The Dalmatian Coast and Dog Treats

November 8th, 2011

split waterfront clouds

Almost finished with my travelogue from summer – thanks for still tuning in! Our next to last stop on our Mediterranean tour was the town of Split, Croatia. I’ll be honest, in the midst of researching Italy and Greece, Croatia slipped off our plate and we arrived with no idea of what to expect. We discovered an absolutely gorgeous seaside town with fascinating ruins and a cosmopolitan atmosphere. I learned that Croatia’s Dalmatian coast, which frames the eastern edge of the Adriatic sea, has been a desirable vacation spot for centuries, due its sunny weather and picturesque landscapes. We arrived on a particularly stunning day, a perfect postcard of cloud-strewn sky and turquoise waters.

diocletians palace

Split was a vacation spot favored by no less by Roman emperors – the emperor Diocletian decided to build a palace near this once tiny, ancient town for his retirement. Diocletian’s Palace, a sprawling, open-air complex, still stands today, and in fact has become the center of Split. It is a remarkably well preserved example of Roman architecture, all the more so since it is still actively used by the town’s citizens; after the fall of the Roman empire and the departure of the Romans, the locals moved into the palace and built homes, shops, and restaurants inside.

split alleyways

It was fascinating to wander between the winding byways of the palace, which are now lined with stores and apartments and function like city streets and alleyways.

split statue

A statue set into the palace walls.

diocletians palace underground

Here you can see that part of the palace has been transformed into an underground shopping arcade – pretty cool.

split doggie

We caught this little guy watching us from the rooftops.

colonnade

I love this gorgeously colored colonnade in Republic Square, one of the many piazzas in Split.

croatian pastries

Display of pastries at a local bakery. Croatian baked goods seem to be related to Hungarian/Austrian pastry – lots of strudels, tortes, and nut-and-cream filled cakes.

split berry slice

We had a sort of berry-topped custard pastry – very fresh and clean flavors.

nadafina store

We also came across this store selling Croatian-made chocolates.

nadafina chocolates

We sampled some of their chocolate bars¬† – I enjoyed the lavender honey and the olive oil. Too bad they’re not available here!

split farmers market

There was a farmers’ market going on just outside the palace. Look at the gorgeous peaches!

split sardines

The Dalmatian coast is famed for its seafood. Here are some beautiful fresh sardines at the farmers’ market.

seafood risotto

We had one of the town’s signature dishes, a seafood risotto, for lunch.

split tennis haiku

The restaurant we ate in had this quirky and amusing “tennis-haiku” hung on the wall.

split waterfront2

We were definitely sad to leave Croatia – there was so much to explore and we felt like we’d just scratched the surface. Not to mention I’d have loved a few more days in such stunning surroundings.

pumpkin dog treats

I meant to make a Croatian dessert for this post, but I haven’t had time to properly test out the recipes I found, so instead I thought I’d share some treats I made for the newest member of our family. Sorting through the many dog treat recipes out there, I discovered one that used pumpkin, which seemed pretty appropriate for this time of year. There’s also peanut butter in there, which makes them nigh-irresistible to dogs – especially ours. She wouldn’t leave the kitchen while these guys were baking in the oven!

snickers kitchen

Snickers staking out her spot in front of the oven. She won’t let what’s baking inside get away.

snickers begging

Doing her best post on her hind legs for a bit of squirrel-shaped dog biscuit. She loves chasing squirrels – although I don’t think she really cared what shape these treats were in!

Just one stop left on our Mediterranean vacation – Venice!

Pumpkin and Peanut Butter Dog Treats

makes about 20 dog treats
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup pureed pumpkin, either canned or fresh
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  • Combine all ingredients in a stand mixer bowl. Mix on medium speed until the dough comes together.
  • Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to 1/4" inch thick. Add a little water if the dough is very stiff, or a little flour if it is too soft and sticky.
  • Use a cookie cutter to cut out desired shapes. Place on prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for about 15-20 minutes until the cookies are dry to the touch. You can bake them longer if you want them to be completely dry and hard, but I prefer them to be slightly soft and chewy.
  • Let cool on wire rack before serving to doggies.

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14 Comments so far ↓

  • Laura #1

    Anita,
    we were in Croatia this summer, and we visited Split as well. It was a little weird to visit it now that has become such a tourist destination, I remember it when I was a little girl an nobody was in town. I have to say though that visiting it as an adult I was blown away by the size of the palace and the fact that it was maintained by the fact that people made it their home. Our favorite destination was the fish market, with the man selling inside and the women selling outside, very interesting. In all our wandering we didn’t see the chocolate shop unfortunately.

  • Laura #2

    Forgot to mention that your dog is really cute. I am slowly warming up to the idea of adopting a dog too, my kids have been begging for years.

  • sara #3

    Gorgeous photos! What an amazing trip! (And your dog is sooooo cute!)

  • lusitania #4

    happy that u enyojed my country :-))

  • sandy #5

    Our beautiful daughter-in-law’s parents are from Croatia so I have heard many wonderful stories about how gorgeous it is. And Eve’s dad Vinko is a fabulous cook so I have been fortunate enough to taste some of their cuisine. Our son is a history buff so when he and his wife and entire family went to a wedding there a couple of years ago he came home with so many stories to tell us. They stayed in a home up on a hillside overlooking the Adriatic!

  • Kirsten #6

    I had to write about travel in Croatia for a project a few years ago and my research made me put it near the top of my “must visit” list.

    Thank you for the dog treat recipe! I can’t wait to try it–or I should say my dog can’t wait for me to try it…

  • Jen Laceda #7

    Hi Anita,
    Oooh! Croatia is on my list of places to go! Especially Split and Dubrovnik!! Lovely photos!

  • Maja #8

    You were in my birth town and I’m absplutely thrilled you had a wonderful time :) Diocletian palace is amazing place, old ruins next to civilization :) Amazing photos! I’m sad you didn’t see Solin (old Roman city, Salona, just 3-5 km outside of Split).

    • Anita #9

      Thanks so much Maja, I didn’t know much about Croatia but it was beautiful! I wish I could have stayed longer and I’d love to go back and explore more!

  • Andria #10

    Great pictures! Croatia seems really beautiful. I look forward to going.

  • Blue #11

    Your pics are to DIE for! Thank you for making me hungry :-)

  • Nicole Gamble #12

    THANK YOU!!! I so appreciate this site. This is the information I was looking for.

  • Jessica #13

    I love the dog treat recipe and it has been a hit with the pooches, my only question is how should they be stored? My treats tend to go bad after a few days, much to my boxers dismay. He loves them, he lays in the kitchen waiting for them when I bake them.

    • Anita #14

      Hi Jessica,

      I would probably store them in an airtight container for a couple weeks. They are pretty dry so I don’t they would spoil that quickly, and my dog has never hesitated to eat them even when they’re a bit old!

      best,
      Anita

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