Thursday, March 17, 2016

A Day for Frey!

I live my life in a constant state of being bookended by two dogs. Sitting down to watch TV? Thing 1 and Thing 2 are either by my side or at my feet. Taking a shower? Hank is sitting guard while Freyja licks the shower door glass (she's special). Crawling into bed at night? You betcha, they're there. Although they never leave me any leg room, so I'm starting to think they might believe I'm also a Corgi mix too, so clearly I don't need any. I can't even remember the last time I was awoken by an alarm clock and not a cold doggy nose or licks. I love my dogs as much as Kanye loves himself. Maybe even more. I mean, I treat my dogs better than a lot of people treat their children; they get regular exercise, plenty of playtime, togetherness, hell, I'd even make them little sack doggy lunches if I wasn't convinced they'd eat the bag, too. Basically what I'm trying to say is I'm not a crazy dog lady, I am the crazy dog lady. And the crazy dog lady definitely celebrates furbaby birthdays. And today is a day all about Frey(ja)!
And with a face like that, she earned it. I swear she knows how to smile on cue.
I have only two problems with my dogs. One: no matter how many times I ask them to live as long as I do, they have yet to verbally acquiesce to my demands. Two: since they're both rescues, we really have no idea when they were born. But since I live my life by the adage that a dog need not be pure of breed to be pure of heart, this is something to be expected with the shelter pup. I know my dogs are eternally grateful for being rescued, and they love they show me is unconditional. I may have to ask them daily to get their crap together, but I would run into a burning building for my dogs. And although my kids may be furry and occasionally eat poop, I'm pretty sure that kind of love is what parenthood is all about. And what parent wouldn't bake treats for their kid's birthday?! I mean, aside from the poop eating thing, my dogs really love treats.
When did they stop making tiny applesauce cups?!
So we decided that March 17 is Freyja's designated birthday, and I was ready to celebrate with some super easy to make cheddar apple pupcakes. From start to finish, all you need is 40 minutes to ensure your dog loves you even more than they originally thought possible. Trust me, I make my own dog treats, they just know. To make these cheddar apple pupcakes, you need a few household ingredients and some extra "help" in the form of doggy Hoovers in case you "drop" some ingredients. This recipe makes six pupcakes. You could easily double to make more and have an entire puppy party, but even the crazy dog lady draws the line there. Gather up:
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TBS of veggie oil
  • 1 TBS of honey
  • 1/2 cup of cheddar
  • 1/4 cup of applesauce
  • 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 2 TBS of Quaker oats
Start by preheating the oven to 350 and lining your muffin tin. In your stand mixer, blend the egg, oil, honey, cheddar, and applesauce until well blended. While this is happening, get a medium bowl (I used a salad bowl) and combine the flour, oats, and baking powder. Dump this dry mix in with the wet stuff and mix until fully incorporated.
At this point, I'm really not jealous of the dogs.

Drop the dough into your lined muffin tin. These don't expand much, so you can fill them rather full. They don't change shape a lot either, so if you want a smooth top, you're going to need to take a knife to these and smooth them out (my condolences on having a dog with OCD if this step is necessary). Bake for 16 minutes or until things are firm and pass the toothpick test.
I have a sudden craving for Cheddar Bay Biscuits
They smell good. They look like Red Lobster's crowning achievement. I kinda wanted to try one...but I resisted the urge. The sacrifices we must make for our children...
Like I'd let these go without frosting.
So after Derek deployed, some really awesome friends of ours with their equally awesome pup sent our dogs a couple Bark Boxes to cheer them up. The last one came with some duck treats the dogs just cannot get enough of...and since I only make veggie-based treats like pumpkin biscuits I let them have these bagged treats. Every good parent has to draw the line somewhere, and I draw mine at grinding up a duck, nature's most versatile of animals, to make my dogs' treats. But I will top some pupcakes with adorable ducky-shaped treats. As far as "frosting" goes, my go-to is just a tub of whipped cream cheese. Sometimes I mix a little peanut butter in, but I didn't want to make these too rich for those sensitive little doggy stomachs, so plain it was.
Look! I have my ducks in a row. ...if that didn't incite at least a small chuckle, know you've hurt me deeply.
You can top these however you like really. But my 1M tip was already out since I just used it for my Baileys Salted Caramel and Mint Whoopie Pies I made a few delicious days ago, so I just loaded it into a piping bag and frosted with the standard swirl. You will want to refrigerate these so the frosting does not spoil. But I promise you, your dogs will be drooling the whole time you make these pupcakes. When you're ready to serve them, be sure to unwrap and break up into bite-sized pieces for your pooches.
Candle purely for looks. I don't generally allow my dogs around an open flame. Call me a helicopter parent when it comes to safety.
How do I know my dogs loved the cheddar apple pupcakes? These were finished in easily under one minute; I'm not entirely sure they even chewed? But I'm happy to do anything that's going to make my dogs understand their crazy, overly affectionate human mom wouldn't last a day without them. I am also really hoping as we venture into Freyja's next year of life that dogs don't get the terrible twos. We had a terrible two times she ate the satellite TV remotes, but that's been the extent of her devilish ways around here. I'm not sure if she was acting out against my choice in television programming or the buttons just tasted good, and we'll never know. What I do know is on March 17, a day I'm already clearly very fond of, I get to celebrate a couple things I really love: my father's birthday, an aunt's birthday, Saint Patrick's Day, and now Freyja Day. We chose to give Freyja a day to share with some really stellar and important people. She's right up there with 'em. You really never know what you're gonna get when you bring a shelter dog home, but we somehow managed to hit the jackpot twice with these dogs. Freyja came home near the end of March last year, and I had no idea how much she was missed until the moment she arrived. Hank has a little sister to boss around (and who he refuses to do just about anything without), and our complete little family is a ragtag bunch of really ridiculously good-looking creatures with some killer appetites. Thank God for pupcakes! 'Til next time, my fellow eaters! 
Haha...ducks in a row. Dammit I'm hilarious.

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