DIY Advent Calender
Every year on the 1st of December my sister and I got a chocolade Advent Calender. I loved this tradition and still do. The excitement with which you awake every morning to open the next door of your Advent Calender…it’s magic. Opening a door doesn’t only mean that you will get something nice but also that Christmas is coming one day closer. I just LOVE the Christmas atmosphere and the food that comes with this time of the year.
Even now, so many years later I get an Advent Calender from my mother. She makes them herself and fills the little bags with sweets or little gifts. Now that I am living in the Netherlands she still makes them and sends me a little package every year. Since I love the Advent Calender tradition so much you can imagine that I got inspired to make one for Bobby too. Unfortunately I got this idea a bit too late so there was no time to think of something fancy or special. So, for all those crazy dog persons who want to pamper their furry friend(s) with a tasty but simple Advent Calender I got something for you!
All you really need are some cups and treats. I used paper cups and made two different snacks. Bobby AKA. the nose loves to sniff around all day long so this is the perfect Advent Calender for him. Every day I will take some paper cups and hide one or two snacks at random underneath. Bobby than gets the pleasures job to find the tasty snacks. To make it a bit more difficult you could increase the number of paper cups every day. Starting with 1 cup for the 1st of December and ending with 24 cups at Christmas Eve. You can hide everything you want beneath the cups but I chose for Sardine Crisps and Banana Nut Biscotti. Again, both recipes are from Dr. Karen Becker’s book called Homemade Treats for Healthy Pets.
Banana Nut Biscotti
You will need…
2 overripe bananas
60 ml (1/4 cup) plain kefir
195 gr (1 1/2 cups) almond flour
Step 1. Preheat your oven to 160˚C/325˚F
Step 2. In a bowl, blend together all the ingredients
Step 3. Spoon the mixture into a greased but small loaf pan (I used coconut oil) and bake it for 1 hour
Step 4. After 1 hour you take the pan out of the oven and let the dough cool down for about 20 minutes in the pan.
Step 5. Next, flip the dough onto a board and slice it into stripes. You can decide how big you want them to be in the end
Step 6. Grab a backing sheet and cover it with backing paper. Put the stripes on the backing sheet and bake the Banana Nut Biscotti’s at 120˚C/250˚F for an hour. Depending on how thick they are it will take some extra minutes. The moment they are hard and golden brown you can take them out of the oven. When still warm they will spread a nice sweet smell all around in your house. I even had a little nibble and they taste so good!
After they have cooled down you can hide one (or more) under a cup and have a little play time with your doggy :)
In the meantime you can make the second delicious snack which Bobby is absolute crazy about. Unfortunately he cannot get too much of it otherwise he will get too heavy.
All you need is a can of sardines packed in water. (Sardines that are packed in oil are too fatty!)
Step 1. Heat up your oven to 200˚C/400˚F
Step 2. Drain the can of sardines, remove the bones and cut them into smaller pieces (dependinng on the size of your dog).
Step 3. Place the sardines on a baking sheet coverd with baking paper and bake for 20 minutes.
Let the crisp sardines cool down and pop them under a cup. Your dog hopefully will love it!! You can also give your dog raw sardines but I find it easier to bake them before because it leaves less mess on the flour. By the way, if you be aware of the very strong smell of sardines. Your entire house will smell of sardines after you have put them in the oven. Unfortunately my boyfriend wasn’t as delighted as Bobby..oh well, what you can do..