Sunday, February 26, 2012

Recipe for a first aid kit for you car!

I can not take credit for this video, I stole it from another group I am on but I think this is a great idea:
a few more things I would add to this first aid kit are:  Lotrim (in the liquid drop form) for ear infections and maybe some kind of treat that is not perishable like a tube of peanut butter, something to give as a reward for the doggie being brave and good for you.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Yogurt Peanut butter treats!

Now that the weather is getting warm (70 degrees) on Feb 23 here in Virginia, when our babies come home they are hot! What can you give them to keep them hydrated?  Of course fruit is always a great answer but for a special frozen treat, I would like to share a recipe given to me from a facebook friend, Carol Jayne.
It is the most easiest treat you can make!

 Get 1/4 cup peanut butter (I like to use real peanut butter without hydrogenated oil/ Costco now has it back in stock!).

Anyway put the 1/4 cup of peanut butter in microwave around 38 seconds until nice and soft and then add 1/2 cup Plain Yogurt.  Mix together and drop by portion size onto a piece of foil and freeze a few hours until firm.  Store in container in your freezer until ready to serve!!!

Since we are on the topic of keeping your dogs hydrated, remember to change your dogs water bowl twice a day and I don't mean just adding water to it or emptying it out, WASH the dish and then add nice cool water.  When really hot I add a few ice cubes, but Bella makes a complete mess trying to take the ice cubes out.

You may also want to have water bowls in several areas of the house when the weather is really hot and humid but we do have a few months to go for that!  For now, make these simple treats and take one out after your walks, your dog will love you for it but of course your dog loves you already!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Fresh Salmon Casserole (with pictures!)

Ok guys, I finally got my camera back from my 14 year old daughter, she needed it to make a video of a science project.  I have been telling her for the past three days that I need my camera back and then today while the veggies were sauting for this recipe I was screaming to her to bring me my camera!!!!  So here it goes for the recipe plus pictures!

1/2 pound fresh salmon (check to see where it is from)  I do not buy from far away lands and like farm raised if possible
1 cup brown rice (rinsed)
1 sweet potato (skin off)
1 zucchini grated
1 bunch of tender asparagus cut in very small slices
2 gloves of garlic minced or put through a garlic press
2 teaspoons of EVOO for sauting
2 Tablespoons of plain Kefir
2 eggs

Cook the brown rice in a pot of water covering the rice two times.  Cook for 70 minutes!  Yes cook the rice that long so it is easily disgestable and I say to put that much water in so you don't burn your pot.  I do put a swig of EVOO in the water.

While cooking the rice,baked the salmon with some EVOO on 375 until cooked around 15 minutes and

boil the sweet potatoes in water until tender.

Put the cooked salmon and sweet potato in a food processor and mix with the Kefir.

Cook the zucchini, asparagus and garlic until veggies are tender.

When the rice is done, mix it with everything including the eggs.

Place in a 9x13 baker with EVOO on the bottom and cook at 375 for around 25 minutes!

If your dog can't do dairy, don't put in the Kefir; if you don't have those veggies, use other veggies.  Just cook for your dogs, they will thank you and you will be providing them with the healthiest food ever!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Garlic: raw or cooked ?????

My holistic vet and the book that I have referred to at the beginning of this blog states that 1 clove raw garlic a day is fine for dogs and actually good for their coat.  I am 100% Italian and I always cook with garlic and always put raw in our salad... my kids don't like it cause it gives you bad breath but it is so good for you.  Anyway, I will have to say that from now on I will NOT put raw garlic in the dogs food bur rather sautee it in EVOO with the meat or veggies that I a cooking.. this is my findings:

All the meals I make I have been sauteing the garlic with the meat or veggies but THIS week, I was chopping up the garlic RAW and putting it in the food. Bella, my two year old sucked up her meals but she will also eat dead worms on the side walk!  Snow, who is my picky eater, loves all the meals I cook but the switch this week was to put RAW garlic in it.  So this week, he goes up to it and sniffs it (we all know the best sense for dogs is SMELL) and he sniffed it and walked away because he did not like the smell of raw garlic!  From now on I will cook the garlic in his food!

Garlic is so good for humans, it has a natural antibiotic called ACILLIN.  I used to get this freaky magazine way back in the day like 26 years ago that would treat vagina yeast infections with raw garlic.  You would thread a clove of garlic  and put it up your vagina and let it say for a day and then put another one up the next day with one cut in the garlic and continue for five days with new garlic and more cuts!  I thought it was crazy but not anymore, not that I have tried it nor have I had any yeast infections but I do believe in the natural healing properties in garlic!  

Just this week I have a story to share with you and i know this has nothing to do with dogs but still would like to share since we are talking about garlic.

My son had planter warts 10 years ago and after 12 freeze dry attempts by a food doctor AND surgery to remove the warts, they still came back!  We did duct tape and that worked.  Now my daughter recently  has planters wart and after everything I went through with my son I vowed I would not go to doctor.  We tried the duct tape for three months with no improvement, I purchased the over the counter stuff which smelled horrible and made it worse.  After reading on my wonderful Bichon List Serve about coconut oil and the benifts for dogs and some googling, I mixed up coconut oil and crushed garlic and had her apply it to the wart twice a day.  Keep in mind that after having duct tape on her foot for three months, she had all this skin that had the first layer come off where the duct tape was where there was not a wart since the skin was covered for so long.... anyway, within two days the warts were disappearing and within 2 weeks all her skin that had the layer off was back to normal and as of this writing, the warts are 95% or maybe even all gone!

WOW, coconut oil is the best!  I did go to Whole Foods and buy EXTRA Virgin Cold Press for $15 for her treatment, Yesterday I was at Trader Joes and the had Virgin (not Extra Virgin) for $6, I did get that cause i am  cooking with it for the dogs and giving them some for a treat, they love it! I personally tried it on my own hair and it did great for my hair making it shiny and manageable but I don't wash my hair every day so the next day it looks greasy... I may go put some coconut oil on my hair right now!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Swai (say what) with couscous

1 pound of swai or any white fish
1 cup whole wheat couscous cooked with 1 T EVOO
2 yellow squash
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups frozen peas/carrots

rub the fish with some EVOO and bake until done.  Cook the couscous with some EVOO and flake the fish into the couscous.  Sautee the squash with the coconut oil and 2 cloves of garlic and thyme.  In a food processor mix the peas and carrots that have been microwaved with the cooked squash.  Mix the veggies with the fish mixture

Meat casserole with a touch of cinnamon

Hey I am not a vet, just someone that wants my dog to eat real food, without chemicals and by products.  I am just offereing suggestions, of course you can substitute whatever you have in the house.  Like I added some broccoli because I had some left overs in frig.

1 pound lean ground meat
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup uncooked orzo
1 bag frozen string beans
1/2 cup brocolli (had left overs)
1 egg
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup Trader Joes sweet potato bisque
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
cook meat with garlic.  Cook pasta.  In food processor  mix pasta with remaining ingredients.  Place in 13x9 pan that has EVOO on bottom and then spread some more sweet potato bisque on top.

Cook at 375 for 20 minutes

Let's go Vegetarian with Lentils!

Lentils vegetarian meal

I just whipped this up with ingredients in the house.  Got to tell you, Bella licked her dish clean but Snow is so funny with new food... I had to sit down on the floor (and it is hard with my knees to get up from the floor) and spoon feed him the food!  Well he also told me today to turn on the fireplace for him... OMG he has me trained, don't you think?

1 cup lentils
1/2 brown rice
1 bag frozen spinach that has been microwaved and taken all the liquid out
1 sweet potato
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup parsley
1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1/4 cup feta cheese
2 Tablespoons Plain Kefir
1 Tablespoon of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

cook lentils and rice together for 70 minutes (brown rice must be cooked longer for dogs for digestion).  Add cooked drained spinach to food processor with the remaining ingredients and then mix it with the rice/lentil mixture.
You can serve with a topping of chopped hard boil eggs if you have some around.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Greek Lamb Pie

1 pound ground lamb or ground beef cooked and drained of fat
2 cups uncooked brown rice
2 cups beef broth (low salt)
2 teaspoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
2 ½ cups water
4 eggs
2 Tablespoon parmesean cheese
4 cups frozen string beans
½ cup feta cheese
¼ cup parsley plus 1 Tablespoon
1 Tablespoon plain Kefir
¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Cook brown rice in both the beef broth and water for 70 minutes. You read it right, this is not a typo! When cooking brown rice for dogs, you need to cook it extra long so it is digestable. Make sure you just don't put the timer on the stove and walk away, you should check it every 15 minutes after the first 30 minutes and if there is no more liquid, just add some water. You could make the rice a day ahead if you want.

When rice is cooled, mix with 2 eggs and the 1 Tablespoon of parsley.  Place all in a baking dish that has been rubbed with EVOO and press down to form a crust.

Mix the meat with the remaining two eggs, string beans that have been micowaved and either chopped small or put through a food processor, cheeses, remaining 1/4 cup parsley, Kefir and cinnamon.  

Put mixture in baking dish and spread all around covering the rice.

Bake at 375 for 30 - 45 minutes.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Brocolli Egg Salad for breakfast

I just did another twist on egg salad for the fluffs and wanted to share with you... I feed them, made them breakfast for the next five days and now writing to you as I eat my own breakfast!

Broccoli Egg Salad:
9 hard boiled Eggs
1 1/2 heads of broccoli with stems (microwaved)
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup parsely
3 stems of celery
3/4 cut low fat ricotta
1/2 measure of raw orzo (cooked in low sodium vegetable broth)
1 Tablespoon of EVOO (extra virgin olive oi)

Cook pasta three minutes over the time said on box.  While cooking pasta, micowave brocolli and process celery, garlic and parsley in food processor.  Then process brocolli with the celery mixture. Take all out of food processor and process the cook eggs and ricotta and then add the broccoli mixture back in to mix all together with the EVOO.  Add to storage container and mix in pasta.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

List of good and bad fruits and veggies for your pooch

Do you remember your Mom telling you, "don't believe everything you hear or read".... well it is true especially on the internet. In addition, you can go to one doctor for yourself and he will tell you to take something for your asthma and another doctor will tell you to take something else!  You can drive yourself crazy and the same goes with our dogs.  Like I said in my first blog ... our first vet told me not to give Snow more than a 1/2 fingernail of food a day!  Wow does THAT sound crazy now!  Below I will give you the list based on the book I recommended in my very first post:

 Good fruits for dogs:  apples, avocados, bananas, berries, figs, melons including watermelon, oranges, peaches, pears.

BAD fruit (do not give to dogs):   Grapes, raisins

Good Vegetables for dogs:  asparagus, brussel spourts, beets (in small amounts), beans (soak beans or lentils overnight and cook), broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, collards, cucumbers, kale, kelp, lentils, garlic, green beans, parsnips, parslely, peas, potatoes, pumpkin, seeweed, sprouts, squash, tomatoes, turnips, yams.

BAD fruit (do not give to dogs):  onions

Remember, everything in moderation and that goes for us humans too!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Good Morning!

Breakfast foods:
I don’t know about you but I don’t think dogs should eat meatloaf for breakfast, it is just not a morning food, you know what I mean?  Well what is the first thing you think of when you think of breakfast food?  Yes, the incredible egg!  Well everyone knows how to make scrambled eggs but it wasn’t until I started cooking for my dogs that I first made my first strada:

Mediterrian Strada:

2 Tablespoon olive oil (do not use EVOO or you will burn the strada)
2 cloves of garlic diced smally
1 cup diced aspargus (use fresh)
1 cup left over sweet potato or white potato
½ cup feta cheese
6 eggs
¼ cup chopped parsley

Heat oil in a round 10 inch skillet.  When the oil is hot, turn to medium and sautee the garlic making sure not to burn the garlic.  Then place the asparagus in the pan and sautee until soft but not limp.  Add the cut up or mashed potota and then pour the eggs and feta over the vetables.  Put a lid on the pan and cook for around 7 minutes until the sides are cooked and then get a dish a little bigger than the pan and carefully flip the mixture onto the dish (don’t do this over the stove or you could have a disaster!).  Then cook the other side without the cover on for two minutes and you are done!

Vegetable Omelet:

2 Tablespoon olive oil (do not use EVOO or you will burn the strada)
2 cloves of garlic diced smally
1 cup chopped brocollli stems
2 Tablespoons parsley
½ cup ricotta
5 eggs

Heat oil in a round 10 inch skillet.  When the oil is hot, turn to medium and sautee the garlic making sure not to burn the garlic.  Then add the brocolli stems and sautee a few minutes.  Add the rest of the ingrediants. Put a lid on the pan and cook for around 7 minutes until the sides are cooked and then get a dish a little bigger than the pan and carefully flip the mixture onto the dish (don’t do this over the stove or you could have a disaster!).  Then cook the other side without the cover on for two minutes and you are done!

Egg Salad:

7 hard boiled eggs chopped up, 2 cups frozen peas (cooked and put through food processor), 1 cup cooked small pasta like Ditalin, 3/4 cups of cottage cheese or plain yogurt or Kefir and 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO).  Mix all together and store in frig. I heat it up for 15 seconds, you never want to give your dog something that is COLD or HOT!

Garlic, Yogurt, Pumpkin Oh MY!

Ok, I am not a vet but I am a dog owner that wants the best for my dog. My holistic vet suggested that I read Natrual Dog, A holistic guide for healtheir dogs, by Dr. Kahlasa. You can get it on Amazon for $12.71 at

I would strongly recommend this book! If you know of any other great books, please comment at the end of this so we can SHARE information!

Now, for some information that I would like to share with you!

I am sure you all know about the foods to keep away from your pooches including grapes and chocolate.  Well I got a funny story to share and I am sure you have your own stories that you laugh about after the fact.  So one day my daughter was eating green grapes and one of the grapes was soft so she threw it in a trash can but Bella ran right over and dodged into the can to get the grape.  We were horrified since she was only 10 pounds so we called the emergency vet who said we needed for her to vomit.  So we mixed together hydogen perixode and baking soda and somehow we needed the little booger to drink it.  Lena had a great idea to use the turkey baster, so she held her mouth open and I squirted the concoxtion down her throat and within a minute she was vomiting!  Yeah, we thought we solved the problem.  An hour later, I went out shopping and Lena calls me that she is vomiting again.  I hurried home and called the vet and she asked me if Bella vomited the grape.  I said “that is a good question, I have no idea”.  The vet said “well we need to know if she vomited the grape or not”... so the search started to go through the trash outside to find the paper towels and guess what?  The grape was not in the outside trash, she never vomited the grape!!!  After putting on our Sherlock Holmes cap I went to the initial trash can where Lena disposed of the grape and it was STILL IN THE TRASH!  

I have said that we have a rule since then that we won’t have grapes in the house but there is a certain time in the summer when the grapes are oh so crisp and crunchy that I must get them but let me reassure you, I am a witch when anyone is eating them!

Garlic, the wonder vegtable!  You can google what foods not to feed dogs and garlic will come up on the list.  Well according to my holistic vet, a dog can have one raw clove a day.  It is good for the coat and the blood.  Garlic has anicillin it in, a natural antibiotic that is healthy for everyone.  We all should eat a clove a garlic a day.  I actually know some garlic freaks that shove a clove of garlic up their vagina to cure a yeast infection!  Just thought I would throw that out there to you!

Yogurt... oh to be living in the Mediterran and enjoying all the benifits of a Mediterran diet!  Yogurt is so benifical for everyone.  Just make sure it has the live cultures of alfodophilus and make sure you give your pooches only plain yogurt.  All other yogurts have way too much sugar and sugar is very unneccesary for pooches or they can develop diabetes and so can you!

Pumpkin:  wouldn’t it be great if there was a magic food that us humans could take to stop diahera and constipation?  Well Pumpkin is the magic food for dogs.  EVERY dog owner should get at least a can of PURE PUMPKIN in their pantry.  Make sure you are not buying the canned pumpkin with  the spices in it for pumpkin pie; it must say 100% Pure Pumkin.  Anyway, I would suggest opening the can and filling an ice tray full of the pumpkin, freeze it and when solid, dump into a freezer bag and save in freezer until you unfortunatly need to use it.  
Now of course it is obvious when to use it but the reason I had to start using it was because little Ms. Bella has an obsession with paper towels and napkins and until someone can train my husband not to keep paper towels lying around, we will be using pumpkin!  If Bella eats some paper, I give her some pumpkin (maybe a Tablespoon) and it does magic to the paper towel and prevents me from pulling a paper towel out of her butt!

How and why I got started cooking for my dogs

Way back when I was five years old, I can vividly visualize in my now somewhat forgetful brain the dinner times when Mama Marie Mancini would be making a homemade dinner for Daddy (Amedeo) and me and I would go to get a bowl and pour some cereal for my stuffed basset hound and feel so happy to be feeding him. When I was a little girl, like many little girls, I wanted a dog.  We could not get one because Daddy was allergic.  I waited 47 years to get my first dog, Snow, a Bichon Frise and then three years later, just like a potato chip, I could not just have one and I got another Bichon, called Bella.

Not ever having a dog, the first vet I saw told me never ever to give more than half a finger nail size of people food to Snow.  That concept was difficult for me since I am Italian and food is such an important part of our daily lives. I could not understand why the previous owner of Snow gave him Beniful. It was so colorful and appealing to the human eye. But it was also so full of color dye's! I did not feed my kids stuff with color dyes and was not going to feed my dog anything with color dye.  

 So off to the petstore I went trying to find the best wholesome kibble on the market.  Now I had nothing against kibble but I sure think Snow did!  There were times when Snow simply would  not eat.  I called the company and told them that my dog would not eat; they said to add some water to the kibble to bring out the flavor.  That worked for maybe a week and then he went back to his stubborn self.  I tried adding special toppings of some carrots (forget about that first vet’s advise)! But it got to the point that I was fighting with the dog yelling at him to eat his food when meal time should of been a joyful experience.

Then we got Miss Bella.  Actually when we “rescued” her from her owners at 4 months old she was called Brokyln, never understood why they named her after a bridge but we switched her name from the start.  So here I was with a new puppy and I give her a edible bone when we get home and she devoured half of it; I thought she would just nimble on it so I quickly took it away and the first night she slept with Lena and during the night she vomited and that is when I got the light bulb in my head that food is an important part of a dogs life.

I was horrified that she vomited, was it from the bone?  Was she sick and that is why the owners got rid of her?  Well, her vomiting would come and go the next 9 months, maybe happening twice a month.  But then Bella went in for her rabies shot and Distemper and the “vet” arbitrarily gave her a combination shot with Liptosporisis without consulting with me and that night she vomited unbeliebalby and within four hours her face, eyes and lips were swollen!  

It was a Friday night and we needed to take her to an emergency vet and both my husband, Adrian and I took her.  Funny, when our kids were ill, we never both took them to the emergency but for this little angel, we both went.  We found out Bella had a very bad reaction to the Lepto shot.  I was so upset that the vet did not consult with me first that I looked for another vet.  I put a shout out on Facebook to my 1079 dog friends, and found a wonderful holistic vet who recommended a book to keep your dog healthy and there was a chapter on cooking your own dog food and from that moment on, we have not had an ounce of vomit or kibble in our house.

I got to tell you, I fell so happy cooking for my dogs.  I was the type of Mom who nursed all three of my kids and they never had a bottle.  I also love to cook.  I started looking on line for dog food recipes and was shocked what junk was out there.  Some sites simply recommended mixing ground beef with ground up kibble!  So here I am, sharing all my recipes with you and truely hope you give it a try!

Please don’t be intimidated about cooking for your dogs.  Depending on the size of your dogs (mine are 11 and 17 pounds) I can cook a recipe one evening and I divide the portions up and put them in the freezer and it will last an entire week.