The dog days are here

Throw him a bone: Mack gives this homemade dog-bone treat recipe “two paws up.”

By Donna Zitter Bordelon

Global Environmental and Climate Literacy is this year’s Earth Day message. And who could dispute that trees play a vital role in both the environment and the climate? Their green, verdant color and leafy, protective canopy not only provide the promise of a new start each spring, but can help to shield us from the sun’s rays. Because of their role in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, trees are important in preventing climate change, and in helping to avoid a rise in the Earth’s temperature. We don’t want our Mother Earth to suffer with fever, which in ecology parlance translates to global warming.

So where does any Earth Day celebration start? With the planting of trees, of course. And in Philadelphia, TreePhilly has worked assiduously over the last few years to ensure that every Philly neighborhood will have at least 30 percent canopy coverage. If you ask TreePhilly, you might be able to get a free tree for your yard.

There’s something about trees — old trees, young trees, big trees, little trees — I like trees. Dogs like trees, too — almost as much as they like fireplugs.

Coincidentally, by a quirk of human nature, many who care for our environment also care for canines. Whether attending an environmental teach-in, a rally, a march or planting a tree, chances are you might bring along your four-legged friend. When you grab a snack, he may want one, too. Here is a homemade dog-bone treat recipe. Throw a bone to your most loyal friend. “Woof-Woof,” says Mack. “Two paws up!”

PEANUT BUTTER/OATS/BACON TREATS

½ cup creamy peanut butter

½ cup unsweetened applesauce

1 egg

1½ cups flour

½ cup oats

1 Tbsp. honey

2 pieces of bacon, cooked, chopped fine, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix the peanut butter, applesauce and egg.

Stir in the flour and oats, then mix in the honey and bacon bits (if using) to form into a dough.

Roll dough out on lightly floured work area to ¼-inch thickness.

Use a small, bone-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the treats.

Arrange bones on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, close together but not touching.

Bake for 20 minutes, then turn over and bake 15 more minutes.

Turn off oven and let treats remain in oven for a few hours or overnight.

Remove, cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, or freeze for longer shelf life.

Eat well, live long, enjoy!

(Ques­tions or tips can be sent to Donna Zit­ter Bor­de­lon at Whats-cook-inNEPhilly@gmail.com or in care of the Times, 2 Executive Campus, Suite 400, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002)

Recipe winner:

Congratulations to Fred Stopper, who submitted this recipe, and was chosen in a random drawing. Fred is the March winner of a $100 ShopRite gift card.

Fred wrote that, in a recent chili cookoff, to benefit a food pantry, his recipe took first place. “The chili has lots of flavor, spicy, sweet, a little heat and clam in every spoonful.”

CLAM CHILI

1 medium onion, ¼-inch dice

1 medium green pepper, ¼-inch dice

1/3 cup jarred jalapeno slices, finely diced

2 Tbsp. butter

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1–51 oz. can chopped ocean clams, drained, reserve liquid

4 cups diced tomatoes with juice

1 cup catsup

1–15 oz. can light red kidney beans

Chili powder

Cumin

Garlic powder

Melt butter in a 5-quart Dutch oven, and add olive oil.

Add onion, green pepper and jalapeno, and saute until softened. Add clam juice.

Season with chili powder, cumin and garlic to taste.

Add tomatoes and season again to taste.

Add catsup, stir well.

Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until tomatoes break down (reduce and thicken), stirring as needed.

Season to taste. Add the beans and clams and cook a few minutes.

When desired texture is reached, serve immediately or cool before putting in fridge.

The recipe submissions have been wonderful. Please remember to include exact measurements in your recipes. You could be April’s lucky winner. Send your recipe to:

Readers’ Recipes

c/o Northeast Times

2 Executive Campus

Suite 400

Cherry Hill, NJ 08002

Or email your recipe to WhatscookinNEPhilly@gmail.com.

Please include your name, home address, and telephone number. ••