Archives for October, 2013

Palette’s Food Market Guide: Finding Farmer’s market

 In the previous entry titled “Palette’s Food Market Guide:Buying a whole animal“,
I wrote various ways to find farmers nears you,and what you can ask for
if you decided to buy a whole animal from them,and story about my
experience of buying a whole animal from farmers.

 In the previous entry titled “Palette’s Food market Guide; Finding a local farmer“, I wrote about Weston A Price fundation, which is non profit charity foundation built on 1999.

of the foundation’s mission is to restoring the nutrient dense food to
human diet through education,research and activism,and they support a
number of movements that contribute to this objective including
accurate nutrition instruction, organic and biodynamic farming,
pasture-feeding of livestock, community-supported farms, honest and
informative labeling, prepared parenting and nurturing therapies.

when you look for local farmers, you can contact the volunteers for the
foundation who might be able to refer you to the local farmers in your

 To find a local volunteer working for the foundation, you can visit the “Find a local chapter page” here.

 Then, click on your state to see the list of volunteer workers’ contact information.

 The Local chapters can help you find locally-grown organic and biodynamic
vegetables, fruits and grains; and milk products, butter, eggs, chicken
and meat from pasture-fed animals.

 In the previous entry titled “Palette’s Food market guide;Raw feeding co-op“, I wrote that co-op
is especially great place for those who have large number of dogs and
those who loves to buy food in bulk to save money on meat for your dogs
plus, often times, co-op can offer variety of protein source.

it can be a great place to buy novel protein source or things that are
hard to find locally at grocery stores for your dogs.

 Then,the most recent entry titled “Palette’s Food Market Guide; Finding local meat packing companies/meat processors” ,I wrote that finding meat packing/processing companies in your area might be a good source for your dog’s menu as well. They may have somethings they can offer that
other people did not want to have such as organs, for your dogs at good

 In this entry, I would like to focus on the farmer’s market,and I would like to introduce a couple of websites I
came across which may be helpful for you to find the local farmer’s market to find food locally grown.

 Farmer’s market is not just for your dogs but also great source for your own cooking as well. Through the farmer’s market, you get to know the farmers who grow foods that you will be purchasing from, and it is possible that you could ask them to see if the farmers are willing to offer the option of purchasing whole animals or offer odd ball items such as poultry feet,organs, or cuts of meat that are not usually offered for human, for example.

 Get to know the farmers, and you may find more food source for the future.

Are there any more left for me to work on?

Benefit of purchasing produce at Farmer’s market..

 Many family make a trip to grocery store every week and purchase week worth food. Other family make extra trip to farmer’s market to enjoy locally grown fresh produce in the open air market.

 Some of benefit of purchasing locally grown produce is that, if it were fruits or vegetables, you would most likely be tasting produces that were freshly harvested on the same day.

 Baked goods you would find at the farmer’s market would have been made by hands, not by big factory machines and made with love.

 I have grown fresh herbs,vegetables, peppers, and I could notice quite taste difference between grocery store bought produce and the ones that were harvested right before cooking them, for example.

 Vegetables right out from the garden was tastier and, later learned that they have more nutrition compared to store bought vegetables while I was working on one of my blog entries in the past titled “People food for thought: Part XIII Frozen vegetables,frozen seafood “.

 The reason behind it was that produce is picked early due to long distance shipment and, while they are in the box to be shipped to the grocery stores, they will loose some of the nutrient in the produce.

 If you cannot grow your own, next best thing is to visit the farmer’s market and support the locally grown produce and enjoy tastier fresh produce.

 For specific to raw feeding purpose, you would get to know the farmers at the market and you can ask questions if you have any and you will know how animals were raised as well,not just widening your option for the food source and variety of menu for your dogs.

 Here is how you can find the local farmer’s market in your area.
Finding local farmer’s market in your area..

 The first website I came across is website (Click here to visit). There, all you need to do is to enter the zip code and click “Find” button.

 Then, it will give you the name of the farmer’s market,farmers,address, along with google map right next to it.

 When you click on Farmer’s market / farm name, it will bring the description page that explain what are available to see and purchase along with website if farm/farmer’s market had their own website so you can check their schedule.

 Another website I came across is California state specific one called “Certified farmer’s market”,which you can search locally grown certified California farmer’s market (click here to visit the website).

 You will select either city,county,region and market operator’s names and you will get the list of places you can check it out in CA.

 For the nation wide search for the farmer’s market, did you know that USDA has list of farmers market you can search?

 Here is the USDA national farmer’s market search page. You can search the farmers market by zip code, state, payment type accepted,available products to see, and market location type.

 Another one is called “Farmers market online” website (click here to visit).This one is similar to localharvest website and you can purchase variety of things directly from farmers online.

Some area specific farmer’s market sites..

** Washington DC **

 Another one is called “Eastern Market” and they are in Washington DC, and produce there are often grown in VA,WV, MD and PA.

 Here is the list of indoor vendor list page. I have never been to the market, but it seems interesting place to check it out.

** Georgia **

 The last one is called “Dekalb Farmer’s Market” in GA which seems to be very big and it seems to have everything imaginable. Looking through the website, it made me want to visit the market to see what they got.Looks very interesting place to check out.

** Hawaii **

 Here is the farmer’s market list in Hawaii called “A Go Kauai garden” website.

** Massachusetts **

 Here is the MA Farmer’s market search page from WGBH website . When you click the county name, it will bring you the list of farmer’s market names and schedule

** New York **

 Here is the NY specific Farmer’s market list.

** Maryland/Washington DC **

 Here is the MD/Washington DC area specific farmer’s market called “Fresh farm market”

 If you live near these areas, you may want to check them out.

 If you know any other farmer’s market in your area, please let us know.


Oct 29, 2013 | Comments are off | Dog Diet

Drunken Apple caramel pecan tart with Chocolate sauce

 As fall approaches, you would start noticing piles of apples,pumpkins,squash, and sweet potatoes are displayed where you can find them very easily at the local grocery stores.

 At the same time, you would start seeing popular holiday baked goods from different types of pies, caramel apples, and classic Italian holiday dessert called “Panettone”.

 “Panettone” is a round, tall, soft, fluffy popular Christmas/New year sweet bread that got candied orange,citron,raisin,lemon zest from Italy.

 I once got the Panettone from local bakery and, it got taste of amaretto soaked candied fruits and the dough had whole almond in them. It was very tasty bread.

 Walking through all those seasonal holiday favorites, I thought I would like to make something that are unique but has holiday quality in them.

 Something that people can enjoy during holiday seasons feeling the season of “fall” with family.

 One thing that popped in my head was caramel apple married with pecan pies.

 Last time when we visited Famous Dave’s, my husband was very disappointed to know that they have scratched off his favorite Drunken apple from menu and, when I was looking at candied apples and pecan pies, I thought I could make something interesting that can satisfy my husband’s craving for the drunken apples.

What I came up with is what I call “Drunken Apple caramel pecan tart”. You will have flaky pie crust on the bottom and on top of the crust, you have drunken apple and top layer on that will be caramel pecan part garnished with bitter sweet chocolate sauce.

 Tartness from the green apples and sweetness from caramel pecan part really goes well together and you get to taste crunch with caramel coated pecan nuts.

 It was a huge hit. My husband loved this tart very much that he had 2 slices of tart in a day It was my made up tart, but it will definitely be my keeper recipe for future.

 The best part?

 When we were at the restaurant the other day and looking over the dessert menu, my husband said what he wants is my drunken apple caramel pecan tart I made the other day

 You can see how much he loved this sweet treat.

 In this entry, I will share the recipe of “Drunken apple caramel pecan tart”,which can entertain the crowd during the holiday season.

Drunken Apple caramel pecan tart..

Ingredients for crust;

1C unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 tsp table salt
6 tbs butter
2 tbs shortening
1/4C ice cold water

Ingredients for drunken apple filling;

2 Grainy smith apples cored,peeled,sliced thin
1 tbs plus 2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbs butter
5 tbs dark brown sugar
3/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4C dark rum

Ingredients for Caramel pecan filling;

2 tbs butter
1/16C honey
1/8 C white sugar
1/4C dark brown sugar
1C pecan nuts chopped
1/8C heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1tsp dark rum

Ingredients for drunken chocolate sauce;

1/2C semi bitter chocolate chips
1/2C heavy cream
1 tsp hazelnut liqueur “Frangelico”


1. In the food processor,add 1C unbleached all purpose flour, 1/2 tsp table salt and pulse to combine

2. To that, add 6 tbs butter,2 tbs shortening and pulse so the flour mixture becomes pebble size bits

3. To that,add 1/4C ice cold water and pulse to form the dough

4. Shape the dough to log and wrap the dough in plastic wrap tightly and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes

5. After the 30 minutes rest, roll out the dough on lightly floured surface and place them on the tart pan

** I like to grease the pan even if it is non stick pan

6. Press down on the bottom edge to make sure the crust is touching the edges of the pan

7. Trim off the top edge

8. Poke the bottom of the dough with fork

9. Cover it with plastic wrap,and let it rest in the fridge for 15 minutes

10. While crust is resting in the pan, preheat the oven at 400F

11. After 15 minutes crust rest in the fridge, take it out from the fridge and take the plastic wrap off from the tart crust and place parchment paper on top of the crust

12. On the parchment paper, pour enough dry beans to hold the paper down with its weight

** If you have pie weights, use that instead.

13. Bake the crust for 12 minutes

14. Take off the parchment paper and dry bean weights

15. Bake the crust without parchment paper for another 5 minutes

 It is best to work on the apple filling while pie crust dough is resting. Then,work on the caramel pecan filling after crust is baked in the oven and waiting for it to cool.

<Drunken apple filling>

1. Peel,core 2 Grainy smith apples and slice them thin

** To avoid browning, prepare the Tupperware or bowl next to you with bit of lemon juice and as you slice the apples, add the slice of apple to the bowl and mix to coat them with 2 tsp lemon juice

2.  To the skillet,add 1 tbs butter,5 tbs dark brown sugar and let it melt

3. When it got melted,add apples and add 1 tbs lemon juice and stir

4. Cook the apple until slightly soft

5. Add 3/8 tsp ground cinnamon and stir

6. Add 1/4C Dark Rum and cook until almost all juice is absorbed

7. Take it off from the heat and set it aside

<Caramel pecan filling>

1. In the sauce pan, add 2 tbs butter, 1/16C honey,1/8 C white sugar, 1/4C dark brown sugar and let it come to boil

2. Once boiled, let it boil for 3 minutes or so and add 1C pecan nuts chopped,1/8C heavy cream, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and stir

** I like to use food processor to let it rough chop pecan nuts by using pulse button

3. Right before taking it off from the heat, add 1 tsp dark rum,stir and set it aside


1. To the cooled pie crust, pour Drunken apple filling and spread it out evenly

2. Over the drunken apple, spread out caramel pecan nuts filling evenly

3. Bake the tart at 400F for 20 minutes

4. Turn the heat down to 375F, and bake another 10-13 minutes until edge of the tart pulled a little inside and golden,and caramel pecan part gets bubbly and set

** If your tart edge gets golden faster, you can line the foil over the edge so it would not get burn

5. Cool the tart

6. Garnish the tart with chocolate sauce (recipe follows)

** Work on the chocolate sauce while you are waiting for the tart to cool

<Drunken Chocolate sauce>

1. In the double boiler bottom part, pour some water let it simmer gently

2. On the top part of double boiler,add 1/2C semi bitter chocolate chips and stir and melt it gently

3. Add 1/2C heavy cream and mix well

4. To the melted chocolate mixture,add 1 tsp hazelnut liqueur “Frangelico” and stir and take it off from the heat

5. Garnish the tart

** You can pour chocolate sauce in the zip bag and snip off the corner of the bag and twist the zip bag so you can use it like piping bag and garnish the tart

** Leftover chocolate sauce can be frozen or keep it in the fridge to chill and roll it in the ball,coat it with dutch process coco or toasted coconut flakes and have it as quick snack

Makes: 9″ tart


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Oct 27, 2013 | Comments are off | Miscellaneous (Cooking)

Palette’s fall treats diary;October 22nd,2013 Special edition

 For Palette, last month was another super,super exciting month.

 For one thing, she got to taste test another new treats that was now sent for lab testing so we can offer through Yassy’s Gourmet Dog Kitchen‘s 2014 treats.

 Then, she saw a lots of baking action in the kitchen last month.

 I was quite busy baking all kinds of stuff.

 If you follow my blog entries, you know that I was trying to create the simple treats recipes for new lines of biscuits and Jerky treats for K9 restaurant “Yassy’s Gourmet Dog Kitchen” for coming 2014 treats.

 Because of that, I have been baking with different ratio of ingredients to adjust the outcome so many times and as a result,Palette got many prototype biscuits/Jerky in her freezer enough for her to be able to pick one from those variety of biscuits and Jerky.

 The bag of 2014 experiment treats in the freezer weigh more than 4 lb! So,you can imagine how much she has got in her freezer.

 She got zillions of biscuits,cakes and stuff like that in her freezer from my testing of new recipes.I cannot wait for 2014 so I would start offering all of these new line of healthy treats

 When I am not baking things for dogs, I am baking something else for people.

 I baked/made quite a few yummies last month.

 I made ..Semolina rolls, Apple blueberry scone cake,strawberry shortcake Japanese style (You can view the recipe here), and strawberry Panna Cotta (Recipe here).

 I love baking/cooking and I enjoy all the process from recipe creation to the final presentation and sharing the recipes with you. Adding the layer of made up flavor is really fun.

 One last big fun I have been experiencing this month is that I got to participate recipe contest at PF Chang’s.

 The rule was that I had to pick 3 ingredients from list of selected ingredients. It was,in a way, was like a mystery box challenge without timer.

 I spent some time brainstorming what I like to make and entered into the recipe contest with the dish I created;Drunken Thai Curry with Green Onion coconut rice. You can find my recipe at PF Chang’s facebook page here and make it at your home.If you liked the dish,please vote. You can vote one time a day.

 I ended up playing with Mango salsa and Thai curry that I like, and I have added my twist with brandy, and garlic and ginger chips to give the dish some crunch.

 Surprisingly, my husband told me that he liked this dish better than other Thai curry that I make or he gets at Thai restaurants I am glad he liked it that much with my made-up dish!

Anyway, I have been making/baking more yummies from homemade ravioli to Drunken Apple caramel pecan tart and lots of baking action is going on in the kitchen.

 Holidays is more baking month for me, and in this “Palette’s treat diary” entry,I have decided to do some special edition during holiday months and you will find unique treats recipes here besides regular baked treats recipes such as cake or pupcake recipes.

 This month treat recipe that I am going to share with you is probably the first you would see for dog treats.

 This one is “steamed Apple pie bun”, and it was inspired by my love for steamed pork buns that I sometimes make.

 You can find the steamed pork bun recipe for people can be found here.

 Steamed buns are very popular in Japan and there are many variety of fillings from Japanese curry filling, pork meat filling that are similar to pot sticker filling, sweet azuki beans filling and more.

 You can find steamed buns that are frozen at Asian stores as well but you can make them easy.

 Besides Japan,many other Asian countries have their own version of steamed buns and Vietnamese style steamed buns has boiled eggs in it so,this treat was inspired by steamed bun vietnamese style.

 For the traditional steamed buns, it requires dry yeast but I have modified it into k9 friendly,quick and easy recipes so you would not see “dry yeast” in the recipe.

 Palette went nuts over this and it turned out to be a great quick potty motivator,lol.

 I hope your dogs would like them as much as Palette did.


 Now I will pass a pen to Palette to write a dairy here.

October 22nd,2013

 Last month was super,super exciting month. I got to taste test mom’s new biscuits,cakes, and Jerky. She came up with many ideas and she tried her ideas with new recipes to see if her idea works, and she was experimenting ingredient ratio and tweaking recipes here and there..

 The more she works on the recipes, the more taste testing treats and I was secretly hoping she would make an errors more and keep baking day in day out

 After all, I am a k9 executive chef,and I would need to give her a “go” or “decline”. I like being a boss for her when it comes to treats taste testing time.

 Plus I get to taste all kinds of stuff. I think I have the best job in the world!

 Mom was originally thinking to finish up the recipe creation by August but,she wanted to work on the detail and she has been still busy fine tuning the recipes for the new treats.

 Each night, mom brings about 4 different kinds of biscuits as snack before bed selection
and lay it on the floor and tell me “pick”.

 By now, I learned what she means by “pick”.

 So, I sniff each bag very very carefully and pick the one most interested and grab and toss it to mom so she can open up the bag for me.

 I personally prefer to have different biscuits each night and,I tend to alternate biscuits choice.

 Tonight,I picked Baguette biscuits (grass-fed buffalo liver biscuits),which she made some for me and you too can enjoy this biscuits too.You can find the biscuits here.

 They are very yummy and it has been my favorite ever since she started baking doggy biscuits 7 years ago.

 Yes,the recipe is that old and has history with it. Many furriends tried them and loved.

 Besides doggy biscuits baking,mom made many for mom and dad like bread,which I love,love,love.

 Mom knows that I love bread so much and one day, she tore some bread into tiny tiny pieces and used them for reward for nail trimming.

 I have my own nail trim board and, I trim my own nail. It is fun! If I got paid with yummy bread.. what is more better!

 That was nice.

 Oh,besides food stories, when me and mom went to walkie, I found a blue gingerbread shaped dog toy (squeaky toy)?

 Somebody must have been taking him for a walk.

 I wanted to get that toy but mom told  me”leave it”, and I gave her a little disappointed look.

 I got squeaky Mr snowman,and I thought if he comes with me, Mr snowman could have squeaky buddy

 Have you found unclaimed squeaky toys when you go for walkie with your mom and dad? If so, do you try to bring it to home?

 Anyway,here is steamed apple pie bun. Sooo good! Ask your mom to make these. you would love these.


Steamed Apple pie buns..

Ingredients for steamed apple pie bun;

1 C unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/8C water
1.5 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Ingredients for apple pie filling;

1/4 Apple cored,peeled and chopped fine
1 boiled egg yolk mashed and white chopped fine
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

<Steamed Apple pie buns>

To the bowl, add 1C of unbleached all purpose flour, 3/4tsp baking powder and mix

2. Add 3/8C water,1.5 tsp extra virgin olive oil and mix well

3. On lightly floured surface, knead the dough about 2 minutes and wrap the dough with plastic wrap and rest while you are working on the filling.

<Apple pie filling>

1. Mix 1/4 Apple cored,peeled and chopped fine, 1 boiled egg yolk mashed and white chopped fine,1/8 tsp ground cinnamon and mix well

After filling is made, divide the
dough to 8 portion and roll to balls

5. Take out the parchment paper and cut to 2″x2″ square. You need 8 of them.

6. Take one ball out and roll out and press the 1/2″ inner side all around

** Make sure not to roll out too thin because if the dough was too thin, dough can break during the steaming process

7. Place the filling about 3/4 tsp worth per rolled out dough, and pinch the dough together.

** To pinch the dough, take far side edge dough and nearest edge of
dough, and press. Then take both (left and right) side of edge of dough
and press to seal. Then, twist on top. It is helpful if you had small
bowl of water to dip your finger in and help the dough to seal well.

** Make sure the twisted top is sealed well. Otherwise, during the
steaming process, twisted top can open and  juice would come out.

8. After filling the dough, place the filled dough onto cut-out
parchment paper you have prepared.

9. Set the steamer to steam the buns

** One way you can steam stuff is to use wok with bamboo steamer but you can steam stuff other way

 The way my mother and I steam stuff is to use big pan and vegetable steamer and one kitchen towel.

This is how I set up to steam..

** The pan in the picture is 11″ and I pour water in the
bottom and place the vegetable steamer and steamer’s bottom part is set.
Make sure that water depth is just enough to touch the vegetable
steamer and you should not feel the water puddle above the vegetable
steamer. If the water was too deep than it should, your bun would get
soggy bottom.

10. Set the stove on to medium heat and let the water come to boil

11. After water is boiling, place the bun with
enough space between on top of the vegetable steamer, and set the
kitchen timer 15 minutes.

 Below picture is from steamed pork meat filling bun making.You will get the idea how to place the buns on top of the steamer.

Filled buns are set on top of vegetable steamer..

12. Cover the lid with kitchen towel in between. Edge of the towel
should be fold back like the picture below. Kitchen towel helps suck up
the steam and it prevents steam going back down to the buns. If there
were no towels used, steam drops to buns and you will get soggy buns.

** With bamboo steamer, you do not need towel to prevent steam dropping to the buns because bamboo suck the steam

Cover the lid with kitchen towel..

13.After 15 minutes of steaming, voila! you get steamed buns!

Steamed buns!!

k9 Steamed Apple pie bun on the plate..

This is how it looks like inside..

What is that?What is that?

Let me sniff..

“I want one! NOW!”-Palette

Palette: Oops!

Mom: Palette,my finger is not part of the treat!

** Steamed apple pie bun dough whole amount is roughly
about 447 kcal (you can see more detail at
website here ).So, each bun dough given is about 56 kcal.

I let Palette have one whole bun in the taste testing video,but I personally prefer to cut them into quarter and give one piece at a time so she can have a small piece at a time.

If you have a gulper or big dogs, cut the bun into quarter or tear the bun up and give one piece at a time.

** Steamed Apple pie bun filling whole amount is roughly about 98kcal.  Since this filling will be about 15 tea spoon worth, that bring us to about 7 kcal per tea spoon and 3/4 tsp filling will be about 5 kcal in each bun (you can see more detail at
website here )

You would probably have good amount of leftover filling.You can use the filling as food topper for your dogs or mix it with yogurt,freeze it and give as cool down treats.

Therefore, if you follow my recipe exactly and make 8 buns with 3/4 tsp worth filling each, one bun will be roughly 63kal.

**Mom wanted rough kcal to be as close to real one, and she used
Nutrition fact food label on the back of products she used.

 Here is the videos to show you how much Palette was excited for the new bun treat.

Palette and Steamed Apple pie buns


Makes: 8 buns


Oct 22, 2013 | Comments are off | Dog Diet

Yassy’s Japan Trip Diary November 2012; Day 8 Part 2,Day 9

 Very last day in Japan, after dining at the sushi restaurant at the Airport, we went to steakhouse “Aviator Grill
my husband was interested in.

 What he had was Wagyu burger on the
sizzling plate along with corn kernels and potatoes and, the burger had
nice Demi glace sauce on it.

 You can see picture of menu they serve here. The website is in Japanese,but you can see pictures.

 Since he likes beer, he could enjoy different kinds of beer as well.

 What I
thought it interesting is that, their beer menu list had
sweet,bitter,sour chart and you could pick what you like to order. He
seemed to enjoyed Leffe Blonde from Belgium,and he looked for the exact same brand of beer here in the states after coming back from Japan.

 It is in my nature that when we have something that we liked a lot at the restaurants we go to, I love to recreate the dish we liked.

 During the stay in Japan, I had many dishes that includes dessert and pastry that I wanted to introduce you how to make them, and shared the recipe with you in this Yassy’s Japan Trip diary series.

 Another dish I would like to share the recipe with you is the burger patties with Demi Grace sauce recipe we liked a lot from the Aviator Grill restaurant at the airport in Japan.

 Technically, it was the dish what my husband ordered but,he enjoyed a lot and I have made the recreated dish after coming back to the states.

 Demi Grace sauce has nice rich layer of flavors in the sauce,and I really like the sauce. It is a bit time consuming sauce to make one but,it is worth the time.

 Here is my version of burger pattie with Demi Grace sauce.

 hamburger with Demi Grace sauce..

 Ingredients for hamburger;

12 oz wt 80-20 Ground beef
kosher salt
ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

Ingredients for carrot grasse;

2 carrots cut them diagonally
virgin olive oil
1/2 tbs butter
1/4C water
1/2 tsp white table sugar

Ingredients for sauteed Asparagus;

4 oz wt Asparagus cut into diagonally
extra virgin olive oil
Morton’s Natures Seasons
1/4 tbs butter

ingredients for salted potato;

1 russet potato cut to 1/2″ chunks
kosher salt

Ingredients for Demi Grace sauce;

2 1/4 tbs butter plus 1/2 tbs butter right before serving
1/2 tbs vegetable oil
1/2 red onion chopped fine
1/2 tbs white sugar
1/8C red wine

2C beef broth
1/8 tsp dry thyme
1 white fresh mushroom sliced and chopped
1/8C unbleached all purpose flour
1 tbs plus 1/4C ruby port
pinch of kosher salt
pinch of ground black pepper


1. In the bowl,add 80-20 Ground beef 12 oz wt

2. Sason it with pinch of kosher salt,ground black pepper and mix well

3. Shape the mixture into pattie and cook them with Extra virgin olive oil at high heat so you will get a nice sear on the outside

4. Add  splash of water (about 1 tbs water) to the skillet when you flip the burgers

5. shake the pan and lower the heat to simmer and put a lid on slightly ajar so you can steam the burger

6. Cook the burger til meat juice runs clear

** Cook the burger til internal temperature reads 160F

The final internal temperature of the burger should be around 165F. The meat will still be cooking even after taking off from the heat and final temperature will be 5F to 10F higher than the temperature you read while the burgers are still in the skillet

<Carrot grasse>

1. Cut the 2 sticks of carrot diagonally

2. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil in the skillet,season them with Morton’s natures season and cook the carrot till soften a little

3. Add 1/2 tbs butter,1/4C water,1/2 tsp white table sugar and turn the heat down and put a lid on slightly ajar and cook till tender

<sauteed Asparagus>

1. Cut 4 oz wt Asparagus into diagonally

2. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil in the skillet,add Asparagus and season it with Morton’s Natures Seasons and cook til soften a little

3.Add 1/2 tbs butter and cook til tender

<Salted potato>

1. Cut 1 Russet potato into 1/2″ chunks

2. boil them in the water til tender

3. Drain the water

4. put the potato back in

5. Season the potato with pinch of kosher salt to taste

<Demi grace sauce>

1. In the sauce pan with wide mouth, add 1 tbs butter and 1/2 tbs vegetable oil and let it come to brown

2. Add 1/2 red onion chopped, 1/2 tbs white sugar, and stir til it gets brown color

3. Add 1/2C red wine,1C beef broth, 1/8 tsp dry thyme,1/2 white fresh mushroom sliced and chopped,and let it come to boil for a few minutes

4. Strain through kitchen sieve over the bowl. Use the wooden spoon to press it down to squeeze sauce more out from the mixture

5. In the same pan, add 1 tbs butter,1/8C all purpose flour and stir till peanut butter color

6. Add strained broth to the pan

7. Add 1 tbs ruby port,pinch of ground black pepper,1/4 tbs butter, and cook the sauce for another few minutes

8. Add 1C beef broth,1/2 fresh white mushroom chopped, and simmer the sauce for about one hour

9. Strain the sauce therough kitchen sieve over the bowl again

10. Put
the sauce back into sauce pan and add 1/4C ruby port, pinch of kosher salt,ground black pepper and stir and adjust the taste

11. Right before the serving add 1/2 tbs butter into the warm sauce and serve over grilled meat,burger patties,roasted vegetables etc..


 After walking around to look at gift shops, we headed back to the hotel and,spent the last day in Japan.

 Next day, we woke up super early, and headed to the Airport to catch the flight.

 We are coming back to the states…

 The flight flew to Narita Airport (Tokyo), and we had quick lunch there, and got myself fu-de pen to draw eye for daruma dolls I got at the Hattasan Soneiji temple in Shizuoka prefecture.

 Soon, it was time for us to get on board.

 I felt like time passed by super fast in a blink of eye. It was really nice to see my side of family and enjoyed short but memorable time together though.

 After 13 hours long flight later, we were finally in the states.

 After picking up all the luggage, we were heading to the boarding kennel to pick our precious princess “Palette” on the way back home.

 When we went to pick Palette up, as soon as she saw
me coming in to the kennel run, she was so happy to see me and ran to
me and jump,jump and I greeted her with some petting.

 I bet she felt like years and years without us and she was super super excited with her huge Corgi smile on her.

 We were both happy to see her, but the happy reunion time was short lived.

 It was because when
Palette proceeded to put herself in between me and the door that lead
to the outside as if she wanted to get out from the room right away.

 It was unusual for her who loves people a lot. Only one other time I have seen her does that was when we had a guy vet who used force to manipulate her at the vet clinic and she wanted to be 10 feet pole away, and she was so wanted to get out from the room.

 Since the incident, we make sure to make reservation at the vet office with lady vet she loves and the one who I think has great dog handling skill without force. She loves to go to see the lady vet very much.

 Anyway, I
did not see any interaction between the guy staff with her and he did
not call her name or say bye or anything. He was looking like “whatever”
mode, and I was not happy then.

 It is just my personal
speculation just because we did not get to hear what she got to do while
she was being boarded and, what fun she had..

 However, from
observing how she acts on that pick up day just like the time a guy vet
examined her and she wanted to go as far away as possible, it makes me
wonder she did not get good dog handling person at the boarding kennel.

 As you can imagine, the guy staff did not tell us
anything how she was. I never know if they really got to play with
Frisbee or did she have fun even though she did not get to play with
other dogs.


 Only thing he mentioned was she
messed the doggy bed and had diarrhea that morning,and gave us back some
things we brought although we did not get everything back..

 We got soggy doggy bed that had the same smell to the one I smelled before on the day of tour.

that time, I was wondering if the dog was probably not potty trained,
but her? Usually, Palette goes for potty (pee) 2-3 times a day, 1 a day
for poop. She can hold pee for long time if needed to.

 That makes me wonder how often she got to go out for the opportunity to potty or being checked on.

 It did not smell like just one time accident. It was awfully strong ammonia smell.

lost her favorite ortho doggy bed,which is not cheap. Lesson learned
here is to bring doggy bed that are not so dog’s favorite bed.

brought the specific doggy bed simply because she likes the bed a lot,
and it has egg crate inside, it is gentle for joint and comfortable
resting on them.

 Since I left them with umopened new probiotic liquid, they
opened up the bottle and used one table spoon that I left with but, I did not like how they did it.

 First, the bottle was opened simply the way he has made puncture on the seal by stabbing the knife through instead of remove the seal completely from the bottle. Then, the table spoon he used was not washed after the
use,and simply wet spoon was put it back with a bit of probiotic liquid still on into a zip bag that I provided along with probiotic bottle..

 Then we got 2 toys back out of 3 toys we brought. We lost Antler chew she likes.

 Lastly, they gave us back 1 meal out of 3 meals I should get.

 That is it.

 I did not see interaction between Palette and him,plus I was shocked to see her butt was messy,not being cleaned up.

pointed that out to my husband before getting into the car, and he is
then noticed her messy butt.I think the guy staff did not tell that
either to him.

 Since the boarding staff left her with messy butt, I grabbed water bottle with paper towel and tried to clean her butt.

 Wow,it did not come off easy. How long was she with messy fur even though we were told diarrhea was that morning? Our flight touched down around 9am to 10 am and we were at the kennel by 12pm..

 So, I was cleaning her butt, and her comes the guy and, walked passed by.

 He glanced at us and said “She vomited?” on normal tone of voice.

 I was bit mad so, I said “Cleaning her messy butt”.

 He simply said “oh” and kept walking as if nothing is problems.

 He did not apologize for leaving Palette with messy butt. Just simply said “Oh”.

 We called the boarding kennel 1 hour before the pick up time so they should have plenty of time to give her a quick butt wash.

was simply just surprised that they did not give her quick butt wash. I
do not know if it is because we did not added grooming to the boarding

then,that brings the questions that if the dog got diarrhea on day 2
from stress or whatever reasons, would the dog with diarrhea will have
messy butt for rest of the time up until owner bring them to groomers
after the boarding facility pick up?

 I do not mind bathing
Palette at home because I have necessary stuff like shampoo and
everything, but I was just very disappointed with the level of care she
or we had through them.

 What makes me concerns on this is
because when we brought her to bath her at home, I just wanted to make
sure she will be squeaky cleans so I looked around her genital area and
eww, poop crusts right near it.. and I lifted up the fur over the butt
hole and eww crusty poop bits.

 Then, fur was yellowish-brownish
and stuck together,dried out. It really did not look like they were
there from hours ago,more like days ago.

 Just warm watering over
them to get rid of crusty poop bits before shampooing did not help. I
needed to soak the area with shampoo for 10 minutes or so and finally it
started coming off a little by little.

 I just thought that if the dogs were left with
unsanitary situation like this, it is not good for dogs’ health and not
good sanitation for the environment and they should think about courtesy
quick bathing.

 Anyhow, Palette is back with us,and she is being taken good care of.

 She enjoyed relaxed stress free well cared days after that.

 I am not sure when would we be able to back to go see my side of family again but,every time we back there, so many things change and, I enjoy catching up with what I missed during the absence in Japan.

hope you have enjoyed reading Yassy’s Japan Trip Diary,and experience our
culture by making foods from Japan or reading about cultural stuff
through the series.

 In the next 2 entries in this series, I am going to post the follow up entries I have missed in the series; animal that are considered to be a lucky charms in Japan, and I also would like to share the recipe of mi-ta-ra-shi da-n-go (sweet dumplings coated with sweet teriyaki sauce) my husband loves to have when we visit temples, festival in Japan.

 Stay tuned!

Oct 20, 2013 | Comments are off | Japan

Homemade dehydrated sweet potato chips/sticks recipe for dogs

 As fresh food diet;homemade diet and raw diet, becomes popular among dog lovers, I hear people asking about homemade dehydrated sweet potato chips on their own now and then.

 Making dehydrated sweet potato chips is easy and, there is nothing complicated about it. Good thing about it is that since the dehydrated food can be reconstituted by cooking in the boiling water until they gets plump, you can preserve the sweet potato in the season for your cooking as well.

 To make dehydrated food, there are 2 ways to make it.

 One is to use the oven’s low heat. The other way is to use the dehydrator.

 Since oven’s lowest temperature it can go is still higher than dehydrator temperature, from nutritional point of view, if you have dehydrator and would like to keep as much nutrition as possible, then, dehydrator is the way to go.

 I have tried making dehydrated sweet potato chips both method;oven and dehydrator and, I find that if you were to snack them and looking for stronger, intensified sweet potato flavor, oven is the way to go.

 Oven baked one had more sweet potato flavor and more crunch I would enjoy.

 Generally, oven baked dehydrated sweet potato chips takes shorter time because of higher temperature than dehydrator temperature.

 When it comes to thickness and shapes, I like 1/8″ thickness for oval/round shape chips, and 1/4″ thickness for french fry shape.

 If your dogs tend to have digestive upset from sweet potato skin, if you make them french fry shape, it got much much less skin and it might be easier for them to digest.

 I know that there are sweet potato treats on the market that are crinkle cut,and about 1/4″ thickness but I do not like them. Partly because the treat was not single ingredient treat (sweet potato,egg,salt,bacillus subtilis), and partly Palette could not chew off bits because it was too thick and chewy and what she ended up with was swallowed them whole once she knew she cannot chew off into small pieces she could have with biscuits for example.

 Next day, the whole sweet potato treat came out as it went in,which means, it passed through her system without any benefit for her nutrition wise.

 Luckily, it was something one of treat distributors sent us as sample treats to see if we, Yassy’s Gourmet Dog Kitchen, are interested in carrying their products and, I did not have any left in Palette’s personal treat box after the one try.

 Because of those experience, personally, for the better digestion, I prefer making them as thin as I can.

 If you were to cut them thicker than 1/4″, then, you may want to par boil them before oven baking or dehydrating with dehydrator to make sure no raw “hard to digest” ,”not dehydrated all the way through” part left in the middle.

 For the homemade diet, all starchy vegetables such as squash,potato,sweet potatoes should be served fully cooked.

 Don’t let your dogs munch on raw sweet potato,potato and squash. It would be hard to digest for them.

 Plus if there were green spots or sprouts on potato, remove the spots because they are not good due to toxic chemical called “solanin” in the spots.These spots are not good for both human and dogs.

 Anyway, Palette was oven and dehydrator sitting whole time when I was making these sweet potato treats and, yes, she approves it.

*** Sweet potato chips-dehydrator method ***

Sweet potato chips – dehydrator method

Ingredients for sweet potato chips dehydrator method;

sweet potato

1. Wash the sweet potato under the running cold water, and cut the both ends;top and bottom

2. Slice the sweet potato into oval/round shape at 1/8″ thickness

3. Place them single layer onto dehydrator tray

4. Dehydrate them at 125F for  3-4 hours or til it gets crisp

5. Cool them down completely on the tray

6. store in air tight container and keep them in the freezer

Sweet potato sticks – Dehydrator method..

Ingredients for sweet potato sticks dehydrator method;

sweet potato

1. Wash the sweet potato under the running cold water, and cut the both ends;top and bottom

2. Slice the sweet potato length wise so you can cut them into french fry cut at 1/4″ thickness

3. Place them single layer onto dehydrator tray

4. Dehydrate them at 125F for  8-9 hours til it gets crisp

5. Cool them down completely on the tray

6. store in air tight container and keep them in the freezer

** You may find that some of dehydrated sweet potato chips/sticks have whitish spot on them. It is the starch from the sweet potato.

*** Sweet potato chips- oven method ***

Sweet potato chips-oven method…

Ingredients for sweet potato chips oven method;

sweet potato

0. Preheat the oven 200F

1. Wash the sweet potato under the running cold water, and cut the both ends;top and bottom

2. Slice the sweet potato into oval/round shape at 1/8″ thickness

3. Place them single layer onto non stick foil line baking sheet

4. Dehydrate them for  1hour and 40 minutes or til it gets crisp

5. Turn off the oven

6. Cool them down completely in the turned off  oven

7. Store in air tight container and keep them in the freezer

Sweet potato sticks – oven method..

Ingredients for sweet potato sticks oven method;

sweet potato

0. Preheat oven 200F

1. Wash the sweet potato under the running cold water, and cut the both ends;top and bottom

2. Slice the sweet potato length wise so you can cut them into french fry cut at 1/4″ thickness

3. Place them single layer onto non stick foil line baking sheet

4. Dehydrate them for about 4 hours til it gets crisp

5. Turn off the oven

6. Cool them down completely in the turned off  oven

7. Store in air tight container and keep them in the freezer

** Oven method makes super crunchy treats,especially stick shape ones

 Lets watch how much Palette enjoyed homemade sweet potato chips/sticks below.

Palette and Homemade Dehydrated Sweet potato chips- dehydrator method

Palette and Homemade dehydrated sweet potato chips – oven method

Oct 16, 2013 | Comments are off | Dog Diet

Yassy’s Japan Trip Diary November 2012; Day 8

day, since our plane was to leave early morning and, we spent last
moment with my family until early afternoon and we rode the train to the
Airport so we could stay at the nearby hotel a day before the departure

 When packing all the stuff needed to bring back home to the states, I really felt that the time spent there was real short. Soon, we both will be 14 hours flight away and I already missed them very much.

time we back to Japan, it is nice to get to eat my mother’s cooking
again and spend time together but 1 week seemed to pass super fast.

 1/2 more day with our family and we were to head to home.

 I was sad to leave our family already, but I was missing
Palette,especially the boarding place did not respond to my e-mail asking how Palette was doing until they get nudged by me for a few more e-mail inquiries and,I was worried how she was doing there.

 I wish I
could bring Palette with us, but she has to go through quarantine at the
Airport for certain days and by the time she is good to be out to enjoy
the country,it will be already the day we will be back to home in  the
state, and probably not a practical idea.

 This time, as I have written in the previous entry titled “What to look for in Dog boarding Kennel“,I was not
happy with the boarding place even though the place looked great up to
the point we come there to drop off Palette.

 After actually experiencing
their customer service during the stay, how things were handled during
the stay, it was awful experience,and felt sorry for Palette.

 They never told us how she was at first, and after several nudging via e-mail
from Japan, they finally replied me but I was not happy with the service
and care us human and Palette has received…

 Last time we
visited our lady vet office, we had the talk about boarding and she told
us that space is limited but if they had a space for Palette, her
favorite lady vet would take good care of Palette.

 I was happy
to hear that but wondered about her diet;raw diet.

 Therefore,I asked if Palette being raw diet would not be a problem for the staff there to care her,but she said it is

 I do not know how much she would charge us for the stay per day
but,at least now we have option of asking Palette’s favorite lady vet to
take care of her so,I am feeling comfortable.

 Every time we
visit the vet office she really looking forward to seeing the lady vet
and she gets super excited so, I really like the fact that we have the
option with her favorite lady vet.

 Some vet office might be able to accept pets for the
short stay if you must travel without your pets as long as space allows.
You can ask your vet and see what they say. Some vets might be able to
help you no matter what diet your pets are on.

 Afternoon came, and my family drove us to the nearest train station and we spent the final moment before leaving the country and, me and my husband took the train to the Airport.

 It was about dinner time then, and we decided to head to the hotel and come back to the Airport for the dinner.

 The hotel we made reservation for was 5-10 minutes walk away from the Airport. All we needed was place to stay for less than 1/2 a day so, we picked reasonably priced business hotel nearby Airport.

 After check-in at the hotel, we headed back to the Airport for the dinner.

 Nagoya Airport is opened to public to shop, and some people come to the Airport to see the planes flies out from designated area. Some people come there for shopping only. Some comes to catch their planes to travel.

 I wanted to taste delicious Sushi before leaving the country until next time visit and, my husband was interested in steak house that offered meal on the sizzling plate.

 Therefore, we decided to go 2 restaurants then.

 First, we went sushi restaurant “Maru chu sushi” where I ate most of what were served. My husband shared the dessert “an ni-n do-u-fu”.

 When you walk in, you could either pick up what you like from conveyer belt or call the server to place an order in so the chef can make one for us.

 You can eat Sushi in the states too, but I think rice texture,variety of rice and freshness of the fish is different and,it gives overall taste difference of sushi to me. Plus, sushi there is not westernized much, and you can find different kind of Japan specific topping there, and more variety in seafood topping and I like to eat sushi when we go back to Japan too.

 Plus, sushi there is much cheaper than the states,although airport meal are overpriced and a little expensive side no matter what you eat.

 The place we walked in had plate with different color on the plate and that color indicated how much it was. The plate started from $1.2,$1.6,$2,$2.6,$3 etc.. and most expensive plate you could find was $10 plate.

 $10 plate comes with 3 pieces of sushi and the topping is “Maguro”-“To-ro”,which is fatty tuna’s specific section, got seared around the edges.

 One of the sushi on the plate will be with Fatty Tuna Akami (top fin side section of fatty tuna), another one is “Chu to-ro”,which is fatty tuna’s belly mid section to back, and the last piece topping was “Oo to-ro” which is fatty tuna’s belly front section.

 Over here is the picture of what you can get with specific price range. Very top section is the menu at $1.2 and very bottom is $10 plate menu.It is in Japanese but you can see they have got more seafood topping and a little different from typical “Japanese sushi” in the states.We do not have California roll for example.

 The dessert we had is called “An ni-n dou-fu”.

 It has been one of my favorite dessert from my childhood. It is a Chinese dessert,which is made from Milk,almond extract and Amaretto (almond liqueur). It is kind of like Chinese version of Panna Cotta but its texture is a little firmer than Panna Cotta and often times they are served with small diamond shapes and comes with syrup and canned fruits with or without and Maraschino cherry.

 You can make them at home too.

 This Annnin doufu,or known as “Almond Jelly” in the states, I made is softer texture like flan and, I have omitted almond extract but added more amaretto for the flavor.

 I think I could add more Amaretto but, you can adjust the taste to your liking.

 For the kid friendly version, you can omit Amaretto and use the almond extract in the milk mixture and then, if you like yours with Amaretto flavor, you can add touch of Amaretto in the syrup a bit right before serving yours.

An nin dou-fu .. (Almond Jelly)

Ingredients for Annnin Doufu (Almond Jelly);

4 tbs water
1 package plus 1/2 tsp knox unflavored gelatin
4.5 tbs white sugar
5 fl oz water
5 fl oz plus 1/4C
1.5 C evaporated milk
3 tsp Amaretto
maraschino cherry
syrup*(recipe follows)

Ingredients for syrup;

3 tbs white sugar
1C water

<Annnin doufu (Almond Jelly)>

1. In the medium bowl, pour 4 tbs water,and add 1 package plus 1/2 tsp of plain unflavored knox gelatin, and stir and let it bloom;about 3-5 minutes

2. In a sauce pan, add 4.5 tbs white sugar, 5 fl oz water, 5 fl oz milk, and water with  gelatin and stir on medium high heat to dissolve the gelatin.

** Do not let it boil

3. Add 1.5 C evaporated milk, 1/4C milk,and 3 tsp Amaretto (almond liqueur) and stir

4. Keep stirring to dissolve sugar,about 6 minutes.

5. Pour it into container

6. Let it cool a bit,and then keep them in the fridge to set

I like to use small ramekin,small coffee cup as container and, I like
to cover them with plastic wrap when I put it into the fridge

7. Wait for 5-6 hours to set

8. Unmold the Almond Jelly

*** How to unmold Almond Jelly ***

1. boil the water and pour it into baking pan

2. Run the knife around the ramekin and dip the bottom into hot boiling water to melt a bit ; about 20-25 seconds

3. Take the ramekin out from the boiling water and wipe the bottom

4. place the plate over ramekin and invert so the Almond Jelly will fall onto the plate

5. Gently lift the ramekin


9. Pour Syrup* (recipe follows) over Almond Jelly

10. Garnish the plate with maraschino cherry

11. Enjoy!


1. In the sauce pan, add 3tbs white sugar and 1C water and bring to boil and let the sugar dissolve.

2. Pour it into container and let it cool a bit,and keep it in the fridge.

** If you were making kid friendly Almond Jelly, but you would want the Amaretto flavor in the dessert, add touch of Amaretto in the syrup when you serve yours

 After dining at the sushi restaurant, we went to steakhouse “Aviator Grill” my husband was interested in. What he had was Wagyu burger on the sizzling plate along with corn kernels and potatoes and, the burger had nice Demi glace sauce on it.

 You can see picture of menu they serve here. The website is in Japanese,but you can see pictures.

 The restaurant had all different kinds of beer to choose from. My husband likes beer, and he enjoyed different kinds of beer from around the world.

 Stay tuned, more on the Demi Grace sauce dish my husband had, and introduce you how to make the sauce. The sauce is really tasty and, goes well with grilled meat,roasted potato etc..


Oct 13, 2013 | Comments are off | Japan

Palette’s note: Grass-fed Moo! Odor Free Bully Sticks Select

 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 I have been putting up treats’ video on youtube so that
people can hear the sound, see Palette in action and get more detail on
products we offer through Yassy’s Gourmet Dog Kitchen.

 With “Palette’s Note” series, I would like to put Palette’s taste test videos.

 This time, “Grass-fed Moo! Odor Free Bully sticks Select.”

Grass-fed Moo! Odor Free Bully Sticks Select 5″-6″..

Grass-fed Moo! Odor free bully sticks “Select”
is Moo! Odor Free line products, and they are made in Argentina. It is made from
beef that received no antibiotic or growth hormone in their life.

 Our K9 executive chef “Palette” the Corgi, loves this bully sticks, and she gets so excited and chew on them very enthusiastically with very wet nose and some drool bubbles around her mouth.

 The Grass-fed Moo! Odor free Bully sticks “Select” comes with 5″-6″, 9″. and 11″-12″ size options.

 Many dogs adore bully sticks.

 Palette is one
of them, but don’t underestimate her. She actually is a tough judge. She
gave me nosed up, paws down on some of bully sticks I gave her to try out to decide whether we carry at Yassy’s Gourmet Dog Kitchen or not.

 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.

 What I like about this bully sticks, and
what separate this bully sticks from other bully sticks is that, it does
not emit stinky odor when dogs chew on these.

 I can sit right next to
our dog while she is working on her bully sticks.

 Before giving this
bully sticks to our dog as taste test, I sniffed at it, and I feel it has a little smell
to it, but to me, it is not stinky bully sticks.

 People smell
things differently but, if you compare this bully sticks and other brand of bully
sticks from pet supply store, you would find the difference in the smell.

 Especially when your dogs start chewing on it.

 Some brands’ bully sticks stink up the room so badly.

 My sister in – law family has 2 Huskies and, they love to chew,and they offer bully sticks too, but they complained that the ones they get at the pet store emit offensive odor when the dogs start chewing the bully sticks, and they cannot stand it.

 I told them about the bully sticks; Moo brand bully sticks, we like and, I also told them that all the bully sticks we carry whether it is beef or lamb or buffalo ones at our store are not stinky ones because I personally do not like bully sticks that stink up the room either, and stinky bully sticks would not make it to the store to be able to offer to others.

 I gave them a few Moo! Bully sticks as small sample. We will see how they like the Moo! Bully sticks.

 If you have read the previous entry titled “Long lasting chew/recreational bones for dogs“, you would already know that what makes the bully sticks less odor.

 For those, who haven’t, not all bully sticks are made the same way. Some are made vertical, some are made horizontal.

 The one made flat tend to have stronger smell to it. Reason why is that, by hanging and making
the bully sticks vertical, the fluid in the bully sticks drain more, and
the longer baked bully sticks has less odor than the one made flat.

 In the past, I personally purchased bully sticks of other brand,beef and buffalo ones,  to try out. It was awful. Both bully sticks were free range bully sticks, but the smell.. even before being chewed by Palette, it stunk!

 The smell was so offensive that I even did not try with Palette, and tossed it to the outside trash bin. It was that bad.

 I think, in dog’s opinion, stinkier the better – case in point; dog loves stinky green tripe treats. However,it was just too strong smell and I did not like it.

 Although I generally do not give bully sticks daily,
I give her this bully sticks as occasional jackpot treat, or quick snack.

 She really loves these bully sticks, and she whine, and she gets so excited for this.

 For her, these bully stick are not thickest to spend days after days, but it gives good amount of chew time. She loves them.

 She is a moderate chewer,
and in average, she spend about 5-10 minutes to chew off inch of bully stick “select”. When we did taste testing this bully stick, she has spent 2 days on one bully stick.

 On the day 1, she spent about 15-30 minutes to chew off roughly half the bully stick,then rest of the day, she played with it woofing at it,run around the half chewed up chew and touch and grab. Then, tossed it in the air,touch with her nose,step back and run around the room…

 She did have a great time playing with it.

 Second day, she played a little before she finally settled down to chew and finish it up.

 How long it would last will be
depending on each dog’s jaw strength.

Which bully sticks are thinnest and thickest of the bunch?

 Among the Moo! line bully stick products, “Select” bully sticks thickness is in between “standard” and “supreme”.

 The thinnest of the bunch is “Junior”, next up is “Standard”, then, “Select” then, “supreme”,then thickest one “super monster”.

 The thickest one is called Super Monster. We carry both 6″ and 12″ Super Monster.

 If you were specifically looking for long lasting chew, then, 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
one. Antlers are more economical overall and one Antler lasts much

 Since she now got variety of Antlers:Regular Antlers, Antler with some velvet left on, Moose Antlers, Caribou Antlers etc..,
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.

 Often times, she decides to chew on Antlers while we are having dinner.

 No matter how long/thick the bully stick is, one bully
stick will be gone much faster than Deer Antlers would. Therefore, Deer Antlers will be more economical in the long run for long lasting chews for your dogs.

 Ingredients: Beef

 Let’s watch Palette in action with Grass-fed Moo! Odor Free Bully sticks “Select”  taste test.If you are a blog subscriber, please click here to watch the video Part 1, please click here for Part 2.

 Palette and Grass-fed Moo! Odor Free Bully sticks “Select”

Palette and Grass-fed Moo!Odor Free bully stick “Select” Part 2

Can you see how much she is excited for the Grass-fed Moo! Bully sticks “Select”? You could hear her shout “I want one!NOW!”.

 With this taste test video, the bully sticks she was munching on is 6″ one.

 She worked on this bully sticks for
about 10-15 minutes or so and then, she gave me a big approval of licking her chops. She really loves these bully sticks!

I am enjoying my special tweats…

Now, is serious chew time..nom,nom,nom…

See my wet nose?

Hmm…. Pawsome tweats!

Me on close-up..

This is my best side,bol.

Sometimes, I like to chew like rib bone!

Paw on da chew, grab da bite and then lean back to strip off the bits..


Woof,woof, smize…

Translation; I know you got more of woofy sticks.

One more,please!

I being a good,mom…

How can you resist my cuteness?

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

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Oct 08, 2013 | Comments are off | Yassy's Gourmet Dog Kitchen

Bonefish Grill Menu:Pumpkin Ravioli with brown butter sauce Yassy’s version

 As you already
know, I like re-creating meals from restaurants or eatery places that I
have visited and loved. It is fun to brain storming what is in the dishes I like.

 It is also fun to order the same dish at different restaurants to
compare, and find their own personality in the each dish served.
 One of the restaurants I like to go to is Bonefish Grill.

 This restaurant would have been one of the first restaurants I was taken to when I came to the states.

 If you ask me what they do best, I think they do great on
sauce that goes with dish they serve, along with seafood dishes.

 They seem to adore Southeast Asian flavors and fond of using Sweet chili sauce and Sriracha,which is often used in Thailand and Vietnamese dishes.

 When fall comes around the corner, their seasonal entree menu, side dish menu welcome new dishes that features “pumpkin”.

 Pumpkin creme brulee, pumpkin ravioli.. that kind of stuff

Just recently, we visited the restaurant and had a chance to taste the seasonal side dish; Pumpkin ravioli. It was touch sweet for me but I liked it.

 My husband,who is not a big fan of pumpkin, also loved them.

 It is in my nature that if my husband found something he could eat despite the fact that he is not a big fan of, I would not slip through the chance to let him try again at home.

 I usually start off with recreating the dish he liked and, then branch out the variety of cooking method, flavor of the sauce etc.. using the ingredient as he gets used to eating.

 I have been doing great. He now has less nose up ingredients than before and, he eats better now.

 If you like to taste the great pumpkin ravioli side dish from restaurant, I think Bonefish Grill does great job on that one.

 Now, my recreating the Bonefish Grill’s pumpkin ravioli began.

 When you would like to recreate ravioli, it has to start from making your own pasta dough.

 Making a pasta dough was not my first, but since my first pasta making was for Palette’s chicken and lamb tortellini with pink sauce (You can find the recipe here) for the kibble makeover dish for this blog, I was not sure how well I can make the basic pasta dough.

 However,making pasta dough is more forgiving than making pie crust or other pastry dough, and I think I could make a good one.

 Whenever I plan to make time consuming stuff such as Gyoza dumplings, spring rolls, ravioli or things that freeze well such as meatballs,croquette etc.. I tend to make bigger batch and freeze some for later for quick cooking.

 This time was also no exception and, I have made 24 ravioli,and I froze the leftover basic pasta dough so I can make them into whatever I want it to be whether Fettuccine,Spaghetti or something else.

 My version of Bonefish Grill’s “Pumpkin ravioli” has touch of Pecorino romano cheese in the filling to tone down a little bit of sweetness of pumpkin filling and, the sauce is brown butter sauce and garnished with toasted pine nuts and fried sage,which by the way adds great flavor to the ravioli.

In this entry, I will share the basic pasta recipe,which you can make them into Fettuccini,ravioli,tortellini or whatever you would want it to be, plus the recipe of my version of Bonefish Grill pumpkin ravioli side dish recipe.

Pumpkin ravioli with brown butter sauce..

 Ingredients for basic pasta;

2C plus 21 tbs Unbleached All purpose flour
6 large egg whole plus 1 egg yolk
2 tbs Extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs salt

Ingredients for pumpkin ravioli filling;

virgin olive oil
1 shallot chopped fine
2 tbs light brown sugar
2 tbs dark brown
1C pumpkin puree (recommend Libby’s 100% pure pumpkin)
1/8 nutmeg
tsp grated Pecorino Romano cheese
pinch of kosher salt
pinch of
ground black pepper

Ingredients for toasted pine nuts;

2 tbs pine nuts

Ingredients for fried sage;

fresh sage leaves (1 leaf per ravioli)

Ingredients for brown butter sauce;

4 tbs butter
1 tbs balsamic vinegar

<Basic pasta>

1. In the food processor,add 2C plus 21 tbs Unbleached All purpose flour,6 large egg whole plus 1 egg yolk, and 2 tbs Extra virgin olive oil,and 1 tbs salt and mix for about 40-50 seconds or the  dough becomes cohesive

** If the dough was too sticky and sticks to your finger, add 1 tbs of flour at a time until dough becomes tacky.

** If the dough were too dry, add 1 tsp water at a time till the dough comes together

2. Process extra 30 seconds or so to incorporate everything till you see the ball of dough start bouncing in the food processor.

3. Knead the dough about 2 minutes and make the dough into log and flour it,wrap it with plastic wrap,and let it rest for at least 2 hours

** resting the dough makes the dough absorb more water and it becomes easy for you to roll out the dough

4. When dough was rested, divide the dough into 3 section. The whole dough should weigh around 30 oz and each portion of dough is about 10 oz dough.

5. Divide the 10 oz dough into half,which means, one portion becomes 5 oz dough at this point.

6. Take one 5 oz dough and wrap the rest of the dough with plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out as it stands.

7. Put the one portion 5 oz dough on the lightly floured surface cut side down, and gently flour the dough, roll it out into long,thin rectangle shape

** The
dough can be rolled with rolling pin easily.

** If you have pasta machine, what I did was to roll out the dough into about 1/4″ thickness first with rolling pin and run it through the Pasta machine dial #6, then, flour the dough both sides again and run the dough through the pasta machine dial #4

 You do want thin enough dough but not too thin because you do not want them burst out the filling in the boiling water when you cook them as ravioli.

 When you use pasta machine, sometimes, dough can tear as it runs through the pasta machine. I find that it happens if you did not flour the dough both sides enough

 The pasta machine I used is called “My Perfect Kitchen Pasta Machine” and it is about $30 at Bed bath and beyond.

 I have not tried using it for Fettuccine shape yet but so far,I like them.I am happy with what I got.

8. Flour the baking sheet and place the rolled pasta sheet and cover it with plastic wrap. One sheet will be about at least 17″ long

9. Take another 5 oz dough portion and roll out the dough

10. Using the biscuits cutter 2.5″ diameter one, make slight mark on the pasta sheet so you know where you would put the filling on

11. Put the 2 tsp of filling on the center of lightly marked each circle on the pasta sheet,and brush the dough around the filling with water

12. Take the rolled pasta sheet you have placed on the floured baking sheet and gently cover the pasta sheet with ravioli filling

13. Feel around the filling area, and press it around to seal

** Make sure that air would not get trapped with the filling

14. Cut out the dough with biscuits cutter 2.5″ diameter size

** It is best to keep the excess dough with plastic wrap while you are still working on cutting out the ravioli so the excess dough would not get dried out and still manageable to re-shape again and roll out the dough to make more ravioli

If the excess dough got dried out, apply a touch of water,knead a bit, and adjust with dusted flour to roll out the dough again

15. Place the filled ravioli on floured baking sheet

16. Repeat step#9 through #15 until reaching the number of ravioli you would like to make

** 15 oz dough makes 24 ravioli

17. In the boiling water, gently toss the ravioli one by one,and cook them for about 3 minutes to 5 minutes or until it floats to the top

18. Scoop up the cooked ravioli onto skillet and pour brow butter sauce* (recipe follows) and coat it with the sauce and plate them up

19. In the plate, place ravioli coated with brown butter sauce, sprinkle toasted pine nuts,fried sage (best served 1 fried sage leaves per ravioli)

20. serve

Makes; 24 count pumpkin ravioli plus extra basic pasta dough for later use

** If you make big batch of ravioli like I do, after making enough of it to freeze, line the baking sheet with plastic wrap,place extra ravioli in single layer and cover the top with plastic wrap and freeze them till firm

After that, you can put them into freezer bag with label,cooking instruction written on its front. This way, the ravioli would not get stuck each other when fully frozen.

<pumpkin ravioli filling>

1. In the sauce pan, drizzle extra virgin olive oil, and add 1 shallot chopped fine,and when it started to get translucent in color, add 2 tbs light brown sugar, 2 tbs dark brown sugar and stir

2. When sugar got melted and shallot got nice brown on edge a bit and translucent, add 1C pumpkin puree, 1/8 nutmeg, 1 tsp grated Pecorino Romano cheese, pinch of kosher salt, pinch of ground black pepper and stir

3. Taste and adjust.Set it aside to cool down

<Toasted pine nuts>

1. In the skillet, add 2 tbs pine nuts and toast until it starts browning and smell nice toasted smell. Take it off from the heat and set it aside

<Fried sage>

1. In the skillet, drizzle extra virgin olive oil and add fresh sage leaves and cook until it gets crisp

2. Take the crisp up sage leaves and drain the oil on the paper towel lined plate

<brown butter sauce>

1. Melt the 4 tbs butter in the skillet

2. when the butter started to get brown, take the skillet off from the heat and add 1 tbs balsamic vinegar and stir and pour it into small container


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Oct 05, 2013 | Comments are off | Restaurant Challenge

Amazing Kikopup dogs and Halloween

 As you already know, “Palette” the Corgi is clicker trained,and I love teaching Palette some funny tricks.

 Some tricks that she learned
became her chore in the house. Some tricks she learned became things to
entertain people in the house.

 When we do doggy school time (training time), I can see she is very ready and willing to learn new stuff each day.

 I love seeing her huge grin on her face,and she enjoys training time
with me. I enjoy every moment I train her because I know we both are
having a lots of fun.

 Over the years, I have introduced you many amazing animals trick videos and, they have inspired me to teach more fun trick to Palette.

 One of my favorite youtube channel for educational and entertainmemt purpose is kokopup’s. You can learn many things about clicker training and at the same time you get to see various tricks she teaches her dogs and I enjoy watching her videos.

 Last year,around Halloween, I have posted about canine actors “Scotty and Joey-Halloween adventure”; short film shoot by their mom “Charlene” ,who clicker trained “Scotty” and “Joey”, and started making short movies using actions/behavior only taught by clicker training method.

 It was an amazing film and, it was also one of most viewed entry during the holiday seasons.

 Therefore, I decided to introduce more of canine films made by kikopup at youtube.

 I think kids would enjoy watching them as well.

Halloween 3 – Dog funny tricks

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

Do you do trick training?

If so, what trick did you teach your dog?

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Oct 01, 2013 | Comments are off | Amazing Animals