Hot Day Frozen Banana Basil Towers by Lucy

It’s sure been hot around here lately, and I’ve been seeing on your posts that most of you have been having heat waves, too. I wish the heat would wave, cause that would at least cause a breeze, right? So what’s good to help with the heat? Cold snacks! Now that’s something to be happy about!

Most of us dogs love fresh turkey and chicken, and you can jazz things up a bit by pairing either (or both!) with fresh basil and green banana slices, creating a delicious and nutritious frozen snack for furry family members (primarily dogs, since it’s doubtful many cats will find bananas enticing).

These are nutrient-packed, bite-sized pinwheel treats for warm summer days, or anytime, with absolutely no fillers, additives, or byproducts — and loaded with nutrition! Mom was happy she got to use some of her own basil plant leaves for our treats. If you aren’t into eating raw meat, you can ask your Mom or Dad to gently cook the little meatballs before using them in the recipe.

Frozen Banana Basil Towers

Ingredients

  • Unripe (green) bananas
  • Fresh basil
  • Fresh ground free-range chicken or turkey

Directions

  1. Slice banana.
  2. Place a fresh basil leaf on each slice.
  3. Top with a small ground turkey or chicken meatball.
  4. Freeze for 3 hours on a cookie sheet or freezer-safe pan.

Our treats are done now, and we suggest greasing the pan or putting that non-stick paper stuff under the banana, as ours stuck to the pan. Anyhoo, our treats came out looking like this.

I suggested to Mom that next time (and we sure do hope there is a next time) to slice the banana thinner so that we get more treats. She took my suggestion under advisement. I think that meant OK.

I don’t want to close without letting you know that my little sis Xena is turning five years old today. She wants to do her own post about it on Wednesday, so I won’t say anything more, except happy birthday, Xena!

With many thanks to Comedy Plus for hosting Happy Tuesday, *wiggles and wags* Lucy

In Purrsuit of Flavors for Halloween

Thanks to Shoko and Tyebe of the Canadian Cats and Nelly and Phenny of Easy Blog for hosting this yummy day.

Xena: This month is all about Halloween. The Thanksgiving turkey has already been out aggravating me, but I’m waiting to see the pumpkins and ghosts and ghouls, oh my! This month I told Mommy I wanted to postme and Lucy’s recipe first, and she agreed. Believe me friends, these are yummy!

If you don’t want to bother with rolling and cutting, I’m sure your pup will be happy with you just squishing it onto a baking pan and breaking it up after it’s cooked. Now, while I sit here and daydream about these cookies, Mommy’s gonna share a recipe for all you peeps.

There’s so many great fall recipes, I finally decided on Tuscan Apple Cake and since apples are a fall crop, I thought it still appropriate. (OK, not very Halloweeny, so if you need Halloweeny, please do your pups a favor and bake them Xena’s recipe, LOL!)

Tuscan Apple Cake
More like a flan than a cake, this dessert is chock-full of apples and incredibly moist. The list of ingredients is short, and for good reason: it’s all about the apples! The apples can be cut into super-thin slices easily by using the slicing attachment of a food processor, or just slice them by hand.

Bake it right on the floor of the oven! This causes a caramelized skin to form at the bottom of the cake and intensifies the flavors of the sweet apples.

Ingredients:
4 large Golden Delicious, Gala or other firm flesh apples (1 3/4 lbs) (800 g)
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch sea salt
2 extra large eggs – at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
7 tablespoons unsalted butter – melted and slightly cooled
powdered sugar as garnish
1 10″ non-stick round spring-form pan, buttered and floured 

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

 Peel, core, and quarter the apples. (I like to leave the peel on them). Then using the slicing attachment of a food processor cut them crosswise in 1/8″ slices. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

 Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk at medium speed until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is pale and thick, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Fold the flour into the egg mixture with a wooden spoon, until just incorporated. Fold in the milk, then the butter and finally the apple slices. Be sure not to over mix. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Pack the apples into the mold and flatten the surface of the cake with the wooden spoon.

Bake for 10 minutes on the floor of the oven. Transfer the pan to the middle rack and continue baking for 50 to 55 minutes until golden-brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven, and run a paring knife around the edge to loosen the cake from the ring of the mold. Cool in its mold to room temperature. Unmold the cake and transfer to a serving platter. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

Cook’s note: The cake can be baked up to 6 hours ahead and kept in its mold at room temperature in a cool place. It is best eaten the day it is made.

In Pursuit of Flavors Summer Edition

After saying a prayer of thanks that all the ideas that Tyebe and Shoko of The Canadian Cats and Da Phenny, Neilson and Katty of Easyblog  threw out – such as beer can chicken and squirty whip cream – really did get thrown out, we had to sit down and think up what we like to eat in the summer. Me and Xexe immediately agreed on the frozen treats Mom made for Xe’s birthday. That recipe is at the end, so that you will remember it best. Mom finally decided on the cold soup she’s been making this summer. She likes it and Dad asks for it a lot. Besides the taste, one of the things Mom likes about it is how quick and easy it is to make. So here we go…

Chilled Lemon Basil Avocado Soup 

Ingredients:
2 ripe avocados, peeled and roughly chopped
1 C coconut milk
1 C vegetable broth
about 1 tsp of fresh lemon zest (original recipe called for 1 Tbsp, but I thought too lemony, so adjust if you just love lemon flavor)
1 Tbsp lemon juice (adjust to taste)
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp lemon or regular basil
2 tsp minced shallots (can substitute leeks or onion if you don’t have shallots)
1 tsp kosher salt (adjust to taste)

Instructions:
Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until very smooth. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to let the flavors blend. Best when made the day before. NOTE: The soup will taste very mild when first blended, so wait before adjusting seasonings. It will end up about this color, or a little darker.

It’s our turn now. Here’s the recipe for

Frozen Banana-Almond Butter (or Peanut Butter)-Cocomut Oil Dog Treats

1 C softened or melted coconut oil
1 C almond or peanut butter
1 medium very ripe banana (sorta’ ripe is ok too)

Dump everything in a bowl and use an electric mixer to get it all mixed together good. Scoop it into an ice cube tray. Makes about 1 1/2 dozen.

Notes: We get almond butter because it’s a lot healthier than peanut butter. Mom had to use a butter knife to loosen the edges to get each cube out. You might want to spray some olive oil in the tray compartments first.
Also, the recipe called for filling a plastic baggie with the mixture, snipping the end, and squeezing it into a fancier mold than an ice cube tray. Really? We don’t care what they look like, just give us more! Oh, and they come out about this color.

It’s time to come inside, Xe. Mom’s made our favorite summer treats, and they’re ready!

Lucy and Xena Schnauzer Warrior Princess