I’m always writing about my husband, family, cravings, trips, and experiences. I love sharing all of my stories with you not only because I believe it gives you a better understanding of why I prepare certain recipes, but I like that it gives you a glimpse into my life.
From my stories, you can probably gather that I love my husband, cherish my family, and enjoy reminiscing about trips, experiences, and childhood memories. What’s missing from that list? My dogs who are such a huge part of my life. My 70-pound beasts brighten each and every day and bring so much joy, laughter, and love to my life. From morning and through the night, they are always by my side making sure that I’m covered with love, kisses, comfort, and fur.
Growing up, we had a lion-sized Golden Retriever as our family dog who went by the name “Dude.” I still remember the day that we brought him to our house. I was a little girl at the time and when we walked into the breeder’s house, I was immediately surrounded by Dude’s parents who towered over me. My Dad took one look at me and said, “That’s how your dog will look one day.”
After running around the house and playing with countless puppies, my brother and I selected the most active one of the bunch. We put him in the backseat and then listened to my brother sneeze the entire way home. As it turned out, he was allergic to dogs…who knew? Thankfully, he overcame the allergies and Dude remained a loyal pet in our family for years. He was my best friend, my jungle gym, and my eye-opener. From the moment I hugged him, I was completely attached and in love with dogs.
Fast forward to 2006…my husband (then boyfriend) and I moved into an apartment in Michigan right after I graduated from college. Knowing that he was also a dog lover and came from a family that always had a dog, I didn’t hesitate to bring up the idea of adopting a dog. He immediately loved the idea and encouraged me to do some research on options. After weeks of torturous research (yes, I wanted to adopt every dog I saw on PetFinder.com), I finally came across an adoption facility that was hosting a local event.
We showed up, held dogs, found a few fluffy dogs, sat through a few interviews, and then encountered rejection after rejection. The fact that we lived in a one bedroom apartment and wanted a big dog did not work well in our favor. Leaving with an overwhelming feeling of negativity, I pulled up PetFinder.com on my phone as soon as we got to the car and continued my research. It was at that moment that I noticed another adoption facility that was hosting an dog adoption event an hour away…and the store was closing in an hour. Once again, the odds were not in our favor.
Without hesitation, my husband threw the car into drive and we arrived at the store just as they were starting to wrap up the event. I asked to see one of the puppies and as I was holding the puppy, I noticed that another puppy was making his way all the way from the back of the crate, crawling all over his brothers, to make his way into my arms. I placed his brother down, picked him up the little rascal, and fell in love at first puppy kiss.
Meet Caster at age five.
So, you’re probably asking, “When did the second dog come into the picture?” Well, as you can see, I’ve been obsessed with dogs ever since I was little. In fact, when I was little, I always thought I was going to have six dogs when I was older…that is, six dogs at one time. Yes, I wanted to be the crazy dog lady…and I even had all of their names selected. Once again, crazy dog lady.
Anyway, one day, I woke up needing a second dog in my life. Caster definitely fulfilled my craving for a dog but I knew that he wanted a friend. I brought up the idea with my husband and he thought I was nuts. At this point, we were living in D.C. in a one bedroom apartment on the 10th floor. Thoughts of elevator rides and cramped quarters started trickling into his head. He then decided to say “yes” but with a stipulation. “We will only get another dog if you can find one that looks exactly like Caster, ” he said with a smirk.
Poor thing…he thought he was so sly as he gave me a next to impossible challenge, or so he thought. Two days later I showed him a photo on PetFinder.com of Tugboat. Black body, white paws, a white mark on his chest…let’s just say that a week later, Tugboat was in our car on his way to his new home.
Thankfully, we moved into the city and into a rowhouse where the dogs (and us) have plenty of room to roam around…and cuddle, of course.
Meet Tugboat at age four.
Now, meet these delicious cookies that remind me of Caster and Tugboat. Strangely enough, they are reminiscent of these cookies. They are dark with white marks, sweet, comforting, and super cute.
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- Mix together the cocoa powder, sugar, and vegetable oil in a large bowl.
- Beat eggs into the cocoa mixture, one at a time. Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Stir this mixture into the cocoa mixture.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Fill a shallow bowl with confectioners’ sugar.
- Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in the confectioners’ sugar and place on the parchment paper.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to sit on cookie sheet for 1-2 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
What is your favorite animal?