MUTTerings With Nikki Moustaki: Cookies and Cooking For Your Dog

Dog expert Nikki Moustaki attends The Culinary Canine book signing.

By | Posted: October 17, 2011, 3 a.m. EDT

 The Culinary Canine Book Signing
As little as 10 years ago I remember that a “dog event” was seen as a kitschy anomaly. The press came out in droves for a doggie fashion show, highlighting how kooky (read: nuts) all of us dog people are. Today, in most large urban areas, you can go to a dog event every week – perhaps twice a week. That’s definitely the case where I live in New York City, where dog culture is as happening as Birkin bags (but less expensive). I love dog events, mostly because I love dogs and their people.

This week I went to a dog event in Times Square at the Kimpton’s Muse Hotel, a small, elegant boutique hotel in the middle of the glitz of the theater district. It was a book party for the new release, "The Culinary Canine: Great Chefs Cook for Their Dogs - And So Can You!" from BowTie Press. (A sister company of DogChannel).

Somewhere amid the poshly dressed pooches and the most passionate dog people in NYC, including doggie media darling, Wendy Diamond, were the chefs, doling out their human/doggie delectables. The book features many treats and food made for human and canine consumption. Of course, I headed straight for the table that had human-only cookies on it and my “date” for the night, BowTie Press editor, Andrew DePrisco, had to “save” me many cookies later by dragging me away from it. When it comes to cookies, I’m a lot like my dogs.

culinary canine author
Culinary Canine author Kathryn Levy Feldman

The book seemed well received – co-author, Kathryn Levy Feldman was busy signing copies, and the book photographer’s Fox Terrier signed “pawtographs.” I was able to speak to the author about the book’s concept between signings (and cookies). I asked her if this was a serious book and if she thought that people would start cooking more for their dogs.

“Everybody thinks that this is a self-indulgent cookbook for dogs, but I discovered that as far back at 1575, people that had working hounds documented what they fed their dogs, and they also documented herbal recipes for curing things, like mange and stomach upset,” said Levy Feldman. “By 1782, there were books about recipes for hunting dogs. It behooved those people to keep their dogs healthy because they were working dogs. Those recipes sound a lot like the things we feed our dogs today – oatmeal, barley, vegetables, as well as animal protein. They had discovered that dogs should be fed a mixed and varied diet. It all sounds remarkably contemporary, but people have been taking care of their animals this way for hundreds of years.”

It’s true that many people have been moving away from “traditional” dog food, or are adding more healthy human foods to their dogs’ diets in addition to dog food. That’s mostly the way I feed my dogs – cooked food as a supplement to dry dog food. But, I will admit, I use a commercially prepared cooked dog food that comes frozen by subscription every month. My oven looks brand new inside – I’m in NYC, the land of take-out and eat-in. Still, I do love the idea of cooking for dogs. It’s probably fun bonding time, and there’s nothing better than seeing wagging tails when you offer them treats – never mind that they’d wag their tails if you offered them poop.

I asked the author for a good recipe that I could try, one with simple ingredients. Of course, the road to you-know-where is paved with good intentions, and I didn’t make the treats. I’ll include the recipe here and hope that someone reading this will make the treats and let me know how they are. Or send me some.

Vegan treats from The Culinary Canine: Cornelia's Vegan Yummy Critter Treats


1 mashed banana
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup honey (more or less, depending on the consistency of the dough)
1 cup rolled oats

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • In a bowl, add the mashed banana to the flour and oats, and mix. Slowly add the honey until the mixture sticks together.
  • Roll out the dough to about a 1/4 inch thickness. Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out the treats. Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet and paint with honey as a glaze.
  • Bake 15 to 20 minutes until the treats are browned, and turn off the oven; if you leave the treats in there for a bit, they will get extra crunchy.
  • Serve when cooled. They will be devoured!

The author of "The Culinary Canine: Great Chefs Cook for Their Dogs - And So Can You!" said to me, “If you cook for yourself, there’s no reason you can’t cook for your dog.”

Does laziness count as a reason I can’t cook for my dogs?

I’d like to hear your opinions. Do you cook for your dogs? Is cooking for your dogs a good idea? Is it fun? Can it create a healthier dog? If you want, please leave your favorite recipes in the comment section below and I’ll see if I can get off of my lazy butt and cook something. In the meantime, where’s the cookie table?

More MUTTerings>>


4 of 11 Comments View All 11 Comments

Give us your opinion Give us your opinion on MUTTerings With Nikki Moustaki: Cookies and Cooking For Your Dog

User Avatar

Miax   ****, MN

6/2/2012 11:57:34 AM

I love to cook for my dog - I like to know exactly what's in his
I recently made him tomato paste-and-flour biscuits. Sounds gross to me, but he loves them!

User Avatar

Nikki   Fort Myers, FL

10/21/2011 9:42:19 PM

I make gluten free gourmet dog treats to sell and love doing it but I will admit it is alot of work. But I have clients that say I should call my treats "doggie crack" because their pets love them so much. My clients like them because there isn't anything in them that they can't eat themselves. They are healthier for the dog than the commercial ones because they don't have any preservatives in them. My cookies are also soft so that the dogs can actually taste them. Plus alot of my clients have older dogs that can't eat the rock hard ones that you sometimes get at the stores. I loved this article and I think more and more people are cooking for their pets. I also have a pet sitting business so we see first hand what our clients are feeding their pets and we are definitely seeing more home cooked meals for our clients dogs. I think it will continue to be more common place as time goes on. We are already seeing changes in the pet food industry to compliment this trend.

User Avatar

Nikki   New York, NY

10/21/2011 2:11:11 PM

@Sam -- Oops, I guess this isn't a vegan recipe! I think it's that I don't mind having honey in the house, but I do kind of mind having raw chicken or beef in the house.

User Avatar

Nikki   New York, NY

10/21/2011 2:07:58 PM

@Craig -- I had asked the author of the book specifically for a vegan recipe since I don't eat dairy or poultry, and what little beef I do eat is made at a restaurant, not in my kitchen, that's for sure! So, that's why you see this vegan recipe. There are a lot of recipes in the book with varied ingredients.

Login to get points for commenting or write your comment below

First Name : Email :
International :
City : State :

Captcha Image

Get New Captcha

Top Products