Thursday, December 20, 2012

Gifts from the Kitchen

A Guest Post by Finn the cooking assistant (aka the Dog Picker)

Gifts from the Kitchen

Sorry this post is a bit late, it's been a bit hectic and crazy with all the preholiday things that go on around here.  This week a great food gift arrived from our dentist--apples, oranges, crackers, green tea and apple cider mixes.  How cool is that??  Healthy foods and best wishes for good health--I can't think of a better way to celebrate this season.  

Gifts made in our kitchen are my favorite way to spend my time.  Sure, I love to get cool things, like this squeaky dinosaur with a Santa hat.  But what good is a toy?  You certainly can't eat it. And to lay in the kitchen sniffing the scent of cinnamon biscuits is simply divine.

Maybe I'll toss this guy around a few times, but mostly I prefer to sleep with my toys and eat food gifts.

Canine Gifts

What dog doesn't love a biscuit?  And homemade?  Oh, don't get me started.  Check out these dog biscuits and don't about these biscuits I recently posted. Even when we give dog biscuits as gifts, some get burned and those are always mine.  Love kitchen mistakes!

Another great canine gift is sweet potato chews.  Here's an easy recipe:

Sweet Potato Dog Chews
(Each average sweet potato makes about 6 chews)
You can set the oven temperature to 175F and dry the chews longer.

Sweet potatoes or yams

1. Preheat oven to 200F.

2. Slice sweet potatoes lengthwise, about 1/4-inch thick.  Place flat on a baking sheet and bake from 8 to 12 hours.  Turn off oven to allow sweet potatoes to get crispy if you like.  Keep these treats in the freezer if you aren't going to use them within a week.

Pretty Coco posing with her sweet potato chews.

Human Gifts

First of all, let me point out, humans have way too many material things.  This season, why not unplug the Christmas tree and get busy making your own gifts.  

For starters, check out  this article in the Sound Outlook about gifts from your kitchen.  The article  includes tips for mixes, snacks, flavored vinegars, sugar and salt and custom made gift baskets.  My canine nose can't take vinegar, but I'm told it takes it only takes a couple of weeks to make this raspberry vinegar, and it could make a nice New Year's or  house warming gift after its strained and put in a pretty container.  Cooking stores have great containers.  Also check out thrift stores because you never know what you'll find.  (Some of my best blankets have come from Goodwill.) 

Vinegar is not a canine favorite. In fact, I'd rather eat an entire box of Satsumas.   Why not consider putting  a few Satsumas in the dog's sock instead of the same old boring tennis ball.

And if you want to get all Martha Stewarty, why not pick up some great gift tips from books at your public library.  This old Better Homes and Gardens book has tons of crafty stuff plus many cookie recipes which I hope we'll make on Christmas eve.

And if you're no Martha Stewart, consider buying some cool fruit and pantry items at your farmers' market and making a specialized gift pack.   A baker might really like some flour from Bluebird Grain Farms or Nash's Organic Produce.  

And  salad lover could probably go for some great apple cider vinegar from Rockridge Orchards.

Always a big hit is to include a book or two.  I'm told this is shameless self-promotion at this point. Just about everyone I know is more interested in healthy eating.  For pete's sake when I'm eating more vegetables than the average American, people must be starving for tasty healthy recipes.

Healthy is the key for 2013, so why not gift the gift of good health and send fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grain rather than the traditional rich treats.  Meat- and dairy-free couldn't hurt a few more humans eitehr. 

If I could just reach that orange. .  . .  


Miz Helen said...

Hi Debra,
I just love all the gifts for our little friends! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday. Wishing you and your family and Finn a very Merry Christmas!
Come Back Soon,
Miz Helen

Joan said...

Hi Debra
I just love all the doggy treats you've been talking rather Finn has been talking about. We definitely need to remember our furry friends during the holidays! Merry Christmas!

Debra Daniels-Zeller said...

Hi Joan and Miz Helen--I"m a little late checking my comments. I think this section worked better when I had a sign in message. Maybe I'll go back to it. I actually liked the dog biscuits for myself since I tend to like crackers. That doesn't alway set well with my cooking assistant.