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I was going to save this post for my Friday Link Love, but it absolutely made my day yesterday. It’s a recipe for cat treats from Joy the Baker and it has pictures of her orange cat. He looks so much like my orange cat! A giant fluffy ball of orange cuteness, I can barely stand it! I’d feel weird about having such a dramatic response to a fellow orange cat owner, but my friend Stefanie is a corgi owner and I have seen her act the exact same way every time she encounters another corgi owner. So it can’t be that strange right?
Joy the Baker –
So I have this cat. His name is Jules, but I call him Tron.
Sometimes you just name the creature in your house the wrong name. It’s hard to know until you know them. Never let me name a child. I won’t get it right. That’s the lesson we’re supposed to learn here.
So I have this cat. Sometimes I make him cat toys and cat treats. It’s a thing I do with only a residual amount of shame and embarrassment.
I first made these cat treats for my kitten about a year ago, and Design Sponge was pretty keen on them. I made them again this weekend and my kitten-cat was pretty excited. To be fair, he also gets excited when I buy a rotisserie chicken or slice into an avocado. He’ll also steal a warm blueberry muffin, eat through the center of a pie, or lick the frosting off a cake. He’s not particular about food, he’ll eat it all, and he’s a terrible person (and I love him).
Animal Jar Tops were invented by the Internet, not me. Find out how to make them here.
Cat treats! Let’s talk about these little bites.
These cat treats are made of very simple ingredients that aren’t cat food, but that our cats are going to eat and enjoy. If now is the time that you’d like to freak out about oats and tuna and making your own cat food and cat health… ok. But these are just cat treats, so maybe we could just all calm down by like, at least 12%. Just sayin’.
One of the binder of these cat treats is oats.
More specifically, oats that are pulverized into oat flour. Like so. Easy.
In the food processor we combine oat flour, canned (unsalted) tuna, and catnip.
Olive oil for moisture, good fat, and good fur.
An egg yolk for good fat, good binding, and good fur.
Good fur is important.
Pulverized and combined. The mixture is doughy and people-edible but mostly kitty-edible.
I roll the tuna dough into teaspoon sized balls. Kitty-sized.
A little criss-cross action. Just for even baking. Even with cat treats we want to get things right!
I usually shush him away, but these crunchy treats are fresh from the oven for him, so….
So why not make some Catnip Yarn Balls along with the cat treats and just go all the way.
I’m the only one that knows I’m a crazy cat lady… until I share it with all of you.
Ps. Since these baked kitty treats have tuna and egg in them, I store them in a jar in the refrigerator.
Tuna Catnip Kitty Treats
1 (5 ounce) can tuna, no salt added and packed in water, drained
1 cup oat flour*
1 large egg
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 heaping tablespoon dried catnip
*It’s easy to make your own oat flour. Simply grind old-fashioned oats in a spice grinder (or a super clean coffee grinder) until it is transformed into a light powder. There you have it — oat flour!
Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment, combine drained tuna, oat flour, egg, olive oil and catnip. Blend until mixture is smooth. It will be thick but pliable and not terribly sticky.
Roll dough into 1/2 teaspoon balls and place on prepared cookie sheet. Use a skewer to press an X-shape into each cookie ball.
Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes until they are dried on top and slightly browned. Allow to cool completely before offering to your kitty.
Place treats in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to seven days.
Original pictures and tutorial here.
I have found Holiday Snack List Item 2. It comes from the blog Joy the Baker and is called Salty Pretzel Vanilla Caramel Corn. I would like to do a test run of this recipe and I need two volunteers to come to my house and take all of the finished product with them. I’m afraid that if I make this for just Andy and myself we will be to large to fit out the front door of our house. And if we did manage to squeeze through the door, my orthodontist would probably kill me. Caramel, popcorn and crunchy pretzels? I’m pretty sure that those are the top three “Thou Shalt Not’s” of braces. Realistically, probably numbers 2-5 since gum and granola bars do more damage.
Salty Pretzel Vanilla Caramel Corn
makes about 14 cups popcorn
adapted from Karo Syrup
about 12 cups popped popcorn
about 2 cups pretzel twists
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 250 degrees F, Grease a large (but shallow) roasting pan with butter or cooking spray, and add popcorn and pretzels to the pan.
In a 2 quart saucepan, combine brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt Whisk over medium heat until it begins to boil. Allow to boil over medium heat (without stirring!!) for about 5 minutes. The mixture will be deep gold and bubbling.
Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the baking soda. The mixture will foam and froth. That’s ok. Keep stirring. Stir in the vanilla extract.
Quickly pour warm syrup over popcorn and pretzel mixture. Use to large spoons to toss the mixture, coating all of the popcorn and pretzels in caramel. Work as quickly as you can.
Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove and toss. Return to the oven to bake for another 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and toss. Allow to cool before handling and packaging.
Caramel corn will last up to 4 days well wrapped at room temperature.
Seriously, how amazing does that look? Weekend candy making party?
Images from here.
It’s summer, a time for long evenings, frozen treats, Bar-B-Q’s, frozen treats and most importantly, frozen treats (it gets really hot here, don’t judge). In our house ice cream is frozen treat of choice,and in the last year we’ve been trying out non-dairy based products. The Vegan Toasted Coconut Ice Cream was the first vegan ice cream I’d ever had; before that I was extremely skeptical of the quality of flavor, how could you possible make ice cream without dairy right? But I was wrong, I LOVE coconut ice cream! And not in that “well-for-being-vegan-it-isn’t-bad” way, but in the “hey-wanna-come-over-so-I-don’t-eat-all-of-this-by-myself” way. After reading this article that has 29 different vegan ice cream recipes, I can’t wait to try out some new flavor variations. The four I am most interested in are the Cinnamon Toast Ice Cream, Banana Cherry Garcia, Strawberry-Banana and Salted Caramel Pretzel.
Vegan Cinnamon Toast Ice Cream
Images from here.
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Halloween. When I was younger the combination of dressing up AND getting free candy made Halloween one of my favorite holidays, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve sort of fallen out of love.
Once you hit a certain age, and especially in college, Halloween becomes less about the candy and more about people using it as an excuse to drink excessively and wear lingerie in public. The last few years I haven’t even celebrated, but as my husband pointed out a few days ago, we now live in a neighborhood that has lots of young families. Meaning that we needed to at the very least get a giant bowl of treats to protect ourselves from the tricks. I figured if I we were going to do candy, we should at least do it right, so I found this DIY from Creature Comforts that provides a great way to spruce up your holiday candy.
- Standard copy paper
- Color Printer
- Double-sided tape
- Standard-size chocolate candy bars (I used 1.55 oz and 1.75oz sizes for mine).
Begin by downloading the file (above) and then print out the wraps you’d like to use. To save ink and paper, you do not need to print out the cover page. Just select which pages you’d like your printer to print. Cut out your wraps using a pair of scissors (or a craft knife, ruler and self-healing mat).
Center your wrap on your chocolate bar…making sure that the top of the paper wrap overlays the edge of the bar by about 1/4″.
Turn your candy bar and paper with the design-side down on a working surface. Place a strip of double-sided tape along the longer side of the paper wrap.
Fold wrap up and around chocolate bar and secure to the candy bar by pressing the taped portion down. Place another piece of double-sided tape along the open paper flap.
Wrap flap around bar snugly and press to adhere tape to wrap.
Repeat with remaining wrappers and bars.
- Heavy-weight cardstock paper
- Color Printer
- Double-sided tape (or stapler)
- Glassine Treat bags (similar to these)- the ones I used are 5.75″ wide. If your bags are smaller you can easily cut your toppers to fit.
- Small sweets and goodies
Begin by downloading the file (above) and then print out the wraps you’d like to use onto cardstock. To save ink and paper, you do not need to print out the cover page. Just select which pages you’d like your printer to print. Cut out your wraps using a pair of scissors (or a craft knife, ruler and self-healing mat). Fill your treat bags with goodies and fold the top down to close. Trim excess off if the flap is too long once folded over. The folded flap should fit inside your bag topper so that it is hidden when sealed.
Once your toppers are cut out, fold each one in half and crease (I use the back of my thumbnail for a nice sharp crease).
Repeat with all of your toppers.
Add a piece of double-sided tape to both long edges of your paper toppers.
Sandwich your treat bag between the topper and press down along the outside of the taped portions to secure. And you’re done!
I think my relationship with Halloween may be on the mend. After searching for clever trick or treat DIY’s , I realized that once I have kids I’ll be able to dress them up and see them light up as their trick or treat bags fill up with goodies. Some of my mom’s fondest parenting memories were Halloween related. The year she make me a skunk costume with the shirt that said, “I’m a little stinker” or the year she make my brother’s batman costume, hand painting the bat symbol onto a pair of black boat shoes and a black t-shirt for him. At the very least I can keep my fingers crossed that someday when we get around to having kids, I end up getting to wear one of the maternity shirts with a jack-o-lantern face on the tummy. How cute would that be?