Friday, March 11, 2011

Home made dog food recipe

prettiest thing I know in the whole wide world

My best friend, and the jewel of my life is my dog, Maru. Unfortunately she is getting old... inevitably. She started to be hesitant of eating her dry food that she's been eating for the last 11 yrs. We tried many things, but finally, we started to make her food ourselves. Yes, it's work, but kind of fun too :) Jason helped me once and that makes it a lot better (making 100s of mini meatballs by yourself can be tiring). Maru was having a difficult time "licking" her mushy canned food, so I decided to make little meatballs for her. After her first meal of my meatballs, she has never been more eager for her meal time.

I'm no Doctor, but I make these meatballs from watching many professional's commentaries about home made dog food. In this meal, she gets LOTS of protein, some veggie, and fiber! give these a try if you are considering making your own dog food.

you need a real big bowl for this. or make a smaller batch

10 lbs ground beef (lean)
2 cups of oat bran
3 cans pumpkin puree
4 carrots, boiled/steamed and mashed
leaves of 4 kale stalk chopped finely
3 slices of bread, cubed small
4 eggs
some salt. (not too much, probably about 1-2 tbs for this much meat)
some flour to dredge the meat balls

1. Put all ingredients in a LARGE bowl. Mix them all together and form them into any size of balls you'd like.

2. Dredge the balls lightly in the flour, shaking off any excess.

3. put them in 400 degree oven until it is done. bake time will depend on the size of your balls; usually mine only take about 25 min. (mine are about the size of a muscadine or those donut holes)

before it goes in the oven. spraying it with some olive oil will make them caramelize more.

I bag them about 15 oz each into freezer bags. I freeze all but a couple of days worth.

ps. you can easily make a much smaller batch. These meatballs will feed mine (a golden retriever) for two weeks. I freeze them in a bag portioned out by daily amount. The measurement and proportion doesn't have to be exactly what I did. Just consider that your dog needs good nutrients, like you do. You can substitute the vegies with other vegies... some ppl use English peas or sweet potatoes. I add pumpkin because that is nature's stool softner, and when your dog gets old, they need that. I add oat bran as well for fiber so she will have a healthy digestive system.

showing her stick who's boss

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

3 hour tomatoes

Three hour tomatoes do stay in the oven for three hours. Nice and slow, the tomatoes get shriveled and concentrated in it's flavor. I don't think I've ever had more intense flavor of tomatoes before. These are a great way to feed veges to your kids too. I love Tyler's recipes, I don't think I have had one bad recipe from his cookbook yet! We make this dish over and over again because it's one of those winner recipes: looks great, great for your health, cheap to make, good as leftover as is, AND great made into pasta sauce or tossed in your salad. Must have in your repertoire :D

ps. this particular time I made them, my ovens were being over worked... I have two ovens and these guys needed to leave the oven prematurely for some other goodies to be roasted... they were still goood though.
when placing the tomato halves on a sheet pan, make sure the garlic slices gets on top of tomatoes. in my experience, the ones that gets forgotten on the sheet... burns :(

all shriveled up:)

This recipe is from tyler's book, and also here online

Preheat the oven to 300°F. Slice the tomatoes in half lengthwise and put them in a large bowl. Drizzle with a 4-count of oil. be generous! Toss in the garlic and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Toss the tomatoes to coat in the flavored oil. Arrange the tomatoes on a sheet pan in a single layer, cut side up. Pour the oil from the bowl over the tomatoes and roast for 3 hours to concentrate their flavor. They should be shrunken and dry to the touch.

when you are seasoning these guys with salt, season them liberally! give them a good healthy dose of flavor enhancer!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Galette again

The berries all coated in corn starch and sugar

I made Galette again.

We were having 6 dinner guests that weekend. 6 guests plus my family will be 12 people. A good size cake would've done the job for the dessert, but neither myself nor my mother wanted to make a cake. We were already making too many dishes so we needed something fast and fools-proof. Yes Galette!! Berries were not that expensive so I made my original recipe. This is truly the WOW factor right out of the oven. Now I think about it, I could've sprinkled the whole plate with a little bit of powered sugar... seriously though.. this is sweet, tangy, tart, buttery and just really refreshingly delicious, especially if you thought you had a little too much of pre-dessert courses :)

pleating being done. you actually want that much fold-over, so the berry juice
stays nice and trapped!

Ta DA~~~!

Friday, March 4, 2011

No Fail Crab Cake recipe

Whenever we have a party, small or big, we like to have many Hors d'Ĺ“uvre becauce, let's face it, we like that part of the meal best. Usually, we are all hungry and every little morsel is just what we need ;) My crab cakes are often times the crowd favorite! This recipe was very much inspired by Tyler florence's recipe almost a decade ago, (I saw him make it on TV) but I can't give you a link, because I can't find it. My recipe is probably close to his recipe but over the years, I'm sure I've butchered the original and made many changes. I never really have seen the recipe/measurement, I just saw him make it and everything is approximate. Yes you see that chopstick in the picture... That's what happens in a Japanese household even if the meal has nothing oriental about it :) chopsticks are the best tool in MY kitchen :)

** don't let the ingredients fool you, most of the things, you should already have in your fridge. there are steps, but steps are very easy.
** I like to make mind as mini appetizers so I make them small, but I have made them for dinner and just made into hamburger patty size, and that worked just as well.


1 small idaho potato
1 cup of lump crab meat
(I usually look at the packaged crab meat, then compare it to the potato. 50/50 sounds pretty good. this is more like a crab croquette :) )

1/4 cup whole milk
1 tbs butter
a few sprigs of Thyme
two garlic cloves smashed
a few black pepper corns
1 bay leaf

pank bread crumb
  1. peel and cube the potato and put them in a cold salted water and bring it to boil. Boil them until fork tender
  2. bring to a very low simmer the milk, butter, thyme sprigs, garlic, pepper corns, and a bay leaf until all the flavors have infused the milk
  3. just as you make mashed potato, put the infused milk onto the potatoes and mash. you are looking for the consistency of dry mashed potato. If the mashed potatoes get too runny or wet, it will be hard later to form a ball for mini crab cakes.
  4. mix the mashed potatoes and the lump crab meat together. don't over mix, the crab will turn to shreds.
  5. form then into a balls. I like to make mine the size or a ping pong balls. I push them a bit, so they become discs about 3/4 inch high.
  6. dredge them in flour, then in egg wash, then into the breadcrumbs, just as if you are battering anything else.
  7. heat some olive oil in a pan, so there's more oil than "just covering the bottom of the pan". you want them to have enough oil for them to get crispy. brown on both side, put them on a rack, or paper towel, top them with the sauce (right before the guests get there), and serve! (it's mayo based, so it gets filmy on surface if left out too long. )


1/4 cup mayo
1 tbs mustard. I use the very grainy one.
1 anchovy fillet (omit it if you don't like it) chopped up fine of pasted
1 garlic clove grated
splash of lemon juice
1 tbs finely chopped parsley
pinch of salt
panch of pepper
pinch of sugar

put all of the ingredients in a small bowl and mix. adjust the seasoning. usually sugar mellow out the strong flavors. I sometimes add half of a hard boiled egg, finely chopped. you can always add your favorite herbs in here:thyme, rosemary, chives, basil, tarragon...make it your own!

gyro wrap

This is a restaurant review of Gyro Wrap

On Broad street in Athens GA, right by the "arch" of the University of Georgia, there is a gyro shop I frequent. Something about the gyro that just hit the spot, you know? :D it's meaty, salty, creamy, and the flat bread is chewy, warm, and just plain tasty. This shop is called Gyro Wrap. on a warm sunny day, the outside seating will be the best situation. I always order the plain gyro and ask the man to give me a bit less meat and add tomato and onion (Lettuce comes with). Usually their wrap is pretty big that it makes difficult to eat as I drive. (how dangerous!). Their Gyro is made with beef and lamb meat, sticking with the tradition, but they have many other wraps that may not be greek at all. check out their menu here. A gentleman sitting next to me was eating some kind of a wrap about twice as big as my gyro, with what looked like melted cheese... although I was already full, seeing that steamy cheesy meaty wrap made me almost hungry.

Give them a try if you haven't already.

P.S. Almost forgot... try their feta dip with your curly fries. it's only 84 cents and it, again, hits the spot!!