Category Archives: Dog Friendly

Days Out: Folly! at Studley Royal

I’ve always loved visiting Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, a National Trust property near Ripon.  I have been visiting since before I could walk, was a frequent feeder of ducks (until one bit me!) and during my A Level study leave I would frequently decamp to Anne Boleyn’s Seat to sit in total tranquility and study with no distractions!  A view like this was definitely inspirational!

Fountains Abbey

 

So I was very excited to go an visit the newest exhibition in the water gardens: Folly! This exhibition utilises some of the follys dotted around the water gardens to bring new life to these often overlooked structures.  I’ve always loved the romanticism of follys so this installations really captured my imagination.

Octagon Tower Studley Royal

I started with the high ride to the Octagon Tower, step inside and stare!

Octagon Tower Studley Royal

Then along the path through the woods we came to this curious nest at the Temple of Fame:

Temple of Fame Studley Royal

 

I think this one was the dogs’ favourite, a big pile of sticks! What could be better?

Temple of Fame Studley Royal

Then we continued down past Anne Boleyn’s Seat and on to Fountains Abbey.  The boys love jumping on the ruins!

Fountains Abbey

Then we turned back towards the water gardens.  The bluebells in the woods were looking lovely and the place was awash with wild garlic!

Bluebells at Fountains Abbey

We made our way up to the Banqueting House, an often overlooked section, which is a shame because it is the perfect spot for a picnic!

The Banqueting House Studley Royal

But look who was lurking inside!  You have to peer through the windows for this one, which can be tricky due to the light reflecting, but what a sight!

All in all it was a lovely walk.  It takes me and the dogs about an hour all told at a reasonably leisurely pace (you don’t get much faster with Darcy!) I think that Folly! is a fantastic addition to the site and makes you look a little closer at these lovely little buildings and see them in a new light.  It will be there until the end of November so plently of time to visit but I think that it will be great to go back throughout the seasons, especially when the leaves turn for autumn as the whole valley looks delightful then!  Why not take a picnic and make a day of it?

 

 

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Filed under Days Out, Dog Friendly, Not Food

Darcy’s 1st Birthday Cake

Darcy's 1st Birthday

This awesome Birthday Cake was so good even the humans were eating it!  And Darcy’s doggy friends all wolfed it down, no time for table manners here!  It’s a sweet potato sponge with oats and a little bit of maple syrup to sweeten it for Darcy’s insane sweet tooth.  My dog must be the only dog in the world who hates peanut butter so all of the popular recipes for doggy birthday cake were right out!

Darcy's 1st Birthday

This recipe made enough for a small 4″ 2 layer Birthday Cake and 24 mini Pupcakes too.  The icing is simply cream cheese and greek yogurt, no sugar here so make sure you refrigerate it!

Darcy's 1st Birthday

Makes 1 x 4″ 2 layer cake and 24 mini Pupcakes (You could probably just use 2 normal Victoria sponge tins for a bigger dog’s cake)

2 cups self raising flour
1/2 cup porridge oats
1 small sweet potato, grated
75g butter, melted
3 medium eggs, beaten
3 tbsp maple syrup (or you can use the stuff mixed with carob syrup)
~100ml milk
400g cream cheese
125g greek yogurt
Dog treats to decorate

– Heat the oven to gas mark 4 / 180C.  Grease and line your cake tins and place paper liners in tins for cupcakes.
– Mix the flour, oats and sweet potato in a large mixing bowl.
– Melt the butter in a jug and leave to cool a little.
– Add the eggs and maple syrup to the melted butter and beat together.
– Mix in the egg mixture to the flour mixture.
– Add the milk a little at a time to loosen the batter, you want a soft spongy dropping consistency.
– Divide the mixture between your chosen baking tins.
– Mini Pupcakes bake in 15 minutes, the 4″ mini layer cakes in about 30 minutes.  Test to see if a skewer comes out clean to check the bake.
– Allow to cool completely before icing.
– Trim the domes off the layer cakes to give you two flat, even layers.
– Mix the cream cheese and greek yogurt together in a mixing bowl.
– Spread evenly over your cake and pup cakes.  You can be generous here, don’t worry!
– Add whatever treats your dog likes to decorate it!

Darcy's 1st Birthday

Darcy's 1st Birthday

 

 

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Filed under Cakes, Dog Friendly, Easy

Darcy’s 1st Birthday!

Darcy turned 1 this week!  I can’t believe how the last year has flown by!  I certainly can’t imagine my life without him in it and I am endlessly grateful for the joy he brings to my life.  So I thought he deserved a Birthday Party to show him how much I love and appreciate him!

Darcy's 1st Birthday

I made him a special Birthday Cake and mini Pupcakes to share with all of his friends too!  I’ve put the recipe in a separate post here!

Darcy's 1st Birthday

The cake is delicious and I say that as a human!  Given the speed that the pups wolfed it down the doggy guests were fans too!  In fact, I took some up to my parent’s dog to have and he ate both his and Darcy’s slice!  (Darcy may have been a bit caked out by that point!)

Darcy's 1st Birthday

Cheeks full of cake there!

Darcy's 1st Birthday

There were even some ‘Pawesome’ fairy cakes for the humans!

Darcy's 1st Birthday

He had so many presents!  And my mum even found him a rawhide Birthday Card!

Darcy's 1st Birthday

He certainly embraced the party mood!

Darcy's 1st Birthday

 

Darcy's 1st BirthdayDarcy's 1st Birthday

All in all an excellent 1st Birthday!

Darcy's 1st Birthday

 

 

 

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Filed under Dog Friendly, Not Food, Roundup

Cinnamon dog treats

This recipe came about because I had half a tin of condensed milk sitting in the fridge… it had been there a while.  How long I could not say but significantly longer that I was happy with… but it was still good and it seemed a shame to waste it so I decided to transform it into dog treats!

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These ones are a little bit naughtier as they have the sugar from the condensed milk in them.  Darcy was such a big fan of the cinnamon rolls I made that I thought he should have his own cinnamon treats.  He LOVES them!  Never has he been so obedient! I think he prefers the balls as they are a little chewier, he certainly seems to enjoy them no matter the shape though!

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Makes ~100 small treats

1/2 tin condensed milk (~200g)
1 cup oats
1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
1 tsp cinnamon

– Heat the oven to gas mark 5/190C.
– Mix all of the ingredients together until they form a soft dough.  (If this is still very wet add a little more flour.  It sort of depends on how much condensed milk you’ve started with and how dry your flour is.)
– Either roll out and cut out shapes or simply pinch off balls of dough and shape into balls.  (Use plenty of flour if rolling, this is a sticky dough!)
– Place on a baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes until just golden brown.  (The longer you bake them the harder they get, if your dog doesn’t like rock solid treats then give them less time.)
– Leave to cool and then store in an airtight tin.

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Filed under Cookies and Biscuits, Dog Friendly, Easy

Cheesy Dog Biscuits

These Cheesy Dog Biscuits came about because I had a hankering to bake something.  I was trying to be good and not make cookies (I failed, I totally made cookies too!) so I thought I’d have a go at baking something for Darcy.  I had seen a whole bunch of recipes for dog biscuits but nothing ever seemed right.

Cheesy Dog Biscuits

My dog is small and still only a puppy so I didn’t want to use stock, even low sodium stock.  My dog also hates peanut butter.  The only dog I have ever met who doesn’t go nuts for it!  So I thought I’d have a bit of a play around and see what I could come up with that Darcy would love but I would still be happy to give him.  He loves cheese so that was a good starting point.

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These biscuits certainly tick all my boxes!  They’re cheesy, crunchy and, quite honestly, I would totally eat these myself dipped in humous or something!  The recipe gives a good yield for such an small quantity of ingredients and these were all things I had in the cupboard so they were super simple to make!

Cheesy Dog Biscuits

Makes 50-70 biscuits depending on the size of your cutter.

1 cup oats
1 cup wholewheat flour
1 egg
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup grated cheddar
1/2 cup finely grated hard cheese (like Parmesan)
2 slices ham, finely diced

– Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 5.
– Mix the oats, flour, egg and most of the water together to form a soft dough. You may need all of the water, you may not so add a bit at a time until it comes together in a soft but not sticky dough.
– Add the cheeses and ham and knead to combine.
– Roll out on a lightly floured surface or silicone mat to a thickness of about 5mm.
– Cut with your desired cutter, I used a 6cm bone shape.
– Place about 1 cm apart on a baking tray.
– Bake for 15 minutes.
– Place the baked biscuits on a wire rack to cool and repeat with remaining biscuits until all of the dough is used.

Darcy Biscuit

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Filed under Cookies and Biscuits, Dog Friendly

Banana Birthday Cake For Dogs

It’s Frodo’s 6th Birthday today!

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To celebrate I bought him a new squeaky toy, humiliated him by making him wear a hat and baked him a birthday cake!

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I think it tastes bland and rubbish but the dogs loved it! It’s got no sugar in other than that from the banana so no worries about rotting their teeth, the flour is whole wheat but if your dog has allergies then you could swap to a spelt flour, brown rice flour or a gluten free mix if necessary.

Banana Cake

Ordinarily I would ice this with peanut buttercream but sadly Darcy does not like peanut butter (first dog of my acquaintance who doesn’t!) so a cream cheese frosting was an excellent substitute!

Serves 4-6 dogs (Or probably just one great dane!)

2 ripe bananas
1 egg
1/4 cup sunflower oil
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tap baking powder
2 tbsp milk
200g cream cheese
125g Greek yogurt (good thick stuff!)
Dog treats to decorate

– Preheat the oven to gas mark 5/190C.
– grease and line the base of 3 x 4″ mini cake tins.
– Mash up the bananas, egg and oil in a bowl or large jug.
– Add the flour and baking powder and mix until combined.
– Add the milk and mix through until you have a smoothish batter (banana lumps are fine, flour lumps are bad!)
– Divide the mixture equally between the 3 tins.
– Bake for 30 minutes. Depending on how moist your bananas were this may need a little longer. When a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean and the cake has no wobble to it it’s done!
– Remove from the tins and leave to cool on a wire rack.
– In a small bowl mix together the cream cheese and Greek yogurt together.
– When completely cool spread the layers with cream cheese and stack into a cake, spreading frosting round the outside too.
– Decorate as you wish with dog friendly treats!

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Filed under Cakes, Dog Friendly, Easy

Field Trip! Beningbrough Hall Parkland and Home Farm Shop

 

 

 

This week’s Filed Trip! was to Beningbrough Hall Parkland and Home Farm Farmshop.  Beningbrough Hall is a gorgeous National Trust property located just to the north of York off the A19.  The walled gardens are one of my favourite places to visit in the whole world.  I’m just lucky that I live 15 minutes away!  The house is interesting and if you’re into portraiture they collaborate with the National Portrait Gallery for exhibitions.  However, they don’t allow dogs in to the gardens so I haven’t been in since I got Darcy.  Boo!

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However, the parklands surrounding the house are open to dogs and there are several walks through the woods and fields.  The longest one circumnavigating the whole property takes us about 1.5 – 2 hours at a fairly leisurely pace.  They have a great leaflet showing the short, medium and longer walks.  It can get a little muddy in the winter and if there has been a lot of rain then flooding can be an issue along  the river banks.  In good weather though the dogs love to go for a swim at the furthest point where the Nidd joins the Ouse!

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The National Trust have a lovely restaurant inside the grounds but, again, no dogs allowed.  Luckily Home Farm Shop is located just the other side of the car park (National Trust members can park for free) and has plenty of outside seating.  It’s very popular with dog walkers and cyclists and serves a delicious range of food and drink.  Just what you need after a good long walk!

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I almost always go for the Home Farm Burger.  You get to eat the cows you just walked past!!! (This pleases me greatly and I always make a point to tell them how delicious they are.  Weird, yes, but I feel they should know what a good job they’re doing eating grass and getting all delicious!)  My friend favours the Ploughmans and the portions are always generous.  The dogs usually split a sausage roll!  The selection of cakes is always good and everything I’ve tried has been great, I’ve never once been disappointed!

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Filed under Days Out, Dog Friendly, Not Food