Thursday, February 21, 2013

Harry Hors D'oeuvres: Birthday Pupcakes

As promised, Harry's cupcakes, or should I say "pupcakes", were served on his actual birthday February 18th.  These treats bring such joy to Harry's eyes it's ridiculous.  Anytime I get one out he sits, he lays down, goes back to sit, lays down again, as if he's attempting to do any command I might ask of him in the fastest way possibly so as to speed the process of cupcakes to mouth.  Unfortunately this hasn't brought about new tricks that I wish Harry could talking, giving me his paw, or folding my laundry.

I got the recipe for the cake here and modified it so I could make cupcakes instead.  Making them cupcake sized allowed me to keep these treats around for the whole week instead of Harry binge-ing on an entire cake in one sitting.  So here we go...
For the pupcakes, you will need 1 cup of flour (wheat or white), 1 tsp baking soda, 1 egg, 1/4 cup peanut butter, 1 cup shredded or grated carrots, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/3 cup honey, and I used lowfat cottage cheese as frosting.  You'll want to start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.

Dog recipes are so easy peasy, you just put all the ingredients in one big bowl and mix them together.  Oh and by the way, I grated my carrots by chopping them up first and throwing them into my Ninja blender.  It saved a lot of time, but if you don't have a blender or food processor, I suppose you could use a cheese grater!

Once mixed, line a cupcake tray with liners.  You don't need to spray anything - the vegetable oil in the cake prevents the papers from sticking.  I found that I could get about 10 cupcakes out of my mix.

Fill your cupcake liners about 2/3 of the way with cake batter.  These do rise, but not as much as you'd expect a box cake mix to rise.  Put in the oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes.  Mine were done in 35.

While the pupcakes cooled, Harry helped me clean up by licking the bowl.  He wouldn't do it in front of me even though I said it was ok.  It was only when I walked away that Harry was brave enough to indulge in cake batter.

The coast is clear!
I topped Harry's birthday cupcake with the lowfat cottage cheese pictured earlier.  Although it sounds really gross to me, he found it tantalizing.  With a few blobs of purple human frosting and the touch of a birthday candle, Harry's pupcake was complete!

We indulged Harry with the birthday song which he thoroughly enjoyed.  His face was mesmerized by the presentation of fancy treat accompanied by fire and song.  The birthday tradition probably looks insane to first-timers, but it didn't go unappreciated.

With my help, Harry blew out his candle and dug into his deserved pupcake.  Tentative at first, Harry began by licking the frosting off his cake first.  Then full on cake swallowing ensued.  He literally barely chewed, and the remaining two cupcakes he ate that night had to be broken up first because we were afraid he'd choke.  Yea...I let Harry have three cupcakes on his birthday.

All in all it turned out to be a pretty good first birthday for Harry.  And if you're wondering what the cakes tasted like, they were almost a peanut butter flavored carrot cake.  Pretty good for dog standards I'd say.  Harry has been having a cupcake for breakfast every day this week before we leave for work.  I'm pretty sure he's not going to want to stop celebrating.

Nom NOM nom Nom

Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy Birthday Harry!

Today, on February 18th, Harry turns one year old.  Now, we're not 100% sure when Harry's actual birth date is, but given that he arrived at his shelter on May 18th and was an estimated 3 months old then, we figured that his birthday was three months prior on February 18th.  This means that Harry is an Aquarius....which is actually quite shocking considering he hates water. 

We had Harry's birthday party on the 17th at his favorite place, the Schuylkill Banks dog park.  Harry didn't care that it was 26 degrees out, and proudly let Mom (me) put on his birthday flair.
Following a birthday photo shoot and several birthday kisses, we headed to the park.  Harry has never squealed so much on a car ride - not out of nervousness, but out of excitement.  Within seconds of coming within inches of another fur-beast, Harry's "Birthday Boy" pin was long gone, but Harry didn't mind.  He set about his manic sprinting calling attention to the fact that this was his party, and he came to rock it.

The party was packed, averaging about 20 pooches.  Dogs big and small wished Harry a happy birthday and engaged him in some sprints, wrestling, and games of tag.

Things got a little PG-13 and out of Harry's age range when a few of the older dogs started humping each other.  Harry attempted some air humping but luckily his Dad and I pulled him out of the crowd before he embarrassed himself. 
Like most dog parties, Harry's birthday party had to come to an end.  After over an hour of running, panting, and air humping, Harry was ready to say goodbye to all of his friends.  With all of the 'happy birthdays' he received from friends and strangers, Harry certainly felt acknowledged and loved.  Cake is being done tonight - we'll have a recap and recipe later - so you'll have to stay tuned for Harry to blow out his candle! 

Although we haven't had Harry for a full year yet, it still meant a lot to celebrate his first year of life.  Having Harry for as long as we have - about 8-9 months - has changed our lives.  I never feel lonely, somebody is always there to cheer me up, I have a running buddy 24/7, and I couldn't ask for a better snuggler.  Here's to another year Harry!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Harry Hors D'oeuvres: Lovebugs

With busy season in full swing for the boo and me starting a new job, things have been pretty crazy at our house.  It's apparent that Harry's feeling a bit ignored, and with Valentine's Day being tomorrow, I had to do something to show him that I still cared.  What I really wanted to do was take Harry with me to the Puppy Love Valentine's Day Party at the 23rd Street Armory.  Proceeds benefited the PSPCA, and at only $40 a ticket you could bring your pooch, have some drinks, eat great food, and socialize with other pups.  They even had a photo booth!  Alas, I worked a little late and didn't have a human date to go with me.  So I decided to bake Harry treats instead!

I got the recipe for what I'm deeming "Lovebugs" at  You'll need 2 and 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour (always can sub regular), 1/2 cup pureed (canned) pumpkin, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 eggs, and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter.  First step, as always is to preheat the oven.  In this case you'll need to go to 350.

This recipe couldn't be simpler.  You just combine all ingredients at once and mix them together.

The result should be pretty dry, but if you need a little bit more moisture to shape your dough, add a teaspoon of water at a time.  A little goes a long way.

I decided to make little Mama Lucia meatball sized "bugs" for Harry, but you can always roll the dough out to 1/2 an inch thick and cut into shapes.  Since I don't have a heart shaped cookie cutter on hand, I took the path of bugs.  After all, if anything Harry is the world's biggest love bug.  Spread out whatever you decide to shape your treats into on a greased pan about an inch apart.

Bake your lovebugs for approximately 40 minutes at 350.  You might need to vary the time depending on your oven, but the result you want is a hard little bug.

Harry observed the entire process seriously and helped me clean off my hands after handling the dough.  He even helped me clean the dishes afterwards as I loaded the dishwasher, which I believe was his Valentine's present to me.  The treats were actually quite tasty...I had a few...yea.  I'm the mom who eats her kid's cookies.  But given that they weren't liver or chicken flavored, it was a safe risk. 

Having Harry means I'll never be lonely on Valentine's Day.  It's one of the many good reasons to adopt a pup - so if you're thinking about it, there are plenty of adoptables that need homes! 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Puppy Bowl IX

I may not be a football fan, but I'm certainly a puppy fan.  This past Sunday was spent visiting family and getting our Puppy Bowl IX on. Harry and I were especially psyched about the puppy line up. Augusta, a plott hound mix, was expected to make an appearance plus Cash, a pit mix, was representing Philadelphia.  Harry and I spotted these pooches using Animal Planet's website, where we also got to see the players before game time in the locker room!

Day of, Harry settled in with a bone and kept an eye on the screen. In the first quarter, two daschund Bassett hound mixes names Harry and Sally made the first plays of the game. Sally scored the first touchdown of puppy bowl nine only a few minutes in!  Harry had a bit of a crush since Sally's teammate was also named much in common.

The game slowed down after a few serious plays, but Harry and I stayed entertained by Meep the Bird who was live tweeting and by watching the hedgehog cheerleaders. Puppy bowl did a great job of seamlessly incorporating their sponsors right before the Bissel Kitty Halftime Show. Speaking of sponsors, our favorite puppy bowl commercial has to be the Subaru dog commercial.  We were thrilled by the addition of the cool down tub, enhanced with underwater vision, but not so thrilled with the random screaming by the hicks in Animal Planet's hit shows.  It was too rehearsed.

Our only let down was that throughout all the subs and all the quarter starts, we never saw Augusta!  She was in the very beginning of the bowl when the pups were loading up in a Subaru to get to the game, but she must have sat bench.  Marta won the MVP, Most Valuable Puppy, award for her fierce speed and inexhaustible energy.  Harry would've given her a run for her money. 

Not only is the bowl a huge opportunity for shelters to get their pups on TV and adopted, it's also immensely entertaining...and worth DVR-ing without deleting.  We've already watched it twice.  Although Marta won the 2013 award, Harry will always be my MVP...dawwww.