Another Valentine’s day has come and gone with remnants of foiled chocolate kisses on subway platforms and red rose petals scattered across New York City sidewalks. Even though I am smitten with a certain someone and welcome every chance we get to celebrate love, life and feasting, I prefer to stay inside on V-day and create a homespun evening of indulgences perfectly proportioned for two. But this year we made it a threesome–with myself, Mr. Mix and my fuzzy four-legged friend Taleggio, joining together to roll a handmade sushi dinner and transform Mr. Mixoligist’s bigger than average Brooklyn bathroom into a home spa. Suffice it to say that ‘Gio was partial to the raw fish, I preferred the shishito peppers we flash-fried in a wok and served with a sprinkling of yuzu salt, and my man’s favorite bit involved caramel body butter and the necessary bath we took afterwards!
The fact that the two most important men in my life have learned to love one another is a feat I once thought impossible. Mr. Mix is a dog lover, and I, a cat person (unless it’s a Hebrew National). In fact, when Mr. Mix and I first locked eyes in a Hampton Bay clam bed, I got a sneak peek into his infatuation for dogs. A new puppy had entered the lives of our mutual friends and my man was almost as enthralled with him as he was me. Almost. Thinking back, watching Mr. Mix play with this young Yorkie half-breed on that hot summer day, his paternal instincts were so endearing that they almost convinced me that I like dogs. Almost.
Truth be told, I do like dogs. I just don’t like them in New York City. Growing up, my family adopted a miniature Daschound named Gertrude, Gertie for short, but I was too young to value her penis-substitute savvy. Instead, she meant chores; she meant cutting nights short to go home and let the dog out; she meant barking before breakfast at 7 AM! All of that seems uninhabitable in the 5th floor tenement of my NYC life. Perhaps that’s why I never warmed to the idea of a pet that could curtail my freedom, make for more rushing and dish out an extra helping of responsibility on my plate.
In my New York, dogs crowd the sidewalks, congest the store isles, and much to my chagrin, lick my ankles beneath tables at outdoor cafes. I have a hard time with their smell; I am disgusted by their slobber, and I disregard the itsy-bitsy toy dogs fashionistas carry around in purses (they have legs for a reason)! Dogs need space to run around and play, and in my not-so-humble opinion, a city built of concrete and over-populated with pedestrians and whizzing cars does not qualify as a quality living environment for an outdoor pet. That said, one day, when I have a yard and a family (read: husband to pick up all the poop), I think, I’ll get a dog. A real dog, like a golden retriever, a chocolate lab or a fluffy collie…named Biscuit! I can imagine a future wherein I’m curled up on the couch with my cats, my man’s best friend and this lady’s best lover. Until then, I will keep my experiences with dogs to infrequent visits with my friends’ pups.
Even though I may not always welcome the company of a dog, I can appreciate anyone’s love for animals. Twice this past year after visiting our friends in the Hamptons and Mr. Mix’s crew out in Colorado, I sent all natural, heart-shaped doggie biscuits as thank you presents to the dog-loving parents who hosted us for weekends. These biscuits are a super simple way to treat any dog or dog owner who proves worthy of a little praise. They say, “I may not love dogs, but I love you–and here’s a gourmet tin of treats to prove it.” A real foods snack that is lovingly made from your own two hands, my peanut butter biscuits are strewn with Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber-filled flax seeds. Having actually tried a few, I can attest to them tasting bland but not boring, and you and yours can rest assured they are filled with foods that you can feel good about serving your furry friend. Best part of all, the dogs seem to Eat it Up!
- 2 cups whole-wheat flour
- 1 TB Baking Powder
- 1 cup Natural Peanut Butter
- 1 cup Whole Milk
- Flax or Sesame Seeds
- Heart Shaped Cookie Cutter
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, combine flour and baking powder. In another bowl, mix peanut butter and milk, then add to dry ingredients and mix well. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead. Roll the dough to ¼ inch thickness (just like any cookie), and shape with a cookie cutter–heart shapes are always cute but any fun shape will do. Bake for 20 minutes on a greased baking sheet until lightly brown. Cool on a rack, then store in an airtight container. Be sure to keep an eye on the treats as they cook, I have found that these cookies can burn easily and will get gobbled up by hounds on the hunt if you leave them unattended!