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Thursday, May 22, 2008

coffee, snow, harleys, and dog treats

Today is our one day off this week, so we're calling it a weekend. Sure, I consider blogging part of my job, but I like it. And besides, the lines between work and home are pretty blurry here. We do what we want.

It was a warm and sort of rainy morning, so we took our time getting going, and then loaded Heidi in the car, and headed out for a drive around the Enchanted Circle. (Lucy pouted, but it's her job to stay at home and guard the Bead Ranch. She gets extra treats, which usually evens things out for her.) The first stop was Eagle Nest, a teensy town in the nearby mountains, with a nice little fishing lake, several RV parks, a few cute shops and restaurants, and not a whole lot else. We were looking for our friend Lisa, who is busy helping her mom open a nice new cafe, Judy's. It was easy enough to find. The entire town is basically one main street, about two blocks long. Town was still quiet, being only Thursday, so we had time for a nice long visit and a good couple of cups of coffee and tea. I hadn't seen Lisa in several years, so it was fun to catch up. And interestingly, she's not just some random friend, but also happens to be my ex-husband's second ex-wife... we had a few things to talk about...

Anyway, tomorrow they'll have food, so drop in if you're there. It's a nice cozy little place, and from the prep I saw going on, you'll be well fed there too. Here's Judy and Lisa, at Judy's.

Back on the road, we thought about a lunch stop in Red River. We go up there most years over Memorial Day Weekend to see the thousands of bikes that gather in the wild west-y little town. We have an annual semi-fantasy about buying Harleys and hitting the open road. But since literally hitting that road is an unappealing possibility, we aren't really serious about it, especially on days like today. The closer we got to Red River, the worse the weather got. Here it is, the end of May, and we were in heavy snow. What fun to ride a motorcycle in that, huh? We quickly traded in our biker daydream for a more practical, comfortable one that includes a motor home... and a blender...

Since I had the great foresight to wear flip-flops this morning, wandering around Red River in search of lunch seemed like a bad idea, so we wound along the mountain road back down to Taos and home. All that snow had us singing Christmas songs in the car, and that got me thinking about this past Christmas when we had loads of people and dogs at our house. That and Heidi sleeping in the back seat made me think of the yummy dog cookies I made for them in December, and that I've been planning to make some more this week. So I did. My dogs love these more than anything - so far. I've been trying to teach Heidi to "sit", which I realize is sort of silly, since she's already so close to the ground. She wouldn't do it for any of the good store-bought treats we have, but for these, she sat and sat and sat. Then she and Lucy danced. Now they're sleeping.

I'll share the recipe, since we're in serious cookie mode this week. I found this on

Cheese Treats

4 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tsp. garlic powder
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cup shredded cheese
1 1/4 cup milk

Combine flour and garlic powder in a large bowl.

Gradually stir-in vegetable oil, cheese, beaten egg, milk and blend well. Roll-out dough to desired thickness. Cut-out treats and place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake 25 minutes at 400°F.

Cool before storing. Note: cooking time may vary depending upon thickness.

They also post a note about onions: "When baking for your dog, always be sure to check all ingredients (especially prepared foods, i.e. baby food, bouillon) that are added, to insure that onions are not present. Onions, and chocolate can be very toxic to dogs!"

It's also been suggested that garlic is bad for dogs. I've Googled-about quite a bit, and found much more information to the contrary, but if you're concerned, leave the garlic powder out!

Since I like to have tiny training treats handy, rather than use cookie cutters, I just cut the dough into little 1/2 inch cubes. Dogs don't care how big a treat is, as long as it's food... And know what? They're good! And since they're made from good healthy stuff (no chicken feet), if you need a snack, these will do in a pinch. If I was actually baking them for people, I'd add some salt to the recipe...

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