Miscellaneous information for winter

We all love our pets and love to give them treats, but have you ever thought of making treats for your pet? The following recipe for Mongrel Munchers is from a Guadalupe Valley Electric Co-op (GVEC) booklet I used to receive each month, it is now a magazine called Texas Co-op Power, and some of y’all receive the same magazine from MEC and it still has awesome recipes!
Mongrel Munchers (Homemade doggie treats)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups quick rolled whole oats
½ cup chopped unsalted peanuts
1 large ripe banana, mashed
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a bowl, stir together flour, oats and peanuts. In another bowl, stir mashed bananas, applesauce and vanilla together. Stir this mixture into the flour mixture and stir together. Roll dough into walnut-sized balls and flatten on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes, or until lightly golden, and cool on a rack before serving. To store, place in upright container for 1 week. Wrap and freeze for up to 2 months. (I keep a dog for a friend when they go out of town, and he loves these!)
This same booklet also had some really great information on keeping pets safe during the winter months.
Don’t keep your pets outside for very long. The can get frostbite and hypothermia just as humans do.
If you have an outdoor dog, provide him extra food and a shelter with bedding. He will need more calories to produce body heat and to have a healthy warm coat.
It is a good idea to bang on your hood or honk your horn before you start your car in the morning. Outdoor cats and other animals will crawl up near the engine for warmth and shelter. The moving parts from the started engine can cause not only harm, but also even death to animals hidden under the hood. (I can attest to this, as a couple of kittens crawled up under the hood of my car and were killed when I started the engine. This was during the summer time, so you can just imagine the type of odor I had after a couple of days!)
Also, keep your eye out for antifreeze puddles. It tastes good to pets, but it is deadly. A tablespoon can kill a cat and a half of a cup can be fatal to a 25-pound dog, according to National Humane Education Society.
Wipe off your pet’s paws when coming inside. Rock salt can be abrasive to an animal’s paws and burn the pet’s mouth if they lick their paws. (This last one does not really apply to our part of the state, because we don’t have enough ice that we have to use rock salt on our sidewalks and steps to keep them from being slippery).
Now, here are a few hints from me. They have been published before, but it has been quite a while ago.
To re-smooth Teflon pans: boil a mixture of 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons baking soda and ½ cup liquid bleach in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes. Wash thoroughly in hot soapy water, rinse thoroughly. Before using again, wipe the surface with vegetable oil.
Cold tea, coffee grounds or crushed egg shells make a good fertilizer for house plants and also act an insecticide. A bowl or small jar of vinegar will help absorb cooking odors, or the smell of fresh paint.
Brush the top of a piecrust with milk, sprinkle with a little sugar and cinnamon and it will brown beautifully.
The following is a recipe that has been around a while. We started making it with saltine crackers and over time evolved into using the oyster crackers, now, I am back to mostly using saltine crackers again as the price of the oyster crackers has gone up and the size of the bag has gone down. Two bags used to be 16 oz. each at $1 per bag, now, the bags only contain ten or eleven ounces each at $1.25 and sometimes more per bag. .
“FIRE” Crackers
2 bags oyster crackers (store brand is fine) *
¾ to ½ cup cooking oil
1 envelope Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing® mix
2 teaspoons (or more if you want more heat) cayenne pepper**
Empty both bags of crackers into a large bowl with a lid. Mix together oil, dressing mix and cayenne pepper. Pour over crackers; cover with lid and gently shake to coat thoroughly. Remove lid and allow to set for several hours or overnight. Shake or stir several times during this time. Do not cover until later. *You can use and entire box of saltines for this. Just be careful when stirring and shaking the bowl, as they will break if you aren’t. **I have used 2 ½ to 3 tsp. when making these as I have a few people who like them really spicy. 1 ½ is usually enough for me! (You can also add about 1 teaspoon dried pepper flakes if you want to, sometimes I use it and sometimes not).
Sopapilla Cheesecake
2 cans crescent rolls
2 (8-oz) cream cheese
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 stick melted butter
½ cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon (or more if desired)
Preheat oven to 350º. Grease or spray a 9×13-in. pan and roll out 1 package of the crescent rolls on the bottom of the pan, sealing creases. Mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla and spread over the dough. Roll out the second crescent roll sheet and place on top of the cream cheese mixture. Pour melted butter over the top and sprinkle with the sugar and then the cinnamon, bake for 30 minutes.
Breakfast Muffins
1 egg
1 cup milk
¼ cup cooking oil
2 cups flour
1 Tbs. baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
12 teaspoon dry mustard
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup frozen broccoli, cooked drained and chopped
2 sliced green onions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and line a muffin pan with paper liners. Whisk together egg, milk and oil’ add flour baking powder, salt and dry mustard and stir to combine. Stir in cheese, broccoli and green onions. Divide evenly among prepared muffin liners, bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean. 12 servings.