Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category
The Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook Kit was created by the Bubba Rose Biscuit Company, which is a bakery based out of Boonton, NJ. The company makes their dog treats in small batches using locally sourced, organic, human grade ingredients. They recently started selling their products wholesale, and their treats are available in over 100 locations around the country. But what I really like about these guys is there promotion of adoption, and their support of local rescue groups and shelters. The Cookbook Kit comes with a small, paper backed book of 25 biscuit recipes and 3 metal cookie cutters- my kit came with a dog bone, a fire hydrant, and a squirrel.
What I like:
-The beginning is very informative in regards to supplies needed, tips for keeping your bake ware from permanently smelling like bacon and liver (which anyone who bakes knows this is something you definitely want to prevent), and the recipes are very easy to understand.
-My dogs pretty much charge at me when I go near the cookie tin that these are stored in. However, my dogs are chow hounds and will eat pretty much anything, so I decided to test them- one day I gave them these, the next day I gave them their usual processed store treats, and the day after that I gave them homemade. And believe me, there was a definite difference in their personalities when I went to one tin versus the other. They really like these treats!
What I don’t like:
-Their use of the word organic for a cookbook. My reason for not liking this is because ANY recipe from ANY cookbook can be organic if you buy organic ingredients! Why do you need to buy an “organic” cookbook? It’s not like the cookbook itself is organic or “Green” as some would put it. I’m sure that it’s not made from recycled paper, soy inks, or created using wind energy instead of non-renewable resources. As a long time cooker and baker, I know how subjective cooking can be. A recipe is meant to be followed, but sometimes you can’t find the right ingredients and you have to substitute, or sometimes certain things are just too expensive and you need to find a cheaper ingredient (for example- anyone who’s ever tried to make homemade basil pesto knows that pine nuts are ridiculously expensive, but you can substitute walnuts or slivered almonds if you’re in a bind. The flavor will be a bit different, but not enough to change the integrity of the food). I love buying organic and locally when I can, however it’s not always possible. Calling a cookbook organic makes the consumer feel better about what they’re cooking, because in their mind it’s an organic recipe which means it’s better for you/your pet/whoever your cooking for. But if you don’t buy organic ingredients…well, then regardless as to whether or not the recipe you chose was organic, the product that you created in your kitchen with said recipe is not. If they had put in the introduction a section on the importance of buying organic and local foods when possible that would have been much more acceptable then calling all the recipes in the cookbook organic.
- Says that all recipes are free of wheat, corn and soy, which is true for the recipes in this book. But then goes on to say that these foods are most common food allergies for dogs, which is not entirely accurate. The most common food allergies are with the protein sources, and beef is the #1 most common food allergy in dogs and cats. Next in line are dairy products and wheat (for cats it’s dairy and fish). I know most dog food companies want you to believe otherwise, but it’s simply not true that corn and soy are the most common allergies. Are these allergies out there? Absolutely, I would never deny that. But they are definitely not the most common allergies.
- The flours needed for the majority of the recipes are very expensive!! I specifically chose 3 recipes that had the same type of flours in them so I wouldn’t spend too much money (all the recipes require a combination of 2 different types of flours), and if I wasn’t reviewing the recipes and the cookbook on here, I probably would have just switched the flours out and used whole wheat or all purpose flour instead. Maybe it’s different elsewhere, but I went to 2 different stores and couldn’t find brown rice flour or oat flour in bags larger then 2lbs, and these bags cost $3.50-$4 per 2lb bag! For someone who has 1 dog that they occasionally give treats to this is probably not a big deal, but I have 5 dogs, 3 of which are over 40lbs- I bought 1 bag of each type of flour and these didn’t last 2 weeks. The rest of the ingredients are reasonably priced, and can be bought in bulk.
- In the beginning of the book, they promote feeding a raw diet, which is something that I personally do not agree with. Even when you feed free range, cruelty free meat to your pets (which is what the authors say they do), there is still a risk of bacterial contamination such as E. Coli and Salmonella, and I just don’t feel that this risk is necessary. There are plenty of other reasons why I am not for a raw diet, however that is a blog post all on its own, and I’m not going to go into anymore detail as to why because I don’t want this post to turn into a pro/con raw diet rally like I’ve seen happen on other blogs. However keep your eyes peeled- within the next few weeks I’ll be discussing nutrition and why I’m not for a raw diet.
- I did have a few issues with the consistencies of the doughs. Even though I followed the recipes to a T, every single one was way to wet and sticky to be rolled out and I wound up having to make adjustments to make it a more cohesive dough.
- My personal gripe with small, paper backed cookbooks is the binding- I really wish they were all made spiral bound to make them more user friendly in the kitchen. If you’ve ever tried using a small paper backed book in the kitchen, you know how hard it is to keep it open at the right page when your hands are a mess of flour and who knows what other ingredients.
- The recipe names- Sorry, but I’m not a fan of cutesy names such as Snickerdoodle Poodle Poos (which I made, and my dogs loved), Pawlickin’ Chicken, Pumpkin Muttins, and Dragon Slayers to name a few. I find them kind of annoying. Just call the recipe what it is! Why does it need a cute, vomit inducing name?
Although I am not a fan of the authors calling their book organic, the recipes in this book are very easy to understand, easy to make, and loved by all my furry kids. The cookie cutters are pretty good also- they’re not flimsy, and they didn’t rust after washing like some do. If you’re not an experienced baker you may get frustrated with the dough being too wet, but it’s an easy fix by slowly adding additional flour until it reaches a roll-able consistency. Other then the book being touted as organic, my biggest gripe is the nutritional information regarding food allergies, simply because it’s just not accurate, and the promotion of feeding a raw diet. However, if all you want is recipes that your dog will love, then I definitely recommend this book. Just please ignore the nutritional information.
I tried the following recipes:
Grilled Cheese and Bacon
1 c oat flour
1 c brown rice flour
½ c shredded low fat cheddar cheese
6 slices cooked bacon
½ c water
Preheat oven to 350.
Cook bacon and finely grind in food processor.
Combine all ingredients until dough is formed. Roll out and cut out shapes with a cookie cutter.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until brown and cheese bubbles.
Snickerdoodle Poodle Poos
1.5c oat flour
1.5 c brown rice flour
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ c honey
1 tsp vanilla
½ c water
Preheat oven to 375
Combine ingredients roll dough into 1 inch balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and flatten with a fork.
Bake 18-22 minutes or until brown.
1.5 c oat flour
1.5 c brown rice flour
16 oz can tomato paste
½ c finely chopped fresh mozzarella
½ c pureed roasted red peppers(opt)
½ c grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried rosemary, oregano, and basil
¼ tsp garlic powder/granulated garlic
½ c water
Preheat oven to 350.
Combineall ingredients until a dough is formed, roll out and cut with cookie cutter.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.