Archive for month: February, 2011

A Treat for Sally – Chicken Liver Cookies

22 Feb
February 22, 2011

Saturday I spent a good part of the day waiting for the phone to ring. Isn’t it terrible, that anticipation, just waiting, wishing, wanting and willing for a phone to ring.  My waiting was for the Super Surgeon, to call me to announce that everything was okay and I could come and pick Sally up after another week of being away from home at the veterinary clinic. Sally is my dog, just in case you aren’t in the loop.

For those of you that aren’t in the loop, Sally has undergone some pretty major surgery to remove three cancerous tumours over the past few weeks.  Two on her body and one on her front leg.  It was the one on the front leg that had caused us the biggest concern, there was even talk of possible amputation at one stage due to the size of the tumour.  Thank goodness we were able to avoid that.

Without going in to too much graphic detail, the operation ended up with Sally having to have a skin graft that has covered a major portion of her front leg.  This whole procedure was a risk which held a 30% fail rate.  All this added up to Sally being away from home for nearly three weeks, except one weekend in between the two surgeries where she had a couple of nights back home.

That brings me right back to last Saturday.  What does one do when they are waiting anxiously for the phone to ring?   Waiting for a voice on the other end to say it’s okay to come and pick up a much loved member of your family……..

Well, I thought that would have been obvious, you bake chicken liver cookies of course!

This recipe is based on one I found in a cookbook called Okashi, sweet treats made with love, written by Keiko Ishida.  A beautiful Japanese/French pastry cookbook.  You may think it strange to find recipes for pets in such a book, but Keiko is an animal lover with a gorgeous golden retriever called Cookie.  She has dedicated a small section to treats for your favourite four legged family member.

The recipe is really easy and simple to whip up.  I did make a slight change by substituting semolina for cornmeal, basically I could not get my hands on any.  I also didn’t use soy bean milk but instead low fat cows’ milk as that is what I had on hand.

My cookies didn’t go as crisp as Keiko’s seemed to.  Maybe this was due to the substitution of semolina for cornmeal?  The biscuits end up having a very soft pate taste to them and aren’t overpowering in liver smell.

Sally is well and truly home now with us both visiting the surgery every second day at the moment for bandage changes.  So far all has gone well and fingers crossed it continues to do so, but we are still in early days.

Now for the most important bit, and that of course is what Sally thought of the biscuits.  She loves them!

A Treat for Sally - Chicken Liver Cookies
Liver cookies that your favourite pooch will adore.
  • 200g chicken livers
  • 80g milk
  • 1 eggs
  • 100g semolina
  • 100g wholemeal plain flour
  1. Preaheat oven to 150 degrees C.
  2. Clean and cut up livers. Without oil, stir-fry livers until they are dry. Transfer to a blender or food processor and blend well. Add milk and egg then blend well again. (I used a blender)
  3. Place flour and semolina in a bowl. Add the liver “milk shake” mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix until a dough is formed.
  4. Place dough on a well floured surface and knead lightly until it is no longer sticky. Roll out to a thickness of 5mm. Cut out your choice of shapes from the dough. I used a bone shaped cutter.
  5. Left over dough can be kneaded back together and re-rolled to cut more shapes out of.
  6. Place cookies on a lined baking tray and bake for approximately 30 minutes until cooked through. Remove from heat and leave to cool on a wire rack.
  7. Cookies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 10 days. They may also be stored in the fridge or freezer up to 12 months.

Sally looking at Josh in anticipation of another cookie (the eating action shots were just a blur)

I want to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to Ben Landon, aka Super Surgeon, the other vets (Sonja & Chris), as well as the interns at Sydney University Veterinary Clinic that were Sally’s medical team over the past few weeks.  We could not have asked for a friendlier, more experienced and caring group of people to have looked after her.  She became a favourite at the clinic and is very comfortable and quite excited to see the team when we go back for our regular visits.  Now that says something about that group of people when our girl has been through quite a bit.

Sara xxx


Cafe Ish {Closed}

20 Feb
February 20, 2011

Are you like me and when you see the word “cafe” in an establishments name, you instantly think that it is a breakfast/lunch/grab a coffee venue?  Cafe Ish do indeed serve breakfast and lunch, but don’t let the “cafe” in Cafe Ish deter you from having dinner here.

I had wanted to out Cafe Ish for a while and my visit was spurred by the need of a restaurant somewhere between the airport and city to take a couple of work colleagues for dinner before the need to drop them for their flight back home to Italy.

What better than a restaurant that offers a fusion of Japanese and Australian cuisines.  I knew that they had crocodile and kangaroo on the menu, perfect for my two Italians.

There were five of us dining all up and we were early for our 6pm booking, the kitchen does not open up again from lunch service until 6pm.  Even though we were early we were greeted with open arms and invited to sit down at our table and enjoy a few drinks until the kitchen started up again.  Drinks came as well as some edamame which was greatly appreciated. Read more →

Daring Cooks’ Challenge, February: Hiyashi Soba & Tempura

15 Feb
February 15, 2011

“The February 2011 Daring Cooks’ challenge was hosted by Lisa of Blueberry Girl. She challenged Daring Cooks to make Hiyashi Soba and Tempura. She has various sources for her challenge including,, and”

You may have noticed that Belly Rumbles has been a little quiet on the content side of things of late.  I have had a pretty mixed emotional start to the year,  some was expected some was not.  I have lost two people in my orbit to cancer within days of each other and another (a pivotal part of my family) which I may discuss in later posts, is now undergoing unexpected aggressive treatment for the disease.

On top of this my darling dog Sally has also been undergoing treatment for cancer, with the removal of three tumours and a skin graft that was undertaken yesterday.  It has been very hard as the operations have been tricky but successful and she has been living at the surgery for the past two weeks.  We had her home this weekend, but she went back yesterday for the skin graft and another 5 day (at least) stay at the clinic.

Then I also have the fact that one of my major support units (my parents) moved to Queensland this week to live. Read more →