Cooks Exchange

Your dogs and cats will love these homemade treats

Every time I get a product recall notification, I check to make sure that item is not in my house. It also makes me sad that some person or cat or dog somewhere is not so fortunate.

While starting to write this column, recalls popped up for ground beef (again, really?), for peanuts in yogurt and for cat food.

How does yogurt become contaminated with peanuts? Or ground beef with E. coli or wet cat food made with low thiamine?

The yogurt lid was mislabeled. More than 53,000 pounds of ground beef were recalled (not in Mississippi). The cat food did not contain enough Vitamin B1. No sicknesses have been reported from the cat food, but the company did a voluntary recall as a precautionary measure.

I worry about what my family eats. That’s why I think fresh is best, but then again, remember the lettuce contamination a while back? My pets are family, too, and like television commercials say, I worry about what they eat.

A family close to us recently lost their dog of 11 years. That death hit the husband, wife and their two adult children hard. She was a family member, and they gave her the best just like we do our kids and grandkids.

Earlier this year, several brands of dog food were recalled. Since the dog treat recall several years ago, I make my dog’s treats. Now, I guess I will for my cats.

Readers, if you think of your pet as family, perhaps you will enjoy having a few dog and cat treat recipes today. I would suggest making these recipes, using half the dough and freezing the other half. The homemade treats last about 5 days.

I made a homemade dog treat made with peanut butter and pumpkin. None of my family has a peanut allergy. Pumpkin is good for my dog’s digestion.


1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, shredded

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/3 cup cornmeal

1 tablespoon softened margarine

While your oven is preheating to 350 degrees, combine the chicken, broth and margarine, then add the cornmeal and flour. Knead the dough into a ball and then roll it out to ¼ inch. Cut into one-inch pieces and bake for 20 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet.

— From


Combine 2 cups flour with 1 egg, 1/3 cup peanut butter, 1/2 cup pumpkin. Roll dough out to 1/2-inch thick and cut with dog bone cookie cutters that are available at most pet or kitchen shops. Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

— From


3 cups mashed banana

1 teaspoon vanilla

6 cups oats

1 cup chopped peanuts

1/3 cup applesauce, unsweetened

Mix ingredients together thoroughly. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drop mixture by the spoonful on cookie sheet and press flat. Bake for approximately 15 minutes. Keep stored in airtight container. Yield approximately 2 dozen cookies.


2 cups unsweetened vanilla chips

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

In double boiler, melt vanilla chips and oil together and stir until smooth.

— From a reader and dog lover

Don’t forget Mom

Mother’s Day is a Sunday, May 12. Have lunch or dinner reservations been made? Maybe dear old Dad and the kids will barbecue or pack a picnic. Another idea is to take Mom to a restaurant and bring her home to a specially made dessert.

Two berry pie recipes make use of fresh berries that are available now and are easy to make. One of these would be a great Mother’s Day present.


1/2 package (4 ounces) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened

1 1/2 cups cold milk

2 packages (4-serving size) Jell-O Lemon Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling

1 tub (8 ounces) Cool Whip Whipped Topping, thawed

1 Keebler Ready Crust Shortbread or Graham Cracker Pie Crust

1 cup blueberries, raspberries or sliced strawberries

Beat cream cheese in large bowl with wire whisk until smooth. Gradually beat in milk until well blended. Add pudding mixes. Beat 2 minutes or until smooth. Immediately stir in 1/2 of the whipped topping. Spoon into crust. Top with remaining whipped topping.

Refrigerate 3 hours or until set. Garnish with blueberries. Makes 8 servings.


3 to 3 1/2 cups berries (See note)

3/4 to 1 cup sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon butter

2 store-bought pie crust (1 for bottom crust and 1 for top crust)

Thaw pie crust. Pile berries into pastry shell, piling higher in the center. Combine sugar (amount will depend on sweetness of berries), flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon rind; sprinkle over berries. Sprinkle lemon juice over top; dot with butter. Cover with top crust, making slits to allow steam to escape. Seal edges and flute.

Bake at 400 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.

Note: Use strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries or Logan berries. For strawberries or raspberries, omit lemon rind, juice and spices.

Andrea Yeager can be reached at and Cooks Exchange, 205 DeBuys Road, Gulfport, MS 39507.