Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Nicole's Homemade Peanut Butter Treats

We like to make our own peanut butter but feel free to purchase creamy or chunky for this recipe.

Homemade Peanut Butter:
15 ounces of unsalted peanuts
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1.5 teaspoons honey
1.5 teaspoons peanut oil
Place peanuts, salt and honey in food processor.  Process while drizzling in all of the oil slowly. Scrape down the sides and pulse to mix.  Store in an air tight container.

Peanut Butter Treats:

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup oatmeal
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 1/4 cups hot water

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix the flour and oatmal together then add the peanut butter and hot water. You might need to add flour if its too sticky.  Knead the dough well and make into balls, big or small depending the size you want.  We like to do ours golf ball size.  I place them on a greased cookie sheet, flatten with a fork and bake for 40 minutes.

Nicole Carreno

Monday, June 13, 2011

Review – The Huck

                    I have always intended to make reviews an integral part of this blog.  I did a couple of reviews and found myself having to put the reviews on the back burner.  The time constraints along with the rigors of everyday life have made it difficult.  I am going to try once again to start a reviews page.  I hope you will check back often to see what is being reviewed.  

               This past weekend my wife and I were in Cape May, NJ for a little relaxation.  As we wandered the outdoor mall we came across a great little store called Dog Days of Cape May.  It was full of all kinds of doggie goodies.  I started to think about the reviews page of this blog and decided to give it another try.  We looked around the store and found a couple of great things.  We ultimately decided on a ball called Huck.  At $12.99 we thought it a bit on the expensive side for a ball of this size.  The package said Huck was made with tough material and it had a guarantee that said the ball would be replaced if there was any dog damage.  This is what got my attention.  My dogs have been destroying every toy I have ever gotten them with in a 3 day period.  So I figured what the heck, it wasn’t so expensive that I would forgo a challenge like that.  So we got the ball and off we went.
                I decided to wait until we were home to give the ball to the dogs.  I took the ball out of the wrapper and that got all the attention.  As soon as I started to remove the ball from its packaging I had three very attentive doges staring at me.  Once I got the ball out of its wrapper Jasmine (the lab) went bonkers.  No surprise there, she loves any kind of ball.  The husky on the other hand didn’t react much.  No surprise there either.  I don’t think huskies have the ability to fetch, or at least mine doesn’t.  I have tried throwing a stick for Frankie (the husky) and all she does is watch it fly through the air and then look at me as if to say… Are you going to get that?  Then there was Scarlet (the pit), she may have been excited, but I can’t be sure because she was blocked from my sight by an enormous bouncing black lab. I tossed the ball in the air and you would have thought it was the tip off for the doggie basketball league.  Jasmine and Scarlet both went for it, although Jasmine is twice Scarlet’s size so there really was no contest, Jasmine caught it and played with it.  What I found interesting was when Jasmine would drop the ball it would bounce in a totally random direction and she loved it.  She kept tossing it and chasing it.  That is right my lab was playing fetch… with no one.  Strange dog but very amusing.   After about an hour of this, Frankie chased after the ball.  I could not believe my eyes.  She was actually chasing a ball.  When she got it the chewing began.  This is how the destruction of all toys begins… in Frankie’s jaws. She will nibble and chew until whatever she is nibbling and chewing deteriorates into many little pieces that I inevitably find myself picking up by hand for the next couple of days because Frankie will spread tiny toy parts all over the house.   After about two hours of her gnawing on this ball I decided to take a look, it still looked brand new, aside from the dog slobber and fur of course.
                We have now had the ball for about three days and as you can see below there is a little damage, but the ball is still in one piece.  I must say I am impressed.  All three dogs love it, Frankie still will not fetch the ball, but she does still pick it up and chew on it for hours on end.  Scarlett has gotten into the habit of bringing me the ball when she wants to play.  And Jasmine is Jasmine, the big lovable oaf that LOVES to fetch, even if she is all by herself.  We give the Huck 4 wags out of 5, and that is pretty darn good.  I would recommend Huck to anyone who has a dog that loves to chew or fetch or both.  Huck floats so it’s great at the beach or the pool if you are lucky enough to have one.  Huck does take a beating and holds its own.  This toy will surely keep your dog’s happy!

Nick Carreno

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

One Dog Two Dog Three Dog More

      I have just recently added a new dog to my household.  That has taken the dog count up from two to three.  I have always known that dogs have their own rules when it comes to ranking among the pack as well as a whole separate set of rules for socializing among themselves and with other dogs outside the pack.  Now that I have introduced a new dog to the pack it has been fascinating to watch how they each play their roll.

     There has been some tension between the new dog and the lab over who is going to be the number two dog in the pack.  I let them go at first, seeing if things would work themselves out. What I found was not only tension but a separation was beginning to happen.  I was unsure what to do at first, then i remembered what an old friend and dog enthusiast had once told me.  He said when you get a new dog, be sure to include them in all activities that involve the dogs and be sure to herd them once a day.  What he meant by herd them was to force them together.  I began doing this when I came home. I would call the dogs and force them to sit in the same spot, all of them together.  It was tough at first because of the rivalry going on, but after a few days they actually began to come together with no problems at all.  Now they all sleep together and whatever tensions there may be now, they are not to the exclusion of any dog.

     It took me a while to get accustomed to the differences that come with having three dogs as opposed to two, and let me assure you there are differences.  Now that I have been able to witness the amazing interaction that takes place, I have been able to come up with different ways of managing the three dogs.  It's not as difficult as I thought it would be in all actuality the alpha, Frankie does most of the work.  If things even hint at becoming a problem I am there to nip it in the bud.

     I have noticed as the days and weeks go by the dogs have become more accustomed to the change.  It has helped in ways I did not expect.  I have a very anxious lab, now that there are two other dogs that are more mellow, they don't allow the lab to be anxious.  She still is, but as time moves forward she is becoming less so.  I believe that is the pack doing its thing to help one of its own.  It has been a wonderful thing to witness.

     So if any of you out there are thinking of breaking the two dog barrier, let me give you some assurance.  Things will be different, but in the most unexpected ways.  If it is something you have the time and room for I would highly recommend it.  There are a lot of dogs that need someone to keep them healthy and happy.  Maybe that someone is you.

Nick Carreno