Monday, January 16, 2017

Get Creative. Be Inspired. Experiment.

During a conversation the other day, a friend of ours asked where I was getting the ideas for our homemade dog treat recipes. Pinterest? Recipe sites? Google? My answer to all 3 was a simple, "No." Although the internet provides a world of recipes for homemade dog treats to accommodate any type of canine diet, that's not where I find inspiration. Maybe I'm a little old-fashioned or it could just be that I've been baking for well over 30 years. Back in the day we didn't have the internet to rely on for inspiration.

The best example I have are the "hooman" cookies I bake almost weekly. I've had people tell me that I should open a cookie shop. I've received countless messages and emails asking for the recipe. People who are much older than I am have told me my cookies remind them of the ones their mom and grandmothers used to make. The biggest question asked is, "What's your secret?"

I don't have a secret. 

I was 4 or 5 when I started making chocolate chip cookies. Yes, that's me in the photo mixing the ingredients for the chocolate chip cookies I still make to this day.

As I got older, and still before the internet, I wanted to expand the flavor beyond chocolate chip. I made the cookie dough as is, eliminated the chocolate chips, and started adding other ingredients like dried fruits and nuts.

I'm still doing the same thing today at the age of 43. Using the same cookie dough that I'm mixing in the photo, I've managed to come up with several dozen flavors. Some of the flavors required a slight variation of the original recipe in the form of adding and extra egg or an extra 1/2 cup of flour.

I use this same philosophy when creating new homemade dog treat recipes every week. Over the past 4 years I've created several dough recipes that I use as a my "hooman" cookie dough.

The reason I'm sharing all of this with you is because the recipes on the Our Bodacious Dog Treat Recipes page aren't etched in granite. What that boils down to is one word.


When you're making any one of our recipes, experiment. Add a little of this or that. Add your choice of pup friendly mix-ins. Add some fresh grated carrot to the Bodacious Peanut Butter Biscuits or a handful of chopped dried bananas. Mix in a spoonful of yogurt with the water.

If the dough comes out too sticky, add a little more flour. If the dough is too dry after you've experimented, add a tiny splash of liquid.

Substitute the flour for something else to make 'em grain and gluten free.

Roll the dough a little thicker and seal in an airtight container once cooled to convert our homemade dog treat recipes into soft baked.

Don't be afraid to experiment. You don't need years of baking experience under your belt to get a little creative and produce something scrumptious for your pup/s.

If something doesn't work out as you planned, try again.

Your homemade dog treats don't have to come out picture perfect. They don't need to replicate the fancy biscuits you see at a boutique-ish doggy bakery.

Here's a little secret. Those fancy schmancy biscuits you pay a pretty penny for are made to be eye candy for the pet parents. Truth is, your pup/s aren't going to care what your finished product looks like. As long as they taste good, they'll be head over paws that you took the time to bake them something.

Every week, I embrace the inspiration that surrounds me whether it's in the form of suggestions from our Bodacious Community and beyond or finding a great deal on some dehydrated blueberries over the weekend.

That's where the ideas surface from.

That's what I take to the kitchen every week when creating a new homemade dog treat recipe.

Get creative.

Be inspired.


And, happy baking from our kitchen to yours!

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