dog food


We’ve all been in the dog food aisle trying to figure out what food to get for our pup. Do you get grain-free? Do you get frozen? Dehydrated? Canned? What is the best for my dog?! Well, I can’t say what is best for your pup but my personal revelation came after talking with one knowledgeable Petco employee about Ella’s food troubles. I had explained that even when giving her plain chicken and rice, she still had an upset stomach and bad bowel movements. The employee replied, “She’s probably allergic to chicken. It’s more common than you think.” You could have knocked me over with a feather but sure enough, I switched Ella’s food and treats to be chicken free and everything changed! And after trying a few different dog food brands, I’ve decided to make her food from scratch. Sounds crazy, but it’s easy to do and if you’re like me and watch for sales or buy in bulk-it’s cost-effective.  Below is the recipe I created. It is based on the many dog foods that we tried. I make her food on Sunday when I do my meal prep and this amount lasts the whole week, using 2 scoops (about 2 cups) at breakfast and dinner.

3-4 sweet potatoes

2 lbs of ground beef

1-12 oz bag of frozen peas

1/2 a 12 oz bag of frozen blueberries 

You can add carrots, fish oil, baking potatoes, spinach, etc depending on what your pup likes. Remember to check the ASPCA’s poisonous food list before adding ingredients. 

Cook meat until brown and let cool. Boil potatoes for 4-5 minutes, drain and rinse with cool water. Combine the beef, potatoes, blueberries, and peas in a container. Keep the food refrigerated at all times. You can serve your pup’s food with a little bit of water, cold or warmed up in the microwave. You need to wash your pup’s food dish after each feeding. 

turkey week

image & centerpiece idea via Oh Happy Day

It’s Thanksgiving week! For me, that means 2 things: 1-watching all the Friend’s Thanksgiving episodes and 2- making green bean casserole. If you’re not familiar with the Friend’s Thanksgiving episodes, you can use Variety’s All Ten Friends Thanksgiving Episodes Ranked post. My own ranking, your Netflix guide, and snack pairings in tomorrow’s post. As for my green bean casserole, this year I’m trying Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook Cravings recipe. I’ve tried the traditional-everything canned recipe to the everything fresh recipe and haven’t ever found the exact taste I’m looking for, but I Chrissy’s recipe is a promising combination of both styles. What are you making for Thanksgiving? Do you stay with your traditional recipes or change things up?

zucchini muffins


I changed the ratios a bit but the recipe is pretty close to the original. The one thing that I never do when making breads or cookies is add nuts.  No not because of nut allergies but because I just don’t like them in my baked goods. Cranberries and chocolate chips? Yes, please! I added about half a bag of Trader Joe’s chocolate chips and 3/4 of a cup of cranberries. I don’t make these changes below because you really need to play with this recipe a few time to get the hang of your “add-in” measurements.

I brought the muffins to work (breads great but for work, muffins work better) and they were gone before lunch. I would suggest keeping your eye on them in the last 5 minutes because they can go from almost done to done fast!

Zucchini Bread
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Yield: 2 loaves or about 24 muffins

3 large eggs
1 cup (235 ml) vegetable oil
1 3/4 (350 grams) cups sugar (I probably did closer to 2 cups)
2 cups grated zucchini (2 whole zucchinis)
2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/8 or a couple of good shakes teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon (6 grams) table salt
1/2 cup (55 grams) chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1 cup (115 grams) dried cranberries, raisins or chocolate chips or a combination thereof (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease and flour two 8×4 inch loaf pans, liberally. (See those pictures of the cakesinside their non-stick pans? Yup, they’re pretty much hanging out in there for the time being.) Alternately, line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk. Mix in oil and sugar, then zucchini and vanilla.

Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt, as well as nuts, chocolate chips and/or dried fruit, if using.

Stir this into the egg mixture. Divide the batter into prepared pans.

Bake loaves for 60 minutes, plus or minus ten, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Muffins will bake far more quickly, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.


No this isn’t an April Fools’ Day joke. I’m really posting and since it has be awhile I thought I’d do a quick recap on what the heck I’ve been doing the last couple of months.

Survived winter.  Which if you’re not familiar with the emotional roller coaster that is winter, please see 20 April Ludgate GIF that describe how I and probably everyone else who has had to deal with below zero temperatures and the other sick jokes that mother nature has played on us for the past six months.

AIR yoga

Joined ClassPass.  If you’ve been following my Instagram you’ve seen that starting in February I worked to complete thirty classes in little over a month. I completed my goal in early March and have gone down to 3 to 4 classes a week and getting outside for runs.  I have a lot to say about ClassPass and the workouts that I’ve been doing, so I’m going to post more on that tomorrow.

Read books.  A few days before winter break started I realized that I had not finished one of the three books (Night Circus, Wild and Goldfinch) that I had started months before, so I resolved to finish Goldfinch before going back to work and I did!  I also started and finished The Circle and I’m about 50 pages into The Marriage Plot and can’t wait to pick up The Girl on the Train. I also started listening to books and for those of you who commute, check out Audible.  I listened to Yes Please and loved it! I just picked up #Girlboss and once that is done I plan to listen to Girl in a Band. I find autobiographies the easiest thing to listen to. Tip: listen to the preview before you buy. There’s a reason why they give Grammy Awards for Best Spoken Word.


I decorated. With the help of a vintage store going out of business, my parents hand me downs and a small town interior design store in December and January my apartment went from odds and ends to a full blown adult apartment. I have rugs, a dinning room table, throw pillows, etc.  It is so cozy and I love it.  Above are just pictures of the living and dinning room but I’m always posting kitchen photos on Instagram.

I knit. More on this later. I have four friends expecting babes in the next three months and I have been busy.

I baked. Cookies, muffins, bread, etc.  Nothing really new, I mostly stuck with my standards but this week I tried a new chocolate chip cookie recipe The Chewy from Alton Brown.  I wasn’t impressed and as a friend said, “They aren’t bad but you’ve made better.”

I watched a lot of shows. Again I’m going to do a whole post on this but if you haven’t checked out Bloodline, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt or the HBO documentary Going Clear, please do.

Hope you enjoyed this update.  I’m happy to be posting again and I hope you continue to check in.

Happy spring!

link love

image via Green Tie Studio


It has been a crazy weekend filled with missing bus stops, last-minute ticket purchases for Riot Fest, super fun date conversations, cold recovery, furniture building and possibly picture hanging.  What have you been doing with your weekend?  You still have a whole day!  Do something fun and not on your list.

Crafty’s Geekiest Knitting Patterns

Brown Butter Waffle Cake, can’t wait to make this for a fall birthday brunch.

How to be Alone, reading this before I begin to make travel plans.

Grandma’s be tagging

I’m giving up Chanel 5 for this musk.

Avocado Toast

Can’t stop playing Tampon Run.

Toft Luxury British Knitting.  Finally a well designed yarn website!

Foxygen, How Can You Really and Frazey Ford, September Fields

Let’s talk about death baby.

I want to see The Skeleton Twins

Oooh you don’t like it when I’m sarcastic?



link love

All summer I have Fridays off and I kicked my first Friday off by sleeping in, making eggs in a basket and sipping coffee on my back porch. Do you have an altered work schedule for the summer months?  If so will you do anything differently with your time out of the office?


The Slap‘ A short film that captures strangers and acquaintances slapping each other. Would you participate?


I would play this arcade game.


I’ve started taking this piece of advice on dates.


This may be my new favorite cookie recipe, but I’d add dark chocolate chips.


A 90-year human life graphed out in weeks.


A simple cowl to knit for cool summer nights.


Finally updated my “about me” page.


Possible weekend project and another reason to buy a drill.



pretzel bread

double loaf p b

Until Monday night I thought I was horrible at making anything with active yeast aka bread.  I used to kill the yeast because the water I was using was too hot until the Family Consumer Science teacher explained to me that your body temp is 98 degrees, so you want to barely feel any heat from the water on your hand or wrist.

cheers bread

So with this advice and a few encouraging words from a friend, I made the pretzel bread recipe from Libbie Summer’s Sweet and Vicious while listening to episodes of Cheers and maybe sipping on a cold brew to off put the heat from the stove.   Obviously the bread turned out great and I brought some into work where folks enjoyed it with a grainy mustard and at home I made a fancy grilled cheese with it.

Below is the recipe with all of my notes but if you have questions feel free to comment or tweet at me @thehomemadegood.  Also, Libbie’s book has a ton of other great recipes in it and would totally suggest ordering it if you like this one!


single loaf

Pretzel Bread Recipe

adapted from Libbie Summer’s Sweet and Vicious

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoons warm water 115 F

1/2 cup warm milk (I used half and half)

3 tablespoons butter, melted and room temperature

2 1/2 teaspoon

3 tablespoons packed dark brown butter

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups bread flour (I used all purpose)

1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil (I used 1/2)

1/2 cup baking soda (used for boiling the dough)

1 to 2 tablespoons of pretzel salt or rock salt

a large spider or slotted spoon

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook, put the water, milk, butter, yeast, and brown sugar.  For ease of mixing, take a second and break up the packed brown sugar.  Mix until combined, then let the mixture rest for 10 minutes, or until it begins to foam.  Mix in the salt.


With the mixer on low speed, add 2 cups of flour and mix for 1 minute.  Continue to add the remaining flour as needed until the dough forms a firm ball that is tacky, not sticky.  You want it to feel like the back of a post-it note.  Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl-you can keep it in the mixer bowl if you want.  Pour the oil over the dough and begin to flip the dough around a few times to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.

dough risen

Using the stand mixer knead the dough for 10 minutes at medium-low speed, until the dough has a satiny shine and is elastic.  While you can do other things during this time you want to make sure that you stay in the kitchen because my mixer slowly moved from one end of the counter to the other.  Cover the dough and let rise for 1 hour, or until it doubles in size.  You can place it on the center of your stove top while preheating the oven to 400 F to possibly speed up the process.   You can also complete the steps below as your waiting for the dough to rise.


If you haven’t already, preheat the oven to 400 F.   Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.  In a stockpot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil.  Slowly add the baking soda without stirring.


Working with one dough ball at a time, use a large spider or slotted spoon to slowly lower the dough ball into the boiling water.  Boil for 30 seconds, turning once to make sure the complete surface of the dough has been covered with water.  Remove with the slotted spoon to drain and transfer to the prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with the second ball of dough.


Make a cross in the top of each loaf using a sharp knife.  The dough looks pretty ugly at this point, but it will pop up and look gorgeous and tasty after baking.


Sprinkle the loaves with salt… lots of salt!


Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the loaves are a dark golden brown, turning the sheet around once in the middle of the bake time.  Remove the loaves from the baking sheet and let cool slightly before serving.


no bake pie

no bake


It’s been heating up fast this Summer and if you’re like me you aren’t willing to give up your baked goods but don’t want to deal with the additional heat of the oven.  So, I gave a the No Bake French Silk Pie recipe posted on A Cup of Jo last month.  It was easy to throw together, I think it took me less than an hour from start to finish.  The only time consuming thing was beating in the eggs but I just multitasked and did all my dishes.  It turned out great and the only thing I might change when I make it next time is a little less honey or maybe agave instead, otherwise it I’d keep the recipe the same.  I’d serve it with a more bitter drink, like espresso to cut down on the sweetness.

*Forgot to mention.  I did not make the whipped topping because I didn’t think it would keep and would get runny with the heat.


Recipe: No-Bake French Silk Pie
By Tieghan Gerard of Half-Baked Harvest 

For the Pretzel Crust

1 ¾ cups crushed pretzels
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup honey

For the Pie Filling
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened to room temperature.
1 cup granulated sugar (add ¼ cup more if you prefer sweeter)
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
4 whole eggs

How you make it:

Grease an 8 or 9-inch pie plate or spring form pan. 

In a medium bowl, mix the melted butter and honey together until smooth. Add the crushed pretzels and mix until combined. Press mixture firmly against the bottom and sides of your pie plate. Place in the fridge.

In a small microwave safe bowl melt 6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate on 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until melted and smooth (about 1-2 minutes).

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the melted chocolate and the vanilla extract. Whisk the mixture thoroughly until combined.

Turn your mixer to medium speed and over a period of 15 to 20 minutes add in the four eggs, one at a time, leaving about 5 minutes between each egg addition. Once the pie filling is well mixed, pour it into the pretzel crust. Smooth out the pie filling and place the pie in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours or overnight.

Add a cup or two of whipped cream and garnish with a few chocolate curls if desired.

the chocolate chip cookie day


Today is national chocolate chip cookie day!  Yes, I know they have a day for everything but let’s take a moment to remember the person who makes your favorite chocolate chip cookie or the person who taught you how to bake the perfect chocolate chip cookie.  For me it would be my Grandma Mary and my Mom.  Both taught me that you want chewy cookies not crunchy so take them out of the oven while they are lightly golden and leave them on the pan for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack, butter always needs to be room temperature, use an extremely thin spatula and taste test every batch.  I hope you find those tips helpful and below are a couple of great chocolate chip recipes I shared over the years.


Raspberry Dark Chocolate Chip and Caramel Cookies


popcorn cookie


Chocolate Chip Popcorn Cookies 

chocolate chip cookie dough brownies

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies


New York Times

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie

jalapeno cheddar scones or mini biscuits

jalapeno cheddar scones


I’ve made jalapeno cheddar scones a couple dozen times over the past few years but when I was invited to a clothing swap on Saturday and had a enough jalapenos to make a double batch I decided to make one batch of regular scones and then one batch of mini biscuits.


scones roll out



The only difference was that instead of making the circle like I normally do for the scones, I rolled out the dough to about 1/2 inch thick.


cut outs

I used one of the smaller biscuit cutters and cut out 24 biscuits and made one lumpy one with all the extra little bits.  They were a huge crowd pleaser and were easy for folks to munch on while swapping clothes and sipping on wine.