and it was pretty big.  The biggest I’ve ever been to, though that’s not saying much.  It was an open air mall, only walkways were covered.  The airport is like that too.  What’s the need for windows when the weather is always 70-80 *F outside?  It was 4 floors full of everything from Gucci to Nordstroms.  I bet we only went in half of them.   
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Check out the tiki torches.  These were everywhere.
For lunch, we stopped at this place called Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.  And yes, it was inspired by the movie Forrest Gump.  It was cool.  And really tasty.
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This was our table.
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I got a big salad with shrimp.  Jeremy gave me his coleslaw so a lot of the shrimp are buried beneath it.
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Jeremy got crab legs. 
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After lunch, did some more marathon shopping.  
Believe it or not, we were hungry again when we got back to our hotel.  Hey, carrying all those bags will do it to ya!  
We did a little research and found a Japanese steak house at the hotel next to us and decided to check it out.  I’d never been to one!
While we waited to be seated we got ourselves some virgin pina coladas.  
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Regular for me.
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Mango colada for Jeremy.  Haha, like his hat?  It says “kick me, I dare ya”.
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Here is our chef.  
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The goods cooking.
After dinner, we rolled ourselves back to the hotel for bed.  It sure was good!
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So to keep in the Hawaii theme, and because I LOVE coconut, here’s a recipe for chewy coconut cookies.  If you like coconut as much as I do, you will love these.
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I made them in my brand new mixer.  Yippee!! I love it.
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Chewy Coconut Cookies
(from allrecipes.com)

1 1/4 c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 c. flaked coconut (I used 1 c. unsweetened and 1/3 c. sweetened)
1. Preheat oven to 350* F.  Combine flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.
2. Cream together the butter, brown and white sugar until smooth, be careful not to over mix.  Beat in egg and vanilla until fluffy.  Gradually add the flour mixture, then add the coconut.
3. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly toasted.
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I know coconut is one of those things people really like or really hate.  Which are you?

ABC’s and Curried Chickpeas

I’m working on changing the comment settings on here and am not too technology saavy.  If there are any problems, or you have any advice, please let me know!  You can also email me at meg.bailey(at)rocketmail.com

Hope you enjoyed the first part of my trip to Hawaii.  More to come, I promise!

I’m a sucker for survey type posts but have yet to post one on here.  So when I saw this one floating around, I decided to give it a try:

Age: 25.  Though often I act my shoe size (which is 7).

Bed Size: Queen, and I hog the whole dang thing!

Chore you dislike: making the bed or cleaning the shower

Dogs: my baby Hunter

Essential part of your day: Taking my vitamins.  I didn’t get sick all winter!

Favorite color: I really love colors, a lot.  But currently, my favorite is yellow!

Gold or silver: I definitely like white gold or silver, though I think yellow gold looks classy with pearls.

Height: 5’4″

Instruments you play(ed): piano and I’ve tinkered with the guitar

Job title: student/stay at home wife (life is pretty good)

Kids: besides Hunter, not yet!  But I sure am excited for kids babies.  Hopefully a girl so I can indulge in pink and sparkly things… 🙂

Live: Boise, Idaho

Mom’s name: Denise

Nicknames: oh geez, well since Margaret is my “real” name, Meg is technically a nickname.
I’ve had a lot growing up: Megatron (thanks dad), Megathon (thanks grandpa), Meggie (thanks Gammy), Myrtle (thanks Jeremy… long story), Meggers, Megster, Megret, Marge, etc.

Overnight hospital stays: I got really bad food poisoning once, they had to put me on morphine the pain was so bad.  Let’s just say I’ve been a lot more careful about what I eat!

Pet peeves: people who poke along down the middle of the aisles in the grocery store, people who sit/stand on cardio/weight machines and chat instead of using them or moving out of the way, mail credit card offers that I didn’t ask for, pyramid schemes

Quote from a movie: “So if you’re from Africa, why are you white?” -Mean Girls and “Oh, boo-hoo, now I feel really bad.  Bad llama.” -The Emperor’s New Groove

Righty or Lefty: righty

Siblings: one younger brother, Adrien, soon to be 23

Time you wake up: If I have nowhere to be, between 9-11am.  I may have mentioned this once or twice: I am not a morning person.  Though I wish I was!

Underwear: is what I wear under. (Really?  they couldn’t find anything else that started with u??  ultimate, umbrella, unhealthy??)

Vegetables you don’t like: brussels sprouts, cooked tomatoes

X-rays: just my teeth at the dentist, no cavities!

Yummy food you make: Many, many baked goods, but my husband’s favorite is crockpot pulled chicken.

Zoo: favorite zoo animal: otters and seals, they have such joyful personalities.

And now, for a recipe!

Pre-boil two small potatoes and cube them.

In some olive oil, brown some onions and garlic:
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Add chickpeas, potatoes and some broccoli(I used frozen), curry powder and salt and pepper:
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Cook until tender, toss with some lemon juice and serve!
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Broccoli Chickpea Scramble

2 tbs olive oil

1 medium onion, minced
couple cloves of garlic, minced

2 small potatoes, pre-boiled and cubed (since they’ll finish cooking in the skillet, it’s ok for them to be on the firmer side)
1 can chickpeas
1-1/2 c. broccoli, chopped
1 1/4 tsp curry powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp lemon juice

1. Add onions, garlic and olive oil to a skillet and cook until softened.

2. Add chickpeas, broccoli and potatoes, spice and cook until tender.

3. Add lemon juice, toss and serve immediately.

This recipe is surprisingly delicious and so easy-peasy, it’s a good one when you need to whip up something quick!

What’s your favorite ways to use chickpeas?


Do you say chickpeas or garbonzo beans??




Hawaii: Arrival and Day 1

*Added note: Don’t worry!  I was in Hawaii about a month ago but I’m just now doing the re-cap.  For those of you concerned about earthquakes in Hawaii, I’ve heard from my friend who lives there that there were no repercussions from the earthquake/tsunami in Japan.  However, my thoughts and prayers are with those in Japan.

2/10/2011
We were SOOO excited to get up at 4 am to catch our 6:30 am flight.  NOT.  Jeremy and I tried to stay up all night so we would be able to sleep on the plane, but fell asleep at about 2 am.  Needless to say, waking up 2 hours later to go to the airport was rough.  I am not a morning person.  At all.

Though I recently have been enjoying morning workouts.  Go figure.

Anyways, we flew from Boise to Portland (about an hour flight) and then from Portland to Honolulu (about a 6 1/2 hour flight– the longest I’ve ever been on a plane).  For the first time of my life, I could NOT sleep.  Since I’d planned on sleeping, I hadn’t brought any movies or books to pass the time.  It was a long boring flight.  But I survived.

We landed in Honolulu at 11:30 am, rented our car and made our way to this restaurant called Zippy’s.  I have an old friend, Emily, from 8th grade who lives there, and I was excited to see her after all these years!  There was a bit of a bit of everything on the menu.  I tried fried SPAM with a side of rice (of course) and liked it.  I unfortunately have no pictures because my brain was shutting down after little sleep.

After lunch, we immediately went to our hotel, checked in, and crashed for a few hours.  We we awoke, it was dark and we were STARVING.  The hotel had two restaurants so we decided to try one called Bibas.  I got a (virgin) pina colada and we goofed around with the camera while we waited for our food.

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This is Jeremy’s sleepy smile.

I ordered the surf and turf with shrimp and steak.  It was goood and not huge portions, just right!  And then we gobbled it up so fast I didn’t take a picture.  Eeek.

Then, we headed back to our room where I instantly fell into a coma and didn’t move until morning.  I need my sleep.

2/11/2011
Despite the three hour time change, we still slept in until about 8am.  It was a beautiful morning and we were loving our view!

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One one side, Waikiki.
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The other side the ocean!
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We were on the top floor… that’s a long way down!

Our stomachs were definitely grumbling, so we decided to wander around Waikiki a little bit and find breakfast.

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Unfortunately, we had to wait 45 minutes or so before we could get a seat.  The place was PACKED!  They gave us menus while we waited.  Which only made us more hungry because everything sounded so good!
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But it was our first day in Hawaii, so we couldn’t be too grumpy.  Check out my pretty lei Emily gave me the day before at lunch!

We ordered our food and got some fresh pineapple and orange juice to start.  Oops, we ate the pineapple faster than I could snap a picture.

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But there is nothing better than fresh squeezed orange juice.
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Finally, it was food time!

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I ordered a mushroom, spinach and cheese omelet with salsa and a side of pancakes.
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You know it was good.

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Jeremy ordered a bacon, potato and cheese omelet (which I had a bite of and it was also good) with extra bacon and a side of pancakes as well.

For not being a pancake fan, those were the BEST pancakes I’ve ever had.  Probably because they were drenched in this:
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Coconut syrup!  Best. Thing. Ever.  I am seriously going to order a gallon of it online.  If you like coconut and haven’t tried this, DO.  I’m thinking this might be my first giveaway.

It’s THAT amazing.

Afterwards, we went to the army museum nearby.

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Hawaiian god of war.

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Island tribes going to war.

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Helicopters like the ones Jeremy works on.  The cool part was all the artwork was done by military members.

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Here’s the outside of the museum.  Considering everything in Idaho is brown right now, the green was welcomed.

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Saw birds of paradise flowers.

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Lovin’ the flip flops in February.

And took another nap.  We are 80.

Then we took a long walk along the beach in the sunset.  But since I have a history with dropping things in water, I left the camera behind.  We enjoyed dinner at the buffet at our hotel and explored Waikiki a bit before going to bed and promising to get up earlier to avoid waiting so long for breakfast.

Since we stayed at Hale Koa, a hotel exclusively for military members, there were a lot of retired people there.  They’ve got the right idea getting up early for breakfast!

Stay tuned for the rest! 🙂

Are you a morning person or a night person?

Home made doggie "cookies"

What happened?  I want to know, and I want to know now:  where did February go?!?

Well, here’s a quick review:
   -Feb 5th: celebrated my birthday a day early.  We went out to dinner at McGrath’s (seafood) and went        to see The Green Hornet (worst movie I’ve ever seen!)
   -Feb 6th: superbowl!  Superbowl is Jeremy’s favorite “holiday” so we hosted a party with some of our friends.  Oh, and my actual birthday, which we celebrated with a lemon ripple cheesecake at halftime.
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Thanks Jeremy for being in charge of the candles and informing me I’m turning 52 and not 25.  Don’t I look great for my age??

   -Feb 8th: left for Hawaii
   -Feb 15th: back from Hawaii (more details to follow)
   -Feb 17th: made the 4 hour trip to eastern Idaho to visit Jeremy’s family
   -Feb 19th: returned from eastern Idaho.
   -Feb 20th: officially exhausted and unwilling to leave the house, open the laptop, cook or do anything besides lay in front of the tv.

….

I’m back and better than ever.

I’ve got over 500 pictures newly downloaded to my Mac so we’ll take this day by day. 😉

You can bet I’ve got lots of Hawaii coming your way!!

If you’re a dog owner like me, you think your pooch is the best in the whole world (sorry, mine is!) and tend to spoil him/her rotten.  Hunter has a food allergy (common in purebreds) so I have to be careful about the treats that I give him.  But dang!  Doggie treats are expensive!  I found this recipe two years in a christmas cookie magazine and hung on to it, promising myself I would try it out.  It’s super simple, and kind of nice to know that only whole foods went into the making of these!

The ingredients are super simple:

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You start with the peanut butter, apple sauce, honey, apple juice and oil in a pan:

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Simmer, add oats then allow to cool:

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Make sure it’s approved by quality control.

Allow “dough” to cool then roll and cut out:

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Peanut Butter Puppy Treats
(from Better Homes and Gardens)


1/4 c. honey
1/2 c. natural peanut butter (I get the freshly ground type)
1/2 c. unsweetened apple sauce
1 natural apple juice
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 1/2 c. rolled oats (I used quick oats instead)
1 c. whole wheat flour

1. Preheat oven to 300F (which is when I discovered the lowest mine goes is 325F– that works too, just bake for less time).  In a large saucepan, whisk together together honey, peanut butter, applesauce, apple juice and oil.  (Don’t worry, it will look kind of weird, just go with it.)  Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to simmer and thicken.  Remove from hear and stir in oats.  Allow mixture to cool for about 10-15 minutes.  Stir in the whole wheat flour.  Divide dough in half.

2. On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of the dough at a time to 1/4 inch thick.  Cut out dough using your cookie cutter and place on ungreased cookie sheet.

3. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes.  Flip treats (and kick yourself for using such a small cutter and cramming too many onto the pan) over and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until both sides are golden brown.  When done baking all batches, turn off the oven and place the treats on one large sheet and leave in the oven for about 1 hour until the oven cools.  (This makes them nice and crunchy.)

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In case you’re wondering, I did try them.  They taste how you’d think: like apple juice, peanut butter and honey.  Make some for your pup today!