Archives for April, 2012

Italian cooking:Whole wheat beer sauce pizza with smoked Duck breast

now and then, I make a pizza at home from scratch for our family. It takes a few hours from
start to
finish, and it is never be a quick cooking category but, freshly made
pizza tastes so much better than store bought pizza,and I always enjoy
planning creative flavors on homemade pizza as well for our family’s
favorite pizza night.

 Needless to say, our stumpy little dog “Palette” loves pizza night, and it is the day she becomes very very talkative around the table with wet nose.

 I don’t blame her because her amazing nose was tortured for hours while dough is proofing in the oven and, she wants rare nibbles

 If you were following past cooking entries, you would notice that I love to use beer,wines,liqueur etc.. in dishes/baked goods to add more depth of flavor.

 Recently, I made Whole wheat beer sauce pizza with smoked duck breast and, it came out real good.

 If you have hard time locating the smoked Duck breast, I think you can get a whole roasted chicken and take meat off the bone and shred them,and use them in stead of smoked Duck breast.

 So,I thought I would share the recipe of Whole wheat beer sauce pizza with smoked duck breast with you.

 Beer sauce that I used for the pizza is actually the sauce I sometimes make for mini meatloaf burger or chicken fried steak although I don’t make those dishes a lot.

 How do you make”Whole wheat beer sauce pizza with smoked duck breast“? Here is how. 

Whole wheat beer sauce pizza with smoked duck breast..

Ingredients for the dough;

1 3/4C       water
2 1/2 tsp    dry yeast
1.5 tsp        sugar
1 1/2C        Whole wheat flour
1 1/4C        Unbleached All purpose flour
1 1/2C        Unbleached bread flour
1.5 tsp        salt
1 tbs    Extra virgin olive oil + some extra for drizzling to oil the bowl/brushing dough
yellow cornmeal

Ingredients for toppings;

1/8 Green pepper sliced
1/8 Cubanelle pepper sliced
1/8 Red pepper sliced
1/8 Orange pepper sliced
3/4  Sweet onion sliced
4 oz smoked duck breast thinly sliced
Extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs butter
1 clove garlic grated
Morton’s Natures Season
1/8 tsp dry thyme

1/4C Non alcohol O’Doul’s Amber beer
3 oz wt Fontina cheese shredded
4 oz wt low moisture shredded mozzarella cheese
1 oz wt goat cheese plain crumbled (Recommend President brand.Made in France.)
whole black peppercorn

Ingredients for sauce;

1 tbs     butter
2 tbs     unbleached all purpose flour
1/2C     beef broth (recommend College Inn brand)
1/3C     Non alcohol O’Doul’s Amber beer
Morton’s Natures Seasons

<Pizza dough>

0. Preheat the oven at 200F and when it reached to 200F,turn off the oven

1. To a microwave safe bowl, pour 1 3/4C water, microwave about 30 seconds to 40 seconds or so

2. Take a temperature of the water and if the temperature was at
110F-115F, add 2  1/2 tsp of dry yeast, 1.5tsp sugar, and mix well and let it sit a
while (about 5-10 minutes)

** If you use jar of dry yeast, make sure the yeast is at room temperature. Cold yeast would not make your dough rise properly.

** The warm water to rise the dough (proof the dough) should be at 110F-115F.
Lower temperature water would not proof the dough properly, and higher
temperature water would kill the yeast and would not proof the dough

You should see the frothy stuff on top like this..

3. To a big bowl, add 1 1/2C Whole wheat flour, 1 1/4C Unbleached All purpose flour, 1 1/2C
Unbleached bread flour, 1.5tsp salt,and 1 tbs Extra virgin olive oil and
mix well

** I like to use whole wheat flour : Non whole wheat flour with ratio of 1:2 to 1:3

** If you like, you can make the pizza with 100% whole wheat flour (entirely whole wheat flour),but bread made with 100% whole wheat flour does not rise as much as the dough mixed with bread flour or another non whole wheat flour and comes out dense bread. Because of this, I have used a little more dry yeast in the dough.

4. Pour the frothy yeast-sugar- lukewarm water mix to flour-salt-EVOO mixture
a little at a time and stir.

5. When dough became to form a ball, toss
them onto lightly floured surface, and start kneading the dough

** Using silpat mat is easy to work with

6. Knead the dough until it is not sticky, but smooth surface and elastic. I usually knead for about 8 minutes.

Whole wheat pizza dough..

You can test your dough to see if you knead it more. Do the Windowpane test.

What is windowpane test??

Windowpane test is the test the gluten development in the dough.

you do is to cut off small piece of dough,and gently stretch
out/pulling to see if it will hold a paper-thin membrane.If it tore
apart,you would knead a bit more and do the test again.

7. When dough became smooth surface and elastic and not sticky, drizzle
Extra Virgin Olive Oil onto empty bowl and smear it around side and
inside bottom to make easy for you to take the dough out later to roll

8. Place the dough into the bowl,drizzle some more Extra Virgin Olive Oil over the dough and smear the oil all around the dough

9. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and place the dough in the oven,set the timer for 90 minutes

** Using the preheated/turned off oven to rise the dough (proof the dough) is perfect weather proof method.

10. 90 minutes later, dough should be double in volume


Whole wheat pizza dough after 90 minutes..

Dough should be double in volume..

11. Once the dough gets double in volume, punch down the dough to let the gas out
from the dough and make the inner/outer dough temperature equal

12. Toss the dough onto lightly floured surface, and roll out the dough
to shape you like

** There are many kinds of rolling pin but I like the French rolling pin

** If you were to make a crispy pizza, roll out thin and bake at higher temperature 

** If you have pizza stone, use the pizza stone to bake it,but if you do not have one,use the cookie sheet

13. To the half sheet pan/cookie sheet,place non stick foil,sprinkle yellow corn meal

** Sprinkle yellow corn meal before placing the dough onto the foiled half sheet pan is a secret to make crunchy bottom

14. Place the dough onto foiled half sheet pan/cookie sheet, make a little wedge around corner using side of your hand

15. Blush the dough with extra virgin olive oil

16. Smear the dough with beer sauce,place the toppings and let it rest for 30 minutes or so on counter, covering the pizza with saran loosely

17. Bake the pizza at 500F for 10 minutes,and then,lower the temperature to 450F and bake another 10-12 minutes till the cheese is melted and crust becomes crusty

<Whole wheat beer sauce pizza topping>

1. Keep 1/8 green pepper sliced, 1/8 orange pepper sliced, 1/8 red pepper sliced, and 1/8 Cubanelle pepper sliced in a small container

Cubanelle pepper is long pepper with thin meat,and it is light green
color.They are very mild pepper. Use sweet green pepper if you could not
find the Cubanelle pepper.

2. In the skillet, drizzle Extra virgin olive oil and add 1 cloves of garlic grated and 1 tbs butter on medium high heat and let it come to fragrant

3. To the skillet, add 3/4 Sweet onion sliced, and sprinkle Morton’s Natures Seasons and add 1/8 tsp dry thyme and stir

4. When onion gets translucent, add 1/4C non alcohol O’Doul’s Amber beer,and stir

5. Cook until all liquid is absorbed

6. Continue cooking 2 more minutes and set it aside

7. Place 4 oz smoked duck breast thinly sliced into another container and set it aside

<Whole wheat beer sauce pizza sauce>

1. To a skillet, add 1 tbs butter and let it melt on medium heat

2. When butter is melted and bubbly, add 2 tbs of unbleached all purpose flour and stir and cook it for a minutes or so

3. Add 1/2C beef broth and stir

4. Add 1/3C non alcohol O’Doul’s Amber beer and stir

5. Season it with Morton’s Natures Seasons and stir

6. When sauce is getting thickened up, stir and taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

7. Take it off from the heat and strain the sauce through kitchen sieve so there will be no lump in the sauce,and set it aside.

** Let the sauce come to the room temperature

Makes; 1/3C sauce

<Assembling the topping on the pizza dough>

1. After rolling out the pizza dough to shape you like, preheat the oven at 500F

2. To the half sheet pan/cookie sheet,place non stick foil,sprinkle yellow corn meal

** Sprinkle yellow corn meal before placing the dough onto the foiled half sheet pan is a secret to make crunchy bottom

3. Place the dough onto foiled half sheet pan/cookie sheet, make a little wedge around corner using side of your hand

4. Blush the dough with extra virgin olive oil

5. Pour some room temperature beer sauce, place beer onion,green pepper,orange pepper,cubanelle pepper, red pepper on top

6. Place thinly sliced smoked duck breast on top

7. Sprinkle 3 oz wt Fontina cheese shredded, 4 oz wt low moisture shredded mozzarella cheese, and 1 oz wt goat cheese crumbled on top,and let it rest for 30  minutes or so on the counter, covering the pizza
with saran loosely

** Fresh Goat cheese is not aged cheese so, it is a mild taste with slight tangy flavor as background, but it has very creamy texture to it. Therefore, it melts well on pizza.

 If you had leftover goat cheese,you can freeze it and also you can eat in various ways such as mixing it with pesto and smear on bagel and eat it as substitute for cream cheese.

** Fontina cheese is made from cow’s milk and semi-soft nutty,buttery mild flavor aged cheese from Italy.This cheese melts beautifully and great cheese for pizza as well.

 If you like to taste the real deal of Fontina cheese, look for “Fontina Valle D’Aosta”. The cheese is made from valdostana cows in Valle D’Aosta region and the cheese is aged at least 90 days.

8. Bake the pizza for 5 minutes,and lower the temperature to 450F and bake 10-12 more minutes till the cheese is melted and bubbly,and crust is cooked through

9. Take pizza out and ground whole black peppercorn over the pizza, and let it sit for about
3-5 minutes and slice and serve


Slice of Whole wheat beer sauce pizza with smoked duck breast..

Makes 12″x 16″ pizza

** I think you can make this pizza with different protein source using roasted chicken, roasted Turkey,roasted pork,roasted beef or simply grilled steak sliced thin in stead of smoked duck breast or maybe good with sausage as topping

** If you had leftover pizza, wrap it up with foil and put them into
freezer bag and freeze them. Next time you want pizza, all you need to
do is just heating them up

** Since Extra virgin olive oil is in the dough, as pizza sits,crust
gets firm.When you want to eat the unfrozen pizza slice, wrap the piece
of pizza with paper towel,place it on the microwavable safe plate and
microwave for about 12 seconds or until crust gets softer.


Apr 29, 2012 | 0 | Uncategorized

How to compare nutrient content between different form of food:kibble vs wet canned dog food vs fresh food

 In the previous entry titled “What brand/type of dog food are best for your dogs?“, and “What brand/type of dog food are best for your dogs?“, I wrote a little bit about homemade diet, and also wrote that with
homemade diet, they will look the kcal rather than how much weight of
food you would feed, and supplement your dogs with deficient
nutrient,and try to achieve the balanced meal recipe by recipe.

Then,in the previous entry titled “How to check the nutrition profile of your dog’s menu“,I wrote how you can check how much kcal you are feeding to your dogs in the form of fresh food.

In the previous entry titled “Do you really know what is going into your dog’s stomach Part IV“, I wrote that if you feed kibble for your dogs, it is very important to read the label,and know what to look for,what to avoid and know the method called “Splitting” to list the ingredients in the list before purchasing them.

Now and then, I come across people asking how to let their dogs gain/loose weight.

Popular method known among dog lovers are green bean diet for loosing the weight and Satin ball for gaining weight.

You can read more on Satin ball/Green bean diet in the previous entry titled ” Weight management; Satin ball,Green bean diet, and weight management kibble

However, I did not try out any of those for Palette.

You can read more about her weight loss in the previous entry titled “Weight management for healthy,long life for your dogs“.

According to the book titled “What
every pet owner should know” by Doc Halligan,  for 18 lb of dog that
should weigh about 15lb of weight, extra 3lb weight is equivalent of 40
extra lb on average female.

It is a lot of weight to carry for such a small dogs and, I think we are responsible to care them by providing healthier diet with healthier life style.

Healthy dogs live happy and long with less health problems.

People don’t think much but, treats can add calories too, and if it were
sugary treats, it adds a lot to overall kcal fed that day.Treats should
be less than 10% of kcal out of daily intake.

Think how much kcal are you giving in the form of treats or possibly via form of table scraps to share with your furry friends?

If you feed from table, it also adds up the kcal and not only that, often times, some of the food we eat are not good for them too. At the same time, it can teach them to beg for food more.

Sometimes,we need to evaluate ourselves and see what we are doing for your furry friends.

As you know, Palette is on raw diet and, she gets lots of opportunity to runs/walk or play with me. Focusing on diet detail is good thing but at the same time,we need to let them be a dog and let them run around and go for walk everyday and play with them.

Some houses have fenced backyard and, you may think they have opportunity to run around,but if you look closer to them, dogs do not do enough exercise by themselves unless you are involved.

Getting your dogs exercise is good thing not just for outlet of their pent-up energy but also for increasing the metabolism and their muscle mass.

Dogs need exercise whether they are small dogs or big dogs.Exercise is particularly important if you would like to let them loose some weight. Without the proper exercise, tweaking the meal would not help them much.

Of course, changing diet to raw diet does not guarantee the weight loss for
because all the other things such as dogs’ life style, age, energy
level,what to feed (Chicken? Beef? Elk? Rabbit?Salmon? etc) , how much
is fed, etc also effects health in general.

When I started out raw diet, people say that if you see dogs getting chunky, you can decrease the feeding amount a bit, or if you see dogs getting loosing weight, you can up the amount of food fed. The food amount is controlled by volume, as opposed to kcal fed daily.

I think it is one way to do it, but if you do so for weight gain by up the food volume fed, sometimes, food volume fed can be more than dogs can handle and end up digestive upset.

Therefore, personally, I prefer to look at the daily kcal without changing volume of the food much.I also think that controlling by kcal fed daily is more accurate, and you know how you are doing and probably better way to approach it.

example,lets say you have a dog you would like to see the weight loss,and you are feeding lamb but you have found some chicken in your fridge.

The same amount (volume) of lamb gives more kcal than same amount (volume) of chicken.

For example, one ounce of boneless leg of lamb is 58 kcal, and same one ounce of dark meat chicken has only 35 kcal.

Therefore,one way you can do is to swap the protein source without decreasing
the amount (volume) of food amount served.

If you prefer to go by volume control,you can also decrease the amount of food served as well without changing the menu.

You can also swap the cut of meat without changing the protein source and serve the same amount of food.Different cut of meat, has different kcal and you can work around with the change.

If you were in the opposite situation;would like to let your dog gain the weight, you can feed the fattier protein source with same volume of food.

If your dog were fed one ounce of dark meat chicken, you can swap it with one ounce of boneless leg of lamb to up the kcal fed in a day. Since volume is not changed, dogs will be more comfortable digesting the same amount of food served.

Sometimes, too much food can lead to digestive upset.

Poultry tends to be leaner than red meat, and you could automatically feed chicken more often if you were in the situation where you would like to let your dog loose weight but, here is one thing to consider.

dogs were fed poultry heavy meal day in,day out, that diet will be
leaner,but pretty high in omega 6 fatty acids and lacks Omega3 fatty acids, which is
good for skin and coat.

When situation like that, you may see the dull, dry, coat as oppose
to shiny coat from diet menu with variety even if you see the loss of
the weight from lesser kcal in the diet menu.

If you see the name “loin”,”round” in the red meat cut name, it is leaner cut of meat so,look for those cut.

If you feed raw diet, you can look up kcal of the food you feed to your dogs by visiting, and use their “My recipe” feature even though it does not give you nutrition profile for menu with bone for some stuff you feed to your dogs,but you can still have rough ideas as to how much of food you are feeding with what percentage of protein/fat/carbohydrate.

If you feed your dogs homemade diet and would like to control the daily kcal,you can use the, and by using the “My recipe” feature, you can bring up the overall kcal for the recipe.There, you can find the percentage of protein/fat/carbohydrate of your recipe.

If you feed kibble or canned dog food, how do you convert the volume into kcal so you know how many kcal you feed?

How much are you feeding to your dogs?

To compare, you cannot just simply take one ounce of kibble, take one ounce of wet canned dog food and compare.

Before going into conversion, one thing to consider is free feeding. Free feeding is probably convenient for us human,but it is not the best way to feed if you were especially in the situation where you would like to let your dogs loose/gain weight because if you free feeding, you never know how much they ate and if you had more than one dog,you never know who ate how much and very difficult to keep track of daily intake for each dog.

Another thing to consider is each dog needs different amount of kcal per day depending on activity level,age,environment etc..

30 lb Corgi who spends most of the time inside the house with less outing does not need the same kcal to very active Corgi who goes for walk daily and play a lot outside and less time in the house.

Now,here is very interesting thing to think about.

If you go for shopping the kibble and read the feeding guide, they are based on weight of the dogs not activity level and other things to consider. Therefore, even if you have couch potato Corgi,you will be feeding the same amount to very active Corgi who spends lots of time outside running and playing.

According to the article by, they have done a quick servery and found out that there were more than 50% discrepancy in feeding guideline among the chosen 3 brands dog food. One brand recommended 1¾ cups, the second recommended 2 cups, and the third stated 2¾ cups for the same weight dog feeding guideline.

How much should you feed to your dogs according to energy level etc..?

According to the, to find out how much kcal you should feed, you should find out the resting energy requirement a.k.a. RER.

RER is the basic amount of energy a dog would use in a day when they are  resting.

To determine your dog’s RER, first thing you should do is to convert the ideal weight into kg.

To convert lb to kg, you should divide the number by 2.2

Palette now 31 lb will be.. 31 divide by 2.2= 14.09kg

I consider her current weight is ideal so, I use the number to figure out the daily kcal intake.

Second, you would multiply that number by 30

So, in case of Palette, 14.09 x 30=422.7

Then, add 70 to that number.

So, for Palette, it will be 422.70+70=492.70

Therefore, for Palette, using RER number, I should feed her 492.70 (roughly 500kcal) per day. suggests following adjustment.

Weight loss                                       1.0 x RER

Neutered adult normal activity     1.6 x RER

Intact adult normal activity           1.8 x RER

Light work                                        2.0 x RER

Moderate work                                3.0 x RER

Heavy work                                      4-8 x RER

Pregnant dog (first 42 days)           1.8 x RER

Pregnant dog (last 21 days)            3.0 x RER

Lactating female                               4-8 x RER

Puppy – weaning to 4 months        3.0 x RER

Puppy – 4 months to adult size      2.0 x RER

To read full article on RER and how much you should feed to meet their energy level at,please click here.

How do you understand the guaranteed analysis number on the dog food package?

When you shop for kibble, and look at guaranteed analysis, you would most likely find protein %,Fat%, and fiber%.

If dog food package shows 30% protein on the level, would the dog is getting 30% protein in a cup of food??

Answer is no.

The protein %,Fat%,Fiber% on the bag is “as fed” number,and it does not mean that they are getting 30% of protein % everyday.

To figure out how much of what they are getting, you would need to convert the as fed % number into caloric percentages known as “metabolizable energy” or “ME”.

“As fed” are actual measurement of the ingredients in a bag.

First, you will subtract the percentages of protein, fat, fiber, moisture and ash from 100. For the ash you can either look up on their website or ask the company if they have number on them..

The number you were left with is the % number of carbohydrate that include fiber content.

Lets say,you feed wellness core kibble original.Since the website does not list the ash content on their website,I cannot figure out the exact number but, calculation goes like this.

100% – 34% protein-16% fat-10% moisture-ash content%= carbohydrate % including fiber content

Lets say you have wet dog food that guaranteed analysis says:

Crude Protein     8.0% min
Crude Fat           4.0% min
Crude Fiber       1.3% max
Moisture            78.0% max

And if the ash content was 5%, you will calculate like this.

100% – 8% protein-4% fat-fiber 1.3%-moisture 78%- ash content 5%= 8.7% carbohydrate

Therefore, it contains, 8 grams of protein/100 grams, 4 gram fat/100 grams and 8.7 grams carbohydrate/100 grams on an “as fed” basis.

Both protein and carbohydrate provides 4 kcal/gram and fat provides 9kcal/grams so, you can calculate like this.

The food above has ..

8 grams of proteinx4=32kcal from protein in 100 grams of food.

4 grams of  fat x 9= 36 kcal from fat in 100 grams of food

8.7 grams of carbohydrate x 4=34.8kcal from carbohydrate in 100 grams of food.

Therefore,it means, 32+36+34.8=102.8kcal in 100 grams (3.5 oz) of food

To calculate caloric % in the food, you would calculate like this.

32kcal protein divide by 102.8 kcal x 100=31.13 kcal from protein

36 kcal fat divide by 102.8kcal x 100=35.02kcal from fat

34.8kcal carbohydrate divide by 102.8kcal x 100=33.85kcal from carbohydrate

As mentioned before, you cannot simply look up the % of protein/fat/fiber content between kibble and wet canned food,you cannot compare the two because one is dry matter and the other is wet matter.

To be able to compare the two, you must figure out the Dry matter basis a.k.a. DM.

DM or Dry matter basis remove the water content,and when food is calculated to Dry matter basis,you can compare kibble vs wet dog food directly.

Here is how you can compare the two different form of food directly by figuring out the Dry matter basis number.

Lets say we have one kibble that guaranteed analysis says:

Crude Protein     22.0% min
Crude Fat            12.0% min
Crude Fiber         4.0% max
Moisture             10.0% max

100% – moisture 10%=90% dry

Therefore,22% protein divide by 90% dryx100=24.44% protein Dry matter basis in the dog food

Lets say we have wet dog food that says;

Crude Protein     8.0% min
Crude Fat           4.0% min
Crude Fiber       1.3% max
Moisture            78.0% max

100%-78% moisture=22% dry

Therefore,8% protein divide by 22% dryx100=36.36% protein Dry matter basis in the wet canned dog food.

With this Dry matter basis comparison, you see that wet canned dog food has more protein than dry dog food.

Using this method,you now can compare different form of foods to compare directly and figure out how much % of what are in the food you feed to your dogs.

With canned food, it got more protein and less grain ingredients than kibble and they are easier to digest.

If you look up ingredients list, canned dog food has shorter,simpler ingredients list as well.

At first glance,it looks complicated but once you try figuring out by yourself,you will get used to it, and they are not that difficult to calculate.

I hope this will help you choose the better food for your furriends.


Apr 24, 2012 | 0 | Dog Diet

How to save gas prices

 These days, I find that the gas price is rising about 6 cents per week every week here in VA. Some states’ average gas price for regular is over $4/gallon and, I have read that current gas price  is the highest price among past April.

 Last week,when we went for grocery shopping,I was looking at the gas station price every time we passes by and,highest I have seen on that day was $4.05/gallon and lowest I saw was $3.89/gallon.

 According to the article written by Zunaira Zaki at abc news website, highest average gas price for regular is $4.23 per gallon in West Coast,and lowest average gas price for regular is $3.75 per gallon in Rocky Mountain area.

 You can read full article written by Zunaira Zaki here.

How to search the lowest gas price in your area..

 Recently, I came across the website where you can search for cheapest gas price in your area., and I thought it was interesting and, I would like to share it with you.

 The website is,  and here is how you can use it.

1. Visit

2. Click on your state in the “Local Gas prices in USA” section

3. Click on the county name in the section “Gas price by county”

4. Click on the city name in the section “Gas price by city”

Or, you can simply type in City,State or zip code in the search box

5. Now you see the gas price chart with lowest price on top,highest on the bottom with the location address

How to save gas price ..

 Some grocery store such as Giant Food has gas points system. You can use the gas points to lower your gas price.

 Here is how it works.

1. Sign up for the store card

** Store card will give you not only food saving but also give you gas points

2. The store will give you 1 gas point per every dollar you spend with them

3.  When you earn 100 points, you can redeem the points to save your gas price. Every 100 gas points can save you 10 cents per gallon,which means, if you saved up to 200 points, you will get to save 20 cents per gallon.

 Other than Giant food, Kroger has Fuel saver program, Walmart offer 10 cents off per gallons gas savings at participating gas stations by using store gift card or store  credit card.

 Kroger’s website says that if you open account with Visa’s 1-2-3 rewards visa card,you can save additional 25 cents per gallons for first 3 months.

 When I looked up other credit cards that offer fuel savings programs, there are many of them.

** BankAmericard Power rewards visa signature card

** American Express offer Blue cash everyday

** PenFed Visa Platinum Cash back rewards card

** Capital one no hassle cash rewards

 You can read more detail about how you can save gas money with those credit cards named above at abc news website article written by Beverly Blair Harzog from here.

 At first glance, credit company’s cash back or gas rewards programs sounds nice, but when you think about it, they are credit card and every time you buy something with them, and if you did not pay off the balance by next billing cycle, you will be paying more with interests!

 Interests is not a small number, and it often times runs around 14%-25% and it is possible that you would end up adding additional money to your balance even if you are trying to use the credit card to save the gas money.

 When you apply for store credit card/gift card etc.., make a habit to read small prints before submitting application forms.

 It seems walmart store credit card charge you $3 monthly fee plus another $3 when you reload the card,$3 monthly maintenance fee etc.. according to its cardholder agreement paper.

 That is a lot of fee to consider. Is it worth it to save money for gas?

 Other than searching for the lowest gas price and using grocery store gas points program,what can you do to save the gas price?

 According to the article written by Vera Gibbons at daily Finance website,there are some tips you can follow to save the gas money.

1. Consolidate the trips/errands

2.Gas price tends to rise on Thursday.Therefore, fill up at Tuesday mid day or Wednesday morning

3. Schedule regular tune up for cars such as oil change,changing filter etc..

4. Gentle,steady driving

** Each mile per hour over 60 mile per hour can add 10 cents per gallon.

5. Stick with regular

You can read full article written by Vera Gibbons at Daily Finance website here.

  How do you save your gas prices?


Apr 22, 2012 | 0 | Uncategorized

Palette’s spring treats diary;April 19th,2012

 Is it summer or is it spring?

 It has been quite hot,and I sometimes see Palette panting while she goes for potty and,comes right back and rest on her favorite cool bed (Canine cooler bed.You can read about the canine cooler bed in the previous entry titled “keeping your dogs cool during summer” ).

 I have bought her so many different things from toys,chews,treats,bed etc etc.. but this canine cooler is probably the most appreciated items by her.

 Throughout the year, I see her lying on the canine cooler bed on her side or on her tummy and snoozing off on the bed especially after exercise and, I like the fact that she enjoys the bed so much.

 We choose the time to go for walk and try to go for walk during cooler time of the day but still we gets hot by the time we back home and, every single time, she first stays on the bottom of the stairs moving her little nub left,right,left right with her huge grin and, as soon as she knows her leash is off, she trots to the kitchen where she gets her favorite cool down treats.

 There are so many cool down treats recipes on the internet,and there are commercially made cool down treats but, making your own healthy cool down treats with something wholesome,fresh produce,something not so sugary would be in the best interests for your dogs.

 As hot seasons comes around, I tend to hear some people make peanut butter filled frozen kong etc..,but peanut butter is made with roasted peanut,sugar,palm oil,and salt and 1 tbs contains 90 kcal!!

 I have never tested how many table spoons of peanut butter small kong can hold but, I am guesstimating that it will hold more than 1 tbs.

 If you were not familiar with kong, it is a non toxic dish wash safe rubber chew toy that you can fill the hole in the center with food. Dogs are to chew/lick the Kong toy to get to the treats inside the hole and, it is popular classic interactive toy.

 My cool down treats usually be ice cube size and it is around 15 kcal to 20 kcal depending on what I will be using but, they are much low calorie cool down treats, and they do not contains added sugar.Therefore,it would be much healthier alternative for your dogs’ cool down treats.

 If you do have Kong at home, you can certainly fill your kong with my cool down treats recipes and,give them healthier filling as cool down treats.


 April 19th,2012

 Last month, we got some snow one day,and I was so excited thinking snow days are finally here but, then following next 2 days, we got no snow and snow got melted little by little and I was very disappointed to see that happens..

 Was snow fairy in a hurry?? What’s the hurry?Angry sun was chasing after her?

 This year, I did not get to enjoy much of bunny hopping/picnic in the snow,making potty tunnels and snacking grassicle salad bar (frozen grass salad bar in the yard).

 I am hoping that next year, we get to have much more snow to play with.

 I love playing “Find da tweats in the snow” with mom and,I get to have picnic in the snow watching snow truck passing by in front of our house now and then.

 When yard is covered with snow and mom goes out to hide da tweats, since yard is white everywhere, she cannot remember exactly where she hid da tweats.

 Only my nose knows. It is fun!

 I love to sniffing out each foot print she left and follow it one foot by one foot and digging  da snow and uncover the delicious tweats in da snow..

 I am already counting down to da day I get to play da game next year.

 Snow story aside, I still enjoy going for walkie everyday with mom. I bring her leash and poop bag and we are ready to go!

 Now she brings some stuff with her including yummy tweats,umbrella etc.. for just in case we meet not so friendly furriends charging at us like last time.

 We used to just ignored woofing furriends with leash in da yard and quickly passes by them. However,now I stop walking and let mom know that the furriend is tied to the pole in da yard.

 Without their mom/dad in sight,we simply turn around before the possible chance might occur;the furriends could get to pull forward,break pole,dragging leash behind them and running toward us. Lesson learned.

 Because of that, we now lost some of da walkie route, but we still get to enjoy da walkie together.

 Now and then, since mom goes for walkie wearing treat pouch around her waist, neighbors think I am in da doggy school and, tell me I am doing great walkie with mom and I deserve da yummiest tweats ever.

 Mom usually gives me some tweats on da way back, and we come back playing game such as “good walkie game” (no pull walkie game). I like that.

 I got to walk with da same pace to mom and she changes speed of her walkie and I really have to pay attention to her.

 I then sometime look at her with huge grin and mom says “Good” and keep giving me da yummies.

 We sometimes passes by house where furriends keep woofing at us from inside da house but I do not distructed. I am like “Please woof to my paws”, and we just walk passes by. I just am too busy replying back the woofy to da furriends in the house.

 When we finally get into house, I keep telling her I enjoyed da walkie a lot with huge grin and unstoppable tail (nub) wagging and, I woof at her “Come on here,quick!”.

 I know what to expect next.

 I like this moment best in a day. Cool down tweats time!

 This time, mom made “Frozen red banana yellow zucchini yogurt treats”.

Frozen red banana yellow zucchini yogurt treats..

 Here is how you make the frozen red banana yellow zucchini yogurt treats.

1.  To the mixer, add 1 red banana peeled and chopped 3.7 oz,and 1 yellow zucchini chopped and steamed 5.5 oz and add

yield;10 block of frozen treats

Apr 19, 2012 | 0 | Uncategorized

Chicken and Dumplings with Garlic cheddar cheese biscuits

 If you ask me what
kinds of stew/soup I
like a lot, I would say it will be creamy bisque, or creamy thick chowder type of soups;potato soup,chowder, and chicken and dumplings.

 My husband likes creamy soup too and, chicken and dumplings are in his top 10 favorite creamy stew/soup.

 Recently, my mother in law was visiting us and, I made chicken and dumplings with garlic cheddar cheese biscuits one night.

 It was big hit. She liked it so much that she asked for the recipe to bring home. However, I had not written chicken and dumpling recipe entry yet,and I have made a copy of my handwriting note and gave it to her.

 We like chicken and dumplings and, I have made many types of dumplings from fluffy biscuits to doughy dumplings cut to strips etc.. and I even tried using gnocchi in there trying to find a good texture of dumplings.

 With trials and errors, I think I have a good repeat recipe that our family enjoys and ask for a lot.

 Therefore,I thought I would share the Chicken and dumplings recipe with you.

 My big secret ingredient for this recipe is roasted chicken without skin and bones. I have got an idea from chicken and gnocchi soup that I get from Olive Garden Italian restaurant and, I found that using the roasted chicken really makes flavorful soup.

 If you were simply cutting up boneless skinless chicken breast/thigh for soup, try roasting chicken and use it for the soup and see how much the roasted chicken meat can add depth and flavor in the dish.

 Also, I have made beer can chicken before and,it made very juicy chicken so, this roasted chicken is combination of “traditional roasted chicken” meets “Beer can chicken”. The chicken is flavorful and juicy and tasty on its own.

Chicken and dumplings..

 So, how do you make “Chicken and Dumplings”? Here is how.

Chicken Dumplings starts from roasting chicken,but if you were pressed with time, you can get a rotisserie chicken at grocery store.

Roasted chicken..

Ingredients for Roasted chicken;

1 whole chicken (4 lb)
5 tsp
1 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp ground whole clove
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
2.5 tsp ground black
1/16 tsp garlic powder
1 lemon halved
1 garlic head halved

3 tbs butter
12 fl oz O’Doul’s Non alcoholic Premium Amber beer

Ingredients for Chicken and dumplings;

1 stick of celery chopped
4 baby carrots chopped fine
1/8 Sweet Onion chopped
1/16 Red pepper chopped
1/16 Green pepper chopped
1/8 Cubanelle pepper chopped
1.5 tbs all purpose flour

Extra virgin Olive oil
Morton’s Natures Seasons
3C chicken broth
1 bayleaf dried
1/8 tsp ground sage
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
Campbell’s condensed Cream of chicken 10 oz
Campbell’s condensed Cream of celery soup 4 oz

1/2 roasted chicken meat chopped

Ingredients for Herb dumplings;

1C unbleached all purpose flour
1/4C Italian flat leaf parsley chopped
(should make about 1 tbs to 2 tbs chopped parsley)
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of ground black pepper

Ingredients for Garlic Cheddar cheese biscuits;

1/8 C Bisquick
1 1/4C Italian Flat leaf Parsley chopped (about 1 tbs of
chopped Parsley)
1/2C shredded mild cheddar cheese
1/8 tsp garlic
1/32 tsp ground black pepper

1/3C cold milk

<Roasted Chicken>

1. In a small container, mix 2tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, 1/8 tsp ground whole clove, 1/8 tsp ground allspice, 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg, 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp ground black pepper, and 1/16 tsp garlic powder well

2. In another small container mix 1 tbs salt,1.5 tsp ground black pepper and mix well

3. Season chicken under skin with salt-pepper mixture and inside cavity well

4. Set the chicken on a big plate and cover the chicken with plastic wrap,and let it rest about 1 hour in the fridge.

5. Preheat oven at 500F

6. Melt 3 tbs butter in a measuring cup by microwaving about 10-15 seconds

7. Brush the melted butter on the whole chicken,and sprinkled the mixed spice you made at step 1.

8. Stuff the chicken with 1 lemon halved,1 garlic head halved

9. Tie the chicken with butcher’s twine

** Place wing tuck under the chicken breast,and tie its leg to secure and for even cooking.

Below is a good youtube video to teach you how to truss the chicken with butcher’s twine.

 When I was trussing a whole chicken, I forgot how to truss the chicken and,I have tied my own way,but below is the correct method to truss the chicken.

If you are a blog subscriber,please click here to watch the video.

How to truss the whole chicken..

10. Set the roasted pan with rack and pour 12 oz of O’Doul’s Non alcoholic Premium Amber beer into the roasting pan

11. Set the chicken breast side down on a rack in the roasting pan and roast for 15 minutes

12. Turn the heat down to 45oF and roast for another 15 minutes

13. Baste chicken with dripping now and then

14. Turn the heat down to 425F and flip the chicken so breast side up and roast another 30 minutes

15. Check the internal temperature and if it reached to 170F, take it out from oven and cover with foil and let it rest for 15 minutes.

** Chicken will still be cooking even after taking it out from the oven and, temperature will rise about 10F

<Chicken and dumplings>

1. In the big pan (wide surface pan), drizzle Extra virgin Olive oil and set it at medium high temperature

2. Add 1 stick of celery chopped, 4 baby carrots chopped fine and cooked for a few minutes

3. Add 1/8 Sweet Onion chopped, 1/16 Red pepper chopped, 1/16 Green pepper chopped, and 1/8 Cubanelle pepper chopped and stir

** Cubanelle pepper is long
pepper with thin meat,and it is light green color.They are very mild
pepper. Use more sweet green/yellow/orange pepper etc instead if you could not find the Cubanelle

4. Season vegetable with Morton’s Natures Seasons

5. Add 1.5 tbs all purpose flour,and stir and cook a little to avoid floury taste in the soup

6. Add 3C chicken broth and stir

7. Add 1 bayleaf dried, 1/8 tsp ground sage,1/4 tsp poultry seasoning and stir

8. Add Campbell’s condensed cream of chicken 10 oz, condensed cream of celery soup 4 oz and stir and let it thicken a little

9. Add 1/2 roasted chicken meat chopped and stir.Turn down the heat to simmer.

10. Make dumplings while soup is on simmer..

————— <Herb Dumplings..> ————————

1. In a bowl, add 1C unbleached all purpose flour, 1/4C Italian flat leaf parsley chopped,1/2 tsp salt,pinch of ground black pepper and stir

2. Add 1/2C water and knead to smooth,and roll out to 1/4″ thickness and cut them into strips


11. Bring the heat to medium high and drop dumplings into a pot one by one

12. Hold the pan on both ends and move the pan in circular motion

** This will ensure that you would not break dumplings,and you can cook the dumplings evenly

13. Cook about 3-5 minutes and taste and adjust the seasoning

14. Pour the soup into a bowl, top it with about 1 tbs of shredded mild cheddar cheese and sprinkle chopped Italian parsley for garnish

Makes; 3-4 servings

 I sometime serve this soup with cut-out pie crust baked in the oven and sometimes,I make biscuits to go with it.

 Since Garlic Cheddar cheese biscuits was huge hit, I will include the recipe for that here as well.

 Mine is not greasy soft cakey biscuits that you can get from some restaurants. My cheddar cheese biscuits are crusty outside,and soft inside.

 If you like to make ones like Red Lobster, you can melt some butter in a sauce pan and grate garlic over the pan and cook a bit to remove the harshness of the fresh garlic.

 Then,right when it comes out from the oven,you can brush the top of the biscuits with garlic butter and serve.

Garlic Cheddar cheese biscuits..

0.Preheat oven at 450F

1. In a bowl,mix 1 1/8 C Bisquick, 1/4C Italian Flat leaf Parsley chopped (about 1 tbs of chopped Parsley), 1/2C shredded mild cheddar cheese, 1/8 tsp garlic powder, 1/32 tsp ground black pepper well

2. Add 1/3C cold milk and stir

3. Knead about 15-20 times until smooth surface

4. Roll out the dough to 1/4″ thick

5. Cut out the dough with 3″ diameter circle cookie cutter,and sprinkle pinch of black pepper on each biscuits

** If you did not have one,you can use glass to cut out the dough

6. Bake about 9-10 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean

Makes; 6 of 3″ circle biscuits plus ..

Thumb nail size nibble ball for a furriend

 Palette enjoyed unexpected jackpot nibble so much.

If you had leftover biscuits,you can freeze them and reheat it as needed.

Bookmark and Share

Apr 17, 2012 | 0 | Uncategorized

Jennifer with Samoyed crew; April 15th,2012

 Recently, we have
received feedback from Samoyed furriends’ mom “Jennifer” from NY, along with
great pictures of Ava and her crew.


 We received the free Down Under Roo Jerky.* Thank you!

 I now understand why the note said to store in the freezer. I had it on the kitchen counter, went downstairs and when I came back up, it had disappeared, and the plastic bag was on the dog bed.

 Something that must be that good needs to be secured….

 Ava with cute Samoyed smile

 Content with a belly full of stolen goodies…


 Ava with her furry furriends crew…

 They love everything we get from you!



***Feedback and picture are used with permission***

 We always enjoy
reading feedback from furry friends and their mom & dad/seeing
pictures/watching videos of furry friends enjoying our treats/chews

I think we are lucky having stumpy Corgi because she cannot reach for the food on the table as easy as other dogs with longer legs. She needs help of other dogs;piggyback ride for that food retrieving mission

 However, she is such a smart dog that if you let her, work at it and complete the food retrieve mission.

 One time, when we left the table for a short moment leaving one Olive Garden bread stick on paper napkin, she grabbed the paper napkin and pulled to her and let the bread dropped it on the floor and ate the whole bread stick!!

 We are glad to hear that Ava and her crew are big fan of Down Under Roo Jerky.

 Palette loves the Down Under Roo Jerky as well and, she goes nuts about it

*** Notes from Yassy’s Gourmet Dog Kitchen***



Apr 15, 2012 | 0 | Paw up?Paw down? Treats from Yassy's Gourmet Dog Kitchen, Uncategorized

Japanese language

 “A-ri-ga-to-u Go-za-i-ma-su (Thank you)”, “Go-me-n na-sa-i. (I’m sorry.)”.

 Now and then, when we are watching TV dramas such as “NCIS: Los Angeles” (LL  Cool J has spoken Japanese language in one of their episode,) and “Revenge” ( Emily VanCamp has spoken Japanese in one of their episode), and old TV show such as “Heroes” had Masi Oka who spoke Japanese quite often in many episodes.

 I also heard some actors,actresses family talking that they have had exchange students from Japan or their daughters are interested in Japanese language and culture on the TV talk show.

 One of our neighbor has a son who may bring a daughter in law to be (her mother is from Japan) and, the family was very interested in our culture and willing to learn many things about our language,cultures,and more.

 Hearing all those interests and see dramas that involve some actors/actresses speaking our language are very exciting and interesting to me.

 With this entry, I thought I would introduce a little bit about our language.

Basic of Japanese language..

 Japanese language consists of 3 types of alphabet;Ka-n-ji (Chinese character; pictographic characters imported from China), Hi-ra-ga-na, and Ka-ta-ka-na (phonetic alphabets developed in Japan.

 Ka-n-ji is also an ideographic character,and each character has meaning to it.

 Often times, names are chosen from the meaning of the Ka-n-ji.

 For example, my mother wished that I will be a healthy kid,and my name in Chinese character “Ka-n-ji” means “Healthy kid”.

 Some of Ka-n-ji was developed from hieroglyphics,some of Ka-n-ji was developed from notations.
 Ka-ta-ka-na are usually used to describe a word of foreign origin or onomatopoeia.

 Good example is “Coffee”. “Coffee” will be written in ka-ta-ka-na in Japanese.It will look like this “コーヒー”.

 Interesting thing is that, Ka-ta-ka-na was made by deleting a part of Ka-n-ji and symbolizing it.

 Then, Hi-ra-ga-na was made from cursive style of Ka-n-ji,which often times can be seen in ancient poetry anthology “Ma-n yo-u shu”.

 Hi-ra-ga-na are phonetic symbols.

 If you were to write “Kind” in Hi-ra-ga-na in Japanese, it will look like this “
やさしい” and it is pronounced “ya-sa-shi-i”.

 It is believed that to be able to read Japanese newspaper, one must know at least 1,945 commonly used Ka-n-ji (Chinese characters),Hi-ra-ga-na,and Ka-ta-ka-na.

 They are taught from elementary school. Kids in Japan learn all of these 3 types of alphabets for Japanese plus English alphabet from elementary school.

 When I was a kid, school curriculum included English from Junior high school,but now kids are learning English from elementary school.

 In fact, my sister’s daughter who is just about ready to go to kindergarten will be going to English conversation school soon. It will be her very first cram school.

 Difference between Japanese language and English language..

 One thing you may notice look at Japanese book and English book is that letters in Japanese book are written vertically and read from top to bottom,from right line to left line.

 Therefore,when you read the Japanese book, you will be turning the page from left to right.

 If the Japanese book was written horizontal way, then, you will be reading from left to right.

 Another thing you would notice is grammar.

 Japanese sentences goes subject-object-verb while English sentence will be subject-verb-object.

 For example, if you say “I like coffee” in Japanese, you will say “Wa-ta-shi wa ko-hi ga su-ki-de-su.

 “Wa-ta-shi-wa” means “I”, and “Ko-hi” means “coffee”, and “su-ki-de-su” means “like”.

 So, if you write down English word under the Japanese sentence,it will look like ” I coffee like”; subject-object-verb.

 I think this is where we get confused for sentence structure to carry conversation or write in English.

Apr 10, 2012 | 0 | Uncategorized

Palette’s note:Grass fed Angus beef bully sticks

 When you pick up treats for your
dogs, what would you look at? Ingredients? Fancy looking
pictures?Description of the products?

 Have you ever wondered if you
could actually see how other dogs are enjoying them? Not pictures,but in
the video so that you can actually HEAR and feel the treats’ textures?

 Some of you may have already
recognized that I have been putting up treats’ /toys taste testing video on youtube so that
people can hear the sound,see Palette in action and get more detail on
each product we offer on our store.

 With “Palette’s Note” series,I like to put out Palette’s taste test videos. This time, “Grass fed Angus beef bully sticks“.

K9 executive chef “Palette” enjoys her Grass fed Angus beef bully sticks..

 The chew size she is chewing on is 12″ Grass fed Angus beef bully sticks.

 In previous entry titled Long lasting chews/recreational bones for dogs,
I talked about what Deer Antlers is, and how much I love (and of
course, how much our stumpy k9 executive chef “Palette” the Corgi loves) these Deer
Antlers for long lasting chew.

 Then, in the previous entry titled “Palette’s note;Deer Antlers“,
I talked about her Antler lasted more than 1 year despite the fact that
she chewed on it daily about 15 minutes or so each time.

 If you were looking for long lasting chew, I would recommend Deer Antlers.

 With our Corgi “Palette”- moderate chewer, with L size Deer Antler, it
is with her for more than one year with the same Antler. She religiously
spend about 15-20 min 2 sessions per day but still gnawing the same

 Antlers are more economical overall and one Antler lasts much
longer. Since she now got 3 kinds of Antlers:Regular Antlers, Antler with some velvet left on, and Antler bottom,
the time she spend on regular one is less than before (she seems to
gnaw one by one alternating among the three Antlers) , but she enjoys
her gnawing time.

 No matter how long/thick the bully stick is, one bully
stick will be gone much faster than Deer Antlers would. 

 In the previous entry titled “Palette’s note; Free Range Moo! Supreme bully stick“,I
wrote that for medium chewer “Palette”, one supreme bully stick 6″ lasted
about 3 days,while average bully stick usually be gone within 20

 For a bully sticks with the same length, that bully sticks was
long lasting bully sticks for her.

 With Palette, her staple chews are Antlers and she also has Himalayan Dog Chew (Hard Cheese Stick Chew),which I give her back everyday and so far, I can tell you that the L size Himalayan Dog Chew lasted 38 days for her.

When the chew got to about 1.5″ long chunk,I have decided to follow maker’s suggestion and try and see if Palette would like it that way.

 Verdict is in! Palette loved the puffed Cheese cracker ball (a.k.a. microwaved puffed Himalayan Dog Chew.I have microwaved about 1 minute,but it starts puffing up at about 40 seconds.). You can tell if you see her picture

Oh!!!!!! What is dat??

Puffed cheese cracker ball??

Smelling sooooooooo good!

 Look closer to her tongue. You see her drool bubbles on her tongue and look at her cow eyes! She really,really loved it, and it was good way to use up.

 If you were wondering, it becomes very crunchy texture,almost like cracker. That is why, I told Palette it is puffed cheese cracker ball

 Later, I will update the taste testing article on Himalayan Dog Chew and show you the video of the puffed cheese cracker ball.

 To read full taste testing entry on Himalayan Dog Chew with taste testing videos,please click here.

loves bully sticks. Many dogs adore bully sticks. Palette is one
of them, but don’t underestimate her. She actually is a tough judge.

gave me nosed up,paws down on some of bully sticks I got her to try out.
Paws down bully sticks did not make it to the store to offer others.

 After all, she is k9 executive chef who control the quality of menu to
be served to others, along side with me. And only Palette’s approved
menu is served to others.

 I personally gives bully sticks as occasional chew and, when I give her bully sticks, I tend to give her “Grass fed Angus beef bully sticks ends” for quick snack and 7″ or 12″ for jackpot chews.

 Both Grass fed Angus beef bully sticks ends and Grass fed Angus beef bully sticks are made in Argentina, and made from Grass fed Angus beef that received no antibiotic or growth hormones in their life.

  For her, 12″ one lasts quite long partly because her paws are short, long bully sticks like 12″ one is hard to hold for her and she uses her bed or wall to support her bully sticks and it looks awkward for her to chew on.

 Until it gets down to about 6″ long, she most likely to be chewing on them hand free style or one paw hold because of that

 What I like about this bully sticks is that,although these are not odor free line bully sticks,it is low odor and,I can still sit right next to
our dog while she is working on her bully sticks.

 In the past, I have bought a bully sticks package with different brand from box pet supply store during Christmas time,thinking we could share it with my sister in law’s Huskies.

 So,I brought it to the house to share but, it was stunk.It stunk up the room so bad.Dogs enjoyed it, but we human didn’t. It was such an awful smell.

 I was interested in how much she chews per day,and I kept the record with me. I kept giving the bully sticks back to her everyday and she could choose whether she will chew it or just use it as herding play toy.

 Here is what I found.

Day 1; Chewed 4.5″ off , now the 12″ bully sticks is 7.5″ long

Day 2; Chewed 1.5″ off, now the bully sticks is 6″ long

Day 3; Decided to play with it,no chew

Day 4; Decided to play with it,no chew

Day 5; Chewed  1.5″ off,now the bully stick is 4.5″ long

Day 6; No chew

Day 7; No chew

Day 8; No chew

Day 9; Chewed to 1.5″ long

Day 10; Finished chewing leftover bully sticks

 I think this Grass fed Angus beef bully sticks are touch thicker than odor free supreme bully sticks or about the same thickness.

 Ingredients: Beef

 Let’s watch Palette in action with Grass fed Angus beef bully sticks taste test. If you are a blog subscriber,please click here to watch video Part I, and please click here for video Part II.

Palette and Grass fed Angus beef bully sticks Part I

 In the Part I video, she started off with free hand chew style since her paws are too short to hold the bully sticks at good angle for her to chew.

 Sometime later, she decided to use the wall to hold the bully sticks so she can chew the bully sticks at good angle without it being sliding around while she tries to chew it.

Palette and Grass fed Angus beef bully sticks Part II

 In the video Part II, she tried to use her paw to support since she is accustomed to hold chew with both paws but,when she does that, the bully stick was taller than her head position and she has compromised to use one paw but then, she had to lie down very low,almost her chin rest on her doggy bed.

 It looks very awkward for her to chew it

 It will be the time for her to wish she had longer paws like Golden Retriever.
 Can you see she is working very hard to work on her Grass fed Angus beef bully sticks? She worked on this bully sticks for
about more than 1 hour on the day 1 and,since she also had nice long walk on that day, she was pretty tired and slept very deep.

One paw support chew style..

Doggy bed support chew style..

This is yummy but,so awkward to chew..

I wish I had long paws like you..



Good Catch


Teamwork with Mr. Doggy bed..


Me getting tired…

Smelling BBQ Brisket from da kitchen..

Should I go there to babysit da oven so I won’t miss  da nibble nibble time??

That is a question…

bully sticks is one of my favorite bully sticks to give to Palette because it does not stink up the
room, and this is also Palette’s favorite as you can see in videos and

 This is like high pile burger for Palette and open up her
mouth really big and work on it.

 While she is working on the chew, she is being very very very quiet.

 Please note that due to natural products,
thickness of the bully sticks can vary.

 To visit our store,please click here or paste and copy the link
below into your browser.

Bookmark and

Apr 08, 2012 | 0 | Uncategorized

Thai cooking; Grilled Thai beef with coconut rice

 My first experience with Thai food is when I was working for Airlines here in the states, and co-worker from
Thailand brought Thai dish to work now and then. It was very aromatic and spicy dish but,it was very delicious.

I was very interested in her Thai dishes she brought to work, and I have asked about Thai ingredients and how she made it.

 Over time, I have learned authentic Thai flavor combination from her. She also took me to food market where she can show me the real ingredients and explained what it tastes like,how they are used and, its experience really helped me to understand the Thai flavor and to use the Thai flavor into other favorite dish such as Grilled Flank steak,which according to my husband, Grilled Flank steak and regular steak are two of my specialty and do good on

 Flank steak is very lean cut of meat and,when you slice them,you do need to make sure to slice thin against the grain to avoid it being chewy and tough, but it is economical cut of beef.

 With 1 lb of Flank steak, it is probably good amount of sliced steak for 3 servings.

 Recently, I made Grilled Thai beef with coconut rice and it came out great so,I thought I would share the recipe with you.

Grilled Thai beef with coconut rice


Grilled Thai beef with coconut rice..

So, how do you make Grilled Thai beef with coconut rice? Here is how.

Ingredients for marinade:

2 tbs Fish sauce*
2 tsp tamarind pulp water* (optional)
2 tbs lime juice
1 Thai chili chopped fine

Ingredients for Coconut rice:

1C Jasmine rice
1C water
2/3C unsweetened coconut milk
pinch of kosher salt

Ingredients for Grilled Thai beef sauce:

1/3C lime juice
1/3C Fish sauce
1 Thai chili chopped fine
1/8C Mint leaves
chopped fine (about 2 tsp chopped mint leaves)
1/4C cilantro chopped
fine (about 1 tbs chopped cilantro)
2 cloves garlic grated
4 tbs brown sugar

Ingredients for Grilled Thai beef:

1 lb Flank steak
Extra virgin olive oil
7 tbs Grilled Thai beef sauce*

*Grilled Thai Beef Sauce recipe follows

Ingredients for Thai vegetable medley:

Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 carrot diagonally sliced
1/4 sweet onion sliced
1/8 red pepper sliced
1/8 yellow pepper sliced
1 tbs Grilled Thai beef sauce*

*Grilled Thai Beef Sauce recipe follows

<Marinade for the Grilled Thai beef>

1. Make Marinade for the steak

In a small container, mix 2 tbs Fish sauce,2 tsp tamarind pulp,2 tbs lime juice, and 1 Thai chili chopped fine

2. Stab the flank steak with fork so flavor can get into the steak better

3. Put the flank steak into a freezer bag,pour marinade in and add lime slice you have juiced for the marinade and close it and massage the steak

4. In a Pyrex container or cookie sheet,place the freezer bag and let it marinade for 24 hours in the fridge

** Every couple of hours, massage the steak and flip the steak

** What is Fish sauce?? **

 Fish sauce is commonly used condiment in south eastern cooking such as Thai food,Vietnamese food and they are delivered from fish. It is salty, and has unique flavor to it.

 You can find them at local grocery store at International food aisle and also,you can find them at Asian stores.
Below is Fish sauce bottle. The one I have is product of Thailand, and brand name is “Double parrots”.

Fish sauce

Fish sauce…

** What is Tamarind pulp water?

 Tamarind is fruits that has sticky pulp that has seed inside. What is used in the cooking are the pulp.

Tamarind base


Left hand side is how it would look like when you break the pod.

To use the pulp, you would need boiling water to release the pulp from the seed.

Tamarind mushed

<Tamarind Pulp water>

1. Peel off the skin and expose the sticky pulp,and put it in a small bowl

2. Add 3.5 tbs boiling water over the pulp and mash them with fork to release the pulp from the seed

Tamarind boiled water pour

Broken up tamarind pulp with boiled water..

Tamarind pulp is released from seed..

3. Strain the pulp,seed,water through kitchen sieve over the small container

4. The juice you have strained is the tamarind pulp water.

<Coconut rice>

1. In a sauce pan, add 1C Jasmine rice,1C water,2/3C unsweetened coconut milk,pinch of kosher salt and put it on medium high heat

2.Once the rice started boiling,turn the heat down to medium low heat and cover the pan with lid and cook for 10 minutes,and lower the heat to simmer and cook another 10 minutes

Makes; 3 servings

<Grilled Thai beef sauce>

1. In a small bowl, add 1/3C lime juice,1/3C Fish sauce, 1 Thai chili chopped fine, 1/8C Mint leaves chopped fine (about 2 tsp chopped mint leaves), 1/4C cilantro chopped fine (about 1 tbs chopped cilantro),2 cloves of garlic grated, and 4 tbs brown sugar and mix well

Makes; 1/2C sauce

<Grilled Thai beef >

1. Put the steak out about 1 hour before cooking time so beef steak can come to room temperature

2. In a skillet, drizzle Extra virgin olive oil,and wait till you see the smoke coming out

3. When you start seeing a smoke coming out, put marinade steak on the skillet and cook for 4 minutes, and then flip and cook for another 4 minutes

4. Flip again and cook 1 minutes,flip the steak and check the meat temperature. If temperature was still below 125F (for medium rare), cook 1 more minutes and flip and take temperature until meat thermometer reads 125F for medium rare

** Steak will continue to cook on the plate.Often times,temperature will rise about 5 F-10F during the resting.

5. Put the steak onto the plate and pour 1 tbs Grilled Thai beef sauce over the steak,and cover it with foil

6. Let steak rest for 15 minutes

7. Slice thin against the grain

8.Put all the sliced beef in a bowl and pour 7 tbs Grilled Thai beef sauce and mix well using tong

Makes;3 servings

<Thai Vegetable medley>

1.In a skillet,drizzle extra virgin olive oil,and add 1/2 carrot diagonally sliced and stir

2.When carrot is cooked half way through, add 1/4 sweet onion sliced,1/8 red pepper sliced,and 1/8 yellow pepper sliced and stir

3. When vegetable is cooked to crisp tender, drizzle 1 tbs Grilled Thai beef sauce and stir and quickly put it over the plate

Makes;2 servings



Apr 05, 2012 | 0 | Asian cooking 911

Raw feeding 911 Part X;tips and tricks for feeding and storage of the food

 In the previous entry titled “Raw feeding 911“, “Raw feeding 911 Part II“, Raw feeding 911 Part III“, Raw feeding 911 Part IV,
I wrote basic of the raw diet for dogs such as what to feed, how much to feed,
what to do when your dogs had digestive upset, what to do when traveling,
and other tools that are good to have such as freezer.

 Also, I have shown you the videos of our dog “Palette” eating her meals in the entry Raw feeding 911 Part IV” just so you can get the idea of what it will be like.

 In the previous entries titled “Raw feeding 911 Part V“, “Raw feeding Part VI“you have learned how I feed Palette when she has a big meal day.

 In the previous entry titled “Raw feeding 911 Part VII“, you have learned where you can buy all the raw diet food and what green beef tripe is.

 In the previous entry titled “Raw feeding 911 Part VIII“,
you have learned what benefit your dogs would get when you feed raw
diet meal with bones,what you can do when your dogs are having problems
eating bones, and whether feeding raw diet pre-made patties can be an
alternative ways to feeding a real bone to your dogs, and about giving
supplement to your dogs.

 In the previous entry titled “Raw feeding 911 Part IX“, I have shown you the way I used to feed so Palette to give you an idea as to what you can do when dogs are prone to run with meal to places of their choice and munch on the meal on the spot.

 In this entry, I would like to give you some tips and tricks for the feeding and storage of the food.

Pausing with da Turkey feet..

Mom’s note; This Turkey feet was approx. 8″ long,and finger of the Turkey feet was as thick as our finger. Turkey feet was harder texture than Chicken feet,Duck feet and I would say it was about the same or a little harder than nice thick Turkey neck.

Since I could not fit last one feet in the bag to store, Palette got a jackpot desert along side her regular meal.

I let her chew half way through and, it took her 30 minutes,and I took it away since the feet got small enough size to fit in the bag that I had and, I gave the rest next day with her regular meal. She enjoyed it especially…peeling the skin off from the feet..

2nd day with da Turkey feetNommy!!

Tip #1; Cut the food into portion before freezing the food

 Now and then, I hear people talking about being difficult to thaw and cut the food for dogs to feed.

 I usually cut the food into portion before freezing the meat.

 With common sense, the bigger the meat is,the longer it takes for it to be thawed.

 Some of Palette’s food is shipped to here.

 With the food I get it shipped, by the time it arrives here, it is about 20% thawed just enough to cut the food into portion although some of the big meat such as whole Duck etc is still frozen solid and,I usually put it in a grocery bag and keep it in the fridge and I portion cut it the next day.

 If I get 30 lb meat for example, I usually portion cut as much as I can except a whole bird still being solid frozen. That way, you do not have to worry about thawing 5 lb meat each time you need to portion cut the new package.

 Some of Palette’s food is from grocery store and,not frozen. With them, I portion cut right after we bring the food in, and bag them into freezer bag and freeze it.

 When you start feeding raw diet, you would hear a thing or two about Green tripe. Green tripe is available only through raw food supplier since green tripe cannot be sold for human consumption and you will never find them at regular store.

 When you get it from raw food suppliers, often times, tripe comes with log weight varied from 1 lb to 5 lb. I
feed the green tripe too,but I feed it as side dish about size of ice cube.

 It is just my
preference. When you feed the small sized green tripe, its smell is
minimized. Therefore, when I get green tripe, first thing is to wear gloves so smell would not linger on my fingers, and cut them into ice cube size when it is soft enough to cut through (not thawed all the way.It will be difficult to cut through to chunk if it were thawed all the way.),and bag them up and freeze them.

 That way, you will pull out only needed amount with the size of ice cube size and,you will barely smell it.

 On the talk of portion cut the food, it is good to have tools such as clever, and Joyce Chen unlimited scissors with red handle. Those tools would make your portion cutting easy.

Joyce Chen unlimited scissors..

Tip #2;Have weekly menu list and, pull out the food you will plan to feed next day the day before

 For 5 years of raw feeding, I have been planning Palette’s weekly menu list.

 Since I make weekly menu list for family, making one for her came natural to me,and it became a habit to plan one every week.

 Having menu list is great because every morning you wake up,you know what you will be feeding next day and, you can pull out all the necessary portion cut meal from the freezer. This will allow the meal to be thawed 24 hours ahead of time in the fridge.

 When you thaw the portion cut meal for next day, having something to keep them from leaking meat juice in the fridge is great.

 I have been using the bottom part of Lock& lock storage container 16.5C multi use to keep Palette’s meat in the fridge.

Lock & Lock storage container..

 It comes with raised rack. It fits well in the fridge and,it works great for keeping her meal in one place. I especially like the raised rack because if for some reasons,the bag had puncture and had meat juice run in the container,bag itself would not be sitting in the puddle of the meat juice. I also like the fact that the cleaning is easy.

Tip #3; When you have pressed with time but want to feed room temperature food, use the T-fal pan in the oven to thaw 
 Normally, after waking up, very first thing to do is to go check Palette’s menu list,and get the food out from her freezer.

 Then, I put her meal she would eat in the morning out on the counter and take shower, go for walk and then feed her.

 However, now and then, when I have to get up early and leave for scheduled stuff, I usually cannot bring her meal temperature up to room temperature with just putting them out on the counter.

 When days like that come, right after I
get up,I go to fridge and put the meat out and put it on T-fal
skillet,and put that skillet into oven (oven is not “ON”) then take

 After I get ready,I then feed it. By the time I come out from shower,her food is touch cold but not icy cold.

little tip is from my mother in law.She one day suggested that if you
want to defrost cold/frozen meat faster,put the bag of meat on the T-fal
skillet and put that skillet in the oven (oven is not turned on).

said it defrosts faster than simply putting meat out on counter and, I
have used that trick when time is pressed especially in the morning
and,it works

 Turning the light on in the oven while meat is placed on the t-fal skillet in the oven also helps faster too.

Tip#4; Do not use microwave to thaw the pre made raw diet food pattie or chub of  mixed meat with bones..

 I sometimes hear people use microwave to defrost just because they do not have time to defrost but, you should read the label of the food carefully to make sure that no bones are in the mix because microwave could cook the bone,and you would probably do not want to use microwave if the mix contains some sort of vitamins/minerals because some of the vitamins are fragile to air,heat and light.

 Cooked bones are dangerous and, I have wrote about Palette’s Ham bone story long time ago, and some of you have already know about the story, but when I did not know better,I gave her baked ham bones (We had ham in Christmas season and we had Ham,she had bone), and she pooped so many times.

 Her poop was golf size ball and rock hard cement-like consistency of poop and, after a while,it turned to diarrhea and she was miserable for another couple of days. 

 Cooked bones are sharp and brittle and,from my past experience, it might be clogging up the intestine with cement like consistency hard rock poop with bone fragments.

 Never feed cooked bones!

 Putting the meal in the question in the bowl of water also helps to bring the meat to room temperature as well.

 I know that some dogs do fine with cold meal right out from the fridge, but Palette vomits and gets digestive upset with such a cold meal.

 She can eat small snack size frozen stuff like frozen poultry feet,but she cannot handle frozen/cold temperature meal size amount without getting digestive upset.

 In the past, I forgot to put her meal out before going out for walk and, I fed her meal straight out from the fridge.

 8 hours later,she had vomit (several spots,meat,bone everything she had),and explosive diarrhea and she had miserable night that day.

 She was back to normal next day but,I thought about taking her to the vet on the day I fed cold meal because she was very under the weather,she showed no interests in any food or water..

 Since I now know that the cold food with regular meal size is not something she can handle it without digestive upset,I never feed food with frozen/cold temp with regular meal amount.

 If the dog in the question was chihuahua size, then, it is also possible that cold meal like that can quickly bring down their body temperature and they might get shaky as well.

  I personally choose not to feed frozen meal/cold meal straight out from the fridge because of the experience in the past, but if your dogs do fine with it,then, you could feed it that way.

 Just like everything else, how the dogs react to/digest certain things is individual things, and feeding should be tailor to your individual dog’s ability/needs.

Tip#5; How to storage portion cut liver/kidney
 With organ like liver,kidney, you would only need 10% of the daily feeding amount (If you feed kidney,then, 5% liver,5% kidney in the daily feeding amount),and cutting the 1 lb package of liver into chunks of liver, for example, and thaw-freeze-thaw over and over again is not easiest,wiser way to store them.

 Best way to store liver is that you will cut the liver into daily liver feeding amount,and then line the cookie sheet with foil and place cut out liver spread out on them.

 Then, you will put the cookie sheet with liver on into freezer and,when the liver chunk got frozen, put those frozen chunk into freezer bag and freeze them.

 That way,you can take out individual chunk you need everyday as needed.

 This same method can be used for your own food such as fresh blueberries. If you got more than fresh blueberries you can eat, you can wash them under the running water and pat them dry and spread it out on the cookie sheet and freeze them.

 Then, you can bag those frozen blueberries for quick baking/smoothie making etc..

Bookmark and Share

Apr 03, 2012 | 0 | Uncategorized