Green beans for Thanksgiving blues

Artie snubbing green beans


Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We did but we are all experiencing some food hangovers. Too much sugar, salt, carbs, etc. etc and neither the dog nor I are feeling exactly tip-top.  Fortunately, for her, the Thanksgiving leftovers include green beans.

I studiously avoid overcooking green beans. They get just a quick dip in some boiling water until they are tender but still crisp. Then I toss them into some ice-cold water and they retain a bright green color and an actual vegetal taste. And they are good in the refrigerators through the weekend.

The beagle and green beans

Whenever I snap fresh green beans to get them ready for cooking, I have help. Artie the Beagle is very fond of them  and will just eat a fresh one from my hand (except of course, when I am videotaping her and then she just snubs them, like the little perplexing princess that she is.)

Artie has had good luck with green beans before. As a rescue dog with Arizona Beagle Rescue, she had some weight to lose after being in the pound. Arizona Beagle Rescue has had good results with green beans and so Artie was used to getting a little extra dose of fiber in her dog bowl.

I didn’t realize that when I agreed to foster her from beagle rescue. She and a guest dog had arrived just in time for Thanksgiving and I was busy in the kitchen cooking up some make-ahead side dishes for a family meal, when I felt like I was being watched. I looked down and indeed, there were two dogs circling around my legs like piranhas looking for their next meal. Who knew the power of green beans?

Why green beans?

Green beans are chock full of important vitamins and minerals, such as protein, iron, calcium, and vitamins B6, A, C, and K. They’re also full of fiber and are low in calories.

There is such a thing for dogs as the green-bean diet, in which you up your dog’s consumption of these fiberrific veggies until it is half of their diet. One vet weighs in that this may be too drastic approach to doggie weight loss.

I just use the green beans as an alternative to treats and when the cameras aren’t rolling, Artie loves them. (What about turkey – what’s the verdict on giving the dog another leftover staple?)

Now if only I could be satisifed with veggies as snacks….that would be a true holiday miracle!

Baking for Beagles (and other canines)

One of our favorite holiday traditions is baking – baking for the dogs, of course.

Baking for dogs is one of the most stressless things you will do during the holiday because dogs, well, they are just so good natured, and non-disciminating when it comes to food.

Why bake treats for dogs?

So many advantages to baking for dogs: No being-in-the-kitchen extra weight gain for you – unless you can’t keep your hands off the peanut butter and bacon num-nums. Also, it’s nice to know exactly what is going into your dog’s food. And if you have leftover ingredients, you could bake extra goodie for some shelter dogs.

Dog-treat holiday recipes

Here’s a list of holiday dog treats to get you baking in the kitchen:




  • For the bacon fiends: This comes from The Kitchn, one of my favorite sites. This bacon-treat recipe uses bacon fat to drive your dogs wild and make your hosue smell good.
  • Pumpkin anyone? We like pumpkin in our house. For dogs, pumpkin is a delicious, nutritious treat that provides a great way to sneak fiber into diets. Check out a peanut-butter and pumpkin version.
  • baking-chanukahdogtreats

    For friends who observe Hanukkah – Use blue and white icing instead of green and red, suggests They have some other nifty ideas for this holiday.

  • Minimalists: We are definitely trying this one this weekend. It only has five ingredients and one of them is beef broth. The dog will love this one!
  • Store bought: Not in the mood to bake? That’s OK, the dog will forgive you. Here’s some of our favorite local dog-treat folks:

Bone apetit everyone!



Doggie Gift Guide

You know you are getting the dog a little something extra this holiday.

Why not shop local?

The metro Phoenix area is home to a lot of great entrepreneurs who love dogs as much as you do and their products/stores show it!

Plus, when you visit these local stores and vendors, they welcome your dog as well as you!



In addition to the links on the slideshow, here are links to the products and stores shown:

Christmas Dog Treats

Bake me some treats!

This year, I’m trying a different twist on the traditional cookie exchange: I’m inviting a couple girlfriends over who are crazy about their dogs and we’re going to bake up dog treats.

My contribution will be Alexander’s Peanut Butter Dog Biscuit Treats shaped like dog bones.

Sound a little whacky? Perhaps.

But we are going to get into the holiday spirit by making gifts for others without any threats to our own waistlines. I can resist licking the beaters when I make Alexander’s  Peanut Butter Dog Biscuit Treats; I can’t so easily when I make shortbread.

Plus, I make extra for my neighbors’ dogs. Nothing says “Hey, sorry we cut across your yard all the time’’ like bone-shaped dog biscuits.

Recipe for Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits:

Happy Baking!