WAKEFIELD R.I. (WPRI) — Imagine being asked to combine a hobby with one of your passions — What would you choose?
Maddie Wilkinson, 13, was asked to do just that as part of her religion project at Monsignor Clarke Regional School.
“I wanted to combine my love of cooking and how I want to help animals,” she said.
With that idea in mind, the eighth grader cooked up something special designed to benefit the Stand Up for Animals shelter in Westerly. She wrote a cook book, which she appropriately titled “Just Me and My Dog.”
The book is full of recipes, not only for humans, but man’s best friend as well.
“The recipes are for dogs and people,” she said. “You can cook and your dog can also have a similar recipe.”
Maddie wrote and designed the entire book. She even made sure the dog on the front cover looked just like her four-legged friend, a rescue named Max.
One of her specialties is meatballs.
“I wanted to put meatballs in because it was a family recipe,” she said. “But then I needed to find another recipe for dogs. So I thought of meat patties — kind of like hamburgers but meatballs. My dog loves those too.”
When asked whether her meatball recipe was a family secret, she said “sort of.”
“I kind of made it a little bit different,” she said.
It took Maddie five months to complete the cook book, which includes recipes ranging from breakfast, lunch and dinner to snacks and desserts.
It’s a proud moment for Maddie’s family. Tia Priolo Wilkinson, her mother, said she pleasantly surprised by her daughter’s creativity.
“Every once in a while she would say ‘How do you make meatballs? and ‘How do you make mac and cheese?'” Tia recalled. “I knew she was putting a recipe book together but we were blown away. We really were.”
Maddie credits her mother, grandfather and aunt for her love of both cooking and baking.
There’s more than 40 pages worth of recipes in Maddie’s cook book. Anyone who would like to purchase a copy can do so on her website for $15, with all of the proceeds going to Stand Up For Animals.