‘Crazy Good’ Dog Treat Recipes

‘Crazy Good’ Dog Treat Recipes

With the continual scares regarding pet treats we are making our own.  You can, too!!!  Here are a couple of easy recipes to get you started…

cheese, please! (This is Gabe’s favorite!)*

  • 1½ C          oat flour
  • 1½ C          brown rice flour
  • 1 C               shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
  • ½ C            grated parmesan cheese
  • 1                   egg
  • ½ C            water

Preheat oven to 350°.  Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly until a dough forms.  Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to ¼” thickness.  Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes – I found a dog bone cutter that is adorable.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet (they can be close together as they don’t spread much while cooking.)

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. (We put ours in the freezer to make them extra crunchy for our big dogs!)


  • 1½ C          oat flour
  • 1½ C          brown rice flour
  • ½ t             cinnamon
  • ½ t             ground nutmeg
  • ½ t             ground ginger
  • 1                  egg
  • 3 T              applesauce (unsweetened)
  • ¾ C           canned pumpkin or fresh, pureed pumpkin
  • ½ C           water

Preheat oven to 350°.  Combine all ingredients together and mix thoroughly.  Spoon mixture out with a tablespoon and drop onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  These cookies will not rise or flatten so if you want a flatter cookies press it down before baking.

Bake 18 – 22 minutes or until golden brown.  Let cool completely on a wire rack.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Venison Jerky  (This is their all-time favorite!!!)

If you have access to venison and a dehydrator this one is super easy.   Cut strips of venison and dehydrate until desired consistency.  We usually do ours for 8 – 10 hours dependent upon the thickness of the strips.  We store these in an airtight container in the freezer.

These treats are all it takes to keep our four-legged children following commands and begging for more. 😉  If they are doing something they aren’t supposed to be doing while they are outside, I will go to the door and whistle once (and being a ‘girl’ I don’t whistle very loudly)…it stops them in their tracks and they come flying into the house for a jerky treat!!!  Yes, they get pretty serious about their treats~9 2011

If you have a favorite homemade treat that your pups love please share in the comments section or send me an email and I will post!  DO NOT BUY STORE BOUGHT TREATS IF YOU LOVE YOUR PETS!  You cannot be certain what is in them unless you make them yourself!!!

*The first two recipes are from the book, organic dog biscuit cookbook, Bubba Rose Biscuit Company.  Made with all-organic ingredients and no wheat, corn or soy!

Terms & Origins…Very Interesting~

Terms & Origins…Very Interesting~

Where did the term “piss poor” come from?  How about “dirt poor”?  Tomatoes were thought to be poisonous for 400 years???  Read on for some ‘crazy good’ fun facts about terminology~

“They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot.  And then once it was full it was taken and sold to the tannery…if you had to do this to survive you were “piss poor”.

But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot…they “didn’t have a pot to piss in” and were the lowest of the low.

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn’t just how you like it, think about how things used to be.

Here are some facts about the 1500’s:

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June.. However, since they were starting to smell, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor…hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water.  The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children.  Last of all the babies.  By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.   Hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!”

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath.  It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof.  When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof.  Hence the saying, “It’s raining cats and dogs.”  There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house.

This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed.  Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection.  That’s how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt.  Hence the saying, “dirt poor.”

The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery In the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing..  As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, It would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way.  Hence: a thresh hold.

(Getting quite an education, aren’t you?)

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire.  Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers In the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day.  Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme: “Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.”

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special.When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off.  It was a sign of wealth that a man could, “bring home the bacon.”  They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat”.

Those with money had plates made of pewter.  Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death.  This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.IMG_2767

Bread was divided according to status..  Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle,  and guests got the top, or the “upper crust”.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky.  The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days.  Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial.  They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up.  Hence the custom; “holding a wake.”

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people.  So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave.  When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell.  Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, “saved by the bell” or was considered a “dead ringer”.

Hope you found these as interesting as we did…add your own history facts in the comments section below if you’d like…we LOVE to learn!!!

P.S.  I would love to give credit to the original author of this piece; however, I received this information in an email from my Mother (thanks, Mom) but there was no indication of its origin.  So…to whomever you are…I am trying to credit you for your efforts…I just don’t know who you are…



February Garden Plans in the Piedmont

February Garden Plans in the Piedmont

 Always wanted to try your hand growing a ‘crazy good’ vegetable garden?Edible Landscape 8 1 2011It is easier than you think and February is the time to start your plans and preparations here in the Piedmont.  Let me help you get started~

  • Prepare your beds for late February and early March planting, as well as spring planting.  Don’t freak…there is no need to do extra work like tilling, weeding or removing layers of grass.  If this is your first year trying “Tess’ Till-less Method” here are the instructions.
  • Plan where you will put your beds and what you will grow in them.  This post might help with that.
  • Take inventory of last years seeds and make a list of what you will need for spring/summer.
  • Prune fruit trees and bushes when temperatures are above freezing.
  • Start seeds indoors.  Aerogarden with Cilantro and Dill 4 2011I use an Aerogarden as my starter; however, you can certainly use a starting tray and seed starting potting mix.  A lid will help keep humidity in and the seeds moist when they sprout.  Spinach, cabbage, kale, lettuce,  broccoli and cauliflower all grow well when started as transplants inside.  When you see the first crocus open, consider it time to set out transplants of lettuce, cabbages, and onions; cover them on cold nights.
  • I also start my basil, parsley and other herbs indoors at this time as well.  My sweet marjoram, oregano and thyme are all planted in the ground on my front lawn and come back every year.  The rosemary flourishes all year long, as does bay leaf (thus far anyhow – see the rosemary in the lefthand corner of the picture below – swiss chard doesn’t look so hot 😉 but, believe it or not, that is from LAST WINTER so it certainly performed well – bless it’s heart).IMG_3194
  • This is the time to start your annual flower seeds like petunias, marigolds and zinnias inside.
  • Later on in the month, start warm-season veggies such as tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers, squash and peppers indoors.
  • In late February or when daffodils ‘pop’, plant peas directly in the garden.  So yummy and super simple to grow!  You may want to cover with clear plastic until you see sprouts popping through the ground.  Use a trellis so they will have a structure to grow up immediately.  This allows for a bigger yield.
  • You can also plant radishes and cold hardy lettuces directly in the garden at this time.
  • Clean up!  This means cutting back ornamental grasses like lirope, raking up debris and composting when possible.
  • Check out and sharpen/repair your garden tools so you will be ready to ‘go’ on those warm, sunny days in the coming months.
  • Clean our your tool shed and make a list of what you will need for the coming growing season.  Do you need twine?  plant labels?  watering wand?  gardening gloves?  hat?

One more helpful tip…work your garden according to the signs.  This means that I use an almanac to plant, to prune and to harvest.  Watch for a post this weekend on when the ‘signs’ tell you to do these things during the month of February!  May sound weird but my grandfather gardened this way and, believe me, it makes a difference!!!

And there you have it!  Your February ‘To-Do’ list!!!  Now all you need is the desire to feed your family foods that you KNOW is as organic as it can be and a desire to get your hands in the dirt!  It does not take much space at all and  you can make it visually attractive by adding annuals, bird-feeders  bird-baths, pavers.


Worked in among my ‘regular’ landscape are tomato plants, rosemary, basil and asparagus.  It is beautiful…so much so that my neighbors are on board and are planning their Tess’ Till-less Edibles on their front lawn this year as well!  It really is contagious – especially after you share some of your fresh, organic bounty with them!!!

Happy Planning and PLANTING everyone!!!