Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Meat Pie for Dogs- Treat Recipe using Caru Stew

The holiday season is upon us, which is a giant excuse to eat and eat and eat. Of course, even Chewy gets to feast during the holidays! Last Thanksgiving we roasted an unseasoned turkey and some veggies for him. This year he is also getting pie. MEAT pie. [[Complete recipe is towards the end of this post]]


Caru stew for a pre-made filling

Caru stew (check out our review here) makes a perfect pot pie filling as it is thick and saucy, full of healthy meats and veggies, and already cooked-through. All I had to do was whip up a pup-friendly pie crust, pour in some Caru stew, and pop it in the oven. Easy-peasy!

If making pie sounds intimidating to you, then pup pies might be the perfect practice. They are smaller, so you'll go through fewer ingredients, and your pup will (most likely) not judge and thoroughly appreciate the outcome.

Ingredients for dog-friendly meat pie, food processor optional

There are just a couple of ingredients for this pie recipe:
- Caru stew (any flavor)
- whole wheat flour
- ground flax seed
- coconut oil (+ peanut butter if desired)
- ice water
- egg (optional)

Whole wheat flour contains more nutrition than white flour, but still provides gluten to hold the pie crust together nicely. Flax seed contains omega-3's for healthy skin and coat, and also provides fiber for good digestion. Ground or milled flax seed is much more digestible than the whole seeds.

Pie for people is typically made by cutting cold butter/lard/shortening into flour and mixing in ice water so that the little solid chunks of fat give off steam while baking, creating a flaky crust. I have substituted that for coconut oil, which is more dog-friendly and boasts a number of health benefits, including improved skin and coat. However, if your dog is not used to consuming coconut oil, eating too much at once may cause diarrhea. A small serving of pie should not pose a problem, but if you are concerned, you can substitute half of the coconut oil for unsalted peanut butter. The crust will be less flaky, but in exchange, it'll have the peanut-y taste that many dogs love. At this time of year, coconut oil is typically pretty solid when sitting out at room temperature, but if that is not the case for you, chill the necessary amount beforehand.

Prepping pie for people involves letting the dough rest to allow the gluten to relax, preventing the crust from shrinking in the oven. Since pup pies are on a much smaller scale, I didn't find this step necessary and left it out.

Use little pie pans or ramekins, or even muffin pans.

Mini-muffin-sized pies (post-baking)

Little pie vs. big pie

To get the pie shape, you can use any small, oven-safe dish, such as a mini pie pan, ramekins, or even muffin pans. Grease your pie pan so that you'll be able to easily pop out the finished pie. I used a coconut oil cooking spray, but you can also just smear some coconut oil.

To get the classic shiny pie look, you can coat your pie with an egg wash before baking. The egg wash is just an egg beaten with about 1 tbsp of water. You can cook the remainder of the egg mixture for yourself or your pup. If you bake it in a little dish, it comes out like a firm egg custard.

Before popping your pie(s) in the oven, don't forget to cut holes to allow the pie filling to vent while it bakes. Try to make the holes big enough so that they won't seal shut while baking, but not so big that the stew starts spewing out. You might want to place a tray under your pie pan to catch any drips or splatters.

This recipe yields approximately one 5" pie, or three standard muffin-sized pies, or six mini-muffin-sized pies. You can halve, quarter, double, etc. as necessary. While making conversions, keep in mind that
1 tbsp = 3 tsp, and 1 cup = 16 tbsp.

If you end up with leftover pie crust, you can flatten it out to 1/4" - 1/2" thick and bake it along with the pie. It'll turn out like a biscuit.

And, without any further ado, the recipe:

Meat Pie for Dogs Using Caru Stew

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (or 1 tbsp coconut oil & 1 tbsp unsalted peanut butter)
  • ice water
  • Optional: 1 egg + 1 tbsp water

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. 

  2. Using a food processor or by mushing with a fork, combine the whole wheat flour, flax seed, and coconut oil (and peanut butter) until it resembles little crumbles.

  3. Mix in ice water (just water, not the ice) a little at a time, until large chunks form. It takes approximately 3 tbsp. of water. Using your hands, fold the dough until you can form a ball.

  4. To make the bottom crust, take a portion of the dough, sandwich it between 2 sheets of wax paper, and roll it into a circle 1/8" - 1/4" thick. 

  5. Transfer the bottom crust to your greased pie pan and gently push it into the shape of the pan.

  6. Fill the bottom crust with Caru stew.

  7. Roll out a top crust the same way as in Step 4, and gently place it on top of your pie assembly.

  8. Trim the crusts to the desired size and seal the edges by pressing the two crusts together.

  9. Optional: Decorate the edges of the pie by indenting with a fork, pinching, etc.

  10. Optional: Beat the egg + 1 tbsp water, and brush a thin layer over the top crust.

  11. Cut vent holes in the top crust.

  12. Repeat Steps 4-12 if making multiple pies.

  13. Bake until crust is lightly golden brown, about 20-40 minutes, depending on size.

  14. Allow pies to cool completely before serving.

  15. Leftovers must be refrigerated, and may be reheated at 300°F for 10-20 minutes, depending on size. Again, let cool before serving.

As with all other treats, serve in moderation, in addition to a healthy, balanced doggy diet.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Disclaimer: We received Caru Real Beef Stew for review purposes. We were not compensated for this post, and all opinions expressed are our own.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Benebone- chewy.com Product Review

Chewy LOVES receiving packages. For awhile, if we were out on a walk and he saw a delivery truck turn onto our street, he would hurry home to see if it was for him. He is slightly less of a delivery stalker now, but he is super excited to be joining the chewy.com blogger program! Every month we will get to review one of their products, and more deliveries = happy Chewy!

All packages that enter our house must be given a proper sniff-over, and sometimes he'll claim them and bring them to his bed, like this month's product. It's a sign that something good is inside!

"Wanna cookie?" Yes.

We received a Benebone Wishbone Chew, an inedible nylon chew infused with natural flavoring. 

Some info on Benebone:
  • sourced and made in the USA
  • comes in three sizes (mini for dogs < 30 lbs, regular for < 70 lbs, and jumbo for 70+ lbs) 
  • comes in three flavors (bacon, peanut butter and rotisserie chicken)
  • a portion of all sales gets donated to animal welfare organizations

We got the new Jumbo Wishbone, which currently only comes in bacon flavor. It's about half the length of his forearm!

Chewy's first order of business was to sniff, paw at and roll on his new Benebone. Cuz Chewy's kinda crazy! He got so excited about it, he couldn't function normally for a few minutes.

Eventually, he settled down and started chewing. The curvy wishbone shape makes it easy for him to hold, and the bacon flavor keeps him interested for long periods of time.

*chew chew chew*


Chewy loves his Benebone so much, he carries it around the house. Sometimes he'll suddenly remember that he left it somewhere, and run off to get it. Here he is napping with it by his side:


After some hard-core chewing, the nylon gets a bit jagged and raggedy. I tried to get a picture of it, and Chewy swooped in and stole it:


Chewy likes to chew stuff on his bed, which is also where a lot of his shed fur accumulates, so the rough ends of the Benebone pick up a lot of fur. Chewy couldn't care less, but I pick the fur off regularly for him.

While Benebones are not edible, the little bits that might get scraped off and eaten will pass safely through your dog. The company suggests supervision and monitoring for significant deterioration, such as a crack, at which point it needs to be discarded.

We give the Benebone Wishbone Chew 4 paws up! It is easy for Chewy to hold firmly while he chews, and it is much safer than the sticks he keeps munching on outside (he has gotten a piece of stick stuck in the roof of his mouth twice now). Compared to an edible chew, the Benebone keeps him occupied for longer, and doesn't add calories to his diet. 

4 paws up for Benebone!

In other news...

For every Wellness product purchased at chewy.com from now until December 16th, 1 meal will be donated to an at-risk animal through the Jackson Galaxy Foundation. For every Wellness Autoship purchase, 2 meals will be donated. If you were planning to stock up on Wellness, now's a good time!

Even if you currently have no need for Wellness products, you can still help out animals in need: for every like, comment and share on this Facebook post, Wellness will donate 1 meal, up to 50,000 meals. Please consider helping to feed a hungry fur-belly. Thanks!

Disclaimer: We received a Jumbo Benebone from chewy.com for review purposes as part of the chewy.com Blogger Program. We did not receive any monetary compensation for this post, and all opinions shared above are our own.