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We are friends who love making simple food look beautiful. We hope our recipes will inspire you to get into the kitchen this season. Aoife McElwain works in front of the camera writing the recipes and styling the food, while Mark Duggan works behind the camera to make sure it all looks as delicious as possible. We work with editors such as Killian Broderick and music supervisors like Nialler9 to make sure that our finished videos look and sound as smart as possible. We work with brands like Glenisk and Folláin to help them create delicious video content for their online platforms. When we're not making videos, we write a weekly column called Speedy Suppers on Thursdays in The Irish Independent. Aoife writes the recipes and styles the food while Mark takes the photographs.  
Boneful dog treats

12 Sep Boneful at The Doggie Do

Photography and Dog Food Styling by Aoife McElwain

What do you give the dog who has everything? Homemade dog treats! As part of today’s Doggie Do celebrations, forkful presents BONEFUL, a dog treat cookery demo. I (Aoife Mc) will be sharing two recipes for Daffodil approved (my dog, a terrier Jack Russell mutt, who features in our pickled courgette video) dog treats in Merrion Square at 2pm. The Doggie Do is a madri gras for mutt and man, and you can find out all about it here.

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I’m not a vet or a pet nutritionist (or even a human one) but how I approach my dog’s diet is that I usually don’t feed her anything I wouldn’t (in an emergency, obviously) eat myself.

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The advantage to making your own treats if you can see exactly what is going into your dog’s tummy, in the same way that it’s an advantage to cook your own treats. There are no hidden preservatives or meat substitutes, or colourings or powdered eggs. I make treats for Daffodil about as often as I make cupcakes or a cake for myself i.e. not every week and usually only for a special occasion.

The treats I’ll be sharing with the dog lovers in Merrion Square today are adapted from a few I found on The Kitchn. They both use wheat flour or oats. Some dogs, like some humans, are sensitive to wheat so if your dog is sensitive, you should look into using an alternative such as almond flour or chickpea flour. I haven’t tested the below recipes using alternative flours but I’m sure they would work just fine.

And, of course, moderation is key. If you baked 12 cupcakes, you’d share them with your friends rather than gorging on them all yourself, right? So, do the same with your dog’s treats, and don’t overfeed them.

** These treats are all Daffodil approved but she has a sturdy terrier mutt tummy so be sure to remove any ingredients you know your dog is sensitive to. **

Peanut Butter Bites

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Makes about 12 bite-sized balls

Ingredients

1 soft banana

1 egg, beaten

3 tablespoons of peanut butter

125g oat flour (you can make your own oat flour by placing oats in your food processor and blitzing until a smooth flour is formed)

75g oats

Method

1. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Pre-heat your oven to 150c/gas mark 2.

2. In a large mixing bowl, use a fork to mash the banana.

3. Crack in the egg, beat and then mix into the banana.

4. Add the peanut butter and mix well.

5. Add half of the oat flour and oats, and mix well. Add the other half of the flour and mix again, this time with your hands, until you have a firm dough.

6. Use your hands to roll the dough into 12 to 16 peanut butter balls, depending on how big you want them (and depending how big your dog is!). Arrange them on the baking tray, with space between them, and use your hand or the bottom of a glass to flatten them into rounds.

7. Bake for 45 minutes at 150c/gas mark 2, turning them over halfway through. You want them to be a little brown but not burnt.

8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before sharing with your dog. These treats will last for at least one week in an airtight container.

Bacon Bones

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Makes about 8 bones with a 13cm x 4 cm bone cookie cutter (or makes about 12 to 16 bite-sized treats)

I got my bone cookie cutter from Decobake on Bachelor’s Walk.  

Ingredients

2 rashers of bacon

1 egg

Handful of fresh parsley

1 teaspoon of dried (or fresh) oregano

300g whole wheat flour

100ml cold water

Method

1. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and pre-heat your oven to 150c/gas mark 2.

2. Heat a frying pan over a medium to high heat and dry fry the bacon, until cooked and nicely browned. Remove from the rashers from the pan and set aside to cool completely. Pour any yummy bacon fat that’s left into the pan into a large mixing bowl, and allow to cool.

3. When the bacon is cool, chop into very small pieces. Add to the mixing bowl with the bacon fat, which should be cool now too.

4. Crack the egg into the bowl, beat it and mix with the bacon.

5. Chop the parsley and add to the egg. Add the dried oregano.

6. Now mix in the flour, gradually. Add the water, gradually, and bring the dough together. Add more flour if it’s too sticky, or more water if it’s too dry. You want it to be a nice firm dough that you can roll out.

7. On a floured surface, roll out the dough using a floured rolling pin. Use your cookie cutter to cut out the bones, or whatever other shape you’re using. (I also cut the leftover dough into very small cube pieces and baked them for 15 minutes, to use as little everyday treats.)

8. Place the bones on the baking tray and bake in the oven at 150c/gas mark 2 for 45 minutes, turning over halfway between, or until they’ve browned a bit.

9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before sharing with your dog and their friends. These treats will only last two days, on account of the bacon. But, on account of the tastiness of that bacon, they won’t last very long anyway.

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