Category Archives: Dogs

Dogs Gluten-Free

Pumpkin Pie Dog Treats

It’s Thanksgiving week, my favorite time of the year! I am so excited to be writing this post from my parents’ home in Boston. I am here for the week, celebrating Thanksgiving and spending lots of time with my family.

Pumpkin Pie Dog Treats -- your pup will LOVE these! ll Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Fiber-Packed ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I couldn’t wait to share this Pumpkin Pie Dog Treats recipe with you! We recently started incorporating pureed pumpkin into Bessie’s food after we read that it can help reduce itchiness and stop dogs from licking their paws.

Pumpkin Pie Dog Treats -- your pup will LOVE these! ll Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Fiber-Packed ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Bessie has a few food allergies, so we have to be careful with what we feed her.  I am especially happy with this recipe because it’s very allergy friendly for most dogs. These Pumpkin Pie Dog Treats are gluten-free and dairy-free, plus the fiber from the pumpkin and carrots is great for a dog’s digestion.

Pumpkin Pie Dog Treats -- your pup will LOVE these! ll Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Fiber-Packed ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I also added parsley, which helps freshen up stinky dog breath, and egg, which can add shine to a dog’s coat.

Pumpkin Pie Dog Treats -- your pup will LOVE these! ll Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Fiber-Packed ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I’ll admit, Bessie isn’t necessarily the fairest taste-tester because she loves ALL FOOD (seriously, this dog will eat anything). But her tail was wagging even faster than usual for these treats, so I think they were a big success!

Pumpkin Pie Dog Treats -- your pup will LOVE these! ll Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Fiber-Packed ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

If you have any leftover pumpkin after Thanksgiving, I’m sure you know a pup who would love these homemade pumpkin pie dog treats!

 

Pumpkin Pie Dog Treats
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 16 square treats
Ingredients
  • ½ cup gluten-free flour
  • ¾ cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • ½ ripe banana, mashed
  • ⅛ cup carrot, peeled and grated
  • ½ egg, beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper. Spray paper with cooking spray.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and smooth to a ¼ inch thickness. Using a pizza cutter (or sharp knife), score the batter into 16 squares (3 lines horizontally and 3 lines vertically).
  3. Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
  4. Using the parchment paper, lift the bars out of the pan and finish cooling on a wire rack. Use the pizza cutter to break the bars into 16 even squares. Store the pumpkin pie treats in a refrigerator. Since my dog is small, I froze half of mine to use at a later time.
 

Pumpkin Pie Dog Treats -- your pup will LOVE these! ll Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Fiber-Packed ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

 

Dogs Eats Lately Life Lately Travel

Holiday Recap in Numbers

1 Stop at a vista point on our little road trip to Santa Barbara.

Vista Point

Vista Point

6 Failed car selfie attempts to get all three of us in the shot.

Selfie Attempts

7 Wineries and tasting rooms visited in Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez.

Pali Wine Tasting

Les Marchands

 Unlimited amounts of beauty in Malibu during our drive back to Santa Monica on Christmas day.

 Malibu

Malibu

 2 Fortune cookies opened on Christmas Day. (Why are these never accurate?)

Fortune Cookie

1/2 of a Pastrami sandwich on rye consumed by me at the famous Langer’s deli in Downtown Los Angeles. We’d been meaning to check it out for over a year now and we finally got around to it on Saturday. It definitely lived up to the hype.

Langer's

Langer's

P.S. Mom, your Matzoh ball soup is better…but you probably knew that already!

Langer's

(Approximately) 27 Licks given to us from our first ever foster dog, Wally (also known as Killian on the blog). After our lunch at Langer’s we swung over to see him because it had been almost a year since our last visit!

Wally

We’ve been so lucky that we are able to remain part of his life! His mom sends us lots of photo updates and if you love cute doggie pics, I highly recommend you follow his Instagram account. Even though we now have a dog of our own, I will always have such a strong attachment to this little fluff ball.

Please note the hilarious Christmas onesie he is sporting – it is from Target and it comes with legs and all!

Wally and godparents

48 Degrees in both Santa Monica and Newton (home) on Sunday morning. Initially I thought there was something wrong with my iphone app, because this never happens.

Temperature

1 Beautiful sunset walk overlooking the Pacific ocean with Travis and Bessie on Sunday evening – a very special way to end a wonderful holiday week.

Sunset

Dogs Travel

Vacation in Boston

Hi friends!

The past two weeks I have been home with my family in Boston. I had some time before starting my new job, so I was able to spend a few weeks at home relaxing. I haven’t been home for that amount of time in over two years, so I felt very grateful for the time to relax and catch up with lots of family and friends!

Now that I am back, I am finally catching up on my blog. I decided to take a good detox from social media while I was home, so I could truly embrace every second there. Here are a few pictures from my time in Boston (and Maine) to catch you up:

Recipe Book 1

Recipe Book 2

My mom found this “resepy” book I must have made when I was in preschool. The recipe I chose to include was homemade peanut butter, so clearly nothing has changed.

School Book

The same thing goes for this journal entry I wrote for class when I was in first grade. Guess I’ve always been a good Jewish girl!

Dunkin Donuts

I always know I am home when I see glorious Dunkin’ Donuts everywhere. Dunkin’ is expanding to the west coast and they are opening a new location only a few blocks away from me in LA this month! Wahoooooo!

Farmer's Market

My dad and I took a trip to the farmer’s market in Kennebunk, Maine. Everything was so colorful and fresh. We brought home two big bags of fresh produce to cook with. There is something about farmer’s markets that makes me so darn happy.

Dinner by Dad

My dad turned some of what we purchased into a few delicious meals. It was such a treat to be cooked for and occasionally just play sous-chef.

Rococo Ice Cream

My family stopped at Rococo Ice Cream in Dock Square, Kennebunkport. We heard it was one of top ten ice cream shops in the country, so we had to try it!

Rococo Ice Cream

They had unique flavors such as “Smokey Blueberry,” “Molasses Ginger Snap,” “Strawberry Basil,” and “Speculoos Pretzel” (shown in the cone above). If there hadn’t been a long line behind us, I would have asked to sample every flavor. Everything I tried was outstanding and I can definitely see why it was voted one of the best in the country. If you find yourself in Kennebunkport, Maine you must stop here!

Taza Chocolate Factory

On one of my last days at home, I took a tour of Taza Chocolate Factory in Somerville, MA with my friend Amanda. My mom found a deal for 2 tickets for only $8 and after reading raving Yelp reviews boasting unlimited chocolate samples, I knew I had to do it.

Taza Chocolate Factory

Amanda (who is such a sport for allowing me to take a picture of her in our required hair nets) and I took the hour-long tour and learned all about how Taza chocolate is made. Taza is stone-ground Mexican chocolate, so we were shown the stones as well as all of the various machines used throughout the chocolate-making process.

My eyes lit up when I saw our tour guide passing out samples within the first five minutes of the tour. This was my first time trying Taza chocolate, and after one bite I was hooked! Taza’s chocolate has a gritty texture that I can best compare to a crunch bar. You can see tiny crystals in the chocolate, which gives it a unique texture and taste.

Taza Chocolate Factory

Taza sells most of it’s chocolate in round disk form, which is very unusual compared to the typical American bars of chocolate. I sampled so many flavors such as coffee, salted almond, orange, cinnamon, ginger, chile, super dark, and more!

Taza Chocolate Factory

I brought home a few samples for my family to try and they loved it, too! None of us are ones to typically reach for a chocolate bar (if I am going to have chocolate, I usually prefer it in cookie or cake form), but we are all big fans now! You can find Taza at any Whole Foods across the country, but if you’re a Boston local you must check out this factory tour!

Bessie

Now I am back in LA with my favorite girl, Bessie. Travis brought her in the car to pick me up from the airport and she went NUTS when she saw (or smelled?) me. She basically hasn’t stopped wagging since. I’m just as happy to be back with her 🙂

 

I will be back later this week with a new delicious recipe! Remember to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for regular updates! You can use the easy “follow me” buttons on the right!

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Dogs Eats Lately Travel

Life Recently

Thank you all for the sweetest comments, texts, and thoughts on my last blog post. For those of you who’ve met Bessie, it is clear how much she’s touched your lives as well. She is a really special pup and we feel so lucky 🙂

Bessie

Besides adopting Bessie, this past month has actually been a fairly eventful one for me! I am leaving my position as a consultant and transitioning into a very different role (but one that I think suits me very well). I am going to be doing marketing for a restaurant group in LA! While it was a difficult decision to leave my current job, I am very excited for this new journey in the food industry. I know I will learn so much and I will be working in and industry that I am so passionate about.

To celebrate this new phase in my career, Travis took me out to dinner to Fig and Olive in West Hollywood. Neither of us had been before, but it’s been on my list of restaurants to try after numerous friends raved about it.

Dinner Fig and Olive

Our meal was incredible. Unfortunately, the restaurant was very dark, so the pictures I snapped did the meal no justice, therefore I decided not to share them with you guys. At the beginning of the meal they brought over three different types of olive oil for us to sample with warm doughy bread. This was easily my favorite part! I was tempted to tell them to cancel the rest of the orders because I just wanted bread and olive oil for dinner, but I didn’t think they would necessarily approve of that…

 

Tailgating

On Thursday, Travis and I went to the Eminem and Rihanna Monster Tour at the Rose Bowl Stadium. We bought the tickets the day they went on sale many months ago. I always find it so difficult purchasing tickets so far in advance because I think to myself, “well how do I know where I am going to be six months from now?” In the end, I am so happy Travis persuaded me to go through with it because the concert was a blast!

Since the Rose Bowl is pretty far from where we live and since the stadium sent us numerous emails in advance warning everyone of how crowded it was going to be, we decided to beat the traffic and get there early. We packed dinner and some snacks in a cooler so we could tailgate. We were planning on just eating in the car once we parked, but we lucked out and ended up parking right next to some picnic tables, so we were able to sit down and spread out for a few hours before the show. I packed us salads with pink lady apples, golden raisins, celery, toasted pecans, chicken and a balsamic vinaigrette. I know what you’re thinking… not your typical tailgate food, but we figured we would end up eating some sort of unhealthy snacks once we were in the stadium, so we decided to keep it pretty light for dinner.

Rose Bowl

The concert was an absolute blast! The music and the entire atmosphere was amazing. It was such a fun thing to do in the middle of the week to break out of our usual routine. I do love Rihanna’s music, but I personally think Eminem stole the show. I’d never seen him live before, but he KILLS IT on stage. (Oh yeah, and we did enjoy our fair share of stadium food and drinks throughout the show).

 

This past weekend was pretty low key. It included lots of walks with our favorite pup:

Bessie Walk

 

Some food blogging:

Food Photography

…which turned out to be a disaster. This weekend was an utter failure in my kitchen. I set out to test and photograph four different recipes for you guys this weekend and ALL of them turned out terribly. Even my trusty taste-tester, Travis, told me that none of them were blog-worthy (don’t worry, he let me down nicely). By Sunday afternoon I was feeling pretty frustrated because I’d thrown three recipes into the trash can and I hate wasting food! The final recipe was a cookie recipe that Travis and I agreed was edible but tasted “too healthy,” which is never a goal of mine when I am baking dessert. Oh well! I guess they can’t all be winners.

Bessie Food

Bessie on the other hand, has been having a BLAST trying new food recently. Travis has been doing lots of research on all-natural and grain-free dog foods for her. I know that some people think grain-free dog food and all of the recent dog food trends seem silly, and I get it to some extent. But we want Bessie to stay healthy and live forever, so that means that means lots of exercise and healthy, all-natural dog food. Travis and I don’t put processed foods into our bodies, so why would we feed it to her?

Over the past month, we’ve taken a bunch of trips to various pet stores in the area to buy Bessie food and treats. We always bring her along with us because pet stores are like a playground for her. She loves sniffing Every.Single.Bag.Of.Food in the stores. I think in her ideal (but not very rational) world, we would put ALL the food into our shopping cart to bring home for her. Right now we’re feeding her Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free dry food and (along with anything else you feed her) she seems to love it, so I think we’re going to stick with it for now.

Dog owners out there – have you found the perfect food for your senior pup? Bessie is by no means picky, we just want to make sure we are putting the best stuff possible in her little body.

 

Recipes to come later this week!

To stay up to date on everything Little Chef Big Appetite related make sure you’re following me on Social Media. Use the buttons on the right to follow me in one click! ——————————–>

Dogs

Dear Bessie

Dear Bessie,

I can’t believe you are the 12th dog we’ve fostered! Don’t worry, you’re not just a number to us. We love you soooooooooo much. Isn’t it crazy that we’ve fostered you since January!? So much has happened during our seven months together, and Travis and I have grown to love you more and more each day. I wanted to share with you seven reasons (one for every month) why I love you…

 

1. I love the way you greet me every morning when I get home from the gym.

IMG_4891 Whenever I try to stretch, you see it as an open opportunity to jump on my lap and lick my face. I’ll never really understand how you interpret stretching as snuggling, but I’ll take it! Bessie

 

2. You understand my food photography and never dive for my food when I am taking photos.

You are such a good little listener! Bessie Food

Bessie Food

 

 

3. You love peanut butter just like me!

Bessie Food

 

4. I love how you’ve learned to snuggle by living with us.

When we first picked you up from the vet (they were giving you a check-up after you were taken from the shelter), you were very happy, but we could tell you definitely had never snuggled with a human before. Whenever I tried, you just squirmed around in my lap, never finding a comfortable position. After months of practice, I would now dare to say that snuggling is your favorite activity! Bessie Snuggle

 

5. I love that “you” send me text messages and selfies when I am not home.

They put a BIG smile on my face. IMG_1302   Bessie Text

 

6. You are always happy. Even at the vet!

I can’t even count how many times we’ve had to take you to the vet in the last seven months. Despite your regular injuries and illnesses, you are always happy as can be! Nothing can bring you down! Bessie Sick (Remember the time the nice veterinarian lady gave you a happy shot and you got reaaaaalllllyyyyyy sleeeeeeeeeepppppppy?) Bessie Vet

I think you are the only doggie I know who actually LOVES going to the vet. Maybe it is because they always give you lots of treats! Look at how fast your tail is wagging!

 

7. Bessie, my TOP reason for loving you is that you make us (and everyone you meet) so darn happy!

When you pass people on the street you always have a way of making them smile. When you meet dogs in the park, they love sniffing you and playing with you! You are gentle and patient with every toddler who wants to pet you… even when they pull on your tail. Bessie Friend You, Ms. Bessie, are loved. And from what I can tell, I am pretty sure you love us a whole lot, too.   Bessie

So….Travis (your “foster dad”) and I talked. You see, we couldn’t imagine coming home at the end of the day and not seeing you there to greet us. We couldn’t bear the idea of missing out on one million kisses from you every morning. We couldn’t see a life without you in it.

 

So, we decided to adopt you! You are now officially part of our little family and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Welcome to your new Forever Home, Bessie. We promise to love you forever!

 

And they lived happily ever after

Cookies Dogs

Homemade Pumpkin and Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

Warning: This ain’t people food. Eat at your own risk (kinda).

These biscuits are made from all human ingredients — just made for doggie taste buds. I tried them. You won’t like them. But your dogs (or your friend’s dogs) totally will! (Yes – I ate a dog biscuit, because as I said before you always must taste test before serving).

I have two little slobbering taste testers at home with me right now and I can guarantee these treats are doggie approved.

Fiddle

Banjo

Travis and I have been fostering rescue dogs for about a year now. It is the most rewarding volunteer work either of us have ever done. Banjo and Fiddle (brothers) are our 8th and 9th foster dogs. All seven of our previous foster dogs are now in loving homes, which is fantastic! Some of them came from pretty awful circumstances, which has definitely been very heartbreaking to witness. Sometimes they haven’t trusted us at first because their previous owners were abusive, but after feeding them (a lot), bathing them, giving them a warm place to sleep, and cuddling the living hell out of them, all of these dogs turned around really well.

Fostering comes with a lot of questions, so I thought I would answer a few here.

 

Fostering FAQ:

Where do the dogs come from?

We foster through a non-profit organization called Much Love Animal Rescue based in LA. Leaders in the organization pull dogs from shelters around Los Angeles.  Some dogs are strays found on the streets, others have been dropped off at the shelter by an owner who can no longer keep the pet (e.g. they are moving or their new apartment does not allow animals), and some dogs have been taken away from unsafe/unstable homes.

IMG_9818

How do the dogs get adopted?

Much Love Animal Rescue hosts adoption events every weekend in Los Angeles. We drop off our foster dog for the day and anyone can stop by and fill out an application to adopt a dog. Much Love is particular about who adopts each dog — matching a dog  perfectly to its new family is crucial because we don’t want to risk the dog being given up again. We want dogs to stay in their “forever homes.” For example, some dogs are not good with kids, so homes with young ones are a no-go. Others may have separation anxiety, so they are much better off with someone who works from home.

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How come you don’t adopt?

We aren’t ready to adopt right now. As you know, having a dog is a BIG time commitment and our schedules can be a bit crazy. Fostering is great because we can foster on OUR schedule. If we know we have a busy month coming up with work or travel, we can take a month off.

IMG_3041

What do you pay for?

Nothing. Much Love covers all medical expenses, food, toys, beds, crates, treats, you name it. On occasion we buy new treats, collars,and toys on our own dime if we need them – it is such a small expense to us and we enjoy spoiling the cuties (and most of it is tax deductible).

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Don’t you get attached?

YES. I get VERY attached. When you have a dog for so long they basically become like a family member – giving them away can be very difficult. We had our first foster dog, Killian (now renamed to Wally), for 4 months – I was absolutely in love with him. I HATED bringing him to the adoption events on the weekend in fear of him being adopted and leaving us. But at the same time, I also had to be realistic and I knew that adopting a pet at that time wasn’t the best idea. When the perfect couple came along to adopt Killian, I knew I had to let him go. Luckily, his new mom became my friend through the whole process and now I am his “godmother” and I can still see him whenever I want. So, it really worked out in the end.

IMG_2751

How can I get involved?

If you are in the Los Angeles area – contact me! I can help get you involved. If you live in another city, simply do a Google search for animal rescue organizations in your community. There are so many needy dogs (and cats) out there that need homes! Even if you can’t foster, you can certainly donate your time in other ways.

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Because I love the bejesus out of these dogs, I decided to make homemade dog biscuits for them this weekend. Every dog has their taste preferences, but I have yet to meet a dog who hasn’t loved peanut butter.

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Banjo and Fiddle were taking a little afternoon nap when I woke them up to tell them there were freshly baked treats waiting for them.

IMG_0595

The progression below is what ensued next:

IMG_0605 (1)

IMG_0597

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Treats

Needless to say, they LOVED them. I am pretty sure Banjo didn’t even chew his – he just gulped it down whole.

 

Homemade Pumpkin and Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup rolled oats (quick-cooking would also be fine here)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 5 oz pumpkin puree (about ⅓ of a standard 15oz can)
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter
  • ½ egg, whisked
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl stir together the oats and whole wheat flour. In a separate smaller bowl, stir together the pumpkin, peanut butter and egg. Stir the wet mixture into the dry and mix well to combine.
  3. On a floured surface roll out the dough with a rolling pin to ¼ inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter or a knife to shape the dough into biscuits (my dog bone cookie cutter is from Sur La Table). Place the the biscuits on a baking sheet. They won't spread, so don't worry about putting them close to each other. Bake for about 35 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and place the biscuits on a wire rack to cool - they will harden more on the rack.
  4. Store in an airtight container. If biscuits are not going to be consumed within a few days, I recommend storing them in the fridge.