I have a special treat for you today — 26 special treats actually, presented in a beautiful book format! Serena Faber Nelson and Sarah Dickerson, the lovely ladies behind Pretty Fluffy, have released their very first ebook dedicated completely to simple, healthy, human-grade dog treat recipes! The cover alone is a delight and what lies beneath it is even better!
I was lucky enough to have an opportunity to ask Serena all about 52 Weeks of Treats. Keep reading for her lovely insights, sneak peek photos of the goodies and a special discount exclusively for Pawsh readers!
1) Your beautiful book offers 26 mouth-watering recipes. How challenging was it to come up with such a diverse collection? Where did you find inspiration?
Thank you! The inspiration first and foremost came from the four seasons and the produce available within them. I wanted the ingredients to be fresh, nutritious and easily accessible, while evoking the spirit of each season. We love fresh gelato and fruity popsicles in summer, so why not treat our dogs to the same thing?
From there inspiration was everywhere! I could see a pastry in a bakery and wonder what the doggie version would be like, I would be watching a movie and be inspired by a snack the main character was eating…It went on from there. I became a bit obsessed! When it came to shooting the images for the book I turned to the likes of Donna Hay, Katie Quinn Davies and Jamie Oliver for inspiration – I love their fresh, stylized and rustic take on modern food.
2) What is your favourite recipe in the book and why?
The Cinnamon Honey Donuts. I have a penchant for sweet treats, so a healthy doggie version of one of my favourite snacks was always a must have in the eBook. They look so cute when finished and Soda gobbles them up in a heart beat.
3) In your opinion, what is the greatest problem facing the dog treat market right now?
To be honest I think the biggest problem facing the dog treat market is the same problem facing manufactured food in general – for people and pets. That is we don’t always know what we are consuming and pre-packaged food can be filled with preservatives, fillers and other nasties that we really shouldn’t be putting in our systems.
In our household we try to stick to rule “If your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize it, don’t eat it.” The same goes for our dog treats. As Soda gets older it’s even more imperative in my eyes that she consumes only fresh, nutrient rich ingredients that nourish her from the inside out. That’s exactly where the idea for 52 Weeks of Treats came from.
4) What are some of your favourite baking supplies/accessories at the moment?
Oooohhhh…so many favourites to mention. My top five would have to include:
A stand mixer – whether it’s an iconic KitchenAid or another brightly hued brand, these little gems are like having an extra pair of hands in the kitchen.
Donna Hay Cake Stands – Half the fun of baking is admiring your handiwork! These cake stands come in a range of colours and are perfect for displaying goodies. I have two.
Silicone Bakeware – I’m a recent convert and love the ease and convenience of using siliconeware. They make things easier for beginner and more seasoned bakers alike.
Stay Cool Rolling Pin – When you’re making lots of dog treats, your rolling pin becomes a third arm! This version allows the dough to stay cool and prevents sticking.
Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker – This baby is a genius. Literally pour your ingredients in and in 20 minutes later you have ice cream, gelato or even puppylato! I got mine in pink (of course).
5) What advice would you give someone who wishes to make dog treats but does not feel confident in the kitchen?
I love this question. Because believe me, if I can do it, you can do it. My advice would be to start small. In the book we have a number of ‘no bake’ treats that involve only a few steps and no oven. Once you feel comfortable with those recipes try some of the ones that are more involved and work your way up.
I consciously made an effort for many recipes in the book to share staple ingredients and cooking methods for beginners to gain confidence in the kitchen. Last but not least – let go of the fear and fail spectacularly! For every final recipe in the book there were a number of kitchen failures on my part.
Keep in mind that every ruined cookie, lumpy batter or deflated cupcake is a lesson learned for next time. Plus you just never know if a mistake may be a culinary discovery in disguise!
6) What is your most memorable moment from working on this book?
Soda deciding she’d had enough of the photo shoot for our ‘Doggie Smores’ recipe and deciding to start eating the treats then and there! I have to say as a dog owner, there really is something special about taking a half hour out of your day to cook some treats just for your dog.
They really do appreciate it, and you feel like such a good fur-parent! I also can’t stress enough how much I enjoyed working with our designer and contributor, Sarah Dickerson from Chic Sprinkles. Without her vision and skills, 52 Weeks of Treats would not exist as it does today.
Until January 31st, 2013 Pawsh readers will save 10% on their purchase of 52 Weeks of Treats. Purchase your copy here with the code PAWSH10 and start treating your pup today!