Homemade Cat Treats

A good friend of mine had a garage/bake sale this last weekend to help raise money for some serious vet bills.  To help out a bit, I made up some cat treats that she could either sell or give to her kitties–I figured it was win-win.  I found a ridiculously easy recipe on Floppy Cats and gave it a whirl.

Catnip Cookies for Cats (Credit: Floppy Cats, very minor changes)

  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons of wheat germ
  • 3 tablespoons of catnip
  • 1/3 cup of milk
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of molasses
  • 1 egg (I actually was out of egg so I used a little arrowroot with water as a binder–I figured it was safe for cats when I found out they make dry shampoo for cats out of it)

The Hows:

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Mix everything together to form a dough.  Flour surface and rolling pin, and roll dough to 1/2 thickness.  Using a pizza wheel (you can use a knife, but the pizza cutter keeps it from being a major pain in the ass), cut the dough into kitty bite sized pieces.  The original recipe calls for 1″ pieces, so that’s what I did (thinking perhaps they would shrink a bit), but I ended up cutting the cooked cookies into quarters.

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Bake on greased cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and crispy.  I suspect that if they are cut into smaller pieces they’d bake faster, so I’d keep an eye on them.  If I try this again, I will edit this post.

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The verdict?  Unfortunately, this is the only one Dragon would eat.  He seemed to really love it, but when I tried to give him some later, he turned up his nose.  However, Dragon doesn’t like cat nip.  He’ll sniff at it a little.  Lick it a little.  Then totally lose all interest.

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Making these treats was really quite easy.  One of these days I’ll make some of the other treats on the Floppy Cats page, I just really didn’t want to make a trip to the store, and I had (almost) everything on hand for the cookies.

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Parties should be fun…

Right?

I had to attend two surprise parties this week.  I’m not really a party person, but I don’t hate them.  At least not when I know a few of the people there enough to hold a conversation with them.  But they can be kind of stressful when they’re placed on top of a full week of stuff and you have to cook something for them.  Now that everything is behind me, I can recognize that nothing was bad as I made it out to be.  I will admit that a small part of my stress might have come from the giant Pepsi I consumed.

I digress.  People don’t come here to read me complain about how stressed I am.  People come to see pictures of the yummy things they won’t get to eat.  How do marble cupcakes with mousse frosting sound?

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Seriously kids, I love baking from scratch, but box mixes are your friend.  They’re cheap, they’re easy, and most importantly, they make delicious cakes.  They also make fabulous cookies.  Yup.

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Maybe someday I will learn the art of cake decoration, but who cares, really?  They taste FAB.  The only way this frosting could be easier is if it were the jello I made for the second party.  Because I’m so generous–and because it’s not my original recipe–I will share this tasty little secret with my favorite readers.  If you’ve heard of this before, pretend to be surprised, because this was truly earth shattering for me…

1 pint whipping cream

1 box instant pudding

a little milk to thin

Whip these three up until they form a fluffy whipped cream.  The pudding thickens this quickly, so add the milk as you feel is necessary so it isn’t too dense.  Don’t whip for too long, or you’ll end up with butter.  Honestly, I someday want to whip it so far I get butter, because I think it would be great on bagels, but it would not be great for putting on cakes.

I didn’t think to take pictures of the jello I made because I was constantly on the move on Sunday, but I figure I should share that recipe as well.

1 cup applesauce

1 box green jello

1 cup lemon-lime soda

Heat the applesauce until just before it boils.  Or, if you’re like me, after it’s already boiled.  Stir in jello and soda and allow to chill.  That’s it.  The texture is so unreal.  There’s a very, very slight tingle from the soda.  The applesauce makes it a denser set, but it’s still the jiggly fun you’d expect from jello.  There’s just more mouth-appeal.  It looks a little weird–like, well, cloudy jello–but it tastes great.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to eat the remaining whipped cream.  Don’t judge.

My contribution

What is brunch without cinnamon rolls?

Boooo-ring

Boooo-ring

Sure, cinnamon rolls are great, if you’re into that kind of thing.  Personally, I can take cinnamon rolls or leave them.  This comes in handy at the mall–Cinnabon has absolutely no sway over me whatsoever.

What if your thing is more… shall we say… bacon?  What is one to do?

Now we're talking

Now we're talking

The idea came from Bacon Today.  That’s right, kids.  And entire website devoted to bacon.  Though, given many of the internet circles I travel in, I was sort of under the impression that the entire internet was devoted to bacon.  Contrary to that picture of mine, there were two strips of par-cooked bacon in each roll.  I nuked them first, and perhaps could have nuked them a little longer.

Bacons make us Hooooooooooge

Bacons make us Hooooooooooge

As it turns out, I never have any of the bakeware that my recipes call for.  I enjoy employing aluminum foil in the space-filling process.  I could have made these in a silicone pan I have, but I didn’t feel like doing two batches.  Two batches is lame.

Ta DA!

Ta DA!

The rolls do not seem disturbed by the foil or the bacon.  My verdict?  I’ve had both the plain and the bacon from this batch, and I guess I could go either way.  The bacon actually leaves sort of a weird after-taste (and, I’m sorry to say, an even weirder after-burp).  It’s tasty while it lasts, and my brother-in-law ate one.  My brother-in-law won’t eat anything new or different.  I consider that a victory in itself.

My jeans want me to stop baking

But I kind of love my kitchen.  It’s not terribly exciting, and it’s kind of small, but it’s my kitchen.  And I have dishes that I dig.  I received a ton of old Pyrex bakeware for my birthday, even when I said, “No presents!!”  For Christmas, I bought myself a mixing set from my work that I thought would be “okay” but I really love it.  It came with a giant measuring-cup-slash-mixing-bowl that I’ve used so many times that I feel it already paid for itself.

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It’s not the greatest cookie making bowl, and paired with not having an electric mixer, this was a fun experience.  But I figured people have been making cookies for billions of years without electric mixers, so can I.  But if anyone would like to get me a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, I wouldn’t complain.

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I wanted to try new cookies, specifically cookies with wheat flour, so I followed this recipe to so-so results.  They are a little dry, and that made them extra hard to mix.  I think I would just go for a full cup of butter and be done with it.  Otherwise, I think the biggest problem I had was taking them out of the oven soon enough.  I’m a soft cookie gal, and some of these turned out way too hard.  Others were perfect.  Go figure.  I finally got to use the cookie scoop I bought myself last Christmas.  This is not to say I haven’t made cookies since then… I just have never been able to find the scoop when I wanted to use it.

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The result was little mound shaped cookies that were a little nutty like people say wheat flour usually is.  But they’re incredibly addicting.  And since some of them are crazy crunchy, it’s also a little like playing Russian Roulette.  Only the end result is always delicious…

Side note: That Pyrex bowl so precariously close to the edge of the counter in the first picture actually took a tumble.  It survived, cementing Pyrex in my heart for all eternity.  The fork was my dough tasting fork.  It got a thorough workout that afternoon.

Itching, Itching…

For an excuse that is…

I have apparently been put in charge of Thanksgiving dessert.  This task usually fall on my parents, and I’m usually in charge of the fruit salad (which is more of a post-dinner/pre-dessert than an actual dessert).  Typically, we have pumpkin pie for the pumpkin pie eaters (myself not included) and french silk or some other creamy chocolate for, well, pretty much everyone since many people take both kinds.

This year, however, provided it’s okay by the other purely non-pumpkin pie eater (I discovered my dad doesn’t really like pumpkin pie… weird! So he’s a third), I plan to make the Red Velvet Cupcakes I’ve been pining over.  And if I make enough, I will have the potluck at work on Black Friday covered.  Woot!

Until then, however, I must sew.  And if I’m not sewing, I must be productive in some way.  I’m failing at productivity… Miserably.

And I need new work pants.  I feel like things are crumbling.  But at least I might have a new home tomorrow, and that’s pretty exciting, even if The Hippy is now paralyzed with fear.  Not moving until after Christmas, though.  That’s just too damn much to deal with.

Savor the moment

My computer is more or less back in working order, though it does have a tendency to flake out. I consider it a sign that I spend way too much time using it. To kick off getting back into the swing of blogging, I bring you an artist spotlight.

I like to pretend that I’m pretty green and socially conscious. I have the very best intention to support the little guy and to use chemical free products. Let’s face it, though, I’m not made of money. I have a crappy retail job and I sell handmade goods–I’m not fortune 500 or a Bobo.

I do, however, have an amazing love of handmade soap. Up until a month or two ago, I had an appreciation for handmade soap (I’d made melt and pour soap before, and I had bought a few bars of soap from Etsy sellers that were all right–they made me feel good enough about my purchase, that is, but they didn’t wow me). Then I met Savor.

This is probably the tamest of all Savor soaps, but it was my first purchase, so it holds a special place in my heart. I’d been stalking her shop for awhile, waiting for the right one to pop up, but then I became in dire need of new soap, and had to make a fast choice. I’d been searching other shops as well, but I kept getting called back to Savor. I had to pounce, and pounce I did. There were very few bars left in her shop, and this one sounded the most appetizing. Honestly, I have never, ever been happier with a bar of soap. It almost makes showering enjoyable (as many may not know, I truly despise showering, and if I don’t have an absolute reason to do it, I won’t).

Now I find myself almost unable to wait until this bar of soap is gone. I currently have 8 bars of savor soap in my favorites on etsy, and all have sold. I refuse to delete them, though, because I just keep hoping she’ll list more of that kind.

For instance: Black Cherry Sundae

Smores

and Chocolate Cardamom

These soaps are true works of art. I often go to Savor’s shop just to drool. It’s always interesting to see what she has come up with!

PS: After checking out her shop again, almost all my favorites are back in stock.  Now let’s hope they’ll be there when I need new soap!