What to Cook your Dog-Sitter

We are blessed to have Alex’s mother so close by and so willing to take care of our dog babies when we travel. And it seems that we have been traveling a lot this month!

A weekend trip to the city of brotherly love. We made it home safely before Sandy hit.

Along with the usual list of feeding instructions, whose leash is whose, and unique quirks to each dog, I throw a meal in the crock pot on the morning that we leave so that dinner is warm and waiting for her when she arrives. Makes for great leftovers for lunches and dinners all weekend long.

Here’s a recipe that Doggie Grannie particularly enjoyed. Even if you don’t have a pet-sitter that you need to cook for, you should make this. It’ll warm you right up! Lord knows many of us on the East Coast could use a bowl of warmth right about now.

Smoky Turkey Stew 
(Adapted from Stephanie O’Dea)


– 1/2 large onion, chopped
– 1 cup frozen corn
– 8-10 oz. frozen chopped spinach
– 1.5 pounds turkey cutlets
– 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
– 1/2 tablespoon dried basil
– 1 can black beans, rinsed
– 1 can diced tomatoes
– 1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
– 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
– 1 quart chicken stock

1. Season turkey generously with salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. Layer onion, corn, and spinach in bottom of crockpot. Place turkey on top. Sprinkle in the herbs.

3. Add beans, tomatoes, Tabasco, and liquid smoke on top. Pour in chicken stock. Cook on low 8-10 hours.

I was worried the frozen spinach would be stringy and awkward in the finished soup, but it really wasn’t. Also, I never salt my chicken stock when I make it at home, so I added some extra salt and pepper before I turned the slow cooker on. You can salt and pepper yours a la table, as needed. Serve with some tortilla chips for a fun crunch!

Thank you, Doggie Grannie!

Here’s hoping that you and your loved ones are safe and warm.


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