Tag Archives: happy puppy

Lacey’s 1st Puppy Party!

My little puppy, Lacey, turned 1 year old on July 19th, 2011.  To celebrate this grand occasion,  I threw a puppy party which involved my friends bringing their dogs by to socialize and play with Lacey.  I also made doughnuts for people, pizza treats for pups, and treat bags for puppy mamas to take with them.  Here are some pictures from the fun day!  (photo credit, Mariah Moore, Pictures Pups and Pies)

Lacey had 4 pup friends join her for her party!  (Sydnee Joe, English Springer Spaniel; Lilly, Malti-Tzu; Astra, Peekapoo and Lucy, Pomeranian)

Sydnee Jo




Here are a few pics of the crazy birthday girl who was soo excited and happy at her party!

Hmm...which new toy should I play with?

Definitely the Bully Stick! Thanks Aunt Mariah!

Lacey LOVED this new bully stick she got and became obsessed with it, as Mariah warned me Lilly does as well!


Lucy was the lucky one that could be trusted off the leash for the entire party!

Lil beggers

Enjoying some peanut butter banana puppy smoothies!

while we enjoyed freshly baked doughnuts!

sniffing eachother

what could they be telling eachother?

My lil family!

Overall it was great to catch up with good friends and let our dogs play together on the patio!

Here is the recipe I used for Lacey’s pizza puppy treats!

Pup Pizza, Adapted from The Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook

For Dough:

1 c. oat flour

1 c. brown rice flour

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1 egg

1/4 c. part skim milk ricotta cheese

1/2 c. water

For Topping:

1  6oz. can tomato paste

1 c. shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese

1 tsp. dried basil

1 tsp. dried oregano

Preheat oven to 375degrees.  Combine all the dough ingredients together and mix thoroughly until a dough forms.  Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4in. thickness.  Use a round cookie cutter or the rim of an upside down glass to cut 2″ round circles out of the dough.  Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet (they can be rather close together as they don’t grow much while cooking).

Spread the tomato paste evenly on top of all the circles.

Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese, basil and oregano on top of each.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is lightly browned.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  But have your puppy sit for a treat first!


“Time to Make the Doughnuts!”

Have you ever heard of the phrase, “Time to Make the Doughnuts!” ?  It’s from a 1983 Dunkin Donuts commercial, it cracks me up thinking about it actually.  The commercial must’ve ran for quite a few years, because I remember the commercial vividly and I was born in 1983.  If you’ve never seen the commercial, here it is on YouTube.com.   So as I was prepping for these doughnuts, I kept thinking to myself, “Time to Make the Doughnuts!” –haha so funny! 🙂  I’d have to say these are BEST doughnuts I’ve ever had for many reasons!

1.)  They are 100% VEGAN!

2.)  They are sweet and have a good moist consistency and you can decorate them however YOU want!

3.)  They are BAKED, not FRIED!!

I made these doughnuts to share with friends at my puppy’s birthday party!  Yes my friends and I have puppy birthday parties…when you are in your late 20’s and have no children, you have to have to celebrate your dog’s birthday!  Besides, it’s another reason to get together with friends!

*Note these are not for dogs.

Baked Vegan Doughnuts, Inspired by OhSheGlows.com

Dry Ingredients
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Sugar (I used raw cane sugar)
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Cinnamon

Wet Ingredients
1/2 Cup Soymilk (I’m sure this would work with any milk or non-milk substitute)
1/2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar (I believe you can substitute this for regular white vinegar)
1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1 Egg or 1 Flax Egg (1 tbsp. Ground Flax Seeds + 3 tbsp. water–stir and let sit for 5 min)
4 Tbs Earth Balance (regular margarine should work too)

Icing Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered icing
  • 1 tbsp soy milk
  • sprinkles

You can buy a donut pan like mine, here.


Preheat oven to 350F. Take all the wet ingredients and put in a small pot on the stovetop on low. Whisk ingredients together to blend well.

Do not let the mixture get too hot, it should just be warm to the touch. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Add the wet to the dry and mix until just incorporated. Do not over mix.

Now the batter will become very sticky, so it can be tricky putting the batter into the doughnut pans.  Spray your pans with cooking spray to prevent sticking.  After a few trials, what I found worked best was taking a 3 spoonfuls worth of dough and scooping it directly over the individual mold. Then take your fingers to press it out and make the middle pop through.

Bake for 12 minutes.

You don’t want them brown, but they should slowly pop up when pressed with a finger. Cool on a wire rack and then decorate!  Makes 6 doughnuts.

Look at Lacey at my feet just waiting for a crumb to fall!

Since I was bringing my doughnuts to share with others, I followed this recipe 3 times!  I first started out making 1 batch, just to see how they came out.  They figured I’d make a 2nd, then thought well if someone has more than 1, I’d better make 3 batches.  So let’s just say I got my practice with this recipe real well yesterday.

Are you sold yet?  Here is a photo I edited, I liked the bright contrast–it reminded me of an Andy Warhol painting.

Here is the sweet puppy, ready to celebrate her 1st birthday party…

…and we are ready to celebrate with doughnuts!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars!!

So Brandon and I have been addicted to Larabars lately and after discussing how they only have 3-5 ingredients, I figured I’d better attempt to make them myself.  I love the flavor combo of peanut butter and jelly so I thought I’d try re-creating these first, although I’d like to try making more flavors of Larabars in the future.  Check out the Larabar website here, there are TONS of great flavors too!  They are a great snack to eat at work, on the run, or just for an energy boost!

 Peanut Butter and Jelly Larabars

Making these bars took me 10 minutes max from start to finish!  This recipe yields only 5 bars, so you may want to double this recipe, or just make more when needed because you can almost make them in a TV commercial break.

Homemade Peanut Butter and Jelly Larabars


2/3 cup roasted and unsalted peanuts

10 dates (found in the produce section)

1/2 cup dried cherries


Grind the peanuts in a food processor, remove and add to a small

Grind the dates and cherries in the food processor until finely

Add date mixture to peanut mixture and mix together until well

Smoosh the mixture into bar shapes and store in plastic wrap in the fridge.

Makes 5 bars.

WOW!! Just that easy!! You will be done making these faster than you can restart your computer–umm yea seriously.

Nutritional Info
1 Peanut Butter & Jelly Homemade Larabar
  • Calories: 202.0
  • Total Fat: 9.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
  • Sodium: 4.5 mg
  • Total Carbs: 26.9 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 3.5 g
  • Protein: 5.3 g

LARABAR FUN FACTS (from the Larabar website)

LÄRABAR is a delicious blend of unsweetened fruits, nuts and spices.   Made from 100% whole food, each flavor contains no more than nine ingredients. Pure and simple, just as nature intended.


The shelf life for each bar is 12 months. We use a multi-layer package that keeps out UV light and oxygen, which, in turn, maintains freshness without the use of preservatives.

Here is a fun collage of Lacey doing her favorite things!  What a happy puppy!

I hope you enjoy making and eating these Larabars as much as we did! 

Lots of happy puppies & Love,


Tangy Potato Salad and Stuffed Red Peppers

Mmmm….I love fresh potato salad in the summertime at a picnic or just as a side for lunch.  I found this recipe for Tangy Potato Salad here at Choosing Raw, a great blog with raw and vegan recipes.  This recipe was listed under the category of Top 12 Raw and Vegan Recipes for July 4th Weekend.  There are many recipes I tend to make just out of these Top 12 listed here.  Now let me start by telling you, since I do not follow a strict vegan diet, I actually tweaked the recipe a little and did not go forth with using the Veganaise (or Nayonaise, or any vegan mayo), the original recipe called for.  Instead I used Trader Joe’s Reduced Fat Mayonnaise.  I also halved the ingredients in order to just make it as a side item for us and to have a little leftover to eat another day.

Tangy Potato Salad, Inspired by Choosing Raw

Serves 4

2 lbs baby yukon gold potatoes, quartered
2 small stalks celery, finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup Trader Joe’s Reduced Fat Mayonnaise or (Veganaise or Nayonaise, or any vegan mayo)
1/8 cup sweet pickle relish
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsps smoked paprika
1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
Salt and black pepper to taste
5 large leaves basil, sliced in a chiffonade


1) Set a large pot of water over high heat, and add potatoes once it’s reached a rolling boil. Cook till fork tender.

2) Drain potatoes, and toss with celery and onion.

While they cool, mix the mayonnaise, relish, mustard, paprika, vinegar, salt and pepper. Add it to the potatoes and mash with hands or with two large wooden spoons. Add only enough of the mayo dressing to coat potatoes generously; you may well have extra.

3) Serve potato salad with basil chiffonade on top. Yum!! Eat as a side item, or just as a light lunch!  Leftovers are great and encouraged as well!

Now for my favorite stuffed pepper recipe I’ve tried.  I remember being a little girl having my mom make me stuffed peppers with about 50% white rice and 50% ground beef as the stuffing, topped with tomato soup straight from the can.  Well this recipe for stuffed peppers will more definitely be replacing your current stuffed pepper recipe!

I was looking for a new stuffed pepper recipe and stumbled upon this one from Happy Little Vegans.  You can see the original recipe and find it here.  Again I only changed 2 things from the original recipe, 1.) I used red peppers instead of green peppers 2.) I de-veganized it!! (sorry, we used reduced fat shredded chedder cheese instead of Daiya).  We loved, loved, loved this stuffed pepper recipe and will be making it again!!  We stuffed 4 peppers, so we had 1 each for dinner last night and 1 each for leftover lunch today!

Stuffed Red Peppers, Inspired by Happy Little Vegans

Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil

4 red bell peppers

1/2 yellow onion

2 handfuls of sliced portabello mushrooms

generous handful of fresh sweet basil leaves

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/2 package of reduced fat shredded cheese (or Daiya)

1/2 cup dry quinoa=2 cups cooked quinoa

1 jar of marinara sauce


1.) Preheat oven to 375.  First prepare your peppers.  Wash them, remove tags, slice off the top and scoop out the seeds.

2.) In a large baking dish, lightly coat the bottom with a smear of marinara sauce.  Place peppers in the dish of marinara and slide them into your oven while you continue preparing.

3.)  If making 4 large peppers, combine 1/2 cup of dry quinoa with 1 cup of boiling water, turn heat down to simmer.  Set the timer for 12 minutes for the perfect quinoa consistency.

4.)  Next dice your onions and mushrooms.  Add onions to olive oil in sautee pan.  Sautee onions and add garlic powder and pepper.  Next add the mushrooms to the onions and sautee until mushrooms are slightly tender.  Chop your handful of basil and add HALF to the onion/mushroom mixture.

5.) Your quinoa should be ready by now…add the quinoa and onion/mushroom mixture to a large bowl and stir.  Now add the remaining basil, 1/2 jar of marinara sauce and 1/4 bag of shredded cheese.  You will have a thick stuffing mixture now.

6.)  Carefully pull your peppers out of the oven and place on cooktop.  Stuff each pepper to the top.

7.)  Drizzle more marinara on top and in bottom of dish.  Top with additional shredded cheese.

8.)  Place in oven and continue to cook for approx. 30 min.  Check frequently and remove peppers based on your liking.  Some people like more crunchy peppers, some more soggy.  Ours turned out JUST RIGHT! 😉

All this cooking, made me almost forget to include a new picture of Lacey Lou, after her trip to the groomers yesterday!

My sweet and CLEAN puppy

Here’s Lacey currently….fast asleep while mommy blogs….I think she’s got the right idea for a lazy Wednesday afternoon.

My life explained as a flexitarian.

To begin today’s post, I wanted to explain my evolution as a “flexitarian”.  Actually, my boyfriend, Brandon, and I have both evolved our diets into flexitarianism.  What does that mean you ask?  Well to better explain our diet, I am turning to some notable quotes from this WebMD online article.  “Being a “flexitarian” gives you the benefits of a vegetarian diet without having to forgo meat entirely.  A relatively new term, flexitarian comes from a combination of the words “flexible” and “vegetarian.”  Following a flexitarian diet simply means eating more plant-based meals and less meat.”  In other words, when we go out to a burger joint, we more likely order black bean and portobello mushroom burgers vs. your standard American hamburger.  Sounds tasty right?  Right.

One of my favorite blogs, Sometimes I Veg, first brought this term to my attention.  The author of this blog, Miriam, also states how she loves vegetarian and vegan foods but still wants to maintain the ability to eat meat.  She always experiments with new ingredients and blogs about how well the new recipes have turned out.  Reading blogs as this one, has in turn, taught me to be more experimentative with my cooking at home and more conscious of what we are putting in our mouths.

Now for one of our favorite tasty vegetarian recipes…..Orange Pan-Glazed Tempeh.

This recipe was first introduced to me here by Mariah of Pictures Pups and Pies, and we’ve enjoyed making this in our constant rotation of dinners ever since.

Orange Pan-glazed Tempeh Recipe

1 cup of orange juice (I use Trader Joe’s No Pulp from Concentrate)

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

2 teaspoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

2 small garlic cloves, crushed

roughly 10 ounces of tempeh (or extra-firm tofu)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 lime

a handful of cilantro

Put the orange juice in a small bowl. Squeeze the grated ginger over the bowl to extract the juices, then discard the pulp. Add the soy sauce and maple syrup, ground coriander, and garlic. Mix together and set aside.

Cut the tempeh (or tofu) into thin-ish, bite-sized pieces, and if working with tofu, pat dry with a paper towel.

Put the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the tempeh and fry for 5 minutes, or until golden underneath. Turn and cook the other side for another 5 minutes, or until golden. Pour the orange juice mixture into the pan and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced to a lovely thick glaze. Turn the tempeh once more during this time and spoon the sauce over the tofu from time to time.

Serve the tempeh drizzled with any remaining sauce and a squeeze of lime, with the cilantro scattered on top.  I usually serve this over whole wheat couscous or quinoa with cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and peppers added.

This dish alone has inspired both Brandon and I to become flexitarians!  WE LOVE IT!! It’s filling, healthy, and a great dinner to add to your rotation.

Now for a vegan dessert.  Vanilla Agave Cupcakes—are you not sold yet?

How ’bout now?

I recently wanted a vegan-friendly dessert to bring to our annual Pops in the Park 4th of July picnic with friends, so my friend passed this recipe my way to try.  You can find Vanilla Agave Cupcake recipe here.  The added sprinkles were just an extra festive touch I added.

We had a lot of good food, wine, and company at Pops in the Park.  Here are a few of my favorite pictures of the night.

Photo Credit, Mariah Moore.

Mariah and Nate's cute pup, Lilly

At one point, Lacey started to join another picnic.

Photo Credit, Nate Moore

I love this picture that was taken.  It shows exactly what summer is all about.  Wearing sundresses, visiting with friends, playing with pups and picnicking.  Look at all those chairs and blankets in the background!

Pups relaxing in the shade.

Photo Credit, Mariah Moore

Overall we had a great 4th of July picnic, filled with laughter, food, fireworks and wine!  Can’t wait for our next one!

Treats for Puppies and People

Treats for Puppies and People

Last week I made my sweet puppy, Lacey, some Pup Tarts from a doggie treat recipe I got from The Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook.  Lacey has loved all the treats I have made her and treats from this cookbook she has gotten from friends.

Pup Tarts, taken from The Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook

For Dough:

  • 1 c. oat flour (can be replaced with whole wheat flour, if your pup doesn’t have wheat allergies)
  • 1/2 c. brown rice flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. safflower oil
  • 1/4 c. water

For Filling:

  • 1/2 c. blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 c. diced strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 c. peanut butter (unsalted)
  • 1 egg


Preheat oven to 400degrees.  Combine all dough ingredients together and mix thoroughly.

Roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4in. thickness.

Divide evenly into 24 pieces and press them into the cups of a lightly greased mini muffin pan.

Stir all the filling ingredients together and mix thoroughly.

Scoop even amounts into each of the crusts in the muffin pan.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the edges of the crust are golden brown.

Store in an airtight container in the refridgerator.

This is very important because since these treats do not have any preservatives they only stay fresh in the fridge for 2 weeks.  If you are like me and have a small pup, it is best to either freeze what won’t be eaten in the next 2 weeks, or give to other dog owners so they can share these yummy dog treats with their puppies too!

Mmmm…Lacey loves these treats!!  I think the combination of fruit and peanut butter must be really tasty to her!

What a good puppy sitting to get her Pup Tart!
For the next recipe, I am going to share a treat for people–
Scratch Made Peach Blackberry Crisp
Brandon had just brought home from the Springs Farm in Fort Mill, SC, and I had just picked up some blackberries from the market so I literally looked up peach and blackberry desserts and found this recipe on Bran Appetit!
  • 2-3 cups blackberries
  • 3-4 peaches, peeled and diced
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 2/3 cups oats
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 canola oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Toss fruit with 1 Tbsp sugar and 1 Tbsp flour and pour into greased 8×8 baking dish.
  3. In separate bowl, mix the oats, flour, sugar, oil, salt, and cinnamon together until combined.
  4. Spread crisp topping over the fruit.
  5. Bake 35-45 minutes or until the topping is browned and fruit is bubbling around the edges.
  6. Serve. Preferably with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. (which we did not have at the moment!)

Fruit-filled crisps are a great summertime dessert!  They don’t take many ingredients to make and taste like summer!  I love them because they are so versitile, you can throw in any fresh fruit you have on hand for a tasty fruit combo!  For some more fruit combinations try; apple-strawberry, blueberry-strawberry, or apple-peach!  Mmm…

Check out these blogs for additional dog treat recipes!

Flower Power Cookies

Strawberry Blueberry Muttins

Running a 5k and Hiking a Trail

A few days ago, I took a much needed complete day off of waitressing, and this is what I did instead.  Brandon and I signed up to run a 5k–which is only 3.1 miles.  Well…if you haven’t been running consistently 3-4x/week, you may not get the time you want to run it in.  So I’ve been running when I can with my running gear, but still not enough to break any of my own records.  So I thought I’d just wing it and see how I do in hopes for the best.  To my surprise, I did much much better than expected.

Ready to run!

Before the race I had looked up all my previous ran 5ks and the times I ran them in.  They are as follows:

9/29/07  Hit the Brixx 5k ran in 30:30

10/06/07  Komen Charlotte Race for the Cure  33:15 (I remember this instinctively being PACKED with people and I blame my slower chip time on that).

11/03/07  Dowd YMCA 5k  30:06

08/29/09 Greek Festival 5k  36:00 (slowest time yet…taking 2 years off is a factor here)

06/18/11  Summer Breeze 5k 33:20 (As you can see, a much improved time since 09, but still not quite as fast as I was in 07)

Brandon’s chip time for Summer Breeze 5k  was 24:00–which is awesome!! I was so proud of him and he was so proud of me, b/c I wasn’t expecting to break 35min!

Before the race I also was researching how to run a negative split and running tips.  These sites give great advice on running and truly inspired me before the race.  

This is my favorite tip from Angela (OhSheGlows)

5. Boot it: Expect to haul majah booty during the last few minutes! No matter how fast I try to run during the first 90% of the run, I always have to make up for lost time during the last few minutes. And anyways, it’s fun to sprint hard the last bit! I often have negative splits when running short distances with tough goals…it literally forces you to run faster at the end.

I did exactly this during my race and killed it at the end of the race.  I believe that’s how I broke 34minutes was finding every last bit of energy left in my body and sprinting thru the finish line.  I told Brandon after the race, that I felt like everyone at the finish line was clapping for me and yelling my name!  haha…funny

Hiking the trails at Wilson’s Creek

So after running our 5k, I was still determined to go to Wilson’s Creek, a wilderness and hiking area in North Carolina.  At the end of the hiking trail there is an awesome waterfall you can climb down into and sit at with beach blankets, so we were excited to do that at the end of the hike.  We got our puppy life jacket, water bottles, sandwiches for the ride, and backpacks and were ready for our hike!

Brandon and Lacey led the way thru the trail.  I liked to follow in Brandon’s footsteps behind him to make sure I was stepping in the correct spots on the path.  Wrong false move and I was slipping on a slippery rock and breaking my knee…again.

There's nothing more masculine than this!

Apparently Lacey’s been here before in her past doggie life.  She led the entire way there to the waterfall, like she knew right where to take us.

Today was Lacey’s big day to get as dirty as she wanted to.  Many times when we go out for walks I pull her back and have her avoid walking through mud and rolling around in worms…but today was her day and she was allowed to do all that, if she wanted to.

I love when Lacey makes this smirk!

There were several other dogs, kids, and families around hiking and at the waterfall.

Lacey met a new friend, Callie.

I saw a stream so I knew we were getting closer to the waterfall, so we kept hiking…

and kept hiking….

 and hiking…past a smaller waterfall…

Until…we finally made it!!!

First things first, the little one needed her life jacket put on, and I’m not talking about me.

Lacey must have known we were taking her for an adventure, because she didn’t fuss at all with us about putting this contraption on her.  She just let us, like she’s worn it before.

Now to get down to where the waterfall is from the trail, you must climb down a large rock backwards and hold onto a rope connected to a tree with both hands.  We weren’t sure how we were going to get Lacey down at this point….but good thing she had a handle to hold on to her with at the top of her life jacket!  I watched Brandon carry her down then back up the steep rock like he was carrying a briefcase!  He was very gentle and careful with the sweet girl of course, so she wasn’t jostled around.

Happy puppies like going on hikes!

So we made it safely down to where the waterfall was, I laid out my beach blanket, and sat down with Brandon and Lacey…

Looking down on the waterfall

and what do you think happend next?
If for some reason you can’t tell, when Lacey is wet, her cute powder puff chinese crested look goes away and her tiny chihuahua look comes out.  At this point, I could not capture anything else on camera.  We were soaked, our puppy was soaked and her teeth were chattering and the last thing I could do was get my camera out of a bag when I was trying to keep the inside dry.  So after the rain let up after 15 min or so, we climbed back up the rock with the rope….puppy and all.  I had some personal problems getting back up though and decided I’d try it barefoot.  It worked much much better barefoot and not having slippery sneakers going up the wet rock.  But…it didn’t feel so good…YUCK!
Later on, we cracked up laughing about how we got dumped on with rain and our plan to lay out and relax by the water got ruined.  You have to laugh…really.  So the lesson learned here is….next time don’t forget your doggie raincoats to wear along with your doggie life jackets!