As we say adios to San Antonio, my husband, Gabby, and I look back fondly over the last year of memories we've made while being Texans. Our greatest souvenier is our daughter, who was born at Lackland Air Force Base in September of last year. The year flew by and when David announced he'd landed a job in New Jersey and he was getting out of the ARMY, our feelings were bittersweet. It's hard to establish roots in a town when you know you'll only be there a limited time, but, it seems that a sense of community began to develop at about the one year mark, at least for me. I've made some friends, found good restaurants, and also discovered the love of my life. I'll miss shopping there; do visit if you are in Texas, as they have locations in all the major cities.
Another one of my Texas favorites is Gabby's pediatrician. She's awesome and has been so patient with my many mnay questions. I'm a first time mom and I often begin jotting questions and notes down 2 weeks in advance of our appointments. By the time the appointment rolls around, I've got several pages of issues I need to discuss with her. And she's never once rushed me and she's always given spot on advice. She's terrific and we wanted to thank her but she's very careful about her diet. And I didn't want to make her something she couldn't enjoy so I made her dog biscuits, because I know how much she adores her dogs. My brother teased me that now I'm resorting to cooking for canines since I won't get negative feedback (I've had some duds lately, which I could be talked into sharing with you later) but my neighbor's dog gobbled these treats up and Gabby's pediatrician called to tell me how much her dogs loved them, as well. And Epicurious reviewers have scored this recipe a very positive 4 forks, with a 90% would make again rate. It doesn't get much better than that! If you have a special dog in your life, you could launch yourself into number 1 status by making these treats. I followed it as is, but I mixed bacon drippings into the batter before shaping the cookies because I've read that dogs love meat drippings. Full recipe after the jump.
Gourmet, December 2005
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
1 1/4 cups cornmeal
1 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1 large egg
1/4 cup bacon drippings (optional, can use more or less to suit needs)
Special equipment: a pastry or bench scraper; a dog-biscuit cookie cutter
Pulse flours, cornmeal, oats, wheat germ, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with pea-size butter lumps. Add 1 cup water and pulse until a coarse, dense dough forms.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in parsley and mint until well distributed. Gather, then halve dough with scraper. Form into 2 balls and flatten each into a 6-inch disk.
Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 2 large baking sheets.
Roll out 1 disk of dough into a round (1/3 inch thick) on a well-floured surface with a well-floured rolling pin. (If dough becomes too soft to roll out, wrap in plastic and chill until firm.) Cut out as many biscuits as possible and arrange about 1/4 inch apart on 1 baking sheet.
Gather scraps and reroll, then cut out more biscuits. Repeat with remaining dough, using other baking sheet.
Whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush biscuits with egg wash and bake, switching position of sheets halfway through, until tops are golden brown, about 35 minutes total. Turn off oven and dry biscuits in oven overnight.
Biscuits keep, layered between sheets of wax paper or parchment, in an airtight container at room temperature 1 month.