This weekend I was going through my old draft posts and came upon this one written a couple years back that never made it’s way out into the universe.  I’m guessing we had our hands full during that time period.  Now finally at time of publish (today), many of you know that Buddy is no longer with us.  This post gave us some happy memories of his larger-than-life personality that was particularly animated around the dinner bowl.

Always waited patiently (and fashionable) for supper.

The food is always tastier on the other side of the water bowl…

Why is it we always seem to want what we can’t (or maybe shouldn’t) have?

With dogs, seemingly, there is no exception!

For this, I may be to blame (with my dogs, that is).

Thinking through this, it is likely I am to blame!

Perhaps leading by example, I am?  For instance, recently, I brought to work a perfectly delicious lunch.  Not a super-fine-dine lunch, but a lunch that was rivaling those in the lunchroom.

Yet, I ate a bad lunch instead.

Often I have a very good lunch awaiting me in the communal fridge at work, yet if another lunch presents itself, free or otherwise, I am more apt to go that direction instead.

So why is it that given the chance or opportunity to eat something other than the lunch I so carefully prepared (which took actual time, I might add), I will happily take it and make it my lunch instead?

I’m referring to brought in lunches, for seminars, or going out for lunches, not stealing lunches from the communal work fridge, just to be clear.

In addition to my inclination to opt for somebody else’s lunch, I live in a state (and city) where you can throw a peanut in any direction and hit the front of an amazing place to eat.  Yet, when it comes to going out to dinner, we never go?

Tom and I always look forward to the places in other states, other cities, that we can’t frequent (without a plane, train or long haul in an automobile).  So why would we not just simply frequent these great eateries in our own city?  At least more often that is…

If that weren’t enough, air travel is no exception.  I pack a pretty mean picnic to take up in the air.  I make much effort for good eats and take many precautions, so as not to lose things at security (which has happened on previous occasions, such as goat cheese in Maui, dammit), ensuring that a lovely meal, eaten on porcelain plates, with metal utensils, laid out on linen placemats, will be enjoyed alongside wine, sipped from glass vessels, to wash it all down, properly.  Yet, I always stop at one of two favorite pre-boarding retailers to grab some nosh, just-in-case (!!!) it is needed.  Of course it is not!  However, I eat it instead.  Every. Single. Time!

And to make matters worse, I also end up purchasing the plastic box containing fruit, cheese and crackers that are usually less enticing than those that are currently stashed neatly in my bag stowed under the seat right in front of me. Or, if a free meal is offered (say, we were able to upgrade to first class) I would eat that meal instead.

No way is that meal better tasting or better for me than the one I have so meticulously packed.  And yet…

…the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree, as the saying goes.

Buddy and Ginger had taken up a new eating routine.  Even though they eat exactly the same, high-quality, well-prepared food (made with duck or rabbit, fresh vegetables, sweet potato and turmeric), they continually are always switching sides of food service areas.  Ginger peers at me as Buddy is hand fed his food and then swoops in to eat whatever he has left behind.  Buddy reciprocates by finishing her meal; the both of them sure that the other is eating something better.

I can still feed myself.

Buddy making his move…

So, as Erma Bombeck once, (not) so eloquently said, the grass is always greener on the other side of the septic tank.  Ginger and Buddy have decided that their life is actually greener on the other side of the water bowl, and we will continue to let them think this is true, as long as they continue eating (we know they are eating the best meals they can!).

Ginger: “Your dinner was better than mine Buddy”.   Buddy: “It tasted the same to me.”

Ginger: “I wonder what they’re having?” Buddy: “I think they call it old and fashionable.”   Ginger: “Kind of like us!”


Easy (psuedo) Butter Chicken

Buddy was the biggest fan of rotisserie chicken; I bought the organic, plain rotisserie chicken, once a week during the last 6 months of his life.  He never turned it down.  Not once.  In fact, sometimes I think it was the chicken that kept him going.  Something to look forward to.  We ate so much rotisserie chicken during that time that I wasn’t sure Tom would let me ever buy one again.

This Butter Chicken recipe is something that came from the need to make rotisserie chicken into our dinner…again.

It is so easy to make that it almost makes itself and can be served over rice or tucked into warmed rounds of fresh naan.

The chicken becomes quite fragrant with a wonderful texture. The whole house will smell like you are making a big pot of chicken soup but the flavor will hint more of Indian fare.  Dial up or down the spices depending on your affinity for tumeric and such.

If you plan to share any chicken with your dogs, be sure to buy a plain (unsalted and unadorned) chicken which I have only been able to find at Whole Foods.  Save some meat off to the side for them to eat since they won’t be able to eat butter chicken with leeks.

  • Author: Stacey Bender
  • Prep Time: 10 miniutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 9 minute
  • Cuisine: Indian



1/2 lb meat from a rotisserie chicken (skin discarded, *bones reserved for broth)

2 TB butter

2 cups sliced leeks (light green part only)

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp finely-chopped jalapeño (minus seeds, adjust to your desired heat level)

2 tsp finely-chopped ginger

1/4 tsp ground pepper

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground tumeric

1 tsp ground cardamon

1 TB tomato paste

2 cups chicken broth*

1/2 cup plain yogurt

Juice of 1/2 a lemon (more to taste as desired)


  1. Shred the chicken fairly fine.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium Dutch Oven.
  3. Add the leeks, garlic, jalapeño and ginger.  Sauté over medium low heat for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Ladle a ladle full (if using fresh) or pour a little of the broth over and let cook to soften the leeks, approximately 10 minutes.
  5. Add all of the spices, tomato paste and stir.
  6. Add the chicken and yogurt along with the rest of the broth and bring to a simmer.
  7. Cover, lid slightly askew, and let simmer for approximately 30 minutes.
  8. Add lemon juice and season with salt as needed.
  9. Serve hot, over rice, in Naan or however your creative mind might dream up.


If you plan to share any chicken with your dogs, be sure to buy a plain (unsalted and unadorned) chicken which I have only been able to find at Whole Foods, otherwise it will be too rich.  Save any chicken for them off to the side as dogs should not eat Butter Chicken and should never eat onions or leeks.

As pictured, I served over rice, roasted eggplant and garbanzo beans, topped with sliced tomato, green onions and mint.

You can freeze the meat in Ziplock bags for an easy meal later.

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