Category Archives: Pets


Will Bake for Charity


[photo: Colleen Fishter]


[photo: Colleen Fishter]


[photo: Colleen Fishter]






So a friend of mine is on the board of MCPAW (Montgomery County Partners for Animal Well-Being). MCPAW is a 501c3 organization working as a public/private partnership with the Montgomery County (Maryland) government to build, enhance, and maintain the new state-of-the-art Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center being built in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Elizabeth knows I am an animal lover and staunch supporter of animal shelter adoptions (she once overheard me chastising a co-worker for his impulse purchase of a puppy mill puppy for his girlfriend), so she asked if I would attend Ladies Night Out with MCPAW (pampering for a good cause), and, oh by the way, would I consider baking something delicious for the dessert table? How could I say no? Silent auction, beauty samples, and supporting a cause near and dear to my heart — of course!

Joining in the fun were my co-workers Beverly and Carely:


Beverly, Elizabeth, Me,
and Carely
[photo: Colleen Fishter]


Carely checking out
some earrings
[photo: Colleen Fishter]


Beverly admiring a
makeup case
[photo: Colleen Fishter]







I’ve been developing a citrus sweet bread using olive oil rather than butter. I love the flavor of olive oil — that earthy almost grassy undertone that really pairs well with citrus. It also might be marginally more “healthy” than using butter? This bread has a lovely light texture, a bright citrus flavor, and a mild olive oil background. It’s not overly sweet, so it would be lovely for breakfast with coffee, or, as with our event, on a dessert table with wine.

Lemon Olive Oil Bread

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare 9″ x 5″ x 3″ loaf pan by spraying with baking spray, lining with a parchment sling, and spraying the sling with baking spray.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle beater, mix the oil, sugar, eggs, zest and juice until well combined.

STOP mixer. Dump in half of the dry ingredients and mix on low until incorporated.
STOP mixer. Add the buttermilk and mix on low until incorporated.
STOP mixer. Add the second half of the dry ingredients and mix on low until incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the loaf at 375F for 30 minutes. Rotate the pan, lower the heat to 350F, and cook another 25 to 35 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (or with only a few crumbs).

Allow to cool to room temperature before cutting (okay, at least cool to barely warm!).


This is Keith and my animal shelter adoption — a male chocolate cocker spaniel who has since gone to Doggie Heaven. He was completely nuts but much beloved and is still very much missed!


This is the FABULOUS bag I “won” in the silent auction. Yes, it really is as pink as it looks … pearlescent, even :)


And my own browsing …


[photo: Colleen Fishter]


[photo: Colleen Fishter]



Sending Healing Thoughts to Elliott

My friend’s dog Elliott is a big ole terrier mix with a ferocious bark and a huge kissy tongue. I was sad to learn she’s been diagnosed with Lyme disease and is in the veterinary hospital with kidney failure. I can sympathize, because my own dogs have been very ill, and you just feel so helpless, just as when any loved one is hospitalized. So where does my heart turn? To the oven, of course.

I know Elliott won’t be able to eat these doggie treats, because kidney issues require a strict diet. But I hope that in making these for the healthy dogs in my life I can send some good health karma in her direction.

Get well soon, Elliott!!

Zesty Doggie Bagels, adapted from recipes in Dog Bites! Canine Cuisine by Rick and Martha Reynolds

SAMSUNG2/3 cup chicken stock, warmed
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 package yeast
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting the countertop
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large egg
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup

Warm the chicken stock in the microwave. It should be about as hot as REALLY hot tap water. Stir the honey into the stock until it is dissolved. It will cool slightly but you still want it warmer than body temperature. You are aiming for 110F if you are compelled to measure it.

Combine the whole wheat flour and yeast in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Start the mixer and add the stock/honey mixture slowly. Beat on low to medium speed for 3 minutes. Slow the mixer and gradually add half of the unbleached all-purpose flour until incorporated.

Stop the mixer and swap the paddle attachment for the dough hook. With the mixer on low, gradually add the last of the unbleached all-purpose flour. The dough will look a little shaggy — add 1/4 teaspoon of oil and watch to see if it comes together (add another 1/4 teaspoon if needed). With the mixer on low, knead for 3 – 5 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and follows the hook around in a large ball. Remove the hook, reshape the dough into a smooth ball, cover the bowl with a kitchen towel, and let rest for 10 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 375F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.

Lightly dust your countertop with flour. Flatten down your ball, sprinkling with a little flour to make it easier to work with. Divide the dough into 24 equal hunks. Take a hunk and shape it into a smooth ball with your hands. Poke a finger up through the center and pull it gently until the hole is about 1″ wide. Alternatively, put it over your index finger and circle your finger around in the air like a lasso until the bagel stretches out. Don’t be too picky — rising will even out the bumps!

Place the shaped bagels on the parchment paper. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest 8 minutes.

While the bagels are resting, make the glaze. Beat the egg with a fork until a little frothy. Add the worcestershire sauce and ketchup and mix until smooth.

Remove the kitchen towel and GENTLY brush the glaze on the bagels. Bake in the 375F oven for 10 minutes. Remove, glaze again, and bake for another 10 minutes (make sure you rotate the pan for the second visit to the oven). Turn off the oven. Open the oven and shake the pan to make sure none of the bagels are stuck to the paper. Crack the oven slightly and allow the bagels to cool in the oven.

Because there are no preservatives in these bagel, I would keep them at room temperature, in an airtight container or storage bag, for only 1 to 3 days. Refrigerate or freeze for longer periods.