Wednesday, April 27, 2011

This Cake Has Gone to the Dogs...Literally

As you might have read in my early posts, we own a very sweet greyhound named Lina. We adopted her from Austin Greyhound Adoption (AGA), an organization that rescues retired racing greyhounds and tries to place them in a well-matched forever home. If you're looking for a sweet, smart, quiet and low-energy dog, then I highly recommend adopting a greyhound.
Recently, Austin Greyhound Adoption celebrated their fourth year of helping the hounds, so they decided to throw a birthday bash at Austin's Zoom Room (an indoor dog playground/training facility). My husband Ryan and I enjoy donating our time and talents to AGA, so he volunteered to shoot photos (these are his photos) and I offered to bake treat biscuits (greyhound- and bone-shaped sugar cookies) and a birthday cake for the greyhounds to enjoy.

Happy 4th Birthday AGA!

Lina enjoys some cake, well, the peanut butter part at least.
For the dog cake, I wanted to use healthy human ingredients but designed with dog dietary needs in mind, and also, no meat so that it doesn't need constant refrigeration. I found a recipe for a dog carrot cake which uses a few simple and inexpensive ingredients. The  cake itself consists of nothing more than carrots, eggs, unsweetened applesauce, oats and flour. The cake filling is just peanut butter and the outside of the cake is iced with plain instant mashed potatoes. It was pretty simple to make and it's even people friendly, although you wouldn't want to eat it because it tastes like dry and bland carrot bread (yes, I tried a bite of the dog cake for quality control).

A greyhound pup gobbles down his slice of cake
The cake was a hit with most of hounds, but we discovered that Lina doesn't like carrots and would only lick the peanut butter filling out of her piece of cake. That was shocking since Lina will eat anything and everything. Also, I think I created some confusion with my choice of baked goods because I had several people requesting a piece of cake for themselves and wanting a cookie for their dog.

All in all, the party was a blast and AGA raised some money through the silent auction as well as donations, all of which goes to helping the hounds. May they have many more birthdays and rescued greyhounds in their future.

If you would like to donate to AGA or if you're interested in greyhound adoption, visit

This greyhound is a true party animal. Roooooo!

Did Somebunny Say Cake?

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend. We had nice weather to enjoy the holiday with good friends and family. I thought I'd make things a little sweeter with a fun little bunny cake made of chocolate cake filled with vanilla buttercream and topped with chocolate ganache. I decorated the top with a fondant bunny sitting in a patch of buttercream grass. He's surrounded by fondant easter eggs and half-eaten carrots (because hard-working Easter bunnies deserve a treat too). The sides of the cake were decorated with fondant diamonds brightly painted with close-up images of bunny parts, including the face, feet, nose and a fuzzy-tailed bunny butt. I can't help but have a bit of humor in my creations and you just can't help but giggle at a bunny butt. Hoppy Easter!

Who's Your Crawdaddy?

I bet you thought I forgot all about this blog, didn't you? I know it's been a while, but I took a short baking hiatus after all that holiday baking and everyone (temporarily) going on a New Year's health kick. Now I'm back and boy have I been busy! Prepare for an onslaught of blog posts starting with this one. Enjoy!

Every Spring, there is a joyous and magical time called crawfish season and it is a small obsession of mine. If you are unfamiliar with crawfish (aka crawdads, crayfish, mudbugs), they look like mini lobsters and taste like awesome. During crawfish season, people buy big bags of live crawfish and host a boil. You pour the crawfish into a big pot of boiling water, cajun seasoning, potatoes and corn until ready, then dump the goodies onto newspaper-covered tables and get your grub on. I know crawfish look kind of alien and creepy, and yes, the eating process is a tad violent, what with having to split their tails open and sucking out their brains like a cajun zombie. You have to trust me though, you'll get over it and never look back.
 Anyhow, our friend Michael decided to host such a party and so I decided to bake a bunch of festive crawfish-shaped sugar cookies in honor of the annual sacrifice these tasty little guys endure. No animals were harmed in the making of these cookies. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the ones in the boiling pot. But their so damn delicious!


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