Bless Your Spoon: Purrr-fect treats?

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 17, 2022

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By Stephanie Williams Dean

The month of February is about more than just Valentine’s Day. February gives us 28 full days to focus on love. Hopefully, over the holiday you celebrated at least one special occasion or home-cooked meal with a loved one in your inner circle. Our spouses, children, extended family, partners, and friends — maybe someone you know received a special treat that conveyed the words, I Love You. But when this month has passed, let’s be sure to continue showing our love for one another in the many small ways we can.

And most importantly, we don’t want to forget or fail to celebrate our most beloved, and furry best friends. Those who stand by us without fail.  Make sure to extend your circles of love to include the creatures, great and small, that love you the most — your constant, ever-faithful pets.

Today’s recipes feature easy, healthy, homemade treats for your favorite Clifford and Garfield that are nutrient-rich with no added sugars. Making homemade snacks is just another way to show our fur babies just how much we love them. For even healthier treats, spray cookie sheets with a fat-free non-stick baking spray before baking.

Included in today’s selections is one special treat for the birds. Whether you’re rolling and cutting out doggie bones or just mixing up some bird food, each activity is a fun opportunity to spend time with your kids both in your kitchen and outdoors. Winter’s still here, so we must remember our little, outdoor, feathered friends — the birds. I like the black-oiled sunflower seed that’s sold at Tractor Supply. Taking note of the number of colored, songbirds at my feeder — apparently they love it, too.

These recipes are so simple that a child will have no difficulty preparing the treats. You might also consider making a gift for someone else. Pet treats are a good choice and an appreciated gift by all those who love the little creatures of the world.

You know how the true saying goes — love me, love my pets.

Mac’s Meaty Treats

• 1 pound blended liver

• 1 cup yellow cornmeal

• ½ cup whole wheat flour

• 2 tsp. garlic salt

In a bowl, combine liver, cornmeal, flour and salt. Add only enough water to make a thick paste. Spread on a greased cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 20 minutes without burning. Allow to cool and cut into doggy biscuits.

Milk Bones

• 1 beaten egg

• 2¼ cup wheat flour

• ¼ cup wheat germ

• ½ cup nonfat dry milk

• ½ tsp. garlic powder

• ½ cup ice water

• 6 Tbsp. Crisco shortening

In a mixer bowl, beat egg. Add wheat flour, wheat germ, dry milk and garlic powder while alternating with ice water. Stir in shortening. Mix well. Form into a ball. If it will not hold together, add only 1 tsp. of water at a time until it holds. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 6 hours. Roll out to ¼-inch thick and cut into bones. Bake on a greased cookie sheet in a preheated 350-degree oven for 20-30 minutes. The longer you bake them, the harder and crispier they are. Bake less for more chewiness.

Canine Cookies

• 1½ cups mashed ripe bananas

• ¼ cup applesauce

• 3 cups uncooked oatmeal

• ½ tsp. vanilla extract

• ½ cup carob chips

In a mixer bowl, combine bananas and applesauce. Mix well. Stir in oatmeal and mix well. Fold in extract and carob chips. Mix well. Roll into balls about the size of a walnut and press down with tines of fork. Bake on an ungreased baking sheet in a preheated 350-degree oven for 15 minutes. Cool. Store in refrigerator. Yield: 30.

Bird Dog Brownies

• 4 beaten eggs

• 1 cup cornmeal

• 1 lb. cut beef liver

• 2 minced garlic cloves

In a mixer bowl, beat eggs. Add cornmeal and mix well. Fold in pieces of cut liver and garlic. Mix all in a food processor until smooth. Pour into an 8-inch baking pan with a non-stick surface or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven. Cool completely. Cut into bite-sized brownies. Refrigerate in an air-tight container.

Tail-Wagging Turkey Jerk

• 1 lb. ground turkey

• 2 tsp. low salt Teriyaki sauce

• 2 minced garlic cloves

• ½ tsp. ground ginger

In a mixer bowl, combine turkey, teriyaki sauce, garlic and ginger. Spread over a greased cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 170-degree oven for 2 hours. When done, blot all grease from jerky. Slice jerky into 1-inch strips. Turn strips over and return to oven. Bake for additional 2 hours at same temperature. Cool and store in the freezer.

Bruiser’s Doggie Biscuits

• ¾ cup hot beef broth or meat drippings

• 1/3 cup softened margarine

• ½ cup powdered milk

• 1 beaten egg

• Pinch of salt

• 3 cups whole wheat flour

In a bowl, pour hot drippings over softened margarine until it melts. Add powdered milk, beaten egg, and a pinch of salt. Slowly add ½ cup of flour at a time while mixing well between each addition. Roll the stiff dough to ½-inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters. Bake on a greased cookie sheet in a preheated 250-degree oven for 45 minutes. Allow to cool. Store in an airtight container.


• ½ cup grated cheddar cheese

• ½ cup cottage cheese

• 2 Tbsp. Wesson oil

• ½ tsp. salt

• ¾ cup all-purpose flour

• ½ cup wheat germ or fine granola, no raisins

In a mixer bowl, combine cheddar, cottage cheeses, oil and salt.  Gradually add flour and mix well until the dough will stick together. Form into 1-inch balls and roll in the wheat germ or granola without raisins. Bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet in a preheated 350-degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Pooch Park Doggie Bones

• 3 beaten eggs

• 12 oz. whole wheat flour

• 14 oz. all-purpose flour

• 2 oz. wheat germ

• 1 cup whole milk

• 1 cup vegetable oil

• 2 Tbsp. peanut butter

In a mixer bowl, beat eggs. Beat in flours and wheat germ while alternating with milk and oil. Mix well. Fold in peanut butter and mix well. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Roll dough out on floured surface to ½-inch thickness. Cut into biscuit-sized shapes of a bone. Aerate the dough with a fork. Bake on a parchment-covered cookie sheet in a 375-degree oven for 40 minutes so that biscuits become very hard. Allow to completely cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Frisky Kitty’s Catch

• 3 oz. small pre-cooked shrimp

• ¼ cup finely chopped cut grass

• 1/3 cup clam juice

In a bowl, mix shrimp, grass, and clam juice. Yield: 1 serving.

Feline’s Fancy Feast

• 7 oz. drained, mashed, sardines in oil

• ¼ cup dry, non-fat milk

• ½ cup wheat germ

In a bowl, combine drained, mashed sardines, dry milk and wheat germ. With your hands, roll into balls about the size of a marble. Bake on a nonstick spray-coated cookie tray in a 350-degree for 12-15 minutes or until browned. Allow to cool completely. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Yield: 30

Fresh Fruit Feed for Birds

• 1 whole grapefruit

• ¾ cup softened suet

• 1 cup birdseed

• String

Slice grapefruit in half. Scoop out juice and pulp completely. Cut out three equally distanced holes in each grapefruit half for 3 strings to be added later. Microwave the grapefruit half for 6 minutes at lowest setting. You can also bake for 3-4 hours in a 275-degree oven. In a bowl, mix softened suet with birdseed. Fill each half of dried grapefruit with seed mix.  Thread three strong strings through the holes of each and tie at the top around a tree branch. Hang outside near the window.