What exactly are the dog days of summer? Don’t go jumping on my case but it is a Greek thing … It’s a Greek term, of course! The "dog days of summer" refer to the weeks between July 3 and AuG. 11 and are named after the dog star (Sirius) in the Canis Major constellation. It is the brightest star in the night sky. Its name comes from the Greek word Σείριος (Seirios, lit. 'glowing' or 'scorching'). The ancient Greeks blamed this star for the hot temperatures, drought, discomfort and sickness that occurred during the summer. I don’t know about you, but our dogs are really hot, too. If we don’t walk them in the early hours of morning, they are stuck in the house or on the back lawn because the greenbelts and sidewalks are just too hot for their tender paws. For us, the “dog days of summer” calls for ice cream, Popsicles, frozen yogurt and a trip to the Berry Bar for the grandkids and pip cups and Starbucks pup cups for our fur babies. We very seldom let our pups enjoy dairy, so they have to split the Starbucks pup cup or a kiddie cone from McDonald’s. I’m going to surprise the grandkids next week with a cooking project — making our own waffle cones. So, I guess we will skip the Berry Bar that day! Please Join our Table as we cool off in the pool, at the beach and all the while enjoying our buffet of ice cream selections.
Homemade Ice Cream Cones
Makes 3-4 cones
This recipe was inspired by a recipe from Akis Petretzikis
Aluminum foil, crunched into 3 or 4 balls about the size of walnuts
1/2 cup of egg whites or 2 medium eggs
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup whole milk, white or chocolate
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter, melted
COATINGS AND TOPPINGS
Ice cream (I prefer full fat French vanilla)
1/2 cup *couverture chocolate, melted
1/4 cup pistachios, crushed or grated
1/4 cup chocolate sprinkles
1/4 cup candies
Maraschino cherries, stems removed
DIRECTIONS: Place a nonstick grill pan over medium heat. In a bowl add the egg whites, sugar, milk, vanilla extract, salt, and whisk well until the sugar melts. Add the flour and whisk until the ingredients are mixed well. Finally, add the butter and whisk. Put 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture into the grill pan and cook it for 3-4 minutes on each side, until cooked through and golden. To get waffle cone markings, twist it 90 degrees every 2 minutes. You will see the crisscross pattern form. Remove from the heat; wrap into a cone, and lightly press the seam to stick. Put an aluminum foil ball in the center to hold the cone’s shape and place on a baking pan lined with parchment paper, seam-side down. Let them cool.
Note: If your cones are thicker, you can then bake them in the oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes, or until crispy. Let them cool then dip 1/3 of your cone into the melted chocolate and then dip it into the pistachios, the chocolate sprinkles, or sprinkles of your choice. Let them set and serve with ice cream and maraschino cherry on top.
How about a healthy fruity creamsicle (shhh … don’t tell the kids it is healthy)?
My Creamsicles with Raspberries and Mangos
1/3 cup Nutrimeal French Vanilla (or any variety of flavor, dairy-free, etc.)
1 tablespoon milk or a milk alternative
1-2 teaspoons honey
3/4 cup whole milk Greek yogurt, or a non-milk alternative
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1/3 cup fresh mango, sliced and chopped, or blueberries
DIRECTIONS: Put the Nutrimeal French Vanilla, milk, honey and Greek yogurt in a blender and blend until smooth. Gently stir in the raspberries and peach slices, being careful not to break up the raspberries too much. Pour into Popsicle molds and freeze for 3-4 hours. Enjoy!
Now … we can’t forget the four-legged family members, so for them I make a bone broth pupsicle with bits of bacon and blueberries in it. I know it doesn’t sound too appetizing but my pups love these.
My Bone Broth *Pupsicle
2 cups organic bone broth no salt added
1 tablespoon bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled fine (optional)
1/4 cup blueberries, whole or chopped
Dog biscuits as handles for the pupsicles
DIRECTIONS: Mix all ingredients together except the dog biscuits. Pour into molds and set in biscuits as handles. Freeze overnight. Watch those tails wag when you give them this treat!
My Elvis Presley *Pup and Kiddo’s Pops
Peanut Butter and Banana Popsicles
1 large frozen banana
2 tablespoons organic smooth peanut butter, no sweetener added
2 tablespoons honey
One 17-ounce container of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt (I use goat yogurt — easier for both dogs and kids to digest.)
DIRECTIONS: Put cutup chunks of frozen bananas in blender. Add the peanut butter and honey and blend until smooth. Then add the yogurt and blend well. Pour into Popsicle molds, or even an ice cube tray, freeze and serve.
*Please note: Give these in moderation to your pups, as sugar and dairy are not a preferred food for dogs!