Y is for Yoga Cookies

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

Y is for Yoga Cookies [Chloe's Kitchen] (0017)

Rolling the dough for these cookies, I was reminded of the scene in Firefly when, upon trying repeatedly and unsuccessfully to sneak a bite of her Ice Planet, River Tam infamously complains: “My food is problematic.”

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So named because Chloe frequently enjoys them as a post-workout snack, the Yoga Cookies from Chloe’s Kitchen are as tasty as they are a pain in the ass to make. The components can be separated into two parts: the dough proper, and all the extra add-ins (rolled oats, walnuts, chocolate chips, shredded coconut, and raisins – replaced here with dried cranberries because yum), which the dough is supposed to bind together.

Problem is, there wasn’t nearly enough dough to properly perform this most important task. Assembling all these delicious bits into cohesive cookies was difficult at best, and progressively more so the further I got into the process. The last two cookies were so unstable that I dared not try to flatten them, lest they crumble back into their individual parts. And at the end of the day, I was left with enough bits to form one more cookie, but not nearly enough dough to hold it all together.

Y is for Yoga Cookies [Chloe's Kitchen] (0001)

Instead, I sprinkled the leftovers – which resembled uncooked granola – onto a bowl of strawberries. Spoiler alert: it was ridiculously good. So much so that I’m thinking about turning this into a granola recipe!

The cookies stabilized a bit once they were cooked, but not enough that I could easily handle them without pieces of walnuts and flakes of coconut breaking free left and right. Still, they’re damn good cookies, and I think I’d like to give this recipe another go. Next time I plan on either increasing the dough by 50% or cutting down on the rolled oats by a like amount – I think that ought to do the trick.

Y is for Yoga Cookies [Chloe's Kitchen] (0020)

Since these are a yoga-themed snack, I really wanted to photograph them with my “downward dog” (really play bow) rat terrier figurine, but he was a little too big for this project. Instead I used one of my many (many many many) dachshund trinkets, who conveniently comes equipped with baskets to carry all your vegan goodies. He’s not performing any yoga pose that I know of – in fact, that arched back looks so unnatural that I suspect a real dachshund back might snap if stretched that way! – but he’ll have to do.

Y is for Yoga Cookies [Chloe's Kitchen] (0025)

Incidentally, my ratio of dachshund to rat terrier figurines is so skewed that it’s actually a little comical, considering I’ve only been owned by one dachshund in my life – compared to six rat terriers.* Rat terrier nicknacks just aren’t that common, whereas dachshunds might be the single most popular breed for collectibles. Wiener dogs are hilarious, yo! Everyone loves a sausage doggeh.

* Now that Ralphie’s gone we really look like breed snobs, but really it’s just because terriers are so common (and thus commonly abandoned) in the Midwest. You can’t throw a homemade biscuit in the pound without being trampled by a pack of ’em, I tell you what. Mags and Finnick are the only two who we adopted specifically because of their looks – and that was because of Mags’s resemblance to dear Kaylee, not her “charming” rat terrier personality per se.

Y is for Yoga Cookies [Chloe's Kitchen] (0022)

 
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Eat to the Beat: Peanut Butter Dog Treats & Queen

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

 

The song: “You’re My Best Friend” by Queen (lyrics)

The foodstuff: Peanut Butter Dog Treats from The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur

The connection: Ralphie turns the big ONE-FIVE today!

 

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Veteran mofoers! Maybe you remember Ralphie the wiener dog? Since his birthday almost always falls during Vegan MoFo, he’s made at least one appearance every year since I started participating five years ago. And the one year Vegan MoFo was observed in November? He had his eye removed that month! Naturally, mom plied him with delicious foods to ease the pain.

(For those not in the know: Ralphie had what turned out to be a benign melanoma in his right eye; as it grew it obscured his vision and would eventually start to cause him pain, so we made the decision to have his eye removed. While he did pretty awesome in the year following the surgery, he’s unfortunately experienced age-related degeneration in the remaining eye and is not-so-slowly going blind. He gets around okay considering, but a bout of vertigo earlier in the year kind of sapped him of his confidence. He’s a happy guy, in great health otherwise, but also much more dependent on his humans than he used to be. But still, he’s 15 and loves to dig for critters and go on hour-long walks! Focusing on the positive over here!)

 

Peanut Butter Dog Treats from The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur (0020)

 

In honor of my little guy, this edition of Eat to the Beat is dedicated to Sir Ralphie. With a serenade by Queen, ’cause he and the other dogs are totes my BFFs, and a batch of Peanut Butter Dog Treats from The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur because birthdays are for spoiling! (I actually considered making him a full-on cake, but thought it might be too messy and difficult to divvy out. I mean yeesh, some of the smaller dogs can’t even down a biscuit without trailing crumbs on the freshly vacuumed floor!)

Though The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur is 99.999% people treats, Kelly Peloza was thoughtful enough to provide a recipe for our canine friends too! These Peanut Butter Dog Treats are super-easy to make and consist of just a few wholesome ingredients (namely, whole wheat flour, oats, peanut butter, and water).

 

Peanut Butter Dog Treats from The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur (0001)

 

The dough isn’t really meant to be rolled out for cookie cutters – it’s kind of thick and not very stretchy – but I just bought a few new sets that I was dying to use, so I gave it a try anyway and guess what? SUCCESS! For three go-rounds, then I threw in my rolling pin and shaped the rest into little discs by hand. Which is really better for tiny dog mouths, but not nearly as pretty for pictures.

 

Peanut Butter Dog Treats from The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur (0008)

 

I mean, look! I was able to spell out Ralphie’s name and his age, throw in a few hugs and kisses (xoxo), and even make some hearts, stars, and bones. Adorable right?

 

Ralphie, enjoying some early birthday treats (0010)

 

I tried taking some pictures of Ralph with his giant platter o’ biscuits, but he wasn’t in an especially cooperative mood. Not surprising, since there was food on the table. I snapped a few quick shots before he grabbed the one and only “H,” effectively ending the photo shoot.

 

Ralphie, enjoying some early birthday treats (0027)

 

I mean, “Ralpie?” Who the eff is that?

In keeping with our new birthday tradition, here are Fifteen Little Ralphie Things, one for each year of his life on this marble we call Earth. There are so many more things I love about him – try kajillions – but these are just the first fifteen to come to mind.

I love you, little guy. Now and forever.

You, you’re my best friend.

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Apple Cinnamon Muffins for the Birthday Boy

Monday, October 10th, 2011

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Ralphie! Everyone’s favorite one-eyed wiener dog turns fourteen years old today! FOURTEEN! He’s not old, he’s distinguished. Doubly so with all these surgical scars and skin tags and patches of missing fur. His motto? “Bitches dig scars.”

Hey, Rennie can’t get enough.

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(Note peeping Peedee off in the background. Pervert! Nevermind that I’m photographing their intimate moment.)

Rolling with the weather, we celebrated his birthday a wee bit early this year. On Friday, I baked him a batch of Apple Cinnamon Muffins

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and made him dress up in a silly hat –

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but not before he got the first taste of his pre-birthday treat.

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(The other six canines were pitching a fit, locked in the house away from mom and her nomz. I think Ralphie enjoyed that as well – almost as much as the muffins!)

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Decadent Delight Muffins for a One-eyed Wiener Dog (Also: A Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole for His Humans)

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

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A freshly baked (quarter-) batch of Molly’s Decadent Delight Muffins sits on a small plate, behind which lurks two identical, plush reddish-brown wiener dogs. Only, the dog on the right is missing one eye (his right one, even!), along with the tip of his nose. One of the first three adopted dog-kids – Ralphie, Peedee or O-Ren – chewed them off years ago. Do we have a psychic in the pack, perchance?
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Friday night, I made a batch of Decadent Delight Muffins (recipe via Molly @ It’s a Vegan Dog’s Life – the meeter of at least 75% of my dog treat recipe needs!) for the dog-kids. I wanted to pamper them a little bit, since we had an especially rough week. But first treats, then kvetching!

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Perched on the back of the couch, Rennie stares into the kitchen, entranced by the unbaked muffins sitting on the countertop.
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Packed with flax seeds, shredded carrots, natural peanut butter and freshly made (somewhat fortuitously, as I just so happened to be brewing the final batch of the season) applesauce, these muffins are both healthy and delicious. (And vegan!) I much prefer baking my own dog treats over buying commercial brands because I know exactly what goes into each batch. Plus, they’re really very easy to make and store well in the freezer, if need be. (With five dogs, treats are eaten up pretty quickly round these parts!) Of course, the dogs also enjoy licking the spoons and bowls. And what better way to a dog’s heart than through her stomach? Five paws up!

Okay, so enough of the muffins. Let’s move on to the one-eyed wiener dog, shall we?

To Ralphie

Ralphie mosaic!
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Ralphie.

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chili sin carne, para los perros

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

This is a much, much milder version of Shane’s (award-winning!) Sweet and Spicy Chili. For the dogs, that is. (Yes, I feed my dog-kids a vegan diet. No, I’m not sacrificing their health and well-being at the alter of my own selfish ethics. For new visitors: you can find additional details and a disclaimer of sorts here.)

This recipe makes about 20 cups of food, or enough to feed 5 hungry little doggies for a week or so. If you’re not a borderline animal hoarder like moi (joking!), probably you’ll want to cut this recipe in halfsies.

chili sin carne, para los perros

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Ingredients

olive oil
3 Boca Burgers (optional)
OR 1 16 oz brick of firm tofu (optional)

water
1 16 oz can of diced, unsalted tomatoes
1 6 oz can of low salt tomato paste
2 cups of sundried tomatoes

24 ounces dried beans OR 6 16 oz cans of cooked, low sodium beans (chef’s choice!)
(I used 8 ounces each of dried pinto, black and red beans.)

3 cups texturized vegetable protein (TVP)
3 cups fresh or frozen mixed vegetables
1 cup diced green peppers

brown sugar to taste (I used 4 tablespoons)
dried mustard to taste (me: 1/2 teaspoon)
paprika to taste (me: 1/4 teaspoon)
chili powder to taste (me: 1/4 teaspoon)
cumin to taste (me: 1 teaspoon)
black pepper to taste (me: 1/4 teaspoon)
lime juice to taste (me: 1 tablespoon)
flour to taste
water and/or low sodium tomato juice to taste

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The Season of the Vegan: VeganMoFo, Halloweegan & Birthday Kisses

Saturday, October 9th, 2010
  • If you’re vegan and on the internets, then probably you already know all about the awesomeness that is VeganMoFo. But a reminder never hurts now, does it?

    Vegan MoFo IV logo banner

    VeganMoFo is a month-long celebration of all things vegan food-related, in intertubes carnival form. Throughout the month of November, vegan bloggers the world over pledge to post about the joys of vegan food once a day, with the goal of generating at least 20 posts for the month (weekends are optional!). Topics run the gamut, from original recipes to theme days and photo essays to contests and giveaways. Last year, over 500 bloggers participated, yours truly included. (You can browse an archive of my VeganMoFo contributions here.)

    If you’re interested in being a MoFoer – in blog or in spirit – check out VeganMoFo Headquarters International, where a team of MoFoers will be recapping all the hot, sticky, NOMy vegan action in real time. You can also follow them on Twitter (@veganmofo), where you should totally share your own #veganmofo links – tagged according, natch. For the Flickerites among us, there’s even a VeganMoFo group; join and share, mkay?

    The sign-up deadline to be included in the RSS feed / “official” list of participants is 11/2, but you can jump in at any time! (Sign-up sheet here.)

    Last year, there was a push to garner media coverage for the event; I don’t know whether something similar is planned for 2010, but you should definitely keep an eye on the PPK forums for more. If necessary, last year’s sample press release can easily be reworked for VeganMoFo IV.

  • lol ozzy - cannibalizin

  • Not being a PPK regular, I initially thought that, as in years past, VeganMoFo IV was scheduled for October. But, not so much. Luckily, October is home to its own brand of awesomeness: Halloween!

    Wing-It Vegan is leading the Halloween festivities with a month of Halloweegan treats. (Halloween + vegan = Halloweegan, silly!) Spider Cupcakes, Vampire Cookies and Veggieloaf Coffins, oh my! You can browse an index of her Halloween-themed recipes here; she’s helpfully included links to other vegan creations ’round the interwebs, too. And if you’re on Flickr, join her newly-birthed Halloweegan group so you can get in on the fun.

  • Similarly, the good folks at VegWeb.com have assembled a dedicated Halloween page. Hit ’em up for Halloween-themed recipes, costume and party ideas, leads on yummy vegan Halloween candy and more.
  • Last Thursday was Kaylee and Jayne’s adoption day (four years) and observed birthdays (twelve and six years, respectively). I meant to at least mention it on the 30th, but happily we were too busy celebrating! At nine days past due, you’d think I’d just accept that the moment has passed, and maybe it’s silly, but…I feel a little remiss if I don’t at least give the kids an on-blog shout-out. Guilty, even. I know, I know, I’m such a mom.

    Anyhow, Shane and I drove the girls to nearby Smithville Lake, where we took a leisurely stroll along the water (2.11 miles in 53 minutes!). Kaylee is a naturally slow walker (she doesn’t walk so much as meander); whereas Jayne, possibly owing to abandonment issues, won’t walk more than five feet in front of you without stopping and/or retreating back, presumably to confirm that you haven’t ditched her while she wasn’t looking. It’s rather sad, actually. But it was a beautiful, shiny day and I think we all were happy to get out of the house.

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    2010-09-30 - Walking Kaylee & Jayne - 0011

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  • VeganMoFo, Day 31: Ginger Snaps, Vegan Zombies & Hallow-weenies

    Saturday, October 31st, 2009

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    And the consumer becomes the consumed!

    It’s October 31st, folks! You know what that means: Halloween and the end of VeganMoFo. Thirty-one days, thirty-one posts. I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted….and totally looking forward to VeganMoFo IV!

    The Mr. and I will spend the day taking in an orgy of Halloween horror movies and vegan junk food, so I don’t have enough time to put together a cohesive post. But that’s okay, because hopefully you don’t have time to read a cohesive post.

    On the schedule for today, movie-wise, is:

    The Alphabet Killer (2008)

    The Alphabet Killer is based on the double initial killings in Rochester, New York in the early 1970s. Eliza Dusku stars as Megan Paige, a police officer who is highly committed to the job. She develops schizophrenia, lasting for more than six months, and includes one month of active symptoms such as illusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, and grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior. Megan’s obsession leads her to a breakdown and a violent episode which lands her in the hospital. She eventually loses her fiance, Kenneth (Cary), and her job. Two years later Megan is back working as an advisor, but her more or less normal life goes to hell again when another murder is called in. Her fire rekindled, Megan sets out to find the killer, and this time she plans to get the job done, with or without the department’s assistance.

    Fairly B-grade stuff, but it’s set in my hometown, so it’s a no-brainer. Still waiting on the Arthur Shawcross Lifetime movie-of-the-week.

    Ginger Snaps (2000)

    Is becoming a woman analogous, in some deep psychological way, to becoming a werewolf? Ginger is 16, edgy, tough, and, with her younger sister, into staging and photographing scenes of death. They’ve made a pact about dying together. In early October, on the night she has her first period, which is also the night of a full moon, a werewolf bites Ginger. Within a few days, some serious changes happen to her body and her temperament. Her sister Brigitte, 15, tries to find a cure with the help of Sam, a local doper. As Brigitte races against the clock, Halloween and another full moon approach, Ginger gets scarier, and it isn’t just local dogs that begin to die.

    Feminist horror: yes, please! (See also: Teeth. No, seriously, go watch it. Now!)

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    VeganMoFo, Day 29: Frugal vegans have spoiled vegan dog-kids.

    Thursday, October 29th, 2009

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    Though I hope to eventually pen a piece about canine nutrition vis-à-vis veganism and vegetarianism, this isn’t it! Since I don’t have much time for background research, and don’t want to half-ass it, I’ll have to save that topic for another time. Instead of convincing you to feed your dog-kids a vegan or vegetarian diet – assuming you have dog-kids, that is – this VeganMoFo post is all about feeding your dog-kids a vegan diet (or foodstuffs), frugally.

    Granted, commercial vegan and vegetarian dog foods are more expensive than their non-veg counterparts, and feeding your dog-kids a diet consisting solely of homemade food requires enough expertise that I don’t recommend it. Or rather, I can’t advise you on how to do it. You see, even though I occasionally feature recipes for homemade dog food, I primarily feed my kids commercial kibble: ’twas Nature’s Recipe Vegetarian formula for awhile, but we recently switched to V-Dog. Though it’s a little more expensive, it’s also confirmed vegan (DelMonte never would respond to my inquiries). The homemade goodies are more of a “topping,” if you will, to add a little variety to their meals. So all in all, we do spend a pretty penny on dog food in the Garbato-Brady household, homemade goodies notwithstanding.

    Luckily, there are other ways to cut costs:

    – Make your own dog treats. As with vegan dog food, vegan dog treats can be a little pricey, so you can save some cash by baking treats yourself. In contrast to food, which must meet your dog-kid’s nutritional requirements, treats are extras, so diy is just fine! Just go easy on the fat, salt, sugar and calories, mkay? Also, always check and double-check the ingredients to confirm that they aren’t harmful to canines.

    Dogs also tend to be less discriminating eaters than people (well, me), so experiment with abandon, and don’t be afraid to substitute in less expensive ingredients when necessary. Chances are, your kids will enjoy whatever you create. Plus, is there anything cooler than giving your dog-kid a treat you baked especially for her, with nothing but love? (And an oven!)

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    For treat ideas, check out It’s A Vegan Dog’s Life, Yummy for Dogs and the Innocent Primate Vegan Blog, for starters.

    The obvious downside to baking your own biscuits is that they don’t keep as well as the store-bought stuff, so it’s a little harder to keep some on hand at all times (you never know when you’ll need to entice your dog-kid away from a found animal corpse, am I right?). However, this brings us to the next tip:

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    VeganMoFo, Day 13: What do vegan zombies eat?

    Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

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    GRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNSSSSSSSS!

    Sorry. Cheesy, I know. But it’s been a long, frustrating day, and for some odd reason, this tired old joke always elicits a grin.

    Anyway, I don’t know about you, but I could use a fun, fluffy post. And what’s more fun and fluffy than vegan Halloween candy? (That’s a rhetorical question. There is nothing funner or fluffier than vegan Halloween candy. Nothing. Nada. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Rien. Nichts. Niente. Niets. I said good day!)

    The way I see it, vegan Halloween candy can be separated into two groups: the cheap, readily available, accidentally vegan stuff that you keep on hand for trick-or-treaters, and the expensive, hard-to-find, specialty goodies, which are oftentimes veganized versions of old, pre-vegan favorites.

    Not that the two groups are mutually exclusive, of course – if you’re over the age of 12, probably you don’t consume candy on a daily basis. Thus, a fistful of dark chocolate Peanut Chews or a mile’s worth of Fruit by the Foot is indeed a special treat, pedestrianism be damned. And that’s okay! You don’t need to drop a small fortune on gourmet vegan foodstuffs to Kenneth Lay out this Halloween. On the flip side, if you do sit atop a small mountain of money, all Scrooge McDuck stylie, feel free to distribute gourmet vegan goodies which proudly proclaim their veganism all over the mofo packaging, in a sneaky guerrilla effort to lure some of the neighborhood children over to the light side. But toss in vegan literature at your own risk – ‘twould be very un-vegan to wake up to an egg-covered landing on November 1st!

    (And yes, I am assuming that everyone reading celebrates Halloween, because if you don’t, you should! Between the candy, the costumes, the pumpkin carving, the hay rides, and the horra movies, everyone should be able to find at least one aspect of the holiday worth consecrating!)

    What follows are two lists of vegan candies; the everyday stuff is vegan per PETA, so take these with a grain of salt – there be some rumblings on the internets re: the accuracy of PETA’s “accidentally vegan” list. Also, I’ve only included candy here; for party snacks, please refer to the original list.

    The gourmet vegan goodies, on the other hand, come from firsthand knowledge and the product inventory in vegan-owned online shops, so mistakes in these listings are much less likely.

    So, what are your Halloween plans, my lovely vegan zombies? The Mr. and I have a longstanding (read: four years, maybe five) tradition – we spend the day watching horror movies, relaxing with the dogs, and chowing on all sorts of vegan junk food. Pizza, spring rolls, french fries, cupcakes, turnovers, ice cream, pop corn, candy, brownies, soda, liquor – ah, that’s the life!

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    I’ve been dying to dress my dachshund kid up in a hot dog outfit to entertain the trick-or-treaters, but we literally have not had a single one since moving to the Midwest – all of our residences have been so rural.

    On the plus side, no interruptions during the movies!
     
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    VeganMoFo, Day 10: Shiny happy birthday treats!

    Saturday, October 10th, 2009

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    That’s right, we have another canine birthday in the house! Ralphie, our first-born dog-kid, turned 12 years old today. That’s 69 in dachshund years, he’ll have you know.

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    He doesn’t look a day over 55, I tell you what.

    Normally, I would have spent the day outside with the old boy, letting him walk me ’round the neighborhood, or watching on as he digs for buried treasure (read: carcasses) and whatnot, but he’s on house arrest for the time being. The vet hacked him up good on Thursday, removing a bunch of lymphomas lipomas (!*) (floating fatty deposits, so fun to poke and prod and play with!), cysts, and miscellaneous gross body growths. This is all old hat for him – he’s already had a few (two? three? four? I lose track.) lymphomas lipomas removed previously, but they just keep springing up in the same spot – serendipitously located in his right “armpit,” right where his harness runs under his leg. Once they grow to the size of a large grape, it’s time for another round of slicing and dicing and teeth cleaning.

    Even so, this was by far the most growths he’s had removed at once, and I wasn’t at all prepared for the Frankendog who returned home after a day at the veterinarian’s:

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    It’s hard to make out in these photos (or any one photo, for that matter – so extensive are his injuries!), but Ralphie’s got sutures on his head, under one ear, and on the side of his neck, in addition to the several obvious cuts on his (Buddha) belly. He’s taken it all in stride, though he’s a bit miffed that we won’t let him go outside and dig in the mud. Damn fascists!

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    VeganMoFo, Day 2: Twenty-six Questions

    Friday, October 2nd, 2009

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    Ralphie, summarizing my day.

    I’m playing it lazy today with this survey from Whoa Wren. Maybe some day I’ll graduate to starting my very own meme. Until then…

    1. Favorite non-dairy milk?

    Silk Pumpkin Spice; it’s the only soy milk I’ll drink straight (all else I only use in baking/cooking).

    2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook?

    Green tea cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Beyond that, who knows.

    3. Topping of choice for popcorn?

    Garlic salt.

    4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?

    Not counting the occasional accident with meals I frequently make (e.g., overcooking pasta into a gooey much): Lemon cookies.

    5. Favorite pickled item?

    Pickles!

    6. How do you organize your recipes?

    Online: delicious.

    ITRW: all my cookbooks occupy one shelf in the pantry.

    7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?

    All of the above. See also: dogs.

    8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods…what would they be (don’t worry about how you’ll cook them)?

    Pizza, pasta and Ronald’s donuts.

    9. Fondest food memory from your childhood?

    Grinding taters for potato pancakes…in the family’s hand-me-down, so-retro-it’s-antique meat grinder! (I know, right.)

    10. Favorite vegan ice cream?

    Just about anything from Turtle Mountain’s Purely Decadent line, but especially Blueberry Cheesecake, Key Lime Pie, Cherry Nirvana and Cookie Dough. (Bah, now I’m starting to sound like a Yoplait commercial, aren’t I?)

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    VeganMoFo, Day 1: Birthday Muffins for Kaylee & Jayne (& Ralphie & Peedee & Rennie!)

    Thursday, October 1st, 2009

    Kaylee & Jayne Birthday/Adoption Day Mashup 01

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    Yesterday we celebrated Kaylee (11) and Jayne’s (5) birthdays, as well as the three-year anniversary of their adoption. Whereas Ralphie and Peedee were owner surrenders with known DOBs, all of the girls are ex-strays, so we’ve really no idea how old they are. Instead of pulling birthdays out of thin air, we celebrate Kaylee, Jayne and O-Ren’s birthdays on the days of their adoption. This means the girls are cheated out of a second “special day” every year – which is why I try to make their celebrations extra-special!

    I really, really wanted to make Kaylee and Jayne a birthday cake – ganache, anyone? – but alas, I haven’t been able to find vegan carob chips or carob powder locally, so no luck there. My backup plan worked out beautifully though: I made a batch of mini-muffins using Molly’s Apple Cinnamon Muffin recipe, and topped them off with a “frosting” of blended silken tofu and peanut butter.

    Here are the muffins, sans frosting:

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    and frosted:

    2009-09-30 - Frosted Birthday Muffins - 0028

    The ridiculously cute embroidered placemats in the background, by the way, were a gift from my aunt (last x-mas, perhaps? I forget.). She made one for each of our six nonhuman animal kids; the front of each features a species-appropriate pattern, and the animal’s name is on the back. Naturally, the dogs’ mats are shaped like bones, whereas Ozzy gets the sole fish. I think she thinks I didn’t like the gift because I don’t actually use them as placemats for the animals’ food – but I love them so much that there’s no freaking way I’d risk staining them! (So if you’re reading, Aunt Cindy, there ya go!)

    Anyway, back to those muffins. Mostly I followed Molly’s lead, with the following modifications:

    – I substituted vanilla soy milk for the water; and

    – I didn’t have any flax or hemp seeds, so I used a flax/nut/seed combo from Matilda’s Kitchen Flax & Company.

    My initial impulse was to frost the muffins with peanut butter, but I decided to blend the pb with a brick of silken tofu in order to water down the fat content a bit. The recipe is pretty simple:

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    VeganMoFo, Day 17: Pumpkin Applesauce & Plant Porn

    Friday, October 17th, 2008

    As I mentioned last night, yesterday Shane and I spent the day outside, disassembling a fairly large planter. No complaints here, though; it was a gorgeous day, and I’d much rather spend a sunny day doing manual labor outside than be cooped up in the house, plugging away on office work or somesuch.

    And can I just say that Midwestern autumns are effin’ gorgeous?

    2008-10-16 - Down with the Flagpole - 0001

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    VeganMoFo, Day 10: Happy Birthday to Ralphie, with YumsYums -n- Love!

    Friday, October 10th, 2008

    As you can most likely infer from the post title, today is the Ralphster’s birthday. My little man, my first-born and -adopted, turns a gray old 11 today. He’s like the Wilford Brimley of the doggeh world, minus the dia-beddies.

    I have plenty of Ralphie pix after the jump, of course, but first a recipe for Peanut Butter ‘Nilla Biscuits from Yummy for Dogs. If you like what you see, check out the website and/or order a copy of webmistress Veronica Noechel’s Yummy for Dogs: A Cook Book for Canines. Hey, it’s on my wishlist. I mean, Ralphie’s wishlist. Yeah, Ralphie. (Hint, hint, wink, wink!)

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    Peanut Butter ‘Nilla Biscuits

    These smell incredible!

    1 1/2 cups water
    1/2 cup oil
    3 tablespoons peanut butter
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    2 cups whole wheat flour
    1/2 cup cornmeal
    1/2 cup oats

    * In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, and oats.

    * Stir in oil, peanut butter, vanilla, and water.

    * Knead till smooth, adding more flour or water as needed.

    * Roll out on a lightly floured surface.

    * Cut with cookie cutters.

    * Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

    I stuck to the directions, but added some extra flour and rolled oats, as the dough was initially a little oily. I think I also used more like 5 tablespoons of peanut butter, since my “tablespoons” were heaped to overflowing. The dogs love the pb, though!

    I have this cute little bone-shaped cookie cutter that the doggies’ grandmother bought for them/me, so I used that to cut the dough. I rolled the leftover scraps into a faux long rawhide bone with the cute little tied ends (for the birthday boy, natch!), as you can see in the photo. All in all, the recipe produced 53 cookies (40 long bones, 12 short bones and one “rawhide”), which fit on two sheets, no problem.

    The dogs loved the treats, but don’t place too much trust in their critique; four out of the five of them eat their own poo! (And the fifth eats the cat’s poo – Rennie, I’m looking at you.) I did try the dough before rolling it into cookies, and it was on a little the bland side (for humans), but edible; and yet, definitely yummy for dogs!

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