Happy Birthday, Harold!

Tuesday (September 3) was Harold’s FIFTH birthday.

FIFTH!

That means it’s been five years (or 35 years in dog years) since Harold was born.

Five years since I was a senior in college.

Five years since I lived in Gainesville, Florida.

Five years since I was able to sit in the student section at Gator games (legally).

Five years since oh-so-much debauchery.

Happy Birthday, Harold/Hal/Roldy/BooBoo/Bub!

Let’s start this post by a little trip down memory lane so y’all can ooooh and awwwww at how adorable Harold was/is.

And yes, my hair is crazy short.  Focus on sweet baby Harold.

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Oh em geeeeee isn’t he the cutest?

Biker baby Harold.

Biker Harold, Christmas 2009 | Oysters & Pearls

Squeeeeeeeeeeeee

Harold, Christmas 2009 | Oysters & Pearls

I’ve already told you he should be a dog model.

Bristol Family Christmas Card 2009 – with Auntie Anna Jo, cousin Willie, Uncle Louie and Uncle Babe.

2009 Bristol Family Christmas Card | Oysters & Pearls

Over all these years, Harold’s been all ovah the place.

From Gator gamedays in Gainesville…

Harold, Courtney, & Natalie in College | Oysters & Pearls

To Jay’s Catfish Christmas parties at Lake Talquin….

Catfish Christmas | Oysters & Pearls

To car rides home with Brittney to see MoFro in Tallahasee…

 Brittney & Harold | Oysters & Pearls

(Yes, he used to insist on riding on your shoulders.  It was totally cute, until he weighed 13 pounds.)

To pounding Bud Heavies on the roof at Clayton’s house…

Harold Pounding Bud Heavy | Oysters & Pearls

To beach and lake days with terrible hair cuts…

Harold at the Lake | Oysters & Pearls

All the way to Georgia with his new dad…

Wheat & Harold | Oysters & Pearls

And a rough near-death experience…

Harold After His Accident | Oysters & Pearls

To blogging…

Harold Blogging | Oysters & Pearls

And all the way to his new kitty-brother, Wallace!

Harold's New Kitty-Brother | Oysters & Pearls

Harold is the very most adorable, sweetest, cutest, best ever pup there ever was.

Don’t even argue with me.  I will fight you.

So he is TOTALLY deserving of a ridiculously time-consuming and labor-intensive homemade dog treat recipe from the Bouchon Bakery cookbook for his birthday.  Duh.

So Wednesday night, I whipped some up.

Bouchon Bakery Dog Treat Recipe  

(just barely adapted from the Bouchon Bakery cookbook)

Makes approximately 40, depending on the size of your cookie cutter.

ingredients

– 453 grams/1 pound sliced bacon, cut into 1-inch wide pieces
– 370 grams/13 ounces Chicken livers, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
– 130 grams/3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon fine cornmeal (not self-rising)
– 450 grams/3 cups + 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
– 235 grams/1 cup chicken stock

for ketchup glaze

– 50 grams ketchup
– 13 grams egg whites

instructions

Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Over medium heat, cook bacon until done but not very crispy.  Pour into a colander over a bowl and let drain.  Return a small amount of bacon grease to your skillet and cook the livers for about five minutes, mashing them and turning them often.  Put the bacon into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, then add the livers and process until fully combined into a “pate” of sorts.   Put the pate in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and add the cornmeal and mix on medium speed.  Turn the mixer down to low and slowly add the flour in until it turns into a sandy-looking mixture.  Turn the mixer back up to medium and very slowly pour in the chicken stock and mix until the dough forms around the paddle.  Pull the ball of dough out and place on the counter and roll it out to about a quarter-inch thickness.  Note: Thomas Keller recommends using plastic wrap or parchment paper to roll out the dough on your counter (between two sheets), but I found that this dough was extremely easy to work with and didn’t really stick to the counter at all, even without putting down extra flour under it.

Using a 2-inch or so dog bone shaped cookie cutter, cut out as many “cookies” as you can!  The scraps re-rolled out really well.  For about a million adorable dog bone shaped cookie cutters, click {here}.

Thomas Keller also recommended lining baking sheets with parchment papers or Silpats, which I did with two of my sheets, but the third I didn’t line at all and the bones didn’t stick in the least little bit, so I’d skip this step next time.

Anywho, put your cookies in the oven for 3 hours.  Take them out and turn the oven down to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.  Using a pastry brush, glaze them with the ketchup/egg white mixture, then return them to the 200 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Voila!  Gourmet dog treats.

Just warning you folks who are squeamish: there are pictures of chicken livers and bacon in this post.  Scroll straight to the bottom if you don’t want the step-by-step on this one.  It won’t hurt my feelings.  I promise it’s really not that bad, though.

Now, the few people I saw on the internet who had made these dog treats said that cooking the liver inside your house make it STANK.  Thus, me being what I consider a smarty-pants, I got Wheat to set up his gas burner outside for me to cook the bacon and liver.  Thought I had it all figured out, I did.

Cooked Bacon | Oysters & Pearls

Cooked the bacon, drained it in a colander, added the livers and cooked them through…

Cooked Liver for Bouchon Bakery Dog Treats | Oysters & Pearls

And brought it all back inside to put together and bake.  It didn’t really smell bad, and I scoffed at those other fools.

I processed.

Bacon & Liver Pate for Bouchon Bakery Dog Treats | Oysters & Pearls

I mixed.

Mixing Bouchon Bakery Dog Treat Dough | Oysters & Pearls

And I mixed.

Bouchon Bakery Dog Treat Dough | Oysters & Pearls

And I rolled them out, cut them out, and put them in the oven.

Bouchon Bakery Dog Treats, Pre-Glazing | Oysters & Pearls

And then, things got weird.

Once they got hot, our house reeked of hot milk bones.  As bad as it smelled to us, it made Harold CRAZYYYYYYYYYYY.

He was prancing all over the house like he literally had ants in his metaphoric pants.  It was too funny.  And finally, late Wednesday night, Harold got a warm crispy dog treat fresh out of the oven.

Harold's Bouchon Bakery Dog Treat | Oysters & Pearls

The verdict: he LOVED it.

While I was trying to take another picture like the one above, Harold proceeded to snatch it out of my hand.

Harold's Bouchon Bakery Dog Treats  | Oysters & Pearls

And promptly gobbled it down.

Harold Enjoying His Bouchon Bakery Dog Treats | Oysters & Pearls

Thomas Keller created, Harold approved.

Now you are absolutely positive that I’m a crazy dog lady, and I couldn’t care less.

And with that, Happy Friday, y’all!  We have some cousins coming to Bristol to do some lake bobbing (weather permitting), but other than that, we have no big plans.

Harold, on the other hand, has big plans to eat approximately 40 gourmet dog treats.

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3 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Harold!

  1. Lisa Jo

    I hope Babe has a chance to sample one this weekend! Oh, and your dad says he thought doggie treats were “left overs”, lol. (he knows better, he’s been with me way too long!)

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Meet June! Our New French Brittany Pup - Oysters & Pearls

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