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  • Recipes for Homemade Horse Treats

    Nearly all horse lovers and owners give their horses treats occasionally. Whether it is for a reward for a job well done or just a hidden treat in their feed, your horse will love it. Treats can be given to your horse or pony as a reward after a riding session, used as a training aid, to help catch them if they get out of the fence or just to show you love them. Treats are called that for a reason, and are meant to be only occasionally enjoyed by your horse. Be sure to vary your timing so your horse doesn’t come to expect a treat every time every time you come to the barn.  

     

    Making homemade horse treats for your horse is always the best and smartest option. Most grains, fruits and vegetables are safe for horse treats, as they are included in commercially produced horse treats sold in feed and produce stores. The digestive tract of horses has a delicate balance of microbes and bacteria that keep your horse healthy.  High amounts of treats and other items that aren’t part of their normal diet can upset their intestinal tract and add more calories than they require.

     

    Grain, Molasses and Dried Fruit Homemade Horse Treat Recipe

     Ingredients:

    • 1 Cup flour
    • 3/4 Cup beer
    • 2 Cups molasses
    • 1 lb grain
    • 1/2 Cup dried fruit

     

     Directions:

    • Mix the flour, beer, and molasses thoroughly. Add grain to mixture slowly and mix well. Then, mix in the dried fruit.
    • Pour the mixture into an oiled 12x15 inch pan and place in a 250°F oven.
    • When the mixture starts to firm up after 25 minutes, remove the pan and cut the contents into bite-sized pieces. Then, return the pan to the oven for 40 minutes and bake until the treats are firm and mostly dry.
    • Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool before taking the treats out.
    • Place the treats on a cooling rack overnight.

    Your horse will enjoy these homemade treats made with love. If you are looking for more gourmet homemade horse treat recipes, visit https://www.saddlebox.net/horse-treat-recipes-how-to-make-our-gourmet-horse-treats/.

     

    Listed below is a reference of treat ingredients that are usually safe to eat for horses:

    • White and Whole Wheat Flour
    • Molasses
    • Cinnamon in SMALL amounts
    • Peanut Butter
    • Eggs
    • Applesauce
    • Oatmeal - rolled oats, steel cut oats, Irish oats, quick oats
    • Honey
    • Sugar, brown sugar & powdered sugar
    • Peppermint and most hard candies (NO Chocolate)
    • Food coloring
    • Fruit - grated apples, bananas, raisins, dried fruit
    • Bran
    • Vegetables – Pumpkin, Carrots
    • Cereal like Fruit Loops, Rice Krispies, Cheerios
    • Beer – Yes beer!
    • Cookie Icing, frosting & sprinkles
    • Salt
    • Corn oil and corn syrup
    • Pretzels
    • Graham Crackers
    • Ginger snaps and gingerbread
    • Ice cream cones - sugar cones and cake cones
    • Pancakes and waffles
    • Butterscotch
    • Marshmallow
    • Nuts – peanuts, almonds, cashews
    • Seeds – sunflower, sesame, chia

     

    Feeding your horse treats can be a fun addition to their diet, however keep the following points in mind: 


    Be cautious of hand feeding. Most horse owners don’t have any issues, but if your horse becomes demanding or nips, just toss the treat in their grain bucket instead.


    Only give treats to your own horses. Each horse behaves differently and you don’t want to feed one to an aggressive horse or to a horse on a special diet that could have adverse reactions to the treat. 


    Treats are a wonderful way to indulge your horse, but remember that they are not necessary to their normal diet. As long as treats are given in moderation and you are watching your horse’s signals, there is no wrong way to include treats into their otherwise balanced and healthy diet.

     

    About SaddleBox

    SaddleBox is the monthly subscription box for horse owners. Each month you'll get treats, grooming products, tack and more! We're trusted by thousands of horse lovers, and shipping is always free. Visit our website at: https://www.saddlebox.net/.

     

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  • A Quick Introduction to Italian Christmas Food

    Christmas (or ‘Natale’ as it’s known locally) is as big of a deal in Italy as it is here in the UK. However, it does have a decidedly Italian twist, with each of the various regions having their own traditional dishes which they prepare over the festive period.

    We all know Italy is renowned for its food, so we’re going to take a look at some of their favourite holiday dishes and some of the traditions that are observed, hopefully giving you some inspiration to do something a little different for your own Christmas dinner.

     

    Christmas Eve Dinner

    The night before Christmas, Italians start off the Natale festivities with a lighter meal, usually consisting of lots of seafood and no other meats.

    Usually, a salad will be served up with swordfish, tuna, salmon octopus, or baccalà (salted cod), which is a regional favourite.

    Simple pasta dishes and antipasti (starters) are also cooked, but again, usually without meat.

    The idea of abstaining from meat comes from an old Roman Catholic tradition of fasting from meat for certain periods of the year and in the US, the practice has led to the ‘Feast of the Seven Fishes’, where Italian-Americans make their way through seven different seafood dishes.

     

    Christmas Day Lunch

    Just like here in the UK, the midday Christmas meal is the big one in Italy and can go on for many hours!

    After ‘fasting’ the night before, Christmas Day is very meat-heavy. Things start off with a selection of antipasti such as dry-cured meats, cheeses, olives, artichokes and salumi (cold cuts).

    Next up there’s a pasta-based course, which will vary depending on where abouts in the country you’re sitting down to Christmas dinner.

    For example, in the North, lasagne is a popular choice, as are filled pasta dishes such as ravioli and manicotti, but in the South, you’re more likely to enjoy a pasta bake dish.

    The main course will be heavy on meat, with the likes of veal, chicken and braised beef being preferred to our traditional Christmas meat such as turkey or ham.

     

    Santo Stefano’s Lunch

    Finally, on Santo Stefano’s Day (Boxing Day to you and me), Italians gear up for their third feast in as many days, with more distant friends and family being invited for a slightly less indulgent meal than the one they’ve enjoyed the day before.

    There are no particular traditions for the Santo Stefano’s Lunch, but like in the UK, leftovers from the previous day will probably be used up.

    With less of a focus on tradition, Italians use this meal to get a little bit more creative and many will use it as an excuse to get out of the kitchen and enjoy a nice meal in a restaurant.

    If you want to mix things up a little and add some Mediterranean flair to your own Christmas meals this year, here are some Italian recipes for you to have a go at, or if you’d rather take it easy, here’s a flavour of the kind of fare you can expect from a Christmas menu at a top Italian restaurant, courtesy of Bella Cosa in London.

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  • A Quick Guide to Choosing Kitchen Knives

    Knives are probably the most important kitchen utensil, and as such, you’ll usually wind up spending quite a bit of money on them.

    For this reason, it’s crucially important that you make sure that you buy knives that are of a good quality, but that are also going to do what you need them to.

    With that in mind, we’re going to run through some of the most popular types of kitchen knives, some of which are essentials, and others which are more specialist luxuries.

    The Essentials

    Chef’s Knife

    The chef’s knife is the cornerstone of any knife collection and will handle the majority of general preparation tasks, from chopping vegetables and herbs to larger jobs such as cuts of meat or even hard veg like butternut squash.

    They’re a great multi-purpose knife and are usually available in a wide range of sizes so that you can find one which really suits your hand.

    The advice from KitchenKnives.co.uk is that: “Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better, and you’ll ultimately want one which has a bit of weight about it, but that still sits nicely in your hand, and has a nice balance to it.”

    If there’s one knife we recommend spending that little bit extra on, it’s this one, because it’s definitely the one which you’ll be using the most.

     

    Vegetable Knife

    Also known as a paring knife, these knives are much smaller than a chef’s knife, and are usually used for the small, tricky tasks which are done in your hand, rather than on a board.

    These include deveining prawns, seeding chillies, coring fruit, and many other fruit and veg tasks which can get a little bit fiddly.

     

    Bread Knife

    As the name suggests, these knives are used for slicing bread, and also for cakes too. They have a serrated edge and a long blade which allows them to easily slice through bread without squashing the crumb. You can also use this as an alternative to a carving knife if you’d rather not own both.

     

    Tomato Knife

    These small, serrated knives, are mainly used for peeling citrus fruit such as oranges and lemons, although as their name suggests, they’re also capable of general vegetable prep, such as thinly slicing tomatoes.

     

    Specialist Knives

    Filleting Knife

    If you want to fillet your own fish, we recommend buying a specialist filleting knife. These knives have a flexible blade, which helps with the delicate motions needed to successful fillet a fish and remove its skin.

    Filleting can be tricky, so if you need a bit of a hand, check out this article from wikiHow for some tips.

     

    Boning Knife

    If you want to take things a little bit further, and do some DIY butchery, you’ll want a boning knife at home.

    These narrow knives are shaped a bit like a dagger, and are designed for cutting through ligaments, and removing bones without damaging the meat.

     

    Carving Knife

    Carving knives and forks aren’t used anywhere near as much as they used to be, but they can still serve a purpose, especially if you still enjoy a good old traditional roast on a Sunday.

    The knife blade is designed to be very fine and sharp to ensure that you get nice even slices of meat when carving.

     

    Santoku Knife

    Japanese knives are becoming more popular in Western kitchens, and you don’t need to eat lots of Asian food for one to be useful.

    They have a blunt end, and are designed to be used for slicing, dicing and chopping, with small holes or dimples on the blade to help release food once it’s been cut.

    For a more detailed run on the Santoku knife and its purpose, check out this post from The Spruce.

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  • A Quick Introduction to Sous Vide Cooking

    Sous vide is an increasingly popular cooking technology which originated in France - the direct translation of ‘sous vide’ from French to English is ‘under vacuum’. The technique was initially only implemented in top-notch restaurants, but now it’s frequently used in homes all over the world.SVT

     

    The basics

    Sous vide cooking essentially involves vacuum packing your food, or sealing it in a Ziploc bag, and cooking it in a water bath. One of the major benefits of sous vide cooking, other than your food being cooked evenly and to perfection every time, is that you don’t have to constantly monitor your food in the same way that you do when using conventional cooking methods.

    This is because the food is cooked at such a low temperature that you don’t have to worry about it burning. The low but consistent cooking temperature which falls hand in hand with the sous vide technique allows you to cook your food thoroughly without it becoming dry and because the method is so versatile, you are able to cook anything from steak to fruit.

     

    The process

    Step one: set the temperature

    The sous vide cooking technique gives you the ultimate temperature precision, so you can set the temperature to the exact point which will create perfectly cooked food. So, the first step to creating your meal is finding out at which temperature it needs to be cooked and setting your circulator accordingly.

    You can find a comprehensive list of foods and their corresponding sous vide cooking times here.

     

    Step two: heat the water

    With so many options when it comes to heating a sous vide bath, you will be able to find something to match your budget. You could use a high-end circulator, but you could even use your stove (however, using your stove is likely to be less precise).

     

    Step three: seal your food

    The next step is to seal your food (most commonly using a vacuum sealed bag), which ensures that the flavour of your food is preserved and that no food can get into the sous vide bath.

     

    Step four: heat the food

    When cooking food, you’re looking to do at least one of three things: heat it, tenderise it, and ensure that it’s safe to eat. Because of this, timing is crucial when cooking sous vide. Luckily, with sous vide, it doesn’t really matter if you leave your food to cook in the water bath for an extra hour or so, as long as your food isn’t undercooked.

    To find out for how long you need to cook your food, check out the sous vide cooking time calculator.

     

    Step five (optional): sear

    Many people love the crispy coating which comes about from cooking food with more conventional methods. Although sous vide can’t provide you with this, it’s easy to achieve by searing your food after you’ve taken it out of the water bath. You can do this by using a torch, a hot pan or grill, or even deep frying.

    If you want more information on searing food, this guide will give you some pointers.

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  • What Is In A Bottle Of Wine

    Wine is composed of unmodified grape juice which was fermented to develop an alcohol that many people appreciate all over the world. In several nations, supper or even lunch is not total without a container of wine. Celebrations usually require a bottle of wine and also this is accompanied by joys and saluts.

    Normally, there are 2 types of wines; the red wine as well as the white wine. Both wines are made from grapes, although, different varieties of grapes and also both are additionally fermented to create the wine.

    Make-up of a Container of Wine

    A container of wine is mainly comprised of grape juice. The grapes made into wine are the crucial aspects to the taste of the beverage.

    Yeast is likewise contributed to the wine composition to ferment the grape juice. The fermentation might take a few months to attain the right taste f the wine. Water is likewise one of the major components of a bottle of wine and certainly the most abundant component in it. Alcohol additionally consists of wine and the alcohol material depends upon what type of wine we are discussing.

    Making uses of Wine

    A container of wine is frequently made use of for drinking, certainly. It is additionally made use of in liturgical events or various other spiritual based occasions. Many use wine to celebrate success and also to drown out getting rids of. A bottle of wine can also be used in cooking, cooking and to produce cuisine around the world. It is generally made use of to taste stocks (beef, hen etc) or braising the food.

    A container of wine could also be used to unwind the body; because of this it has gotten a credibility of being medicinal and also an aphrodisiac. Some scientists have actually specified that re wine might be much more beneficial for stopping cancer cells compared with white since red wine has a lot more poyphenols.

    Generally, there are two kinds of wines; the red wine as well as the white wine. Both wines are made from grapes, although, various ranges of grapes as well as both are likewise fermented to create the wine. The 2 kinds of wines additionally have several kinds of wines. They are usually named after the area they come from in the world or the type of grape utilized to make the bottle of wine. Alcohol additionally consists of wine and also the alcohol material depends on what kind of wine we are speaking around.

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