Adventures in Baking

One of my favourite Christmas gifts this year was from my best friend. Along with a gorgeous cookbook of chocolate recipes she sent along a little present with Shiva in mind, The Good Treats Cookbook for Dogs by Barbara Burg.

It has been a little while since I made dog treats. Shiva received quite a few for the holidays and we have yet to run out. The book is full of fun ideas. It even has a whole section dedicated to throwing dog parties. One of the reasons I love cookbooks so much is for the pictures. Burg certainly did a lovely job making all the dog food look tasty. A few of the recipes I would consider making for myself. After flipping through the book for a while, I found a cute one I had most of the ingredients for. Since I had some time on my hands and Shiva was behaving herself, I headed into the kitchen.

Pay no attention to the bottle of vodka. I have no idea how THAT got there.

Of course, the first thing I noticed was we didn’t have nearly enough flour. How did that happen? We always have a ginormous bag on hand. I decided to half the recipe rather than go all the way to the store. Shiva didn’t think this was a good idea, apparently.

I have a bad feeling about this


Too bad for her. Besides, I don’t know why she looked so worried. She eats dirt. My cookies certainly taste better than that even if I screwed up the recipe. Sheesh.

All went well until it came to adding the egg. I wasn’t exactly sure how to go about halving that. So I just shrugged and chucked the entire thing in. Would it really matter if they were extra egg-y?



In fact, when it came time to stir everything together, the mixture was almost too dry. A little extra water did the trick, however, and we were back on track.

No flour left. It is very sad looking, I think.


“These are going to be so yummy, Sheevs,” I said because I talk to my dog out loud way to much. (Not even just when we’re alone. I have done it in public. On the street. But I bet someone else out there does too so I refuse to be ashamed!)

Shiva didn’t really seem all that interested. Perhaps because the kitchen still smelled too clean. Not enough meat or something. The recipe called for mint and parsley. Since she’s never tried the former before I thought I would offer her a small leaf. The dog eats grass, so why not a mint leaf?

Evidently, I offended her canine senses. Mint leaves and mushrooms, the two things Shiva will not eat. (We are grateful for the mushrooms! Saves a lot of stress when camping.)

Ew. What is that thing?

I didn’t let this worry me and carried on with the recipe as directed.

“La, la, la, I am stirring the dough, loo loo loo, you can stir it too.”

Okay, I don’t remember if I actually sang or not. Maybe just in my head.

Finally, the cookies were rolled out and cut and ready to go in the oven! I did take photos of the rolling and cutting process but it was such a mess that I am not going to show them here. Remember, I was out of flour at this point. Wooden rolling pins and raw dough do not mix very well without that important ingredient. The only cookie cutter I have that is a decent size is a candy cane shape so just pretend that is what these are supposed to look like. Candy canes not whatever-it-is-they-look-like.

Candy. Canes. Yes, even that poopy-looking one near the bottom. That one on the right is a little doggy I shaped from the leftover bits of dough.

A doggy.

Oh, hush.

In the oven they went! Whereupon I promptly forgot all about them as I sat down to catch up on my blog reading. I guess when you half a recipe you are also supposed to half the baking time.


So, they are a little burnt. That’s why I love baking for Shiva more than anyone else. For all her dirty looks and sarcastic ear twitches, when it comes to the eating part, she doesn’t really discriminate. Burnt, raw, not enough flour, whatever! In her case, it is truly the thought that counts.

Regardless, they still look very nice in the cookie tin.

That is so totally a doggy.

I can’t wait to get some more flour so I can attempt screw up excel at making more yummy treats for my dog. Shiva tells me she can’t wait!

39 thoughts on “Adventures in Baking

  1. Shiva’s a lucky gal.

    Don’t worry, you’re *seriously* not the only one who talks to her dog. I talk to all four of my critters. I did that once when a man I was dating first came to my apartment to meet them. Hehe. Notice “was dating?”

    Anywho. Those cookies look downright delectable.


  2. LOL! Adventures in baking dog treats are quite entertaining! I talk to my dogs ALL the time…the SAD part is, if I’m with others who are talking to them, I often respond back for them–even worse, both dogs have different voices LOL.

    Friend: “Aww Shayney, do you like your new squeaky toy?”
    Me: “OMG yes, i love it love it love it. It’s so fantastically squeaky.. omg you are my friend!”


  3. I do the same thing, though I haven’t baked in a long time, but I can burn more things by just taking a second to look on-line. Ugh! I’m with you. It’s fun to cook for dogs because they appreciate just about any food that comes out of that process. I love that picture of Shiva with her mint leaf. Maybe if you sprinkled some dirt on top of it, she’d find it more appetizing. 🙂


    • Heh, I don’t know how useful her reviews would be. She rarely takes the time to appreciate the true essence of her snacks. But I will ask her.


  4. I just want to mention that I, too, talk to my dogs out loud. All the time. People on the street usually either thing it’s funny or that I’m crazy. Probably somewhere in between is most true.

    I’m impressed with these treats! You’ll have to let me know if there are any wheat-free recipes… both of my pups, like many pit bulls, are allergic to wheat. Or, they would correct me, I am allergic to the smells wafting from their buttholes after they eat wheat 🙂

    follow our foster:


    • I believe there are some wheat free ones. It’s a pretty fun book!

      But I hear ya, the more you can avoid that the better…


  5. Sounds like my adventures in baking…! I liked your little doggy you fashioned out of the extra dough. Cute!

    Maybe Shiva was right to be looking a little worried…ah, what am I saying, it looks like she probably liked them just fine! I love that the best cookie cutter you had on hand was the candy cane. I need to get a bone cookie cutter to make treats for Riley. Probably the best I have is a candy cane too!

    Elyse (and Riley)


    • You could always just buy some treats that look homemade, maybe put them on a nice plate. Oly will never have to know.


  6. Daren’t show Song this, or she’ll expect me to get my apron on:)

    My friend who has a German Shepherd makes her biscuits. She has a couple of dog recipe books and some cutters shaped like dog biscuits. She says the rcipes have nothing in them that we couldn’t eat. She gave Song some for Christmas and I was almost tempted to try the Peanut Butter ones:)


  7. Hah! Too funny. I respect that you are a creative baker and don’t let a little thing like not enough flour stop you. To half an egg you mix it up and pour in about half…but thats OK because you didn’t waste any! The wonderful thing about most dogs is that they give you unconditional love and always love your cooking.
    And I talk to my dog all the time. Doesn’t everybody?


  8. Wonderful, honest post – from both your perspectives :). I don’t keep perishables in the house but am blessed to be friends with the owner of a natural pet product store. She gives us “outdated” treats and busted bags of food. Stacy also has home-made dog cookies, human grade (yep, people ate them at the Halloween party). Justus LOVES visiting the store as he gets to destroy a toy each time. Yeah for you and Shiva. Oh, and I talk to my dogs all the time. What is better – talking to your dog or talking apparently to the air with a Bluetooth device in your ear??


    • Do I really need to answer that? Those bluetooth things drive me nuts. Unless you are the president, do you really need a phone attached to your ear? Oh well.

      It’s good to have friends in high places like that!


  9. Ha ha ha! I needed a good giggle today! At least Shiva is the only one who eats your dog cookies and she’s not like the Bush’s Baked Beans dog, so your secret about how good or bad they are is safe! Hubby once made some dog biscuits with his young brothers and sisters, neice and nephew to keep them busy while he was babysitting. Then they let my brother in law eat them! 😛


  10. I’ve never considered cooking for the dogs before…they do eat rocks and dirt and sticks and things. Takes a lot of the pressure off.

    PS I talk out loud to mine too. The worst is when I explain to them why they are in trouble. I begin to suspect myself of being crazy when I do that.


  11. Okay, firstly, I at first thought the title of your postie was “Adventures in Barking,” which I think would make a SUPER terrific title for a book. Maybe I’ll write it someday.

    Secondly, my mom and I talk to each other in public ALL the time. Do you mean that there are peoples who don’t? That makes me sad for their doggies.

    Thirdly, I don’t care if they’re burnt or too eggy or anything either. They look DEE-lish! Plus, I’m Most Impressed that you actually BAKED for Shiva. My mom says that’s why God invented dog biscuit stores. Sigh.

    Wiggles & Wags,


  12. I like the little doggy you made. You’re right – the best thing about cooking for pups is that they don’t judge harshly as long as it’s still edible!

    Mayzie… Adventures in Barking is brilliant! Sounds like a good blog name too. 🙂


  13. oh what a good laugh!!! and let me tell you, i recognised the bits-into-dog BEFORE reading what it was. you’re an artist, kristine!

    no flour, half an egg, one egg, half the cooking time, raw or cooked…who cares, the dog’ll have it!~ thank goodness someone appreciates the effort eh? 🙂 xox


  14. Your posts always make me laugh; I especially like the eating dirt comment. Considering I can barely even cook for E, I do think Shiva is quite lucky to be getting these homemade treats. How do you think they stack up on a cost and nutritional basis vs. store treats? Maybe that would be a reason I should start cooking…


    • I don’t cook for my husband either. Cooking is a whole different kettle of fish. (Is that how the saying goes? Am I mixing metaphors?) But I have baked for Shiva before – it is far less stressful!

      And I do believe home-made is cheaper. It depends on the cookie and what you’re putting in there. But these ones were so simple, made from stuff I already had around the house – flour, wheat germ, eggs, water, and some herbs. Probably pennies a cookie. This way you know exactly what you are giving your dog, as well. For the high quality baked cookies at natural dog food stores, you are probably paying quite a lot per small bag. But then, buying them is a lot more convenient!


  15. That looks like my dog baking skills!! You wouldn’t believe the mess I made making a batch of some kind and they wouldn’t even eat them!! Darn picky dogs!

    Glad Shiva’s not that finicky!


    • They wouldn’t eat them? For real? You should have sent them to us! Your dogs must be true cookie connoisseurs. I bet they don’t eat garbage off the side of the road unlike someone I know.


  16. It’s so funny. You are a very good story teller, Kristine.
    I also talk to my dogs too. I talk to them whenever, wherever I feel like, be in at home or in the public. When I walk them outside, I like to talk to especially when I walk Eva. I just feel like I have a lot to teach her when we are having our walk. I have to remind her being calm down when there is a car approaching us or I have to tell her to behave herself if there are cats around us. Many a time, people give me a look as if I am a nut, LOL!
    The cookies do look very good though!


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  18. Hey, the more you do, the more you learn. 😉 And you’re lucky that you have a pup who’ll eat anything. Italian Greyhounds are very dry-mouthed, so Dante typically won’t go for dry baked treats. It’s all meaty and dried chicken for him. 🙂 (And I think anyone who doesn’t talk to their pets is weird. How could you not??)


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