Friendship is one of the awesome side effects of blogging.
You make new friends. And, at least in my case, you also reconnect with old ones.
This card arrived in the mail not long ago. The precious puppy looks a lot like I suspect Charlie Machete did as a baby.
Inside the card was a loving note from my Nebraska friend Shawn. We showed our dogs in 4-H together as kids and performed in community plays together as adolescents. But we fell out of touch over the years, pretty much until she started following this blog.
Shawn still has dogs – a mastiff named Boo and a one-eyed springer spaniel named Dulcie, a certified therapy dog whose story I recently highlighted in a post. Shawn also was one of the people who so kindly sponsored Charlie Machete and me in the Strutt with Your Mutt 5K.
The cute card came from the whole pack.
As the note indicates, they also sent something else – something Charlie Machete couldn’t wait to get into.
Just as Shawn predicted, the Peanut Butter Flavor Natural Dog Treats from Trader Joe’s were a big hit with our pack.
The peanut buttery aroma was too much for them to handle, really. It made them all excited, wiggly and hard to photograph.
These cookies come in various fun shapes like squirrels and cars the size of Scooby’s head. I had to break them up into bite-sized pieces for the elderpin.
We have a tendency to be too generous with the treats at our house, so this box didn’t last as long as it should have.
But it’s so hard to ignore those pleading puppy dog eyes.
Big thanks to Shawn for treating our pack to some baked peanut buttery goodness!
Although I don’t shop at Trader Joe’s very often, I would definitely consider picking these up again.
Other than including wheat, which we think Luke is slightly allergic to, there wasn’t anything scary on the ingredients list, and the dogs, obviously, found the cookies to be delightful.
Readers: Have you ever gotten Trader Joe’s dog treats for your pups?
This is a recipe for master estimators.
It is the only kind of recipe I can follow. And it’s for dogs, who will never tell me, anyway, if there’s a smidge too much cinnamon.
Sweet Potato Peanut Butter Blueberry Frozen Goodness
1. What’s left of last year’s sweet potato harvest. Or, as many sweet potatoes as you feel like cleaning, chopping up, boiling and pureeing in the blender – minus the amount of mash you decide at the last minute to save for yourself. Because mashed sweet potatoes are so awesome to eat they require no condiments (although a dash of salt and butter can’t hurt).
2. Peanut butter. As much as you feel like spooning into the pureed sweet potatoes, but probably not an equal amount or the batter will get so voluminous that you’ll be at this all day.
3. Oats – regular or the instant kind. Really, the dogs won’t know the difference.
4. Cinnamon. Put the container on the sprinkle – not the dump – setting, and use your judgment.
4. Dried blueberries. For topping.
As the photos above indicate, you will mix all ingredients together. Be patient – the potatoes are light and fluffy, and the peanut butter is thick and heavy. Feel free to keep adding oats, since they seem to help stiffen up the taters.
Once you are satisfied that the mixture is sufficiently even, you will 1) wonder why you mixed things by hand instead of putting it all in your ridiculous $400 Blendtec blender and 2) proceed to the next step.
“The next step” is easy but messy: Use your fingers and a spoon to deposit little lumps of batter onto wax paper. How big you make these lumps is entirely up to you. How big are your dogs? I made two sizes – tablespoon-size for big dogs and teaspoon-size for my elderpin.
When you get sick of spooning out lumps, or when you realize you’re running out of containers to store them in, you might grab the nearest Kong toy and stuff it with this delicious-to-a-dog mixture. Just don’t drop it, or there could be a fight.
Once the Kong is stuffed, go back to the gooey lumps. Tuck a dried blueberry into the center of each, because it makes them look cuter. And, blueberries are good for dogs.
Finally: Freeze everything. Including the few sweet potato chunks you skimmed for healthy “training” treats.
Like everything else I make (including yesterday’s basil mint tea), this recipe is adapted from a more specific version. When you don’t have sweet potato mash and blueberries on hand, make the simpler No Bake Peanut Butter Oat Treats by For the Love of My Dogs.