I am, to put it mildly, really into cupcakes. I think they are amazing. Adorable, teeny tiny little bites of cake heaven in a portable handheld form. When cupcakes started coming back into fashion a couple of years ago, I sighed, knowing my waistline was doomed. In their sugary clutches, I am powerless.
I’ve sampled some of the wares from local cupcakeries, most recently the Sprinkles that opened up about a half an hour from my house- which is a relatively safe distance. This week, I discovered Pubcakes, a cupcake bakery and coffee house, a couple of blocks from one of my favorite local bistros. This could be bad.
You might think the combination of beer and cupcakes an odd one, which I did at first, so I had to sample for myself just to prove how horrible they were going to be. I was sorely disappointed in how not-bad they were when I went on Tuesday, so I had to go again on Saturday just to verify that they were, in fact, amazingly delicious. This is definitely bad.
Good for the dogs, though. With all these cupcakes around and me in a cuppy state of mind, I decided that the dogs deserved a little something for all the longing looks they were throwing me when I was most decidedly not sharing any of my people cupcakes with them. So I decided to give this recipe a whirl: (more…)
This whole thing started out simply enough. I blame it all on the Zoku, that instant popsicle maker that I finally broke down and ordered last week after coveting it for the good part of a year.
Congratulations to the winner, Leigh!!
When Brody’s not catching aerials or checking out Bettys on the beach, he’s thinking about eating. At least, I think that’s what he’s thinking about.
And since we just had a big special occasion, we decided to celebrate his surfing success with the penultimate California snack: fish tacos.
Ever since I bought the original doggie donut for Emmett back in the day, I’ve been trying to figure out how to reproduce the results. Donut in shape but granola in texture, crunchy, dog-friendly perfection. I’ve done zucchini donuts and banana donuts and granola bars, but this latest incarnation is my closest yet to perfection.
Here’s how: (more…)
I have decided, after a bit of time off the wagon, that I again need to re-commit to a vegetarian diet. I did it once for a year, felt great, then got lazy, overcompensated with pasta and unhealthy stuff, and just decided to throw in the towel.
But I didn’t feel good about it. I did it for health, yes, but also because I wanted to make a more conscientious choice about what I eat. I wanted to avoid contributing to factory farming and the multitude of ills it visits upon the world. Finding humanely sourced meat is a big challenge in our area, and rather than making the 45 minute drive to Whole Foods I ended up going to the grocery store and getting whatever.
I don’t want to do that anymore. To be honest I don’t even really like meat all that much, at least not as much as I think I once did. I really don’t have a good reason for eating meat and lots of good reasons for not doing it. So there you go. Meat galore for the dogs and the cat, and none for me.
It’s a tremendously personal decision how one wants to nourish oneself, just as fraught with debate and self-righteousness as the decision as to how one should feed their pet. So while I am never going to be one to tell someone else what to do with their food (except my kids), I’ll be happy to ask advice from those who have been there before.
My challenges are this:
- Son and husband dedicated carnivores (though the daughter could easily go veg, I think).
- Staying organized enough to prepare in advance
- Choosing beans and kale when mac and cheese is oh, so delicious
I hesitated to even put this on the blog because then it seems like OH NO AN OFFICIAL STATEMENT NOW I’VE DONE IT but really, what better motivation is there than a public proclamation?
So there you go! Done! Now I need you all to keep me on the straight and narrow, and if you’ve done it yourself I am happy to accumulate a list of favorite blogs, books, sites, lay it on me.
Christmas is a bit of a surreal experience for me. That is by design. I was brought up in a house that transformed the day after Thanksgiving from a normal abode to a tinsel-filled glittery elftravaganza of kitsch, Rudolph figurines, and a sudden lifting of the No Sugar After 4 pm Rule. In short, December was magic.
Now that I have a 6 year old and a 4 year old, I’m beginning to understand why my mom worked as hard as she did to create that. It is kind of awesome to see a little kid shriek in delight at the sight of a candy cane dangling from the ceiling, to sing along to the Heat Miser song at the top of her lungs in the car, and to giddily warble through ‘Jingle Bells’ even though neither of my kids knows what a sleigh or snow is. It is cacophony of the finest degree.
I find myself needing that joyful lunacy more than ever the older I get, needing a little bit of holiday magic- even if I’m the one who had to make it. Life can be hard and ugly, and if you dwell too much on the despair without allowing yourself to just let it all go and be happy every once in a while, well, then the light goes out, and it’s hard to get back. So in my house, when it’s December, you’re gonna be jolly, dammit, even if I have to prod you out to the holiday light show with a candy cane in order to to do it.
I will march my kid and my dog in a parade with a bunch of other like-minded people in the 75 degree heat.
As we’re winging our way to the Thanksgiving holiday (get it? winging?) I decided to dedicate some thought to what I would include on the holiday menu for the pets.
It’s only fair, right? I’m going to spend all of Thursday and most of the week leading up to it in the kitchen preparing a feast the likes of which this kitchen sees only once a year, and the most the pets can usually look forward to is a sliver of turkey expertly slid under the table by Grandma (then Grandpa, then the other set of grandparents, then the kids…OK, Thanksgiving really isn’t all that bad for them.)
But in the spirit of true pawcureanism, I figured if I’m going to spend an hour perfecting a cranberry sauce no one wants to eat, the least I can do is come up with something good for the dogs.
I thought about making some sort of actual turducken derivative, but since I’d never consider making a real one anyway I stuck with something we’d actually give to the dogs. The idea was to make something impressive enough to silence even the most critical twice removed uncle in the room, but still use stuff you’re going to have on hand anyway. So without further ado, I present:
What’s eating you? (I’m full of ‘em today.)
We now interrupt our regularly scheduled blogging to bring you the long awaited infamous CAT LITTER EATING POST.
I ate cat litter.
I made up recipes.
I filmed it on video since Ustream wouldn’t work. In hi def (ugh)
I had to edit it because YouTube won’t load anything over 10 minutes. It still needs more editing, but that will take several days.
I even added a jingle. A JINGLE! If that isn’t worth a couple bucks donation I don’t know what else to do. I am too old to go for naked blogging so this is the best it gets, guys.
Thank you to Drew and World’s Best for the raw ingredients and the support!!
It’s been a heavy sort of week. Lots of seriousness and such in these parts. And though I have perhaps just a little more I should be saying, I’ll wait until next week because I think everyone could use some frivolity to lead into the weekend, yes?
I had a large box of produce I needed to use up this week, including a big handful of some truly delectable looking peaches. I had an epic fail earlier in the week with my Pawcurean Beety Treaties which failed to convince both humans and dogs that they were edible- back to the drawing board on that one! No matter. Peaches are a lot easier to work with than the much maligned beet.
As you’re reading this, I am most likely winging in the skies over the Western seaboard on my way to Denver for BlogPaws West. For those who can’t go, there will be plenty of people reporting back. For those of you who are there, look for me at the Be the Change for Pets panel or otherwise wandering aimlessly in the lobby looking for animals to pet. That’s my favorite pasttime.
In the meantime, here’s how I spent the Labor Day weekend: laboring. As I’ve mentioned before, my Pawcurean segment is an experiment where I don’t cook specifically for the pets. I simply take what I am making anyway and adapt it for something the dogs can enjoy too.
In the refrigerator we had: chicken breast, carrots, and broccoli. This is pretty much a staple in our home. Brody watched me chopping up the chicken breast and asked as politely as a dog knows how with big begging eyes, “Me too!!”
I think we spend so much time panicking about what not to feed our pets that we’re forgetting to focus on what they should be eating.
Well, that’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? What should my dog be eating? It’s not an answer you’ll get a lot of agreement upon. In fact, if you’re into trolling internet chat rooms and like to see bloody melees, I highly recommend going to a raw diet message board and posting how Old Roy rocks. Or vice versa.
This is a topic people get downright emotional about. I consider myself a centrist on this issue, which of course drives people on both sides crazy. As you know if you’ve read the blog for a while, I’m a big proponent of high quality foods, learning to read labels, and choosing pet foods that aren’t filled with garbage (figuratively and literally.)
I’m not telling you that I think commercial foods are better than home prepared foods- I’d love to see more people home cooking. But for the majority of the populace, who struggle with the temptation of convenience versus preparing foods for their human families never mind the pets, commercial is the food of choice. And I would be a total hypocrite to say, “You should really be cooking for your pets,” since I use commercial foods myself.
Now I do think we have let the pendulum swing a bit far in the commercial direction. When clients admit, “I feed my dog people food sometimes,” they say it so abashedly you’d think they just said, “I feed my dog Drano sometimes.”
What is people food? It’s apples and bananas and peanut butter, as well as Dunkin Donuts, Popeye’s Fried Chicken, and pork fried rice. Kale and cola. It can be much better or much worse than commercial pet food. What’s the first thing a dog food says if they are trying to sell itself as a quality food? “MADE WITH HUMAN GRADE INGREDIENTS!” See? I’m going to make a dog food called “People Food Dog Food” and it will be a hit. Hit, I tell you.
My point is, we need to free ourselves of the mindset that people food is poison. Crappy food is poison whether you are a dog or a person. The foods that are wholesome and healthy for us are generally the same for dogs too.
Yes, if you are cooking meals for your dog regularly you are going to need to do some research into balance and protein content and calcium sorts of important long term needs, but incorporating some dog appropriate, low-fat foods from your kitchen into your dog’s rotation here and there isn’t going to make them keel over and die from a kibble deficiency*.
I was in the kitchen on Sunday getting lunches ready for the work and school week, surveying the contents of my refrigerator. Brody sat nearby, eyeing me hopefully. I decided that I would incorporate what I making for us into something for him too (I’ll let Koa participate when her diet is over.) And an idea was born: Why should the dogs miss out on the fun? Why not torture the entire family with my cooking experimentation?
We are going on an epicurean journey together. Wait. Make that a pawcurean journey.
Today’s recipe comes to you courtesy of one of my favorite blogs to peruse, Doggy Dessert Chef. You could easily spend days there perusing and making new treats for your pup!
I found Tennille’s site while looking for the holy grail of dog treats- at least in my book- the doggy donut. I love doggy donuts so much I am going to try to photograph an entire series of donuts on dog noses. As you will see at the end of this post, that may be harder than it looks, but we had fun trying.
I adapted the recipe from the original recipe over at Doggy Dessert Chef. I had some egg replacer left over from my brief vegan stint and decided to try it out for kicks.
So here’s the ingredients- it’s a short list.