Sunday, January 4, 2015

Bran Muffins

Last night, I overheard Susan ask Dave, "What are your feelings about Bran muffins?" What?! Why would anyone make muffins from my friend Bran?

This is Bran. 
He is a dog–not a baked good!
He looks a lot like me. 
(Isn't he handsome?)

Dave replied, he did not care for bran muffins because they are dry. Susan looked determined, muttering about health benefits and whole grains. Happy new year, right?

The next morning, Susan did indeed make bran muffins and no dogs were harmed. Turns out bran muffins aren't dry. Could be the yogurt...the molasses...OK, likely the butter. Still, if you are looking for a tasty bran muffin, the guys say, "These muffins are better than expected."

Susan says to tell you this recipe is very forgiving. You can mix and match the oil/fat (or even reduce), swap out the flour (white, whole wheat...), choose your favorite fruit (raisins, figs, dates...), mix and match yogurt (original recipe called for sour cream).

Bran Cranberry Muffins
but I would rename them Fumble Muffins, to remind people to 
keep a loose grip when the dog is below.

Bran Cranberry Muffins

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen who adapted it from Gourmet, October 1991. Makes 12 muffins

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar (or less)
1 large egg, beaten lightly
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (2% Fage)
1/2 cup honey Greek yogurt (Greek Gods)
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried cranberries, or other diced dried fruit (raisins, figs...)

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup bran
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

In a large bowl, cream the softened butter, oil and the brown sugar. Beat in egg, yogurt, molasses, vanilla, and then stir in dried fruit.

In a small bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and bran. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, and stir the batter until it is just combined. (The batter will be lumpy.) Spoon the batter into 12 muffin tins, lined with paper cups or well-greased. Bake muffins on center rack of a well-preheated oven at 400°F. oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are springy or toothpick comes out clean. Cool, then eat them over the dog and fumble.

Bran muffins

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Manifest Destiny

Life is pretty good around here these days. My Susan is back on her feet after busting up her ankle in December. That means she's back to walking me. She is pretty pokey but I try to be patient.

Susan's leg is mending.. after six months.

Good thing Susan is back in the dog walk rotation because Boy#1 is gone on some canoe trip up north.

Sooo much gear to pack to survive in the tundra. But it all fit in the end.

Word is that where Boy#1 is headed, there are musk oxen and caribou and bugs the size of chihuahuas. Funny way to spend a summer, if you ask me.

My main hobby is nearly as challenging as surviving 40+ days in the wilderness: adding permissible furniture to my repertoire.

Deck chairs are for Carmella.
This deck chair has been permissible for awhile. But not sharing is the key.

Recently, Susan and Dave have expanded onto the front porch. It used to be filled with toys. Now it is a breezy, bug-free place to lounge. Looks comfy, right? But not for Carmella!

All the new porch furniture is NOT for Carmella. (Stupid cats.)

The BENCH on the porch seems to be OK. And I can guard the house from here.

The cats think THEY are guarding the house. Puleeze!

The cats weren't using their cat bed...

Same story. I am sticking with it.

If my peeps would buy me a bed like this one, I might be content.

OK, movie night is the best! Equal seating for all!

I guess I am a a pretty lucky dog!

Rumor has it, Dave and Susan have a new California King bed arriving in July. Plenty of room for ME. Right?

Saturday, May 3, 2014

So Close...

I love what spring brings...but Dave needs to UNDERSTAND.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Seven Things You and Your Dog Don't Need

It isn't quite so cold this week but the snow is so deep in the back yard that I can barely keep my head above it. No zoomies for me. So more indoor time. Sigh.

Here some weird things I found online today.

If you smell like peanut butter
and I am in a GOOD mood.

Custom nose print pendant
priced by the size of your dog's nose.
This one is a Great Dane so costs $170.
This is just plain weird.

Dog lips dog toy should never be fetched.
Bury them in the in the woods.

Cat battle armor is only $500. Yikes!

I am not a fan of dressing up your dog.
But this dynamic duo looks pretty good.

Hey! This looks like me!

Dog scratching post?!!
There's even a video demonstrating how to claw.
(This looks like Stuart...thank goodness he has no claws.)

2013 AKC Most Popular Dog Breeds

And the winner is....No surprises here. It is exactly the same as last year. Yawn.

2013 Most Popular Dogs in the U.S.

1. Labrador Retriever
2. German Shepherd Dog
3. Golden Retriever
4. Beagle
5. Bulldog
6. Yorkshire Terrier
7. Boxer
8. Poodle
9. Rottweiler
10. Dachshund

All 177 AKC breeds by popularity 2013, 2012, 2008, 2003

But I might just watch the show to see a mutt kick butt in agility!

Jimmy, a rescue dog from Richardson, to compete in the famed Westminster dog show

Go Jimmy!  

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tibetan Mastiff Tidbits

I was thinking about that Tibetan mastiff... he/she reminded me of someone else.

Tibetan mastiff
Then it came to me...

Lara and Yuri in Doctor Zhivago (1965)

This got me wondering about Tibetan mastiffs. Do they all look morose and fashionably bedecked in a Russian fur hats? Not so much... But I learned some interesting things along the way. 

Tibetan mastiffs come in all sorts of colors and weigh 150-200 pounds.

Tibetan mastiffs are not actually mastiffs. But then Tibeten terriers aren't terriers and Tibetan spaniels aren't spaniels. Those darn Westerners just make stuff up on sight. 

Big Splash, a red Tibetan mastiff, is the world’s most expensive dog, sold as a pup for 1.5 million. Read more about that. 

Big Splash, the most expensive dog in the world.

But buyer beware when shopping for Tibetan mastiffs: Wikipedia explains, 

"There have been other similar reports of dogs sold for astronomical prices; however, most of these appear to be breeders' attempts to drive up the prices of their dogs. Photos of dogs shown on web sites are frequently Photoshopped to exaggerate color intensity, size, and "bone". Buyers have reported getting their dogs home only to find that bathing removes both color and "hair extensions" from the coat."

Can you imagine me in hair extensions? 

I feel like a million bucks.

The last tidbit that I know my friend DN3 will appreciate is that Harry Dresden's dog Mouse is a Tibetan mastiff. Funny though, I always pictured Mouse more like a Neapolitan mastiff.

Neapolitan mastiff

The final fact I learned about Tibetan mastiffs is that they "don't smell bad like other dogs." Huh.