Friday, July 26, 2013

There's Always Money in the Banana Stand

Summers mean a lot of things for me, but a main thing at this moment is binge-watching.  I tend to get behind with a lot of shows, so it's always fun for me to set aside a day to purposely not get out of lounge clothes, snuggle with my two top guys, and veg.  The past few days it has been Arrested Development.  And of course, I just had to go back and watch previous seasons because it's been far too long and I couldn't possibly make a valid comparison to the new season otherwise.  It was totally for art's sake ;)  Plus, I just saw on reddit today that another season or movie is on!  As I was watching, I thought it would be fun to make the boys a "sweet and natural" Bluth's Original Frozen Banana snackie.  This is a super-easy treat, as it only takes a couple ingredients.    Since I wasn't going to give the dogs a whole banana, and because the Bluth family likes money so much, we'll go with banana "coins."

**Disclaimer** - I am not a doggie dietician or vet, so please be mindful of any allergies that your pet may have.  I use ingredients that are known to be safe for dogs to ingest, but just like humans, there is a chance that your dog could be allergic or end up with a case of killer squirts.  Please be mindful and monitor your dog(s) whenever changing or introducing new eats.

Carob Banana Coins
Makes about 10 coins
1/8c + (depending on how many bananas you want) unsweetened carob chips -- NOT chocolate body paint...
1 banana, peeled
Some water

**I hope this is common knowledge, but in case it's not, ABSOLUTELY under no circumstances give your dog chocolate.  Carob is a fruit that is a typical chocolate alternative used for dogs.  If you've ever tried carob, you KNOW it is not chocolate.  Find carob in the health food aisle or order online.**


1.  Slice the banana into coins approximately 1/2 inch thick.  I did 1/4 inch and they were too thin for my liking once I started dipping.  Place the slices on wax paper on a baking sheet and freeze for a couple hours (about 2 - 3 hours should do it)

2. Melt the carob in a heat resistant bowl over a pot of boiling water (double boiler method) or use a candy melter (that's what I did).  Use the microwave at your own risk.  Here's why...  Carob is much much drier than chocolate.  It's too easy to burn it in the microwave.  Carob looks (and smells, in my opinion) disgusting when it's melting.  Don't worry.  You didn't make a huge mistake.  It will clump together when you mix it and it will not resemble melted chocolate at all.  

Foul looking, right?
So to get this glop to a smooth consistency, you have to add water and whisk it in.  Start by adding half of the amount of carob you used.  So if you used a 1/4 c of carob, start with an 1/8 c of water.  You will most likely need to add more.  Keep adding by the tablespoon until you have a consistency that mirrors melted chocolate.
3.  Take out your frozen bananas.  From experience...  Take only a couple out at a time and leave the rest in the freezer.  You need them to be frozen when you dip to make your life a lot easier because they get mushy.  I used a toothpick in the middle of the banana to dunk it and make sure it was covered.  Put on a sheet of wax paper.  Repeat.  If you notice the carob getting dry again, you can add more water.  If you want it more shiny, you can add a little coconut oil too.

4.  Switch out the old wax paper from the tray you froze and carefully position the new piece of wax paper with the bananas on top of the tray.  Freeze for an hour or two until they're solid.

You could also add some fruits or peanut butter on top after you dunk the banana and the carob is still warm.  Blueberries would be an obvious choice :)

But of course I couldn't stop there.  Because how the heck was I going to distribute these little coins?  I needed... A Mr. Manager.

Gris was happy to oblige.  If you're interested in the pattern, here it is for a small dog.  You may have an extra small dog or a big dog.  So what you can do is resize this pattern accordingly.  The pattern is about 10.25 inches long.  That goes from Griswold's shoulder blades to his hindquarters.  All you need to do is measure your dog from his/her shoulder blades to the hindquarters.  So say your dog measures 4 (itty bitty!).  You would take 4/10.25.  That equals 39%.  So set your printer to print at 39% instead of 100%.  If you have a larger dog, you would do the same thing.  Your dog may be 15 inches. 15/10.25 = 146%.  Well.  Now what happens if you can't fit it on one page?  You could either print it in sections (don't ask me how to do this because I have no clue) or, just go to a copy shop and have them worry about all the scaling.  Just tell them the percentage you want it enlarged.  Now, I have to add that I can't guarantee that the resized pattern will be a perfect scale for your dog.  Arm holes can get funky and stuff, so hold the pattern up to your pooch before you begin in case you need to make any modifications.  Also, make sure that you are printing at 100% and not "fit."

I didn't include the waist or neck strap in the pattern because those you aren't necessarily going to want to resize.  You don't want them thicker or thinner, regardless of the dog's size.  What I did was measure and cut two strips, 2" x 27".  Then I cut one of them in half.  This gives you three strips -- two side pieces and the neck.  The neck I made really long because I wasn't sure how much I would need.  If you have a really large dog, you may possibly have to make the side strips a little longer to tie and small dogs you may need to cut more.  Since the body of the apron part is going to be longer than the default pattern, it shouldn't (shouldn't) need to be adjusted.  But always double check measurements to be sure!

Duck canvas (the amount will depend on the size of your dog.  I probably used about 1/2 yd for a small dog.  You won't need it all.)
Coordinating thread
Iron on transfer for dark fabric

I used this royal blue duck fabric I got at Hobby Lobby (with a coupon of course).  I also used a 1" bias tape maker to make my strips smooth on the edges because I hate turning tubes.  Bias tape makers are a nice addition to your sewing arsenal.  If you don't want to use one, all you do is fold the raw edges into the center and press them with an iron.  

Taking the strips, I stitched each piece with a straight stitch on each edge of the strip with a 1/8" seam allowance. What I should've done is rolled my seams, but I didn't.  It's not a huge deal, it just looks a little raggedy on the inside of the strips.  I'll probably get some of that fray control stuff to put on it at some point.

The body of the apron is time consuming as far as pinning goes.  This whole thing probably took me 5 minutes to sew, but an hour to prepare.  I'm an ass and didn't take any pictures of me making it, so hopefully this makes sense.  You can always feel free to email/kik (not kick) me too!

Once the apron was cut out, I did a rolled edge on the entire thing.  All you do is take a little bit of fabric, fold it over, then fold it again.  I probably pinned about every 1.5 - 2 inches.  I did the top of the apron first because that was an easy, straight line.  I left the "arm holes" and went to the bottom, curved part.  Here's some explanation below (click to enlarge).  It's on the finished apron, but hopefully it makes sense.  Just clip a little, bitty bit where the curves are to make your roll/pin a little smoother.  Just work with the apron body.  Don't worry about the strips.  After you have the top and bottom rolled, stitch that sucker with 1/8" stitch.  Whew.  That was the worst part!

Go back to the arm parts and now roll/pin those.  It's going to be a little thick backstitching over 4 layers of fabric, so you may need to ease in the needle by turning it by hand until it gets going.  1/8" seam.

Now the sides.  All you're going to do is pin them right under the arm.  I butted them right against my rolled seam at a diagonal about an inch or so in.  I stitched them on with a little barn door box thing.  At the other end, I did another rolled edge.
The coloring is way off in this picture.
For the top you're going to need your dog.  Place the apron on his/her body and align it where you would like it to start and end.  Take the neck piece and fix it how tight you want it to be.  Make sure the messy side is against your dog's neck.  Then just follow the same procedure as you did for the sides.  You're going to have a lot of excess, so just clip it accordingly.  I just folded about an inch up and stitched on top.

The last part is the transfer.  I'm not going to post the image file since it's copyrighted and I unfortunately am not rich and can't afford to get sued.  But I will tell you to go to Google image search.  Follow directions for your image transfer paper.  Do NOT set fire to the banana stand.  There's always money in it.  (also, that being said, please don't sell this pattern.  Feel free to make and sell the finished product, but not the pattern.  That's just rude.  It's meant to be shared for free.  Link backs are always appreciated :) )

And in case neither of those projects had you as excited as Buster + juice, I've got one more up my magician's sleeve for Coop.

R.I.P. Huge Mistake

I didn't come up with that pattern.  I used this one via Lion Brand.  Instead of a D hook, I believe I used an E or F.  And it is not filled with lavender.  They sell extra squeakies at pet stores, so you could always add one of those in.  It's crocheted in cotton yarn.

Obviously using the excuse that he can't read.
And to wrap up this post, I have Griswold doing his best chicken impression with a big ca-caw at the end.

No one in this family has ever seen a chicken.

How fun would it be to have an Arrested Development dog party?  You could serve hot ham water, some beet juice...  Sandwiches and martinis for the fur parents.  Blast the Final Countdown.  STEVE HOLT!

(make sure you turn the sound on for this one)

What are some of your favorite binge-worthy shows to snuggle up with a pup?

Nutritional Info for 1 Banana Coin:
Remember - Treats shouldn't account for more than 10% of your dog's total caloric intake for the day
Calories – 15.6
            Total Fat – 0.1g
                        Saturated Fat – 0.0g
                        Polyunsaturated Fat – 0.0g
                        Monounsaturated Fat – 0.0g
            Cholesterol – 0.0mg
            Sodium – 1.4mg
            Potassium – 58.3mg
            Total Carbohydrate – 3.8g
                        Dietary Fiber – 0.4g
                        Sugars – 2.0g
            Protein – 0.3g

Calculated via SparkRecipes


  1. Love the apron. I LOVE Banana(s) my favorite fruit. Lots of Golden Thanks for visiting our blog. Happy Tasty Tuesday. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

    1. Thanks Sugar! Gris and Coop are envious of all the noms your momma makes for you! They're trying to pressure me to get involved in the blog hop ;)


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